AGNPH Stories

Leon: Rebirth of a Hero by noxxi


Story Notes:

My first story.Please Review and comment on my mistakes so I can fix 'em!It starts out a bit short and bad on the earlier chapters, but rewrites for them are being done as I write this. So, if you don't get too hooked by them, please read on, and give this a chance.Reviews are very much welcome. But, if It's gonna be a bad one, please explain what went off so I can work on it. If It's just like 'Hey your bad I dun liek you 111eleven', then please refrain from reviewing.Anyways, enjoy.Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.Comments, questions, or anything like that? I can be reached by pressing that 'contact' next to my penname and sending me an email.

Chapter 26


"Did you find something?" the white-robed one asked.

"Well, I found a Gallade about to be killed by one of those LEA things," Misha answered, chuckling with a relaxed smile. "But I guess that's not what we're looking for, huh?"

"It really isn't," Miaram replied. "But, who knows? Maybe someday we will be looking for that as well!"

The three were in a small square room, illuminated by four torches set each in a corner of the room (and probably lit by Misha). The white-robed enigma was looking out a window into the floor below, watching an Ursaring and a Rhydon engage in combat, with her long, lightning-tipped tail swaying slowly while Misha lied back comfortably on a pile of cushions stacked against a bookcase. Their Clefable leader, on the other hand, was searching a desk in the middle of the room.

"It breaks my heart to see this," a sad sigh escaped from the hood of the white robe as the one that was wearing it watched the Rhydon charge at the Ursaring, only to have the Ursaring punch and slash it with its huge claws. "I only wonder...if Leon and I had not agreed to such horrible acts...would the fates of the two who are fighting right now- and everyone, have been any different?"

"Someone else would have done it, Regina," Miaram answered, stopping his shuffling of the desk's contents to look at her. "Do not blame yourself for something that is in the past."

"Yeah, what's done is done!" Misha added to the Clefable's words. "Besides, I've seen him. You know, back in the surface. He's a good kid. They both are...well, one of them was. I mean- you know what? I'm trying to cheer you up," he said, hearing Regina whimper. "But I get the feeling I'll only bum you out more, so I'm just gonna shut up now."

"Do not worry," Regina replied, not taking her eyes off the window. "It was not your intention to, as you say, 'bum me out'."

"Not a thing here, either!" Miaram closed the desk's bottom drawer. "We'll have to search somewhere else."

"Well, leave it to me!" Misha got up and headed for the room's door. "You and Regina go and search your own way. Meanwhile, I'll be having some fun!"

"Are you sure you will be well on your own?" Regina asked, her voice showing a slight concern for the Flareon. "After all, to wander this place alone is to seek your own demise."

"Well it won't be the first time I die," Misha carelessly answered with a smile. "And it probably won't be the last time I get back up, either. See ya!"

"Misha!" Miaram called the hasty soldier, who turned around to look at him.


"Here." He took a small, grey bag from the wall with the letters 'MV' above two black crosses on it and handed it to Misha. "I don't suppose you plan to bring it back in your maw once you've found it, hmmm? Take this. It might not be the same one you are used to carry around, but it works."

"Well, thanks!" The Flareon took the bag and placed it around himself, letting it drop, hanging from his side. "I was actually starting to ask myself that... Okay!" He turned around and walked out again, stopping without turning to look at them. "See ya!" He rushed out, leaving Regina and the Clefable in the room.

"So hasty," Regina commented, looking back out the window to see the Ursaring had won the battle, standing next to a dead Rhydon.

"Leave him be, Regina," Miaram answered, picking up another bag and handing it to her, then taking another one himself. "After all, he is just a boy."

"It amazes me," Regina replied as she and Miaram walked out another door on the back of the room. "After all the things that have happened to him, he is still so upbeat... In a way, I envy that in him."

"It's not a surprise. It's in his blood... I knew an ancestor of his that was just like that: she didn't know the meaning of 'impossible.' Or of 'shame' for that matter."


"Time to get to it!" Misha was running down the dark hallways of the wasteland facility. The dim blue lights Bernard had powered earlier provided him with just enough light to see a few inches ahead, but the lack of light was no problem to him. If he felt it was too dark, he simply focused some of his energy, making his fur give out a glow of its own or otherwise launch a fireball ahead to function as a flare. As he kept going, he noticed the black-and-white-tiled floor was stained with blood at some points. 'Something bad must have happened here,' he thought, looking at the floor but not focusing too much attention on it.

He turned and went into a door on the right side of the hallway, which led him to a stairwell. He looked up, then down: neither direction seemed to have an end as far as he could see. He stood there, looking both ways before deciding to leave his choice to the forces of fate. That being, of course, whatever 'Eenie- meenie- miney-mo' gave as a result.

'And down I go!' Once he had decided, he ran down the stairs, heading towards whatever was waiting for him in there...

After going down ten floors or so, he decided he had gone far enough. He stepped out of the stairwell and back into another corridor. He stepped out slowly, looking both ways to make sure there were no nasty surprises waiting for him to come out. Once he was sure there was no danger, he stepped out fully, running further ahead. As he did so, Misha passed by a door labeled 'Storage 13'.

''Storage 13', huh?' the Flareon thought. 'Maybe this is where I should search...' He pushed the door, trying to open it, but it didn't move at all. 'Meh, probably stuck.' He tackled the door a couple times, thinking it might open with a few hits, but it didn't work. That's when he noticed the small device next to the door: a strange metal panel with two buttons and a red light on it. 'Stupid electronic locks!' he cursed in his own mind, staring at the thing that prevented him from entering the storage room. 'I'm gonna need Regina for this...' Realizing there was nothing he could do about it by himself, since the power was out and the only one who could help him wasn't there, Misha decided to keep going forward.

He was passing by a door to his left when it sprang open and a Venomoth fluttered out quickly towards him. Quickly reacting, Misha jumped back and shot a fireball at the insect, dropping it burnt to a crisp onto the tiled floor below.

"And that's what you get for thinking you can get me!" he told the burnt moth before continuing his way, humming. He wasn't about to admit it, but he found the place to be far more unnerving than he thought. It was deadly silent with the exception of the occasional groan and moan of some poor Pokémon that had fallen victim to the experiments that were once conducted there, and the lack of light did not help at all. He reached the end of the corridor in another stairway which he took, going further down.

After descending two more floors, Misha stepped out into a large hall. The place was large and spacey, and not as scarcely lit as the rest of the facility. A large neon sign with the words 'The future is here!' was set on the wall between two staircases leading upwards. Surprisingly enough, the sign, along with several smaller lights along the wall, were lit without the need of electricity. The floor- tiled in the same fashion as the one in the previous floors was stained with puddles of a strange, purple fluid, and there was a small counter to the right with several bottles on it. Judging by what he could see, he had stepped into a party. Well, it would have been a party, not considering the silent, sinister, macabre atmosphere, the dead bodies of an Ampharos and Mr.Mime lying next to the sludge, or the fact the sludge was moving.

Knowing that it was dangerous, Misha sidestepped the sludge and went up the stairs into the second floor of the hall. It seemed to be empty save for yet another door leading into yet another hallway. As he walked through, he couldn't help but ask himself how big the facility was. He had descended many floors and still hadn't gotten to the bottom. He made his way, walking down the hallway with several locked doors to his sides. None of them read 'storage,' however, so he didn't pay them much heed. A low hiss behind him made him turn around quickly, yet he saw nothing. He heard another rustle behind him again, and once again he turned to see what it was, yet there was nothing once again. But Misha was no fool; he knew what was going on. He stood still, apparently thinking. He wanted to give his would-be stalker that impression. Then, in a quick motion he leapt with a back flip and landed looking up, then shot a Flamethrower at the ceiling. A Victreebel fell, still ignited, to the tiled floor.

"It's not that you're a bad stalker," the Flareon told the grass-type as it burned on the ground. "I'm just used to these kinds of tricks," he chuckled and kept going forward. Finally, he found a door marked 'STORAGE 19' that was not locked. He pushed it open and walked inside. A part of him hoped he would find what he was looking for in there, while another faintly wished he would not so he could have some more adventures. He walked around the aisles of the dark room, looking every last one of the metallic racks up and down to see if any of the many substances contained in the vials and bottles were of use to him.

After about ten minutes, he confirmed that there was nothing of use to him there and left the room, back into the dimly lit hallway. He was starting to grow sick of the sight. His next plan after his search was done was definitely bringing power back to the facility so it could be lit normally. A few floors further down another stairwell and he found himself in a vast, huge hall. There were no signs, lights, or bodies there. It was simply a very large room with a mezzanine that he didn't notice until he looked up. For one, the hall was far better lit than the rest of the facility. It had actual lights on instead of the dim blue ones. This came as a much-desired relief for Misha, as the lack of good lighting was having a negative effect on his mood. Since there really wasn't much to do in that room apart from moving forward into the next ones using the door on the other end, he decided to keep walking. Now that he stopped to think about it, there was something suspicious about that room. 'Why is it so different from the others?' he asked himself as he began to make his way to the other side of the room. He paused, hearing a whizz in the air and jumped back just in time to avoid a large rock which crashed right on the place he was standing on less than a second ago.

"Nice shot!" Misha looked up to the mezzanine above him with a broad smile. "You know, you make one hell of a sniper!" His tone was a confident one as he awaited a response from his attacker.

"Arite, thanks!" the answer came from the mezzanine before a Rhyperior with a yellow 'XVIII' band leapt from it and landed with a loud, quaking thud in front of Misha. "Now, if you could just avoid moving..." He raised his hand, aiming another shot at the Flareon.

"Sorry, I've got a mission!" Misha chuckled. "Maybe some other time, huh?"

"Can't let you walk away like that!" Big chuckled as well, not taking his eyes off the Flareon nor lowering his hand.

"Meh, I've got no bones to pick with you," Misha replied. "Where's that pet puppy of yours, though? If I'm gonna fight someone I want it to be him!"

"If you think he'd waste his time coming here just because of you-"

"-Then you're right," Lethe jumped down from the mezzanine and landed in front of Misha, standing between the Flareon and Rhyperior.

"I knew you'd be coming for me the moment you heard I was here," Misha told the Absol with a devilish, confident grin. "You just can't let grudges go, can you?"

Lethe didn't answer. He just stared into Misha's eyes with a mixture of rage and interest, the blood red in his stare meeting Misha's dark brown. He just began to pace around the Flareon, movement that Misha mimicked, making them circle around each other. Finally, he spoke in a low tone, staring at Big. "Go back,"

"Are you crazy?! After what happened las-"

"I said 'go back', Big," Lethe growled. "This is none of your business."

"So you're gonna boss me around now?!" Big roared, surprised.

"As your superior," Lethe replied, maintaining his calm, low tone, but adding a slightly angered rumble to his voice, "I have every right to do so. Leave."

"Fine," Big turned around and headed for the door, shaking his head. "But if something bad happens and your kid is left fatherless you have only yourself to blame!" He slammed the door open and left the room, grumbling.


"So," Lethe began, staring hatefully at Misha as they paced around each other. The Flareon was smiling, but was looking back at him in the exact same way. "We meet again." His white fur was toned grey because of the shadow. The lights prevented it from becoming as dark as it would have in the dim blue hallways, but they still failed to maintain the pure, spotless white. "Last time was at the Midnight World, if I recall correctly."

"Yeah, it was," Misha smiled. "Quite a history we have together, huh?" he chuckled, but failed to hide the anger his words carried. Lethe didn't answer. In fact, he didn't seem amused by the comment at all. "Come on!" the Flareon said. "Would it kill you to smile once in a while? You should always be like you are in the forest when you're with your mate. You'll live longer!"

"And you should know when to shut up," Lethe growled, clearly disturbed by Misha's words. "You'll live longer yourself."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever!" Misha laughed. "Point is, I've been waiting for this moment for one heck of a long time!" He got into a fighting stance; the air around him becoming so hot ripples began to appear. "I'm gonna send you home to your mommy... Oh, that's right!" he spitefully commented. "You don't have one!"

"Trying to hurt me with mere words..." Lethe scoffed with a faint, ill-willed smile. "Two can play that game. I may prefer to let my actions speak, but I very well know how to harm others with words." He stopped, staring at the fire-type. "Mentioning the mother I never had only reminds me that yours is dead. What happened?" he asked, his words carrying far more malice than Misha's. "Was that blizzard too strong for her? Or were she and your father just too weak to survive?" Misha kept smiling, but Lethe could tell by his eyes that his words had managed to hurt him. "Don't force yourself to smile. You hate me as much as I hate you."

"You're right." Misha's expression turned into a serious one. "I do hate you, and nothing would make me feel better than to see you dead." His fur began to glow, ablaze with a furious fire. "You did this to me. You turned me into a freak so sick and wrong I can't even die...and payback comes today."

"After what happened last time, I thought you'd have learned your lesson."

"You only won because Three stepped in to save you at the last moment. I would have killed you otherwise." The memory was brought back to the Flareon. The memory of the day he was forced to face - and cheat - death a second time...

***A long time ago...

"Damn!" Nero yelled as he fell with his back to the floor of the Midnight World's soldier's quarter. He landed on a puddle, making a squelching noise. His features were obscured by the lack of light. He weakly got up to his knees, gritting his teeth in frustration and anger, staring at the Flareon in front of him. "Who the hell...are you...?" His vision was turning blurry and he was having trouble just talking.

"My name's Misha Frost," the Flareon replied with a devilish grin, showing one of his small, yet dangerous-looking fangs. "And you'd better remember it!" Misha turned around and was about to keep walking forward when Nero spoke again.

"Where are you going?! I can still take you on!" the Gallade got back on his feet and extended his blades.

"Stop wasting my time!" Misha tackled Nero, knocking him down to the puddle again, placing his burnt right paw on the Gallade's chest. "There are only two reasons I'm here, and you're not one of them!" He got off his foe and began to walk again, but Nero got up one more time.

"You ain't going nowhere!" Nero yelled, getting back up. "Come on!"

"Okay," Misha turned around and stared at the Gallade, half-amused, half-annoyed. He leapt at him, with his bushy yellow tail beginning to acquire a silver glow before he crashed it against Nero's face with a loud "Night-Night!" The fighting-type was sent flying away with his eyes closed. It felt worse than a slap in the face. If he didn't know better, Nero could've sworn he lost a several teeth by the strength of the blow, landing unconscious several feet away next to a Weavile with a red 'VIII' brassard and a Froslass with a number 'VI' marked on her kimono's sleeve. Both looked like they had taken a beating as bad as the Gallade's. "Now quit being a pain and let me move on!"

Convinced that he had won his fight against Nero, Misha kept going, walking down the paved road with the dark, ominous sky above him, his steps making a light squelch as he stepped on some more puddles, evidence that it had rained there not too long ago. The streets were empty: it was as if everyone else knew he was passing through them and didn't dare come out to fight him. He hoped the whole trip would go like that, without him having to face any more problems, but things could never be so simple.

"You are alive," the words came from a soft, calm voice above him. Misha had heard that voice before. It was the one who had finished him off that day, the day he survived a fall that no one thought survivable, only to be killed by him.

"Surprised?" Misha called back, looking up at the rooftop of a very tall building. He remembered everything...

The feeling of that day: He had slowly opened his eyes and realized he had survived the fall he believed would end his life. His vision was obscured and, from what he could make out, he was seeing double and in black and white. That couldn't be good. He tried to get up, but collapsed on the ground with a pained grunt. Was every bone in his body broken? He stared at his right paw: burnt. He had absorbed most of the Fire Blast that knocked him there to begin with, but it had, perhaps, been too powerful. He couldn't move that paw either and was having problems breathing. He could even hear his own heart, faintly beating, fighting to keep him alive. He weakly raised his left paw and began to crawl using it. He had to get back to Phoebe; he just had to! He had promised her something...and he had to fulfill that promise...and then the pain of someone stomping him as if he was part of the craggy, dead ground. He remembered, weakly looking up to see the Absol stare at him with a disgusted expression; the same Absol that raised his paw and made darkness fall on him with one quick, fatal swipe from his claws; the same Absol that was now calling him from that rooftop. He would get payback from that day; he'd pay his executioner back in kind.

"I assure you," Lethe jumped down from the rooftop and landed in front of him. "No one is more surprised to see you here than I am."

"Then you should act like you are!" Misha chuckled, slowly walking towards the Absol. "You know, it's hard to notice because of all this fur, but I still have the mark of your slash in my neck." His tone began to lower until his words were a deep, dangerous growl. "I can't see the ones I love anymore because of you. I'm going to make you pay..."

"Go ahead, then," Lethe answered, getting ready to fight. "If it's oblivion you seek, you've come to the right one."

"We'll see about that!" Misha leapt at his opponent with rage burning in his eyes. He was determined to get payback on the one who had taken his life from him, who had turned him into a living nightmare...

***Present time:

"And yet here you stand," Lethe replied. "Here we both stand. The hatred you have for me is well justified. As is my own for you."

"What?!" Misha seemed surprised of Lethe's words. "YOUR hate for me is well-justified?! What did I ever do to you?!" He stopped, realizing he HAD done something to Lethe and added. "Before you killed me, of course?!"

"Don't pretend you don't know," Lethe sneered.

"I really don't, you big, big, freak!"

"Whatever," Lethe answered as he began to pace around the Flareon again. "The ever so great Misha Frost... Going around, being optimistic, paying no heed to the misery his life is because he thinks it will all be solved, sooner or later...even if it won't."

"Well, excuse me for smiling once in a while!"

"I hate you, Frost," Lethe growled. "And the end is nigh for you."

"Okay!" Misha answered, smiling. "Just one thing: if I'm the one who survives, can I take Astra out for dinner? She's good looking, you know?"

"Funny," Lethe quietly answered. "Great jokes, the ones you make. But..." He prepared to pounce at Misha with his eyes taking that murderous glow they took whenever his rage took control of him. "I can't laugh!" He leapt at his enemy and started swiping at the Flareon with his giant claws in an enraged frenzy, not worrying whether he was hitting him or not. "And you know why?!" he roared as one of his attacks hit Misha and sent him rolling away. "Do you?!"

"Because you're crazy?!" Misha answered, getting up with back flip and preparing to fight back.

"Because I understand life for what it is!" Lethe answered as he leapt towards Misha, who countered with a tackle of his own. "I understand my life for the misery it is!" Both fighters crashed against each other in the center of the room. "I waited for six years!" he roared again. "Six years of anguish! Knowing how much the one I loved suffered!"

"Alright, good for you!" Misha answered as he leapt away and jumped upwards, landing on the mezzanine's rail. "But what's that got to do me?!"

"You don't get it, do you?!" Lethe jumped up and landed on the rail on the other side. Once again, they leapt at each other, fighting as they descended back into the floor below; the Absol trying to slash at the Flareon, who kept trying to hit him with small, yet painful embers. "We are the same!" he barked as Misha batted him away with a strike of Iron Tail. He regained balance before touching the round, falling on all fours and leaping back at Misha. "We've both been through the same! We've both lost what little family we had! We've both been separated from the ones our heart belongs with! We've both been given the burden of eternal life!"

"Our heart?!" Misha laughed with the intent of irritating Lethe as he kept dodging his strikes. "You mean you have one?"

"What makes you so different from me?!" Lethe barked in rage. "How can you still smile after all that's happened?!"

"'Cuz life goes on, Nine!" Misha replied, distancing himself and firing a Flamethrower attack at the Absol. "Besides, you're reunited with your girl! You're having a kid, for crying out loud!"

"After how long?!" Lethe shot a Flamethrower of his own at the Flareon's attack, both fireballs crashing and illuminating the room with a large, loud explosion.

"Oh, come on!" They both landed again and quickly leapt away from each other. "You need to chill out!" Misha charged at Lethe with the orange-blue aura of a Superpower attack surrounding his body. Noticing this, Lethe did the same. They crashed with such strength that they were both sent flying back with a loud thud. "H-Hey..." Misha said, panting. The attack had, indeed, damaged his opponent, but he was now suffering the fatigue that came as an after-effect. "You've gotten stronger! Last time we were done by the time I hit you with this!"

"Last time I was not aware of my own strength," Lethe answered, panting as well. "Besides, I had my guard down. It doesn't matter if you are intelligent enough to think and act free from instinct; you are still a LEA, Frost...and I was wrong to treat you like an ordinary opponent."

"Yeah, I am," Misha answered casually as if he had just been told he was a Flareon: a true statement that he gained nothing from denying. "Hurt me a bit when I found out, but, meh."

"Now, let's finish this," Lethe growled. "But, first..." He scratched at his own neck, making a single, white leaf fall from himself. He took the leaf and ate it, suddenly regaining the strength the Superpower attack seemed to have taken from him.

"What the...oh," Misha realized what Lethe had just done. "White herbs, huh? Clever."

"I assume you will want one as well," Lethe told him, taking five more herbs and holding them up so Misha could take one.

"Alright, thanks!" Misha answered with a smile as if the one he was fighting was actually a dear friend of his. He was about to start walking towards the Absol when Lethe threw all five herbs up in the air and burned them to ashes with Flamethrower. "Wha-" Misha seemed surprised and slightly angered at the move. "You gutless, cheating bastard!" he chuckled.

"I've already won, Frost." Lethe lunged at Misha and slammed against him, sending them both rolling around the black-and-white tiled floor. A quick turn and Misha was above the Absol, clamping his fiery jaws down on Lethe's horn. The Absol let out a pained grunt, gritting his teeth as a single tear left his red eyes.

"Oh, did that hurt?" Misha asked, amused. "Sorry!"

"Two can play that game!" Lethe grunted as they rolled some more, this time ending with the Absol above the Flareon. Lethe took Misha's burnt right paw in his own and bit down on it, eliciting a similar reaction from the Fire-type.

"Hey, that hurt!"

"And your Fire Fang didn't, I guess?!"

"Oh, yeah?!"

"Yeah!" Lethe roared as the two continued rolling around the floor, letting go of Misha and throwing him against the wall.

"Look at them," the Mismagius told the Froslass as the two hovered on the mezzanine above, watching the fight. "Are we watching two enemies fight to the death or a pair of pups seeing who has the strongest teeth?" VI simply laughed.

"Ow..." The Flareon took a while to regain his senses, still dizzy from the hit he had just taken as he slowly slumped down the wall into the floor. He quickly shook himself aware and looked at Lethe. "Didn't hurt!"

"Grow up, Frost," Lethe snarled at the Flareon. Was his opponent, his rival - no, his nemesis - really so childish that he had to respond with answers like that whenever a situation was put up to him? He had no time to ponder on the idea as he and Misha once again engaged in combat.

"You're like my best friend," Misha grunted as he tackled Lethe, knocking him off balance and tackled him again, sending the Absol rolling. "Except you're not and I hate you!"

"Then act like you hate me!" Lethe barked, getting up and returning the tackle.

"Okay, then!" Misha leapt at Lethe with his tail beginning to glow again. The Absol reacted faster this time, however, as a clever, cunning glow came from his eyes before he leapt at Misha with his sickle-like tail acquiring the same glow. "What the-" Misha felt his strength leave him as the glow left his tail, apparently stolen by the Absol's.

"Me First," Lethe muttered as his tail crashed against a much surprised Misha, who was left with a large cut on his face from the point in which Lethe's tail hit him. "Is that all you can do, Frost?"

"Oh, I'll show ya!" Misha ran his paw through his face, feeling the heat of his blood (far hotter than his body). "This is gonna make me look bad!"

"You won't look so different, then," Lethe answered with a cruelly satisfied grin.

"Okay, though guy!" Misha ran at Lethe, stopping just a moment before colliding with the Absol and hitting him in a way that launched him up towards the ceiling. Before Lethe could do anything, Misha leaped and used the mezzanine's rail to boost himself upwards so he was above his enemy. "I hope you're ready, 'cuz this fall's gonna hurt!" He pressed himself against Lethe and then began their quick descent back into the floor.

"Yeah," Lethe whispered, "it will." In a quick motion, he griped his attacker and switched places with him, arranging their position so that he was on top of the Flareon as they zoomed towards the floor. If it all went as planned, they would both crash, but Misha would take most of the impact. Both slammed against the floor at full force with the resulting rash being so strong the floor shattered, dropping them both to the floor below theirs. The impact was so strong that they both passed out; neither of them being able to see what became of the other...


"Ugh..." Misha slowly regained consciousness, looking above to see a large hole that was left on the ceiling from their crash. "Man...I'm all broken again." He looked around, still half-knocked-out, trying to get a better idea of where he was. It was a small room, probably used as storage when the facility was still in use. A single, metal chair was placed next to a small table in the center of the dimly lit room and there was a brown chest on a corner, along with some pots that had white herbs in them. 'That's probably where that guy got them from,' he thought as he got up and tried to see through the rubble that had fallen into the room along with him and Lethe... Lethe! 'Where's that sumbitch?' he thought, trying to find the Absol. "Hey... Nine!" he called. "Are you here?"

"None of your business," Lethe replied from behind him as he, too, got up, his legs quaking a little. The Absol looked up, then sighed, "Ah, great..."�

"What's the matter? Hurt you more than you expected?"

"No," Lethe hissed, "and quiet down."

"What, what's up?"

"Quiet!" Lethe hissed again. "We're on the thirteenth floor."


"This is the place where that maniac Castle did all those grizzly experiments for his own twisted amusement. I have to get out of here."

"You and me both, then!"

"As if," Lethe growled. "Find your own way out. I'm leaving while I can, before I get caught in one of his twisted games." He took a step, but felt something pulling at his foreleg.

"Hey!" Misha grunted in surprise. "I know you can't make it on your own, but to pull me?"

"What?" Lethe stared at his paws to see his left paw had been tied to Misha's right. "Well, it seems we've already been caught in Castle's game."

"You are correct, Gentlemen!" the voice sounded through the whole room. "You two, who loathe each other have, as you may notice, been tied together."

"What?!" Misha stared at his paws. "Oh, hell..."

"If you wish to survive, you will have to learn how to overcome that hindrance!" the voice continued. "Now there are two doors out of this room. Choose one and be on your way! If you make it out, you will be untied! And one last thing: don't bother trying to cut yourself free, IX. This material resists everything!"

"I'm cutting free, even if I have to cut my own paw off," Lethe murmured. "I can't stand the company of this simpleton."

"Hey, well, I'm not so fond of you either pal," Misha answered. "But I like my paw, in spite of how burnt and ugly it is. Now let's get out of here," he said, looking at a door on one end of the room. "Go left."

"Right," Lethe said, heading for the door on the other end.

"To the left!"



"Right!" They each went their own direction as far as they could, stretching the strange tendril that was holding them together until it reached it's limit and narrowed, pulling them both against the other and clunking their heads together.

"Now look what you did!" Misha barked at Lethe.

"Ugh...I get the feeling this is going to take longer than it should..."

"You might be wondering why, exactly, you are together right now," the voice sounded again. "You might remember, IX, how a LEA outbreak went out of control in this facility. Your mission from me, your superior, is to eradicate it! Crush Cleansing Scythe! If you succeed, you may just get what you are after..."

"I'm not your toy," Lethe replied before looking down in resignation to what he had to do if he wanted to be cut free from the Flareon. "But I will destroy this threat to you."


"...and that's the deal," Misha chattered calmly as he and Lethe walked the dark hallways. They had been fighting just a while ago, yet right now he was treating the Absol as he would his best friend, "which is weird, really because, according to my mom, I was the first male born to her side of the family for generations. And my sister? She's the first female born to my dad's, too! Ah, she was so cute back then..."

Lethe didn't answer. He just kept walking forward with an annoyed expression. Didn't that Flareon ever shut up? He kept asking himself that question, not bothering in listening to Misha's words. He remained quiet for a very long time.

"...and that's how I met him. Pretty tough bastard, but bitter and serious as you! Well, I sure made him change." Misha turned to look at the Absol he was tied to, noticing he wasn't even bothering in paying attention. "But I've been rambling for way too long now. Talk!"

Lethe just kept going, ignoring Misha. If it wasn't for the fact they were tied together, he would have left him there a long time ago.

"Hey, come on!"

"I don't want to," Lethe muttered.

"So, you're not a talking sort unless you're in a fight, huh?"

"Pretty much."

"Oh, okay..."

They both walked quietly after Lethe's response until they were interrupted by yet another voice coming out of nowhere.

**You've stepped into my hell, invaders I forbid...**

"Did you hear that?" Misha asked as he looked around everywhere, trying to find the source of the voice. Lethe nodded. He did not look around, but certainly tried to be more aware of his surroundings.

**Yet worry not my guests, allow you here I did...**

Lethe growled lowly feeling his fur stand on end. Something bad was around, and he knew it. He knew that voice; he had heard it before when he first had to leave the facility. It was the one responsible for all those deaths: a prototype LEA who dubbed himself as Cleansing Scythe, the same one Castle wanted to see dead, and that the Absol would kill to ensure his freedom.

Just then, a door to their side was flung at them with huge force. The two tried to jump each in a different direction, which resulted in neither of them making it far enough to avoid it. They were both hit by the door and sent against the wall with pained grunts.

"Thanks for that, huh?" Misha jeered at the Absol as both got up just in time for a Machoke to come running at them. In a brief moment of coordination, both tackled him down, and Lethe ended his life with a quick slash. "See?" the Flareon continued, "was it so hard to just do the same thing I do?"

"Better off dead," Lethe grumbled as the two kept pushing forward.

**Clever and aware, the two guests I now have are, if to go further you dare, will you make it very far?**

"Watch us!" Misha answered, not caring whether whoever was talking could hear him or not.

"Don't answer," Lethe told him. "If you do, he'll know we can hear him."

**And yet now, I must know: Can you end my painful rest? I can't just let my hopes grow, perhaps make a little test?**

"Don't like how that sounds..."

"What did I tell you?" Lethe hissed.

Just then, two more doors came out flying and a pair of Weavile came out from one along with an Electivire from another. This time both Flareon and Absol jumped forward just in time to avoid being hit by the doors, then turned to see their opponents.

The Weavile were a problem: they strafed around the pair forcing them to turn constantly in order to keep their eyes them. In the end, this resulted in the roped holding Misha and Lethe together to become tangled and got the Absol and Flareon stuck and tied too close for either of them to move. They struggled in that grasp until they were untangled and sent away by a punch from the Electivire's massive fist.

Misha got up and leapt at the Electivire, but was batted away again.

"You're useless," Lethe muttered, lunging at the Electivire and killing it with such ease it made the giant look ridiculous. He then turned around and shot a flamethrower at Misha, making the Flareon regain his strength and get up, tugging a little at the rope. With the larger target gone the Weavile were relatively easy targets to dispose of.

**Intriguing... You dealt my servants with ease. Perplexing... You're above the common LEAs...**

"Don't compare me to that scum," Lethe growled his answer. "I'm an ELGA. I am the future and you are the mistake-ridden past."

**Who you are I know too well, and just like you too many fell. Of what you seek I'm aware, yet to taunt me you would dare? For you who has now intruded, I have waited for so long. For a puppet so deluded, he knows not he serves the wrong...**

"He's starting to get on my nerves with the way he talks," Misha grumbled. "Can't wait to shut him up!"

**And this fire-wielding soldier, he's one of my fellow LEAs, I must ask you now, my brother, will you give me my release?**

"I'll give you some release, alright!" Misha answered.

**I see my foe clouds your minds. My fool maker spews forth lies, allow me to cut your binds, let me open your closed eyes.**

Just then, a flash enveloped the two, and they disappeared, only to reappear in an extremely dark room. There was a strange scent in the air and a few bodies scattered here and there, though it was impossible to tell exactly how many due to the darkness.

"Welcome..." the thin, slim figure saluted them from the shadows, eyes glowing in an eerie blue way. "Welcome home."

"A grave mistake, LEA," Lethe said as he prepared to lunge at the figure. "Frost, I need you to move fast."

"Do not strike, but heed my words!"

Lethe took a deep breath and got back to a regular standing position. "Fine. Say your last."

"Fate has been most cruel to you, you lost all to you beloved, yet it was an evil order, wouldn't you like to know who...?"

Lethe stepped back, growling. What did his opponent mean? Did he know something about the tragedy of the Sinan Forest Lethe did not? "Talk," he barked in a short, authoritative fashion.

"And you, soldier, are the same. Split from those who were your friends, wouldn't you then care to learn, it was all a twisted game?"

"What?!" Misha reacted in surprise. "A game?! What do you mean?!"

"Listen now and learn the truth, a truth kept away and dark, but keep your mind in yourselves, a new rage in you might spark..."
Chapter End Notes:...
Oh, right...

Anyone here listens to Franz Ferdinand?
I dunno. I'm feeling random today

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