a new year brings new expectations. civil unrest starts to manifest in the form of online criticisms that spike after the three day war. now that the region no longer has to face the threat of megalopolans, the people of hoenn turn to address smaller and more personal issues. will the league rise up to the situation? what about questionable events that have transpired, overshadowed and overlooked in the face of more imminent issues?
after the ultra beast war, hoenn begins to heal. the megalopolan invasion may have failed; however, it is clear there is much more at stake. a prophecy revolving around a cyclical meteoroid, the appearance of necrozma and a dangerous and viral alien threaten the safety of the region once more.
with rocket's new boss, the resurgence and reappearance of the crime syndicate's presence is imminent. the league has done its best to repair its reputation, and with the victory of a war under their belt, perhaps it is enough. but the seeds of distrust have already been sown in the ravaged land of this region, causing many to wonder what will grow?
Adrian had tried much and more to get the intrusive thoughts to escape him, but nothing yielded results. Cannabis? Nothing. Adderall? Nada. This went beyond being a schizo, whatever it was.
All he knew was where it wanted him to be.
Route 119, deep into the forest's expanse near Foretree City. Nearby he'd caught Reign, his Corviknight and the first Galar species he'd ever encountered. Quite the auspicious visitation.
But what he sees is a forest twisted against the truth; a canvas of rime and ivory as the husks of trees are bleached white and are coated with hoarfrost. The winter unending, they languish without The Cycle. But he can see birds atop them.
They take wing with the season's turn...
Adrian sees through a bird's eye view as the sky itself changes. The sun is a chariot that chases the moon; or perhaps the reverse is true. Perhaps even both are correct interpretations.
So long as they trust in the natural cycle...
Birds that have not made the pilgrimage, choosing to rely on the sustenance man provides, gorge themselves on an undeserved harvest. In the end their gluttony overtakes them as their instincts corrupt them against the natural order; they fade.
They will never want for shelter... food... water...
Adrian sees another continent come into view. The sun bathes the country in starlight, nourishing fields of grain and wildflowers alike. A verdant countryside filled abundantly with life and vigor.
To any and all, it is Utopian in nature. Desirable.
The cycle... must always... remain...
Adrian can see two silhouettes in the distance, their color fully intact even as the delusion around him fades, and the bleak monochrome forest enshrouds him once more. What; no, no...
The cycle... is all... there is...
Adrian frowns with exasperation, pushed to his wit's end as he grows weary of the voice's call.
You have... your... purpose...
Grabbing at the tufts of his hair, he's near ready to rip them out. Perhaps he should knock himself unconscious, or drink himself into a comatose state. Either might be preferable to... this.
Now... fulfill... it...
It's almost as if the voice's snare over him weakens with the distance. Or so he'd liked to have thought as he took step after step, meandering closer to the rangers. They've spotted him, too.
Or resist... but the cycle... continues...
He might've been expecting a 'with or without you' but it never came. But the suspense of silence falling felt magnitudes worse, knowing full well it would pick up whenever it so willed.
Especially if he contradicted its intentions.
Yet to great lengths he would go, if only to make the voice cease its constant, winded rhetoric...
...But murder? In cold-blood no less...?
Purpose... cycle... trust... "..." There is color to their faces in a way that contrasts the monochromatic canvas of the world as he sees it. A trick of the eyes, the fleece that has been pulled over him, that he might see in its absolution. In black-and-white. 'I need to leave...'
But he can only tear himself from their path long enough to detour into the woods, which in all likelihood only makes him suspicious. Why stick to the path at all if he meant to keep to the brambles? But Adrian had not the mind to think on such things, addled as his thoughts were with how to unmake the alterations to his sight and more.
'If I... if I were just to... It wouldn't even have to be me...' A pokeball reveals itself in his clammy, nerve-stricken palms as he hunches over it, trying to discern color where there was none. 'I...'
...I need to stop that voice, this... delusion.
In a flash Adrian unleashes Reign in its lustrous regalia, and he can hear its shrill cry grate like metal on his nerves. Its wings fan out as it gains its bearings, and it is quick to notice a pair of rangers pursuing them deeper into the forest...
Reign takes wing in a frenzy as their scent travels downwind of them, lurching its massive weight forward with a single gust of its wings. Reign had been too late for Howitzer, and had seen what such apprehensions had earned Adrian's dearest Arcanine. Reign could never be that same story.
Reign was a feral, tenacious beast. A wild thing.
Adrian did not think to use his pokemon like this, but Reign was all too eager to rend and tear—
'Ne'er again, ne'er again, ne'er again...'
—to rake its claws against any perceived threat.
'Ne'er again, ne'er again, ne'er again...'
Their screams fell mute on Adrian, who did not have the stomach for such work. But as their echoes faded into the ambiance, curiosity won over him, and he looked on in horror at the grim and ghastly scene. But even as their blood did drip and pool upon the earth, so too did their color seem to saturate the ground. At first it seemed only to dye the world in hues of crimson, but as surely as their lifeblood faded with every moment, so too did the blades of grass show signs of green pigmentation.
The sky heralded blue once more, and the world was alive again, as it was before.
But that gnawing guilt, the humanity within came steadily crashing against him. Who was he to arbitrate life and death? What madness had he fallen into, that his reasoning, his rationalization of it all was something so absurd as a disembodied voice bidding him carry out its will for posterity?
Or had he done it simply to restore his vision?
'...What have I done? Why... why did I...'
As the world's light and life seemed rekindled around him, the presence made itself known to him once more, bading him return to Mt. Pyre.