• Published 10th Mar 2016
  • 278 Views, 2 Comments

Breaking Down - spitfirepanda

The sequel to Arms of Arceus. In light of Infinity Energy, are the humans of the Pokémon world worth saving?

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Part 1: Prologue

Space-time roiled in wild swirls of matter and anti-matter. Countless Unown swam through the void in never ending patterns, humming a song as they went. They sang it in three rounds that seemed to compete with and compliment each other at once. The first round was high pitched and optimistic, the second was soft and unsure, and the third was low pitched and foreboding. At the center of their formations was the eye of a vast storm. It moved and shifted through the void, its fury raging through the chaos at the heart of creation. At its center hovered the god, Arceus, with eighteen plates orbiting it in an uninterrupted circle.

One thousand long, golden streams of light moved around Arceus as the god considered its creation. They protruded from its abdomen, reaching beyond the eye to twist and manipulate the storm. Before Arceus sat its three children.

“What have you decided, lord?” Dialga asked, hesitantly.

“I have decided nothing. Why? Are you worried about the renewal of my dark armaments?”

“They have grown quite… outspoken since we last saw them, lord,” the Master of Time said as he watched the glowing, golden arms move to and fro.

“We worry that they may cause you to see things differently,” Palkia said, his head bowed defensively as if bracing himself for an attack.

“And what do you care for the humans, hmm? It wasn’t long ago that your battle with Dialga nearly destroyed an entire dimension.”

“The humans played a crucial role in stopping our feud…”

“Yet it was a Pokémon that sacrificed itself for the sake of those humans. If not for that Darkrai, your battle would have ended differently.”

“It doesn’t take away from the fact that the humans calmed us and saved their dimension from destruction. They also restored a timeline, repairing a friendship you held with a noble human.”

“That human is long dead, and his attitude hasn’t changed his species. Humanity has only grown worse since his passing.”

“This is what truly bothers us, lord,” Dialga said. “Lately, you’ve begun to speak of humans as if they’re… the enemy. The last time you did this…”

“I nearly killed the three of you,” Arceus said as it turned to face its third child. “Giratina, what say you?”

“I agree with my brothers, lord,” Giratina said from the shadows of the storm.

“That’s an interesting position coming from a Pokémon as violent as you,” Arceus said as it narrowed its eyes at the Dark Land Emissary.

“Violence is an integral part of nature. I am not alone in that trait, nor are the humans. Pokémon have killed humans in the past, and continue to kill humans now.”

“And how did that begin?” Arceus asked, pointedly. “Pokémon and humans have a long history together. They have an understanding of one another. They were once neighbors, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. Though not all humans care to uphold this ancient pact, and despite young Charles’ attempt to canonize all Pokémon, many have realized what the humans are about on their own. This is why Ghost-types terrorize humans, why Jellicent and Dragalge sink ships that travel into their waters, and why carnivorous species will devour humans that enter their territory.”

“Not all individuals who kill humans are motivated by a hatred of humans,” Giratina said, softly. “Many do it because it is simply in their nature.”

“There are many Pokémon with inherent malice in their hearts,” Arceus said, thoughtfully. “This is true. Yet they are all bound by the pact to help humans when necessary. All Pokémon are taught this from birth, which is why they continue to present themselves to humans to this day. However, many despise humans and kill them when they see them.”

“Are you saying they do this intentionally, lord? That they have broken their pact out of spite and hatred, rather than survival of the fittest?”
“Some know of the humans’ sins, even if they are unaware of Infinite Energy. But their reasons are unimportant. It is their actions upon which they will be judged. Tell me of the ponies and the continuing debate in God’s Breath.”

“They are working day and night to figure out a solution to the human problem,” Palkia said. “They continue to debate the issues, though the Princesses of Equestria have yet to fully commit to a side. Even their ambassador, Sunset Shimmer, is troubled by the actions of the humans. They will never side with Charles, but they have discussed simply cutting ties with the Pokémon world altogether. Still, they are reluctant to leave their friends and will try to solve the problem first. To do that they must heal the rift caused by Charles’ messages to the Pokémon outside of God’s Breath. They are currently debating whether or not a test is in order.”

“What sort of test?”

“The human god, Von Doom, questioned whether all humans are the same across all multiverses. They are considering his question quite seriously, at the moment.”

“We humbly ask that you allow them to find their own conclusion, lord,” Dialga said, carefully. “It would not do to interfere.”

“I thought that myself not long ago,” Arceus said. “Now, I am unsure of the logic of being passive.”

The lords of space, time, and anti-matter looked to one another solemnly.

“Would you like to look in on today’s discussions of human culture, lord?” Palkia asked.

There was a moment of silence as the three gods hoped for their lord’s approval. Looking in on the constant debates and lectures in the Slowking College of God’s Breath and Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns in Canterlot were the only things that Arceus never grew tired of. So long as it was focused on the evolving debate, its thoughts were distracted from the strange nihilism that had invaded them lately. After a moment of staring up at the singing Unown, Arceus looked to Palkia and nodded. With a sigh of relief, the god of space opened a small portal allowing a one-way view into one of the lecture halls of the Slowking College. When that lecture was finished the four gods discussed its content until it was time for another lecture to begin, as they had done for the past eight months.

Though the Arms of Darkness had left him, Charles still felt their presence. Their residual evil crawled across his skin, like an invisible coat of water that threatened to drown him. This feeling had been worse when he had first embraced the dark arms. The utter hopelessness and raw hatred that had coursed through his veins had been unspeakable as the god had conquered his will. It was a memory that would always haunt his dreams, and his waking thoughts if he allowed.

The Arms of Darkness had wreaked chaos and escaped their prison. That had been their first goal. They had achieved that through the distraction of a universe embroiled in permanent warfare, and Charles’ desperation. He had fought the dark arms for control of his body for days after merging with them, and he had managed to change their mind. No longer did they want to disprove Feefee. There was no need, now.

They had achieved their third goal soon after abandoning their second goal, and had reunited with Arceus. Their influence was growing quickly, and Charles wasn’t sure what to think of it. On the one hand, he supported the idea of punishing the humans who had abused his Pokémon brethren for so long. On the other hand, the Arms of Darkness were spite and cruelty incarnate. They wouldn’t stop at punishing humanity, nor would they be swayed from their purpose. And they had grown powerful over the centuries. If not for the influence of the other two-thirds of Arceus’ arms, and the careful shepherding of the Creation Trio, the god would have certainly destroyed its creation by now.

Charles glanced to his right. A tiny, blue Gourgeist hovered above the ruined floor of Destroyer’s Grace. The Underworld had changed with the departure of Dark Arceus’ influence. The soft light of the moon shone down through the holes in the ceiling, illuminating the fortress’ inhabitants. Its light was forlorn, but somehow comforting for the Pokémon of the Underworld. The dark clouds that had once obstructed it were gone, and the wind that had perpetually blown through the Underworld had died out. War had ended. The Underworld was still and quiet, as if it joined the shades in their mourning. Now the Forces of Destruction could focus on their sorrows and the revenge Charles promised them.

“Why are you still here?” Charles asked.

“Because I still support your goals,” Korish said as she handed a note to a transparent, blue Heracross shade. With the loss of Dark Arceus’ animating fury, the shades in the Army of Destruction had become creatures of sorrow and regret. They were now melancholy, their eyes clear and self-aware. Some had chosen to pass on into the cycle of rebirth, to be replaced by a steadily increasing trickle of living Pokémon from the outside world who wished to serve Charles. Most shades had remained in the Underworld, serving their new master and patiently waiting for his plans to come to fruition. However, some shades had decided to transition into ghost-types. A group of newly formed Spiritomb circled the hole in the ceiling, moaning and howling their hatred in an ethereal melody as groups of Pokémon skittered about the ruin.

“You would still see humanity punished?” Charles asked Korish incredulously. “You would see them die? I thought you were trying to change.”

“I killed hundreds of humans on Battleworld. I’ve killed far more in our world. Far too many humans have died by my hands for the followers of Siebold to accept me so easily, though Joan still works to… improve my image.”

“So would you still see them die?”

“I’m not sure. If they all died I’d feel avenged, but then I wouldn’t be able to kill them any longer.”

“I’m hoping that you’ll learn to not want them dead at all,” Sunset Shimmer said as she walked through the doors of the throne room. Fluttershy walked close behind her, her head lowered nervously as she passed the Kyurem guardians.

“You’re going to be waiting a long time for that,” Korish said as she rolled her eyes.

“And what about you, Charles?”

“I hate humans,” Charles said, simply. “That’s not going to change. I’d like them all to be dead, but I might be persuaded to let them live. Assuming you can give me a good enough reason.”

“So, when do you wish to depart on our journey?” Korish said as she took a cup from a Swirlix shade that nibbled on a cookie as it balanced a tray on its head.

“We’ve been called back to Canterlot,” Fluttershy said, softly. “We should be back within the week. I’d like to leave then, if it’s ok with you.”

“Fine by me!” Korish said.

“I guess so,” Charles said with a sigh.

“You’d rather stay here?” Sunset Shimmer asked.

“Yes. But getting out might do me some good, too. Korish says I’ve been moping too much lately.”

“Fine. We’ll be back as soon as we can. Don’t go killing anything until then.”

“Don’t kill anything after we get back either, please,” Fluttershy said as she followed Sunset out the door. “Killing is really bad.”

“Are you sure you want them watching us like this?” Princess Cadance asked, nervously. The clock on the wall of the school’s conference room ticked softly as coffee brewed in the corner.

“I’m sorry, but it’s the only way to make Arceus happy,” Princess Celestia replied after taking a sip from her mug. “At least it only watches us while we’re discussing the ‘human problem’.”

They had shared this conversation before, and agreed that there was nothing anypony could do. The god was watching them daily to see what choices they were making. Fortunately, only the princesses and the Champions of Harmony had recognized Arceus’ presence, but the daily observance of their classes and debates was still unnerving.

It had been eight months since their return from Battleworld. Twilight Sparkle had been called back from her visit to God’s Breath early for an emergency meeting between the pony leaders. Relations between God’s Breath and Equestria had been growing colder over the past few months as Charles’ influence grew within the city and the Pokémon world outside. Celestia had insisted that this growing anger was not healthy, and should not be allowed to spread to Equestria.

The citizens knew of the situation. Details were provided when asked for, but as a whole Equestria had come out of the crisis only slightly bruised and bloodied. Though many were injured, relatively few casualties had been taken and the ponies hadn’t been forced into the existential crisis that the Pokémon had been. The princesses wanted to keep it that way.

“Well, we chose to sleep on my previous suggestion,” Princess Cadance asked. “What does everypony think?”

“Researching other worlds filled with humans sounds fascinating,” Princess Twilight said. “My friends think it’s a good idea, too. I just wish we could remember what we had learned of humanity from our previous adventure. Are you sure you don’t want to just tell us?”

“It was an adventure to be sure,” Princess Luna said, solemnly. “It was also a horror filled escapade. For the tenth time, the two of you are better off not knowing. It’s enough that Celestia and I have to bear with these memories, with only the professors of the Slowking College to relate to. Besides, we didn’t really learn much about humanity.”

“Your memories may return one day,” Princess Celestia added. “You are both still quite young, and your magic is still developing. For now, rest assured that we don’t exaggerate when we say that you’re happier not knowing. As for your plan, Cadance, I think that it is better than sitting around debating this day in and day out. It’s been eight months since we escaped Battleworld, and constant discussion clearly isn’t enough to solve this problem.”

“I agree with my sister,” Princess Luna said. “Cadance’s idea is a good one, though it will require quite a few resources and very careful planning.”

“All vote in favor?” Princess Celestia said as she raised her hoof and looked around the room.

“Aye,” the other three princesses said simultaneously.

“Then it’s settled. Are your friends ready, Twilight?”

“There’s only the matter of deciding who goes first. Beyond that, we’re ready.”

“How are they deciding it?” Princess Cadance asked.

“Rainbow Dash insisted on a test of skill, so she set up an obstacle course. She, Applejack, and Gilda are all getting ready. They’re going to start once I get back to Ponyville. If you three would like to watch it, you’re more than welcome.”

“What brings Gilda here? I didn’t think the griffons were getting involved any further.”

“She says that she’s going to set a good example for her people. She’s trying to show them that helping out of the goodness of your heart is better than helping for the sake of getting paid.”

“The griffons were paid handsomely in war trophies and jewels,” Princess Celestia said. “Though they were demanding far more than was… fair. If it weren’t for Gilda, they would still be protesting outside of the castle gates.”

“Then she should get the chance to continue helping us, should she not?” Princess Luna said as she stood from her seat and took her empty coffee mug to the faculty room sink. “She’s proven herself to be kind and caring. Besides, I’m eager to see this contest your friends are competing in, Twilight. If everyone is ready, shall we leave?”

“Of course!” Princess Twilight said, happily. She led the other princesses from the room as they talked excitedly about the event.

Author's Note:

Here is the Prologue for my next big fanfic, Breaking Down. I'm not the best with names, but I think this one suits the goals of my story. It sounds good to me, at least.

This is the sequel for my story Arms of Arceus. It's gonna be a bit more introspective, I think. I've had some trouble getting started on it. I know where I want this to end up, but not all the pieces fit to get there. As of today, enough of them fit that I feel I can begin putting it out. This story will have four franchises taking part: MLP, Pokémon, Transformers, and the DCU. The Transformers Universe I'll be using will be based off of the Transformers Prime/CN RiD timeline, but will be set in the future of RiD. The DCU will primarily resemble the New 52, but it might have a bit of Post-Crisis thrown in to round it out so my themes work properly.

This story is later than I wanted it to be. Life happened, and as a result updates my not be quite as regular as they were for Arms of Arceus. I wish I could add new Pokémon from Sun and Moon, too. That announcement got me pretty excited. I'm also a bit concerned that I can't match Arms of Arceus for quality. Despite its faults, I'm pretty happy with that story and I think I set the bar pretty high for myself. I want to give my favorite franchises a proper homage, though, so I'm gonna do my best.

Anyway, for anyone reading this I hope you enjoy it :)

Hasbro owns My Little Pony and Transformers, Pokémon is owned by Nintendo, and DC is owned by Time Warner.

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