< Inspired by this song.
Linkin Park - Lost in the echo...
If you're a PMD-L fan, join the fanclub! AN: This story is set almost right after SS6 "Ruthless fiend" which can be found here - [link]
PMD-L SS7 – “Blue Thunder”
Part 1: Fortitude
Long after the incident with Aaron and Ashton… Aaron decided to head out of the Combat Era, move out and never return. A new castle was built to replace his old burned down Rescue Team castle… The Exploration/Rescue team federation insisted that Aaron kept the badge he had earned. Castle or no castle, he earned the “Lawless” rank fair and square. There are a few ranks they can give to castle owners if they perform certain tasks and duties. “Lawless” is the highest rank to get as a castle owner and no one has really accomplished it before Aaron, except one single castle owner. What happened to that one castle owner is still a mystery, lots of speculations and stories are made about it and they assume now that Aaron will end up the same way as the other castle owner. The “Lawless” rank is only given to castle owners who the E/R Team Federation can trust. The badge allows the Pokémon who’s holding it to break the rules if it benefits their work/goals. Killing is now an option, as well as lying and stealing as long as it’s for the greater good, if it helps more and hurts less.
Aaron has no castle to rule in any longer, so it would be natural for them to take away the “Lawless” badge. However… Aaron had befriended lots of Pokémon, both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the Combat Era, it seemed like a waste to let him go. They decided that he’d continue to serve them but in a slightly different way. Aaron would be working for the E/R Team Federation without a castle in a one-man team. Without any place to go, he started to search for a new home. He moved out of the Combat Era and headed over to
Vespiquens Castle over at Honey Hive.
Meanwhile, someone was very busy trying to stalk him and hunt him down several times, someone who really wanted revenge for what happened that horrifying night. He wanted revenge and he wanted it BADLY.
Once Aaron arrived at Honey Hive Ashton attacked him at the entrance. His eyes were glowing red with anger, filled with the same rage and fear as that night. Aaron though, sighed and prepared to battle with Ashton once and for all.
“Are you seriously STILL trying to kill me? Shesh, this is getting annoying and rather troublesome… But I won’t stop you, take your best shot.”
“You think I’ll forgive you for what you did to my little sister!? Think again!”
“I gave it much thought actually! Now shut up, I honestly can’t wait to punch your face down to the ground, so let’s do this.”
“Ha! What’s your tactic this time?!”
“I told you, A PUNCH TO THE FACE!” Aaron yelled as he prepared to use Force Palm. The battle with Aaron and Ashton seemed never-ending. Seconds became hours, and minutes turned into days. One of them was going to fall, one of them was going to lose all hope and one of them was going to realize the truth that lied behind that horrifying night…
As the air around them was filled with dust and smoke, Aaron landed the final hit and knocked Ashton down on his knees. Aaron was full of bruises and cuts as well as Ashton, but he did not seem to suffer from the damage as bad as Ashton did. Ashton, who had been fighting with all his heart, had failed… He didn’t quite understand how Aaron could fight like that; he thought his own willpower would be enough to beat Aaron’s and that the truth would prevail over brutality and force. He looked up at Aaron with a helpless look on his face almost completely broken both on the inside and outside.
“Why did you do this to me? Why did you do this to my sister? WHY!?” He cried.
“You asked for it, you little twat. There’s a difference with how you and I work. I am Lawless, and you are HOPELESS. Now don’t stand in my way, or things may get even uglier.”
“Why… did you have to kill her? WHY!?” He clinched his fist and punched the ground several times, just crying while screaming out the word “WHY”. Aaron just watched Ashton punch the ground until all his power ran out and he didn’t have the strength to scream anymore.
“…You’re not only hopeless, you’re clueless. You’re so blinded by your rage that you won’t see the deep truth. I wonder if I actually smack some sense into that head if yours, then you might be able to think straight.” Aaron seemed to be quite lost in thought. As if he was arguing with himself over something peculiar… He grabbed Ashton’s arm and pulled him up so they could talk “face to face”.
“I’m going to ask you 3 simple questions. OK? Answer all of them, and you’ll get the truth out on your own.”
“Don’t play games with me!” Ashton yelled.
“Do you want the truth or not, you mutt!?” Ashton looked at Aaron still consumed by hatred. He wanted to punch Aaron so badly, however, he knew that he would just end up the same way again, so listening to Aaron was probably the best option for now. Ashton told Aaron to ask him the questions and so the truth was set free…
“Your sister had a terrible disease only found in a specific swamp; she got it from there, didn’t she, early spring? The swamp was said to hold this horrible toxic gas that could kill any Pokémon, however, it also held the cure for the poison inside… Is this information correct?” Ashton nodded and let Aaron continue.
“…Very well. I assume that you both knew this at the time, but wasn’t it forbidden to enter the swamp?” Ashton nodded once again. As soon as he saw Ashton nod, Aaron had a terrible frightening grin on his face. He walked closer to Ashton, not to intimidate him, but to look him deep in the eyes to see his reaction to the final question. He leaned over to Ashton, grabbed his arm so he wouldn’t run away and whispered-
“If it was dangerous and forbidden to enter…WHY did she walk in?”
The second Aaron said that, Ashton backed off completely shocked and furious.
“W-WHAT!? What are you saying?!” Ashton’s look started to turn less furious and more worried to where this conversation was heading.
“You answered 2 of the 3 important questions; Where and how. Now we only need to know WHY. I have a strong feeling you know exactly why. Care to tell me about it?” Ashton seemed to get more intimidated by Aaron’s every word; he knew where this conversation was going. Aaron walked up to him again and pulled Ashton’s cape towards him. Aaron’s grin had now turned into a hateful stare. It was as if his eyes were piercing though Ashton’s soul. Aaron could see right through him.
“Answer the question; WHY did she walk into the toxic swamp?”
“…” Ashton was completely silent.
“… It’s no fun if you avoid the last question. You agreed to answer three, and if you answer all three questions honestly, you’ll find out who the real killer here is, won’t you?” Ashton avoided eye-contact and tried to push himself away from Aaron.
“What’s wrong Ashton? Afraid of the TRUTH you wanted!?” Aaron pushed him away and turned really violent.
“The TRUTH you were seeking was the TRUTH you were hiding from yourself! Your little sister was that sick because of YOU and your foolish mistake! WASN’T SHE!?”
Ashton realized what Aaron was accusing him of; he started defending himself at last after a while. He claimed that his sister might have had a chance of survival if Aaron hadn’t came and wrecked his hopes by killing his little sister. Ashton was indeed responsible for his sister entering the swamp, but not for the cause of her death. Aaron decided to explain the entire scenario for him as he clearly saw that Ashton wasn’t getting the point…
“Your theory is way more than flawed… The poisoned swamp held the only antidote for that toxic gas. Rescue Teams and Exploration Teams are even said to not step near it for safety reasons. That badge you wanted from me isn’t even worth HALF as much as the antidote from that place is, did you know that, Ashton? There might be a chance to get the antidote in the future, but because of the harsh conditions now, the swamp is off-limits to all, even poison types will fall for the toxic, that’s how bad it is. Don’t you get it? Your sister never had a chance to begin with; it was all just something you made up inside your head to make you feel better. She was only suffering, day after day … and you did NOTHING to stop it. Once I heard of this story from the Pokémon in town, I decided to pay you a little visit, however, you already headed over to my castle to burn it down. I lured you to your sister and killed her in front of your eyes as a punishment for you, and to put that poor girl out of the misery that YOU caused. If I weren’t there, she would have died in the long run... Don’t you understand Ashton? I put the blame on myself in order for you to continue living without such pain in your heart…however… You annoyed me quite a lot. I really don’t feel like hiding this from you since you don’t deserve that made up ‘truth’. There is only one truth, and only ONE. Even if you don’t like it, you have to accept it as a fact, whether your intention was to kill or save…THIS was the outcome, and you got only yourself to blame.”
Ashton now realized everything that had happened. Ashton hadn’t only caused his sister to suffer, but several other Pokémon. The Pokémon he stole from, and the Pokémon from Aaron’s castle that burned down to the ground. Aaron looked over at him and asked why he and his sister walked into the swamp, and how he came out of the swamp unharmed. Ashton started telling this story about their little brother who was thrown out of the house because he accidentally wandered into the swamp. He was really young, so he didn’t know how to read signs and got lost in the swamp; he came back with bruises and cuts all over him. Once their parents found out he had entered the swamp they threw him out so that he wouldn’t poison Ashton and his little sister. It was a sacrifice they were willing to make and they strictly told Ashton and his sister to not walk into the swamp up north. However, they had heard that a cure was in the swamp. So they figured if they walked in and grabbed the cure, they could heal themselves (if they got poisoned) as well as their brother. They didn’t expect to get attacked by vicious poison type Pokémon once they entered the swamp. The conditions in the swamp injured even poison type Pokémon, yet these Pokémon seemed immune to the poison. They were probably the Pokémon who produced this kind of toxic. As Ashton was looking for the antidote, an Amoonguss attacked him. His little sister blocked the attack. It caused her to get poisoned badly and faint right on the spot. Ashton carried her out as fast as he could while running away from the Amoonguss. He told their parents what had happened and how they entered the swamp. As soon as they mentioned the swamp, their parents decided to throw out Ashton’s little sister. Ashton didn’t want to abandon his little sister for the soul reason that it was his fault, and he felt responsible for what he did. They both left home, and Ashton tried to find a way to get help. However, he soon realized no one wanted a infected Pokémon near them, not even Blissey from the hospital would take the his sister in, because she may infect other Pokémon and they had no antidote for her… That first night when they were sleeping outside in the cold, he realized his mistake. He didn’t only lose his little brother, but he was about to lose his sister as well, left alone in a world with no one to turn too or talk to. Ashton decided that he would do ANYTHING to protect his sister, even if it came to stealing and hurting other Pokémon. He was desperate; once he found Aaron, he saw an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. Attacking Aaron was his only way out in Ashton’s eyes, though if Ashton had taken one look at his sister, he would see that she was beyond help. He couldn’t believe how he forgot all about this… He was so blinded by his hatred that he couldn’t control himself or think about anything else.
“How do you think I can live with all of this on my shoulders from now on? Not only my sister, but all those other Pokémon I hurt…” Ashton said, finally looking up straight at Aaron.
“I didn’t FORCE you to do ANYTHING from the moment we met. You took actions on your own, now you need to take the responsibility on your own as well and overcome this, or let it beat you down to the useless pulp that you are.”
“Just strike me down NOW! It won’t make a difference! I failed to protect my brother, I failed to protect my sister and I failed myself… I might as well just die right now!” he cried out. Aaron grabbed him and slapped him in the face right away without hesitation.
“Idiot. I hate your kind of people. You just escaped the fate of death, instead of embracing life you want to throw it away? Do you know how many Pokémon are now suffering or on the edge of dying just TRYING to hold on to their life a little longer? It’s a struggle you know nothing about but I know plenty of. That exact feeling will never leave my heart. That moment… when you look at someone with pleading eyes and all they have to show is hatred… You try to reason with them but your words are as hollow as their heart. They strike and before you know it, your opportunity to live has been taken away from you in less than a second. It may seem like a quick process, but it moves way slower for the victim because he/she is in shock, which causes their death to be even more terrifying. Your sister was hanging on for as long as possible. For you, it was probably a couple of weeks, though she probably felt like it lasted forever. The longer she held on, the worse she felt… Try to understand why I acted as I did. I have no regrets.”
“…I… hate you…”
“You resent me? Even if I haven’t done anything to you other than speed up the death of your sister, which was for the best? Heh. Or do you mean to say that you resent me exactly for THAT reason? That I played with your mind up until now and revealed the truth? Do you resent me now because you look like more of a scumbag than what I look like? You’re laughably ridiculous.” Ashton said nothing, seemed like Aaron put him in his place at last…
“Hm, Why don’t we end our dispute? I did say I wanted you to suffer, though I’m pretty sure these memories will always make you suffer when you look back at them, so I’m good with ending it right here. Now it’s not about what HAPPENED, it’s about what’s ABOUT to happen. You choose your destiny, and if you want to end your life because of this, then do so. Just remember that your sister would have died in vain then.”
“ I will continue to live… For my sister… I will try to do the best of my life here, to not disappoint her. She always wanted to act like a bigger sister to me, she was more mature than me, and took actions more cautiously. I miss her… She’ll… Be with me even if she’s gone.”
“That’s the smartest thing that’s ever come out of your mouth so far. “
“Don’t make me punch you Aaron. Do you think I’ve forgiven you? Do you understand how horrible I still feel because I saw what you did!?”
“…Yes. I understand. Sigh, I don’t feel like battling you anytime soon, so let’s call it a truce until further accusations are being made up a-“ Before Aaron finished his sentence a Pokémon ran straight into him out of the city. It was a small Combee and it seemed as if it was really worried.
“HEY! What was that all about!?” Aaron yelled.
“Ah! I’m-m so sorry! The city is being attacked by water type Pokémon! They’re using all kinds of ice-type moves to defeat us. We don’t stand a chance! They captured our lovely queen! I didn’t know what to do! I decided to fly and get help. Oh, you guys look strong. Can you help? PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE?”
“Water…types? (Does queen Milotic have something to do with this? There shouldn’t be any water-type Pokémon in this area.) I’m willing to help. Show me to those bastards. I’ll rip them inside out and feed them to their own kind!” Aaron was about to head into the city and help them, but he stopped to call Ashton to come along. Ashton looked up at him confused.
“You said you were going to live for your sister, am I right? I’m pretty sure she would like her brother to help the ones in need.”
“DON’T you talk like that to me! Whether I want to help or not is MY personal business.”
“Well, I’m not giving you a choice here, GET GOING! “ Aaron forced Ashton to battle with him against the vicious water type team. He may or may not have threatened to blast Ashton off across the continent if he refused to cooperate…
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I was originally only gonna keep it B/W but decided to throw in colors in the end and a forest.When the song said "-hold myself up, and love my scars" both I and *Chibiramii lost it. He noticed how much the song fit before I did.
I still can't believe how much the song fits the image. <3 Im really happy about that to be honest. The song came out almost RIGHT after the first chapter of PMD-L! Chibiramii said "It's as if the song was made for the comic xD" o_O I agree in a creepy way. The pictures for this story are already done, and the story is also complete. However, I'm editing the last bits of the story, that's why it's taken so long to upload, but all pictures will be uploaded today. <3 Funny how i drew the 3rd picture for the story first, then started on this one and did the 2nd picture.... Yeah. All the messed up order.