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Old 07-19-2017, 10:10 AM   #49
deoxys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maskerade View Post
deoxys:

The elder listens intently, eyes closed as he does. You tell him all that you saw, and how you believe it may convey a path to some strange structure in the depths of the earth. When you're done, he finally gets up from the rails, dusts off his clothes and smiles.

"Incredible," he replies with a faint voice. "For over ten years I've sat on these rails, every single day, facing the trains as they come. And for ten years, all they've shown me was the destination, but never the path..."

He walks over to you places a hand on your shoulder.

"But you came and saw everything on your first attempt. I was wrong, it seemed... you're much more than properly attuned."

It took a literal paranormal phenomenon, but it seems the rendez-vous with the black and red train was enough to finally get the somber old man to open up. Visibly moved by your ability to piece everything together when he'd been failing for a decade, he now seems much more inclined to talk than he's been up to this point.

"I owe you an explanation," he confesses. "When you agreed to sit on the rails with me, you entered a realm I cannot escape. This world you see - the purple sky, the demon train - is only visible by the two of us. We are trapped in a Never-Ending Nightmare, one I am responsible for..."

He passes you by, walking the rails in the same direction the train had just passed. Tired eyes following the metal tracks, he continued after a moment to collect his thoughts.

"My name is Dagon. However old you think I am, I assure you I'm older. Eons ago, I was someone... important. Someone powerful. I was royalty... But I was still human, and I had human weaknesses. One such weakness was the fear of solitude, of death - and when my aging Incineroar passed away, my one true companion, I... made a deal with the devil."

Again he is forced to stop, emotions overwhelming him briefly before he regains his composure.

"I prayed to Giratina, and It heard my pleas. It came to me in a dream, and offered to return Incineroar. At the peak of my influence, believing myself capable of paying whatever It demanded, I immediately accepted. I was overwhelmed by loneliness, and Giratina preyed on my despair. I rushed into forging a contract with the God of Abyss... you might imagine how that turned out for me. What was once my Incineroar was indeed reborn, but as an unrecognizable demon servant of the Phantom Dragon; to him, or what's left of him, I am not even a fleeting memory. And as for me, I was cursed to walk this Dimension as long as my old partner lives... which is why Giratina revived it into a Ghost that cannot die."

He peers over his shoulder, looking at you.

"For centuries I've tried to dissolve that contract. To escape this Nightmare. Ten years ago I discovered this particular railway, traversed by machines of the underworld, and I knew I was finally on the right path. But my mind is weak and old; the road was never revealed to me. With you here, I can finally put an end to all this, but..." he hesitates briefly, torn between dragging you in further and putting you in danger. "Ultimately, we are opposing a God. This is not your struggle. I might still be able to return you to the real world, before the Nightmare's grip on you is too powerful; all you have to do is ask."


Hiero stood and quietly listened to the man's tale. Hearing of the man's Incineroar hit extremely close to home for him. As the man continued, Hiero's fist clenched and his jaw tightened - this was a scenario he was all too familiar with himself. Many years ago, while coming to terms with the loss of his Blaziken during his tenure in Sinnoh, Giratina had in fact preyed upon Hiero's weaknesses as well, a story the trainer had - until now - opted to keep to himself. For weeks, months, years, Hiero prayed to Dialga, the Sinnohan deity of time, begging the god to change the past to save his partner. But where Dialga did not hear the trainer's pleas, Giratina did. Ultimately, Hiero refused the lord of the underworld in what could be considered an important turning point for his growth, a decision which left the trainer learning the virtues of acceptance and absolution.

"Sir," Hiero began, "you don't need to try to convince me. I want to do this." There was a cold seriousness in his voice. For Hiero, this almost felt personal. He stepped away from the train tracks and faced the direction the demon train had gone in. "I want to help you. I'm still trying to figure out a lot of things, including what these abilities are, and how I can use them. I don't think that meeting you here today was a coincidence." The trainer turned back once more to the old man, stern and focused with fire in his eyes. "Now I need to know something. Do you know what it is that I saw?"
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