"I know what it's like to be a monster."
The flames in her eyes died down, leaving only the crystalline color of her eyes gazing back at him, though a small candle-like glow still flickered within them. Though she felt exposed without her mask, she also knew he was the only one she was opening up to right now. He was the only one who could see her face. Her wings too settled down and folded, though they still burned intensely. There was heat, but it was harmless without her using an attack. At this point they were naught but manifestations of her restless emotions. By the looks of the Genesect's face, he could seem to grasp the chaos within her...and understand it. They both seemed to have that self-consuming fire within them that threatened not only their lives, but those around them...
"No matter how much you hunt, you'll never gain more than momentary satisfaction, so you up the ante. You seek larger, stronger targets, increasing the rush but always, no matter how exciting the battle, how thrilling the chase, how gratifying the kill is or how close to death you cling it all eventually goes away…and you are left purposeless once more. You think your purpose is to hunt because that was the purpose given to you, yet for some reason it doesn’t fulfill this sense of…emptiness in you."
Here she paused and gazed downward, speaking as much to herself as he was to him. "For how can you ever gain any sense of fulfillment or even peace when you can’t even stop warring with yourself?”
Incredible, how alike they were. Ever since she investigated that abandoned building after its discovery, read through the experiments and Acuity's information reports, she felt a connection. A dangerous one.
"Your targets became bigger, stronger, until all you had left was..." she gazed upward to the sky, where she was sure the gods were watching down on them, listening, waiting. Her gaze fell back to the Genesect. "But it’s much more than that—you wouldn’t go to such lengths of destroying so much and uprooting so many lives if it wasn’t for a deeper purpose. If hunting was the purpose you were born for, then why does it no longer give you satisfaction? Just what were you put on this earth to do? Why would they give you a life of pain and loneliness if all that it would amount to…was this…?"
A little smile crawled across her lips, sincere this time. "But you know, it’s not hopeless. You don’t have to feel lost. I’ve found you. From one monster to another, I think I can help you."
He was gazing downward, clenching his teeth and his fists tightly while he struggled inwardly with something. Finally, he spoke. "...Why...?" His voice croaked in a raspy, low voice. It sounded raw with disuse.
An answer came quickly to Noria. “Your actions have killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes… but I believe you can save much more than that.”
He pointed his weapon at her, his words halting awkwardly as he spoke. "I don’t want to save. I—want—a challenge. If not a god…then another monster."
She paused and smiled warmly. "Oh, I haven’t properly thanked you yet, have I?" She grasped the end of the weapon he pointed at her as if it were his hand. "Thank you, for saving my life."
He seemed to stare for a moment, recalling someone else who smiled and held the end of the cannon like that...but he quickly interrupted the thought by snatching his weapon back with a growl. Noria continued prattling on.
“You know, we could provide you with challenges if that’s what you want. There’s only so much information one can gather alone, so imagine if you had an entire network at your disposal. I’m quite positive we have information on creatures you’ve never even imagined before. Also…we have a lot of good food! How about it? I know what it’s like…to be left alone. If you can find it in yourself, perhaps one day you can open your trust again. And maybe…you can find somewhere you belong, but more importantly, something that can give you a more fulfilling purpose.”
Even if all of Pokimono called for his head for execution, to pay for his crimes and all the lives he took through his mistakes, she would do everything in her power to keep him alive. Out of the goodness of her heart? Perhaps. More importantly, it was because the people, those 'scholars' that created him were still at large...and he was their best tool at tracking them down. And if they could create a tool this powerful, who knew what the future held if they remained at large...
EDIT: Mmm, not sure what was going on, but some of the middle panels were glitching after I uploaded it... Should be fixed now hopefully :/
For those who are possibly confused about the story (because I had to cut a lot out simply due to time and file size) here's a background summary:
Noria collected information on Genesect based on the findings of the other leaders, the villagers, and the remains of the experiments conducted at the abandoned building. From there she was able to piece together just what drove them to abandon Genesect in the first place and why he went to destroy the Kami Trio's shrine.
Based on sightings by the villagers, she was able to finally track him down despite his sporadic appearances around the outskirts of the various villages. It was apparent that he was searching for something quite intently without much care for being seen since he was sighted so often.
Finally, she caught him in the middle of the destruction of a little shrine in the woods dedicated to Arceus--she watched him wreck the building for some time, and unlike how 'emotionless' and 'scary' the other villagers seemed to describe him, he appeared...angry. Frustrated. Even lost in the midst of his senseless destruction. That was when it came together for her--because she too, once long ago, broke down and took out all her frustrations on Arceus.
Quickly formulating a plan, she silently stalked off into the woods in search of a threatening pokemon--this was when she stumbled across a rhyhorn grazing. Brainless. Agressive. Perfect. She taunted and aggravated it til it lost its temper and all too easily began chasing her. She lost it easily but made sure not to stray too far from it, basically leading it toward the shrine. Although the traps she found in the woods that the Genesect left to probably capture his meals while he was gone were indicative of his hunting skills, she needed a test of his combat skill. If she was going to stake it all on him, he had to live up to her expectations.
She approached him, weaponless of course (because who conducts negotiations while armed?) and in a harmless, dumb manner that would be sure to make him believe she was not a threat. As far as she knew, he only attacked those that attacked him. The poor hydreigon girl (Arok) was among these, while the puppet-wielding ditto (Seikomaro) was evidence to how he did not attack those who were obviously not a threat to him. The theft of the ditto's mask was a curious event however...
Sure enough, all of her deductions seemed to hit home with him as she retold the story of his life that she was able to string together from the evidence. The performance was made even better by the fact that she identified with him--it made it all that much easier to connect with him. Even the rhyhorn had impeccable timing as it happened to find her right at the climax of her story. Though she had not expected to get caught in the crossfire, it worked out. He was able to see firsthand that he was not the only abnormal one. Perhaps there was hope yet that she would get through to him.
UGH I WRITE TOO MUCH
Yeah, so I'M SORRY ACUITY I'M NOT GOOD AT DRAWING YOU, I FAIL OTL And did you guys catch little Koori? I tried to draw when they might have met in the past OTL I also tried to feature some of our SM villagers in that one panel~ Sorry I couldn't fit in more! >n<;;
Splatter texture: [link]
Water texture: [link]
Kouki's app: [link]