AN:

Welcome Readers to my very first story for fan fiction, and I honestly chose a very difficult story to be my first. This is a continuation of The Hollow Man's story, Angel in the machine, so if you haven't read that, I would suggest you read it first as nothing will make sense until you do. You will probably notice how I am nowhere near as good as he was as an author, but I will do my best to finish this amazing story that he created for us.

Well, I hope you enjoy;

Sincerely,

JZuCuadra


Sometimes I really wonder why it seems like life has it out for me. I was really wondering how, after everything that had happened, I ended up in this situation. May and Misty standing, or well, Misty was standing while May was sitting, in front of the door, demanding an explanation behind my actions earlier in the day. Once more forcing me to remember how close it really was to turning out completely different.


What I felt first was the smell; it was as obscuring as that which was making it, a completely overpowering and horrible smell of blood coming from everywhere at once.

And then there was the source of the blood.

It was weird really, I had been running with near inexhaustible energy since the arena, but now, when I come face to face with what I feared most seeing, I don't have the energy to move anymore, or to think something other than this can't be real, this can't be happening. But it is, laid out on the bed is May, with what appears to be some sort of a sword fragment sticking out of her. Next to her is Misty, gently speaking to her, not looking at all better, with multiple cuts and scratches all over her body. If not for the current situation, I would take my time to admire her beautiful body, her torn up clothes not leaving much to the imagination. But in this situation, her body is the furthest thing from my mind; all I care is for that young woman, lying on the bed, dying.

At this point my strength comes back to me, and I suddenly find myself next to the bed. As soon as Misty senses I'm there she turns to me, an expression of anger and gut-wrenching pain visible in her face. It is obvious she expects to see the person that did this, coming back for some reason, possibly to finish the job. But when she sees it's me, her face softens, as much as it ever does for Misty anyways, and her eyes say it all.

"What happened?" I managed to get out, my voice hardly more than a whisper

"He… He was waiting for us when we got here," she begins explaining. "May came into the room first, and got stabbed as soon as she did; there was no chance to react, nothing. The asshole then thinks that because he got one of us, the other would be easy too. He didn't count on the fact that seeing one of my friends stabbed through the gut would give me all the motivation I would need to stop him." Her voice actually cracks at the end, she just can't hold it together any longer.

"Do you know who it was?" I ask, a bit of hope obvious in my voice.

"No, his head was covered by a hood, and his entire body was cloaked, I don't even know if he was really a man to begin with, but he was probably just somebody that wanted to get ahead in the competition, by any means necessary." She continued, her voice appearing neutral, but to someone who knew her distaste was obvious. "I managed to drive him away, and then get May onto the bed, after that, I don't know how long it was until you came."

We stand there, just looking at May, we both know that by now taking her to a hospital would be useless, the blood loss alone would be enough to do her in anyways.

I am then stricken by a sudden idea. "Kaelus…KAELUS…KAELUS!"

Yes?

"Is there any way to save her?"

There is not, and even if there was, it would not be within my abilities to do so, as my abilities do not lie in the healing of oth…

I tune him out, knowing that he won't be of any help, but for some reason get the feeling that he wasn't being entirely truthful with me, either way; I know deep in my heart that there must be something that I can do to help her. There has to be.

I just do what my heart tells me then, and its telling me there is a way to do it "Misty, grab my hand." I say in a despairing tone. She looks at me oddly, but complies nevertheless. As soon as she does, I feel a surge of strength going into me, into my aura, and I act instinctively, not sure whether I'm completely in control of my body, but at that point I'm beyond caring. I grab May's hand with my free one, and begin channelling my power. "Misty," I tell her, my voice strained, "You need to remove what's left of the blade from her body". She turns to argue with me, but when she sees the crazed look in my eyes, does as I say. The blade makes an unnatural, and unhealthy, sound coming out of her body, but I ignore it, deciding that I have more important things to do.

I must really be crazy, if I think this actually might work, but still maintain my bond with both May and Misty, my two pillars, giving me the strength that I need to save her life. I don't realize it until the moment Misty tells me." Ash... You're glowing...". At first, I think that I must have heard wrong, but looking down at myself, I see that she's right, my body is outlined by a soft blue coloured light, much like the colour of the Aura Sphere Riley showed me, so many months ago.

I can feel our three auras, connected as we are, and the difference between the two vibrant auras of Misty and I, and the comparably weaker aura of May. "Please Haruka; don't give up on me now, I... I love you, don't go now, don't leave me alone again." I don't know where the words are coming from, but they seem to be working, May's aura is getting stronger, her wounds are starting to heal; not completely, but enough that her condition is not life threatening anymore.

We keep this up for about another five minutes, before my knees buckle and I am lying on the floor, out of breath from what i did. "Ash, how...what...how did you do that?" Misty asks me, in one of the rare moments she's ever speechless, and I reply, after catching my breath and struggling back to a standing position.

"I'll tell you both later, for now, she only been stabilized, not completely healed, we need to get both her and you to the Hospital ASAP". Looking over at her, I can see that she's not going to drop it "Mew, Misty please, just drop it for now, I already told you that I would explain it all later, but when may's conscious, both of you have been healed, and are a bit more... dressed. Hey, no need to do that, just trying to lighten the mood" At the comment on how they were dressed Misty had pulled out her mallet, I really needed to ask her where she got it from, but that was something I could do without for now.

"Fine, but you are not getting out of an explanation this time." and we both grabbed May and started carrying her.


Both May and Misty, albeit somewhat grudgingly, were now checked into the Pokémon centre and getting healed up of their injuries. Unfortunately, since both May and Misty were injured, they would be both disqualified from the competition. On the other hand, now I could stop tearing my hair out every time the both of them were in a fight.

You have some explaining to do.

"Ahhh, I was wondering when you were going to talk to me."

When exactly, or I guess, how did you learn dark aura?

"Uhhh, last night, and I'll keep the how to myself, thank you very much."

What do you mean you'll keep it to yourself; you don't keep anything from me.

"I don't see why I'm not allowed to keep anything from you, but you lied to me earlier, and I had to save may without any of your help, and don't even try to lie to me right now, I know that the knew there was a way, so I'd say that we are even."

What do you mean even, I'm the one that saved you, back in Baal's cave, and without me you'd be...

But I didn't want to know what I'd be without him, because at that moment I noticed both Cynthia and Dawn standing near the entrance of the Hospital, after a moment, Cynthia leaves, and that gives me the perfect opportunity for speaking with Dawn, something was definitely wrong with her, and it was high time to find out what.

I kept tuning Kaelus out once more, marveling at how easy it had become, and walked up to Dawn "Hi there Dawn, fancy meeting you here"

She turns around, a look of shook on her face. "Oh, hi Ash, what are you doing here?"

"I was just dropping Misty and May off, they were attacked after a shopping trip, and May was stabbed before Misty managed to drive the man away" As I say this, I see a look of guilt cross over Dawns face before it changed to an expression of deep sadness, it was only there for a second, but in my time knowing Dawn, I had gotten better at reading her, and what I saw just now scared me for some weird reason, it was almost like she knew what was going to happen, but didn't prevent it either.

"Is she ok?" She asks in return.

"May..." I hesitate, but then answer "she didn't make it…" her face turns white, in confirmation of my earlier guess, and I decide to continue "but you already knew this was going to happen, did you not? Why didn't you do anything to stop it?"

If her face wasn't white before, now it's like all her blood had been drained from her system, "What do you mean?" she asks hesitantly, trying to keep up the charade

"C'mon dawn, you and I both know who is behind all of this, but since you are trying to play innocent, why don't I tell you." I pause, trying to gauge her reaction to my words "I'm asking you why you didn't tell me that Lucas was going to try and kill my friends"

"Lucas?!" She looks shocked, but not of my question, more of the fact that I was able to guess who was really behind this, I guess most people's thoughts would have gone directly to Paul, never mind Lucas. But knowing what I had known, and the feeling I'd had ever since my meeting with him, I knew that he was really behind this.

Now if I could only figure out how to help Dawn. Because at this moment, I was sure that she knew what was going to happen, but had not told anyone for one reason or another, probably Lucas had promised to kill her or something. Most people would have been angry right now, but deep within myself, I could not find it in me to be angry at her, more than that, I felt pity, pity that because the son of a bitch had ruined Dawn's life, and then he tried to kill my girls, one way or another, this was not going to end pretty.

"Yes. Lucas is behind this all, I know that, and I just want you to know that no matter what, I am here to help you. I only ask for you to tell me what's going on, and that way I'll be able to keep, you and everyone I love, safe." I say this with as much strength in my voice as possible trying to convey my feelings of safety to her, to help her to trust me.

"I trust you Ash, I'm just scared." She states, her voice trembling in fear. Now there was something new, I hadn't seen Dawn admit she was scared of Lucas yet, it's almost as if she wants someone to find out. Because, after years of carrying this weight on her, it must be weighting her down a lot, and to finally speak with someone about it, even if that someone is me, must be a blessing to her.

"Of what? Tell me Dawn, what was he going to do?" I all but begged her to talk to me.

"He… he was going to kill you, and hurt me," she finally speak after about a minute, "he was going to torture all of my Pokémon, while I stood there not being able to do anything. Instead, I told him what to do to break you, so that he would not kill you… I told him to go after the girls." she finally admits, her voice thick with her own guilt.

It was at this moment I realized just how difficult of a situation Dawn was in. I know for a fact that if someone had tried to go after the girls or my Pokémon, I would have done whatever was needed, even if it was almost as bad of a choice. People will do whatever they have to to protect their loved ones, which I guess did bring up the question of why Dawn felt the need to protect me. However this was something to consider another time. Now I needed to find a way to help and Dawn.

"Well, it's a good thing he failed, now his masters are going to be annoyed at him, and that's going to lead him to do stupid decisions." I say in a mocking tone.

"Yeah… Wait, what do you mean he failed, he… he got May, didn't he?" She asks me, confused, "And what masters are you referring to, he's working alone."

"It's nothing that you should worry about Dawn, in fact, even I don't have the full story yet, but that's not what matters right now, what matters is that we need to get you away from Lucas." I then think for a few seconds, "The easiest way to do that would be for you to stay with us for now."

"That wouldn't work." she replies quickly.

"What? Why not?" I ask, confused.

"I need to remain at the court, otherwise you might be implicated in kidnapping me or something," she says "also, it would draw unwanted attention towards you and your friends." She replied calmly.

"Ok, I guess I'll have to talk to Cynthia, maybe get her to watch over you instead of Lucas, hopefully that way he won't have the chance to get to you." I reply after a quick thought.

She looks surprised at how casually I mention Cynthia's name "What do you mean you'll just talk to Cynthia, you can't just go up and talk to a champion, no matter if she is also part of the silver guard."

I just smile at her and tell her, "There's a lot you don't know about me," and that's the end of that. "Oh, and by the way, both May and Misty are fine, they are both still alive and well."

The expression on her face was priceless.


Once more Lucas found himself in his waking dream, although, he would guess nightmare was a more apt description. "What is it?" he asked in a polite and honouring voice, no matter how annoyed he was that his masters were checking up on him more constantly, the fact was that they could kill him without even lifting a finger if they wanted to.

A figure appeared on the other side of the smoke, giving his eyes something to focus on. "How did the mission go? From what I have heard before, you better hope it was successful." The voice spoke, his tone demanding, Lucas had no doubts that if something had gone wrong, they would get rid of him, sooner rather than later.

"It was." I said, finally happy at being able to deliver some good news. "While my assassin was not able to kill both females, he did manage to stab one through her body, and by the time he was driven away, blood loss and the inability to move her would by now have finished the job, and in so much grief, our prospective aura user will be completely incapacitated for the rest of the competition."

The robed figure seemed to consider this for a moment, then asks "Care to explain the huge release in aura that was felt earlier as well?"

"Release?" I ask, confused.

"Yes, as well as the fact that the girl is not dead" he reveals. This information is not very pleasing to me, but if I thought that that was where it ended, I was wrong. "he seems to be achieving much in a short while, you yourself have told me earlier that as far as you knew, he could only use the electrical aura, but now he seems to have been able to achieve something only the most powerful and skilled of aura users can accomplish, the healing of another" He speaks, his voice filled with contempt. "Is there anything else that you wish to tell me?"

I clear my throat before speaking "He, um, may have used Dark aura in his match today, and what is worse, he controlled it like he had been using it his entire life." That's as far I got in that sentence, because I knew that anything else would not be very healthy for me to say, even so, what I had said seemed to be enough, for my master, at least.

"That is enough," He tells me, "I don't care for your excuses anymore, if you have nothing better to tell us, or any good news at all, then be gone, but be warned" he says, his 'voice' sinking even further, much like a whisper, "this will be your last chance, if you do not achieve anything by the finals, then you WILL be replaced, and let me tell you this, we do not give second chances, you've already tested my patience once, do not do it again, or you will regret it. Now leave me".

Bowing to him, I feel my consciousness depart this place, and back to my own body ready to do as my master had told me.

Back in the alternate location, the leader was once more speaking to all "I don't care what you think, if he does not come through, we would still have gained great insight into our opponents, I agree, he may not be up to the task, but…"

"He is not up to the task, and he may reveal more to others than we would like them to know, we wished to make our return in silence, now the guardians, what is left of them at least, will have prior warning to it" another one says.

"But…" the leader repeats "if he does succeed, the reward would be much greater than any risk taken, after all, the risk of him losing his nerve is non-existent, after all, he fears us, and that will keep him loyal to us, more than anything else could." And with that, all of the presences depart from that plane of existence.


After speaking with Dawn, I had found myself with the task of finding Cynthia in the huge hospital complex, sure, I could narrow my search down to the emergency ward, after all, Candice was overtaken by ice and nearly decapitated, if that's not what one calls an emergency, I'm not sure what is, but even so, it was huge, I guess the Devon people really wanted to get good rep for safety, after all, I'm sure that all of this was just to get good publicity, much like a way of telling the world that they are taking care of us. Yeah right…

Even so, all it really took was a single trip down the wing until I saw Cynthia standing in front of a doorway, and then a short chat later, with the explanations behind the assassination attempts for Misty and May, as well as the suspected attempt for Dawn really got her interested, and with a promise of making sure that she'd take care of Dawn, as well as confirming that she'd do it herself, and not let Lucas have the job, I was on my merry way, that is, until I passed in front of Misty's room, and she, obvious, took that exact moment to wake up, and then, dragging me into her and May's room, which was how I ended up in my current situation

"Girls," I begin, "shouldn't you be resting, I mean, I know that you're both out of the competition now, but shouldn't you May, at least be recovering from being stabbed?"

"You don't have the right to tell me what…" Misty begins, before being cut off by May.

"What Misty is trying to say, is that while yes, we are still both in need of recovery, were perfectly ok to listen to whatever it is that you have to tell us." She says, while giving Misty a glare, "especially since it's the reason that I am in recovery and not… dead." She finishes, forcing out that last part.

I don't know what to do, on the one hand, from the very beginning I hated lying to May and Misty, and even without them knowing, look at what happened, I almost lost them and they wouldn't have even known why. On the other, some of this shit that I've been through is almost too much for me, never mind Misty, but then again, seeing her expression when I finish describing Baal, if I decide to tell that part that is, would be pretty much priceless. Then I look into their eyes, and lost any change of an argument. These are the people that even with all of my misgivings, all of my fault, of which there are many, I assure you and all of my wrongdoings, they are still there for me, and if I can't trust them, then who can I trust. So with heaviness in my heart I begin.

"Alright you win, I'll tell you, but let me just make this clear," I say before I actually start my tale, "what I'm about to tell you may just place you in more danger, let me just get started by saying that the attempt on your life today was not because of the tournament." I pause, letting them absorb that before I continue.

"The attempts on your life were nothing more than an attempt to imbalance and destroy me, to make sure that next time I fight, I'm too preoccupied with your deaths, that I would be an easy picking for anyone still in this tournament." I continue, making sure my voice is quiet so as to not be overheard. "The truth is not all for me to tell, I'm keeping secrets that aren't mine to give without repercussions, so whatever I tell you today will have to stay between us only."

"But, Ash, why would someone want to get you out of the tournament, and why not attack you directly? Not that I'm glad they didn't of course." May asks quietly, almost as if afraid of the answer.

I take a deep breath, and then looked at them both, this is it, I thought, if I tell them now, there is no going back, but am I ready to do this. I take a deep breath, look at them both, and say "Have you ever heard of Aura?"

Well guys, I hope that you all enjoyed, any feedback is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you have a nice day.

*UPDATED* - September 3rd, 2015