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If Ambrose could do it all over again, he’d have let his Pokemon out before the light came.

Of course, he had been under pressure at the time. Despite Lysandre’s defeat, the boss of Team Flare had refused to give up without firing the ultimate weapon he had worked so long to achieve. He had threatened to make those that had stopped him immortal.

He had fired the gun straight up, and, Ambrose imagined, looked straight up as the beam came down with defiant eyes.

The beam had let loose a shockwave.

Ripples of the pent-up energy passed through the immediate area.

Ambrose had just escaped the base when the wave hit and passed through him.

His friends were fine—after a checkup, Professor Sycamore said that at most they’d have a healthy lifespan, perhaps a touch longer than a human’s. Shauna had laughed and said that meant she could spend more time with her Pokemon, Trevor said that he’d be sure to complete the Pokedex by then, and Tierno had stood silent and nodded. Then they went on with their adventure—with their lives.

Serena had stayed behind, though. She asked what would happen to Ambrose, but the professor had fallen silent at that. When she demanded an answer, he took her aside and said he needed to speak to Ambrose alone.

After Serena had gone, Sycamore cleared his throat. Unlike every other time Ambrose had seen him, the professor seemed at a loss for words

"…I don’t know how to say this, Ambrose, so I will be direct. The ultimate weapon has granted you eternal life. How you use that gift is—"

Ambrose interrupted him, pointing to his Pokeballs. “M-my Pokemon…Are they immortal too?” His tone was slightly manic.

The professor swallowed. “…No, Ambrose. As they were inside their Pokeballs, the energy did not affect them as it did you. At most, they—”

Ambrose ran off crying.

Xerneas, to its credit, apologized, but it could not undo what had been given to him. He was beyond its power.

—-

Years passed.

Ambrose had decided to live.

Ambrose had done his best to complete his Pokedex. He had gotten all 8 badges of Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and all the regions that lay beyond. He had defeated each of the regions’ Champions.

His Pokemon smiled at him with each accomplishment; they were proud of him as well as themselves. Against his wishes—which were the complete opposite before the beam—they had grown fond of each other. Attached. (He had tried to explain it to them once, why he would always be around and they would not, but they either didn’t care or couldn’t listen.)

Ambrose’s smile, though, was hollow. Recognition, while momentarily pleasing, was fleeting. He had taken down Team Flare—but soon that was yesterday’s news. He found himself being compared to similar heroes of other regions—one boy had stopped Team Rocket, a girl had stopped Team Plasma, and someone had stopped Team Galactic from destroying the universe.

Ambrose had no idea how that could have faded into forgotten headlines, but it had.

And he knew his exploits would too—even though he would not.

He felt, somehow, guilty for it.

——

Many years passed.

Ambrose had decided to go back in time.

He had heard of two Pokemon that could do so—one was Celebi; the other was Dialga.

Both were very rare, but…well, he had plenty of time.

Ambrose searched mountains endlessly until he passed out from the thinning air. He searched the seas and dove deep enough to discover Kyogre, which he caught to add to the Pokedex and promptly released. It deserved a future.

He searched the forest, and after a week of neither eating nor sleeping—not that such things mattered—Celebi came to him.

It stood there, quietly waiting.

He approached it.

The Pokemon stared into his eyes.

Ambrose begged.

"Please. Please, let me go back."

Tears formed in Celebi’s eyes.

"You are beyond my power."

Ambrose wept only when Dialga said the same.


——

Many, many years passed.

Most of Ambrose’s Pokemon were dead. Those that weren’t soon would be; even Torterra had succumbed to old age.

He kept whatever Eggs were left behind warm and safe, in the hopes that they would grow and thrive without a trainer, and not become some wild Pokemon’s dinner before being born. He wasn’t very hopeful. He wasn’t hopeful about anything, anymore.

Ambrose had decided to die years ago, before his Pokemon could. He was unable.

He had tried, despite what the light had done to him, to beseech help from the wonderful creatures called Pokemon.

He was denied—not from malice, but from a lack of ability. No Pokemon could help one that was Timeless, Arceus had said telepathically. He was beyond their power.

And the humans! Oh, the humans were even worse. They did act with malice—some mocked him, while others expressed incredulity that he remained so young for so long.

And some stirred him up with false hope—this one’s sure to grant you rest, they said.

Eternal rest was a joke.

He had had enough lethal injections to make countless cocktails with, and none had succeeded. Drowning, too, failed, though it did bring blissful unconsciousness when he was lucky. Once he had even entered the vacuum of space when he demanded a Pokemon teleport him there—only to be brought back seconds later because it was worried about him.

Nothing worked. Nothing could kill or even injure him. And, try as he might, he couldn’t simply sleep forever. A Darkrai had tried, and all it had given him were dreams of being immortal. He had been infected by Toxic, licked by ghosts. Ambrose had even tried, though it took convincing the poor Kingler that he was evil, to be killed by the move Guillotine. It left no marks.

He thought about all this, as he cradled his Delphox in its dying moments. He was doomed to live—and in that moment, the fox Pokemon sent him one thought.

One telepathic word.

"Yveltal."

——

Countless years passed.

Ambrose had decided to kill.

Yveltal, the harbinger of oblivion, the bird whose death destroyed all, was unable to end Ambrose’s life.

To its credit, it had tried. Oblivion Wing had done nothing to him.

To Ambrose’s credit, he was able to kill it.

He stood atop its body as the Pokemon breathed its last, drawing up all of the energy around it to revive itself.

Normally, Ambrose knew—or at least so the legends said—doing so would kill everything in the region, if not the world.

But the bird’s vacuum, the cocoon of drained energy, stopped at him and continued draining, endlessly, until Yveltal hatched. It broke from its prison, alive once more.

Ambrose remained the same.

The Pokemon’s eyes lowered and met his.

Yveltal trembled.

It was afraid.

——

Unending years passed.

Wars still went on, terrible wars that scorched the earth and killed anyone but him.

Crime was rampant; horrible stories, Pokemon-related and not, grew more and more common every century or so.

Death still existed for everyone but him.

Nothing had changed.

Ambrose decided Lysandre was right.

He had the means to do as the Flare boss had. Xerneas and Yveltal, while aged, were still alive. He could, easily, fulfill what Lysandre had not by destroying everything. Ruling what was left as an immortal tyrant.

He had to admit, the idea appealed to him.

But Ambrose would not.

He would not seek to destroy everyone.

He would grant the Pokemon eternal life--but not the humans.

They were beyond his power to help.

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