You silly reader. Of course I know I don't own Pokémon!

Although I'll admit, I should've put more disclaimers up. Actually that's something I should've been doing since the start! Of my journal! emotion_awesome

Probably should also mention that I don't own My Little Pony as well.

And a bunch of other stuff.

emotion_facepalm

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...

-Outer Oathlands-

[Cruce and his two new acquaintances, Ilmor and Boris, have set out to chase down Safiri, who has snapped at the thought of losing everything, which is a very strong possibility... Her Safa has been ruined by a Shade named Xulfur. She is in belief that her loved ones are lost, and she no longer deserves to live, as she was an Eclipse, a world guardian, who let her home planet become a cesspit. She blames the Crossblade for many of her faults.]

...

[Cruce's Crossblade cuts through a basic Nightmare like butter. He takes note of Ilmor and Boris, who have their own ways of dealing with opponents. He knew nothing about the tribal magic they invoked to battle with, but he couldn't care less about that right now.]

Cruce: [He growls, biting down on his hilt. Now familiar with the four-legged structure, he moves much less clumsily as a Safan fox.]

Ilmor: They weren't kidding when they said there were a lot. [He backtracks to Cruce, regrouping. Boris does the same.] So they also had a reason to tell us to stay inside.

Boris: Too bad for us we don't follow the rules very well.

Cruce: [Seeing a pattern with the Nightmares, he commands the Crossblade to leave so that he may speak.] That was another wave of them. I don't know how many Darkness can supply, but we'll be here all night if we don't cover enough ground in between waves.

Boris: Good thinking. We need to move. Now!

Cruce: [Boris and Ilmor take the lead. Cruce watches the rear, giving him time to mull over Safiri's outburst...] (Maybe... it's not my fault this is all happening. She's distressed, I know... But maybe it is. She could be right, and she doesn't even know it. It feels like Darkness knows something that I don't. But Glace told me Darkness always wants to act superior... I don't know, I think they really might know what they're doing. Xulfur knew a lot. He wasn't even from that world, and he knew what it took to become an Eclipse. But he still didn't answer one of my questions. How did he get there in the first place? Not that it matters; he's already come and jacked Safa up.)

...

[The group only encounters one more wave of Nightmares. Albeit stronger due to their different shape (Safans), there are a bit less. The air is thinning out. Something is changing upon the horizon.]

Cruce: [Nimble slashes of his Crossblade fell a Nightmare in the shape of a panther before him. He homes in on a nearby foe, overwhelming it with a brief frenzy before even see the type of Nightmare it had been.] ... [He takes a moment to breathe.] (...What if one of those Nightmares I fought before this... what if one was Glace? ...Did Darkness make me kill her? Do I kill her if I destroy... If I... Mmng, I hope I don't have to fight her. She didn't deserve any of this. None of us did.)

...

[They reach the source of the altered air after pushing through the final wave of Nightmares.]

-Crystalline Threshold-

Ilmor: Great Growths of Safa! [He stops, dumbfounded at the expanse of nothing but teal grass before his eyes. This grass glistens gently in the night.]

Boris: The Oathlands are forested, but this is not easy to miss. I've never seen anything like this.

Cruce: What is this place?

Ilmor: I have no idea. But this is where Safiri went. I already don't like it here.

Boris: Nor do I. I've no clue at what trickery this is. Our lands and beyond replaced... Our world has changed.

Ilmor: It might still be changing.

Cruce: I'd hope it changes only for the better. I don't want to end up with another bad Safa.

[With no objections to that, the only thing left to do here is to take caution with the approach. The three slow their pace as they pass a mile's worth of crystal grass. The ground beneath their feet lights the way, showing the treeline behind them.]

Ilmor: [He squints.] Gah-lee, it's bright.

Cruce: It's bright, alright. Stay out here long enough, and this stuff can really mess your eyes up. It's kinda neat looking though. [He looks out at the distance of light blue, radiant grass. It rolls on as far as the eye can see...] ...

Boris: Cruce! Stop!

Cruce: !! [He freezes, even going as far as keeping his gaze fixed on the field of light... well, the wrong one, to be exact.]

Boris: Look ahead.

Cruce: [He does just that, seeing a barrier spanning the length of the crystal field. It ascends into the dark sky.] Whoooa, what was I just about to walk into?

Ilmor: Looks like it's protecting something. Is it dangerous?

Boris: If Safiri's trail ends here, it must be.

Ilmor: The problem there is it doesn't. I can tell her scent goes through this thingy.

Cruce: We're going to have to keep going. I don't know what's beyond this shield thing, but if Safiri went through... It should be safe.

Boris: This is the same girl who wanted you to kill her.

Cruce: Ugh, you're right... We don't know what'll happen, but there's one way to find out. [He takes his time as he takes the first step through the barrier. Concerned with the matter of failing to see his leg on the other side, he frowns.] Hm... Here goes. [Cautiously, he makes a quick motion through the barrier... He has vanished from sight.]

Ilmor: ... [Looks to Boris...] ...

Boris: [Returns the glance.] Well?

Ilmor: After you.

Boris: [Chuckles.] Of course you would say that. [Showing little to no fear at all, he walks casually through the force field.]

Ilmor: Boris? ...Can you still hear me? ...Gah-lee, shoot... OK! I'm next in line, so... Hrf!! [He dives through the barrier in a bit more of a dramatic fashion.]

...

[The border between Safa and Chronic has been crossed.]

...

-Treasure Town-

[It is night. The full moon gleams with a backdrop of flickering stars. The humble town has been partially ravaged by the Nightmares. Now more than ever, these Nightmares are unrelenting. Their rampage is a call to arms for the brave Pokémon willing enough to face the creatures of the greatest shadow.]

...

(...Great... What have I turned into now...?)

...

Grovyle: Agh!! [He shouts as he is thrown to his back. A Pokémon Nightmare--far too deformed to distinguish--swept him off of his feet with a blow that would have otherwise been considered lethal if not for Grovyle's endurance and agility.]

[Scenes of battle are unfolding around the entire town. In the central circle, Grovyle is facing a powerful foe. This dragon of a Nightmare has been created by a Shade...]

Celebi: [A soothing energy leaves her body, revitalizing Grovyle's stamina. She has been weakened.] G-Grovyle, hang in there... [Severely damaged from battle, evident in the multiple wounds over her body.]

Leafeon: [He has been defeated, though his teammates are doing as good a job as they can of keeping the Nightmares away from him as he lays unconscious.]

Grovyle: [He stands, wiping the dirt from his mouth with an arm.] Grr...! What dark chasm did you come from, Nightmare...? Such incredible power...

[While this is taking place, another battle is being waged between the Shade Mewtwo, Safiri, and Cruce, each of the EC universe. Their alliance, consisting of the additions of Al, Adam, and Edge, has moved to fighting upon the beach. The scene is overwhelming; a black swarm of Nightmares only fended off by Al, Adam, and Edge while the other two stall Mewtwo until they can receive backup. It seems this Shade has harvested the power of a peculiar object. It appears to be a small turquoise gear of some kind...]

...

[The chaos is widespread. The Pokémon who cannot face these dangers have taken refuge in Wigglytuff's Guild, north of the crossroads. Even then, the Nightmare Imps have invaded. The guild members work to keep the townsfolk safe.]

[The barrier separating worlds has transported the wandering Cruce, Boris, and Ilmor to these crossroads. The details of how such a drop-off location was determined are not clear...]

Cruce: (Due to the Ecliptic Pull upon Chronic, he has transformed into a Pokémon. Like his Ethereal Cross counterpart, he is a Shaymin locked in his sky forme. Unlike that version, his colors are, like the Safan shell, darkened. In place of the white fur is darker gray fur, and in place of the bright green coloration is black. The red scarf has also been blackened. The only color remains in his eyes.} ... [He looks from side to side, unfamiliar with the size of his large, wingy ears. Another interesting feature to his body is the black stripe of fur at each side of his face.]

Boris: [He and Ilmor are unaffected by the Ecliptic Pull.] Whoa... Well this is odd.

Ilmor: Where did we end up? Cruce...? Is that you?

Cruce: [Faces Ilmor.] It's me. I think we're on the other side now. Some other "other side". The Pokémon place...

Ilmor: How can you tell?

Cruce: [Looks down at his feet.] I'm shorter...? [He faces ahead, trying to take in the turmoil of the situation.] There's a lot of commotion.

Boris: What's happened here? Is Darkness here too?

Cruce: Probably. You two ready to keep fighting?

Ilmor: Ready. A little less willing than ready. But ready.

Boris: If Nightmares are the problem, it shouldn't be too bad. That, however... [Looking ahead, he spots the wings of a tremendous shadow.] That looks bad.

Cruce: Let's hurry it up. [Unaware of his ability to fly, he conjures up the Crossblade. His Spirit Cross has, once again, changed with the corresponding world. The change is minimal. The green streaks of light within the three dark blades have become yellow.] (The Spirit Cross... Just what's going on with it?)

[They mark their route, sprinting full speed ahead.]

Grovyle: [He stands before the giant Nightmare, a greenish glow emanating from his body.] We are too close...!

[The Nightmare dragon displays its daunting ferocity, roaring at its prey. It is obvious that Grovyle and his team have dealt heavy damage to the creature, as its wings are slightly torn, dripping with a black blood. Fresh scars run across its body.]

Grovyle: [He seizes the opportunity, placing the stored aura of his into his hand. With what little energy he has left, he makes use of his move, energy ball, in order to open distance between he and the Nightmare.] Back away! [Throwing his arm forward, the spherical attack leaves his spiritual grasp.]

[The ball makes contact with the dragon's face. Its fiery white eyes shut as the blast of the energy serves its purpose about as well as it could. The Nightmare lifts its head, growling.]

Grovyle: [Given the time, he leaps back twice, covering a good fifteen feet. He reunites with Celebi, who has been guarding Leafeon from additional Nightmares. She has fought a few, while the only thing she can do to assist Grovyle with the dragon is heal his injuries.] Celebi, are you okay?

Celebi: I'll make it... If those pesky Imps wouldn't have come at us in such numbers, this would be no problem.

Grovyle: I agree. Hordes of smaller Nightmares, plus two beasts among beasts... Where is Darkness getting this kind of power?

Celebi: We can have tea over that later, my dear... [She keeps her eyes on the dragon, which has recovered.]

Grovyle: [He clutches his chest tightly.] Hhrng! ... [Falls to a knee, barely supporting himself.]

Celebi: Grovyle! What's wrong?!

Grovyle: The fire he spits... It hits you hard.

Celebi: [She places a hand on Grovyle's back, watching the monster's head lift once again. Its large maw opens. A deep purple glow becomes brighter with each passing second.] No...

???: [Sneaking behind the creature, this tiny, wounded Pokémon summons a small Crossblade in both of her red-tipped paws...] ...

Cruce: [In the spirit of the moment, his sprint picks up. The Crossblade leaves behind a fading trail of white and black light as it illuminates the dark of night. His resolve ascends, as does he, finding the power to jump into the air, feeling as light as a feather. Unknowingly, he is taking advantage of a Shaymin's ability to fly.] (The Spirit Cross is with me again...! Here goes nothing!!) [High in the air, he comes to a stop, the blades of his mystical weapon glistening in front of the moonlight. His body goes sideways. With stored energy, he plummets to the earth, Blade forward, streaks of radiance shining behind its downward motion. The attack's magical stream slices the dragon in twain, before engulfing it in an eruption of swirling forces nearly blinding to the naked eye. The attack's blast leaves behind nothing but a vacant spot of blackened dirt.]

???: [Her Crossblade leaves her grip... She is but a shadow in the night, unseen as the dust clears. She slips away, no one knowing of her presence.]

Boris: [He stops at Grovyle's side, scanning the area.]

Ilmor: [Stops beside Celebi, ready to battle...]

Cruce: [He lifts himself, now standing in front of each of his allies. Within his mouth, the Crossblade stays put, sparking vehemently.]

Celebi: ...You...? [She watches Cruce, glancing at the two Safans for a second each. Her attention finds its way back to the Crossblade wielder.] Cruce... I thought you were with...

Grovyle: Splendid show, Cruce... [He smiles wide.] We are in your debt.

Cruce: [The shining Blade leaves his mouth with a pulse of light. He turns around to see just who exactly he saved.] Hmm?

Celebi: Aah! Wait a moment!

Grovyle: ...Cruce?

Cruce: I-it's okay! I'm not the Cruce you know, but I'm still happy to help.

Boris: What happened here? And where exactly is here?

Grovyle: [With a bit of a groan of pain, he stands.] Ah, you two must be Safans... !! Oh, there's no time! Mewtwo is here!

Celebi: Grovyle! What about Leafeon?

Grovyle: We have to stay with him... You three! Could you help us once more?

Cruce: Absolutely. What's the matter?

Grovyle: A very powerful enemy of ours is at the beach. We have--erm... another Cruce fighting him... Take the south road. You must hurry!

Cruce: No sweat! Come on, you guys, we're not done! [Boris and Ilmor nod in unison, backtracking their way to the crossroads. Cruce follows the two still on foot, rather than in flight.]

...

[At the beach, the Nightmares have been cleared away. Mewtwo is gone. The relic known as a Time Gear has dropped into the sand. Along with it is Safiri, although not necessarily the same girl sought after.]

Cruce-EC: [With Safiri laying on her side, he lowers his head to her level. She appears to be critically injured.] Saf...

Safiri-EC: [She smirks at Cruce, having difficulty speaking.] 'Little dork... don't make that face at me just because I ate the sand hard.

Cruce-EC: You'd better be fine. I can't forgive if you if you're not...

Safiri-EC: Hah... I think I'm turning into an influence on you... Blegh. [She coughs up a bit of salt water.] Uhuck--... Ya little dummy, thinking I'm not fine...

Edge: [Quite wounded himself, a terrible gash down his back. He is still standing. Adam and Al have sustained minor injuries. They are in much better condition than he is.] Hey, we're okay now. We won!...

Al: Grovyle's team! Let's go, Adam! [Before he can be called back, Al darts off to the dirt road.]

Adam: W-wait up! [He hurries after his partner. Edge does not follow.]

Safiri-EC: ...Everything's... ...getting so... quiet...

Cruce-EC: [He freezes, his mouth open. He is speechless.] ...

Safiri-EC: [Smiling at Cruce... She snickers Her laughter is weak...] ...Heh... Hahaha! Crucie Crucie Cru. The look on your face!

Cruce-EC: Aaaaah! [He buries his head in Safiri's chest, his own falling to the sand. His speech is muffled.] You suck! You. Suck!! Stop that!

Safiri-EC: [She lifts a paw, rubbing Cruce's side and pushing him closer to her. She closes her eyes and sighs.] ...Sorry 'hon...

Cruce-EC: [He sniffles, rubbing his nose into Safiri's chest. She does not move. Her rubbing stops.]

Edge: [He stands over the Time Gear, investigating it before leaning down to pick it up... He faces Safiri and Cruce.] ...Cruce... Use aroma therapy.

Cruce-EC: [He lifts his head from Safiri. Her breathing has ceased. Avoiding a confrontation with emotions, he obliges to using this ability. His body brightens, as he again lowers his head into Safiri's chest...]

...

Cruce: [Now running alongside Boris and Ilmor on the pathway. The three encounter a Torchic and a Mudkip headed in the opposite direction... They do not stop to say anything to one another.]

Adam: [As he passes Cruce, he makes eye contact. Al does not, though he does notice the strange trio. Adam nearly forgets the objective at hand... He dismisses the perplexity, and heads onward.]

Cruce: [Reaches the beach, witnessing the brief revival of a fallen comrade. Safiri has narrowly escaped a terrible fate with the help of the alternate Cruce. She is still laying in the sand.]

Edge: [His ears flick. He turns to see the world's new visitors.] Huh...?

Cruce-EC: [Rubbing Safiri's side softly, he faces the trio as well.] Hey... you're...

Cruce: Cruce. The other one. Good to see you again, dude.

Cruce-EC: Dang, man! You're a little late!

Safiri-EC: A LITTLE late? [She speaks weakly.]

Cruce: Serious? And I'm in a rush... Well at least I could play my part for those other Pokémon.

Boris: Safiri, what happened here?

Safiri-EC: Darkness got all pissy; big and strong. I don't know where they came from...

Cruce-EC: We fought Mewtwo. He's a Shade, and he was not kidding around. We drove 'em back, but just barely.

Ilmor: Are you three okay?

Safiri-EC: Yep... Cruce really helped me out. Thanks again you cute little fluff. [She lifts her head, licking Cruce's chin.]

Cruce-EC: [Raises his own head a tad, smiling.] You don't need to thank me...

Boris: Sounds like there was a close call.

Safiri-EC: Close call doesn't even begin to describe it, Boris. You know me. I wouldn't say that about just anything.

Boris: We're all up against a mighty enemy.

Safiri-EC: That's how it is with Darkness... I don't know what'chall've been up to on the other side, but those guys aren't messing around... Speaking of other sides, how the heck did you and Ilmor get here?

Boris: We followed--erm... We're looking for another Safiri.

Cruce: She was with me--you remember. Uh... It's not looking so good on her side. We had four Shades up there. And they were the -distraction-.

Cruce-EC: What?! Four of them?!

Cruce: The real threat was Xulfur. He somehow became the Eclipse of Safa... It all went down from there.

Safiri-EC: Those little sneaks... They've been giving you guys the real trouble, huh?

Edge: W-wait, wha? I'm confused now... What's going on?

Cruce-EC: Long story short, we're on some pretty complicated terms with physics, I guess. A number of other dimensions are crossing over.

Edge: ...Yes... I get it then. I came here from my own dimension. That much is clear.... But this Shaymin...

Cruce-EC: That's the other Cruce.

Cruce: Well met!

Edge: ...That makes three.

Cruce-EC: Wha...?

Cruce: 'Beg your pardon?

Edge: Three Cruces. I know a Cruce from my own dimension.

Cruce-EC: The Crossblade?

Edge: [He nods his head.] Mhm. He uses that...

Safiri-EC: I didn't know you weren't from around here. It looked like you knew what you were doing.

Edge: I'm not from this universe. But my world looks and feels so much like this one. I know most of the Pokémon here.

Cruce: This is the same story Rilia and Slianna told me about Safa.

Safiri-EC: Hey! [She sits up abruptly.] Where are they?! You said that the other me's world is going crazy! You didn't just leave them there, did you?!

Cruce: ...Ugh... I already feel guilty enough about... ...[He shakes his head quickly.] No, I didn't. We split up. Rilia and Slianna went with Lavender to look for Nuvlora, and I got stuck in Darkness' little game. I couldn't do anything... Safiri and I got here with the use of her Crossblade. But now she's blaming that Blade on all the problems. She's blaming herself. Me... So she ran off. And that's why we're looking for her.

Safiri-EC: ...Dammit! ... [She snarls a little...]

[Silence...]

...

Boris: Well, Saf, we don't want another meltdown from the same girl. If we put our heads together, we can catch up to her and possibly understand what it is that is really going on.

Cruce: And a third Cruce... If we can team up, traveling through dimensions should be a lot easier. I recently learned of a pretty nasty penalty... I'll tell you guys later. Hey, little blue dude. Didn't catch your name.

Edge: Oh, I'm Edge. Azabell too. That's my species.

Cruce-EC: Right then. Safiri, are you okay?

Safiri-EC: You bet'chur butt. [She stands with little trouble.] We gotta get smokin'.

Cruce-EC: We should also check on the others. Grovyle's team got hit hard with Nightmares.

Ilmor: We can handle that.

Edge: Since both Cruces can fly, why don't you two try to look for the other Safiri?

Cruce-EC: Good call!

Cruce: I can fly...?

Cruce-EC: ...Haaa! Noob. Yeah you can fly! I'll show you. So what, we're looking for a fairy girl? Who's not Celebi?

Cruce: Uh, actually something turned her back into a fox Safan.

Safiri-EC: Ohhh, tricky tricky.

Cruce-EC: Then this'll be easy. Let's hop on up to the town.

Cruce: After you. Show me how I can fly, man.

...

[The Cruces team up, having the greatest chance of locating Safiri. A bird's eye view is hindered in the dark of night, however covering ground is key; an ability which this Safiri can excel at.]

[As for the others, a check for civilians is in order. Edge meets up with Al and Adam. They return to the guild. Safiri-EC, Boris, and Ilmor check on Team Time, who has sustained serious damage from the dragon Nightmare.]

...

[A half hour of searching proves fruitless.]

-Wigglytuff's Guild-

[A crowd has been packed into the guild. Many citizens of the town line the walls, awaiting further notifications of the state of their home.]

Edge: Aaah... [The local nurse--a Chansey--has applied a bandage to Edge's back.] Thank you so much.

Chansey: You're welcome. You sure took a hit!

Edge: No joke, heheh. I didn't even notice it at the time... Sorry if this sounds a little odd, but have you seen a fox girl around?

Chansey: Hmmm. You do not mean the grassy Safan girl?

Edge: Not really her... but also her. It's another version of her.

Chansey: ...[Simply blinks in confusion.]

Edge: S-sorry, I uhm--I didn't word that very well.

???: I don't think there's a good way to!

Edge: Huh? [His head bobs up a little bit as he tries to search for the voice over the crowd. This isn't necessary. The voice has come from a very small Pokémon up front. She is only slightly shorter than Edge.]

???: Hi. [A bit scraped from battle, she steps up to him. She is a Plusle.]

Edge: Plusle? [Tilts his head.] I know a Plusle. But I don't think you can be her.

Plusle: Probably not! I'm not from around here.

Edge: Did you get caught up in all this craziness too?

Plusle: ...Yeah...

Chansey: Oh my. You've been hurt, haven't you? Stay still a moment while I fix you right up.

Plusle: H-huh? No, wait, I'm okay.

Edge: [He chuckles a little.] You can trust her. She's good at what she does!

...

[On the lower level of the underground guild, Team Time has settled. The three of them have been treated, bandages placed on appropriate parts of their bodies. Safiri-EC is with them, along with Boris and Ilmor. Al and Adam are not present.]

Safiri-EC: I don't get it, Grovyle. You know more about Mewtwo than I do. So why would he hop around on Chronic, grab a Time Gear, and just stay here?

Grovyle: [Sitting up against a wall with Celebi laying against him. She is fast asleep. Leafeon is awake.] ... I honestly couldn't tell you. It's not like him. Where he would surely harness the power of a Time Gear, his choice of conflict would always be a conclusive event.

Safiri-EC: What's that mean?

Grovyle: Mewtwo glorifies himself. He would draw things out until revealing himself for battle. He will almost always use Nightmares in place of himself, unless he had no choice or thought it necessary to do battle.

Safiri-EC: He wouldn't go around causing crap just to stir us up?

Grovyle: Not at all. For him to venture to the Temporal Tower and sabotage its clock now is beyond me... I have no clue what Darkness is doing. But they have gone too far. They've forced Adam and Al to return to the Hidden Land and place the Time Gear in its rightful spot.

Safiri-EC: I don't know how things work here, but that sounds like a good thing to me.

Grovyle: It's good, but it's inconvenient. Those two are brave; the only team I know who would travel to the Hidden Land by night while the world is crawling with Nightmares.

Leafeon: Adam and Al aren't experienced with Darkness. But they almost don't need to be. They're phenomenal.

Grovyle: ...I am certain those two would've made amazing Ecliptic Guardians.

Safiri-EC: Sounds like a couple of numbskulls I know. [She tilts her head to the side, gesturing to Boris and Ilmor.]

Ilmor: Numbskulls? Who?

Boris: She means us.

Ilmor: Gah! I don't want to be a numbskull.

Safiri-EC: You know I'm just playing, doofus.

Ilmor: I don't want to be that either.

Safiri-EC: Tsk...

Boris: We're not prepared for that duty, Saf. We could never take over what you, Rilia, and Slianna do.

Safiri-EC: You're just being modest... Without you two, our home would look more like an ice cube.

Ilmor: Nah, we only help out where we're needed.

Boris: ...You almost made me laugh. Really.

Ilmor: The thought of you laughing makes me want to laugh.

Boris: That's humorous. [Sarcastic.]

Ilmor: What is? Your laughing? I've never even heard it. How do you even know what the word humorous means?

Boris: Research.

Safiri-EC: Tch, dorks. So I wonder what's up with the other Safa. The boyfriend Cruce and the not-boyfriend Cruce are sluggin' around. I hope they're okay...

...

[Above...]

Plusle: [She is now patched up.] I already feel better...

Edge: What'd I tell you? She's great!

Plusle: ...What's your name?

Edge: My name? I'm Edge. S-sorry, I never told you...

Plusle: Nothing to be sorry for... Hey, I have to go.

Edge: What? Where will you go? It's kind of dangerous out there, right?

Plusle: I really have to get home.

Edge: ...Oh... Do you...? It's not worth risking your life over. Let us help you.

Plusle: ...It is... It's worth my life.

Edge: ...You're a little different. N-no offense. But not even I would go back out there. None of us here know what would happen.

Plusle: Sitting back is exactly what they want you to do. That... or going too far and getting yourself stuck in some knot you can't untie.

Edge: Do you know something about Darkness?

Plusle: I know a few things.

[At this point, both of the Cruces enter this level of the guild.]

Plusle: Mm? [She turns to face the two.]

Edge: Uh... [He frowns at the sight of the two without a third in tow.] Uh-oh.

Cruce-EC: ...[Searching around the crowded floor.] Where'd they go...? Oh... [Spots Edge.] Hey! Edge!

Edge: Hello guys. [He waves as the brighter Cruce leads the way to him.] Tell me you had some luck...

Cruce-EC: ...We... had luck surviving, I guess? [Glances at his alternate.]

Cruce: No sign of her.

Edge: Oh, where do you think she could have gone?

Cruce: ...[He sighs and looks away from Edge.] I don't know, man. I feel like crap, 'cause she's got a point about all of this. Man, this is my fault for coming here. I should've just stayed away from all of the big business.

Cruce-EC: Hey, you were put "near" the big business in the first place. There's a reason for that. Plus, you're never going to get home doing nothing. Gotta make a move somewhere, and you picked the right path finding Light.

Cruce: Well yeah, but the other Safa's probably... dead because of me.

Cruce-EC: Dude, things looked dry for me and my pals and my -planet- back in the day. We fixed it up all good. With you and I and the kind people of Safa and Chronic here working as one, we'll fix the other side up just as nicely, if not, better.

Plusle: [She watches both Cruces closely.] ...You were looking for someone?

Cruce: Yeah. A friend of mine... Well... I still want to consider her a friend. Her name is Safiri.

Cruce-EC: It's a different Safiri. She's not the one here in the guild. I-I think Saf's still in the guild. 'Know what guys, I'm going to go check up on 'er.

Edge: Okay Cruce.

[With that, the EC variant of Cruce flies down to the guild's lower level, leaving these three.]

Cruce: ... [He turns back to Plusle.] Hey, I didn't catch your name.

Plusle: [Looks to Edge for a moment...] Plusle. [Looks back at Cruce.] I'm Plusle.

Cruce: Good to meet you, Plusle. I'm uh... Well I'm Cruce, but that other Shaymin with me was Cruce also.

Edge: There's a lot of interdimensional activity going on today...

Plusle: Sounds like it!

Edge: Say, Cruce. Plusle here seemed determined to get home... But you know how bad it is out there.

Cruce: The Nightmares are still around. I don't know how it was before that big freakshow, but it's definitely calming down. Do you need me to help with somethin'?

Plusle: No...

Cruce: Hm?

Edge: Oh? Did you change your mind?

Plusle: I'd rather do this alone.

Edge: Really?

Cruce: You sure about that? I mean I can go out there and keep searching for Safiri while helping you too. I only came back with the other me because he needed to be back here by some time.

Plusle: I'm sure. I want to do this by myself. I know I can fight... Sorry, I'm gonna go. I can do it. [Without another word, she heads for the exit...]

...

Edge: ...[He frowns.] She's not like the others here.

Cruce: I wonder what's wrong with her.

Edge: She says her home is worth her life. She also said she knew a few things about Darkness.

Cruce: A few things? That's not good enough. I know a few things and they've messed me up good already. Edge, I don't like this. I'm going to watch her closely.

Edge: Y-you're going to spy?

Cruce: Pretty much. She's weird. There's something going on with her that I feel I'm missing here. Hey, what're you and the others going to be doing?

Edge: All we can do is rest for now. If we push it too much, we might have problems.

Cruce: Alright. Take it easy, I'll be back soon enough, I think. Tell the folks where I'm at. Take care, dude.

Edge: [He nods.] Thanks, you too. Be careful...

Cruce: [Nods in return. Having been taught how to fly, he does so, leaving the guild tent and pursuing this suspicious character.]

...

(Well, this is just great. I've got a missing Eclipse in the dark of night, and a whole world probably broken into a trillion bits because of my failure. Adding insult to injury, that Eclipse feels that I'm really the cause of all of this. Yeah, I don't blame her at all... But I wish she would've stuck around so we could at least try and work something out. I have no idea what she's doing now, or where she could be. She could be a Nightmare right now, ambushing this Plusle girl so that she succumbs to the same fate. This sucks...)