Prologue: The Cliffs by the Sea
Zach sighed and looked back at the town. I am never going back, he thought. Normally a moment like this would make him feel emotional. But this was different. He felt no remorse for leaving this town, even though it was where he grew up. He had nothing left there. No friends, no family, not even a person who knew his name.
His clothes were worn out greatly. His jeans had numerous holes in them, and his T-shirt was gray, though when he first got the shirt it was red. His brown hair was very unkempt and his shoes barely fit. Yet he stood there like he was one of the heroes of old off on a quest.
He put this out of his mind and looked out ahead of him. In front of where he stood, not even a hundred yards away, a sheer cliff dropped down to the sea below, rocks jutting out from the sea bottom at its base. But from where he stood the views were amazing. The setting sun created sharp contrasts on the surface of the sea as rolled towards the cliffs.
One era of my life ends, he thought looking out over the sea, and another begins. He started strolling down a path. On his right was the cliff that led to the sea; on the left there was a patch of woods. Due to the terrain this was the only place a path could be put, running parallel between where the forest ends and the sea begins.
Zach sat down against a giant rock and took off his backpack. He pulled out a sandwich and started eating. No one will miss me, he thought and he knew that he was right. He ran away from the orphanage in the town, where he had lived since he was nine. Now fifteen, he was tired of being held down.
He used to have a family: a mother and a father. However, one rainy day, Zach and his parents were driving home when their car was hit head on. His parents were killed instantly, yet he somehow escaped without injury. Many times Zach found himself, especially on rainy nights, wondering why he survived, why hadn't he died like the rest of his family? As the times passed, his memories of his parents had faded. He somewhat remembered their faces, full of compassion and caring. But they grew bleary over time.
Tears filled his eyes as he thought about them. He wiped his tears. The orphanage was horrible. It was so crowded that at times many kids would not even have beds to sleep on. Many families had come on looked at the kids during his time there. Not once had any of them inquired about him. He wasn't the best looking of the kids and he wasn't gifted in any sort of way. He was a quiet person, modest in action. Many times he had given up his bed to a younger kid or someone who was new. He felt their pain, even if they couldn't feel his. None of them talked to him, none tried to form friendships. They knew that forming friendships made it a lot tougher for them to find a home.
Now here he was, sitting in the world, without anyone looking after him. This is how he preferred it now. He would look after himself and try to accomplish his greatest goal: to become the greatest Pokemon trainer, a dream he had held since his parents were still alive. This goal was now more important than ever to him. It was his major connection to his parents, a way to feel their presence.
Zach was off to the nearest town. There was the lab of a professor who had given many new trainers in the region their starting Pokemon. He thought about what Pokemon he wanted to get. I always wanted a Chimchar, he thought, remembering a Chimchar that his former neighbors used to have. He was an amusing Pokemon, often making faces at people behind their backs and having fun. That is the Pokemon I want, he decided, someone who is carefree and fun. He settled down to rest his tired body.
Just as he was starting to relax, a loud cry pierced the evening air and Zach's ears. He looked around him for the source of the noise. Suddenly a flurry of action came pouring out of the woods. A Chimchar came staggering out and ran towards the boulder where Zach was sitting. Before he could make, a large dog-like Pokemon landed in front of him and cut him off. A Houndoom, Zach thought, looking at the large Pokemon's jet-black fur and horn-like ears. The poor Chimchar turned around to go back into the woods, but two more Houndoom jumped out and blocked his escape path.
Zach could only watch as the three Houndoom attacked at once, biting and tossing it in the air like a rag doll. Chimchar had no way to defend the attacks. They're going to kill that Chimchar, he started to think, why do they want to kill it? What has it done to them? The Houndoom backed off for a break in the attack. Chimchar laid flat on the ground, barely breathing. If he stood up, the Houndoom would finish him for sure. They stood watching their prey, eyes blazing with the desire to kill. Zach decided that it was time to act.
He reached down and picked up a few medium sized stones. Then he stepped out from behind the rock.
"Hey you!" he shouted at the pack, "Pick on someone your own size."
At once all three Houndoom turned to face Zach. They looked even more savage than they had from the behind the rock. Now or never, he thought. He wound up and threw one of his stones at the closest Houndoom. The stone hit the ground in front of it. Now the Houndoom came charging at Zach, their desire to kill directed at the new target.
"Oh crap," he muttered under his breath as the Houndoom charged at him, "I forgot about this." Immediately, he started to climb the giant rock. He looked back at where Chimchar laid. The poor Pokemon was breathing heavy and unable to stand.
"Chimchar!" Zach yelled to the Pokemon, "Get out of here! This is your chance." However, Chimchar couldn't stand up. He's too tired and beat up, he thought sadly, How can I save him?
A sharp pain interrupted his thoughts. One of the Houndoom grabbed his left ankle and was pulling him down off the rock. Zach tried desperately to kick off Houndoom with his free leg. Houndoom, however was too strong. He was dragged down to the ground and found himself surrounded by the three Houndoom. Now what? he now thought, cornered against the rock. His hand found his backpack lying next to him on the ground. It gave him an idea.
Without hesitating, he grabbed the backpack and stood up. Holding onto one of the straps, Zach swung it around in a large, looping arch in front of him. He hit one of Houndoom in the face and sent it staggering backwards towards the edge of the cliff. Zach now threatened the other two with the backpack. They backed up to where their comrade had landed, hoping to avoid being hit. Now Zach was forcing all three Houndoom backward towards the edge of the cliff. It's actually working, he thought, continuing to pressure the three backward.
However one of the Houndoom noticed how close to the edge they were getting. It decided that enough was enough and went after Zach. He swung the bag with all his might at the charging Pokemon, but he missed. Houndoom launched himself on top of Zach and started ripping at his already sore and cut-up body. The others two cried triumphantly when they saw this opportunity and attacked as well.
Zach wouldn't give up. "I will not die this way!" he yelled out. He started kicking and punching at the Houndoom that were attacking. He grabbed one of them by its horn-like ears and, using most of his strength, tossed it off of him. They were now right at the edge of the cliff. You could clearly see the waves crash violently against the rocks below.
Suddenly, the ground started to buckle and crumble beneath Zach and the Houndoom. Before anyone could react, the ground gave way. All of them were sent plummeting down. The Houndoom cried out in fear for their lives. Zach, however remained silent.
So this is how I die, he thought morosely, as the rocks grew closer, Is this why I didn't die in that car wreck? So I could die doing something more important? Was I never meant to live a happy life? Was I never supposed to have…a family?
He sighed. "At least I died doing good."
After he said this, his body landed into the sea below and was sent crashing against a giant rock. He felt great pain through his body. Then everything went black and he felt no more.
Chimchar stood up and looked to where the boy was just standing. He had just watched as the cliff gave out below him and sent him and the Houndoom falling down to the sea below.
No, he thought, as he staggered to where the ground gave way. No, please no. He can't be…No way. He looked down the cliff to the waters below. In the twilight, all he could see was churning sea crashing into the rocks below. Chimchar could see no signs of the boy or the Houndoom that had pursued him.
Then, a little ways down, he spotted something. At one place, a beach had formed at the base of the cliffs, as the cliffs had eroded greatly there. A large object had just washed up upon the sands. Could it be…?
Chimchar ran to where the cliff was shortest at this area. Then, slowly as to not fall himself, he climbed down the cliff face to beach below. He was exhausted when he reached the bottom, but when he saw what the object was, he forgot about any pain or tiredness he felt. He staggered to where it lay. When he realized what it was he sat down next to it, put his head on its chest, and started to cry.
It was the boy's body.
"Why…" Chimchar choked up between tears, "why did you do this? Why did you try to save me? Why didn't you run away when things got bad?"
He knew no response would come from the boy, but he couldn't help asking these questions. Never had he seen anyone, human or Pokemon, give up so much to do something for someone so poor and weak. He continued to cry until he felt like no more tears would come out.
Someone like me, he thought, a feeling of guilt overwhelming him. He had known better than to enter the Houndoom's territory, but he did anyway. He knew he couldn't fight back against the Houndoom, yet he tried to fight them and was sorely beaten. This boy, without a single thought for his own safety, raced to protect him. My stupidity had cost the life of an innocent human.
Chimchar wiped his nose and looked up at the sky. Darkness had now fallen, and the first stars started to appear. Though he couldn't see it from where he sat, the moon was beginning to rise high in the sky behind him.
He looked pleadingly towards the heavens and folded his hands in a reverent sort of way. "Please," he began to speak, "if someone, anyone can hear me. Please someone help this boy's soul so it dies forever. Please, I beg. He gave his life up to protect me. Don't let this be it for him. Someone…please…"
Suddenly, a bright pulsating ball of light appeared in front of Chimchar. It was small at first, about the size of a small Cheri berry. But it grew in size exponentially into a large orb, twice as big as his head. This large orb then split into three orbs of the same size. Chimchar watched amazed by what he was seeing, as these orbs morphed into three Pokemon, floating in the air. Chimchar immediately recognized that these were the legendary Pokemon of the lakes of Sinnoh: Azelf, the "Being of Willpower" and guardian of Lake Valor; Mespirit, the "Being of Emotion" and guardian of Lake Verity; and Uxie, the "Being of Knowledge" and guardian of Lake Acuity. They had been created by the Original One to keep the world in balance. Chimchar turned his eyes away, feeling greatly unworthy of being in their presence.
"Why do you look away from us?" Mespirit inquired of him, speaking kindly and with caring. "It is all alright to look. Do not be afraid." Chimchar turned to face the three in front of him. Mespirit had a gentle smile on her face directed towards him. The others, however, had more serious looks on their faces.
"We heard your crying and your prayer," Uxie said, "and we have come to help."
"You…you…you have?" Chimchar responded gratefully, "I…I…don't know what to say…th…thank…thank you."
"However," Azelf spoke in a commanding voice, "we cannot make any guarantees. It is not our decision to make."
"That's right," Uxie said, "That is up to someone more powerful than us."
"Is that him over there?"
Chimchar nodded. "Yes that is him."
Azelf looked at Uxie and both nodded in agreement. "We shall take him with us," Azelf said, "and try to convince the Original One to reprieve his soul and give him a new life." With that Azelf grabbed the boy's arms while Uxie grabbed his legs. Then the two of them disappeared along with the body. Mespirit was about to follow them when Chimchar grabbed her arm.
"Please," Chimchar begged, down on his knees, "let me come with you. Let me help."
Mespirit shook her head. "Unfortunately, there's not much you can do. Only Azelf, Uxie, and myself can really do this. The Original One created us when the world began, and not many other beings can approach him like us. I am very sorry."
Chimchar's head hung in disappointment. Mespirit puts her hands on his shoulders.
"Don't worry," Mespirit assured him, "We will make sure that he gets another chance. You, my friend, need to get rest. You've had a very long and stressful day. Good bye."
Mespirit turned away from Chimchar and disappeared into the darkness, following the others. Chimchar was now alone the beach. He looked at the cliff face that towered above him. There's no way I can climb back up, he thought feeling the pains of battle from earlier. He looked and found a pile of leaves nearby. Quietly, he set to work making a bed out of the leaves in a spot protected from the wind. As he fell asleep, two words left his lips, two words he wished that he had said to the boy before he died or to Mespirit before leaving…