Disclaimer: "Pokémon" is copyright of Satoshi Tajiri, Nintendo, Creatures, GAME FREAK, TV Tokyo, ShoPro, Jr Kikaku, and Shogakukan Production Co, Ltd. However, some of the characters in this fanfic are mine. If you steal Arei, I'll have you watch two Bellsprouts get intimate while Lucario (wearing binoculars) and Kenji/Tracy (with his trusty sketchpad) watch from behind the ferns. AND THAT'S AN INSIDE JOKE. DON'T ASK.
Dragon Sword and Wind Child, which inspired some elements in this fanfic, is property of Noriko Ogiwara.
Important note to my readers:Eclipsed is the same thing as the original version of A Break Into the Psyche. I changed the title so it is more suitable for the fanfic.
Well, here it is. Presented before you is my final attempt at my fanfiction idea which has lingered in my mind since 2000 (1999?). This is unlike everything I've ever written, and is my distinctive contribution to the Pokémon fanfiction community. If there is one story I would like to be known for, let it be this.
Before moving onto the summary (next section) there are some notes I should address:
- WiseAbsol (as she is known here at FFNet) has received my permission to use my character, Arei, in her fanfic Hollow. However, please do not assume that our fics are the same but simply written by two different authors. They have overlapping elements, but overall are dissimilar. Besides, you should read her version anyway because it is artistically written and is fascinating.
- The muse for Eclipsed comes from the beautiful Japanese novel Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara. I must confess that this fic is influenced by Ogiwara's masterpiece, but I have made sure that the majority of ideas are from my own imagination.
- Eclipsed is rated T for many reasons. Please do not read further if mature themes easily upset you.
Now… may I present to you Eclipsed.
PART ONE: PERIHELION
"Astronomy. the point in the orbit of a planet… at which it is nearest to the sun." ()
For many are the pleasant forms which exist in numerous sins,
and disgraceful passions,
and fleeting pleasures,
which men embrace until they become sober
and go up to their resting place.
And they will find me there,
and they will live,
and they will not die again.
The Shrine of Mew. It was this by which the sanctuary was known, but never spoken aloud by anyone due to the sheer power the name held. Illustrated upon a canvas of jungle against sky since the dawn of civilization, it seemed to vibrate with the essence of life from the Lady herself.
An aura of tranquility caressed the proximity. Priests sought this in their prayers, meditations, and in their cleansing of impure matter. Pilgrims, some having traveled immeasurable distances, fell upon the hallowed soil of the place to ask for blessings. They had come for fertility, bountiful crops, health, and the continual promise of everlasting life.
In later times no one could determine who made the shrine anymore than they could understand its people. Perhaps it had always been there only to eventually be forgotten behind a labyrinth of vines and cobwebs. Historians and anthropologists, sickened with questions of this unexplainable lost society, assumed them to be linked to other South American tribes. Perhaps they were people who broke away from larger clans, and yet the information did not calculate. They seemed far more ancient, from an era when humanity and nature were one, just as folklore had described.
Why had they vanished without records? Why did they exclusively venerate the Lady of Light?
They were basic people, yes, as basic as any other. They depended on one another through the necessities of the harvest and the hunt; the knowledge of the experienced; the chilling promise of death cast away whenever a mother looked upon the child at her breast. All mornings, in cultivated fields kissed with dew, they spread their arms to greet the sun. All evenings, as the eternal golden disk sank below a brilliant skyline, they gave thanks before retiring to their homes.
A basic people, yes… but primordial. They were astonishing in their wisdom -- one so profound it went beyond the subterranean depths of the psyche. Out of the range of the mind and body, harbored somewhere within the soul, was the capability to view existence from an elevated field: To consider fantasy synonymous with reality; to know the arcane; to feel the waves of life.
All humans - in fact, all living things - had this ability. But only mankind had lost it to their vanity. Only they, as lords of the earth, became enslaved to delusions of arrogance.
At that time, before their clan was lost to the red-stained blades of enemies, there was a shadow of a woman. The limestone corridors would have concealed her identity if not for the flickering of torchlight. Somehow there was silence as she dashed further into the temple, never falling victim to a trap or to wasted time. One could have assumed she had a clear destination.
A chamber lead to a stairway. Unlike the stairs presented at the entrance -- which the individual found difficulty in trespassing -- this one was unguarded. Even more bizarre, it lead not to a holy of holies as could be suspected. Rather, it was washed in the light of the sun pouring through from the veranda above. As the woman ascended the steps, each closer to the company of divinity, her hands caressed the engravings in the walls. Represented in three segments, they grew in importance: The bottom celebrating the efficiency of domesticated Pokémon, the middle acknowledging ones too powerful for usage due to strength or evolution, and the top honoring the gods themselves.
Yet the segment with the gods was the most spectacular. They were not clustered but individualized or made into smaller groups to represent their various facets. Again a hierarchy was presented, starting with the modest to lead to the supreme. The woman was unsurprised to find the golem trio - Regirock, Regice and Registeel - considered to be the least significant. However, their gift to humanity was greatly respected, for through them man learned to advance through the Stone, Ice and Bronze Ages.
Yes, all of the gods were remembered here, even the Original One who could never be addressed by His name. These people, who were called the Followers of Light (the worshippers of Mew) realized He could rival or even transcend their favored deity.
Then it dawned upon the woman that there was nothing to represent the Goddess. Her eyes looked about in all directions, as if desperate to find something, anything… only for her hope to turn dark.
With her foot off the final step she reached the veranda. A collection of polished stones lined the exterior with maintained paths voyaging forth to the center. Joined alongside these paths was lush vegetation; every species known by the woman plus countless more. It was paradise, indeed too glorious to be earthly.
With the air thick of blossoms and fruit, she sauntered down a pathway to reach the center. Before her water flowed through a channel constructed of jade to surround an altar.
There was nothing on the altar. No libations, no gifts… no, nothing at all.
It was then she comprehended the symbolism of this sanctuary. A small gasp escaped from her lips as she was overwhelmed by the simple yet profound meaning of this design: A circle; the Sun. She recalled the stairs had spiraled as she climbed them, and her gaze fell upon the round exterior once again. Only the gardens and paths went against this law, but not necessarily, for they lead to the circular channel which sheltered the altar.
For the darkness of the building to yield to the light of the veranda made sense now. This hallowed ground was bathed by the golden rays of the day.
In addition to all of this were large vertical incisions in the walls. Prior to then her stare ignored them until the deepest chamber of her soul clarified their significance: The sunlight poured through them on the summer solstice for a journey to the altar.
Thus, of course nothing would be presented upon the altar. The shrine itself commemorated Mew as the Mother of All. No blood would cascade from its sides to defile the water below, nor would plants be abandoned to wither. Mew as the Mother was her most significant aspect; any offerings would be sacrilegious.
Desperation is intoxicating as ambrosia, yet as menacing like poison. She came to that place for a reason, unaware that her sins sullied the very earth below her as if she were snow giving way to springtime flooding.
But she was there for a reason and this was the only opportunity. Before her was the altar to Mew -- the most sacred object in all of the shrine. Astonishingly, it was not impressive like the other objects. Rather, it was simply a slab of common gray stone. No engravings, no jewels, not even tools to assist in prayers. Nothing at all. In fact the only interesting thing about it was the canal of water that encircled it at the bottom.
Watch where you step, woman, for you are in the abode of the Queen of Eternity, the Lady.
The unforeseen voice startled her. Airy, magical and yet intimidating, it clearly did not flow from a typical person. With the speed of a feral dog she rotated to face the entity which had addressed her.
It was not human.
Back away from the altar. Your presence pollutes this holy place.
She moved. Her action was cautious and instinctual as if she was a deer before the barrel of a hunter's gun. She even made sure her attire did not meet the water embracing the altar.
As if not to offend the enigma, her gaze fell upon the pathway beneath her. All mortals, especially one as lowly as herself, were unworthy of setting their eyes on a god. Her lips parted to gesture if she could speak.
Yes, you may. Provide a brief answer; I have greater matters than to converse with you.
The rudeness stabbed her. It was hotter than burning coals, and she knew the deity would delight in insulting her further.
Her mouth was dry. With her stare still at the ground, she managed to utter "I…"
Did I once state for you to look away? Look at me.
Its voice - which the human realized was telepathy - was soft for a fleeting moment. Reluctantly and with a slow pace she gave in to its command, as if terrified it would change its mind.
Levitating above the ground where she previously traversed was a small yellow and pale blue creature. It had two tails both adorned with valuable jewels, yet the jewels could not compete with the grand one on its head. Bizarrely, it somehow acknowledged her presence although its eyes were shut.
Speak! It ordered.
She found the willpower to be assertive. "Revered God of Knowledge," she began, hoping using his title would soothe remaining anger, "I cannot understand why you are allowing me to look up."
My eyes are closed, woman, but do not assume I cannot see you. I sensed your aura long before your steps reached this shine. The pixie floated closer. That said, you should realize I am not a menacing god. Also, from here forth refrain from addressing me as "revered." Your people do not worship me.
His voice was composed now; still powerful, but smooth. Do not think this would apply to other gods. Such a belief is foolish. There are gods far greater than my brother, sister and I.
No, it appears you do not. Although the comment seemed icy, it was truly a gentle correction. My siblings and I were created to bestow humanity with the gifts of knowledge, emotion and will. We are not the raw forces of nature; rather, we are the embodiments of advancement for higher living.
There was a pause. The women realized it was her turn to talk. Now that the creature was calmer, conversation came freely.
"I have come here to pray."
I gathered that. His tone was harsh again. Everything, from the soil on your shoes to your livelihood, is bathed in sin.
Then as unpredictable as the second past, compassion entered. It was a new voice laced with tenderness. Uxie, you should know better than to be pestering this poor person.
He countered, Perhaps you, dear sister, should realize some matters are best left for myself. Did you think I would kill the person? Such an intention would never flow through me. I am indifferent for the most part.
The female - who was Mesprit - ended the debate with, We will continue this at another time.
The magenta goddess floated in the direction of the human. She noted with a hint of merriment, He forgot to add that my siblings and I exist for more than just, quote, "advancement for higher living." Father created us chiefly with the intention that humans could seek from us guidance, virtue and understanding. Mesprit allowed the woman to process this before continuing. She then said, You see, we are meant to be the helpers of mankind.
"Helpers?" Said the woman with confusion. She was already aware that deities assisted humanity when needed, however she did not know some existed solely for this purpose.
Are you changing the subject? Uxie interrupted.
Mesprit turned to him and noted: No. My aim is to comfort her. Being the Goddess of Emotions, this is a task for only me, no offense.
She is a whore, that is all you need to know.
Again, a statement from Uxie slit through the woman like the sharpest dagger. He was right - she was a whore! That was why she journeyed here; why she wished to be purified.
Mesprit gawked at Uxie with a mix of shock and disgust. You have no right to be so indifferent to her! That in itself is your downfall -- empathy is dry in your veins. You cannot feel.
No response came from Uxie. He was not ashamed or defeated, but rather he felt arguing with Mesprit would be insensible. Once she started, it took hours for her to quiet down. Adding fuel to the fire would be a mistake.
I was well aware of her sin, Mesprit said. I felt it. I felt the humiliation, the pain, all of it… But remember this, brother: Here is a woman who desires to change.
He failed to oppose. Instead he said, Do not let Azelf know about this.
Oh, why would I? She giggled. He would lecture the woman for not having more will and valor. We know how he is. But anyway…
Nothing could define the disgrace pulsating from the woman. "Please, I should go."
Do not feel embarrassed by us knowing. We are gods. We simply know these things, Mesprit said in a tone rich with warmth. I can assure you no one from your clan is aware that you are with child. That is why you are here -- to ask the Mother for her blessing because such is indeed her supreme facet.
"Exactly," she whispered.
Mesprit gestured at the altar. Then against Uxie's command she told the woman to cleanse herself. You are a sinner, yet as are all of your kind. However, the Mother's eternal mercy will bathe you in protection for yourself and your child. So purify yourself, young one.
Believing her to be correct, the woman walked to the altar. She then kneeled down to cup the water from the channel in her hands and poured it over herself, allowing it to stream down like a thousand tears. She sought comfort in the liquid, for somehow the reflection staring back at her was not her own but that of the child she would bring into the world. It was a magnificent sight.
"I don't understand this…"
But you do.
And she did. She realized this water was unlike any other. It was a vision of the future rather than a literal reflection. Of course! The Mother was abundant with psychic energy, so certainly the holy water of her shrine would gleam with her glorious power.
The illustration in the water foretold her of what would transpire: She was only a few weeks along in her pregnancy as of now, but her condition could not be kept secret forever. Once her stomach grew larger she would be stigmatized for carrying a child out-of-wedlock. Yet before the first stone could be cast at her by the villagers, the sunshine would break through the dark clouds to cloak her in blinding white light. This was a sign of forgiveness from the Mother.
The woman set her head against the altar. She was overcome with a myriad of emotions and let out a well-needed cry. She was not sad… no, not anything negative. She was relieved, joyous, grateful, harmonious. For the first time since learning of her situation she truly felt safe for the child cradled within her.
The altar should never be touched by a whore, Uxie retaliated.
Who are you to decide? His sister snapped.
Never before has a defiled woman been allowed to touch the altar. In fact, the water turns murky even as one steps foot into the veranda. You are insulting the Mother by allowing this exception.
This is not my decision at all, brother, Mesprit corrected. For one so wise, sometimes it seems I know more than you.
Mesprit gazed at the woman as she continued speaking to Uxie. I cannot determine Mew's thoughts…
The woman's eyes widened at the mere mention of addressing the Mother by her genuine name. The priestly class could never call her Mew, and it was said that neither did even the gods except for the Original One.
Mesprit finished with: …But Uxie, this incident proves Mew is worthy of her title as the Universal Mother. For you see, this whore is unlike the others: She is here to pray for her child, not for her reputation or life.
Uxie had nothing to say. In that moment knowledge had failed to emotions. Perhaps he did not know all…
At least when it came to Mew's thoughts.
- For those who have read Dragon Sword and Wind Child, you can see that Eclipsed already differs from it.
- The italicized poem at the beginning is an excerpt of a Gnostic hymn called "The Thunder, Perfect Mind". The translation is provided by George W. MacRae.
- Please review! I cannot guarantee that it will inspire me to pump out the chapters faster considering I am in college and have a job, but it will inspire me to keep writing.
- Oh… and Abby, sorry about being responsible for your inbox getting flooded with false notifications. I'm an idiot. The upload system confuses the hell out of me for some reason.