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Chapter rewritten. Well my fellow readers… I felt it was time I finally did a serious rewrite and re-structure of A New Chance at Life's first chapters and in general a quality update of the entire story. I think that my skill has increased greatly since I first started writing this and that I should go back to make that reflect on my initial chapters. I hope you like this clearer, more detailed and well-made version of the story's birth chapter!
Last Revision: April 16th, 2016.
Chapter 1 - A New Chance At Life
The oceanic city of Alto Mare was a truly gorgeous architectural wonder of both old and modern human society. The city was erected right in the middle of the seas south-west of the Johto region, located several miles out from the region's coastline. Despite its unusual location the city of Alto Mare was fairly large, easily spanning across several square miles. Seen from a distance, the city lacked any exceptionally tall buildings, nearly all of the structures were only two to five stories tall at maximum with only a few exceptions for notable landmarks. The city had an amazing and complex infrastructure of water canals that served as the main streets and roads, with gondolas and boats of many traditional and modern designs being a common sight on them as they were the primary means of transportation throughout the ocean-bound metropolis. Alto Mare was marvelous to the eye for both tourists and visitors alike as it sported many great attractions all around, from lush and lively parks to historically outstanding museums. Designed and built with an exquisite antique-looking style that was based predominantly on stone and at the same time possessing many trees and plant life to ornament it, the ocean city of Alto Mare was a true beauty of the sea. Its wondrous visual appeal was greatly complemented with a fascinating series of events and folklore surrounding its origins and founding. Dating back for at least over a hundred years, they were dazzling myths that spoke of Legendary Pokémon and dark events.
Alto Mare was heavily rumored to be the home to a pair of majestic Legendary Pokémon. They served as one of the city's greatest mysteries and sources of attraction, both from touristic and historical points of view. For dozens of years hundreds upon hundreds of Pokémon trainers, explorers, poachers, scientists and researchers alike had tried to find the two rumored guardian Legends, but all of them had failed, their efforts completely in vain. The lack of sightings of the rumored Pokémon made a few skeptical people doubt they even existed, regarding them as mere myths or tales of the elder generation. Despite skepticism, most of the city's population deeply believed in them and paid great respect and almost religious worship to the two guardian deities.
The main plaza of Alto Mare, in which the biggest and most predominant museum stood, had two huge pillars of stone with the statues of the two Legendaries adorning the top. They were the two Eon Pokémon, the legendary dragons Latias and Latios. Around the rest of the city, countless artworks of them could be seen ornamenting many things. Buildings, boats, statues, stained glass windows, murals, neatly trimmed bushes and much more. The city's inhabitants believed in them as guardians and divine protectors that brought peace and prosperity to the oceanic city.
The truth was that the grand majority who believed in them were right. For Latias and Latios did exist, and together, the two young dragon guardians had worked dutifully in protecting the city they called their home ever since their birth, over a hundred years ago. Protecting the city itself was just half of the two's responsibilities. The dragon twins also had to protect what was essentially the living heart of Alto Mare, its ultimate treasure. It was a very valuable and powerful jewel known as the Soul Dew, its name coming from the fact that the spherical crystal jewel housed the soul and power of a Legendary Pokémon inside of it. The spirit contained within the orb was none other than the first Latios, the father of the two current guardians. The Soul Dew's power kept all the water in the vicinity in place as well as maintaining the ocean's calming and protective aura over the city.
The night of the present day in Alto Mare was normal to nearly everyone in the city, quiet and peaceful, almost deceitfully uneventful. However, it was not a calm night for the city's revered guardians and their few human friends. For what had started like a wonderful day had quickly changed to a living nightmare.
Earlier that day, the dragon twins had met a human boy at the annual Tour of Alto Mare water chariot race. The boy was a young, cheerful, innocent and enthusiastic eleven year old Pokémon trainer named Ash Ketchum. While Latios had a distasteful first meeting with him and took a while to warm up to the kid, Latias had taken an instant liking to him. After a joyful day of games and fun, the dark of the night accompanied the horrendous nightmare that struck the two young guardians and the unaware city.
Two vile agents of the international criminal organization known as Team Rocket had somehow managed to find their way into the Secret Garden, a lively and extensive garden hidden inside the city that Latios and Latias had always called their personal safe heaven. The Secret Garden was protected by powerful, almost magical illusions that helped conceal and protect the lush paradise from the prying eyes of humanity. However, through their technology and skills in the arts of espionage, the two skilled criminals named Annie and Oakley had succeeded in finding their way into it and defeated the young twins in a battle. Latias had barely managed to escape the fight thanks to the brave and selfless efforts of her brother, but with the dragon twins defeated, there was nothing stopping the women from kidnapping Latios and stealing the Soul Dew from its pedestal.
With both of their captures firmly secured, Annie and Oakley had set out towards the city's main plaza, where the central museum was located, and used the Soul Dew along with Latios to start an ancient machine that resided inside the museum. The machine in question was a powerful last resort weapon to protect Alto Mare from danger known as the Defense Mechanism of Alto Mare, often abbreviated to DMA.
With the machine's power, Oakley had quickly seized control of Alto Mare. However, Ash, his partner Pikachu, and Latias made sure it was brief, as they made a brave attack on the museum to stop the two thieves from abusing the power of the DMA. With their combined efforts they were able to stop Oakley and the raging ancient machine by retrieving Latios from it, thus cutting out the machine's main power source and causing it to forcefully shut down. The victory was short lived as Annie's greed spelled their doom when she touched the weakened Soul Dew to try and retrieve it so she could keep it for herself. The end result had been catastrophic.
The Soul Dew had exploded violently, shattering the glass into dozens of pieces. Soon afterwards, a cataclysmic and seemingly unstoppable event had been set forth. Without the Soul Dew keeping the ocean bound to Alto Mare, the water had retreated from the city for the first time in a hundred years and disappeared well beyond the horizon. Now it was coming back in the form of a gigantic tsunami easily several hundred feet tall.
All of the Pokémon and humans involved, with the exception of the two Team Rocket women as they were trapped within the DMA's control chamber, watched in horror as the roaring wave approached the city. "Oh, no…" Lorenzo whispered fearfully, voice trembling as he watched the mass of water rapidly coming closer. "The water… it's coming back." He was frozen in place except for trembles of fear.
Bianca shook her head slightly in disbelief, taking a couple of steps backwards from sheer horror. "No… this can't be," she whimpered in grief, her mind refusing to accept the reality that the wave would surely kill everyone present in the city, including her. Lorenzo pulled his granddaughter closer to him, wrapping an arm around her in support and comfort.
Latios and Latias watched the oncoming tidal wave with wide, fearful eyes. Both psychic dragons were floating around the museum's tallest ornamental tower. Latias glanced at Latios, her form quivering. "W-what do we do!?" she shakily asked him. With the situation and the panic overwhelming her, she fell back on him for support.
The weakened Latios didn't look at her, instead he remained focused on the incoming wave. His mind raced to find a way they could stop the wave and save their home from being destroyed. For now, the shattered Soul Dew was not his main worry. "We… should…" he began to say in a low, insecure tone. However, he was interrupted by an involuntary wince and his levitation faltering slightly.
Latias let out a short gasp. "Latios! Are you okay?" she cried out in concern as she glanced at him. She could clearly see that he was still very weak from the damage the battle with Annie and Oakley plus the DMA had inflicted on him, patches of burned feathers and painful scrapes tarnished his once pristine blue and gray feathers.
"I'm… fine," Latios responded faintly, doing his best to correct his levitation and be strong. He refused to display weakness in such a dire situation, in front of his sister. He glanced at the wave one last time, and then his eyes widened in fear. "Latias!" he shouted as he glanced at his sister. "Come on, we have to do something. Let's go!" Without saying anything else, the two dragons darted off and headed towards the wave.
The humans gasped when they saw the two dragons rapidly fly overhead, passing them quickly, in the direction of the incoming tsunami. "Latias!" Ash shouted.
"Latios!" Bianca cried out after him, concerned for her dragon friend.
However, neither dragon stopped at the human's calls or seemed to acknowledge them. They both kept charging towards the tsunami as if the human's shouts had fallen on deaf ears. As the two distressed Eon Dragons flew towards the tidal wave, intent on saving their hometown and their friends from destruction, they felt something happen. Very deep within them, as deep as their very souls, something they had no knowledge of or knew how to describe or even begin to comprehend was happening. It was as if the intense emotional anguish the twins were experiencing from the current life-threatening situation had snapped something in them. Driven by their need to save their friends and home, strength they didn't know they had in them suddenly burned intensely inside the two dragons. They felt strong and powerful, making the task of taking down the wave suddenly less daunting. With new determination shining in the two's eyes, both dragons sped up in their flight towards the devastating wall of water.
Latias and Latios' eyes began to dimly glow as the power they felt began surging through them. The glow in their eyes seemed to start spreading across the entirety of their bodies, glowing brighter and brighter until a prominent blazing shine emanating from the pair of dragons illuminated the dark night. Latias and Latios turned into two shining projectiles of the purest and brightest light, soaring with full determination to oppose the wave. The mighty gleam encasing the two dragons exploded outwards, uniting both of them into a single massive sphere of blazing power and ethereal white light fueled by their desire to protect everything they loved and cherished.
The sphere of tremendous energy crashed into the wave, disappearing within the vast wall of water. For a couple of anguished seconds it looked as if nothing had happened, but then, a tiny glow seemed to start resonating inside the dark and murky water. Without warning a single blast of light surged from the tsunami as the sphere of energy Latias and Latios had generated expanded, growing in size to the point it became taller than the raging tidal wave itself. The tsunami was cleanly split in half by the two psychic dragons. With the wave's balance split, the entire thing began to collapse and crash downwards. As the wave was reduced to nothing but a small surge by the two dragon Legendaries, a large sphere of majestic light was left floating in place, almost as if it was an artificial sun floating above the gradually advancing ocean.
The humans watched in pure shock and awe, not knowing what had just unfolded before them. They silently gazed at the alluring sphere of light in the distance, which before their very eyes began to expand into a massive pillar of imposing light that reached upwards past the vast heavens. At least, the danger was gone. The tidal wave was no more…
Latias was feeling dizzy, very dizzy. It was as if her world was spinning around at impossible speeds and nothing made sense. To the young dragoness, everything had gone by too fast for her to take account of the facts in complete detail. One moment she was flying towards the wave, waiting for her brother to tell her what they were going to do about it. Then something she couldn't even begin to explain happened to her and suddenly the wave had been taking down and she was filling dizzy. Everything was filled with blanks and holes, making Latias feel as if she had lost consciousness for a few minutes. The red dragoness slowly opened her amber-colored eyes, and then squinted them a little to adjust to the blazing light she found herself completely surrounded in.
'Where am I?' Latias wondered to herself as she looked around, visually exploring the vast whiteness that enveloped her. Latias tilted her head in confusion at the familiar sense she felt, realizing that it must have been the same power she and Latios had used to take down the deadly tidal wave before it reached the city. Oddly, she felt strangely lively when inside the column of light, as if the shining power around her was made of the purest love and life. It made her feel good, happy, as if everything was alright and there was nothing to worry about. She closed her eyes for a few seconds as memories of what she had just done began to fill her mind in greater detail. Her eyes suddenly snapped open and she began to look around rapidly, desperately looking for her dear brother. She felt relieved when she saw him, only to gasp loudly when she saw his condition. Latios was completely transparent, nothing but a faintly glowing bluish outline that was slowly fading away. She felt her eyes tear up as she realized what was happening. Her beloved brother was about to die.
"Latios…" Latias sobbed, shaking her head a couple times. "Why?" Her voice was pained as she begged for an answer.
"I was already weak…" Latios replied with a sad but gentle voice. He sounded strange, his voice echoing oddly, as if the sound was coming from all around them instead of coming from his mouth. "The power to take down the wave was going to kill one of us. I'd never let it be you. Even weak, I decided to take the extra load needed."
Latias felt her heart breaking at the thought of losing the only real family she had ever had in her life. "But, Latios, what will I do? I can't keep on without you, I don't want to be alone. You can't leave!" Latias protested, tears finally running down her cheeks. Never had she thought such a thing could ever happen, she had never entertained the possibility of losing her brother or what she would do afterwards. Now she was watching it unfold in front of her.
If Latios had a corporeal body, he too would have been on the verge of tears. The idea of leaving his sister alone was agonizing, but it had to happen. He slowly shook his head. "I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do, Latias. I'm slowly losing what little life I have left in me. It's over. You'll have to go on." The dying dragon gave her a wavering smile. "You have to be strong and keep going on your own."
Latias shook her head, not wanting to believe what was happening. Her mind was filled with over a hundred years of memories of her and her brother, as vivid and clear as if they had all happened just yesterday. She thought of racing with Latios though Alto Mare's seemingly endless canals, with the two of them making sharp turns while trying not to crash as they raced to out-speed each other. She thought of Latios soothing her injuries whenever she was in pain, how he would always be there for her when it mattered the most. She thought of falling asleep each night, cuddled up with her brother, knowing that he would always be there to protect her and that she was safe with him there. She thought of the times she did acts of gratitude for him, like her bringing him the exotic and rare Hondew Berry that she had managed to sneak out from the market as a present for him.
These memories, and hundreds more, raced through her mind in a mere second as she gazed at her translucent brother. Every beat of her heart brought more pain as she watched Latios fade more and more, leaving her behind as his power left him and he went further and further away from his connection to the world, to her.
Never again would she be able to turn to him when she was hurt, scared, or in times of need. Never again would he be there to comfort her, or cheer her on, to play with her. He was going to be gone forever. She was going to be alone from now on. "No…" Latias shook her head, refusing to accept the harsh truth she was being subjected to.
Latios watched her sadly, having a very good idea of what was running through the distraught Latias' mind. "I… I'd wish for this not to happen, I really would. But it's happening…" He lowered his gaze, and extended a claw out to her. "I know I've promised you many times in the past that I'll always be there for you, but I'm afraid that's one promise I just can't keep, Latias. I'm sorry for failing you. I trust that you'll be able to take care of yourself. Please, keep going on. All I want is for you to be happy, don't let my passing burden you forever. Be strong, and continue. You have a long, long life ahead of you..."
"Without you…" Latias stared at her brother's outstretched arm quietly, and then gazed up at his face. She held back a sob, floating back slightly. "No… you can't leave…" she whispered, refusing to accept the cruel truth. Her mind now raced to find a way to reverse this. Latios simply couldn't go. "There has to be a way…" the dragoness muttered softly. She felt a quiver run down her body as more tears stained her cheeks.
Suddenly, everything froze for the young dragoness. Like when she had been charging towards the wave, she felt something snap within her, as if something large inside her had awakened to life. "We're Legendary Pokémon. There's got to be something we can do about this!" Latias cried out determinedly. "It can't, it won't end like this!"
Latios closed his eyes, his form becoming more and more translucent as the life force he had left continued to drain from him. "No, Latias, it-" he began to speak.
"I'm not letting you go," Latias said defiantly, interrupting her brother. The female Eon Pokémon's eyes and body began to let out a very faint and soft glow akin to the one that had covered both eon dragons when they had bravely tackled the wave. Her mind worked overtime, searching for ideas even faster than before. Everything that her brother and the few Legendary Pokémon that she'd met up to that point had mentioned and taught her rushed across her mind in mere seconds. She knew that her brother had only a few instants left in this world, and whatever she decided might be her one and only chance to save him.
"We can use someone's life force to fix yours!" she suddenly blurted out. Latias felt odd afterwards. She couldn't quite pinpoint where the idea came from, but it was there. However, even if she had little understanding for what she had said, a huge wave of soothing hope and faith rushed into the dragoness. She just knew, right there and then, that it could work, and that it would work.
Latios' slowly fading soul closed his eyes. "There's a chance that whoever does that might perish in my place, Latias. That's simply not right." The dragon wasn't sure if he was supposed to feel relieved or further emotionally hurt that Latias was so adamant about not letting him pass on, it was clear she was not ready for an independent life without his guidance.
"It'll work and you'll both be fine, you'll see!" Latias insisted, pure determination and love for her brother shining in her eyes. "And I know who can help us." With newfound power and resolve, the dragoness suddenly turned to the side and darted away.
To the Eon Dragoness it was as if pure instinct was driving her. She had the idea, she knew it was there. But she didn't know where it came from or how she had the determination and the power to execute it. It was as if the pain and sorrow that had been tearing her heart apart had given her something she had been missing.
Latias' speed was faster than it had ever been. Encased in a sphere of pure and holy light, the distance between where she and her brother had stopped the wave and the museum was crossed in less than a second. It was so fast it would appear as if she had teleported. With this strength, she knew, nothing was impossible, not even saving her beloved Latios.
Ash, Misty, Brock, Togepi, Pikachu, Lorenzo and Bianca let out a collective sigh of relief as the water returned to Alto Mare, this time in a gentle surge that did nothing more than flood a couple of sidewalks and rock some gondolas. The water began gently spreading out across the city, filling the canals of the city once more. The group that had watched the display were completely mesmerized by the large column of pure light that was visible in the far distance, splitting the night sky in half from its sheer size and radiant shine.
"What… is that?" Ash asked, gazing at the pillar of light stretching to the sky.
"I don't know," Lorenzo answered. "I've never seen them do anything like this. It's so bright…"
"Neither have I." Bianca eyes reflected concern. "Where are Latias and Latios? I hope they're okay."
Before anyone could say anything else the almost eerie silence of the night was abruptly shattered by the arrival of Latias. What sounded like a deafening crash echoed suddenly all around them as what felt like a very potent gust of wind suddenly buffeted everyone, pushing them back harshly to the museum's wall and stunning them. The still-glowing Latias looked at the group, rapidly singling Ash out. "Come with me!" she said urgently, levitating over to Ash. She slipped her arms under him, picking him up. As soon as she had come, the Eon Dragoness was off, turning and flying out a couple feet before disappearing in a flash from the sheer speed at which she flew away.
"Latios! I'm back!" Latias cried out as she suddenly burst into the pillar of light, letting go of Ash as she did so. She was immensely relieved that Latios was still where she had left him. To the dying dragon it had felt as if only a couple of seconds had passed.
Ash gasped as his senses returned to him, the sudden stun from the boom had simply disappeared as if nothing had happened. "What happened!?" he questioned, surprised, when he noticed that he was floating in the middle of an ample light, which seemed to span vastly across his surroundings. No matter where he looked, all he could see was an infinite pure white extending in every direction. "Latias?" He looked at the dragoness in confusion.
Latias looked at Ash, locking eyes with him. For a second the human was taken aback at the fact that the Eon Pokémon's cheeks were covered in very clear tear tracks. Her arms darted forward, taking Ash's hands into her own. "Ash! You need to help me with something. Urgently. Latios used up nearly all his life and power stopping the wave, he's dying because of it!" Latias exclaimed direly.
For a second the Pokémon trainer stared at Latias, surprised and at the same time shocked. Surprised because he had understood every word she had said perfectly, and shocked at what she had said. "I… understood you?" He paused, realizing there was something much more important at hand. "Wait, no. What about Latios?"
"Here…" Latios said in a very faint and weak astral voice.
Ash turned around, and gasped when saw the translucent dragon. "L-Latios…" Ash stuttered in a quiet voice as he gazed at the dying Legend. Memories of the Celebi he had met and befriended several months ago in the forest surrounding Arborville as it lay dying, cradled in his arms, flashed through Ash's mind, and he desperately hoped there would be a way to save this Legendary Pokémon too, as there had been with Celebi. "What do I need to do to help him?" he asked, uncertain.
"Latias… she plans to use… your life force… to stop mine… from dying, but-" Latios began to explain weakly, now barely being able to speak fluently as his time edged closer and closer to its end.
"Yes, that's what I want to do!" Latias interrupted adamantly, worried at how weak her brother looked. "Don't worry Ash, I'll do everything. You just need to lend a bit of your life force so we can stop Latios from dying… that's all he needs. He'll heal afterwards on his own." She smiled at him. "You'll be fine, Ash. I promise." The human nodded, unsure of what to say, but he found himself placing his trust in Latias, all the same. If she believed that he could help save Latios' life by complying with whatever her plan entailed, then Ash would do it, and if any… consequences arose from it, well… he would deal with them, whatever they may be.
Latios gazed at Latias in concern. "You… sure?" he questioned quietly.
Latias locked eyes with her brother confidently. "I'm completely positive. Let's hurry before it's too late." The red dragoness let go of one of Ash's hands and darted forward, grasping Latios' clawed hand and interlocking her claws with his. The instant the two dragon's claws interlocked, the three of them gasped as they were united and fell completely still.
The shine that had constantly been emitted by Latias the whole time seemed to suddenly blast upwards, enveloping the three of them in a bright red sphere of light. Ash winced as a very strange tugging sensation began to overpower his senses. It felt as if something was being pulled out of him, something he had no idea how to even begin describing. As the seconds went by, he began to feel lethargic and drowsy. The trainer's eyes were now fighting a losing battle to stay open as the sensation became even more and more overpowering.
Latios was surprised as the fresh vitality invaded his dying self, instantly spreading across him and filling him with brimming life. He was surprised that a human was capable of holding so much life force within him. Along with Latias' power, it began to slowly restore him. Latios felt heavy as he found himself become more solid. It was as if his body was miraculously regenerating out of the blinding lights. "It's working…" he whispered, and to his further surprise he found his voice had sounded more physical and less spiritual.
The power around them began to swirl, emitting a buzzing hum as it did so. Latias let out a frightened cry as the power suddenly pushed her back, separating her from Latios and Ash and putting her outside the sphere. As she was pushed back, the glow that had been around her ever since she had felt the resolve to save her brother disappeared, leaving her in a normal condition. She let out a drawn-out moan as an intense wave of exhaustion descended upon her body. She looked up at her brother and Ash, worried.
The sight that greeted her was the best thing she could have ever hoped to see. After such a long and anguished night, it was a sight that brought pure joy to her. Her dear brother was there. Alive. His body held no trance of translucence. Now it was as solid and corporeal as her own or Ash's. The two were still floating in place, however, the glow surrounding them was fluctuating between both of them and not just from Ash to the dragon, as if it was sharing something between them. Slowly, it began to recede, going from a bright and imposing radiance to nothing but a dim spark. Seconds later, it completely disappeared.
"Latios?" Latias asked tentatively as she flew a bit closer to her brother. "Are you okay?" she questioned, her voice impatient and hopeful.
Latios said nothing in reply. He remained silent and still for several agonizingly long seconds with his eyes closed. After what seemed like an all too long eternity to the young red dragoness, the Eon Dragon finally moved. It was a deeply awaited moment for her, the ultimate proof that he was in fact alive and well. Latios' slow and smooth change in his levitation from a vertical-angled position to a completely horizontal body posture allowed him to glide under Ash easily, letting the now unconscious human rest on his back, bringing an intense wave of relief that washed over Latias intensely, finally shoving away all the fears and pain the night had brought. He turned to face Latias and slowly opened his blood red eyes. "Yes… Latias, I'm okay," he replied, his lips curling into a soft and loving smile.
Latias didn't recall when she had last felt so much pure happiness and joy to gaze into her brother's eyes and see his smile. She flew towards him, tackling him into a tight hug. "Latios!" she cried out, tears falling down her cheeks again. This time, tears of joy.
Latios responded by wrapping his arms around her and returning the affectionate hug. "Thank you…" he said gratefully. "I have no idea how you pulled all that off… but you saved me."
"I'll never let you go," she sobbed, her voice muffled from how she was pressing her face against his neck. "Never!" she wept loudly, finally letting out all the pent up emotions and pain the long night had brought.
"And I'll make sure to keep my promise of always being there for you," Latios said back lovingly, reaching down to nuzzle his trembling sister. "I'm sorry for not being strong enough to protect you or the Soul Dew from those thieves…" he apologized guiltily.
"You're always going to be my strong big brother," Latias murmured, hugging him tighter. "No need to apologize for anything."
The two dragons pressed tighter and remained joined in the warm and loving sibling embrace, simply enjoying the most precious thing in the world for them… each other. Both twins were startled when the column of light they had been inside the whole time suddenly exploded outwards, illuminating the night like an artificial sun as thousands upon thousands of streaks and sparks of light flew in every possible direction, errantly sailing across the sky. "I still can't believe we made all that," Latios commented as he watched the display of lights. "All that power… came from us…"
Latias raised her head from where she had been emotionally crying against her brother's neck to glance up at the lights soaring across the darkness of the night's sky. "We… really did that…" she murmured, her eyesight blurry from the tears. "We really took the wave down with that…"
For several moments, the sky above was set ablaze from all the blazing energy shooting in every direction. After several seconds of flight, all the light bolts seemed to flicker out of existence. But within the light display, it was then that Latios noted something strange. "Huh?" Latios questioned in confusion when he noted a particularly large cluster of lights begin to spiral over them, whirling at a pace so fast even his eyes had trouble following it, coalescing into a single almost Latios-like shape. Suddenly, like a shooting star, the spiraling cluster of lights dashed in the direction of Alto Mare like a ray of light, heading straight towards the museum. Latios gasped as he watched, confused, as the light flashed its way into the museum building before disappearing with a last blaze of light.
Darkness filled the area once more as all the lights flickered out, giving way for the black night. "What… was that?" Latias asked.
"I don't know…" Latios answered. "We need to head back to the museum. We still have the Soul Dew problem, which we need to think of a way to fix, and fast. I don't know what will happen if the Soul Dew remains broken for long."
"Okay…" Latias said quietly, nodding once as she, despite not wanting to do so, parted from the hug with her brother. She looked at the unconscious Ash on her brother's back, and smiled softly. 'Thank you so much…' she thought fondly.
Latios began to fly in the direction of Alto Mare, however, before he could accelerate properly, the dragon gasped as his levitation faltered slightly. Latios lost several feet of altitude before he could compose himself and regain his flight stability. Latias rapidly flew to him, only to find herself also almost drop from the sky from pure fatigue. With the power that had been surrounding them gone, all their energy depleted and the emotional rollercoaster the night had brought being over, it was then that the twins realized just how exhausted, both physically and mentally, they were. Never before had they felt so tired and beat.
Latios panted heavily. "I'm going to be surprised if we have enough strength left to make it to the city…" he mumbled tiredly, before starting to fly to the city at a more sedate pace.
"Why do I feel so tired?" Latias asked, her eyes almost falling shut.
Latios looked back at the spot they had been, and then glanced at her. "I don't know… it's been a long night, Latias. Let's get back home. We need to rest…" The two dragons kept flying slowly towards the city, letting a comfortable silence fall on them. Latios glanced at Latias and was glad that she seemed to be doing much better in terms of remaining airborne than he was. "How… did you do that?" he asked curiously. "Save me, I mean. How did you do all that? How did you know Ash would survive?"
Latios looked at him and opened her mouth to answer, but then frowned and closed it. After several seconds, she shook her head. "I don't… know. I have no idea. Everything happened so fast and I was so hurt that I don't know what came over me. I didn't want to lose you… it was as if the ideas just…came to me. And I don't know why… but I just knew it'd all work." Latias smiled gently. "I just had hope. I had faith. Something in me told me that it would work, that I could save you. All I had to do was believe…" She shook her head. "I don't think I'm making sense, but that's how I would put it…"
"That's… interesting…" Latios commented, tilting his head as he thought over what his sister was saying.
Latias let out a long, drawn out breath. "Yeah… Honestly, I don't know where the strength to do all that or where the ideas of it came from. I simply don't know… they were just there… I just trusted my instincts." Latias looked forward, seeing the city coming closer and closer. "Almost… there."
"We can do it, Latias," Latios said encouragingly. "Just a bit more…" He panted. Never in all his life had the Eon Pokémon felt so tired. "Muster all your strength, Latias. It's just the Soul Dew. That's all we need to do to make this ordeal be over once and for all. Just that. We can do it, Latias."
Latias nodded once, glad to have her dear brother's support. Together, with moral support from each other, the twins very slowly continued the arduous flight to the museum.
"What was that?" Misty asked, wincing slightly as she shook her head to try and clear the lingering headache. The very loud blast of sound that had accompanied Latias when she had arrived to take Ash away had left the entire group stunned and sore. It was only after several minutes of painful confusion and disorientation that they began to return to their senses.
"It looked like Latias… but she was… glowing? It looked almost as if she was evolving…" Brock frowned. "What do you two know of that?" he asked as he turned to look at Bianca and Lorenzo.
"I have no clue, Brock," Lorenzo wheezed. "So much has happened tonight that has left me speechless. Latias… she was acting so strange… the power she was giving off… the way she looked…" He shook his head. "I've never seen anything like it."
"Also, why did she kidnap Ash?" Brock wondered. He sighed unhappily when he looked at Pikachu, who was completely still as he looked out towards the ocean, clearly waiting for something that'd clue him in as to his best friend's wellbeing. Brock reached down and petted the electric-type Pokémon gently. Pikachu didn't react to Brock's touch at all, instead he just remained quiet and thoughtful as he gazed at the distance. "I hope he's okay…"
"I hope Latias and Latios are okay too," Bianca said, her shoulders slumping. "Also, what will happen to Alto Mare without a Soul Dew?" She twisted her head and sadly looked towards the museum's entrance. She cringed slightly at the sight of the restrained and locked DMA. She had always wondered whether the ancient machine's legendary potential was true or not. Now, the answer was crystal clear. "The Soul Dew has been Alto Mare's heart for over a century. It's what's given this place life. Now it's gone."
Lorenzo's gaze lowered, thoughtful. "I've never faced a situation like this. I'm sorry everyone, but I'm overwhelmed. I know as much as you all do this time." The elderly man flinched when the most dreadful, but very realistic, possibility came to his mind. "I think there might be a good chance the water will retreat again. After all, it was the Soul Dew that kept it bound to Alto Mare in the first place. Even if Latias and Latios stopped the tidal wave, the water will just leave again without the Soul Dew keeping it in place here."
"It'll be a never-ending cycle until the twins fail to stop a wave, and then…" Brock said, alarmed. "We…we need to warn the city or something!"
Bianca suddenly gasped loudly, her gaze completely fixed towards the inside of the museum. Everyone turned to look at her, questioningly. "I-Im-impossible…" she stuttered, completely frozen in place.
"What?" Lorenzo asked in concern, walking towards his granddaughter. He put a hand on her shoulder comfortingly. "Are you okay?"
Bianca didn't answer her grandfather. Instead, she remained completely silent as she began to walk into the museum. Once Bianca had reached the base of the DMA, she crouched down. In front of her rested a complete and intact Soul Dew. The precious orb was as lively as ever and its crystalline texture was perfectly smooth, with not a single crack or imperfection anywhere on it. Bianca reached forward and with utmost care she picked up the orb, cupping it with both her hands. A small tear ran down her cheek as she pressed the orb to her chest. Alto Mare would be fine. Bianca let out a soft exhale of surprise when she felt an odd feeling tingling across her body. She looked down at the Soul Dew and noted how it was glowing very dimly, almost as if it was radiating a pleasing energy to comfort her. "Thanks…" she whispered. The soul inside the orb responded with a positive and gentle pulse of energy.
"How… did it happen?" Lorenzo questioned as he walked besides Bianca, with Misty and Brock following him. "It… repaired itself?" He was completely dumbfounded. "This night just never runs out of surprises."
"At least that solves the problem about the city being in danger…" Brock muttered as he too looked to the repaired orb. "I wonder if Latios and Latias had something to do with it."
It was at that instant that finally the extremely tired and beat Latios and Latias arrived at the museum's courtyard. Pikachu crouched down on all fours and his cheeks began sparkling viciously with electricity as he assumed a battle-ready stance. "What did you do with Ash?" he asked, his tone dead serious.
Latios sighed exhaustedly. "Not now Pikachu," he replied with a weary voice. "We'll explain as soon as we can, I promise."
"And Ash is fine," Latias added, as her brother didn't answer Pikachu's original question. "I promise that he is fine and well. Don't worry."
Before Pikachu could say anything else, both dragons flew past him and headed towards the museum, knowing that they had to find a solution to the final task left, the Soul Dew. Pikachu stared at the two dragons, the electricity sparkling from his cheeks subsiding for the time being. Pikachu gasped when he saw the unconscious Ash on Latios' back. "Hey!" he shouted as he ran after the two psychic dragons.
Latias entered the museum, letting out a soft squeal of greeting to everyone as she did so. Everyone turned to look at her, including Bianca. With that, the intact Soul Dew in the young artist's hands became perfectly visible to the arriving dragons. Latias gasped in shock and froze on the spot. It took her several seconds to regain her composure. 'The Soul Dew! It's fixed!' Latias thought in joy.
Latios stared at the orb in shock as he entered the museum. 'Just… how was it fixed?' the dragon thought in shock, just as surprised as his sister.
Bianca, Lorenzo, Misty and Brock stared at Latias and Latios with a dumbfounded expression on their faces. "You… spoke…" Bianca said slowly. "Did you guys… talk?" she asked. Latias and Latios wearily looked at them, surprised expressions on their faces.
"That was telepathy," Brock informed them, nodding once. "It's an ability psychic-type Pokémon or those with psychic powers have of speaking into someone else's minds. Not all psychics have it, though, or sometimes they take a while to develop it."
"But Latias didn't use telepathy when she warned us at the Pokémon Center of Annie and Oakley. That'd have been a great time to use telepathy to explain things much easier," Misty commented. She turned to look at Bianca. "Have they used telepathy in the past?" she questioned curiously.
"N-no," Bianca answered, stuttering slightly from the shock of the revelation. "This is as new to me as it is to you. What… and how?" she asked, directing the question towards the two dragons.
Latias blinked slowly. "We were using telepathy?" she asked, this time with her physical Pokémon voice.
"And that we couldn't understand," Lorenzo said, frowning. "Try thinking what you want to tell us Latias. Don't actually speak it with your mouth."
"Oh…" Latias mumbled weakly. The red Eon Pokémon opened her mouth to speak again, but then let out a soft cry. Even Latios himself let out a wince of exhaustion. With the absolute last worry and problem they had, which was the condition of the Soul Dew, that had kept them up and fighting back exhaustion in an effort to see to its solution completely resolved, now there was nothing left to keep them from succumbing to exhaustion. Now more than ever, the draining fatigue the long night had piled upon the two young dragons overwhelmed them. Latias felt her eyelids grow heavy and her mind become hazy, even something as basic and fundamental to her as levitation seemed like an excessively tiring chore. Latias finally gave away to the crushing exhaustion and collapsed on the museum's tiles, completely out cold.
Latios looked at Latias worriedly, but knew that he too was about to collapse from the tiredness. He looked at everyone, and with the knowledge that he too could communicate telepathically now, he gathered what little strength he had left to convey a last message to his old and new friends. He closed his eyes, thinking of what he wanted to tell them. Once he had gathered his thoughts, he spoke.
"I want to sincerely thank all of you for your valuable help tonight," Latios began, opening his bright red eyes to gaze at them. "I'll be as brief as I can, as I won't last much longer awake. What happened out there is that I almost died stopping the wave. Without Latias and Ash's assistance, my death would have been imminent. However, the process of saving me has left Ash very weak. I don't know where Latias and I got the strength to get through this ordeal, but we did. However, we too are very weak." Latios winced, his vision becoming blurry and his body beginning to sway in the air as controlling the levitation became increasingly harder and harder. "Don't worry, we're all fine and will live through this, including Ash. But we're going to require some rest to recover from it. I don't know if it'll be a couple of days or a week… Or even more. See to our wellbeing while we're out, please." Latios gave them a small, weak smile. "I know you… will have a lot of questions about tonight… when we're awake… now that… I have… telepathy… I… promise that… I'll explain everything… in as much detail as… I… can…" Latios was barely able to finish his sentence before the dragon finally dropped, hitting the stony floor a bit harshly as he fell unconscious. The also out cold Ash still rested on the dragon's back.
Pikachu, Bianca, Brock, Misty and Lorenzo stared at the two fallen dragons, impossibly still as they processed everything the dragon had said. Hundreds of questions ran through their minds. For the first time they had heard Latias and Latios speak. To them it was an open invitation to ask so many questions, especially for Bianca and Lorenzo as they had known the twins the longest.
It was Bianca who was the first one to move a muscle after the young dragon's speech, she gave a startled cry and jump when the Soul Dew in her hands seemed to let out a saddened broadcast of energy.
"Well… what do we do now?" Misty asked awkwardly, breaking the silence that had fallen after Latios had passed out. Pikachu hopped on top of the unconscious dragon and inspected Ash, looking at his best friend with worry.
"… We get out of here," Lorenzo said, making everyone turn to look at him in surprise. "Dawn is coming. And if that huge light and all the commotion didn't wake any citizens up, then morning definitely will." He looked at the fallen dragons. "We have to hide Latios and Latias."
"Where do we take them, though?" Bianca asked, frowning. "And most importantly, how are we going to move them? Latias shouldn't be a problem, she's big but not that big… but Latios… he's huge! Have you ever tried lifting Latios? He's very heavy!"
Brock hummed, examining Latios closely. "He seems at least eleven to thirteen feet long… and since he flies by levitation, he's probably not built to be lightweight like most flying-types…" Brock frowned. "It won't be easy."
"I don't think we should take them back to the garden. They're both knocked out. I don't want to leave them completely alone," Bianca alleged. "They need to be under our watch."
"For tonight… I suggest we take them to our house," Lorenzo spoke up. "We'll think about what to do afterwards once we've gotten Latias and Latios out of the public eye, that's what's most urgent right now. There are many large tourist gondolas tied near the museum's courtyard. We'll transport them on one." Everyone nodded, accepting the elder's plan. "Bianca, take the Soul Dew to the Secret Garden and place it on its pedestal. That jewel needs to be where it belongs. Afterwards, meet with us at our house."
"Okay," Bianca replied instantly. "I'll see you guys later. Take care of Latias and Latios." Bianca turned and walked to the museum's exit at a very speedy pace, carefully holding the Soul Dew in her hands.
Lorenzo watched Bianca leave. Once the young artist was out of sight, he turned to Misty and Brock. "Do either of you have a Pokémon strong enough to carry Latios?" he inquired. "That's the only way we're going to be able to carry him."
Brock frowned, thoughtful. "I could use my Onix, but he'll break something and damage the floor in doing so…"
Misty lowered her gaze, humming in thought. She snapped her fingers when an idea occurred to her. "What about Ash's Bayleef? We have his Pokéballs," Misty suggested. "She's big and strong, and should have enough strength to lift Latios with her Vine Whip."
"Yeah, that's a good choice," Brock agreed. He reached into his vest pockets, where he had stored Ash's Pokéballs prior to heading to the museum. He reached into them, and after trying to remember which one was which, he picked up the correct Pokéball and threw it forward. The dark interior of the museum was briefly lit up in white as the Leaf Pokémon materialized.
Bayleef blinked and looked around, confused as to where Ash was and why his familiar shout whenever he released her was absent. "Ash!" Bayleef squealed worriedly when she saw him unconscious. She rushed towards him and stood up on her hind legs to reach over Latios' back and then shoved Pikachu out of the way. "Ash!? What happened, are you okay!?" Bayleef asked dramatically, nuzzling Ash's face while squealing.
Pikachu sighed. "Bayleef… Ash is fine," he said drily. 'Or at least I think he is…' Pikachu thought to himself. He knew that saying that Ash might not be alright might make the grass-type be a drama queen about it. Sadly for the Mouse Pokémon, Bayleef didn't pay attention to him.
Brock walked over to them. "Bayleef, can you help us carry them out of here? We really need to get out of here," he requested. "Your Vine Whip will come in handy."
Bayleef turned to look at him, and then nodded happily. From under the leaf necklace that adorned the lower section of her neck, two large, dark green-colored vines with bulbous tips extended, rapidly enlarging to astounding lengths. The two vines coiled around Ash several times, getting a secure grip on his midsection. She then easily lifted the young human. "Where to?" she asked Brock with a grin.
Brock face-palmed. Even if he couldn't understand what Bayleef had said, her actions spoke more than enough. Pikachu just shook his head in amusement. Brock frowned and kneeled down slightly to be eye-level with Bayleef and then began to speak. "Bayleef… Okay. I know you like Ash a lot, but it's not him who we need help with. He's the easiest to carry out of all of them, in fact." Brock pointed to Latios. "It's him who we need help with. Oh, and Latias too."
Bayleef pouted unhappily. Pikachu sighed and tapped the Leaf Pokémon's leg. "Not now, Bayleef. We're being serious. You can cuddle Ash all you want later. We really need your help now, please."
Bayleef sighed sadly, but nodded. "Okay," she said, understanding the seriousness of the situation. She handed the unconscious Ash to Brock, who decided to support him on his back in a piggyback style for easier carrying. Bayleef then turned to Latios and extended even more of her Vine Whips and then began curling them around the dragon, drawing many loops around him with both her vines. She braced herself and with all her strength, lifted the large dragon off the museum's tiled floor.
Lorenzo glanced at Misty. "Please, stay here with Latias while I take them to a nearby gondola. Once we've put Latios and Ash in, we'll have your group's Bayleef come back here to take Latias so we can go to my house," he said. Misty nodded and walked over to Latias. Lorenzo walked out of the museum and looked around, seeing a few gondolas here and there. "We need to hurry. Okay… let's go."
Bianca smiled softly as she came into the Secret Garden, having come through an illusion hiding an entrance to the garden carefully hidden in a deep alleyway. She walked along the cement pathway towards the shrine in the center, where the Soul Dew's pedestal rested.
It was a rather long distance from the entrance to the very large garden's center. Bianca let out a small breath, the long walk from the museum and then to the garden on a mostly sleepless night was starting to rapidly exhaust the young adult. She climbed the few steps until she stood right in front of the Soul Dew's pedestal and looked at the jewel in her hands for a few seconds before extending her arm. She deposited the orb in the center of the pedestal, submerging it completely in the small pool.
"Whoa!" Bianca cried out in surprise, taking several steps back as the Soul Dew released a potent blast of light in every direction, reaching every corner of the massive lush garden. Bianca relaxed when she saw the fountain of the shrine finally come back to life again. Once again, water flowed from Alto Mare's heart into the garden's main pool.
Bianca took a few steps backwards, admiring the peaceful sight of the lively fountain flowing with water once more. She gave a final smile at the sight before turning to head towards the garden's exit. Sunrise was coming, and with most of the night being hectic and sleepless for her, she felt very tired. This time, Bianca took her time, strolling down the garden's walkways and later the sideways lining Alto Mare's canals at a slow and sedate pace. There was no hurry or reason to run.
The sun was just creeping over the horizon when Bianca reached her and Lorenzo's house. The sky was slowly turning brighter and brighter and more people began to be seen on the streets as morning arrived. Bianca entered the house, closing the door and locking it after she was in. "Hello everyone," Bianca greeted when she saw Misty, Brock and Lorenzo gathered in the living room. "The Soul Dew is back where it belongs," she informed them.
"That's great," Lorenzo said in relief. "Finally everything's over." He gazed at everyone around him, noting their weary expressions. "Thanks a lot for all your help, we couldn't have done it without you both and Ash," Lorenzo said gratefully to Brock and Misty. "It's been a long night, I suggest you all take a nap. You can sleep on the couches here, Bianca can bring you pillows and covers." The elderly man let out a weary sigh. "I'll need to go to the museum soon to see to the DMA's repairs and the arrest of those two thieves." He stood up and began to head upstairs so he could get ready for the tasks he still had to do.
"He's a tough man," Brock commented as he watched Lorenzo leave. "I'm ready to fall asleep and he still has a day ahead of him, and he's a lot older than me."
"That's my grandpa for you," Bianca replied, suppressing a soft chuckle. "Settle down, guys. I'll bring you a couple of pillows from my room." Bianca followed Lorenzo upstairs and headed for her room.
She opened the door and stopped at the sight. 'Ah, so this is where they put them,' she thought. Latias and Latios were curled up together in the middle of her room, resting over several spread out blankets. The two dragons were huddled up together, with Latias resting under Latios' wing while his neck arched around hers, almost protectively. 'They're so cute like that,' the young artist thought with a smile. Inwardly, she hoped they would wake up soon, as many questions still lingered in her mind. Plus, the two dragons now knowing telepathy opened a broad range of possibilities she had never explored before. Bianca frowned when she noticed Ash sleeping on her bed, with Pikachu curled up beside him. 'Oh well…' she thought. 'I guess I'm sleeping on the couches too.' Deciding to leave everyone in peace, she gathered the things she needed quietly and then headed downstairs. All the while thinking of Latias and Latios, her two dear and beloved dragon friends…
Author Notes: I hope the updated version of this chapter is much more appealing and well-done than its first version.