DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon. I own this chapter.

Ode to the Dying God

Ash had been close to the brink of death enough times to know what it felt like when someone was going to die. He knew the kinds of feelings that flowed through their heart and pierced into their spirit. And fear wasn't one of them. No, fear usually came when the damage was said and done. When the person knew, deep down, they were going to die. That nothing could be done to change it. That was why quick deaths were preferable; that way they didn't have to think about just how meaningless their life had been up to that point. But regardless of whatever feelings permeated a dying person, Ash tried to block them all out whenever he threw himself into whatever danger was placed in front of him.

When Ash had confronted Mewtwo and Mew, and had been turned to stone, he held no fear. He held only anguish for the two combatants that were prepared to kill each other. But whatever the case was, he held no feelings towards himself. In his mind, and his now understanding perspective, feelings were for those who were forced to watch it happen. A dying man couldn't have feelings. A dying man couldn't feel remorse for what he'd done, couldn't take pride in his accomplishments, couldn't say goodbye rightfully like he should have. In essence, a dying man couldn't act as if he were alive. Because alive meant feeling, and death meant nothing. And that was why Ash couldn't feel anything as he went in to die…because somehow, that was the only way to survive.

And so, Ash couldn't understand why fear was gripping his heart. He had never had such fear. But as the orange blobs surrounding him enclosed over his figure Ash couldn't help the rush of emotion circulating throughout his system. This wasn't right. It was downright wrong. He wasn't supposed to die here. He was supposed to live. He was the Chosen One! Ash tried bringing his hand up, reaching towards the glowing blue ceiling of the Tree of Beginning. Memories flashed through his entire head. Memories of his friends circulated through him. Brock, Misty, and Barry all battling at Mount Silver. Dawn's anguished face the night he had had supposedly died. May and Max's expression when he entered the room after the defense at Cinnabar failed. Gary's smug face when Ash came back to Pallet. His mother smothering him. Pikachu laughing back at the Cerulean gym. And then there was Paul, his sneering face staring right at Ash.

"You're pathetic. You can't even live." the imaginary Paul said in his head. Ash's teeth gritted against each other, a wave of anger washing over him. "Chosen One? Please…you're more like the Chosen Dud! You should have just gone home to mommy. Or maybe you should have just stayed dead after that fiasco at Mount Coronet." Ash was shaking with anger, his hand continuing to reach upwards, a blue glow now surrounding it.

"I'm not going to die!" Ash yelled as a blue shockwave rippled across his entire body. The orange blobs covering him were suddenly exploded into a thousand pieces, freeing Ash from their deadly embrace. Ash collapsed onto one knee. Using aura like that had tuckered him out a bit more than he had expected. More orange blobs appeared and Ash grimaced. He tried standing up a moment but found that he couldn't. Suddenly there was a golden glow and in an instant, projectiles fell from the ceiling and obliterated all of the blobs. The shields that had been up before Arceus was drained snapped back into place. Without the fear of being obliterated once again, Ash looked up.

"Are you all right, Ash?" Arceus asked of the young trainer. Ash gave a fleeting smile as he stood up. He sniffled in his nose and coughed a little from the unpleasant feeling it had brought him.

"I think the better question is whether you're all right…" Ash said quietly and Arceus' eyes shone kindly.

"Quite well actually. My strength is back up to a hundred percent, given, of course, that I have had a massive takeaway thanks to the Jewel of Life." Arceus said with a slight nod of his head. Ash frowned slightly and crossed his arms.

"You could have told me that the shields were going to drop." Ash spat out and Arceus sighed slightly.

"Had I known they would, I would have informed you, Ash." Arceus said somberly. Ash shook his head. By this point, his strength had more or less returned to him. He gave a small chuckle.

"It's okay." Ash said with a thumbs up. "No harm, no foul. So then, mission accomplished?" Ash's smile was hopeful that they could get out of that place. Arceus laughed himself before nodding.

"Get on Ash." Arceus said and Ash quickly clambered onto the Pokemon's back.

"So, do we have to go back through the Reverse World?" Ash asked and Arceus quickly shook his head.

"The way back is much more straightforward. To Pokemon Tower!" Arceus cried and in an instant they had once more entered Arceus' own dimension. Knowing that the mission was done, Ash found he could marvel at the strange intricacies of the Alpha Pokemon's own dimension.

"Hey Arceus, random question. Did you actually use part of your own dimension here to create our world?" Arceus remained silent a moment, contemplating how best to phrase the answer to Ash's question.

"Yes and no. I originally used it as a building block, kind of like a schematic for your world before I created Dialga and Palkia and the Lake Trio. We took it a little further from there to make the world. After your world was structured, I took the piece that contained my dimension out. This distortion, as it were, gave rise to the Reverse World."

"Interesting." Ash mused and Arceus chuckled. Suddenly a bright light shone and the two were catapulted back into the room that they had come from but an hour earlier. Ash quickly hopped off of Arceus and glanced outside. It was a deep and dark nighttime though there was some faint glow in the horizon.

"Not even midnight." Arceus sighed out and Ash backed away from the window. "The sun's still setting."

"Hey, we made pretty good time then, huh?" Ash asked with a bright smile adorning his face. Arceus nodded.

"Ash, I can't thank you enough for what you did tonight." Arceus told him and Ash simply waved it off. "I think we may finally be getting somewhere in this war, you know."

"Well, we should know soon, right?" Ash said and Arceus nodded confidently. There was a small silence between them for a moment. The room shook and the lights rattled. Ash's smile was replaced with a very confused glance. The room shook again and there was a subsequent boom. Ash leapt backwards as the bright chandelier in the room crashed to the floor. They were drowned in darkness.

"Ash, hide, quickly! And make no sound!" Arceus ordered. Ash was ready to protest. "You need to survive. Do it!" Ash growled slightly and scanned around the room, his eyes adjusting to the darkness. He noticed a dresser that had been moved in the quaking and he quickly darted behind it. It was enough to hide him, and, hopefully, enough to not make it seem conspicuous. Ash positioned himself behind the dresser and could see Arceus waiting near the doorway to the balcony. He also had a clear view of the door leading into the room. Arceus' gaze shifted slightly onto him, his eyes conveying a secret message. Ash gulped slightly and nodded. The door slammed open.

Ash clenched his teeth as he saw four imposing figures enter into the room. The first was perhaps the most recognizable, being that of Deoxys, lithe and practically snakelike. The other three hulking forms behind Deoxys were a little harder to discern but Ash soon noticed them to be those of the Regis, without Regigigas. They stopped as they looked at Arceus, and Arceus peered down at them.

"Well, well, how unexpected that you fine legendaries should pay me a visit." Arceus said sneeringly. "I would suppose Palkia sensed the disturbance in the spatial rift and figured I was on the move before tracing it back here." The legendaries only stood there and laughed.

What an amazing deduction… Deoxys said with venom in its voice. But no. We have other, far easier ways of detecting your movements.

"Oh, really? And what would those be?" Arceus asked, sounding genuinely interested in what Deoxys was saying.

Oh cut the act. You know that we have no intention of telling you how we know your movements. Regirock boomed before the other two Regis in its company laughed loudly. Arceus shook his head.

"No…I suppose you don't. Then again. What are you here for? I would imagine it was something important." Arceus said and Ash figured that if Arceus had a mouth, he would be smirking right now.

Oh, let's get it done now! Regice said, holding its arm out towards Arceus before Registeel's own hand shot out and dragged it down. What do you think you're doing Registeel? You know what you're here for!

Let's not rush into this. Regigigas wouldn't be too happy. And you know we can't defy the master. Registeel answered the Iceberg Pokemon.

"Oh, a master? Now this is a new development. I don't suppose you'd mind divulging that little secret." Arceus said before Registeel laughed loudly. The booming sound grating at Ash's ears and shaking the furniture in the room.

You really think we're fools, don't you? The Great Arceus…the Original One…how many names have you been given now? And how many of them are just a cover for how weak you really are? Registeel stepped forward, each step shaking the house heavily. Without that Jewel of Life you'd be nothing!

"So…this is about the Jewel of Life then?" Arceus said, his tone suddenly serious. Ash's face tightened into a grimace and he began summoning an Aura Sphere in his hand. A quick flit of Arceus' eyes however made him stop. The glow receded.

Stop stalling Arceus; we won't buy your little tricks. Deoxys said, also taking a step forward. You think that just because you are the father of all Pokemon that it makes us less intelligent than you? Hmmm, does it? Have you ever thought that the master was simply Regigigas? Honestly, Arceus where do you come off being more intelligent than the rest of us?

Easy, Deoxys…Regirock warned before Arceus let out a light chuckle.

"Well, if I am looked down upon as unintelligent, then humans must be considered the dirt beneath your feet." Arceus stated quietly.

Lower than dirt, actually…Regice responded and Arceus peered intently at it. They take from our world, a world where Pokemon existed before anything else and then they assume we will serve them! What fallacy?

"Did you not once serve a human?" Arceus asked and the three Regis laughed.

What of you? Didn't you hate them?

"Ahh, yes, I did. A hatred that only begot suffering. I have since learned that there are far worse things that exacting revenge." Arceus stated, his eyes glinting malevolently at the other Pokemon. Registeel laughed in response to this.

I think it's time. You are alone, right Arceus? Registeel asked. Arceus merely narrowed his eyes and the four Pokemon in the room gave another bone jarring laugh. Ash was feeling his heart start to beat at an accelerated rate. That's all the answer we need. I think I'll do the honors.

Now why should we allow you to receive the honors? Deoxys complained and Registeel turned towards Deoxys.

Deoxys has a fair point. Each one of us deserves the glory, so why you? Regice demanded and Registeel growled angrily.

I was given authority to run this mission, was I not? Therefore the honor is mine! Registeel responded before Regirock also walked forward.

That's not fair, Registeel!

"Stop arguing!" cut in a cool and calm fifth voice. Ash's breath hitched in his throat as he heard it. He recognized the voice. Seconds later, Mewtwo ascended the steps. He peered around the room at the other Pokemon there. Ash looked to Arceus and saw the Alpha Pokemon's eyes to be unchanging. Deoxys and the Regis turned to Mewtwo.

Ah, Mewtwo. Why don't we allow you to do it? This is, after all, your plan, is it not? Deoxys said with a simpering tone.

Yes, why not Mewtwo? Perform your duty. Registeel responded, its body relaxing. Silence stretched in the room as Mewtwo walked forward. Arceus' eyes brightened for a second.

"Yes Mewtwo, why don't you perform your duty?" Arceus said in an almost mocking tone. Mewtwo gazed straight into Arceus' eyes.

"Silence." In the blink of a moment, Mewtwo's hand was outstretched and an Aura Sphere of great intensity flew from it, striking Arceus in the chest. Arceus and Mewtwo seemed connected by a gold chain for a moment before the force of the sphere embedded itself in Arceus. Arceus crashed through the balcony doors suddenly and flew out of the tower, suddenly plummeting to the ground below.

"NO!" Ash yelled loudly, though his protest was drowned by the Pokemon laughing in the room. Registeel lowered its body and shot a sudden Flash Cannon through the floor. Not a moment later, the five Pokemon had filed through the hold in the floor. Seething with anger, Ash blasted the dresser aside with aura and ran straight for the stairs. With an inhuman speed he rushed down the steps, his eyes briefly catching sight of Gastly and Gengar knocked out on the steps. He didn't check to see if they were dead or not, his mind only focused on one target. With a sudden blast of aura he broke the door to the Pokemon Tower off its hinges and dashed outside. The nearest houses were in flames and the people in town were running for their lives. Regirock's laugh could be heard. Ash kept running and soon caught sight of his quarry.

"MEWTWO!" Ash yelled in anger and all five of the legendaries turned to face him. "Come back, you coward!" Ash suddenly flung an Aura Sphere off at Mewtwo. Mewtwo raised its hand and blocked the attack. Registeel stepped forward and sent a Flash Cannon at Ash. Ash threw up a shield but the shield broke and Ash flew backwards.

"Do not attack him! Get to Palkia's portal!" Mewtwo ordered.

And why not? He's the Chosen One! Registeel demanded.

"We have orders not to harm him. Now get to the portal. I will deal with him." Mewtwo said. Registeel seemed to debate with itself before nodding and running off with the others. "Waste no more time on the humans!" No more debate was heard as Mewtwo turned towards Ash, who had now gotten up. Ash flung another Aura Sphere at him. Mewtwo easily blocked it.

"You traitor! We trusted you! I trusted you!" Ash said, yet another sphere flying at the Pokemon. "We showed you kindness and this is how you repay us?" Yet another sphere, and yet another block. "Aren't you going to fight back? Come on! Fight back! Or are you too much of a coward to even do that?" Mewtwo's eyes glinted dangerously. Ash sent another Aura Sphere at Mewtwo just as Mewtwo responded with his own. The two spheres met in midair and caused a small vortex in the air around them. It nearly blew the two off their feet but they managed to stand tall. Ash sent another sphere at Mewtwo who deftly shielded himself from the blow before firing his own. The attack nailed Ash in the chest and sent him sprawling on the ground. Heaving with effort, Ash propped himself on his elbows before Mewtwo came close.

"So…are you going to kill me in cold blood, too? Just like you killed Arceus?" Ash heaved out, the anger seeping into his tone. Mewtwo looked on Ash with something akin to pity.

"No…" Mewtwo answered and Ash's facial features softened slightly. "Because of what you taught me seven years ago." With those words Mewtwo whipped around and suddenly shot into the sky. Ash lay there, silent and unmoving, only the sound of the crackling flames filling his ears. Then he remembered Arceus and shot up. All fatigue draining away from his body he quickly ran around the base of the tower. A small group of people were there, villagers from Lavender Town. Ash caught sight of the familiar brown and red haired heads but he ignored them as he approached the body.

Arceus was laying there, silent, unmoving. There was a small black mark where the Aura Sphere designed to kill had struck the Pokemon. In Ash's mind, as he looked upon Arceus' body, he saw nothing but a fallen and pitiful figure, sprawled out on the dirt. It could almost have been as if he were sleeping, if Arceus indeed ever slept. Ash collapsed at the body, falling onto his knees. He couldn't think of anything. A clamor arose from the townspeople as a soft voice began to sing. And yet, not a single person was singing.

Close your eyes

Go to sleep

Wish your way

To the world of dreams

The tears began to come down Ash's face as sobs racked his body. He couldn't handle it. The Pokemon that had saved his life once before. The one who he had worked so hard to save was now dead. Ash punched at the ground. If only he hadn't agreed to removing the Jewel of Life. Ash felt a pair of hands on his shoulders. He didn't look, even though he knew them to be Misty's.

Night will come

Sun will fall

Day will fade

Hearts held in thrall

Time moves forward

Marching on

As the world sings an ode

To the dying god

Small noises were heard around the tower. Through Ash's tear stained vision he saw various Pokemon of every type and breed suddenly gathering around the fallen Pokemon. The Pokemon that had created the world. The one who had guided them through their hardest times. Clouds began to stir overhead, blotting out the stars that once dotted the then clear sky. The sun had already gone completely.

Pain will pass

But shadows will stay

As the world cries

On its dying day

Close your eyes

Go to sleep

Fight your way

To the world of dreams

Ash understood, even as slight hysteria began to take over. The world was crying, singing its own eulogy to the fallen Pokemon before him. With a small movement, Ash brought his hand into the air and fired an Aura Sphere into the sky. The blue tint spread through the sky, sending a message to everyone. The black haired aura user at the Embedded Tower knew as he saw the sight. News reporters began flocking to their cameras. A purple haired trainer watched the TV at the sight. A reunited trio nodded to each other in conviction, convinced at what they needed to do. But Ash, Ash merely felt his body collapsing onto the Pokemon below him.

Light the sky

And dry your eyes

Accept your fate

Ere the moon will rise

Let it fade

Fade away

Pray for hope

On this dying day

Close your eyes

Go to sleep

Wake yourself

To the world of dreams

Ash's sobs took him over. And despite Misty's tight hold on him, he collapsed onto Arceus, fatigue and sorrow taking him at long last.

Close your eyes

Go to sleep

Cry yourself

To the world of dreams


The waves, clear as crystal, lapped up against the shore continually. They kept beating against the cliff face, as relentless as the day they were created. Nothing had changed. The world still moved on, regardless of what had happened. The sea continued rolling. The sun decided to shine again, its period of mourning over. The wind continued to blow. Somehow, the trainer standing on the cliff understood that. And yet, everything had changed so drastically. That hope that had been burgeoning in his chest just moments before it had happened, just twenty four hours ago, was nearly gone. So he had to hold onto it. The warm wind of Cerulean Cape whipped across Ash's face and he straightened his hat. His tears had long since dried as he stood there, watching the descending sun. There was movement behind him.

"Ash." the voice came softly. It was Misty's voice. "Dinner's ready, back at the gym…if you want some." Misty said. Ash didn't respond. He knew it had been a day since it had happened, since he had eaten, yet he couldn't bring himself to move forward quite yet. Misty turned away. "Well, I'll keep it warm for you." She began to walk away but Ash shook his head.

"Don't go." Ash said. "I'd…I'd like some company."

"Of course." Misty said kindly as she stood next to Ash. He made no move to take her hand, continuing to lean on the fence that overlooked the water. "I'm sorry Ash…If I had known about Arceus…"

"It wouldn't have changed anything." Ash said loudly. "Mewtwo still would have killed him…and I wasn't able to stop him!" Ash slammed his fist onto the fence.

"It wasn't your fault. There was nothing you could have done." Misty said, her head hung low. Ash let out a sigh.

"I know. It was Mewtwo's fault. He's the one that…" Ash didn't say anything before taking a deep breath to steady himself. "I'll be fine. I'm the Chosen One! I can't get all upset for too long!"

"Well, that's a good thing to hear." came the deep voice of Brock and both of the younger trainers turned to face their friend. Ash smiled as Pikachu quickly leapt onto Ash's shoulders. "If the Chosen One couldn't go on, I don't know where we'd be."

"Yeah, yeah…" Ash said, shoving Brock lightly on the shoulder. He chuckled a bit as he took his place on the other side of Ash. "You know, four years ago I proclaimed I wouldn't let Arceus leave this world hating us."

"He didn't." Brock said and Ash nodded.

"I know. He gave his life for us." Ash said. "So I guess we have to repay the favor."

"What do you mean?" Misty asked. Ash smiled at her before he went on.

"We have to make sure this world is saved. Whatever these legendaries are planning, I'm going to stop them. No matter what." Ash told her, a determined look on his face.

"Are you sure you can do it?" Misty said, her voice barely more that a whisper, betraying her deepest fear.

"I have to." Ash said, his face now stern. Brock nodded beside him. "But I'm not sure if I can do it alone."

"The thing is, Ash, you don't have to." Brock said, turning towards the ocean and not taking his gaze off it. "You've got friends."

"Right!" Ash said enthusiastically. "I've got you guys, May, Max, Dawn, Barry and all those other friends I've made on my journeys. And of course, I can't forget Pikachu!"

"Pika!" Pikachu exclaimed loudly and all three of them laughed. The four turned towards the ocean and gazed out.

"I'll get through…somehow." Ash said, a smile stretching across his face. Misty and Brock smiled, believing in their friend's conviction, willing to help him see it through. And so, with a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts, the four oldest friends gazed out at sea together, watching the sun set.




Author's Note: Hopefully that was a very unexpected ending to the novel. This was the reason I never told any of you where I was ending this. Now, some of you may have noticed some similarities to the ending of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I will note, this was intentional. I was kinda listening to the soundtrack as I planned this story. That and I knew Arceus needed to die. It all plays a role in the end, you'll see. So there comes the very sad ending to BOOK II. Yes, BOOK III will debut shortly but I have to get my head on straight. I will tell you that the book is totally planned out and will be about 24 chapters. I just need to write it. So, as is customary at the end of the novel I as what you thought about my characterizations and of course speculation about the future of the series would be helpful. Now before I give you th customary summary of the next book I must remind you all to put me on STORY ALERT or you won't know when I post the next book. Also, we're currently tied up in the poll so I need all of you start voting if you haven't.

Summary: Arceus is fallen and the world is now hanging to the edge of despair. Ash Ketchum, burdened over the loss of his mentor must now find a way to fulfill his duty as Chosen One, even with no one left to turn to, his burden weighing heavily upon him. And he would not be the only one. For there would be two weeks of intertwined fates and impossible burdens for each of them. With each of them facing troubles in their own hearts, Jessie, James and Meowth take a vow to pull the people together in order to stem the tide of crimson that is to come. The Jewel of Life, once held in Arceus, is the key. Ash knows it. The legendaries know it. All the answers will be revealed; the threads lay bare. The race is on. The battle is here. Winner take all.

And also, for some quotes:

"Why didn't you tell me?"
"The very existence of the legendaries is a threat to each and every citizen. Tell me, Chosen One, do you truly think their lives are worth more than our own?"
"Humans are a frail race, relying only on their selfish ideas. A world ruined by humans will rip itself apart from the inside out. The only solution: to rebuild the world anew."
"You have no idea what you've started."
"You've always had a choice!"
"I'm not some helpless little boy who needs saving."
"Sometimes you need to find strength in yourself."

That's it. So remember to REVIEW and Dare to be Silly, for now, and forever.