Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon.
And here's chapter 5. ENJOY! :D
I want to thank csigamer1990 and dimensional42 for their help in the nightmare sequences for the group. Maaaan Darkrai is mean :P And as usual, special thanks to Ri2 for all his help beta-reading my chapters.
It was a very late night, an hour or two past midnight. However, Canalave city was completely sleepless. For the past several days thousands upon thousands of people were having severe insomnia, all because of Team Rocket and their nightmare-inducing machine. They had planned to earn great profits through the sale of fake Lunar Wings, based on the holy feathers of Cresselia that stopped bad dreams and blessed their wielders with good ones.
However, Team Rocket's scheme seems to have angered Darkrai, and as such he unleashed his nightmarish powers over Canalave city to continue the suffering inflicted upon the city, with even worse nightmares than Team Rocket's machine could produce. After all, that machine paled in comparison to Darkrai's near-godlike powers.
Canalave city's poor residents wouldn't be sleeping well any time soon, and sadly, that applied to a certain group of trainers and a god-turned-mortal too, as they were all submerged into the darkness of Darkrai's nightmares.
Arceus twitched in his sleep, then turned abruptly, causing the covers to fall off the bed, his face showing clear discomfort as he had a nightmare, a really bad one.
Arceus, still in Ash's body, felt himself trapped in some sort of dark containment sphere that crackled with an odd dark energy every few seconds or so. It was semi-transparent, allowing him to see in the void that seemed to be surrounding him. He blinked in confusion. The last thing he remembered was going to sleep…how had he gotten here? He gazed at the endless expanse of space before him, seeing nothing that could give him a hint as to what was going on.
To get further answers, he tried to call upon the small fragment of his godly powers he had dragged into Ash's body when he switched places with the boy. While tiny compared to the powers his true godly self had, they were still decent on a mortal level. He willed himself free, but was shocked when he couldn't find them. It was as if he never had them in the first place. "What's… going on?" he asked himself in confusion, his eyes darting around the void.
Suddenly, the nothingness before him rumbled ominously, emitting a colossal shockwave that seemed to shake everything to its very foundation, the void beginning to fill up as something appeared in it, and slowly a world formed around him, a life-sustaining dimension. A figure rose before him, towering imposingly over his comparatively diminutive form. Arceus instantly recognized the deathly basilisk-like Dragon before him. 'Giratina… in her Origin Forme,' Arceus thought, gazing up at her warily. Being a powerless human he could do nothing should she try to harm him, which due to the wicked glare in her face, he took for granted she was about to do.
Arceus' eyes widened when Giratina's golden facemask separated in the middle, revealing her mouth. A bright sphere of crimson fire began to charge in her jaws as she prepared an Aura Sphere attack. Arceus tried to take a step back, but to his shock he couldn't move much due to his current containment. To his surprise, the attack the ghostly dragoness fired didn't hit him, instead passing by him without causing him any harm.
A colossal explosion behind him made him whirl around, and brought him face to face with a sight that terrified him to his very core. Arceus stared in disbelief while feeling for the first time in a very, very long time an emotion he was not used to: fear. Giratina had fired the attack at none other than…Arceus? Himself? Looking closely at the Arceus' movements and features, he knew it was Ash, the human kid he had exchanged places with not long ago.
The clash of two other attacks against Ash forced him to cover his eyes from the harsh bright hue of pink and blue light generated by them. When it receded he was once again shocked to see Dialga and Palkia in the battle as well, all three of the creation dragons attacking Ash savagely as the Human-turned-god defended himself and fought back as best as he could.
Arceus stared in absolute shock at the clash before him, godly energies exploding all around him from the sheer might of the four dueling deities. "Stop!" Arceus screamed angrily at the top of his lungs. "Dialga! Palkia! Giratina! Stop this at once!"
No one heard him. The battle continued as if he hadn't said anything, as if he wasn't even there to be heard in the first place, as if he didn't exist to the creation trio or even Ash. He tried calling them, screaming at them to stop, but his cries went totally unheard.
The titanic battle continued before his eyes, as Ash fought off the angry creation trio as best as he could. Arceus wondered how much time this had lasted already. Being in this dimensional nothingness it was impossible to tell the time, maybe the duel had just lasted minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? With Dialga in it he wasn't sure. To Arceus' horror, Ash was on the losing end of the battle; his movements were growing weaker as his powers diminished while the creation trio's shone at their strongest.
A colossal clash of the creation trio's signature attacks shook everything again, sending a massive tremor across all of existence, and this time a massive column of light followed, shooting through and illuminating the veil of darkness that covered everything around him as he heard Ash give a final scream, the Creation Trio's attacks having ended his life, and that of Arceus' body and powers along with it.
Arceus tried his best to intervene, but he found it impossible to do anything against the restraint locking him into the sphere, no matter how much he tried. It was as if he had stopped being God forever. Suddenly a colossal shockwave erupted in all directions, destroying existence itself from its sheer power. Unnaturally, it didn't harm him in the least bit as it passed through him, wiping everything else out. The next sight was one that shocked him even more to his very core, letting him truly experience fear for the first time in perhaps millennia.
He watched as his creation, existence itself, began to fall apart with the destruction of his divine powers by the rampant creation trio. He watched as the three dragons kept fighting amongst each other, apparently not satisfied with Ash's death.
Arceus was forced to watch as all of reality began to fall apart. Little by little, everything would eventually cease to exist, ultimately including even himself. His cries of despair at a creator's worst nightmare being fulfilled echoed throughout the darkness as everything came to an end.
Everything was peaceful across the wonderful town Pikachu suddenly found himself in. He didn't know how exactly he had appeared here. Blinking and taking the sights in as he looked at the town more fixedly. It had no paved roads, rather there were very neatly kept dirt roads. Picture-perfect wooden houses with pretty gardens and big grassy lawns dotted all over the place. On the farthest hill overlooking the town was a large pinkish two-story building with a wind turbine on top. It was a place that was very familiar to him; he was looking at the tranquil landscape of Pallet Town, his trainer's hometown. Pikachu smiled at the wonderful sight of the town he adored so much.
He walked down one of the roads for a few seconds in the direction he remembered would lead him to Ash's house, hoping to see if his trainer was there as he found himself mysteriously alone. He noted that for some reason, he seemed to be the only soul out at the moment.
He looked around and wondered what had happened to everyone. Sure, Pallet Town tended to be a relaxed and quiet town, but this was unusual, for not a single person or Pokémon could be seen. Pikachu shivered at the ghostly feel this added to the usual friendly and charming town. He ran forward to get the journey over with as soon as possible. He arrived at his trainer's home and noted there was someone in front of the house. It was Ash, his back turned to Pikachu.
"Uh, hey Ash, is that you?" Pikachu asked slowly, feeling that something was oddly wrong. It was a feeling that seemed to grip him at full intensity and no matter what he did, he just couldn't shake it off or ignore it.
"Pikachu…" Ash said after a moment, his voice hollow and empty, as it had no emotions, something that made Pikachu cringe very visibly.
Suddenly, a maelstrom of black flames erupted across the town in an expansive outwards blast, making Pikachu jump from the fright of the flames suddenly appearing, creating an expanding wall of fire that leveled the rural town within seconds as many pained screams echoed all around the place. The flames then created a dark fiery tornado that slowly enveloped the landscape, leaving Pikachu at the center of the destruction completely unharmed. "Wh-what's go-going o-on?" Pikachu stuttered from terror. He hadn't just seen Pallet Town being burned in a fiery darkness, right? Right?
"Mwahahahah!" A dark laughed echoed in front of the Electric-type. Pikachu looked at Ash with a surprised and shaken look on his face as a thick black aura began to surround him slowly, growing stronger by the second.
Pikachu abruptly took a few steps back, his mind racing and trying to decipher what was going on. "Who are you?" he asked worriedly. Whatever was in front of him wasn't his beloved Ash.
The dark laugher continued as the figure began to slowly turn around. "Well, who else?" the figure asked as several tendrils of dark flames lashed around him, emphasizing his question. It was none other than… Ash, just like Pikachu had feared.
Pikachu blinked in confusion as terror gripped him tightly. "What… the…" he said slowly. This wasn't the Ash he had always known. His face held a sinister grin and his eyes were blood red. Dark aura flames crackled all around him now at full intensity. Pikachu was reminded of the time Ash had been possessed by the king of Pokélantis. This time, however, it was clearly worse.
"Pallet town is no more…how amusing…" the dark Ash commented, chuckling in fascination at what he had just done.
Pikachu growled, trying to use his electricity, but found that he couldn't summon a single spark to his cheeks. "Who are you? What did you do with Ash!" he demanded angrily.
"I am Ash, you silly Rattata!" the being snapped angrily, his rage causing Pikachu to take a few steps back. "Can't you see it? But now I am way better than before… I am now… a god!"
Pikachu stared at him blankly. "…What?" Okay, this was increasingly weird, who in their right mind would make Ash a god? Ash and god weren't words meant to be together in the same sentence. Pikachu wondered if he really should have accepted Officer Jenny's dinner…he thought it had tasted funny.
"Hehe, I'd expect a puny little mortal like you to not understand me. I am a god now… and that's all that matters." the dark Ash explained, cackling maliciously. "I am above everyone now!"
Pikachu growled. "How dare you claim you're Ash? Ash would never say things like that!"
The dark one chuckled lowly. "I am Ash, a way better version of that stupid mortal he used to be!" He declared boldly, raising his arms skywards as the black flames turned even darker, along with everything else, resulting in Pikachu being trapped in a void of pure nothingness.
The dark Ash appeared in front of him, chuckling darkly. "Behold the true might of the god I am now!" he bellowed as he was covered in an explosion of dark aura. His physical form began to change as he grew bigger. A second blast of deathly aura made Pikachu shield his eyes and be flung back harshly. When the attack ended, he looked at his friend only to gasp in terror.
In front of him was now a very large four-legged being. He had jet-black fur covering his body, with a dark purplish blue underside and hooves. In his middle was an odd sight, the being had what looked like a segmented wheel wrapped around its waist. It was blood red and gave the impression that it was made of solidified blood. Four black gems that seemed to hold darkness and pain far beyond Pikachu's comprehension sprouted from the wheel. The Electric-type looked at his face and gaped in despair at the being's hate-filled eyes… in them, Pikachu recognized… Ash. "A-Ash? What have you become?" Pikachu whispered in horror.
"I have become perfection, something above you silly mortals, I am…God!" Ash answered him, focusing his malevolent gaze on him.
"Wait until I get my paws on you!" Pikachu yelled angrily. "I'll get my best friend back if it's the last thing I do! You're not Ash! You couldn't be!" he screamed as a tear slid down his cheek. 'I hope…'
"He doesn't exist anymore…that imperfect Ash has ceased to exist to give birth to a new me, a god…and when I rule the world…when I am the world… I shall begin an elaborate plot to fix the biggest error in all existence," he dark one said ominously.
Pikachu shivered, wondering what that meant. "Y-you'll fail! You bad guys always lose!"
A final chuckled echoed. "I've already won, and once I rule all of reality, I shall…eliminate ketchup from existence!" the dark god declared. "A mistake that must be fixed!"
Pikachu's mind went deathly numb at the dark one's words, unable or unwilling to believe what the voice had said. He fervently denied it to himself, what the voice said couldn't be true, it just couldn't! But the overwhelming sense of power behind the voice said otherwise, and no matter how much Pikachu denied it to himself he somehow knew that the voice could perform such an act, and that fact completely broke his spirit. This was too much for him to bear, losing Ash and now losing ketchup? The mouse-like Pokémon fell to his knees as his pained cries of suffering echoed unheard throughout the black void...
Brock found himself walking around by himself in the streets of a city he didn't quite recognize. He felt that he had been here before but every time he tried to remember it, the name seemed to escape him, so he settled for walking around trying to figure out what was going on.
He walked through the alley for a few minutes, wondering where he was and where his friends were. He rarely went alone without them. He walked until he came to what seemed like a main plaza, and there his eyes turned to hearts. Walking everywhere were women, the prettiest he had ever seen in his life. "This is the luckiest day of my life!" Brock gushed, grinning at the sight of all the women all around him.
Suddenly a gust of wind blew by, causing Brock to shield his eyes as a piece of paper was literally shoved into his face by it. "Huh, what's this?" Brock wondered as he took a look at it. His jaw dropped.
It was today's newspaper, and the main front page article immediately caught his interest as he read it intently. "It… says I'm… the last man in the world…" Brock whispered. For a second he wondered if it was true. Just what kind of dream was this? And if it was real, what had happened to all his male friends? However, before he could ponder that, a dark ghastly voice echoed deep in his mind, telling him to ignore this and look at what this meant, and for some reason he was unable to resist it. If he was the last man in the world, that meant he had all the girls for himself! This was the best dream ever!
He ran into the plaza eagerly. "Hello girls! Brock's finally here!" he exclaimed enthusiastically, lifting his hands up dramatically. Several of the women turned to look at his direction, gazing at him with open surprise.
"Who is he?" a pretty tall blond asked curiously, walking closer to him.
"Oh, he's the guy in the newspapers! The last man in the world!" another answered, pointing at him rather unnecessarily.
"Oh, that was an odd occurrence," another commented oddly.
Little by little, the women around the plaza began to crowd around Brock, whispering and murmuring among themselves, like he was a big center of attraction, which he enjoyed greatly, perhaps a little too much. "So who wants to go out with the last man in existence, the great Brock?" he asked eagerly, making a sexy (goofy) face and holding a rather pretty rose.
Several of the women around him frowned sadly, the mood around the plaza shifting significantly to a more aggressive one. "Go out with you?" one of them said with a scowl. "What kind of nonsense is that?"
Brock grimaced. "Bu-but I'm the last man in the world!" He yelled desperately, extending his arms out and motioning to the newspaper.
The women made a face. "Ew! Who'd want to go out with you?" She asked, spitting the word 'you' as if it was a curse. She held hands with another woman. "I'd prefer to turn lesbian, then."
Brock's jaw dropped from sheer incredulity. "What?" he asked flatly, flabbergasted at what the woman had said.
Another girl nodded and held hands with another women. "We'd all rather be lesbians then go out with you."
"Noooo!" Brock cried in horror, dropping to his knees as the really nice dream turned into a horrible nightmare. One by one, all the women in the plaza started getting into couples and then walked out in pairs together. Soon, he was all alone in the plaza.
Brock remained there for a while, his heart completely shattered. He just couldn't believe it, they had no other choice than him since he was the last man on the planet, and instead they chose to turn lesbian? His mind just couldn't comprehend the sheer amount of horror of this. He wasn't really that bad was he? There was no way this nightmare could turn any worse…
Night fell and he remained like that. Suddenly, he got the strangest feeling that somehow he was being watched. "Uh, who's out there?" Brock called out nervously, his squinty eyes darting around to see if he had company. Maybe a girl had changed her mind?
Brock looked a bit baffled and scared when a pair of red eyes suddenly appeared in the darkness. He shivered in fright. "Wh-who's there?" he asked, more desperately this time.
The newcomer revealed herself to a Ninetales. Brock blinked. "Oh, what are you doing here?"
The Ninetales looked at him intently, almost as if examining him. "So, you're the last male in the world then…" she muttered, her gaze still drawn to him fixedly.
Brock blinked, wondering how he had understood the Pokémon so perfectly and also thinking on her line of 'last male.' "Last male?" he asked curiously.
Ninetales nodded. "Yes, you are the last male in existence, of both Humans and Pokémon. You aren't exactly my top choice, but you'll do."
Brock started to look nervous. "I'll do for what?"
Ninetales smirked playfully. "Girls!" She yelled loudly.
Before Brock could react, he noticed he was surrounded by many, many Pokémon, all of them obviously female, with their gazes fixed on him adamantly. "Uh, hello…" he said timidly as he was surrounded by the group.
A Lopunny stared at him for a second before grinning. "Yes, he'll work just nicely," she drooled slowly as she inched closer. Brock began to shiver in terror.
A Gardevoir nodded. "Indeed, let's put his 'last male in the world' status to very good use, girls," she said slowly, licking her lips. They all nodded in agreement, getting closer to him. Brock's eyes widened in horror after hearing that. It looked like there was indeed a way for this nightmare to get worse.
"Let's see just how good of a Pokémon breeder you are," the Ninetales purred sultrily, putting a very especial emphasis on the word 'breeder' as she also licked her lips eagerly.
A very big female Tyranitar began to get too close to him for his liking. "Don't worry, if he isn't a good enough breeder, we'll make him one," she said confidently while smirking savagely at him. "I get first dibs."
The Lopunny grinned in agreement. "Mastery is gained through practice after all."
Brock screamed in terror. "G-get away from me!" he cried in repulsion.
The Gardevoir laughed. "Wasn't it your dream to become a Pokémon breeder? It's about to come true!"
The Tyranitar nodded, just a foot away from him while grinning down at him in a too-friendly manner. "Don't worry toy, you'll still get to breed Pokémon, just not the way you thought."
The Ninetales grinned. "Time to stop talking and get to the action. Get him!" She yelled. All the horny female Pokémon didn't waste a single second before jumping at him and ganging up on him. He never had a chance to escape.
Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny, who had been watching from a far-off corner, giggled, held hands, and walked away as if nothing was happening.
"Noooooooooooooo!" Brock's screams of horror echoed all across the nightmare land, and were probably heard in nearby nightmares too! A new record for Darkrai.
Piplup blinked a couple of times, feeling… odd. He swore he had been sleeping just a few seconds ago… He was currently on a peaceful beach, sitting at the edge where the waves washed onto the sand.
"Wonderful view, isn't it?" Dawn asked him with a tender smile, and it was only then that Piplup realized she was beside him, sitting with her legs crossed on the sand.
Piplup nodded in agreement, still a bit confused as to how he had gotten here, but enjoyed the moment with his beloved trainer nonetheless. They stayed like that for a few minutes, enjoying the sight of the ocean and the tranquil waves. "You know…" Dawn began. Piplup looked at her with his full attention. "I've been thinking a lot on our current performance in Pokémon contests, and I've decided we need a desperate change if we want to keep up with the competition."
Piplup blinked, rather confused as to why Dawn had suddenly said that. To him their performances had been good. "I think we are fine," he muttered, not that Dawn would understand him.
To his surprised, she apparently did. "No, we are not fine, and big change is due," she said firmly, mildly scaring Piplup.
"I honestly think we are fine, Dawn," Piplup voiced again, taking advantage of this break in the language barrier that usually separated them.
"No," Dawn answered adamantly, glaring at him.
Piplup scratched his head, wondering what else the blue haired girl could want. She had a nice group of traveling friends, a strong and loyal Pokémon team, and a great starter Pokémon, or so Piplup had thought. "Then what?" he asked, awaiting her answer.
Dawn grinned, and it sent a shiver down Piplup's spine at the hint of malice behind it. "You'll see," she answered with a small dark laugh.
Dawn took out a single blue stone that made Piplup's eyes widen in complete terror. The stone had several raindrop-like markings running across it. It was a water stone, an item often used to evolve certain species of Water-type Pokémon. "N-no, Dawn! I don't want to evolve!" Piplup cried in terror, backing away from her.
Dawn lunged at him, and for some reason, Piplup was unable to move as Dawn tagged him with the water stone. "Nooo-" Piplup's pained cry was cut short as his body was enveloped in a bright white light as his evolution to a Prinplup started, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.
His body grew in size under the blinding light. His fins became sharper and his beak gained two fin-like yellow extensions on his head, his upper skin grew darker in color and his stature increased. When the light receded, he was a Prinplup. The newly evolved Prinplup looked at his fins for a second as a tear rolled down his cheek. He didn't want to evolve, he didn't! He wanted to stay a Piplup forever! He looked at Dawn's wicked smirk as his eyes reflected sadness and heartbreak. "W-why?" he asked softly, still trying to comprehend what Dawn had done to him. She had just force-evolved him… he couldn't believe it, he refused to!
Piplup, no, Prinplup began to cry, his mind still in disbelief of what his beloved Dawn had just done to him. Dawn hummed, putting a finger on her chin. "I think it's not enough."
Prinplup froze in horror and looked up weakly as Dawn approached him once more, a sinister uncharacteristic smirk on her lips. "I want an Empoleon," she said in a cheerful tone that didn't sound remotely like the true Dawn.
"No, please… no more…" Prinplup begged, but was again unable to do a single thing as Dawn tapped him once with the Water Stone again. He sobbed loudly as he was forced evolved again, once more covered in a bright white light as he grew in size until he was taller than Dawn, his fins and body changing to a mostly black color while gaining a more metallic sheen as he became the half Steel-type Empoleon.
As the light receded and he saw what Dawn had done to him, he broke. He dropped to the sand and cried. "Why? Wh-why!" he repeated loudly between cries. He just couldn't believe it. What had his sweet Dawn become? He had always trusted her, and now she did this to him?
"Why? Because you are just a pathetic weak overconfident starter Pokémon, at the lowest level possible, and I don't want any of that," Dawn answered coldly. Empoleon winced at each of her words, crying harder in the sand.
"I… I am not that…" Empoleonsaid weakly. "I really cared for you, I… never wanted to evolve… how could you do thi-"
"Shut up!" Dawn snapped. "Even evolved you still are the same useless excuse of a Pokémon!"
Empoleon cried at hearing that for a moment until he felt an odd tingly feeling. He noticed he was surrounded in a blue glow that suddenly shattered and dissipated into hundred of tiny blue sparkles before fading away. He looked back in horror and saw the sight that broke him the most. Dawn was holding a Pokéball and had just released him. "No…" he whispered.
Dawn laughed darkly, something that looked horribly uncharacteristic on her. "I should have known you wouldn't live up to my expectations. I evolve you and you just cry? I don't need you anymore. I'm through with you."
"No… Dawn… please…" Empoleon whispered silently, refusing to believe what he had just heard.
"Mudkip!" Empoleon suddenly heard. He looked upwards to Dawn in confusion and noticed she now had a Mudkip cradled in her arms.
Dawn grinned happily. "Meet my new water-type Empoleon, Mudkip!" she said cheerfully, ignoring the obvious pain he was going through.
"What? Why?" Empoleon cried in horror.
Dawn shrugged. "Because… I like Mudkips."
Empoleon's mind and will broke completely from hearing that. "Noooooooooooo!" he cried to the heavens in the purest possible form of suffering and despair.
"And I hate Piplups," Dawn added, not that the screaming and broken Empoleon could hear her…
"Aaaaaaaahhh!" Everyone screamed from sheer fear and horror as they woke up abruptly from horrible nightmares, clutching their pillows tight to their bodies to have something to hold on to.
Brock shivered as he recalled his nightmare and actually considered forgetting about Pokémon Breeding, maybe being something like a Pokémon Doctor would do? Or just stick to being a Gym Leader maybe… He nearly fainted. 'Females…' He thought in horror.
A tear ran down Piplup's cheek as he turned to look at Dawn with hurt and betrayal clouding his vision.
Pikachu breathed harshly from the horrifying experience in his nightmare and turned to look at Arceus, who he was very suspicious wasn't Ash, with a scared look.
The lights immediately flicked on as Officer Jenny entered the room, she too clutching a pillow tight to her body, dressed in a night gown. "Hey what happened, is everyone okay?" she asked in concern.
Arceus growled lowly in anger. He had sensed a very distinctive trace of energy in the nightmare, one that belonged to only one Pokémon. "Darkrai…" he whispered in a tone so low no one heard him, quite enraged and still feeling very shocked to the core for the specific nightmare he had been given.
An overwhelming presence filled the room as Arceus let some of his powers slip in his anger, causing everyone to turn to look at who they thought was Ash with a scared and stunned look. Mew reacted quickly as she entered Arceus' mind psychically, releasing a soothing and loving sensation that quickly calmed him down and relaxed him as she used her powers to easily hold back and subdue his tuned-down godly might. "Quick, do a dopey act!" Mew's voice rang in his mind.
Arceus did the first thing that he imagined Ash would do if he woke up from a nightmare and scared everyone. He fall back to the bed and put a pillow on himself. "Ahh! Why did something have to interrupt my sleep!" he complained childishly.
Everyone stared at him awkwardly for a few seconds. Pikachu swapped his stare for a glare. 'I felt that! What the hell was that? I know Ash wouldn't release a scary powerful presence like that when woken up from a nightmare! Even if he can get a bit pissed off sometimes…' the electric-type thought. 'Then there was… that nightmare…'
"Uhh, what was that?" Brock asked curiously.
"A really rude awakening?" Officer Jenny answered, though her tone implied she had no idea what had just happened. "I assume you all had nightmares, correct?" Brock, Pikachu, Piplup and Arceus nodded. Jenny sighed. "Yeah me too. The same ones, over and over again…this one was a bit worse than usual though…"
Piplup shivered in terror at his nightmare, sniffing slightly as he held back tears. "But… I thought we destroyed Team Rocket's nightmare machine!" Brock exclaimed. "Shouldn't the nightmares be over?"
Officer Jenny lowered her gaze. "There was… something different about this nightmare… it was just as scary as all the others, but this time it felt…stronger…"
Brock hummed as he heard that, thinking of all the possibilities, but all the paths led to one and only one answer. "If Team Rocket's machine was destroyed and we're still having nightmares… then that must mean…"
Officer Jenny's eyes widened from horror. "Th-the r-real D-d-Darkrai is here…" she whispered, stuttering from fear.
"This is bad…" Arceus began. "We have to stop him!" he said determinately in an eagerness only Ash had, yet Pikachu wasn't buying his acts anymore.
"We have to restore peace to Canalave city!" Brock agreed.
Officer Jenny nodded. "I don't think we're powerful enough to battle Darkrai… or even skilled enough to find him. However, there is one being that can track him down, beat him…and erase all trace of his powers…"
"Who?" Arceus asked, feigning being clueless. In reality he already knew they were talking about Cresselia, he just wanted to act like Ash.
Officer Jenny smiled. "Cresselia," she answered softly in a tone of fascination. "We need to find her and hope she has mercy enough to help Canalave city."
Arceus chuckled to himself. 'Cresselia's a very chivalrous legendary. Tell her there's a problem and she'll gladly jump in to help, so there's no need to hope for mercy. That and this involves Darkrai, so she's one hundred percent assured to help…' he thought to himself.
Mew giggled to herself. "And then there's what's going on between them. Think she'll get him this time?"
'I don't know Mew, but I might help her so as to get payback at Darkrai. That nightmare was really disturbing, it's been a while since I've gotten a good scare…'
"Remember Arcy, it was just that, a nightmare," Mew chided lovingly. "It's not real."
Arceus nodded. 'I know… and hey, where are you by the way?' Arceus asked curiously.
"Under your bed," Mew answered casually.
Arceus sweatdropped. 'Doing what?'
"Eating candy," she answered happily. Arceus wisely decided not to ask anything else.
In the meantime, Officer Jenny had thought of a plan. "Listen kids, get dressed up, we're going to Full Moon Island to find Cresselia and put an end to Darkrai's nightmares!"
"Yeah!" all of them cheered. Well, almost all of them.
Brock felt awkward. "Why has Dawn been suspiciously absent from all this discussion?"
All of them turned to Dawn's bed and were stunned to see her sleeping, an angelic and peaceful look on her face, not a single thing bothering her. Officer Jenny's jaw dropped. "Bu-But how?"
"No fair!" Brock lamented. "She gets to sleep nicely and we get nightmares all night long?"
Arceus frowned, wondering how Ash's female friend had slept through Darkrai's powers without suffering from their malicious effects. "I suggest we wake her up, I don't think she'd want to miss out on the adventure."
"Yeah," Brock agreed, standing up and walking towards Dawn's bed. He shook her lightly. "Hey, Dawn, wake up…"
Dawn didn't answer for a few seconds, prompting Brock to shake her again, this time a little harder. That did the trick as Dawn slowly woke up, her eyes opening slightly. "Uhh… is it… morning already?" she asked slowly, feeling very sleepy and tired.
"No," Officer Jenny said sadly. "It's around two in the morning," she answered.
Dawn slumped back into the bed. "Then why did you wake me up? I was having a really wonderful dream." She said tiredly. Everyone glared at her jealously. She blinked and shrunk back to the bed in embarrassment and fear, confused by the sudden hostility against her.
"Everyone had horrible nightmares Dawn, this time it's the real Darkrai that's in town and we're going to stop him," Arceus explained. "We figured you wouldn't want to miss the adventure."
Dawn, despite being very tired, nodded in agreement. "No I wouldn't!" she exclaimed, sitting on the bed and stretching to get rid of her sleepiness, then rubbed her eyes.
Brock looked at her enviously. "How did you get a good dream? Darkrai's around and we all had horrible nightmares!" He shivered as he recalled his nightmare.
Dawn smiled sadly. "Oh, sorry to hear that… I think I know why," Dawn began as she reached for her neck and put her hand under the shirt of the night gown, pulling out a pendant with a feather in it. "My Lunar Wing, remember?"
Everyone groaned. "Oh right, I forgot she had a genuine one," Officer Jenny muttered. "Stupid fake sellers…"
Brock sighed. "At least we know it works for real."
"Well kids, get dressed," Officer Jenny told them. "We're setting out as soon as possible to find Darkrai!" she said vigorously, eager to stop the nightmare plague that Canalave city was suffering. She closed the door to go and get ready herself.
Piplup looked at Dawn sadly, tears in his eyes. Dawn felt a pang of worry as she reached down and picked him up. "Hey, what's wrong?" she asked in a soft voice, petting the Water-type softly. Piplup cried against her.
Pikachu jumped from Arceus' bed, walked to Dawn's and hopped on it. "Hey Piplup, what happened?" Pikachu asked. Even if Piplup had a bigger bond with Dawn, without understanding between them there wasn't much she could do to help him, so Pikachu decided to help his friend. He had a good guess what was going on.
"My nightmare…" Piplup sobbed. "Dawn force evolved me twice…with a Water Stone…then traded me away for a Mudkip!" he shouted, crying into Dawn's gown.
Pikachu walked so he was beside Dawn's leg, putting a paw on Piplup's back. "Hey, I-" he began, but was interrupted.
"A freaking Mudkip, I tell you! A MUDKIP!" Piplup yelled, sobbing.
Pikachu smiled sympathetically. "That was a nightmare Piplup, as bad as it was, it wasn't real," he said in a calm soothing voice. "I had a nightmare as bad as yours but I'm not crying over it, so relax…"
Piplup sniffed. "But…but…"
Pikachu nodded. "It's alright, look up."
Piplup looked up and found himself staring at Dawn's loving face and tender smile. Dawn reached out and put a hand on the Water-type's head, petting him softly. "I don't know what's going on," she admitted. "But it's okay Piplup…stop crying."
Pikachu smiled. "Do you think she'd force evolve you into an Empoleon and then discard you for a Mudkip? Do you really think she'd do that to you?"
Piplup immediately knew the answer to that. "N-no…" he answered weakly.
"This is reality. What happened in your nightmare doesn't exist. Here in reality Dawn will always love and care for you, so don't worry," Pikachu told him comfortingly. "If you want a reassurance, I don't think Water Stones even work on your species, they only work on a handful of Pokémon, they just worked on you for the nightmare's plot convenience."
Pipilup nodded and hugged Dawn, sniffing back his tears. Dawn smiled and rubbed Piplup's back. "Thanks Pikachu, I owe you one." Pikachu nodded at her with a grin and jumped back so he was in the center of the rooms, glancing at Arceus warily.
Arceus noticed this and smiled as Ash would. "Well, let's get ready to find Darkrai!" he announced eagerly, just as Ash would, and everyone nodded.
Pikachu narrowed his eyes. 'That nightmare, as scary as it was, had some sense in it. It could explain why Ash has been acting like he has been. It's so weird, but maybe its some kind of signal of what truly happened here… what's going on with Ash… just… what… I wish I knew. Whatever it is, I'll get to the bottom of it!' He glanced at Piplup, who seemed to be doing better, and shivered when his thoughts drifted to his own nightmare. Glancing around, he noticed everyone also had a bit of that in their gazes, except for Dawn. He guessed that everyone must have had their own nightmare in their minds. Pikachu sighed. "I just hope nothing happens to my dear ketchup too. Erasing it from existence? Blasphemy!" He walked back to Arceus' side as everyone got ready for the late night adventure, now more determined than ever to find out what was wrong with his beloved trainer.
Under Arceus' bed, Mew purred in excitement as her long tail curled slightly. She had been reading Pikachu's mind as he made up his mind on what to do, her eyes locked on him. 'So he's really planning on going detective on us? Good. I'll have so much fun…. Hehehe...' she thought to herself, grinning childishly. With that the group got ready to set out on a new adventure...
At hearing the Renegade Pokémon's most unusual claim, Palkia and Dialga stared at her quizzically, then turned to look at the perplexed-looking Ash (who they thought was Arceus), and then back to Giratina. "Uh, did I miss something here?" Palkia asked in confusion.
Dialga turned to look at Giratina with a surprised expression on her face. "Are you feeling well?" she asked tentatively. "That's a very dangerous claim you're making there, Giratina."
The Dragon and Ghost-type growled at the Temporal Pokémon in rage. "Of course I'm feeling well!" Giratina roared at her angrily, stomping on the golden and white tiles of the Hall of Origin with her front legs, her golden claws clicking loudly across the room.
Ash quickly calmed down, the reactions of the time and space dragons giving him a glimmer of hope. 'Yes! Yes! Palkia and Dialga doubt Giratina! That's great, now I must argue that I am Arceus and hope I can make them side with me so we can outvote Giratina,' Ash thought to himself, his eyes narrowing at the Dragoness. 'I better be careful… she's not in the best mood… And now that I get to know her… she's very scary.'
Palkia turned to look at Ash, then back at Giratina. "He seems and feels as he always has, what are you talking about?" he asked, confounded.
Ash tried to act as Arceus-ish as possible, something he felt he was getting a lot of practice on in recent minutes. "Giratina, what's the meaning of this accusation?" he demanded steadfastly, not a trace of doubt in his voice.
"Oh don't act all Arceus on me impostor, I know you aren't him!"Giratina snapped back, an eerie tone in her deathly voice.
Ash glared at her. "Your rage is making you think irrationally."
Giratina stomped furiously. "I'll show you irrational!" she growled as she charged a crimson fiery Aura Sphere in her jaw, the powerful attack growing rapidly in size.
To Giratina's surprise, Dialga stepped between her and Ash. "Attacking Father out of an assumption isn't something I'll permit! You're taking this too far, Giratina!" she shouted, glaring defiantly at Giratina.
Giratina dispelled the Aura Sphere and glanced incredulously at the Temporal Dragoness. "Get out of the way!" she demanded.
Dialga shook her head. "No," she said in an even voice. "Attacking Father is outright ridiculous."
Giratina chuckled darkly. "It is," she agreed, but before Dialga could say anything, she continued. "The thing is, he isn't Father," she declared confidently. She knew it; she had seen it in his eyes, in his very soul. He didn't have that intensity and power, that sheer presence and might in him that she knew only the true Arceus had. But that wasn't the problem, what her mind was currently racing worriedly on was, if the being before them had Arceus' powers and could imitate him near perfectly, where was the real Arceus?
Palkia walked closer to Ash and stared at him analytically for a few seconds. He shrugged and looked back at the two dragonesses. "He seems okay to me."
"You're seeing things, Giratina," Dialga said steadily, her voice soft. "I know you're very angry about recent events, but this is taking it way too far. Calm down."
"To hell with that!" Giratina cursed. "I know he isn't father, I saw it very clearly!"
Dialga blinked in confusion and glanced between Giratina and Ash several times, seeing nothing odd. Palkia did the same. "Are you really sure?" Dialga asked.
Giratina nodded. "Absolutely," she answered as she turned to look directly at Ash. "Who are you?" she asked adamantly, suppressing a low growl.
Ash looked back at her, acting as calm and as he could while keeping the Arceus facade. "I am Arceus, who else would I be?"
Giratina growled under her breath. She had to admit, his act was a very good one, and if she didn't pay extremely close attention she could easily be fooled into thinking he was Father. She wondered what was going on. It was impossible for someone else to have Arceus' powers down to such a perfect imitation…but what if someone had stolen Arceus' power? When that human Zero had attacked her he had tried to take away all her powers and implant them into a machine, a process that almost killed her. What if the same thing had happened to Arceus, but instead of implanting them into a machine the thief implanted the power into himself? 'I need to convince Dialga and Palkia he's a fake!' Giratina thought to herself gravely, now feeling extremely worried over the God Pokémon's wellbeing. Beating up Palkia and Dialga could wait for now. 'What if what almost happened to me actually happened to Father?' The Renegade Pokémon asked herself uncertainly. Sure she had many arguments with him from time to time, but she still cared for him as he was basically a father for her. He had created her all those eons ago when existence came to be and she wouldn't abandon him.
"Giratina," Ash began. "This is going too far with your unfounded accusations."
"Really?" Giratina asked mockingly, giving a dark chuckle. "Really? I'm going to beat you senseless until you tell me, where is the real Father?"
Palkia turned to look a Giratina suspiciously. "Why do you think he's a fake? He seems as boring as usual," he asked. Ash sweatdropped.
Giratina shook her head sadly. "Of course a moron like you wouldn't notice the difference."
"Hey!" Palkia called to her, offended. He pointed an arm at her. "Don't call me tha- oww!" he cut himself off as the arm he used had several large injuries that were really starting to bother him. Giratina rolled her eyes. Dialga laughed happily at his misery.
"Ugh! Why can't I heal these damn injuries? I should be able to heal them in a second!" Palkia wondered in annoyance.
"Because I made sure to inflict the wounds and leave trails of my antimatter in them so you can't heal them as easily. Plus, remember that you're currently quite weakened," Giratina answered, then laughed mockingly at him. Palkia cursed, wondering why he hadn't done the same thing to her with his spatial powers, but then as Giratina had said, he was weakened, plus it didn't occur to him.
Palkia glared at Giratina, ignoring her answer regarding his wounds. "Answer the question."
Giratina stared at him blankly. "Already did."
The space dragon growled. "Not that one! Why do you think he's a fake?"
The Renegade Pokémon shrugged. "I've been observing him ever since we arrived here. He's been acting differently from what I know of Father, he's doubting himself in our presence, he doesn't make the same decisions he usually does, he doesn't fight the same way, he's…less intelligent, too," Giratina explained, eyes narrowing dangerously at Ash. "And I glanced into him, to his very soul. He's not Father."
"How convenient that only you would notice something," Palkia sneered, chuckling.
Dialga hummed. "Well, in her defense I just got here a little while ago so I haven't had any opportunities to notice anything, and Palkia, to be honest, you've been more focused on your problems with Giratina, so we haven't had time to analyze this as much as she has," she admitted, wondering if the ruler of the Reverse World was actually right.
Ash shook his head. "You are mistaken Giratina, your anger over recent events is leading you to make wrongful assumptions," he said level-headedly. 'I hope that sounded like a line Arceus would say.'
"He's got a point there," Palkia conceded, then sighed at the situation. "Who's going to believe you, Miss Psycho Bitch? You've spent the last week hunting me and Dialga down madly."
Dialga looked between Ash and Giratina, a frown on her face. "I'm confused."
"So am I," Palkia muttered to himself, the pearls on his shoulders glowing slightly as he used his powers to check the spatial composition of Arceus and his powers. "He feels the same he's always been," he noted.
Giratina scowled, sensing what Palkia had done. "Father's powers are the same, it's the person he is now that's changed, somehow whoever he is has all of Father's traits, while being an entirely different being," she explained.
Ash sighed. "Giratina. I am Arceus, need I repeat myself?"
"No you aren't!" the dragoness snapped back.
"That sounds a bit contrived Giratina," Dialga commented, but before Giratina could make an angry retort, the time dragoness continued. "But, you get the benefit of doubt."
Ash shook his head. "Why would I be a different being? I'm the same Arceus as always, now please Giratina, you should go back to your world and take a rest, you're extremely angry right now and that is clouding your vision. Rethink this once you are calm. What's done is done, you and your world are fine, so you have no reason to bear a grudge against Dialga or Palkia," he said gently, imitating Arceus' tone. "Maybe once you calm down, you'll think clearly and your rage will quell."
Giratina snorted. "Not going to fool me, fake."
Palkia and Dialga sighed. "Giratina, you're sounding repetitive, can't you just let it go? There are enough problems and fighting between all three of us as it is, we really don't need more," Dialga suggested in a kind voice, implying that she really wanted this to end already.
"I'm pissed off beyond mortal comprehension! So shut it!" Giratina retorted angrily at her.
Palkia couldn't help nodding in agreement. "Giratina's got a point, when she's angry, she's really scary."
Giratina ignored the space dragon and kept her piercing glare focused on Ash. "I'll prove to these two idiots that you aren't Arceus."
Ash returned the look, finding it hard to actually keep eye contact with the intimidating Giratina. "I don't need to prove anything."
Giratina chuckled darkly. "No you don't, because you can't, simple as that," the ghostly Dragoness growled, a menacing air to her tone.
"Well what can we do? Ask questions only our Father could answer and see if he gets them right?" Palkia mumbled sarcastically.
Giratina rolled her eyes. "Pathetic mortal method."
Dialga laughed. "What are we going to do, ask him stuff like, out of the three of us, who was created first?" she questioned. "That won't work…" All three members of the Creation Dragon Trio suddenly paused and turned to look at Ash expectantly.
The teen-turned-God sighed and checked Arceus' leftover knowledge to see if the answer to that question was there. To his surprise, it was as if Arceus' body and powers were aware of it and provided him with the answer. Even if he still had no clue how the creation trio was created, he somehow found himself knowing the answer to Dialga's joke-question. "You three were born at the same time," Ash answered plainly.
"So, he has all of father's knowledge too? Then asking questions isn't going to work," Giratina noted, sighing as her mind raced to find any possible method she could use to prove this being was not their father.
Ash stared at the three dragons tiredly. "This is ridiculous."
Dialga shook her head. "No its not, as much as Giratina can be a bitch sometimes, if there is one thing she never does, its toy around and lie about important matters like what she's currently claiming. I want to clear this up too just to be on the safe side," she explained.
Giratina blinked in genuine surprise. Dialga was actually supporting her? The temporal Dragon apparently sensed Giratina's surprise and turned towards her and gave her a small smile. "Uh, thanks?" Giratina said awkwardly, but still grateful.
Ash felt himself surprised at the support Dialga was suddenly showing towards Giratina, and he even felt odd talking to the three Dragons. The last time he had met them he couldn't understand their natural Poké-speech, and even then they were only aiming to kill each other. Ironically, the one he felt he had bonded the most with was the one turning against him now, Giratina. Ash had saved her life from Zero, and in return when Zero's aircraft was shot down and he fell off the Reverse World's bizarre structures, Giratina had returned the favor and even let him ride on top of her head. 'I wonder, did Giratina just save me to repay the favor I did in helping free her and beat Zero, or did she actually do it out of genuine kindness towards me?'
Palkia hummed, glancing at Ash and then at Dialga. "Hey Dialga, can you look into the future and see how this ends and who he is? Or look into his past and see what happened? I tried using space to see if there was something odd and I was unsuccessful, maybe you can succeed?"
Both Dialga and Giratina actually grinned at that. "Why didn't I think of that?" Giratina mumbled to herself.
Dialga sighed. "I feel more embarrassed myself for not suggesting that either…uh, thanks, Palkia," she said awkwardly, wondering if this was the first time in a very long time that she actually thanked Palkia for something. Even Palkia felt odd at receiving a grateful look from both dragonesses.
Dialga's eyes glowed as she focused her temporal powers around the quite alarmed Ash, as he had no idea how to block that. He let loose a small flare of divine power throughout his body, mentally pleading it to do something. Thankfully for Ash, Arceus' body reacted to his plight and raised several divine defenses that went unnoticed by the creation trio. Dialga found that she was somehow blocked from any event centering on Arceus, she couldn't see any past or future affairs regarding him and so couldn't find the immediate answer to their current dilemma. Seeing Dialga's frustrated look, Giratina sighed in dismay. "Didn't work, huh?"
"No, it didn't work…" Dialga answered sadly.
Palkia groaned. "And it was such a good idea…" he lamented miserably.
"Well, it was worth a try," Dialga commented, turning to look at Giratina. "Now what?"
Giratina's claws and wing-spikes began to crackle with bright white energy as she charged a customized Dragon Claw. "We beat the answer out of him," she stated coldly, causing a small pang of terror to run through Ash.
'Calm down Ash, you're God now! You can surely fight her off…' Ash thought to himself, trying to reassure himself of being able to survive Giratina's onslaught. 'Wait, I'll try being nice despite her aggression, Arceus would surely do that!'
"Uh, you sure about that?" Palkia asked uncertainly.
"Hell. Yes." Giratina answered, preparing to charge at Ash.
Ash tried to stand as firmly as he could before the Ghost and Dragon-type goddess. "Giratina, stop," he said firmly. "You're letting your anger take you too far. Way too far. I know you are angry over Dialga and Palkia's fight, over your near death, over your unfounded speculations of me not being Arceus, but you still need to turn around and calm down. If you wish, I'll gladly spend time with you to help you get over this, I'll help you fix any problem with your home dimension and provide you some company if you desire. I'll be there for you," he said in a very soft and gently loving tone. 'From what I can see of Arceus' memory, that was very, as Mew would probably say, Arcyish. Now I hope they buy it…'
That actually caused Giratina to stop in her tracks. She bit her lip slightly. 'Either I'm fucking up big time with this accusation or he's really good at imitating Father…' Giratina thought to herself. She knew well that no matter how bitchy or angry she got, Arceus would always be there for her, even if he did feel tired and sometimes maybe annoyed by her tantrums, he would never voice it and would always help her in whatever way he could. 'At least Father is very forgiving, if indeed he is Father and I am wrong… but, there's what I saw… when I looked at him, I could see it in his eyes… his soul, he is not Father… what's going on?' She righted herself quickly. "You're good at imitating Father," she told him.
"Giratina, what is it that you saw that assures you he isn't Father?" Palkia asked, stepping forward and glancing between Giratina and Ash.
The dragon goddess frowned. "Ever since we got here, Father's been acting… off. Call it nitpicking or just me being paranoid, but he's been acting weird and doing things that I know Father wouldn't do," she explained.
Dialga raised an eyebrow. "Such as?"
"Small things, such as his wording, the way he looks at us, his reactions and acting to certain events…" Giratina answered. "Like I said, call it nitpicking but I know Father wouldn't do that."
"Give an example," Dialga requested, her gaze still set firmly on the Renegade Pokémon.
"Before you got here, I attacked Palkia and he intervened, and yet I was able to trick him and land an attack on him," Giratina started and her eyes narrowed. "Father wouldn't let himself be hit so easily by such a basic strategy. And when Palkia dragged you here his gaze held fear for a few instants at the sight of all three of us, again, something Father wouldn't do."
"She has some valid points," Dialga admitted, turning and narrowing her gaze at Ash.
Giratina grinned. "And most importantly, when I gazed into his eyes before I made my claims of him being a fake, I know I saw it, within his soul, that he wasn't Father. I know he isn't."
Ash sighed. "Giratina, why would you doubt me, your own creator?"
The Renegade Pokémon shook her head. "You are right, I wouldn't doubt Father in the least bit," she answered, then paused slightly. "The thing is, you aren't Father."
"This is starting to grow tiring," Ash grumbled, shaking his head. "And repetitive."
Dialga sighed quietly to herself, looking between Ash and Giratina before making up her mind. "I'm starting to believe Giratina… Father wouldn't have let this argument drag on so much, he would have ended it sooner, a lot sooner," Dialga said. Giratina couldn't help but grin to herself.
Ash gave a small start after hearing Dialga's words. She doubted him too? This was bad. Realizing he needed to say something, he said the first thing he could think of to counter Dialga's comment. "You three are making it drag on."
Palkia shook his head. "I think he is Father, he created us and despite all the headaches we give him, he's always been there for us, we shouldn't doubt him."
"It's hard to prove him wrong," Giratina admitted. "He's got Father's voice, powers, apparently part of his knowledge, his manner of speech… nearly everything, and yet he's not Father."
"That does sound too convenient to be true," Dialga commented. "Are you really sure of what you claim Giratina? If he is Father… we'll be getting into serious trouble for his argument."
"Think of it carefully Giratina," Palkia said. "It's not as if we haven't gotten into serious trouble before. What's one more time?" Dialga was about to make a retort to that, but realized it was true and decided to keep quiet.
Giratina paused for a second, thinking over all of her claims to formulate a clear answer to that. "Oh shut up! I know what I'm sure of," Giratina exclaimed irefully.
Palkia glared at her. "No, she's not sure of it, she's just a crazy whiny dragon over this," he sneered.
Giratina returned the glare angrily and lunged at him with a Dragon Claw, using the spikes on her wings as claws to increase the damage of the attack. Palkia was slashed hard by the attack across his chest and near the neck, which left three large bloodied cuts in his armor. He clutched the new injuries in agony. "I'll get you for that when I recover from all this!" he said angrily with a pained groan.
Ash stared at all the injuries Palkia had plus the three new ones Giratina had inflicted on him and realized that all this time they had been arguing Palkia had been doing so while being heavily injured. 'He's got a really good pain tolerance to argue about this without minding about it too much, but still…' Ash thought to himself, feeling a bit sorry at seeing him in this condition. 'Wait, Palkia's the one that's supporting me the most while Dialga seems to have taken neutrality between me and Giratina while favoring Giratina slightly… I need to win Palkia's trust,' he realized, hoping that what he was about to do would work constructively for his cause, since if it didn't, it would add another nail to the hypothetical coffin Giratina was putting him in.
Giratina and Dialga watched in surprise as Ash walked closer towards the wounded Palkia. "Uh, what's he-" Dialga began, but was interrupted as Ash spoke to Palkia, still in a perfect mimic of Arceus' tone.
"Stand still Palkia," Ash said as Palkia stared at him in astonishment. Ash's golden wheel began to glow in a gentle gold light while the gems in it emitted light pulsations, and then Ash's entire body began to glow a godly white, sending small waves of power throughout the main room of the Hall Of Origin. All the lights concentrated on the wounded Palkia's body and surrounded him in a bright aura. All his injuries began to close and heal as his pain went away. Even the deep power-wound his pearl had suffered and the reason he was still weakened began to fade away.
"Of goodie, he's getting healed," Giratina said sarcastically. "A full-powered moron, whoopee…"
After a few seconds, all the lights receded, and Palkia was completely healed and back at full power, the way he had been before fighting Dialga. Ash grinned inwardly. 'Healing Palkia should get him to vouch for me being the real Arceus,' he said to himself. 'Hopefully.'
Palkia smiled in appreciation while looking at Ash. "Thanks Father," he said gratefully.
"You're welcome Palkia," Ash responded.
Palkia eagerly turned to Giratina as he readied his space powers. An immense pink light filled his shoulder pearl as the glow enveloped his arm. "Now that I'm back to full power, it's payback time crazy psycho bitch!"
Giratina immediately dropped to a serious combat stance, her wing spikes ready as they began to be enveloped in dark energy. She knew full well Palkia was just as powerful as she was and that fighting him in his peak condition was a really tough challenge as opposed to the previous week, where he had been severely weakened and was easy pickings for the ghostly Dragoness. "Oh, I'll be more than happy to beat you up until you're worse than how you were before 'Father' healed you," she taunted, saying the word 'Father' as if it was laced with venom, seeing as she didn't believe Ash's claims of being Arceus.
Before Palkia could lunge at her, Ash did something that genuinely surprised Giratina. He stepped between them to stop the attack, but he wasn't facing her. "Palkia, stop now!" Ash bellowed, causing Palkia to stop in his tracks.
Palkia stared at him in surprise. "Uhh…"
Ash glared at him. "I didn't heal you just so you could get personal revenge on Giratina, I healed you so you would get better," he said firmly.
Palkia stood down, his powers fading. "All right…" he said unhappily. He would have loved to attack Giratina, but what Ash was saying was right and Palkia knew it.
Giratina growled slightly. 'That really sounded like something Father would do and say, but I think he took too long to heal Palkia. Father would have done it sooner… or later? I don't really know when he would have healed Palkia so I guess I can't use this against him… I'll need something else to prove him wrong…' she contemplated, talking to herself in her mind.
Dialga looked at Giratina's doubtful face and then back at Ash, having quite a good idea of what was crossing the Antimatter goddess' mind. "You know Giratina, even if he isn't Father he's not that bad," Dialga commented. "He's just as nice and kind. Either he is Father, or whoever is in his place is just as good. Maybe we can work something out with him peacefully."
'Yes!' Ash cheered mentally. 'It's working!'
"I still doubt him," Giratina said almost instantly. "And no, I don't do peaceful solutions."
Ash's hope train crashed. 'Darn!'
"Why not?" Palkia asked curiously.
"You see, even if he's not that bad, think of it, what if he isn't Father and he's trying to deceive us into thinking he is?" Giratina questioned. "If he is evil and has Father's powers, he may be trying to trick us so we don't stop him and leave, then he can use them wrongly!"
Dialga closed her eyes. "True… we better clear this up…"
Ash sighed. "How can I prove to you that I am Arceus?"
Giratina chuckled darkly. "You can't prove it, you aren't him."
"Why don't you three go to your dimensions? This is getting very tiring," Ash suggested, hiding a hint of hope in his voice.
"I am not going to my Reverse World knowing there's a fake Arceus! And not without beating up Dialga and Palkia some more!" Giratina replied sternly. Dialga and Palkia glared at her, though she didn't pay attention to them.
Ash glared at her. "I order you to go back to the Reverse World."
Giratina ignored him and shrugged mockingly. "I'd obey Father, but you aren't Father, so no!"
Ash snapped and decided to try a different approach now, thought he admitted it was a dangerous one. "I am Arceus!" he bellowed angrily, stomping the ground, emitting a powerful shockwave of godly energy that managed to push the creation trio back in surprise.
Giratina stared angrily at him for a second before grinning savagely. "Prove it!" she bellowed. She opened her jaws as a large sphere of crimson fiery Aura gathered. With a yell, she fired the potent Aura Sphere at Ash. 'If he really is Father… I'm SO fucked for doing this…'
Her form blurred a bit as she disappeared with the use of Shadow Force. Ash stared at the incoming Aura Sphere and pondered his best course of action against it. Finally settling for something, his form began to glow as hooves, the pointy triangle in the tip of his head, and holy wheel began to change to a bright purple, his gray belly also adopting a darker purple color scheme. Ash had changed to a Ghost-type, all of it fast enough to pull it off before he was hit.
True to Ash's plan, Giratina's Aura Sphere was harmless as it phased through him. However he noticed Giratina was no longer near Dialga or Palkia. Spreading his senses and realizing he couldn't detect her, he knew she had used Shadow Force. Ash paused, waiting for the smallest detail which would give Giratina's position away. He paused slightly when he realized he was fighting as a Pokémon now, not a trainer, and felt oddly excited to try it out, even if the circumstances weren't the best. For some reason, he realized that he seemed to know all of Arceus' attacks and how to use them precisely, as if the knowledge had been there all along. He guessed it was due to him being the God Pokémon now. Resolutely he gathered up that knowledge to use to its fullest against Giratina's attack.
Ash sensed a presence behind him and immediately turned around as an orb of shadow energies gathered in front of him. He fired the tremendous Shadow Ball before Giratina could do anything. He watched as the attack collided and exploded forcefully against the Renegade Pokémon as she let out a cry of pain, feeling a small pang of guilt for having to attack her like that. 'Sorry…' He couldn't help but think.
Suddenly, the Giratina he had just attacked began to shimmer and vanish in a shower of black and purple sparkles. Ash's eyes widened as he remembered the last time he saw something similar happen, back when Shaymin was trying to escape Giratina. "Substitute…" he realized.
"Got you!" Giratina bellowed furiously as she suddenly appeared beside him, smashing into him with a full-power Shadow Force that sent Ash flying backwards, a pained moan escaping him as he skidded along the floor, the damage from Giratina's attack being greater because of his momentary Ghost-typing, which rendered him weak to attacks of the same type. "See! See! Palkia, Dialga, you two know Father very well, he wouldn't have fallen for such a simple attack combination! He would have easily seen my trick!" she yelled in affirmation almost instantly, turning towards the two bewildered Dragons.
Ash growled angrily. "Giratina! That was uncalled for, you're in trouble now!"
Dialga narrowed her eyes. "I think Father would be more pissed off after something like this… plus I heard his pained cry, it'd take much more for Father to be damaged like that…" she commented sharply, her tone laced with suspicion.
Palkia nodded in agreement. "Right, though Giratina, if he isn't Father how do you think whoever he is wound up in Father's place?" he asked.
"I have a small theory," Giratina began. "Not sure if it's true or not, but it's my best explanation."
"Well, let's hear it," Dialga encouraged, walking closer towards Giratina, her heavy metallic footsteps echoing loudly throughout the room.
"Well, remember how I was pissed off –and still am- about how I was almost killed? That happened when some stupid human obsessed with me, even so far as to wear some Giratina-themed costume-" Giratina began to explain, but was interrupted when Dialga and Palkia began to hold back laughs.
"My, my, you've got a fan for yourself," Palkia commented, one of his hands over his mouth to stifle laughter.
Giratina scoffed. "He tried to kill me! Anyway, he used a huge machine to capture me and drain my powers and life force into a smaller machine themed after me as well," she explained.
Dialga nodded. "I think I see where this is going."
The Renegade Pokémon nodded back somberly. "The only reason I was able to survive was thanks to the efforts of a group of humans that went to great length to fight Zero and his machines to rescue me." She smiled fondly. "Especially a boy with a Pikachu. Never got his name, but he was the most dedicated and nicest of the group that came to my rescue."
Ash blinked. 'Oh, so she does recognize me for it. That's something,' he thought. Ironically, Giratina didn't know the human she had bonded with, that had saved her life, and she had later saved herself was now standing before her.
Giratina focused her eyes on Ash. "But that's getting off topic. My fear is, what if a human tried to do the same to Arceus that was almost done to me? But this time whoever tried actually succeeded? But instead of implanting the powers into a machine, he got them himself, to the degree of having a body identical to Father's? He may be trying to trick us into thinking he is Father to later misuse his powers without us stopping him."
Dialga nodded again. "Yes, I was thinking along the same lines of your explanation."
"Sounds… oddly plausible," Palkia commented, pondering the matter carefully.
"Maybe," Dialga agreed. Both of the Time-Space Dragons turned to look at Ash intently.
Ash shook his head. "I am Arceus! how can a human, a mere mortal, steal my powers? It's impossible!"
Giratina huffed. "I am freaking Giratina! Yet I'm bitching at you three here that it did nearly happen to me."
Dialga fidgeted guiltily. "Sorry, okay?"
"Not forgiving you," Giratina replied almost immediately. Dialga rolled her eyes.
"You three are terribly mistaken," Ash told them sternly.
"You stole Father's powers!" Giratina accused, walking forward ominously. An idea clicked into her mind, if she couldn't prove he was a fake, then she'd let him confess it himself. 'Time for a little word game,' Giratina thought, grinning.
"No I didn't, I am your Father!" Ash replied immediately.
"You are not!" Giratina said immediately. "You are just a little low-life mortal with incredibly stupid delusions of being a god!"
Ash was starting to get really pissed off. "No, I'm not a low-life mortal!"
Giratina laughed mockingly. "Yes you are, when I beat you I'll take great pleasure in torturing you until you tell me where Father is, you little pathetic crook!"
Ash growled. "Stop calling me that Giratina, I didn't steal Arceus' powers, how can I do that if I am Arceus to begin with?"
Giratina laughed mockingly and began to sing in a sarcastic manner. "Oh look at me, I am a little stupid mortal that stole Arceus' powers, now I am trying to trick three god dragons into thinking I'm the real deal haha! Think that will work on us, thief?" She said in a sing-song voice.
Ash's cheeks turned red from pure anger. "Stop that!"
Giratina laughed in a ridiculing way. "Stop what? Puny mortal, you are nothing but a little weak human, you are a scumbag just like Zero."
Ash was trembling from anger now. "Don't compare me to him," he growled. He hated Zero for what he had almost done, killing a Pokémon as special as Giratina just for personal gain? That was something Ash had disapproved of severely.
Giratina shrugged. "Why not? You are the same as him, a pathetic human with delusions of godhood. You are no different than him, a simple pathetic criminal!"
Ash snapped at last. "HOW DARE YOU! I DIDN'T STEAL ARCEUS' POWERS, DAMMIT! HE GAVE THEM TO ME HIMSELF OF HIS OWN ACCORD ALRIGHT!" He bellowed angrily at the top of his voice. A few moments of silence passed as Ash realized what he had said. His eyes widened in the purest sensation of horror he had ever felt. "Oh… no… I did just not say that…" He looked pleadingly at Giratina. By her dark smug grin, he guessed he had indeed said it.
Giratina chuckled ominously. "Gotcha."
Dialga walked beside Giratina. Her glare to Ash was as steely and dreadful as Giratina's. "So you were right all this time. Nice trick, Giratina."
Palkia walked on Giratina's other side, glaring at Ash just as dangerously as the two dragonesses. "Well, well… busted. Who better to prove that he wasn't Arceus than himself?"
Ash gulped. "Uh… I was lying?" he said weakly.
Giratina ignored what he had said. "You have less than one second to answer this question," the Renegade Pokémon began. "If you aren't Father, then where is he?" she asked, the dangerous tone in her voice making Ash shiver in fear.
Ash paused, wondering how to explain it. "Uhh… he's…"
"Of course he doesn't know where he is, he stole his powers," Dialga accused, following Giratina's trail of thoughts. "That idea sounds oddly plausible now."
"There's no point in trying to hide it, we know you aren't Arceus, so you better explain what happened to Father before we decide to kill you," Palkia said, eyes narrowed.
"You know? He's gonna lie, let's just rip him apart and figure out where Father is ourselves," Giratina suggested. "Or question him once he's all tortured and broken, it'll be easier to get answers that way. I'd like to do the torturing." Palkia and Dialga glanced at Giratina with a slightly sickened look.
The three members of the creation trio began to step closer to Ash, all their powers ready to strike at him. Ash stepped back. "Wait! Let me explain! Please!"
Dialga stopped and nodded towards the other two. To Ash's surprise, they decided to listen to her and stopped. "Go ahead, explain," Dialga said calmly, willing to give him a chance.
Ash sighed gratefully."Okay, Arceus was feeling very tired lately and decided to take a vacation. I am a human he summoned here and decided to exchange roles with. Right now I, the human, is in Arceus' body, and Arceus is in my original body, living my life as a human for a bit so he could get his mind off of godly stuff," Ash explained, now on his own natural voice. "Arceus is alright, really!"
All three of the creation trio stared at him blankly for a few seconds. "Liar! Father wouldn't take a vacation, it's not his kind of thing!" Palkia said immediately.
Dialga nodded in agreement. "And even so, Father wouldn't just give his powers to a simple Human! He'd choose a Legendary Pokémon!"
Giratina frowned, finding the new voice sort of…familiar. She quickly dismissed it as unimportant and went to the point. "Lies, that's not something Father would do."
Ash sighed. "You three don't know him all that well, then."
Palkia laughed. "And you say you do?"
"No," Ash admitted, shaking his head. "No I don't, it all came too suddenly for me. I assure you, I don't have any ill intentions with Arceus' powers. He gave them to me willingly, and if he wants them back I'll give them back without protesting in the slightest, I promise."
Giratina scoffed. "We're supposed to believe that, little thief? That Father gave you his power willingly? No. You stole it!" she shouted, her memories still tainted by the madman Zero.
"Oddly enough, I agree with Giratina," Palkia admitted.
"Arceus is fine! I swear!" Ash said immediately.
Giratina rolled her eyes. "Sure he is, you probably hurt him badly with stealing his powers, like Zero did to me! Maybe even worse…"
"Though, it is Father we're talking about here," Dialga muttered. "Think he'd let a simple human get the better of him?" She wondered.
"Humans can cook up some very nasty machines, I know firsthand," Giratina answered. "Maybe Father was coaxed or subdued in some way by this criminal?"
"I'd never do something that bad!" Ash told them, horrified at the thought of doing something like that.
Palkia chuckled slowly, pink energy gathering on his two shoulder pearls. "I suggest we beat him up to get some legit answers. If not, let's find Father and give him his powers back, and kill this scumbag for daring to steal and misuse Father's powers!"
Ash raised an eyebrow. "I healed you and now you want to beat me up? Considering you ran from Giratina, I'd think you'd be more peaceful."
Dialga chuckled. "To be honest, Palkia's the most temperamental, aggressive, thickheaded and battle-eager of the three of us."
"He didn't seem that way before," Ash commented.
"Being in a weakened state and having an angry Giratina chasing you for a week nonstop is a very exhausting experience," Palkia mumbled, suppressing a shiver at the thought of the deathly ghost Dragoness when she was pissed off.
Giratina growled. "Off topic!" she roared.
Dialga and Palkia turned to Ash, both of them sporting dangerous looks on their faces and returning to the matter at hand. Ash sensed a great power increase within them as they both readied their powers. "Oh uh… can't we talk this over?" Ash asked hopefully. "I'll do anything! I don't want to fight!"
Giratina shook her head, readying her own powers. "No."
Dialga grazed at Ash analytically. "Father is stronger than all three of us. Can we beat him if he has all of Father's powers?"
The Ghost/Dragon-type nodded. "Yes, he might have all of Father's powers, but he doesn't have Father's knowledge, skill, ability or cunning. I just tested that, remember?"
Palkia nodded. "True. What good are all the powers you have if you don't know how to use them efficiently?"
Ash reluctantly began to focus his godly powers. He'd have to fight off the creation trio for now, and in the process think of how to convince them that he was telling the truth and that he would never hurt Arceus' magnificent creation nor the God Pokémon himself. "I don't want to do this, come on! I mean no harm! Arceus is okay! Really!" he tried one final time.
Palkia laughed. "Save your excuses, fake."
Dialga nodded in agreement. "Whatever you did to Father and why you have his powers, we'll soon find out, and make you pay for it!"
"I already told you!" Ash reminded her.
"That was a really crappy lie you know it," Dialga deadpanned. "A really bad one."
Giratina grinned darkly. "Sooner or later, you are going to fall. Any last words little fake?"
"Yes, it's not what it looks like! Really! You three are getting this all wrong!" Ash screamed at them pleadingly.
He got no further answer as Giratina opened her mouth, gathering a sphere of crimson fiery Aura in front of it. Ash's senses rang in alarm when he sensed the sheer amount of power Dialga and Palkia were gathering. Palkia's two shoulder pearls began to glow brightly, as did Dialga's chest diamond as they both prepared their signature moves, the devastating assaults know as Spatial Rend and Roar of Time. 'Oh no… Now I'm in for it!' Ash thought helplessly as he pondered his chances against the entire creation trio…
And with that Chapter 5 of Gods and Mortals comes to a close! I hope you all like it! REVIEW please! :D What'd ya think? Who got the worst nightmare? xD At least they only got nightmares, Ash is literally living one!