The next morning, Pikachu woke up to find himself in the Jolteon's cave, with Ash nowhere in sight. For a minute, he wondered if the whole thing had been a dream. Well, the part about finding Ash, at least. But what if the Jolteon had been a dream too? Where was he then? The Electric-type tottered onto his feet and peered around the cave. In the farthest corner, the three Jolteon were sleeping soundly, all curled up together to keep warm. The little Jolteon was apparently having a dream about chasing something, because his legs were waving through the air like crazy. Well, they had to be real, at least.
Pikachu groggily pulled himself out of the cave. It was still very early – the sun was just coming up, and the tree branches blocked the majority of the light. This meant that the entire clearing was rather dark, with only a mysterious glow illuminating it. A few Pokémon were wandering about the plain, but for the most part, it appeared deserted.
Pikachu finally caught sight of a familiar face sitting on top of a rather large rock. He knew that he hadn't been dreaming now – Ash was a Pikachu, and he looked none too pleased about it. Pikachu winced, remembering that it was all his fault for being captured by Team Rocket and dropped into the woods. Sure, those three buffoons had been responsible for grabbing him in the first place, but they were so weak that he should have been able to fight them off easily. Why hadn't he just aimed a good Thunderbolt at them and called it a day? Why had he tried to charge up for Volt Tackle instead? There was no real reason for him to use the extra power, and in the end that had been the fatal flaw that had allowed him to be captured and dropped into the cursed forest.
He darted over to the rock, ducking underneath a passing Luxray and narrowly avoiding being stepped on by a rather tall Ampharos. When he finally pulled himself onto the flat grey stone, his trainer turned to look for just a moment before continuing to look the other way at a larger, blue hued stoned. Pikachu's heart dropped. Ash must be angry at him if he couldn't even stand to look at him. Maybe it would just be better to… what? Run off into the woods and never come back? Stop trying to help his trainer return to normal? That would just make him an even worse friend! He had to prove that he wasn't useless – that he could do something, and that he would. He had to repay his trainer for everything he had done for him, and running away from the situation would be the worst possible thing he could do. S
"Ash?" he started. "Are you okay?" He braced himself for the worst.
"Huh?" the other boy asked, turning around to face Pikachu once again. "I'm fine! Why do you ask, Pikachu? … Oh yeah. Um… I'll get back to you on that one." He smiled nervously. "I've been thinking about how to return to normal for a while now, and I still haven't come up with any ideas… Well, except one. Come look at this!" He dragged his friend over to the spot where he had been sitting by the ear. Pikachu bit back the pain, figuring that he probably deserved that as well.
"See the rock? There's a story written on it, in pictures!" Pikachu was about to say something, but the words stuck in his throat as he saw what the pictures were depicting.
At the very top was a giant ball of light, like a star, but somehow different. It was like a star had come to life, if that even made sense. In the middle of the star were two Pokémon – a huge white one with green eyes, and a small pink one with blue eyes. The two of them overlooked a tiny blue sphere beneath them – Earth. The picture continued down the rock, splitting into two sections. On the left was a human city, with enormous skyscrapers and airplanes flying through the sky. On the right was a forest, with Pokémon peeking out of the branches and hollows of the towering trees. A bit farther down, a huge picture spread from one side to the other once more. It was a picture of a long, flat rock sitting next to a tall rock with something inscribed on it. It was the rock that the two Pikachu were sitting on.
"Ash!" Pikachu gasped. "This is about the forest!"
"Huh? Do you know something about it that I don't?"
"The Jolteon told me something yesterday!" Pikachu pointed at the top of the big stone. "At the top, those two Pokémon are Arceus and Mew. They share the responsibilities of watching over the world. Arceus watches over the humans and makes sure that they don't do anything stupid. Mew watches over the Pokémon and makes sure that they're okay. One time though, Arceus went away to some place beyond sight. That's when Mew took over everything. She felt bad because the humans had no powers, so she let them become Pokémon if they wanted. When Arceus came back though, he made her change all the humans back to normal because it would interfere with the natural order of things. Mew changed all of the humans back, but she secretly made a few places in the world where humans would be able to turn into a Pokémon they liked. That's why the forest is around – it's something that Mew made with magic!"
Ash frowned. "But why would Mew want to turn people into Pokémon?"
"Boredom, mostly," a third voice chimed in. "She's always been the prankster type, more than a benevolent deity."
"I guess that makes sense…" Ash started. A few moments later, he thought to look up at the new speaker – and found himself face to face with Celebi.