Breaking the Chains
Chapter 18: A New Beginning
"So… any idea where in Canalave City this teleporter is going to drop us off?" I asked the Blaziken. The two of us were flying through this… weird and rather trippy place, going through a tunnel covered in these Tron-like lines. Next to us flew jet streams of numbers.
"I don't know." he admitted. "I didn't set an exact location on the teleporter, so it will probably be randomized. We could possibly get sepera-"
Before Phoenix could finish his sentence, I was pulled down through the same tunnel Phoenix was pulled up. The jet stream of numbers soared by mind-bendingly fast. The gravity was pulling me down so fast; I thought I would black out. My eyes were forced closed, and I wondered what would happen.
Phoenix was spiraling away from Aaron at super speed. He tried to fight the current forcing him upwards, but it was too strong. As for his wings, Donatello and Leonardo, they provided him no way to fight the furious current. He was helpless as he found himself continuing to spiral upwards and upwards until…
He was out of the teleport system. He looked around, flapping his wings high in mid-air. He saw the pearly gates to the side of him, and realized that he was back in heaven.
"Wha-" he muttered confused. "How…?"
He slowly flapped his wings back over to the streets of gold. "How could did happen? What even happened?" He ran swiftly past the humans, past the angels, past the Pokémon, past the trees of gold and silver, past the chrysanthemums of ruby and sapphire, and past the roses of diamond and pearl, to a hill out into the distance.
The same hill Aaron had first climbed when he came here.
This hill was a special place. Aside from offering the best view money could never buy you, it has a power. Well, more of a connection, perhaps. It was a direct line to the Almighty Himself. At any time during their day, any resident of heaven could take their time out of it to go up on this hill and talk directly to God. He was a fascinating deity like that, and took the time to answer questions anybody would ask. Though He helped to explain many things, He never said a word about political issues. He told the people who asked about homosexuality, abortion, and the like to simply 'respect each other for how you feel or what you believe'.
But Phoenix's issue had nothing to do with that.
"God…" he muttered. "…I confess that I really haven't talked to you much recently. But… I guess I can talk about that later. What I do need to talk about is… well… what do you plan to do with Aaron? We agreed to simply give the egg to Riley and be on our way… but the more time I spent with him; the more it seemed that he really wanted to go back. He wanted to go back to Earth, and live a normal life with Riley. Can you seriously do… wait, what am I saying? Of course you can DO that… but would you WANT it?"
He waited. It almost seemed like hours had passed before Phoenix received an answer. Finally, a voice spoke to him telepathically.
"His desire to return to his realm is strong. I can tell you that he truly does want to go back. Normally, people and Pokémon alike usually don't want to return because it is so perfect up here. But he feels differently. Even after meeting you and his parents, he still desires to go back and live a true life. In the end, there is a loophole he can exploit to return to his realm, but whether or not he chooses to use it is his decision. I don't speak for him."
After that, the voice and its' presence vanished, and Phoenix was left alone.
"…Aaron… whatever you choose… I hope you do the right thing…"
When I open my eyes again, I discover that I'm in a bush. A sharp, prickly bush that HURT. I jumped out due to the pain and pulled the pointed leaves out of my body. Apparently, angels are still susceptible to injury, even if they're invisible. After I was done, I took a look around. I had landed just outside the ice cream shop, the same one Riley took me to before we were kidnapped.
And speaking of Riley, there he was, to my complete surprise, walking with an odd creature that looked somewhat like me, but much taller and with a pure white body.
In my excitement, I had called out to Riley, but I had forgotten something rather crucial.
The man had stopped for a moment, almost as if he heard me call his name.
"Did you… hear that, Alpha?" Riley said, referring to the mysterious creature as that.
"Hear what?" the creature known as Alpha questioned.
"I could've sworn that I heard somebody call out my name."
I gasped. "How on Earth did he actually hear me? If I'm an angel, then he shouldn't… wait. Phoenix had said that only the pure of heart could sense angels, as cheesy as it sounds. Is Riley that pure? Or maybe the fact that he has aura has something to do with it."
"Maybe you're hearing things?" Alpha suggested to Riley.
"No, no. There's someone else here aside from the two of us. I can sense their aura. And it's a Lucario."
"Since when can a human sense aura?" Alpha asked.
"Well, I did some background research on my family after I discovered my aura powers, and it turns out that I'm a descendant of the knight Sir Aaron. He was also one of the few humans capable of using aura."
"I'm going to go see if I can't find-"
"THERE YOU ARE, YOU REBELLIOUS BEAST!"
Riley and Alpha looked up to see a man descend on the wings of a Charizard. An all too familiar man.
"Doctor Anderson." all three of us said in sync.
"What are YOU doing here?!" Riley yelled at him.
"More like, what are you two doing STILL ALIVE?!" he growled ferociously. He leapt off of his Charizard and faced Riley and Alpha.
"…Yeah. I'm not sure if that 'second chance' thing is going to work out." Alpha whispered to Riley.
"Perhaps n-" Riley was interrupted by a fist to the face by the doctor. He stumbled back into one of the outside table and held his now bleeding mouth.
Out of my protective instinct for Riley, I leapt out and attempted to punch Anderson. I had forgotten of my angel status and instead phased straight through him. I just as quickly took cover again, keeping an eye on Riley. I had wanted to hurt him so badly for what he had put me and Riley through. I do admit it; I wanted revenge.
Fortunately, Alpha did the attacking for me. He launched a Dragon Pulse at the doctor which he swiftly dodged.
"This is just the beginning!" cackled the doctor, lost in insanity. He commanded his Pokémon to attack.
Against the Charizard's will, he found himself trying to incinerate the people he didn't want to hurt. Alpha jumped out of the way, and the bushes behind him caught on fire. At this point, everyone except myself, Riley, Alpha, and Anderson had left the shop, leaving us alone to battle.
"Alpha!" Riley yelled.
"What is it?" he asked as he continued to dodge the attacks.
"I'm going to see if I can't find that other aura source. Can you hold him off?"
"I'll manage. You go and find this guy. Maybe he can help us!"
Riley ran off into the distance, leaving Alpha and Anderson to battle. The doctor dismissed Riley's leaving as an act of cowardice. But it didn't matter to him, as long as he could defeat the experiment he had brought to life and bring him under his control…
Riley found himself in a secluded forest area to the west of Canalave City. There was a small lake connected to Canalave Bay that he passed by. He could feel the aura sense becoming stronger and stronger. He eventually found its' peak point and suspected to find someone, but he saw no one.
What he didn't know was that he was standing right next to me.
"…Hello?!" he called out.
I debated calling out at him again. He obviously heard me the first time, but I wasn't sure if he was quite ready to talk with a dead Pokémon.
I sighed and finally made my decision. I was going to tell him everything.
Riley spun around again, still seeing no one. He heard someone. He sensed someone. He knew someone was there, but he didn't know who. But the voice sounded a lot like someone else he once knew…
"Where are you?" Riley asked. "Why do you sound like you're in front of me? …And why does your voice sound like Aaron's?"
"…Riley. It IS me. I'm just… kinda dead."
Riley was baffled. How was this even possible? That simply COULDN'T be Aaron talking to him. He was dead. Dead Pokémon don't come back to life.
"…A-Aaron? This can't be possible." Riley said, disbelieving. "I saw you die with my own eyes. I saw them extract your aura, your life force. I-I have to be hallucinating."
"Then how come you could sense my aura?" I said to him.
"…" That got Riley to thinking. If Aaron had his aura extracted when he died, then how come Riley could sense it?
"…You… bring up a good point." Riley admitted. "How?"
"I think that when I died… and ascended to heaven… maybe part of my aura came back? I don't know, Riley. I'm just as confused as you are on this."
"…" Riley was still standing there, trying to take in what was happening. Aaron died, he knew that. But then, why has he come back to Earth? What is he doing here? And just what the heck was going on?!
"Aaron… umm… this is kind of awkward, but… why are you here? Shouldn't you be in heaven if you ARE dead?"
"I probably should, but… I want to come back, Riley. So desperately. You were the first time I EVER got to live my life, and I… it sounds selfish, but I want it back. I want the chance to fully live my life with someone who truly cares about me. Someone like you."
Riley teared up a little bit at hearing that. He was the first human Aaron had come to trust. And Riley had wanted Aaron to come back, too.
The forest area was a calm quiet as Riley sat there, lost in thought. He truly WAS talking to Aaron. The birds chirped in the trees above, and the sun peaked through the spaces above the trees. It was so relaxing, just taking in the sunlight. He had nearly forgotten about Alpha until Aaron spoke up again.
"I know you're glad I'm here, but Alpha's still out there battling the Doctor. You need to bring me back to life so I can help Alpha. I've been under the Doctor's hand for 3 years. I know everything about him. And Alpha can't defeat him without my help."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a second!" Riley shouted, stunned. "You want ME to bring you back to life?! I can't do that! I don't know the first thing about-"
"Riley. Calm." Aaron assured him. "I've changed a lot since we first met. I know how to bring myself back. Possibly. It's a one-shot chance, but…"
"What are you thinking?"
"…If Alpha gets killed, it's possible that his aura would make its' way back to the original source. Me. If he dies… I could come back to life."
"Wait… could? Possibly?"
"There's also the possibility that if Alpha dies…" I paused for a second. "Then that's it. Neither of us would come back to life."
"So, you want ME to tell him to kill himself?" Riley asked, somewhat flabbergasted. "Commit suicide? Are you seriously suggesting that?"
"Riley… listen to me. Alpha is what Anderson is after. He wants nothing more of Alpha than to use him to take over the world. And he'll never stop until he gets what he wants. I know him too well. And if Alpha dies… and if he can never come back to this world… then everything Anderson has ever worked for will be gone."
"…" Riley was left speechless. Aaron was correct in every regard. If Alpha died, then Anderson would have nothing left of his research. His years of research and genetic development would simply vanish. And there would be nothing left for him to attempt to rule the world with.
But… suicide? Was Aaron truly suggesting that Alpha should kill himself to end this madness? True, it would end things, and it could possibly revive Aaron, but… it didn't simply sit very well with Riley.
"I… don't know…" Riley said uneasily. He couldn't believe the idea of suggesting suicide to Alpha was still playing around in his head. Murdering him would have the same effect, but Riley simply couldn't do that. He knew that he'd never live down the guilt. "…Doesn't this all seem rather… selfish? I want you to come back too, but…"
I gulped. "It does seem rather selfish of me, doesn't it?"
"As much as I want you to come back, I don't want to tell Alpha to kill himself just to do so."
Riley's eyes widened. That was Alpha's voice. Had he heard the entire conversation that he was having?
But then… why was that a panicked scream?
Crashes were heard throughout the forest area as Alpha ran towards Riley. The doctor followed behind flying at super speed on his Charizard. He had lost all connection to reality, and had become full-blown INSANE. Even Alpha recognized that the mad doctor would stop at absolutely nothing until Alpha finally became nothing more than his obedient slave.
"What's going on?!" shouted Riley in surprise.
Alpha breathed heavily as the two ran quickly away from the doctor who was quickly catching up to them. Aaron silently followed.
"He's gone completely INSANE!"
"I can see that!"
The two maneuvered through the trees, having their agility as their sole advantage over the doctor's speed. But it didn't help them much, as the doctor had sheer willpower on his side along with his speed, and he WOULD. NOT. GIVE. UP.
"I managed to knock out his Tyranitar, having an easy quadruple advantage against it, but I can't defeat his Charizard! No matter what I do, no matter how powerful of an attack I launch at him, he will not stay down!"
"Well then, we've gotta figure out something to do, and quick!"
Riley and Alpha attempted to dodge the attacks of his Charizard, who was shooting fireballs at them. Fortunately, both of them were rather nimble and managed to sidestep the attacks.
But rather unfortunately, their path came to an end and they found themselves trapped between Dr. Anderson and the ocean in front of them. While the both of them could swim, if they attempted to do so, they'd end up in jumping down a large, steep cliff and if the fall didn't kill them, the doctor would.
They were going to have to stand and fight with Aaron still wishing that there was something he could do.
"I don't like using my aura abilities offensively…" Riley muttered. "But I'll have to make an exception!"
The two of them ran at high speed towards the doctor, with fists full of aura. Riley jumped and managed to grab onto the doctor's coat, with Anderson trying to shake him off. It didn't stop Riley from climbing up with his strong grip and attempting to punch him in his face.
Anderson recoiled from the blow, made extra painful from being powered by aura. Riley leapt down as Alpha prepared to go on the offense.
Riley watched Alpha wall jump off of a tree to gain enough momentum to reach the doctor, who was flying high up in the sky now. The two grappled with each other, both attempting to strangle the other. The rapid and heavy shifting of weight caused the flying Charizard to lose control, banging into trees, spinning around in many directions, and finally spiraling back towards Riley.
The human dived out of the way of the Charizard as he crash-landed. However, the forward momentum caused both Alpha and Anderson to tumble off. Their stumble from off the Charizard and to the ocean below seemed to happen in slow motion. Riley leapt to try and grab Alpha to save him.
He just missed. Barely.
Charizard pulled him back so Riley wouldn't fall off as well. Riley couldn't pull his eyes away as the two plummeted to what seemed to be their demise. He watched as they fell to see Anderson going even deeper into insanity, still trying to strangle his creation, who was also trying to escape his hold. The doctor seemed to succeed as Alpha suffocated from the lack of oxygen and his neck was crushed. The doctor smirked at what he thought was a victory until he truly realized his situation. Before he could even scream, his body hit the water. With his height from the fall along with his rapid acceleration, he was essentially hitting concrete. The force killed him, with Alpha's body hitting the water much more softly.
Riley simply stood there, not believing what his eyes had seen. It was over? Just like that? For both Alpha AND Anderson? He looked at Charizard who was just as shocked as he.
"Charizard, can you take me down there?"
Charizard nodded, letting Riley climb onto his back. The two of them flew down to the rocky edge underneath the cliff. Riley jumped off of Charizard and ran into the ice cold ocean water. Tossing his hat aside, he dived into the water to try and find either of them, dead or alive.
Swimming past the Sharpedo and Lumineon, he couldn't find any sign of them, even after diving down three times. He swam back to where Charizard was, shivering from the ice cold water. Charizard cuddled around him, trying to keep his savior warm. He nuzzled the human, as if thanking him for getting him away from his captor of so long.
Riley stared out into the ocean.
"This really is it." he thought. "Both of them… they're dead."
Hours seemed to pass as neither Charizard nor Riley moved. Many things went through Riley's head as he stood there. Finding a passed out Lucario in Veilstone. Taking him back home and nursing him back to health. The Lucario's fearful reaction to Riley, scared of him and of what he would do. Befriending the Lucario, and finally learning of his name: Aaron. Learning about his past, and discovering what Team Galactic had done to him. And Aaron finally recovering from his trauma… only to be captured by Team Galactic again. Just to be killed.
All of it seemed to be so unfair, for one Lucario having to endure such abuse.
And then along came Alpha, who seemed to have a lot of regret for even existing since it required the death of an innocent Pokémon.
And now, all three of them were gone. Aaron, Alpha, and Anderson. Never to live again.
Before Riley knew it, the day had turned to night and Riley had a brief thought about going home… until he remembered that he had no home to return to. He sighed. He didn't feel like going home anyway. Eventually, tiredness swept over him, and he cuddled under Charizard's caring wing, soon falling asleep.
Riley woke up groggy the next morning, especially considering yesterday's hectic events wore him out. He slowly stood up, looking around the rocky edge. Charizard had presumable left, leaving Riley all by his lonesome self. From here, he knew he could navigate his way back home, though there was much to go back to.
"…ugh…" Riley heard moaning coming from another location on the shore. He quietly yet quickly ran to the sound, wondering in the back of his mind that perhaps Alpha did survive. But then, why did the groan sound so different… yet familiar?
Riley walked onto the scene. Immediately, his eye caught onto something.
A Lucario, groaning and laying on the ground.
The Lucario managed to stand himself up before Riley could even offer to help him. After hacking out some excess water, he turned to face Riley.
"R-Riley." he stuttered. "It's me."
From the voice alone, Riley knew who it was. The two ran up to each other and affectionately embraced.
"How – what – I – how – why?" A flurry of confusion came over Riley. "How on Earth…?"
"If you promise not to interrupt, I'll explain." Aaron chuckled.
The two sat on the rocks at the shore, overlooking the same cruel, yet beautiful ocean that Alpha and Anderson were thrown into.
"So… what happened? How were you able to come back? Did that theory of yours actually work?"
"Well… not exactly." Aaron admitted. "I thought it might, but I guess that line of logic doesn't work for bringing back the dead. So, while you were asleep, I went back up to heaven as an angel and talked to God Himself."
Riley was incredibly startled. "God? You mean THE God? Are you serious?!"
Aaron nodded. "Yes. And I pleaded and pleaded with Him to let me go back to Earth and live a true life. It turns out that I didn't even need to do all of that pleading. He… let me come back, Riley. So I could be with you."
Riley was in awe. The things this Lucario had been through were unbelievable. Though, despite this miracle, something still plagued Riley's mind.
"What about Alpha?"
Aaron smiled. "He's doing very well up there. I saw him on my way out. We finally met and he was a really nice guy. He confessed that he felt really guilty about me having to die so he could live, but I told him that it was OK. In fact, I was glad that he could come up here and that we could meet. And… he told me to tell you that he's cool with everything now. I already told my family and him and Phoenix goodbye."
Riley couldn't help but cry, both from joy and relief. Aaron was going to get a second chance at life.
The two finally let go of each other.
"I'm free. I'm rid of my now-broken chains. This is a new beginning for me, Riley." he told him "And I'm glad that it gets to be with you."
Riley smiled. "Come on, Aaron. Let's go home."
The two walked together out of the forest and into Canalave City. "…Wait. You mean that pile of ash that burned down?"
Riley sighed. "Yes, that home."
"…Did you ever get homeowner's insurance?"
Aaron stepped back a bit from Riley. "Never mind, then. But then, what are you going to do?"
"I don't know." shrugged Riley. "I don't have any emergency funds in place, and even if I did, it wouldn't be enough to buy a house. I-"
Riley was interrupted by the sound of his cell phone ringing. He picked it up and recognized the number as Maylene's.
"That's right." he remembered. "I call Maylene to come over here when Aaron died… guess they don't know that he came back to life."
He flipped the cell phone open as he sat down on a nearby bench. "Hello, Maylene?"
Her voice came through on the other end. "Hey, Riley. You'll never believe what happened to me while I was trying to get over to Canalave. It turned out that I made a wrong turn somewhere along the line, and I ended up on Route 216."
Riley couldn't believe it. How can one person get so horrifically lost?
"Anyway," she continued. "We were stuck on the route and Lucas tried to leave to get help… while it was still hailing outside on the route and he almost froze to death. A bunch of ice gathered on his chest spike and I tried to remove it… and… I kinda accidently ripped the spike out."
"And it can't be put back on." Lucas interrupted.
"And that." Maylene muttered. "Fortunately, a Charizard came our way and offered a ride to Canalave City. We took it, and here we are. Back in your house. I let myself in with the spare key. Hope you don't mind."
Riley's eyes widened. "Back in my house?" he thought. "But the house burned to the ground, how can it possibly be there?!"
"Uh no, I don't mind. I'll be there soon." he disconnected from the line and started in a mad sprint for the house. It was just now, that Riley realized that all of this time, Aaron was holding an egg.
"Aaron? Is that… yours?"
"So, you made i-"
"No, I didn't make it." he said. "It's a little complicated. I got it from a friend who wanted me to give it to you to replace me. But then I wanted to come back to Earth and DID, and I don't really know what to do with it now."
"…We'll find somebody to give it to. Maybe give it to some aspiring trainer of Sinnoh or something like that. Now, come on, let's get going!"
The two continued to sprint through the city to find where Riley's house used to be. After a 30-minute long run through the city, he found where it used to be.
Or rather, where it now stands.
Riley gasped. His house was here. But… how was it possible? He saw this house burnt to the ground just yesterday! Upon approaching the house, Riley noticed a letter in the open mailbox of the house. He slowly took the letter out of its' envelope and examined it. It was a beautiful golden color, and it spoke of royalty. He finally opened the letter and read its' contents.
'A little housewarming gift for you and Aaron. I'm sure you'll appreciate it.'
As Riley folded up the letter and tucked it into his pocket, he realized that everything was finally back to the way it should be.
Aaron was alive again.
Anderson was dead, and would no longer threaten them.
And Alpha had ascended to a better place, one where he could live out the rest of his eternal days happy.
And with all of that settled, the two of them ran into the house, ready to start a life together anew.
YES! I FINISHED IT! I was determined, and I knew I could finish it! Finally, Riley and Aaron can have their happy ending. I'd like to thank some people in particular for helping me. A big shout-out goes to Tanon, who helped me with a lot of spelling and grammar errors that he helped to point out. Kudos, Tanon. Also, thanks to Matthias123 and the numerous others who helped me with ideas during this story's temporary hiatus. Lastly, thanks to all of you guys who have been so patient with me and have read this story all the way through. I do hope that the ending satisfies you. Anyway, that's it for Breaking the Chains. Don't forget to Read and Review. And I hope you guys will keep a sharp eye on me for more things to come!