Chapter 1: Rumblings of War

Many thanks to Cornova for letting me use his Poké Wars universe.

The area surrounding Suzurin Stadium was ablaze with activity as throngs of people streamed into it. Fireworks shot high into the sky as electronic billboards showcased today's match ups. The stadium was not normally this crowded but today was the first day of famed Elite Cup – only those who had placed in the top ten of a major league or were members of the elite four were permitted to attend. And there were at least two simultaneous battles.

Outside the stadium grounds, people were waiting in line, soaking in the warm sunlight or training their pokémon. A good portion of the spectators had come from out of the region, some from as far away as Hoenn and the Sevii Islands. With the immense popularity of this championship, who could blame them?

Inside the stadium complex, ushers quickly directed people to the appropriate arena. The air was abuzz with the sound of people, pokémon and hawkers selling everything from refreshments to souvenirs.

About an hour later, all the arenas were filled to capacity. Suddenly, the announcer's voice boomed out over the arena.

"Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to this year's Lily of the Valley Conference!"

He was answered by thunderous applause.

Cynthia was sitting on a couch inside the trainers' lounge. The lounge was sparsely decorated – just some bland couches and white carpeting.

She took several deep breaths and stretched a bit to calm herself down.

She deployed all her Pokémon. "Everyone ready?"

All of them made some noise that indicated "yes".

She then smiled. "Let's do it!"

Just then, an employee entered the lounge. "Champion Cynthia! The match is about to begin!"

Cynthia got up from the couch and recalled all her pokémon. She then brushed a lock of her golden hair away from her face and strode confidently into the bright light of the arena.

"And here she is! The reigning champion of the Sinnoh League, Cynthia!" the announcer cried as she strode into the arena. Thunderous applause and cheers broke out as she took her place in the trainer's box.

She then saw her opponent, a red haired man by the name of Flint, striding into the arena.

"And here is her opponent, the Master of Blaze, Flint!"

More cheers from the gathered crowd. All of them were fired up, expecting an epic battle.

The referee stood in his box and raised both his flags. "This will be a full six on six battle. Substitutions are allowed. The winner will be declared when either side's pokémon are unable to battle. Challenger gets first pick. Begin!"

"Go Infernape!" Flint shouted as he tossed his poké ball. At nearly the same time, an intense hard rock track started.

"Let's go, Garchomp!" Cynthia shouted, tossing her poké ball.

"Oh and it looks like they have decided to start off with their signature Pokémon!" the announcer exclaimed. The scoreboard behind flickered to life, showing the trainers (green for Cynthia and red for flint) along with six question marks below their name. The top question mark faded out and was replaced with an icon of their pokémon.

"Mach Punch!" Flint ordered.

Infernape clenched his right hand into a fist, which then glowed a brilliant white. He then seemed to disappear as he sped towards Garchomp like a speeding bullet.

Garchomp leapt over the speeding projectile that was Infernape. Infernape aborted his charge when he saw Garchomp was no longer there.

"Oh! And Garchomp's dodged that attack! What an amazing jump!"

Cheers from Cynthia's supporters erupted from the stands as a particularly fierce guitar solo echoed over the arena.

"Dragon Rush!" Cynthia ordered.

Garchomp took a few steps back and then charged forward, wreathed in a shimmering blue shield. So great was her speed that she appeared to be a laser beam.

"Behind you! Mach Punch!" Flint shouted.

Infernape quickly turned around and prepared his Mach Punch.

Everyone held their breath as the two battlers sped towards each other like twin lasers.

At the same time, Will and Lucian were battling inside another arena. Both of them were battling with Bronzong. Unlike Cynthia and Flint's battle, there was no music being played and the trainers were completely silent. Of course, most of the spectators were unaware that both the trainers were themselves psychic and were using telepathy to give commands to their pokémon.

Suddenly, the arms on Lucian's Bronzong glowed white as it began to spin at a dizzying rate. It then headed for Will's Bronzong like a giant buzzsaw. Lucian's fans cheered; they loved watching his Bronzong's Gyro Ball.

Just before the whirling mass of bronze that was Lucian's Bronzong collided with its opponent, a shimmering barrier covered Will's Bronzong like a second skin.

But the tremendous momentum of Lucian's Bronzong made it difficult to stop and it slammed into its opponent with a sound like a hammer striking an anvil. Lucian's Bronzong ricocheted off Will's own Bronzong and landed in a heap on the other side of the arena. Will's supporters cheered as soon as Lucian's Bronzong hit the sandy arena.

No matter how much Lucian tried to encourage his fallen pokémon, it would not budge.

"Lucian's Bronzong is unable to battle!" the referee shouted, raising a green flag to signal Will's victory.

The icon for Bronzong under Lucian's name blacked out, indicating that the pokémon was unable to battle.

Lucian recalled Bronzong and threw out his second poké ball. Gallade appeared in a bright flash of light. One of the five question marks under his name disappeared, revealing Gallade's icon.

Will recalled Bronzong. The icon for Bronzong dimmed signifying that it had been recalled but was not unconscious. The next question mark vanished as he sent out his Gardevoir.

Infernape and Garchomp were both panting heavily. Both of them had battered one another with their strongest attacks.

"Finish this! Stone Edge!" Cynthia shouted.

Twin crossed hoops of blue light whirled around Garchomp as she prepared to unleash the deadly shotgun-like spray of Stone Edge.

Suddenly, a mysterious voice echoed in her head: "I've given you the power to take back our world from the humanskill any who stand against you."

Before she could ponder those words, a splitting headache unlike anything she had ever experienced struck her. It was so intense that she fell to the ground, writhing and screeching in agony. Even stranger, the twin hoops of Stone Edge seemed to glow brighter and rotate faster.

Everyone in the crowd gasped as they saw what happened. Cynthia, fearing for her pokémon's health, tried to recall her. To her horror, the red recall beam struck Garchomp to no effect.

She then noticed that Flint's Infernape was also in similar agony. Flint was desperately trying to reassure him – to no effect. Heart racing, she turned to the referee. "Stop the match! I forfeit!"

Before the referee could say anything, there was a sound like a gunshot followed by panicked screaming.

Both of them turned towards Flint, who was lying in a slowly growing pool of blood. Their eyes widened in horror as they took in the gruesome sight. Several stone daggers, some of them bloody, lodged in the wooden door behind Flint or scattered in the general area near him, gave away the identity of the killer: a Stone Edge attack. Both of them looked like they had seen a black Charizard – and with good reason; injuries, let alone blood and death were never seen in pokémon battles.

"But how?" the referee asked. He had seen people get hit by Stone Edge before; all it did was ruin their clothes.

Suddenly, several bright flashes lit up the arena as both Flint's and her pokémon emerged from their poké balls. Soon the arena was filled with the horrifying sound of pokémon in utter agony.

By this time, the hard rock track had stopped and the announcer was urging people to remain calm. But it was no use, panic had spread like virus and the crowd was desperately shoving and fighting to get out of the arena.

She then noticed the twin hoops of Stone Edge forming around her Garchomp again. Wasting no time, she immediately grabbed the referee and sprinted for the trainers' entrance.

There was then the distinct crack of a Stone Edge attack firing. She winced as one of the stone shards ripped through her jacket and into her flesh.

"Just a few more feet," she thought as the door came in sight. Just as she was about to leap through the door; a gout of flame grazed her jacket, setting it aflame. She quickly shed the burning garment and slammed the door shut.

The referee covered his hands with his mouth and ran to the bathroom. Cynthia shoved the couch against the door. She sat on the ground and tried to catch her breath. She then examined her shoulder wound; it wasn't deep but it bled profusely. She got up and grabbed the first aid kit hanging on the wall. She hastily bandaged her wound and looked around. The lounge was eerily quiet at the moment but she suspected that wouldn't be the case soon.

Soon, Cynthia's sense of relief at escaping alive was replaced with guilt. She had abandoned her Garchomp when she was needed most. But could she really fault herself for doing that? She had just seen someone get killed with a Stone Edge attack. What person wouldn't run from a hail of stone daggers?

But Garchomp wasn't the only one to hear that mysterious voice. At the time of that fateful battle, the other contestants were battling. And they soon would hear that voice.

Will and Lucian were now on their second pokémon – a Gardevoir and a Gallade, respectively.

Just before Will could give a command to his Gardevoir, a voice echoed in his head: "I've given you the power to take back our world from the humanskill any who stand against you."

"Lucian," he said calmly. "You know it's bad sportsmanship to use your telepathy to mess with your opponents."

Lucian's jaw dropped. "What? I didn't say-" Suddenly, those same words echoed in his head: "I've given you the power to take back our world from the humanskill any who stand against you."

Lucian glared at Will. "Hypocrite."

Everyone in the crowd was staring at the two. Even the pokémon were wondering what their trainers were doing.

Will sighed. "Well let's get-ARGH!" He then collapsed to his knees clutching his head in agony. Through his veil of pain, he was able to feel something. Some kind of unusual power coursed through his veins.

"Stop the match!" Lucian shouted. His own head was starting to throb as well and it seemed to be intensifying. The referee went to get medical help.

Whispers spread among the crowd as they looked on in shock. No one moved a muscle as they waited for the events to continue unfolding.

Luckily, the medics arrived quickly. They approached Will – and were promptly knocked on their backs by an invisible force. The sand around him jittered as if invisible fists were pounding the ground.

Suddenly, there was a brilliant flash and the two contestants' pokémon were released. And each one of them appeared to be in intense pain. To make matters worse, each one of them seemed to be using an attack. A blind-fired Thunderbolt from Mr. Mime carved glowing trenches in the concrete wall.

By this time, the crowd was shouting and milling about in panic. Some of them tried to dodge Gallade's Stone Edge but it was so tightly packed that they couldn't. Panic intensified as several people were transfixed by the stone spikes.

At the same time, Lucian felt an unusual surge of energy through his veins but his headache grew so intense that it forced him to his knees. Struggling through his fog of pain, he reached out towards the referee's microphone – dropped when he had fled. Much to his surprise, the microphone flew through the air and into his hand before he could even reach it.

"Everyone, please evacuate the arena in a quick and orderly fashion!" he said, voice ragged with pain. Just before he slipped unconscious, he let go of the microphone. His newly awakened psychic powers inadvertently hurled the microphone into the wall.

Unfortunately, his words had the complete opposite effect. The crowd panicked and fought to get to the exits. Those who weren't killed by the stray pokémon attacks were trampled underfoot or accidentally shoved over railings – only to fall to their deaths onto the sandy arena below them.

The pandemonium wasn't limited to the battlers. Outside Suzurin Stadium, all hell had broken loose as pokémon were struck by this mysterious aliment. Attacks of all sorts lanced into the noon sky, replacing the fireworks that had previously signaled the start of today's festivities.

Panicking trainers either tried to calm down their pokémon – with fatal results, unfortunately – or simply fled, abandoning their pokémon, their comrades.

Those who were present on that fateful day were left with one question: what happened? Little did they know that this event would usher in Sinnoh's downfall.