Pokemon Adventures: Hunt of the Plates
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon Adventures/Special.
Finally, finally... long wait much, everyone? It was for me :( So here begins Arc 2 of Yowlverse fic! As the first chapter this part begins in a rather unlikely occasion...
Unfortunately it looks like I'll be having an incredibly busy next year, so I won't be able to keep up writing for too long. At worst I'll have to go through another year-long hiatus, so I plan on uploading as much as possible while I can still use the computer. Wish me luck!
Began writing on November 20th, 2011. Drafting still stuck on Chapter 15 of Arc 2. Only a matter of time 'till I catch up...
Chapter 1. Vs. ?: Voices of Yonder
- Somewhere, deep within the Void -
"My Master... I cry pardon for our faliure in Unova. The Energy Dragons failed to erase each other out, and it is only a matter of time before the Hall is alerted."
"An apology most unnecessary... fate had set its course. Their failure in Unova is utterly irrelevant with the ultimate dawning... of doom."
"You are unusually patient, Master. It's been almost a decade since we first began moving toward that grand day."
"You know why. For eons after ages I have waited for my time to rise again. It never came... and never will unless I take it by myself. A few more years of patience is worth the wait."
"Soon, my liege... soon. For years we have toiled with spreading chaos and undermining order throughout the universe. Now even the Storm has risen to welcome us back. The time is ripe."
"Indeed, and I plan to enjoy every moment of it... in fact, I shall give you a new command right now. On a whim."
"As always, Master. More chaos, I assume?"
"Obviously. This time the target shall be... the Original One."
"The Creator... but she is asleep, my liege. No one can reach her in her slumber, not even us."
"No, not her... but what she has left behind, we can access those."
"... the Plates, Master? Do we know where they are hidden?"
"No, and we need not know. But there are plenty of lore left on that wretched world for you to figure out. If we can manage to retreive those artifacts of the Highest Power, those Life-Binders..."
"Chaos would reign, Master... you will reign."
"And it would also teach her some humility, something I look forward to. Return to the Light now, my spawn... find the sixteen Plates of Arceus and bring them before me! Show her and all her creations that the time has come, at last, for the beginning to be joined by the end!"
"I hear and obey, my Lord!"
- Hall of Origin, Circle of Life -
The Hall of Origin, haven of all the restless deities who strive to keep the universe in balance and harmony even as you read this sentence. Where creation first began, the sacred landmark of the Original One's birth. Through the eons the deities had done much to adorn and expand their beloved true home, and now it is a massive multi-dimensioned miniworld leading into many others rather than a simple-yet-grand hall as the name suggests.
The meeting hall itself, by suggestion from the Creator herself, is aptly named the Circle of Life. Only a handful of mortals had ever lived to visit this place (which is one reason this story is being written at all), and thus a thorough description would be required:
The sky is clear above the roofless mini-dimension, overlooking the enormous round platform in the center, below which one can see nothing but the clouds. Surrounding the platform are a series of tall stone pillars, arranged in a circular pattern in a way that the pillars closer to the platform are lower than the ones further back. The highest pillars are extremely wide, in a sense that they can house a small lake on top - one of which in fact does. A long, straight road leads out of the platform through a wide space where there are no pillars, at the end of which glows a large portal that obviously serves as the front gate. Beyond the opposite side of the portal is the highest pillar of all; the Empty Seat, the throne of the Original One.
Directly beneath the giant column are three smaller (but still huge) pillars, the one in the middle currently empty. But it is the two on the sides that we now focus on, for they are the seats of the Titans of Space-Time themselves.
"I knew that jackass Giratina wouldn't come," growled Dialga in annoyance from the left. "No matter how many stinking times I told him that this is important, that idiot, obssessed, power-hungry ass of a - "
"Oh, will you just shut it!" Snapped Palkia angrily from the right. "I can't locate him thanks to your mutterings! He's not in the Distortion World, so maybe he's - "
"Right between your ugly faces, that's where I am," grumbled a deep, hissing voice darkly right beside Dialga. the Temporal Pokemon blinked in surprise to see his not-so-amiable brother rise out of the middle pillar in Another Forme, not forgetting to add a snort at Palkia's aghast expression.
"You're late," was the best words that Dialga could find for his sudden appearance - no doubt a fancy show of Shadow Sneak, the sly eel.
"You're early," retorted Giratina; justified, admittingly, as the three Celestial Dragons were the only ones present so far. "I suppose you had nothing to take care of; my realm is a complete mess. Where is everybody? The sooner this is over with the sooner I can return."
Dialga shared a look with Palkia, who rolled her eyes in exasperation. Yep, he was totally obssessed.
"I'll call them," muttered the Spatial Pokemon, turning towardthe empty circle and drawing a deep breath for an interdimensional scream. Dialga prepared to flinch, sligtly cursing his lack of hands to plug his ears.
"By the power invested in me as Titan, Firstborn and Space-Weaver," Palkia began, her earsplitting shout echoing with an eerie (and painful) quality as it rang out beyond the boudaries of the Hall and, Dialga knew, to all ears of those who were granted power to hear it. "I, Palkia, call upon all Titans, Fairies and Deities who hear my call to gather at once to the Hall of Origin. By the name of the Highest Power I call you: COME!"
As she finished the ritual speech Palkia swept her arm across in a wide arc. At once scores of portal exploded into existence all over the Circle, each dimensional gate above a single pillar (some of the lower pillars had more). Dialga grimaced as he wondered how many of their members would actually answer the call; the Circle had never been completely filled since the end of the last Ice Age, when Kyogre was busy sinking continents and Groudon was giving her the crap for it.
"You are being overly pessimistic, Dialga-sama," an amused-but-polite voice caught Dialga's attention, and he and Giratina looked down at the same time to see Uxie appear out of the portal above a small pillar directly beneath Giratina's. Azelf and Mesprit quickly followed her out, positioning themselves naturally at the Knowledge Pokemon's side.
"Hey, what's going on?" Mesprit asked curiously as she floated up to Palkia upside-down. "You look as depressed as the weather! Did Dialga kick your ass again?"
"NO!" Palkia groaned in exasperation as Giratina let out a snigger. Dialga smirked secretly as well; besides the amusement of imagining him actually giving his headstrong sister an (well-deserved) ass-kicking, the fact that the Emotion Pokemon reached that conclusion first implied that she perceived him to be stronger than Palkia; a very pleasing thought.
"Oh, it was nothing of the sort," said Uxie, shaking her head seriously. "No doubt we will be discussing the issue soon. A surprising number of deities have taken your call seriously."
As if proving her point, a loud caw suddenly echoed throughout the great hall. Looking at the pillar on his far left, Dialga blinked to see a magnificent avian creature fly out of the portal, spreading out his rainbow-hued plumages wide before landing gracefully on the top of the pillar while shedding embers onto the stone floor.
"Well, do I get to hear what's going on?" Asked Ho-oh mildly as he cast a dubious glance around the almost-empty Circle. "It appears we have a huge crisis under our talons, so why are we the only ones here? Has no one noticed the storms?"
"So impatient as always," spoke a softer voice as Lugia gracefully slipped out onto the pillar beside her mate like a fish - out for a good swim, without doubt. "Of course we noticed, we're just early. Many more will come today... I can feel it in my feathers."
"We're here, we're here!" Panted the shrill voice of Latias as she popped out from the lower pillar close to Lugia with her brother right behind. As Latios glanced up at Reshiram's empty pillar at the opposite side with a surprised blink, Ho-oh and Lugia's three children (Dialga kept calling them their chicks, in spite of their strong protests) gathered onto the small cluster of pillars beneath their mother's. By the time their 'adopted sons' (pups, Dialga called them) came out below Ho-oh's pillar two seconds later, Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres had already gotten into an argument - its contents beyond Diaga's knowledge or care.
"Dialga, Palkia, I demand an explanation for this outrage at once!" That was Rayquaza, obviously; the Sky High Pokemon looked beyond agitated as he slithered out above the pillar to Dialga's right. "What's going on in here? It's chaos above the clouds, and heaven knows what's going on beneath. What the HELL did you do?"
"... Reporting." The heavy, emotionless voice of Regigigas caught Dialga by surprise, and the Temporal Pokemon looked at the far right to notice the usually non-present Colossal Pokemon lumber out of the portal and stand still. Even his three minions (to Dialga they were but crap dolls) were present, right above the four Rangers; Cobalion would never let his brothers off a Gathering, to his credit.
"Oh my, so many of them are here already..." spoke Cresselia quietly as she hovered onto the low pillar below Zekrom's empty one with a sullen-looking Darkrai trailing behind her, muttering something that sounded like "What's the point..."
My apologies, Lords, rumbled the gravelly voice of Landorus as he placed himself on the low pillar beneath Suicune's. Tornadus and Thundurus reckoned they would get some fun out of the storm. I made sure they... didn't.
"Good," muttered the Titans together, Dialga included. Knowing those pranksters Dialga could only roll his eyes, vowing to give them a surprise-visit sometime soon; perhaps a month or two of time-freeze would hammer some sense into them.
As he glanced over to acknowledge Meloetta's appearance beneath Reshiram's empty pillar, Dialga's eyes widened as his ears caught a very loud splash behind Rayquaza, which could only mean one thing.
"Kyogre!" Lugia's delighted exclamation had him turn his head to see that the Sea Basin Pokemon had indeed risen out of her pillar - the one with the pool on top of it -, ending up showering water all over Latias and Keldeo below; little harm done, as both of them enjoyed getting wet. "What a delight to see you after so long. Is Groudon coming as well?"
"... Why ask me?" Kyogre murmured back, looking perturbed by being asked of her badass brother.
"What a nice thing to say after flooding half the Cave of Origin!" Grumbled a familiar voice (Dialga wondered how he found it so familiar when he hadn't heard it for some milenia) as Groudon clumsily stepped out onto his pillar between Dialga and Rayquaza, looking pissed-off and dripping wet.
Already tired of the two Titan's bickerings, Dialga looked further ahead below the crap dolls' pillars, where the Faeries were busy gathering up: Celebi, Victini, Shaymin, Jirachi, Manaphy... no Mew.
No stinkin Mew. Damnit, should've known. She was NEVER around for gatherings.
"Good, most of us are here," said the Temporal Pokemon as he looked around at the unusually-crowded Circle. "Let us make haste, then. Time is short."
"But where are Reshiram and Zekrom?" Imquired Lugia, drawing numerous surprised looks from the other deities. "Don't hide that fact; they are connected to Ho-oh and I, we know that they have awakened. So why haven't they come?"
"... We sentensed them a month of confinement in their own chambers." Palkia answered truthfully, reminding Dialga of the Energy Dragons' desolate looks of guilt as they sealed themselves in their dwellings.
"Confined them?" Repeated Groudon in shock, which quickly melted into outrage as gasps of dismay began rising all around. "Without even consulting us? What gives you the right to do that? What did they do to deserve it?"
"After hearing from us, I think you wouldn't think so differently," replied Dialga grimly, turning all attention to him. "So hear us now, brethren, of the peril that our universe now faces. There is much to discuss."
"They're behind the storms?" Hissed Rayquaza in shock, his coiled body rearing back from the implications in Dialga's words. Palkia almost flinched at her brother's bresqeness, but shrugged it off; after all, she wouldn't have spoken so differently. Those three were clearly at fault.
"And under human control too... poor Kyurem," sighed Lugia sadly. This time Palkia could share her sympathy; most Titans had had their share of being brainwashed by fox-hearted humans, and it was such experience they would not wish on anyone else.
"But who were the humans that caused those two to fight and cause the storm, knowingly or not?" Inquired Ho-oh incredulously. "Reshiram and Zekrom would never have resumed their fight unless over a pair of heroes greater than the ones in the past. Who were these noble mortals that so drew them?"
"Uxie, project their images in my head," Dialga commanded the Knowledge Pokemon for an answer. Palkia felt a spark of irritation at his lack of respect for their half-sister, but Uxie herself nodded without complaining. After drawing a short breath the little pixie opened her usually-closed eyes very slightly, staring intensely into the middle of the central platform with her pupils glowing blue. Following her gaze to the floor, Palkia indeed saw the real-life image of two people projected onto it, the Trainers who called themselves Black and Grey. (#1)
Suddenly someone let out a startled gasp right below Lugia, and Palkia quickly whirled left to see Articuno's surprised expression.
"Oh?" Dialga spoke, immediately rounding on the Freeze Pokemon with narrowed eyes. "You seem shocked. Could it be that you are perhaps accquainted...?"
No, no, stammered Articuno quickly, looking abashed as she shared a bewildered look with Zapdos and Moltres. My apologies. I... the shorter one reminded me of someone I... knew.
A light flickered into Palkia's head, remembering that one of the humans - a little too grown to be called a hatchling - resembled the one called Black greatly (or rather the other way around).
"Hm," grunted Dialga, raising his head back up to face the other curious-looking deities. "Now that she mentions it... perhaps most of you might be more interested in these fledglings' companions."
Nodding in understanding Uxie opened her eyes a little wider, allowing more holograms to join Black and Grey on the platform. For a heartbeat Palkia felt a chill run down her spine as she noticed Diamond, Pearl and Platina among them; was it coincidence, or was destiny at work?
Obviously, she wasn't the only one who felt something; gasps of astonishment burst out from all around them as the deities began recognizing faces, followed quickly by names.
"Oh, my... all of them...!" Gasped Celebi as she stared at the crowd of older humans with round eyes.
"Rald? It's Rald!" Latias exclaimed at her brother excitedly; Latios merely nodded back in shock.
"Kyogre, are you seeing... what I'm seeing?" Groudon murmured at his enstranged sister with disbelieving eyes. Kyogre nodded bleakly.
"The children who freed us...? They're all there!" Ho-oh breathed in amazement, sharing a delighted look with Lugia.
Our Trainer... whispered Moltres, who was staring at a tall blue-eyed woman with long brown hair in particular.
"You see?" Dialga spoke slowly as the images faded away. "Coincidence? I think not."
"But what does it mean?" Asked Kyogre, sounding bewildered; no surprise there.
"I believe it means that these humans were even more than what we gave them credit to be," spoke up Uxie quietly. "I have seen it all as they ceaselessly fought for what they believe is right, braving challenges and threats that we ourselves may shudder at. Perhaps destiny indeed has something great in waiting for them."
"Or, they may threaten our very secrecy with what they know," put in Giratina, sticking to his views back in that crumbling castle. "They know too much about us. If they end up exposing us to all mortals in this world, there is no telling what may happen. Their silence must be preserved!"
"Just what are you afraid of, worm?" Dialga muttered, rolling his eyes. Giratina immediately rounded on the Temporal Pokemon with a furious hiss, winged claws raised to pierce and pummel.
Palkia flinched visibly at the thundering rumble of Regigigas, which echoed throughout the hall like the sound of a mountain collapsing. Dialga and Giratina alos drew back sharply, not wishing the Colossal Pokemon to wear off his Slow Start on their (thick) skulls.
"That would be the 947th time I tell you to watch your language, Dialga," Ho-oh put in dryly while massaging his ears with his talon. Palkia didn't miss Suicune correct his father quietly from below: Forty-eighth, Master.
"You imply unnessassary violence, one that musn't be tolerated," Rayquaza told Giratina sharply. "Our mother would never have allowed such atrocity to be committed, even to preserve our secrecy."
"I wonder how far that attitude will carry," muttered the Renegade Pokemon darkly. "That's why she is deep in slumber, unable to tell me that."
A heavy silence followed.
"Look, we're getting off the point," interjected Azelf quickly before everyone began to get moody at their nonpresent mother's mention. "Knowledge can never be a sin. What these brave mortals know might even help us take care of all th mess in the world right now. They could be our allies!"
"Could they?" Inquired Groudon, cocking his head skeptically. "I don't doubt their capabilities, but they have much to face. They energy storm is tearing their world apart as we speak; what can they do about it? What are they willing to do about it?"
"They would also have to fight many of their own kind," added Cresselia sadly. "An incursion of human criminals have risen harshly in the Eastern region..." (#2)
"Well, that's hardly knew," muttered Palkia, her scarlet eyes narrowed as she remembered her wretched enslaver, the abuser of the Red Chain.
"For the love of, so many problems, so little headway..." Dialga sighed unexpectly, causing Palkia to blink in surprise; she had never heard her somewhat-arrogant brother sounding so weary in... forever. "This is pointless. Our discussion is leading to nowhere, and even now time flies."
"It was always like this; what's such a shock?" Groudon shrugged; not cruelly, but closer to resignment.
"No, it wasn't," murmured Dialga, abruptly looking wistful as he glanced behind at the Empty Seat. "It hadn't always been like this... not when our mother was here."
Palkia felt an odd stirring in her heart as she followed her brother's gaze. For once she had to agree with him; ever since the Original One had entered her deep slumber they have been divided, never again made whole like they used to be when she was there to guide them.
"Dialga..." said Mesprit sympathetically as she floated up to the Temporal Pokemon, knowing his emotions too well. "We all miss our mother, but talking about her like this isn't gonna bring her back."
"No, it won't," agreed Dialga, his eyes slowly regaining the steel within. "Not words. But what we do... our actions can."
A short silence followed, as the deities tried to gras the meaning in his words. Palkia didn't have to.
"The Ritual," she breathed as she turned to her brother with narrowed eyes. "Are you serious?"
"You deceive yourself if you deem it unnessessary," growled Dialga as he turned to the stunned deities. "Stop being fools and think; we can't risk being divided when the universe we swore to protect is at stake. We need her to guide us through these dark times!"
In those seldom moments when their creator would be mentioned, Palkia was always amazed by how even the mere mentioning of the Original One had such a gravitating property; even the proudest of Titans (Palkia didn't have to look too far for one) bow at her name, and the argumentative and headstrong deities all gather under her banner as one without the slightest sign of complaining or dissent. Even now she could see heads nodding and murmuring agreement everywhere, even noisy Zapdos, adamant Terrakion, inattentive Victini, half-asleep Jirachi (it was a wonder how he managed to wake up out of his natural sleeping cycle at all) and sour Darkrai.
Dialga had uttered the magic word, and they were listening.
"The time has come," the Temporal Pokemon spoke solemnly, looking more godlike than ever before. "We must awaken Lord Arceus."
A refreshing sigh swept across the gathered deities at the name. For the first time in several milenia, no one disagreed with him.
"So the choise is made..." Even Giratina stood a little taller as he spoke. "Well, with that decided, there is even less time to lose. Preparations have to be made for the Ritual!"
"The Plates," Ho-oh confirmed, breathing out loud in exhilaration. "Do we know where they are? Uxie?"
"... I'm sorry," replied the Knowledge Pokemon, bowing her head in shame. "Before entering her slumber our mother sealed all memories of the Plate's whereabouts. Even I cannot access them through any means."
"Security measures," said Groudon, flexing his claws readily. "No matter. We'll have to find them the old-faschioned way, then."
"There are plenty of lore left on the mortal plane to aid our search," suggested Lugia, her eyes beginning to brighten with hope.
"Excellent," hissed Rayquaza excitedly. Looking down at Latias and Latios he continued: "The two of you excel at acting under cover. You will lead the search for the ancient lore. Understood?"
"Yes, sir!" The two Eon Pokemon replied at once, bowing slightly in respect for the Master of the Heavens.
"Well, now that we've decided on it, what are we waiting for?" Exclaimed Palkia, the anticipation of at last awakening their mother getting to her as she spread her wings wide, ready to take off at once.
"Wait, wait!" Dialga yelled out among the excited voices. "Happy as we all are, calm down for a moment. I'm not finished yet!"
"Oh, what is it now?" Giratina growled impatiently. "Make it quick, or I'll finish it for you."
"You honestly forgot that you got two Shadow Balls chucked at your face today?" Dialga snorted back before turning to the rest of the deities. With a grimer voice he continued: "Before the Hunt of the Plates begin, I'd like to suggest one more hunt... how many of you here are familiar with aliens or mutants?"
YES, finally got to restart! I'll try to keep this pace as long as possible :) As promised I upload this new beginning on November 22nd, Green's birthday. Happy birthday, cool guy, though I don't expect a thank-you in return! XD
#1. Just, JUST in case you didn't read Arc 1, Grey is N, having joined the Dex Holders as their sixteenth member. Look to Chapter 23 of Arc 1.
#2. Meaning Sinnoh. If you look at the Pokearth in Serebiinet or something, Sinnoh is at the east of the earlier three regions.
A lot of familiar faces, don't you think? This many legendary Pokemon are bound to make the story more interesting... and, unfortunately, vastly more complicated. It's bad enough writing a fic with sixteen main characters, along with more than a hundred side characters from all five regions. But hey, it's the kind of thing I like, so I'll try my best not to screw up.
So who were the mysterious entities that were conversing in the beginning? That'll be a secret that'll be kept for a long, long time, friends. I suppose you'll find out about at the middle of Arc 3. Although to give you a hint, one of them is a rather familiar character...
Oh, and a warning beforehand: prepared to be a little bored out. Arc 2 is gonna proceed in a different mood from before, 'cause Arc 1 is sort of an arc on its own while Arcs 2 to 4 are grouped tightly together; you wouldn't understand one without reading the other. Many questions are gonna be raised in Arc 2 that won't be answered until at least Arc 3, so don't be frustrated if you don't have a clue of what's going on. And starting from now I'm trying to be fair on focusing the POVs on each Dex Holder, so each POV has to be quick and rather skippish to be able to handle them all, so if that pisses you off you should express that in your reviews. Not that it would change much, but still...
Well, I'm done worrying. We return to the Dex Holders again in Chapter 2, acting together to stop Team Rocket and Team Galactic as they rise again in Sinnoh for unknown reasons. Until then, R&R!
Writing completed on November 22nd, 2011. This is Yowl of Time, out.