Pokemon Adventures: The Highest Power
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon Adventures/Special.
Long wait, everyone... Yowl of Time reporting, here to finally begin with Arc 3. Nuff said, let's hope you've been so dying for this chapter that the very existence of this intro is annoying you. I won't keep you waiting!
Oh, and just in case... if you hadn't read Arc 1 (Where Legends Cross) and Arc 2 (Hunt of the Plates) beforehand, high chance that you won't know what the heck is going on in here, so you'd better read those first before coming here!
Began writing on November 10th, 2012. Drafting paused, but will begin again soon.
Chapter 1. The Sacrifice, part 1: The Hall
- Hall of Origin, Meadow of Purity (The Faeries' dwelling) -
As soon as her consciousness returned, the first sensation that came to Sapphire was how much everything HURT.
"Nnnng..." she groaned without opening her eyes, feeling the ache all over her body like wildfire - it felt as if all her bones had been shattered before being crudely pieced back together.
"Was that Sapph?"
"Did she come to?"
"Is she okay? That didn't sound well..."
"Sapph? Are you okay?..."
The last voice (Sapph wasn't conscious enough to recognize its owner) came with a soft touch on her stomach, the same spot where Regirock's thick arm had blasted her guts apart -
Oh crap, Regirock!
"Kyaa!" Exclaimed Sapphire as her body shot up, and her eyes snapped open to see Ruby's surprised face an inch away from her -
"Oww!" Howled Sapph as she fell back clutching her head, feeling as if she'd been struck with a Brave Bird in the face. It took a moment for the stars and gongs to go away, and when they did she gingerly got back up to see Ruby rubbing his head with the ball of his palm.
"Good morning to you too," he muttered, and Sapphire almost missed the fact that he looked a little tired (and hardly hurt from that headbutt). "I don't know whether to feel mad or happy for you. Seriously, diving at Regirock on your own? You're lucky you're alive at all!"
"Yeah, I've been wondering 'bout that..." grumbled Sapphire, for once not in a mood to argue. "Honestly, I wouldn't've been surprised if we're both dead, in this meadow at that... ugh."
Now that she could look around their surroundings, she noticed that they were sitting on an endless field of green, with the grass tickling her legs comfortably and a soft breeze washing through her hair - a spring field, in contradiction to the present time of September. (#1) It would've been a nice place to hang out in, if not for the fact that she wasn't getting the situation at all.
Okay, it was perfectly normal to have her Pokemon (and Ruby's) gather around her with delighted faces, though they seemed reluctant to pounce on her considering her current condition. But why all the other Dex Holders as well?
"Ah, I get the kick outta you two," chuckled Gold as he lounged about nearby, absentmindedly petting Exbo while cracking a little toned-down grin at them. "I don't think you've noticed, but you look like newlyweds who just felt their baby's first kick! Maybe I should've brought some pink balloons?"
Sapphire felt blood rush up to her face, realizing that she and Ruby were both feeling her stomach for any additional pain. As they jolted away from each other in embarassment she felt a sudden desire to kick their laughing senior in the face, and was thus satisfied to find Crystal coming up directly behind him. Now she'd -
"Oh, do stop that, Gold. I can't believe you're still in a mood for jokes," chided the Capturer quietly, turning her eyes to the ground with a sad look that threw Sapph for a loop. What was going on? Normally she'd have kicked her (boy)friend seven feet off the ground after hearing him say something like that.
"Just being positive, okay?" Muttered Gold as he cast his looks down with a more somber expression too. Now that Sapphire noticed, all the Dex Holders were looking rather gloomy. White looked close to the verge of tears, while Grey and Emerald were staring vacantly up at the sky. Red, Green and Blue were murmuring quietly among themselves, and Yellow was moving hastily about among the equally morose-looking Pokemon.
Looking back at Ruby, Sapph almost punched the ground in frustration to see that same look on his face as well. This wasn't right!
And she could think of only one reason why they were all like that, why they were all together in this ideal but strange place.
"Yes, Sapphire," said Yellow quietly as she turned from Pika and Chuchu to face her. "We lost... they brought us to the Hall of Origin."
"How did it end up like this?" Platina murmured to herself as she petted the crestfallen Empoleon's crown, trying to remember what had gone wrong during the last month of their lives. So much had happened during that short time, but she tried to backtrack it anyway.
She supposed it all began when a mysterious dream of premonition drew the Dex Holders to Unova, bringing them together to stop Team Plasma's plan to separate Pokemon from mankind. They had all witnessed the battle between Reshiram and Zekrom, between Black and N, King of Team Plasma, between truth and ideal. They banded as one to stop Ghetsis' plot to exploit N and Kyurem for his personal gain, and succeeded in defeating the villain, restoring Kyurem of his sanity, and N of the trust that humans and Pokemon can exist and thrive together.
When Teams Rocket, Galactic and Plasma mysteriously rose again, the sixteen Dex Holders - now including N as Grey - again united to stop their rampage. It wasn't long before they learned that they were fighting against a mighty force that dwarfed even that of the deities of the Hall, its sole purpose the utter destruction of the universe. Thus they set out to protect the sixteen Plates of Arceus and protect the enemy's forces from seizing them. And when the Plates were not found they followed the evil forces to Kanto/Johto, where they trained with friends all over the region to develop the strength to fight back better.
That was when the deities struck.
Even after her devastating fight in the Burnt Tower with an extremely upset Azelf and being captured (with Diamond and Pearl) by Kyogre's overwhelming power, Platina still failed to understand why the deities had turned against them. True, their last encounter with the Celestial Dragons could have gone better, but they had still parted in peace. And the hesitance most of the attacking deities had clearly demonstrated only added to her confusion. (#2)
"Well, Red, what do you think?" Green's voice broke into her thoughts, and Platina raised her head to see the senior Dex Holders (and some of the younger ones) in deep conversation. "You told us that Dialga brought you and Yellow here. Since he looks like the most outspoken of the Titans, maybe he could've spilled some beans?"
"Not enough; I don't like all this secrecy," replied Red with a shake of his head. With a light smile at his Pokemon he added: "From what everybody said I think it's obvious that they want something done by us, so why all the cloaks? I thought we deserved more trust from them than this."
"But Dialga did say something strange, didn't he?" Yellow asked with a blink of her eyes. "Remember, Red-san? He said that the enemy grunts attacking us and their Pokemon weren't living things, so destroying them didn't count as murder. Do you think he was being literal?"
"That does sound plausible," put in Grey with a thoughtful nod. "I remember the Team Plasma grunts I had encountered in Sinnoh. As their King I knew every one of my subjects, yet I could not recognize their faces."
"Me too; have you noticed how robotic their faces looked like?" To Platina's surprise Diamond piped in; even here he was eating something together with Lax.
"That sounds nasty and all, but aren't we getting off the point?" Cut in Emerald with an impatient shake of his head. "That might be important info, but it explains nothing about why we're caged in here like this. Why did the deities have to do this to us?"
"It's obvious they're hiding something from us," mused Blue, for once looking serious. "They gave us information about the enemy willingly enough, but not about themselves or us. Whatever they're hiding from us, it's about one of the two."
"What, they know something about us that we don't?" Remarked Gold with a roll of his eyes. "Well, whatever the big secret's about, I hope they spit it out soon. Maybe they've forgotten that we're not immortal like them and decided to hold a century-long conference."
"Very amusing, Son of Earth," snorted a mental voice out of nowhere, causing Platina to flinch along with Chandelure. Whirling behind she came eye-to-eye with the very Titan that she'd last seen in Team Plasma's castle that month ago. "You wish we had time to do that - it might've spared all of us a lot of pain."
"Palkia...!" Pearl and Ruby gasped simultaneously as the Spatial Pokemon exited the self-made portal, her feet touching the ground with a light thud.
"I'm afraid we're too acutely aware that you indeed are mortal," continued Palkia with a roll-eyes at Gold. "So come, we'll delay no more. I will take you to the Circle."
"Where's that?" Asked Sapphire, and Platina remembered Ruby saying that it was the Titan of Space that patched her back up from the wounds caused by Regirock. Was the senior Dex Holder aware of that fact?
"This Meadow is but a small pocket dimension that forms the Hall," explained Palkia as she drew a large circle in the air. "The Circle of Life is the largest of them, the gathering place for us deities. Feel honored, for no mortal has yet been invited into it."
"Maybe we would, if we weren't entering it as prisoners," muttered Gold, and Platina felt a jolt of fear for the hotheaded senior. She knew Palkia's short temper, and she knew what she was capable of.
To her relief, the Titan made no move to smite the Dex Holder's insolence. Instead she just opened up a new, larger portal in thin air, her eyes dull and glazed as she murmured: "You have no idea how much we wished otherwise, Son of Earth."
Despite the gloom in the atmosphere there was a certain authority in her tone, one that didn't allow disobedience. Slowly Red first got to his feet, then White, then Gold, then the rest of the Dex Holders one by one.
Platina almost leaped in shock as Empoleon suddenly rose, growling something at Palkia that sounded like a demand. In confusion she turned to Grey, who raised his eyebrows as if the message had not been expected.
"Surely our Pokemon will not be denied entrance, noble one?" The eldest Dex Holder inquired Palkia, and all the Pokemon bristled in anticipation in a way that chilled Platina. Could she face what was waiting for them beyond that portal without her Pokemon by her side?
The Titan hesitated as she swept her gaze over them all - almost a hundred in total. Her reluctance to answer agitated the Pokemon even more, and some of them began pawing the ground impatiently; Sapphire's Pilo, Diamond's Tung, Platina's own Lopunny...
"We insist," said Black firmly, putting an assuring hand on Boar's shoulder.
"... Very well," replied Palkia eventually, turning her back on them to face the gigantic portal. "But I advice you all not to make a racket. You will be very... quickly... silenced."
- Hall of Origin, Circle of Life -
Black's eyes widened in awe as the sky reappeared around them; the portal exit had appeared on a wide platform that somehow managed to fit in the Dex Holders and all their Pokemon, allowing them to rise our of the floor. Besides a narrow road behind that let out of the platform the entire Circle was surrounded by pillars; low and high, thin and thick.
But what amazed Black was not the majestic scenery but its occupants: deities, deites EVERYWHERE.
To his far left a thick pillar rose on top of which sat the six Faeries: fiery Victini, gentle Shaymin, playful Manaphy, drowsy-looking Jirachi, solemn-faced Celebi, and a very wide-eyed Mew who was staring at the Dex Holders as if she'd just seen a Garbodor fly. Next to them were the four Rangers: Cobalion, Terrakion, Virizion and Keldeo all looked stone-faced. Cobalion in particular was staring at Black, as if remembering how they fought together to stop a rampaging Kyurem almost a month ago. After them were angsty-looking Latias and Latios, then a grumbling Heatran. (#3)
To his right, to Black's irritation, was Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus; he hadn't forgotten the way Tornadus had snatched away White like a helpless Venipede from the Pewter Gym. To their left was a pretty swanlike Pokemon with a sad face which Black recognized as Cresselia, and a black mass of something in her shadow that he failed to identify.
Finally, to his stark front were three thin pillars, on top of which floated the extremely depressed-looking Lake Guardians - Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit. Done scanning the lower pillars, now Black turned his gaze upwards:
The first sight that greeted him as he turned left again was Regigigas, towering over their heads with such authority that he even dwarfed his own minions standing on the pillar right beneath his. To his right was Kyogre, barely visible as she was poking her head out of a pool that dominated her pillar. Next was Rayquaza, yellow eyes narrowed into slits. Then came grim Groudon, Black and White's captor; the young Dex Holder almost shuddered at the memory of journeying into the river of magma inside the behemoth's mouth - and of nearly sweating himself into dehydration.
To the far right perched Ho-oh, his supreme majesty making a stark but well-matched contrast to the grace of Lugia beside him. Just beneath their pillars sat their children; Raikou, Entei and Suicune beneath Ho-oh, and Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres under Lugia, with all six of them looking unnaturally down. To their left, to Black's pleasant surprise, stood Zekrom, Kyurem and Reshiram. The Energy Dragons' dignity hadn't waned in the slightest since he last saw them - and the power emanating from them had quadrupled -, but the apparant tear marks in their eyes warned Black that something was horribly wrong.
In the middle of all the pillars stood the tallest and the largest of them all, though it was empty. Just beneath it stood three thick pillars, each taken by the Firstborn; Giratina in the middle, Palkia right and Dialga left. The Celestial Dragons, the Titans whose power could warp the universe itself.
"Imbecile," muttered Dialga as Palkia flew up to join her brothers above. "What were you thinking, bringing the Pokemon? It'll only make things harder for all of us."
"Oh, shut your trap," growled Palkia, though Black noticed the way how she avoided his eyes.
"Well, I suppose it doesn't matter; we've got work to do," humphed Dialga indifferently as he fixed his crimson eyes on the Dex Holders, then up at the massive empty pillar behind him. "So we meet again, mortal ones... I bid you welcome to our Mother's Hall, the birthplace of this universe. You see behind me the Throne of Arceus, behind which lies your destiny."
"Nice. And that is?" Emerald demanded boldly, causing Black to flinch in anxiety; not that he didn't feel so differently, but sometimes the hotheaded senior's outbursts unnerved even him.
"We shall see," was all that Dialga said as he turned away again, lighting a spark of anger within Black - he was tired of all the avoidance. Why wouldn't they just tell them? He could also notice signs of similar dissent among the Dex Holders, especially from Gold, Pearl and their Pokemon.
"That's just enough, Dialga!"
The outburst was sudden and thundurous, and Black flinched while Ruby and Diamond jumped beside him. Snapping his head right the young Dex Holder's eyes locked on Zekrom, his ebony armor crackling with static as his crimson eyes glared daggers at Dialga.
"It's bad enough that we must drag these innocent lives into this, and now you even deny them of the knowledge they rightly deserve!" Continued the Deep Black Pokemon, ignoring horrified looks from Groudon, Lugia and some other deities that obviously screamed STOP. "How much more do you plan on disgracing them? Speak now! Are you afraid of what will happen if you tell them everything?"
"SILENCE, COWARD!" Bellowed Dialga, his eyes burning in rage as he whirled left to face Zekrom with backplate flared up; the ready snarls on both Titans' faces told Black that this feud had its own history. "Don't talk as if you're the only one who cares for them among us! Don't let me repeat this again: Anyone of us who's afraid to corrupt themselves to save this universe is less than trash. You're not even worth arguing with."
Even though Black couldn't understand what the Temporal Pokemon meant, there was such venom in his tone that he was surprised that Zekrom didn't lash out at him in fury. Instead the Deep Black Pokemon bowed his head, his eyes blurring in bitterness and self-loathing.
"This isn't how it's supposed to be," he murmured, the aura of grief around him almost tangible. "Our ideal world is stronger than this, tough enough that it doesn't require sacrifices from its inhabitants too keep itself intact. I admit that this must be done no matter how dishonorable... but in doing so I have denied my ideal... denied myself. If these noble souls can't be offered that ideal, they should at least be given the truth, the truth that will arm them against the despair that awaits them beyond the Empty Seat..."
"Brother..." whispered Reshiram as Zekrom's voice broke, wiping her own tears with an expression that made Black's heart wrench; it wasn't hard to see how difficult it was for her brother to admit that he'd lost the very virtue that defined him.
But it still wasn't right! What could make such mighty and noble beings weep in despair? Looking around the Circle he could see many deities closing their eyes or turn away from the sorry sight; some like Mesprit even wept together with the Energy Dragons.
"Dialga," it was a toned-down voice but one with authority that broke the heavy silence, and Black turned further to see Ho-oh nodding solemnly. "I must agree with Zekrom on this point; we've dishonored these mortals enough. They deserve to know why this is happening to them."
"Agreed," Kyogre mumbled, surprising Black with a strange echoing tone of her mental voice that made her sound mystic and unearthly. "We demand a great service from them... it's only right we try to repay them just as graciously."
Now Black turned to observe Dialga, finding hesitation in his fierce eyes for the first time. The Temporal Pokemon's gaze slowly drifted over to Palkia, who scowled at him despite also giving him a curt nod.
"Fine," Dialga grumbled at last, focusing all attention on him again. "I'll tell them, then. I won't leave anything out, but I warn them all: the truth will offer nothing but pain and regret."
Black heard White gulp behind him in terror, and couldn't help become tense. What was so terrible that even the Titans were afraid that it will destory them?
"Tell us," stated Red firmly, followed by demanding cries from the Pokemon around him.
"You have been warned," reminded Dialga as he swept his crimson gaze over the Dex Holders. "Very well. I shall begin with a question: How would you define a God?"
Many thanks to those who've stuck with me this far... so on we march again!
#1. I only reveal this now, but currently the time is mid September of Year 10, with the RGB arc counting as Year 1.
#2. A short summary for the first two arcs, for those whose memories were getting vague. You're welcome :)
#3. Currently Black's gaze is travelling clockwise from the far-left. In the next paragraph it'll be moving counterclockwise from the far right.
xxxDreamingflowerxxx, nah, I'm not psychic. I just paid attention to Bulbapedia and my petty imagination... and what do you know, even I get things right sometimes. The sorts of things happening in the actual manga right now... ugh.
MewBladeXxX, I don't know about Cheren's PokeDex, but apparantly he isn't considered a Dex Holder anymore, in any case.
Um, is it supposed to be a mistake that both Charon and Pearl have a Rotom? Pikahiko was in reference to the Rotom that followed around Diamond and Pearl during the Platinum arc, while Charon's is in reference to the Platinum game. Since Rotom's not a legendary Pokemon, I chose not to mind if there are several Rotoms flying around.
pokemonspecial12, well, I didn't consciously try to make their personalities like that. Just went with the flow... and it turned out like that! Blue is certainly Mew personified, but Darkrai's like Green? I was planning on making his personality more emo than cool-guy... but oh well. Anything goes.
TwinLeadersX, I must be crazy! Fixed Chapter 19 of Arc 1 right away... thanks for the critical reading! Couldn't have found it out on my own. :)
Eeveleon, um, I didn't really plan on that detail, but I suppose they were talking of private issues, so better not dig into it! XD
sonofthetrigod, fixed Chapter 5 of Arc 1... how did I not notice that? Rest assured, in the later chapters Musha's a male. I must've deceived myself there. :/
A lot of sad things are happening in the manga right now... ah well, I suppose my story's starting to go off more offstream than I wished, but it's something I'll have to live with.
Points to take notice of in this Chapter:
1. Yeah, the Dex Holders are all in the Hall now. What's more to say?
2. Sapphire fans, you'd be glad to know she's okay! XD
3. So Dialga finally decides to spill the beans...
The next few chapters are quite actionless and may feel a little boring, but this is one of the most important parts in the entire storyline: THE TRUTH. So stay tuned for Chapter 2... until then, R&R!
Writing completed on November 15th, 2011. This is Yowl of Time, out.