Pokemon Adventures: The Highest Power
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon Adventures/Special.
My ass is on fire!
Began writing on December 4th, 2012. Currently drafting page 5 of Arc 4.
Chapter 7. The Sacrifice, part 7: The Ritual
- The next dawn, Hall of Origin, Meadow of Purity -
Ever since he was kidnapped at two, Silver taught himself not to cry.
He didn't cry when training as a Masked Child was too harsh for him. He didn't cry when a life as a fugitive wore away at his soul, his only support in the world an equally-deprived Blue. He didn't cry when the man that had ruined his childhood and perhaps life was gone, neither from joy nor sorrow. He... well, he did cry after learning how much the father he hated loved him, but that was... different. He didn't cry even after he was sentensed with only half a day left to live. He didn't cry even as he said his last farewell to his enstranged father via dream.
But now he let his tears flow, put down his lifetime of endurance as he embraced his Pokemon goodbye.
Trained to be cool and efficient as they were, they had no less difficulty in showing their sorrow as they wept together with him; Feraligatr's hug was tight as if he'd never let him go, and Weavile was literally stuck on his boots. Honchkrow and Crobat's wings caressed softly against Silver's skin, and Gyarados and Kingdra's scales felt especially rough that day as he embraced them. Ursaring's hug was literally a bear hug, and Rhyperior... enough said.
"You've held on with me for so long... now you gotta let me go," murmured the Exchanger as he lloked round at his partners with blurry eyes. "I don't deserve you, any of you... you deserve a life way better than mine. It's up to you now to go and find it."
If they heard his advice, they showed no sign of it. Weavile only held onto his boots tighter, if anything.
Wiping off his tears with a sigh, Silver looked around the endless meadow to see that all the Dex Holders were sharing a similar sort of farewell. He couldn't see anyone that wasn't crying - the separation from their Pokemon was harsh for all of them, especially after such a painful goodbye given to their loved ones in the mortal realm.
Tears were in Grey's eyes for the third time Silver had seen him, and he was murmuring quietly to the Pokemon that grew up with him, the Pokemon that all wept for him now. By his side Black and Whites' goodbyes were a little louder, but sad all the same. Considering their youth, that wasn't even surprising - though that made this event a lot more disatrous.
"One day we'll meet again, under Giratina's wings..." Platina was trying to comfort her Pokemon in her own way, though she herself seemed no less able to restrain her tears. Pearl was better in control if struggling, but Diamond was literally a human hosepipe as he cried together with his Pokemon - Silver didn't blame him, since he knew that the boy (unlike him) was a type who was honest with his emotions.
Emerald Silver expected to be too proud to show tears, but even he covered his face with his sleeves as his Pokemon crowded him with tears and cries. Even Sapphire let herself loose today as she wailed like a child, and Ruby was grooming his Pokemon for the last time amid his tears.
"Thanks for sticking with me for so long... You guys were the best comrades," sobbed Crystal as she took turns embracing her Pokemon right behind Silver. Turning to look at his friend, the Exchanger noticed with a blink that even the tough-spirited Gold wasn't free from his tears as he sat beside her with Aibo around his neck, silent for once.
"You'll be just fine, even without us..." chanted Blue as she sat together with her Pokemon, and Silver felt what was left of his heart ache to see the lifelessness on her face - it was especially hard for the sworn siblings, because their lives were ending just as they were about to take a turn for the better.
"..." Green was as silent as ever, but even his eyes were bloodshot and possessed tear marks as he bid his teammates farewell. All the more grave, for the Raiser was the one person that Silver had never, ever seen crying for the past six years that he knew him.
Red's voice was uncharacteristically tentative and distraught, prompting the Exchanger to turn and look at the senior Dex Holder surrounded by his Pokemon - except Pika, whi had his back turned on his Trainer while being covered carefully by Snor and Grawy.
"Red-san, Chuchu says he's... upset," murmured Yellow as she walked over to him, tears still flowing from her eyes.
"I know," replied Red with a sigh, his own eyes lashed with moisture. To Pika he then spoke without coming closer: "Look, Pika... I understand if you're mad at me for making that decision, or if you don't want this memory of me as our last. But... just so you know, I'm as proud as I can ever be to have been your Trainer. Everything I've achieved I did thanks to all of you. I... thank you."
Pika didn't reply or turn back, but Silver could hear sniffing from him as Chuchu gave him a teary embrace.
Red's words were cut off by an odd noise that sounded like someone pulling the curtains, followed by a short cry of surprise from White. Looking back to see the source of the sound, Silver felt his heart drop an inch below upon seeing a disembodied hand in midair, pulling away space itself as the dimension warped around it.
"... It's time," said the Titan as she drew apart the spaceframe itself and emerged from behind it. "If you're done with your farewells... follow us. Let the Ritual begin."
- Hall of Origin, Circle of Life -
It felt so out of place to Green, knowing that not even his Pokemon were there for him anymore. The Dex Holders were on their own now, and he seriously disliked the negative impact the fact was laying on everyone - including him.
If anything felt even more out of place, it was the fact that they've been summoned onto the highest pillar in the Circle, atop which the entire order of the Hall could be seen beneath. The Empty Seat of Arceus. (#1)
"At last, everything's ready..." breathed Dialga as he rose up behind the gathered Dex Holders with Palkia and Giratina. "After so long... our Mother will return to us."
"So... how does this place lead to the Shrine?" Asked Emerald from in front of Green, looking around at the wide but empty pillartop unimpressed.
"The Shrine of Creation if the most sacred place in the universe. Did you expect us to leave it open anytime?" Scoffed Giratina. "There is a short ceremony to be performed to be granted entrance. A little bothersome, but we're bound by our own rules as well. Let's begin. Come on over, all of you."
The last words were directed not at the Dex Holders but to the deities still waiting on their own pillars. Green blinked as the entire Order began moving toward them (even Kyogre) in unison. There was no way that they'd all fit in -
"Spatial Warp: Extension," Palkia muttered with a flick of her wrist. At once the edge of the pillar suddenly stretched out twenty times its original size without somehow reaching the other pillars, allowing all the deities to effortlessly join the Dex Holders onto it.
"Meloetta, begin," Ho-oh told a small Pokemon that looked like a young green-haired child standing at the very front of the gathered party; Meloetta, the Muse. The Melody Pokemon gave a soft nod as she opened her mouth, emitting a soft hum that at once had an odd but serene effect on Green's perception - it felt like going back in time to watch the universe coming to be, space and time forming and expanding and life flourishing.
As the tune began gaining in volume and content the other deities began joining in one by one - within half a minute the entire Circle rang with a magnificent hymn that would defy any mortal imitation. This was a song that only deities could sing, a symphony of praise for the world they swore to protect. (#2)
"It's so beautiful, how each of your voices took part in creating a harmony," observed Platina as the hum died down about two minutes later. "What is the song about? I expected it to be much longer."
"This is an extrememly shortened version; to sing the whole thing will take no less than an eternity," affirmed Kyogre with a nod. "This is a song dedicated to the history of the universe from beginning to present, and thus it grows longer all the time. A praise to the greatest creation our Mother has offered us."
"When this song was first sung there were fewer of us," mused Reshiram with a faraway look. "Over time the hymn gained new chapters as our members increased and the universe expanded. Will not what transpires today serve a painful new verse of our history?"
No one answered her as Giratina stepped forward to replace Meloetta.
"There is one thing left to complete the ceremony: a verse in ancient language that is lost now, the key that will open the path into the Shrine. Who will say it?"
"... I will," to Green's surprise, it was Kyurem who stepped up to face the Renegade Pokemon. Closing his eyes for a moment before opening them again, the zombie Titan stood up straight and announced in his usual grinding tone:
"... Viva la Vida."
Long Live Life.
A flash of incredible light followed the short but meaningful incitation, causing several Dex Holders to cry out in surprise and Green to instictively close his eyes. When he opened them again two seconds later, he blinked in awe to see that the wide pillar and the Circle had vanished around them, replaced by a completely different place.
This dimension was just as enormous as all others even though it was enclosed, so large that even Groudon looked small compared to the height of the celing. Overall it possessed the aura of an ancient temple, the structure appearing stone-made and lighing offered by hundreds of undying torches that covered the higher part of the walls.
The Shrine itself loomed before the Dex Holders in the innermost part of the chamber, resting on a higher platform surrounded by sixteen pillars with intricate carvings all over them.
"Go on; ascend it," Lugia prompted softly, and slowly Green walked together with the other Plate-Bearers onto the Shrine of Creation.
The platform was sanguine yet plain, with only a single diagram in its center: twin enormous octagons layed across each other, creating a shape with sixteen vertexes - each point was large enough for a Mamoswine to sit on. At the center of the diagram was a large depiction of a wheel-like symbol, which looked oddly familiar to Green except that he couldn't put a finger on its identity.
"Ah, our Mother's symbol," Dialga's voice had the Raiser turn around to notice a feature he had missed: two large starlike structures on the side of the walls, serving as the deities' seats. "Have you noticed the slots on each point of the dicehexagon? that is the position you must stand on, as the sixteen keys of the revival of the Original One. Let us begin."
The Dex Holders spoke no word; there was nothing left to be said, and there was no point in looking behind. There was no turning back now. Their fate had been sealed - the separation from his Pokemon made the fact even more acute to Green.
"Does it matter which point we choose?" Grey asked cautiously, as if afraid to break the deathly silence of the chamber.
"Just follow your hearts; the right place will reveal itself to you," murmured Zekrom with a halfhearted flick of his claws, his crimson eyes dull with sadness. Without another word the Plate-Bearers split up, each one circling around the colossal diagram to find his or her place in it.
Green had circumvented half the Shrine when he felt a sudden chill in his heart, and he walked onto the vertex in front of him with an ominous feeling. Upon a closer inspection he saw a small picture of a snowflake scratched in the slot, and at once understood; the Icicle Plate has responded to its home.
"In the beginning, Chaos ended in a great burst of light and heat."
A mysterious message spoke itself in Red's voice, and with a surprised blink Green looked to see his friend standing on the innermost vertex of the Shrine. The Fighter's own face looked bewildered as everyone else's, as if he had no idea of what he'd just said, but what was more surprising was the swath of warm crimson light that wreathed itself around him - like bonfire, Green thought.
"As that heat spread the universe outwards, thus it also came to know cold."
Green was even more stunned by the following words, for this time they came out of his own mouth. This time a cold blue aura rose to engulf him, similar to the one Kyurem bore within his Glaciate attack. But before he could ponder on the strange events the other Plate-Bearers began finding their places, allowing the verse to continue itself:
"In time mass formed and gathered, forming planets that we now call home," said Gold within a soil-brown aura on Green's left, causing the Raiser to guess that the message was travelling clockwise among the Dex Holders.
"As earth compressed into each other it eventually hardened into stone..." whispered White, encased in a darker brown light.
"... Then further into steel," took over Black inside a dark silver aura. With a jolt Green realized that each part of the verse was in relation to the Plates born by each Dex Holder, and remembered how Zekrom and Reshiram had called Black 'Child of Steel'. Perhaps, ironically, deep within their subconsciousness they already knew... (#3)
"The young planet raged and throbbed as it grew large enough to bear air," continued Ruby as a faint gust of wind rose along with a lilac aura to ruffle his clothes and barely-showing hair.
"And when it did a fierce lightning storm covered its surface," put in Pearl, then flinched as visible static travelled through his body in a bright yellow light.
"Which ended with a great downpour that offered water to the planet," relayed Diamond, looking content and at home in a deep-blue light that made it look as if he was submerged.
"Even so it didn't look as if life could exist there; everything was nothing but toxic to potential life," stated Silver next, looking even gloomier than usual in a deep purple light that looked venomous on its own.
"So when life did emerge, they had no choice but to fight each other for survival," continued Emerald as a dark orange aura engulfed him, making him look very aggressive with his unmatching green clothes and downed hair. (#4)
"But time passed, and they learned how to cooperate and evolve together until the planet was teeming green with life," said Sapphire as the story took a new turn, and a rush of bright leaf-green aura rose to whirl around her like Nature's caress.
"From that point life exploded into evolution, from the tiniest insects..." drifted off Crystal as she was enveloped in a brighter green light, and for a moment Green thought he saw her sky-blue iris fragmenting into a multitude of compoundeyes.
"... To the mightiest dragons," added Grey, and this time almost everyone flinched in surprise as an azure aura rose from him like a tidal wave, taking form of a giant draconic shape known to none.
"And so it was as it is, and we share this tale now thanks to our mind evolving as well as our bodies," said Yellow quietly, enveloped in the same pinkish aura that Green had seen her emit while empowering Deoxys.
"But as every story has its end, so shall ours; eventually all of us will be nothing but ghosts of a faraway memory..." murmured Platina as an ominous violet wind rose around her, making her long hair wave like as if a real ghost was ruffling it.
"... and in the end, everything will return to the void as it once was." Blue was the one to conclude the cycle and the tale, shuddering as a black aura rose to embrace her in a way that Green found seriously disturbing.
"..." For awhile everyone reamained silent as they felt the aura slowly faded around them (though they didn't vanish) and seep into the Plate slots beneath their feet, trying to figure out what had just transpired. Slightly turning to check out the Hall's reaction, Green saw that even they weren't completely free from surprise. But then again, this was their first Ritual as well.
"What the hell was that...?" Muttered Groudon, shaking his head in wonder. "I've lived a damn long life, but I don't think I've ever seen something so... bizzare."
"It appears," spoke up Uxie, still sounding a bit timid. "That being here in the Shrine, where we are closest to our Mother, has caused the Plates themselves to resonate with its unique aura, allowing it to awaken somewhat. In a sense, here the Plate-Bearers are slightly more of the Plates than they used to be."
"Ah, the wonders Lord Arceus is capable of," sighed Dialga quietly. "How we need her in this dark time! It's finally time to set things right."
"Dialga,"Rayquaza cut in calmly, though Green could easily detect a hint of irritation in his tone. "You agreed to deliver our farewell to them yessternight. Have you forgotten?"
"Overruled, not agreed," grumbled Dialga mutinously as he shot a resentful look at several other deities, but fortunately his anger didn't last as he slowly turned to face the Dex Holders waiting on the Shrine.
"And don't you dare screw up," Green though he heard Kyogre mutter under her breath.
"... Mortals you may be, but you and your Pokemon have done much to serve the world that you live in, many of which should've been our duty to perform. Your aid has been appreciated, especially with such a harsh trial approaching all of us," began Dialga somewhat reluctantly, looking disgruntled to be speaking for the rest of the Hall... or was there a truth of what he truly felt within, like Cresselia had said?
"The fights you have fought, the lives you have lived, are all something exemplary even to us; perhaps that nobility is what drew the Plates to you at birth; no one else could bear its burden for so long." After a pause the Temporal Pokemon added: "You have played your part in this grand tale of history. Rest now, and lay that burden down from your shoulders. Even if you let go of everything now, even if you give in to the mortal call and fade away so soon, no one can doubt your devotion to your world, to your comrades, friends and partners... for it will be through your noble sacrifice that they... we will live on."
"Heh, I never thought you'd be the one to say that," remarked Gold, and Green noticed that even now the hotheaded boy's grin persisted, if it was a little bittersweet one.
"Neither did I," replied Dialga with forced flatness. "I won't ask you to forgive us, though, because I don't want you to. We deserve every bit of your grudge, your spite, your disappointment... for you die now because we are too weak to save the universe from Chaos on our own. So think of us in the Nether Realm and resent us, so that we will always remember what the universe has forsaken to survive, that your sacrifice will not go in vain!"
Green couldn't help but breathe out as a wild-eyed Dialga finished his little speech with an awkward humph; there had been emotion in the Temporal Pokemon's last words. Perhaps he wasn't as apathic as he'd believed after all...
"Lead them well to the Nether, Giratina," Zekrom's growl had the Raiser's attention on the Deep Black Pokemon, gleaming eyes hardened into a pair of bloodstones with a single drop of tear at its base. "Or else I swear... I will avenge their loss on you, whatever it takes."
"Oh, I won't fail," snarled Giratina angrily. Then, to Green's surprise, he added in a solemn tone: "Upon my word as a Firstborn, I won't fail."
Reshiram choked back a sob, and it was only then that Green could truly see how much this farewell meant to the Hall; virtually everyone was in tears, from the lesser deities like Moltres and Suicune, Faeries like Celebi and Manaphy, up to the Titans like Lugia and Ho-oh. Even the tougher ones like Kyogre and Groudon hid their faces, as if ashamed of showing their tears to the Plate-Bearers.
"... We've dawdled for too long," muttered Dialga, his grim face hardening again in determination. "Whether we want it or not, we must proceed - the last song that must be sung to awaken the Original One. Meloetta, begin the - "
"What the - ?" Emerald exclaimed in shock as a loud noise that sounded like breaking glass echoed throughout the large chamber, causing everyone to flinch in surprise. Looking up to see the source of the sound, Green's eyes widened upon noticing a wide Titan-sized crack in thin air on the far end of the aisle that led to the Shrine.
Someone had caused the spaceframe itself to fracture.
"Imposssible, an invassion?" Hissed Rayquaza in disbelief, only to have a second crack emphasize his exclamation. "Not even the Desstroyer can enter the Hall without our knowing, and no one elsse is sstrong enough to breach thiss place!"
"Anyone who dares to try won't succeed; not while I'm here," growled Palkia as she raised her hand, scowling as the massive cracks began to spread. "Spatial Warp: Restore!"
With loud hissing noises the ends of the fissures began to glow pink, sealing itself through their master's will. Green felt himself tense with the other Dex Holders, though they didn't dare move out of their places yet. Whatever this breach-in meant it couldn't be anything good, and if Palkia could stop that -
Crack - crack - crack - crack-...
"W-what?" The dismayed gasp didn't just belong to Palkia, but to all other deities and Dex Holders as well - including Green. For he could see that a violet light had suddenly engulfed the fractured spaceframe, pushing against Palkia's magenta one and driving the cracks even wider.
Crack - crack - crack - crack...
"No, wait, too fast... too strong!" Stammered Palkia, sounding truly in panic now as she threw both hands forward. At once the magenta light began pulsing stronger, but the purple light refused to halt its advance, driving the cracks even wider.
Crack - crack - crack - crack...
"I... can't hold - !"
Crack - crack - craaack - SMASH!
"Waah!" Green heard White cry out in terror as the cracked space burst asunder, collapsing onto the empty floor and creating a massive pseudo-portal that connected to -
"The Meadow...?" Gasped Groudon, jaws dropping open in shock. "But that can only mean..."
"Guys! Everyone, NO!" Blue's horrified scream finally made the situation clear to Green, a fact that ironically numbed all their legs into immobilization. It was their Pokemon, all of them, storming into the Shrine chamber like an enraged tidal wave as they snarled and howled for a fight that they had no hope of winning.
"Wait - Plusle, Minun! How did they get here?" Exclaimed Sapphire in dismay, and Green could indeed see the two Cheering Pokemon that she and Ruby had befriended back in Hoenn among the angry mob.
"Deoxys! And - " Red's voice suddenly caught in his throat behind the Raiser, and he followed the Fighter's gaze to see the revived DNA Pokemon at the head of the furious assault. And as if that wasn't surprising enough, standing right in front of the head of the alien (With Pika sparking madly on his shoulder) was the very one who must've ripped open space itself to break into this sactum of Arceus.
"THE RITUAL STOPS NOW!" Bellowed Mewtwo with a force that shook the air, brandishing his spoon for battle.
Epic (fail) much?
#1. This Empty Seat gimmick I plucked from Alphamon from the Digimon Series. Just so you know... :)
#2. I drafted this part while listening to Requiem from Digimon: Our War Game. Dunno, how about listening to that while reading this part?
#3. Of course, this is quite mistaken scientifically, as far as I know, but what can I say? :/
#4. There are few things that I hate, and one of them is Emerald's croissant!hair, so I think I'll keep his hair down for the rest of the series XD
Well, at least one identity is confirmed... or rather, the Mewtwo part was a bit too obvious, wasn't it? Congrats to every1 who guessed correctly! :)
Trutown, wow, that was... flattering. I know how hard it is for a critic to give praises when he would rather slice the author's ears off, and I've seen the way you manage to pick out problems that other people often overlook... thanks. Though, I think it won't be long until you begin firing up again... at least up to Chapter 11, I think.
Eeveleon, I haven't made a perfect lineout for the tournament itself yet. But since you keep asking, for now I'll just reveal the first match lineups:
Round 1: White Vs. Diamond, Pearl Vs. Sapphire, Silver Vs. Yellow, Red Vs. Gold, Ruby Vs. Crystal, Blue Vs. Platina, Emerald Vs. Black, Green Vs. Grey.
I'll give you some time to figure out the rest!
Do I have to explain why I gave Yellow the Mind Plate? To be honest I did toy with the idea of giving her the Earth Plate or the Meadow Plate, for awhile, since her power derives from the Gift of Viridian, but in that scenario I couldn't find anyone adequate for the Mind Plate, so there. Anyway, this choice seemed fine enough, so I stuck with it. And the other two Plates found other good Bearers, so no loss there. And anyway, it looks like you all know which Plate went to who now...
Points to take notice of in this Chapter:
1. The Ritual begins... only to be interrupted!
2. Don't pay too much attention to the strange phenomenon back there. That was my method of matching the Plates to the Dex Holders, actually.
In Chapter 8 the conflict finally explodes as two Pokemon armies face off! Until then, R&R!
Writing completed on December 6th, 2012. This is Yowl of Time, out.