A New Journey
Chapter 1- The Death and The Life.
Ash and his group were very happy when they got an invitation from Cynthia herself to go to the Sinjoh Ruins. After the Sinnoh Pokémon League was over, Ash, Dawn, and Brock decided to go to the ruins with Cynthia as their last adventure before the group separated to go their own ways. To Ash's greatest surprise, Gary Oak was also there. As a researcher in training, Gary also wanted to see the ruins to learn more about the legend of Arceus and the Unown.
They were amazed with how the ancient people of Sinnoh and Johto had designed the temple inside of the ruins, but their fun was ruined when J came to the ruins. She wanted revenge on Ash and his friends for destroying her airship and ruining her hunts. She laughed crazily as she activated bombs she had set up throughout the ruins. The Champion and the young trainers tried to run as the explosion made the cave collapse and boulders fell and crushed the crazed J.
Brock coughed as he pushed some rocks off of him. He looked around to see if the others were okay.
"Cynthia! Dawn! Ash! Gary! Where are you? Are you okay?"
Then, Brock saw Cynthia helping Dawn to her feet. Brock noticed that Dawn had broken her leg from the impact of the explosion. Since Brock didn't have any serious injuries, he got up as they started to look for Ash and Gary, hoping they were alright. Suddenly, they heard Pikachu crying out in horror. Brock, Cynthia, and Dawn rushed toward where Pikachu's voice was coming from, but their path was blocked by boulders. Cynthia called out her Garchomp to help them remove the boulders.
Gary moaned in pain as he slowly opened his eyes. He coughed a few times as he heard Pikachu crying out in despair. Gary gasped, horrified when he saw his rival and childhood friend, Ash, trapped beneath a giant boulder that had completely crushed the right side of his body.
"Oh, sweet Arceus... Ash!" Gary cried out. He moved to reach out for Ash but soon discovered that he, too, was pinned in place, his left arm caught beneath a big boulder.
He tried to get his arm out from under the boulder, but it was too heavy. He realized that the only way to get out of there was… He didn't want to do that, but Ash's life was in danger. He had no choice.
"Pikachu! Pikachu!" Gary shouted to get the Pokémon's attention.
Pikachu turned around and saw Gary was there. Gary ordered Pikachu to get closer to him, and the Pokémon slowly obeyed.
"Pikachu, I know you know the Iron Tail move," Gary said as he looked at the yellow mouse. "I want you to use Iron Tail on my arm, to cut it off."
"Please, Pikachu. It's the only way to help Ash."
Pikachu bit his lower lip. He looked first at Gary, then at Ash. He closed his eyes as his tail became metallic. Pikachu cried out as he used his move on Gary. Gary cried out in pain as he placed his hand on his bloody stump, where his limb used to be, and rushed towards Ash.
"Oh, Arceus, Ash…" Gary was too shocked. He kneeled beside his friend and softly touched his face, afraid that doing anything more would only cause Ash more pain.
Then, Ash started to cough as blood came out of his mouth.
"Ash, thank Arceus you're alive," Gary said, relieved to see that Ash was still alive, even with a huge rock crushing his right side. "Don't talk, Ash. Try to save your energy; I am sure Cynthia and your friends have already called for help."
Ash couldn't help but chuckle softly. He knew Gary was trying to give him some hope, but he also knew it would be too late for him when the rescue finally arrived. He couldn't feel his right side anymore, and he was getting cold and sleepy: he was well aware that if he gave in to temptation and fell asleep, he wouldn't be waking up again.
"I wish…I wish we could have gone to Unova together in the spring..." Ash said very softly as tears rolled down his left cheek.
"Don't say that!" Gary shouted furiously as he held Ash's left hand with his right. "Don't say that, as if you're going to die. Don't say that…" Gary sobbed. He was no fool; he knew the chances of Ash surviving this were very slim.
Pikachu cried as Ash pulled his index finger and thumb away from Gary's grasp just enough to rub the electric mouse's left cheek pouch tenderly, and in response, he licked his trainer's face. He knew he couldn't do anything for him. He'd always known that death would separate them eventually, but he'd never imagined that Ash would be leaving him like this.
"I'm so sorry….Pikachu."
Ash's eyes closed as his body went limp, leaving him unable to hear Gary's and Pikachu's cries.
A few days later, Ash's body was buried in Pallet Memorial Cemetery. Delia had been crying ever since she'd heard that her only child had died. In fact, all of Pallet Town was now in tears over the loss of their young trainer. All of Ash's Pokémon were devastated, but the ones who took his death the hardest were Pikachu, Bayleaf, and Infernape. They almost never left Ash's tomb, only abandoning it long enough to eat, but they always returned to their fallen trainer.
Professor Oak tried to convince the Pokémon to leave, but his efforts were in vain. With the permission of the priests, the old professor had three small houses built near the cemetery to protect the Pokémon from the weather; that way, Pikachu, Bayleaf, and Infernape could be as close as they could to their fallen trainer at all times.
Gary was still at the hospital, unable to attend Ash's funeral. It had been almost two weeks since the unforgettable event and almost two weeks since Gary had fallen into a depression.
Brock entered Gary's room and found him lying down in his bed, dressed in hospital clothes. His eyes were blank and half-lidded, his gaze directed toward the sky through the window
"He already ate and had his medicine…" The nurse informed Brock.
"I see. Thank you."
She bowed immediately and left the room.
As Brock walked closer to the brunette, he took in the state of the poor figure before him. He couldn't blame Gary for being like that. He'd just lost not only his left arm, but his childhood friend, too. Gary suffered a serious mental breakdown, displaying loss of basic motor control and stupor since then. He had been mute and rigid and would maintain the same position for long periods of time. He showed little reaction to outside stimuli and would sometimes walk aimlessly inside the hospital's ground. Gary's family was thankful for the guarded entrances and exits to the hospital that prevented the younger teen from ending up in the streets in his current state.
Brock remembered the moment when they found him: He was missing his left arm, but holding Ash's hand with his right hand and not letting him go. Gary fought, cried, and even bit Brock; anything to not let go of Ash's hand. When the rescue came, they had to give him a tranquilizer. When Gary woke up the next day, he failed to give any reaction or response. Losing Ash before his eyes had been too much of a shock for Gary to handle.
Gary looked to his right and saw Brock. He didn't give any response, only looking at him with lifeless eyes. Brock didn't need any response; Gary looking at him was enough, even with those lifeless eyes. The former gym leader took something from his pocket and placed it in Gary's hand. The young Oak blinked, confused as he saw what he had in his hand; it was the bottom half of a rusty, old Poké Ball. Brock saw a small reaction in Gary's eyes.
Encouraged, Brock finally spoke, "Ash told us once about the meaning behind this Poké Ball piece. You knew Ash better than any one of us, and I think he would want you to keep it."
Brock was about to leave when he heard a whispering voice.
"What?" Brock turned around and saw Gary holding the piece to his chest. When he got closer, he could finally hear Gary's voice.
"I want to go… I want to go to Unova…"
At the Sinjoh Ruins, Arceus, the creator of the universe, saw the soul of a young boy hugging his knees and crying. The great Pokémon could feel the soul's solitude.
"Ash…" Arceus called the soul's name softly.
The young soul looked up and saw the great Pokémon before him. More tears fell from his eyes, but this time from relief
"A-Arceus….? Is that really you?" Ash got up as he slowly walked towards to the great Pokémon. He hugged one of Arceus's legs, and he started to sob. "I know I am dead, but… but… I couldn't leave this place for some reason. It's like a barrier is blocking my way out of here."
Arceus looked softly to the one who had once saved him. He knew Ash had a strong heart, but he was still a fragile spirit. Being alone for a couple of weeks had been hard on him, especially after he'd died in such a brutal way.
"Sometimes, when a living being dies in a tragic way, as you did, the soul is trapped in the place where he or she had died," Arceus explained this to Ash. "I am very sorry for making you wait, but I needed to be sure that no one would be here, Ash."
"What do you mean?" He now looked confused.
Then, the great Pokémon started to explain that sometimes a human soul could become so special that Arecus would appear before him or her in death to give them two choices- to be reborn as a Pokémon, or to move on to the afterlife. Ash was now surprised; he hadn't known this was possible. Arceus told Ash that when his old human friend, Damos, had passed away, he had asked him if he wanted to go to heaven or be reborn as a Pokémon. Ash blinked, surprised as he asked Arceus what Damos had chosen.
"He asked to be reborn as a Pokémon. That way, he could be close to his family again, even though he was not able to retain any memories of his past life," Arceus answered to Ash.
Ash closed his eyes as he remembered everything he had gone through with his friends and Pokémon. He wanted to be with them again, to share all of the bad and good moments of their lives with them. He knew he had his answer.
"I want to be reborn, Arecus," he said. "I wanna feel life again and maybe see my friends in my next life."
"I understand, Ash." Arceus nodded to him, and Ash's soul floated to the level of Arceus's head. "Even if you meet your friends in your next life, you will be unable to remember them. When you reincarnate, all of your memories of your past life will be erased to leave space for the new ones in your new life."
Ash only looked at the great Pokémon with a soft smile on his lips. He closed his eyes as he placed his hand on his chest.
"Even if I will not remember them, my heart will because I believe my bonds with my friends are so strong, they can transcend a lifetime."
Arceus couldn't help but smile softly at him. Suddenly, all of his plates appeared around the great Pokémon as they started to glow. Ash's body began to glow, as well, as he looked at Arceus for the last time before going to his new life.
"So, what kind of Pokémon will I be reborn as?" Ash asked, understandably curious.
"Oh, that you will know soon enough," Arceus said to Ash. Ash could swear that Arceus was smirking.
Suddenly, Ash was surrounded by a pillar of light which blinded him. When Ash faded into the light, Arceus sighed softly as he wished Ash good luck in his new life and silently promised that he would always be watching him.
In a very far away land, a lone dark Pokémon was sleeping peacefully. Then, the dark Pokémon opened her eyes when she noticed a light outside of her lair. When she went outside, she saw no one was there, except for a blue egg in front of her. She blinked in confusion. The mistress of illusion, Zoroark, was wondering why anyone would leave an egg in front of her lair, when the egg suddenly glowed, and in the place of the egg was a small, blue puppy creature. Zoroark recognized the creature; it was a Riolu. The Riolu looked at Zoroark with his big, soft red eyes.
Zoroark's eyes widen in surprise when the Riolu called her "mommy". Then, she smiled softly to the puppy as she hugged him and nuzzled him in a very caring way. She didn't understand how an egg that had a Riolu in it had appeared, but she knew that she would be Riolu's mother.
To be continued
That's the remake of my Journey fanfic. I admit, I was not happy with the things I did in the orginal fic. This time, in this remake, we will have some of the same characters but with new names and a new storyline, but the focus will still be on Ash's journey as a Riolu in his new life. I will update the next chapter soon.