Arceus Awakened

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    Default Arceus Awakened



    "Well, it's about time for us to go. Take care of yourself, Chiron, and hopefully we'll meet up again sometime!"

    Cynthia smiled at the young man on the hospital bed. His face was bruised and battered, and he had multiple broken ribs. Considering all he went through, it was hardly a surprised. In his hands, he held a sleeping orange Pokemon - the rare poltergeist, Rotom.

    Behind Cynthia, Professor Oak stood up. Like Cynthia, he was all smiles. "Chiron, it was an honor meeting you, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors."

    Chiron immediately flushed red. It seemed he was still shy in front of the reigning Sinnoh Pokemon Champion and the most famous Pokemon Professor in the world, which was only fair, all things considered.

    "The honor was all mine," Chiron stammered, laughing and scratching his head nervously. "Goodbye, and thanks for everything!"

    Professor Oak headed for the door, and Cynthia followed him. As soon as they shut the door on Chiron, Cynthia looked at Professor Oak. She was a tall, slender woman in his early thirties. Long blonde hair fell gracefully down to her knees, and her thin grey eyes were just as graceful. She was wearing a long black coat that was even longer than her hair, and slim black pants.

    "So, what do you make of it all? Charon revisiting the Team Galactic Building now of all times, given the situation at hand..." Cynthia faltered at the gaze the Pokemon Professor gave her. He was an old man, though not quite as old as Sinnoh's own Professor Rowan. The age was evident on his face, which was starting to wrinkle. However, a youthful energy seemed to always linger in his eyes. He was wearing a purple work shirt and a pair of brown trousers.

    "This isn't the place for that," Professor Oak murmured quietly, his eyes looking around carefully. They were standing by themselves in an empty wing of the Eterna hospital, but Cynthia knew that what they were discussing was top secret stuff. If the news were to break out, it could cause widespread panic throughout Sinnoh. Professor Oak returned his gaze to Cynthia.

    "At any rate, it seems like an isolated incident to me. From the sound of things, Charon was only there because of Rotom's appearance," Professor Oak said. "I say forget it. More importantly, we have to deal with the matter at hand. Can you round up those Trainers for a meeting, say, tomorrow night?"

    "Alright." Cynthia nodded. "Your place?"

    Professor Oak nodded. "Until tomorrow night, then."

    ==========

    "So, we've all gathered."

    Professor Oak cast his eyes around the room. For a living room, it was pretty small, but this was only Professor Oak's summer home. A small couch rested against a wall, with two sitting chairs adjacent to it. Two Trainers were sitting on the couch, while a third was sitting on one of the chairs. These were the three heroes who had saved Sinnoh six months prior during the Team Galactic incident at Spear Pillar: Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

    Diamond was lazily lounging on the couch. He was a carefree guy, with a sometimes sleepy look on his face. However, he was a reliable and friendly person, one that never gave up. He dressed in a red shirt with a blue jacket over top. There was a baggy red hat sitting on top of his head, and he was also wearing baggy black jeans.

    Beside Diamond was Pearl. Pearl was Diamond's best friend since their childhood days, but the exact opposite of him in every way. The kid was loud and boisterous. His poofy blonde hair was just as exaggerated as his personality was, curling up at the sides. He wore an orange-and-white striped vest and a green scarf on top of a pair of dark grey skinny jeans.

    Finally, there was Platinum. She had studied under Professor Rowan as his aide growing up, and had blossomed into a level-headed and enthusiastic Trainer. Her eyes were always sparkling brightly with energy, and she was always in a good mood. She was wearing a heavy pink coat, and a short pink dress underneath. She also wore a white ski cap and large pink boots.

    These three were the Trainers that had overthrown Team Galactic at the peak of Mount Coronet and defeated the legendary creation trio of Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. Perhaps the most incredible thing about them, however, was that they were all only sixteen years of age.

    "Um, yeah, we're here," Pearl said. "Here for what?" Diamond nodded in agreement, turning his eyes to Professor Oak. Platinum was already staring at the Professor with interest evident in her eyes. Behind the Professor, Cynthia stood with her eyes boring into the back of Oak's skull. How was he going to handle this?

    Professor Oak began.

    "As you are all aware, six months ago, Team Galactic summoned Dialga and Palkia at Spear Pillar with the use of the Red Chain that was formed through the manipulation of the lake guardians, Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie. However, you were able to defeat Team Galactic and subdue Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, returning them to their respective dimensions. After the incident, I, along with Cynthia and Professor Rowan, installed surveillance equipment that could alert us if there were any more disturbances at the area. We had planned to keep the equipment there for exactly six months - we were due to go and retrieve it in just a few days from now."

    "However, two nights ago, one of the alarms set off. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina all reappeared at the Spear Pillar. We don't know why, but the security cameras show them reappearing all at the exact same time: 10:23 PM. There seemed to be some brief dialogue between them, but very quickly, they began fighting again. They've fought nonstop for the past two days, and we've had to move quickly to gather all three of you here."

    Even Pearl was speechless. Professor Oak continued. "We're asking the three of you to go back to Spear Pillar, and investigate the cause of this. You three have been able to subdue them in the past, and are all accomplished Trainers - perhaps even more talented than Miss Cynthia herself. We're counting on you to handle this!"

    Platinum spoke up. Her voice was clear, but she was clearly bothered. "So you have no clue why this is happening? This isn't tied to Team Galactic in any way, is it?"

    Professor Oak shook his head. "We've looked into that, but it seems Team Galactic has disbanded for good. There's been no movement on their front - we rewinded the security tapes a full week, but there was no sign of a single Team Galactic member."

    "You can count on us, Professor Oak."

    Professor Oak looked at Diamond, who had stood up.

    "You can count on us. We know what's on the line here... We won't fail." Diamond winked. "It'll be just like last time!"

    "Yeah, yeah!" Pearl shouted, standing up as well. "We've beaten them once before, and if they want another fight, nothing's going to change!"

    Finally, Platinum stood up. She nodded her head in agreement. "We know how to handle ourselves."

    Cynthia stepped forward. "We know we can trust you guys. This won't be easy as last time, though. Last time, you had the assistance of the three lake guardians, Azelf, Mesprit, and Uxie. This time, you'll be-"

    Pearl cut her off. "Ha! We've got a surprise for you guys!"

    Simultaneously, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum all pulled a Pokeball out from their pocket, and released a Pokemon into the air.

    The eyes of Professor Oak and Cynthia immediately widened.

    "Azelf!" "Mesprit!" "Uxie!"

    The three pixies floated beside their partner's head - Azelf to Diamond, Mesprit to Pearl, and Uxie to Platinum. All three looked very similar, having the same small, pale blue body, the same pair of thin tails, and the same red jewel on their forehead. However, it was impossible to mix any of the three up with another. Azelf had a triangular, cyan head, while Mesprit's was pink with two long appendages dropping from both sides. Finally, Uxie had a large, yellow head with four long grooves running from its forehead to the back of its head.

    "What... How did you get these Pokemon?" Cynthia exclaimed wildly.

    Platinum laughed. "They never left us. After the battle at Spear Pillar, we went to their respective lakes to release them. However, not a single one left. Each of us were challenged to a battle, and we were all able to capture our counterpart."

    Diamond smiled. "So, are there still any worries? You can trust us, Professor."

    Professor Oak laughed sheepishly. "I never expected even you guys to be able to tame the legendary Pokemon. But don't get ahead of yourselves - you're going up against legendary Pokemon as well. Last time, they were being controlled by Team Galactic. This time, we don't know why they're battling. Be careful!"

    "Yeah, yeah." Pearl chuckled. "We'll handle it, Professor!"

    Professor Oak nodded, a relieved look crossing his face. "Alright, good luck!"

    Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum all returned their respective legendary Pokemon to their Pokeballs, then turned to the door. Professor Oak watched them with assessive eyes. Then, he balked. "Oh, I almost forgot!"

    Professor Oak rushed down the hallway behind him, and turned into a room to retrieve something. Cynthia looked at him in mild surprise, and the three Trainer stopped at the door, surprised themselves.

    Professor Oak rushed back out with something in his arms, hidden underneath a towel. He lifted the towel, revealing what was underneath.

    "W-what is that?" Platinum asked, mesmerized by the object.

    "It's a Pokemon Egg." Professor Oak looked down at the Egg. It was like no other Egg he had ever seen before. The shell was translucent, and the interior was a deep sea blue. A glowing red orb was pulsing gently in the center, and a ring of smaller yellow orbs hovered above it.

    "What is it?" Platinum asked. "I've never seen a Pokemon Egg like this one before."

    "Yes," Professor Oak said. "I got it recently from a friend of mine, who is a Pokemon Ranger in the faraway Fiore region. Since they have no Pokemon Trainers over there to keep the egg, they sent it over to me to give to a Trainer."

    At this, Professor Oak looked at Platinum. "Platinum, you're the most level-headed and careful Trainer here. I'm giving this Egg to you. Please look after it, and tell me if anything happens, alright?" Platinum nodded, and Professor Oak gently put the Egg into her open arms.

    The moment Professor Oak placed the egg in Platinum's arms, something suddenly happened. Platinum's eyes went wide as the egg began glowing a painfully bright white and began changing form. It went from the perfect oval shape of the egg to a small body. Two long arms split off from the side, and two stubby legs poked themselves out of the body. A large head formed, and two long antenna sprouted out of the top of head. Then, the light faded, and the baby Pokemon in Platinum's arms were now recognizable.

    The Pokemon was the same color as the egg - a deep sea blue. There was a red jewel in the middle of its chest. Yellow markings surrounded its closed eyes.

    "Maaa!" the Pokemon cried loudly, opening its eyes. Then, it suddenly stopped. It locked eyes with Platinum, who was holding it carefully. "Ma?"

    "Oh my..." Professor Oak murmured, his voice shaky. “This is... It can’t be...”

    Platinum carefully cradled the Pokemon into her right hand, and then took out her Pokedex from a pocket with her left hand. She flipped the device open.

    "Manaphy, the Seafaring Pokemon," the device read. "It is born with a wondrous power that lets it bond with any kind of Pokemon."

    “The legendary Pokemon Manaphy,” Professor Oak muttered, studying the Pokemon carefully.

    Platinum held the Pokemon out to the Professor. "Here, take it."

    Professor Oak balked. "What? You're its Trainer now! You have to care for it!"

    "No." Platinum shook her head. "We're going to Spear Pillar now to fight the legendary Pokemon. It's going to be dangerous, and no place for a baby Pokemon like this to be hanging around. If you could hold on to it until after we return, then that would be best."

    Professor Oak smiled as he realized what Platinum was saying. "You've developed into such a wise Trainer, Platinum. Fine, I will hold on to this Pokemon until after this situation is resolved."

    Platinum thanked the Professor, and took out a Pokeball. The capsule sucked in the sleeping baby Pokemon, and Platinum handed the Pokeball to Professor Oak, and he accepted the Pokeball.

    “We’ll be off now,” Platinum said shakily, clearly a little shaken. Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum all said a final goodbye, and then closed the door behind them.

    "Manaphy, huh."

    Professor Oak turned, facing Cynthia. "Yeah. It's a pretty remarkable discovery. But, I'm more concerned with how those kids will handle themselves at Spear Pillar. I fear they'll get ahead of themselves."

    Cynthia smiled. "It should be fine. They know what they're doing."

    Professor Oak nodded. Then, his phone began ringing.

    "Give me a second," Professor Oak said, flipping his cellphone to his ear. It was Professor Rowan.

    "Samuel?" Professor Rowan's gruff voice barked into Professor Oak's ear.

    "Yes, it's me. Is something the matter, Rowan?" Professor Oak asked, looking at Cynthia.

    "Yeah. You know that disturbance at Spear Pillar? I just learned that there are similar disturbances at other locations in Sinnoh, as well." Professor Oak heard some papers rustling. "Here we are... Yes, as I was saying, there are reports of disturbances - and I'm not sure what exactly, mind you - at other locations in Sinnoh. More specifically, at the following locations: Fullmoon Island, Newmoon Island, Stark Mountain, Snowpoint Temple, and Seabreak Path."

    "What?" Professor Oak gasped. "But those places are..."

    "Yeah," Professor Rowan said. "Those are the homes of legendary Pokemon."

    Professor Oak bit his lip. "But, why? Why are all these legendary Pokemon acting up now? You have to figure it's related somehow, but what's the link?"

    "I don't know myself," Professor Rowan sighed. "I understand you've sent some of your own Trainers to Spear Pillar. I'm sending some of my own to investigate those other locations. They should be at your house soon to pick up those items."

    The doorbell rang.

    "I guess that's them, then," Professor Rowan said. "Look, I'm not going to keep you too much longer, but listen to what I have to say. I have a feeling that all of this is just the precursor to something else... something bigger."

    Professor Oak frowned. "Something bigger? Like what?"

    Profesor Rowan sighed. "I don't know. Just keep an eye out, and be cautious. We can only hope that those we've trusted can come through."

    Professor Oak said goodbye, then put the phone back in his pocket as he went to open the door. Cynthia looked at him, but Oak simply said, "I'll tell you later."

    At the door were five Trainers. Professor Oak invited them in, and they took a seat.

    "So, you're Rowan's Trainers?" Professor Oak asked, sizing them up.

    There was a woman with long, green hair pulled into a ponytail that fell down to her waist. She wore a dark green dress that was the same colour as her hair. Beside her was a young man dressed in a blue jacket. Half of his face was covered by a tilted hat, but unruly navy blue hair was visible beneath the hat. Sitting beside him was a kid maybe only twelve or thirteen years old. The kid had bright red and yellow hair, and he was wearing a bright red shirt over black shorts. The kid beside him was even younger, however - a girl that may only have been ten years old. She was dressed in a white-and-pink outfit, and two pink ponytails fell beneath her waist. Finally, there was a young lady that looked just past her teens, wearing a black-and-white dress.

    "My name is Cheryl." The woman in green smiled.

    "I'm Riley," the man in blue said calmly.

    "I'm Buck!" the kid in red shouted.

    "You can call me Mira!" said the little girl cheerfully.

    "Marley," the girl in black murmured.

    Professor Oak looked at them skeptically. Riley looked like a pretty reliable Trainer, but the rest were suspect. However, they didn't have time to waste, and he would have to trust Professor Rowan's judgment.

    "I'll go and get the items," Professor Oak said. He went back down the hallway, and retrieved a few items from the same room as the Manaphy egg. Returning to Rowan's Trainers, he laid the items out on the coffee table.

    A green feather, a card key, a glowing red rock, a slab with braille readings on it, and a neatly folded letter were laid out on the coffee table.

    "This is the Lunar Wing." Professor Oak pointed at the green feather. "The Trainer who will capture Cresselia will need this item for it to appear." Cheryl gently took the Lunar Wing.

    "Next is the Member Card," Professor Oak said, pointing to the card key. "This one is needed to get to Darkrai." Mira pocketed the card key.

    "This one is the Magma Stone, for the Trainer that will look for Heatran." Professor Oak watched Buck reach out and grab the red rock.

    "This slab is the Stone Slab, the item that will awaken Regigigas," Professor Oak said. Riley carefully put the slab into his bag.

    "Finally, we have a letter written by myself, which will allow you to enter the Seabreak Path to look for Shaymin," Professor Oak said. Marley folded the letter into a pocket.

    Professor Oak backed up, looking at all of the Trainers. He didn't know them, and as a group they didn't look particularly impressive. But, they had not asked him a single question. They had remained calm and collected this whole time, even Mira, the girl. Could he trust them?

    Professor Rowan's words echoed in Professor Oak's head.

    We can only hope that those we've trusted can come through, eh? Professor Oak mulled. Looking at the Trainers in front of him, and thinking of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, he thought, I have to count on you guys.
    Last edited by Nitro; 29th August 2012 at 05:48 AM.

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  2. #2
    the vibration pokemon Nitro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arceus Awakened

    Platinum
    Spear Pillar, Mount Coronet


    It's been so long since we've all been together like this.

    I smiled, looking at my partners. We were about to meet the legendary Pokemon, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, for one of the biggest battles of our lives, and yet I couldn't help but feel happy. It's been six months since the last time, but finally, Diamond, Pearl, and I were all journeying together again.

    "Spear Pillar," Diamond remarked, returning me to the present. He turned to face Pearl and I. "It's right past here. Are you guys ready?"

    We had hiked our way through Mount Coronet, and now, we had reached the peak. I hated the gloomy and dark interior of the mountain we would be leaving behind, but we weren't walking into anything better. I gulped.

    “Yeah...” Pearl responded hesitantly. “Let’s go.”

    I took a deep breath, and nodded my agreement. I put my hands on their shoulders, and we walked outside.

    “Dialga!” “Palkia!” “Giratina!”

    The scene we happened on was horrible. The three legendary Pokemon, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina were all bruised and battered. All kinds of scratches marred their bodies, and they were all clearly fatigued from days of nonstop fighting. The majestic pillars around us were all suffering from the battle - many had been toppled, and some had been reduced to rubble. The sky was hazy from all of the attacks that had been used. And yet, all three of them were still going at it.

    “Giratina!” The six-legged god of the Distortion World, Giratina, had both Dialga and Palkia downed against broken pillars. The grey behemoth stood shakily on its legs, tired but still with the will to fight. The wing-like shadows that followed him from behind were fading around the edges, but the red spikes in them were looking as deadly as ever. His red eyes showed no emotion at all - only the instinct to destroy.

    “Dial!” Dialga roared, slowly crawling back up. The deity of time was just as tired as its opponents. Its head hung low, and its tail sagged on the ground. However, the jagged metal that detailed its body looked as intimidating as ever. Like Giratina, its red eyes were marked with a sheer bloodlust.

    “Pal!” Finally, the master of space, Palkia, returned to its feet. The purple dragon looked on the verge of fainting, and yet, it showed no interest in doing so. Sharp tusks grew out of the side of its jaw, giving it an intimidating appearance. Its eyes were just as dull and vicious as those of its counterparts.

    I quickly turned to my partners. “We can’t let them keep fighting like this! We have to stop them now, and leave it to the Professor to figure out what to do after.”

    Diamond nodded. “Same plan as last time?”

    “Yeah,” I said. “I’ll take Giratina again, you take Dialga, and Pearl, you take Palkia.”

    “Alright!” Pearl exclaimed, “We can’t fail. Let’s do this, you guys!”

    We nodded, and looked at each other. We had to have faith that each of us could pull our own weight against one of the legendary Pokemon. Fighting them together was out of the question, and if we didn’t split them off from each other this time, then it would be unlikely they would even give us the time of day.

    “Giratina!” Giratina began glowing blue, and then disappeared. My eyes widened. This was Shadow Force, Giratina’s signature attack. It was the most powerful Ghost-type attack in existence.

    “You guys have to lead Dialga and Palkia off now!” I yelled, pulling out a Pokeball. “I’ll stop this attack! Diamond, lead Dialga back to the Mount Coronet exit. Pearl, take Palkia to the far end of Spear Pillar. I’ll fight Giratina here in the center!”

    Diamond and Pearl nodded, pulling out their own Pokeballs. The three Pokeballs we each held in our hand was encrusted with a red jewel on the upper half. These were the Pokeballs of the legendary pixies - our partners for this fight.

    “Go, Uxie!” I shouted, throwing my Pokeball. “Stop Giratina’s attack - use Future Sight!”

    “Uxie!” The yellow pixie flew out of its Pokeball. Its eyes began glowing blue.

    Future Sight was the ideal attack to use to stop Shadow Force. When Shadow Force was used, the user would disappear and attack moments after from their opponent’s blind spot. However, with Future Sight, Uxie could see the future and find where Giratina was going to reappear. Then, it could unleash a psychic blast the moment that happened.

    Uxie’s eyes stopped glowing blue - it knew where Giratina was going to appear. It turned to face Dialga and Palkia, and its eyes began glowing purple as it began to prepare its attack.

    “Giratina!” Giratina reappeared behind Dialga and Palkia. A second after, a blast of energy exploded right in the chest of Giratina. The Pokemon crumpled.

    “Now!” I shouted. Two bursts of white light appeared beside Dialga and Palkia - Azelf and Mesprit respectively. Dialga and Palkia both turned to face their new opponents, and began following the pixies as they slowly baited them away from Giratina.

    I couldn’t get distracted, though. I took a deep breath and looked at Uxie. “Let’s go, Uxie!”

    Slowly, Giratina returned to its feet. As a Ghost/Dragon-type, Giratina had a type advantage over the Psychic-type Uxie. However, I had beat Giratina with the same matchup before during the Team Galactic fiasco. Not only did I know how to beat Giratina, but this time around, Giratina was already exhausted. I should be able to do this.

    “Uxie, use Shadow Ball!” I commanded. Shadow Ball was one of the best attacks I had against Giratina as a Ghost-type move that was super-effective against Ghost-types. A black ball of energy appeared in between Uxie’s outstretched hands. Uxie let out a battle cry as she launched the attack at Giratina.

    The black ball smacked into Giratina, shattering into smaller globs of energy that quickly dissipated. However, the Pokemon didn’t flinch. Instead, it began walking towards us, and I frowned. Last time, even at full health, a Shadow Ball from Uxie had been enough to stagger Giratina a little bit. I had to guess that Giratina was simply too beat up after all the hits it had taken to register pain anymore. It looked like to defeat Giratina, my plan shouldn’t be to whittle its health down slowly, but rather to use brute force and topple it like I had done with Future Sight.

    Unfortunately, Uxie was lacking in the power department. Future Sight was one of its most powerful moves, but it was unreliable because of how it needed a bit of time to set up. It looked like I’d have to buy myself some time.

    “Uxie, use Thunder Wave!” I called. Uxie began glowing yellow, and it launched a wave of electricity at Giratina. This move would paralyze Giratina, slowing it down and giving me plenty of opportunities to use power moves like Future Sight.

    Now, things got weird for real. Uxie’s Thunder Wave collided into Giratina - there was no doubt about it. A lone spark began running down its neck, and very quickly, multiple sparks had begun dancing on Giratina’s body. The Pokemon was definitely paralyzed. And yet, it did not seem to make any difference - Giratina continued to walk towards us at the same pace. Its body was registering exhaustion, but it didn’t seem to recognize pain or even paralysis, throwing both to the side as if they were nonexistent. What was going on?

    “Uxie, I don’t know what’s going on!” I cried, panicking. Uxie was the deity of intelligence, and it had selected me of all people to be its Trainer because of my own intelligence - in the same way that Azelf and Mesprit had selected Diamond and Pearl for their willpower and emotion respectively. Right now, however, I wasn’t feeling intelligent - I couldn’t figure out what might have been going on.

    “Uxie!” My Pokemon cried loudly, and I looked up. While I had been panicking, Giratina had gained on Uxie and attacked. A bruise was quickly turning purple on Uxie’s chest, and I glanced at Giratina. I glimpsed black energy around one of its front feet just before it dissipated - Giratina must have used Shadow Claw.

    “Shit,” I muttered. Giratina was too powerful for Uxie to be able to take many hits from it - my strategy was supposed to use Uxie’s evasiveness to avoid all attacks at all costs. However, I had lost my head and failed.

    “Uxie, can you keep going?” I asked. Uxie lifted its head to face me. There was a look of defiance, but it was directed at Giratina. It still had the will to fight. “Alright, Uxie, we aren’t taking another scratch! If none of our attacks are reaching right now, we’ll just have to wait for the opportunity when they will! Use Detect!”

    Uxie nodded. Giratina swiped at it again with another Shadow Claw, but Uxie swooped beneath the attack and flew under Giratina’s body. Giratina looked around for the Pokemon before realizing where it was hiding. It dropped its body to the ground, trying to pin Uxie underneath, but Uxie was able to weave out of that as well. That was the intriguing ability of the Detect move, a move that heightened the user’s reflexes, allowing it to dodge all attacks aimed at it for a short period of time.

    However, I had to figure out how to defeat Giratina right now. Nothing I had used thus far was working on it outside of Future Sight, and even that only had a mild, temporary effect. Giratina had been battling for days straight, and it seemed to me like it could battle for the rest of eternity at this rate. Even power moves didn’t feel like an option to me at this point.

    I licked my lips. If I couldn’t attack Giratina outright or afflict it with some sort of status condition, I’d have to resort to something more unconventional to subdue it, like trapping it and suppressing it somehow. Fortunately, with a versatile Pokemon like Uxie, I should be able to find some way to accomplish my goal. I just needed the right combination of moves.

    “Alright Uxie, it’s time for us to make our move!” I shouted. I had an idea of something that could work, but we needed to set this in motion quickly. Detect didn’t offer Uxie protection forever - Uxie was due to slip up eventually.

    “Uxie!” Uxie ducked one more swipe from Giratina, then floated up and out of range of Giratina’s swipes. It looked at me for an instruction.

    “Direct attacks aren’t working, so we’ll have to work around that! Use Imprison and trap it!” I shouted.

    Uxie nodded, and her eyes began glowing blue. In ordinary battles, Imprison’s utility was usually to prevent the target from using attacks that the user knew. However, in this case, it could be applied in a different way - as a barrier that would keep Giratina in.

    A blue forcefield shimmered into appearance around Giratina - Uxie’s Imprison. However, as I suspected, Giratina wasn’t going to allow itself to be contained so easily. It tackled the forcefield, and the forcefield blinked weakly, looking like it might flame out at any moment. The forcefield quickly returned to its original appearance, but it was evident that it wouldn’t be able to take too much punishment. It was hardly surprising, considering how this wasn’t the way the move was intended to be used. Still, it would do.

    “Uxie, use Grass Knot! Prevent Giratina from moving!” I commanded.

    Uxie nodded, and her eyes began glowing green as she used the Grass-type attack. Vivid green tendrils of long grass snaked out of the ground under Giratina’s feet, and wrapped themselves around Giratina’s legs. The Pokemon struggled with them, but was able to wrestle its way out of them quickly. However, Uxie didn’t falter. It continued to summon more and more tendrils of grass, keeping Giratina occupied.

    Giratina wouldn’t be able to move as long as its legs were fighting the Grass Knot like this, and it couldn’t attack Uxie directly or even slip away with Shadow Force with the forcefield in place. This wasn’t sustainable long-term since Uxie had to use Grass Knot continually, but it should keep Giratina busy for a decent amount of time.

    I pulled a second Pokeball off of my belt. This one contained my starter Pokemon. I would need her help to set up another trap for Giratina, one that could keep it down for a longer period of time.

    Suddenly, I heard a thud, and then the sound of something shattering.

    “Uxie!”

    I looked up, and my eyes went wide. Impossible. Fragments of the forcefield that had surrounded Giratina mere moments ago were thrown everywhere. I looked at Giratina’s feet, but they had ripped free of their grass shackles completely. But, how could that be possible? There was no way Giratina could have had enough power to overcome Uxie’s Grass Knot, and I doubted Uxie had tired out so quickly. And yet, somehow, Giratina was free.

    “Giratina!” Giratina roared loudly, and a blue-and-red energy began gathering in its jaws. Shit. This was Draco Meteor - the flat-out destructive attack that was exclusive to Dragon-type Pokemon. Uxie would not be able to take one of those.

    “Uxie, move!” I shouted. But, there wasn’t enough time. Giratina roared loudly, launching the mass of energy at Uxie.

    “Regigigas, stop it! Use Giga Impact!”

    Suddenly, a large white behemoth as big as a building dropped in front of me, crushing the Draco Meteor into the ground. The collision raised a large cloud of dust, and I raised my hand over my face protectively. What was going on?

    “Garchomp, give it your own Draco Meteor!”

    That voice - it was familiar. Was it Miss Cynthia? Moments later, I heard a loud thud, and then a painful shriek - unmistakably Giratina. Had someone come to my rescue?

    Gentle hands helped me up. I heard another familiar voice, this one masculine and calming.

    “There, there, you’re alright.”

    The dust cloud cleared, and I looked to see my saviours standing behind me. A man was holding me, dressed in a sharp blue outfit. His hat was tilted over half of his face, and unruly navy blue hair reached out across the other side of his face from under the hat. I remembered him from my first Pokemon journey around Sinnoh - this was Riley, the man with whom I had explored Iron Island with. Beside him stood somebody else, somebody I knew even better.

    “Miss Cynthia!”

    Cynthia smiled at me.

    “There’s been a change of plans. Collect your Pokemon and fall back to Mount Coronet. Professor Oak is waiting for you, and he’ll update you on the situation. We’ll hold Giratina here.”

    I stammered a bit, and then asked her, “What’s going on? Why are you here? Why is Professor Oak here?”

    “There’s no time!” she insisted. “Go, Professor Oak will tell you the rest!”

    I nodded, and looked for Uxie. It was sheltered behind the white behemoth, which I could now see was some type of Pokemon. However, it was certainly no Pokemon I had ever seen before. It had a similar shape to a human, but it lacked a neck or a distinguishable head. Large gold bands encircled both of its shoulders and wrists, and one went down the center of its chest. Thick black lines accentuated its body, and what appeared to be moss grew on the top of its shoulders and also at its feet. I noticed three gems dotting each side of its chest, laid out in a vertical line on both sides. On the top was a red gem, followed by a blue one, and then a silver one. I recognized this Pokemon from the legends - this was the master of the Regi trio, Regigigas.

    Beside this Pokemon was a more familiar one - Miss Cynthia’s Garchomp. The Land Shark Pokemon was barely as tall as one of her partner’s legs, and compared similarly to Giratina. However, she glared at Giratina with no fear in her sharp yellow eyes. Her claws were lifted in a fighting stance, with the sharp fins on her arms jutting out to the side so that their full length was clear to Giratina. It was clear that Garchomp meant business.

    “Uxie, return!” I shouted, returning Uxie to its Pokeball. The Pokemon was drained, but we were extremely fortunate to have escaped Giratina’s Draco Meteor. That would have been the endgame for us. I turned, about to run off to Mount Coronet.

    “Be careful, Miss Cynthia,” I said. “That Pokemon doesn’t seem to feel any pain, and even status ailments don’t affect it. You’ll have to find some other way to deal with it.”

    Cynthia nodded, and then I ran. I made my way towards Mount Coronet, where Dialga and Diamond should be battling. Instead, however, two other people were confronting Dialga with unfamiliar Pokemon. A little girl with long pink hair stood behind a terrifying black Pokemon that seemed to blur away at the edges, and beside her, an older woman with a long green ponytail was shouting instructions to a floating, purple Pokemon that had a head shaped like a moon.

    I remembered their faces - I had helped the girl, Mira, find her way out of Wayward Cave, and the older woman, Cheryl, ahad helped me find my own way out of Eterna Forest. Like with Regigigas, I was able to match their Pokemon to legends. They were the lunar duo that represented the full moon and the new moon - Cresselia and Darkrai respectively. I assumed they had come with Riley to fend off Dialga for Diamond the same way he and Miss Cynthia were doing so for me with Giratina.

    “Hey, Platinum!”

    I heard Pearl’s voice behind me. He was running towards me, and behind him I saw two more people fighting off Palkia with Pokemon I had never seen before. There was a young boy with bright red-and-yellow hair that looked almost like a fire from here, standing beside a four-legged red Pokemon with a steel head. Beside the boy was a girl that looked a little older than I was, wearing an inconspicuous black dress. In front of her was a green-and-white Pokemon that looked almost like a deer, with a large red flower on its neck that stood out even more than the flaming hair on the boy.

    Buck. Marley. I recognized these two as well from my journeys. Buck and I had travelled through Stark Mountain, and Marley and I had gone through Victory Road. Their Pokemon must have been legendary Pokemon as well - Heatran and Shaymin, perhaps.

    “Platinum, wait up!” I stopped, and Pearl caught up to me, panting for breath. “Holy, what’s going on? These people just dropped in - and I mean literally, they fell from the sky - and told me to go to Mount Coronet and meet up with Professor Oak. Also, did Giratina act weird against you? I’m just asking because for me, Palkia seemed to shake off like all of my attacs like they were nothing, and it was crazy, and-“

    “Not now,” I said to Pearl, immediately shutting him up. “Yeah, things are definitely weird, but we can’t be chatting here now with everybody else working hard just to buy us some time. Let’s get to Professor Oak, and we’ll have him explain what’s going on.”

    We took off together, running towards Mount Coronet. We curved behind the little girl and the woman with the green hair, who gave us nods of acknowledgement while their Pokemon held Dialga back. Then, we ran inside Mount Coronet.

    “Hey guys!”

    Diamond waved at us, a few feet away. He was standing behind Professor Oak, who stood with his arms crossed. Unlike Diamond, who could be relaxed in even the most stressful of situations, Professor Oak was clearly bothered about something. The stern look on his face made it clear he had something important to share, and wanted to share it immediately. We walked up to the professor, and Diamond walked over to our side.

    “Professor,” I began. “What’s going on? Why is everybody here?”

    The Professor took a deep breath.

    “We’ve identified the reason behind everything,” Professor Oak said gravely. He held up a tattered notebook. “While you guys were en route to Mount Coronet, Cynthia and I took a peek in the former Galactic Eterna Building. We found this notebook in a hidden storage room that was also one of Team Galactic’s research labs. This notebook is a document that details Team Galactic’s grand plan.”

    “Six months ago, when they summoned Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina, they had a much larger goal. They weren’t simply trying to collect the creation trio as we had originally believed. Instead, bringing all three of them together was just the first part of their much larger plan. By bringing all three together, they managed to achieve something else - the awakening of Arceus.”

    “What?” Pearl asked. “Arceus? What’s that?”

    Professor Oak looked at Pearl, deadpan. “It’s the god of all Pokemon.”

    My eyes widened, and beside me, I could hear Diamond and Pearl gasping in surprise.

    Professor Oak continued. “Of course, Arceus, who has been in slumber since it created the world, does not awaken quickly. It takes roughly six months to awaken completely, and it has been almost six months since we defeated Team Galactic at Spear Pillar. Arceus is close to returning to this world, and that’s thrown the legendary Pokemon of Sinnoh into a frenzy. Shortly after you three went off to Mount Coronet, I received a call about similar disturbances in other areas - areas that were the homes of legendary Pokemon. Five other Trainers were dispatched to those areas to calm the legendary Pokemon - the same Trainers that had come to your rescue along with Cynthia. They were able to capture the legendary Pokemon, and as the current state of your own legendary Pokemon indicate, a bond with a Trainer is strong enough to protect them from going mad.”

    “We got some odd reports from them, however, not long after they captured the legendary Pokemon. According to each of them, the legendary Pokemon were fighting with extraordinary strength, seemingly shaking off all of the attacks that were thrown at them while attacking back with strength rare for even the strongest of legendary Pokemon. However, they did eventually tire out and succumb to status ailments, allowing their capture. Diamond, however, told me before you guys came in that he experienced something similar - only it was such that even status ailments failed. This only confirmed my suspicion, however. I think that the reason for this is that Arceus’ imminent awakening, which has thrown the legendary Pokemon into a frenzy, has pushed them to the point of not even recognizing pain. The reason why the legendary Pokemon that have gathered here are immune to status ailments as well may be because this is where the original disturbance that had awakened Arceus had happened here. More specifically, because this is the source of Arceus’ energy which is disturbing all of the legendary Pokemon.”

    “Wait!” I shouted. “Are you saying... Are you saying that Arceus is going to awaken here?”

    “Yes,” Professor Oak said, his face now showing signs of weariness. “And soon. It won’t be happy about being woken up from its slumber, and that’s why I had Professor Rowan drop in Cynthia and his five Trainers through his hovercar here. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina have completely lost their minds, and it will require the strength of all of the legendary Pokemon to subdue them here. It’s important that we stop them as soon as possible, because if they are still around when Arceus returns, there will be no way we can take them all on at once. We’ve made arrangements for more backup, but for now, you three have to get back out there and do what you can!”

    Diamond nodded beside me. “We’ll handle it, Professor! Let’s go, guys!”

    Diamond and Pearl turned around, running back towards the exit. I made to follow them, then stopped.

    “Professor...” I started, a little hesitant. “This might not be a good time, but where’s Manaphy? I’d hate to think that you left it at the lab alone.”

    Professor Oak grimaced. “Well, this whole affair has escalated quickly, so I had to make some rushed decisions...”

    “Professor,” I said sternly. “Don’t tell me you left it without anybody to tend to it.”

    “No, I didn’t do that!” Professor Oak licked his lips nervously. “I have it with me.”

    “What? Professor!” I shouted in disbelief. I couldn’t believe he had brought the baby Manaphy here of all places. This was no place for a baby Pokemon. But unfortunately, there was nothing to do about it now. I glared at the professor one last time, then made to follow Diamond and Pearl out to the battlefield.

    Suddenly, we heard a loud roar, and an earsplitting thud. Then, quiet. I looked at the professor, fearing the worst. Even with Manaphy’s well-being on my mind, I made no objections when the professor followed me as I ran back out on to Spear Pillar.

    Standing in the center of Spear Pillar was a large, four-legged creature. It looked similar to a deer, albeit one as big as a small house, and its white fur seemed to glow like the heavens. A long, flowing mane whipped gently out of the back of its head. A distinctive and jagged gold ring encircled its chest. There was no doubt in my mind - this was Arceus. A large set of stairs, seemingly made out of golden light, was visible behind Arceus. That must have been the bridge to the heavens, where Arceus had come from.

    Behind me, Professor Oak began stuttering. This was our worst nightmare. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina all made their way to stand behind Arceus, all three of them ignoring everybody else. It seemed that with Arceus’ presence in front of them, they had forgotten everything, even their own enmity, and only looked to serve their creator.

    We ran to join everybody else in the center of Spear Pillar: Cynthia and her Garchomp, Riley and his Regigigas, Mira and her Darkrai, Cheryl and her Cresselia, Buck and his Heatran, and Marley and her Shaymin. A loud bang came from my belt, and Uxie flew out of its Pokeball, glaring at Arceus. I looked to my side, and saw that Azelf and Mesprit had jumped out of Diamond’s and Pearl’s Pokeballs as well. I felt a tug on my leg, and I saw that Manaphy had come out of its Pokeball as well. It grabbed my leg, but it was staring at Arceus as well. All of the legendary Pokemon had come out to face Arceus.

    “Arceus!” Arceus roared. It looked at the legendary Pokemon before it. These were Pokemon it had created to reign over the world. However, the irony of the situation was that now, they would have to calm down Arceus to protect the world.

    “Let’s attack first!” Pearl shouted loudly. “Mesprit, use Psychic!”

    An aqua blue bubble of energy immediately surrounded Arceus. This wasn’t Mesprit’s attack, however - this was Arceus’ Protect. The protective bubble stood firm around Arceus, and a blast of purple energy - Mesprit’s Psychic - was bounced off to the side before dissipating.

    “Professor, get back,” I heard Cynthia say. Looking down at Manaphy, I knew this place was not safe for it. It was a legendary Pokemon, but it was also a baby. It looked up at me sadly as I held the Pokeball over its head, but I knew that this was for its own good. I turned to Professor Oak, holding out the Pokeball.

    “Please take care of Manaphy, Professor.”

    Suddenly, Arceus roared loudly, and I saw it drop its Protect out of the corner of my eye. We were going to battle. Professor Oak was pushed away and told to get back now, and I was left with Manaphy’s Pokeball in my hand.

    I licked my lips, putting it in a pocket. There was nothing I could do now, but I knew that no matter what, I would protect Manaphy. Arceus roared once more.

    “Attack!”

    All at once, everybody attacked. Azelf, Uxie, and Mesprit swooped in on Arceus, blasting its flank with Psychic attacks. Garchomp and Regigigas went at Dialga, the former attacking its limbs as the latter went right after the chest and the head. Darkrai and Cresselia flew to Palkia, and began launching blasts of black and purple energy respectively as they circled around the Pokemon. Heatran and Shaymin attacked Giratina, with Heatran spewing out blasts of lava at it while Shaymin threw gusts of wind at Giratina’s legs.

    Still, it was no use. Like before, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina looked past the attacks they took, attacking right back. Arceus, on the other hand, was simply too strong for our attacks to do anything. To Arceus, the pixies were like flies. I frowned - there had to be a way for us to subdue it.

    “Diamond, Pearl, help me out,” I said. “Uxie, use Imprison! Then use Grass Knot on Arceus’ ankles to prevent it from moving!”

    A large blue forcefield blew up around Arceus. This was the same strategy I had used against Giratina earlier, and while it had failed, with Azelf and Mesprit backing Uxie up, it should fare better this time.

    Grass began ripping out of the ground around Arceus’ feet, and began to grab at its ankles. More and more blades of grass sprouted out, and every time Arceus ripped free, more grass reached out and grabbed its feet once again.

    I looked at how everybody else was doing. Regigigas had Dialga in a headlock, while Garchomp had it down to its knees. Darkrai and Cresselia had formed rings of black and psychic energy around Palkia’s body and limbs, holding them in place and preventing it from moving. Heatran had covered Giratina in molten lava that was now hardening, while Shaymin was striking at Giratina’s head with Flying-type attacks to keep it from attacking Heatran. Overall, things were going good. We were holding our ground, which was as much as we could’ve hoped for.

    Unfortunately, Arceus wasn’t planning on making this easy for us. It roared loudly, fed up with our antics, and white energy started gathering in its jaw. The energy slammed into the forcefield around it, rebounding everywhere. Then, the forcefield shattered.

    “No!” I shouted, but there was nothing we could do. Arceus proved that to us.

    The white energy split off into multiple beams, launching all over the place. Some ripped the grass around Arceus’ ankles, freeing it from its bonds. A couple more went at Regigigas, throwing it off of Dialga. A few went at the bonds trapping Palkia, breaking them easily. Others went at the hardened lava encasing Giratina, blasting it to chunks instantly. However, the majority of the beams arced into our Pokemon, sending them flying back to us.

    “Uxie!” Uxie shouted as she landed at my feet.

    “Impossible... I’ve heard the legends, but I never imagined Arceus’ Judgement attack to be so powerful,” Cynthia muttered audibly as she rushed over to her Garchomp’s side.

    I stood, stunned. Just like that, Arceus had taken all of the momentum, and with only one attack. Our Pokemon were all laid out in front of us. They were feeling the effects of this battle, unlike our opponents. All of our Pokemon were bruised and battered.

    Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina stepped forward. They attacked now, all gathering blue-red energy in their mouths. A simultaneous Draco Meteor from three legendary Pokemon. This would take us out for good - we had to do something about this.

    “Uxie, go and deflect the blast with Explosion!” I shouted. Uxie would have to be sacrificed for the greater good here - it would understand. I had one more Pokemon I could battle with - I’d have to use it.

    “Uxie by itself won’t be enough to stop it.” I heard Diamond’s voice. “It’s too tired now, it’ll need help. Azelf, help Uxie out!”

    “Yeah, you too, Mesprit!” Pearl shouted behind me. “We’ve got to help everybody else out!”

    I smiled at them. These two were sticking right by me, just as they’ve always done. I uttered a silent thanks - just when things felt impossible to overcome, they gave me a new sense of help. It felt like together, we couldn’t be beat - just like when we had stomped all over Team Galactic. If we could take out the whole organization back then on our own, then we could definitely overcome this with all of the people standing by our side.

    Azelf and Mesprit picked themselves up, lining up beside Uxie. They shouted loudly, and blew up.

    Boom. The three produced a large blast, and I saw the explosion collide into the Draco Meteors and sweep them to the side. We had averted the crisis. I heard gasps of relief from Riley and the others, and even Cynthia seemed to be relieved. The fainted bodies of the legendary pixies dropped, and we returned them to their Pokeballs.

    “Thanks, Uxie,” I said quietly, putting it into my pocket. I reached for another Pokeball - that of my starter Pokemon, who was even stronger than Uxie.

    “Go, Empoleon!”

    In a flash of white light, the Pokemon that Professor Rowan had given me almost a full year ago appeared. The blue penguin stood tall and proud, with sharp fins that I knew could cut through metal. A distinguishing golden crest rested on the top of her head. This was my starter Pokemon and my most faithful partner, Empoleon.

    I heard two more Pokeballs opening beside me, and I knew that Diamond and Pearl had brought out their own starter Pokemon as well. Diamond’s Torterra and Pearl’s Infernape appeared beside my Empoleon. Torterra was a Grass/Ground-type, resembling a large green-and-brown tortoise with a tree growing out of his back. Infernape, meanwhile, was an athletic and lanky Fire/Fighting-type that resembled a monkey with a blazing fire crackling from the top of his head.

    “Arceus!”

    Arceus didn’t give us any time to breathe. More white beams of energy darted out from behind the dust cloud caused by Explosion, clearing it away immediately. They continued on, slamming into the remaining Pokemon.

    “Shit!” I cried, looking at the scene around me. If the first hit had been enough to throw them back to us, what would this second, more concentrated wave of beams do?

    “Not so fast! Volcarona, use Fiery Dance!”

    Fireballs rained down from above us, colliding into Arceus and the others. Immediately, the beams of energy faded away as Arceus turned its attention to this new Trainer. Was this the backup Professor Oak had mentioned?

    I looked up. Riding on the back of some Pokemon I had never seen before was a man. He looked old, with age lines creasing his face and hair growing messily all over his arms. He was wearing a light tan poncho over a tattered pair of white pants. Messy red-and-orange hair that looked almost like a bonfire grew out of his head, and I saw that it was pulled into a large ponytail at the back - almost like Buck. He was wearing a line around his neck that had six Pokeballs attached to them.

    “Give them one more round, Volcarona!” the man shouted in his booming voice. “Hold them back for a little bit!”

    The man jumped off of his Pokemon, which immediately took off for Arceus and the others. The Pokemon, named Volcarona if I was not mistaken, looked like a large moth with an almost bulbous body. His body was white, with four small black legs. A black head rested on top of his body, while a wide black-and-slate blue tail grew out from its bottom. However, the most eye-catching part of his appearance was his wings - three leaf-like wings on both sides that surrounded him like beautiful flower. The colour was magnificent - a perfect orange transitioned to ref as it neared the tip of the wing. The Pokemon looked almost like the sun.

    “Volcarona!” he cried loudly, flapping his wings. Another round of fireballs were thrown at Arceus and the creation trio behind it, and Volcarona began flittering in and about them agitatedly.

    “We don’t have long to talk, so let’s make this quick.”

    I turned. The man that had jumped off of Volcarona’s back stood in front of me, and we gathered around him.

    “My name is Alder, and I’m the Champion of the Unova Pokemon League,” he said. “Cynthia left me a call earlier, telling me to get over here as quickly as possible to help out with an ongoing crisis. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to gather anybody else, so I’m all you’ve got. I did, however, come prepared. I have a full team of Pokemon and plenty of Max Potions, which I can see are in need right now.”

    Alder lifted up his poncho, revealing a small bag attached to his waist. He took the bag and quickly rummaged inside it before handing a small spray bottle to everybody. We quickly sprayed our hurt and weakened Pokemon, bringing them to back to full health. Meanwhile, Alder took the line of Pokeballs off of his neck and called out the rest of his Pokemon team.

    “Accelgor!” “Bouffalant!” “Druddigon!” “Vanilluxe!” “Escavalier!”

    Five Pokemon blossomed into view in front of Alder. I did not recognize a single one of them, as had been the case with Volcarona - they must have been Pokemon native to the Unova region Alder had said he was from.

    The one that had called himself Accelgor stood closer to me. He was a small, navy-blue Pokemon that had a body covered in a thin outer skin that whipped wildly despite a mild wind at best. His head was a bright pink with two green lines running down it. There was a gap in his head, and two eyes gleamed out from the darkness. Despite his small stature, this Pokemon seemed very confident, and judging from his name and appearance, he was probably extremely fast as well.

    Beside Accelgor stood the Pokemon that had shouted Bouffalant, if I recalled correctly. This Pokemon reminded me of a Tauros - he resembled a buffalo like Tauros, though his tail was stubby compared to a Tauros’ long, whippy tails. A large plume of brown hair covered most of what seemed to be a large head, but the face was visible. Two wild yellow eyes glared out, clearly itching for battle. Two enormous horns grew out of underneath the hair, with two golden rings on each horn. This Pokemon struck me as very intimidating and a definite powerhouse.

    Next to Bouffalant was Druddigon. This Pokemon was definitely a Dragon-type - a red head that was impossible to mistake for anything other than a dragon’s head arched out, with distinctive jagged teeth and ferocious yellow eyes. The rest of Druddigon’s body was blue, albeit for a yellow underbody and a few red scales along his arms, legs, and tail. Two wings grew out of his back,with jagged edges that looked like they could leave a messy cut in somebody.

    To the left of Druddigon was a much less intimidating Pokemon - Vanilluxe. He was a small Pokemon that was not much larger than Accelgor, and like Druddigon, there was no mistaking his type. This one was definitely an Ice-type. It was a large icicle, with two lumps of snow on top. Each lumps of snow seemed to be a head. It looked to me like this Pokemon could’ve been a very lackadaisical one in most situations, but both faces had a determined look on, showing that right now, they meant business.

    Finally, there was the last member of Alder’s team, Escavalier. This one resembled a knight. A small blue-and-yellow body was barely visible, but most of him was covered in steel armor. A red horsehead crest grew out of the helmet on his head, and two sharp red-and-white lances grew out of his arms. Instead of legs, Escavalier’s body rolled up almost the same way a Horsea’s did, and he levitated off of a red fin growing out of the very bottom of his body.

    “Volcarona, come back!” Alder shouted. Hearing his owner’s command, Volcarona avoided one more of Arceus’ attacks before returning to join the rest of his team. Alder looked out at Arceus and the trio behind it, frowning.

    “None of our attacks have been able to scratch Arceus,” I explained to him, “and the other three have been bent to the point where they don’t even feel status ailments on their bodies, much less pain. It’s a tough situation.”

    “I see,” Alder frowned. He looked at our group, doing a quick head count. “We have fifteen Pokemon between us, and four to deal with. Obviously, Arceus is the most important one to take out, so we’ll divert as much attention as we can to that.”

    “Alder, take me and Garchomp with you and Volcarona to handle Arceus. Also,” Cynthia said, pointing at Diamond, Pearl, and I, “take these three and their Pokemon.”

    Alder sized us up, and nodded. “Alright. The five of us will take on Arceus. I’ll give the remaining five of you each one of my Pokemon to help you battle the remaining three.”

    Hearing Alder’s words, his Pokemon except Volcarona all lined up beside one of Professor Rowan’s Trainers. Accelgor floated over to Cheryl’s side, joining Cresselia. Bouffalant trotted over to Riley, looking up at Regigigas nervously. Druddigon joined Heatran beside Buck, who nodded approvingly. Mira smiled brightly as Vanilluxe floated over beside Darkrai. Finally, Alder’s Escavalier joined Marley and Shaymin.

    “Here’s the plan,” Alder explained, wasting no time. “We’ll leave you Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina to you guys here at Spear Pillar. Meanwhile, we’ll bait Arceus back up those stairs of light behind it to return to the Hall of Origin - its home - where we’ll try to calm it down and return to its slumber. Hopefully, that can settle things for good. You guys will have to hold on for as long as possible down here.”

    “How will we lure Arceus and put it to sleep?” I spoke up, confused. More than a few eyes flicked my way, most of them echoing similar thoughts.

    Alder lifted up his poncho again, this time pulling a small linen pouch off of his belt. Carefully, he pulled out a purple flute, seemingly carved out of a purple rock and polished to an almost unbelievable glossiness. While I didn’t care too much for instruments, this flute’s beauty was incredible, and I found myself lost in its magnificence.

    “This,” Alder began, “is the Azure Flute. It is an ancient flute that is one of the true relics mankind has discovered. It’s been traced back to days older than you can imagine - back to when Arceus formed the world. According to legends, this flute was formed as a byproduct of the leftover energy Arceus had generated when creating the world. I was able to borrow this from one of the museums in Unova and bring it here - it may be the only hope we have left.”

    Cynthia took a deep breath. “It’s time for our final stand, everybody. We can’t fail.”

    At that moment, Arceus got fed up with waiting for us to attack, and made its move. It launched a beam of white energy at us - Hyper Beam. With us all grouped up together like this, we were an easy target.

    “Volcarona, use Hurricane!” Alder boomed. Volcarona flapped his wings once, throwing a large gust at Arceus’ Hyper Beam. Hurricane was one of the most powerful Flying-type moves in existence, and there was no doubting Alder’s Pokemon’s strength. Still, however, Arceus’ Hyper Beam was only knocked off course by the move, colliding a few yards over to our right. The entire area was eradicated - a reminder of what we were up against.

    “Alright, let’s go!” Alder shouted, “We’ll get behind them and bait Arceus up the stairs.”

    The five of us that were going to take Arceus followed Alder’s lead, as we began skirting around to the side. Everybody else spread out along the plateau and threw attacks at Arceus and the others, taking their eyes off of us for now. We ran all the way around them, before curling back behind them to get to the stairs. Now that we were this close to the stairs, I could see them in even greater detail.

    They were incredible. Golden stairs of light, and I realized they were translucent as well. Now that they were this close, I realized they were large than Arceus, which made sense since they were made for Arceus. The stairs themselves gleamed and shined brightly, almost as if you could see the stars in the night sky in the stairs. I had seen a few pictures of nebulae in space before, and I was oddly reminded of them from what I could see in these stairs. They seemed to stretch up into the skies, and I could see a faint black hole in the sky that may have been the portal to the Hall of Origin Alder had been talking about.

    “Alright...” Alder muttered, fumbling with the bag on his waist. He pulled out the Azure Flute again. “We’re going to slowly climb the stairs up to Hall of Origin. Arceus will follow us, and don’t worry about the other Pokemon - everybody else will handle them. If Arceus attacks us directly, however, I’m counting on you guys to parry its attacks. Watch your step too - if you fall off of the side, you could very well fall all the way down the mountain. Even falling down these stairs could break a lot of things in your body.”

    We nodded, and carefully began backpedaling up the stairs. It was dangerous given what would happened if we tripped and fell, but it wasn’t as if we were going to turn our back on Arceus. Alder put the flute to his mouth and began playing.

    The sound was beautiful. I didn’t know if it was Alder or the flute or both together that was producing such incredible music, but it was incredible. The first notes of the melody sounded timeless and calming, and the transition from note to note was a completely natural fade. It didn’t sound like music anybody could make with even the most perfect instrument.

    Arceus stopped, turning to face us. Attacks collided into the back of its head, but it paid them no attention. It slowly began climbing the stairs after us.

    Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina made to follow Arceus up the stairs behind it, and I flicked an eye towards them instinctively. But just as Alder had insisted, everybody else stopped them. A large glob of lava appeared in between Arceus and the Pokemon behind it, quickly hardening to block the stairs.

    “Way to go, Heatran!” I could hear Buck crowing from here.

    I returned my attention to Arceus. The Pokemon seemed almost mesmerized by the music - not simply in awe, as I had been, but truly hypnotized. It slowly walked up the stairs, following us. At first, I thought it might not even attack, which, of course, was wrong.

    “Arceus!” Arceus roared, opening its mouth and gathering white energy. It was going to use Judgment again.

    “Empoleon, use Hydro Pump!” I shouted. “Suppress Arceus’ attack!”

    Empoleon opened her beak, and blew a large blast of water right at Arceus’ mouth. Arceus immediately shut its mouth and turned its head, preventing the water from going down its throat. Still, we had managed to stop it from attacking.

    “Great job, Platinum!” Cynthia called. I looked behind me quickly. We were still well away from the Hall of Origin, which hung in the clouds over our heads. We had climbed our way pretty high, however - Spear Pillar was beginning to look distant.

    Seeing my eyes, Cynthia called out to me. “Don’t get distracted now, Platinum! We’re still a few minutes from the Hall of Origin, but we’re not getting there at all if we can’t keep Arceus busy.”

    I bit my lip, embarrassed that I’d been caught dawdling. Of course, Cynthia was right. Against Arceus, a single slip-up could be enough to spell our doom.

    We continued backpedaling, deflecting Arceus’ attacks as we made our way up towards the Hall of Origin. Alder continued playing the Azure Flute, luring Arceus after us. Soon enough, Spear Pillar had become as big as a fingernail to me. We were amongst the clouds now - the Hall of Origin couldn’t be too far away.

    “Garchomp, use Protect!” Cynthia shouted. A big blue wall sealed us off from Arceus, blocking it from us. We turned to Cynthia. “We’re here, everybody.”

    I looked behind us. The black portal hung a step away from us. It looked almost like an entrance to an attic - I could literally just walk up the stairs into it.

    “Let’s get up there quickly, guys,” Cynthia said, “I’ll have Garchomp take down the Protect when we’re up there.”

    We quickly climbed up into the Hall of Origin, entering through the portal. The sight that I found myself looking at was incredible.

    The Hall of Origin was incredible. It was a large golden hall, one that looked like it could have been as big as Mount Coronet. We stood at one end of the large hall, and it reached far down, so far that I couldn’t even comprehend how far. Meanwhile, the ceiling above us seemed as far away as the sky had seemed from Spear Pillar. Enormous torches rested along the wall, lighting up the hall with lively flames. The floors were lined with tiles with intricate designs that resembled Arceus, perhaps. On the wall, there were beautiful tapestries as large as Arceus itself, all detailing Arceus in various poses.

    “Alright, guys, I’m taking down the barrier. When Arceus enters its home, the Azure Flute’s melody should put it to sleep - we’ll just have to protect Alder until then,” Cynthia said, “Garchomp, we’re good!”

    “Garchomp!” the Pokemon cried, and I saw the blue wall vanish away. Arceus began walking towards us again, climbing into the Hall of Origin. Alder began playing louder - he knew we were close to coming out on top, against all odds.

    “Arceus!” Arceus roared, opening its mouth for another Judgment attack. I noticed this time, the attack was a lot larger than it had been the last few times - was it the effect of being in its home?

    “Guys, watch out!” I shouted. “This next attack is going to be a lot stronger! Empoleon, use Hydro Cannon!”

    Empoleon opened her beak, and let loose a wild blast of water that raged at Arceus at an even more furious rate than Hydro Pump had earlier. However, after all I had been through today, I didn’t know if Arceus would let it be so easy for us to defeat it - we had to stay on our game. The others seemed to realize this as well, using the strongest of their attacks.

    “Torterra, Frenzy Plant!” Diamond shouted.

    “Use your Blast Burn, Infernape!” Pearl hollered.

    “Garchomp, use Draco Meteor!” Cynthia commanded.

    Wild vines ripped out from the ground beneath Arceus’ feet, curling around it and beginning to strangle it - Torterra’s Frenzy Plant. Infernape opened his mouth and let loose an enormous storm of flames at Arceus. Garchomp opened her mouth, letting loose the blast of blue-red energy that I had seen so many times today. Even Alder’s Volcarona attacked despite the lack of an order from its Trainer, using the attack I recognized as Fiery Dance, raining a storm of fireballs at Arceus.

    All of our attacks collided into Arceus, resulting in a huge explosion that threw smoke and dust everywhere. The Pokemon dropped to their knees, worn out after using their most powerful attacks after all they had already been through.

    I gripped my knees, breathing heavily. Had we finally done it? I realized I was tired as well - it had been an exhausting ordeal. My mind flickered to the others down at Spear Pillar. How were things going for them? Had they been able to hold out against the legendary Pokemon?

    Suddenly, I heard a loud cry. I looked up, and cried out loud. Arceus stood there, not even harmed by our attacks. I immediately noticed the ring around its chest was discoloured. No, not that - sections of it had actually changed colours altogether! Parts of the ring were teal, blue, yellow, and brown, in addition to the original gold. What was going on?

    “No, no...” I heard Cynthia mutter under her breath. “It can’t be...”

    At that moment, Arceus attacked. Beams of light split off from its mouth, heading for each of our Pokemon. This time, however, they weren’t white. They were different colours, matching the colours on the ring. A blue beam slammed into Infernape’s chest, bowling the Pokemon over. Teal-coloured beams slammed into Torterra and Garchomp, crushing them into the ground. A brown beam slammed into Volcarona, dropping him like a fly. Finally, a bright yellow beam blew into my Empoleon’s face, flipping her into the ground.

    “Empoleon!” I cried. Around me, I heard everybody else run to their Pokemon in a combination of panic and despair as they realized what had just happened.

    Then, I heard Alder cry out loud. It rang louder than anybody else’s - or did it? I realized the music had stopped as well, and looked over. Remnants of the standard white energy faded away, and I saw Alder lying on his back, clutching his chest in pain. Around him laid shards of something purple - the broken Azure Flute.

    “No!” I cried. I heard others shouting too. But, the Azure Flute was destroyed, resting in pieces around Alder.

    “Alder, get up!” Cynthia called, rushing to his side. She helped him up, and I saw that a hole had been burnt right off of the clothes where the attack had collided into his chest, revealing a newly formed scorch mark.

    “This is nothing,” Alder muttered, gingerly prodding the injury on his chest. Looking around him, he frowned. “The Azure Flute...”

    We all stood quietly, taking in the situation. Our Pokemon laid hurt, most of them knocked out. I saw Alder’s Volcarona was still conscious - he hadn’t been through as much as our Pokemon had been, having arrived late. But, he was very weak and on the brink of fainting. With the Azure Flute destroyed as well, our chances at stopping Arceus seemed to have winked out for good.

    Then, Diamond spoke up. “Well, we can’t exactly fail here.”

    “Yeah, yeah!” Pearl hollered. “There’s got to be some way!”

    I looked at my two friends. For as long as I had known them, they had never lost hope no matter what the situation was. Their combination of willpower and emotion, signified by the legendary Pokemon Azelf and Mesprit, helped them remain bright in any situation.

    And with my intelligence, we were supposed to be the ultimate trio, I thought bitterly to myself. Only I don’t feel intelligent right now.

    I felt a hand on my shoulder. Diamond smiled at me brightly. “It’ll work out!”

    Pearl nodded. “That’s right! I’m not the thinker you are, Platinum, but to me, it seems like there’s only one thing we can do - capture Arceus the conventional way!”

    Pearl held out a Pokeball in his hand. I eyed it skeptically.

    “What can we do? All of our Pokemon are knocked out, and Volcarona’s almost there too,” I pointed out.

    Alder smiled. “Your friends are right, Platinum - don’t lose help. Giving up is the only surefire way to prevent you from managing anything. Fortunately, I still have one more Max Potion, which I brought along for my own use.”

    Alder gingerly took out another Max Potion from the pouch at his waist, and began spraying Volcarona. The Pokemon winced in pain as the spray seeped into his wounds, but very quickly, he was back at full health - for the last time.

    “But,” I started, “why did Arceus’ attack change colours like that? I noticed its ring changed colours too...”

    Cynthia nodded, frowning. “In the legends, Arceus had the power to manipulate all of the elemental types. When it went to sleep, its powers were sealed away and confined into Plates, which were scattered throughout the world. Unfortunately, it looks like that being in the Hall of Origin, the place where its powers have remained bottled up since the creation of the universe, can allow it to tap into those powers and use them as it wishes.”

    I frowned. The odds were really stacked against us. The Judgment that had struck my Empoleon must have been an Electric-type move, a super-effective move. Torterra and Garchomp must have been struck by the Ice-type variant, Infernape the Water-type one, and Volcarona the Rock-type.

    Volcarona floated up, eyeing Arceus with his small black eyes. We only had one Pokemon against Arceus - only a fair fight in terms of numbers. Volcarona had been able to take a super-effective Judgment the first time, but even if he could a second time, the third time would definitely be the charm. Alder didn’t have any more Max Potions on him - this was our last shot.
    “It’s up to you, Alder,” I said, trying to sound faithful. I think I ended up sounding doubtful, however.

    “Don’t worry, I’m not going to lose,” Alder smiled. “Volcarona, we have to win this one! Use Quiver Dance!”

    Volcarona nodded, and began shaking his wings. A fine powder dusted off around Volcarona, flying off of his wings.

    “Volcarona’s Quiver Dance is one of the best setup moves that exist.” Alder smiled. “It doesn’t boost one stat, nor two stats, but three stats! His Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed all rise when he uses Quiver Dance!”

    I remained skeptical, however. No matter how many boosts Volcarona put on with Quiver Dance, who knows how many it would take just to get on Arceus’ level?

    Arceus roared. The ring on his back turned completely brown - Arceus was switching to the Rock type. It was the type that would be the most effective against Volcarona.

    Arceus roared loudly, and stomped its foot on to the ground. Immediately, sharpened pieces of debris ripped themselves free of the ground beneath Volcarona, and flew up towards the Pokemon.

    “Dodge, Volcarona!” Alder shouted. Volcarona immediately banked to his right, avoiding the attack.

    I recognized the attack Arceus had used. That was Stone Edge - a genuine Rock-type attack. It truly did know how to utilize this type. I stared at Alder. He was frowning, but hadn’t lost any of his moxie.

    “If it’s a Rock-type now, we can capitalize on that!” Alder shouted. “Volcarona, use Giga Drain!”

    Volcarona began glowing green as he began using Giga Drain. Green bubbles of energy appeared on Arceus’ body, and flew towards Volcarona, healing him.

    “We can use Arceus’ strength against it,” Alder said confidently. “All that energy it has can be used to heal Volcarona. As long as we survive each hit that Arceus connects with, we can heal the damage back with Giga Drain!”

    This strategy seemed to overlook several key points to me, however. What if Arceus was able to defeat Volcarona before he was able to replenish his health with Giga Drain? What if it was able to take out Volcarona with one blow, not even giving him the opportunity to heal? And last of all, how long could Volcarona last even if everything went as planned? Outlasting Arceus was still a part of the challenge.

    Arceus roared furiously. It seemed like it didn’t appreciate having Volcarona sapping its energy away. Now we had pissed it off.

    “Arceus!” Arceus crushed a foot into the ground, breaking pieces of the ground free. With the same foot, it deftly kicked pieces of the debris at Volcarona, arcing them so that they would fly down on Volcarona and crush him into the ground. This was the dangerous Rock Slide move, an attack that wasn’t as easy to dodge as Stone Edge.

    “Volcarona, send them back at Arceus! Use Whirlwind!” Alder commanded.

    Volcarona flapped his wings, unleashing a wild gust of wind at the rocks. The rocks halted for a moment as the wind stopped them, then flew back towards Arceus. The rocks crashed into Arceus.

    Great move! I thought, impressed by Alder’s move.

    “No,” Alder muttered. “It won’t be that easy.”

    I watched in horror as the rocks smashed against Arceus’ body, falling to the side. Arceus didn’t even so much as cringe in pain. It was too strong. How could we hope to defeat it?

    “Don’t give in, Volcarona, keep attacking! Use Sunny Day!” Alder shouted.

    I looked at him. Sunny Day seemed like an odd move to use in this situation. It would power up Volcarona’s signature Fire-type moves, but would that be worth doing against the Rock-type Arceus? Surely it would have been better to just keep on with Giga Drain.

    Volcarona began glowing a bright red-orange. A large ball of light the same colour as the light around Volcarona appeared high above us, shining intensely on us. Since the sun couldn’t directly come out and appear in this hall, Volcarona would have to settle for an artificial one.

    “Don’t underestimate Volcarona,” Alder smiled. “He’s classified as the Sun Pokemon, and for good reason - he does his best work in the sun.”

    I didn’t see how this would allow it to overcome the type disadvantage, but unfortunately, there was nothing we could do but hope Alder could pull through. I looked at the others.

    Diamond was looking determined and hopeful - he was trying to remain positive, putting his faith in Alder. Pearl had his fists clenched, and he was chewing his lip. It was clear he was trying to stay silent and give Alder his space to work with, but he too was rooting for Alder. Then, there was Cynthia. She looked worried, clearly having confronted the reality of the situation the way I had. However, she looked faithful in Alder. She knew him better than any of us did, though, and she had shown so much trust in him already that I hadn’t expected anything else from her.

    Was I the only one with doubts? Nobody else looked as defeated as I felt.

    Arceus didn’t seem bothered by the created sun Volcarona had summoned. It opened its mouth, and breathed a stream of flames at Volcarona. This was Flamethrower, one of the more reliable Fire-type attacks that existed. Under Sunny Day, it would be at an ever greater strength. Volcarona, despite being a Fire-type, was also a Bug-type, so he didn’t even have any natural resistance to a Fire-type move like Flamethrower.

    “Volcarona, counter it with Heat Wave!” Alder shouted. Heat Wave was a stronger Fire-type attack than Flamethrower. Alder must be hoping that Volcarona’s Fire-type attack, being the stronger move, would be enough to cancel out Arceus’ Fire-type move, which was weaker but coming for the stronger Pokemon.

    Volcarona flapped his wings, and a hazy Heat Wave flew towards Arceus’ Flamethrower. The two Fire-type attacks collided mid-air, and caused a huge explosion that threw flames everywhere. I ducked as some were scattered our way, but the majority of them were knocked to the side.

    “Volcarona!” Volcarona winced, dipping a few feet. A few flames were had caught onto his wing, but they extinguished themselves very quickly.

    Arceus hadn’t escaped scot-free, either. Some of the flames had slammed into its face and body. Being a much larger Pokemon than Volcarona, it had absorbed more of the explosion. Arceus roared in annoyance, trying to shake the flames off of his face.

    Alder’s eyes went wide - this was the opportunity he was looking for. “Volcarona, we have to make our move now! Use SolarBeam!”

    I see - this was why Alder had set up the sun. Volcarona knew SolarBeam, the ultimate Grass-type move which the Rock-type Arceus was weak to. It normally required time to gather solar energy for the move, but under the sun when solar energy was more plentiful, SolarBeam could be quick-fired.

    Hearing the urgency in his Trainer’s voice, Volcarona immediately dropped all attention from the burnt part of his wing. A bright beam green light begin gathering in front of his face: SolarBeam. With Arceus still rearing as it tried to get rid of the flames on its head, Volcarona launched the SolarBeam at Arceus.

    Direct hit. Arceus staggered backwards as the powerful attack struck it right below its neck.

    “Arceus!” the Pokemon screamed.

    “Yes!” I shouted loudly. Alder had done it - this was a direct hit! There was no doubting it, Arceus had taken real damage from this attack.

    Arceus dropped to a knee, wincing in evident pain. I stared at Alder. He had done it! I couldn’t believe it. He had never lost hope, just like Diamond and Pearl. I realized something. Alder was like a combination of Diamond, Pearl, and myself, and the attributes the three of us represented.

    Like Diamond, he had never lost hope, maintaining willpower. Like Pearl, he had remained upbeat and confident the whole time, mastering his emotions. Like myself, he had maintained a level head and always kept thinking, using his intelligence. Alder was the ultimate Trainer.

    Or, like myself if I had been able to pull my weight, a voice inside my head snarled. Immediately, disappointment filled my gut. I hadn’t been able to stay calm and show my intelligence. Diamond had never lost hope in Alder. Pearl had never stopped cheering for him. But, I hadn’t been able to support him the way my friends had.

    Suddenly, Arceus began roaring loudly. It was mad. The flames had disappeared from its head, and now we could see its eyes - red with anger, glaring right at us. Had it ever been hurt like this before?

    Arceus opened its mouth, and brown energy began gathering in its mouth. Judgment, completely Rock-type. This whole attack would be reserved for Volcarona, with no other targets around. There was no way he would survive.

    I took a deep breath. I wasn’t feeling too smart right now, but I knew one thing I could do to help the others come out of this alive.

    As Arceus lanced the energy beam at Volcarona, I closed my eyes and ran in between Arceus’ Judgment and Volcarona.

    I’m sorry, everybody, I thought, I’m sorry I was helpless during the rest of the battle. Maybe if I had stayed hopeful, like Diamond, and upbeat, like Pearl, things would’ve played out differently, and it would’ve have had to come to this. Thank you, everybody. Thank you for having my back and covering up for me, so that the opportunity for me to help out exists. Goodbye, everybody.

    Suddenly, I heard a loud bang. The unmistakable sound of a Pokeball opening.

    “Mana!”

    Shit. Manaphy. I had completely forgotten about it.

    I looked down. In between me and Arceus’ Judgment stood the baby Pokemon, standing on a swirling whirlpool of water that brought it up to about my chest - right where Judgment was flying towards. It had a defiant look on its face and its arms were stretched out, as if it were trying to block the Judgment.

    “Manaphy, no!” I shouted. But, there was no time for Manaphy to dodge.

    The brown energy pierced my Pokemon’s chest. From Manaphy’s whirlpool, a blast of water threw me away to the side and out of the Judgment’s path. The attack continued, blasting straight through Manaphy’s body and right into Volcarona’s.

    Both Pokemon crumpled.

    “No!” I shouted, my voice cracking. I rushed over to Manaphy’s body, but there was no doubt about it. The baby Pokemon was dead.

    I began crying. The tears from my eyes dripped down on Manaphy’s body, wetting its baby blue body. It looked so peaceful, like it was sleeping.

    This was my fault. I had forgotten about Manaphy. Once again, I had lost my head and made a bold decision, not thinking about the baby Pokemon.

    Why? Why was I so stupid? Why couldn’t I do anything right today? Everybody else had worked so hard to get to this stage, but I had blown it all. Manaphy was resting on my lap, dead. Behind me, Alder’s Volcarona was downed, possibly dead as well. It was all my fault.

    Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Arceus’ feet step closer and closer. Had it recognized we were completely defeated now? Was it going to take its time taking us out? Then, would it return to Spear Pillar and take out everybody else that was fighting down there just to give us this opportunity? After that, what would happen? Would it destroy the world?

    Human.

    I heard a voice in my head. It was deep. Old, too. This was telekinesis. In my tearful, blithering state, I remembered that some Pokemon could communicate through telekinesis, like Alakazam. Was Arceus talking to me?

    Human. Look at me.

    This voice... I recognized the regret in it. I looked up.

    Towering above me was Arceus. Its eyes had cleared, its ring was returned to its standard gold, and its head was lowered.

    This young Pokemon, the legendary lake guardian Manaphy, sacrificed its life to protect you. Why? Why did you interfere, trying to block my attack on that Volcarona?

    I choked back tears. “I... I was only trying to help. Volcarona was our last chance to win. To me, it was my life in exchange for a chance to save the world. My life means nothing compared to the rest of the world.”

    Arceus was silent for a moment. I was angry. I was disturbed from my eternal slumber, and in my anger, I sought to destroy the world I had created. But, never did I mean to kill an infant, one with such a pure will that never even tried to attack.

    I didn’t respond. It was my fault this had happened. Manaphy’s death had been my fault.

    Human. Arceus’ voice. I sense your guilt.

    I wiped a tear from my eye. Was Arceus angry at me too? If I hadn’t tried to interfere, Manaphy wouldn’t be dead.

    Thank you.

    My eyes widened in shock. What? Did Arceus just say...

    “What?” I asked, tears dripping from my eyes freely.

    Thank you. If you hadn’t gotten in the way of that attack, then maybe I would have succeeded in destroying the world.

    “What?” I could hear the absolute, unbridled disbelief in my voice. What was Arceus saying? “If I hadn’t gotten in the way of that attack, Manaphy would still be alive! It’s my fault Manaphy is dead right now!”

    No. The regret in Arceus’ voice was clear. It’s my fault Manaphy is dead. Because of you, the rest of the world isn’t.

    “But, if I had been more reliable early on, maybe it wouldn’t have had to come to this!” I cried. “If I had Diamond’s faith or Pearl’s passion or even my own intelligence under my control, maybe things would’ve been different!”

    In the end, you were the difference, Arceus responded. You showed that you hadn’t given up hope, that you still had faith, when you made the decision to try and block my attack, so that your friends could continue to fight on. You showed that you cared enough, that you still had passion, when you did the only thing you could have done to keep fighting. Lastly, you showed that you were wise, that you were intelligent, when you weighed yourself against the world and decided to sacrifice your own life in exchange for the millions on the rest of this world.

    I didn’t say anything.

    I see that you have been chosen by the deity of intelligence, Uxie, to be its Trainer. But, not only your intelligence, but your willpower and emotion as well, have saved the world. Not many people have all three of those qualities. You do, however, and that’s why Manaphy sacrificed itself to save you. Arceus paused. It’s because it thought you could make the world a better place.

    My eyes widened, shocked. Had Manaphy really thought that? I glanced down at the Pokemon that rested on my lap. Manaphy, did you really think I can improve the world like that?

    Arceus looked behind me. I see the Azure Flute was destroyed in this battle... What a shame.

    I looked up at Arceus. It began glowing brightly, and I saw something solid develop in the aura. I lifted my hand and turned away - the light was too bright.

    Here you go, human.

    The light instantly faded away. I turned around, and I saw a purple flute floating in front of me. It had a glossy outer shell, with a texture that looked like the stars and galaxies of outer space. This was the Azure Flute!

    A new Azure Flute, to replace the old one, Arceus said, and it’s yours. What is your name, Trainer?

    Shocked, I slowly put my hands around the Azure Flute. “P-Platinum...”

    Platinum. Arceus spoke with a clear and booming voice. You have saved the world. For that, I am forever grateful and in your debt.

    I couldn’t believe what Arceus was saying. Had I saved the world? Because of my actions, Manaphy was dead, but how many others were saved?

    Arceus looked around at the scattered bodies it had left behind. Torterra, Infernape, Empoleon, and Garchomp were all laid out behind me, unconscious. Though everybody was crowded around Alder and him, I could see Volcarona resting on the ground with his head in his Trainer’s lap. Judging from the look on Alder’s face, Volcarona had suffered the same fate as Phione.

    Such a shame... Arceus shook its head slowly, guilt and sorrow evident in its voice. I cannot bring back those who are dead, but for you who have stopped me from destroying the world, this is the best I can offer.

    A light green beam of energy shot out from the four green jewels on the ring on Arceus’ back. Torterra, Infernape, Empoleon, and Garchomp each absorbed one of these beams. Moments later, they began to wake, and rushed towards their Trainers. I smiled at Empoleon as she rushed to my side and put her arms around me, but with the weight of Manaphy still resting on my lap, I could only muster a half-hearted smile.

    And to mark the sacrifices of two valiant Pokemon, Arceus began, both you, the Trainer of Manaphy, and your companion, the Trainer of Volcarona, will be gifted with the offspring both of your Pokemon would have sired.

    Arceus opened its mouth, and two beams of bright white energy split off towards Alder and I. The white energy developed into a large oval, which I carefully put my arms around. The light began to fade, and a white sphere with large green dots was revealed. This was a Pokemon Egg!

    I turned and looked at Alder, who had an Egg of his own in his arms. He had a shocked look on his face, and he looked up to Arceus.

    Phione and Larvesta, Arceus announced. May they grow to be as honorable as their predecessors.

    Arceus looked down at me. Thank you, Platinum. Because of you, the world is saved. Your friends below are all safe and relatively unharmed. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina have all calmed, and returned to their respective dimensions. They should be up here shortly to congratulate you.

    Arceus began walking away, walking past Alder and the others. The hall seemed to stretch for eternity in front of it.

    “Wait!” I shouted. “Where are you going?”

    Arceus stopped. Without turning, he answered, I am going back to sleep, Platinum.

    I watched Arceus in silence as it continued walking, and slowly began to fade away. I didn’t know where it might be disappearing off to, but silently, I hoped for it to sleep in peace for the rest of eternity.

    Lord knows if it can be stopped a second time, I thought to myself.

    I heard footsteps behind me, and I turned to see Riley climb up from the portal. Behind him was everybody else we had left down at Spear Pillar: Cheryl, Mira, Buck, Marley, their Pokemon, and Alder’s Pokemon.

    “What happened?” Riley asked. “We were battling Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina when they suddenly stopped fighting with us and disappeared! Where’s Arceus?”

    “Gone.”

    I heard Alder’s voice behind me. I turned to see him walking up to me, with a smile on his face. His eyes were still sad, but he clasped his hand on my shoulder gently.

    “Thank you, Platinum. Volcarona is dead, but because of you, nobody else is,” Alder smiled.

    I accepted his thanks, but I added, “Manaphy is also dead.”

    “Indeed,” Cynthia said sadly. She gazed down at the Pokemon. “It made an admirable sacrifice to protect you, its Trainer. It didn’t know you for very long, but it seemed to love you.”

    “Yeah,” I said sadly, looking down at the Pokemon resting on my lap. Even in death, the Pokemon looked like it was smiling. I smiled back.

    Thank you, Manaphy.
    Last edited by Nitro; 29th August 2012 at 05:51 AM.

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    the vibration pokemon Nitro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arceus Awakened

    Going For: Phione and Larvesta
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    Characters Required: 80,000 - 110,000

    Some post-reading notes I included to show that some things aren't as random as it may appear.

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    I swear I posted my reserve like a week ago... Anyway, if nobody else has claimed this, I'll get working on it right away!

  5. #5
    Head of Stories Princess Crow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arceus Awakened

    Before I get into anything, I just want to express the point that this grade might sound whiny. In no way am I trying to project this attitude towards your story. I'm hopefully adding some useful feedback to your story, and I hope that you don't take any offense if I seem too critical.

    Anyway, without further ado, here is your grade! If there's anything else you need from me, just ask, and I'll hopefully be able to comply.

    Thanks!

    --------------------------------------



    Introduction: Your introduction was short and concise which, in relation to the rest of the story, is both a good thing and a bad thing. You got the obstacle of introducing your characters and setting the tone of the story out of the way so that you could jump right into the action. However, because the story is so long, there needs to be a much stronger base for your story than for a story of say only 40,000 characters.

    You still accomplished your goal of the introduction no matter how you see it. We were exposed to your characters and the setting of the story. Likewise, we saw the general tone of the story, which would be a realistic one. We had some physical characteristics explained to us in this section as well, which set us up for the rest of the story.

    However, the question under debate is how much of an introduction did you give compared to what was needed. You did a nice job with the physical characteristics of the story, but the more plot-based introduction could have been stronger, in my opinion. The introduction basically cut off right as the story jumped into the action-packed battles, which gave us little to no time to prepare. Likewise, all we knew was that Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum would be fighting the three legendary dragons of Sinnoh. We had been told that they had fought them previously, but we never actually knew all that happened there. If a little more time had been spent on the plot-based introduction, perhaps told in a flashback or something similar to it, we would be able to formulate an accurate representation of your characters, which would give us a stronger base knowledge of your story's universe.


    Plot: Your plot mainly consisted of battling. It was interesting to read and lots of fun to visualize, and, combined with your usage of description of the battles, it was easy to sit back and enjoy all that was going on. It wasn't overly complicated, but it still was interesting enough to keep the reader's eye until they finished.

    Like I said above, a majority of this plot is primarily battling pokemon. There's nothing wrong with this, but it can get a little repetitive if a constant back-and-forth exchange of moves goes on for too long. In your story, almost 64,000 characters consist of the battle, starting at the three legendaries of Spear Pillar fighting each other until Manaphy and Volcarona killed. If you don't include the battles as part of the plot, that only leaves about 17,000 characters to build the plot, which, in a story of nearly 90,000 characters, isn't a ratio that the reader always wants to see. We don't get enough of an insight into the universe that you've created, the characters were supposed to grow to love, and various other aspects of the story.

    I would have loved to see some more aspects of the plot than just the brute battling. While battles are always fun to read and visualize, the most memorable stories have more than just fighting to it. Yes, this story does have more than just fighting -- the Arceus plot and even some symbolism for Manaphy and the 'Innocence of the World' are both examples of additional plot devices -- but I'm asking for something more. These were both interesting reads, but they still had to deal with fighting. Perhaps some more backstory on Platinum's encounter with Uxie, which could be told by another flashback or something of the sorts, would have made us understand why it chose to partner with Platinum. While it might not of had much impact on the story itself, it would have given Platinum more of a characterization if we were shown her being intelligent rather than being told it.

    It might just be my girly side kicking in, but I like to know why things happen in a story. While Arceus directly told us why Manaphy sacrificed itself for Platinum, the reader had really no way of predicting or comprehending this until we were told this, if that makes any sense. If there had been some previous hints on it, like Manaphy showing an actual bond with Platinum, the death of Manaphy would have made much more sense. It wouldn't have been a surprise to the reader which, though it might sound like a bad thing to have the reader predict the outcome of your story, it really isn't. The reader wants to find out if they're right, and they're more likely to stop reading if they have no reason to continue reading in the first place.


    Climax: An analogy that comes to mind when I think of your climax is a snowball rolling down a massive mountain until it finally crashes against the rocks at the foot. I mean this in the way that more and more was added to the 'climb' to the climax until it finally exploded after it had gotten so massive. We had been expecting something awesome and epic ever since you began your roll down the mountain, and you gave us all the things that we were looking for. Definitely cool.

    There were a lot of mini-climaxes in your story that added on to the massive climax at the end, which made it all the more epic. However, at parts, it did seem a little repetitive. One thing about a climax is that it is the largest point of action in the story before the resolution. If there are several peaks in the story's plot line, which indicates the reach of a climax, then we're never quite sure when the entire series of events will come together. It's like we're expecting more out of something that we should be expecting less.

    Don't get me wrong, in no way am I trying to encourage you to save all your action until the last couple paragraphs and give us an explosion of all the action with no lead ups. It's a good thing to have events of increasing importance and intensity of action as the story progresses before we reach the final climax. Without it, the reader gets bored until the very end, where his or her minds will thus explode from all the action being packed into such a small area.

    A word you'll hear a lot from me throughout this grade is moderation. You need to find a balance of your climax and your buildup to the climax. Battle scenes with periodically increasing amplitude until you reach the super important battle at the end is a good check to this, but only when you use it correctly. If you have 64,000 characters of climax-building battles in a story of only 90,000 characters, that doesn't leave much time for an introduction, plot development, and the climax itself.


    Characters: This is actually a pretty hard section to grade you on. Your main characters, Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, were all very fleshed out, and we were given great exposure to them. However, some of your minor characters, including Mira and Marley, were little more than plot devices used to capture the remaining legendaries. Because of this, we never really grew to care about these characters. While I understand that you can't make all your characters into main characters (otherwise, no characters are main characters!), there were definitely some characters that needed at least a little bit more development for me to actually care about them.

    A perfect example of this is when Manaphy and Volcarona died. It was sad, yes, and though I sound like an insensitive and cold-blooded human when I say this, I didn't really feel what I should have. My reaction was more of a slight frown instead of the streams of tears that should have been pouring out of my eyeballs. Again, death is a sorrowful concept, but I hadn't grown attached enough to these pokemon to feel as badly as I should.

    Think about it in terms of non-pokemon media. Nobody really cares about the random thug in the movie who gets shot and killed, but when the main character of the movie whom we have grown to love is shot and killed, there's an outrage among the viewers. It's because we care about these characters. We don't care nearly as much when a character we don't know and cherish dies, due to the fact that there isn't enough exposure of the character to know and cherish his or her death.

    In my opinion, Manaphy and Volcarona are two characters whose deaths are admittedly unfortunate, but we don't know these characters well enough to care when they die. If we had been exposed to these pokemon, we would have cared about them significantly more, making their deaths have an even larger impact on the reader than just a simple plot device.

    I hope that at least some of that made sense...


    Description: One thing that even the most talented writers struggle with isn't description itself, but moderation of description. At points in this story, we're given large walls of pure description telling us what's going on. At other points in the story, the readers are left scratching their heads, trying to figure out what just happened. Like I've said earlier, the majority of your story's description belongs to the former, but that's not always a good thing either.

    I will say one thing: you explained the massive battle in such detail that I could actually visualize all that was going on. You made the peak of Mt. Coronet something else entirely than what we saw in the video-games. It was a war zone, the scene of massive destruction, not just some generic pokemon mountain where the evil syndicate unleashes its plan. You made it yours, and that's a commendable usage of description in itself.

    However, this description was, at times, a little overwhelming. When the reader has massive amounts of vivid description thrusted at his or her face, it tends to be difficult to absorb all of it. We absorb as much as we can, but, even then, it's hard to comprehend everything that's being given to us, regardless of how fluid the way you are with your description.

    That's why I think finding a balance of description is essential for all writers. It's very hard to achieve, yes, but it makes the writing much more understandable and overall enjoyable. We aren't craving for more description, but we're not drowning in it either. This makes for the best all-around usage of description, and the perfect balance is something that even the most talented of writers are still searching for. For a story with this much action focused around the battle, it's completely understandable to focus more on description. However, you won't always be able to pull off a story with its primary focus being a battle, so, even though you might not have needed the balance this time around, it will be important to find it as your writing career progresses.


    Grammar/Conventions: Overall, you did really well here. There weren't many grammatical mistakes at all, and the very few that I actually spotted were primarily typos/homophones. Nice job. I actually would advise to keep your proofreading rate/intensity at about this level. A few typos are nothing to be ashamed of, and proofreading too much can lead to incorrectly correcting already correct statements, at least for me.


    Length: Well, this story is fairly long for a URPG story! It's resting at just a few hundred characters above 91,000. The minimum character requirement for both a Phione and a Larvesta is 80,000 characters, so you're comfortably above that cut off. Not much to say here, really. If anything, the battle was a little drawn out, but it sort of had to be. If Dialga, Giratina, Palkia, and Arceus all were knocked out in only several paragraphs that totaled less than 5,000 characters, the climax would have been a massive let down.


    Overall Advice:
    1. Find a balance of description that gives the reader the best possible visual of the story. Not too much, but not too little at the same time.
    2. Don't jump right into the action. For a story of this length, we need at least some time to warm up what's to come. It doesn't have to be that much, but it will make the story flow smoother.
    3. Build up to the climax, but don't trick the reader into thinking that a section of the story is the climax when it really isn't. Think back to the snowball: the snowball continuously and steadily gets larger, not randomly back and forth.
    4. Make us care about the important characters. It doesn't matter the nature of our feelings towards them, but the fact that we do associate emotions with a character is essential.



    Results: Phione and Larvesta: Captured! Though I think I sounded very whiny and nit-picky throughout this story with all my criticism, I'm merely trying to help an already great story and author reach perfection. Overall, I really liked the story. It was filled with intense action, drama, and everything else, and it was a really interesting read. However, just because I like your story and I passed it does not mean that it isn't flawless. You're going to hear me say this word one more time before I finish: balance! Of course, there are always things that could be worked on, and I hope that you take my advice in this grade into account for your future writing. Nonetheless, I hope that you continue writing in the URPG story section, and I hope you'll enjoy your new pokemon!

  6. #6
    the vibration pokemon Nitro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arceus Awakened

    Thanks a lot for the Grade, Hannah. Your feedback made sense to me, and I'll def keep that in mind for next time. :)

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