Target Pokemon: Ralts
Characters (with spaces): about 16,843
Status: Completed and ready for grading
Notes: Akinai and Sere are characters that I have/had in a RP campaign that one of my RL friends made last year. They are from a universe completely different from the Pokemon world, but the one universal rule in my friend's campaign is "If it exists anywhere, it exists here." Therefore, this story is mainly about if Sere managed to escape from her world and managed to hide in the Pokemon world. She has a lot of enemies unfortunately...
Deep in the regions of the world, there exist sheltered havens where only Ralts and their evolutions reside. Nestled away from humans and their destructive habits, they live in peace and serenity. While there are many such havens with varied rules and regulations, each maintains the same rule: Never leave the Haven. Those who leave are never allowed to return.
This tale is about one such Ralts.
Tonight he had the dream again.
It was the same as before. A young woman wearing a long cloak and hood stood forlorn in the pouring rain, facing a strange shimmer floating in the air. The shimmer was around the same height as the woman, and seemed to show reflections of a city completely alien to the young Ralts. The buildings appeared to be made out of complete metal, and the occupants were an odd mix of both man and machine. With a final sigh, the woman turned her back to the shimmer.
As she walked away, the shimmer seemed to distort and ripple, similar to the effect of throwing a pebble into a pond. The image of the city slowly disappears and is replaced with a shadowy figure. The figure appeared to reach out, and seemed to pull its way out of the shimmer. The woman notices this, and is frozen in fear as the figure walks out and reaches towards her. The figure laughs triumphantly as he grabs the woman and…
Zen awoke in a cold sweat, staring at the ceiling of his small room. At least once a week for the past two months, he always had the same dream. Always he awoke with the same two questions…How did he know this woman when he had never seen a human, and why did he feel like he was supposed to help her? A quick glance out told him that the time was close to late morning, and he had slept in again. “Sensei won’t be happy that I’m late to another lesson again…” He muttered under his breath. Grabbing a couple Berries from the family storage area, Zen began his day.
It was a beautiful day in the Haven, same as most days there. Young Ralts played happily near the lake, while their parents kept an eye on those reaching the water too closely. Older Ralts and newly-evolved Kirlia were nowhere in sight, more than likely already at the Lesson Rock. One of the smaller children waved to Zen as he rushed by. As Zen waved back, he noticed one of the Gardevoir giving him a cold glare. Slowly putting down his arm, Zen continued his trip to the Rock in a less happy mood.
“You’re late again.”
All of the attending Ralts and Kirlia turned around as Zen walked in. Sensei was an ancient Gardevoir, one of the oldest currently living in the Haven. He was a teacher to the children and a mentor to all others living in the Haven, and was held in high regard to all there. Every day he held lessons at a large rock in the middle of the settlement, and because of this the rock was dubbed Lesson Rock. His anger was terrifying, and even the smallest reprimand could cause the youngest child to look down in shame.
Zen nodded, keeping his eyes downward as he searched for an empty spot to sit. A few of his classmates gave a mute chuckle at his third reprimand that month, but otherwise kept silent. Zen managed to overhear the telepathic response however, and blushed furiously to himself. Let them laugh; at least they didn’t have to deal with strange nightmares about a nonexistent human and shadowy figure. As Zen settled down, Sensei began his lecture.
“Now that everyone is here, we can begin. As all of you know. Pokemon evolve as they get older in age or experience. Some of you have already made that discovery yourselves” He gave a respectful nod to the Kirlia in the back. “As some of you may not know yet, there are two forms to choose from after reaching your Kirlia form. You heard me correctly: two. All of you have the ability to become a Gardevoir over time, but some of you, males especially, have the minimally small chance to become this...” Sensei waved one of his wispy arms, and two images shimmered into sight.
The first appeared to be a small stone, glowing like a dawn’s light. The second image revealed something that looked similar to a Gardevoir, with many major changes. Instead of a hairlike design on the head gently sloping downwards, there was a crest that ended near the neck. The ballroom gown design was replaced by a slim waist and legs. Last but not least, instead of tassels for arms, there was something that appeared to be blades sticking out of arms similar to a Ralts.
The images received negative responses from the students. Some of the younger Ralts covered their eyes in fear, and the few Kirlia shrank away from the stone as if it was something twisted and evil. Zen did neither of these things. The light from the stone’s images seemed comforting to him, and the mutated Gardevoir, while alien, appeared to also have a aura of kindness. Almost if it could both protect and defend. To defend…
“This, “Sensei continued after the students manage to compose themselves “is a Gallade. The rock is called a Dawn Stone to the humans. In my many travels, I met only one Gallade, running away from his trainer. He was quick to anger, and struck anything that moved. When I asked why he did such, he responded in a crude form of telepathy that when he had evolved, his only desire was to slash everything in sight. Coming to the expert conclusion that he was beyond help, I left him to his devices.”
“If any of you ever see this stone, don’t, I repeat, do NOT touch it! You will be reduced to a primitive killing machine, unable to make any but the smallest mental responses, of which there is no return. The penalty for evolving into a Gallade…” Sensei gave a dramatic pause before finishing “Is death. That concludes today’s lesson, be safe traveling home.” As Zen stood up lost in a daydream, Sensei gave the Ralts an odd glance as he walked away.
The next few weeks passed by as if in a haze to Zen. Now, every day after lessons, he combed the outer areas of the Haven for the stone Sensei had shown his classmates that fateful day. The dream came to him nightly now, and each appearance was stronger than the last. He had to…no, MUST find the stone, in order to protect the woman from her fate.
In the middle of the night, Zen snuck quietly away from his home. His dream had felt more real than ever before. The figure was revealed to be a male with a face hidden from sight, and the woman’s terror was so genuine that he had been scared stiff for many heartbeats after the dream had ended.
The stone had to be found. Now.
Zen searched in what seemed to be vain. It was too dark to search for anything, any faint light that could be seen were glowing from Volbeat flying in the sky or the odd Chinchou swimming lazily in the lake. He had hoped that the moonlight would help in the search, but the sky was heavily overcast that night. As he was about to mentally cry in frustration, the Ralts felt a presence behind him.
“…You are looking for this, I am guessing.” Sensei stood in front of Zen, a remorseful look in his eyes. In one arm he held a brightly shining Dawn Stone. “I regret telling that story in front of you, you know. Ever since that day, you have been lost in thought. Your mother even approached me, saying that you were often fantasizing about striking down some unseen foe.”
Zen flinched as his mother was mentioned. “Don’t mention her! She’s the perfect example of everything that is wrong in the Haven. Always content to stay here, wasting away in secrecy when we could be using our powers to help others instead of just ourselves.” He glared at Sensei “Didn’t you tell us once that we were known as one of Man’s greatest protectors?”
“You seem to have a certain human in mind” Sensei mused. In Zen’s mental outburst he had caught an odd glimpse of a human female. “Why not share with me your dilemma?” Zen cursed to himself…He had not shared with a single soul what he had dreamed about for many months now.
“Each time is stronger than the first. There’s a strange human female, don’t ask me how I know that she is a human or female or even strange, I just know. Each time she seems to be looking at an image from another world. As she looks away though another human emerges from it, a tall shadowed male. He reaches for her…And then I wake up.” Zen looked up at Sensei, and then set his eyes on the Stone. “And now you probably think I’m crazy. All I know is that only I can protect her, and the stone will be the means to do so.”
Sensei closed his eyes, lost in deep thought. “And you would use this Stone when you evolve, knowing full well what it can do to your mind? My tale about the crazed Gallade was a true one. In fact, he was my brother. I had searched for him so long…” Zen started at this revelation, but nodded all the same. “Perhaps this is your fate then. I have but one request then: Leave this Haven. If you do so, I will give you this Stone. I will not have the death of your family and loved ones on my hands if you do choose the Gallade Path.”
“…Give me the stone.” Sensei opened his eyes to see the Ralts staring off into the distance. “If I stay here, I will slowly go insane. If I go, at least I have decided which path I walk.” As Sensei handed Zen the stone, the Ralts seemed to shudder. “Even now I can see that man, as if in a waking dream.” Without a second glance back, Zen ran towards the Haven limits.
Exiting the Haven was much easier then Zen had though. Resting by the exit out were two Gardevoir statues guarding vigilantly. As he approached them, their eyes seemed to glow with a red light. After the light slowly faded, Zen was overtaken in a forlorn emotion, similar to that of a mother saying farewell to their child for the final time. Slightly shaken, he walked past the statues and into the outside world.
Even though he had no map to follow or words of advice, Zen traveled the path as if he had walked this road many times before. When the sun set he would rest, hiding from any possible trainers looking for wild Pokemon. As soon as the sun rose each day, his journey continued once more.
On the third night, Zen was awoken from a deep sleep when a rogue raindrop managed to sneak its way into his makeshift shelter and land upon his front horn. As he sleepily began to fix the leak, the hole widened and broke entirely due to the pressure of the rainwater already settled on the roof. In moments the tiny Psychic Pokemon was soaked.
“Of all the luck…” Zen grumbled to himself. Now he would have to make a new shelter from scratch, completely drenched to boot. The new materials would be wet as well of course. “Maybe I should just find a hollow tree or maybe a…”
The mental cry hit Zen like a sharp blow. Whatever had sent that was definitely not a Ralts, but it was still panicking and giving off a clear vibe on their current location. What’s more, it was oddly familiar, as if Zen had known them for a very long time…Without wasting a single second; he rushed towards the same direction as the cry.
A lone woman stood in the pouring rain, crying out as her Flygon was hit by some unseen force and thrown to the muddy ground. Before she could reach the Pokemon, a male figure appeared and blocked her progress.
“Let it die. Why are you even depending on these worthless creatures, Sere? I had given you powers that others only dream of, and you threw it all away in the dirt...Laid them in the dirt just like that pathetic creature over there.” The figure pointed a finger towards the non-moving Flygon.
“Keep your powers; I saw what you did to Ghear.” As a strong gust of wind blew down the woman's hood, Zen had to stop himself from rushing forward. This was the female from his dreams! She appeared to be fairly young for a human, with dark blue midlength hair currently plastered on her head due to the rain. Light blue eyes glared at the figure, and an odd light seemed to be coming from her right shoulder. Next to her was another fainted Pokemon, a Glaceon covered in serious burns. “And don’t call me Sere!”
“If I remember right, you took that name when you helped me take over Ghear.” The man sneered. The man seemed to be extremely tall, with long black hair falling down to his back wearing a long cloak covering the rest of his clothes. The rain seemed to oddly repel off him. “Come back with me. I even removed that façade you call a disguise and restored your powers.”
The woman stared at a stray lock of her hair and the eerie glow from her arm as if noticing it for the very first time. As the newfound info sunk in, she slumped into a defeated stance, her head downwards. Grinning triumphantly, the man began to slowly head towards her.
“Leave her ALONE!” Zen mentally cried. That man would not, no COULD not be allowed to touch her, he felt that instinct in every fiber of his being. Focusing psychic energy into his horns, Zen released the blast onto the man.
The man stopped his advance on the woman, slightly surprised to be struck by an attack, minor as it was. As he searched for the location of the attack’s origin, his eyes rested on Zen. “…This small pathetic speck of a lifeform wishes to challenge me? Destroying you would be all too easy.” His eyes rested on the woman as he grinned. “Fine then…We’ll play by this world’s rules for now.” The man pulled an odd disc from one of the inside pockets of his cloak, and as he concentrated the disc began to float out of his hands and glow with a white light. The light slowly changed shape and size, and finally dimmed away to reveal a pink and teal polyhedral creature.
“Pory…” The cry seemed to be as alien and unreal as the Pokemon that made it. Taking a scan of his surroundings, the creature slowly turned around to face the man. In response, the man pointed at Zen. “This…thing dares to attack me. Hit it with a Zap Cannon, and then keep hitting it until its dust.” Nodding, the virtual Pokemon began to charge an immense electrical charge. As Zen stood there in shock, Porygon fired.
The blast knocked the Ralts off his feet and farther, the momentum carrying him up to the fainted Flygon's body. “I was a fool to think I could protect this person, I’m in way over my head…” His legs failed him as he tried to rise. The Porygon noticed his movement however, and began to charge another attack. In a final chance of retaliation, the tiny Ralts closed his eyes in an attempt to clear his mind. A small, slightly wavering aura began to appear around him. Zen opened his eyes to take one final look at the woman. “I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you…”
The woman was frozen in fear, her eyes on the man still. As she diverted her attention to Ralts, she appeared to be trying to get the man's attention. "There's no reason for you to do this! That creature was simply scared and acted on instinct...Cancel the attack NOW, Magi-" Her words were drowned out as the Zap Cannon fired, loudly crackling as the blast flew towards Zen.
The second blast struck, but this time Zen did not have the strength to rise. As all went black for him, he noticed an odd light…
Is this death? If so, why does it hurt... And how am I still able to think these thoughts?
“Thank goodness, you’re awake!”
Zen awoke lying in a strange bed. Turning his head to look at the speaker, he noticed it was the same woman from the fight. Some things about her were different …One of her arms was in a sling and it appeared as if she had dyed her hair. The glow from her shoulder from before was gone. A further search of the room revealed more beds similar to the one he was in, with another human wearing a white uniform tending the Pokemon in them. A Chansey was aiding the woman as well, feeding the patients with what appeared to be eggs.
“What…what happened to that man? And…my stone is missing!” Zen searched the bed wildly for the Stone. It was the only thing he had left of the Haven, and if he had lost it before using…
“You mean that Dawn Stone you were holding? I have it here.” The woman held the stone up for Zen to see. “You had this thing in a death grip even after you fainted, so instead of discarding I decided to hold onto it for you. As for the man from earlier” she gave a rueful smile “Let’s just say he went back home and won’t be bothering you anymore. You saved me, by the way.”
“…How did I save you? All I did was get in the way.” The Ralts was still crushed over how he was defeated so easily.
“Not exactly. You distracted him from sending me…well, sending me back home. Speaking of a home, I can offer you one if you wish. That is…if you don’t already have one.”
A home…It’s possible he could sneak back into the Haven if he left the Dawn Stone behind. Going home meant leaving the human behind however. Home or a new path…Zen closed his eyes for a moment, and then nodded, his decision made.