Chapter 9: Crisis On Iron Island
Much time had passed since Ash had encountered Cyrus at Lake Valor and learned of the legend of the Lake Guardians. In the days and weeks that followed Ash had battled and defeated the gym leader of the Pastoria City Gym, Crasher Wake. During the battle Ash’s Turtwig had evolved into a Grotle, and was instrumental in defeating Crasher Wake’s Water Pokemon. Since that time Ash’s training with Riley continued to progress. Before long the group had arrived at Canalave City, where Ash challenged the city’s gym leader, Byron.
Ash had another challenging battle against Byron, but in the end he won with the help of Riolu. After the battle, the group went to the town Pokemon Center so that Ash’s Pokemon could recover. Several minutes had passed as Ash and the others entered the Pokemon Center, and before long entering the room was a woman with reddish-pink hair with two ring-like pigtails wearing an old style pink and white nurse’s uniform. This of course was the Pokemon Center’s Nurse Joy. Walking into the room along side Nurse Joy was a fairly large pink egg-shaped Pokemon with stubby arms and a pouch with a white egg on its chest and a nurse’s hat on its head. This was Nurse Joy’s Pokemon assistant, Chansey.
Chansey wheeled in a cart Riolu, Pikachu, and Ash’s Pokeballs on top. Right away the fully recovered Riolu and Pikachu hopped off the cart and went over to Ash.
“Sorry that took so long. But you’ll be happy to know that your Pokemon are fully healed.” Nurse Joy informed Ash.
“Thanks Nurse Joy.” Ash said as he gathered up his Pokeballs.
“You seem a little worn out.” Riley observed after noticing the tired expression on Nurse Joy’s face. “Have you been really busy lately?”
“Actually we have.” Nurse Joy confirmed with a sigh. “For the past two days we’ve been having to take care of a lot of Steel-type Pokemon that have been suffering from an unknown condition. For some reason Steel-type Pokemon that have come back from Iron Island have been going berserk. We’ve been able to treat them once they get off the island, but the number of cases has been increasing and we still haven’t been able to find the cause.”
“You say this is happening to Pokemon on Iron Island?” Riley asked suddenly becoming concerned. “And only Steel-types are being effected?”
“Yes, and I’m afraid that this includes the wild Pokemon living on the island.” Nurse Joy confirmed.
“I see…” Riley said as he began to stroke his chin in thought. He then turned to Ash after a moment. “Ash, if it’s okay with you I’d like to swing by Iron Island to see if I can’t find the cause to all this.”
“Sure Riley, we’ll all go.” Ash agreed.
Several minutes later Ash and the others had boarded a boat headed for the aforementioned Iron Island. Once the small boat left port, Riley and Lucario went to the front of the ship to gaze at the approaching island in the distance. Ash and Misty joined them before long.
“So what’s Iron Island like?” Misty asked Riley.
“Several years ago Iron Island was an ore mine, but after awhile the mine dried up and was abandoned.” Riley explained. “Since then it’s become a favorite training ground for Byron and the members of his gym, even Byron’s son, Roark, used to train there at one time. And as you might’ve guessed, the island is also home to several Steel-type Pokemon.”
“You seem to know Iron Island pretty well.” Ash noted.
“Actually Iron Island is also a favorite training ground for me and Lucario.” Riley revealed. “We still go back there very often to train. It’s how I know Byron and Roark so well.”
Before long the boat docked in an old port on Iron Island. As the group got off, Ash and Misty quickly noticed that there were not any buildings on the island, save for an old abandoned shack near the entrance to a cave, which they assumed was a mining shaft. The terrain of the island itself was grey and very rugged, barren of any form of plant life that could be easily noticed.
“Hey Riley, I just realized that Lucario is a Steel-type. Aren’t you afraid that whatever’s effecting Steel-types on this island will effect him?” Ash asked as Riley led them down a rugged path.
“So far he seems fine.” Riley said as he looked at Lucario. Lucario looked back at Riley and gave his human partner a smirk. “Ah, I see. Lucario is using his Aura to block out whatever is causing the Steel-types to go berserk, which means he must be able to sense whatever it is.”
“But just what is causing all this?” Misty asked.
“To find that out we need to go further into the island.” Riley answered.
Suddenly the earth shook around Ash and the others, and suddenly a creature burst forth from the ground in front of them. The thing was a massive serpent-like creature with a body that seemed to be made of steel boulders. Jutting out from the sides of a boulder on its upper body were two long metal spikes.
“That’s a Steelix!” Ash observed. “Riolu, let’s…”
“Hold it!” Riley cut in as he quickly raised a hand in front of Ash. “Look at what this Steelix is doing.”
Both Ash and Misty watched, as the Steelix seemed to ignore them and suddenly started banging its head into the ground. All the while the metal serpent cried out as if it was in intense pain.
“What’s it doing?” Misty asked with a look of concern. Riley closed his eyes and focused on Steelix.
“Now I understand. Whatever is going on is making it so this Steelix can’t feel anything.” Riley said after a moment. “That’s why it’s banging its head against the ground.”
“It’s going to hurt itself if it keeps that up! Go Spiritomb!” Ash called as he threw out a Pokeball. The malevolent entity quickly emerged from the thrown ball. “Quick Spiritomb, use Hypnosis on Steelix!”
Spiritomb quickly hovered down near Steelix’s face as the serpent continued to bash its head into the ground. The malevolent ghost’s eyes soon began to glow red, and in a moment Steelix became drowsy and feel asleep.
“Good thinking.” Riley commented as Ash called back Spiritomb. “At least for now this Steelix won’t continue to hurt itself. But we need to find the cause of all this soon.”
With that the group continued on along the path, quickly making their way around the fallen Steelix. As they reached the top of the hill, Riley stopped and looked a large pit in the distance.
“Odd, I don’t remember anything like that being here before.” Riley commented. “We should go check it out.”
After a few short minutes the group had reached the large pit that they had seen. The edge of the pit gently slopped down, allowing the group to walk down into it. Upon reaching the bottom they saw a large and very ancient-looking wall of stone with a single door in the middle. Carved in the wall on the sides of the door were images of Dialga and Palkia.
“I had no idea ruins like this existed on Iron Island.” Riley told the others.
“it looks like some sort of temple.” Misty observed.
“So did someone just dig this place up?” Ash asked.
“It appears so, and I bet it was Team Galactic.” Riley theorized. “They seem to be interested in Dialga and Palkia. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this was their handy work.”
“But what does Team Galactic plan to do with these ruins?” Ash wondered.
“Whatever it is we need to stop them now.” Riley told him. “For both the Pokemon who live on Iron Island, and the world itself.”
* * *
Meanwhile in a large clearing on the island, several Team Galactic grunts were working on a large grey box-like device with a rotating silver-colored satellite dish on the top. Embedded in the side of the device was an indentation in a unique geometric shape. Several black cables from the device ran into the large battery that Team Galactic had charged up at the Valley Windworks. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were observing the construction of the device. At Mars’s feet was a large black cube-shaped case.
“I hope this doesn’t take much longer.” Mars commented. “These Steel-types are really starting to bug me.”
“It can’t be helped I’m afraid.” Saturn reminded her. “The device puts out waves that drive Steel-type Pokemon mad. But we shouldn’t be here for too much longer.”
“Besides, these Steel-types are a breeze to take down.” Jupiter pointed out.
“Commander Saturn, we’ve finished the calibration.” A male Galactic grunt called over.
“Excellent. Mars, put in the Spear Key.” Saturn ordered.
Mars bent down and opened the black case at her feet. Inside the case a large golden cube. Mars removed the cube and upon touching a corner it unfolded into the same shape that was embedded in the device.
“It’s amazing how Cyrus was able to get the Sinnoh Region’s champion, Cynthia, to give this Spear Key to him.” Mars commented as she walked over and put the key into slot.
“Not really when you consider their relationship.” Saturn pointed out.
“Oh please, Cyrus is only using her! Nothing more!” Mars shot back.
“My, aren’t we jealous.” Saturn observed with a chuckle.
“Shut up!” Mars exclaimed with a blush. “Look, the key’s in! Let’s just get this over with!”
“Oh very well. Start up the device!” Saturn ordered the grunts.
One of the grunts at the control panel of the device nodded and pressed a few buttons. After flipping a switch, the dish on the top of the device stopped rotating and fired a beam of clear energy into a diagonal direction into the sky.
* * *
Not too far away from the clearing where Team Galactic was working, Ash and the others saw the beam of energy shoot into the air. Though where the beam was headed they could not tell. But they could tell just what area it was coming from.
“What the heck’s going on?” Ash wondered.
“There’s only one way to find out!” Riley told him. “Let’s go!”
Before long the group had made it to the clearing where Team Galactic’s machine was. Right away they ducked behind a large rock to take cover.
“So it is Team Galactic!” Ash observed quietly. “Just what’re they up to?”
“That machine of theirs is plugged into that battery they used at the Valley Windworks.” Misty observed.
“I suppose that answers the question of what they needed that battery for. But we still don’t know what that machine is for.” Riley noted.
“Does that really matter right now?” Ash pointed out. “Whatever that thing is it’s causing all the Pokemon on this island to go crazy. If we don’t shut it down now they’ll all be seriously hurt!”
“Well said Ash.” Riley said with a smile. “Alright, let’s get in there!”
With that, Ash and the others sprang out from behind the rock. It was not long before Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter noticed them.
“Well, well, if it isn’t the man in blue and his little brat friends.” Saturn observed with a smug expression. “I suppose you’re here to meddle in our plans again.”
“Do you know what your device is doing to the Pokemon on this island?” Riley demanded to know. “If you don’t stop now they’ll all be seriously hurt!”
“Oh boo-hoo.” Mars said sarcastically. “Who cares what happens to these Pokemon as long as we achieve our plan.”
“That’s right. What we’re doing is far more important than the lives of a few Pokemon.” Jupiter added. “After all, we’re trying to create a better world for us all.”
“No world is worth sacrificing innocent Pokemon!” Ash proclaimed.
“And so you’re going to try and stop us to save them.” Mars assumed with a smug expression.
“You bet we are! Go Suicune!” Misty called out as she threw out her Pokeball. Suicune emerged from the ball with a roar.
“I was hoping I could get back at you for insulting my outfit. Go Purugly!” Mars called out as she threw a ball of her own. The large fat cat emerged from the ball to face Suicune.
“I suppose that I might as well get back at you for what happened in Eterna City. Go Skuntank!” Jupiter called out. The skunk Pokemon emerged from Jupiter’s thrown ball.
“Let’s go Lucario!” Riley commanded. Lucario jumped out to face Skuntank.
“I suppose this leaves just you and me brat. Go Toxicroak!” Saturn commanded. The poison frog Pokemon emerged from Saturn’s Pokeball to do battle.
“I’m gonna end this quick! Go Spiritomb!” Ash called out.
The malevolent Spiritomb emerged from its ball and hovered before Toxicroak. Both Toxicroak and Saturn were startled by the entity’s appearance.
“A Spiritomb? How did a brat like you get a Pokemon like that?” Saturn demanded to know.
“Spiritomb, use Hypnosis!” Ash commanded. Spiritomb’s eyes glowed red and in moments Toxicroak fell asleep standing up. “Now use Dream Eater!”
Spiritomb opened its mouth wide, and suddenly a stream of red energy began running from Toxicroak into Spiritomb’s mouth. Toxicroak seemed to convulse in pain as the attack went on. Meanwhile the battle between Riley and Jupiter was just starting to heat up.
“Skuntank, attack with Flamethrower!” Jupiter commanded. Skuntank opened its mouth and shot forth a stream of flames.
“Lucario, dodge and use Dragon Pulse!” Riley commanded. Lucario jumped out of the way of the stream of fire and brought its paws together and fired a ball of blue-green energy. The attack hit Skuntank right in the face. “Now use Aura Sphere!”
Lucario brought its paws together again and between them formed a ball of blue light. It jumped again and fired the ball of light into the topside of Skuntank’s tail, which was covering its back. Meanwhile the battle between Misty and Mars was heating up.
“Purugly, use Thunder Bolt!” Mars commanded.
“Suicune, dodge and use Aurora Beam!” Misty commanded.
Just as Purugly fired of a bolt of yellow lightning from its body, Suicune jumped out of the way at the last second, causing the blast to hit the ground. Suicune then charged forward and fired a multicolored beam of light from its mouth in Purugly’s face.
* * *
Elsewhere in the Sinnoh Region, Cyrus was sitting in a chair in the middle of an empty and dimly lit dome-shaped room. Instead of his normal business suit he was wearing a very unique Team Galactic uniform. It was mainly black with white shoes and a white section on the torso. He wore a long grey vest that had two white patches on the side near the bottom as well as two black bands. On the left breast was the symbol for Team Galactic.
The door on the far wall behind Cyrus’s chair slid open electronically and in walked a shot old man with balding lavender hair and red tinted glasses. In addition to a unique Team Galactic uniform that was mainly black with a large grey section on the torso and the Team Galactic symbol on the front of the chest, he wore a long white lab coat.
“I assume you have something to report Charon.” Cyrus said without turning his chair to face the old man.
“Of course sir. Our device on Iron Island has successfully located the Spear Pillar.” Charon informed him.
“Excellent. Shut down the device as a signal to Saturn and the others to retreat.” Cyrus ordered, again not once turning to face Charon. “The island has served its purpose and is no longer useful.”
“At once sir.” Charon said with a bow before turning to leave.
* * *
Back on Iron Island the battle between Ash and Saturn raged on. Toxicroak had since awakened from its sleep but was having trouble standing.
“Spiritomb, finish it with Hyper Beam!” Ash commanded.
Spiritomb fired a powerful beam of golden light from its mouth. The attack hit Toxicroak in the chest with such force that it was hurled into a nearby boulder. Toxicroak fell to the ground out cold. Saturn called back Toxicroak with a look of disgust on his face. Suddenly the Team Galactic device stopped firing its beam into the sky. One of the grunts then quickly retrieved the Spear Key form the device and ran off.
“Well, it looks like we’re done here.” Saturn observed. “You may have won this battle brat, but you and your little friends have once again failed to stop our plans. Team Galactic, retreat!”
Mars and Jupiter quickly called back their Pokemon and threw small bombs that covered the whole area in a cloud of white smoke. When the cloud finally cleared, Team Galactic was gone, only their machine remained.
“Where’d they go?” Misty wondered.
“Wherever they are there’s no point in going after them right now.” Riley told Ash and Misty. “Right now we should worry about dismantling that machine.”
“Right! Spiritomb, use Hyper Beam on Team Galactic’s Machine!” Ash commanded. Spiritomb fired another beam of gold light at the device.
“Suicune, help out with Aurora Beam!” Misty commanded. Suicune added to Spiritomb’s attack with another beam of multicolored light.
“Lucario, use Aura Sphere!” Riley commanded. Lucario threw another ball of blue light at the machine. With all three attacks the machine exploded, leaving nothing but a pile of burning metal.
“I guess that takes care of that.” Ash observed. “But it bugs me that we didn’t catch Team Galactic.”
“Yes, I heard what Saturn said to you.” Riley agreed. “We may have stopped the crisis here on Iron Island, but I’m sure Team Galactic has something much bigger on the horizen.”
* * *
Back in the dimly lit room Cyrus was sitting in, the door opened and Charon reentered. This time Cyrus turned his chair to face him.
“Is it done?” Cyrus asked.
“Yes sir. Saturn and his team are awaiting further orders.” Charon reported.
“Very well. Begin prepping the lab for Phase Three.” Cyrus ordered. “I will have Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter standing by at the lakes.”
“But sir, we’ve yet to verify that Uxie is indeed at Lake Acuity.” Charon reminded him.
“Not to worry Charon.” Cyrus said as he got up for his chair. “If my theory is correct, Mr. Riley will confirm Uxie’s location for us.”