Chapter 15: The Original One
Ash finally awoke after an uncertain amount of time had passed after jumping into the odd vortex after Misty. As he got to his feet he found that the sky was covered entirely by swirling dark-blue clouds. Ash was also startled to find pieces of land that looked like islands were floating through this strange sky. Some seemed to be floating upside-down or sideways and at bizarre angles. Many is these islands were barren, but some had long almost kelp-like trees growing out of them. As Ash looked around this very strange landscape he found that Pikachu and Lucario were behind him and just waking up.
“You guys okay?” Ash asked his two Pokemon. Pikachu and Lucario nodded but were startled to find that they seemed to be in a whole other world. “C’mon, we can figure out where we are later! Right now we have to find Misty!”
With that, Ash began to run off to find Misty, but within two steps he found that the piece of land he and his two companions were standing on abruptly ended, revealing that they were standing on another floating island, and there was no ground in site below but an endless abyss of swirling coulds. What was stranger still was that when Ash quickly stopped at the edge of the island his foot knocked off a pebble, but rather than falling into the endlessness below it fell up into the air as if the pull of gravity had been reversed.
“What is this place?” Ash wondered as he, Pikachu, and Lucario looked up and tried to see if they could find the pebble.
“If I’m right, we’re in the Distortion World.” A familiar voice spoke. Ash and his two Pokemon turned to see Cynthia standing behind him. Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit were with her.
“What do you know about this place?” Ash asked in a somewhat angry tone.
“Not very much, only what I’ve read in legends.” Cynthia answered. “It’s said that the Distortion World is a place that exists to balance our own world. You could think of it as the shadow cast by our own world, or even a reflection.”
“Are you saying were in another dimension?” Ash asked.
“Pretty much.” Cynthia confirmed.
“Then what was that thing that appeared back on the Spear Pillar?” Ash asked.
“I’m not certain, but if this is the Distortion World, than the thing we saw before that vortex appeared was Giratina.” Cynthia assumed.
“Giratina?” Ash repeated.
“It’s something I only discovered just recently.” Cynthia explained. “While helping Cyrus with his studies of Sinnoh myth, I came across an odd symbol that at the time didn’t make much sense. It was of a triangle with three circular points, and within that triangle was another with larger circular points, and in the center of the inner triangle was a larger circle that shinned like a start. I had seen symbols like these before, but with those there was only one triangle, not two. In the normal symbols, the three points of the triangle represented Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit, while the star usually represented either Dialga or Palkia, but this new symbol was a little more confusing.
“I thought about it for awhile, and came to the conclusion that in this case the star represented neither Dialga or Palkia, but the great power that created them both, while the points out the outer triangle still represented the Lake Guardians. That meant that two of the points on the inner triangle must represent Dialga and Palkia, but third point was a total mystery. I did more digging, and my search led me to an old ruin here in Sinnoh known as the Turnback Cave, and it was there that I learned of the other part of the myth. The great power did not create two dragons, but three, and the third one was Giratina. According to the myth, the great power banished Giratina to the Distortion World for its violent and destructive nature, thus making Giratina the world’s guardian.”
“Okay, then why did Giratina show up and drag Misty here?” Ash asked in an impatient tone.
“I don’t think it meant to.” Cynthia theorized. “Giratina probably only came for Cyrus. This world is said to be a reflection of our own, which mean if Cyrus… if Cyrus was planning to destroy our world, the Distortion World would’ve been destroyed too. Giratina must’ve noticed what Cyrus was trying to do and saw him as a threat. That’s why it pulled Cyrus here. Misty was only brought here by accident.”
“Well Giratina can have Cyrus for all I care!” Ash said as he turned back away from Cynthia. “All I care about now is finding Misty and then figuring out a way out of this place.”
“But Ash, this place is vast and Misty and Cyrus could’ve wound up anywhere.” Cynthia pointed out. “How do you expect to find…?”
“Shut up and let me focus!” Ash shouted. “We wouldn’t be in this mess right now if it wasn’t for you and Cyrus!”
Cynthia immediately fell silent, for she knew Ash was right to an extent. Meanwhile Ash took a deep breath and closed his eyes. In his mind’s eye he saw a large extent of the Distortion World, and it did appear to be vast and endless as well as empty. But in the vastness Ash saw a few points of light in the distance. One was very large and had an unusual color. Ash assumed that light was Giratina. There were two smaller lights not too far away from where the larger light was, and Ash immediately recognized them both as Cyrus and Misty, and it seemed that they were on two separate but neighboring islands.
Ash opened his eyes again after seeing just where Misty was within the vast dimension, but the problem was getting there. The island that Misty was on was a fair distance away. Ash glanced up and saw another above drifting near the island that he and the others were currently on. He then remembered what happened to the pebble he had accidentally kicked off before. Ash looked up and waited, and when the island above came close enough, Ash jumped off the edge and fell up towards the island, startling the others.
Pikachu and Lucario jumped off the ledge after Ash a second later. Cynthia soon followed with the Lake Guardians flied close behind. As Ash continued his reverse fall the edge of the island above came quickly in reach. Ash grabbed the edge as quickly as he could and pulled himself onto the island. He caught Pikachu in his arms a second later, while Lucario managed to flip in the air onto the island. The Lake Guardians arrived by flight soon after, followed by Cynthia who managed to catch the edge of the island in time and pull herself on.
“Okay, so now where do we go?” Cynthia asked.
“Just follow me.” Ash answered.
With that, Ash and the others began jumping from one island to the next, though often it seemed more as if they were flying. The gravity of the strange dimension they were in often changed from island to island. At times the pull of gravity was so strong they could barely stand let alone walk, while other times it was almost as if they could float. And with the differing angles of the floating islands the group sometimes they were walking on the side of a wall or a ceiling. They could not tell how much time had passed since they entered the Distortion World, but then time did not seem to have any meaning in that realm. Every now and then Cynthia would check her digital pocket watch to find that the display had not changed once since for what seemed like hours.
After an uncertain eternity of jumping from one island to the next, Ash finally saw the small floating island carrying an unconscious Misty drifting but a few feet away. Ash hopped to the island as quickly as he could, with the others following close behind. He then took Misty in his arms and propped her up a bit.
“Misty, wake up!” Ash called in a worried tone. After a few moments Misty finally stirred and slowly opened her eyes.
“Ash?” Misty responded with a drowsy expression. “Is that you?”
“Of course it is.” Ash confirmed with a relieved smile. “Are you okay?”
“I think so.” Misty answered before glancing around at the strange surroundings. “Where are we?”
“Cynthia called this place the Distortion World.” Ash explained as he slowly helped Misty to her feet. “And right now we have to figure out a way to get out of it.”
“So this place is called the Distortion World, eh? The name seems quite fitting.” A familiar voice spoke. Ash and the others turned to see Cyrus standing on a small piece of land that was floating a few feet away holding his arms behind his back.
“This is all your fault!” Ash shouted over to Cyrus. “If you hadn’t tried to destroy the world, Giratina wouldn’t have gotten angry and pulled you and Misty into this place!”
“I assume Giratina is the name of the Pokemon that brought us here.” Cyrus calmly observed. “I never imagined this would happen. Cynthia, was there something about the myths of Sinnoh that I missed?”
“Uh, yes.” Cynthia said hesitantly. “Giratina is a third dragon like Dialga and Palkia, and is also the guardian of this dimension.”
“I see, so why was Giratina angered?” Cyrus asked.
“Because destroying our world would’ve destroyed the Distortion World too!” Ash angrily explained.
“So what you’re saying is that this dimension and ours are connected.” Cyrus observed coldly. “Which means destroying one would destroy the other. This is indeed an interesting development. But it is one that has worked in my favor. For this is indeed the world that I have been seeking.”
“But there isn’t anything here but floating rocks.” Cynthia pointed out.
“Exactly, it is clay to be molded into my own image.” Cyrus explained. “The world we are from is too far gone, too corrupted by spirit. But if I cannot destroy that world I shall become the god of this one!”
“And just how do you plan to do that?” Ash pointed out.
“Indeed a good question.” Cyrus agreed. “I never imagined this would happen, so I have no plan. Still, if this ‘Giratina’ you mentioned is the guardian of this world than perhaps it has the power to control it. Which means if I control Giratina than I will control the Distortion World itself.”
“You’re nuts!” Ash shouted.
“Perhaps in your view, but I don’t expect someone like you to be able to comprehend my vision.” Cyrus coldly replied.
Suddenly flying up from the endless abyss below as if on cue was a massive serpent-like dragon. It was mainly grey in color and had a black and red-striped underside. Its eyes were red and its face was covered in gold plates. On dragon’s back were six black streamer-like wings, each tipped with a red spike. On the upper half of the creature’s body it had six golden blades resembling a ribcage, and on its lower half it had three long golden-tipped spikes on both sides of its body where legs might normally be.
“That must be Giratina!” Ash realized.
“So, the ruler of this world has come. I’ll admit that I’m quite unprepared for this encounter, but nothing shall stop me from creating my new world.” Cyrus declared as he reached into the left inner pocket of he vest. He then pulled out a silver sort of pistol that looked like a futuristic ray gun. After turning the red dial on the left side of the device he aimed it at Giratina. “One way or another, I shall rule you Giratina!”
“No you don’t!” Ash cried. “Pikachu, stop Cyrus with Thunder Bolt!”
“Pik… a… CHUUU!” the electric rodent cried as he fired a bolt of yellow lightning at Cyrus. Cyrus turned his body just enough to narrowly avoid the attack.
“I’ve had enough of your interference!” Cyrus yelled. He then pulled the trigger of his ray gun and fired a bolt of blue electricity at Ash.
“Ash, get down!” Misty cried as she quickly pushed Ash out of the way before he had a chance to react. Before anyone could comprehend what just happened, Misty was hit in the back by the blast that burned a hole in the back of her jacket. She then fell to the ground with a shocked expression frozen on her face.
“Misty?” Ash asked with a very worried expression. He pulled her close and was alarmed to find that she wasn’t breathing. “MISTY!”
Seconds later, the eyes of Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit began to glow with a blue light. In that instant the gun Cyrus was holding was crushed like a tin can and flung away by an invisible force.
“You cannot stop me!” Cyrus declared. “Nothing shall stand in my way of creating a perfect world!”
Suddenly Giratina roared and in an instant it picked up Cyrus in its mouth and threw him in the air. The dragon caught Cyrus with its mouth as he fell back to the ground and swallowed him whole.
“CYRUS, NOOOOOOOO!” Cynthia shrieked with a look of horror on her face.
In the next instant a massive pink vortex opened up behind the island Ash and the others were on and Palkia emerged with a roar. The sudden emergence of the dragon of space caused the piece of land to move and launch Ash and the others through the portal that Palkia had emerged through like a catapult. As they were propelled through the air before reaching the portal, Ash’s ball cap was blown off, and his badge case fell out of his pocket and dropped into the endless abyss of the Distortion World. The last thing that could be seen before passing through the portal was Palkia swinging its right arm and launching a blade of pink energy at Giratina. Before anyone knew it they had been thrown back onto the roof of the Spear Pillar. Ash continued to hold onto Misty’s still body.
“What happened?” Mars demanded to know as she approached Cynthia. “Where’s Cyrus?”
Before Cynthia could answer, Palkia was hurled back through the very portal it had created with incredible force. Giratina followed Palkia through before the portal closed. Upon emerging from the portal, Giratina’s body changed slightly. The gold plates covering its face moved and transformed, exposing its mouth and changing into a sort of helmet. Its body became bulkier and the spikes on its lower body changed into trunk-like legs. The streamers on Giratina’s back morphed into a pair of bat-like wings with red spikes on the tips.
As soon as the portal closed behind Giratina it opened its mouth and fired a ball of orange light at Palkia. Palkia quickly responded by swinging its arm and sending another blade of pink energy, intercepting the attack and causing a huge explosion several feet above the tower. Dialga then charged at Giratina through the air and fired a powerful beam of blue light at Giratina. Giratina was hit in the right side but quickly recovered and shimmered before vanishing into thin air. An instant later Giratina reappeared as a massive black shadow and struck Dialga from behind. Giratina changed back to its altered form before it was hit by another blade of energy from Plakia.
“Why are they fighting?” Saturn wondered as he looked up at the battle that was taking place above them in the sky.
“The must think that they violated each other’s territory.” Cynthia theorized. “And if their battle keeps up the world itself might be destroyed.”
While the battle between the three dragons raged on, Ash cried silently as he cradled Misty’s lifeless body in his arms. Pikachu and Lucario nudged Ash a few times but he would not respond. He was oblivious to everything going on around him. Ash had shut himself off from everything. It was bad enough that he had lost Riley earlier that day, but losing Misty was too much to bear. And as the incident played again in his mind over and over again, he realized too late just how much Misty meant to him. And now that she was gone, nothing else mattered. The battle of the three dragons could destroy the world and he wouldn’t care, for a world without Misty had no meaning at all.
Suddenly high in the sky above the pillar appeared a golden light that seemed like a star. From that star galloped forth a being with a horse-like body, though its head looked nothing like a horse. It was covered in white fur and had a dark-grey face and underside. Its hooves were golden and around its midsection was a golden cross-like wheel that resembled the rings that had formed from the Red Chains that Cyrus had used on Dialga and Palkia. The golden star vanished as soon as the creature emerged.
“What is that thing?” Jupiter asked as she looked up.
“That’s the great power that was said to have created the three dragons and even the world itself,” Cynthia explained with a look of awe, “Arceus, the Original One.”
Arceus looked around and quickly noticed Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina fighting each other. The Pokemon deity shook its head and then parts of its body suddenly changed color. The wheel on Arceus’s midsection and his hooves turned purple while its underside turned green. He then raised his head and from his forehead a ball of fire shot up into the sky. The ball exploded and several meteors rained down all around, hitting not only the dragons but also the ground beneath the Spear Pillar, resulting several massive explosions. The smoke cleared and Arceus’s body changed back to its original coloring. At the same time, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina had ceased fighting and looked at Arceus with what could be described as frightened expressions.
“What is the meaning of this?” Arceus boomed in an angry voice. “Dialga! Palkia! Giratina! Return to thy domains at once!”
Quickly Palkia tore open a pink portal with its arm and quickly flew inside, the portal shutting behind it a moment later. At the same time Dialga fired a beam of blue light from its mouth and opened a similar blue portal, quickly galloping inside before it closed. Meanwhile Giratina fired a whirlwind from its mouth, opening a different portal, which it quickly flew into, and as Giratina flew inside the portal its body change back to its original form. Once all three portals had closed, Arceus galloped through the air down to the roof of the pillar. The Pokemon deity stood in front of the triangular alter where the three dragons had originally appeared and looked at all who were on the roof.
“Who hath disturbed the balance between worlds and caused the fight between the guardians I created?” Arceus demanded to know in an echoing voice. “Speak now! For at the moment my patience runs thin!” Just then, Azelf, Uxie, and Mesprit flew up to Arceus and hovered before him.
“Az Azelf elf az Azelf.” The guardian of Lake Valor spoke.
“Hmm… so an arrogant human tried to use thee as well as Dialga and Palkia to remake this world into one without spirit.” Arceus spoke calmly to Azelf. “Then he wished for a world of nothingness, for that is a world without spirit has no meaning. What happened to this arrogant fool?”
“Xie Uxie xie ux.” Spoke the guardian of Lake Acuity.
“He was devoured by Giratina thou says?” Arceus asked. “I suppose that is a fitting punishment for he who would be arrogant enough to try and become a god.”
Mars was mortified upon hearing the news of Cyrus being eaten by Giratina. She quickly ran down the staircase leading off the roof with tears in her eyes.
“Mesprit! Sprit Mesprit sprit!” Mesprit cried with tears in its eyes.
“What? Thou say the girl that awakened thee from thy slumber has perished at the hands of this arrogant fool?” Arceus asked. Mesprit then flew over to Ash and Misty. Arceus trotted over with Uxie and Azelf.
“Mesprit! Mesprit!” the guardian of Lake Varity spoke tearfully.
“Thou must care for this fallen girl a great deal, I see.” Arceus said to Ash in a gentle voice, finally breaking him from his despair. “What is thy name young one?”
Before Ash could respond, a Pokeball on his belt opened and Ho-Oh emerged. The great bird opened its wings and squawked at Arceus.
“I see, so thou art Ho-Oh’s champion.” Arceus observed. Ho-Oh squawked again at Arceus as though it were speaking to him. “Thy power to revive those who have died is indeed great, Ho-Oh my old friend, but thou art obviously weakened, and even if thy were at thy full strength thee alone might not be enough to revive a human. But I shall assist thee to make up for the transgressions of the arrogant one who disturbed my guardians. Azelf, Uxie, Mesprit, please assist me.”
The three Lake Guardians then flew up and formed a circle in the air above Ash and Misty. They hummed and suddenly Misty’s body began to glow with a faint blue light and was suddenly lifted into the air by an invisible force, stopping in the middle of the circle formed by the Lake Guardians.
“What are you doing?” Ash demanded to know, his eyes still filled with tears.
“Be not afraid, young one.” Arceus assured him. “All will soon be well.” Just then three glowing stone plates, one blue, one yellow, and one red, flew from Arceus and began to orbit around Misty in the middle of the circle. “Water, the blood of all life,” Arceus said, indicating the blue plate, “lightning, the spark of life,” Arceus said, indicating the yellow plate, “and fire, the passion that exists within the heart.” Arceus said, indicating the red plate. “With these three elemental powers, along with the power of spirit and the fires of resurrection, we breath new life into this human, so that destiny may be restored to its proper course.”
Just then, the stone plates began to glow brighter and spin faster. Meanwhile the bodies of Arceus and the Lake Guardians began to glow with a golden light and Ho-Oh’s body became covered in rose-colored flames. With a flap of Ho-Oh’s wings there was a blinding flash of light and fire. Once it had cleared the three stone plates flew back into Arceus’s body and Misty floated gently back down to the ground into Ash’s arms. After a moment Misty coughed and slowly opened her eyes.
“Ash?” Misty spoke weakly. “What’s going on? Why are you crying?’
“You’re alive!” Ash said with a tearful smile.
“Of course I’m alive.” Misty said almost as if nothing had happened. “Though it feels like I was hit in the chest. Why? What happened?”
“I-I thought I lost you.” Ash said through more tears as he held Misty closer. “You stopped breathing when Cyrus shot you.”
“Oh… well I’m okay now.” Misty assured him. “So stop crying, okay?”
“Misty, I… I love you.” Ash suddenly blurted out, completely catching Misty off guard. “I’m sorry for no realizing this until now when I almost lost you for ever, but I… I just can’t imagine my life without you.”
“I love you too.” Misty said with a tearful smile, and it was not long before their lips met in a kiss.
“Forgive me for the interruption young ones,” Arceus spoke, causing the couple to break from their first kiss, “but I feel I must apologize to thee for the terrible ordeal thy must have experienced. Had I known what was going on sooner, I would have put a stop to it.”
“I’m just glad Misty’s okay.” Ash said tearfully. “Thank you so much.”
“What is thy name young one?” Arceus asked.
“Ash Ketchum.” The young trainer replied.
“It seems that Ho-Oh chose well when he selected thee as his champion.” Arceus said to him. “I wish thee luck Ash in thy coming battle against the Dark One. Live well, both of thee.”
With that, Arceus galloped back up into the sky and disappeared into a portal of gold light. A second later the Lake Guardians smiled at Ash and Misty before rising higher into the sky before taking off like rockets in three different directions.
* * *
A few hours had past and Ash and Misty were flying through the sky on Ho-Oh. Looker had finally arrived with Officer Jenny moments after Arceus and the Lake Guardians had left. They had managed to arrest most of Team Galactic, though they had been unable to find Mars. Cynthia remained to help explain to Looker what had happened, allowing Ash and Misty to leave. The flight from the Spear Pillar had been fairly silent.
“So Ash, are we still going to Snowpoint City?” Misty asked, finally breaking the silence between them.
“There’s no point.” Ash replied after a moment. “I lost all the badges I won here in Sinnoh. I figure they must’ve fallen out of my pocket back in the Distortion World.”
“So what are you going to do then?” Misty asked sounding surprised. “Are you going to go challenge all the other gyms again?”
“…I just can’t do it Misty, not after all that’s happened today.” Ash told her. “I lost Riley, I almost lost you, and I was forced to watch something horrible. I’m just too tired to go on right now, so all I wanna do is go home.”
“But what about the Sinnoh League?” Misty pointed out.
“I’ve already beaten the Sinnoh League champion, how could I top that?” Ash said with a slight sarcastic chuckle. “Besides, right now I just don’t care.”
Misty was about to argue, but quickly realized it would do no good. She had seen Ash defeated before, but she had never seen him like he was at that moment. It seemed clear that he needed time to recover from all that had happened that day, and that it would probably take quite a while.
“Okay, we’ll go home then.” Misty said as she hugged Ash from behind, and with that Ho-Oh continued to fly towards the setting sun.