Chapter 6: The Dragons of Time and Space
A week had passed since Ash, Misty, and Riley were in Eterna City. And the group found themselves in a quaint little village known as Celestic Town. It was a fairly small ancient looking town with only a few houses and a Pokemon Center. After making a quick stop at the Pokemon Center, Ash and the others went to the town square, where there was an ancient shrine erected to some unknown deity. On the hill directly behind the shrine was a large brick building that extended into two different wings.
“So Riley, why are we stopping here in Celestic Town?” Ash asked.
“You remember that lead I mentioned in Eterna City?” Riley reminded him. “It’s right here in Celestic Town, specifically that large building on the hill up there. That building is the Celestic Town Historical Research Center, and it houses an artifact similar to the one stolen from the Eterna City Museum, the Lustrous Orb.”
“So you think Team Galactic is going to try and steal that orb too?” Misty asked.
“Yes, and if I’m right the orb might hold a clue as to what Team Galactic is after.” Riley answered.
“Then let’s check it out.” Ash declared.
Moments later the group had climbed the steps of the hill and went inside the research center. They found themselves inside a vast main hall, with two large paintings on the rear wall near an even larger door. Right away Ash and Misty went over to check them out. The painting that Ash, Pikachu, and Riolu went to investigate was of a large dark-blue dinosaur-like creature, though Ash felt as if it were more like a dragon. It had four legs and a long neck and tail. On the back of its head was a long crest, and running along parts of its body were light-blue stripes. It had two long metal horns on its head that extended into fang-like protrusions near its mouth. On its chest was a large metal plate with a blue diamond-shaped gemstone embedded in the center, and near the dragon’s rear was a large fin-like blade.
The painting that Misty went to check out depicted another dragon similar to the one in the portrait Ash was looking at. It was of a large almost light-purple dragon standing on two legs. It had well developed arms, with its forearms covered in armored scales that gave one the impression of gauntlets. Embedded in the armor on each shoulder was a large pink pearl, and on parts of its body were purple stripes. On the back of its long neck was a fin-like crest that extended down to wings on its back.
“Are these Pokemon?” Ash asked as he looked at the painting.
“The portrait you’re looking at young man is of Dialga, the ruler of time.” A voice answered. Ash and Misty turned to see a slender old woman with almost shoulder-length grey hair wearing a white lab coat, pink blouse, and long black pants. “The other painting is of Palkia, the ruler of space.”
“Excuse me ma’am, would you happen to be Professor Carolina, the head of the research center?” Riley asked the old woman.
“That I am sunny.” The old woman confirmed. “And you are?”
“My name is Riley, and the young man you spoke to earlier is my apprentice, Ash.” Riley introduced. “The girl traveling with us is Misty. We’re here to learn more about the Lustrous Orb.”
“Well you came to the right place then.” Professor Carolina said with a friendly smile.
“Excuse me professor,” Misty spoke up, “you called the two Pokemon in these paintings the rulers of time and space. What did you mean by that?”
“It’s part of the creation myth of Sinnoh.” Professor Carolina explained. “A long, long time ago, a great power emerged and created Sinnoh, and perhaps the world itself. At the same time this power created two dragons. One was the guardian of time, Dialga, who was said to be able to control the flow of time itself. The other was the guardian of space, Palkia, who was said to be able to bend space itself.”
“Wow, they sound like powerful Pokemon.” Ash commented.
“As it so happens, the Lustrous Orb may have something to do with that legend.” Professor Carolina revealed. “Come, let me show you.”
Moments later the professor led Ash and the others into a large laboratory. In the center of the lab on a table inside a glass box was a large white glittering pearl-like orb.
“It’s pretty.” Misty commented. “Is that the Lustrous Orb?”
“Yes, and we haven’t been able to determine just what sort of material it’s made from.” Professor Carolina confirmed. “But it is producing some form of low-level radiation. It’s only a theory, but we think the orb might be connected to Palkia in some way. Though just how we aren’t sure.”
“But if the orb is connected to Palkia, it could provide some valuable insight into how this world came to be.” A voice suddenly added.
Ash and the others turned to see entering the room a woman with very long blonde hair. She was wearing all black, including some oddly shaped ornaments in the sides of her hair. The long sleeves of her black shirt were lined with black fur, and she had a black furred chocker around her neck.
“Well this is a pleasant surprise.” Professor Carolina greeted. “I had no idea that you were coming today Cynthia.”
“This was something of a spur of the moment trip grandma.” Cynthia explained.
“So what I’ve heard is true professor. Your granddaughter is the champion of the Sinnoh League.” Riley observed.
“What? Champion?” Ash said with a look of surprise.
“That’s right. My granddaughter is the strongest trainer in Sinnoh.” Professor Carolina said proudly.
“Well I don’t know about that, but I am pretty strong.” Cynthia said modestly. “So I see we have visitors.”
“I’m Ash from Pallet Town.” Ash greeted.
“And I’m Misty.” Misty introduced. “It’s nice to meet you Cynthia.”
“I thought I heard some familiar voices.” A voice suddenly cut in. Cynthia stepped aside and Cyrus entered the room. “I thought we might meet again, but I never expected it to be here.”
“Hi there Cyrus.” Ash greeted. “So are you here to check out the Lustrous Orb too?”
“That I am. It may provide a clue to the information I seek.” Cyrus confirmed with a pleasant smile. The whole time Riley and Lucario were giving Cyrus a suspicious eye. It was not long before Cyrus noticed Riley. “Well, I don’t think I caught your name.”
“Riley.” The Aura Guardian answered. “Just what sort of information are you after Mr. Cyrus?”
“Well if I’m right, the knowledge I seek could lead to a better world.” Cyrus answered.
“A better world, eh?” Riley responded. “Funny, there seems to be another group of people that claim to be after the same thing.”
“Yes, well isn’t that what we’re all after?” Cyrus retorted. “A better world for everyone?”
“…So anyway,” Cynthia interrupted, “I’ve been helping Cyrus with his research for a few months now. We were in the area and Cyrus suggested that the Lustrous Orb might provide him some insight to his own research.”
“I see. So how is your research progressing Cyrus?” Professor Carolina asked.
“Quite well actually. Especially with a bright young woman such as your granddaughter helping me.” Cyrus answered. Cyrus’s comment caused Cynthia to blush a little.
“Hey Ash, did you notice how Cynthia reacted to what Cyrus just said?” Misty whispered. “I think that Cynthia might have a thing for Cyrus.”
“You think so?” Ash whispered back.
“I think my young friends and I will be going now.” Riley suddenly announced.
“Oh, are you sure?” a somewhat surprised Professor Carolina asked. “After all, you just got here.”
“You seem to have gotten busy, so we’ll be back tomorrow.” Riley replied. “Ash, Misty, let’s get going.”
“Um, okay.” A surprised Ash said as Riley and Lucario walked out of the room. “It was nice seeing you again Cyrus. I’ll see ya later I guess. Nice meeting you Professor Carolina, Cynthia.”
With that, Ash and Misty hurried after Riley and Lucario with Pikachu and Riolu. After several moments the group was outside in front of the research center.
“Riley, what was all that about?” a confused Ash asked. “Why’d you decide to leave like that all of a sudden?”
“Yeah, do you have something against Cyrus?” an equally confused Misty asked.
“You two seem quite fond of Cyrus.” Riley observed.
“Well yeah, he’s super nice.” Ash pointed out. “Plus Professor Rowan told me how much he’s done for the Sinnoh Region.”
“I see…” Riley replied. “You’re both still young, but before long you’ll learn that not everybody is the person they appear to be on the outside. Anyway, we’ll spend the night here at the Pokemon Center and come back here tomorrow.”
With that, Riley and Lucario simply began walking down the steps of the hill. Ash and Misty stood and watched as they walked off.
“Man, what was that about?” Ash asked as he scratched his head in confusion. “I don’t get why Riley wouldn’t like Cyrus.”
“It seemed like Riley thinks that Cyrus isn’t as nice as he seems.” Misty theorized. “Like he thinks that Cyrus is up to something.”
“Well think Riley is way off on this one.” Ash told her.
* * *
The night came and the group had since gone to the Pokemon Center to spend the night. In his room, Ash, Pikachu, and Riolu were awakened by the sudden sound of an explosion outside. Immediately Ash went to the window to see what had happened. From the window Ash had a good view of the research center and could see that it was on fire. As quickly as he could, Ash threw on some clothes and rushed out of the room with Pikachu and Riolu. When Ash opened the door he found Riley, Lucario, and Misty already out in the hall.
“It seems the explosion woke you up too.” Riley observed. “C’mon, let’s go see what we can do to help.”
Before long the group left the Pokemon Center and rushed through town to get to the research center. As soon as they got up the hill they found a small army of Team Galactic grunts in front of the building in formation as if they were waiting for Ash and the others. At the head of the group was a slightly effeminate-looking man with blue hair that was shaped to have points, making it look as though he had horns. The man’s Team Galactic uniform was mostly dark-grey, but much of the torso was white and made it look almost as if he were wearing a vest.
“Well, well, it seems that the three little heroes that have been meddling in our plans have made an appearance.” The blue-haired man said to Ash and the others. “I guess I should introduce myself now. I am Saturn, the Lieutenant-Commander of Team Galactic.”
“I take it you’re here for the Lustrous Orb.” Riley assumed.
“Very good. But I suppose our objective is rather obvious considering we stole the Adamant Orb only a week ago.” Saturn replied.
“We’re not gonna let you steal the Lustrous Orb!” Ash declared.
“And are you going to try and stop us?” Saturn said with an arrogant smirk. “You’ll have to go through us first.”
“No problem! I shouldn’t have any trouble beating a crazy lady like you!” Ash replied.
“What? I’m a man you ignorant brat!” a very insulted Saturn shouted.
“Huh? Oh, I guess you are.” Ash realized.
“You’ll pay for that!” Saturn declared as he threw out a Pokeball. “Go Toxicroak!”
Emerging from Saturn’s thrown ball was a dark-blue frog-like creature with a somewhat humanoid build, standing at over four feet tall. It had bight yellow eyes and a noticeable red upper lip. A large spike jutted out from the creature’s forehead, and under its chin was a large red sack. The creature’s three fingered hands each had a long red spike jutting out the back. It had muscular legs, and the middle toe on both its three toed feet were red.
“Let’s go Riolu!” Ash commanded. Riolu jumped in to face Toxicroak. At the same time the Team Galactic grunts sent out a swarm of Zubat to do battle.
“Don’t worry Ash, Riley and I will handle these guys. Go Suicune!” Misty called as she threw out a Pokeball. Suicune emerged from the thrown ball with a roar. “Suicune, use Aurora Beam!”
Suicune fired a beam of light fro its mouth and hit part of the swarm. Several of the Zubat fell out of the sky. But a few of the grunts sent out more Zubat to replace them.
“Lucario, use Dragon Pulse!” Riley commanded.
Lucario brought its paws together and a ball of blue-green energy formed in between its paws. It launched the ball at the swarm, causing several more Zubat to fall from the sky. Meanwhile the battle between Ash and Saturn was just beginning.
“Toxicroak, use Poison Jab!” Saturn commanded.
The red spike on Toxicroak’s right hand began to glow with a purple light, and with incredible speed it punched Riolu in the chest. Suddenly Riolu looked as if it was having trouble breathing.
“Oh no, Riolu!” Ash exclaimed. Pikachu also looked on with a worried expression.
“Well, it looks like Toxicroak’s Poison Jab has poisoned your little friend.” Saturn observed. “Now what’re you going to do brat?”
“Quick Riolu, use Force Palm!” Ash commanded.
Riolu jumped forward with its right arm outstretched. When it got close enough it fired a blast of green light from its paw at Toxicroak’s chest. The poisonous from creature recovered but seemed to have a little trouble moving.
“Alright, Toxicroak’s paralyzed!” Ash observed. “Now Riolu, use Quick Attack!”
Riolu lunged at Toxicroak again and vanished. An instant later Riolu reappeared behind Toxicroak and delivered a swift kick to its lower back.
“Now use Bullet Punch!” Ash commanded.
Just as Toxicroak turned around to face Riolu, Riolu’s right paw glowed with a white light and in an instant it delivered a devastating punch to Toxicroak’s jaw. The force of the punch knocked Toxicroak into the air. The poisonous frog Pokemon landed on its back out cold.
“Blast you!” Saturn cursed as he called Toxicroak back to its ball. Suddenly a small black helicopter took off from behind the research institute into the air. “Well, you may have won this battle, brat. But you’re too late to stop us from taking the orb. We’ll be taking our leave now, and if you and your friend the man in blue were wise you’d stay out of our way.”
With that, Saturn threw a bomb that produced a cloud of white smoke that covered the area. When the smoke cleared, Team Galactic was nowhere in site.
“What’s going on here?” Professor Carolina asked as she suddenly arrived after running up the hill.
“I’m afraid that Team Galactic has gotten away with the Lustrous Orb.” Riley said gravely.
“Oh dear! If only Cynthia was still here she might’ve help to prevent this!” Professor Carolina exclaimed. “But she left with Cyrus earlier this afternoon.”
“First the Adamant Orb, and now the Lustrous Orb. Both of those orbs are connected to Sinnoh’s mythical dragons. Which means that Team Galactic might just be after the powers of Dialga and Palkia.” Riley theorized. “And if that’s true this world is in serious danger.”
* * *
Sometime later miles away from Celestic Town, the chopper that had made off with the Lustrous Orb landed in a clearing beneath a hill. As soon as the chopper landed Saturn arrived with the team he took to raid the research center. Awaiting them there was a man standing beneath a tree, his face hidden by shadow.
“We have the orb sir.” Saturn reported to the man under the tree.
“Excellent work as always.” The man said as he stepped out from under the tree. The moonlight revealed the man to be Cyrus; an emotionless expression was on his face. “We can now begin the second phase of our plan.”
“What about that man in blue and those two brats?” Saturn asked.
“Leave them for now.” Cyrus replied. “If I’m right those three may reveal the final key to our plan.”