Two Hunters, One Plate Part I
"Welcome to the Oceanic Science Museum! I hope you enjoy tonight's display!"
Elisa managed a courteous bow to the woman at the front desk, shyly handing in a tattered grey sweater in which the woman eyed with disgust. Though luckily proving her worth with the ticket for the night's gala, large hazel eyes went wide, finally allowed to step further into the hall, she couldn't help but sigh in awe at beauty of every display.
Countless treasures, scavenged and hunted from the sea floors, had been collected. As the young woman held her breath to contain her rising excitement, her eyes wondered the lining of the floors and walls of the massive museum as guests crowded around each one, filling the hall with lively chatter that was accompanied by the playing of trumpets from a band that centred the floor.
Every display held a vast amount of knowledge that cried out for the edgy researcher's attention, but she knew that this time she could not give in to that urge. She inhaled softly, 'I need to find the Dragon Plate. Cole gave me only one shot at this!' Opening her dark blue purse with a sense of responsibility, she peeked at the small blue shard that sparkled lightly in the glow of the museum's lights.
'With so many people here, I doubt they'll notice me.' Elisa smiled to herself as she closed the purse and ventured into the hall; once she found it, she would only need to get a picture of it and hand it to Cole. Easy, right?
Priceless golds, ancient relics and some treasures that would be believed to come from a storybook fantasy nipped at Elisa's eyes as she walked through the first floor filled with men and women of all ages, but the one treasure she yearned for seemed to desperately elude her senses. She even moved towards the displays that held most of the guest's attention, but to her dismay, they were only braille scriptures from a team of explorers that had recently ventured to an uncharted cave on Route 105. She could barely hear the small chuckling of a few men over the large crowd as they attempted to read the braille.
Leaning in softly against the impenetrable wall of the crowd, Elisa attempted to interpret what they were saying, but could only blink in confusion,"Time to pass twice...Stay close to the hall?" Elisa pondered the sayings, but she hurriedly shook her head in annoyance, knowing that her guesses couldn't be right.
"Where is it?" Elisa sighed tiredly. She wasn't accustomed to wearing heels, huffing to herself in frustration, she stopped to rest after circling the hall twice. As the band shifted slowly into another song, Elisa tugged at the back of her annoying heels. 'Are they going to hold some special event for the discovery of the Dragon Plate?' She asked herself, now playing with a few of the strands that fell from her forehead. Hope fading, Elisa was about to try one more time before a chorus of laughter rippled from across the hall, sadly interrupting the band's concentration.
Elisa peered closer to the group of men and women, "We're terribly sorry!" One of the men apologized, his plump face red as the band began to play again, yet never taking their eyes off their culprits. It wasn't the rude group of people that made the young woman's eyes light up, but actually the shadow that led deeper into a place she did not investigate.
Elisa nearly slapped herself in shame. The Dragon Plate was just discovered, so no one should know about its history or use at the moment. 'Elisa you genius!' she mocked herself playfully, "If it doesn't have any value, then no one is going to be interested in it!" She laughed, hurrying towards the staircase.
Upon reaching the second floor, she surprisingly realized how loud she could be, taking a sharp breath as the clicking of her own heels slapped against the marble floors. The hall seemed to be twice the size of the first floor since there were no people now and the solemn silence was almost deafening without the soothing trumpets and chatter of guests.
Moving slowly through the hall, she peered slightly at the few displays that peaked her interest. Most of them were explaining the structure and functions of ships and submarines, "It's too bad Noah's not here..." she sighed, knowing that the young boy would love this. It was not until she reached the far end of the hall that she finally lay eyes on the very reason for her adventure...
"The Dragon Plate..." Elisa breathed, looking at the artifact that radiated with an almost lonesome feel...
The plate was a rich blue with scriptures written on its surface that she could not depict on the face of the treasure. To her pleasant surprise, the Dragon Plate was readily small, reminding her of her textbooks that she would carry to her classes back in Mossdeep. Inching closer to the plate, as if not to disrupt its calming aura, she peeked at the small summary written below its glass case.
The Ocean Plate. One of the alleged three Dragon Plates that was recently discovered to be linked to the almighty Sky-High Pokemon, Rayquaza. Little is known about this plate's purpose of existence, but one thing is for sure. It is truly a beautiful work of art crafted by the heavens.
Founder: Jin Rathore
Elisa eyed the name of the discoverer silently before leering back at her target, noticing a small chip at the corner of the plate. "This is the Ocean Plate; it really does exist..." She couldn't hide her smile, mentally patting her back for not giving up on herself, or Jonbi's story.
Opening her purse slowly, her heart beat faster upon looking at the deep blue shard that was connected to the Ocean Plate; to Rayquaza. Pulling it out, she squinted one eye as she lined it up with the edge of the Ocean Plate, both sparkling in unison. 'It's as if they're communicating to each other.' Elisa mused to herself, thumbing the shard in her hand.
Those playful thoughts suddenly turned to reality as her shard began to glow a light blue, earning a gasp from the woman, she stepped back in shock. "W-What's going on?" She squeaked, the larger Ocean Plate began to glow as well, humming softly.
'Are they really...interacting?'Suddenly in a blink of an eye, the shard in her hand vanished!
"Wha-Wha? Where is it!" Elisa gasped as she frantically clutched at empty air for the shard that was given to her from Jonbi, but to no avail. 'It was right in my hand!' She exhaled a long overdue breath, hesitantly turning back to the Ocean Plate.
To her unexpected surprise, the shard had connected to the Ocean Plate!
"No way.." Elisa's jaw dropped. Who knew that the plate would actually have powers! Reaching for the small camera that she and Cole had bought earlier that evening, she hurriedly lined the sight with the marvellous plate that innocently continued to sparkle in the museum's lights. 'This is definitely the Dragon Plate!' She beamed while pressing down on the camera button.
"So you're the only one that noticed my discovery?"
Elisa screamed in fear, fumbling with the camera before dropping the small device to the ground with a thud, it flashed brightly. Eyes wide as if seeing an eerie Dusclops, she clutched at her heart before turning around to come face-to-face with a middle-aged man. Blushing slightly in embarrassment at her childish reaction, she clutched onto her purse as he smiled warmly at her.
"I-I'm really-really sorry!" She bowed repeatedly in apology. "I-I didn't think that anyone was here, and th-"
"And you forgot to ask if flash photography was allowed?" He interrupted with a smirk, "Trying to get away with it, huh? Kids these days are very sneaky!" The man laughed heartily as Elisa's face deepened to a whole new shade of red. He then walked towards her and picked up the camera to Elisa's surprise, softly handing it back to her. "Don't worry. We are having a display tonight; all of the founders here want their work to be shown to the world."
"By the way," Elisa took a small step back as he smiled again, "my name is Jin Rathore. Nice to meet you." He introduced himself calmly as he raised his hand up in a friendly manner.
"H-Hi...My name is Elisa Neville." The young researcher managed, complying with his greeting. Her eyes then narrowed slightly, linking the name to earlier memory. "You're the founder of the Ocean Plate?" She gasped in conclusion.
Jin chuckled lightly to himself, the Murkrow's feet by his eyes accenting his smile. He then turned to the Dragon Plate, eyeing the treasure with humble silence. "I wasn't the only who found this treasure," He answered, earning a confused look from Elisa, "My colleagues and I were able to discover this at the bottom of the lake just outside of Fallarbor Town a couple of weeks ago..."
"Fallarbor Town?" Elisa asked in shock to the information. Jin looked back at her, eyebrows raised curiously. "Wasn't that around the same time that reports of odd weather phenomena seemed to be escalating in that area?"
"Yes...you're absolutely right," Jin's voice deepened, fully turning to Elisa now. "Do you live in Fallarbor Town?"
Elisa shook her head quickly, "No, but I happened to be in the Historical Pokemon Research Field at the time and I was investigating the strange weather phenomena that was happening a couple of weeks ago." She explained, completely surprised that she did not cross paths with this man before.
Jin rubbed the small patches of grey and black hairs of his chin, curiosity now peaking about the person in front of him. "Ah, so you're a researcher!" He replied excitedly. "But you're so young?...You must be highly knowledgeable to be given field work so early!" Jin praised, earning another modest blush from the young woman.
"T-Thank you." Elisa smiled, rubbing the back of her neck childishly.
Jin's smile then faded as he turned back to the Ocean Plate, its glow never fading. "So you think that the Ocean Plate here is linked to the strange weather phenomena." He stated, more than asked, causing Elisa to snap back to reality.
"I-" Elisa opened her mouth, but refrained from replying; suddenly thinking about the situation.
'I thought...I was the only one who made that link...' She hesitated, the tall man in front of her that had one of the Dragon Plates in his possession now looked like the one with all the answers. "I...Well I think it's a strange coincidence that you found the plate during the same time that terrible weather was occurring around Fallarbor Town.." She explained slowly, choosing her words carefully. "B-But I don't really see any correlation between the two, don't you think so?"
"There is a very strong correlation." His answer was almost like a reflex, catching Elisa off-guard. He walked closer to the plate and put his hand on the glass casing that surrounded the beautiful treasure.
"Would you believe me if..." His voice trailed off before continuing, "If I told you that Rayquaza was above Fallarbor Town, when I found this plate?"
Elisa clasped a hand over her mouth, preventing herself from releasing a large gasp. 'B-But how?' Her memories then rushed back to a few months ago. While finishing her final report about a Legendary Pokemon possibly involved with the strange weather, she had not once seen the mythical dragon during her time there. She had even camped outside most of the time too; so how in Hoenn did this man apparently discover this Pokemon that has been wrapped in legend for so long, so easily?
Jin cracked a small smirk, peering into the reflection cast from the Ocean Plate's surface. "You do believe me...Thank you. When I first told some of my colleagues at the Weather Institute, they were hesitant to even hear me out." Deep green eyes then darkened, "Ever since the catastrophe two years ago...People just don't want to hear about anything that has to do with those three..."
With Jin slowly turning back to her, Elisa's own feelings seemed to have shifted to sadness, noticing the man's changing features of a fatherly smile to one of quiet depression. "..I-"
"Groudon...Kyogre...and Rayquaza." He interrupted quickly, catching her attention. "The damage they caused because of Team Magma and Aqua is unforgivable...Too many people were lost because of their greedy actions!" His fist suddenly slammed against the case, easily scaring the young woman with his intimidating change of demeanour.
"I...I.." Deep green eyes widened as Jin finally realized his actions. Disgusted with himself, he rubbed his now bruised hand before looking at Elisa's fearful face.
He tried to smile, but it only came up as a broken smirk, "I'm sorry that you had to see that; but I must be on my way." He quickly handed Elisa a small notebook from his black coat pocket while shuffling by the young researcher to her surprise; heading towards the door. It was not until he reached the staircase that he turned back to Elisa. "Ms. Neville! You were the only one that looked at this display tonight other than me. So I'd like you to take that as thanks." Jin explained pointing to the old book, tattered pages sticking out from within. "Since you're a Historical Researcher, I bet that info will be of great use to you in your work!"
"Tha-Tha.." Elisa fumbled with her words of thanks as Jin laughed lightly. He turned to leave but stopped himself again before laughing out loud, the deep chuckle filling the second floor. "Almost forgot haha; please feel free to take that picture. The Ocean Plate won't be here forever!"
And with that, he was gone. Leaving Elisa with the silence she had felt before.
"I.." Was the only word that could leave her mouth now as she now gazed at the black book that was given to her. This man was willingly giving her a helping hand in her time of need, yet she could not help but smile sadly, her thoughts tracking back to Cole's offer back in Rustboro City; and for what they would commit tonight.
"We need to find out the mystery behind Rayquaza..." She spoke softly. They were just beginning their journey, but it appeared that this new person named Jin was already ahead of their own mission.
She then gently placed the book into her purse before turning back to the Ocean Plate, a somber look etched onto her face. '...I'm sorry Jin...' Were the only shameful words that echoed throughout her mind, contrasting with the cheerful man's laughter that had filled the silent museum before.
The camera flashed once, freezing the Ocean Plate in a scenery where it would never be found again.