The Forbidden Trio: Sail to the Sky Dragon

Steel Your Heart Part V

Save her.

"FLYGON!"

Elisa suddenly felt her body become weightless only to realize that Flygon had already flipped her onto his back. Riolu cried out to their enemy, leaping onto Elisa's shoulder as the researcher was still frozen in fear of the towering rock pokemon in front of her.

Her hazel eyes dilated to their max once the creature of stones raised one arm above its head, all the while eyeing her with glowing red eyes.

"Flygon, get her out of there!"

The sand dragon roared, blasting a wave of sand in its wake as it barely dodged Regirock's massive forearm. The impact from the legendary golem sent shock waves of debris to blow the trio higher into the air, spinning them furiously as the clashing of rock against sand resonated throughout the chamber.

"-H-Hold on you guys!" Elisa cried, clinging onto Flygon's scales for dear life as the dragon balanced itself. Riolu growled angrily, its attention still focused on Regirock as it pulled its arm out of the sandy crater.

"Flygon, come on! Get back here!" Cole swore as Flygon rose out of the deep pit before diving towards him. Dark brown eyes wide with fear, the Magma Admin glared at Regirock who slowly turned around, its glowing orbs boring into his soul. Watching Flygon's retreating figure, Regirock slowly raised both arms.

Rumble...

'That sound...' Cole flinched once he heard a sudden groan behind him. Whipping his head around, he gasped, the entrance to the chamber was beginning to shrink before his very eyes, boulders protruding from the ceiling and the floor, suffocating their only chance to escape.

"No!" Cole yelled, sprinting forward with Houndoom at his side. The boulders were stacking too quickly, he wouldn't make it in time!

"Houndoom, I need you now!" The fire hound did not need a reminder as its Trainer pointed at the barricade in front of them. "Flamethrower!" A powerful jet of fire exploded from the Dark/Fire type, clashing against the infestation of stones in a spectacle of red and orange flames.

As Flygon neared the entrance with Elisa and Riolu on his back, he watched with fright as Houndoom's attack was nullified against the thick rocks, the Flamethrower sputtering off the surface to everyone's surprise.

"...It's not doing anything?!" Cole stepped back as the last boulder pierced into the ceiling of the entrance, a resounding crack signaling that their only escape was now history. Paling at the sight, Cole clenched his fists as Houndoom stopped its attack, panting heavily before it glanced at its Trainer with a solemn look. Slowly turning back to the pit, Cole felt a cold shiver run down his spine.

"What the hell do we do-" He gasped once a ball of lightning zoomed towards Flygon.

"Elisa!"

Cole cried as a rippling explosion blinded him. The screech of electricity and intense heat overwhelming his senses, his heart pounded heavily in his chest, desperate to see again. Once the light died down, Cole moved his arm from his sight to gasp as Flygon, Elisa and Riolu lay on the sandy floor in front of him. Sprinting forward despite the pain that rippled through his body, Cole slid down next to Elisa and Flygon as they both groaned in pain.

"Hey! Hey, Elisa! Come on, get up!" Cole shook her feverishly as she groaned. Surprisingly to him, she appeared unharmed as he pulled her into his arms.

"Soool..."

Cole quickly looked over to Solrock, a sense a relief washing over him as the Meteorite pokemon droned its name softly, eyeing him back. Just above them, a wall of light faded softly, streaks of electricity still entangled in the sandy air, signaling the end of Regirock's Zap Cannon attack.

Thud.

"...Light Screen." Cole let out a held breath as Solrock lowered its levitation down to Houndoom's height. "You saved them." The Meteorite pokemon still had some fight left!

"Regirock...It was here all along...to stop us from getting the plate..." Elisa breathed, shaking off the ringing in her skull. "...It's because I read the scriptures-"

Thud.

"It won't let us leave without a fight." Cole spat. Their only escape now blocked off, his pokemon pushing beyond their limits, and now one of the Legendary golems of Hoenn to boot. Turning slowly to Houndoom and Solrock, they glanced back at him with looks of determination before focusing on Regirock's encroaching figure. He knew there would be only one way out of this mess, but to put this much pressure on them...

"Guys..." Cole murmured as Houndoom jumped in front of him. It barked at Regirock's form, fighting off the intense pain that resonated throughout its body. The Magma Admin then felt his heart nearly ripe in two once Flygon stood up from its spot before lifting itself into the air, growling at Regirock down below, its white fangs glinting in the moonlight.

"Elisa!" Picking up the researcher to her feet, he looked into her eyes, "Hey! That pokemon down there, Regirock. I need you to tell me everything about it; weaknesses, abilities, everything you know!"

"I-" Eyes still wide from the sudden change nodded slowly. "Regirock...Regirock." Elisa panted softly as her hazel eyes darted back and forth. She clutched onto the Earth Plate as her mind raced for information. Every piece of information she memorized back in school, every story her parents had told her. "You-No Regirock channels most of its energy in its symbol!"

"Symbol?" Cole blinked at her before quickly turning back to the legendary golem. His dark brown eyes hardened at the glowing red H on its front. 'That must be its weakness...'

"Y-Yes!" She responded quickly. This time...This time she would help him. "Regirock also has an ability of regenerating with nearby rocks! So we can't let it get near the walls!" Cole watched her with surprise as she stared into his eyes. She promised that she would help Cole no matter what. "Since its a Rock type, my pokemon can help too!" Elisa then quickly tossed a Pokeball into the air. In a flash of bright light, a seal-like pokemon materialized onto the sand. Sealeo growled once it noticed Regirock's form down below.

"Sealeo, Water Gun!" Cole watched in shock as the seal-like pokemon cocked its head back before releasing a powerful jet of water towards the rock golem below. The water attack landed a direct hit, just below Regirock's head symbol. It shrieked, stopping in its tracks as the Water Gun pierced into its body.

Cole looked on with surprise. He had never seen her take initiative so quickly before.

"There has to be more about Regirock-I'm still thinking." Elisa confessed. "J-Just hold on-"

"Lairon!" Cole quickly yelled, cutting Elisa off as an armoured Pokemon appeared in a flash of light, completing the team that would face off against the Legendary golem of rock. "If we keep it away from the rocks, then its power will be reduced, right Elisa?" Cole then jumped down the pit, sliding with Houndoom and Lairon, followed by Solrock and Flygon.

"H-Hey! Wait for me!" Elisa called after him as Riolu leaped off her shoulder, sliding down along with Sealeo to enter the pit of sand.

He only had one shot. 'If Elisa is right, then keeping Regirock in this pit is the best option right now!' Landing roughly in the sand, Cole ignored the resonating pain in his body as Houndoom and Lairon landed beside him.

"Lairon, Shock Wave! Houndoom, Shadow Ball! Flygon, Flamethrower!" The three pokemon roared in unison before a dense sphere of darkness was launched from the fire hound's jaw, complemented by wave of crackling sparks that danced over the sand's surface along with a powerful jet of fire.

"Sealeo, Water Gun again!"

Regirock shrieked again by the stifling quadruple attack of water, fire, electricity and ghost energy crashed into its body. Its rippling cries echoed throughout the cave as Shock Wave encircled its rocky form, trapping it in its place before Shadow Ball, Water Gun and Flamethrower slammed into its center dead on, a rippling explosion filling the chamber.

"We got it!" Elisa cheered silently once she landed behind Cole. Sealeo clapped its flippers happily as the smoke continued to smear their sights.

Cole glanced at Solrock who was barely hanging on. 'We need to finish this fast-' Hot sweat ran down his brow as the smoke cleared.

Rumble...

Elisa's rising hope quickly turned into fear once Regirock's tattered body was still standing. Before anyone could blink, multiple boulders sprouted from the sand below the golem before binding to its crumbling body.

"It's using the sand to create more body armour!"

Regirock groaned as the boulders quickly clipped onto its damaged areas. It was regenerating at an alarming rate.

"H-How is it rebuilding so quickly!?" Cole cursed to himself as Regirock continued to groan ominously.

"We must have missed its center-" Elisa breathed as Sealeo and Riolu growled angrily. "We have to try again-" She gasped once Riolu sprinted across the sands, its palms glowing a bright blue, readying for a Force Palm attack.

"W-Wait Riolu!"

Regirock droned, lifting itself from the sands as Riolu leaped into the air, its palms ready to strike.

"Riiii!"

"Riolu!" Elisa screamed as the Fighting type bounced off Regirock's body like a rag doll. Crying out in pain, Riolu rolled back against the sands before crashing into the walls with a thud. Regirock remained in its place, its stone like body reflecting the streams of moonlight from above as Cole watched it carefully.

"Riolu! Don't jump into the battle like that!" Elisa scolded, nearly dropping the treasure in her arms before running over to the Fighting type who moaned in pain. "It's too strong!"

'That must have been Iron Defence...' Cole breathed as Regirock remained still. 'Physical attacks won't be very effective...But we don't have strong enough long range attacks right now! There has to be another way to stop it-' His train of thought was cut off once Regirock raised both of its arms. Was it preparing that attack again?!

"Flygon, get in front of the others! It's using an electric attack again!" Cole commanded. The Mystic pokemon quickly rose into the air before landing in front of an exhausted Houndoom and Lairon, bracing itself with its hardened wings.

...Silence.

Blinking in confusion, Flygon peeked through its wings only to notice Regirock was frozen in its position. Arms raised, no movement came from the golem as Cole, Elisa and the pokemon watched tensely.

Elisa took in a sharp breath once a spark of electricity suddenly flashed between its arms. "That attack again!"

"Flygon, brace yourself!" Cole clenched his fist as Flygon continued to brace itself for the electrical attack. "Elisa, come back here-" His voice cut off once he turned around. Paling at the sight, Cole's mind went blank as a bead of sweat ran down his brow.

"What's the matter?" Elisa asked hesitantly. From the look in the man's eyes, she felt a cold chill run down her spine. It was like he was staring a ghost. "Cole? What's the-"

"Throw the Earth Plate away now!"

"W-What?!" Elisa took a step back once Cole charged at her.

"Give it to me!" Cole yelled, snatching the Earth Plate from her hands. Elisa was about to protest before she noticed it.

"That's-" There on the ancient treasure was a glowing red cross hair, directly centered on the Earth Plate's surface. "-Lock-On-"

Cole then turned around, dark brown eyes wide once a piercing screech was heard.

Dense bolts of electricity began to encircle Regirock's arms as it droned again. Then slowly, a concentrated ball of yellow light began to crackle between its thick arms.

"Solrock, Light Screen!" Cole cried desperately before he chucked the Earth Plate with all of his strength. It slid across the sandy floor, passing Flygon before it stopped in front of Regirock as more tangles of dense electricity lit up the cavern.

"Flygon! Get back!" The Mystic pokemon did not need to think twice before it quickly flapped its powerful wings, launching itself backwards before Regirock fired the Zap Cannon with such force that its own body recoiled from the launch.

BOOOOOOOOM!

The explosion ripping into their eardrums, Cole and Elisa felt that their heads would explode from the sound alone as Regirock's Zap Cannon erupted into the Earth Plate. Slamming into the sandy incline that led to the pit, Elisa and Cole gasped from the force before they dropped to the ground. Sealeo, Riolu were sent back as well, crashing into the walls with cries of pain as Zap Cannon's force rippled through the entire pit, shaking the Desert Ruins from the very core.

Dense electricity and rippling sound waves dominated the chamber, boulders snapped from the ceiling like twigs from the force as the Trainers and their pokemon cried out in pain. Once the ground finally slowed to a halt, and the crisp air lost its static, Elisa groaned in pain as she opened her groggy eyes with a dazed expression.

"My...head..." Her entire world was spinning. Not just meeting one of the Legendary golems of Hoenn...but fighting it too? Her senses were shocked, a deafening ring still in her ears, her mouth filled with dirt, and her body still tense with static. this is what Trainers dealt with in the real world? She gasped once she took in her surroundings.

"The pokemon..."

She felt like she couldn't breath, completely lost as her and Cole's pokemon lay on the sandy floor that was charred with electricity. Solrock seemed to have taken the brunt of the Zap Cannon attack, it lay unconscious in the walls surface, completely pushed back by the explosion, its eyes held no light. Houndoom and Lairon were behind a still Flygon that had taken on the aftershock of the attack, though it only seemed to have a minimal effect as they panted heavily, struggling to stand. Turning slowly to her left, Elisa nearly collapsed once she caught sight of Sealeo and Riolu, traces of static encircling them as they panted for air as well.

"Sealeo, Riolu!" Elisa cried out to them, but they didn't respond.

Fighting back the salty tears that stung the cuts on her face, the thought of Cole's last command quickly resurfaced. He had ordered Solrock to protect them with a Light Screen before Regirock had attacked. "That attack wasn't even aimed at us... And it still did all of this..." Elisa mumbled as she slowly got to her knees, pain screaming in her head.

"These Legendary pokemon...they're too strong." She turned to her right, only to see Cole laying on the floor, motionless. "-Cole!" She cried, reaching out to his beaten form that was laced with dirt and debris.

"Cole!...Cole! Come on, you have to wake up-"

Thud.

Shaking the young man vigorously, Elisa felt a chill run down her spine once the heavy thud of approaching footsteps could be heard. It was Regirock, though pushed back from its own attack, it stood tall despite Cole's attempt of hurting itself.

Clank...Clank...

"It can still fight?!" Elisa watched in disbelief as boulders from the crumbling walls around her slowly rolled towards Regirock's beaten form. Her hazel eyes narrowed once she noticed that the boulders were attaching to Regirock more slowly than before. "That regenerating ability must have a limit-" She gasped in shock once the moonlight bounced off an object embedded in the sand just in front of the golem's repairing form.

"...It was a direct hit... But that attack didn't even scratch it!?" Gazing at the treasure that surprisingly remained unharmed by the attack to her surprise, she stood up, leaning against the wall for support. "That...That symbol!" It was hurting to breath now, sand clogged her throat. She eyed the rock golem as it continued to walk towards her and Cole's unconscious form. She blinked once the red H on its head blinked and flashed in a strange sequence. It was signalling to attack again.

"It doesn't have a system similar to ours...But that symbol must act as a brain..." Elisa then gasped once she noticed Regirock flinch from a falling rock that landed on the red 'H'. "It's there!" Her heart pounded heavily in her chest-she was the only one that could fight...but how?

"Fllllyy!"

Flygon, to Elisa's surprise then rose to its feet, glaring at Regirock's approaching figure. "Flygon!" Elisa called, earning a small nod from the Mystic pokemon. Was he agreeing to listen to her now? "R-Right!" A nervous excitement ran through her, this would be the first time.

"Uh-Flygon, you need to aim for that symbol on Regirock's face!" She quickly concluded as Regirock inched closer. Flygon eyed the Legendary golem's form in confusion before it noticed the bright red 'H' on its head. This was their only shot!

"Use Flamethrower!"

Flygon obeyed, releasing a powerful jet of fire from its mouth that torched the black sands as it zoomed closer to Regirock. Upon contact, Regirock stopped in its place, screeching loudly. Elisa beamed once the Legendary golem began to cover its face with both of its large arms, protecting the 'H' on its face as the intense heat scorched its massive body.

That ear splitting screech...Flygon's roar...

Cole groaned, the pain was unbearable now...He slowly opened his eyes as the bright flames of Flygon's Flamethrower showered him with light.

"It's working! That's Regirock's weakness!" Elisa cheered as Flygon intensified the flames. 'So Regirock is able to control rocks from that centerpiece!' She was about to cheer Flygon on before Regirock suddenly whipped its arms down. She was confused by the motion but gasped once she noticed Flygon's Flamethrower attack being pushed back by two thick chunks of rock!

"Flygon watch out!-"

But it was too late, the sand dragon could not react in time before two heavy boulders slammed into its body. Flygon let out a shriek of pain, the thick stone slabs from Regirock's arms had been used as a Rock Throw attack to her surprise. Elisa gasped in shock before Flygon slammed into the stone walls with another shriek before crumpling to the floor.

That was it.

Elisa began to shake violently as Flygon remained on the floor, its body battered with damage. Not only had she injured Flygon by not ensuring that Regirock would counter attack so quickly, she was now alone with the Legendary golem of rock.

"I...I..." Her dry lips tried to move for some kind of explanation, but nothing came out. 'I'm...I'm really going to-'

"Metal Claw!"

That voice...

Elisa snapped out of her shock to notice Cole's exhausted stance, standing on his feet beside her. She trembled as Lairon roared at the top of its lungs before tearing into Regirock's stone body with enough force to send it off its feet. The Legendary golem groaned as it slid back a few feet before crashing into one of the relic boulders. "You're...okay." She breathed as Cole panted heavily.

"We're not done!" Cole spat as he clutched onto his arm, it was glowing a deep red as he glared at Regirock's form struggling to stand.

It would not end here.

He had not come this far to lose. The promise that he had made to his pokemon not too long ago still fresh in his mind, Cole clenched his fist as he looked at his last two pokemon that could battle. They were going to put an end to Team Magma...and the Earth Plate would be one of his keys.

As Lairon panted heavily from its attack, its crystal blue eyes never wavering despite its pain, Cole quickly turned to Solrock's still form not too far from them.

"Thank you Solrock..." Cole breathed, a deep guilt filling his core before he reached for his Pokeball to return the Meteorite pokemon. "You saved us countless times...We'll get out of here." Clipping the ball back to his belt, he turned back to Lairon who stood tall in front of Houndoom's exhausted form.

"Elisa..." Cole's voice snapped Elisa from her stupor. "We'll get out of here...We'll escape."

The researcher felt her body fill with hope, hearing Cole's words reach her. He was still fighting, even with his back up against the wall.

"Do you hear me-"

"Yes!" Her voice rose with hope as Lairon scratched at the sands in front of them. He wasn't going down without a fight, neither would she. "...Yes, when Flygon attacked that spot, it reacted quickly. We just have to hit it once more!"

"Alright," Cole determined before he looked up. Sprinkles of sand and cold moonlight rained down, catching his attention. "There."

Elisa blinked, craning her neck despite the pain. Up above...they both stared at it...Their only chance.

To escape.

"Houndoom!" Cole called out roughly. The fire hound barked quickly in response. "I need you to put all of your remaining power into this attack! I need everything you have!" Houndoom nodded from Cole's words before it growled, its body beginning to glow a deep red to Elisa's surprise.

"Lairon, you'll need to weaken it more!" Cole called out to his friend, earning a quick nod from the Steel/Rock type. "Metal Claw, one more time!" The armoured pokemon roared, shaking the ground before it trampled along the sandy floor.

Clank...

Its regenerating time now becoming slower, Regirock droned, turning its massive body with one arm before it noticed Lairon's powerful strides through the earth. Jumping into the air, its sharp claws glowed a magnificent silver before it landed directly on top of Regirock.

Cole and Elisa tensed as Regirock let out a deafening cry of pain, tossing and turning on the floor as Lairon continued to slash into its stone body. Despite its powerful cries, Lairon continued his onslaught, slashing...tearing with all his strength as the Legendary golem attempted to throw him off.

"Lai!"

Regirock, before anyone could react, swung both of its massive arms into Lairon, launching the Steel/Rock type high into the air before it crashed into the floor beside the Earth Plate.

"Lairon!" Cole yelled as his pokemon struggled to stand, groaning in pain. Lairon wobbled on its 4 legs, its vision blurring as Regirock attempted to regenerate.

"Damn it! Doesn't this thing quite!" Dark brown eyes then widened in shock once they noticed Regirock back on its feet. The Magma Admin then felt a knot form in his throat as boulders began to cleave from the walls around them again, bashing and cracking along the floor before they began to clip to Regirock's battered body.

"It's recovering again! We need to attack it now!" Elisa cried as the golem replaced pieces of itself with each passing second, more boulders rolling along the floor towards its body.

"Houndoom! Do it now!" Cole's voice boomed as he pointed to Regirock's form.

"Overheat!"

Elisa gasped once a powerful jet of condensed flames erupted from Houndoom, incinerating everything in its path with overwhelming heat as it streamlined towards Regirock's form.

"W-What?!" Cole could only stare in shock once Regirock completely shattered its body. The stones encircled its main head before Houndoom's Overheat made contact. He shielded his sight as the intense flames exploded on contact, sending a whirlwind of hot sand and debris to fill the entire chamber. "Just drop already!" Cole coughed roughly as smoke choked at his lungs, he wouldn't be able to last much longer. "Please...Please!"

As the smoke cleared, everyone continued to look on, their body's pumping with adrenaline as they waited eagerly. Lairon, still panting heavily, glanced over to Houndoom, only to pale on seeing his friend collapse onto the floor, he was out of energy now. Houndoom whimpered, its body was at its limit now.

No one could fight...

"Lai..." Lairon groaned tiredly before it slowly made its way over to Houndoom. He was the only one with the strength left.

Moonlight scattered through the thick smoke as the Desert Ruins continued to shake, it would collapse any minute now, Cole knew it. "How..."

"...No." Elisa breathed as the smoke finally cleared, giving her a clear sight of the form in front of them.

"I-Impossible..." He couldn't believe it. Just in front of them, standing with only one arm and its wobbling legs, the Legendary golem of rock droned deeply, its ominous cry echoing throughout the chamber before it began to walk towards them again. It felt all too surreal. This couldn't be real...

Nothing was stopping it. Houndoom's Overheat still didn't have enough power to hit its 'H' symbol, "I pushed him too hard!" Cole swore to himself as Regirock advanced closer. "Flygon-We need to get out of here now!"

RUMBLE...

Cole's eyes widened once he noticed the ceiling begin to crack above them. Suddenly a large boulder snapped from above and howled through the thick air as it fell towards Houndoom's exhausted form.

"NOO!"

Cole was about to reach for his Pokeball, but gasped once the screech of rock against steel rang throughout the chamber. Blinking in shock at the sight before him, Cole's heart nearly stopped once he noticed Lairon, fighting with all its strength to hold the boulder up from crushing himself and Houndoom.

"H-Houn?!" Slowly opening up its tired eyes, Houndoom gasped in shock once he noticed Lairon grunting heavily. He had saved him, just barely by taking the brunt of the massive boulder.

"Cole, return them now!" Elisa cried, grabbing onto Cole's frozen figure. The young man snapped out of his stupor before he reached for his belt.

"R-Return-"

BOOOOOOOOOM!

Eyes wide with disbelief, Cole felt the entire world crash down on his very soul once Regirock slammed its massive arm onto the boulder, bringing the massive object down upon his pokemon.

Right now.

In this very moment of silence as Regirock pressed further into the boulder, stones splitting off in every direction from the force, Cole finally felt it...It was completely.

Hopeless.


Gasping for air, a tall man dropped to his knees. The chilling air of the desert night, Koji rolled over to his side, taking in as much as air as he could before he slammed his fist into the sandy rocks. "I was so close!" The Magma Admin swore. "If it wasn't for that damn Nidoking going out of control, I would have beat him!"

Sapphire eyes blazing with anger, Koji then sat up against the cliff face that overlooked the Desert Ruins. Even with the sense of failure still clinging to his core, he couldn't help but smirk as he watched the top of the Desert Ruins begin to collapse onto itself. "...Those Aqua goons must have taken the Earth Plate while I was battling Cole." Eyeing the massive structures surroundings, Koji watched as the Team Aqua members escaped, one by one, out of the Desert Ruins entrance.

As the crash of falling rock rang out through the cold desert air, Koji quickly noticed a red-haired woman escaping with the rest of the Team Aqua grunts. "Ahh...So its you." He sneered, eyeing the woman as she screamed at her subordinates. "Shelly's in charge now," He then stood up, brushing the sand and dirt from his legs before turning for the cliff face that he would now have to climb.

"Guess I won't be telling Holland about this."


Not too far from the commotion of the collapsing ruins, Kyra and Noah continued to look on in silence a top Windy's back, waiting desperately for some sign of Cole and Elisa.

"Why aren't they here yet...Cole should be strong enough to deal with those losers..." Kyra pestered, tugging on Windy's fur. "What's taking him so long?...Geez I knew I should have-"

"Wait." Noah sighed to himself as the girl continued to fuss to herself in front of him.

Kyra froze in her spot as a voice reached her. Turning around, she glared at Noah who was still holding onto her hand. She hadn't noticed, but one of her legs were already on the sand. She would have literally ran back in there if he hadn't stopped her.

"...Cole's with Elisa." Noah quickly spoke up, his eyes never wavering. "I know they'll make it out of there. We just have to wait-"

"I know that!" She shot back at him, yanking her arm from him before turning back to the crumbling Desert Ruins. There was a slight pause between them as they continued to look on.

"...It's just that-" The fiery Trainer broke the silence, catching Noah's attention. "I just don't like waiting...that's it." She mumbled though Noah could easily tell what she was really thinking from the worry laced in her meek voice.

He smiled slightly from behind her. "Cole's pokemon are strong...I know they'll make it."


"H-Houndoom...Lairon..."

He couldn't move.

His shoulders, legs, mind...

Everything.

Cole looked on as the massive boulder sunk further into the floor. His friends...his family.

Lost.

How could he have put them through this?...Ever since he left from Lavaridge with Flygon, he refused to listen to his pokemon when they tried to warn him of the danger here. They knew something could happen if they ventured further to the Earth Plate, but he didn't heed their warning. He couldn't breath!

"W-What...What have I-" His hands continued to shake violently, he couldn't stop them, he really had lost them. "I...I'm-"

"Cole!"

The young man's glazed eyes turned in the direction of the voice to see Elisa's beaming expression. He blinked, confused at the light and warmth she radiated...It almost looked like...and felt like...

Hope.

"Look Cole!"

Following the direction of her outstretched finger, Cole felt his heart nearly stop once the boulder began to radiate a brilliant white. "That's..." It was spectacular, the pure white light warming his body as it flashed around the chamber from underneath the boulder. He felt energy return to him as the light burned away his fears.

"B-But that's-"

"Laaaaiiiirooooon!"

Cole blinked, fire returning to his eyes once Lairon's powerful roar echoed throughout the chamber's walls. It was Lairon, that light continued to pour from the armoured pokemon to his surprise as it pushed the boulder higher and higher above the sandy floor despite Regirock's efforts.

Flygon blinked in confusion, the intense white light stimulating his senses. Pulling himself from the rubble, Flygon gasped in shock at the scene before it.

"Ri..." Riolu groaned, shaking off the last remaining sparks of Regirock's Zap Cannon before it got up beside its groggy friend. The Fighting type gasped as well at the brilliant light that radiated from Lairon's body as it continued to lift the boulder, higher and higher. Where was he getting that strength from?!

"Lairon is...is-" Elisa held her breath as the light intensified. Suddenly, Lairon's entire body became a beacon of blinding light before its figure began to morph in front of her very eyes. She had never seen this before; one of the rare moments that humans could share with a pokemon. She squinted, her heart racing. "Lairon's-"

Cole felt his body shiver with a nervous excitement as the light continued to shine along with Lairon's changing form, the boulder rising higher into the air to Regirock's dismay. He quickly noticed Houndoom just behind Lairon's beacon of light, signaling his safety. Lairon had been pushed back against the wall to protect Houndoom and the others; he truly loved them that he would go as far as to-

"AAAAAAAAGGGGGRRRROOOOOOON!"

A voice so deep and ear-splitting, Cole and Elisa watched with pure amazement and shock at their saviour's astounding new form. With one whip of its powerful head, the new Iron Armour pokemon flipped the boulder with ease, launching Regirock high into the air.

"Lai-Lairon evolved!" Elisa gaped at the towering figure of silver and rock that now stood at an impressive height. It growled lowly, sneering at Regirock's struggling form before it turned around to Houndoom. Glancing down at his long time friend, Aggron smirked at Houndoom before it motioned with its armoured head plate towards Cole and Elisa.

Houndoom continued to stare at Aggron's form in silence; now standing on its hind legs, glistening silver armour coating its rock-solid body, and a thick steel-plated tail that extended from its hide. Houndoom gave his friend a small nod and bark of appreciation and love before he hobbled over to Cole's still figure.

Lairon had evolved for them.

"Aaag..." Glancing at Cole's shocked eyes, the Iron Armour pokemon gave his Trainer a surprising thumbs up with one of its claws before turning back to Regirock. Aggron gave him the power now to fight for them, he would not lose this time.

"...You evolved...for us." Cole breathed as Houndoom made his way back to him. A few moments passed, memories of that determined little Aron he battled back in Dewford resurfacing, all of their time spent with each other.

He had changed so much. Cole's lips cracked into a smile before he finally looked at his long time friend in a new light.

"I'm not making your evolution go in vain!" Cole got up, his mind and body erect. "Flygon!" Cole called quickly as Regirock began to get to its feet. "We're getting out of here now!" He quickly pointed upwards towards their only exit in the ceiling.

Suddenly, the Mystic pokemon lifted itself from the sandy floor before it flapping its tired wings. In one swoop, Flygon zoomed in and lifted Cole and Elisa onto its back all in one motion. The researcher gasped, clinging to Cole's stomach as Flygon steadied higher into the air.

"Return your pokemon Elisa!" Cole quickly ordered before he took out a Pokeball which absorbed an exhausted Houndoom into a dim red light.

"Got it!" Elisa didn't even think twice before grabbing her two Pokeballs, returning Riolu and Sealeo before clinging onto Cole's waist once again. She watched him carefully as Flygon continued to flap its wings slowly, preparing for their next move.

Regirock droned again, its red eyes glowing before it slowly began to advance towards Aggron's towering form. Aggron grunted, now a foot taller than the Legendary golem of rock, it glared at Regirock's encroaching form, he was going to finish this, once and for all.

Regirock groaned, whipping both of its arms down which catapulted two massive boulders towards Aggron.

"Iron Defence!"

Elisa watched in amazement as Aggron's body shone a bright silver before the Rock Throw hit. The boulders looked like pebbles bouncing off a ship, cracking upon contact with Aggron's rugged armour. It roared, crystal blue eyes glaring at Regirock who now was trying to repair its arms.

It was completely defenceless!

"Aggron!" Cole called as his newly evolved pokemon roared out. "Iron Tail!"

Elisa winced once the screeching of iron rang through her ears. She looked on as Aggron's massive tail began to glow a brilliant silver before it charged towards Regirock. In one single motion, the Iron Armour pokemon launched its steel-coated tail into Regirock's face, directly into its glowing symboled headstone.

The Legendary golem of rock let out a deafening screech, its entire body crumbling from the impact before it was sent back by the brunt force of Aggron's attack. The symboled rock shattered, breaking through one of the boulders before it slammed into the rocky walls of the pit in an explosion of debris.

"Now Flygon!" Cole yelled before he took out a Pokeball, quickly returning Aggron in a glimmer of red light. The Mystic pokemon obeyed, diving towards the Earth Plate where Aggron once stood. Cole cried out, reaching out with all his might to snag the treasure from the thick sand in one motion. Once Cole secured the Earth Plate into his arms, Flygon launched himself with all of his remaining strength out of the Desert Ruins.

The figure of a dragon with two people clinging to its beaten body erupted from the Desert Ruins as the bright moonlight rained down on them.

"We made it!" Elisa screamed as Flygon broke through the ceiling. She watched in relief as the ruins began to collapse on itself. The three continued to watch in silence as the ceiling caved in from all of its damage, completely sealing off the Desert Ruins. The rocks continued to collapse onto each other as Flygon flapped its wings, rising higher into the air, away from the chilling nightmare of the ruins and towards the freedom of the open desert.

Hugging the Earth Plate to his body, Cole let out a long and tired sigh of relief. Feeling the chilling air of the desert kiss his face, he couldn't help but smile. They had made it...They were really alive.

"You were amazing...Cole."

Cole blinked, hearing Elisa's voice over the howl of the winds, he turned around, feeling her body press against his back. "It wasn't me..." He mumbled, a sense of calm washing over him as Elisa's warmth made his body shiver with ease.

"It was the pokemon...all of them. It was all thanks to them." Cole's words spilled nothing but the truth before he leaned in, rubbing Flygon's long neck as it continued to skim along the winds. What in the world would he do without them?

"Thank you so much...Flygon." Elisa breathed, hearing Cole's words vibrate from his back. "They really saved us."

"They're the real heroes..." Closing his eyes, Cole felt a familiar warmness in his right arm. He didn't fight the feeling this time though, instead held his breath as his senses were taken over by the Earth Plate.

"That's?!" Elisa gasped, hazel eyes wide once she noticed Cole's arm beginning to radiate with the Earth Plate. "Cole, are you alright-"


...Where was she?

Everything was...

She couldn't see anything.

Blinking softly, Elisa panicked slightly from the sudden change of scenery, but remained calm once she noticed Cole by her side. He was looking around as well, his expression matching her own.

"Where am I..." Cole asked aloud, he looked right through Elisa to her surprise before he stepped forward, walking through her body.

"Cole!" Elisa called out, but the young man continued to venture forward into the grey abyss. He couldn't see her.

"This is..." He blinked, his right arm reaching out to caress the thick air around him. The Earth Plate was showing him the next destination...for the final...

"Dragon Plate..." Elisa looked around as well, hazel eyes glazed over once she realized the creeping feeling of being completely alone. Cole was sharing his vision with her...

"This is what he's been seeing..." She looked around, her vision becoming a little clearer before she noticed thick grass underneath her tattered shoes. This thick air...the feeling that she was a top all of Hoenn, this place felt so...

She gasped, "This is!...This place is-" The thick fog...the constricting air. The last Dragon Plate-

The Sky Plate would be...


"...Mt. Pyre."

Cole and Elisa breathed in unison before they realized that they were back on Flygon. The Mystic pokemon glanced back at the pair, traces of worry in its eyes before it began to dive towards a familiar figure that watched them from the sea of sand below.

"Coooole!"

Kyra and Noah waved frantically as they watched Flygon descend towards them with Cole and Elisa safely on its back.

"Cole!" Kyra cried, jumping up and down with anticipation to hug her brother as they neared.

"I knew you'd make it!" As Flygon finally landed beside Windy, the group of four reunited after a long night of danger.

"You guys look like you went through hell!" Kyra breathed, pulling Cole into her arms as he slouched into her.

"We should head back now-" Noah blinked in confusion once he spotted an ominous figure that just seemed to catch his eye. As Kyra continued to hug, or strangle Cole expressively, he eyed the thick clouds that seemed to be appearing from over the mountain range.

"What was..."

"Hey Noah!" Kyra barked, catching the sailor's attention. "Don't just stand there! Get the supplies from my backpack!"

"Y-Yes ma'am!" Noah saluted before diving for the medical supplies. Cole, Elisa and the pokemon were more important than some clouds anyway.


Golden eyes sparkling against the silver moonlight, a massive beast released a low growl before ascending higher into the sky. A strange wave of pain rippled through its body, earning another growl. It could feel the power radiating from below. Now, only one more signal garnered its attention. It was close.

Only there, would it finally meet the Trainer that dare trifle with its power.

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