True Lore of the Dragon Plates
Billows of snow hiked the sides of buildings as two large figures dug their claws into the cobblestone earth of the city streets. Sharp yellow eyes of a well-built steel bird scanned the empty road for life before shifting its weight, its passenger leaping off. "...Unbelievable." He stepped forward. The man took in a sharp breath, hissing from the frozen air as another figure took a stand beside him.
"This is bad."
It was blunt, but Steven could not agree more with his long-time friend before he clenched his fists, the feeling of helplessness creeping into his heart as more and more of the alien substance scattered across the city of Lilycove. "I could have never imagined this…"
After the explosion a top Mount Pyre, the former Champion of Hoenn had sent out a distress call to the Elite Four. Phoebe was missing. That was the cold hard truth that revealed itself when he arrived to the pokemon graveyard, but what truly sent chills down his spine was the state of Hoenn's Eastern shores.
"Har, I'd say we got ourselves a battle with the legends. No common pokemon can top this." The Dragon Master huffed as a gust of cold wind danced between them, blowing his cape wildly before he turned to his strongest ally. The massive blue dragon growled angrily from the chilling air before letting out a hot breath. Drake closed his eyes from the slight warmth before turning back to Steven who continued to look on at the snowy state of Lilycove.
"Phoebe is our top priority now. We'll need as much help as we can get to handle whatever Team Magma or Team Aqua are planning. I don't think Hoenn has ever faced this-"
"Where is that little flower girl anyway?!" Drake stomped his boot into in the snow with a grunt before turning his head to the skies. His jaw clenched, he remained silent as the winds picked up once again, sending a frozen kiss over the city streets. "Let's fan out over the city. If she was taken by those hooligans, then they couldn't be far!"
Steven nodded quickly from the man's words before Drake hopped onto his Salamence once again. "If you see anything, tell me first before we engage them!" And with one powerful stroke of its crescent-like wings, Salamence lifted itself into the cold air with Skarmory following closely behind. Wind slapped at their faces, but the powerful Trainers of Hoenn were unfazed until a large figure emerged far beyond the city.
"What is that?!" With the looming threat of powerful legendary pokemon falling on Hoenn once again, the former champion knew he could not waste any time.
Elisa felt her body shake with a mixture of nervous excitement, fear and admiration for finally coming face-to-face with the proclaimed God of Hoenn. Controlling her rapid breath, hazel eyes were flung in every direction possible as she scanned the dragon's body.
It was magnificent.
It's caliber was beyond her scope of imagination as it let out a deep breath, its essence washing over, filling her with a surge of energy. This was real thing. It was not a dream, nor a horrible nightmare from the ancient plates themselves. No.
Rayquaza was real.
Finally snapping out of her reverie, Elisa inched her foot forward slowly, as if not to startle the massive beast. Taking in a sudden breath, her legs began to shake once Rayquaza's golden orbs focused on her. It was just like that dream. What was she supposed to do now?
Elisa froze once a deep voice rose in the cave, bouncing off the walls with such a force it would catch anyone's attention. Turning to her left, Elisa could feel her heart catch in her throat once Cole stomped toward the dragon.
"...Why." His voice rising, Elisa stumbled with a means of stopping the man as he moved forward. "Do you know how long I've been searching for you...The damage that I've caused...The people that I've hurt? I-I….Damnit….How much I had to sacrifice to bring you here?!" Cole stopped once his face was nearly inches away from Rayquaza.
"Aren't you supposed to be our protector? Why didn't you stop me when I activated the Ocean Plate? Huh? Or the Earth Plate in the desert? I had to destroy Regirock and the Desert Ruins to get that, yet you did nothing?"
"No!...What kind of saviour are you! Tell me about this too!" His words were hoarse before suddenly ripping the bandages from his right arm. "It's been two years! The Red and Blue Orbs were destroyed two years ago, yet why do I still feel their power?! What do I have to do with any of this? I didn't want to face any of you back then! I-I….I was scared back then! Scared out of my mind! But no one was going to help me!"
Elisa and Lucario froze once the man raised his fist in the air above the dragon. "I lost one of my best friends because I was ordered to capture you….Yet you were here all this time? Why...Tell me WHY!"
Elisa and Lucario flinched as the man's voice boomed throughout the cave. Cries of bird pokemon and the thrashing of early morning waves resonated with the man's words yet Rayquaza continued to stare at Cole's broken form. As the echo quickly died out and the world continued to move on outside, Cole slowly opened his eyes before he blinked in surprise.
'I can hardly see.' Dropping his fist, Cole slowly moved his hands to his face before he blinked again.
He was crying.
Frozen in place, he looked at his beaten hands as they shook violently, the small sparkles of salt and water falling harmlessly to the cold sand. Tears. More and more cascaded without any sign of stopping. He brushed his face, again...and again. Still they would not stop. Why was this-
"You only call for me when you're weak."
The trio stepped back quickly once a booming voice surged from within their hearts. Gasping from the sheer force of the words, Cole nearly fell as Rayquaza rose its head, dwarfing everyone as it glared at the man. Its expression did not change, yet Cole could feel the malice piercing from its golden orbs. What did it mean by that? He did not call on Rayquaza for help did he?
No that was ridiculous. He only wanted-
His train of thought snapped like a twig once the words hit him again. Just like two years ago...and now. They were all chasing after Rayquaza for the same reason.
"Humans...I've come at your beck and call for centuries when you were in peril. Every time, your mistakes have led your own downfall on this land and I have lifted you from destruction time after time."
Elisa shook as the dragon rose higher, its piercing claws beginning to push the rest of its massive body off the ground. Lucario remained silent, tensing but remaining still as Rayquaza continued to glare at Cole.
"It has always been within my power to pardon your mistakes...However..." Suddenly to the trio's surprise, Rayquaza let out a pained growl, its body tensing before it dipped its body lower to the ground. Cole looked on, his lips dry as one of the mightiest pokemon in the world struggled to move.
"What's wrong?" Elisa blurted out, worry written all over her features as she stepped forward. Lucario quickly stood between her and the legendary dragon before raising its palm.
'I can sense something else...inside.'
Rayquaza's jaw opened slightly, its eyes never leaving Cole's own before it attempted to rise again. This time, with more effort, it moved upwards in the cave that now seemed small in comparison to the dragon.
"This time...your mistakes have gone beyond my abilities." Rayquaza's eyes shone slightly once Cole's arm began to glow with a mixture of red and green. Staring at the familiar light, it leaned in slightly before Cole rose his arm into the air.
"The stones you call the Dragon Plates were never meant for human use. They were forged as the physical manifestations of the natural energy Groudon and Kyogre attempted to control."
"They aren't related to your powers?!" Elisa gasped.
"Not in the slightest." The Sky High pokemon spat before turning back to Cole. "It is your ignorance of history that blinds you of the real threat."
Cole flinched once he noticed the light begin to radiate a deep green. Dark brown eyes blazed with fascination as he felt his body lighten from the sensation. It then crawled its way to the lone Poke ball on his belt before drifting to Rayquaza's form. Once the radiance touched Rayquaza's scales, Cole gasped in shock, catching Elisa's attention.
"As thanks for granting more time to me, I will tell you the truth of Nature's Plates."
Elisa and Cole remained silent as the massive dragon let out another breath except this time it was stronger, warmth filling their bodies.
"Nature's Plates formed millions of years ago due to this planet's enormous pool of natural energy. Humans and Pokemon warred for this in the past, taking and destroying one another to stand atop all others. However there were two pokemon that yearned for power more than any other. They began to consume the energy of weaker forms to ascend higher.
Before their current forms, Groudon and Kyogre thirsted for the natural energy within their brethren, resulting in forms that were beyond my imagination. The plates that you see today signify nature itself that both pokemon and humans must share together. The land...the sea...and the sky. In order to prevent the up rise of these two pokemon, humans forged a key to help me quell the two beasts of land and sea. This was known as the Jade Orb.
The gift from humans allowed me to control the immense energy from Nature's Plates and stop Groudon and Kyogre.
...This was the first time that pokemon and humans worked together, and it resulted in the miracle you know as peace that exists today.
However, in order to keep this alliance, the humans and I decided to seal the plates with the help of the golems. Regice, Regirock and Registeel. They would hide the energy to prevent Groudon and Kyogre from ever longing for it again. Our alliance was to protect both pokemon and mankind. In order to use my power to control the plates, the Jade Orb was created…..and this alliance brought peace."
"...Then what ruined this was-" Elisa pushed on.
Cole and Elisa cowered from Rayquaza's words as he glared at them once more. They remained silent however as the Sky High pokemon let out another deep breath.
"Pokemon may have their differences, but they do not attempt to ruin the balance among all creatures like humans do. Once the Jade Orb was sealed in my tower, humans from other lands began to invade in order to steal my power. They managed to misplace the locations of Nature's Plates, placing a great strain on the land. Even though they were unable to find all the pieces, they forged the Red and Blue orbs to mimic my powers.
Another war for power emerged and this resulted in the resurrection of Groudon and Kyogre. However they lacked their true powers because of my influence over the plates. The only way that I was able to stop them a second time was due to the Green Orb that linked my power with humans to gain complete control over those beasts. The Green, Red and Blue orbs also provided balance because it split the enormous energy of this planet into sizable shares for me to handle. Without a human to link their being with the orbs, that energy was able to remain dormant.
The third time, the one that you mentioned two years ago took a toll however. The humans May, Brendan, Archie and Maxie fought for control over these orbs and the power struggle resulted in the destruction of the orbs. The transfer of that natural energy to the Green and Jade Orbs has been putting a toll on me ever since."
"So by collecting the Dragon Plates…" Cole's eyes lost their light as the realization hit him.
"Bringing them together is releasing too much of our world's natural energy?" Elisa attempted to make sense of the beast's story. Rayquaza nodded slowly before turning its attention to the rising sun that spilled rays into the cavern. A sudden gust of cold air swept in, earning a yelp from the young researcher.
"Once again, humans are at fault for leading both species to destruction...Nature's plates only bring forth greed from all…..And this time, I don't have the power to prevent the release of its energy. Three days from now, your homeland will change permanently from the release of Nature's Plates."
"B-But!" Elisa cried, stepping closer. "Is there anyway to stop it? We have one of them here right now! Can't you do anything with it?!" Rayquaza seemed to smirk from Elisa's question before it rose higher, its long facial appendages grazing the rocky ceiling.
"Only a few among you have shown the ability to not depend on me for every trial that they face. Those are the ones that have changed the course of history."
Standing in place, Elisa's lips parted but no words could escape as Rayquaza gave the trio a judgmental flash of its eyes before bursting from the cave. The pair cried out in surprise from the pokemon's raw power and speed as it rocketed high into the frozen air before vanishing into the dense grey clouds that hung over Hoenn.
"It's gone." Elisa let out a breath she did not know she was holding before raising her hand to her chest. The words of the legendary dragon still hanging over her like a dark cloud, the researcher pulled her eyes from the skies before turning to Cole who remained still. His shoulders slumped, she could feel his despair as the man did not move from his place of judgement by Rayquaza.
"...Cole." She called.
Again, yet he did not move. What could she do now? She raised her hand in an attempt to reach out to him yet her nerves got the best of her.
'Am I really….afraid of him?' The thought left a clogging taste in her mouth as she shook her head of the thought. ...He was a part of Team Magma.
'No!' It pained her as more voices began to surface. Why should she trust him? He was a liar. He took her mother from her.
Cole flinched. Turning around quickly, his expression was tense as he looked at the young woman before noticing her victimized stare.
He knew it.
He screwed up...There were so many chances before. Chances to change, to leap out of this spiral of negative actions, yet he chose to betray Elisa, use her, all for the power of the Dragon Plates.
Elisa blinked in confusion once she noticed Cole inching further away from her. Her chest began to feel heavy once she realized that their connection was waning with each step.
She did not want this. Stop doing this Cole and come back! Yet he moved further away until he froze up against the cold cavern walls.
"Just go then."
His voice rose before he finally dropped to the sandy earth. "Three days Elisa! I don't even have my pokemon and I'm somehow supposed to find an answer that Rayquaza doesn't even know?!" He slammed his fist against the earth. "...There's nothing I can do. You heard Rayquaza. The only thing I've done since I started this journey is screw up! Holland won….He won."
Elisa remained still. The silence between them was deafening but she did not move a muscle, her hazel eyes cast over Cole's broken form. Standing still, it seemed like hours between them before the woman turned around, catching Cole's attention.
Cole's eyes widened in shock from her words. But was more surprising was her tone.
"You stay here and rest Cole…." Lucario watched his Trainer closely, red eyes analyzing her erect back and cool eyes. "You've done so much for everyone...It's my turn now." Her steps came out rushed, stiff at first but then became more fluid as she picked up her pace. She could not imagine what he went through before she knew about his real identity; the pressure, the guilt…the pain of it all.
But this was not the time.
Lucario gave one last glance at Cole's defeated form before chasing after Elisa. Even if he didn't have his powers, he could tell that Elisa had changed at that moment. She was becoming stronger. But why?...Was it Rayquaza? A small smile graced his lips from her new found determination before he barked.
"What is it Lucario?" Elisa stopped, her voice ragged. She had been sprinting without realizing it. The adrenaline of the entire experience must have been pushing her at the moment. She would need it.
'I can feel the others.'
"Really?! Where? Are they close?"
'Yes...' The Fighting/Steel type suddenly closed his eyes, a familiar blue aura radiating from its body before it scanned the entire beach. Elisa watched closely as the aura surged and shrunk with each passing second, fine-tuning itself for the exact location of their lost friends.
Elisa followed the path of Lucario's paw before she noticed a massive boulder that pierced from the rough ocean waters. Her eyes narrowed in thought as a few bird pokemon circled the structure in the chilly air. Something…or someone was there.
"That could be their base…They must have not gone far after that battle." Another rush of energy took over before she began to run towards the arrangement of boulders and jagged stones that led to their destination. "Let's go!"
The Aura pokemon let out a sharp bark before leaping beside Elisa, a new sense of urgency lifting them with each step.
A pair of tired amethyst eyes flashed with shock at the sight before them. As if leaping from the depths of her imagination, a massive snake-like figure burst into the clouds above Lilycove City. It disappeared as quickly as it appeared, sending chills down the woman's spine as the skies swallowed the beast as if welcoming one of its own.
"He couldn't have gained control already-" Tori hissed suddenly, pain running through her body as she slammed against a tree, hidden on the outskirts of Lilycove City. After the explosion atop Mount Pyre, the ex-Magma member had managed to escape among the chaos of Rayquaza's attack. Beaten and on the verge of collapse, Tori had fought her way through the foliage until she found some shelter under a fallen tree. Her breathing weak, she pulled out her Poke balls, a mixture of worry and regret etched across her face.
Everything was fading to black...
"Once we get to the Pokemon Center...we'll stop Holland. I promise-"
A fragile looking man jumped slightly from the sudden spike in noise. Getting up from his paperwork, he raised a thick eyebrow once he found the culprit to be none other than the leading researcher of the Hoenn region.
"What do you mean it's blocked?...And there's no wa-...What about the pokemon." The large man's burly face managed to contort into one of fear, peeking his assistant's interest before he finally nodded slowly.
"I-I….see. Well if you can find any other way, come as quickly as possible. I'm sure Steven will be need you." He sighed, rubbing his temples before he noticed his assistant watching him closely, as if demanding an answer for the disruption in the first place.
"...It seems like May won't be coming back for the time being…" Professor Birch quickly turned to his laptop around before tapping a few keys at a slow pace. Tired eyes seemed to flash with shock for a second before turning back to the assistant.
"There's a super storm around the entire Hoenn region….No one can get in, or out."