He was lost.
Brown eyes continued to stare at the mass of cold sand that surrounded him, peering at his helpless form, mocking him. The seemingly endless sea of grains encroached further, he did not know whether they laughed at or sympathized with him. Oh how he wanted to get lost in it forever. He had faced so many challenges before, but this time he was hesitant for action. Elisa had gone off to face Sky by herself.
Why wasn't he jumping to her aid like before? He was holding back, lethargic, you could even say he was against making the first move.
At this point, he had turned to a God, pleading to help him fix the chaos that he had created for the entire country.
'...What can I do?'
His heart sank further, confused and desperate for an answer it could not find. If Rayquaza could not help him, what was he supposed to do? How would he fix the coming apocalypse of the Dragon Plates that were never meant to stay in human hands?
What's the point.
Grinding his teeth, Cole grasped at his messy black hair in frustration, pulling at the strands with the mounting stress. He never asked to be a hero…but now.
What's the point.
"Dammit…Dammit!" He cried, burying his feet into the sand for comfort. He couldn't stop the shaking! "Why can't I move?! I need to save them. I need to save them. I need to save them!"
What's the point.
"I need to save them!"
What's the point.
"I….I don't know...I don't-"
'I believe in you.'
Cole's voice was suddenly caught in his throat from the words before a sudden wave crashed against the shores of Lilycove outside. Flinching from the voice, he pulled his eyes from the earth before he noticed a tall figure towering over him. His dark brown orbs watered for a few seconds once they realized the familiar draconian features of diamond-shaped wings. His head moved higher, gazing along a slim neck of scales before a pair of sharp eyes protected by red lenses stared curiously back at him.
"Fly-...You're...You're okay?!" Cole choked, a small glimmer of hope fighting through his pool of despair. That hope seemed to build at an enormous rate once the dragon lowered its head, nipping Cole's tattered jacket to pull him to his feet. He wobbled, his body adjusting to the sudden movement as Flygon watched him carefully.
'Are we going now?'
Cole jumped back slightly in shock from the voice that washed over him. Eyes still wide, the man looked around the massive cave, wondering where that surprisingly childish voice came from.
'If you're looking for someone, I'm the only one here with you.'
Cole bolted his wide eyes to Flygon who yawned playfully before nuzzling against his cheek. He couldn't believe it. "Y-You're talking to me?!...But-"
'We always talk to each other.' Flygon almost seemed offended by his Trainer's words before stretching his wings in a mocking matter. 'Why do you look so surprised? You could understand me before. Oh I get it, I was trying to copy that boy's accent. You know, the one with the strange tail on his head. Those humans in the South are funny.'
"No...no, It's just that I can understand your words completely now."
'You always did...You've always understood me Cole.'
"...Flygon...How is-" He jerked his attention to his right arm before it finally hit him. His tanned skin was radiating a faint light upon closer inspection. Flickering green but still visible, Cole could not fight off his amazement.
"It must be Rayquaza's powers..." Happiness quickly swerved to sadness, catching Flygon's attention.
'What's the matter, you don't like talking to me?'
"Rayquaza was right." Flygon tilted his head to the side in confusion as Cole rubbed his left hand over his glowing right arm. "It has done nothing but fix our mistakes ever since the beginning...When I finally met him, I couldn't stop myself from yelling at him...I was tired of looking for answers by myself…but I've only repeated what so many others have done to Rayquaza before..." Cole turned to the Ground/Dragon type, his face reflecting nothing but guilt.
"I just wanted to use Rayquaza."
Flygon held his breath from Cole's words, silence falling between the two as the ocean rang from outside. Cole flashed a small smile at his long-time friend before focusing his attention on the outside world.
It was time to finally get out of his own prison.
"...I can sense the plates from here." Cole started, finally pushing himself out of the darkness towards the light of the world. He turned around before he reached the exit, small rays of light spilling from above as he looked at Flygon. "I don't think I can do this alone...Will you help me, Flygon?"
The dragon gazed at Cole, its jaw slightly open in awe before a bright smile emerged.
That was more than enough.
Hazel eyes darted back and forth nervously, analyzing every inch of the massive Aqua base as more and more grunts squabbled with one another. They seemed to be hesitant to work with one another, years of fighting would do that to anyone, but cooler heads seemed to be prevailing at the moment as the Sky grunts continued to carry files, crates and cages of pokemon.
"Hey! Make sure we have plenty of pokemon to guard Phoebe when we're loading her on!"
Elisa perked up from the words. Turning to the source of the raspy voice, her heart began to race when a tall man pointed towards a corridor void of life.
"Did you hear me?!" Was he really talking to her? The researcher jumped slightly when the man stormed up to Elisa and glared at her hooded form.
"You must be from the Magma division if you're wearing a hood indoors. Seriously, what's with you guys?" The man scratched the back of his head as he looked over the small 'grunt'. A very large green hood obscured the person's face, almost like a tent over a Zigzagoon. "Geez, they couldn't find a size for the smaller folks, hmpf! Looks like that uniform puked on you!" The man started with a chuckle before slapping Elisa hard on the back, earning a hack of pain.
"Y-Yes!...S-Sir! They...They didn't really have my size!"
"I guess that's the price of making this team out of the blue. We didn't know how many of us would be joining after Professor Snider made this plan..." Hazel eyes hardened upon hearing the woman's name, "guess you were stuck with the leftovers huh?"
Elisa faked a laugh before the man turned to leave.
"Now get a move on! Keep an eye on Phoebe until I get some more men to move her out. Got it?"
"Y-Yes sir!" Elisa saluted, earning another laugh from the Sky grunt before he disappeared down the hall. Quickly checking her field of vision, Elisa bolted for the corridors that held the Ghost Pokemon Master. 'Good thing everyone's so busy, they think I'm one of them!'
Sliding to a stop, Elisa let out a tired huff of air before she glanced at the steel doors blocking her path. Fidgeting with her overgrown attire, she pulled the key card from her vest pocket before sliding it against the scanner.
"Yes!" She beamed once the massive panels began to drone to life before yielding her entry.
"What do you want?!" Phoebe started, glaring at the short excuse of a man as he peaked his head through the door. She tensed once the man stumbled forward with a squeak, his clothes drooping over his arms and legs. Standing guard in front of her grandparents, Phoebe raised her fists in a fighting position.
"My pokemon will find me soon enough, once they do you're going down!"
Phoebe blinked in confusion once the man raised a slender finger to his hooded face. She continued to look on in confusion before the man raised both of his hands to his hood.
"...You're that girl?!" The trio gasped in unison once Elisa flashed them a smile. They looked on in shock as she nodded her head frantically while moving towards the key card scanner.
"I'm here to bust you out! Just hold on!" She lowered her voice, suppressing her excitement before she slammed the plastic material against the panel.
One. Two. Three.
Eilsa and Phoebe both stared at the panel for a few more seconds before looking at one another for an answer. Elisa tapped the scanner again, once more. Groaning with frustration, she slammed it against the floor. "It worked for the other doors! They must have a special key to open yours!" Frowning with frustration, Elisa reached for her Pokeball before tossing it into the air.
"Lucario!" With a brilliant flash of light, Phoebe and her grandparents looked on with curiosity as a jackal-like pokemon materialized before them. Glancing at the Ghost Master, Lucario nodded in realization before raising its palm, blue aura beginning to form.
Phoebe nodded before running back to her grandparents. Placing her arms over them, she signaled for the Fighting/Steel type to continue.
Elisa narrowed her eyes in confusion.
Glaring at the ceiling, Lucario growled once it noticed a single lens staring right back at him.
"T-They had cameras?!" Elisa gaped in shock as the machine slowly emerged from a concealed chamber. It buzzed continuously before sparks began to jet from its body. Jumping back, Elisa covered her face as Lucario guarded the woman protectively.
Elisa and Lucario furled their brows in confusion once a small bolt of electricity descended to the floor. Gasping in shock, Elisa fell backwards before the mass of energy began to materialize in front of them.
"Isn't that a-" Phoebe gasped once she realized the species of the strange creature.
Elisa could not help but stare blankly at the speck of electricity as it laughed continuously while floating around Lucario. It was shaped like a strange spinning top, something resembling what seemed like plasma jetted from its body in the form of lighting-shaped hands. Its surprisingly cute blue eyes turned to her for a split second before letting out another laugh.
"W-What is a Rotom doing here?" Elisa wondered before the small electric pokemon wrapped its small little hands around Lucario's palms.
"Rotom are native to the Sinnoh region." Phoebe started, placing her hands against the metal bars of her cage while smiling at the scene between the pokemon. "They have Electric and Ghost typing and they're known to cause mischief by entering electronic utilities." A small giggle erupted from her lips once she noticed Lucario trying to avoid Rotom's persistent attempts to play with him.
A light seemed to have gone off in the women's head as the words hit her. "Back when Lucario attacked that guard. Was this Rotom watching us the whole time?" It was evident that the Electric/Ghost type had an obvious infatuation with Lucario's powers. Racking her brain, she beamed before turning to Lucario.
"Lucario! This pokemon can enter electronic devices, can you ask Rotom if it can help us with this lock?"
'There could be other ways...' Lucario seemed passive at first but nodded slowly before raising its palm towards the hyperactive ghost.
"Roooooo!" Rotom beamed once a blue aura radiated from the pokemon's palms. Groping and poking at the strange energy, Rotom seemed to nod continuously before turning to the panel that held the bars in place.
"Pokemon are amazing!" Elisa could not hold her awe as the Electric/Ghost type broke itself down into a bolt of electricity before piercing the scanner's frame. The group of five looked on with anticipation as sparks spewed from the machine before it finally howled to life.
Elisa and Lucario let out a sigh of relief once the scanner flashed a dark green before the metal bars swung open. Phoebe did not let a second go to waste as she pulled her grandparents from the cages to freedom.
"Thank you Elisa! I owe you!" The Elite Four member let out a liberated breath before turning to the massive steel doors leading to the rest of Team Sky's base. "...I need to get my grandparents out of here first," turning to Rotom, she flashed a small smile to catch its attention.
"Hello there! You've been such a great help so far and I can't thank you enough. If I may just ask of one more favour of you, can you please help us out of this place?" The Electric/Ghost cocked its head to the side for a moment before glancing at Elisa and Lucario.
The pair matched Rotom's confused look before Elisa finally perked up. "Ohh I get it! If you help them, Lucario will show you his cool aura again!"
"Rooo!" Rotom beamed from the woman's words, despite the bewildered look on Lucario's face. Zipping back and forth between Lucario and Phoebe, the Plasma pokemon nodded continuously while pointing towards the exit with its small electric hands.
"Thank you!" Phoebe and her elders beamed before allowing Rotom to lead them out of the prison.
"Elisa!" Phoebe called while turning back to her saviours. "Once I find my pokemon, I'll come back, so don't do anything too reckless!"
'I thought this was beyond reckless already!' Elisa gave the woman an awkward smile and wave before she disappeared along with their new friend Rotom. Turning back to Lucario, Elisa nodded in realization before sprinting towards the doors as well.
"Let's get Kyra and Noah too!"
The pair continued to slip and sneak behind enemy lines, their destination nearly within arm's reach as Lucario's aura intensified with each step. Sliding to a stop as natural light obscured its vision, Lucario quickly stopped Elisa from advancing as well.
'I can sense them over there.' The Aura pokemon informed, peeking over the corner of the wall.
"Isn't that a submarine?" Elisa held her breath once she glanced over Lucario's shoulder. The area was massive. Open to the grey skies, a massive pool of water took the majority while a ring of concrete was in place for multiple grunts to walk along. Despite the overwhelming quantity of grunts that were present, it was the mechanical monster that sat in the water that frightened her. "They must be planning to get out of here with-"
"ALL PERSONNEL TO AQUA SHIP ONE! REPEAT-"
"Holy!" Grasping at her chest, Elisa screamed for bloody murder once a deafening alarm tore into her ears. Lucario quickly pulled her to the ground, ears erect for any sign of attack as roars erupted from the docks.
'We can't fight all of them!' The woman panicked, covering her mouth while trying her best to impersonate a Rattata. 'How did they find us?...Did they find Phoebe?' A sinking feeling of regret pulled at her heart as the alarm's horns boomed around her.
'...Wait. They're not coming here.'
Lucario's words snapped Elisa from her thoughts before they glanced at one another in confusion. Getting to their feet quickly, Elisa and Lucario looked on anxiously as more and more grunts seemed to be running to the submarine.
Elisa and Lucario jumped once a fearful voice boomed from behind them. Before the two could react, two guards stormed past them, pulling Pokeballs from their belts.
"How the hell could they have found us so easily?!"
"I dunno-but we gotta get on that ship! Hurry!"
"Wha-" The young researcher could only mutter a few words but her presence was ignored as the pair of men swept by her. Taking in the new information, it was clear as day that she was not the one Team Sky noticed.
'Elisa!' Grabbing Elisa's arm, Lucario flicked his head towards the bay. Following the Aura pokemon's movement, hazel eyes narrowed once a familiar figure emerged from the doors across the waters.
Lucario remained silent, gazing at his Trainer as Elizabeth made her way to the massive steel structure.
"Come on!" More grunts stormed from behind the pair. Flinching from their presence, Lucario held in his growl as one of the men grabbed Elisa's overgrown sweater with urgency. "All men to the ship now! We got one hell of a fight here!"
Nodding quickly, Elisa pulled out a Pokeball, catching Lucario off-guard. She smiled through her hood as the red light encased the Aura pokemon, transferring her thoughts faster than words could manage.
Consumed by the hoards of men and women, Elisa fought off the pain in her injured arm as she squeezed into the main corridors of Aqua Ship One. She slammed against a wall as the doors began to send out their own chorus of high-pitched ringing. Eyeing the plated staircases that retracted from the ship's body, Elisa turned to the grey skies before she gasped in shock.
'...If they're here, then we have a chance!' Elisa screamed in her head before turning to the halls of the ship. Sprinting away from the main mass of grunts that continued to stare like Torhics, Elisa hid behind a corner before grasping for the ball in her pocket.
"Come on out!" In a brilliant flash of light, Elisa relaxed slightly once Lucario materialized in front of her. Nodding with full understanding, the Aura pokemon's body began to glow a deep blue before it turned to the darkness of the hallway before them.
"What the-" Noah and Kyra jumped in shock once the doors to their room blew open. Gaping at the scene before them of a massive steel door crunched into the wall on the other side of the room, the pair tensed once two figures emerged from the veil of darkness.
"What the hell do you want now?! You already have our pokemon. What, you wanna go?! I'll bust your ass right here!" Clearly beyond her limit, Kyra roared through the steel bars as the hooded figure advanced towards them along with a somewhat familiar pokemon.
"Wait! Hold on!" The young sailor argued before grabbing Kyra's arm.
"For what?! You really think this pipsqueak riding hood can take me on! Once I get out here I'll beat the shit out of everyone-"
Taken back from the boy's change in tone, she watched him carefully as he shook his head before turning to the strange Sky grunt. "Show yourself." Noah's lips churned slightly upward as the unknown person pulled the hood from their face.
The researcher could not hold back her smile as the pair gave her mixed reactions upon her reveal. "I'm so happy that you guys are okay!" She sighed with relief before turning to Lucario. "Can you break them out?"
Noah and Kyra snapped their attention to the Aura pokemon once the deep voice radiated through their heads.
"I knew it...Isn't that…Riolu?" Noah gaped as a dark blue aura emerged from its body. "It evolved, since when?!"
"What the hell have you two been doing? Where's Cole?" Kyra pitched in, grabbing the steel teeth of their cage. Her grip seemed to weaken once Elisa's smile faded.
"H-He's okay but-" Elisa attempted to say more but her eyes quickly shifted downward. "-I….I couldn't help him."
"...W-What is that supposed to mean?" Kyra furled her brow in confusion before Noah pulled her away from the steel bars of their cage.
"Stay back, we'll deal with everything when we get-"
Lucario flinched once the panel of the cage began to flicker with sparks of electricity. Glaring at the familiar enigma, the Aura pokemon let out a sigh once a high-pitched scream of joy erupted from the depths of the machinery.
"What was that?!"
"It followed us?!...Ummm...that's…" Elisa sweatdropped once the gates blocking Kyra and Noah swung open. The pair gasped in shock before bolting through the doors to Elisa's side.
"You saved us! Oh thank you, my hero!" Noah made his best impersonation of a damsel, by Elisa's standards, grabbing the woman's massive Team Sky uniform before throwing himself into her body.
Kyra pursed her lips in thought, watching Lucario's annoyed expression as it folded its arms. "But that wasn't Lucario...Who-"
Kyra stared at the strange pokemon in complete silence as it encircled the group, sparks of electricity dancing wildly from its body. Deep brown eyes watched the foolish creature continue to play with its new friends before giving Elisa a sharp glare that earned an awkward grin. "How many friends did you make since we left…"
"T-They came to me!" Elisa gave the younger girl a full grin this time. For the past few days, she had really been depressed about what happened at Mount Pyre. But being around Kyra's hot attitude again really made her feel at ease.
"As much as I'm enjoying this reunion, I think we should find the pokemon!" Noah finally chirped, dodging Rotom's attempt to join in on the group hug. Lucario nodded from the boy's words before glowing a deep blue once again.
'The others are in different areas. Swampert, Wartortle and Wingull...are separated from the others.'
Kyra, Noah and Elisa darkened from the words before turning to the exit. "Who can we get to first?" Kyra voiced her concerns.
'Houndoom and the others are closer.'
"Then come on, I'm getting them all back-"
The trio gasped once the floor beneath them suddenly cranked itself in an odd direction. Elisa quickly reached for Noah and Kyra, dragging them down with her before all three were on the floor in a heap of bodies.
"Ugh!...What the hell is going on?! Get your butt out of my face!" Kyra whined, punching Noah in the leg who let out a yelp.
"Owowowowow! I don't know! It's like we're moving or something!"
"The submarine must be getting ready!" Elisa announced, earning surprised looks from the pair. Whether they liked it or not, they were now on a permanent trip with Team Sky.
"There they are!" Drake roared as his Salamence flapped its heavy wings, tearing through the cold winds.
"That must be trying to escape by going underwater!" Steven gasped once the massive steel frame of the ship below began to rumble to life.
"Not on my watch!" Drake's eyes hardened along with his dragon before he pointed to the metal beast. "Salamence, Hyper Beam!"
"Saaaal!" Swinging its long neck back, a deafening crack split the air before a powerful beam of energy launched towards the sitting duck of an enemy.
"What the?!" Drake gasped along with Salamence as their attack was countered by a blistering stream of ice.
"Where did that come from?! I don't see any pokemon-" Steven held his breath once another piercing shot was fired from below. His steel blue eyes widened in shock once he noticed the source of the attack.
'The ship itself is attacking?!'
"Get back!" Steven cried out from the force of the attacks as a deafening blast of fire erupted from Salamence, crashing into the strange mechanical Ice Beam. Fire met ice as the attacks pushed back and forth in a show of strength before exploding into shards of water, steam and flames.
Another beam was sent just as quickly as the other.
Another explosion of ice and fire lit up the sky outside of Lilycove City.
"Stop this at once Team Aqua! Archie gave himself up years ago! Why are you doing this! Your plans will only put Hoenn in danger once again!"
"Skarmory, push it back with Flash Cannon!"
Both men snarled with frustration as their attacks were halted before they could even connect.
"This can't be!...How could a machine have that kind of power?!" Drake growled, the pair of elite Trainers circling the ship like birds of prey. "Steven, we'll have to destroy their weapons before they can escape!"
"Right! I'll have Skarmory lock them in place with Stealth Rocks!" The steel bird nodded before quickly spreading its wings and screeching to the grey clouds above.
Meanwhile, within the confines of the ship, Elizabeth and Holland stared at the massive screen before them. Two of Hoenn's most powerful Trainers continued to scream and roar, sending out one attack after another with their pokemon while desperately trying to evade the onslaught of their icy barrage.
Sharp eyes bore into the images of the Trainers as they continued to interfere with her carefully constructed plans that took years to sew.
She would not have it. Any of it. To mock her was to mock the very essence of her research for Legendary pokemon. Those ignorant people just could not understand.
For those who do not know, they must be taught.
"This is why Legends must be feared."
Steven and Drake froze once the massive ship began to rumble again. Squinting to see what could be going on, the former Champion gasped once a strange machine emerged from the top of its hulking form.
"...What is that?" Fear washed over the man once the hand-like structure began to extend its five massive steel beams. Like opening a hand to its full extent, the Trainers could only stare before a blinding blue light erupted from its palm. The man gasped before he turned to Drake who was flying too close to its charging form.
Steel eyes shattered from sheer amount of power that suddenly exploded from the weapon. Grasping onto Skarmory for dear life, he looked on horrified once a tornado of dense wind, water and ice pierced upwards towards them.
But it was too late, sucked into the miniature hurricane like a rag-doll, Drake screamed out but his voice was silenced as the deafening gale winds ripped through him and Salamence rocketing them further into the sky.
Steven and Skarmory could only watch as the super typhoon of water, ice and wind finally dissipated, only a hole in the clouds remained.
"...Drake!" Kicking Skarmory's sides, the pair raced through the chilled air as a man began to fall from the skies with a dragon by his side. "Come on!" Extending his arm to its limit, Steven quickly snatched Drake from the air. Grimacing, he looked on as Salamence slammed into the beaches below, tearing a new crater into the earth.
"Speak to me!"
"...Damn…It was so...I couldn't..."
Steven gasped once he heard the sailor's words. Drake was gasping for air, clutching at Steven's collar to get his attention as the pair descended to Salamence's beaten form. "Hold on my friend! We'll get you out of here!" Slamming into the beaches, Steven lay Drake onto the sandy earth before turning to the cliff face that blocked his view of the mechanical beast.
"Where are they getting this power from?! I've seen that power before…but only from Kyogre." Steven flinched once a deafening roar erupted from the cliff. Dread pulled at his very being once a massive structure, the size of a Wailord, rose from the earth into the air.
"It's an airship?!"
Steven could feel the panic in his voice as the booming roar of the engines sent shock waves through the environment. Wild pokemon screamed and cried out, fleeing their homes as the airship began to turn on its axis. Clutching at another Pokeball, the former Champion bit his lip before turning to Drake. 'I can't battle here! He needs attention...Drake!'
The man dropped his arm in defeat once Aqua Ship One began to tear through the draft, massive engines spewing jets of exhaust and debris. Steven looked on as it dipped just above the ocean's grey waters before moving with surprising speed away from the beaches of Lilycove City.
His arms dangling by his sides, the silver-haired man could only stare in awe as the airship vanished from his sight. '...How could I be so blind?! They were able to build such a weapon so close to my home, yet I-' Steven flinched once he heard something.
Craning his head to the murky skies above, Steven's jaw opened slightly.
Moving at an incredible speed towards the ocean. It looked like a dragon, a very familiar one like Drake's yet...His eyes could hardly make it out. Yes. There seemed to be someone riding atop its lengthy frame.
With each powerful stroke of his friends wings, deep brown eyes, reignited with an intense fire once again focused on their massive target as the winds slashed relentlessly at them.