He didn't think that he could shed so many tears before.
But he also didn't think that he could fly this fast with his pokemon before either. Cole blinked away the saltwater threatening his vision.
He would not stop.
You would need a Machamp to pull his attention away from the target ahead as he continued to blitz through the air with reckless abandon.
"Faster." He kicked the side of his leg against Flygon's back, gripping the pokemon's neck to ensure what little security he had for flying at this height and speed.
He would not stop.
"Shhhh!" Sliding along the tiled floors, Elisa slammed her clothed hand over her lips as she neared a corner. She winced once a pile of kids slammed into her backpack, venting their own frustrations as to why the girl in front of them suddenly became a road block.
"How about you stop running like a hungry Mightyena and wait for us!" Kyra barked. "We're supposed to be following Lucario anyway, so why are you in front?"
"Okay, I get it already!" Grinding her teeth, the younger girl rolled her eyes once Lucario jumped to Elisa's side and pointed to a large set of doors around the corner. The Aura pokemon narrowed its red eyes before a dark blue glow radiated from its body.
'Houndoom and the others are inside. But there are humans standing guard.'
"Okay." Elisa nodded quickly before turning her attention to the small electric pokemon that continued to follow them. "I know we've just met, but can you help us get our friends back?" The Plasma pokemon fluttered up and down, gazing at the researcher with a confused stare. "Those guys in the green clothes kidnapped our friends so we're going to-"
Elisa, Noah and Lucario all jumped from the sudden outburst beside them.
Snapping their attention around, they all stared with awe at the open space that used to be the location of Cole's younger sister.
"Wait! Aren't you-UGHAAAAAA?!"
Gasps and shouts suddenly rang from in front of them.
"W-Wait a minute."
A deafening cry of pain rang through the empty halls. Then another. The trio blinked but it was already over as a pile of two grown men lay on the steel floor, unconscious. Kyra spat at the floor. "I told you I'd get you guys back. I don't back down when it comes to my pokemon!"
"What is she on?!" Noah blurted out before reality finally set in. Running towards the young Trainer, he nudged the grunts with his foot a few times before turning back to Kyra who stood at the door panels, tapping her foot impatiently.
"Hey, they have keys!" The sailor snickered, grabbing the ring of metal from one of the grunts belts before twirling them on his finger. "These must be for the pokemon." Turning his attention back to Kyra, a small smirk emerged.
"Are you sure you weren't adopt-" He shut his mouth once a sharp glare drilled into his being.
"Say that again."
"N-Nothing. I said nothing."
"T-Thanks Kyra. You're….amazing as always." Elisa quickly acknowledged once she caught up to the pair. Giving the unconscious men an almost apologetic look, she turned to the lock that separated them from their pokemon. "Rotom, if you please?"
"Roooo!" The Plasma pokemon nodded with glee before disappearing into the machinery. Shards of electricity danced around the panel's edges before a simple beep echoed from the massive steel doors.
"...Backburner! Viggy! Windy!" Deep brown eyes lit up like the morning sun. Kyra fought her way through the pain-stakingly slow doors before sprinting to her pokemon. Slamming her hands against the metal bars that blocked her from her pokemon, she reached out to them as they cheered happily for her presence. Tears threatened to fall, but the enormous smile from ear-to-ear said otherwise. "I'm so happy you guys are okay! Don't worry, I'm gonna get-" The smile faltered once she noticed something.
As Elisa quickly ran to her side, she glanced at the younger girl in confusion from the look on her face. "...What's the matter? We can get them out of here now."
"I know that! It's just…These bars feel like regular steel."
"...Is that a problem?"
"It shouldn't be a problem." Noah's aqua eyes narrowed as he stood beside the pair before gripping the cage's steel body. "They were loading those Water pokemon on in a hurry, and our pokemon are the only ones in here…" He scratched his head in thought.
"I guess they didn't have room for them. It's not like we were in their plans...I guess?" Elisa questioned as Kyra walked over to the cages that held her brother's pokemon.
"Yes. So why aren't the pokemon breaking out?" Leaning over, Kyra stared at Houndoom who remained silent. Its dark red eyes were surprisingly clouded, yet a small smile emerged on its reddish snout upon seeing her. A somber look washed over Kyra once she turned her attention to Solrock, Aggron and Nidoking. Their bodies were slouched, eyes were drained of light and overall state looked almost...like they were giving up.
"...J-Just hold on guys!" Kyra jumped to her feet before snatching the keys from Noah. "Those idiots must have hurt them pretty badly, but that's only because they're not fighting fair! I'm sorry I couldn't do anything back then-" Kyra's words were shaky as she fumbled with the keys before jamming one of them in the lock. She attempted with a few more before a resounding click rang through the empty chamber.
Swinging open smoothly, Elisa, Noah and Kyra smiles faltered as Cole's pokemon slowly emerged from the cages. They nodded in thanks before turning their attention to Kyra's pokemon who waited patiently for their freedom as well.
'Houndoom….He wants you to hurry and get the other pokemon out of here.' Eyeing its friend, Lucario translated the fire hound's words. The trio let out held breaths. The pokemon were exhausted. Physically and mentally.
As Kyra ran to the other cage, Elisa quickly moved over to Cole's pokemon before pulling Houndoom into a quick hug. "Don't worry guys." She announced before turning to Lucario and Rotom. "Riolu even evolved for us because he wanted to get you back as soon as possible!" Aggron and Solrock let out small cries, nodding in thanks to their newest member but Nidoking remained silent.
"I'm sure Cole-" Elisa gasped once Nidoking growled angrily, turning its attention to the young woman. Swallowing a knot in her throat, she rose slowly as the Drill pokemon glared at the group. Lucario quickly jumped to Elisa's side, its arms open in a protective manner.
'She is not Cole. So save your actions for later!'
Kyra stopped midway in turning the key once the words rang through her head. Her chest suddenly felt tight. "...Just hold on."
Bolting through the steel cage, Viggy hopped into Kyra's arms before Windy and Backburner had the chance to as well. She yelped with surprise before laughing at her pokemon's antics. "S-Stop! I know, I know! I missed you too! But we have to get out of here, Viggy!" Her smile quickly faded once the monkey let out an annoyed grunt before turning to Cole's pokemon.
'The other pokemon are not too far from here. Let's go.' Lucario announced before turning to Elisa. She nodded in agreement before the large reunited group of pokemon and humans made their way deeper into the heart of Aqua Ship One.
"Why is this place so huge?!" Noah complained as they ran down another flight of stairs.
"It's like the Safari Zone in here! Geez!" Kyra groaned as well, her voice out of breath as they rounded another corner with Lucario leading the way.
The group continued, checking every inch of the ship as they neared their destination. Elisa swiped at the sweat that fell from her brow as she chased after her pokemon. The heavy cloth of Team Sky's uniform now off, it was a small relief compared to the pain that ran through her body. Thoughts continued to bombard her; Cole, Team Sky, the submarine they were on and where it would be going. Her mind moved faster than her legs as she tried to focus on pushing forward. Was Cole okay? Would he really give up on his family and friends?
The woman snapped her head up only to be caught by Lucario. Gasping for breath she blinked in confusion once she noticed the rest of their party around her. "Did you find them?" Elisa grasped at Lucario's fur. A faint smile crossed her lips once he nodded before pointing towards two massive steel doors. That smile quickly faded once she noticed multiple grunts glaring directly at her with Pokeballs in hand.
"They found us?!"
"You ran right into them!" Kyra snapped at the researcher. Waving her arms angrily, she emphasized their location as more grunts began to surround them from behind. "Next time when you're daydreaming, take a seat on the ground!"
"How did they escape?!"
"Those are Cole's pokemon?!"
"Get more back up!"
"Don't let them near the Ocean Chamber!"
Noah perked up once the words hit his ears. "They must have brought all the Water pokemon in there!" The sailor tensed, raising his fists as Pokeballs spiraled upward into the large hall.
"You're not getting the chance!" Kyra roared before turning to her pokemon. "Backburner, Overheat!"
The large group of Sky grunts gasped in shock once the small rodent pokemon leaped into the air. Their pokemon could only cry out in complete surprise once they were met with a powerful jet of fire that ripped into their bodies. Pushed back by the brute force of the fire attack, grunts and pokemon alike screamed from the intense heat.
"Come on!" Kyra announced, sprinting by the knocked out grunts and pokemon as more began to charge from behind.
"Don't let them in!" More Pokeballs sprang into the air, releasing a multitude of pokemon to the group's surprise. They roared in unison before releasing a fury of attacks towards Elisa, Kyra and Noah who attempted to get to the chamber's main switch.
However, those attacks were countered almost instantly by multiple attacks of fire, psychic energy and rocks. Jolting her head to the side, Kyra beamed once she noticed Houndoom, Solrock and Aggron standing tall against the remaining Sky grunts. Even with their bodies beyond the verge of collapse, she could feel the determination pouring through them as they released more of their remaining energy to defend them.
"Come on Rotom, please get us in!" Elisa cried. The Plasma pokemon nodded quickly before drilling itself into the door's circuitry. The trio of Trainers screamed with joy once the doors began to groan to life before revealing the room to their hungry eyes.
"Everyone get in!" Kyra ordered, motioning Cole's pokemon to enter before them. Turning to her own pokemon she nodded quickly. "Send them back Windy, Backburner! Dragon Pulse and Flamethrower!"
Multiple cries of shock and disbelief roared from behind the group once the Volcano and Legendary pokemon let out a deafening roar. A super-heated vacuum of heat and debris spewed over the men and women, pushing them back towards the ends of the hallways as the Fire and Dragon attacks incinerated the area.
"Quick, shut the doors!" Elisa pleaded to her Electric partner. As Backburner and Windy jumped through the closing gates, Elisa let out a tired sigh of relief. "That was close-"
Hazel eyes opening despite the fatigue, they quickly bulged once the image before them poured in. The room was very large, about the size of a soccer field. Monitors and pipes littered the floors, like a pool of entwined Sevipers before they all converged on one another to a tall pillar that rose to the ceiling. But what really pulled at the woman's heart was what encircled the entire chamber.
Pokemon of all kinds were chained to the floors, all with some kind of strange black wires snared around their bodies. They all cried and moaned in pain, struggling to move but that only earned more despair as the wires sent out a jolt of unknown energy to silence them.
"T-This...this is what-Cobalt!" Kyra jumped over the machines, ignoring the screams from Kyra as she ran to her pokemon's side. "What did they do to you?!" Tears threatened to fall, but the young girl quickly grasped the wires encircling Swampert's arms. The mudfish opened one eye slowly before attempting to move once it heard Kyra's voice.
"K-Kyra! You don't know what those things are! Wait!" Elisa attempted to call out, but the Trainers were already gone.
"Wartortle, Wingull!" Noah screamed, his voice echoed over the walls, echoing down the chamber. "Where are they-Wartortle!...Wingull!" His fists clenched once a small cry rang against his ears. "There!" Snapping his head to the side, he bolted in the opposite direction of Kyra until he reached his pokemon. "I'll get you out!" He swore, pulling at the wires until a jolt of electricity knocked him off his feet.
"...I-I'm not stopping!" Jumping back to his feet to his pokemon's surprise, Noah launched himself towards the wires once again. Pulling and biting at the black threads, blood began to run from his fingers as he pulled harder. "How dare they...I'm not...I'll never...forgive them for hurting you!"
"They were gathering all these Water pokemon…but for what." Elisa murmured to herself as she watched her friends fight to free their pokemon. "They're all connected...those wires." Hazel eyes narrowed in thought before she eyed the black cords that entangled all the pokemon in the massive chamber. Following that connection, her heart began to race once she noticed their paths converge on the large pillar that centered the room. "...That's!" She stepped forward. There it was. Sitting comfortably in a glass panopticon to watch all the pokemon suffer around it. It was just as haunting as the night she first met it.
"They're using the Ocean Plate!"
"Sir, we'll be arriving at Sky Pillar by nightfall."
Holland nodded once the man in front of him bowed before heading back to his seat in the control room of Aqua Ship One. The Leader of Team Sky smirked to himself as he watched his main men handle the controls from their perch atop the sky ship. Just as Professor Snider envisioned, the Ocean Plate's power was more than enough to even take on the Elite Four!
"By the time we get there, we'll have the land to ourselves. That's more than enough time to search the Pillar for the last key. If we can control Kyogre's power through the Ocean Plate, then we can control Rayquaza when all three are there." Elizabeth estimated, her sharp eyes never leaving the monitors that held a firm gaze on the Ocean chamber.
"And you really think your daughter is going to bring it there?" Holland chirped waiting for a reaction. His hopes were quickly crushed as the Professor of Team Sky turned on her heel and took a seat beside the man.
"She's too diligent to leave questions unanswered...Besides," She turned to him with an annoyed expression. "You should be focusing on your own problems at the moment.
A quizzical look overcame Holland's features before he followed the woman's gaze towards the screens that spanned over the glass windows overlooking the ocean's waters. Red eyes began to flare with anger once a small image emerged. It was coming closer, encroaching on space, like an Illumise to a flame with each passing second.
"We have a visual sir...That's-"
Holland stood to his feet as gasps and howls erupted from within the room once the image cleared.
"He's reckless." Elizabeth smirked as a young man's face was plastered against the screens.
He wasn't stopping.
Moving at speeds he didn't think were possible with Flygon, Cole held his breath as the Mystic pokemon tore through the air, accelerating them towards the sky ship that grew larger with every second. The waters beneath them trailed just behind them, spewing into the air from their mach speed. Like a torpedo honing in on its target, Flygon narrowed its eyes as a flash of light caught its attention ahead.
'What the-' Cole yelped once Flygon wrenched its tail, catapulting the pair high into the sky as a beam of blue energy pierced the ocean waters. Clinging to the dragon's back, Cole's eyes widened in shock as a pillar of water exploded into the air, chasing after them before freezing in place.
"...How can they generate so much power?!" Cole gasped as Flygon rose higher before leveling off. "Flygon, keep it up!"
It nodded, tilting its body to the right as the pair dove closer to the ship.
"Here it comes!" Cole pulled on Flygon to assist. Both Trainer and pokemon grunted from the sheer force of the attack as it jetted through the air like a frozen bolt of lightning.
They were endless.
Cole pulled and yanked, nearly in sync with Flygon as they dodged one attack after another, all the while getting closer to Team Sky. "We're not losing here!" He yelled while another blast of icy energy was launched towards them.
Fire clashed with ice, the stifling air choking Cole and Flygon as they wobbled off their flight path before gliding out of the dense cloud.
"Get up!" Cole's orders were running on sheer instinct at this point as the barrage of ice attacks came in waves. His nails dug into Flygon's scales but he would apologize later. Flygon continued to counter the ship's attacks with its own but Cole quickly noticed a strange hatch opening atop their enemy's body.
"They've got something else-" Cole held his breath as the barrage of ice attacks subsided. Craning his neck higher to get a better view, the winds slapping at his hair, he quickly regretted the choice once he noticed a brilliant flash of blue light spew from the machine's body. It was in the shape of a hand but there was something forming.
"Get out of its range!" The Ground/Dragon pokemon obeyed bursting higher into the air before a deafening screech erupted from ship.
That was the only word his mind could utter as a monstrous twister of water and ice screeched from below like some demon.
Cole gripped onto his pokemon's back, but it felt like the air was literally swallowing him whole. The attack, it felt...alive. It was slashing at his feet while Flygon struggled to pull away from the black hole of water and wind. It was pulling them closer to the vortex!
Cole screamed out, but he had no voice as the hurricane attack clawed at the waters, as if pulling the ocean from the earth itself.
One hand slipped.
'No!' He could feel it now, death was knocking at his door as his hand flailed in the winds, threatening to rip from its socket.
'Live…Live…..Live!' He continued to repeat, near insanity as he closed his hand into a fist.
Thrusting his hand forward as if going to punch himself, Cole felt like his chest was being split in two as his hand slammed into his body before grabbing onto Flygon once more.
Then, as if waking from a terrifying nightmare, it was over. Cole opened his eyes slowly only to gasp once he noticed an array of blue lightning headed towards them.
Roaring with life, the dragon flapped its wings with each narrow evasion. Diving, juking through the air, it grinded its jaw using all of its energy to dodge. But that could only go for so long. Another beam was coming.
"Shoot your Flamethrower, down!" Propelled by its own attack, Cole hung on for dear life as Flygon's attack launched them away from the icy spear. Spinning out of control upwards, Cole hacked and struggled for breath as the whirling air choked at him. They were so close now. He could feel the Plates energy more than ever now!
Cole ordered, pulling himself in the opposite direction to counter their spin. Extending its wings to their fullest, Flygon stopped high above Team Sky's ship before eyeing another barrage of ice attacks. Releasing its own barrage of fire attacks, Flygon dove closer to the ship while dodging each ice attack. They were almost there, they could feel it.
"No!" Cole cried once a beam of ice suddenly split, catching Flygon off-guard. It screeched in pain once the attack clipped the dragon's wing. Brown eyes bulging with despair, Cole cried out as he and his pokemon fell from the skies towards Aqua Ship One.
Slamming onto the steel frame of the air blimp, Cole hardened his body as much as possible as he rolled along its metal surface before sliding to the edge of the ship's body. The deafening roar of the propeller blades around him, he fought the intense pain throbbing throughout his body as he fought for some balance. Gasping for air, Cole snagged onto an antenna before turning his attention below. The winds were slapping at his face, but he could see Flygon falling fast towards the raging waters, its wing frozen in place as shards of crystal broke off into the raging gale.
"RETURN!" Yanking at his belt, Cole gritted his teeth as the beam of red light pierced Flygon's body. Just barely. But that was more than enough. The drone of the propellers rang through his ears, but Cole let out a sigh of relief before pulling the Pokeball to this chest. Shaking his head, he opened his eyes before glancing up.
Concluding his thought process, Cole made a deep breath before lifting himself towards the steel ladder that extended from the bottom of the ship's body towards the strange weapon's gates. Whatever that thing was, he was going in head first.
Holland let out a breath he didn't know he was holding as the monitors turned black upon hitting Flygon with their weapon.
"He's reckless and persistent." Elizabeth concluded before the doors to their room suddenly opened.
The woman flinched from the panic in the grunt's voice.
"Someone broke into the Ocean Chamber!" The room fell silent as the woman quickly turned to the screens and pointed to the monitors as they pulled up an image of a group of people and pokemon.
"I'll handle it." Elizabeth turned on her heel once her daughter's face emerged. Pulling a Pokeball from her lab coat, the woman pushed the grunt from her sight as she made her way towards the Ocean Chamber.
"Coome on!...Move!" Kyra cried but to no avail as the black wires remained locked in place. Turning to her pokemon she huffed in frustration as the others seemed to be struggling to free the other pokemon as well. "The chains are too strong to break, we'll have to use attacks-"
"We can't hurt them anymore!" Noah shot back, sweat running down his brow as he pulled at the black wires again. "What about Cole's pokemon-can't they help!"
"They're a little busy-" Kyra gasped once the massive doors to the Ocean Chamber bulged. Silence, then another horrendous bang against the steel frames. Houndoom, Aggron and Solrock struggled mightily, their energy low enough as is, they grunted in pain and frustration as the guards from outside slammed into the doors repeatedly.
Elisa flinched once she noticed the ceiling of the room suddenly shift and rumble to life. What was going on above? Groaning in pain, she shook the thoughts from her head before focusing on the only barrier that held Team Sky off.
Noah and Kyra gasped in shock once more and more pokemon began to lift themselves up. Panic, frustration, they were all reaching the boiling point now. Eyes widening in shock, Kyra hissed once she noticed one of the locked up Crawdaunts form a ball of energy in its claw.
"Wait!" It was too late, the Rogue pokemon launched a Water Pulse attack towards a group of water pokemon at the other end of the chamber. Crying in pain from the surprise attack, a Cloyster screamed at the Crawdaunt before launching several attacks from its spiky exterior.
"ARR!" Kyra jumped to her feet once she heard Arcanine's cry. The Gyarados it was trying to free let out a jet of water, sending the Legendary dog to crash against the steel haul.
"Weren't they just struggling to move in the first place?!" Noah jumped once Wartortle and Wingull began to twitch with life.
"It must be that stupid plate!" Kyra yelled, turning to Elisa who remained plastered against the steel doors with Cole's pokemon. "Elisa! Your backpack!" Despite the chaos around them, a strange green light was beginning to emerge from the depths of the researcher's bag.
"If they keep this up…" Elisa's voice shook with each thunderous hit against their only safety against the rest of Team Sky. Pressing her body against the doors again, she held her breath in attempt to stiffen herself. Anything to help stop their advances.
Flinching, Lucario suddenly took his arms off the steel doors, catching Elisa's attention. 'Get away from the-'
Screaming in pain, Elisa choked for air as a massive explosion launched her and the pokemon high into the air before crashing into the pile of cables that littered the floors. "Wh-What was that?!" Head still spinning, hazel eyes shook with fear once four figures emerged from the smoke.
"...To be honest, I'm more surprised that you would challenge Team Sky alone, Elisa."
Kyra and Noah froze in their spot once Elizabeth's stone cold glare crushed them in place. She suddenly crossed her arms as Cole's pokemon attempted to get to their feet.
Eyeing the rampaging beasts that broke from their chains one after the other, a vein bulged from sheer irritation before she turned to her Poliwrath and Froslass.
The trio of Trainers could only look on helplessly as Poliwrath quickly launched itself into the unsuspecting Gyarados, slamming its head against the steel walls. Froslass moved just as quickly, multiple Ice Beams launched from its appendages, striking the wild pokemon without mercy, creating living sculptures of ice.
"Stop this!" Noah cried as the attacks came to halt. The room was silent despite the raging fires from outside. "What good are you trying to do for the world by hurting pokemon?!" He turned to Wartortle and Wingull who now stood by his side. "Keep your sick fantasies to yourself!"
"Fantasies?" Elizabeth almost laughed at the boy's words before turning her attention to the Ocean Plate that was beginning to shine brightly once again. "...In the past, yes this was a fantasy. But absolute control of ancient pokemon will become my reality! Now if you please-"
Flinching from what sounded like cables snapping like twigs, Elizabeth gasped once a jet of water ripped through the air towards her. "How-" Raising her arm above her face, Elizabeth narrowed her eyes once her Sneasel countered the attack by slashing it in half. "Hmm," sharp hazel hardened once they noticed a massive mud fish pokemon glaring in their direction. It was the girl's Swampert. "Looks like you have more than just a bark."
"As if we're just going to sit back and let you do whatever you want! Backburner, Flamethrower! Viggy, Slash!" Launching itself from behind Kyra, Vigoroth let out a terrible screech as it raised its sharpened claws towards Elizabeth.
Kyra gasped once Sneasel leaped from the floor towards the Wild Monkey pokemon. Before she could utter a response, Sneasel's black fur glowed a deep red before Vigoroth collided head on. It hollered in pain, its body twitching sporadically before it was sent back towards the pile of cables.
Poliwrath immediately flexed its arms while launching a Water Gun, countering Quilava's attack to the group's surprise before slamming its fist into the Volcano pokemon. "You're outclassed here, girl." Elizabeth announced as Kyra's pokemon were knocked back with ease. "There's no way-"
Hazel eyes widened in shock once Sneasel gagged in pain, a glowing paw striking it in the face before being sent back into the hell behind Elizabeth. "That's!" The researcher took a step back once Lucario got into a fighting stance, its glare targeted towards her. It suddenly hit her like a freight train, that was the Riolu that-
"Don't stop now!" Elisa yelled at the top of her lungs, catching everyone off-guard as their last chance leaped into the air with is surprising speed. "Bullet Punch!" Its fist glowing a brilliant silver, Lucario dive-bombed towards Elizabeth. "Rotom, help us please!"
"Froslass, Blizzard!" Raising its hand to the skies, the Snow Land pokemon spewed a wave of icy wind upwards, slamming into Lucario. The Aura pokemon cried out, covering its face from the attack, but it was hurled further upwards before slamming into the ceiling with a heavy force. Cracks imprinted in every direction from the impact as Froslass continued its onslaught.
"Poliwrath!" Blasting a high-powered jet of water from its center, Elizabeth smirked as a horrible cry erupted behind her.
"...Ohhh?" Taking a quick glance, Elizabeth almost laughed once she noticed the pained look on Rotom's small face. Who would have guessed that her daughter would have more pokemon? "Ice Punch." Slamming its fist into Rotom's body with frightening speed, Elisa dropped to her knees as the small pokemon screeched with pain. "Nice cheap shot." Elizabeth mused as Poliwrath lifted the Electric/Ghost high into the air before punching it upwards to the ceiling to join Lucario's struggling form.
"Now get her!"
Kyra and Noah gasped in shock once the Tadpole pokemon jumped high into the air before grabbing Elisa to her surprise. She screamed out in pain as it lifted her off the floor. Coughing for air, her legs kicked and thrashed as Elizabeth snickered from the entrance.
"I knew you would come after us, but to go it alone...Well you have changed. But it ends here! Don't try to be the hero, Elisa!...Now Poliwrath, get me that-"
Everyone jumped in shock once a deafening explosion erupted from the center of the room. Snapping her attention to the Ocean Plate, Elizabeth's jaw dropped once she noticed the ancient treasure radiate a brilliant light before sending multiple beams of energy from its core.
"Dammit!...It's already reacting with the Sky Plate!" Elizabeth swore as she dropped to the floor, narrowly dodging a beam of energy. Another explosion ripped from the far side of the room, the energy from the ancient treasure was taking its toll just from the sheer proximity of the Sky Plate. "...Amazing!"
"Cobalt, help out Noah's pokemon!" Kyra cried over the screams of pokemon and destruction around her. The Water/Ground type obeyed, lifting itself from the mess of black wires before heading to Noah. Turning her attention to Houndoom who continued to watch the Ocean Plate's attacks, she quickly ran to the pokemon's side.
"Houndoom, we can't let Elisa get captured by them! Please!" The fire hound lit up to Kyra's surprise before barking at Aggron, Solrock and Nidoking. Her brow furrowing in confusion, she was about to ask before a horrendous laugh echoed throughout the chamber.
"Not so fast!"
Flinching from the words, Kyra gasped once she noticed Poliwrath was no longer present. "W-Where did she go-" Freezing up, Kyra stepped back once she noticed Poliwrath holding Elisa through the hole in the ship. "...You wouldn't-"
"Now Elisa!" Elizabeth announced over the roaring winds as her daughter struggled to free herself. "Give me the Sky Plate! Join us! Then we can both witness the true power of legendary pokemon!" That wicked smile quickly dropped however once Elisa shook her head repeatedly.
'No…' She wouldn't let her mother get away with this. All along...she had been working for Team Aqua...
But what could she do now?
Gazing up to the ceiling where Lucario and Rotom struggled to free themselves, regret encircled her neck along with Poliwrath. She then turned to Kyra and Noah who remained still. Finally, the pokemon...Cole's pokemon as well. Her recklessness led to this conclusion...Elisa did not want her mother to win...But if she could prevent them from controlling Rayquaza then…
Elizabeth dropped her hand to her side once her daughter's decision was made. "Take the plate...and drop her."
"ELISA!" Kyra and Noah cried in unison once Poliwrath freed the girl from its grasp.
Elizabeth's rising smirk quickly turned to a look of utter confusion. Her daughter remained in place?! "W-What is this-"
Suddenly a figure slammed into Poliwrath. It grunted in surprise, sliding across the floor from the forceful impact before looking up at its attacker.
"It's-" Kyra choked on her words, a smile brimming as a man quickly stood between Elisa and Poliwrath.
"Thanks Solrock!" Cole shouted over the roaring winds before grabbing Elisa's from outside. Slamming onto the steel floor, Elisa's eyes widened once she noticed a relieved smile flashing in her direction.
"C-Cole?! How did you-But I thought-" She gasped once she noticed the blood running down from the man's arm. "You're hurt!"
"It's alright!...I can still fight!" He countered quickly before getting to his knees.
Elizabeth's sharp gaze remained on the man as he pulled himself and her daughter to their feet. "All of this...No…No…NO!"
Cole's eyes hardened as Lucario and Rotom collapsed against the floor in a heap. Elizabeth's voice rose with each breath. Glancing at his pokemon, his heart sank once he noticed their beaten bodies and lifeless expressions. He came here to save them. So this time-
"You have gone far enough child! Froslass!"
"Cole!" Elisa screamed once Cole used the last of his strength to fling the woman away from him. Sliding along the floor, hazel eyes shook as a bolt of ice pierced Cole's arm, blasting him towards the hole in the ship.
"Hooun!" Sprinting forward, the fire hound leaped into the air with its fangs flaring red.
"Circle Throw!" The Dark/Fire type could only yelp with surprise once Poliwrath grabbed Houndoom by the throat before spinning in mid-air with the dog. Using its thick arms, Poliwrath flung the fire hound towards Cole who was barely hanging onto the broken edges of the ship's exterior. Coughing in pain, Houndoom struggled to move as Cole's legs dangled along the frame of the ship.
"Elisa I won't say this again, hand it over!" Elizabeth screamed as her Poliwrath landed in front of Houndoom's beaten form. Its fists began to glow a bright yellow.
"Elisa!" Kyra screamed, holding her hands out as if to reach her brother's struggling form. "Hurry and do what she says!"
"Don't do it!"
Hazel eyes shook with complete shock. 'That's-'
"Hand it over Elisa!"
"Just do what she says, don't hurt Cole!"
"Don't do it Elisa!"
"You're making a big mistake! Don't do it!"
"Listen to me!"
"Don't do it!" Cole cried, his fingers threatening to snap like twigs from the weight of his body. His left arm frozen stiff, his legs dangling in the winds...If he was going to die now. Then at least-
"They will destroy everything! You can't trust them!...Don't give in, ELISA!"
"Poliwrath. Finish him-"
Elizabeth took a step back from the sudden outburst. It was so loud. So angry and scared. Exactly what she wanted out of her. Elizabeth's hazel eyes widened with shock once a glowing green plate slid across the steel floors before tapping against her foot. "Good...Good girl." A chuckle, followed by another. Elizabeth laughed as she hoisted the treasure into the air. Finally they had them.
All Three Dragon Plates!
"I'm honestly surprised." Team Sky's Professor announced as Poliwrath reached for Cole's arm before pulling him up to everyone's surprise. "Back then, your knowledge and passion for legendary pokemon made me question your love for myself and the rest of the family. It was perfect. You placed your imagination above all else and put them second...I wanted to ensure that you would hold research of pokemon above everything else...It was for your growth...I thought you would turn out to be...just like me."
Kyra, Elisa, Noah and the pokemon gasped in shock once Poliwrath slammed its fist into Cole's stomach, knocking him out instantly.
"You let superficial feelings for people get in the way...Why do you think I left the family?" Elisa clutched at her chest as her mother smirked from that reaction. "They only hold you back. I left so that you would focus on becoming a Pokemon Researcher. In order for you to strive for knowledge on all of the legends in the world! I wanted you to become the perfect expert on Legendary Pokemon!...But, holding onto feelings limits our ability to learn more about the world, Elisa."
"...No...Stop, please!...I did what you wanted!...You have the Dragon Plates-Mom! Please-"
"He's the reason for your change...He's the reason that you limit yourself...Let's fix that."
Flicking its wrist like throwing away trash, Poliwrath tossed Cole overboard towards the raging waters below.
Kyra had heard many terrible cries from wild pokemon before.
Her own voice was lost from what was happening, but Elisa released such a blood curdling scream. It was like the pain and anguish of everyone around them forced its way into Elisa's small body once her brother vanished from her eyes.
Digging her nails into the steel floor, Elisa clawed at the ground to increase her speed before sprinting for the side of the ship to everyone's surprise. Before Elizabeth, or even Poliwrath could react-
Falling head first, the sounds of the ship's propellers were soon drowned out as the screech of wind surrounded her. She could see it. A single arm bobbing in the rampant waters as she prepared for impact.
Piercing its surface, Elisa was met with an icy crunch of water, submerging her ears, the thrashing water engulfed her as she dove into its murky depths. Gasping for air as she resurfaced, she tore through the waves. Struggling…..fighting….Her body was using some unknown ability she never knew existed. Salt stung her eyes, but they refused to lose sight of that single arm as it slowly descended.
She did not scream, nor even think at this point. Instead, Elisa slashed through the waters with even more fervor.
She wasn't thinking at all. Just moving. Moving towards him. Cole. Raising her beaten arms high into the air, Eilsa took a single deep breath before diving underwater. She could hardly make it out, but there it was. A single beacon in the endless darkness of the ocean. It was still glowing.
Kicking her legs, she could feel the agonizing fire that clawed at her lungs, legs, her entire body, but she was not stopping. She would not stop. Snagging it like a still fish, Elisa yanked onto Cole's still body. With him in her grasp, her energy did not fade. No.
She felt stronger.
Kicking with everything….everything she had, Elisa rocketed through the freezing cage of the ocean before exploding through its surface.
Her eyes shot in every direction for land. Anything to bring this man to and there it was. Eilsa took in a deep breath, kicking once again while pulling the half submerged body through the waters as a massive piece of land granted her wish.
Noah cried before running towards the edges of the ship. He swiftly turned on his heel to glare at Elizabeth's surprised face. "Are you insane?!"
The Professor of Team Sky kissed her teeth in response, oblivious to the boy's bewildered look as she eyed the pillar. "Even though I have the Sky Plate…seems like the Ocean Plate is still acting out of order…Perhaps-"
Noah's jaw dropped from the woman's words. She really didn't care?! This is how the people of Team Magma and Aqua treated others?! Stomping his foot angrily, the young sailor quickly pulled Houndoom from the floor before turning to Kyra and the pokemon.
"Cobalt! Please release my pokemon! Kyra!"
Shaken brown eyes blinked with surprise from the words. Kyra peeled her eyes from where Cole and Elisa once stood before turning to Noah. He was angry. She had never seen him like this before. She flinched. He was saying something but her head was still spinning from everything that just happened.
"W-What-" Before she could turn around, Kyra gasped once she felt a pair of thick arms hoist her high into the air. "W-What are you doing?...Cobalt?!" Gazing down in confusion, Kyra took in a sharp breath once she noticed Cobalt was running with her towards their only exit.
"Let them go." Elizabeth ordered to Poliwrath's surprise as the mass of injured pokemon; Wartortle, Wingull, Solrock, Lucario, Rotom, Aggron, Nidoking, Arcanine, Vigoroth and Quilava all headed towards the exit. "...They can't stop us."
Screaming for dear life, Kyra could feel her stomach threatening to escape through her chest as a rush of cold wind overwhelmed her. Falling through the air, she clasped her goggles to her eyes. Taking in the view around her, she stared in awe at the setting sun, peeking through the clouds as everyone fell towards the ocean.
"Here we go!" Noah cried before making a massive splash. A tower of saltwater shot into the sky from the impact, orbs of water glittering in the late sun as everyone attempted to swim for their lives. Coughing from the water that entered her nose, Kyra blinked away the shock of the impact as Cobalt quickly rose out of the waters. "Where are they-Where!" Her eyes darted over the uneven waters. Wincing from the red rays that bounced off the murky pool around her, she could see the pokemon fighting the waves. Rotom was floating above Wartortle who was carrying Lucario…Solrock was supporting Aggron's attempt to surf…Windy was paddling with Viggy and Backburner...Nidoking was surfing as well...but where.
"Noah!" She screamed at the boy as he pulled Houndoom from the waters. Moving through the ocean's currents with ease, Cobalt quickly grabbed Noah and Houndoom before shifting the trio onto his back. "Get Wingull to find them!"
"I'm on it!"
Kicking. Kicking. Her energy was mounting with each stroke through the waters as memories of her home flashed through by her eyes. When she used to swim as a kid…there were beaches. Yes. Many beaches when she was a kid. That meant.
Screaming at the top of her lungs, Elisa hauled Cole from the waters onto a small patch of sandy surf. He dropped to the earth, lifeless to the girl's surprise. Still gasping for air, she swung her head against his chest, shaking wildly with anticipation.
'...No. He's not-'
Her body moved without thinking. The thundering waves around them. The shrill cries of bird pokemon above. None of that matter as Elisa swallowed Cole's lips for her own. They were big...and rough….yet still warm as she stamped her lips against his flesh. Rising from deep within her core, her nails dug into the earth as she breathed life into the man.
"Ahhh!" Yanking herself from him, tears started to stream from her trembling eyes as she put both of her hands over Cole's chest. "Breathe!...Come on, Cole!…..Breathe!..."
Would she lose him...
"You need to….Breathe!...You need to LIVE!"
She screamed out again before slamming her fist against Cole's chest.
Then…as if the sweetest music had just graced her ears.
She heard it.
Gagging...coughing. Hazel eyes flashed open only to shut once again once saltwater splattered against her face. She remained silent, watching closely as Cole rose, thrashing on the wet sand in a daze before finally just leaning onto his elbows as he choked for as much as air as possible.
"...W-Where...Where am-" Jolting with surprise, Cole fought the urge to close his eyes from the sun's rays reflecting off the waters around them but something warm was pressing against his body. "...Elisa?" He mumbled in disarray as a lock of wet dark brown hair rubbed against his chin. He exhaled, the smell of saltwater quickly rising within.
Cole opened his eyes further as the words kissed his ears. Focusing his attention on the girl pressed against his chest, he remained silent as she struggled to stay still. She was still shaking.
"...I'm sorry Cole!" She cried, her words hoarse as she pulled harder against his torn clothes. "...I judged you because you were a part of Team Magma…I questioned my trust…because…because. Just because of what you did!...I didn't even give you a chance to explain anything!" Digging her head further into his chest, she wailed as more waves crashed against the sandy beach around them.
"Back then…I only used you for my own selfish reasons! I just used you! I...I didn't know…I-I only wanted to prove myself to other Researchers...That's why I used you to help me find the plates-but now…I-I'm sorry…If I didn't give my mother the treasure…I would be just like her! I didn't want to put that plate before you!" Pulling her head from the depths of his jacket, Elisa's eyes were blood red as she sobbed further. "I don't want to be like her anymore!...If it means having to lose you-I'd rather-"
"H-Huh?" Elisa huffed, taken back by Cole's stern expression as he stared deep into her eyes. Her confusion only rose once he grabbed her by the shoulders before pulling her into a hug.
"If you never became a Researcher…We would have never met!"
Hazel eyes widening in shock, Elisa stopped shaking once Cole squeezed her harder against his body. "...But-"
"I'm no different Elisa." He breathed, his fingers running through her drenched hair to calm her. "...I used you as well...When I was kicked out of Team Magma...I looked for anything...anyone that would bring me back to my pokemon!..I put you in harms way...forced you into things...and even risked your life! I didn't believe in myself to get my Shedinja and Nidoking back...so I used you!" Cole blinked away his tears before taking a deep breath.
"Do not give up on your dreams for me, Elisa!...I love you too much for that." He whispered those words without a second thought, feeling her body relax between his arms.
"I don't want to use you for selfish reasons anymore…I need you by my side! Together!"
Elisa remained still. Her body felt weak…No, strong...but weak. She couldn't explain it. It was weak...but in a good way. Her breathing slowed to its regular pace...Those words made her feel so….. Elisa raised her hand to the Cole's cheek, smiling softly, melting from his warm expression.
He was right.
They had been playing one another for far too long. Using each other to accomplish their own goals. But this time it would be different. This time, they would work together. By not being honest with him, she nearly travelled the same road as her mother. Shredding the connection she formed in the past. This time...she would make a real one with him on this day. She was not an innocent, pure girl. She had her demons...just as Cole had his.
"I love you."