A pair of young adults fought their way through the glass doors of a large building. If an onlooker had the opportunity to witness such an event between these two inseparable twins, they would believe that they were simply having a race or skirmish. This was not the case however as both blue-haired Gym Leaders kept their sharp eyes glued to the grey waters under the horizon.
Turning to her brother, Liza's grim look darkened as the two exchanged a multitude of thoughts in a heartbeat. The sun's rays were blocked out from above, a coat of grey clouds hanging over their city that was absent of life so early in the morning.
Tate then flinched, catching his sister's attention as he turned to the West. His body began to tremble to the young woman's surprise before he clutched a Pokeball from his belt. "...We need to go now." Even though he was known more as the calmer of the two, Tate's voice was uncharacteristically uneasy as both suddenly turned their attention to the West.
Another intense energy source. So familiar, yet unknown at the same time. Liza pulled a Pokeball from her belt as well before nodding. "...Brawly, Winnona and Wattson."
"Let's go." Two large bursts of light radiated in front of Mossdeep, earning small cries from nearby wild pokemon before two large rock pokemon, in the shape of a crescent moon and sun materialized in front of them. Grabbing onto their own, Tate and Liza quickly burst from the earth, flying on the psychic energy of their pokemon as they rose higher and higher above the massive island.
Their eyes narrowed, sending commands to their pokemon before the winds slashed at their faces, their speed increasing as they moved towards Dewford Town and the core of the natural phenomena.
Soaring through the skies, a man remained silent, the screech of the gale around him falling on deaf ears as he stared at the scene below. His Skarmory mirrored its Trainer's feelings, eyeing the waters in silence.
Water pokemon. Flying Pokemon. More than he could count gathered in mass along the ocean route. They were all staring in one direction to the man's surprise, staring like a child to a star as his Skarmory powered through the skies above them, completely oblivious to the Trainer and pokemon. He had never seen anything like this before. What were they all there for?
"...Unbelievable." Steven murmured to himself before sneaking a glance to the Southern waters. "Pokemon are so in-tune with nature...They must be sensing a disaster before it even happens." Steven ran a hand along Skarmory's armoured body, earning a small cry in return.
"We're running out of time my friend...Let's hurry!"
"Are you ready? Let's go!" Yelling over the roaring winds around her, a woman quickly tossed a Pokeball into the brown sky. In a bright flash of light, a massive circular rock pokemon appeared before extending its limbs to their extent. It landed with a heavy thud, shaking the earth around itself to the woman's delight before turning to its Trainer. She stared at her pokemon for a few seconds before turning back to the large city of stone with a dim look.
Wrapping a light turban around her dark locks, Roxanne nodded to herself before she pulled out her PokeNav. A deep frown pulled at her lips once she reread the text plastered in her inbox.
Hoenn Emergency: Groudon and Kyogre Spotted
Despite the dread nipping at her heart, the young Gym Leader refused to cower at a time like this.
"The others must be there already…We can't let anyone get caught in their battle this time-Golem!" She called the Megaton pokemon who quickly waddled over to her side. "Use Dig!" Nodding, Golem quickly retracted its body parts before it began to rotate with an incredible speed. Roxanne smiled to herself as her pokemon made quick work of the soft earth beneath their feet before she glanced deep into the darkness of the hole.
"If we can't fly over this sandstorm...We'll simply tunnel under it!" Jumping in, Roxanne could feel her racing heartbeat as she made her way to their closest enemy.
"-Where are you going?"
His hand flinching from the metal door knob that sealed him from the outside world, dark brown eyes slowly turned to a woman. She stared at the man; a simple white t-shirt covered his chest along with a pair of black jeans that had clearly seen better days.
"...Good morning." Cole nodded slowly with a faint smile before clenching his hand into a fist. "...I just need to go for a walk."
"You're not hungry?" She moved closer to the man, earning a bewildered look. She eyed him for a few seconds, noticing his shifty eyes and clenched jawline. "...If you want to talk, I'm all ears." The excitement of knowing someone who tangled with Team Magma and Aqua, Emma's imagination was getting the better of her. "Elly told me about your past the other night-"
Cole remained silent, fixated on the floorboards.
"If she trusts you…then I will too. So where are you really going?"
"I need to talk." Emma's eyes narrowed from the words before Cole matched her gaze. "...With my pokemon."
Placing a hand on her hip, Emma let out a huff before turning on her heel towards the kitchen. "Hurry back, Mossdeep is already under lockdown. If anyone finds you, you'll be in big trouble!"
"...Thank you, Emma."
Taking in deep breaths, Cole gazed upon the grey skies.
He never liked that feeling. He swallowed a knot in his throat once he noticed not a single ray descend upon the murky waters. With each thunderous roar of water against rock, Cole shuffled his feet through the sticky sands before stopping at the edge of Mossdeep's coastline.
He took another deep breath, Beautifly flapping in his stomach as he stared at his feet, and then back to the ocean before him. He could feel it, yet he did not want to admit it. He could not be like this once he spoke to them.
Would they listen?...Would he tell them?
Cole clenched his fists, taking another deep breath. They were his family. His best friends...If they were to-
"Come on out!" Five Pokeballs flew into the air, spinning with a high velocity before snapping open. The familiar sound of figures materializing, the sudden presence of their bodies around him. It was nostalgic...yet those sounds...These sights of his pokemon may become permanent memories stemming from what would happen next.
Houndoom, Solrock, Aggron, Flygon and Nidoking appeared before Cole. Feeling the chilling breeze kiss their bodies, they glanced at their surroundings. All of them had mixed emotions, Cole could tell. He had spent so many years with them...it was very easy now to identify their little quirks. Houndoom dug at the wet sand with annoyance, Aggron turned its attention to the ocean, looking for something along with Flygon, Nidoking was focused on him and Solrock continued to hover like a frozen image in the air.
"Everyone." Cole called out, catching their attention. He attempted to move his leg, failed, tried again before finally letting out a huff of frustration. "...Everyone."
He moved. Walking towards Nidoking first who narrowed its eyes at him, Cole hesitated with his hand before placing his bandaged fingers against its purple scales. Nidoking stared at the man with nothing but surprise before he moved towards Flygon who watched the exchange carefully. "Nidoking."
Cole then placed his hand a top Flygon's head, his tender expression never changing. "Flygon."
"Solrock." He continued to move along his five partners. The Meteorite pokemon gazed into Cole's eyes as he ran his fingers along its hard surface.
"Houndoom." The fire hound did not flinch as Cole combed his fingers along its black fur.
"...Aggron." Craning his head upward, he let out another breath, sliding his hand against its impregnable steel coat.
All five pokemon remained silent as Cole turned on his heel before making his way to the middle.
They watched him.
He watched them.
If this was going to be goodbye, then he would keep this feeling within his heart to the very end. They were nearing the end of this journey...Just like Elisa, he would not hold back anymore.
"...I've been terrible to all of you." He started, his voice wavering as the words he had bottled finally began to pour. "...Not just over these past weeks...but over the years too…I've made a lot of mistakes…Back then, I was scared to face real challenges...like the championships….and I let you guys down. I turned to Team Magma, lying to you and myself, saying that we would get stronger by joining them….but I only ended up hurting you and others around us…..Mom….Dad...everyone in Lavaridge, they wanted what was best for us….but I didn't push myself….I couldn't live up to their standards….and now I'm scared that I'm not living up to yours either."
Swallowing the knot in his throat, he continued.
"I was given chances….Chances to change myself, our path and become a better person...A better Trainer for all of you so that we could grow together…..I didn't commit to those changes...and we ended up staying with Team Magma...living an average life...as thieves for people that were washed up years ago." Clenching his fists, Cole slammed the bandaged limb to his chest, earning mixed reactions.
"I don't know if I can be…the one…The one to stop all of this…But this time I won't give up until the end!...My choices cost us...we lost...we even lost family because of my choices…Shed...Shedinja is...gone-" Tears stabbed at his sight as his pokemon darkened from the words, but he would not stop here. He had to be.
He just had to be. His true feelings.
"I can't bring Shedinja back...Before I've…I've given you words of encouragement even when I knew the outcome of our past battles...I've put all of you in danger because of my own selfish reasons...I've used you...and I don't want us to be like that anymore. Ever again…This time…I really can't give you a quick answer-I don't have a full-proof plan-I'm not perfect…I don't know how I'm going to do this...but I won't quit. I won't run anymore…I've always decided what's best for us...and screwed up. So this time...I'm leaving this decision up to you…"
Houndoom, Aggron, Flygon, Solrock and Nidoking held their breaths as Cole fell to his knees and slammed his head into the sands.
"I will take on Holland and Team Sky no matter what!...But I won't force any of you-I won't use any of you to achieve my goals…If you don't believe in me anymore...If you don't believe…If you don't believe in me anymore...then I won't stop you."
'...You haven't cried like a baby in a loooong time.'
"Huh?!" Dark brown eyes snapped open. Everything was blurry as he rose his head before he glanced at his arm.
That emerald glow...
That's right...Rayquaza handed him this power...To communicate with his pokemon! He stared at it for a few seconds before the ground shook at his feet. Turning to his pokemon, Cole flinched once his vision was obscured by a wall of steel. Looking upwards, Cole's lips parted in awe as Aggron smirked at him.
'You always used to cry...so I was getting kinda worried there...Glad to see you back, Cole.' The massive Steel pokemon turned around, watching the others, waiting patiently as roar of the ocean fell on their silence.
Crawling to the side, Cole suddenly felt his chest tighten with such a force, he gasped. Houndoom remained still, its gaze focused on his wide eyes. Turning to Solrock, the Meteorite pokemon hovered quietly above the wet sands.
"Please!" Cole blurted out as his pokemon remained still. "Please…Please...just talk to me! I can hear you now!"
'...I don't get why he's acting so surprised,' Cole jolted his head to Flygon who scratched at its stomach with a tired yawn. 'It's like its his first time talking to us or something.'
'...I bet he just didn't want to talk to you. You are the weird one anyway.' Aggron smirked, earning a sharp glare.
"Fly-...Flygon!" Cole cried, his heart lifting from the words echoing in his head. They...They still trusted him!
Hearing the sand spit up water, Cole turned to his right. Nidoking was walking towards him! Never in his life had he felt such happiness wash over him. They were...They were coming back! "...T-Thank you...Thank you-"
Cole dug his nails into the ground. It was agonizing...Why wasn't he talking to him?! It worked for Aggron and Flygon! Snapping his attention to his arm, "Why can't I hear him?!" Cole screamed out, yet the light glittered in the faint morning rays.
'I promised-' Cole flinched as the memories of the Desert Ruins erupted from within. False hopes...He gave Nidoking the false hope that he would never let him get captured again...that he would never abandon him.
"No-Please!" Cole choked on his words as Nidoking turned around, its eyes fixated on the waters. "...I tried my best to stop Holland from getting his hands on the plates! Do you think I would just hand you over to them again?! Just tell me what you're thinking-Please!"
'If you're truly connected...then you would never need to ask that question, Cole.'
Flinching from the words, Cole turned his attention to Solrock who suddenly began to glow a deep purple. Rising to his feet, Cole blinked with surprise as the Rock/Psychic type swatted the tears from the man's eyes.
'Asking us for an answer should have come to you as foolish.' Solrock's aura quickly dissipated before it glanced to Nidoking. '...If you're like this...then that means You must not trust...us...We've given you everything, yet you believe that we are holding back.'
"W-Wait!" Cole held out his hand but was stopped once a black figure jumped in front of him, cutting him off from Solrock and Nidoking.
'They've made their decision, Cole.' Piercing red eyes flashed upwards. 'You've given us the choice...and you now have your answers.'
"...Nidoking...Solrock…" The words slipped from his mouth, but they felt empty, incomplete as the pair moved further and further away.
His weak will led to this outcome.
Frozen in place, Cole's body trembled as Nidoking slowly made its way into the grey waters before surfing beyond his sight. Solrock glanced back at its friends before heading towards the waters as well, away from the Trainer that had long ago lost his light.
His selfishness led to this outcome.
Cole dropped to his knees. Cold…it felt so cold…Grasping at his chest, Cole fought the horrific urge to vomit. He choked for air, but it was like his lungs weren't working. Why wasn't he breathing?! He choked again...again...again….again.
Houndoom, Aggron and Flygon remained silent as the man let out his anguish. They did not dare move an inch as the man finally let it all go. Tears rained down into the puddles underneath him, but they simply disappeared into the vast pool around him.
Slamming his fists into the earth, Cole cried out to the world as pieces of himself finally tore from his heart. Memories of seeing that little Nidoran…that cool-looking sun pokemon years ago….they were breaking him…Literally breaking him as he slammed his fists into the earth. Nidoking never really liked battling, he remembered that, but all the pokemon back on the farm were scared of him when he first visited Lavaridge. Yes, but he was very kind...so kind, he would only battle because he would ask him too…Solrock...It was always so quiet...He really liked it when it always spun during the sunsets, quirky, funny and silent. They were just like people to him. Yes, he remembered all of it. Didn't he battle with Solrock in Mossdeep against Tate and Liza too? A Psychic battle? He was so excited back then. The Gym battle against Norman…Nidoking was by his side, right? Y-Yes that was when he first evolved him with a Moon Stone…Also...That time back in the grasslands near Lilycove-Solrock loved that area he remembered-