The Last Night
She hated heights.
Hazel eyes wandered to the world below for a fraction of a second as winds sang an endless chorus around her, a constant reminder of where she was. Shuddering from the sensation, she looked on as a line of tall waves crashed against a massive mountain of white stone endlessly…that was Sootopolis.
She hated heights.
Elisa quickly closed her eyes as her stomach churned, the dragon that she rode upon making a sudden dip in the vast sea of sky. She hated this feeling, but as she squeezed harder against something warm, the urge to open her eyes and see the world rose through her being in an instant. Gazing upward to a mess of black hair that danced wildly through the winds, she smiled to herself before looking down once again.
The ocean matched the sky in a number of ways; seemingly endless from her point of view and painted a golden and purple hue as the sun's last rays sparkled over the waters. She narrowed her eyes as the waters were peppered with many creatures, all surfing in unison, the same path that they were taking. All water pokemon; would they be helping them?
They were scared, but would be there nonetheless. Wild pokemon from all over were moving as one, it was a phenomena in of itself. They were nearing their destination, she could feel it as Flygon flapped its broad wings once again, avoiding the flocks of Flying pokemon around them while listening to Cole's words as he guided them back to the world below.
As the pair descended, Elisa narrowed her eyes as the thick veil of grey covered her hometown behind her while two seemingly opposite environments split down the middle behind Sootopolis' mountain.
A rusty brown covered the lands just North, while ominous black clouds took their sides to the South. It was amazing, the sheer influence that Groudon and Kyogre had over Hoenn's climate just with their existence alone. So why were they seemingly fine right now?
That was easy.
She frowned as Flygon dipped lower towards the ocean, the sound of crashing waves reaching the woman's ears. This was Rayquaza's territory.
"We'll be landing here for now!"
Elisa looked up as Cole shouted the words over the winds. Nodding, she was surprised that she could actually squeeze him harder as Flygon swang through the currents of gale before sliding to a stop on a small patch of sandy beach. Jumping off with the help of Cole, Elisa rolled her neck tiredely before going through a system of long stretches.
Flygon let out a tired huff before flexing its wings as well then lying onto the soft earth. Cole, dropping the goggles from his brow stretched with his pokemon before turning to the surprisingly calm waters around them. Water pokemon of all kinds; Magikarps...Tentacruels...Staryu and Clamperl as well….They were all going to the same destination.
"I've never seen so many pokemon…" Elisa took a few steps to the shores of the beach, hazel eyes shining as the pokemon tore through the calm waters.
"Yeah...They must be worried about what could happen... We'll stay here for a bit," Cole nodded from Elisa's words before pointing away from the setting sun.
"T-That's-" Elisa suddenly pulled at her grey sweater, her breath struggling to leave her throat as a single structure pulled at her gaze, stretching from the earth to the sky. It looked like a painting, shining a radiant gold in the sunset as her eyes strained to focus on the distant tower. She knew it was still so far away, but the fact that she could still see such an amazing piece of history from their location amazed her.
"...So that's the Sky Pillar." She confirmed, taking a few steps forward beside Flygon.
"...Once Flygon is rested-"
Elisa squinted slightly as two bright flashes of light erupted in front of Cole. "We'll take them on." Shaking free from their rest, a rejuvenated Houndoom and Aggron flexed their muscles in relief before turning in the direction of Sky Pillar. Aggron growled while Houndoom fought the urge to bark towards the ominous energy that spilled out from the lone tower that stood in the ocean.
"Check your pokemon too Elisa." Cole suggested, turning around to meet the researcher's focused eyes. "Especially your new friend, it better know what it's getting into."
"Lucario, Sealeo, Rotom!"
Surprised from Elisa's strong voice, his lips parted slightly as her three pokemon materialized onto the sand.
"...I talked to them earlier. They believe in us and will help no matter what." Elisa smiled softly at her pokemon. They let out their own roars of greeting before turning in the direction of Sky Pillar with grim expressions.
"...So, they must all sense it from here." Cole muttered. He could feel the anxiety of everyone around him. They were worried about their home. What would happen to it...What would change.
Cole blinked in confusion once a small sandwich poked the man's nose. He looked down, his surprise softening as Elisa smiled. Tearing the bread and vegetables in half, she placed one half in his hands. "Let's get our strength up too."
And so they sat together. Cole and Elisa, side by side, gazing at the sky as stars began to twinkle with life. Tracing a finger through the cold grains beneath her, Elisa glanced at Cole for a few moments. '...We've been hiding from each other until now...But now. I've never felt closer to him.' Images of saving him still fresh in her mind, a tinge of pink threatened her cheeks.
"Remember that night we explored the Cactus?" Cole's words snapped the daydreaming girl from her thoughts. Smiling to himself, he glanced at Elisa before stretching his legs. "You nearly died because you wanted to find clues for the Dragon Plate."
"...It's not like we left empty-handed." She pouted, earning a small chuckle in return. "Sorry about dragging you along."
"No." Cole shook it off before finishing his food. "I was just thinking...it was pretty fun doing that with you…After all of this...I'm just wondering if we'll do anything like that again."
Elisa gazed at Cole's expression as he reminisced. She remained silent for a few minutes, the lapping of waves and cries of pokemon around them keeping the pair in their own little world. Elisa slowly turned away from Cole, her dark brown locks covering her eyes as she poked the sands again.
"...We'll still have adventures…together, right?"
"N-Nothing!" Shooting her hands up in defence, Elisa avoided the man's questionable look before footsteps caught her attention. Lucario was looking at her. Narrowing his eyes in thought, its hand began to glow a light blue to the pair's surprise before it waved it over Elisa's wide eyes.
'...Elisa...your heart always beats so quickly whenever you're around Cole. That isn't safe-'
"H-Hey! Wait up!"
Landing with a crunch onto a thick sheet of white, a boy quickly jumped off the steel bird that brought him to the towering mountain before sprinting towards a field of boulders that poked from the waters of a lake.
"Geez...he shouldn't be running full speed like that." A girl jumped off the armoured bird as well. Patting its side in thanks, she turned her attention to the boy that was frantically searching for something in the heavy fog. "...They might be planning a trap for us you know!"
"Carvanha!" Noah screamed out to the waters before he jumped with all his might to latch onto the steel railing that bordered the edge of his boat. Creaking from the weight, it rocked uncontrollably as the sailor ran towards the anchor and began to pull. A smirk plastered itself onto Noah's lips once a large fish-like pokemon exploded out of the still waters and onto the wooden deck.
"There you are! I've missed you so much!" He smiled as Carvanha let out a cheerful cry before turning to the thick clouds above.
"So this is your ship? Impressive! I'm glad your pokemon is safe."
Aqua blue eyes narrowed once Steven descended from the thick fog on his Claydol. "I'm going to head out now! Cole and Elisa will need all the help they can get!"
"I understand-" Steven reached for his belt as Kyra hopped onto the ship as well. Tossing a Heavy Ball into the girl's hands, he smiled. "It contains a Metagross! It will help you against Team Sky! Once I help the others against Groudon and Kyogre, I'll make my way to Sky Pillar as well!" Leaping off Claydol, Noah and Kyra stared in awe as the former Champion landed onto Skarmory's back before blasting into the thick fog above.
"...You ready?" Noah started, turning to Kyra who flinched from his words.
"O-Of course!" She snapped at him, earning a small smile in return. "I have a bone to pick with those grunts that hurt my pokemon!"
"Right!" He nodded before running towards the wheel of the ship. Licking his finger, he pointed it to the grey skies before his eyes widened. "Looks like we'll be getting a lot of wind."
Kyra stared at him with a confused look before he shook his head.
"It may be the legendary pokemon that are around...a super storm is coming. So we have to go now."
"Super storm?!" Kyra gripped the Heavy Ball in her palm. "...Can the boat handle that-"
"As a sailor," He rose his voice, catching her attention. "It's my duty to fight through nature itself! Of course my girl can handle it!" As much as he wanted to be cool in front of his crush, Noah spouted the words mainly for himself. If he could not show confidence now during the most crucial of times, that would only make Kyra more afraid.
"...Noah." The young girl stared at Noah in awe for a few moments before she wobbled on her feet. The ship was heading out. She quickly turned to the foggy waters around them. From here, they could make a direct line to Sky Pillar.
"Can we make it there in time?"
"We'll just have to try!" Noah yelled before raising the masts with a heave. Squeezing the ropes between his fingers, he stared up to the dark clouds above. 'No matter what happens...I'll help stop Team Sky!'
"...I-It's...It's still rising!"
"...We've got another spike!"
The three Dragon Plates continued to spin with such a velocity, one would think that they could form a tornado by themselves. The treasures howled with blinding light. Red, blue and green flashed and lit up the chamber before they separated, spinning continuously before stopping at each end of the tower's points. A perfect triangle.
They shined brightly before three towers of light engulfed them to everyone's surprise.
"There they go." Professor Snider smirked as the Dragon Plates blasted upwards, the sound of cracking earth and stone filling her ears as they ascended to the apex.
Men, women and pokemon alike gasped in shock as another wave of energy ripped through the first level of the Sky Pillar. Their attention was focused on the center of the room now as a dark green light continued to emit rays from the earth, winds spewing in every direction.
"...Amazing!" Elizabeth hollered, her nails digging into her palms as more waves of energy threatened to knock her to the ground. Unlike Team Aqua years ago, the results of their efforts were unfolding right before her eyes this time.
"...The Dragon Plates-they're!" Holland stepped closer towards the light, earning gasps from his followers. He was so close now, he could taste its power! "...Unbelievable!" Stretching his hand out with greed, the leader of Team Sky took another daring step towards the light that rivaled the sun's.
"Give that power to me!"
Koji ran through the archway of Sky Pillar before gasping in shock. Shielding his eyes, the man yelled out to his leader but his words could not get through. 'I've never felt anything like this!'
The light was beyond blinding at this point and only got worse until it began to morph into a single ball. Holland panted for air as the rays finally began to dissipate. Opening one eye, he gasped once he noticed a shining orb floating above the earth.
"Collect the three Dragon Plates…" Elizabeth started as Holland slowly moved towards the glowing orb. "And the key to Rayquaza's power will reveal itself…The Jade Orb."
Snatching the treasure, the leader of Team Sky held his breath as a surge of energy erupted from his fingers and surged up his arm and into his being. Eyes wide with awe, he let out a roar to everyone's surprise before stumbling back. His breath ragged, he quickly turned around to Elizabeth who watched him carefully.
"Ha...Ha...Haahahaa! I'm glad we share the same ideal-" He laughed before yanking a Poke ball from his belt. His senses heightened from the power, he crushed the treasure between his fingers.
"...Legends should not be feared…They should be conquered!"
In a flash of light that now appeared dull in comparison to the light of the Jade Orb, a large orange-clad dragon slammed its feet into the sandy earth before turning to Holland's sinister smile. The man quickly walked to his pokemon before placing his hand on the pokemon's chest.
Charizard let out a gasp, a reptilian face stared right into its being before an emerald aura engulfed the Fire/Flying type. Gazing at its body with disbelief, Holland laughed before taking a glance at the three pillars of light that stood at Sky Pillar's corners.
"...Let's test its power." Elizabeth suggested turning to a few grunts who flinched once they noticed her gaze.
"Bring out your pokemon." Holland demanded. Almost instantaneously, four pokemon materialized in front of a few grunts. They prepared themselves as they watched Charizard turn towards them, its eyes flaring a strange green.
Squeezing the Jade Orb with more force, Holland chuckled as markings began to engrave themselves onto the man's skin. It burned, but the excitement rising within was too good to relinquish the power. To think that such an item was here for all these years while they wasted their time with Groudon and Kyogre!
"Walrein, Ice Beam!"
"Mightyena, Shadow Ball!"
"Pin Missile Cacturne!"
"Magcargo, Fire Blast!"
Charizard remained calm as a fury of attacks ripped through the earth towards it. The power, it could feel it, desperate for release.
The claws of its feet dug into the earth support before a monstrous jet of green and white fire exploded from Charizard's jaws. Members of Team Sky could only look as Charizard's Flamethrower completely vaporized the barrage of attacks. Their awe quickly turned into fear as the attack continued onward, relentless as it continued to incinerate everything.
Koji stepped back as the brilliant green fire burst before the 4 pokemon. The heat was incredible...hotter than Mount Chimney...Koji gulped as screams of anguish and pain violated his ears, but he could only watch as the pokemon and Trainers were incinerated before his eyes. "...H-Holland…"
"He has the power of Rayquaza in his hands!" Elizabeth laughed as the green flames lit the chamber an eerie glow. "We've done it! The power of the legends...It's finally ours! Nothing can stop us, nothing!"
Holland laughed, watching the black crater where pokemon and humans once stood. "So the Jade Orb...it's transferring Rayquaza's power to me." He smirked before walking towards the exit.
"Let's continue experimenting."
A rush of wind rolled over Holland as he walked out into the chill of the night. Red eyes flared as the Jade Orb began to glow once more. "...Yes," He smirked as wild Water and Flying pokemon encircled the island, eyeing the man with such malice, he could feel it. They were all threatened by his power...His very being commanded attention now. He was Rayquaza itself!
Beams of green, red and blue painted the air around him as he smirked.
"Charizard." The Fire/Flying type lowered its body, allowing Holland to jump on its back before lifting into the air.
"When did all these pokemon show up." Elizabeth demanded more than asked. The ocean was literally littered with different species.
"That's why I came in," Koji started, pointing to the hordes. "I think they're onto your little idea of using those plates! We can take them all on with our man power! There's like hundreds!"
"What?!" Koji jolted his head to Elizabeth who simply folded her arms.
"Are you deaf?!" Was she crazy? He knew Team Sky was powerful, but there were hundreds of pokemon around them! There was no way they could take them-
The words were suddenly ripped from his head as the sky lit up with a brilliant flash of white and green. It was Charizard. Another Flamethrower attack, it ripped through the earth, scorching the land black before lashing at the unsuspecting wild pokemon that sat in the waters. Like sitting Psyducks. More cries of pain and terror echoed around him as Charizard blasted its enemies with ease.
"So... The Jade Orb is taking Rayquaza's energy and infusing it with Charizard and Holland. A power of linking Human with Pokemon...I knew something like this was real." Elizabeth chuckled as the hordes of wild pokemon began to flee from the overwhelming heat and debris. "...Such power when they're combined. We'll simply drain the super ancient legends of their energy with the Dragon Plates and Jade Orb...then capture them when they can't fight back. Then I'll finally have them for myself!" She began to laugh harder as Charizard and Holland ascended higher.
"What the?!" Flinching, Holland snapped his attention towards the open sea for a few seconds, earning cautious looks from Elizabeth and the others around her. "He's still?!" He quickly turned to the Jade Orb, '...So...he has the same power...I can feel it coming closer.' Clutching the power of Rayquaza that was now in his hands, he raised it to the dark skies above.
"Meet me at the top everyone! Tonight, I conquer a God!"
Holland laughed before Charizard flapped its wings, bursting up the side of Sky Pillar at blinding speeds as members of Team Sky ran towards Aqua Ship One that stood by the beach.
"...Unbelievable." A pair of amethyst eyes reflected the raging green flames that danced across the land and sea. Hiding behind a large field of boulders not too far from Sky Pillar, Tori held her breath as cries of wild pokemon churned her stomach at the very core.
"...That power...How could he-" She bit her lip, blood spewing from the impact. Memories of the man training her while she was still young, she fought the urge to cry as memories of her step-father were washed away. Her hands were shaking, she wrapped them around her body, but she couldn't stop it. A low droning sound snapped the woman from her moment before she turned around.
"W-What is it Claydol?" She hissed. Narrowing her eyes, she froze once an unfamiliar figure descended towards them at a frightening pace.
Did they spot her?
"...No. Holland would have attacked me by now." She held her breath as a gust of wind whipped at her midnight locks. Raising a hand to shield her eyes from the debris, she gasped once she noticed a middle-aged man leap off a large bird.
"You followed me?!"
"Even if you were with Team Magma…" Emerald eyes hardened from the words but were glued to Tori's defensive glare. "I'll just have to deal with it until we stop Team Sky."
"Jin." Her frown eased into a shaky smile, threatening her usually cold demeanour. Tori stood up as Jin ran to her side before hiding behind the large boulders. "...Why are you-"
"I won't sit back and let you throw your life away!" His voice rose to the girl's surprise. "...I lost my daughter years ago-"
"I'm not your daughter!"
"I know that!" He shot back, earning a surprised look. "E-Even so... Even if you're not my daughter-when I see you." He gazed to the skies. "...I think of her…This time, I can help stop those bastards from hurting any more people. I don't anyone to fell the pain of losing their loved ones anymore!...You... I just don't want to lose my daughter twice."
Tori eyed the man before he let out a heavy sigh.
"It may sound like crap...But I'm serious...Anyway, I guess we should do this-"
Tori blinked in confusion once the man's eyes went wide with shock. Following his gaze, she held her breath as a beacon of light caught her attention. Moving like a shooting star, it zoomed across the skies before changing direction, as if it had a mind of its own.
"W-What is that?!" Wattson, the Electric Gym Leader of Mauville could only stare in awe as the giant of the sea, Kyogre, roared to the black skies before a beacon of pure blue light erupted from its body. His hands pressed into his Lanturn's soft body as they bobbed in the waters. Before he could react, the blue light burst towards the thick clouds, tearing through them before disappearing as quickly as it formed.
Dark brown eyes narrowed, focusing on a pure red light that zoomed across the night sky.
"Did you see that?!"
"Yeah!" Kyra shouted over the raging winds as she turned to the captain of the two-man ship. "It's going to Sky Pillar!"
"Then let's hurry too-" He froze, earning a confused look from Kyra. Dropping his hands from the wheel, he took a few steps back. Noah's azure eyes were wide, shaking uncontrollably as his lips parted.
"...What is it?" Kyra felt her legs begin to quiver as Noah quickly ran towards her. She winced from the force he was applying as he dragged her to the main cabin. "W-What?!...What's going on?!"
Noah did not stop but only pointed in the same direction that they were headed. Turning around, Kyra's questionable expression turned to one of absolute fear. The entire world in front of them was pitch black!
Clouds, or some kind of black vortex completely obscured the night sky as it advanced towards them, lightning and thunder striking the girl's senses before a door slammed shut, blocking her view. Gasping in shock, she looked down to see Noah wrapping a heavy rope around her waist.
"It'll keep us together!" Opening a Pokeball in a flash, Wartortle materialized in front of them before its ears flickered towards the cabin door. "I need you to use Protect for as long as you can Wartortle!"
The Water type nodded quickly before roaring to life, a white sphere of light surrounding the trio. Noah suddenly dropped to the floor, earning a scream from Kyra before he waved his hand at her.
"The storm!...It's here!" He grunted before latching onto Kyra, protecting her with his body as Wartortle stiffened with concentration.
This could not be real.
Kyra felt as if she was being lifted upward-
No downwards. In a matter of seconds, she lost her sense of direction as her body was flung from side to side in seconds.
She screamed out, but a thunderous clap of thunder roared over her as water spewed into the cabin. She screamed again. It was all she could do as her stomach threatened to leave her, along with the rest of her organs.
Her body was shaking, feeling Noah's grip around her tighten, she prayed to the heavens as her entire world flipped. Opening her eyes for a split second, she quickly regretted it once water and debris clouded her vision beyond the orb of white.
The ship was gone?!
Slamming her eyes shut, Kyra lost the will to move as she was flung around again and again.
"PLEASE! STOP IT!"
Every direction, every force imaginable, her brain couldn't keep up as the crash of cold waves larger than life continued to ram against them.
This was hell!
She screamed again, but the roar of the storm grew louder, louder with every passing second. She felt her stomach churn again, then flip. Coughing and gurgling with the pain as she threw up, Kyra gagged before her head snapped back and slammed into the beam that struggled to maintain its own structure in the endless void.
'Please!' Her mind screamed and hollered for help, but the waters were only getting louder. Flung in a random direction again, Kyra coughed harder as the power of nature engraved fear into the girl's mind. She couldn't take it anymore. 'I'm...I'm really going to die-'
Gasping for air, Kyra slowly opened her eyes.
Stars twinkled from above. Dark brown orbs closed in disbelief before opening once again. She turned to her side, only to see Noah floating in the waters beside her.
The ship, as if fed to the storm itself, was eaten whole and spewed in the waters around them. Struggling to free herself, Kyra swore profanities as Wartortle slowly emerged from the waters before paddling through the wreckage to Noah.
Whipping his head out of the waters, the sailor coughed and hacked for air before Wartortle supported his dazed form. "...W-What happened?" He muttered, opening his eyes.
"Noah!" Screaming at the top of her lungs, her stomach contents stained across her clothes and neck, the boy turned around in a hurry.
Struggling in her position, tears welled up in Kyra's eyes as Noah and Wartortle made their way to her. Latching onto the lone beam, Noah quickly untied Kyra before she dipped into the frigid waters with a shrill cry. He watched her intently as she gasped for air, the wooden beam her only support.
"I don't know where that storm came from…" Noah started, looking up to the stars before his eyes widened. "...But they saved us some time."
"Huh?" Kyra mumbled before the boy lifted one of his hands out of the water.
"...There it is!"
Stretching her body around, dark brown eyes lit with a flicker of hope once an enormous tower blocked her view of the night sky. Craning her neck upward, Kyra held her breath as the monument of stone escalated into the clouds above. The Sky Pillar.
"Cole and Elisa might be there now." She mumbled as Noah swam beside her. She blinked in confusion once the boy placed a hand on hers.
"...I um...I'll be with you the entire way!" He started, earning a surprised look. "...So don't be scared Kyra. We can do this!"
Noah's jaw dropped from the girl's words before he submerged his face into the waters. With the bubbles drifting along the waves, Kyra gazed at Noah's head as they bobbed in the water. "...That was really corny." She smiled softly, a tinge of pink on her cheeks before she reached for a ball on her belt.
"Let's go Cobalt!"
"Those lights!...Could those be-the Dragon Plates?!"
Cole nodded as Elisa announced her suspicions from behind him. They were over the waters now, passing hundreds of terrified wild pokemon as they neared the tower that touched the heavens. Three lights stood around the ancient tower, earning a hard glare from the man.
"Holland and the rest of Team Sky must be at the top!" Cole yelled. "This is it Elisa!"
"I know!" She looked up towards the clouds, adrenaline rushing through her.
The Green Orb began to glow once again before Cole turned to the treasure in his hand. '...I can feel it...Holland is using its power now...' Tapping the side of Flygon's body, the dragon let out a roar before ascending higher. Whatever that power was…Holland was attempting to control the super ancient dragon.
Rayquaza's words echoed through his mind as the winds slashed at his face.
Three days...then Hoenn would change forever.
With the legendary dragon's premonition still hanging over his head, Cole did not take his eyes off Sky Pillar. If they were going to save Hoenn, they would need to do it tonight.
It was their last night.