The World Depends on Cole
I'm surprised that you're here.
Dark brown eyes opened slowly. Dazed and confused a man took a slow breath. Gasping, Cole raised his head as a lifting sensation entered his lungs. It was surreal, it felt like life was flowing into him with each breath as he took in his surroundings.
"...Where am I-"
Only a few humans have pushed themselves so far to reach this place…
Cole looked around for the source of the voice. It was ridiculously bright, but it was gentle on his eyes as he rose to his feet. The air was fresh...lively. Clouds grazed the skies above and crystal clear water lay at his feet to his surprise. He blinked at the water's surface. Like a mirror, his reflection stared back at his bewildered face.
Was he dead?
Freezing up. The idea stood at the edge of his mind, yet he did not feel as anxious at the thought. No. Placing his hand over his heart, he shook his head to reassure himself as his chest responded to his resolve.
Turning around, a surge of adrenaline rushed through the man's being once those familiar golden eyes stared deep into him. Rayquaza lay atop the crystal waters, its length curled into a ball of flesh as it breathed softly, watching him. It took only a few seconds for Cole to finally put everything together as he reached into his pockets.
"...So this is what the Orbs can do."
Rayquaza closed its eyes as if pondering something before a small smirk rose on its lips.
You have pushed yourself to the very limit to enter my domain. Now you have the power to control me. However with my power, I cannot stop the countdown of Nature's Plates… Three days have already passed… There is nothing-
The legendary dragon of the sky blinked, its words halted as Cole stomped his foot into the waters, waves rippling from the impact.
"...No." Clutching the Green and Jade Orbs, Cole shook with anger before turning his attention to the treasures. "You're really just going to give up that easily," Rayquaza held its breath with surprise once tears began to roll down the man's face. A true look of remorse painted across his features.
"...When I was kicked out of Team Magma, I needed to find a way to control you to get my pokemon back… But even then, I was ashamed by the idea of controlling you...controlling pokemon. I don't see you as a tool, I don't see any pokemon as tools!"
Rayquaza remained silent, watching the man as he stepped forward.
"...Since I could remember… Since the day I saw my Houndour hatch from that egg. I saw pokemon as my family! He's like a brother to me!...Why would I want to treat them as another daily tool when they have feelings and thoughts of their own?!"
Rayquaza looked on as Cole dropped to the crystal waters, strength lost from his legs. His words were only amplifying his feelings, the dragon could tell as Cole's anguish fell into the endless sea of water.
"I've lost so many…" Images of Nidoking, Shedinja, Solrock, his mother, father, Tori, Kyra, Noah and Elisa bombarded his senses, shaking him to the core as he let it all out. "...If I made the right choices the first time...then Shedinja would have never died!" A sudden jolt stabbed at his heart and he coughed for more air.
They were really gone.
Your words hold sincerity…
Cole gazed up to Rayquaza who empathized his sadness, but he could tell that it was thinking of something else.
However it will not change the past.
Eyes wide, Cole dug his fingers into the treasures. "...I know."
I understand that you want to make a difference. However that time has come and gone. You decided to activate the Plates, endangering everyone. Even with my power now, you choose not to use me… Your love for our species is admirable and I can see that you are different Cole.
Rayquaza raised its head slightly before gazing up to the vast sea of clouds that drifted by peacefully.
The third day is already upon us...Nature's Plates will relinquish their energy and the land itself will change. Even I cannot predict the outcome. I cannot suppress them any longer...I will bring you back to your family as thanks.
Rayquaza blinked in confusion once it looked down at Cole only to see the man staring right at him. Golden eyes sparkled with curiosity and a new light as Cole's very being seemed different than before. Tears dried against his cheeks, his clothes in tatters; but it was his eyes that held the Sky High pokemon in silence.
"There's still a way."
"...I don't know-" He could feel Rayquaza's urge to laugh at him, but he did not waver. "I don't know how...but I can promise you…no, everyone that I will find a way to save Hoenn."
You are so resolute…despite the fact that you cannot see the ending.
Cole's mouth opened in awe once he noticed a smile grace the Sky High pokemon. Lowering its head, Cole held his breath once Rayquaza's snout touched his chest. They remained still for a few moments, the calm air and lapping of crystal waters, music to their ears as Cole ran his hand along the dragon.
They were both used.
Cole opened his eyes as it finally dawned upon him. A legendary dragon of unimaginable power, it was hunted and feared for its power for eons. Even with the battle two years ago...It was simply used again to stop the fighting between Kyogre and Groudon, then thrown away once everyone was saved. Where was Rayquaza's family?
No one had ever reached out to Rayquaza.
"I'm sorry Rayquaza…" Cole whispered, earning a surprised look in return. "You've saved us so many times…but I don't think anyone reached out to save you… I want...I want to help you."
Rayquaza raised its head, towering over Cole's soft expression.
For a millenia... I have seen many humans abuse the powers of pokemon for their own gain….Why do they fight together, even when only one possesses the power?...Is it not the controller and the one being controlled? We cannot form such a bond.
"We can!" Cole held the dragon's gaze. "...It's possible! People and Pokemon can work together as one."
Images of Nidoking, Flygon, Aggron, Houndoom, Solrock and Shedinja washed over him, building his courage with each passing second.
"What I have with my pokemon is not control!...They are my family…a part of me, and I'm asking for you to be a part of that family too!"
Rayquaza's jaw opened slightly, the clouds above beginning to dissipate.
…Hmph. Very well, Cole.
A brilliant light began to shine above. Cole held his breath as warmth washed over him, the rays obscuring his vision as he parted ways with the legendary dragon.
He had been destroying for so long.
Taking orders. Following the wrong path despite knowing what was right.
A sudden rush of wind sprayed across his body, but fear did not fill him this time as he fell towards the earth.
He cannot destroy the past…
Cole opened his eyes, ablaze with a new light as he locked onto the pillars of light that glimmered below.
He can only try his hardest to build for his future...
"...Cole." Holland spat the word as Charizard flapped its wings effortlessly. It felt like hours, but there was no sign of the ex-Magma Admin. He touched his face, wincing in pain from the punch earlier. "...To think that he would really go after Rayquaza by himself like that." He turned his attention to a lone dragon that mimicked Charizard's movements.
"He may have both Orbs...but I can still feel its power flowing through me."
Flygon remained quiet, its eyes glued to the skies above where Rayquaza and Cole had disappeared to.
"...We're already so high up that it's a challenge to even breath…" Holland calculated, his now dark green eyes narrowing. "There's no way he's-"
Holland and Charizard flinched. It was a ray of light. So small and insignificant, but present none the less. "...The sun's rising." Holland murmured, the rays beginning to pierce from the clouds on the other side of the world.
Charizard then suddenly growled, catching the man's attention. Following his pokemon's gaze, he held his breath once something small caught his attention from above.
"...That-" It was falling fast, the image becoming clearer with every passing second. A small smirk rose on the man's lips once Flygon suddenly roared to the skies before rocketing upwards, proving his suspicions. "You won't get a cheap shot like that again."
Swinging through the chilling air, Cole fought to hold his body in place as he caught sight of Flygon coming towards him. Extending his arms and legs, he gasped from the blow to his chest and stomach as he slowed his descent.
Making a u-turn in the air, Flygon managed to catch Cole onto his back. Feeling the familiar rigged scales grace his skin again, Cole smiled softly as Flygon glanced back at him before turning to Holland and Charizard.
'I knew you'd come back.'
"...Let's do this Flygon!" Cole nodded in thanks before a green light enveloped the pair to their surprise. Blinking in confusion, Cole reached for the Green Orb in his pocket.
…You are not controlling me.
Cole and Flygon gasped from the voice as it vibrated from their very core.
…This is….This is...my gift to you. Before I-
Cole's eyes widened once a deafening roar sounded from above. With the sun's rays beginning to light the way, Cole grimaced once he noticed Rayquaza falling towards them, its body a deep black.
It's eyes feral. Enraged and void of focus, Cole held his breath before snapping his attention below.
He was running out of time.
Green fire met green wind as the two attacks collided with such a force they exploded on contact. Coughing from the debris, Holland's eyes widened once he noticed Cole and Flygon tear through the smoke before blasting right by him.
"...Where do you think you're going?!"
"Come on guys! You can do it!" Kyra yelled with all of her might as Cobalt collapsed onto the ground, along with Wingull and Armaldo. She bit her lip as Noah's Wartortle continued on, its entire body shaking violently. Of course they were giving it their all! Anger rose within her as the Earth plate was now simply rotating at a simple pace.
"...They can't go on!" Noah cried, hugging Carvanha as it struggled to keep up its Water Gun attack. He turned to Wartortle who dropped to all fours, but continued to attack the Earth Plate.
"We're out of time-" Elisa shook as the sun's rays cast the top of Sky Pillar in an early glow.
"I know you can do it guys!" Jin screamed over the raging battles around them. "You're the only ones that can save Hoenn now!"
"Wartortle! I know you can-" Noah gasped once a brilliant light began to erupt from the small turtle's body. Taking a step back from the blinding light, excitement washed over him as the pokemon's silhouette began to morph.
"...Amazing!" Kyra breathed once the light finally dissipated, revealing a massive turtle like pokemon. It growled, exhausted before standing to its feet. Suddenly the top of its shell flipped open some hidden compartments before two massive silver cannons shifted onto the Earth Plates.
"Blastoise?!" Noah gasped while falling to his knees in disbelief. "You did this to save all of us-" Tears ran down his cheeks before he ran to its side.
"We need one more shot!" Pulling Noah to his feet, Kyra smiled softly before both Trainers pointed to the Earth Plate.
Roaring in unison, both Water pokemon launched powerful jets, tearing through the earth before slamming into the Dragon Plate. Gasping from the power, the group of four stared in awe as the Earth Plate began to shatter at its core before crumbling like sand in the wind.
Elizabeth screeched at the top of her lungs as the Earth Plate shattered into millions of pieces, scattering across the floor. She sprinted forward, avoiding holes in the floor and the chaos around her as she made her way to the treasure.
"...All of it...gone!" She glared at Blastoise and Swampert with nothing but anger as she attempted to pick up the pieces. "We were so close! Elisa, you idiot, you idiot, you IDIOT!"
"It's not over guys!" Ignoring her mother's cries to the surprise of Kyra and Noah, the young researcher turned to the Ocean Plate at the other end of the tower. "We need pokemon with electric attacks!" Rotom suddenly floated in front of her, catching her off-guard.
"The pokemon are exhausted though! It took them everything just to shatter that thing!" Kyra argued.
"They seriously don't have anything left." Jin started, getting to his feet before turning to the massive airship that continued to rain down attacks on Metagross, Aggron, Manectric and Lucario.
"...Even if it's small," Elisa ran towards the Ocean Plate. "We can still make a difference!"
"Houndoom, Ninetales! Finish them off!" Tori yelled before two jets of fire ripped into Poliwrath, Sneasel and Froslass. Without their Trainer by their side, the trio of pokemon cried out in pain before slamming into the ground, completely knocked out.
"Great job everyone!" Tori smiled with relief as Houndoom, Ninetales, Absol, Grumpig and Claydol panted heavily from their exhausting battles. "She really abandoned her pokemon just for that treasure…" Glancing at Elizabeth as she continued to snatch the pieces for herself, nothing but disgust washed over her before she turned to the Ocean Plate.
Elisa narrowed her eyes at the next target. "There are two more plates...Let's go everyone-"
Dropping to the floor, Kyra and Noah screamed as the very foundations beneath them shook like a weak twig in a storm.
"W-What was that?!" Elisa winced as blood ran from her palms but that was least of her worries as the very tower swayed from side to side. "...Did something hit Sky Pillar?!" Narrowing her eyes in thought, Elisa rose to her feet slowly to keep her balance as Rotom buzzed around her.
A sudden crackling caught her attention.
Before she could react, an immense bolt of lightning tattooed the skies before piercing the side of Sky Pillar. The airship nearly capsized from the shock wave of energy, sending people and pokemon overboard and to the floor.
"Looks like Rayquaza is targeting us now!" Jin swore as he attempted to pick himself off the ground once again. He turned his attention to Kyra and Noah who were huddled over one another with Swampert and Blastoise guarding them.
"It feels like the entire tower is gonna fall!" Kyra screamed, her hands glued to the ground as another thunderous quake rocked Sky Pillar.
"What the hell is hitting us!" Koji swore as he clasped onto the railings for support. "...This is bad! They already destroyed one of those plates!...What the?!" He felt his throat suddenly clog once two figures exploded from the clouds above. "They're bringing hell down with them."
Cole held his breath as Flygon descended quickly, avoiding a jet of fire that skimmed their side. Eyes wide, he could see them. "I need to tell them!" Relief washed over him as his sister came into view along the others that held their ground atop the shaking tower.
"If you're going to continue to run-" Holland turned his attention to the chaos below before his eyes narrowed. "Charizard, Fire Blast those weaklings!"
Dark brown eyes bulged once a massive fire star ripped by him towards Kyra and Noah's group.
"Metagross, Claydol! Light Screen!"
Blastoise and Cobalt gasped in shock once thick wall of light materialized above them. Upon impact, they grimaced as the intense green flames exploded on contact, thrashing through the air and scorching the floor around them.
"Who-Who,...What was that-" Kyra blinked in confusion before a blur of silver soared overhead.
"Steven Stone!" Holland growled with anger as his Metagross and Claydol released the Light Screen attack. He gasped once a jet of green fire was launched towards him. Charizard barely dodged the attack, grunting in pain as Flygon and Cole zoomed towards them.
"This has gone on long enough!" Steven roared as his Skarmory landed beside Kyra and Noah. "All of Hoenn is in danger!" He glared beyond Cole and Holland's battle as a black beast tore through the clouds. It let out an ear-splitting screech, signalling its pain.
"Steven!" Kyra and Noah gasped as their pokemon revealed the former Champion.
"I'm glad that you two are alright," Steven turned to Kyra and Noah who smiled at him in return. "But it's time I start pulling my weight here as well!" Turning to Elisa who stood near the Ocean Plate's spinning form, he clenched his fists.
"Everyone! We need to get away from Sky Pillar at once!"
Elisa stared at the man in disbelief as he turned to his pokemon, calling out orders to each of them. "I can't!"
"What?!" Steven gasped as his Claydol moved to her side. "Elisa, it's too dangerous here-"
"If we let these plates continue to manipulate the energy of Hoenn-" She turned to Cole and Holland as their battle raged on above with Rayquaza thrashing through the clouds. It roared again, the clouds rumbling in unison. "...Rayquaza will die!"
"Groudon and Kyogre are attacking Sky Pillar as we speak!" Those words caught the attention of both researchers. "Your efforts will be in vain if we fall with the tower as well! Let us get to safety and devise a plan!"
"It doesn't matter now!" She screamed, earning bewildered looks from everyone around her. "I'm here, so I'm not giving up until I save Hoenn!"
The clouds above suddenly flashed, catching everyone's attention.
"LOOK OUT!" Flinging its entire body to the side, Flygon screeched as the bolt nearly hit them before falling to the tower.
"It's Rayquaza's Thunder!" Steven yelled before a massive bolt of gold dropped from the clouds. Tearing through the top of the tower like a tin can, everyone screamed as the lightning shattered the remaining earth, snapping the top of the tower in two.
Losing her balance, Elizabeth screamed from the force of the attack before dropping to the ground.
The shards of the Earth plate around her, Elizabeth grunted in pain, the world spinning. "...It's out of control now-This is just like that time…" Turning her attention upward, hazel eyes widened with shock once a strange ball of light began to materialize.
"...What is that?" Elisa breathed as the shards of the Earth Plate began to change form. A dull shade of brown, the light hovered in place before splitting in two. It zoomed off at an incredible speed before striking the Sky and Ocean Plates simultaneously.
"We're out of time!" Steven yelled before jumping on Skarmory. He looked on in shock as the triangular tower was now split going across, separating the Sky Plate from everyone else. "We need to get out of here! It's too dangerous!"
"But how are we going to stop the Ocean Plate?!" Jin swore as his Armaldo assisted him. "These things are what the pokemon are after! If we can't destroy them, then they will go out of control! All of the pokemon are out of energy!"
"We have more than enough power."
Steven and Jin froze from the words before they turned their attention to Tori who jumped from a few boulders, landing beside them.
"What do you mean?"
"We can use Jin's Manectric." She turned her attention upward, the deafening explosions of fire between Charizard and Flygon lighting the dark sky. "I don't know if it will work but-...Rayquaza's Thunder can be redirected...with Manectric's Lightning Rod ability."
"But that's too much power for Manectric to handle!" Jin argued weakly as he turned to the electric dog that held its ground. "If he even loses an ounce of concentration-"
"You're not doing this alone! Idiot!" Tori snapped back, catching the man off-guard. "Claydol, Grumpig, Absol!" She turned to her pokemon who nodded in unison before moving to Manectric's side. The dog blinked in surprise as they nodded in its direction.
"You're going to use their Psychic energy to help Manectric…" Steven breathed, his eyes wide. "If that's the case then-Claydol, Metagross!"
Kyra and Noah stared in awe as the group of pokemon all crowded around Manectric, bracing themselves as the clouds roared with life.
"Elisa!" Kyra, catching onto the plan, quickly yelled to the other side of the tower where the girl stood. "Come back! We have an idea!"
"What are they up to?" Turning her attention away from the Ocean Plate, Elisa's eyes widened once she noticed the group of pokemon crowding around Jin's Manectric.
'I've got you.' Leaping from its place among the group, Lucario quickly landed beside Elisa before picking her up to her surprise. 'Rayquaza is coming.'
"But the Ocean Plate-" Screaming in frustration, Elisa thrashed against Lucario's hold as it leaped back to the group. Landing softly on the beaten ground, she glared at Steven before she followed his gaze upwards.
Cole glanced from his battle before the black clouds began to rumble with life again. He narrowed his eyes as streaks of light danced above him. '...It's aiming for me...' His eyes widened. 'Rayquaza must be targeting the Orbs!'
"Everyone move away from the pokemon!" Steven yelled, his eyes focused on the clouds above. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, cold sweat matted his fists as a low rumble sounded from above.
A faint flash.
Like a meteor of gold, Rayquaza's Thunder dropped from the black clouds above. Flygon tucked its wings, blasted backwards as the lightning threw them off into the distance. Reacting just as quickly, Manectric barked before its body shined a brilliant yellow before the bolt of lightning shook in the air.
"...Unbelievable." Koji breathed as the Thunder attack slowly, but surely crept towards Manectric and the fellow pokemon.
"What are they doing?!" Cole and Flygon could only gape as the bolt of lightning was redirected towards Manectric. Grinding his teeth with each passing second, his eyes burned as the energy of the attack blinded his vision.
"PSYCHIC!" Tori and Steven roared in unison. Digging its claws into the shaking ground, Manectric fought the intense pain in its body before a glowing purple aura surrounded the pokemon.
"...It's…It's working!" Noah breathed as Manectric shifted its head slowly to the side, pointing towards the spinning Ocean Plate that stood alone.
"Do it Manectric!"
Flinging its entire body, Rayquaza's Thunder was propelled to the left. It incinerated the air around it before striking the Ocean Plate with such force that the entire section of the tower exploded.
Everyone screamed as they were hurled from their feet. Steven grunted in pain as Skarmory was blown high into the air from the impact while Blastoise and Cobalt grabbed their trainers. Elisa and Lucario were thrown back as well, slamming into a few boulders while Tori was caught by Ninetales and Houndoom.
"D-Did it work?!" Jin screamed out as pieces of the floor began to fall into the abyss around him. He turned to Manectric who instantly dropped to the floor, wheezing for what little air was available.
"Look!" Tori beamed as the dust began to clear.
"A direct hit!" Elisa yelled, ecstatic as electricity danced around the corner of Sky Pillar, the Ocean Plate frozen in place.
Elizabeth could only stare as the second Dragon Plate shattered just like the first. Shards of blue, like teardrops in the morning rays scattered onto the floor and down into the depths of Sky Pillar. "They're gone." She breathed, her hopes and efforts fading along with the shards.
"They're really doing it-" Cole's relief was quickly halted once a jet of green fire rocketed towards him. Releasing a similar Flamethrower, Cole and Flygon cried out in pain as they were sent back by the powerful attack.
'I can keep going...' Flygon huffed, shaking off the flames as Holland and Charizard levelled off near them. Cole glanced at Flygon's eyes for a few seconds; he could tell that his words were not honest.
"I know." He smiled before the dragon ascended, along with Charizard. "We need to get away from the others, Rayquaza may be out of control, but its targeting the Orbs!" He reached into his pocket as the familiar energy radiated with life "...Elisa and the others are helping us too," Cole quickly glanced back at Charizard. It's markings were faded now, and each stroke of its wings were becoming more distant.
"Without those plates, their control on Rayquaza and its energy is weakening! Dragon Pulse!"
"Flamethrower Charizard!" He grunted from the collision of the attacks. He could feel it. They were losing!
Holland gasped once Flygon suddenly dropped out of the sky. "Watch out!" But it was too late, Flygon dropped on Charizard's head with a mighty Iron Tail, earning a deafening cry.
"NO!" Koji screamed as he witnessed Holland and Charizard thrown back by Flygon's tail. Spinning out of control, he gasped once the pair exploded into Sky Pillar's floors, a tower of smoke erupting from their impact. "Hey!" He yelled to the few members of Sky remaining. "Get every single pokemon and attack those-"
Freezing in place, Koji felt the life suck out of him once an ear-splitting roar dug into the back of his head. Whipping his head around, sapphire eyes widened with fear once Rayquaza descended from the black heaven, its eyes bulging with rage.
"Dammit!" Cole whipped his head around as Rayquaza locked eyes with him.
"It's coming!" Jin screamed out as the Sky High pokemon opened its jaws, a massive ball of energy forming.
"That's-" Cole gasped as the ball became denser with each passing second. He was right above the group. He could feel it. There was no way he could stop that!
"Light Screen!" Steven roared to his exhausted Metagross and Claydol below.
The clouds around Rayquaza were torn from the sky as it released a devastating Hyper Beam towards Sky Pillar, the beam itself breaking the air with sonic booms as it threatened the lives of everyone.
"UP!" Screeching with pain, Flygon felt its tail burn with pain as it was clipped by the attack that ripped through the air, zooming towards the group below.
Piercing the wall of light on contact, everyone gasped as their only shield immediately began to shatter.
Blastoise and Cobalt roared with their last bits of strength, raising their arms to the skies before a condensed wall of pure white light materialized behind the crumbling Light Screen. Running to their pokemon's side, Noah and Kyra held onto the Water types as they were pushed back by the overwhelming force.
"Aggron! Claydol! Grumpig!" Tori screamed over the howling winds.
Cole could only hold his breath as the Hyper Beam began to slow against multiple barriers of light. He could only wait, the incredible beam of energy spilled to the sides of the Light Screen and Protect combination, lasers of light cascading to the clouds below.
"...Just hold on!" Kyra continued speaking to Cobalt as it cried with pain, its muscles twitching and jolting with stress.
"I know you can do this!" Noah screamed, pushing with all his might against the massive shell of Blastoise.
"Rayquaza!" Cole finally roared to the dragon. What felt like hours, turned into years as Rayquaza's attack pushed further against the last line of defence. He had to do something.
"Dragon Pulse!" Flygon snapped its mouth open before a vacuum of intense wind rocketed towards Rayquaza. Colliding with the Hyper Beam, a massive explosion lashed through the air, launching Cole and Flygon down to the stone floor of Sky Pillar.
"DAMNIT NOO!" Screaming in terror, Koji gripped the railings of Aqua Ship One as the Hyper Beam deflected to the side. It only had one direction to follow now.
"HELP!" Tears spilled, but Koji could only watch as the rest of the Hyper Beam erased him and the massive airship from the skies.
Gagging for air; Cobalt, Blastoise and the rest of the pokemon dropped to the ground as a deafening explosion washed over the top of Sky Pillar, splitting their ears. Aggron and Metagross both collapsed, shattering the few pieces of flooring that remained along with the pair of Claydols.
"Aggron...Metagross...That must have taken everything." Kyra breathed as she eyed her brother's pokemon.
"The airship..." Noah panted, his eyes wide. "...The wild pokemon!"
"...Those people and pokemon." Steven breathed as he watched the rest of the Hyper Beam disappear, particles of energy raining down from the sky as the sun's early rays spilled from the clouds.
"Thank you everyone…But-" Tori exhaled, dropping beside her Claydol and Grumpig who were now unconscious. She turned to the skies, her vision suddenly becoming cloudy. "...Koji."
Even with the relieved faces surrounding her, Elisa's eyes narrowed, her attention on where the Ocean Plate once stood. A condensed ball of blue light began to form, similar to the Earth Plate before it rifled itself into the spinning Sky Plate that stood on the other half of the tower.
Cole groaned. Everything was shaking, his head, his body. "...What happened?" He slowly opened his eyes before he noticed Flygon laying beside him.
"Flygon!" Reaching out to his pokemon, he winced once he felt the burning sensation in his leg. Turning to it, he grimaced once he noticed the burns and lacerations along his left leg. 'I can hardly move it.' He turned back to Flygon before pulling a Pokeball from his belt.
"...You were amazing Flygon...You'll be safe in here." Cole whispered a few words to the dragon as it was absorbed by a beam of red light. Uncertainty was hanging over him. He blinked once he noticed a dark figure coming towards him from the ash and debris that littered the area.
"Houndoom?!" Cole raised himself onto his elbows as the fire hound jumped beside him. As it licked his face, he quickly noticed the multiple gashes and bruises along its fur. Regret hogged Cole's face for a few moments but Houndoom quickly barked at him reassuringly. Rayquaza's deafening roar sounded from above.
They believed in him.
And he believed in them.
"So they've taken out the Ocean and Earth Plates…" Cole nodded in thanks as Houndoom voiced his words. "Then that means...The last one." Feeling a rush of wind and sparks of electricity crackle behind him, Cole turned around to see the Sky Plate hovering above them.
'It's just like he said...' Cole realized as the last Dragon Plate howled with energy. Letting out a hard grunt, Cole picked himself off the floor before staring at the Sky Plate.
"It's not over."
Cole and Houndoom jumped with surprise once a hellish fire exploded from behind them.
"That voice…" Snapping his attention to the green flames, Cole felt his already dry mouth clench as Holland and Charizard landed with a heavy thud.
"Your friends managed to put a pretty big dent in my plans…" Holland growled as Houndoom jumped in front of Cole.
"Holland!" Cole yelled, his eyes focused on the fading tattoos along Charizard's body. "The energy is beyond anyone's control now, you'll only destroy your pokemon!"
Cole flinched as Holland pointed towards the Sky Plate behind him. "All the power is in there. Control the skies...and you control the entire war!"
'Let's end this.' Houndoom growled, digging its claws into the shaking ground.
"One more…Just one more." Elisa panted heavily as she watched the billowing smoke rise from the center of Sky Pillar. Turning to Lucario, she continued to wheeze as the Aura pokemon fought to keep its eyes open.
Human and pokemon alike all turned to Steven who struggled to pull himself out of the rubble. Gasping for air, the former Champion glared at Rayquaza's retreating form before his eyes widened.
"If either of those three attack Sky Pillar again… It will fall!"
"But the-" Elisa's eyes widened once she heard a shrill laugh echo over the beaten field. Twisting to its source, she darkened once Elizabeth rose from her feet.
"...Either way. It's the end of Sky Pillar!"
Jin and Tori narrowed their eyes at the woman, confused.
"Foolishness. Destroying the Plates was your best option? You're naive, all of you! Just as I theorized...We're not getting out of this for free!"
"But they were destroyed!" Kyra yelled as she hauled Cobalt to its feet. "You can't control Rayquaza's powers anymore!"
"Energy cannot be destroyed."
"They were-" Elisa and Steven gasped from the words before Elizabeth turned to the smokescreen that shrouded their view. "...That means-"
"It happened with the Ocean and Earth Plates." Elizabeth started, her voice weakening. "The containers were destroyed, but the energy within them remain…You idiots."
"...The Sky Plate!" Elisa jolted her head to the other side of Sky Pillar.
"By destroying my treasures, you made the Sky Plate even stronger! Do you know what will happen when all of that energy finally spills forth?"
Steven stared at the woman as if he had seen a ghost. His chest rising at an uneasy rate, he turned to the group around him.
"If you have any pokemon that can still move, have them assist you down Sky Pillar. That is an ORDER!" Steven yelled at the top of his lungs as he looked at the crowd around him.
Eyes wide, Kyra and Noah stared at the former Champion before turning to each other.
"I don't think we can do anything else here!" Noah started, pulling Kyra to her feet. "It's going to fall!"
"...I have Windy!" Grabbing the boy's hand, Kyra nodded before reaching for her belt. Tossing a Pokeball into the air. The large fire dog materialized before them, barking loudly. Feeling the pressure around her, Windy quickly jumped to Kyra and Noah before kneeling.
"You're coming with me!" Steven demanded as he grabbed Elizabeth by her wrist.
"...What's the point?" She laughed. "This place is going to hell either way-"
"Get on!" Skarmory quickly lifted itself from the floor before allowing its Trainer and Elizabeth to mount the steel bird.
"We can use Pidgeot." Jin alerted Tori before tossing a ball into the air. The Bird pokemon appeared from a flash of light, flapping its lengthy wings before descending to Jin. Tori quickly grabbed the man before helping him to his feet. "Get us down the tower my friend!" He groaned in pain as he mounted the bird.
"...But the Sky Plate!" Elisa screamed out to the retreating figures behind her. "If we just leave it here-What will happen-"
The young researcher bit her tongue once Kyra's blazing eyes caught onto hers.
"We've done all that we can here!" Turning to the rising pillars of smoke and the eerie screech of the Sky Plate beyond it, Kyra took in a deep breath. "...I know...We're out of time. But someone is still fighting!"
Elisa's eyes watered once the words hit her. She couldn't possibly-
"...This is the last time, but we need to believe in Cole!"
A gust of cold wind thrashed through her hair as Elisa's hazel eyes burst with tears. She had put everything she had into this last fight…
'We need to go Elisa!'
She turned to Lucario who offered his hand to her. "He's going to be alone..." Staring into the pokemon's weak eyes, she hesitated before reaching out. "Let's return Sealeo and Rotom."
'He is not alone!' Lucario started, turning its attention to the other half of the tower.
Reaching for their Pokeballs, the remaining pokemon that had fought for their lives were absorbed by a deep red light as their Trainers called them back. Elisa gazed at the Pokeballs that held Sealeo, Rotom and Aggron before turning to the other side of Sky Pillar.
"Let's go!" Bursting off with incredible speed, Windy roared as it dashed towards the broken staircase of Sky Pillar. Lucario followed suit, sprinting with Elisa on his back as Pidgeot and Skarmory ascended high into the air before diving towards the earth.
'...I see. If that's the case...we need a Dragon or Ice attack to slow this thing down!' Nodding from Houndoom's words, Cole shifted his attention between the Sky Plate and Holland. He gulped as his fingers ran over the two orbs in his pocket. Rayquaza would strike again... If he stayed near the Sky Plate...
Cole jolted once a massive Flycatcher pokemon materialized beside Charizard. His fears were only exacerbated as more Pokeballs were thrown into the air. Camerupt, Magcargo and a Rhydon. They all watched Cole and Houndoom intensely as the winds roared around them.
Houndoom's red eyes raged with fire once they fell upon Magcargo and Camerupt.
"I hope you don't see me as a cheater, Cole." Holland started as Rhydon stomped beside him.
"Houndoom." Cole slowly lowered himself to the fire hound before placing his hand on his head. The Dark/Fire type's eyes widened for a few seconds before it turned to Cole looking for some sign.
Cole snapped his attention to the orange dragon as its eyes began to flicker.
Cole and Houndoom gasped once a familiar green aura began to expel from the Fire/Flying type. The pair could only look on in shock as Holland's remaining pokemon screamed out in pain, the strange aura wrapping around their bodies.
"What the hell are you doing?!"
"These Dragon Plates, along with the Jade Orb." Holland looked on as Charizard's markings began to deepen in colour, awake with life. "Harness the energy around them. Pokemon are more connected with nature than anything else on this planet…A perfect source of energy for my Charizard."
Dark brown eyes shook with horror as the four pokemon dropped to the floor, completely knocked out. His surprise was short-lived once Charizard roared to the skies, its green aura oozing with power. Its orange wings extending to the max, Cole and Houndoom stepped back as Holland smirked.
Cole could only gasp as an intense jet of green fire was launched from Charizard. Countering it in an instant with its own Flamethrower, Houndoom dug its claws into the ground as it struggled to stop the advancing attack.
"Now!" Cole nodded to the fire hound before turning away from it to Holland's surprise.
"What?!" Holland swore as the man sprinted towards the Sky Plate at the edge of the pillar. "He thinks that he can stop it?!"
He did not know what Rayquaza would do next, and the Sky Plate needed to be stopped. Sliding to a halt, Cole panted heavily as the Sky Plate screeched loudly, piercing his ears. Sweat ran down his brow as he pulled the Green and Jade Orbs from his pocket. His mind racing for some sort of answer he stared at the treasures for help.
"Dammit!" Holland swore as Charizard pushed Houndoom further. If he destroyed the last plate...then?!
"...If the Sky Plate and Orbs link your power…" He looked up to the skies where Rayquaza continued to thrash violently. "Then Dragon is weak to Dragon!"
Slamming both orbs into the spinning plate, Cole grunted heavily once a force field of energy met the treasures. He cried out, his fingers, hands and arms shaking violently from the pressure, but he continued to force himself. "...Come on-"
A sudden force dragged him to the ground.
Before Cole could realize his position, a heavy fist connected with his nose. A disgusting crunch rocking his ear sockets, Cole gagged as another fist slammed into his head.
"Cole." Holland growled as he sent another thunderous strike upon the man.
"PLACE-" Eyes wide, Holland stopped his onslaught once a hand caught his fist. Green eyes flared with anger as Cole panted heavily. Blood painted all over his face, his eyes never wavered from Holland's.
Sending a knee into the man's gut, Holland screamed with pain before Cole flung him to the side. "...Still have fight in you?" Rolling across the shattered floor, he groaned with pain before his eyes darted to the two shining spheres. There they were.
Cole flinched. Turning to his side, a sinking feeling pulled at him as Houndoom was thrown from the explosion before slamming against the Sky Plate's forcefield. Swollen eyes wide, Cole looked on as electricity ripped through the fire hound's body before dropping to the ground just a few feet away from him.
"It's over!" Holland laughed, picking himself up from the floor as the skies rumbled with heavy thunder. "I have both of them now!" Snatching the treasures from the ground to Cole's surprise, he smirked once Charizard landed behind him.
Cole coughed up blood and snot as he turned onto his stomach. His eyes stinging with blood, dirt and sweat, dark brown orbs flickered upwards for a few seconds before turning back to Holland.
"I control Hoenn now!" He laughed, raising the Jade and Green Orbs to the sky.
Thunder roared from above.
"Now do you get it Cole?!" He spat, the two treasures shining brilliantly. "You can't stop me! I have all the power now! Rayquaza will bow down to me-"
He could barely see it.
It happened all too fast.
A brilliant bolt fell from the black clouds above.
Cole looked on as his former teacher and the leader of Team Sky disappeared with a flash of white light followed by a deafening eruption of heat and wind. Lifted from his feet, Cole was thrown like a rag doll from his seat before slamming into the floor.
It was quiet.
Opening his eyes for what felt like the first time in ages, Cole let out a tired groan.
How long was he out?...
Where was he? Lifting himself onto his elbows, he tried to coordinate himself, red blocking his sight.
He remembered. Throwing one arm in front of the other, Cole took it slow.
The fire hound lay at the base of the Sky Plate.
A rush of energy lifted him once he noticed the side of his red underbelly rise and fall.
Cole managed to get to his pokemon's side. His breath short, he glanced at the Sky Plate… He couldn't hear its screech.
His arms quickly gave out. Dropping his head against the stone, he let out a tired breath.
He blinked. Raising his head, Cole could see a few shards of green scattered around himself and Houndoom. With the last ounce of strength in him, he picked up the shards and eyed them.
Jade and Green.
Fragments of the treasures that linked Rayquaza to the world below, Cole felt the rain of an epiphany upon him.
Open. Your. Eyes.
Getting to his feet, he opened his swollen sockets despite the pain and locked onto Rayquaza's form above. That smile widened once he could see. He could finally see everything.
...It will be okay.
Cole squeezed the shards into his skin, the pain almost non-existent compared to everything else. He had found the answer already.
Instead of destroying… Build.
He glanced at Houndoom who was still conscious, its eyes locked onto him. His smile never faded as Rayquaza dropped from the sky, its fangs flashing in the morning light as it aimed for Cole and the frozen Sky Plate.
Bursting through the crumbling archway, a massive dog roared with all its might followed by a blur of blue and grey.
"There they are!" Steven shouted with relief as Windy and Lucario slid along the thick sands before crashing with a thud. Skarmory and Pidgeot quickly dove from their spot before landing beside the group that were heaving in a pokemon/human pile.
"Thank the heavens you're all okay!" Jin cried, hopping off Pidgeot.
"Cole's not out yet!" Elisa snapped, turning to the grey clouds that shrouded the top of the tower.
"Everyone look out!"
Before the small group could react, two incredible beams of energy slammed into the middle of Sky Pillar. Eilsa's eyes bulged from their sockets as the entire tower shook violently before a deafening pop was heard in the sea of clouds.
Grabbing onto their ears, Kyra, Noah and the rest of the group screamed, the sound of a deafening explosion that seemed to crush the world around them roaring from above. The pokemon reacting on instinct, grabbed Steven, Tori, Jin, Noah and Kyra and hauled them to the beaches before massive boulders began to descend from the sky.
"...Cole." Elisa and Kyra breathed as Sky Pillar crumbled, a downpour of rocks and debris piercing the sands and water. Their sight was glued on where Sky Pillar once stood as more and more segments collapsed around the base of the tower.
"It's gone…" Steven stood in awe as the remaining stones sunk into the ocean before silence descended onto the beaches like a veil.
"...The pokemon." Noah was the first to speak, catching everyone's attention. Raising his arm that was laced with cuts and bruises, he pointed to the hoards of pokemon that had watched the entire ordeal. What brought shock to the group was not the pokemon, but their expressions.
"...They look so happy-" Tori winced once a brilliant flash of light descended from the clouds above. Turning her attention upward, she, along with everyone else gasped as a green serpent slowly spiralled down from the clearing skies towards them.
Petals of light fluttered from Rayquaza's body as it neared them. Elisa and Elizabeth could only stare in awe once they noticed the lights were a beautiful mix of red, blue and green.
Elisa screamed once she noticed two figures atop Rayquaza's head. She shook with happiness when Cole and Houndoom slipped off the dragon's body before falling to the shallow waters. Sprinting with all of her strength, she jumped into the waters, dodging and slipping through the wild pokemon before she reached them.
"...What did he do?" Elizabeth breathed in disbelief.
"It's body is normal again…" Jin stared in awe as Rayquaza circled the wild pokemon.
"...What did Cole do?" Steven wondered as he watched Elisa pick Cole and Houndoom out of the waters.
"Cole!...Come on! Wake up!" She shook him softly. The sun's rays sparked on the water's surface around him. Cole opened his tired eyes slowly before he met Elisa's beaming ones. He stared at her deeply as tears streamed down her face before she pulled him into a tight embrace.
"You saved us!...You saved us!...Thank you!"
Cole lifted his arm slowly, fingers stroking the woman's hair as he heard her sweet voice. It felt like forever since he saw that warm smile. Wiping the blood from his face, Elisa gave him a tender kiss on his head, squeezing him into another embrace.
Houndoom wagged his tail slowly, enjoying the moment before a rush of footsteps and shouts sounded from the beach. Turning around, Houndoom yelped as Kyra, Noah and the rest of the pokemon embraced them.
"You did it!"
"It's all over!"
"You stopped the Dragon Plates!"
"You're back Cole! Don't ever leave us again!"
Laughing from their words, Elisa pulled Cole out of the water, supporting him before she glanced at his arm.
That smile quickly faded.
Rayquaza stared at Cole for a few moments, its eyes reflecting understanding and emotions that no one else would understand. The pokemon and humans stared at the Sky High pokemon as it nodded in thanks before turning to the clear sky above.
...There is hope...among humans.