Part 2: Beyond the Gods’ Sight
Chapter 20: Atrocity’s Invitation
The sun blazed down on Leon as he stood on the town walls. He looked at the people in their fields, working hard to keep the crop successful. Right before he turned back to the castle, he looked at the empty sky, but saw nothing except an approaching thunderstorm.
Three months had passed, and Leon had yet to hear anything about Elomir. He considered going to visit the desert, but he knew that there was so much left to do during the rest of the Summer. Returning to the castle, Leon waited as Desmond finished settling a dispute between two of the townspeople.
“Leon, are you ready to meet with the ambassador from Midern? They should be arriving today,” Desmond said.
“Actually, they might be delayed.” Leon pointed to the dark skies outside the window. “There is a bad thunderstorm approaching from the South.”
“We’ll just have to wait and see. Be ready in case they arrive.”
Leon went to his room to put on more formal attire. He waited around the castle for a few hours. The expected guests didn’t arrive, only the thunderstorm. The rain came down in furious bursts and the flashes of lightning could be seen in the distance. Suddenly a guard ran up and saluted. “Some guests are here to see you, prince.”
“Is it the ambassador?” Leon asked.
“No. It is a man in a black hat. It looks like he’s been traveling for quite a while.”
“It must be Corvon! I wonder what he’s doing here?”
Leon dismissed the guard and ran down to meet with the visitors. Corvon stood there, water still dripping from his hat and cloak. Lucario took a moment to shake the water out of his fur. Kita and Chiro also took a moment to do the same.
“What are all of you doing here?” Leon asked. “Where’s Forde?”
Both Kita and Chiro looked down at the stone floor. Chiro’s usual grin changed to a worried scowl. It may have just been the rain dripping of her, but it looked as if Kita was crying.
“He’s gone,” Corvon said. “We were investigating some men who held Mellano’s fiancé captive until he gave them the toxic plate. We tracked them as far as the bottom of Mount Freeze, but then…”
* * *
Forde and Corvon had easily followed the ten men this far. These men were traveling with speed in mind, not concealment. Up at the top of the winding trail, the ten men were almost to reach the cave near the summit of the mountain.
“If we can catch up to them in there, they won’t be able to escape,” Forde said. “Let’s get after them.”
“We still don’t even know who they are, and yet they obviously have some important mission,” Corvon said as he wrapped his cloak tighter around him. “I’d like to find out what drives them onwards, even in such extremes as this place. We’d better get moving ourselves or we’ll freeze.”
Both Kita and Lucario were shivering, while Chiro had remained inside Forde’s coat for days. They moved quickly up the mountain, which warmed up their feet. The deep snow and icy paths made for dangerous travel, but they navigated their way up the mountain as quickly as possible. Just as they reached half-way, a purple mist began to flow slowly downwards from the cave.
Lucario squinted to get a better view. “What is that?”
“I’m sensing something in that cave unlike anything else I’ve ever felt,” Kita said.
“We’re almost there, and then we’ll see,” Forde said.
The mist spread into the air, but formed the thickest around the top of the mountain. Soon, they reached the threshold of the mist. Forde took a step into it. “I’m going first. Don’t come in unless I say so.” The rest of them watched as he disappeared into the purple cloud. The few minutes Forde was gone seemed like hours, but then he stepped back out. “I’m not sensing anything harmful to pokemon in here, but I think you should stay out, Corvon.”
A small amount of the miasma flowed down to where they were standing. Lucario and Kita didn’t notice anything, but Corvon started coughing. His coughing continued and he had a pained look on his face.
“Lucario,” Forde commanded. “Get Corvon down from here. Wait at the bottom of the mountain for us. If the fog reaches you, keep moving further away.”
Lucario said nothing as he supported Corvon and began helping him down the mountain. Forde now turned to Kita and pulled Chiro from his pocket.
“Whatever is making this has to be stopped,” Forde said. “This fog contains poisons that will slowly kill any humans caught in it. It will be up to us now.”
Forde, Kita, and Chiro made it up the last stretch of mountain, despite the fog obscuring their sight. From the mouth of the cave, more miasma came seeping out. They took a few cautious steps, and could see a few figures sprawled on the floor. Forde kneeled down to examine one.
“This is one of the men we were following!” Forde said. “He’s dead now.”
Kita had taken a few more steps forward and then gasped. “Forde, there’s something else here. I think it’s making the fog.”
Forde got up and stared at the ten foot tall figure enshrouded in fog. “Kita, clear some of this away.”
Kita focused and cleared a small patch of the clouds away, but then lost focus as soon as she saw the glowing red eyes on the black and white head. “It can’t be,” she muttered in disbelief.
“This is Arceus?” Chiro said.
“Arceus! Why are you doing this?” Forde yelled.
Arceus said nothing.
“Why don’t you answer us?” Forde asked. “Answer or we may have to attack!”
“Attack Arceus?” Kita said. “Are you insane?”
They waited a few minutes in silence, but then Forde issued his command. “Kita, Chiro, use your strongest attacks!”
Kita and Chiro both braced themselves and gathered energy. Right as they unleashed their attacks, the fog stopped and a barrier blocked both.
They charged again, but their attacks were repelled by the barrier once more. Forde circled around Arceus, pondering what to do.
Forde pulled out his dagger. “I never thought I’d have to use this, especially on a pokemon. It is breaking the agreement that all but the vilest of humans and pokemon uphold. A human and pokemon should never battle. That was decreed so long ago, after the war of the heroes, and now I must break it. I’d ask Arceus to forgive me if it wasn’t the one I was attacking. Now everyone attack!”
Both Kita and Chiro unleashed their attacks, which did no damage. Forde jumped forwards, slashing right near the center of Arceus’ chest, where the toxic plate was now embedded. Forde’s dagger sank to the hilt, and Arceus roared in pain. Arceus reared up, but Forde had kept hold of his weapon, causing a nasty slice down the entire length of Arceus’ chest.
Forde jumped back as Arceus slammed its hooves down, causing the whole mountain to shake. Forde now reached for the plate, and began to tear it off. It looked as if he would succeed, but he suddenly vanished.
Kita and Chiro ran to where Forde had been, but only Arceus stood, dripping a few drops of blood on the floor. The wounds closed and Arceus stood silent again.
“Where’s Forde?” Chiro said.
“He’s… gone,” Kita answered. “Forde’s gone! What will we do without him?”
Chiro glared at Arceus before shooting a bolt of electricity. The attack was shielded, doing nothing.
Kita began to cry as she never had before. “Forde! Why did you attack Arceus? I thought you were smart…”
Chiro tried attacking Arceus a few more times, but got the same results. Exhausted, he returned to Kita’s side. “There’s nothing more we can do here. Let’s go tell Corvon.”
“No, I won‘t leave here!”
“Forde would have wanted us to continue his mission. We have to help stop this.”
With some reluctance, Kita finally left. The two slid down the mountain, trying to get to Corvon as fast as possible. Corvon and Lucario noticed them, and looked questioningly at them. Finally they reached the bottom.
“Corvon, Lucario! Forde disappeared!” Chiro frantically said.
“Slow down and tell me what happened,” Corvon said.
“Arceus is at the top, making these poison clouds,” Chiro said. “All three of us attacked, but only Forde did any damage. After he almost pulled off the toxic plate, Forde vanished.”
“So Forde’s gone? Did he tell either of you what to do next?” Lucario asked.
“No,” Kita said. “I think he would want us to stop this. The fog is lethal to humans. Mewtwo, he’s the one we need to see.”
Corvon pulled out his map. “Where does Mewtwo live?”
“On an island, but we can contact him from where Pokemon Square used to be,” Kita said.
“That’s pretty far away,” Corvon said. “If we head South we can meet up with Leon at Alagarde and maybe get Draconis, Annox, Hurdy, and Peoria to help us.”
“What good would they do?” Kita asked.
“We’ll need anyone we can get and the Southern way is the fastest way through all the nearby mountains. Maybe we could even get Elomir to fly ahead and contact Mewtwo.”
Kita was still glancing up at the mountain, as if expecting Forde to return. “Whatever.”
“Let’s go then,” Lucario said.
The four all left the mountain, but both Kita and Chiro looked back every few minutes.
* * *
“That was a week ago,” Kita said. “If you were ever a friend of Forde, then you’ll join us.”
“This is all very grave news,” Leon said. “I’ll have to go tell my father.”
Desmond listened patiently to the awful events and then added his suggestion. “Leon, if you feel you are needed to stop this threat, then you must go.”
“I will go. It seems an impossible task to stop Arceus, but we must try.”
“Your pack will be ready in a few minutes. Go safely and return victorious.”
“Thank you, dad. I’ll do my best. It looks like you’ll have to cover the ambassador for me.”
“Don’t worry about that. This is far more important! The guards will have your supplies by the gate. I’ll take care of everything here.”
Leon bid farewell to his father and returned to the others.
“I’m ready to go,” he said.
“Do you know where Elomir is?” Corvon asked. “He could be helpful.”
“He left for the desert as soon as he could. I haven’t heard anything from him since.”
“That changes plans. Kita, Chiro, do you think you could go and get the others from Relic Academy and catch up to us? We’ll head north from the desert and meet you at Zapdos’s lands.”
“We should get there right around when you two do,” Kita said. “Either group will only wait at Zapdos two days. After that, move on.”
“I agree,” Corvon said. “We need to do this quickly. The more we wait, the more the poison will spread.”
“Why don’t I just head to the desert?” Leon asked. “If anyone can get Elomir to come, it will be me. Kita and Chiro can go get the others, while Corvon and Lucario head straight to Mewtwo.”
“That will save some time, but smaller groups means we might be at risk from attacks,” Corvon said. “Especially you, Leon, since you don’t have any pokemon.”
“I’ll avoid any people I’m not sure of,” Leon said. “I can look out for myself.”
“If you want to take the risk, then fine,” Corvon said. “I guess that means it’s time we all head out.”
They all went their separate ways with haste towards their destinations. Kita and Chiro arrived at Relic Academy a few days later. They walked right in, unannounced, and met with Hurdy’s father.
“What brings you two here without Forde?” the Swampert asked.
“Something happened to Forde,” Kita said. “We need to see Hurdy, Draconis, Annox, and Peoria right now.”
“Fine, I’ll get them.”
Within a few minutes, all four had been gathered.
“Kita, Chiro, so good to see you again,” Hurdy said. “Where’s Forde?”
“I don’t really care that he’s not here,” Draconis muttered.
Kita tackled Draconis in a flash, her claws out and ready above his neck. “Don’t talk about Forde like that!” After a few tense moments, Kita backed off and allowed Draconis to get up.
“Hey, don’t fight!” Annox said. “What’s all this about?”
“I’ll tell you,” Chiro said.
After Chiro told the story, all four seemed to be thinking hard.
“So, are you going to come?” Kita asked.
“No, not unless I know exactly what I’m getting into and what I’m getting paid,” Draconis said. “I don’t care about the humans anyways.”
Hurdy gave his friend a pleading look, but then gave his response. “I’ll go. I don’t want to see all the humans dead.”
“I think I’ll need some more time to think about it,” Annox said.
“Come on, Annox,” Peoria said. “We can’t let all the humans die. If we do nothing, it will be partly our fault.”
“Fine, if you are going, then I’ll come,” Annox said. “It’s only because you want me to, though.”
Peoria nuzzled Annox. “Oh, how sweet of you!”
Annox began blushing. “You’re embarrassing both of us.”
“Okay, let’s go,” Kita said. “There isn’t any time to waste. We’re supposed to go meet up with Mewtwo as quickly as possible.”
Draconis walked away as the others prepared to go. Hurdy and Annox both met with their families to say goodbye, and then they all met at the trail that led back to the North. They had just set out, when Draconis came running after them.
Kita glared at him. “What do you want?”
“I’ve decided to come along,” Draconis said. “All my friends are going, and staying here isn’t making me any stronger. I’m not doing this for Forde, though.”
“As long as you are with us, then you’re welcome,” Chiro said.
* * *
Leon traveled straight out of Western Farna into the desert. He had mapped out where he thought Elomir would be, and used this to track where to go. After a few days, he finally saw the familiar oasis in the distance.
After walking through the hot sun all day, Leon stopped at the oasis for a drink. He got up and started going the way he remembered Elomir had flown last time. Soon, he saw a cave up in some cliffs and headed towards it.
A shadow covered the sun suddenly, but before Leon could look up, he found himself pinned to the ground underneath a growling Flygon.
“Elomir, is that you?” Leon asked after looking at the Flygon for a second.
“Leon? What are you doing here?” Elomir said. “You’re lucky I’m the one on guard duty. Allia would probably have ripped your head off the moment she saw you.”
“Guard duty? What are you guarding?”
Elomir began scratching the back of his head nervously. “I guess I can tell you. You see, I’m here guarding our egg while Allia is hunting.”
Leon‘s eyes widened in surprise. “So you’re a father now?”
“Almost. The egg will hatch soon. You’d better be going soon before Allia gets back. Why are you here anyways?”
Leon told Elomir of the poison Arceus was creating. Elomir seemed saddened by the news, but didn’t look determined to do anything.
“If things were different, then I might have joined you again, Leon. I’m needed here more than anywhere else. I wish you luck on the rest of your trip.”
“I guess I’ll be going. I never thought you and Allia would have an egg yet, and you need to stay and watch over it. If you ever want to find me, just go to the old ruins of Pokemon Square and meet with Mewtwo.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, but don’t expect any help from me.”
“Goodbye again, Elomir.”
Leon set off to the North and Elomir watched him go from his perch among the cliffs. Although part of him wanted to go, more of him wanted to stay, so Elomir remained motionless. Soon, Allia returned and sniffed the air.
“Someone’s been here,” she said.
“It was my old human,” Elomir said. “He wanted me to join him for another quest, but I refused.”
“It must have been desperate for him to come all the way here. What did he want?”
“Arceus is creating a fog that will kill the humans if it gets to them.”
“I don’t talk to humans, but surely they can’t have invoked that judgment yet. The ancient prophecy states that when hearts and minds become full of venom, Arceus will poison the world. It is one of the ancient judgments, but from what you’ve said, the humans aren’t that evil yet.”
“Perhaps something is making Arceus do this, like something made the human leaders act different and start that war I was in.”
“That could be true, but we have to worry about our family. We have one egg that will hatch soon, and perhaps more on the way.”
“Yes, so much to do…”
Allia flew back to the cave, but Elomir sat and thought for a moment. There was nothing he could do to help Leon, but perhaps there was some other way.