Questions Answered. The Punishment.
A desolate and icebound wasteland, isolated from the outside world, seemingly frozen in time. Such words were used to describe the frigid sierra located in the north-eastern region of the known world. Few dared to venture out this far and far fewer made it back alive to to tell the tale.
Even now, as the world found itself heading down the path of destruction, this place seemed relatively untouched, maintaining its pristine ice and snow. This held especially true for the tallest mountain in the world, appropriately named, Mount Freeze.
Having spent days scaling its icy cliffs, Dave and Alakazam now rested near the top, allowing themselves to catch their breath before finishing their journey. The teleport gem had taken them as far as Frosty Forest, but shattered once they had tried to take it the rest of the way. From there, they had to walk to Mount Freeze.
Dave panted heavily with puffs of vapour leaving his mouth as he tried to catch his breath. He knew, though, that it was a hopeless struggle. He’d experienced the difficulties of traveling in thin air before. With every breath he could never manage to draw in enough air, even when he took the most gargantuan of yawns. The cold didn’t make it much easier either, causing a burning sensation in his lungs with every breath he took. His paws stung painfully as the sweat he had worked up in the last climb began to freeze. It was a dreadful feeling to say the least, but one that was all too familiar.
Dave took the last bite out of an apple as he gazed over the icy cliff and out at the world below. It was a scene much different the one he had seen roughly four years back. The first time he was here, he had been a convict, fleeing for his life with Treecko at his side. Cyndaquil hadn’t joined the team by then, instead, they were joined by a Pokemon by the name of Absol. Absol had joined them for no other reason than to help the disasters end. Once they had finished their mission in destroying the falling star, he had disappeared altogether. Dave sometimes wondered where he was now and what he was doing. Back then when they looked over the cliff the entire world stretched out before them as far as the eye could see. It was a breathtaking view, revealing the wonders that the world still had to offer. Dave could’ve sworn he had even seen the plume of smoke billowing up from the distant Mount Blaze.
This time, however, he was confronted with an ocean of clouds, veiling everything besides the tallest of mountains beneath a thick white curtain of mist. Silently and gracefully the blanket of clouds flowed around the mountain peaks, being pushed ever onward by the relentless wind below. Dave gave a mournful sigh. In many ways, the clouds reflected the way he felt. His mind was clouded with thoughts of remorse, fear and uncertainty. He could not forget the look on Tristan’s face that day he left the village. His words still echoed in Dave’s mind.
“You broke your promise!”
“Tristan...” he moaned.
“I think it’s time we continued, Dave. Are you ready?” came the low voice of Alakazam from behind.
“Yeah...” Dave grumbled mindlessly, his gaze still fixed on the horizon.
“Dave... Are you alright?”
“I can understand how you feel,” Alakazam said, in an attempt to comfort him. “But you must realize this isn’t your fault. You came to this world with no memory. There was nothing you could’ve done.”
“I know...” Dave answered. “But Tristan doesn’t know that. He thinks I actually forgot about him... and I was the only person he ever called a friend... Do you know how horrible I must’ve sounded to him? I need to find him. Tell him that this was all a big mistake. I just hope he can forgive me...”
“I would very much like to find Tristan myself,” Alakazam agreed. “I have some apologies to make on behalf of my team after all. But one thing that I am sure of, it’s that if he’s anything like you, he will understand. Am I right?”
“Well, we can’t do anything about it by sitting here,” he stated, picking up their toolbox using his telekinetic powers. “The best thing we can do right now is try to get answers from Ninetales. Now that we’ve rested long enough, we should keep moving.”
Reluctantly, Dave tore his eyes away from the endless horizon, and towards the peak of the mountain. The hard part of the journey was over, with all the difficult climbing behind them. After several more minutes of travel, they had reached their goal. The peak of Mount Freeze was quite different from the peaks surrounding it. The top of this mountain was flat, as though the actual peak had been broken off. The peak was completely empty, save the several snow drifts that had been carried up by the wind as well as several outcroppings of rock which protruded upward near the edge.
The two walked out to the middle of the plateau, their eyes scanning for any hint of motion. Dave crossed his arms as he shivered in the cold when he realized something. What if Ninetales wasn’t here? Last time he was here, the elusive fox had taken some time before making his presence known. It wasn’t until he and Alakazam were about to rip each others throats out that he actually had intervened. He turned to that very same Pokemon, now as his ally, and was about to mention it.
“I’ve been expecting you,” a voice spoke suddenly, breaking the silence. The voice had spoken to them telepathically, making the whereabouts of the speaker unknown, but only seconds later, a strange presence manifested itself behind them. Both Alakazam and Dave spun around to see the large, golden-white fox-like Pokemon standing behind them. The unmistakable crest of fur on the top of his head, and the nine orange tipped tails that swayed behind him confirmed who it was. For the first time in a while, Dave was able to give a sigh of relief, feeling some comfort in this Pokemon’s presence.
For a moment, Ninetales was silent as he glanced between the two leaders with his gleaming red eyes. “Where is the other human?”
Dave took a gulp before replying, “… he’s missing…”
“Missing…” Ninetales uttered, a dissatisfied look on his face. “This wasn’t part of the plan... I gave Gardevoir direct orders to guide you both here…”
“The villagers banished him from our town,” Dave answered regretfully. “They thought he was trying to steal my… apparent fame. Both he and his team were forced to leave. They haven’t returned since. I didn’t realize it was Tristan back then. Gardevoir told me about it the night after.”
“Hmmm… this is unfortunate,” Ninetales said. “If something were to happen to him... our only hopes are lost...”
“So you do know what’s going on!” Alakazam cut in, becoming suddenly excited. “Ninetales, please tell us what is happening to the world. Why was another human brought here when we already have Dave? What can we do to stop the disasters from continuing?”
“I was hoping that both Tristan and Dave would be here to hear this,” Ninetales stated. “But with the given situation, I see that there is no other option.” He paused a second while glancing to the side of the plateau, towards one of the rocky outcrops. “I won’t be able to explain it alone. I have brought someone who would help me explain.” Having said this, he closed his eyes in concentration sending what Dave could only guess was another telepathic signal. Both Dave and Alakazam waited quietly, wondering who this other Pokemon was.
Dave practically jumped out of his fur at the sound of the shriek. He knew who this was. He had heard it before. That cry was unmistakable. In shock, he stared over at the other the side of the plateau where a figure emerged from behind from the rock.
A tall green bird-like Pokemon approached them, with long white wings that covered most of the front of his body. The only part his wings didn’t cover was a small pattern on his chest that resembled eyes. Protruding from the back of his head were two long red crests, similar to the colour of his talons. A few other colours formed patterns on the rest of his body, like red and black stripes on the tips of his wings and green and gold striped on the lower part of his body. As well he featured a long sharp yellow beak.
“Xatu!” Dave gasped in surprise.
By now the elderly bird had was standing before them, gazing at the two leaders much the way Ninetales had with his wizened eyes. “Not here, Tristan is…” he said. “Very unfortunate.”
“The circumstances are unfavorable,” Ninetales answered. “But time is growing short. We will only have these two to explain things to.” He then shot Dave a serious look. “But you will have to find and tell Tristan everything that has happened here.”
Dave nodded quickly.
“Then I will tell you what I know.” He turned to face Alakazam. “You asked why Tristan was brought here when we already have Dave. The answer is because the crisis we face now is much different from the time of the falling star. It is far greater than anything that has ever happened to our world before. Yes, greater than the battle between oceans and continents. Greater than the battle of space and time. It is far beyond the hands of one individual. This time, two humans are needed. I had asked Gardevoir to choose a human, one who would be suitable for this job, like I did for you, Dave. We chose Tristan partly because of the friendship that you both shared.”
At this, Dave looked down to the ground in guilt.
Ninetales snickered slightly once Dave had looked up again. “He also, according to Gardevoir, was a pretty interesting character the first time she met him. From what I heard, he had gotten himself into a fight. Only after the fight was over did he look at her and asked her what she was staring at. Apparently she was so surprised that she didn’t know what to say and ran off. But there was something about him that she liked. I suppose that’s another part of the reason she chose him.”
“That does sound like Tristan...” Dave said, breaking a slight grin.
“Okay,” Alakazam replied, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “But what’s happening to the world? I’ve heard of the monumental battles you spoke of. I cannot fathom anything greater than any of those.”
“Firstly,” Ninetales said. “It must be known that unlike the falling star, which was a natural event, the threat this time is being caused by a Pokemon.”
“Who is this Pokemon?” Alakazam continued the moment Ninetales had finished. “Where can we find it?”
“Sanngot is his name,” Xatu spoke up, who had been silent until now. “Watching him, I have been. Day in and day out. Dormant he has been since the universe’s origin. But stirred he was by the falling star. Awake he is now, and tragedy he will cause.”
“Tragedy, on a cosmic scale," Ninetales added.
“Hang on…” Dave said, raising his hand. “Where is this Sanngot guy anyway? How exactly are we supposed to stop him?”
“You said you’ve been watching him,” Alakazam commented. “But you couldn’t have been. Every day you’ve had your eyes transfixed on the sun? Or perhaps you watch him at night?”
“Wrong,” Xatu answered calmly. “Both of them I have been watching. Both appear by day, and both are hidden at night.”
Both Dave and Alakazam exchanged confused looks. “That doesn’t really help us,” Dave said shrugging. “Could you perhaps not speak in riddles?”
“I know it may seem hard to believe,” Ninetales said, seeing their confusion. “But Sanngot… lives in the sun.”
“WHAT!?” Dave and Alakazam shouted in unison.
Dave must have been hearing things. It was impossible. The sun? No, it just couldn’t be true. It was impossible! “We’re talking the sun above our heads right now right? The one I see in the sky every day?” Dave cried. “How can a Pokemon live in the sun?”
“Better yet,” Alakazam added. “How are we supposed to stop him if he’s that far away? It’s not like we could walk over there and dive in.”
Ninetales closed his eyes again, becoming tired of the interruptions. “I was just about to answer that question.” He gave a brief pause to ensure the two were listening, then proceeded. “Do you know who the first Pokemon is?”
“Oh oh wait! I know this one!” Dave shouted raising his paw in the air and waving it around. “Let me think... I know I remember this from somewhere... Oh yeah! I learned it back in Buried Relic! It’s Mew! Every Pokemon in this world has DNA that can be traced back to Mew.”
“No, wait,” Alakazam replied as he turned to Dave. “Every Pokemon may be able to trace their DNA back to Mew, but she was not the first Pokemon to ever exist. The first Pokemon is actually Arceus. The legend tells that before there were planets or stars, she existed. She was the one who created the universe.”
“Where did you learn that?” Dave asked curiously.
“I read a lot,” Alakazam answered. “Surely you’ve seen the shelves of books in my team base. I don’t keep them for decoration you know.”
“KWAAAAAH!!” Xatu cried suddenly, making Dave and Alakazam jump. “Again, wrong.”
Dave glanced quickly at Ninetales before turning to Xatu. Ninetales hadn’t even blinked at Xatu’s sudden outburst. He probably knew what Xatu was about to do, which slightly irritated him. He could’ve at least given a little warning... He also wondered whether Ninetales enjoyed watching them jump all the time.
“What?” Alakazam asked. “I know for a fact that Arceus is the first Pokemon! Never before have I come across any information indicating otherwise!”
“Xatu is right,” Ninetales confirmed. “He would know, he can see great things with his eyes.”
“The present and the past...” the bird chanted.
“And...?” Dave asked.
“And what,” Xatu asked, tilting his head slightly.
“I dunno... I just thought you were going to say something else at the end. Actually I was kinda expecting you would say something along the lines of future.”
“Confusing the future is,” Xatu answered. “Difficult it is to predict. When into the future I look, not just one future do I see, but many. See every possible future, I can. Fail you will in one future, but succeed you will in the other. Only one past there was that brought us here, and only one present there is that guides us now. That is why the past and the present I can see, but the future I cannot.”
“Uh...” Dave grunted. “Alrighty then...” To be honest he didn’t have a clue about what he just said. But he thought he got the gist of it. He couldn’t tell the future.
“I think I understand...” Alakazam said, rubbing his chin again.
“Ahem!” Ninetales cleared his throat loudly, becoming increasingly irritated. “If you three are finished with the idle chatter, we can continue with what you have actually come for. Now back to the question about which Pokemon was the first. We do not know much beyond the fact that Sanngot is the first Pokemon to have existed. He created Arceus to help him build the universe. But his vision was much different from the universe we see today. He wanted to make subjects who would worship him and answer to his every wish. Essentially, he wanted a world of slaves at his command.
“Arceus knew this, and tried to find a way to stop him. But she had only the fraction of the power that he had, and so could not do anything to oppose him. It was only by a fluke that she managed to catch him off-guard and put him into a deep sleep. But she knew that this sleep would not last forever, so before she could create the universe she dictated a prediction of what would happen should Sanngot awake.
“A tyrant defeated, but not yet slain
Trapped in slumber, but not eternally
The day shall come when the slumber ends
And on this day destruction shall follow, should none be there to oppose him
Amidst the masses, two shall rise
Two beings, strangers to our world
They hold the key that shall bring an end to the terror
The fate of the universe rests with them.
“That two strangers. This is referring to you and Tristan. You are not Pokemon, you are humans. And it is you who holds the key to the survival of our universe. Once she finished the prophecy, history as we know it began.”
“Th- The universe?” Dave asked, his breath taken away.
“Yes. I did say that this was a different kind of disaster you would be facing,” Ninetales answered. “The scale of this disaster is on a different level entirely. This is all I can tell you for now. Before you can do anything else, you must go and find Tristan and tell him everything that we’ve told you. When you do, Xatu will instruct you further on what you must do. Now hurry, time is running out, the disasters that plague the world are becoming worse, and that is the least of our concerns. If our actions are not fast, Sanngot will bring about the end of the universe.”
Dave and Alakazam both nodded in response, both turning to head back down the mountain from where they came, Alakazam picking up the toolbox as he went.
“Wait,” Ninetales said, causing the to leaders to turn to face him again. “That will not do. You will take too long if you return to the village by foot. Xatu and I will teleport you there.”
“Phew!” Dave sighed. “I was dreading hiking all the way back.”
“Normally I would have let you walk,” Ninetales responded. “But I sense something strange. I sense danger in Tristan’s future. Because of this I need you to go meet with him as quickly as possible without delay is that clear?”
“Yes,” Dave answered, startled by the urgency.
“This is of utmost importance,” Ninetales said as he and Xatu positioned themselves on either side of the team members. Both of them closed their eyes in concentration. “Tristan must survive. Without him, there is no future.”
Articuno gazed at his surroundings with a sense of awe. He, Moltres and Zapdos had arrived here a short time ago after teleporting with Jirachi to a strange place surrounded by giant pillars of stone. Above them, the ceiling seemed to rise for miles, and the horizon appeared as one enormous violent blaze of fire. Not too far away was a small hole in the floor that radiated a bright beam of light straight up into the air. It was a sight that none of them could ever have possibly imagined.
“What is this place?” he asked quietly.
“How should I know?” Zapdos snapped back. “Ask Jirachi when she comes back.”
“She said that we were finally going to meet this Sanngot character,” Moltres said. “I’m not sure whether to be worried about this or not. She did say Sanngot doesn’t take kindly to failure.”
“Well…” Zapdos replied. Just then a small flash appeared a short distance away. From that flash, Jirachi emerged. “We’ll soon see. Here she is now.”
Jirachi at first looked disoriented, but then caught sight of the birds and glided over to them, her same stressed and troubled look etched on her face. “My master… says it is time to see you now. You do not have much longer to wai-…” She turned as everyone squinted at a bright light that had come from the hole in the center of the floor. What seemed to be a large bright ball began to approach the four legendary Pokemon.
“I introduce to you,” she said with a trembling voice. “M-m-m-master… Sanngot.”
“So…” Articuno said, squinting as he tried to get a look at the bright light, “This is the one who says he can end the disasters.”
“Legendary Birds,” a voice spoke from the light. “Do you know why I have summoned you?”
“Because we failed our mission,” Moltres answered. “We could not kill the human.”
“Exactly. It is a shame that Pokemon with a title such as your own would fail such a seemingly easy task.”
“HEY!” Moltres roared back. “I’d like to know why we had to kill that human in the first place! Why do you need him gone before you can save the world?”
“And cut it out with that light!” Zapdos added. “Show us what you really look like!”
“Oh…” the voice chuckled. “You wish to see my true form do you? Very well, I shall grant you the privilege.” The aura became suddenly dimmer, causing everything to become dark for a moment as everyone's eyes adjusted to the new darkness. A moment later, and they were able to set their eyes upon him.
To the bird’s surprise, they saw that Sanngot was not much larger than his servant Jirachi. On his head was a downward facing moon shaped crescent, in the center of which was the shape of a radiating sun. His eyes were blood red, which contrasted drastically against his pale white skin. Encircling his shoulders were brace like configurations that looked to be of the same material on his head, ending with four points. These four points pointed to the center of his chest, where a small glowing orb was hovering. This must have been the cause of his intense brightness. Lastly, surrounding him, was what looked like a large ring, which had four points protruding at forty-five degree angles. Despite how small he was, however, this did not diminish the feeling of power that emanated from him.
“As for the other question,” Sanngot said. “Who said I was going to save the world? Where did you hear this from?”
“I remember this straight from Jirachi’s mouth!” Articuno insisted. “It wasn’t even that long ago when we all heard it!” He turned to the other birds, who nodded in agreement.
“Master,” Jirachi spoke up. “I only relayed the message that you told me to tell them. I told them that you would end it all.”
“You mean…” Moltres said slowly, upon recalling the night on Mount Blaze. “You weren’t planning on saving the world?”
Sanngot grinned slightly. “On the contrary, I was planning to destroy it as well as so much more.”
"You!” Zapdos shouted. “You were causing the disaster too, weren’t you! It was you who was the problem all along! Not this human that you sent us after! This is an outrage! You are fooling yourself if you think that you’re getting away with this!”
“Yeah!” Articuno agreed, “As the Legendary Birds, we place it upon ourselves to end this here and now!”
“This will put an end to all the needless suffering!” Moltres finished. With that said the three birds took off into the air, separating as each prepared to attack.
“Jirachi,” Sanngot said calmly.
“Y-yes, master?” she asked, trembling in fear.
“You may leave for now. I have some flies to swat.”
“Yes, master.” With this, she disappeared in a flash of light..
By now the three birds were already advancing on Sanngot from three sides, each one preparing to attack. “All together!” Articuno shouted as a small blue orb materialized in front of his beak. With a loud shriek he unleashed a frigid beam of ice. Zapdos, with seemingly a cloak of static also gave out an ear piercing shriek as he stretched out his wings, bring down a mammoth bolt of lightning. Moltres attacked from head on, appearing as one bright inferno of flames. With a loud shriek he released a torrent of fire. All three attacks closed in on Sanngot, rendering escape impossible.
Sanngot chuckled slightly. “Fools.”
Suddenly, he released a pulse of energy around him, causing the beam of ice to slow, then dissipate until it evaporated completely. The bolt of lightning, instead of hitting Sanngot, hit the ring that circled him, which absorbed every last bit of the energy. The flamethrower attack, which was the only thing that was unaffected, hit Sanngot directly, but seemingly did nothing to damage him. As the smoke cleared, the extent of the damage of the tri-attack from the Legendary Birds was realized. Nothing.
“No,” Articuno panted, landing near Moltres and Zapdos as he looked back to Sanngot. “No!”
“What just...” Zapdos said, as he gasped for air. “All three of our strongest attacks...”
“Impudence,” Sanngot snarled as he hovered towards the birds, “Do you know who you are dealing with? Did you honestly think you could harm me?” His right arm began to set on fire, extending in length as it turned into white-hot flames. “I have no use for weaklings like you. And now that you know too much, the only thing I have left to do with you is to dispose of you.”
With a flash in his eye, he raised his flaming arm into the air, increasing it to at least twice his size. “SOLAR FLARE!!” he shouted as he swept his arm across the floor, engulfing the three Pokemon known as the Legendary Birds in a white hot inferno.
To be continued…
Here is a picture of how I imagine Sanngot to look like.