“And then what?”
As Eleanor asked this, none noticed that Carter’s focus was intensifying, and that he nearly had Regirock awakened.
This event had happened some time later. An aging, scruffy looking man sporting orange hair and a beard stood at a lectern in the front of a packed classroom; his white lab coat and red undershirt were as equally unkempt as he was. After adjusting a pair of rectangular eyeglasses to suit himself, he picked up a paper and began to speak.
“The demonstration portion of the final exam for Dr. Newton Graceland’s robotics class begins now. In this portion of the exam, each student will demonstrate briefly a robotic device that they have created using what they learned in my class this year. Inventions will be graded based on creativity and overall application of the class’s material.
Now, let’s begin! The first to make a presentation will be Carter McKenna!”
Standing to quite a bit of applause, Carter stood and walked to the front of the hall. As he did so a pair of lab assistants wheeled out a cart with his invention on it. The machine resembled an oversized silver blender.
“Allow me to present the Apricorn Blender!” he announced proudly, setting a sack of multicolored nut-like fruits on the table next to him. “This device, when loaded with Apricorns, as I have here, will produce what I have dubbed Aprishakes. When a Pokémon drinks an Aprishake, its physical coniditon will improve, and all the Apricorn Blender needs to operate is two 9-volt batteries! Allow me to demonstrate!”
Carter reached into the sack and pulled out four Apricorns; two blue, one pink, one white. He opened the cover of the Apricorn Blender and deposited them, then closed the machine.
“Gentlemen, behold!” Carter pressed the switch on the machine’s control panel.
However, nothing happened. Panicking, Carter pressed the switch several more times, but the machine still lay dormant.
In the back of the room, Matt smirked and peered down at the two batteries in his hand.
“Carter passed that year because he got exceptional grades on the other portions, but I always regretted doing that...”
A look of pity filled Eleanor’s eyes. However, at that moment, a robotic snarl echoed through the room, and the group all turned back to the platform in time to see the black-and-brown Regirock break out of its confines within the throne and stamp forth to face its apparent enemies. Panicked and startled, Matt clumsily used his P*DA on it.
“Regirock, the Rock Peak Pokémon. Type is Rock. Its entire body is made of rock. If any part chips off in battle, it attaches rocks to repair itself. This specimen is alternately colored.”
“Now, Carter, fight him!” Fernando ordered from beyond the portal. “Use your anger and destroy him utterly!”
Carter sighed and shut his eyes. “Matt, I’m sorry I have to do this... Regirock, Stone Edge!”
The H-shaped arrangement of dots on Regirock’s body flashed wildly as arcs of energy surrounded it, soon transforming into jagged-edged rocks. With a roar the beast sent these rocks flying right for Matt, who was completely unprepared and feebly raised his arms in fearful defense.
What happened next was unexpected and sudden – another roar came from the back of the hall, followed by a shot of light that eviscerated the rocks right out of the air. The sound of thundering steps accompanied the sudden presence of Heatran.
“Heatran!” Shaymin squealed fearfully, clenching Rosalita’s head in terror. This was already a natural reaction if you knew of the Grass-type’s natural fear of fire, but Shaymin’s predisposal to cowardice only made it worse.
Rosalita, meanwhile, could only clench her teeth. “He had no intention of making us fight Regirock! It was a trap...!”
“Truuuuhhhh....” After bracing itself with its front legs, Heatran opened its mouth wide and charged up a bigger than usual Flash Cannon.
Though blinded by its light when it was fired, Matt was able to hear it hit something, presumably Regirock, with a mighty explosion. There was enough visibility to see Carter fall backwards after screaming and shortly thereafter Regirock falling. As all of Matt’s group turned back to Heatran, none saw the energy from Regirock float to Matt’s bag in search of the cube.
“What do we do?”
It was Ross that took charge and stepped forth to face Heatran. “What do we do? We fight! Capture on!”
The Capture Disc launched from Ross’s Styler when he pointed his right arm at Heatran. Upon it reaching its target, he began drawing loops in the air using his arm motions, but before long, Heatran – who had at first just looked at the object in wonder – crushed the disc with one of its massive feet, causing the Styler’s main body to shoot out a blast of sparks. Ross groaned and recoiled backwards, clutching his arm.
“Now what do we do?!” screamed Matt, watching Heatran bring a great blast of fire – no doubt its terrifying Magma Storm attack, which had deformed him the last time it was used – into its mouth. “We’re all gonna die!”
Yet, something happened when Heatran released the attack. Just as Matt uselessly raised his arms to protect from the vortexes of fire Heatran had loosed, a bright light filled the room, and when it faded, all that remained in the chamber was Heatran and its Magma Storm. Everything and everyone else was gone.
“What was that?!” Fernando screamed angrily as he looked into his machine in the bell tower. Just at the moment Heatran had used the attack he ordered, his view of the area had been cut off. “What in the name of Giratina just happened?!”
“We’ve been betrayed.” Cassy appeared in the shadows behind Fernando, holding the Griseous Orb’s staff and speaking darkly. “Dusknoir turned against us. He saved them from Heatran’s attack by taking them to an unknown location.”
Fernando just tensed up as Cassy approached him. He only turned once she was within his reach, and his face was contorted into a look of uncontrollable rage.
“Give me that!” he snarled as he snatched the staff from her. “If you were a little more careful picking your false friends, maybe we wouldn’t have this problem!”
“But you were the one who recruited Dusknoir...”
Cassy never had time to finish her defense, as Fernando simply smacked her across the face with the back of his hand, knocking her to the floor. “Do not backtalk me, you miserable woman! Lest I remind you, because of your gender, you are inferior to me already, and you have no chance of touching the majesty of a king such as I!”
Turning back to the machine, Fernando opened the top of the staff, removed the Griseous Orb and deposited it in his robes before closing the staff and setting it against the machine. “Go to your position as dictated by the plans of the Heatran Elegy,” he ordered Cassy bitterly. “I must complete the initiation at any cost.”
“My head...” Matt felt around for something to prop himself up with. He soon found what felt like a wooden table, and pushed himself up using it as support.
He then slowly opened his eyes and surveyed his surroundings. He’d been taken to a pale stone room, which he quickly noticed had no apparent doors. It was a circular chamber with the half opposite Matt’s position being a huge wall of stained glass, and the half he was standing in lined with bookcases.
While Matt looked around, the others slowly came to and stood up as well. Ross was first, followed by Rosalita and Eleanor. Carter, Howard and all four of the guards had also been transported to this chamber.
“Is this one of the chambers in the palace?” coughed one of the guards as she leaned drastically on her staff. “I’ve never seen it!” The other three guards promptly chimed in with agreement, making it apparent that they were no longer under mind control.
“Yeah, Carter, what is this place?”
“Don’t snap at me, Matt!” Carter growled back. “I’ve never been here either!”
“This room, I thought I imagined coming here all those years ago...” Howard was staring at the stained glass with wide eyes, and his speaking commanded the attention of all in the room. “I know this place...”
“You do, my old friend.”
Somehow Dusknoir had entered the room unseen. The faces around him soured immediately after coming off the initial shock of his appearance, and the anger in the room directed his way was so think it could be cut with a knife.
“You want us to talk to you, after you helped that horrid man control us?!”
“And you helped him hold me and my father in jail too!”
“Were you there when he killed my grandfather? ANSWER ME!!”
Matt lunged at Dusknoir but missed and went crashing face-first into a wall. Despite this he recovered quickly, returned to standing before the phantom and resumed his confrontational tone.
“Answer me, you damn ghost! I know you know the truth about what happened to Sutter! I’m sure you know that name – Doctor Sutter Chiaki, one of the first victims of Fernando’s bid for power!”
“Matt... you are correct. I know everything. Everything that Fernando has done and what he plans to do.”
“Then answer this...”
“Matt, wait!” Howard interrupted. He then took several slow steps forward, towards Dusknoir. “Dusknoir... you are not what you appear to be, are you? I am getting a feeling that I know you, and if I’m right...”
“You haven’t lost your natural instinct, my old friend.”
Dusknoir’s body suddenly began to glow with a soft light, and he transformed. His true identity finally began to emerge – an elderly man in a blue and green suit, pale blue hair wildly shocking out to the sides, with a dusty beard of similar color.
Upon seeing the man, Matt’s mind went blank, and he collapsed backwards to the floor. He could only look upward in shock, his body shaking violently.
“S....utt.... grandfather, you....?”
“I thought you told us not to tell him!” Eleanor blurted out. Immediately, she regretted doing so.
“You... YOU KNEW?!” Matt was back on his feet, and once again angry. “You knew that my grandfather’s...ghost or whatever was allied with Fernando AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME?!!”
Eleanor shrunk away. “He told us not to, and you don’t...have it right...”
“I don’t...?” Suddenly coming back to reality, Matt found his mind overloaded with questions. He slowly turned to face Sutter and asked quietly, “You said you know everything?”
“I know enough.” Sutter’s voice seemed to echo, fitting for a ghostly presence.
“Could you start from the beginning?”
The old man reached for a nearby chair, pulled it to near him, and gestured. “Sit down for this. You’ll need to.” Matt was clearly confused by this direction, but followed it, and Sutter only spoke then, and still was reluctant. “You see... the Golden City is not lost. We discovered it a great many years ago.”
It was a good thing Sutter had previously warned Matt to sit down, because this sudden revelation hit him like a ton of bricks. The realization that his almost two-decade old beliefs were all untrue, that the one man he idolized had been lying to him all that time, and that all remaining of his supposed hunt for a lost treasure was just stopping a mad prince, led to many seconds of blank emptiness before Matt simply stood in a rage and began shouting.
“You lied to me all this time, Sutter?! I can’t believe you! You manipulated me into doing what you couldn’t do and stopping Fernando, that’s what you did! You probably thought you could pull this little ‘come back from the dead’ stunt after I found the Golden City and take all the credit away from me! Dammit, my father was right... you are a monster! Your own fame and fortune first... family second!!”
“You have it all wrong, Matt!” Howard cried out. “Sutter is telling the truth!”
“Like you would know. Do you know how it feels to grow up constantly trying to please a man whose heart is made of stone, only looking up to a person you see as a hero that’s actually a scumbag liar? Do you?!”
Surprisingly, in face of all these derisive attacks, Sutter was completely calm. “I understand your anger. All I ask is that you listen to what I have to tell you.”
Matt faltered. He was now realizing the impact and meaning of his words, and deep down was beginning to regret them. There was no taking away what Sutter had done for him that was good. “Fine.” He crossed his arms and pouted fiercely.
“We, meaning myself and Howard, found the Golden City many decades ago, long before you were born.”
“You did too?!” Carter said to his father in surprise.
“Yes,” the old, balding man answered with a nod. “I remember that much. Sutter and I found it as a result of quite a lot of hard work. It was wonderful to behold...”
“Then why didn’t you two announce your findings to the world?” Matt had both his hands clenched and was looking at the floor, still angry but now confused as well. “If I made such an important discovery...”
Sutter lowered his head. “It’s because something bad is down there. Something that we had to hide from the world... it cost me my family ties and much of my life to keep it a secret.”
“Something...bad?” Now Sutter had Matt’s attention.
“Look over there.”
The moment Sutter pointed towards the wall of stained glass, it faded into black. His audience murmured at this, but they quickly silenced when a different pattern appeared on the wall. This one depicted what seemed to be a desert, with a number of people standing in it and appearing downtrodden.
“Long ago, this land was a barren desert. The people tried to live off it, but almost nothing at all would grow. Existance was bare and times were desperate.”
The glass switched scenes again, this time depicting a man with flowing, shoulder-length blonde hair. He was wearing tattered brown clothing and holding up his hands.
“Then one day, a man from a faraway land appeared in this blighted region. He taught the people to give thanks for what blessings they did receive, and soon, life became tolerable.”
Another scene change, this time to a depiction of Shaymin. This scene didn’t depict the normal Shaymin, though, it showed the modified Shaymin previously seen on the floor of the mountain shrine.
“Feeling their emotions of gratitude, a group of Shaymin flew into the land and carried out their Flower Bearing, which turned the desolate desert into a bountiful paradise. The people were overjoyed.”
With the next change, the glass depicted the blonde man, now wearing a white cape and blue formal clothing.
“Grateful to the man for bringing the bounties of nature to their land, the people named him their king, Fernando the First. For quite a long time, he reigned over a populace that grew fat off the fortunes of their land, constructing a vast city made of gold to show gratitude for their blessings. However...”
Now the glass had on it a very different depiction – a purple cloud attacking a group of three people.
“...Fernando’s personality eventually began to change. He became more ambitious and asked a group of his subjects to set out and found a new settlement so the city could increase in size. It was then that these settlers came under attack by a group of 108 malevolent spirits that attempted in every way to destroy them, using everything from violence to temptation.”
The Azure Angel was in the next window. He was holding a stone with a crack in its middle in his right hand and pointing his left arm towards the purple cloud, fighting it with a blue sword sticking out from his sleeve.
“A hero appeared to those settlers when times seemed to be their worst. He fought the spirits and came out the victor, banishing them to an unusual stone forevermore. To the settlers, this masked, nameless man appeared to have come to them from the heavens, so for this and the mystical instrument he carried, they dubbed him the Azure Angel.”
He was also in the next panel, depicting him at the center, surrounded by people handing him plates of food. Pyramids of gold lay in the background.
“To show gratitude to their hero, the settlers took him back to their Golden City and lavished upon him their bounty for fourty nights. On the fourty-first night, the hero departed, still never revealing his true name and face to the people who had grown to know him as their savior, the Azure Angel.”
Upon the next scene switch, Fernando I reappeared. This time, though, his face was dark, and in his hand was a greenish orb which was emitting a black glow from its core.
“Fernando I grew to be jealous of the gratitude bestowed upon the Azure Angel, and due to his now corrupt soul, took action. He obtained the Griseous Orb, an ancient device of untold power, and in contradiction of thousands of years of warning, activated it.”
Great chaos appeared on the wall next. Both Heatran and Regigigas were depicted, using their power to destroy the city, with a background of fire.
“The Griseous Orb’s activation summoned two titans of destruction: Regigigas, who was asleep in the mountains near the city, and Heatran, a lava creature from Fernando’s homeland. Together, the two titans reigned a great catastrophe upon this once blessed land.”
One final window appeared, showing a town in a dried-out land.
“As quickly as the disaster started, however, it ended in one dark night. The Golden City vanished seemingly into thin air, as did King Fernando I. Regigigas was sealed away with the Golden City, and Heatran was banished to its own land. Only one man, the king’s son, knew the truth, and he hid it. Fernando I was said to have died as a result of the Golden City’s vitality fountain no longer working on him. As for the land, while it never reverted to the desert it once was, it was never bountiful again.”
Sutter’s audience turned back to him from the wall of glass now that the story was over. All had wonder in their minds.
“So it’s Regigigas down there, then...” Matt’s manner turned from thoughtfulness to shock when he fully realized what Sutter had said. “Did you say vitality fountain? The fountain of youth?!!”
“That’s here too?” Eleanor, unlike Matt, was not shocked. She was scared. “If that’s here, is he looking for that? Is that the goal of all this?”
“I fear so,” Sutter answered sadly. “When Howard and I found the Golden City, we realized the immense evil that could emerge if its discovery was made public. Therefore, we hid a series of clues around the area, with the final clue in this chamber. We then had our memories erased so if anyone like Fernando tried to have our minds read, he’d find nothing.”
Howard continued on, “I don’t know anymore exactly where it is, but the final clue is a book somewhere in this room.”
“Father, I can find it.” Carter exuded confidence as he put his hands together and shut his eyes. “Transcend the confines of time and space!”
As was usual when Carter used his powers, a glow filled the room. As if it was itself a conscious entity, a wisp of this light floated over to the dark wood bookcases and glided over the volumes, ultimately settling on a tattered gray book.
“It’s that one,” Carter said plainly, opening his eyes and pointing to the book.
Following that direction, Matt wasted no time in withdrawing the tome and setting on the table while the others crowded around. It was dusty, torn in many places and quite heavy, making the rickety old table creak under its weight.
“It’s more like a folder...” Carefully, Ross undid the tie sealing the contents of the book and opened it. A cloud of dust floated out at first, but that disappeared quickly, allowing the Ranger to have a look at the first piece of paper inside. “I write this having just fought with my father in this room... Who does this belong to?”
“Only one way to find out. Transcend the confines of time and space!”
Immediately upon Carter’s incantation, a hologram of past events filled the room. Much to the surprise of all present, the two men who appeared were both familiar – one was Fernando I, and the other was a remarkably thin young man whose appearance made it plain he was Fernando II. Fernando I held a staff with a thick, rounded end in his right hand, and used his left to rebuff his son from approaching.
“The plan is perfect, son. There are no flaws. What we are going to do is going to change history!”
“Please listen to me, Father! There’s a reason that that Guild you just betrayed didn’t want to use the device’s power. Please don’t activate it!”
“I am King Fernando of La Ciudad Dorada! What that feeble Guild feared is nothing before me!” Fernando the first held up the staff and opened its top, revealing the glowing Griseous Orb inside. “This is the device, the Griseous Orb. By using this, we will bring great wealth and power to this land forevermore!”
“You have changed, Father! What happened to that man who gave thanks for all around him!?”
Angered, Fernando I smacked his son in the face. “Do not speak to me in such a fashion, you insolent pup!”
The first king then closed his scepter, turned on his heel and marched out of the room with equal parts fury and pride. His son quickly sat down at the table with the book now held by Matt and his friends, withdrew a quill pen from its ink base, and began writing.
“I write this having just fought with my father in this room. My father, King Fernando of La Ciudad Dorada, recently joined an organization known as the Guild, but he has betrayed them and stolen a device called the Griseous Orb. For some reason, the Guild seemed to fear activating this object, which is what my father plans to do. Ever since he began being around this thing, this Orb, he has changed from a kind and generous ruler into an ambitious tyrant. It must be because of the Griseous Orb. When he just showed it to me, I felt something from it. I felt some kind of terrible evil influence coming from it that struck me in my heart... I cannot stop what is about to happen, but I fear it nevertheless...”
Carter lost his focus after this point, so the hologram ended. It was just as well, since the note ended at that point anyway.
“What is this Guild he spoke of? And a Griseous Orb?” Leaning over, Matt examined the note more carefully. He was admiring Fernando II’s elegant handwriting when he found something else on the parchment – a six-pointed star made up of two overlaid triangles, with circles around the top left, top right and bottom center points, as well as lines forming what appeared to be an eye in the center. “What’s this symbol?”
Sutter and Howard both rushed to look at it, but upon appraisal, neither seemed to know its secrets.
“I’ve seen this symbol before. Haven’t you?”
“You’re right, Sutter, but I don’t know what it is. It’s not the Fernando family’s crest.” Howard reached back into the book and pulled out another page of parchment, his eyes widening with a feeling of surprise when he saw what was on it. “The Griseous Orb: A Short History... by Jacob Alexison?!”
Jacob Alexison. The moment Matt heard the name, his mind became consumed by rage, all linking back to a past memory he’d tried desperately to forget.
“Throw that crap away!” he thundered, lunging for the paper. “I will never accept Jacob Alexison as a good man in any fashion and that includes hearing his research!”
“You have a history with him?” Eleanor asked innocently. “Who is he?”
“A man who tried to rob me of what little future I have...” Now Matt was shaking and tears were running down his face. Eleanor went to him, concerned, and propped him up to show her support. “Howard probably remembers when this happened. Jacob Alexison was a professor of archeology in Sinnoh that my grandfather, Howard, and many others worked with throughout the years. A while back he ‘accidentally’ committed a murder and then began a deranged bid to collect the Plates of Arceus for his own use. I tried to stop him in Snowpoint City, and he shot me.”
“Jacob did that? Now I am glad I never sent my son to study with him!” Howard spat.
Rosalita then spoke listlessly. “We should still read what he has to say on this matter. If we are to stop my brother we will need as much knowledge as possible.”
“Fine,” Matt said curtly. It was clear he didn’t want to have to hear Jacob’s words, but felt he had no choice. Taking up the note and adjusting his glasses on his damaged face, he began reading aloud.
“The Griseous Orb: A Short History
June 8, 2000
by Jacob Alexison
I first heard about the Griseous Orb from my grandfather, Julian Verne. He explained to me it was the source of the legendary Pokémon Giratina’s power and for generations many people wanted it. Because of that the Guild, the group he was in, tried to protect it (they were also protecting the Red, Blue, and Life Orbs, but I do not know too much about them). I never got to see the orb though as I was very young back then. Eventually I had forgotten about it due to getting interested in other artifacts.
I got interested in the Griseous Orb again after rereading The Original Story, which explained how the world was created. Arceus’ egg came from Chaos, or the Torn World. After Arceus was born, Dialga and Palkia were created. Giratina was created too but forgotten, so he resided alone in the Torn World. Interesting story to say the least.
After reading that, I went to research more on Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. While looking through many papers, there were a couple mentions of the Griseous Orb. I did not find too many information on it unfortunately, but what I am able to find was astonishing.
This is what I know so far about the orb. First off, it is known that the orb is created from the Jewel of Life’s (from the Zap, Splash, Draco, Meadow, and Earth Plates) power. It represents the Torn World and as an antimatter. I believe that to be true as it is said Giratina lives at the Torn World.
What I find next is interesting. While talking to the great Sutter Chiaki, he told me the Griseious Orb was part of the La Ciudad Dorada history. The House of Fernando had it for 500 years, but it was never activated. When I asked why, Sutter said he doesn’t know the answer to that.
What I am about to say next is mostly speculation, so take this with a grain of salt. It is said Giratina has two forms, an Origin Form and an Altered Form. In the Torn World he is in Origin Form and in our world he changes to Altered Form. A few pieces theorize the Griseous Orb could make Giratina be in his Origin Form if he enters our world. The only problem is only a few people saw Giratina. I have not seen it so I cannot claim this theory to be true.
The next speculation is the orb makes Giratina’s attacks more powerful. I already mentioned how my grandfather told this to me. However, again he never showed me the orb, so I am not sure if what he said is true.
I wish I have more information about the orb, but not too much is known about this particular item. I hope someone would be able to solve the mystery of it.”
Ross stepped forward. “Now I understand, after hearing that. Listen, you guys, this is something I know about. I didn’t remember it initially. The Guild was a secret brotherhood of men that existed centuries ago to protect several mysterious Orbs. It was driven underground for the beliefs of its members and disappeared from history in the nineteenth century. After that, who knows what happened.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” groaned Matt as he threw his hands up in the air. “This went from some angry prince overthrowing his parents, to said angry prince trying to find the fountain of youth, to that person using some kind of device that could theoretically end the world? What the hell is going on here?”
“Things have gotten really bad really fast...” commented Ross quietly.He then reached to turn over the book’s next page.
Underneath it was an old, tattered map of the La Ciudad Dorada region of Oceannia. Sutter and Howard both lunged for it the moment they saw it, and simultaneously declared with great pride, “This is it!”
“This is the final clue, the key to the Golden City that Howard and I hid decades ago. The Golden City is...” Sutter decisively laid his finger on a faded “X” on the map. “...here.”
“The Berrybell Mountains!” Carter exclaimed.
“That shrine where I saved you lot from Fernando is the key. I still can’t remember much more than there being a clue on the back of that map...”
Instantly, Matt overturned the map. On its back were a great jumble of letters. “ZKHQ IDFLQJ WKH JUHDW ZKHHOV WKH DQVZHU OLHV ZLWK VKDBPLQ?” he spat out in confusion. “A cipher. You wrote this cipher as the final clue?”
“Yes, but I don’t remember the answer to it...”
A sly smirk crept onto Matt’s face. “You old coot, even if you did, you’d still make me solve it. You did it to me plenty of times!”
“I see you still remember the things I taught you!” Sutter replied, smiling broadly for the first time.
Ross then stepped forward with obvious determination and asked bluntly, “Sutter, is there something going on at that bell tower in town? It’s closed up with a Sealed Door and every time the bells ring something bad happens.”
Sutter’s expression instantly darkened. “There is something happening there... I’ll show you right now.”
“Wait!” Carter cried out, garnering the others’ attention. During the exchange between Matt and Sutter, he’d found a pot of red flowers, each sporting six petals and a yellow stamen in the center. “Before we go, I think it’s worth considering that we probably will be facing some extremely harsh challenges going forth. We should expose Shaymin to one of these flowers, because as my research indicates, Shaymin’s true power comes from them.”
A light of realization appeared suddenly in Rosalita’s eyes. “Why didn’t I realize this before... those are Gracidea flowers, aren’t they?” When Carter nodded to the affirmative, Rosalita immediately picked Shaymin up and held it near the flowers.
“Shaymin knows these flowers, yes...”
The moment Shaymin sniffed at the flowers and got some of their pollen on its body, it began to glow. To the surprised gasps of its friends looking on, the tiny Pokémon floated into the air over the flower pot and soon began transforming – when it was done, after the golden light had faded, the cute, tiny hedgehog was replaced by the reindeer-esque canine creature from the shrine. Matt and Eleanor both gasped in surprise.
“What just happened?!”
“I give you Sky Forme Shaymin!” Carter announced proudly, spreading his arms. “Shaymin, now that you have newfound stren...”
Without a care, Shaymin violently tackled Carter out of its way in order to float before the others.
“We’ll go get that bad guy now, and Shaymin isn’t afraid of Heatran, you! Shaymin will fight and win, you!!”
“Maybe there’s a little too much confidence in there...” Carter then turned to Sutter and said, “We can go now.”
Sutter nodded, then, despite the fact he was a ghost, snapped his fingers. The entire group teleported away when he did this.
It wasn’t long, perhaps only seconds later, that they materialized in the room inside the bell tower. After gathering their collective bearings, all the group took a quick approximation of the room to figure out what was going on.
It was Carter who spotted the Magma Stone on its machine first. He began to feel a sense of dread just upon seeing it. “You guys, look at this thing. I’ve seen it in my studies. This is the Magma Stone, an ancient tool that was used to control Heatran’s rampages.”
“That’s correct, Carter,” Sutter said in response. “Fernando has been controlling Heatran with this, and...” He pointed upward. “Those.”
As if on cue, multiple blue energy beams shot down from the rafters of the chamber to impact the Magma Stone. They were being fired from numerous Bronzong hidden in the upper levels, much to the group’s surprise.
“So he’s been controlling Heatran using the Magma Stone and these Bronzong... is this also how he put hypnosis on the townspeople?”
Sutter’s manner showed surprise at Ross’s question. “You figured out that happened?”
“Yeah, we did.” By opening his Styler’s scanner and using it on the Bronzong, Ross quickly made another discovery. “He’s got the Bronzong themselves under hypnosis... looks like I’m the only one who can handle this. You guys go ahead to the Golden City and I’ll deal with this situation.”
“No... it can’t be! NO!!” This was Rosalita, and she sounded greatly upset. She had found and opened the staff Fernando left behind, finding that the Griseous Orb was gone. “He got the orb already!” she yelled as she turned back to the others. “We have to find him now!”
“This is bad...” Matt mused dejectedly. In his mind, the odds were stacking up against them quickly – Fernando already possessed a legion of loyal and powerful Pokémon, and now had control over an object potentially acting as a weapon of untold power. It seemed the only solution left was to beat him to whereever exactly the Golden City awaited and stop him there, and with this goal in mind, Matt took a long, hard breath and turned up to his friends. “We’re in bad shape now, so we’ll go with the plan I have.
Ross is going to stay here and try to capture these Bronzong, as he has already volunteered to do. If he can do that and shut down that machine, we should be able to defeat Heatran.
Now, the rest of us will split into two groups. Howard, I want you to go with the guards and Rosalita back to the palace and prepare to order an evacuation away from the Berrybell Mountains, as in, as close to the palace as possible. If something goes wrong and Fernando gains the upper hand on us, the townspeople will be in danger if they are anywhere nearby.
As for me, I will be going to the Berrybell Mountains with Carter, Eleanor, my grandfather and Shaymin. We’ll have to hurry and get there before Fernando does, because the first rule of conduct when racing an enemy to a discovery is to assume that the enemy has all the information you do. Are we all clear with the plan?”
As Matt’s friends each affirmed their loyalty to the plan he had devised, Sutter quietly looked upon his grandson with great admiration. This was the culmination of everything he’d tried to teach Matt, especially the rule about assuming your enemy knows everything you do, which Matt had actually remembered verbatim from when Sutter taught him it. A great feeling of pride filled the old man’s corporeal body, and he smiled slightly under his ragged beard.
“Grandfather.” Matt had by now turned to face Sutter directly, and his voice was deadly serious. “Your final adventure is finally ready to be fulfilled. Please send Howard, Rosalita and the guards to the palace and then take us to the shrine.”
“As you wish. It’s exciting to be able to go on one final quest with you.”
Sutter promptly pointed an open hand towards Howard, making him teleport away, presumably to the palace. He then did the same for Rosalita and the four guards, and turned and created a portal, through which Matt, Eleanor, Carter and Shaymin went through before he himself did.
“Good luck,” Ross uttered lowly, his Riolu jumping off his shoulder to prepare for combat. Looking up, he took a deep breath as he faced his challenge, and said out loud to himself, “Let’s get started.”
END of CHAPTER 4