In the Shadow of Ideals
Author's Note: This is my second posted Pokemon chaptered story, the first one being Never in the Wrong Time or Wrong Place. Be advised, it takes place in a PMD-esque world, so Pokemon will be living in societies and there will be rescue teams and no humans and such. I know not everybody is into that. It's also my first time using legendaries, so it's a new thing I wanted to try. I hope everyone enjoys it!
Disclaimer: I don't own pokemon - yadda yadda yadda - All the characters are mine.
Rated 14A (or maybe PG 15 to be safe.) for violence, language and probably mature themes eventually. Rating may be subject to change as the story continues.
0. Prologue: Truth
Arceus the Creator.
Arceus the Destroyer.
Arceus the Loving Father of All.
Arceus the Ruthless Overseer.
The pokemon had many names for the legendary pokemon known as Arceus, each depending on the situation. Whether they fear him for his might and order, praise him for his blessings, or curse him in times of misfortune, it is generally accepted in the world of pokemon that he created everything, be it directly or indirectly through his children.
His ‘children’ were known as the Legendaries, who, depending on who you ask, were either considered demigods or just extremely powerful pokemon. There were many of these ‘Legendaries’. Among them were Groudon, the creator of the land, Kyogre, the creator of the sea, Dialga, the master of time, Palkia, the master of space, Reshiram, the upholder of truth.
And Zekrom, the upholder of ideals.
From their tower, Arceus and the Legendaries watched over their world, safeguarding it, maintaining the order and balance, and intervening from time to time, but only by Arceus’ decree. Arceus’ laws were rigid and absolute among the Legendaries; they’d seen his wrath and knew his spite, but they also knew he was a capable overseer. Few dared challenge him, even in his coldest moments.
They watched from above and from beneath, keeping the world in check. Arceus and the Legendaries resided in what was called ‘The Pillar of Infinity’. It was a tower as wide as a small city that ran from the ground up into the dark of the stratosphere, where it disappears into a rend in space. The spacial portal’s exit appears on the polar opposite side of world, from where the tower leads back down to the ground. However, the tower keeps going underground to accommodate the legendaries such as Groudon and Heatran, digging straight through the world’s core and leading up until it reaches the place it started. The imposing structure truly is infinite.
The world below was inhabited strictly by pokemon. These sentient creatures of many shapes and sizes lived together, usually in societies. Generally, they tend to live together in peace. However... there will always be conflict...
Even among those who are tasked with watching over the world...
A low, ethereal whirring droned through the darkness, ominously filling the unknown, void-like space. The constant noise was similar to a machine, but it was decidedly more natural. More primal. An intense pressure reverberated from the walls and ceiling of the room, beating down oppressively. Aside from the humming, the only noises that could be heard were very light, barely audible breaths along with the occasional, intermittent creaking of something taut.
The wide room was completely dark. The drop of a pebble could cause an echo in the quiet of the great area. It was immersed in shadows and blackness, allowing for no light except for the sporadic flickering of a bright blue radiance, lighting the near area around the source for no more than a millisecond before dying down again. Between thirty seconds and two minutes, the glow would shudder again. The flash was just enough to illuminate a massive, draconic silhouette in the darkness. With each glimmer, a pair of blood red eyes was revealed. The gold irises and dilated pupils stared at the cold stone floor below, as if deep in thought.
The light was accompanied by a very faint crackle of electricity. It was no more than a whisper. A pair of distant footsteps was the only sound to overtake the ambient noises of the room. The electricity flickered again and revealed the pair of eyes looking up, towards the noises on the other side of the distant door.
Finally, a loud creaking resounded and the revealed-to-be massive doors swung open. The figure didn’t even have time to wince before a blinding white light washed over him and illuminated the room. The brilliant beams disappeared upon striking his black scales.
Kneeling in the center of the spacious room was a giant, dark gray dragon, unable to keep himself from shutting his eyes at the oppressive light. His body was sleek and took on a slight, cyan glow at points. His legs were chained to the floor and his bulky arms and fan-like wings were outstretched to the sides, bound tightly to opposing walls by thick, unyielding, rubber cords used for resisting electricity. A growl escaped the bipedal dragon’s toothy maw and, for a moment, he couldn’t help but try to fight against his restraints. The three claws on the underside of his mitt-like hands clenched before slowly relaxing the longer he got used to the light.
He widened his narrowed red and yellow eyes and raised his draconic head, the black plume on his head wavering and its light blue tip flickering momentarily. The bound dragon grimaced at what he saw and he reflexively lowered his massive, cone-like tail which occasionally sparked with electricity, akin to a spiked generator. His muscles relaxed in defeat and he bowed his head slightly.
“...What is it you want? To gloat?” he growled in a deep, draconic voice, his tone serious.
A soft, effeminate laugh sounded out from the figure that opened the door. “Oh, Zekrom. Can’t I pay my own brother a visit?”
The Legendary dragon pokemon known as Zekrom looked up and glared at the approaching figure. Stepping forward from the light was a white dragon, similar yet very different from Zekrom. The overall body shape was similar to his, however, the purely white pokemon was clad in feathers and fur. It had a slender physique and, unlike Zekrom, his wings and arms were combined into one. A white mane flowed from his head and he stared at the captive dragon with calculating blue eyes. Like Zekrom, he also sported a generator-like tail, though his was much lighter and feathery.
Zekrom snarled and looked up at the pristine, white Legendary. “Reshiram,” he spoke, stubbornly struggling against his bindings once more. “Are you pleased with yourself? Seeing me like this?”
The white dragon stepped towards him gracefully, a victorious smirk on his face. “I am,” he answered. “You’ve always been a nuisance. You and I both know, brother, that we were always at odds with one another.”
“But all this, just because I lied? Are you that petty?” Zekrom asked, gritting his teeth. “Do you even care about the reason I lied?”
“Quite honestly, no,” Reshiram responded plainly. “Zekrom, I’ve told you before, if one is honest, then they are pure. They have no deceit, hidden agendas, and one doesn’t have to constantly look over their shoulder. Truth is essential and there is no greater crime than lying... yet you keep doing it.”
“I know your rules, Reshiram. The cold truth, no matter who it hurts. Just as long as your own supposed integrity goes unblemished,” the black pokemon replied. “If I need to lie in order to help pokemon, then that’s what I’ll do.”
The white pokemon narrowed his blue eyes, fixing them on Zekrom’s red ones. “Yes, I know you will. That’s your problem, isn’t it? That bleeding heart of yours... Anyways, you know why you’re here, bound like a common prisoner. You intervened without Arceus’ permission and then you had the audacity to lie to him about it. You know he hates being lied to as much as I do.”
“If I didn’t, the two warring regions would have killed each other needlessly!” Zekrom protested.
“And you should have let them,” Reshiram replied. “It is not our job to intervene with the common pokemon unless Arceus deems it so.”
“Arceus’ good little dragon, as always,” Zekrom scoffed with a roll of his eyes. “I’ve always said your neck’s so skinny because you were created without a backbone.”
“And I’ve always said you were created black because you slink away in the night to do whatever you please. It’s no wonder that you can’t be trusted,” the white dragon countered.
The ebony wyrm sighed and slackened his muscles. “What’s to happen to me?” he asked.
Reshiram rested his winged arms at his feathered side and smirked. “Well, dear brother, I talked with Arceus long and hard about it and I convinced some of the others to my way of thinking...”
Zekrom sneered and looked up at his counterpart with a glower. “...What?”
The white, feathery dragon chuckled and squatted down so that their faces were level with each other. “I recommended that you be exiled to the common world and your powers stripped... And Arceus concurred.”
“What?! You bastard!” Zekrom roared, attempting to lash at him only to be stopped by the cords tied around his limbs. Despite this, the grooves in his tail glowed a blinding bright blue and sparked dangerously as he tried to control his electricity. However, things weren’t going as he had planned.
Reshiram laughed and shook his head, raising his wing so that his claws touched the underside of Zekrom’s chin. “You really shouldn’t bother,” he taunted. “I came up with these with you in mind. These rubber cords are resistant to electricity. And should any of your, say, Fusion Bolt attacks get through, the metal cords beneath the rubber are attached to lightning rods at the base of the tower. Though if you want to use your powers while you still can, by all means, go ahead. Enjoy them while you can... just don’t expect you’ll be able to escape.”
Zekrom snarled deeply. “Reshiram...” he hissed, his red eyes glowing.
“You knew the price you would have to pay,” his brother spoke, retracting his claws and standing up, giving Zekrom’s plumage an informal ruffle. The dark pokemon wrenched his head away in contempt, causing Reshiram to smirk. “I just hope your ideals were worth your powers and status as a Legendary. The Pillar of Infinity will be a better place with you gone. It will finally be an honest place.”
“Honest but heartless. Just like you,” Zekrom hissed, clenching his black claws. “Untie me right now, Reshiram. I’m warning you.”
Reshiram smirked and gave a flick of his white flowing mane. “You are really in no position to be warning moi, wouldn’t you agree?” he asked, walking over and plucking at one of the tight, binding cords with his free claw, causing it to make a low, rumbling sound.
The kneeling Legendary grit his teeth, but turned his angry eyes up at Reshiram when he noticed something in his other hand. “What’s that?” he asked, gazing at a transparent, gem-like rock in the white pokemon’s claws, when trying to point with a claw failed to catch Reshiram’s attention. He hadn't noticed the gem until this moment due to his eyes taking awhile to adjust to the light.
Reshiram chuckled and looked at the stone that was about the size of a bowling ball. “Oh, this thing?” he asked innocently. “You’ll see soon enough, dear brother.”
“What in Arceus’ name is that supposed to mean?” Zekrom growled, attempting to stand to his feet only to be halted by the chains.
“Exactly as I said. Have I ever been one to beat around the bush?” Reshiram questioned, turning his back to his brother.
“If you really are, you’ll tell me and spare me your damn smugness.”
The ashen feathers of Zekrom’s counterpart flowed as he started strutting towards the exit. “And spoil the surprise? No. I think I’ll wait. It’s a special occasion, after all.”
Zekrom growled lowly, fighting against the cords and chains to the point of them digging into the scales of his arms, wings and legs, starting to cut off the circulation to those limbs. It was as if he was trying to chase after Reshiram and tackle him down. Despite this, he remained immobile. “Damn it, Reshiram. Free me! Let me talk to Arceus!” he roared.
“You’ll get to say your peace at the trial... but that’s really just for show; Arceus’ mind has already been made,” Reshiram replied, glancing behind him as he stopped at the door. “Groudon will be up tonight to escort you. As for your freedom... You’ll be free in no time. Free from all your burdens and responsibilities as a Legendary. And we’ll finally be free of each other. Won’t that be simply terrific?”
Before Zekrom could utter a reply, Reshiram chuckled to himself and closed the massive doors, locking them behind him. The black dragon’s tail glowed and sparked violently, immersing his body in blue electricity. However they quickly disappeared.
Zekrom shut his eyes and bowed his head, panting heavily at the usage of his power. “Can’t break free...” he whispered to himself between breaths. He finally stopped struggling after having exhausted himself once again and kneeled in defeat so that he could contemplate his situation and what he could do to get out of it. “Damn it, Reshiram... Can’t let this... happen...”
Within the darkness, he grit his jagged teeth and stared at the floor as his black pupils grew larger inside his gold irises and red eyes. “They can bind me but they can’t contain my spirit.
Because if I don’t stand up for my ideals, nobody will... ”