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Thread: In the Shadow of Ideals [Rated 14A]

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    Default In the Shadow of Ideals [Rated 14A]

    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.

    PM List:
    katiekitten

    Chapter List
    0. Prologue: Truth
    1. Aegis


    Foreword


    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...


    Prologue: Truth

    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... ”
    Last edited by Griff4815; 10th October 2011 at 6:57 PM.
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013
    Chapter 17 is up.

  2. #2
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    It's a very interesting concept, but a fun one. I like how you're giving the battle between truth and ideals a new spin. Just a bit of formative nit-picking, I think you should have put your author's note/disclaimer at the top of the page and then had the little introduction. It would have continued more fluidly with the actual beginning of the story.

    I enjoyed that setup portion, and particularly liked your concept of the Infinite Pillar. However, I think the tone was a little off. It sat on the border, but read more like a formal paper than the introduction of epic myths. There's a grandiose quality that it was lacking. I can't exactly point out what that came from, though I think the curt word-choice and longer sentences were a contributing factor. I think it just could have been...bigger. I mean, look at your subject matter! You're talking about the creation of the universe and the very foundations of reality! Those need some oomph, man!

    From a story standpoint, an introduction like that should essentially introduce every (or at least most every) character in the mythos. It's a sudden moment of world-building, so unless you're only including the mascots from R/S/E, D/P/Pt, and B/W, I would have gone into greater detail with the various legendaries.



    Now, on to the prologue. This is decidedly more in-depth than I usually do with reviews, but with me back in grad school and doing more workshops, I found myself in the workshopping/reviewing/critiquing mood.

    A low, ethereal whirring droned through the darkness, ominously filling the unknown, void-like space. The constant noise was similar to a machine almost mechanical, but it was decidedly more natural sounding. More primal. An intense pressure reverberated from the walls and ceiling of the room, beating down oppressively. Aside from the humming, The only other noises that could be heard were very light, barely audible breaths, and along with the occasional, intermittent creaking of something taut.

    The wide room was completely dark, and cavernously echoing. 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 The glimmer revealed 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 danced with the faint crackle of electricity, . It was no more than a whisper. A pair of distant footsteps was the only sound to overtake clamored over the ambient noises silence of the room. The electricity flickered again and revealed the pair of eyes lookeding 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.
    Let's start with the parts in RED. While this is a good use of spacial awareness and physically drawing in the reader to the story's action from further away, where is the POV here? Who is seeing this as it happens, especially if Zekrom is alone. It's one thing to have a 3rd person (omniscient, even) narrator, but there needs to be a grounding point of view. Not in terms of character, but the story narration needs to be physically grounded with something, and not just floating around in the ether describing from various places of the dark room.

    Next, I have to bring up some of the word-choice. Words like "would" and "could" make the following statements seem much more hypothetical. And while that might be true, I think you're trying to put across a much more real/tangible/visceral experience. Additionally, the little throw-away excess words like "was", "like", "a" really break the flow of a story. I crossed a few things out just to give it a sense of fluidity.

    However, once you get your narration "situated" on Zekrom it begins to flow more smoothly. I really like the way you structured your dialogue, injecting it with bouts of characterizing action from both Reshiram and Zekrom.

    I won't comment on the specific characterization of your two current characters, since choosing to characterize them that way is entirely your choice. What...irks...me is the way we're being hit over the head with the concept that "truth is bad/totalitarian" without providing a basis or example of why Zekrom thinks so. In addition, if you look at various societies throughout history, you'll find that it's often the strict adherence to ideals that leads to totalitarianism. Look at any group that has held to its ideals and principles unwaveringly strictly: Socialism, Fascism, Religion etc. The ones who hold unflinchingly to their ideals devolve/evolve into extremism, which puts the well-being of the ideal and the cause before the well-being of the people.

    Meanwhile the most famous declaration of "truth" I know off the top of my head is this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    Moving on, while still focusing on the Truth/Ideals aspect of the story. We get that Zekrom lied to help some other Pokemon, but there's more to "Truth" than lying and honesty. Indeed while it does include those things as part of "Truth", it pertains more to a universal "Truth", that there is a single "way" of the universe that is indisputable and undeniable. I find it somewhat unbelievable that these Legendary beings, gods/demi-gods are so concerned with the miniscule aspects of these concepts.

    But for argument's sake, let's say that the miniscule is just as important to them as the cosmic. There's something of a logical fallacy with Reshiram. If he is indeed the embodiment of "Truth", then he is, in fact, being dishonest. He is pursuing the punishment of Zekrom to further his own means and agenda, a decidedly dishonest maneuver. On top of that, Zekrom's trial is a sham. A Lie. As THE being of Truth, I'd expect Reshiram to be outraged with this. And also outraged with the underhandedness of his own actions.

    Don't take this all to mean that I didn't find merit to the story. The fact that I bothered to write this all out means I thought it was worth the time and effort. I see a lot of similarities and parallels here with the various myths of the son cast out by the Father, to wander the world powerless. And I'm looking forward to how this plays out.
    Last edited by Kamotz; 4th September 2011 at 11:24 PM.

    "You can call yourself whatever you want.
    Soldier. Leader. Patriot. Revolutionary. It doesn't matter.
    At our core we're all the same thing.
    Monsters."

  3. #3
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    x3 Griff~! :3 It's good to see you out and about! It's been a while - it's a shame about the secret wars. D: We always knew it was an ambitious project, though. x3

    I quite enjoyed this~! I won't comment on anything Kamotz has pointed out - I can see where he is coming from on some of the characterisation points, and I agree with some of the edits he's made to the beginning, but I'm not going to just feed off of his review, haha.

    The plot seems really interesting~! I'm personally a sop for fanfiction surrounding the legendaries, and I liked your set-up. The tower seems almost babylonian - but of course any whopping tower is going to conjure that image, haha. That and the tower of Pisa. x3 Zekrom's banishment is a fascinating prospect as well, I'm very interested in seeing how that plays out. :3

    A little typo I spotted:

    “You’ll get to say your peace at the trial... but that’s really just for show; Arceus’ mind has already been made,”
    'Piece' not peace. x3

    The following sentence seemed a little long, as well:

    “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.
    The former sentence's final clause seemed a little out of place - it's the order, I think. What is suggests just seems a little odd - that he only gazed at the ring after pointing didn't work; I would've thought he'd have gazed at it first. The full segment itself felt like it could be reorganised, as well. At the moment you're providing an explanation for the ring's absence: that his eyes had only just adjusted, etcet. I feel that it would flow a little more if you actually had his eyes adjust, and then have him notice the ring by himself. Therefore you are showing us rather then letting us know. That's just me, though. x3

    Again, it's great to see you around~! Add me to the PM list? :3


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    @Kamotz I'll definately have to give that a reread in order to take in all of that. Heh. Thanks for the review though. The effort and advice is appreciated.

    To start, I assure you that I'm not going to be painting a black and white story of truth and ideals (if you'll excuse my ironic choice of words). I'm definately not planning to portray truth as being evil. For all intents and purposes, Reshiram is (one of) the antagonist(s) of the story, but I do plan to portray the both sides of the coin fairly. So we will be seeing the benefits of truth along with the flaws with pure ideals. After all, Zekrom may have a heart of justice, so to speak, but he's far from perfect.

    As for your point about Reshiram being dishonest, I really have to think about that. Zekrom did break Arceus' laws, which is the reason that Reshiram was persecuting him, but Reshiram is also indirectly benefitting from Zekrom's exile due to their long-standing rivalry with one another. It's more of a bonus than the reason. As for the trial, you have a point since a trial is supposed to be a fair and impartial procedure used to pass judgement. However, the evidence against Zekrom is overwhelming and (I probably should have mentioned this in the prologue) the lies that he told Arceus were proved as false, and given Arceus' temperment, it was more or less a forgone conclusion that Zekrom's trial would end that way. I think I might have mistakenly made it seem like Reshiram was behind the scenes whispering in Arceus' ear when in fact he was doing what he believed was right. I see your point about Reshiram being the sort of pokemon who would want a sort of by-the-book trial though. Perhaps I need to carefully think about his character a little more.

    I have to admit though, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "universal truths". I'm not really very good with ideas on a cosmic scale.

    Yeah, I think you're right about the POV thing. I think was what I was doing was not wanting to shift into a more Zekrom-focused POV until he was actually revealed.

    For the words, I'll make the appropriate edits when I can. About the foreword/pro-prologue, yeah. It was a bit of a risky move on my part and it probably would flow better when swapped with the Author's Notes. I made that decision based on the hope that when somebody's cursor hovers over the thread name, what was in the foreword would be more intriguing and click-worthy than just seeing Author's Notes. I should probably change it since it didn't work out like I had planned anyways though. All in all, thanks for the review. You brought up some good points that I'll have to look into.

    @katiekitten: Hey! Long time no see. Heh, yeah, that never really got off the ground, did it? Well, it was still a fun place to chat.

    Heh, you have a point about the tower. Now I'm trying not to picture loads of plants hanging out the windows.

    Hmm. It's "say your piece" huh? I always wondered about that. They both kinda make sense so it's a little confusing.

    Ah, right. That. Yeah, that last sentence was an afterthought because my beta pointed out that it was odd that Zekrom didn't notice the thing until that point, so I kinda slapped that in without thinking of the placement.

    Thanks for the review and consider yourself added!
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013
    Chapter 17 is up.

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    Author's Note: This fic is going on a temporary hiatus after this since I need to figure some things out before continuing. The only reason I'm posting this now is because I've had this finished for awhile (having written it immediately after finishing the Prologue) and I'd might as well post it. But yeah, hiatus now. Sorry if this is a tease, heh.

    Aegis


    Pounding footsteps echoed though the great hallway. One set was thunderous and constant. The second set was more graceful and, like the first, rhythmic. The final set of footsteps, however, was staggered and irregular.

    Zekrom stumbled down the ornate, tiled corridor, his eyes half-lidded and tired. His wings were drooped and his thick tail dragged along the ground, creating no electricity as it did. His head was bowed and his strong arms were tied together in front of him by the same cords used to restrain him earlier. The dragon looked as though he was barely able to stand up on his own.

    Which was probably part of the reason why there was a massive dinosaur pokemon trudging beside him with one of his thick, muscled hands holding on to Zekrom’s bicep to help him walk. The giant red dinosaur stood a full head-and-shoulders taller than Zekrom. The torches resting in sconces on the imposing marble pillars that flanked them from both sides radiated the light from their flames onto the pokemon’s smooth, crimson scaled back and dark gray underbelly. On his back were odd, black striations that led from his head crested with four ridges all the way down to his mighty, flat tail that had the same number of ridges as his head. Along his flanks were a row of sharp white spikes.

    He stomped beside Zekrom, though he wasn’t angry. He rested his gold eyes on the black dragon with a hint of regret. Walking behind the prisoner and his escort was Reshiram, walking with a victorious smirk on his face.

    “Groudon... Don’t do this...” Zekrom said weakly, his voice dry and more growly than usual. The legendary knew that his protests wouldn’t do any good. He had been found guilty by Arceus’ laws. He knew that he had broken them when he intervened like he did. Arceus’ laws were absolute and would not bend for anybody. Arceus had hammered it into their heads that the laws were there for good reason, but Zekrom was always one to follow his heart. This time, his heart brought him into troublesome territory. These consequences were what he expected, but he didn’t have to be happy about them.

    “I’m sorry, Zek,” the red dinosaur replied, his voice genuinely remorseful. “You heard what Dad said in the trial. It’s Arceus’ orders.”

    The pokemon of darkness and lightning let out a light growl but was too weak to struggle against him as he was led down the wide, torch-lit hallway.

    Groudon looked over his shoulder at Reshiram. “Resh, are you sure it’s a good idea bringing him down to the little pokemon’s world? I mean, since Arceus took his powers from him, he’s really weak right now. Zek can barely stand. And once he gets down there, he’ll be no different from the little pokemon in terms of abilities. Sure, he’ll be much bigger than most of them, but still...”

    “You may not be pleased with the, dare I say, predictable result, but the trial was no different than any other that took place. If you have a complaint, bring it up with Father, Groudon,” Reshiram said, speeding up to stop in front of them.

    “Maybe I will,” Groudon replied standoffishly.

    Reshiram gestured with his head behind them, back in the direction they were coming from. “Well, go on then. He is back that way with the others. I’ll take Zekrom the rest of the way,” Reshiram told him.

    “Fine then,” the dinosaur who created the lands answered, casting the white dragon a sneer. Groudon released Zekrom and gave the dragon a nod before turning around and stomping back down the ornate corridor in the direction they came from.

    Reshiram smirked and grabbed Zekrom’s arm, pulling the exhausted dragon through the doorway and into a wide, spiral staircase that led around the interior perimeter of the Pillar of Infinity. In front of the two pokemon was an immense window in the stone wall that the biggest of Legendaries could fly through.

    Zekrom leaned against the wall and breathed heavily; the process of having his powers ripped from him had left him more tired than anything else had ever before. “Why... have we stopped...?” he panted, as a cold breeze swept across them from the window.

    “This is your stop,” Reshiram answered, looking out of the opening at the night sky.

    The dragon followed his gaze for a moment before slowly turning back to his brother. “You want to throw me out?” he snarled lowly.

    The feathery dragon smiled. “It’s not as if I want to defenestrate you. I’m not that callous, even towards you. I mean, you can fly, can’t you?” he questioned. “You always bragged about how you were a better flyer than me when we were young.”

    “I just... had my powers taken from me... The pain was excruciating. I can barely stand,” Zekrom replied, narrowing his eyes. “You’re not even going to untie my arms?”

    “Everyone says you’re the tougher dragon between the two of us,” Reshiram responded. “I’m sure you’ll do fine.”

    With that, Reshiram placed his clawed wings on Zekrom’s shoulders and led him closer to the opening. “Be sure to say hello to the common pokemon for me,” Reshiram said. “Adieu.”

    “I’ll jump myself,” Zekrom barked. As much as he wanted to stay among his siblings and resume his duties in the tower, he knew that wasn’t an option. He was disappointed that their rivalry had escalated to such proportions, but he knew that it was as much his fault as it was Reshiram’s. He wondered if he would have done the same thing in his situation. Zekrom could only hope that he wouldn’t.

    He grunted irritable and jumped from the stone mouth. The black dragon faltered in his flight initially until he spread his black, fan-like wings out and caught an updraft. “And I’ll be back, Reshiram.”

    “Farewell, Zekrom,” Reshiram smiled smugly, turning around and disappearing deeper inside the tower.

    Zekrom hissed and started gliding away from the Pillar of Infinity. He glanced over his shoulder at the massive stone column. Above him was a swirling vortex of intense black and violet energy, seeming to consume the top of the tower in a powerful maelstrom. In actuality it was the special portal created by Palkia, whose space-manipulation abilities also stabilized the Pillar, keeping it from imploding under its own weight.

    He dove through a white wisp of a cloud. The dragon looked down at the ground far below. Much to his dismay, he found that he was barely able to keep his head and tail up. Zekrom looked at his arms, which had been bound for the trial in case he tried anything. He drooped in his flight as he leaned his head forwards, taking one of the cords in his set of jagged teeth, trying to bite through them. He was able to chew through the rubber portion fine, but he was stopped short when he got to the thick metal wire.

    Damn it,” he thought wearily, trying his best to fly steadily towards the ground below. He felt his wings threaten to buckle against the drag of the heavy wind currents. “What am I going to do when I get to the ground? How am I going to get my powers back? How am I going to live down there?

    Without meaning to, he started flying faster and falling steeper. “How... am I expected to live with the common pokemon...?

    His descent continued to increase and his vision became bright and blurry. The pressure from the wind resistance buffeted his body until finally he gave way and his weakened wings snapped back. Zekrom let out a roar of surprise and frantically tried to catch himself, but he was too exhausted from losing his powers to do anything. He fell like a black meteor, his tail sparking only slightly as he dropped. “N-no...!

    Zekrom plummeted towards the ground at a height of two hundred feet. He fell at blinding speeds due to his great weight. The only solace he found was the fact that the incredible G-forces he felt knocked him unconscious before he felt the feeling of hitting the ground...

    -

    Silhouetted against the night sky was the scaly, yellow form of a dragonfly flying through the air with a cool breeze at his back as he looked around eagerly. The rays of the two half moons bounced off his four emerald, parallelogram-shaped wings and his two similarly shaped protrusions on the end of his tail that seemed to act akin to a rudder. He flapped his wings rapidly and tucked his four, skinny black legs against his yellow body. The Vibrava gazed around him, causing his antennae to wave slightly each time he turned his head.

    “Where is it?” he asked, his sharp, green eyes darting back and forth. Hanging from around the Vibrava’s neck was a pair of blue goggles that were too big for him to wear on his head. Also around his neck was a blue scarf with a silver badge pinned on the fabric.

    “Drakex, wait for us!” a voice called out from behind the Vibrava.

    “Maybe if you guys were faster, I wouldn’t have to,” he replied, grinning as he looked over his shoulder. He then went on to stick his tongue out at the three pokemon that were following him.

    Doing his very best to keep up with the others, along with the one that had called to him, was a bipedal turtle with blueish indigo skin which matched the blue scarf around his neck. His brown shell glistened as the moons’ light reflected off of it and his thick, fluffy white tail bobbed back and forth with each short stride he took. On his head were two fluffy ears from the same substance as his tail. He exerted his relatively stubby legs rapidly in an attempt to maintain speed.

    “How are you doing, Sai?” a calm, female voice teased from beside him. The Wartortle known as Sai glanced his maroon eyes to his left to lock them with the red ones of a bipedal dragon pokemon.

    “Doing okay, Kyrin,” he responded as she began to overtake him. Running ahead of him was a draconic pokemon with grey, red-tipped horizontal tusks and an athletic body. On her upper body were green scales and on her lower body were grey ones with red speckles on her underbelly. Kyrin leaned forwards and poised her grey tail to speed up in an attempt to catch up with Drakex. Like with him and Sai, around the Fraxure’s neck was a sapphire scarf.

    “Why are we doing this stupid mission anyways? It’s a waste of talent,” a voice complained from Sai’s other side.

    Jogging beside the Wartortle was a violet, quadrupedal pokemon resembling a porcupine. Remaining unmoving on his back were a set of purple spikes that jutted out, much like the long, single horn on his forehead. The annoyed look on his face intensified when a gust of wind blew one of his long, violet and teal ears in front of his face, temporarily obstructing his vision until he shook his head with annoyance, forcing it back to its rightful, upright place.

    “Drakex wants to take on any mission we receive, Fletch,” Sai explained to the Nidorino. “And I agree. We may be relatively experienced, but we still have to prove that we’re a capable rescue and exploration team. We’re not famous yet, so that means doing the boring missions along with the exciting ones.”

    “Yeah, whatever,” Fletch responded irately, galloping faster. “Let’s just get it over with.”

    Sai frowned and tried to run faster to catch up with the others. “However,” he said loud enough for the trailblazing Vibrava to hear. “Aren’t we getting a bit close to the tower, Drakex?” As he ran, he looked up at the giant imposing structure ahead of them that reached high into the sky. The Pillar of Infinity was nearly two kilometres away from them, but it could be seen from regions away. It hurt Sai’s neck to even attempt to look all the way up to where it disappeared into the spacial vortex.

    “Don’t be a Torchic, Sai,” Drakex told him, still scanning the ground keenly. “The letter we got said that the berries only grow around the tower.”

    “I’m not a Torchic, but I don’t want any Legendaries yelling at us or crushing us or anything either,” Sai responded, finally catching up to them, panting heavily.

    Fletch let out a ‘humph’ and indignantly looked to the side with closed eyes. “I don’t see why the lazy jerk couldn’t just get his berries himself.”

    “Maybe he’s somebody like you, Fletch,” Kyrin suggested with a small grin as she also looked around for the rare berries they were tasked with finding.

    He shot the Fraxure an annoyed look. “Very funn--”

    “I see something!” Drakex suddenly shouted, stopping in his flight.

    “Did you find the berries?” Sai asked, stopping and bending over to catch his breath. “Make sure they’re not the blue ones with red speckles again.”

    “No. Somethin’ else,” he explained, looking upwards into the starry night sky. “It’s a shooting star! ...Four of them!”

    The other three pokemon looked up at the sky as well, off to the right of the Pillar of Infinity. Indeed, there were several flickering lights all in a row, seeming to come from the same place in a cluster as they travelled.

    Sai whistled, impressed, and Drakex looked up at them, starry-eyed.

    “Those aren’t stars,” Kyrin suddenly said, narrowing her eyes as the small, flashing lights got closer to the side of the tower on their steep angled flight.

    They then froze when a large, black, draconic figure passed in front of the tower, making his silhouette clear and revealing the stars to be sparks from his sparking tail.

    “What is that?” Fletch asked, wincing as he started to get a kink in his neck.

    “Something’s wrong,” Sai said, frowning as he watched the dragon plummet.

    They all winced and steadied themselves as the figure crashed into the ground a kilometre away, causing the earth beneath them to tremor even at that distance. The rescue team looked across the flat, grassy landscape and saw a cloud of dirt and dust plume out in the distance.

    Without a moment’s beat, Drakex acted, turning to the others. “Come on! They might be hurt! As team leader, I say we’ll find the berries after; we have to make sure that pokemon’s okay!” he told them, fluttering his wings rapidly and shooting across the landscape towards the downed dragon.

    “Maybe we’ll get to fight somebody,” Fletch muttered, charging after him.

    Kyrin nodded at Sai and started running after the Vibrava and Nidorino. The Wartortle frowned and raced after them, while reaching into the bag around him that he has planning to carry the berries in to pull out a different berry with healing properties.

    After several minutes of running and flying the group stopped in front of a massive, unconscious dragon surrounded by unearthed grass and dirt that was pushed up when he hit the ground and skidded. Drakex landed on the ground, staring at Zekrom. The dragon at full height would stand at over six times any of their heights.

    Drakex’s mouth was agape and his green eyes were opened wide. “I don’t believe it...” he gasped to himself.

    “Is he alive?!” Sai asked, finally catching up to the three.

    The Nidorino glanced at Zekrom’s closed eyes, but noticed that his sleek, toned chest was still expanding and contracting, if only lightly. “Seems that way,” Fletch responded.

    “Who’s tall, dark and handsome?” Kyrin asked, looking the black dragon over.

    “He’s a Legendary, genius,” Fletch said with a roll of his eyes. “He’s not so great if he took a nosedive in mid-flight... I knew they’re not so special.”

    “It’s... Zekrom...” Drakex whispered, still looking at the Legendary in pure shock. “Zekrom...”

    “Why’s he tied up?” Sai asked, looking over at Zekrom’s bound arms which were partially pinned under his chest.

    “Maybe he’s into the sort of thing. Who cares?” Fletch said dismissively.

    “This. Is. So. COOL!” Drakex suddenly shouted, interrupting the others. “It’s Zekrom, guys! I’m face-to-face with Zekrom!”

    “Here we go...” muttered Kyrin, sitting down.

    Who cares?” barked Fletch, narrowing his eyes at Drakex. “Let’s just find the damn berries already and go home. It’s late.”

    “You’re just jealous because you’re not Zekrom!” the Vibrava said with an ear-to-ear grin, flying around the three excitedly, his wings humming loudly as he did.

    “Stop that! You’re giving me a headache!” Fletch snapped.

    “But it’s Zekrom, Fletch!” he replied.

    “Stop saying his name like that!” the Nidorino shouted, jumping up and knocking Drakex out of the sky as he flew around for another rotation.

    The scuffle was interrupted by a deep, growling groan. The four pokemon slowly turned towards Zekrom, everyone stopping in mid-action. His dark grey eyelids tensed and slowly opened. All but Kyrin took a step back when one of Zekrom’s red and yellow eyes fixated on them.

    “...Did you have a good sleep, Zekrom, sir?” Drakex asked the sprawled out dragon, grinning a little nervously.

    The electric drake grunted, sending a cloud of dirt into the air in front of his snout. Zekrom slowly tried to lift himself but found himself too weak and in an awkward, disadvantageous position to boot. When he dropped back down to the ground and gave a weak, irritated growl, Fletch snickered slightly, only to be elbowed by Sai.

    “You shouldn’t try to move. You took a bad fall,” Sai said, taking a wary step closer and offering his berry. “Something may be broken.”

    “Yeah. Or let us help you up,” Drakex offered.

    “Leave,” Zekrom ordered in a snarl. Without another word, the exiled Legendary slowly rolled over onto his side, so that he could move his bound arms out from under him. The dragon then got onto his elbows and knees before straightening himself up, using his heavy tail as a counterbalance.

    As Zekrom placed one of his feet forward, putting his weight on it as he raised his other foot to stand, Drakex flew in front of him. “At least let us untie you,” he said, flying down to Zekrom’s tied arms to try to unknot the cord.

    Zekrom growled and swatted him lightly aside. “I don’t need your help,” he said, turning his back to them, staggering slightly with his step.

    “Good,” Fletch snapped at him, narrowing his eyes.

    “Just take our berry,” Sai suggested, brandishing the berry in front of him. “You have a branch in your left arm.”

    “Forget him!” the Nidorino complained with an exasperated tone. “He’s obviously too good to accept help from us.”

    Zekrom looked over his shoulder, casting a dangerous glare in Fletch’s direction. He then looked down at himself and saw a small branch embedded in the outer side of his mitt-like hand, sticking into his black scales between a gap in the cords. He must have landed on it when he hit the ground. It wasn’t until now that he noticed the stinging, probably because his whole body ached from the landing. Blood dripped off his hand and fell down into the top of his left foot.

    “I’m fine,” he assured them, stifling a wince as he turned back forward.

    “Let’s go, guys,” Kyrin calmly said to the others, knowing already that Zekrom wanted nothing to do with them. “We still have a mission to finish.”

    “Yeah, I’m getting tired of looking at this guy’s oversized [i]a]/i]ss,” Fletch said, eyeing Zekrom’s tail.

    “Hold on, Kyrin. And nobody’s forcing you to look at his butt, Fletch,” Drakex said, landing on the ground and looking up at Zekrom. “Z-Zekrom, sir! Can you at least tell us why you crashed and why you’re tied up? Was it bandits?”

    “It’s none of your business,” the dragon replied dismissively.

    The Deep Black pokemon then looked at his surroundings. In front of him was the Pillar of Infinity. There was no way they would let him back in there. To his left was lush grassland for a long distance. Behind him as more grassland and four pokemon that he didn’t want to deal with. He turned to his right and saw a shallow forest in the distance at the base of tall mountains. “There might be a cave there I can stay in until I get myself situated,” he thought to himself.

    “Thanks anyways,” Zekrom grumbled quietly as he turned to his right and started trudging towards the forest.

    “Nice meeting you!” Drakex called to him, smiling, even though he was brushed aside by one of the pokemon he really admired. “By the way, I’m Drakex Wyvering, leader of Team Aegis! Don’t forget, okay?!”

    Zekrom heard his yells but didn’t respond. He just continued walking until he reached the forest. He walked around the trees, nudging them aside with his tied hands when he needed to. Due to his height, his head and his glowing crest was still visible over the top of the canopy.

    Sai put his berry back in his bag and folded his blue arms across his yellow underbelly. “Maybe it really was bandits who did that to him, as hard as that is to believe,” he mused.

    “He is going towards where they were rumoured to be hiding out,” Kyrin agreed. “Perhaps he’s going back for revenge...”

    “I wish I could see that,” prattled Drakex, grinning. “They must have jumped him while he was sleeping or something. There’s no way he would have lost to a bunch of bandits in a real fight. And he’s going to beat them up with his hands tied just to prove a point! Zek is so badass...”

    Fletch rolled his brown eyes. “Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Let’s just find these damn berries already. I’ve got cold soup waiting for me at home because of you, Drake. I’d rather get back before it’s frozen.”

    “Take the spike out of your butt, Fletchy. It’s not every day we get to meet a Legendary!” the Vibrava responded, folding his four legs and nodding.

    As the two argued, Sai and Kyrin followed them, walking together. The Wartortle glanced over his shoulder towards the forest and mountains before looking at Kyrin. “It would have been nice if we could have said we helped Zekrom,” he mused. “That would make our team stand out more.”

    Kyrin nodded thoughtfully. “I guess...” she finally said.

    “Think he’ll be okay?” Sai asked her.

    The Fraxure folded her arms and closed her eyes. “...Drakex did have a point. Even if there were ten bandits, I can’t see a Legendary ending up like he did, even if they jumped him. And it looked like he was flying away from the tower, not the mountain range...”

    The Wartortle raised an eyebrow in response. “What are you saying?”

    Kyrin shrugged dismissively. “Maybe it’s nothing. But there could be more to that than met the eye...”

    Sai looked back towards the forest. “Well... We may never know now.”

    The dragon pokemon nodded in agreement before something off to the side caught her eye. “Hm,” she said nonchalantly. “Found the berries...”
    Last edited by Griff4815; 10th October 2011 at 7:11 PM.
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013
    Chapter 17 is up.

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