Fighting a god is tough. Especially when that god is omnipotent and can track your every move and thought.
Any sane person would fear him. Any sane person wouldn't dare incur his wrath. Any sane person wouldn't capture his precious children and use them against him.
Evidently, I didn’t qualify as a sane person.
These very thoughts made their rounds about in my head. They tried to make my resolve waver. But no. Oh no, I was gonna do it and no one was gonna stop me. Well, except maybe him.
I took a deep breath as I peered through the floor. Down below, the famed Spear Pillar laid sprawled out beneath me. I stood on a floating, clear platform in sky. Behind me was a similarly uncolored crystal staircase with a large glowing tile at its base. I tell you what, getting this damned hall to show up was annoying. I actually had to find and play - correctly, I might add - a crusty, blue flute from some forgotten age. Thankfully, I was the best band student in my senior class.
I clenched my fist around a black and white Poke Ball with a yellow “U” on the black side. I would need my partners’ powers in this match. My opponent, the infamous gold and white tyrant, stared at me with contempt from across his floating domain. I’ve seen that beast before. Everytime a major flood that wiped out vast majorities of a region occurred, he was there. He was at the epicenter of every major earthquake; he was the one who commanded the volcanoes to erupt. He had killed an insurmountable number of innocents.
Behind him was a towering wall of stone (maybe fifty feet in height) with mystical, glowing runes of every color I could imagine and several I couldn’t. That was my true target - the Divine Wall. See, I couldn’t actually kill Arceus. He was the most powerful being in existence. Plus, he was immortal. But nearly all of his power comes from that Wall of his (which is most certainly not immortal). So if I could destroy it then maybe...
I straightened my long black hair, adjusted my blue baseball cap, and drew myself up to my full height. "Arceus!" I declared, "Your reign of tyranny is over! I'm destroying that wall, and you're gonna get outta my way even I have to blast you to pieces to do it!"
A chuckling voice exploded in my head. “Foolish, mortal girl. You cannot beat me. You are weak. So fragile. I could destroy every cell, every atom, that makes up your being, all in an instant. Who are you to stop me?”
"I am Aeron, Champion of three regions! I’m the most powerful trainer in the world! I have trained with Alder, researched with Cynthia, and explored with Steven. I have tamed the seas and bent the land to my will. I have traversed through a prison in an alternate dimension and made the warden my prisoner. I defeated the King of Golems when it refused me access into Snowpoint Temple. I have gone toe-to-toe with titans and come out on top. It was all with one goal in mind. And now, here today, I will complete that goal. Because I will defeat you and stop your mindless destruction of people and Pokemon!" My voice was strong. I had practiced. And being a thrice-declared Champion packing superpowered heat tends to help one’s ego.
“You have too much pride, mortal. But... you are to challenge me anyways? Very well. Let us begin.” Arceus's wall flickered and the rainbow light poured into his body. His golden ornamental parts began to glow with the light of the wall. I stumbled as the force tackled me. The pillars beneath us bent unnaturally in various directions as my skin prickled. Persistent pain chased itself up down my body. My skin felt like my very cells were vibrating. It felt like I had millions of teeny tiny scratches everywhere. My vision was blurry, clouded by tears.
Just when I began to think that I'd either explode or disintegrate (neither option sounded good), the ball in my hand emitted a solid red light and a large white and pink being appeared in front of me. Palkia roared as he entered the battle then threw his arm out like he was bashing someone with his elbow. A purple arc of energy flew from his glowing forearm and struck Arceus square in the chest. It barely made him flinch, but my pain faded as Arceus’s control over mass diminished.
Arceus’s voice bellowed inside my skull. “You captured my own child and dare to pit him against me? And you call me the tyrannical one.”
I wiped my eyes glared angrily at Arceus.“Don’t think you can shrug off the death of thousands of people and Pokemon! The entire world blames you; you’ve been seen doing it! You cannot escape justice!”
“Justice? You mean to teach me about justice? I, the one who passes Judgement upon those departed? I invented justice! I have seen things, learned things, created things that you could not possibly imagine! Who are you to tell me that you understand my actions better than myself? It matters little how powerful your partners are or how many of your mundane competitions you win; I created everything! Everything you do, have done, or are going to do is exactly in accordance to my plans. So I suggest you simply give up and go home.”
I shot a fierce look at the malevolent god. “And let you continue on your killing spree? I don’t think so! You don’t own me; I make my own decisions.”
“Ignorant fool! I know the future; I molded it! If you were about to do something that conflicted with my vision of that future, I would stop it. And how do you know that your actions are your own? Little girl, I could easily influence your mind in such a way that you would think that any idea you think up was your creation.”
“B-but...No! Stop trying to screw with my head! I’m gonna beat you one way or another!”
His voice was one of disgust. “Very well. I can see that you are not much more than a bag of flesh that cannot be reasoned with. And it is high time that you get out of my Hall. You are diminishing its divinity by merely standing in it.” The golden wheel that surrounded his midsection glowed a fierce cobalt color and reality seemed to break. Tuffs of wind and even my own movements seemed to loop themselves repeatedly. It was as if the battle had been caught on tape and it was stuck. Yet for some reason, I could see and think just fine. Arceus gradually grew closer with each skip and Palkia couldn’t hold him off by himself. I managed to extend my arm down to my belt and struck a Poke Ball there before time reversed it away. It let loose an ever-expanding mass of red energy. It congealed into a four-legged deity that opened his maw to screech at his corrupted father.
The scene righted itself and Arceus was blasted backwards into his Wall. Standing to the left of Palkia gleamed the deep blue Temporal Pokemon. Dialga had assumed control of the time he governed and fixed its flow.
This was almost going too well.
“Dialga! Use Roar of Time! Palkia, Spacial Rend!” Dialga inhaled deeply and a visible blue glow could be seen coming from his throat. Palkia extended his forearm which was glowing with a purple light. Simultaneously, Palkia launched his arc of purple energy and Dialga fired a blue blast from his mouth. They struck Arceus who crashed into his wall again. The tyrant fell to the floor with a heavy thud. He gathered himself off the ground, but he seemed much weaker.
And yet his voice marched through my brain unfettered. “Two of my children? I’m almost impressed. You may very well be as powerful as you boast. But it is hardly enough. I have seen the future. You fall here today, girl. You cannot avoid your fate.”
“Fate, smate. Dialga, Palkia - Hold him.” The two beasts forced Arceus to the ground again using their power over matter and he let loose a cry that echoed across the land. I rubbed the ringing in my ears away and smirked at his futile attempts to get up. Failing that, he dragged his head to gaze directly into my eyes and I was suddenly lost in their green depths. I couldn’t think. My head hurt - oh, it hurt so bad! I collapsed to my knees, but I couldn’t look away. The agony; it was far worse than having my molecules jostled. My hands were on my head but there was nothing I could do to stop this pain. It felt like my life was draining away. The empty spot it left felt cold - colder than Kyurem’s frozen tundra, and I - I...
A flash blue, gold, and pink passed before my eyes as the three spirits encircled me. My soul poured back into me and tore my gaze away from Arceus. I was still on my hands and knees panting. I swallowed and shakily stood back up, wincing as my head pounded with the worst migraine I’ve ever had.
“The ones who gifted spirit to the masses... I knew you would have them too. Still, it did not hurt to try. Well, it did not hurt me anyways. Now, let us see you break that Wall. It is just as immortal as I am.” Arceus was still on the ground. He seemed to be in pain but his voice was clear and unfaltering. The trio of pixies flew in a circle around the god with their red crystals glowing. That should keep his mind powers at bay.
“That is where you are wrong, Arceus. I know how to destroy that wall. But you are wrong because that same trick won’t work on you. Meaning, of course, that the Wall is less impervious than you,” I stated weakly. I wanted to sound smug, but I didn’t have the energy.
“I am NOT wrong! I cannot be wrong, mortal! I decide what it is right! Foolish, foolish girl! Do you not understand? I can either be right or I can lie. I cannot be ‘wrong’.”
I shrugged. “We’ll see about that. Giratina!” I tossed the last Poke Ball on my belt out in front. The gray beast with a golden face and nightmare-black wings tipped in red landed heavily before me. His six legs stood strong on the unfamiliar gravity. “Allow me entrance into the Distortion world. We have business to do there.”
The ghostly dragon nodded and his eyes lit up crimson. Between us formed a black and purple portal in the ground. It was round in shape and spun like a whirlpool. Giratina dove in and I watched his legs mold into his body and his wings separated into three tendrils each.
Arceus’s voice intruded my mind, aggravating my headache. “No! You know not what you are doing! You cannot stop fate! You are only condemning yourself!”
“Oh, I don’t think so. After all, if I was just going to my death, why would you care to tell me?” I took one last look at the fallen god.
“Perhaps it is because I am not the evil being you paint me to be?” His voice sounded sincere, but I didn’t believe it for a second. It was obvious that this was just another ploy to keep me from winning.
“Ha!” I muttered. I stepped into the portal and my vision clouded. I felt like I was falling, then rising, then falling again. I had slipped through the portal, out the other side, and the strange gravity caught me again. I looked at the brown and barren platform I landed on. It was devoid of any real description, just like every other hunk of rock in this place. Giratina, in his serpentine Origin Forme, awaited my command. “Come on, buddy. Let’s go find the Wall’s anchor.” Giratina floated near the edge of the platform so that I could hop on. Giratina knew the Distortion World like the back of his hand, figuratively speaking, so I let him steer. After all, being trapped here for thousands of years tends to get one bored enough to memorize the shifting landscape. Giratina, of course, shared the same hatred for Arceus as I did. The god had thrown his own child into the dark prison eons ago.
I’d be a liar if I said that I didn’t have a personal reason to hate Arceus. Six years ago, back when I lived on Cinnabar Island, the volcano there erupted. Most of the island was destroyed. My parents managed to secure me a ride on the escaping ferry, but they themselves didn’t make it. I had been twelve years old. I didn’t want anything to do with Kanto after that. Using the small amount of money I had, I secured a ticket in Vermilion City and I left for Sinnoh. Professor Rowan took me in and I learned a lot under his guidance.
But Rowan had tapes of the eruption in Cinnabar. He never told me - he didn’t want me to grieve anymore than I already was - but I found them. Guess who was at the eruption directing every blast? The so-called Alpha Pokemon, Arceus. From that day on, I vowed to have my revenge. I became a trainer and my will to win took me all the way to Cynthia. I defeated her, then Iris of Unova, and Wallace of Hoenn. I trained with them and their predecessors, namely Steven and Alder. With Cynthia, I uncovered everything I could about Arceus. And in the end, I captured his six direct children: the Creation and Spirit deities. Arceus would pay.
The tyrant’s voice sounded in my mind again. “You blame me for your parents’ deaths? Well, I suppose I did kill them. Oh well. People live and people die.”
“Ugh, I didn’t think I’d have to listen to your voice in here. And that’s hardly the way to talk about my parents,” I muttered. Grief wanted to resurface, but I swallowed it down. “I guess you don’t have a point of reference though.”
“You are correct, I do not. However, I suppose it would be similar to having all of your children kidnapped?”
“Yeah, probably. Doesn’t feel good, does it?” I pushed Giratina harder. He needed to hurry so we can shut that god’s mouth up already.
“Destroying my Wall will not stifle me.”
I was really getting to the point to where if he didn’t shut up soon, I would personally-
“No, I do not think you would.”
“Stop that!” Just as my outburst faded, I saw the ghostly form of a huge tablet rising up from a platform ahead. It was clustered in flickering images and turquoise bubbles. Giratina had shown me once that important objects in the physical world had roots stretching down into the Distortion World. That Wall had a fairly large presence in this world because of it. I think it had something to do with balance; this world stabilizes our world. If either of the worlds were to be destroyed, the other would cease to exist. My plan was to use a smaller scale of that idea. If I could eliminate the Wall’s presence here, it should significantly weaken our version of the Wall. Then we can destroy it.
As Giratina lowered himself over the targeted platform, I hopped off and faced down Arceus. I suppose it’s to be expected; Arceus has just as strong of a presence here as in our reality. That’s actually why I couldn’t use this trick on him.
“Having fun?” I sneered, noticing his form was restrained even here.
“Do not be so arrogant. Your plan will fail, or worse, it will backfire. You know not the forces you are dealing with.” He tried to move his leg, but only managed to give a slight twitch.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyways, I’ve heard enough. Giratina, blast that Wall so we can get on with it. You know how this world makes me queasy.” The grey dragon peered at the target and then back to me. He shook his massive golden head. “What? What do you mean, ‘no’? What’s the matter with you, buddy? I thought you didn’t like Arceus.” He quivered and a backed away a bit.
“Perhaps he realises how foolish this plan is after all.”
“Arceus! Leave him alone!”
“Or what? You already have me in this embarrassing position. What more could you do?”
“I’ll... I’ll...” I tried thinking of a rebuttal, but couldn’t. I sighed. Instead, I pulled out Giratina’s Poke Ball. “Giratina, destroy that Wall now! C’mon, like what we were planning to do!” I kept a tight grip on the ball as I spoke.
Giratina seemed to struggle for a moment, but then his will gave way to the control that the Poke Ball exuded. His eyes, crimson stripes, and wing tips darkened from red to black as he approached the Divine Wall. His wings burst out suddenly, like a pair of giant, three fingered claws and impaled the stone tablet. Each of the blackened wing spikes seeped darkness into the glowing runes, dimming their magic. The colors of the wall faded until they were gone completely. Giratina’s wings retracted as their colors returned to normal. The Renegade Pokemon seemed stricken at what he was forced to do.
“Stop! Do not continue! The Wall cannot take much more now!”
“Um, duh? That’s kinda the point.” I rolled my eyes again and motioned for Giratina to lower itself. I hopped on and took one last look at the wall. Fractures were growing out of the six blackened craters on its surface. As Giratina began to fly towards the exit, my eyes met with Arceus’s. I expected him to be smoldering with anger, but was he... smirking? Don’t pay attention to him, Aeron; he’s just trying to wig you out, I silently reprimanded myself.
I was surprised yet again; Arceus didn’t respond to that thought. Maybe he’s weakened because his Wall is swiss cheese? Yeah, that must be it. Rationalizing: key to remaining calm.
And there’s the portal. The swirling whirlpool of strange energy beckoned and consumed us as we passed into it. I was flung off Giratina and landed hard onto the crystalline tile of the Hall of Origin. Giratina was forced into his six-legged Altered Forme as he came into our dimension. I shakily stood up, still sore from the impact and everything else that I had been subjected to that day, and glared the Alpha One from across his precious domain. Behind him, the Divine Wall’s rainbow light had faded. Instead, black energy raced in the runes covering it like poison in its veins. The holes we made in the Distortion World weren’t present though; that was a kind of spiritual injury.
Much to my annoyance, Arceus was still smirking. He didn’t say a single word though. “What’s with the smile? You pretty much lost already. What could you possibly have to be happy about?”
“Fine, be that way. I know what you’re doing.” I paused. Arceus didn’t reply, so I continued. “You’re trying to psych me out. Well, it’s not gonna work. Because I’m gonna complete my mission and you can’t stop me. Dialga, Palkia, Giratina! Combine your attacks and destroy the Divine Wall!”
Dialga, standing tall, readied his attack. He opened his mouth and a blue sphere of energy formed in front of it. It flashed a lighter shade of blue then emitted a huge blue beam that nearly outshined the sun. The pink gems in Palkia’s shoulder blades lit up with power and his palms began to glow. He brought his hands together and parted them to create his own pink ball of light. He thrust it forward and similar beam of light struck the wall where Dialga’s did. Giratina followed suit; a blood red beam burst out the sphere before his gaping maw. When all three beams of energy were pouring into the wall at the same time, a distinct fracturing sound could be heard. Cracks started to form across the surface. It was pretty hard to see since the three beams were blinding, but the six holes from its reversed version had shown up too. Then with one huge explosion, the wall crumbled with a cloud of smoke. My three titans stopped their attacks.
As the dust began to settle, an eerie laughter rumbled across the Hall. “Hehehehehe...HahahahaHAHAHAHA!” A chill ran through me. That was Arceus’s voice. “I told you. I said you were going to fail. And you did.”
The dust cleared and Arceus stood exuding golden light from atop the rubble. The wall had collapsed into several large pieces with symbols that were dull and powerless. “Failed? The wall is in pieces. I won. How are you still standing? Dialga and Palkia are supposed to keep you on the ground and the loss of your wall should have weakened you further!”
“Tisk, tisk, tisk...You said your mission was to weaken me. To keep me from killing any more mortals. You failed. The destruction of this Wall did not weaken me... It strengthened me!”
I swallowed. “W-what!? B-But all the legends say that your power is tied to the Divine Wall!” I tried to step backwards, but my feet were stuck to the floor. Arceus didn’t want me leaving.
“Tied, yes... Bound, in fact. I could not go very far from this Wall for too long, or I would lose my power. But now the seal is broken and I am finally free!” Arceus lifted himself into the air and flashed with a white energy. In just seconds, all six of the Poke Balls tied to my belt completely disintegrated! Now without anything to keep them there, Uxie, Azelf, and Mesprit fled from their power-mad father. Dialga and Palkia shimmered the color of their jewels and an instant later, they vanished. Only the Renegade, Giratina, remained by my side. “Be gone,” I heard Arceus direct at my friend. Giratina cried out in pain and crumpled to the floor. He turned into purple energy and poured into the portal that appeared beneath him. The whirlpool closed and vanished. I was left gaping with tears flooding my eyes.
“Do not be upset, foolish mortal girl. No one could have done better. In fact, I applaud that you were able to catch those six. And to befriend that rogue... You are an interesting person, Aeron. Still, it was a breeze to manipulate you. Oh yes, you coming here was my idea the whole time. I went to Cinnabar Island that day and caused the eruption that killed your parents for that very purpose. I knew that it would change you - motivate you to seek revenge. I gave subtle suggestions to those ‘Champions’, as you call them, to assist you. I lead you to the Azure Flute. And in the end I pretended to be held back by my children. For you to actually believe that I could be subdued by my own creations... Foolish. But I suppose you are just a human.”
“B-but... Why me?” Tears rolled down my cheeks. Not only did I fail, but I was also fairly sure that I wasn’t gonna make it out of here alive. I couldn’t even pray like some people do when faced with death. Who would I pray to?
“Why you, indeed. No reason. You just happened to the be in the right place at the right time. It truly could have been anybody. You were simply convenient.”
If my legs didn’t feel like they were made from stone, I would have collapsed to my knees by now. “But... But why? Where did that Wall even come from then?”
“Now you are simply stalling. Regardless, I shall indulge. My power can be invested in physical objects. If I do this, my power grows. However, I cannot stray far from the item. I had not mastered all my abilities when I made the Divine Wall, and I made a few mistakes. I could not move the blasted thing or even destroy it myself. So I had you do it. And now I will try again.”
The pieces of the wall lit up and flew into the air. They each glowed a different color. There were seventeen of them in all. They began to circle around Arceus’s midsection. One by one, they started to change shape. They now resembled isosceles triangles, only with a bite out of the long end. I immediately recognized them. “Those are the Plates! I’ve heard about them. I could never find them though. You just made more? You killed my parents just so you could get more Plates!?”
“Do you not understand, mortal? These are not simply more Plates... These are the Plates! You are lucky, girl; you get to witness their creation.”
“But I’ve seen those in books and carvings before! They already exist!”
“Time does not run in a linear fashion for me. If you have already seen these before, then you have seen a future version of them. But I have had enough of this talk. Aeron, Champion of Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Unova... any last words?”
I took a deep breath and jammed my hand into my jean pocket. Time for my last ditch plan. I pulled out a crimson chain that gave off a blood-red aura and yelled, “Yeah... Catch!” I flung the chain at Arceus’s head like a lasso. The chain homed in on him, growing longer and larger as it flew. The chain pulled tight over his neck and I jerked it backwards. He fell onto his front knees, struggling angrily.
“Bah! What manner of vile power is this!?” Arceus detested angrily as he struggled to stand.
“This is the Red Chain.” I didn’t see the reason to go into it further. Not when my life depended on it. Using my free hand, I pulled out another chain from my pocket. This one was linked together at both ends to create a ring. I tossed it like a frisbee and it landed several yards ahead of me. Now off to the side of Arceus, the ring began to glow. The insides of the disc turned a deep purple and huge roar sounded from inside. Giratina exploded out of it, jet black in form with an evil red eye glowing in his head. He was dripping black ink on the pristine tile he floated over. I released my end of the Red Chain and it wound itself around the god’s neck like a choker. Crimson electricity coursed through Arceus’s body and he cried out in agony. “Giratina! Get Arceus now while he’s weak!” I commanded.
Giratina’s form faded to where I could I see through him like black fog. He rushed through Arceus who cried out loud and collapsed. The Plates fell to the ground. Giratina flapped his dark wings once and the Plates cracked. Then they each exploded in a cloud of multi-colored dust. I smirked at the fallen god and crossed my arms.
And then everything went fuzzy. The world blurred until I couldn’t see anymore. When my sight returned, I realized that I was on my back staring at the sky. Dark clouds swirled above me menacingly. I got up to my feet again and saw Arceus grinning from across the hall, amusement dancing in his eyes. The Plates spun around him once more as if nothing had ever happened.
“Defeat seems so much more agonizing when you have tasted success, does it not?”
“Wait, so that whole thing was just a dream!?” Giratina was gone and the glass floor was clean. I felt my pockets. There was no Red Chain, only a now useless pair of house keys.
“Not all of it. Everything up until after the creation of my Plates was real.” Arceus remarked with sinister playfulness. “Well, as much as I like toying with minds, I have things to go do. You know, volcanoes to fuel and families to uproot.” Arceus gave a chuckle and vanished with a flash. The sound of shattering glass behind me. I turned around in time to watch the crystalline staircase collapse into millions of tiny fragments.
I fell to my knees. Fractures began to litter the floor of the Hall of Origin. I couldn’t think. My mind was going in a million different directions. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. The floor gave out beneath me and I fell towards Spear Pillar at an alarmingly deadly rate. I’m the strongest trainer in the world; how could I lose!? I thought in futile frustration.
Arceus’s voice exploded in my head one last time.
“Foolish mortal. None can escape what they are predestined to do.”
Thanks to all the people who read this!
Special thanks to Silent Memento, ChaosCaptain, Azurus, Shadow Lucario 50, and Knightfall for being awesome and beta reading this!