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Anime Remix Special: The Remix of Darkrai

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by FlamingRuby, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    (rated E10+ for fantasy violence and frightening images)

    Here is a special request and a gift for fans of my series--what Pokemon movie 10 would look like within my imagined Pokeworld.

    Remember this is not quite the same movie you remember!

    All characters, names, and other indicia are trademarks of their respective owners.

    Prologue: The Way to Alamos Town


    "Nervous about the Contest in Alamos Town?" Ash asked as the group made their way down the road. It had been a few days since Dawn had befriended a Ralts inside Solaceon Ruins. Dawn had planned to use her new Ralts in the Solaceon Contest, but then Barry had informed her about Alamos Town.

    Brock looked up from the guidebook. He winced when he noticed the group's current position looked nothing like the picture in the guidebook. "I hate to say it, guys, but we're lost. No nice way to say it."

    "Typical Barry..." Dawn sighed as Ash groaned. "Tells us all about a cool detour, but neglects to give us directions..."

    "According to the chapter on Alamos Town, the town is actually raised on a mountain surrounded by a lake." Brock explained. "This expanse of tall grass looks nothing like that..."

    Ash spotted a checkered hot air balloon approaching their position. "Hey, look!"

    "Hello there, travelers!" a blonde haired woman smiled as her older pilot guided the balloon to the ground. "Need a ride to Alamos Town?"

    "Sure!" Dawn hurried to the gondola and climbed inside. "I've always wanted to take a balloon ride, miss..."

    "Alice, please." the girl replied. "And this is Tonio, my co-pilot and navigator."

    "Pleased to meet you, travelers." the older man smiled as he petted a Chimchar. "Ember here is the one powering the burner."

    Ash facepalmed when he heard a familiar guitar playing the intro to the song "Up, Up, and Away". Brock, this is not the time to play a song...

    A discordant Eb chord made him heave a sigh of relief. [You can sing all you want when we get to where we're goin', coach.] Kage scolded Brock.

    Alice smiled as she climbed back inside the gondola with a shaped piece of grass. "If you want to play music so bad, let me share with you a song that is special to the residents of Alamos..."

    With that, she started playing a peaceful melody that resonated across the plain. "Wow!" Dawn gasped as a variety of bird Pokemon met the balloon in the air.

    "What's the name of that song?" Ash wondered as he found one of his whistles in his pocket. "And why is it special?"

    "It's an ancient melody..." Alice explained. "The only known name for it is the Oración."

    "The Oración, huh?" Brock mused. "Is it anything like the Swanna Song?"

    "Yes and no--while it is a song said to have magical power, it is not a last ditch spell." Alice explained. "It's actually more of a great healing song. One legend I once heard said that it calmed two Legendary Pokemon that were battling across space and time. But as far as I know, it's only a story."

    "Ah, but remember that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction." Brock smiled.

    "That is true." Tonio agreed. "We will be arriving soon, so gather your belongings and make sure your teams are accounted for."

    Alice set down a sheet of musical staff paper on the gondola floor. "What key is your instrument?" she asked Ash.

    "This is a D whistle--the 'standard' whistle key." Ash replied.

    "Okay..." Alice wrote two sharps as the key signature, then quickly wrote out the song's melody in the new key. "The only note that may give you trouble is a high F# in the second octave." she cautioned.

    "I've been playing for a while, so I can hit that note consistently." Ash assured Alice.

    "For now, just practice the melody as I have it here." Alice began. "Then you can add in ornamentation to make this song your own."

    "Got it." Ash replied as he stashed his whistle and Alice's transcription of the Oración in his bag.

    "You finished the music lesson just in time." Tonio smiled as the rooftops of ornate buildings and a mountain came into view. "Welcome to Alamos Town."

    The group gasped in awe at the city, and the ornate designs on many of the buildings. "This looks way better than the picture in the guidebook!" Dawn smiled as she admired the elegant tilework and the fountain in the town square.

    The balloon touched down on a hill near the square some moments later. "Thanks for the ride." Brock smiled as he woke Tarina up. "We're here...this is Alamos Town."

    Tarina yawned, then gasped at the buildings. [Wow...this was the place Barry told us about?]

    Dawn nodded. "This is the place."

    "I'm sure you're tired from your travels." Tonio smiled. "Please, make yourselves at home, and enjoy your visit."

    To Be Continued...
     
  2. Namohysip

    Namohysip Well-Known Member

    Yo, copying this over from Bulba to give this fic some activity on both sides!

    I really liked the movie! I think it was the last one I saw before straying away from the anime/video media iterations of Pokemon. Interested to see how this gets reinterpreted.

    This time, due to how short this installment is, I'll start with some quotes that stood out to me, and then I'll get to my overall thoughts on the direction of this piece!

    This is good--you're establishing a basic time in which this scene is taking place, since it's obviously a breakoff from a much larger story, being the main series.

    A little awkward to have "say it" twice in the same line of dialogue.

    This dialogue is really the only major indicator of the sort of environment that the group is walking through. This story could certainly do for some description of the surrounding area to help set the scene, perhaps even the mood of the story, at least for the start. Given how quickly things are going for now, you can afford to spare some time and words to write out the way things are. How's the weather? Is it windy? Sunny? Are there any clouds? Any particular smells? Is it dry and arid, or humid? Small stuff like that can definitely bring a scene to life!

    The song, I feel, went by too quickly. And while you can't exactly "write out" a song, you can certainly describe it or the effect is causes. Does it soothe the trainers' Pokemon at all? Does it soothe the trainers themselves? How does it complement the flowing grass mentioned earlier? This song feels like it should be the centerpiece of this chapter (if only because we're aware of its importance down the line) so focusing on it and how the environment and people around it reacts would be a good idea.

    Did... does Ash know how to play instruments? For some reason this escapes me, but I don't remember him having any musical talent. If he did, my fault. If not--perhaps expand on this! It's an interesting new characteristic to bring up, since it seems oddly unlike him otherwise.

    It does! ...Now describe it some, as a grand opening to the city that this story will be taking place in! Elegant tilework and the fountain is a good start. Perhaps a paragraph of the largest key features would do beyond that, since they're on the approach. They have lots of time to take in that scenery.

    And lastly, I feel like there are a lot of characters in so little time--which makes sense, since it's the gang heading in--but it might help to mention who's who in a discrete way. I get the feeling these are established names for Pokemon of the trainers, but coming in blind, I've no idea who this is.

    ____


    Some overall thoughts about this: We're getting right into it with Ash and the gang heading into the city, so it's good that we're getting straight into the action without too much dilly-dallying. But maybe a little time to stop and smell the roses would be warranted, don't you think? Especially for an opening chapter, when it could be worth it to set the tone and scene a bit. This goes double since, as you mentioned at the beginning, this won't be the same movie I remember.

    Thanks for the read!
     
  3. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Thanks for the review!

    We will have a chance to stop and worldbuild a little, including building on the Oración's lore, before we get into the main story.

    I chose to start with Ash and the gang for my remixed version of the story because I wanted to put Dialga and Palkia in a very specific place--their battle from the real movie is at least acknowledged here.

    If you're curious, Tarina is an original character for the main series--she effectively is the replacement for both Bonsly and Happini (so Brock having baby Pokemon is acknowledged, but he is still free to have his own goal as a singer-storyteller)
     
  4. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 1: A Taste of Friendship



    "So what should we do first?" Brock asked as the group started down the main street.

    "Try some of the local food here!" Ash suggested. "I'm starved!"

    "Good idea--I've always wanted to visit a tapas place." Dawn replied as the group passed by a restaurant that was preparing for the lunch rush.

    "Tapas?" Ash wondered as the group found an outdoor table to sit at.

    "If you'd like, the list of selections on our tapas bar is on the second page." the waiter explained. He brought the group some complimentary cans of an exotic orange soda. "It's all you care to enjoy for a flat price."

    "Guess we'll all order off the tapas bar, then." Dawn told the waiter as the group returned the menus.

    "Enjoy your meal." the waiter smiled back as the group went inside to see what the tapas bar had to offer.

    ---------

    "Okay, I got some fried cheese balls, this beef stew looking stuff, some mushrooms, and some sweet peppers so I had some semblance of veggies." Ash explained as he returned with his first plate. "What did you guys get?"

    "I got some of those cheese balls, some of these pastry pockets that Brock got, some Combusken on a stick, and some veggie kebabs." Dawn explained. "I wanted to get some of those small peppers you got, but I was afraid they'd be hot. The sign by the tureen said 'dulce'..."

    "That means 'sweet', so they're not hot." Brock assured Dawn. "If they're hot, the sign will say 'picante'--which is hot in the spicy sense."

    He turned his attention back to his plate. "I couldn't resist getting some of those fried cheese balls myself. I also have these little pastry pockets--two each of the meat kind and the cheese kind. I've also got some of these egg roll looking things and some veggie kebabs."

    "Great choices, everyone." Dawn smiled. "Let's dig in!"

    As the group started eating, Tintri noticed a crowd growing on the town square. [What's going on?]

    "You're in for a treat, viajeros--the street theater troupe Luminata is about to perform." a brown haired boy replied as he and his Torterra settled on the curb near the restaurant's terrace. "They combine music, dance, and acting into a show you won't soon forget."

    "Cool!" Dawn smiled.

    "But they only take volunteers from the crowd on the square, so you won't need to worry about your tapas getting cold." the boy went on. "I'm Maury, and this is Salvia."

    "Nice to meet you--I'm Dawn." Dawn smiled as a black haired boy arrived with an Empoleon and a girl with short red hair arrived with an Infernape. "My companions and I are in town for the Contest."

    "Hi, I'm Ash!" Ash smiled between bites. "And my partner, Tintri." he grinned as Tintri bounded on his shoulder.

    "I'm Brock--mucho gusto. Brock replied.

    Maury smiled back. "Nice to meet you all. These two are Kai..." The black haired boy waved hello. "...and Allegra." the girl waved hello.

    "Is it true that people battle Tauros here?" Ash asked.

    "Not so much anymore--out of respect for the Tauros." Kai replied. "I would've come earlier, but Glacier was eager to get some fish."

    Allegra, meanwhile, noticed Brock's guitar case. "Una guitarra! Do you play at all?"

    Brock decided to answer Allegra in Spanish. "Hace ocho años que toco la guitarra."

    "Wow! Eso es mucho tiempo!" Allegra gasped.

    "Huh?" Dawn was confused.

    "I said 'I have played guitar for eight years'. Brock explained as the waiter arrived with the bill. "it's one possible way to say how long you've been doing something."

    "Do we have to leave a tip?" Ash asked as Brock and Dawn set down their shares of the bill.

    "If you had tapas, a hundred credits or two is fine, but not required." Kai explained. "Usually if the waiter or waitress went above and beyond the call."

    "I'll leave an extra hundred, then." Ash smiled as he set down his share of the bill and a small tip.

    "I'll see if I can play a little bit later, but I don't want to upstage Luminata if they are as good as you say." Brock assured the group's new friends as they moved closer to the square. A group of eight performers were nearby, putting the finishing touches on their makeshift set.

    "Atención a todos! Luminata will now present to you the tale of the shining Chatot!" a young black haired woman in an exotically colored costume announced. Applause filled the air as the performers hurried into position.

    "You may wanna write this down..." Ash whispered to Brock. Brock nodded, and retrieved his story notebook.

    "I see you're a bit of a storyteller..." Maury smiled as he spotted Brock's Fantasy Stage bag. "Luminata doesn't mind if you write down the story--just give credit where credit is due."

    "I always do." Brock assured Maury. "I typically explain where I learned a story from and any important cultural info before I start."

    "Once upon a time in what is now Alamos Town, a brother and sister lived with their father in a happy little home." the black haired woman began. "They were especially proud of their garden, which was full of rare and exotic plants. The mother had died when the children were very small. This meant the girl--let's call her Marisol--was the lady of the house. She was a fine housekeeper, and everything about the place shone like the sun..."

    To Be Continued...
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  5. Namohysip

    Namohysip Well-Known Member

    Oh hey, it updated! May as well take a look at what we’ve got going on in chapter! From what I recall, they were just making it in, though I’m curious how the story will change, since you said it was a remix, yes? Well! Let’s just get started.

    So, right here, why not describe the main street a little? Maybe a sentence or two focusing on what the street is made of, or others that are walking by the halls?

    Here’s another one where I think there could be a bit more description given. Imagine just writing out that spread, or at least describing how perhaps the steam billowed off of the beef stew, or how the breading on the fried cheese balls crumbles to the touch—things like that? I normally wouldn’t focus so much on just the food, but seeing as it had so much of a focus in the scene, it might be a great way to do that world building you wanted, through the culture of the food! Actually, I’ve been neglecting to do that in my world, too. I should get to that.

    I think something in the formatter broke here. I’m seeing some residual html encoding.


    ___


    And then the chapter ends with the beginning of an incoming story. My senses are telling me that the next chapter will perhaps be a flashback of some kind? I doubt it would be an entire chapter dedicated to dialogue of telling the story—or perhaps it will be acted out in some way? Not really sure. Either way, it feels like this story will have some classic “play foreshadows the story” aspect to it, but I'm interested in how that will be handled.
     
  6. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    ::fixes the formatting error::

    One of my weakest habits is not knowing a balance between too much description and too little. I'm doing my best to try and find it, but it's not easy

    Next time, the gang does play with their new friends, but the fun foreshadows trouble ahead.
     
  7. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 2: Happiness in Bloom


    "Well, that was an...interesting...story..." Dawn mused as Maury, Allegra, and Kai led them into a large park outside of the town some hours later.

    "That's wasn't like any version of the Moltres story I've heard before..." Brock agreed as he looked out on the rainbow of flowers and the stone path leading into the park.

    "That's Luminata for you--their shows are always very creative." Kai smiled before making a grand gesture to the park. "This is el jardín alegre--the Garden of Joy. This is a place where people and Pokemon can explore, relax, and play together."

    "It's not unheard of for people to come out here and have picnics or play music." Maury agreed.

    "I can see why!" Dawn smiled as she admired a Gardevoir statue on one side of the path.

    "Speaking of which..." Brock mused as he led the group to an open square with benches and tables. "Is busking allowed?" he asked as he settled down on a bench.

    "Of course." Kai replied as Brock retrieved his guitar case, opened it, and took out the yellow-brown instrument inside. "I see musicians out here all the time."

    "Got any ideas to what you want to play, Maestro?" Dawn smiled as she watched Brock carefully and quickly tune up.

    "I think so--I do take requests, so if there's a song you really want to hear, let me know." Brock explained as he tuned.

    He was snapped to attention by the sounds of a fiddle tuning and Ash rummaging in his bag. "Oh, you guys want to join in too?"

    "Why not?" Dawn smiled as she tuned. "The hard part is thinking of some tunes all of us would know..."

    "I KNEW I packed the harmonica!" Ash cried, triumphantly holding up a chromatic harmonica for the others to see. "In case I want a break from the flutes and whistles."

    He looked over at the Pokeflute case and various whistles before him. "What keys do I need?"

    "Stick with the C and the D whistle for now." Brock replied as he fine tuned the high E string on his own instrument.

    Tintri watched from a tree branch overlooking the square as his master and his companions prepared to play. [This is great...a huge flowery park, your best friends playing music, with some new friends...an oceanside view...]

    [Hi!] a voice squeaked from the grass. [What brings you here to the park?]

    Tintri looked down to see an Azurill and a Marill looking up at him from the grass. [My friends and I are visiting town.] he explained as he climbed down from the tree. [We heard this place was a good spot to relax and play...]

    [It is.] a blue rabbit-like Pokemon Tintri remembered as Azumarill agreed as a Shinx and a Luxio bounded to meet her in the grass. [People come here from all over to see the sacred bell tower that stands near here.]

    [Really?] Tintri asked as he listened to the mostly improvised melody in A minor his human companions played nearby.

    The Luxio nodded. [Supposedly, the bells are said to play a sacred melody that calms anger and fear in anything that hears it.]

    The Oración... Tintri smiled. [I'm sure it must be amazing to hear.]

    [We've only heard the bells toll the hour, so who knows if the story is true or not?] the Shinx mused.

    Tintri smiled as he observed a crowd of people applauding Brock and Dawn. [As my guitar playing friend says, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.] He let that hang as the other Pokemon listened to Ash playing a blazing fast set of tunes...

    ---------

    "That was amazing!" Kai raved as the group put their instruments away. "You guys need to take your music on the road!"

    "Or make an album!" Allegra agreed as she led the group over to a vacant table nearby a fountain.

    Dawn just smiled, flattered at the rave reviews. "We'll consider if our man goals of trainer, coordinator, and loremaster don't work out."

    Ash, meanwhile, was more interested in a colorful but well loved game box sitting at one corner of the table. "Estrellas?"

    "Eh-streh-yahs." Brock corrected him.

    "Ah, the traditional favorite that was designed right here in Alamos." Allegra smiled as she took the box. "The object of the game is to finish a secret pattern before your opponents."

    "Sounds like 'Arcobaleno'." Brock mused as Allegra passed out player boards and set out some elegantly designed coasters and some cards.

    "Estrellas predates Arcobaleno by a few hundred years, but Arcobaleno built on Estrellas to make something completely new." Maury explained as Allegra dealt out a card to him".

    "Each player gets a pattern board and a star card, which is the pattern they are trying to create." Kai explained. "You have to keep your star card secret from the other players, but you are allowed to check it at any time."

    "Good to know." Ash smiled.

    "Okay, who wants to go first?" Allegra asked as soon as she saw the others had a player board and a card.

    "I do!" Ash volunteered.

    "All right, play will then proceed around from your right." Allegra explained as she set a handful of plastic crystals on the circle of coasters in the center of the table.

    "The coasters represent crystal mines." Kai added. "On your turn, you can take all of the crystals of the same color from a mine, or take the leftover crystals from the middle of the table, which is considered the Scrap Heap. Whatever isn't taken from a mine will go into the Scrap Heap."

    "Crystals from the Scrap Heap will not score as many points as crystals from a mine, so think carefully about where you take your crystals from." Maury cautioned.

    "Got it." Ash replied as he took three red crystals from the coaster closest to him.

    "While you are creating your secret star pattern, you can't have two crystals of the same color touching each other in any way, so you also have to consider where you place your crystals." Allegra cautioned as Ash placed his three crystals.

    "In building your star you start from the center and work outward." Maury explained. "A star is considered complete when it matches the pattern on a secret star card."

    "Once someone has signaled their star is complete, endgame scoring begins." Allegra went on. "We'll go over point values later."

    "Whoever completed their star pattern first, wins." Kai smiled. "If there's a tie, whoever has more points wins.

    "This an okay signal for when they've finished?" Brock asked, flashing a V signal.

    "That will do very nicely." Allegra replied as she took her turn...

    To Be Continued...
     
  8. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 3: Berries and Bothers


    Later, the group arrived on a large overlook that looked out over the garden, the water, and the west end of the town. "Here is La Vista de Las Flores.--the Flower's View." Allegra explained. "One of the best places to get a great view around here."

    "I can see why!" Ash smiled as he looked out over the sun sparkling over the water.

    "Can you see the whole city from here?" Dawn asked as she took a picture of the domed rooftops and glittering spires on many of the buildings.

    "Not the whole city, but most of the west end of town." Kai replied.

    Brock noticed Ash's dreamy look. "You okay in there, Ash?"

    "Yeah..." Ash replied before unzipping his bag and unearthing a box depicting a band of fantasy heroes confronting a Charizard in a dungeon room. "We should play Chambers and Charizards out here!"

    Dawn winced at this. "That geeky game all the math and science nerds seem to play?"

    "Well, there is a little math involved, but it's not as math-y as one would think." Brock assured Dawn as he led the others to a stone path with tables. "Consider it somewhere between a childhood game of let's pretend and a video game."

    "That actually makes sense!" Dawn smiled as Brock led the group to a large circular table that looked out over the flowers and the water.

    "Unlike a game of let's pretend, Chambers and Charizards--or just 'Chambers' or 'C&C' to its fans--gives structure to the stories, a way of determining the consequences of what your heroes do." Brock went on.

    He unearthed a well loved red 20 sided dice in Ash's box. "I'm sure you know what this is, right?"

    Dawn nodded. "That's the dice I remember seeing anyone playing that using."

    "Well, players roll dice to resolve whether their attacks hit or miss; or whether their adventurers can scale a cliff, roll away from a Thunderbolt, or pull off some other feat of derring-do." Brock went on. "Anything is possible, but the dice make some outcomes more probable than others."

    "Okay..." Dawn mused as she took a seat facing Brock. "This is actually starting to sound kinda fun..."

    "It will be, with the right dungeon master." Maury smiled.

    "Each person makes a character." Ash explained. "They then get together to go on a grand adventure with the other players' characters."

    "More on making characters momentarily." Brock interjected as Ash finished setting out the components. "One player, however, takes on the role of the Dungeon Master, who acts as both a storyteller and a referee."

    He nudged Ash. "Okay if I serve as the Dungeon Master?"

    "Sure--you do really well at it." Ash smiled as he set out a collection of adventure books for Brock to use. "I made sure to only pack the ones that don't have any specific setting."

    "There are a number of pre-made worlds a game can take place in, but you can make up your own world too." Brock explained. "For the moment, we're going to use a world I made named Megia."

    "You do have a knack for names..." Dawn mused as Ash found some blank character sheets.

    "Is there anyone that hasn't played before besides Dawn?" Brock asked.

    Only Maury raised his hand. "A couple of newcomers." Brock smiled. "I won't bore you with all the nitty gritty, but just explain what things are and how things work as we go along."

    "Works for me." Dawn smiled as Ash passed her a character sheet.

    ---------

    Laughter echoed across the flowery hill as Tintri led the other Pokemon up to a small Berry grove near where the group was engrossed in their adventures. [Okay, who's hungry?] he asked.

    Kori suddenly noticed a tree that had some small peach-like Berries on it. [Hey, look! Pecha Berries!]

    [If you get one, I get one too!] Stormy giggled as she dashed for the tree.

    Satomi balked as the other Pokemon all hurried for the tree. Everyone, please! The tree has enough for everyone to have at least one.

    With that, she focused her psychic power onto the berries, sending a single Berry before each Pokemon.

    Stormy noticed that Kori had a Berry from before, as well as the one that Satomi had given her. [Sato-miiiiiiiiiii! Kori got two!]

    [I had this one fair and square!] Kori protested.

    [But how come you're the only one that gets two?] the Luxio protested. [That's not fair to the rest of us!]

    [Yeah--like Dawn says, share and share alike!] Stormy agreed.

    Satomi quickly warped in between Stormy and Kori. Now then...can we please try to find a solution that pleases everyone?

    [Yeah...] Kori replied.

    [Sure...] Stormy agreed, still miffed Kori had two Berries.

    ---------

    "You are greeted by Guerin, a priest of the Angail Solas." Brock reads the introduction to the group's first adventure. "He sweats in the summer heat as he stands outside the small house you have rented. When you invite him in, he collapses with exhaustion on a couch."

    In a wearied mimic of Prof. Rowan for Guerin, he explains "Thank you, travelers. My superiors have sent me to reclaim the abandoned temple that lies several miles southeast of here. Our priesthood would like to see it rebuilt. However, they did not expect me to face an organized team of bandits! The townspeople tell me that you are looking for adventure, and I certainly could use your help."

    The crackle of a Thunderbolt snapped Dawn out of character. "Speaking of needing help, the Pokemon seem to need us!"

    Brock looked down the hill to find Kori and Stormy angrily eying each other. "I'll head down there and break it up." he assured the others as he got up from his chair.

    A familiar wispy flute-like sound, this time playing in the key of D major, snapped Ash to attention. "Alice!" he called as he got up from his chair and hurried up the path. Alice was nearby, playing the song on a familiar grasswhistle.

    Satomi smiled as a tin whistle joined in with the grasswhistle. You see? When we share our possessions and our talents, great things can happen.

    [Yeah, you're right...] Stormy sighed.

    Satomi warped down another pile of Berries. There we are...now everyone can have two.

    To Be Continued...
     
  9. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 4: The Darkness of Space and Time

    As the Pokemon finished their Berries, a lithe white humanoid Pokemon leapt from some trees. [Lucien? What is it?] the Luxio asked.

    Forgive me for interrupting your afternoon of pleasure, but I sense danger in the city! the humanoid Pokemon explained before beckoning to the others to follow him.

    "Come on, Tintri!" Ash called as he quickly put away the "Chambers and Charizards" pieces. Once sure everything was back in the box, he reached for his Pokedex to read up on the majectic white humanoid Pokemon guiding them through the streets:

    "Gallade, the blade Pokemon. The final form of a male Ralts, it is a master of courtesy and swordsmanship. It fights using extending swords on its elbows."

    A MORE... icon got Ash's attention. "Gallade is capable of Mega Evolution should its trainer have an awakened Heart Song."

    "I see, so if my Ralts was a boy, that's what he would become?" Dawn mused as the gallade led the group to the town square. A large cathedral-like building with some strangely distorted pillars loomed in the distance, almost like an ancient monolith in the sea mist.

    Ash nodded. "But I'm sure Satomi will look beautiful as a Gardevoir."

    "May was telling me about her Gardevoir Zelda during that dance contest..." Dawn remembered as she watched people gather in the square.

    Just then, an orange haired man in a regal red, gold, and white costume stepped on a platform to address the crowd. "People of Alamos! Surely you see the distortion of the Space-Time Pillars before you!"

    He made a grand gesture to the distorted pillars. "I believe this is due to the vile plots of Darkrai, the Nightmare Pokemon!"

    Allegra sighed as the man continued his bombastic speech. "That's Baron Alberto....while he has a good heart, he can be boastful."

    The group gasped as Baron Alberto called to a large dull pink humanoid Pokemon "Lengua, use Hyper Beam!"

    A familiar scream got Brock's attention as the orange beam streaked into the grass near the towers. "Tonio!"

    Ash led the way over the small grassy hill, where Tonio and a floating purple Pokemon he remembered as Drifblim had scrambled to take cover. Alice was nearby, cleaning and dressing a small burn on Tonio's arm. "Are you okay?" Dawn asked Tonio.

    Tonio nodded. "Just a small burn from that Hyper Beam, nothing major."

    He motioned for Alice to look at the screen of a small silver laptop. "I know the reason why the two towers are distorted--the temporal disturbance readings are off the charts! But we shouldn't lose hope yet--if we can find where the disturbance is coming from, we have a chance to stop it."

    Just then, Baron Alberto arrived. "Oh no, I didn't mean to hurt anyone with that attack! Allow me to help you care for your friend. maybe then we can be lovers forever more!"

    Alice sighed. Lárgate!

    "In other words, 'go away'." Tonio explained as Baron Alberto stormed off in a huff. "He has been trying to confess his feelings for Alice for some time, but Alice doesn't want a thing to do with him."

    "What's the difference between lárgate and vete? Brock asked as he organized Alice's medical supplies on the grass. "I learned to say vete for 'go away' or 'leave me alone'."

    "Lárgate is a stronger and more formal form of the word you were taught." Tonio explained. "It has the connotation of rejecting a romantic advance, like what you saw before."

    "He says he loves me, but I refuse to deal with a windbag like him." Alice grumbled. Te amo más. she smiled as she finished dressing Tonio's wound.

    "I love you more." Brock translated for Ash and Dawn.

    Te amo también. Tonio replied as he gingerly stood up.

    "I love you too." Brock translated as Tonio and Alice shared a gentle, but loving embrace.

    ---------

    Meanwhile, in another dimension, a light purple theropod-like Pokémon with stripes and a dark blue sauropod-like Pokémon with some metallic spikes clashed for the fate of the world of humans.

    [Dialga, why?] the theropod Pokemon pleaded as it leaped away from a spike. [Why do you want to destroy the world the Great Lord so lovingly made?]

    [The humans have forgotten Lord Arceus' command, and brought ruin upon the world!] the sauropod Pokemon shot back. [Their time is up!] With that, it started charging a Hyper Beam.

    [I will not allow you to wantonly destroy millions of innocents over the actions of a few!] the theropod-Pokemon vowed. [That's not what Lord Arceus would want!] It started charging a Hyper Beam of its own.

    As the two beams impacted in a bright orange explosion, the effects could be felt across hundreds of dimensions...

    ---------

    In the real world, Tintri suddenly heard a low boom in the distance. [What was that?]

    Satomi gasped as the ground began to glow. I have a bad feeling about this...

    "There's been a major disturbance in time and space." Tonio explained to the jittery Ralts. "I don't yet know what its effects will be."

    Ash was snapped to attention by a dark shadow flying around the trees. "Who are you?" he challenged the shadow. "Show yourself!"

    He gasped at the black and white spirit Pokemon that formed before him, nearly forgetting his Pokedex to read up on his ethereal visitor:

    "Darkrai, the pitch-black Pokemon. Legend has it that on moonless nights, this Pokemon will make people see horrific nightmares."

    [An astute observation, boy.] Darkrai smirked. [Let me show you a taste of my power!]

    [ASH!!!!] Tintri cried as he watched Darkrai engulf Ash in a circle of dark energy...

    ---------

    Ash woke up some minutes later in the park, only this time, it was nighttime. "Where am I?" he asked as he looked around the empty streets of what he believed as Alamos Town. "Dawn? Brock? Tintri? Anyone here?" he called as he started down a street.

    He gasped as a huge shadow with glowing eyes appeared in front of him! "AUGH!" he yelped as a strange pink creature tried to attack him.

    [Welcome to my world...] Darkrai smiled as he watched Ash running from the odd pink creature. [Here you will face your worst nightmares, and more!

    [Ash, I'm here!] Tintri called as he hurried to meet Ash. [I would never leave you--we'll face this nightmare together!]

    Darkrai warped away from the balcony, and reformed on the road Ash and Tintri were on. He next created a funnel of dark energy in the ground. He laughed as Ash and Tintri fell screaming into the void...


    "Ash, wake up!" Dawn called as Ash thrashed about in a bed. "Ash, it's me, Dawn!"

    Ash woke up with a jump to discover that he was in a room of the Alamos Pokémon Center. He heaved a relieved sigh when he saw Dawn, Brock, Maury, Kai, Allegra, Tonio, and Alice gathered around the bed. "Am I glad to see you guys..."

    "You were thrashing around and screaming so much, we were afraid you were having a nervous breakdown or something." Kai explained.

    "It's okay...we're here..." Brock assured Ash as he started rubbing Ash's chest to calm him down. "You're safe."

    Nurse Joy arrived some moments later. "Oh, good, he's awake! Most people that get hit by a Dark Void attack never wake again..."

    Tonio gasped when he saw the floor was beginning to crack. "This is worse than I thought--if we don't hurry, time and space will be destroyed!"

    "Is there any way we can save the world?" Dawn gasped.

    "Let's meet back at the lab--I'll tell you all more there." Tonio replied as he hurried out.

    To Be Continued...
     
  10. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 5: The Legend of the Oración

    As the group arrived in a cluttered room some time later. Tonio started to dig through some old boxes. "Now, I know I had it around here someplace..."

    "What, the picture of us after you rescued me from falling off a cliff?" Alice asked as she arrived in the room.

    "No--I'm looking for a different picture..." Tonio replied before unearthing an old book with a red leather cover in a box. "Here it is...my great-grandfather's diary."

    "Interesting, what was your great-grandfather like?" Dawn asked as Tonio carefully thumbed through the book's yellowed pages.

    Tonio smiled as he discovered a picture between two pages. "This is the picture I was looking for."

    "Who's the lady with your great grandad?" Ash wondered as he noticed a woman with the man in the old picture, tending to some Pokemon.

    "Aw, is this you?" Brock asked Alice, enamored by a young girl holding a Vulpix in the picture.

    "Yes, that little girl is me--hace mucho tiempo, of course!" Alice replied. "The lady with me and Godey, Tonio's great grandfather, was my abuela Alicia."

    "Abuela" means "grandma." Brock translated. Ash nodded to show he understood.

    "Can you tell us about that picture?" Dawn wondered.

    "Well, a long time ago, when I was just a little tyke, Grandma heard a big commotion outside, and hurried to see what was going on..." Alice began...

    In Alice's memory, Alicia rushed out of a house and gasped when she saw a group of Pokémon tossing and turning on the grass and into the road, as if they were having nightmares.

    "Abuela, what's going on?" Young Alice asks as she peeks out of the house, piqued in Darkrai circling around the suffering Pokemon.

    "Go back in the house, sweetie--I don't want Darkrai to hurt you." Alicia instructs young Alice.

    Suddenly, a Luxray attacks Darkrai, sending him spiraling to the ground. "Alicia? Is everything okay?" Godey asks as he arrives to help.

    "Stay with Darkrai--I need to calm the Pokemon." Alicia instructs.

    She then picks a suitable blade of grass, shapes it into a grasswhistle, and starts playing the Oración. The song calms the Pokemon, allowing Godey to clean and dress Darkrai's wounds.

    "Wow!" Young Alice is amazed at the grasswhistle. "Will you show me how to play music with grass, abuela?"

    "Come here..." Alicia motions for Young Alice to join her in the grass. "First, you need to find a thick and wide piece of grass. It needs to be thick because the grass will function like a reed. This is how a clarinet or saxophone makes sound."

    The flashback fades to inside the house, where Young Alice is rinsing some thick grass blades. "Now then...press the bottom of the blade of grass in between the base of your thumbs." Alicia instructs. "Next, use your fingertips to pull the blade of grass tightly to form a reed, similar to a clarinet or a saxophone."

    "Like this?" Young Alice shows Alicia her first attempt.

    "Yes--just like that." Alicia smiles. "Now...hold the blade of grass between the top and bottom part of your thumbs and blow through the hole--you should get a note. To get different notes, simply adjust the shape of your lips, like you are playing a trumpet."

    Young Alice blows, making a Bb trying to become a C. "There you go!" Alicia smiles as the flashback ends...


    "Not long after that, Abuela taught me the Oración." Alice concluded her story some time later. "Of course, I have had a lot of practice on a grasswhistle since then!"

    "Remember the stone tower you saw when you arrived?" Tonio asked the group. "The tower has a music machine inside."

    "Can we go see the music machine?" Ash asked.

    "Not tonight--it's getting late."' Tonio yawned. "Maybe in the morning, I can show you the music machine.

    ---------

    The next day, the group strolled through the market district, which was decorated festively in celebration of the Contest. "...then he created a funnel of dark energy in the ground. Tintri and I fell screaming into the void...and I woke up there." Ash explained to the others. "Darkrai was laughing the whole time."

    "Sounds intense." Dawn replied before a stall selling trinkets got her attention. "What are these?" she asked as she admired some bright green feather-like ornaments on keychains.

    "Those are Lunar Wings." the vendor replied. "They grant protection and good luck. Supposedly, they can summon the moonlight guardian, Cresselia."

    "Wow!" Dawn was impressed. "How much for one?"

    "For you, a thousand credits, good lady." the vendor replied.

    "That's a fair price--I'll take it!" Dawn smiled before handing the vendor a thousand credit bill.

    "A pleasure doing business with you." the vendor smiled as he gave Dawn the Lunar Wing.

    "Here..." Brock clipped the Lunar Wing's keychain to Dawn's bag. "Now it'll be safe."

    Tonio met the group as they departed the market district. "There you are...those stone towers over near the square are the Space-Time Towers. Not only does it keep time for the town, but my office and the music machine is there."

    "Let's go!" Ash motioned for the group to follow him as he hurried towards the large building and the towers.

    To Be Continued...
     
  11. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 6: The Songs that Echo Across Time

    [Dialga, please don't do this!] Palkia pleaded as he warped away from a Hyper Beam. [You are not the one to pass judgement on the world--only Arceus can do that!]

    [That may be true, but eventually time will run out on the humans.] Dialga shot back. [Need I remind you that while Arceus has the final say on things, he can give another the authority to judge in extreme circumstances?]

    [Yes, but that order must come from Arceus himself.] Palkia explained. [I have heard no such order from Arceus giving you the authority to judge the humans!]

    He used a claw to draw a large pink oval, creating a shining pink light in the real world. [But if you are so bent on destroying the humans, I will find a human that is pure. This way, I hope you understand that your logic is flawed. Not every human is inherently evil.]

    Dialga growled as Palkia jumped into the portal. [Very well...if you succeed in finding even a single pure human, I will give the humans some more time.]

    ---------

    "Wow..." the group gasped as they approached the huge stone monument.

    "I wonder who made this..." Dawn mused as she admired a scene of a boy in royal attire following a majestic fox-like Pokemon that was carved in the stone.

    "The guidebook doesn't say, but whoever did build this place went above and beyond the call to create something the town could be proud of." Brock replied as he admired a scene of a Pikachu playing a guitar while riding on a Pidgeot's back carved in another part of the stone.

    Ash looked up above him to see moving gears hanging from the ceiling. "Is this place a monument, or a clock tower?"

    "It's both." Brock replied as he and Dawn followed Ash around the large pillar that made up the center of the tower. "It keeps time for the town, and memorializes the first time it played the Oración many years ago."

    Dawn noticed an indentation in the wall that resembled a door. "This must be Tonio's office."

    She gently knocked at the door. "Tonio? We're here, as we agreed."

    Ash gasped when he saw Alice greet the group at the door. "Alice? What are you doing here?" he asked as the group made their way inside the cluttered office.

    "I came to give Tonio some almuerzo, but found him at his desk, taking a siesta." Alice explained as she stepped over some stray office chairs and boxes to reach Tonio's desk.

    "I know siesta is "nap", but what is almuerzo?" Ash asked Brock as he shoved aside some rolled up maps to attempt following Alice.

    "Almuerzo is 'lunch'." Brock explained as he watched Alice approach Tonio, who was dozing at a desk.

    "Tonio, despierta. Our friends are here." Alice coaxed as she set down a plate of tapas and nudged Tonio awake.

    "Mm..." Tonio stirred as he sat up in the chair and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. "I guess I was so tired from trying to figure out this latest disturbance, I fell asleep."

    He wheeled over to a box, where a familiar picture lay. "Alice, do you remember when this was taken?"

    "Like yesterday." Alice replied. "I wanted to help abuela and Godey so much, so abuela let me look after that Vulpix."

    Ash noticed what looked like music notes on the back of the picture. "Wait a second...these are the notes to the Oración!"

    He smiled. "I have in fact been practicing your transcription." he assured Alice. "But why write down the notes on the back of a photograph?"

    "We were not in a place where we could find paper, so abuela transcribed the melody on the back of the picture for later, when we could write it down on a piece of paper." Alice explained. "We did write it down later that day."

    The Pokémon, meanwhile, dug through one of the boxes scattered throughout the room. [Huh--why would you want to keep sawblades around?] Diddy asked as he heaved aside a metallic disc.

    Ash dove to catch the disc, only to find it had clumps of notches all around it. "This isn't a sawblade, this is a music disc, for a specific type of music box."

    [Like those dinky dancing ballerinas in a girl's jewelry box?] Tails asked.

    "Somewhat." Brock explained. "Before record players were popular, people listened to music with large music boxes. Some of them were large enough to fit in a room."

    [Like the one Grandma has?] Tarina asked.

    Brock nodded. "Just like the one Grandma has."

    "The music machine is a cabinet sized music box on a much larger scale." Tonio explained. "When the tower was first built, it was able to play many popular songs of the time, allowing a place as remote as Alamos to hear the latest hit tunes."

    "Sounds cool--can we go see it?" Dawn asked.

    Tonio got up from his desk. "I don't see why not--it is a bit of a walk, though." he cautioned as he opened a box full of discs and selected a few.

    ---------

    The group emerged at the top some moments later, heaving with exhaustion as they looked out over the city. "Here we are--I told you it was a bit of a walk." Tonio smiled.

    He made a grand gesture to a large cabinet-like device built into the tower itself. "Here is the music machine. I brought up a few different discs to show you its power and versatility. So is there a specific song you want to hear first?"

    Dawn examined the pile of silvery discs. "I don't know very many of these songs..."

    Brock gasped with excitement when he recognized the song name on one disc. "I know this song! 'The Blue Bells of Kanto'!"

    He explained to Dawn "It's a very common march that bands and solo performers play often back home."

    "I see..." Dawn mused as Brock gave Tonio the disc. "Have you ever played it?"

    Brock nodded. "I've played it on both trombone and euphonium--both in the school band a long time ago."

    "I remember Pallet's band did it as a trumpet solo once..." Ash mused as Tonio hit the start button on the machine.

    Dawn's eyes sparkled as the majestic melody rang over the town. "It's beautiful...even better than a top band or soloist playing."

    Stormy, meanwhile, looked through the pile of discs for a moment. [None of these sound like anything we know...]

    [Not even the pizza making song?] Tails grinned as he surfaced with a disc labeled "Funiculi, Funicula".

    [Oh yeah--that's the song they always sing when someone's making pizza in a movie or a TV show.] Kori remembered.

    Stormy darted up to Tonio with the disc. [I wanna hear the pizza making song next!]

    "'Funiculi, Funicula'--nice choice." Tonio smiled as he inserted the disc.

    As the festive Italian melody rang over the town square, the townsfolk eagerly danced along. But none of them seemed to notice the magenta portal forming in the sky on the outskirts of the town...

    To Be Continued...
     
  12. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 7: On the Brink of Darkness

    "The music machine was so cool!" Dawn smiled as the group stepped back on solid ground some time later.

    She gasped as Darkrai appeared in a puff of black-purple mist. [Hello there!]

    "Darkrai!" Ash growled. "What are you doing here?"

    "Wait!" Ash looked to se Baron Alberto approaching the group and Darkrai. "Allow me to challenge this infernal Pokemon!"

    With that, he heaved a Poke Ball skyward. "Lengua, let's go!"

    [Who are you calling infernal?] Darkrai shot back as he warped away from Lengua's tongue. [I'm not the bad guy you say I am!]

    He then charged a massive dark ball of energy Ash remembered as Dark Void. "Tails, watch out!" Ash called when he saw that his Buizel was in the path of the attack.

    Brock gasped when he realized Tarina was in the crossfire. "Tarina! Come here! Tapa!"

    Both boys braced themselves as the Dark Void went flying. The large orb rocked the town square with a massive explosion.

    "I-is everyone okay?" Dawn asked as she got up from the ground.

    "I think so..." Ash groaned as he collected himself.

    He rubbed his eyes when he saw what looked like a Bibarel floating through the walls of a house. Did I see what I thought I saw?

    Baron Alberto, confronted Darkrai in the square. "There you are! You're going to pay for sending our Pokemon to the shadow realm!"

    [Shadow Realm? Really?] Darkrai sneered. [I prefer to think of it as a dream world.]

    Baron Alberto was unfazed. "Lengua, use Hyper Beam!"

    [I think you need to hit the hay yourself, braggart!] Darkrai grinned as he warped away from the Hyper Beam. He next charged a Dark Void large enough to hit the Lickilicky. [Nighty-night!]

    As Baron Alberto hurried to assess his Lickilicky, Dawn watched Darkrai disappear. "Things are really starting to get weird..." she mused as she floated off the ground. She watched as the buildings began disappearing in pixelated lights around her.

    A scream caused her to gasp-- Baron Alberto had transformed into a Lickilicky!

    ---------

    [What happened?] Tarina asked as she woke up from her Dark Void induced sleep. [Why are ghost Pokemon everywhere?] she asked as a Pikachu ghost floated by her.

    "Well, the last thing I remember was telling you to move away from that Dark Void." Brock explained. "If you had a few more moments, you would've escaped."

    "As if that wasn't enough, Mr. Showman here turned into his own Pokemon..." Ash explained as he arrived with Alice, Tonio, and the transformed Alberto.

    "I'm SUPPOSED to be human, you numbskull!" Baron Alberto shot back, much to Nurse Joy's bemusement.

    Tonio opened his laptop and typed something. "It appears that a disturbance is causing the real world and a parallel world to merge. This is why things have been floating through walls, buildings disappear in pixels, and why Señor Alberto transformed."

    "You guys!" Kai called as he led Mury and Allegra inside. "Una niebla muy rara just appeared out of nowhere!" leading to the strange events.

    "What is 'niebla'?" Ash asked.

    "That is Spanish for fog." Brock replied as he petted Tarina.

    "I asked my Honchkrow Noche to try and dispel it, but no luck." Allegra sighed.

    "I'm going to see if we can still reach the outside world!" With that, Ash hurried into the fog with Tintri not far behind him.

    He balked when he went through the town gate some moments later. "That's weird...we're back on the other side of the street."

    Baron Alberto, meanwhile, rallied some townsfolk at the square. "Leave no stone unturned in finding Darkrai! The one that finds him and restores me to my true shape will be rewarded!"

    Alice and Tonio located Ash some minutes later. "Ash...Baron Alberto is loco for thinking this is all Darkrai's fault." Alice explained. "The Darkrai I know is hardly like his self in all the fairy tales."

    "There is likely something else causing all this." Tonio agreed as the group arrived. "When I was just a lad, I was taking a walk on the plains near town. As I approached a cliff overlooking a flowery field, I saw Alice falling--she had slipped. But before she met her demise on the ground, Darkrai appeared to save her. When I went to see if she was okay, Darkrai disappeared."

    "So Darkrai was the one that saved my life that day, and not you?" Alice asked.

    Tonio nodded. "May Arceus forgive me for lying to you."

    "Oh, no, no, no, you may not have saved me, but you did assess my wounds and care for me." Alice smiled. "So your saving me was somewhat true."

    Dawn thought for a moment. "Then that means Darkrai can't be responsible for this mess..."

    Tonio nodded. "The distortion was a multidimensional disturbance from when Palkia entered this world."

    "But what could Palkia have been running from?" Dawn mused. "That's what I'm trying to figure out..."

    "Maybe, the Oración is the key to undoing all this damage?" Ash suggested. "Has it been transcribed on a disc for the music machine to play?"

    "It's possible--we can head for the tower and look." Brock suggested as he welcomed Tarina aboard his shoulder.

    "If that is what you wish to try, we don't have a moment to lose." Tonio cautioned. "If we're going to do this, we'd best do it now!"

    To Be Continued...
     
  13. FlamingRuby

    FlamingRuby The magic of Pokemon

    Episode 8: The Swanna's Song and the Prayer

    [Here's the footage you asked for, Master.] a Drifblim smiled as it delivered a video camera to Tonio. [It doesn't look good.]

    The group gathered around, piqued in the footage of the townspeople looking for Darkrai. In one scene, Maury spotted Darkrai before the camera zoomed in to discover Palkia.

    "That's Palkia..." Dawn mused.

    The footage cut to a scene of a huge group of Pokémon attacking Darkrai, but it withstood almost all the attacks. The group gasped as Darkrai used Dark Pulse followed by Dark Void on all of the Pokémon.

    Ash tried oh so hard not to laugh as he saw another scene of Baron Alberto trying to join the fray, but Darkrai sent him flying.

    A gust of wind and a crash outside spurred Ash to hurry to a window. A thought dawned on him as he watched Darkrai attempt to use Dark Void on another portal. Could it be...Darkrai was trying to warn me about Palkia and Dialga in that nightmare before?

    "If we are going to save the world, we need to get to the tower, and quickly!" Tonio snapped him back to reality.

    "Coming!" Ash motioned for Tintri to follow him as he dashed out into the street.

    As he ran, Ash saw Palkia conjure a flash of magenta light, transporting the town to its own dimension. "What happened...I'm human again!" Baron Alberto gasped as he saw he was back to normal.

    "No time for questions, just get the Pokemon to safety!" Alice called as she watched Dialga corner Palkia and Darkrai.

    The group watched in horror as Palkia charged a magenta moon-shaped blade of energy. "That's Spacial Rend..." Tonio gasped. "Palkia's signature move."

    Dialga then took a deep breath, and unleashed a loud scream-like cry that created a rainbow shockwave. "And that was Roar of Time, Dialga's signature move." Tonio began.

    The group dove for cover as the two attacks collided, causing an explosion that sent strong shock waves through the town, speeding up the rate that the edges were pixelating.

    "Dialga, Palkia, please!" Alice pleaded. "Why are you fighting like this? What have we done to earn your anger?"

    [You have forgotten Lord Arceus' command to take care of this world, and for that, you will all be judged!] Dialga replied.

    [That isn't true!] Palkia protested. [It is true that some mortals have not followed Lord Arceus' command, but that doesn't mean you all have to die!]

    Dialga lunged at Alice, but Alice did not expect Darkrai to fly before her and use Dark Pulse to send them backwards. "Darkrai saved Alice?" Brock gasped.

    The group watched as Darkrai took both Dialga and Palkia's attacks, sending it flying through the trees. "Darkrai!" Dawn yelped as the group and Alice approached the patch of blue grass where Darkrai landed.

    [Ungghh...] Darkrai grunted as he came to. [Alicia? Is that you?] he asked as his eyes flickered open.

    "No...I am Alice, her granddaughter." Alice replied.

    "Darkrai...I guess we all owe you an apology for not believing you." Ash began as he knelt before Darkrai.

    "Will you ever forgive us?" Dawn asked.

    Darkrai nodded. [Yeah...I'm not as bad all the human tales say I am.]

    He hovered up before Ash. [You guys do what you can, I'm gonna go find our twin warring dragons.] With that, he disappeared in a burst of black.

    Ash balked when he saw buildings beginning to disappear. "The town's fading away!"

    "The whole town will eventually disappear if Dialga and Palkia keep at it like this." Tonio cautioned. "The only way to prevent the end of the world is to play the Oración. If I recall correctly, Grandad mentioned that the music machine could play it if needed."

    ---------

    In Tonio's office, the group dug through the boxes of discs for the music machine. "<i>Abuela</i> said that the disc for the Oración looked different from all the others..." Alice explained. "She even wrote down some of the notch pattern so we would remember it."

    Brock noticed a pattern of dashes on the back of the old picture of Alicia and Godey. "Then this must be the pattern we're looking for."

    After a few tense minutes, Dawn triumphantly held up a gold disc with the same notch pattern. "I got it!"

    Brock motioned for Ash and Dawn to gather around. "Ash, Dawn, can I trust you guys to put the Oración disc in the music machine?"

    "Yeah!" Ash replied.

    "What are you going to do?" Dawn asked.

    "I'm going to go help Alice, Tonio, and Nurse Joy evacuate the townsfolk." Brock replied. "We'll hold off Dialga and Palkia for as long as we can."

    He looked over at Ash "If you have to, it's okay to use your Swanna Song."

    "Okay." Ash nervously embraced his friend, then followed Dawn out to the long stairwell leading to the music machine.

    ---------

    "Diddy, Gaia, I need you guys!" Ash heaved two Poke Balls skyward. "Think you guys can shield me from whatever attacks come this way?"

    [You got it] Gaia replied as she whacked away an errant energy ball with a vine.

    Both Ash and Dawn hurried up the stairs as fast as they could, aware of the disappearing buildings and the crumbling stairs around them. "We need to do something before the stairs start disappearing faster than we can go." Ash called as Diddy deflected an attack.

    Dawn heaved two Poke Balls skyward. "Satomi, channel Lola's Ice Beam to make new stairs! Quickly!"

    On the ground, Tonio watched in horror as the buildings pixelated into nothing. "Dialga's and Palkia's attacks would destroy the town if they were to connect..."

    [I'll save you!] Darkrai called as he warped in between the two dragon Pokemon.

    Ash watched as Darkrai created a shadowy shield around him. We only have as much time left as Darkrai can take! he thought as he continued following Dawn up the ice stairs.

    He did not expect to step on thin air as the step he needed disappeared! "Whoa!"

    Dawn grabbed Ash's hand. "I have you, now don't let go!"

    [Brace yourselves--I'm gonna try and get you guys up closer!] Tails called before firing a massive Water Gun. The huge water blast was enough to propel both Ash and Dawn farther up the tower.

    "Thanks, Tails!" Ash smiled.

    "Yes, thank you." Dawn agreed.

    Ash watched in horror from an overlook as Darkrai took both Dialga and Palkia's attacks. "Oh no...no..." he finally stammered as the weakened Darkrai disappeared.

    "Look at it this way--Darkrai gave himself so we would make it up here." Dawn assured Ash as the two of them finally reached the music machine.

    Thanks, Darkrai. Ash weakly smiled before he noticed the Oración disk was too small to fit into the music machine's cabinet. "Where are we going to put the disk if it doesn't fit in the main cabinet?"

    "In here--it has its own player." Dawn explained as she carefully put in the small disc into a smaller hidden cabinet.

    A huge explosion startled Dawn. "I have a bad feeling about this..." she stammered as Dialga and Palkia prepared to use Roar of Time and Spacial Rend again.

    On the ground, Tonio confirmed the group's worst fears. "If the two attacks connect, the town will be completely destroyed."

    ---------

    Dawn's heart pounded as she looked for a reason why the music machine was not playing. "The machine does not have enough power!"

    "Then I'll give it a power boost!" Ash smiled.

    With that, he sang Gatrandis favel, secret, edena...

    Emusto ronzen fine el balaziis...
    Katoradis favel siicletu edena...


    The music machine started to whir to life as Ash sang the song's last line. Emusto koron zen fine, si...

    Dialga and Palkia stayed their attacks as a familiar melody started ringing across what remained of the town. [That song...] Dialga gasped.

    [It has been many years since I heard the holy Oración...] Palkia replied.

    [No...who was it that sang the Swanna Song?] Dialga asked as he watched the town returning to normal. [Was it the pure human you wanted to find?]

    As if in response to Dialga's question, a familiar tin whistle joined in with the bells. The majestic bell tower and the tiny silver flute's melody caused the tower to heal and glow a bright gold, sprouting sparkling gold angel wings.

    On the ground, Brock recognized the whistle playing with the bells. "Ash! That's Ash playing!"

    "He did it!" Maury cried, spurring the crowd to cheer as Ash and Dawn came down from the tower, Ash still playing along with the bells all the while.

    Tears welled up in Dialga's eyes. [You were right, Palkia...there are some pure humans left in the world. In my anger, I was blind to reason...will you forgive me?]

    [Of course.] Palkia smiled as the bells and the whistle's last note echoed into the sunny sky.

    Dialga created a glowing blue portal. [I will return to the holy realm to reflect on what happened here--and how I can prevent my anger from controlling me like it did.]

    [A wise choice.] Palkia smiled as Dialga departed.

    He then addressed Ash. [Might I know your name, young hero of the whistle?]

    "My name is Ash." Ash replied. "I did what I did because I wanted to save this world, and my friends."

    Palkia nodded. [I see...your heart shines with the purest light, and your song is blessed with the fires of courage. As thanks for what you did here, I grant you anything you like.]

    "All we ask is that this place is restored to how it was, before it was nearly destroyed." Dawn replied.

    "Yeah, we have no need for riches and fame." Ash replied. "I'd much rather earn the fame and riches."

    [Such wisdom for a young age.] Palkia smiled. [Very well...your wish is granted.]

    ---------

    Later that evening, Ash played a slow, sad melody that echoed across the lake. "Still thinking about Darkrai?" Brock asked as he and Dawn arrived at the shore, snapping Ash from his song.

    "Yeah..." Ash sighed. "While it is a noble thing that he gave his life so we could play the Oración, I never got the chance...to say good bye..."

    He did his best to fight back tears as the group started back towards the now healed town. But a mysterious shadow on a cliff face got his attention. Huh?

    [Surprise!] Darkrai giggled as he emerged from the shadow. [I wanted to thank you for saving the world.]

    "N-No, I should be thanking YOU." Ash stammered. "I thought you'd died after that vicious attack!"

    [Relax--when you have a noble cause to fight for, you can't keep a good mon down.] Darkrai grinned.

    He flew up to the top of the tower. [I'll be watchin' over you, kid--no one's gonna forget what happened here for a long time.]

    Alice and Tonio arrived to join the group. "While Ash did a very brave thing, it's Darkrai that's the real hero, here." Tonio began.

    [Aw, it was nothin'!] Darkrai smiled. [Just doing what I had to do to be sure you guys weren't obliterated.]

    "Oh, come now...no need to be so modest." Alice smiled as she hugged Darkrai. "Words cannot express my gratitude for all you've done."

    "Anytime!" Ash smiled.

    "My pleasure." Dawn agreed.

    "Not a problem." Brock agreed.

    Ash looked over back at Dawn. "Let's get back to town--you still have a contest to get ready for."

    "The contest is the least of my worries right now..." Dawn mused. "Win or lose, what happened here pales in comparison!"

    The group laughed in agreement, glad that for now, all was well with the world...

    THE END

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