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The instant the trio had moved forwards Nicholas felt the power pressing down towards them again. But he knew what to do. Blue light blossomed, racing out to meet the incoming wave and scattering it around the huddled humans and pokegirls. Nicholas stood tall, just as Azelf had, his aura shielding any of them from harm.
Cyrus’ smile seemed to twitch as he watched the three legendaries approach. “I should have expected as much. Welcome, ‘guardians of spirit’. Now you will witness the extinction of this incomplete and ugly world. Everything will return to zero. Nothing can remain, especially not you, pathetic and worthless as you are. Nothing so vague or incomplete as ‘spirit’ will remain.”
The trio swept up, power shining from between them, and for a moment it seemed the spreading rift slowed. But then it continued forwards, inching out slower than before but still unmistakably spreading. Cyrus laughed. “It takes all three of you to balance even a single power. But approaching are two! The powers that shaped this world, time and space. Your coming was in vain. So much meaningless drama!” He laughed again. “In my world none of that will exist! NONE OF IT!”
Nicholas swallowed when he saw something move within the rift. “NO!” Mesprit threw her hands forwards. “YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT CALLS YOU, PALKIA! REMAIN!”
The… thing… within the rift was hulking. As it reached into the world its form twisted, the true nature of this being at constant war with the laws of reality. In the rift it was a monster, its body smooth and almost featureless, the only thing on the thick leading appendage a gaping lipless maw of razor sharp teeth. Alien was the only way to describe its shape. It was unlike any pokegirl Nicholas had ever seen.
The arm, if Nicholas could even call it that, that Palkia had reached forwards with emerged from the rift and the spirit trio swarmed. If they could not stop her then they would limit her effect.
Slowly the pieces of Palkia pushing through the rift began to change. A slender hand from a bulky paw. The head that was approaching, with its maw, morphed, long white horns forming with the mass that was moving away. Palkia’s face formed, still monstrous, but now perceivable, now pokegirl. She was half into the world when the chain hovering in front of her flared.
Palkia screamed when the beads exploded, interwoven circles of red light trapping the struggling legendary and tightening around her chest. Distracted, the trio redoubled their efforts on Palkia and none noticed the second form following the first.
Unopposed Dialga burst from the rift and immediately the second chain repeated what the first had done, capturing the roaring aspect of time before her body had even begun to change. What was now hovering before them were a giant kaiju, with hard blue skin and thrashing claws, and a half-formed, towering pokegirl that blazed pure white. Both captured by the chains Cyrus had used to call them.
“Beautiful,” Cyrus whispered, hands outstretched to the struggling pair. With the two now pushing into the world itself their effects were increased exponentially. Dialga in particular, since Mesprit, Uxie, and Azelf had not had the opportunity to ‘change’ her from her true form to better fit with reality, was causing terrible effects. Time surged forwards, rewound back, skipped and leapt at random. One moment the sun was high above, then the moon was racing for the horizon. Nicholas didn’t want to know what might have been happening to living things, the pokegirls on the mountain, the police, anything else the distortions were reaching.
“Yes… Yes!” Cyrus’ fingers clenched down. “This is the power holding this world together. A twisting, interlocked spiral of time and space. And it is the power that will unravel it! I’ve waited so long for this moment, Dialga and Palkia. You will do my bidding! By the red chains binding you, forged from eternity! I will have your abilities as mine! Now…” He turned to face Nicholas and pointed. “I told you there would be no mercy the next we met, Nicholas Topolski. Though you have helped me achieve my goal, now is the moment you die. All spirit will disappear! Despair as it is ripped away, from you, your pokegirls, everything precious to you! The new world begins he-!”
Cyrus’ speech cut off in the midst of the shattering explosion. Palkia screamed again and the trio were blown away when she fully yanked herself from the rift. But it was not her entrance that had caused the explosion. The red lines around her were splintering.
“What?” Cyrus whirled and screeched. “NO! YOU CAN NOT BREAK ETERNITY!”
“We were wondering how you extracted so much of Mother’s power from us.” Mesprit rose back into the air, her eyes dancing with joy as she was joined by her sisters. “You did not. You attempted to replicate it. But no human could ever match Her.”
“No… NO!” Cyrus lunged for Palkia but his effort was in vain; the legendary flexed, shattering the binding rings and screaming her displeasure. Unchecked, uncontrolled, space warped as horribly as time, even though Palkia’s form had mostly conformed to reality. The trio was forced to flash back to the cowering mortals and add their own power to Nicholas’ barrier just to keep everyone safe.
“What happened?” Nicholas gasped.
“We broke it,” Azelf laughed. “It was enough to hold Palkia, but not to hold her and withstand us. And now he controls only one binding measure. The true chain, the one he extracted from us.” Her smile was cold. “It is not nearly enough to hold two.”
“NO!” Palkia turned, ignoring or maybe not even hearing Cyrus’ desperate cries. “DIALGA, I COMMAND YOU TO STOP HER!”
Dialga roared, jerking towards her twin legendary, when Palkia’s hands slashed out. The space she touched was wiped away and suddenly she was on top of Dialga, her claws digging into the chain and breaking it apart.
Still, some remnant of their power remained. Enough for the shattered remains to shield Cyrus while the two ascertained their surroundings. Nicholas could see Dialga’s body bubbling as the process the spirit trio had accelerated in Palkia began to change her as well. But it was Cyrus he watched. Watched the man stare at the two, the world around him warping. After a few seconds Cyrus chuckled.
“It doesn’t matter.” He raised his eyes, to the rift, closing now without the power of the chains to hold it open. “My world may never come to be. But yours.” He turned and fixed Nicholas, Cynthia, their pokegirls, Miru, the spirit trio, all in his gaze. “Yours will still die this day. The creators are free. Simply by existing here reality will crumble and there is nothing any of you can do to stop it.” He spread his arms, some level of his cocky smile returning. “You can barely cower within your power. I still-“
Dialga had been beginning to form a more humanoid shape when the world went dark. The two glanced around, making nervous grunts, before with a roar and a scream both were swallowed by shadow. Cyrus stood frozen, his eyes fixed on a point far above Nicholas’ head. It took every ounce of Nicholas’ will to keep hold of his barrier as he turned to see what the man was looking at.
“What is this… pressure?” Cynthia asked hoarsely. “It’s like the others, but… it’s directed.”
“…Rage,” Nicholas whispered. Hovering some twenty feet above him were a pair of blazing red eyes. Fixated completely on Cyrus. “Shadow.”
“So there was another,” Cyrus breathed. “Incredible. But I will have no more interferererererere…!”
Shadow swept across the mountain, and when it cleared, nothing remained where the temple had once stood.
Nicholas stirred. Slowly he opened his eyes, feeling queasy when he saw how his vision was inverted. He closed them again, rolling over and opening them to take in his surroundings.
He nearly vomited and had to slam them shut once again. He’d rolled over, yet the world was still upside down. An impossibility.
“No. Look to me.”
Nicholas felt hands gently take his face and orient him straight up. He resisted at first, but when Uxie spoke again he cracked his eyelids.
Everything looked… Fine. But not. Nicholas took a deep breath as his mind tried to rationalize what he was experiencing. His feet below him, standing on… a wall? “What is going on?”
Uxie blinked at him and Nicholas felt his thoughts blank before filling again and the nausea faded away. “Now you can understand.”
Nicholas slowly looked around. Everything now seemed normal in the twisted world around him. “You replaced my knowledge of physics.”
Uxie gave him a small smile. “You are intelligent. Or did I perhaps give you that thought as well?”
“I don’t care if it was my own realization or one you gave me, I’m glad that I understand.”
Uxie giggled, a strange sound with her ancient voice. “Good. The others are safe.”
“Where are we?”
“We are within Giratina’s domain.”
Nicholas took another look around. At the shadow surrounding the twisted remnants of the temple. “The others?”
“Scattered. My sisters and I gathered them.” Uxie pulled him to his feet. “The pokegirls have all been found. I made sure they were returned to you and the woman. Cynthia.”
Nicholas’ hand flew to his belt. Sure enough there were six pokeballs there. “All of them?”
Nicholas found Miru’s pokeball and released her. Miru sprawled out, groaning, before slowly opening her eyes and retching. When the vomit got a few inches away from her it rocketed off into the air, falling in every direction as it worked its way into space.
“She’s not mine,” Nicholas said as explanation when Uxie gave him a puzzled look. “Hey, Miru! Hold still. Keep your eyes closed.”
“Perhaps not but you still carry her pokeball,” Uxie pointed out. “It is best for her to remain within it.”
“N-No, I’m… fine.” Miru hunched on all fours. “Topolski- Nicholas, where the hell are we?”
“Uxie said we’re in Giratina’s domain.”
“That man is the least of your concerns,” Uxie replied testily. “We must leave here. Quickly.”
“Fuck I can’t stand.”
Nicholas shook his head when Uxie gave him a meaningful look. “No. Not unless Miru needs it.” He squatted over… above? Beside? Under? He had no idea. Squatted next to her. “Miru, do you need to go in your pokeball?”
“I’m not sitting in that thing until Cyrus is in custody,” Miru groaned. “How the hell are you able to stand this… this… spinning?”
Nicholas straightened and now it was his turn to give Uxie a meaningful look that the Legendary responded to with a huff before reaching down to take Miru’s head in her hands. “Look at me, Buneary.”
Nicholas watched Miru’s eyes unfocus before she blinked and instantly was on her feet. “What the fuck?”
“Now we must leave.”
“I’m not leaving without-“
“As I told you, that man is the least of your concern,” Uxie snapped. “Giratina has him, and she is angry. If you do not leave soon her anger may turn to the other intruders in her realm.”
“Intruders?” Nicholas asked. “Last thing I remember she was looming over us all. She brought us here, didn’t she? How are we intruders?”
“You are free to try and reason like that with her. Perhaps Mother will even recreate you after Giratina reduces you to nothing in response.” Uxie turned away. “Come. Quickly.”
“I told you, I am not leaving until that man is either dead or in chains,” Miru barked. “Leaving wherever… this is. Where is he?”
Uxie gazed at her. “I will not tell you.”
“Oh you won’t.” Miru flashed a smile before spinning, leaping towards where one of the pillars was curving overhead. She landed on it and turned to look back at Nicholas and Uxie, the Buneary now standing upside-down above them. “That’s fine. He shouldn’t be far.”
“Only Azelf would see this display as anything worth encouraging,” Uxie growled. She floated up to where Miru was and tried to get her attention. “Look here-“
“Oh ho ho, no.” Miru was constantly flicking her eyes away from Uxie. “I have to look at your eyes for you to do your little trick, don’t I? It’s worthless if I don’t follow the rules.”
“I am trying to save your life-“ Uxie spat as she grabbed Miru by the shoulder.
A mistake. Before Uxie could even realize what was happening Miru had trapped her arm and flipped the legendary onto the pillar. She slammed her hand over Uxie’s eyes and pinned her before leaning in close. “You’re doing nothing,” Miru hissed. “Without you none of this would have happened. And when we were fighting our way to stop Cyrus you were nowhere to be seen, even when your help might have prevented all of this. I don’t even care if you’re an eternal one. You’re a pathetic excuse for a pokegirl.”
“I think that’s ENOUGH,” a curt command snapped through the air. Slowly Miru backed off, shooting glances at the man standing below them. When she finally released Uxie and the legendary shot back into the air he spoke again. “Uxie. Are we in danger just being here?”
“More with every passing moment,” Uxie replied, her eyes darting to where Miru stood.
“If that was Giratina who dragged us here, and this is her domain, and she has Cyrus- Well, I don’t think that man could hold her off for any longer than I could. Why is he not already reduced to nothing and Giratina coming after us?”
“…Because Giratina is not kind,” Uxie explained after a few moments hesitation. “She does not hate the creation she holds together, but she has no love for it, either. I assume she is taking her time with the man Cyrus. A quick death is not a mercy she considers for something that has angered her.”
“She’s torturing him then.”
“I would never dare to speak for her, but… it is very unlikely that Cyrus will die any time soon.”
“Then we have some time of our own.” Nicholas sat and looked up with a blank smile. “I think I’m going to stay here too. Until you’ve answered some of my questions.”
Uxie slowly drifted back down. “Why can I not answer them once we have escaped?”
“Ah, an excellent counter question. Because once we have escaped, I have no leverage to make you answer them,” Nicholas replied with his smile.
“…Your ‘leverage’ is your very existence.”
“Something you seem keen on protecting, yes,” Nicholas said. “Don’t worry. My questions shouldn’t be very hard for you to answer.”
“Very few would be,” Uxie grumbled. “My sisters are waiting.”
“Oh, don’t give me that,” Nicholas huffed. “You three talk among yourselves without words. I bet they’re even fully aware of Miru’s defiance, and my infuriating reaction to it.”
“Fine. If I can not convince you I have no choice but play along.” Uxie curled her legs underneath her as if she was sitting in midair. “Ask.”
“First, I want to know where we are. I know you said it is Giratina’s domain, but what is that?”
“To fully satisfy your question will take more time than we may have.”
Nicholas settled back and placed his hands in his lap. “I’m listening.”
Uxie sighed. “Are you aware of the concept of dimensions, Nicholas?”
“Of course. The three dimensions of space and the fourth being time.”
“Yes. That is what I am referring to. Well, time is not-“ she paused. “We will just assume your understanding is correct. Your reality is comprised of those four dimensions. Your human scientists have so cleverly named the fabric of your reality ‘spacetime’.” A smile flickered across Uxie’s lips. “I suppose there is no reason to be more complicated about it. ‘A twisting spiral of time and space’- the madman spoke of that, if you remember. He was correct in that being the fabric of your reality. What he did not understand, and what even the most advanced human scientists have only just begun to discover, is that there is more to your reality than simply space or time.”
Nicholas slowly nodded. “I see where you’re going with this. Giratina exists, then, in a fifth dimension?”
“In a manner of speaking. What Giratina controls, the fifth dimension, is the mirror of the four dimensions. The first three controlled by Palkia, the fourth by Dialga, the fifth by Giratina. Hers is the most important. Because it is what the other four rest on. If your reality is a spiral as the madman said then Giratina’s world is what lies in the center of the spiral, keeping it from collapsing in on itself. The negative providing form for your positive reality.”
“Like… a balloon. Inflated by the air inside,” Nicholas murmured. “The air isn’t part of the balloon, but the balloon can’t be a balloon without it.”
“At least not in its desired form, no,” Uxie agreed. “That is where we are now. That is her domain. A negative world.”
“It seems pretty three, four dimensional to me,” Nicholas chuckled.
“From your perception I’m sure it does.”
That made Nicholas quiet down. After a moment he spoke again. “Okay. That’s why she appeared then? Intervened? Cyrus’s actions was damaging the four dimensions, which would have been damaging her fifth.”
“If that’s the case, then…” Nicholas trailed off. “Palkia, Dialga. Where were they that they weren’t causing this damage? In Giratina’s dimension? The… rifts, that they came from. They did not feel like this place does.”
Uxie gazed at him for nearly a minute before she spoke. “Your language is so limited. That… area, expanse? What do you prefer?”
“Are you trying to say ‘space’?” Nicholas asked.
“We have established that to be Palkia’s domain. I am not speaking of it.”
Nicholas nodded. “I see the problem. Let’s do ‘expanse’ then.” He gestured. “Giratina’s negative world is a vast expanse.”
“Very well. The expanse that Palkia and Dialga were banished to, that my sisters and I sent them to, is something beyond your reality. Beyond even Giratina’s domain. It is… what birthed our Mother.”
Nicholas blinked. “Ah.”
“Your reality is but one drifting in the endless expanse beyond,” Uxie said. “Only there, completely outside of it, could Palkia and Dialga exist safely without influencing your world. That is what the distortions that used to occur were. Holes in your reality. That is what my sisters and I were tasked with keeping from forming.”
“And what Cyrus created,” Nicholas breathed.
“Celebi never told me any of this.”
“Celebi was formed within the reality you know,” Uxie replied. “She would not understand what lies beyond as I do.”
“Palkia, Dialga, Giratina… Arceus… They all exist in this expanse?”
“Giratina could, I suppose, but she does not. Only Palkia and Dialga and Mother.” Uxie seemed to be holding something back until she muttered something more. “And that one.”
Nicholas perked up. “’that one’?”
“If you ever witness her, it will be too late.”
“O…kay…” Nicholas shook himself. “Right. So Palkia and Dialga do because their very presence warps the dimensions they control, and that’s obviously not great. Then why does Giratina get to remain in her world? Doesn’t she warp it too?”
Uxie cracked a smile and spread her arms. “I don’t know. Does she?”
Nicholas’ eyes flicked around. “Er… Yes, I think she probably does.”
“There is nothing in this world but her. Hence, nothing for her presence to damage. That is why she is allowed to remain, though Giratina does not really see it that way. She sees herself as being trapped, while her sisters are allowed to roam free.”
“…ah.” Nicholas chuckled nervously. “Suddenly I understand why she’s probably not the nicest pokegirl. Wait.” He looked at Uxie. “We’re here. Will her power warp us?”
“At last he asks a correct question,” Uxie grumbled. “Yes. It will. Just as this world is the opposite version of yours so too will any beings from your world become opposite versions of themselves if brought here.”
“How long do we have.”
Uxie looked up at Miru. The Buneary was staring back with wide eyes. “It depends on the being. I would assume she is already changing.”
Nicholas looked up. “Miru?”
“Changing…? I…” Miru swallowed heavily. “I don’t feel any different.”
“You would not. As far as you believe you are what you have always been.”
Miru leapt back down, landing in front of Nicholas and grabbing him. Nicholas was astonished to see fear in her eyes. “I’m still the same, right?”
Nicholas slowly rested his hands on hers. “I think so, except… I can’t remember ever seeing you afraid.”
Miru blinked. “Why wouldn’t I ever be…?”
“An excellent observation.” Uxie rose. “I also have noticed you seem more emotionally vulnerable, Miru, though I would have to consult with Mesprit to know for sure. The changes are definitely occurring.”
“Is there any way to stop them?” Nicholas pressed.
“By leaving.” Uxie looked down at Nicholas’ belt. “Or perhaps human technology. I told you to leave her in her pokeball.”
“No… No, I can’t.” Miru squeezed her eyes shut. “I have to find Cyrus. I know that.”
“Are you finished with your questions, Nicholas?” Uxie asked.
“I’ve barely asked… what, three?”
“And already your greed for knowledge has had consequences,” Uxie retorted. “Shall we sit here until you, too, begin to feel the effects?”
Nicholas let out his breath. “Point taken. What’s the way out?”
“We must meet with my sisters.”
Nicholas nodded. “Fine. Lead the way.”
There was no path through the broken and twisted terrain yet somehow Uxie led him forwards. Every time it seemed they were at a dead end Nicholas’ perception shifted to reveal a previously unseen route. After some time he looked up to see the temple floating far in the distance, isolated entirely from anything around it. It was surreal.
Miru had been growing increasing fretful as they traveled. “Do you see him?” She asked again. “He’s here somewhere, right?”
“I’m starting to think we should listen to Uxie,” Nicholas replied. “There’s no way he escapes. If Giratina has him, it’s over. There’s nothing more for you or I to do.”
“I…” Miru hesitated. “I understand that. But we’ve come this far, Master. We’re not just going to give up are we?”
Nicholas was shaking his head when he slammed to a halt. “What?”
Miru stumbled as she had to avoid the suddenly stationary man. “Wh-What what?”
Nicholas spun. “What did you just call me?”
“M-Master?” Miru stammered. “What’s wrong with…?”
“I am not your Master,” Nicholas breathed. “I was supposedly Miru’s Master but I am not yours. You have no Master.”
Miru stared back. “But… I… I’m, I’m Miru…?”
“No.” Nicholas took hold of her shoulders. “You are not. ‘Miru’ is the cover story you created and acted while we were travelling Sinnoh together. You. Are not. Miru.”
Miru’s eyes darted back and forth. “But… But I am… I…” she screwed her eyes shut. “You’re scaring me! You call me Miru, she calls me Miru, how can I not be! You’re playing a trick! The ‘you’ll change’ thing was a lie, you’re just being mean to me!”
Nicholas’ grip tightened. “In your mind, have I ever done anything to harm you?”
Miru’s chest was heaving but after a few long minutes she regained her composure. “N…N-No, Master.”
“I am not trying to scare you. I am not trying to be mean to you. I am worried about you.” Nicholas waited for Miru to open her eyes. “I’m going to put you in your pokeball. It should stop what’s happening here.”
“…If you do I’ll just break back out,” Miru whispered. “Above everything else I know that Cyrus must be stopped. It’s our… mission.”
Nicholas sighed. “Miru…”
Nicholas gave her a pained smile. “I call you that because I don’t even know your real name. All you ever gave me was your title, Special Investigator, or your agent number, 1309.”
“Agent number…?” Miru blinked. “That’s… that’s right. I used to be a police officer.”
Nicholas let go of her. “Not used to be. Are. Hey! Uxie. I thought you said this place would warp us to be the opposite of what we are. Why’s Miru just having her memories and personality replaced by the fake one she was pretending to be?”
“I would assume that fake is the opposite of whoever Miru used to be,” Uxie replied without turning around. “You would know that better than me.”
“But her body is the same.”
Now Uxie glanced back. “This world is the mirror of yours. Why would her form change? A reflection is not any different in that regard.”
Nicholas made a face and hurried after her. “How much farther?”
Miru was making to follow when now it was her turn to slam to a halt. Her eyes stared out into the twisting world, focusing on something far in the distance. Suddenly she was moving. “THERE!”
Nicholas spun to see Miru launching herself into space, landing and continuing across impossible pathways as she sprinted farther and farther away. “MIRU!”
“Stupid pokegirl,” Uxie hissed under her breath. “If she really has spotted that madman Giratina will not be far.” She sighed when she heard the grunt behind her.
Nicholas had needed no further encouragement. He’d thrown himself after Miru and was pursuing the running Buneary as best he could.
Miru’s hands shook.
She had no idea why. When she’d first noticed she’d clenched them tighter around her pistol, willing the shaking to subside. Was it because she’d spotted him? Cyrus, her target? The entire reason she was here, wherever here was? Why she… felt so strange.
She heard Nicholas call her name again and she squeezed her eyes shut, nearly losing her balance as she ran. Her mission. She needed to focus, on her mission. Cyrus was her mission. It was why she and Master- why she- Master…?
Was he…? Cyrus was… her mission. Nicholas was just her Master. Right? That made sense?
No, it didn’t make any sense at all. If he was her Master then Cyrus would be his mission, and she’d just be helping him with it. It didn’t make sense for her to have a mission, and not her Master. But if he wasn’t her Master, then why were her thoughts like this?
Cyrus was slumped against a pile of rubble and he barely turned when Miru slid in front of him, her pistol snapping into place. “C-Cyrus! Surrender!”
“Is it not enough to let me suffer in peace?” Cyrus sighed quietly when he saw Nicholas approaching as well. “The annoyance and the police. Illusions, perhaps, to torment me? No,” he muttered, “the shadowy one did not seem like she had that power.”
“Unfortunately we’re quite real,” Nicholas replied, walking up to stand beside Miru. The Buneary still had her pistol trained on Cyrus. “We got swept up in your stupidity.”
“My stupidity.” Cyrus snorted. “Without your meddling my ‘stupidity’ would have been successful. Or at least I would still hold the power of the creators, power I could use to combat this… unexpected third. Instead, I am here.” He looked up. “Your world was horrible and incomplete. This one mocks me with its near perfection. There is only one being with spirit here. The shadowy one. She is all that is here, do you see? Time does not flow. Space is not as it should be. This world exists in opposition to your own.” Cyrus paused. “Tell me. Do you know what DNA is?”
“Sure. The building blocks of life. Every creature is defined by its DNA.”
“Hmph. Impressive.” Cyrus raised his arms. “Palkia, Dialga, they were intertwined. The DNA of your world. But I failed to consider this one. That your world was but one strand, not both. This world is the other. Intertwined. That is why the shadowy pokegirl intervened, is it not? My dream shattered your world, and reverberated to hers. The two worlds must balance each other to remain in existence, to remain locked and flawed. This shadow pokegirl would always have stood in my way. But with it gone, neither world would be able to remain…”
Nicholas snorted. “If you’re planning to kill Giratina please, try it. Save me the trouble of killing you myself.”
“Hm. You seek to intimidate me. I removed my emotions long ago.” Cyrus smiled. “Why should I run and hide from the world? Why should I have to wait quietly? I am complete. By freeing the world of the incomplete thing called spirit, it too will be complete. That is my justice! None can interfere, not even this shadowy pokegirl!”
Miru adjusted her aim. “One bullet and your corpse will understand ‘interference’.”
“Weapons are such a waste,” Cyrus sighed. “I would have enjoyed completing you, officer. Drawing everything away until you were pure, like the others. Until you knew nothing but battle, as all pokegirls should be.”
“You mean until she was a mindless machine to serve you,” Nicholas snarled. “Humans are meant to elevate pokegirls, not reduce them to their basest level. We release them from the chains of the feral state, and you would see that mercy taken away?”
“My harem reveled in their newfound freedom,” Cyrus gloated.
“So where are they now?” Nicholas asked quietly. “Gone. The ones who endured were my harem. And Miru.”
Miru hadn’t heard the distinction. She’d stopped listening after hearing Nicholas include her in ‘his’ harem. Her mind went blank.
Cyrus pushed off the rubble. “Enough. We will never see eye to eye. I promise you, I will break the secrets of this world. With that knowledge, I will break this shadowy pokegirl. With that knowledge, I will create my own complete and perfect world. One day, you will all awaken to a world of my creation. A world without spirit.”
Nicholas took a quick step but Cyrus was already turning away. “Miru-!”
Miru blinked, but before she could shake herself Cyrus had stepped to the edge of the platform. Without hesitation, he walked off the edge.
Eventually Miru’s pistol fell. “Is he…?”
Nicholas had run to the edge of the platform and now peered into the void below. “There’s nothing out there. He’s… gone.”
Miru’s gun slipped from her trembling fingers. “Gone?”
A hitching sob made him turn. Miru stared at him, tears beading in her eyes, before abruptly throwing herself at him. “MASTER!”
Nicholas barely managed to keep his balance when Miru hit, pushing forwards against the Buneary’s momentum to keep from falling after Cyrus. In doing so he fell forwards instead, and now he was on top of Miru, staring down into her eyes. “Miru-?”
She kissed him. After a moment her hand shot out, wrapping around his neck and pulling him even tighter against her body. There was absolutely no question as to what she was going for as her other hand forced its way into his pants.
“It’s over,” she gasped in between kisses. “He’s gone.”
“Miru-“ Nicholas tried before she crushed her mouth to his again.
“He’s gone,” Miru repeated, barely breathing the words this time. “With him gone, all that’s left is you, Master.”
It wasn’t right. But Nicholas eventually relented. The pokegirl crying out for him was real, even if she was not the one he knew, and Miru cried out happily when he penetrated her. They fucked for a long, long time, long enough for Uxie to catch up well before they were done.
Cynthia stood and waved when she saw the approaching pair. It was just Nicholas and Uxie, Miru finally satisfied to go back in her pokeball. Far too late. He was praying that she would go back to normal once they’d left this place.
“Hey.” Nicholas came to a halt in front of her and took a look at the silent pair hovering nearby. Mesprit and Azelf were watching him, and he was uncomfortable now being under all three legendaries’ gaze. Uxie had been eyeing him ever since she’d caught back up. “How are you feeling? We need to get out of here as soon as possible.”
“The guardians told me that. They say we should be okay, for a while, at least. Because of the strength of our spirits.” She glanced at the three. “But, yes. I would like to leave. This place… we’re not meant to be here.”
“YOU CERTAINLY ARE NOT.”
Nicholas whirled. Nothing. The booming voice had no source. Still, there was only one thing it could be. “Mesprit? Azelf, Uxie? I think it’s time to go.” He waited. Nothing. “Whatever you can do, however you were going to get us out of here, do it!”
Still… nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nicholas spun back. He hadn’t noticed until now but the world had turned gray, devoid of color. Cynthia looked like she was speaking, nodding, holding a conversation, but there was no sound. And as Nicholas looked on in confusion, he saw a haze pass over his vision.
A moment later it had cleared his body. It was… himself. The same washed-out color as Cynthia, as the trio, as the world around him. Another him was talking, gesturing in front of his eyes.
“What is this?” He breathed.
Power. The presence that rose around him was something he could not define. It was as if reality itself was turning its attention to him. Which, in a way, he realized it was.
Shadow was beginning to close in. Limiting his vision until all Nicholas could see was the other him, not even Cynthia or the others. Only then did he feel something more tangible approach.
“Giratina! It’s Giratina, right? Is that what you’re called?” He felt the presence pause, just beyond the edge of the shadow. “I…” he hesitated. The presence was waiting, but it had no reason to. He understood that very well. “I would like… to thank you, for stopping Cyrus, and… to apologize, for not being enough to stop him myself.”
Silence. Nicholas hardly dared to breathe.
“Are those words the ones you believed would spare your life?”
The presence was moving again as Nicholas quickly screamed his response. “Nothing I say could do that! Only your mercy can!” When he found himself still able to speak he hurried on. “I- I will not dare ask for it, of course. Only accept whatever you grant me. Life, death… or, or otherwise.”
“What you will grant me are answers,” Giratina said. “What I reward you with in return will depend on what I am told. Why do I sense my mother upon your soul?”
…Ah. Nicholas struggled to swallow past the massive lump in his throat. So that was why he was still alive. Shit. “I… do not know the answer. I swear to you, I do not know why Arceus is interested in me.”
“Are you watching him now, Mother?” Nicholas felt the shadows pressing down and he clawed at his throat as red eyes blazed to life before him, his fingers scrabbling as he fought to draw breath. “He is not yours here. He is mine. Mine, here, in this PRISON YOU LEFT ME!”
“I believe that is enough.”
Nicholas gasped, his lungs swelling with desperate breath as his eyes darted around. The shadow… had turned to a black nothing, a void. The shadowy double of him was gone. The presence around him was… gone. Slowly the void retreated until he was standing at the end of a large space around the size of the temple grounds on Mt. Coronet. Nothing. Truly nothing, he didn’t feel Giratina, he didn’t feel Cynthia or the others, he felt… nothing. A void that he could not define, unlike even the strange emptiness he had felt from Cyrus. Yet a woman was watching him.
The two watched each other for what could have been hours before Nicholas carefully cleared his throat. “Um… Hello.”
The woman inclined her head slightly. “Hello.”
That was it. Nicholas awkwardly glanced around before taking a deep breath and spoke. “Where is-?”
“Giratina? Right here,” the woman replied, lifting one hand. Above her head a massive orb of shadow burst to life and suddenly there was not nothing within this empty space, there was a very, very angry presence that smashed into Nicholas’ psyche before he could brace himself. “Palkia and Dialga as well,” the woman continued, spreading her arms as two more orbs formed to either side of her. “You can imagine my disappointment when they so willingly left the place beyond at such a feeble call. I suppose I can’t be too angry; they are not allowed within their own realm, and it does get quite dull in the endless nothing. Even that flimsy excuse was one they could not resist.” She glanced up with a frown. “Which is why, Giratina, as I have so often told you, your place is not a punishment. You should be thankful your realm does not host my creations.”
Nicholas clapped his hands together, a beaming smile on his face. “I would ask for your name, but I have a strange feeling introductions aren’t necessary here.”
The woman looked back down with a smile of her own. “You never fail to amuse me. I am glad I discovered this form last we met – no doubt it is helping keep you at ease.” She closed her hands and the three presences vanished. “Yes. I am Arceus. Hello, Nicholas Topolski.”
Nicholas blinked and the empty space had turned into a warm office space, television screens scattered across the wall opposite a majestic wooden desk. That was where the woman was now, and he gave her a good long look as she seemed to tidy her things.
He was beyond caring what happened now. It had been daunting atop Mt. Coronet, when the forces Cyrus had hoped to summon and control were just that, possibilities. But they had come. He had helped Cyrus bring them into their world. He had been there when Giratina stepped in. The last of the trio that had created all reality, unaffected by any power Cyrus had gathered to chain her. It had not just been ‘easy’ for her to wipe them all away in the blink of an eye. It had been careless. Thoughtless. He, Cynthia, Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf – they had not even been Giratina’s targets. They had just been collateral. Like grains of sand being swept aside.
And now he was standing here. If he was standing, or even here at all. He was in the presence of the one creator above all. Celine had told him of Dialga, her own Mistress, and Palkia, who commanded her sister Hoopa – yet, she had only vaguely known of Arceus. She had never been able to give him a description beyond ‘light’.
The being before him was defined. She was… seemingly a plain human woman. A bit older than him, maybe in her forties, but without letting any of that time affect her. Light skin, long white hair, dressed in what appeared to be a well-fit black bodysuit underneath a spotless white suitcoat with deep golden highlights trailing past her bare hips and thighs. But there was more to her than that. For instance her hair, as it defied gravity and formed a white ring around her crown that was tipped in dozens of pinpricks of multicolored light. Her eyes were beyond anything he had ever seen on earth, irises glowing a greenish turquoise, the pupils a bright pink instead of the black any human would have. And while he did find himself admiring her figure, her chest pushing her suitcoat apart in just the right way, her hips swaying ever so slightly as she walked, the delicate way she picked over her documents, he… what had he been about to think?
It was in that moment where Nicholas’ thoughts wandered that the woman looked up with her smile. “Go on.”
Nicholas blinked. “Are you waiting on…?”
“You to speak? Yes. Do take your time – I hold this form for your benefit, after all.”
Nicholas slowly stepped forwards, taking hold of a chair that he swore hadn’t been there before. “Why make me speak? You already know every question I have, already have every answer I could give you.”
“Why yes, I do!” Arceus exclaimed. “Yet you are here. Yet I wait for you to speak. Why do you believe that is, Nicholas Topolski?”
Nicholas settled into the chair, watching Arceus take her own seat behind her ornate desk. She looked everything like a CEO or owner of an influential company holding a meeting with one of her employees. A quite literal parallel, come to think of it. “I would say that you already know what I will answer, but… That isn’t the answer you want to hear.” Arceus didn’t respond, only held her smile, and Nicholas closed his eyes for a moment to think. It was no use trying to say what this being wanted to hear, or to try and manipulate the situation, as he had been attempting with Giratina. Why was he being tested? If the one testing him already knew his result?
It didn’t matter. He could only do what she asked. “You wait for me to speak, you ask me questions you know the answers to, in an attempt to… humanize is the wrong word, but it is the only one in my language. Mortalize? We’ll go with that. Mortalize this interaction.” He opened his eyes and, once he was ready, matched Arceus’. “This interaction between me, who is nothing, and the being that is everything.”
Arceus’ smile widened. “What if I told you I did not know that would be your answer, Nicholas Topolski?”
Nicholas scoffed. “I’d say you’re just lying, trying to put me at ease, and I’m not sure why.”
“Allow me to explain where we are. Once I have, we may truly begin.” Arceus lifted her hands to indicate the space around them. “This is the place beyond all realities. It is where I was born, and it is where I exist.” She paused. “Allow me to repeat myself. It is where I was born. It is not what I created. It is not what I control.”
Nicholas stared at her for a long time before responding. “You still hold incredible power. On a level that I could only ever comprehend as absolute. This room you’ve formed here, doesn’t that show you can control this… place beyond? I am your creation. Doesn’t that mean you control me, even here?”
Arceus lips drew back as she beamed at him. “If I choose to.”
Nicholas swallowed. “Are you saying…?”
“Correct. I am choosing not to.” Arceus lowered her hands. “The room you exist within, yes. I chose to create it. I chose to bring you into it, just as I did last time. Because you are very interesting to me, Nicholas Topolski. Out of all my creation, my eye was drawn… to you. Ah,” she said, holding up a hand before Nicholas could speak, “it was not a mistake in what I just said. You have been here before. You were not meant to remember. I will explain to you why, in due time.”
Nicholas snorted. “Does time even exist here?”
Arceus giggled. An action that shocked Nicholas in its mundanity. “She does, of course. I wish to speak with you before they join us, but do not worry. Join us they will.”
“…I wasn’t exactly worrying,” Nicholas mumbled.
“Of course not.” Arceus settled back down and cleared her throat. “Now then. You yearn for knowledge, and I know all you yearn for. We shall start at the beginning.”
In the beginning, there was nothing.
“In the beginning, there was nothing. Nothing but pure energy. However even in chaos there is order, and a being formed of this energy. Or perhaps She always was, and the energy was always Her – I can not say. But from her, the formless energy, order emerged. Light. Light came, and each source found its own place within the infinite. From the light-“
“Hold on,” Nicholas interrupted. “Are you… are you telling me that you’re not the being at the top? Something created you?”
Arceus cocked her head with a slight frown. “I would not say I was ‘created’, more… that I ‘formed’ from Her. Yes, that is a better way to put it. I ‘created’ my daughters to mold my creation, but I myself simply came to be, and what I came from was Her.”
“…Who is ‘Her’?” Nicholas asked. “Uxie talked about another as well, but wouldn’t tell me more.”
Arceus was silent for a moment. “I will not invoke Her name. She is broken, now, the being of energy. Too many of us formed from her. She has grown… insane. She exists only to consume every one of us, every fragment that separated. To become whole once more. So the cycle will continue.”
“So… the human theory of the big bang, it’s actually correct?” Nicholas summarized.
Arceus laughed softly. “The humans who desperately look for chaos in my creation. Yes, I suppose they are correct, if limited in their understanding. I formed from Her – I will eventually return to Her. I will form again, or rather one like me, and so it goes. The reality I created, on the other hand, is linear. I have no intention on it being a cycle. It had a beginning, and it will have an end.”
“So… there are others like you,” Nicholas said after some thought. “Other Arceus?”
“That is correct. Would you like to meet them?”
Nicholas shivered. “I’ll, um… pass, for now.”
“Very well.” Arceus folded her hands atop her desk. “As the chronicler has told you, what came next were my first daughters. As they formed the new creation they created daughters of their own, and so on. With each generation the forms of these beings grew closer to the ‘pokegirls’ you know.”
“Pokegirls aren’t really in your image?” Nicholas asked in surprise. “I mean… I know you can look like whatever you choose, so what I’m seeing now doesn’t matter, but when Palkia was being brought into the world…”
“The world they made shapes them as much as they shaped it,” Arceus replied. “It is the same as what you experienced within Giratina’s domain. You were simple beings compared to the form she could take there. I believe you know what I mean, since I intervened when she was shaping you to match her.”
“Was that what was happening?”
Arceus nodded slightly. “My daughter was drawing your spirit to a higher plane. One no human is meant to inhabit. Before long, you would have gone mad.” She shrugged. “Of course I could not allow that to happen.”
“Then that means the form I’m perceiving now, your form, is the same thing?” Nicholas asked. “I’m not actually speaking to you. Not the real, true you.”
Arceus’ smile widened. “That is correct. I am limiting myself to exist in the same way you do.”
“What if you didn’t?”
Arceus’ smile faded slightly for the first time. “A human author asked the same question. His name was Howard Lovecraft. He was rather close to the mark, I believe.”
“The… madness you said Giratina would have caused.”
“You might have survived what she would do to you,” Arceus replied quietly. “You would not survive if I elevated your simple form to my own.”
Nicholas nervously cleared his throat. “I kind of enjoy existing.”
“Yet you still wonder, as I knew you would.” Arceus seemed to think for a few moments before a new smile flickered across her lips. “Perhaps there is a way to satisfy you in a way you will survive. We will explore that possibility later.” She composed herself. “Now. We were speaking of the dawn of your world. It is there that you enter our tale, Nicholas Topolski. Or to be precise, the being I personally formed and placed on that mountain who you are descended from.”
“I saw the creations that were forming. Pokegirls, as you call them, were too perfect. Too alike my own daughters. Left alone, they would have stagnated. And so I introduced flaws. I created a reason for them to evolve. Literally so. I wished to see a changing creation, not a stagnant one. To that end I formed my favorite creation. It took the, as you would call them, godly aspects of the evolving pokegirls and combined it with my own will. The being that was created was precisely as the human woman you traveled with believed. It was my own touch, my child, as pure as my own daughters and destined to be my presence within my creation. It was the lord of all pokegirls, and from it descended all other lords. Both pokegirl lords, and humans.”
“The dragons, as you call them, were the pokegirl lords. The humans the lords of all pokegirls, though most only stood equal with the dragons. Only some of them all were true lords, the ones who remembered their heritage, who remembered my touch.” She smiled, fingers curling back. “You are, as you have discovered, one of them, Nicholas Topolski. That is not why you interest me. I have witnessed many great humans like you. But they had no reason to evolve, as the world was still content to do so on its own. Not your world. Not my creation as it is now. It has come to a halt. The true lords became harder to find. Only half-lords, who you have met in droves. I… became bored. My creation, meant to be ever changing, ever evolving, was not. And so I created you.”
“I wanted entertainment, Nicholas Topolski. I wanted to observe the beautiful evolution I had witnessed so many eons ago. A true lord was required. Your future before my touch was not a boring one, by human standards, but it was boring to me. I wish to see my creation change. You were chosen to make it.”
“How was I supposed to do that?” Nicholas croaked.
“I believe you know.”
Nicholas’ eyes darted around the room. “I have never wanted the influence and power I have discovered.”
“Making you a perfect host for it. You wield it as it is necessary, not for your own gain. Very much unlike that human you pursued here, who also recognized the stagnating world, but attempted to take it for his own instead.”
“But I-“ Nicholas stopped. Mewtwo. Ho-oh. Celebi. Rayquaza, Latios and Latias, Darkrai and Cresselia on their island- “I- By god.”
“By me?” Arceus teased with a grin.
“When you say… a true lord, when you describe the being you first created, and compare me to it… You mean… literally, a lord over all your creation.” Nicholas slowly got to his feet, a stunned expression dominating his face. “Even the legendaries.”
“Humans and pokegirls have drifted apart,” Arceus agreed. “That is why you exist. My creation must be made whole again. It must evolve.” She smirked. “And may I say, you were an excellent and entertaining choice.”
Nicholas felt one of the one-eyed pokegirls pass by him and instinctively shied away. These were Arceus’ servants. She had summoned them after calling a short recess.
His head was spinning. All of this new knowledge forcing its way into his understanding of the world. But he still had questions.
“You said I’ve been here before.” He turned away from the screens he had been watching, each focused on some random person or pokegirl. He hadn’t seen himself, at least he didn’t think he had. “When.”
Arceus looked up from her desk. “Are you asking for your memories of that visit? You already know when it was.”
Nicholas swallowed. “When I died.”
“That’s right. When you died. When you gave your life to return Rayquaza to your world. That was quite an interesting outcome, you know. I quite enjoyed it. But I felt there was more you could do.” She returned to whatever she was looking at. “More you could do to entertain me.”
Nicholas glanced back at the screens. “Is that what these all are? Entertainment?”
“There isn’t much else to do but observe my creation,” Arceus replied. “Why? Does that bother you?”
Nicholas sighed and turned away from the screen he had been watching as it changed to show a nude human woman facing off with a pokegirl he’d never seen before. “I suppose it doesn’t.” Behind him the woman spun around her opponent, revealing an eerily familiar face as tendrils of aura burst from her body to snare the pokegirl before the scene changed again. “It’s not as if anything I do surprises you.”
“Watching the events unfold is exciting enough.” Arceus got to her feet as he approached. “Are you ready to continue?”
Nicholas shook his head. “To be honest, I’d rather not. You’ve filled in every blank I didn’t know before about the origin of my reality and my own heritage. I’m touched by the creator. Hand-formed by god. Meant to act as her… what, your avatar? What else can you tell me that I wouldn’t figure out myself? Isn’t that what makes it more interesting for you?”
Arceus cracked a smile. “Perhaps. Perhaps I knew precisely when to stop in order to satiate your curiosity. Are you ready, then? Ready to return to your world?”
“I think I have things to do.”
“I would agree!” Arceus held out her hands. “Then I will summon my daughters for a proper farewell.”
“Is that really necessary?” Nicholas hurriedly asked.
He swore Arceus was giving him a cheeky grin as she replied. “Are you not a true lord?”
“Okay when you say that you make it seem like you want me to be their tamers,” Nicholas retorted. “Giratina wants to destroy me. All of them are-“ his words died. The air around Arceus was trembling. Figures coalescing.
“My daughters never showed any interest in my creations. Even if they took the form of a pokegirl – which they hardly ever do – I doubt they would take notice of you.” Arceus paused for a moment before this time very obviously grinning cheekily in his direction. “Unless, of course, I were to give them reason to be interested.”
“Cool,” Nicholas replied in exasperation, throwing up his hands as the figures began taking shape. “Great. Not as if I can refuse.”
The figures that formed were distinctly humanoid, or appeared to be, and at first Nicholas was confused, especially since Arceus had just mentioned how these three did not often take a ‘pokegirl’ form, before he realized they had no choice. Arceus had brought them to this space which followed the rules of her creation. Forcing the three legendaries before him to conform to the same reality he experienced.
He could still feel their power. But more importantly, he felt their displeasure. None more so than the first that burst into view, shadows roiling outwards from a towering woman with ash-gray skin and massive breasts. She had formed in midair, and for a few moments seemed to be levitating, before her face twisted in a snarl and she dropped to the ground with a massive thud. A pair of twisted horns sprouted from her scalp, framed by long black hair that drifted weightlessly behind her. However, as it moved, the black was revealed to only be the outer strands, as the hair that would normally be hidden underneath and against this pokegirl’s back was a bright blood red. The same as the eyes that shone from her face, and the spikes adorning both this pokegirl’s tattered, shadowy wings, and her grasping extremities. All eight of them. Because Giratina was not remotely humanoid now that Nicholas could see more than just her front. Her torso sprouted from a long, thick body with three pairs of thick draconic limbs holding her upright, and a heavy scaly tail whipping behind it, drawing streaks of darkness through the air, and as he watched bands of inky black and deep red began flaring to life all across her body.
Dialga was next to appear. She stepped into the space and immediately dropped to all fours, growls ripping through her chest as she slowly got her feet underneath her and took a crouched position. She, at least, seemed humanoid. The right amount of limbs, even if she seemed to be top-heavy enough to have to use her arms to keep herself upright. It wasn’t due to her chest, though, even though it was almost as large as the tauric Giratina’s. It was because of the hulking structures sprouting from her back. Completely rigid flightless crystalline wings, glimmering with power. As her head rose to look at Nicholas he saw long, dark blue hair cascading over her shoulders, her skin a lighter color than Giratina and covered in pulsing ice-blue markings, her hair spreading from beneath a tall crown made of the same material as her wings. The crystal also crisscrossed her chest and short tail, giving Dialga a semi-armored appearance that Giratina seemed to lack. But her eyes were quite the same.
Those eyes also smoldered upon Palkia’s face as she joined her sisters and mother. She was the only of the three to stand fully on two legs, as Arceus did, but she was nothing like her mother. Arceus was regal in her posture, even in the form she had said she took for his benefit. Palkia was a spartan. Her skin a dark black. Pure white hair cut short. Grand tusks sprouting from between her lips, and a bladed crest splitting her head. Her eyes blazed from behind a full-face helmet, more armor forming crackling discs for pauldrons, and drawing deadly lines down armored gauntlets and greaves across her limbs. Only her torso was bare, making the legendary functionally nude and allowing Nicholas to see that Palkia’s assets were firmly between Arceus’ and Dialga’s, but that did not last long. As soon as Palkia had fully formed she raised a hand, inspecting it before faster than he could perceive she had clenched it into a fist and thrown it out, a glistening spear of pink and purple light surging to life. As it did her unarmored body was covered in a transparent shield crackling with the energy that formed her spear. Not enough to hide what was underneath, but certainly no longer on display as a tail made of the same energy uncoiled behind her.
The room had grown to accommodate the three titans but Nicholas and Arceus had not, standing dwarfed by the three around her. Even still, even though it seemed as if a simple human woman stood with her back to what appeared to be the most powerful three pokegirls Nicholas had ever met, it was very clear who was in charge.
“Speak, daughter,” Arceus said coolly without turning around.
Giratina hissed, her knees bending to bring her head closer to her mother. “Why. Am. I. Here.”
“You are all here to witness.” Arceus held out her hand to Nicholas with a smile. “This human is known as Nicholas Topolski. I claim him as my Champion.”
“I do not like this form,” Dialga grumbled to herself. “I have witnessed, Mother. May I go?”
“Not yet.” Arceus cocked her head. “Are you not curious of this one as well, my daughter? Do you not smell her on his soul?”
Dialga glanced back to Nicholas before going very still. Then she leaned forwards, dropping on all fours as she stalked even closer. “I… smell my servant.” Nicholas held very still as the monstrous pokegirl perched over him, her eyes picking him apart. “How… interesting.”
“Well I have witnessed and I will go,” Giratina snapped, shadows beginning to hide her legs from view. “You know damn well I do not walk. Forcing me into this shape is an insult – though from you, mother, I am hardly surprised.”
“You do not decide that, my daughter,” Arceus retorted, finally turning to Giratina but only a slight tilt of her head so she could look at the legendary and nothing more. “There is still an intruder within your realm. When my Champion has left, and your sisters as well, you will remain to speak with me.” Giratina howled, Arceus’ power holding her firm, until Arceus’ steely gaze softened slightly. “However, I do not wish that talk to be a violent one. You may take your preferred form. I will not stop you.”
The shadows covering Giratina’s lower body exploded as the legendary surged into the air, now a twisting serpent with golden claws running down her length.
Palkia twirled her spear, bringing it to rest in line with her body before tapping the butt twice softly against the floor. “I witness, Mother. Though no choice you make can ever be false, I believe this is an excellent one.”
“Kiss-ass bitch,” Giratina growled to herself.
“I have not witnessed a human of this caliber since I walked what we created,” Palkia replied without raising her voice. “Pray tell, Mother, for what is this Champion made?”
“To do what you and your sisters can not. To evolve my creation in a way only those existing within it can.”
Palkia banged her spear twice more before bowing low before Nicholas. “Interesting.”
“Avatar was the wrong word for me to use, then,” Nicholas grumbled to himself.
“Oh, the completely wrong word,” Arceus agreed, stepping towards him. As she approached Dialga quickly moved aside. “It is time now, Nicholas Topolski. Time to return to where you belong. You have things to do, as you say.”
Nicholas nodded, blinking when Arceus extended her hand to him. “What’s this?”
“I will return you.” A twitch. Nicholas watched as Arceus’ form shimmered before snapping back into focus. “This form was made for you. It will return with you.”
“Hold on a second,” Nicholas blustered. “This form – what?”
“I wish to observe you more directly, Nicholas Topolski,” Arceus, or the being that had once said it was Arceus, said to him. “This avatar will allow that. I… will allow that.” Arceus blinked. “Yes. I. Shall we go?”
Nicholas took one last look at the three behind Arceus before reaching out to take her hand. “I have many new questions.”
“I will take pleasure in answering them.” They vanished.
A few moments passed before Dialga sat back with a grunt. “May we stop with this constraint now, Mother? I didn’t mind it when I was allowed to roam what we made but it is quite restrictive now.”
The room shimmered before a figure stepped from thin air. Imperceptible to any but the three watching it, it shone with light. “I found it quite fun to exist as my creations do.”
“You find everything fun, Mother.” Dialga sighed in relief when she felt the hold on her lessen and her body was allowed to revert from the pokegirl form she had been in. “Much better.”
Palkia, too, lost her form, turning to the monstrous draconic beast Nicholas had first seen in the emptiness above Mt. Coronet. Giratina also dissolved, becoming the wafting shadow she had been within the distortion world. “Do we really have to talk?” She grumbled, shying away slightly from the amorphous light before her. “I’m sorry for losing my temper, Mother.”
“We must. But I am not angry with you, my daughter. I wish to mend the wounds you have carried for so long.”
Silence fell over the three. Eventually Dialga and Palkia bowed in unison. “We will leave you.”
“Before you do. Would you gather that for me, my daughter?” Dialga, now appearing as some kind of hulking crystal dragon, turned her head to the flickering remnants where Nicholas once stood. After a few moments they coalesced into a shimmering blue orb that floated towards the formless light. “My thanks.”
“Something else you wish to experiment with, Mother?” Palkia asked, her guttural voice vibrating from between her clenched fangs.
“Something I believe will be quite enjoyable to watch,” Arceus replied, and as she spoke the flickering light began to shape itself into a body. “After all, I now walk alongside my Champion. I need something to occupy myself in the meantime.” Her satisfaction was palpable as the light began to take a female form. “Yes. This will do nicely.”
Tamer: Nicholas Topolski
Zisela, Gabite (Alpha) – Level 40
Sohn, Infernape – Level 40
Sammy, Rotom – Level 38
Cathy, Miltank – Level 37
Quinn, Gallade – Level 40
Kalmiya, Porygon-Z – Level 25