"Alright everyone!! It's just about time!!" Chris warned from his newly remodeled stage as the sisters of the temple busily rushed about while he oversaw the final preparations. With the chamber having been emptied of all the benches, it was now ready to host swaths of guests as caterers he'd hired finished preparing the sprawling rows of food and beverages across lengthy tables now lining the sides of the chamber. "Oy! You guys just about done with those tables?" he asked via a communicator he'd donned, causing those working to pause and turn with a thumbs up. With the tree in the center of the chamber now fully decorated, Chris nodded with a smirk while final adjustments were made to the monitors latched along the second floor railing, their purpose being to show off animations and other video's during performances while also offering close-up shots of everyone performing on stage as needed. Stepping forward, Chris jumped from the stage and made his way along the chamber, examining his surroundings closely. "You!! Tilt that monitor a little to the right!! You there, watch those wires! Tuck em' away so there's no trouble!!" he instructed, giving orders as he made his way along, looking at a clipboard containing a final round of things to do before their event began. Dotting the chamber, media outlets were busily finishing their own tasks of setting up camera's and the like to cover the festivities per Holly and Odama's request, the two having played major parts in convincing the news to air the event live. Heading outside, Chris looked at the colossal searchlights dotting the grounds surrounding the temple before making his way down the steps, which now donned a spectacular red carpet.
Reaching the bottom, he turned and looked at the temple itself, taking note of the smaller searchlights scattered about its structure and the monumental-sized projector screens hanging above. With a screen of the same size hanging from each of the temple's four walls, it offered everyone who may not be able to fit within the temple itself a means of seeing the performances, the screens intended to serve the same purpose as the monitors within its main chamber. "Alright... Good, good..." Chris muttered. Looking at the roof of the temple, as well as those of the surrounding buildings, he focused on the workers putting the final touches on the equipment that would launch fireworks into the sky, the surrounding businesses of the plaza having agreed to let their buildings be used to further expand the radius in which the show could cover allowing near-limitless potential for the amount set off at any given time. With all the gear going through their final tweaks, Chris kept a smirk on his face as he returned to the chamber within the Temple, looking around once more. "Honestly... You do know those are meant for the guests?" he heard Alicia lecture. "Fu shuddup." Serenity quipped with food in her mouth, munching on the bite-sized sandwiches on one of the tables. "Couldn't resist huh?" Chris asked, walking up behind the group with a chuckle making Serenity jolt and cough slightly. "S-Sorry..." he apologized as she scowled at him. "I only having little bite..." she grumbled. "It's okay, there's enough to feed half the city in here." Chris assured, looking at all the tables covered with offerings before noticing Rose sneakily taking food for herself behind Alicia, nibbling on vegetables making Chris show a sly smirk.
Sneaking around the snake, he squat down behind the rabbit with an "I see you..." remark, making her freeze up with a pale appearance before turning in agitation. "Don't do that!!" she snapped, making him laugh. "You have bad habits..." Serenity scowled. "Just having some fun... So, wadaya think?" Chris asked while looking around. "I still say this wasn't our concern. If anything you've gone a tad overboard." Alicia answered, making him look up at her causing the snake to glance away. "B-But... It's kind of you... It looks nice at least." she assured before showing a slight blush as he smiled. "I dunno what all this stuff is really but it's neat." Rose nodded. "It okay, annoying when humans bump into me though..." Serenity point out, popping another sandwich in her mouth. "Sorry about that... Everyone's kinda excited at the moment. Plus the folks I hired really want the bonuses I promised." Chris reminded, slight sweat showing as they watched everyone busily move to and fro around them. "You're already paying them well enough, aren't you? More than that is needless in my opinion." Alicia affirmed. "True... It doesn't hurt to give people extra motivation though. It's just a little assurance to keep things on track." Chris explained, pointing out human nature to act in accordance with a reward. "It still sounds kinda greedy..." Rose replied. "Well, am I really all that different?" Chris asked, making the group look at him curiously. "I'm a human guy, and I've got three women by my side. A lot of people would say I'm the greediest of all." he grinned, making the trio blush to their own degrees. "Must you always resort to that kind of counter?" Alicia scowled. "If it helps me win!" Chris laughed, acknowledging his cheating methods.
"Having fun are we?" Tsarea spoke, approaching from behind with a smile. "Just talkin' a bit." Chris waved, noticing Holly and Odama by her sides. "I gotta say, it's something the way you put all this together." the Mayor grinned. "Well, it's one thing to set up the Temple itself, but it's thanks to you and Odama's star-power that we got all the marketing we needed. You two really pulled through with the campaign you did for the place." Chris praised, shaking the Mayor and Odama's hands. "If there's one thing any politician knows it's how to get the media's attention. Put some flyers around, get yourself in the paper, a little chit-chat here and there, the right contacts... It all comes together." Odama smirked, looking around the chamber. "I must say, had I known the potential this place had, I'd of done a little campaigning right in here!" he nodded. "Yes... Had any of us known. And it's that ignorance that turned this temple into such a blind-spot." Holly point out, making Odama pause and glance away. "This temple was one of the first locations built when the settlers arrived. It served as the main defense against the elements and the wild Pokemon which filled this area at the time as they went to work building the surrounding settlement. It goes without saying, the species that thrive in places like this are some of the most dangerous known... The fact the temple endured the onslaughts of nature and wildlife combined is a testament in itself. It served to protect so many for so long... It's an inexcusable failure on our part to protect it in turn." Holly admit while Odama looked around. "Well... Now you'll have a chance to make up for that." Chris smirked, making both look at him and nod.
"Mr. Odama... When you were the Mayor here, you were one of the guiding forces when it came to the rights of minorities... Both in terms of color, and the preferences people have in the way they live, who they live with... Do you regret any of that?" Chris asked. "Of course not!" Odama insisted. "Mm... And you, Holly, what you did for Tsarea, using your influence to make her the Mother here, do you regret that?" Chris added, turning to the Mayor making her blink before averting her focus. "I don't regret that I did... I regret not doing more, making sure nothing like the incident here happened." she clarified, making Odama look at her before showing thought in his own expression. "True... After some of the legislation I passed, to say there were... Issues... Is a bit of an understatement. We're human, after all. We all have ideals, we all want to do what we think is best for humanity as soon as we can. But... Both of us, our weakness was failing to insure things would progress smoothly among the people once we took action. We were ready to make a change, but the aftermath... I feel there was more I could have done to make things smoother among the people myself. Though over time the changes I made became the norm and matters resolved themselves, it came with its fair share of struggles." Odama admit. "...Good answers." Chris nodded, the two looking at him. "It goes without saying but... When you're a leader, you can make any rules you want, any changes... But when you try and alter what people think is normal, they're going to fight back. They want to stay comfortable with the world they have, the way things are. That includes all the bias that comes with it. Taking action, being a leader, there's more to it than signing papers and talking to cameras." he point out.
"I know the two of you already know that, but I'm not sure about how much you've actually gone out there yourselves to fight, to put what you propose into practice yourselves. I'm not from around here so maybe I'm totally off the mark saying that but... Based on the way you talk, a steady hand, personal involvement, they sound like a big thing you both lacked. You did what felt right, and when it was done, you went onto the next problem. It's great to be so ambitious, to have the desire to get so much done, but... Baby steps, you know?" Chris cautioned. "What you both did, they were the right things to do, but... At the same time, you've left too many bridges half built." he admit, the two leaders looking at one another in silence. "What we're doing here tonight won't finish all those bridges, but it should help bring them together a little more. It's gonna be up to you to keep working with what you've got once it's over. And... If you don't mind, I kinda suggest finishing the projects you've started before you try moving onto any others from here on." Chris suggested, getting nods in response. "You only get two terms, I know that... Your time is limited. But if you can inspire others to carry on your ideas, citizens and other candidates alike, you can still get what you dream of done, even if it's those who come after you who do it. There's no need to promise a million things, then run yourself ragged to fulfill all those things, leaving everything and your society in shambles in the end. Moderation is key. If your ideas are really worthwhile, those who come next will fight tooth and nail, just as strongly as you would to bring those things to light." Chris finished. "...Ha. You sure you don't want to run for office?" Holly smirked. "No---o thank you!!" Chris insisted, making her laugh.
Suddenly getting a call on his communicator, Chris let out a "bah" and waved, assuring he'd return before walking off to solve a problem elsewhere. "It really is hard to peg his character." Alicia point out. "Pardon?" Tsarea asked, looking at the snake. "Chris, that is. At times as childish as one comes, others as masculine as you could fathom, then he has moments like you just saw... A difficult male to read, even after the time we've been together." Alicia clarified. "At least he's always interesting, right?" Holly grinned. "Not get any ideas." Serenity scowled. "Don't worry, he's all yours." the Mayor assured. "Baby steps..." Odama muttered, rubbing his chin. "What's up?" Holly asked, looking at her predecessor. "Just thinking. It's hard to do things over time when so many demand things happen in the here and now, especially in regards to human rights." he point out. "I think his argument was to deal with those rights, but one issue a time. There's no denying the fact that, just as our intents are, the methods have been a bit forced." Holly reminded. "You know... Thinking about it, I really should have put more focus into your policies, patching up any loose ends... When you left and I took over, it's true that I began focusing on my own goals for the city..." the Mayor confessed, having her own realization. "Well... In the end I suppose I did the same thing. We take over the responsibilities of those before us, but too often we fail to carry on what they began, we steer things in our own direction... I suppose that's part of his point, about too many unfinished bridges..." Odama nodded. "Mm... You up for stopping by the House sometime?" Holly asked. "If you don't mind sharing some of your..." Odama replied, tipping his hand close to his mouth and grinning.
As the day went on, those contracted to set up the event began finishing their tasks. Upon doing so, various groups would gather around Chris for their promised bonuses, eagerly anticipating their reward as he pulled out his Pokedex and began wiring funds to the workers accounts. As the evening hours set in, the Temples musicians, as well as additional talent Chris had hired to form a full orchestra, readied themselves in their own areas along the sides of the stage, beginning to fill the chamber with their chatter and strumming as they practiced while the noise from the contractors dwindled. "Almost time..." Chris muttered as he began seeing the last of the workers off, with some staying for the event. "You're certain you're prepared for this?" Alicia asked, the girls approaching with Tsarea and the two leaders behind her. "I am... Still a few folks who haven't shown yet..." Chris replied, looking at his clipboard. "You two gonna be ready for your parts?" he asked, looking at Holly and Odama. "Don't you worry about us. We're rarin' to go." Odama smirked. "This is really gonna rile up those stiffs in congress... I can't wait!" Holly laughed. "I've already gotten calls and had those buzzards showing up in my office in protest... Let em' raise a stink. I'm tired of sitting aside so they can keep cozy in their offices." she added, waving with her nose up. "Is it wise to... As you say... Rile them up, Ms. Tides?" Mother Tsarea asked warily. "Please... The one time I stepped back to appease them, this Temple got torched... After which none of them raised a finger on the issue either. I still don't see any of those politicians doing anything now, do you?" Holly reminded, glancing away in agitation. "I know they're frustrating, but it's best we not speak that way within earshot of citizens." Odama warned.
"Just as they voted for you because of your stance on human rights, the people voted for me because of the way I speak freely. I don't plan to change that for anyone. Not even you Mr. Odama." Holly insisted, making the man sweat slightly. Looking at the two, Chris returned his focus to his project at hand as he spotted the band he'd hired entering the chamber, making him sigh in relief. "Oy! Over here!" Chris waved, his shout making Holly and Odama pause as he hurried up to the performers. "Not late are we boss?" one of the two guitarists present asked, the group of six turning out to be the same Chris had helped in the plaza several nights before. "Almost... You sure you're gonna be up for this?" Chris asked, his tone turning slightly stern with the youth before him. "Wadaya think we're cutting it so close for? We did a few more sessions before showing up." the drummer assured, raising his sticks with a grin. "Really appreciate the gig man, this will get us out there for sure." a laid back looking girl replied, the lead technician of the group. "The list of tracks you gave us are cake. We used a lot of em' back when we started out for practice. We'll do you proud." the second guitarist assured with a grin. "Right... Go on and set up on stage, your positions are marked with tape, your names are on it." Chris instructed, getting a nod before the group hurried along with their luggage. "Alright... That should do it..." he muttered, checking off his list with a sigh of relief, returning to the others. "Ms. Holly, Mr. Barnack, could you go ahead and get yourselves ready too? It won't be much longer until we start letting in the guests. Once the performances start we'll have a bunch of other folks showing up too... That's my hope anyway." Chris point out.
"Don't worry, it's gonna go fine." Holly assured, giving him a slap on the back. "Y-Yeah..." Chris laughed with slight sweat showing. "...You okay?" she asked, blinking at him. "Bad back." he reminded, making Holly jolt and hiss. "Ah, your accident... Sorry about that..." she apologized. "It's fine, no worries." Chris waved. "Well then Madam Mayor, shall we?" Odama bowed with his hand out toward the back of the chamber. "Guess we'd better. Later kiddo!" Holly smirked, giving a wink before she and Barnack left the group. "Alright... Time for me to get ready t...!!" Chris muttered, turning and pausing when Mother Tsarea bowed to him. "U-Uhh..." he added, looking at her in surprise. "Thank you, Mr. Nakazaki." she spoke. "Well, it hasn't started yet. Save the thanks for after! No need to bow though." Chris waved as she straightened with a nod. "Alright, girls, I'm off." he added, getting nods from them as well before leaving himself. "There he goes..." Rose muttered. "Off on another mission." Alicia sighed while Serenity showed a smile in silence, an expression Tsarea spotted making her smile as well. "I thank you as well..." she spoke, bowing to the fellow Gardevoir before her making Serenity blink wide eyed before the Mother walked off, Alicia and Rose looking between the two curiously. With the preparations for the event now complete and everyone taking their places, all that remained was for those taking the stage to ready themselves before the eyes of the world, with media outlets from every region ready to host the event live. As the sun set allowing the night and aurora lights to cloak the city, Chris stepped up to the front doors of the chamber, looking at their towering shape before showing a smirk.
Looking back, he took in everything he'd put together once more, a group of the Sisters standing with baskets ready to take donations as they looked at him with hope in their eyes sending the thought of "No pressure or anything..." through Chris's mind before he donned the headband mic in his hands, adjusting it toward his mouth before nodding and reaching out. Spreading the doors apart, Chris stepped out before the temple, greeted by the swaying spotlights around the temple and the curious crowd lining the vendor filled plaza before him. Along the sides of the stairs leading down were reporters ready to begin recording, all having shown at the behest of Holly and Barnack themselves after putting their faith in Chris's ambition. With a final deep breath, he turned on his mic, exclaiming "Ladies and gentlemen!" which echoed from the speakers all over the temple. "Welcome to the heart of Yulema City, the treasure of the Ureaxion Region blanketed by snow and the lights of the north... And welcome to its Yule Temple, the place where this iconic city began... And most important of all, welcome to the performance of your lives!" he declared with his arms up in a showman manner as small spotlights from above the entrance doors focused on him as did the reporters around him. "Tonight, we have gathered among stars big and small, both renowned and up and coming to draw attention to this historic site, a place in dire need of your help! As we perform for you tonight, we'll go over what happened to it, why it happened, and why this Temple needs and deserves your support so it can continue standing as a testament against all the odds this world has, and will ever throw its way!" he went on.
"As many of you may already know, my name is Chris Nakazaki, and though I came to this city for the sake of adventure, I've found myself as invested in its well-being the same as any local could. After meeting Mayor Holly, after meeting Mother Tsarea of this temple here, after learning bits and pieces of the history of this land, discovering its beauty and legends firsthand, for me to leave this place without doing what I'm striving for tonight would be a sin on my conscious I'd never live down, and that is why I ask all of you watching, both here and beyond, to fight as hard as I to see to it this place gets what it needs to continue standing tall and proud long into the future, no matter what changes nature and society may have in store!!" he proclaimed proudly with his fist hit against his chest. "This place, this Temple behind me, is no different than a beating heart, and it's up to us all to decide if humanity will be its immunity, or it's demise! We can protect it, or we can destroy it! We can heal it with compassion, or riddle it with plague with our hate! This night will be the moment all of you decide for yourselves which side you stand on, but it will be your choice! If this Temple is lost because of our bias, then we will forever lose an important part of the founding of our region! A part of what unified us all and created so much hope, so many dreams and ambitions throughout the ages! And only you can stop that from happening!" Chris warned. "On this night, we ask that you enjoy all that we do, and in turn help us in whatever way you can! We'll have Sisters within accepting donations, and those watching our broadcasts can donate via the numbers and sites shown on your screens!" he instructed while looking at various cameras around him.
"To those watching from afar, you may not know what has happened to this place yet, but heed this warning... Hate starts in one form, and spreads into others. If we allow it to exist in one manner, we allow it to take hold of us in another. Spite towards one place or person all too often spreads to others, and as time goes on, more and more chaos, more and more misery is felt. This night will be your chance to prevent that, an opportunity for you to stand up and say no! You won't let it spread! You won't let it infest us! I may be leading this charge tonight, but I need all of you to rally behind me to make it have true meaning! This is your opportunity to raise your voices above those who hold contempt in their hearts and tell the world you will not let society fall back into ages we've fought so hard to evolve from!" he insisted with his fist in the air, the crowd before him looking at one another and beginning to applaud. With his opening speech finished, Chris took a bow before showing a grin from the corner of his mouth. "Well then... Everybody in Yulema City, in Ureaxion and the rest of the Regions of the World..." he paused, standing with his hands raised in a showman manner once more. "Enjoy the show, as the Yule Temple proudly presents its special event, Power from Passion!" he exclaimed, after which the lights of the Temple and the entire plaza suddenly flashed off, catching everyone by surprise leaving the area dimly lit by the aurora belts int he sky above.
*(IMPORTANT NOTICE)* LISTEN WHILE READING IS MANDATORY FROM HERE ON!! As you read, it will be up to you to decide when you are done listening to each song. It's made clear when each performance ends, so you can either stop when the story basically tells you to, or of your own accord.
If needed, pause reading the chapter here and take a break to give yourself time to ready yourself for the mood to follow, or take care of any tasks that need be so you needn't interrupt yourself partway through reading.
With that out of the way, enjoy Part 1 of the Save the Temple finale fans of TOTGM! Thanks for sticking with it thus far as another saga of this ever sprawling series reaches its spectacular climax!
Suddenly, music could be heard along with Chris's voice through an audio filter of sorts, and next thing everyone knew, they could see a fire beginning to envelop him, followed by an excited "Lets go!", after which Chris began rocketing around the Temple, and as he did, spectacular effects of gold followed him as though he were painting the Temple to life, emitting a radiant light as he soared to the top and proudly landed on its edge, making a ripple effect appear all around the temple that began at his landing point and spread down it its base as though he'd landed on water. On the colossal projectors hanging from the Temple walls, an animation flashed on showing a Togedemaru jumping on screen, making gold rings explode around it before it began dancing. "Long time no, see I know, whatcha got on your plate today?" he began singing, strolling along the edge as spotlights followed. "We'll make it, no breakin', awake and ready to escape!" he went on, singing "no stoppin'!" while waving his finger. "Don't count, me out..." he began, and as he did, the Togedemaru began rapidly spinning in place, and as Chris sang "I'll be unleashed..." he let himself fall from the edge, making the crowd gasp before he burst through the air and soared along the buildings of the circular plaza, with Togedemaru shooting from the projector and following along the buildings by rapidly rolling behind him. As the two made their way long, just as with the Temple the buildings were brought to life with the same golden paint-like effect spreading throughout their structures, revealing the surrounding shops had even permitted being added to the visual effects of the event until he made his way to the center of the plaza itself, landing on the gazebo in its center.
Togedemaru however returned to the projector on the Temple, halting and doing a moonwalk along its screen before stopping and returning to its dancing animations while Chris did a Jackson-esque dance around the gazebo roof like a tribute of sorts. With another "Let's go!" exclamation, he burst from the gazebo making the lights around it flash, followed by a second ripple effect along all the buildings surrounding the plaza, beginning from their bases and running along their roofs as though he'd burst from the center of a pool while returning to the Temple and racing up its front wall. Upon passing the massive monitor where Togedemaru danced, it act as if blown aside, bouncing back with paws and feet outstretched while rings burst from it along with a chiming sound as Chris passed, the rings scattering around the buildings of the plaza before showing an animation of Togedemaru shaking its head and looking up as Chris landed back on the edge of the Temple's roof. "And I don't know how long this road goes out, but I've got a date with a time trial showdown!" he sang, tapping his wrist as though wearing a watch, and as his voice carried out, the Temple and surrounding buildings began fading into a dazzling blue color, almost like the calm before the storm, and right after Chris paused and let out an excited "GO!!" remark, he exploded into the sky one final time, causing the Temple and the buildings around the plaza to flash back to their golden color while the spotlights all around began waving about, changing colors like a rainbow as all around fireworks of endless variety burst into the sky with the same energy as though following Chris as he soared about, leaving a trail of his own fire behind as he rocket through the colorful show around him.
As he sang, upon each of his final NA"! and "DA!"'s, he made a leap from one building to the next, making them ripple one by one around the crowd in the plaza, and as he reached the end of his first song, Chris landed in front of the entrance to the Temple, his arms raised before taking a bow as the fireworks ceased and the buildings flashed before fading back to their normal states, the lights returning as they were before his performance leaving everything, and likewise everyone in silence including the reporters around him as they blinked, processing the spectacle of him flying about until applause finally began spreading throughout the plaza. Raising up, Chris let out a cocky "Heh heh" while rubbing the back of his head, satisfied by the response. "Alright everyone! Come on in and lets get this party started!" he instructed, motioning for the crowd to follow as he entered the temple, upon which being greeted with the wide eyed stares of the sisters within. "Told you I'd do a good job for ya'!" he grinned, warning "Places! Here they come!" making the women jolt and put their focus on the guests climbing the stairs outside. "You show off." Alicia smirked as he passed. "Just havin' a little fun." Chris grinned, elbowing the snake. "So--o many colors." Rose point out. "First impression matters." Chris winked, pausing in front of Serenity as she stood with her arms crossed, raising her brow before suddenly putting her thumb out and smirking. "Not bad, that my Master." she praised. "Heh, thanks." Chris nodded, patting his fist against hers. "So, really not bad huh?" he asked, getting nods from the group. "My word, you are excitable!" Mother Tsarea giggled, approaching from the window she'd been watching from.
"Hey, who wouldn't get a little pumped from something that flashy?" Chris grinned eagerly. "Glad everyone liked it! I mean, it's important for the crowds to enjoy it, but it still means a lot knowing the folks I'm doing this for are impressed." he point out as people began crowding the entrance. "Oh my... Best be on my way." Tsarea muttered. "You're all gonna be busy. You handle the donations, I'll handle the shows." Chris assured, getting a nod before she left to help with the guests. "What if you run out of room in here?" Rose asked, showing a wary smile. "No worries, that's why we got the surrounding area in on the event. Even if folks can't get in here, they can still enjoy the party outside. They'll have all the vendors already out there to shop around in and they can enjoy video feed and special effects like you just saw. Leave no stone un-turned." Chris smirked. "In a little bit, as things fill up, the the sisters will start going through the plaza for donations too. I've hired guards to follow them around as a bit of precaution. Nobody's touching these ladies on my watch, or this temple. I've even got folks all over the place in the shadows keeping an eye on the place too." he assured, hitting his chest proudly. "Oohh such a knight in armor..." Alicia teased with a sly grin. "Hey... Don't ruin it for me..." Chris scowled, making the snake giggle. As people filled the chamber, Chris could hear banter from media outlets dotted among the chatter of those entering, each reporting the event in their own way while people who'd been in the temple before, as well as newcomers commented on its details, many surrounding the tree and looking up at the dome above in particular. "Better get ready for the next show..." Chris muttered, making the girls turn to him.
"What?" he asked, blinking at the group. "Just... Don't over-do yourself." Rose smiled, the others nodding. "Bah, no worries! I've been fine so far, right?" Chris grinned, making them think back on the energy he'd spent the past days getting ready, as he turned. "Besides, if I need any juice, Ninetales has me covered." he added before heading toward the stage, the comment failing to sit well with the girls as they looked at one another. Once he was on the stage, Chris took a moment to speak with the band he'd hired, getting things in order with them before heading off to a room at the side of the chamber. As more people entered, the sisters motioned people to the free offerings lining the sides of the area, with Serenity and the others hearing various comments on Chris's performance as money was placed in the baskets the sisters held. Though they worried about his health, the fruits of his efforts were already showing, however small the degree. "Attention everyone! Another show is about to begin!" Chris's voice finally echoed moments later, the girls turning their attention to the stage and approaching among the crowd as sisters, now donning wings lined up at the back of the stage, ready to act as the choir for the next song while his band readied around him. "To those who've already shown up tonight, and especially those who've already made donations, all of you are awesome, and we look forward to entertaining you more as the night rolls on! I mentioned before about why this is happening becoming clear as things progress, so before this next song, I'd like to show off part of the reason I'm doing this now..." Chris revealed, the crowd looking at one another. Looking toward the side of the stage and nodding at the technicians, they gave a thumbs up and went to work.
Next thing everyone knew, within the Temple, footage of the damage to the rear chamber flashed on, the video slowly panning around as direct feed of the footage ran through the media on TV's everywhere, while out in the plaza, the same was shown on the massive monitors hanging from the structure, as well as along all the walls surrounding the plaza, giving onlookers a panorama view of the destruction all around them, helping to emphasize what was done and turning what was an excitable and curious event abruptly sober. "Not long ago, this city was caught in the middle of a civil feud, and the reason was over this person becoming the Mother of this Temple, a woman by the name of Tsarea..." Chris explained, motioning the Mother to stand by him. Looking around, she made her way up with her head humbly lowered until taking her place and turning to the crowd. "The fighting, wasn't over her personality, it wasn't about her past. It wasn't over anything she'd done to anyone. It was for one crime, and one crime alone..." Chris paused, nodding as a signal for her to raise her head, allowing the light to shine on, and likewise expose her face to all. "She is a Gardevoir, a Pokemon, and the people of this city considered it a sin, blasphemy for her to take such a position in a place of religion like this." he emphasized, making everyone look at one another and murmur, some out of pity, others out of their own objections. "Because of all the chaos, when Mayor Holly took the mantle as the leader of this city, she sought to end the turmoil by putting her foot down and standing by the very laws she swore to uphold. Laws that stand for freedom and equality first and foremost..." Chris insisted, looking at the crowds and cameras alike.
"That all men are created equal, that all deserve a fair and just chance in this world. That all the rights we hold dear deserve to be shared among our fellow citizens!" he went on. "To those who stand against this, both out there in the world, and among us tonight in this Temple, there are but few questions to ask... Why do we object to this so?" Chris pushed. "We use Pokemon so many times for our own conveniences, don't we? When it comes to doctoring, both their own in Centers and ourselves at hospitals, do we not allow Pokemon to share in those careers?" he reminded. "When we need protection from those who would do us wrong, do we not allow Pokemon to share in that responsibility as well along our Police?" he added. "We aren't even of their kind, yet they fight to heal and protect us as though we were their own! Do we not allow Pokemon to work alongside us to build our bridges? To craft our own homes?" he continued. "Why then, are all other careers save those that are religious available for their kind? Why do we consider them a plus to us in other fields, yet when we look at them in the places most sacred of all to our peoples... Why do we think of them as lesser? Why do they suddenly become animals? In the supposed house we call God's, how can we think we have any right to say, after all Pokemon have done for our kind, that they have no place serving under the roof of the being who created us? And by us, I mean all of us!" he emphasized, holding his hand out to Tsarea as she remained silent. "...Is it because all the other careers we let Pokemon have, put them to use as servants? And because letting them serve in God's name makes them stand on footing with us that's truly equal...?" Chris asked, turning the entire chamber silent.
"Are we prepared to let them live among us as healers and builders, as farmhands and the like who keep us alive and thriving... Yet we're not prepared to let them exist and serve us as actual people, not just the species we call them by?" Chris pressured as those from the media turned hesitant on keeping the event live. "How can we think of ourselves as just people, no matter how righteously we may live, that we strive to be, if we're willing to allow ourselves to treat anyone this way, be it man or mon?!" he argued, pointing at a monitor. "We're willing to love one another, we're willing to care about their kind, but if any of us, if any of them step out of line with our ideals, we just burn them out?! We turn a blind eye?! All's well and good until something happens we're not comfortable with?!" he warned. "We've come so far in this world, and to allow so much history like this to suffer so badly, just because something new happened that we're not used to, just because we gave a new right we've all taken for granted to a species we consider equal until it sets foot in a place we think should belong solely to us... There will be more to say this evening, but I'll end things with this for now... If a Pokemon, especially so close in body and mind to a human, who can even understand and speak our language, is forbidden from serving in a place like this... If we're willing to burn sacred places to the ground because we think it's wrong... How is that any different than the way we treated those who are LGBT until those like Barnack Odamas finally took power and stood up for them?! We're going to call him a hero for standing for people different than us, we're willing to work to change how we treat those people in turn, yet we consider what Mayor Holly did for Tsarea a crime?!" he argued.
"If we're going to say somebody, especially a woman so close to our own kind, can't serve in a place like this, we might as well tell those very people Barnack stood for to go back to the way they lived before. If she isn't allowed here, why should minorities be allowed here? Gay, lesbian, do those of you out there just pretend you feel they should be in places like this? Is that one reason you are showing your objection toward Tsarea here? Is that why so many have turned a blind eye to this attack? Your indirect way of getting revenge, whether you took part in this or not? That's how I see it at least." Chris point out, Tsarea looking at him in surprise, as did the girls before all of them looked at the crowd to see if any would leave. And yet, as they did, none could be seen exiting, though whether this was out of agreement, or out of fear for showing their objection was impossible to tell as the crowd looked among themselves as though they were waiting for someone to respond. Fortunately enough, the first sound wasn't anger or objection, but instead a hearty "Yeah!" followed by a single applaud. Hearing this, others found the drive to join in, and after a moment, a majority of those in the Temple were giving acknowledgement of Chris's argument, lifting the weight of hesitation from his shoulders while Tsarea showed a small smile, looking down before bowing to everyone in thanks. Staying silent for a moment, Chris raised his hand to silence the crowd before nodding. "Thank you, everyone... But it's going to take a lot more than clapping hands to fix the wrongs that have been committed here. As we perform for you tonight, I ask you to heed all that is said, to reflect on all that you see, and take real action to make sure this never happens again." he insisted.
Turning to Mother Tsarea, he put his hand on her shoulder with a "Thank you" remark for coming on stage before letting her step aside, watching as she returned to the crowd who watched her in silence and made room as she returned to the sisters seeking donations. "...Does she really look like anyone that wants to hurt any of you? Does it really seem so wrong to let someone like her serve as a Mother, who only wants to help the people, the city she loves the same as any?" Chris asked, looking over the crowd. "We are human beings... Who's to say we can't consider her, someone so close to us, one and the same?" he added, getting everyone's attention again while the girls looked up at him with their own admiration showing. "This next performance, it's all about our right to live as we see fit, about ignoring the outcries of others and taking our own fates by the reins, charting our own course and fighting for ourselves when everyone stands against us. For all those who battle the masses to make their names known in this world... Enjoy." he finished, and upon his final word, the temple dimmed to a darkened state, same as the plaza outside as everyone braced for the performance to come, with those still gathering in the plaza from near and far looking around curiously.
Suddenly, blaring rock began to play, and upon the first two syllables, each side of the stage flashed, the lights repeating this when the syllables burst from the speakers a second time. "This ain't a song for the broken hearted..." Chris sang as a spotlight flashed on above him, and as the music kicked up the stage lights began shooting beams throughout the chamber, waving about as various colors swayed. "I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd, you're gonna hear my voice when I shout it loud!" he sang, and as the syllables burst once more, the entire temple flashed twice the same as the stage within before the choir of Sisters proudly joined in, the lights now illuminating them as they raised their hands and began swaying their hips to the song. Focusing the cameras on them, the monitors decorating the temple panned along the choir while focusing on the band and Chris at random. "My heart is like an open highway, like Frankie said I did it my way!" he emphasized, pointing his thumb against his chest. "I just wanna live while I'm alive... Cause it's, my, life!" he added, raising his fist. "This is for one's who stood their ground..." he continued, walking up to the edge of the stage and looking down at the girls. "For Tommy and Gina, who never backed down..." he smirked. "Tomorrow's gettin' harder, make no mistake!" he warned, waving his finger before walking along the stage and focusing on the crowd, and as the syllables burst once more, the entire temple repeated it's flash before all of the spotlights surrounding both it and the plaza joined the performance, swaying about as rays shot into the plaza from the roof of the temple, giving those in the plaza a special show all their own.
As the Sisters sang in harmony, they continued raising their hands at random as though praying and reaching out for aid, the swaying of their hips and the slit along their skirts giving repeated glimpses along their thighs, though it was a modest glimpse that served its purpose well as the crowd ogled the choir. Suddenly, as the solo kicked in, all of the lights began to dim, both on the stage and around the temple as though the song was ending. Taking notice of Chris, he'd began forming a mass of fire in his palm showing a sly smirk. "Better stand tall when they're calling you out..." Chris sang. Holding the fire out to the crowd, he put them on edge before suddenly turning and sending a massive burst of fire toward the choir. Appearing as though having set all the Sisters ablaze, the moment the explosion happened the outside of the temple appeared as though it had burst on fire as well, the effects spreading throughout the buildings around the plaza. However, much to everyone's shock, as soon as the next "It's my life!" line came into play, the fire burst away from the sisters as they shot their hands up like souls reaching out of hell for salvation, leaving no trace of harm to the choir nor' the surrounding area. Instead, all of their wings were on fire, giving them the appearance of fallen angels, perhaps demons of sorts as they continued singing proudly like a group of phoenix reborn. All around the plaza, a panorama view of the Sisters could be seen as they performed along the walls of the buildings, with the monitors focusing on Chris and the band. "This is fuckin' awesome!!" the drummer could be heard shouting in the background, putting a cocky grin on Chris's face as the song went on.
In the distance, the media that recorded the explosion stood in silence with their mouths agape, coping with seeing people set on fire in such a manner yet coming out unscathed as the Sisters sang as though the blaze on their backs wasn't present. As the song finally came to its end, Chris sang a final "Cause' it's, my, life!" before he and the sisters dropped to their knees just before the stage went abruptly dark. With everyone left in awe and curiosity alike, with many still shaking off what he'd done, the lights suddenly flashed on in their normal states, showing Chris and the sisters standing once more, their wings back to the plush, feathery way they looked before the blaze as though they hadn't been touched. Looking at everyone, after a moment the applause finally began, starting with some, then spreading throughout the masses until roaring cheers could be heard, making Chris grin and rub his head before making a bow, the sisters and band doing the same. "Yo! How'd you do that?!" one of the guitarists asked. "Uhh... Trade secret? Word to the wise, never try that yourselves." Chris insisted, his ability to manipulate fire being a particularly special case before turning back to the crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen! We're gonna take a short break before the next performance! Help yourselves to the refreshments and please mind the sisters as they make their rounds! And remember, no matter what, every penny counts! Thank you again!" Chris waved. Letting the Sisters leave the stage first, Chris kept a watchful eye until they were past their security who followed them to the room they came from, standing guard once they were safely inside. Looking around, he spotted the rest of security stepping in on cue as things got more crowded to keep the Sisters secure.
Stepping off the stage, he noticed some of them making their way toward the entrance, meaning the Sisters would start collecting donations in the plaza as well. Motioning for one of the guards, Chris instructed the woman to send word to the rest of security stationed outdoors to keep a close eye on the Sisters as well, getting a nod before she made her way off to relay his order. "Alright, not ba--aagh!!" he tried to say, cut off when Serenity jumped against him from behind. "You do good!" she grinned, making him laugh nervously. "Th-Thanks... Really startled me there." he replied before taking a breath. "So you girls really enjoyed it huh?" he asked. "It wasn't bad, though it had perhaps a touch too much shock factor for some of your guests." Alicia cautioned. "Hey, you can't draw in the masses without a little extra impact." Chris winked. "I hope it's not too much for you though..." he added, squatting down to Rose and rubbing her ears. "I'm okay, I liked it too! Kinda loud, but I'll manage." the rabbit waved reassuringly, getting a nod from him in turn. Making his way along, Chris approached one of the nearby tables and poured himself a glass of tea, gulping it down with a sigh of relief. "Songs like that are hard on ya'." he laughed warily, rubbing his throat before pouring several cups. "You girls mind helping me take a few drinks to the band?" he asked, getting nods before they returned to the stage and handed out the cups, getting thanks in turn. "You know, you fellas really are pretty good... Glad I hired you." Chris praised, raising his own cup to them. "We told ya' we could handle it." one of the guitarists replied. "It's great hangin' out with those other techs backstage. The setup here is amazing." the technician of the group point out.
"Legit stuff man, legit." she added. "I only hired the best." Chris smirked. "Damn right you did!" the drummer affirmed with a grin, making him laugh. "You guys do as well as you did with that last song the rest of the event and you'll see a nice bonus tossed your way once were done, keep that in mind too." he assured, getting a collective "Yeah boss!" from the youth around him. Heading back to the tech staff, he had them bring up displays on their laptops of the plaza, their devices patched through the cameras set up around the area. "Quite a crowd... Plenty more coming in too... Gonna be like a can of karp pretty soon..." Chris muttered, having them zoom in on some of the Sisters for a closer look at their baskets. "Already full... Good..." he nodded before noticing some of the security had taken baskets as well and were helping take in donations while others remained on guard around the sisters. "Alright... Looking good... Just wanted to make sure..." Chris muttered, wanting to insure the sisters safety above all else. "I want two of you keeping an eye on them at all times, understood? You spot anything going on, you let me know." he insisted, getting a nod before letting the other techs know of the performance to start. Returning to the stage, he went over the next song with the band as well, getting nods and "Ready!" from the youth while their own technician returned behind stage alongside the others. "We're back everyone!" Chris spoke into his mic after turning it back on, getting everyone's attention. "Thanks for waiting! Hope you're all having a good time so far!" he added, the news crews cutting their commercials and turning back to the event as they turned their cameras back to the stage.
"For this next performance, the band I've hired will be backing me on the vocals as they play. It's a song all about what it means to be young in today's world, what it means to stick by those who stand by you through thick and thin, and what it means to have a bond that can't be broken..." he paused looking at the girls. "No matter the opinions of the world..." he smirked, making them show curious looks. "We live in a generation, in an era where anything is possible. It's a time when we're opening doors that, for one reason or another, be it ignorance, or arrogance, have remained shut for so long. As a result, our societies, our existence in this world are changing in ways we never thought possible, and as we perform, I'll be showing the world the result of opening one of those doors myself, with a little help from those nearest and dearest to my own heart." he explained, smiling at the girls further peaking their interest. "There are those out there fighting to this day to push the doors we've spread shut again, but as long as there are those like me, Mayor Holly, Barnack Odamas, and so many out there fighting just as hard to keep them open, we'll never let them shut, and we'll fight to the end to make sure the world continues to evolve, and continues to share all the freedoms many of us have kept to ourselves for far too long!" he proclaimed before looking back at the drummer, getting a nod before he raised his sticks, causing the stage and surrounding chamber to dim their lights.
"Two three four!!" he shout in his own mic, tapping his sticks together before the band around Chris began to sing and play, the stage flashing its white lights and swaying them about. Letting them enjoy their moment, he stayed silent until they began to settle, opening Chris up for his part as the stage faded and a spotlight flashed above him, looking like a ray of moonlight that softly illuminated those around him. "Rainy night and we worked all day..." he began, his head lowered before looking at the girls and reaching a hand toward them. "We got something they can't take away!" he emphasized, forming a fist before the beat kicked up, making the stage lights flash and sway once more. "Close the door, leave the cold outside!" he sang, pointing toward the entrance of the chamber while tapping the back of his foot. "We got somethin' that'll never die, our dreams, our pride!" he declared before tucking his hand in his coat and moving it like a beating heart as he sang. Following this, he approached the edge of the stage, reaching his hand out motioning for Serenity to take hold, singing "I'll never let go cause' there's something I know!" before abruptly pulling her on stage with him. "You were born to be my baby, and baby I was made to be your man!" he vowed, holding her close as the startled Pokemon flushed wide eyed from the sudden act. With her now by his side, the front of the temple itself displayed the two as they danced while the same scene showed on the monitors and was fed through TV's everywhere, the world watching as the two waltzed about the stage, with Chris throwing in a mixture of salsa into their movements. "Cause you were born to be my baby!" he repeat, tilting her back in his embrace before lifting her and pulling away.
"Light a candle, blow the world away..." he sang smoothly, making a flame appear in his palm before swiping it away. "It ain't fancy baby, that's okay..." he shrugged, shaking his head before turning to Serenity with a sly smirk. "So hold me close" he sang, circling her and pulling her back against him. "Buckle up baby, it's a bumpy ride!" he went on, the Pokemon biting her lip excitedly and grinding her butt against him in unison with the swaying of his voice before pushing him back with her butt with an eager grin. "If we stand side by side!" he went on, parting with Serenity before returning to the edge of the stage, reaching out to Rose. "And I know that you'll live in my heart till' the day that I die!" he declared, the rabbit grinning excitedly before leaping into his arms and squeezing him. As he held her, Chris moved about the stage with her hand in his, singing directly to her as he had for Serenity making her eyes light up as a smile spread from ear to ear as he moved and twirled about with her, their dance shown on the temple and monitors as well. "Only God would know the reasons!" he suddenly point out, his finger held above him as Rose remained in his arm. When it was time for the guitar solo, Serenity couldn't help but steal the moment for herself, using her psychic to snatch a guitar from one of the players and playing to the beat herself, the crowds eyes widening from the Pokemon's talent as the guitarist looked at his empty hands and scowled at the thief. With the spotlight now on her, Serenity's strumming was like a combination of her excitement and frustrations alike, expressing herself through the instrument as Chris grinned proudly. "And my heart beats like a drum!" he finally sang, setting Rose down and returning to the edge of the stage.
"And I'll never let go, cause something I know deep inside!" he assured, reaching to Alicia as she scowled from being last before smirking and leaping past him onto the stage. As he began singing his lines one final time, he spent the moment dancing with her, swaying side to side and looking back at her in a left and right manner as she moved about like a snake swaying to a charmer while Serenity returned the guitar with a thumbs up to the musician. As his performance began drawing to a close, Serenity returned to Chris's side and leaned against him, offering a kiss on the cheek as she held him while Rose squeezed him around the hips and grinned. Circling around the trio, Alicia formed a loose coil of sorts and held her head high with a proud smirk of her own, the women looking at the crowd with a collective "This one is ours" aura about them. Letting the band have another moment of singing by themselves, Chris took a satisfied breath before looking at each of the girls, all of them smiling from being included in his performance in such a manner. "Have fun?" he grinned, getting another hug from Serenity and Rose while Alicia brushed her cheek against his. "Such a womanizer..." the snake giggled. "I can't help it if I got style." Chris smirked. "Sometimes you do." Serenity teased, giving him a soft elbow against his side. "I'll remember that." he assured, waving his finger before looking down at Rose, the rabbit continuing to show a widened smile. "Not a bad performance, eh?" he asked, finding himself squeezed once more. Rubbing her head, he looked at the trio with a "Love you" remark before leading them off the stage, returning them to their front-row places as the band finished playing, the chamber and stage lights returning to normal.
"Alright everyone! Whadja' think of that?" Chris asked, turning his mic back on and being met with cheers. "Those who've followed my journey on the news and saw the event back at the Yule House already know who the Pokemon are that I brought on stage, but for those that aren't familiar with us, they are my family." he began to explain, holding a hand out toward them. "Time and again, they have been an inspiration to me. Without their help, not only would I not be the man I am today, doing all that I do, for the reasons I do it... I honestly don't even think I'd be alive today." he point out, making the trio look at one another and smirk. "Before my journey began, I probably had the same mindset as many of you. I've always held Pokemon in high regard, I was raised to treat them with the same respect I'd give our own kind. And yet, even I lived with the notion that they were Pokemon more-so than people." Chris confessed. "They were our friends, our companions, they helped us out, but... That was kinda the beginning and end of it really... I guess I was just someone who happened to treat them better than others." he point out, making the trio raise their brows. "After meeting the girls though, that all began to change." Chris smirked, looking back at them. "Serenity, the Gardevoir there, thanks to her telepathy, and her ability to share it with the Pokemon around her, I was able to enter a world most of us are blocked from. All the barriers between us kinda fell apart as time went on, and I came to realize we're more alike than anyone ever knew!" he grinned. "And... It made me think of another similarity between our own kind..." Chris cautioned, looking at the crowd as they listened and the cameras focused on him.
"Throughout the world, not just Pokemon, but humans speak all kinds of languages, and because of that, it creates walls around us. All too often this makes us form a preference for those who speak like us, and we're hesitant to step away from that preference." he explained. "Among our own kind, there are many who develop a fear of those who speak differently than us, others develop animosity... And to give you something to think about, does a language barrier not make people think those who speak differently are lesser as well, the same as many feel about Pokemon because we can't speak with them, we can't understand them?" he asked, making the crowd look at one another. "Humanity has done so much good throughout history, we're in the middle of new revolutions for the sake of freedom and justice as I speak here and now! And yet we still cling to so many of these bad habits we've seemingly bred into ourselves throughout the generations. We treat Pokemon who don't look and speak as we do the same as we treat people who are in the same situation. And if I may, I'm reminded of a a few quotes I'd like to share with you all tonight..." he paused, looking at the girls again before spotting Mother Tsarea in the crowd, watching him curiously. "Even if we don't understand each other... That's not a reason to reject each other. And there are two sides to any argument. Is there really one point of view that has all the answers?" Chris asked before looking at the girls and the crowd. "We have a lot in common, you know. We share the same Earth, the same air... The same sky too. Maybe if we started looking at what's the same among us, instead of always looking at what's different... Well, who knows?" he point out, noticing a smile returning to the girls faces making him grin in turn.
"Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible. It's never easy when there's so much on the line. But... You and I, we can make a difference!" he pushed with his fist clenched. "If we could all just see, just understand that the circumstances of one's birth is irrelevant, we could find our way to a future beyond our wildest dreams! It's what you, what each of us does with the gift of life granted to us all that determines who and what we are!" he went on confidently before focusing on the cameras. "It's not by rejecting ideas, but by accepting different ideas that the world creates a chemical reaction... That is truly the formula for changing the world. If we don't struggle, we'll never improve!" he point out. "People in this region call me a Guardian, but you have to understand I alone can't quell the fighting! My songs alone aren't the answer! If we're to find harmony among ourselves, among both human and Pokemon kind, it's going to take the will of us all to do so! And to those who are afraid to take a stand because of those in your way?" he paused, looking at everyone. "If nobody cares to accept you, if they don't want you in this world, then you've got to learn to accept yourself! Even if you're weak, there are still miracles you can seize with your own hands! You've just got to fight until the very end like I'm doing here tonight!" Chris assured. "I'll admit, people like me and my family, who break the rules, who step out of line with what society deems right, the same as Mother Tsarea, the same as many minorities among our own kind, we're thought of as trash by others... But if you ask me, it's those who don't stick by the people they care about, it's those who turned a blind eye to the suffrage of others because of things like being different who are the real trash!" he warned.
"I know accepting things, and accepting people that are different is hard... But if we let this Temple being burned go unanswered, let me leave you with this final thought before our next performance..." he paused, looking around the crowd. "If people think they can get away with burning this place, that they can burn out Tsarea because she is a Pokemon, what's to stop that from inspiring someone to come to your house, and burn you out... Because you're black?" he asked. "Because you're Hispanic? What if someone decides they hate people who are gay so badly, they torch those people out of the city?" he cautioned. "If you let one crime like this go unnoticed, if you make it seem like it's not a big deal, it will make others think they can get away with doing the same to their own targets! And if you think this is an exaggeration... How many women were murdered in witch trials in the past...?" he asked, making eyes widen. "A lot of people burned back then, didn't they? Because it was considered okay, wasn't it? We all know they weren't witches! Fire was used as a tool to destroy women someone had an agenda against! If you let this crime go unanswered, burning the people we don't like can become the norm again!" he insisted. "And then what? We suddenly stand up when it just so happens to hurt someone we like or support? Well, wouldn't that just be convenient?" Chris lectured. "We let whatever happen to whoever, until it happens to someone we happen to know or agree with, and that's when we stand up and put a stop to it?" he pressured. "I ask everyone tonight, here in this Temple, here in Yulema City, and far beyond, to stand up and stop this madness before it spreads! I ask that you not just fight for the rights of people you personally think deserve them, but fight to prove whether you like someone or not you will fight for the rights of everyone regardless of who or what they are!" he pleaded.
"So many times in this world we ask someone where their humanity is at... Tonight the question I ask is who that term belongs to? Is the concept of humanity truly reserved for our own kind? Or can it not be shared...? Can't we evolve once more, dig deep inside, and start to see some of these amazing beings as one in the same as ourselves...?" he asked, holding his hand out to Tsarea as a spotlight shined on her, making those around her spread apart while cameras turned to her as well. "Again... They heal us, they protect us, feed us and more, and now they want to serve under the house of the being who created us all, who intended for equality among all life on this planet! Is there no better place than this to start making that a reality?!" Chris asked, finally finishing his speech. Hearing this, the girls before him began tearing up, with even the haughty Alicia sniffling back a tear. "You lovable fool..." she muttered. "Uuuu... That was so swe--et!" Rose whined while wiping her eyes. Looking up at him, Serenity wiped an eye before she began applauding him, making Chris turn to her and nod before her clapping inspired others to join in. After a moment, cheering echoed throughout the temple once more, with those crowding the plaza adding to the response making the noise resound through the city itself. Next thing the Sisters collecting donation knew, they were being surrounded more than ever with people offering donations, both within the Temple and in the plaza causing the need for more baskets as the security took charge of managing the money. Back on the stage, Chris looked back at the band with a nod, getting the same in turn as grins spread across their faces. "Keeping what I just said in mind, enjoy this next song everyone!" Chris called out.
Next thing everyone knew, the stage lights flashed and the chamber itself dimmed as the rays from the spotlights swayed about the crowd, multiple colors of beams shooting about as part of the show, followed by a hearty shout from Chris. "Well I don't show off, don't criticize! I'm just livin' by my own feeling!" he began, waving his finger. "And I won't give in, won't compromise! I just only have a steadfast heart of gold!" he added, hitting his chest with his fist before shrugging as he performed. "But I ain't outta control, just livin' by my word! Don't ask me why, I don't need a reason!" he affirmed, raising his fist proudly. "I got my way, my own wa--ay!" he added, and as the following lines began and the drummer smashed his sticks on his cymbals, the entire Temple flashed and began putting on a slight show of its own, its massive spotlights swaying as beams of varying colors shot through the plaza below. On top of this, a special effect consisting of ripples began swaying all over the temple and along the surrounding buildings, looking as though water had blanketed the structures once more. "Long as the voice inside me says go, I will always keep on running! There is no way to stop me from going to the very top!" Chris affirmed, pointing his finger up. "It doesn't matter who is wrong or who is right!" he insisted as he sang, pointing at the crowd with a wink. "Well I won't look back, I don't need to! Time won't wait, and I got so much to do!" he emphasized, tapping his wrist as though wearing a watch again before shrugging. "Where do I stop? It's all a blur that's so unclear..." he went on, putting his hands on his head and acting dizzy. "Well I don't know, but I can't be wrong!" he assured.
"This fight is not for anybody this is, purely for myself! There is no way I'm gonna give up till' the very end!" he insisted, and as he went on, the guitarist Serenity had stolen from previously looked her way, making the Pokemon raise her brow before being gestured on stage as the man motioned to get the guitar again. Picking up on the hint, she showed a smirk, and as Chris sang "Place all your bets, on the one you think is right!" he suddenly burst into the air, surrounded by a blaze of fire as he hovered atop the stage. Snatching the guitar with her psychic abilities, Serenity soared up and joined him at his side, the two back to back in midair as she poured energy into her own performance. "That's my woman everybody!" Chris shout in his mic, getting a roaring response from the crowd. Nearing the end of her solo, Serenity leaned back against Chris while he did the same to her as he let out a drawn shout to match the guitar. "It doesn't matter now what happens I will never give up the fight!" Chris sang as the two lowered back onto the stage, with Serenity returning the guitar and giving Chris a kiss on the cheek as she left the stage. "Long as the voice inside me says so I will always keep on running!" he assured, pointing back at the crowd. "There is no way to stop me from going to the very top! It doesn't matter, who is wrong or who is right!" he finished, bringing yet another performance to a close as he shout to the final syllables from the band. Upon a soothing "uuh hu--uh" from him to cap off the song, outside the Temple a spectacular volley of fireworks lit up the sky, the Temple letting off another flash as its lighting returned to normal and the effects vanished from the buildings leaving those in the plaza dazzled by the rainbow of explosions above them.
Within the temple, guests could see them through the windows and the massive dome above, and as countless applauded the music, the Sisters continued taking in a steady flow of donations, finding themselves gradually overwhelmed as even more security stepped in to help. Seeing this, Mother Tsarea looked around at all their guests before turning her focus to Chris and the other performers on stage, bowing in silence as Chris spotted her and offered a warm grin with a peace sign as she raised, putting a smile on her face as well as she raised her hand and waved to the man who'd already gone so far for the sake of the Temple...
And yet despite it's progress and success, the event to save it had only begun...