What are legendary pokémon?
They are the pokémon who created the world, shaped the world, and keep it all in balance. Some watch over humans, others watch over pokémon and even more watch over the land, air and seas.
Over the years, many groups of people had tried to claim their power for their own. A group of scientists found some of Mew’s DNA in a far-off rainforest, and tried to make their own legendary pokémon that they could control.
Most of them were killed by their creation; only two known survivors of that experiment still lived; one was a gym leader, the other ran a home for abandoned pokémon.
A man once tried to harness the power of Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres, the wandering elemental legendary birds that primarily lived in Kanto, but had been seen in both Sinnoh and Kalos, with catastrophic results.
Team Plasma, based in Unova, had tried to harness the power of their legendary pokémon to bring order to their region. They had been thwarted. A few years later, they had tried again, this time using Kyurem to try and freeze the region, which would have killed millions. They had also resurrected a fossil and given it powerful augmentations to boost its lethalness, but their king, who could not stand to see any kind of pokémon abused in such a manner, had supposedly scrapped the project.
In the tropical region of Hoenn, two radical environmentalist groups had tried to expand the sea and landmass, which would have killed many people due to the wildly fluctuating weather patterns that would have emerged.
They kept deluding themselves with pretty words, selfish reasoning, and excuses.
"It's over... Fools with no vision will continue to befoul this beautiful world. They will go on until the only thing left to do is squabble over the remaining scraps of hope..."
"Why should I run and hide from the world and have to wait quietly? My aim is to rid our world of the vague and incomplete thing we call spirit. By freeing ourselves of that, our world can be made complete. That is my justice! No one can interfere!"
"We invite you to join us! We all want to create a new world where people and Pokémon are both free! Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you now... Please, release your Pokémon. And so I end my plea to you today. Thank you one and all for your attention."
Legendary pokémon could not; would not, be controlled. There was no one who could control the power they wielded.
Teams of Regigigas had pulled continents; Lugia watched over the seas; Groudon had expanded the land, which allowed humans to spread out; Kyogre had created the vast beautiful oceans while Rayquaza flew through the upper Ozone layer, keeping it intact. (It was also said that its arrival was heralded by scores of trumpets, but the reliability of such boasts are shady at best.)
All over the world, they kept the balance of nature. Regions were founded around them; some people worshipped them, others raged at them.
Were it not for Arceus, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, Azelf, Uxie and Mesprit, the world as everyone knows it would never have existed. Could not have existed.
Seven pokémon were responsible for creating the world and giving us the ability to learn, grow and feel.
Many people and pokémon lived on without knowing that simple fact.
Riding on a legendary pokémon is a very strange experience. Maybe it was the fact we weren’t exactly traveling through conventional methods, or maybe some other reason I wasn’t smart enough to figure out, but I felt rather calm and at peace as I slept on Dialga’s back.
There were plenty of perks in being less than two feet tall, the one I enjoyed the most was that it allowed me to squeeze into small hiding spaces, away from prying eyes. But, being small had its own drawbacks.
Smaller pokémon were naturally weaker than larger pokémon, whether by evolution or by design, and as such, they were targets.
Being small and unique? Double the reason to target. All my life, no matter where I went, I was a target. Whether it be trainers seeking to add me to their collection – I remembered one such collector who collected the dead bodies of bug pokémon and kept them on display had wanted to branch out into other fields and had planned on making me his newest addition – or pokémon lashing out at anything they didn’t understand, I was singled out.
I wasn’t the only one by any stretch of the imagination; I knew that other pokémon like me existed all over the world and suffered as much as I did, if not more, but all the repeated attempts to control me left me with a hard shell around my heart.
I rarely opened up to pokémon; Espeon was the only one I could talk to normally, whereas with anyone else, I tried to go out of my way to avoid them. The only human I had ever opened my heart to was one who had grown up surrounded by pokémon similar to me. He had the ability to read a pokémon’s heart and understand them. He later told me that his adoptive father had planned it that way from the start, using him much as a trainer uses a pokémon to further his or her own ends.
I dreamed of darkness. My darkness. I wondered if every pokémon had their own Bittercold inside themselves, which lent power to the thing that threatened countless worlds. Seemed rather fitting, but at the same time…what would destroying the main Bittercold do to them? Was every pokémon (and even possibly humans?) linked to it?
I wondered what it would be like to live with a heart free of hatred.
I walked through the darkness as it whispered to me, promising me everything I could ever want. It promised me control. I wanted control, yes, but not at the expense of others.
All I had to do was…nothing. Don’t interfere, just find a nice cave to sit in and live alone while the world burns.
I saw glimpses of that possible future.
Pokémon pitted against pokémon; humans against humans, billions dead. I had a feeling that even the power of the legendary pokémon wouldn’t be enough to save them.
“You are correct.”
I didn’t jump, didn’t shriek at the unexpected voice, like I knew I should have.
What a strange feeling, knowing that surprises would be coming.
I turned to stare at a strange sight. It was a large pokémon, easily ten times my size, with several yellow-tipped spikes running down its long red and gray striped serpentine body, while phantasmal wings swayed in a breeze I couldn’t feel. But what really stood out about the pokémon was the large golden mask that covered its face that was larger than I was.
“Giratina,” I said. “What brings you to my thoughts?”
“Your darkness,” replied the Antimatter Pokémon. “I haven’t seen anything this potent since Cyrus tried to create a new universe. With his darkness, he captured both Dialga and Palkia. Not even the Lake Spirits could stop him.” The eyes bored into me and I felt as if it was analyzing me, sizing up whether or not I was a threat to the balance of the world, and if I was, what the best way to eliminate me would be.
Part of me wondered why I wasn’t terrified of dying.
Giratina flew around me slowly. “With your darkness…with your power…you could do things he could only dream of.” The ghost/dragon stopped in front of me and for some reason, I had the strangest sensation of being upside down; yet surrounded by darkness, I couldn’t really tell and regarded me curiously.
“Why don’t you?”
I hesitated before saying slowly, “I’m not sure; mostly because I don’t know what I would do if I could…” I shook my head and growled in frustration. “I’m not talented, I’m not even average; I’ve had to have others hold my paw throughout my life just to survive, and now your father has given me a gift that is slowly killing me!”
I could see the shadows writhing as they felt my emotions surge. Giratina simply looked at me curiously.
“You’re not the first pokémon he’s ‘blessed’ with the ability to use Fire, Water, Electric, Grass or Ice type moves at the same time. I daresay that, with practice, you could even use them beneficially.” His wings seemed to contort and then relaxed. “Everyone seeks power, whether they do it willingly or not is irrelevant.”
The golden mask moved closer to me. “The real question is this: would you want to use your power to help others? Or would you rather use it to forward yourself; give yourself the kind of power so great that none could stand against you; none would dare to stand against you lest they risk your wrath?”
I could feel my emotions swirling in a confused jumble inside of me. I felt sick and shook my head slowly.
“All I want is to be able to live without fear of being hunted…”
Giratina looked disappointed. “With that kind of mindset, you’re going to have a rough time adapting. I know your kind. Slow to change, but when they do, the results are spectacular,” it paused before adding on, in a somewhat thoughtful tone, “Most of the time, it often ends up with something exploding though.”
Giratina shifted its head and seemed to smile. “You might wanna wake up, you’ve arrived at your destination.”
I woke with a start and blinked in surprise. I was no longer on Dialga’s back. Instead, I appeared to be…
A torrent of bubbles escaped from my mouth as I thrashed wildly, trying to find up; to get away from drowning.
Any pokémon could learn to swim, but not many ever took the time to learn. I could swim; not very well, or for extended periods of time, but toss me into a body of water and I could get back out easily enough if I knew where ‘out’ was.
However, suddenly appearing underwater with no explanation robbed me of any common sense and all I could do was thrash futilely as my lungs burned.
I felt my paw breach the surface and I focused on that feeling, drawing my head out and taking a loud influx of sweet, sweet oxygen.
Oh, sweet lovely oxygen, I’ll never take you for granted again…
Free of the immediate danger of drowning, I looked around curiously. I appeared to be in…some kind of large fancy bathroom, or something. The water was warm, and I could smell several strange scents rising off of the surface.
The only thing I could compare it to was the Lavaridge Hot Springs in Hoenn, where I had been lucky enough to travel to for a few months.
Granted, having a volcano towering over the place didn’t really make me feel safe, but the luxuries of Hoenn easily outweighed the dangers.
“Ohw era uoy?”
The strange female voice sounded behind me. I whirled, briefly forgetting to keep my paws moving, and I went under the warm scented water again. Now that I knew where the surface was, I didn’t panic and merely pushed myself up again.
A golden glow surrounded me, in a fashion similar to the way Espeon had caught me with his telekinesis, but unlike Espeon’s field, which conformed to the object he used it on, not wasting an ounce of excess energy, this was pulsing and shifting constantly. I could feel the amount of wasted energy in the technique and it made me frown as I was pulled from the water.
I shook myself, sending droplets everywhere and I heard what sounded like a soft laugh. I looked back into the water to see a very strange sight.
The first thing that popped into my mind was: Why does a Rapidash have wings and a tri-colored mane?
Which, I noticed, was moving in a fashion similar to Giratina’s wings; constantly in motion, yet again I felt no breeze.
“Woh did uoy teg ni ereh?”
I frowned at her, shaking my head. She (at least, I assumed it was a she, since she lacked a sheath that most male pokémon had) looked at me for a moment, her expression thoughtful.
I took that moment to look at her closely.
While overall she resembled a horse, there were several subtle differences that made it clear she was nothing of the kind. Her eyes were much more expressive - a very pretty lilac – and she clearly held some kind of authority.
It radiated from her like a flame. I had a feeling that most wouldn’t be able to see it, but she glowed with power. It wasn’t blinding, but I had a feeling that she held enormous amounts of energy, which explained why her field was so unstable.
“Ha…uoy nac’t dnatsrednu em, nac uoy?” she asked. I wondered how we would be able to get past the language barrier, but her horn suddenly glowed again.
I went very still as it enveloped my head. I could feel the texture of her telekinesis and as it moved over my fur, I felt an odd feeling wash over me. It wasn’t quite fear; I knew she meant me no harm, but if I made any move she considered threatening, I had no doubt that she could turn me into paste. The feeling was more resignation. Something in my mind suddenly clicked and I staggered as her hold on me vanished, nearly taking another dive into the scented bath.
A look of surprise flicked over her face and I saw her eyes narrow curiously. As I shook my head, trying to get the feel of her touch off me – I wasn’t really sure why, but her psychic technique felt far less refined than I was used to – unless she wasn’t a pure psychic-type? Did they even have types here? I mentally labeled her as a fairy/psychic type for now and I sighed in frustration.
“I’m not from here, but I came here to save my world from some kind of monster made from emotions,” I intoned. Even to me, my words sounded foreign. Again, a look of curiosity passed over the mare’s face as she slowly made her way to the edge of the bath and got out, levitating a towel over to her to dry herself off. Another towel was unceremoniously dropped on me and I dried myself as well.
Once we were both dry, the mare motioned to me to follow her. As she turned, I caught sight of a curious mark on her flank. (Which I noticed with some amusement was rather plump, but not overly so; clearly, she had a sweet tooth, but ate it sparingly enough to keep a rather pleasing figure…) I stomped that thought into dust before it could go any further and focused on the symbol. It was a large sun, with several tongues of flame curling off it. I had a feeling that held some significance, but I didn’t really have enough material or knowledge about this place to even begin to theorize.
In terms of height, she easily towered over me; I barely came up to her knees and I carefully avoided walking directly behind her. I had a feeling she wouldn’t casually drop a load, but I had a rather vivid memory of getting kicked into a pile of Ponyta manure by a rather irate example of that species and I wasn’t keen on repeating that experience.
I had a feeling that these ponies were as smart, or smarter, than humans. Seeing as how Arceus had described Equestria (I only now noticed the pun of the name) as a land of colorful ponies, it wouldn’t be that hard to imagine them as being one of the dominant species that lived here.
As we walked through some very elaborately constructed halls, I began to look around. Every now and again, I caught sight of a pony. Like the one I was following, they had a mark on their flank as well as a rather vivid coloration in terms of mane and tail styles.
Eventually, the décor started to change. Gold turned to silver, ivory to ebony, sun to moon – it felt like I was travelling into a realm of night – and we stopped outside a large set of ornate black doors inlaid with fanciful silver designs that I found rather hypnotic.
“Anul, thgim I elbuort uoy rof a tnemom?” the sun-flanked mare called out. Without a word, the doors opened smoothly and we entered into a set of rooms that I found rather comfy, despite the lack of light.
I loved the night. It was quiet, peaceful, and all-around beautiful, especially on a clear night. One of my favorite activities was star-gazing and I had a rather fond experience that involved a Lunatone and a Solrock who had given me one of the most interesting astronomy lessons I had ever received.
What irritated me to no end was that everyone who knew that story always assumed it had turned into some kind of threesome. Espeon had been no exception and it had taken him a good ten minutes to get every lewd rock-related sex joke out. As a result for scarring me for life, I hadn’t spoken to him when he asked what they had taught me about the night sky.
The rooms seemed to sparkle, and, looking closer, I saw that the walls were inlaid with thousands of tiny gemstones. I had a feeling they represented the night sky, but I couldn’t see any familiar patterns among them. Given that I was apparently in another dimension completely, that didn’t really surprise me.
Standing at the center of this was a dark blue mare. Like the mare I was following, she had horns and wings, and her mane and tail were reminiscent of a flowing field of stars. Her blue eyes were bright and alert as she looked at us. Apparently she had been reading, as several books surrounded her, each open to different pages, but from this angle, I couldn’t tell what they were, and I doubted I’d be able to understand them if I could.
“Tahw ni Rats-Lriws’s eman si taht gniht?” she asked the white mare. Her tone, while not overly hostile, was rather disdainful.
“I dehsif ti tuo fo ym htab, eveileb ti ro ton. I tlef a yrev lufrewop laiceps noitrotsid sa llew, os I’m gnisseug taht…gnihtemos…deppord ti ffo rof emos nosaer,” the white one replied, turning her head to look at me. “Dna…rof emos nosaer, ym cigam nseod’t tceffa ti. I nac dloh ti ylisae hguone, tub nehw I deirt ot esu ti os I dluoc ekam ti dnatsrednu su, gnihtemos tuhs ffo eht noitcennoc dna dekcik ti tuo fo ym dleif.”
A look of surprise flashed over the darker-colored pony’s face. “Woh si taht elbissop…ti’s ylraen elbissopmi ot reves a noitcennoc, dna yb gnihtemos taht nseod’t evah ssecca ot cigam?” That earned her an odd look from the white mare, but she didn’t say anything. “Yhw gnirb ti ot em hguoht? Yhw ton tsuj esaeler ti otni Liatetihw Sdoow, ro eht Eerfreve Tserof?”
I had a feeling I was missing out on a very important discussion, yet clearly they had some interest in me, even if the dark one wasn’t overly enthused about it.
“I saw gnipoh uoy’d eb elba ot etacinummoc ot ti ni a maerd, ro gnihtemos.”
I saw a dawning comprehension wash over the darker mare’s face and she turned to look at me with a very interesting look; one that promised some form of pain in the next few moments.
“Sey…taht thgim krow; revewoh, ti lliw deen ot eb peelsa rof taht ot krow…”
I had no time to react as something cracked against the back of my skull and I fell into darkness.
I woke up to find myself under a tree on a grassy hill. With a groan, I got to my paws, my head aching terribly.
“Forgive the rough treatment, I wasn’t sure how else to get you to sleep, since trying to do so with magic wouldn’t have worked.”
I turned my head to see the blue-coated mare beside me. She looked at me with an apologetic expression and I shook my head with a soft sigh.
“Don’t worry about it; this isn’t the first time I’ve been treated like this, and I doubt it’ll be the last.” I saw a look of worry cloud her features and when she spoke, her words were sympathetic.
“I can feel your thoughts; forgive me, but I also took a look at some of your memories…”
My eyes widened and I felt a searing anger stir in my breast. “How dare you…” I snarled. “You had no right to…”
And as quickly as it had come, the anger dissipated and I slumped, suddenly tired. “What’s the point…I’m sure you had your reasons for raping my mind. Already had it done to my body, so might as well finish it.”
A very ugly look crossed her face. “I’m sorry for your loss; what they did to you…nopony should have to go through that.”
I sighed softly and shook my head. “What’s done is done. I’ve come to terms with my lot in life. No matter where I go, I’ll always be a target.”
“Celestia said you appeared in her bath, care to elaborate?”
I was thankful for the change in topic and went over the reasons for my being in Equestria.
Luna listened carefully, her expression never changing as I explained about the Bittercold, although from her posture, I could tell she knew more about it than I did.
“Circles within circles within squares in triangles…” I murmured softly. Luna frowned at me. “What does that mean?”
I smiled slightly. “Words within words within lies in truth. You know something about the Bittercold, don’t you?”
Luna looked surprised and then she relaxed, much like how I had done. “I think you underestimate your own perceptiveness, little one.” I narrowed my eyes at the use of the same title Espeon called me and she tilted her head. “You are little to me, and I’m guessing you’re rather small for your kind as well?”
“I think we can continue this discussion at a later moment; I’m sure my sister would love to hear more about your world,” Luna said as she got to her hooves. “Sweet dreams, Sasha.”
Luna came to her senses and blinked as she re-oriented herself. Dream-diving wasn’t as easy as some ponies thought it was. Nightmares were very difficult to breach due to the ponies fear creating powerful barriers to keep it out, yet no barrier was ever perfect, and if a nightmare could penetrate it, so could Luna.
“How is she?”
Luna turned to see her sister lying comfortably on a pile of pillows, looking at the small bundle of white fur that was Sasha.
“Troubled…dangerous…unstable…with the sheer amount of elemental energy inside of her, she’s little more than a ticking time bomb,” Luna said grimly. “And with this ‘Bittercold’ on its way as well…” Luna sighed, shaking her head. “I’m sure this Arceus has its reasons for sending us Sasha, but whatever they are, I don’t see them.”
“This Bittercold sounds a lot like Nightmare Moon,” Celestia said thoughtfully. “Emotions given form? Nightmare was born out of your own emotions towards both me and my little ponies," Celestia paused before adding, "Discord was as well.”
Luna pricked her ears. “Discord? What does he have to do with anything?” Celestia arched an eyebrow. “You don’t remember how he was created?”
“I always thought it was because a Manticore got very frisky with a snake and a pony,” Luna deadpanned. Celestia snorted in amusement.
“No, he was born because ponies needed an excuse for everything wrong with the world. Once the name started to spread, imagination and magic created the rest,” Celestia said, ruffling her wings.
“So, what happens, then? We don’t have the Elements of Harmony anymore, and we don’t know enough about this Rainbow Power that Twilight and her friends discovered to use it effectively…” Luna said, clearly disturbed by the notion. Celestia looked at Sasha thoughtfully.
“She’s a trigger. Whatever happens, the fate of the world rests in her paws, and there’s nothing we can really do about it. At the very least, we could send her to Ponyville. I think Twilight could help her harness her power, help her control it, which might be able to stop it from killing her,” Celestia said as she started penning a letter. “And I can think of nopony better to get her to open her heart and make some friends.”
Luna nodded. “You saw it too, then? Her heart is completely closed off…but…I don’t think it’s locked; not yet anyway, but if we’re not careful, we’ll lose her to the darkness in her heart and if that happens, we’re in trouble.”
Luna saw the expression on her sister’s face and spoke sharply. “And sending her to the moon isn’t going to help.”
With a blaze of golden fire, Celestia sent the letter and got to her hooves. “Let her sleep, tomorrow, we’ll send her to Twilight.”
I woke up feeling refreshed, which I found rather surprising. Usually I slept lightly, with an eye and ear open in case I needed to get away from whatever latest threat to my existence reared its ugly head.
Yet, for the first time in years, I woke up feeling safe and secure. The notion and possible repercussions disturbed me.
I was changing.
It wasn’t an evolution, but something about me had already changed. I could feel the gift that Arceus had given me eating its way through my body. It wasn’t painful, yet I knew I only had, at most, a few weeks before it consumed me.
Morbidly, I wondered how exactly it would kill me. Would I turn into a statue of ice? Burst into flames? Dissolve into water? Disperse into particles of light? I looked around, re-acclimating myself to my location before I got to my paws. Luna was nowhere to be found, and I didn’t trust my memory to be able to guide me back to Celestia’s bath. Given the sheer size of this place, I’d probably starve to death before making any real progress.
To distract myself from thoughts about dying, I wandered around the room, taking in all the strange sights. I saw a pair of doors leading out to a balcony and (after no small amount of pushing and swearing at the heavy doors) going outside, I took in the sight of a large opulent city nestled underneath the place. Even the railing towered over me, and I didn’t trust my balance enough to risk jumping up onto it. Instead, I peered between the rails supporting it. From my limited viewpoint, I could tell the structure I was in was hanging off the face of a mountain, overlooking the rather expensive-looking town below.
The laws of physics in this place was apparently as non-existent as they were in the Distortion World and while I had never been there, stories about it being a parallel to the pokémon world that kept everything in balance were common stories when one mentioned Giratina. I also found the concept of any mirrored surface being a portal that Giratina could look through rather interesting; if I ever had the opportunity, I’d have to test that theory.
I had a feeling the ponies that made it their home were about as prissy about their grandiose living as the citizens of some of the more grand cities in Kalos, Unova and Sinnoh. I had a feeling I wouldn’t be very happy if I took a stroll down among them.
“Quite a sight, isn’t it?” asked a voice behind me. I pulled my head back from the dizzying drop and turned to see Luna standing by the doors, eyeing them curiously, then she turned her gaze to me and smiled. “We’ve arranged a carriage to take you to Ponyville. A friend of ours there should be able to help with your elemental problem.”
That got my attention. Arceus had hinted that I could possibly be able to control and harness the energy in me, which would prevent it from killing me, and I was all too eager to jump at the chance of a continued life.
Luna stepped forward onto the balcony and knelt by me, raising her wings. “Hop onto my back; it’ll save us a good twenty minutes of walking if we fly.”
Hesitantly, I climbed onto her back. Once again thanking my small size, I was able to settle myself comfortably between her wings. She flapped them a few times then leaped into the air and flew.
It was a far cry from riding on Dialga. There was a lot more movement. Luna moved both her wings and her hooves as she spiraled downward, heading towards the base of what I now saw was a magnificent castle. She made minute adjustments to her flight with her wings, angling the feathers for best lift and drag, moving her hooves as if she was galloping on the air, which made for a rather comfortable flight, but it wasn’t something I’d want to do every day.
We landed gracefully next to a carriage pulled by two white-coated ponies with wings and golden armor. I fell with far less grace from Luna’s back as I tried to get my land-paws back and I could hear the guards snickering to themselves. Luna spoke with them for a few minutes while I staggered around. By the time I was able to walk normally, she had everything set out. She turned to me and easily lifted me into the carriage.
“You’ll know Twilight Sparkle when you see her. She’s a friend; she’ll be able to help you, I’m sure of it.” Luna hesitated, as if she wanted to add something else but didn’t say anything as she stepped back and closed the door.
The interior of the carriage was just what I would expect from a high-class society. Rich and plush, I sank into the cushions a good four inches, which, given my height, meant there was a very real danger of getting eaten by them. I instead curled on the floor, which wasn’t as plush as the seats, but still provided just as much comfort, to me at least.
I didn’t know how long the trip would take, so I simply rested on the soft floor as my thoughts wandered.
Here I was, stranded in a strange place. There was an indescribable evil slowly but surely following me. Inside of me, I was slowly being devoured by elemental energy.
Despite all that, however, I was somehow going to save a world or two.
Once a target, always a target.