As everyone on the Guardian kept their eyes tightly shut, clinging to one another and frozen in fear feeling their lives had finally come to an end, they slowly opened their eyes one by one and raised up, looking around bewildered by the sudden stillness and silence. "C-Captain? Are we...?" one of the officers in the bridge asked. "I-I don't think so." Rostron replied, hearing the ship groaning as they raised up and looked around. "S-Sir!! Look!!" one of the medics standing at the end of the bridges remains point out. Walking up together, they looked around and saw that the vast ocean had swallowed the ship, with countless types of Pokemon now swimming freely on the outside of what looked like a barrier. "W-We're still alive? We're really still alive..." Rostron muttered, his face showing his awe in the moment. "Captain, down there." the second officer point out. Looking down, they saw Chris and the girls standing before a ball of light at the tip of the bow. "S-Serenity?" Chris said, reaching out nervously before the light suddenly flashed away, revealing Serenity in her Mega Form with her arms outstretched. "I-I do it. Ship safe." she groaned, wincing from the strain on her body. Stepping back, Chris and the girls looked around wide eyed as they saw she had wrapped the entire S.S. Guardian within a magnificent barrier. "Y-You really did." he replied, awestruck himself by the sheer size of the shield she managed to create. Looking up, they could see the surface of the ocean trailing further and further away as they sank. "C-Can you lift us back up?" he asked. "S-Sorry, can only make shield. If try lifting, I give out." she replied, putting all of her focus on maintaining their last means of survival as the surrounding ocean slowly grew dark. After a moment, passengers, crew, and Pokemon alike all began slowly walking out onto the deck, taking in everything around them with both, fear and awe combined. "N-Need focus. Not let them near." Serenity groaned. "R-Right! Alicia, Rose, block off the bow." he ordered, both Pokemon jolting with a "R-Right!" in response before hurrying off to stop the crowds from getting too close.
"Lad, you there?" he heard Rostron say through the communicator. Stepping away from Serenity, he replied quietly as the ship continued sinking. "Y-Yeah sir, I'm here. Looks like we're safe for now." he replied. "H-How? I mean, how did she... This goes beyond anything I've seen before." Rostron said. "She just suddenly Mega Evolved and put it up, I can't give you a better explanation than that. But it looks like it's pretty intense on her body so I'm not sure how long she can keep it up... I tried asking if she could lift us back to the surface but looks like that's a no-go." he explained. "I-I see. In other words, it's a delay of the inevitable...?" Rostron asked nervously. "I can't give you an answer on that one. We've just gotta believe we'll find a way back up." Chris replied, barely able to make out the surface above them as they went further and further down. Eventually, Rostron had the lights all over the Guardian turned on, the ocean now turning black as ink as the ship continued groaning, a sign of the pressure increasing around them as people and Pokemon complained due to their ears popping the further down they went. "Serenity...? You doin' alright?" Chris asked in concern, only getting a nod as she closed her eyes and did her best to keep a steady breath. "Hey uh, Captain? Could you turn on the search lights? maybe see if we're near the bottom yet?" he asked. "Aye lad... We're on it." Rostron replied. After a moment, they all flashed on and began scanning the sea around them, finding hundreds of Relicanths swimming about, jolting in surprise from the light and rapidly swimming off. Also floating about were eerie Kabutos with several Shellder mixed in with the groups. "This is gettin' kinda spooky..." Chris muttered, watching the Kabutos swarm all over the shield and crawl along it curiously, looking inside with their tiny red eyes glowing in the darkness, the Relicanths also giving the shield curious nudges.
"Uhh... Captain? You'd better have a look at this." one of the medics point out, the radar picking up a massive object beneath them. The officers helping him back to the seat near the displays, he looked over everything himself, everyone in the bridge gathering and discussing what it could be as the picture cleared little by little the closer they got. "Lad! Looks like we've got something up here! I'd say we're about to touch down." Rostron said. "Good... I don't think Serenity could handle much more pressure." Chris sighed before looking around. "You said you've got something? What's up?" he asked. "Radars showin' somethin' with an odd shape to it just below. It's starting to clear up so we should be able to point out what it is soon." the Captain replied as the ship continued sinking. Directing all of the search lights in the direction of the object on radar, Chris walked up next to Serenity and looked around, squinting his eyes before noticing something hazy appearing below the port side of the ship. "Hey Captain! I can see it! Port side, just to the left of the bow!" he point out. "We got it lad! Looks like..." he paused. "I-Is that a ship...?" he muttered on his end, Chris hearing the others in the background muttering as well. Increasing the range of their search lights, the haze began fading little by little until they slowly revealed the starboard side of what appeared to be a colossal liner. "N-No way... I-Is that...?" Chris muttered, going wide eyed as the wreckage became more and more clear. "M-My God lads, th-there she is...!!" Rostron said on his end in shock. Scanning along the wreckage, they examined the hull of the ship before going over the rest of the structure as well, Chris taking out his Pokedex and bringing up a hologram of the Arceanic. "Good, still works alright. Sure is durable." Chris sighed in relief, comparing the hologram with the wreckage. "That's it alright, looks like..." he began, cut off by a sudden ringing from the communicator along with shouting in his ear causing him to shout in pain. "W-WE'VE FOUND HER!!! BY GOD WE'VE FOUND HER!!!" Rostron shout on his end, everyone in the background getting riled up as well as Chris groaned and pulled the communicator from his ear, digging into his ringing eardrum.
As the Guardian continued to sink like a submarine nearby the wreckage, passengers and crew began taking notice of the nearby wreck as well and headed towards the port side of the ship one by one, pointing it out in awe while Alicia and Rose returned to his side. "What's the ruckus about?" Alicia asked, looking around and facing the wreck. "I-Is that the ship they lost...?" Rose asked, pointing it out herself. "Yeah, that's it girls... That is the R.M.S. Arceanic herself... What's left anyway." he answered in a somber tone, holding out the hologram for them to compare with for themselves, Serenity glancing at the remains and his Pokedex as well before returning her focus to the barrier. Within the bridge, Rostron and his officers were continuing to scan the wreck with their search lights. "One hundred years... Its been one hundred years old girl. But we've finally found you..." he muttered. Wiping a tear from his eye, he and his officers examined all of the damage the liner suffered when it sailed on the surface. From the angle they were sinking, everyone had a clear view of the starboard side of the Arceanic in its entirety, the ship shockingly still in tact. "Looks like her hull took a savage beating before she sank, look at all of the dents. See the buckled plates there and the..." one of the officers began. "And right there, looks like that could've been the blow that sank the old girl. She's got a massive rip in the hull towards the bottom, right there starting near the bow. Tears right through and stops at the point of the first funnel... What a gash." the other officer point out. "Smith, would you like to take a..." Rostron started to ask, thinking of having the medics lift and carry him into the bridge for a better look for himself, only to find his Chief sobbing uncontrollably with his face turned away, Dragonair rubbing her cheek against his trying to console the old man. Going silent, Rostron faced down for a moment before looking at the wreckage again.
Scanning the bow with the search lights, Rostron found the Arceus figurehead that had once been proudly mounted on the Arceanic lying before the ship on the seafloor, its head arched upwards as if longingly seeking the surface. "Oh man, look at that girls." Chris point out, having them look at the figurehead as well. "I know that Pokemon! It's Arceus!" Rose replied. "You... Know it? Have you ever seen it?" he asked. "Well, no... But it's a Pokemon we're kinda supposed to know. It's bad if we don't." she explained. "Arceus is regarded as the father of us all. Arceus is our beginning. Our God if you will. It's a disgrace to us all for any of our kind to have no knowledge of him. You should be well aware of this after your time with that Professor human." Alicia point out. "Well, the Professor did talk about him a lot back in the city. Apparently it's possible we came from the same source so..." Chris added, thinking it over. Back in the bridge, Rostron and his officers continued wiping tears from their eyes, the medics and Dragonair continuing to do their best consoling Chief Smith as his sobbing slowly calmed. "I can't believe she managed to sink in tact like this, you'd think those Gyarados would have torn her to shreds, but even what damage she's got is fairly minimal when you think about the sheer vastness of that swarm. Smith must have been one hell of a man." Rostron muttered, wiping his eyes again as they continued taking in the wreckage, examining the length of her hull. Down on the decks, the pastors that had been vacationing gathered together with the passengers and crew, joining them in silence and prayer while Chris and the girls watched, looking at one another sadly and lowering their heads to pay their own respects as well. Glancing up for a moment, Chris noticed Sally and her grandmother finally arriving on the bow as well, slowly making their way through the crowd and having a look at the wreckage themselves with tears welling up before streaming down their faces. "Dear Wallace..." Victoria muttered, wiping her eyes with a handkerchief, Sally wiping her eyes with her own as well.
However, just as everyone forgot about their dire situation during their moment prayer and remorse, the Guardian finally slammed down, shaking everyone back into reality as the ship thrashed everyone to the floor due to the powerful impact. Letting out a scream, Serenity struggled to maintain the barrier as it flickered, trying to stay on her feet as everything shook around them before finally settling down. "Y-You okay?!" Chris panicked, Serenity nodding while trying to calm her breathing again. Quickly getting back up in the bridge, Rostron scanned around their surroundings, discovering the barrier had lodged itself within a chasm of rock and ice nearby the wreckage. "Blast, we're definitely going nowhere now..." he muttered. Holding onto one another, the passengers and crew looked around nervously before slowly standing once again, one by one taking notice of Chris and the girls and heading up to them. "You girls alright too?" he asked, helping Rose up as Alicia raised on her own and shook the dizziness off. "I believe we're fine. We're not the ones keeping this thing safe." the snake reminded, pointing out the barrier as the flickering stopped, Serenity letting out a sigh of relief while Chris used his sleeve to wipe the sweat off her face. "You sure you're alright?" he asked again. "No worry, I be okay. It just give a little headache is all." she replied with a smile before wincing and facing forward. "Long as I focus and not move, it not too hard. Should have time to find way up." she assured. "Alright, we'll do our be..." Chris said, cut off by Rose and Alicia tapping him. Turning around, they point out the crowd of people now gathered before them, causing Chris to jolt in surprise and look at them nervously. "Sir...? Might we ask what the plan is now?" one of the crewmen asked. "How do we, you know, return?" one of the women added, pointing upwards. "We can get back to the surface, right?" one of the men asked. Looking at them all, Chris looked up himself before facing the wreckage nearby, illuminated by the searchlights. "We're not gonna wind up like that, are we?" one of the children asked, walking up in front of the crowd.
Looking down, Chris took a deep breath before walking up and getting down on a knee, smiling while rubbing the little girl on the head. "Nah, as long as we've got Serenity here taking care of us, you're as safe as can be. I believe in her and trust her with my life, so believe me when I say you can all do the same. She won't let you down." he assured, looking back at Serenity as she glanced back with a slight smile of her own, nodding before facing forward and closing her eyes once more. "And don't you worry, we'll figure out a way back up, all we need is a little time and we'll be looking up at the sun again!" he assured with a nod. Standing up, he looked at everyone and put his hands out. "Listen! As long as you keep quiet and keep your distance Serenity should be able to keep the barrier up for a good while, just be smart, don't panic, and do your best to wait while we come up with a plan. The more trouble you cause the harder it'll be on Serenity to maintain that thing, understand?" he told everyone, the crowd looking at one another before giving wary nods in response. "What about the psychic Pokemon sir? Couldn't we gather them and lift her back to the surface?" one of the crewmen asked, the passengers going wide eyed at the idea and agreeing excitedly. Looking around the ship, Chris saw the chasm they were trapped in and shook his head. "We're wedged in here like a cork even with all of them together I doubt we'd make any progress. Plus all of the Pokemon on here are weak after defending against the Gyarados so even if we did try it would be all the more futile. They don't have much left to give us, combined with the fact most of the Pokemon on here are still out cold." he reminded, everyone slowly facing down sadly. "W-We could use the Pokemon to break away what's holding us down!" one of the women point out, everyone raising their heads again excitedly. "Not do that!" Serenity shout, everyone jolting in surprise as Chris looked at the barrier. "She's right, she can't manipulate a barrier this big like that. If you tried making Pokemon attack the chasm, everything they fired would just hit the barrier itself and weaken her, and if she WAS able to make an opening for them to fire through, the water would just start rushing in. This things probably the same as a bubble, one wrong move and pop." he point out, everyone jolting and facing down nervously again.
"So if we're to knock away the portions of the chasm holding us down, it has to be an external attack?" he heard Rostron ask through the communicator still in his hand. Putting it back in his ear, Chris nodded. "Yeah, there's nothing we can do from inside the barrier, but if we had a means of clearing away the blockage from the outside, we shouldn't have a problem." Chris replied. "Well, that girl of yours, Serenity, can control the minds of other Pokemon correct? What about using it to get a bit of help from those Pokemon around us?" he asked. Looking back at her, Chris shook his head. "That's a no-go sir. It's taking everything she's got just to maintain the barrier itself. The more we try to spread her power around like that the less time we have, it's up to us now. Besides, the Pokemon around here are too small. Even together I doubt they'd deal much damage to the chasm, especially since it looks like some really thick ice mixed in with the rock. That stuff is sturdy." he point out. "Hrrm... Tough spot indeed... Is it the inevitable then?" Rostron muttered, Chris hearing the officers and medics in the background trying to think of ideas as well. Heading back up to Serenity, Chris was about to wipe her face off with his sleeve again only to hear a voice call out to him. "Please, use this." he heard, turning to see Sally handing out her handkerchief to him with a slight smile. "A few tears on it though, sorry." she apologized, Chris looking at her in surprise while taking it with a nod. "Th-Thanks." he replied, using it to wipe the sweat off Serenity and getting a nod from the Pokemon in response. "No, it's us who owe you our thanks." Victoria spoke up, standing next to Sally with a slight bow. "Th-Thank me? What for? We're... Kinda at the bottom of the sea." he replied, looking around them as the passengers looked at Victoria bewildered.
"Everything you've done on this voyage for us. Although your performance was meant for your family, in some way or another it touched us all. And you've been so kind to both myself and my granddaughter, from the very moment you met us. It may seem like such tiny gestures to you, but helping us onto the ship, spending time with me in the lobby... And thanks to you I was able to see my Sally garner the courage to leave that chair after so long. And then that magical moment you worked so hard on for all of us. I can't fathom the amount of dedication it took to make all of that possible. When she and I saw Wallace during that event, it was terrifying at first, but to see him smiling at us, taking a bow and readying his violin for a performance before fading away... It was such a touching gift. Thanks to you my granddaughter was able to see her hero standing right before her, glowing as if heaven itself were wrapped around him like a blanket." she explained, smiling as she wiped away several tears, Sally wiping a tear of her own with a nod while the passengers and crew looked at one another silently before smiling and nodding. Looking at them all, Chris glanced at the barrier again before smiling and nodding back. "You're not related to us or anyone on that ship out there, yet it still feels like you've done more than anyone to make this journey extraordinary for us all. That's why it's us who owe you our thanks, whatever our fate from here on may be. You've spent this cruise planning so many things and working so hard for us all, you led us this far through that despicable swarm. You've given everything your best from the very beginning, for your own family, for my granddaughter and I, and for everyone else here, both passenger and crew alike. It seems to me you haven't had a moment to yourself, to have your own vacation, and you've been given little compensation for it. So... That's why." she finished, bowing once again as everyone looked at one another and smiled while bowing one by one as well until everyone was in the same position and gave him a "thank you" together.
Looking at them all, Chris noticed Alicia and Rose giving him a bow as well, Serenity glancing back with a nod and a smile. "Y-Yeah." he replied, sniffing and wiping a tear of his own away before grinning. "No worries everyone. Why not just save your thanks until we're back on the surface, deal?" he asked, giving a thumbs up as everyone raised and nodded before gradually going about their way, most wanting to look at the Arceanic again. "Alright... Now to think of a way out of this." he muttered, waving at people before facing Alicia and Rose. "I need you two to stay here by Serenity's side alright? If she needs anything, a drink, a rag, I want you to take care of her as best you can, alright?" he instructed, handing the handkerchief to Rose. "What are you going to do?" Alicia asked, blocking him with her tail as he tried walking off. "For now, just try to think of something. I'm gonna walk around the deck and look over the chasm, see if I can come up with something with the Captain and the others in the bridge too." he explained, Alicia pulling her tail away with a wary nod. "You just be careful. Down here it won't do you any good to be foolish." she affirmed. "N-No faith, huh?" he laughed nervously. "We all know your track record for taking risks and what they result in." she reminded. "D-Don't worry! I'm not gonna risk anyone's life, I promise." he assured with a hand up. "J-Just be careful, whatever you do." Rose said, holding his hand with a nervous look on her face. "Hey, don't be that way. Trust me, we'll all get back up there together." he nodded, rubbing her on the head before giving them a wave and walking off. "Remember! You two take care of her now! I'm putting my trust in you to stay with her no matter what! And Serenity, no matter what you keep this barrier up, understand?" he ordered, all three giving a wary look in response but nodding nonetheless.
"Alright then, I'm down here, so what now...?" he asked himself, walking along the deck with his hand trailing along the railing, looking at the chasm clinging to the barrier around them and at the wreckage. In the bridge, Rostron and his officers continued scanning the Arceanic with the searchlights, with Smith having finally settled enough to be carried out on a stretcher to see the wreck for himself. "You did make it pretty far, didn't you?" he muttered, looking over the Arceanic's abused hull, his eye twitching as if feeling the pain from the massive rip at the bow. Down below, Chris was heading for the stern of the ship when he suddenly felt a ping in his head. "Ngh, back for more lecturing? I told you I was sorry." he groaned, rubbing his temple. "I'm not here to lecture you. I'm here to guide you." Ninetails voice echoed in response. "Guide me? Where? Unless you're feeling hungry and wanna go below deck there's nowhere to guide me to." he replied. "Don't be smart... Your destination lies before you." she answered, Chris tilting his head before looking around and facing the wreckage. "Uhh, you talking about the Arceanic?" he asked. "Are there any other locations here? I suppose I could just have you drop into the chasm below, that's an idea too." she replied smugly. "H-Hey! Uncalled for!" he snapped. "Calm yourself, that's not my intention. That is your destination, therefore that is where you will go." she explained. Looking at the ship, Chris scratched his head bewildered. "How the heck am I supposed to get over there? There's no way I could hold my breath like that, plus the pressure down here would crush me the second I tried to leave the barrier, if that's possible without killing everyone trying to do so." he replied. "You've had me get involved in some pretty crazy stuff, but this goes waaaaay out there this time." he added, crossing his arms while trying to wrap his head around her intentions.
"That is why I didn't want you squandering my power. Now that you're here, I will provide you with a small amount of aid. Keep in mind, a SMALL amount." she affirmed. "Well, guess that kinda makes sense." he muttered, thinking back on the Caterpithia surprise. "But still, I'm not sure how you can get me there without messing up the barrier, even if you want me to go there I'm not about to risk killing everyone on this ship just to do it." he added. "Don't worry, the humans will be fine. There are Pokemon on this ship as well, so for that sole reason I'll make sure to do what's necessary to avoid loss of life." Ninetails replied. "J-Just for the Pokemon huh?" he smiled nervously. "Take what you get." she growled, Chris nodding in response. Turning on his communicator, Chris called for the Captain once more. "Here lad, what's going on? Something wrong with the barrier?" Rostron asked cautiously. "N-No, that's fine. Just wanted to let you know I... Guess I'll be leaving the ship for a bit." he replied. "L-Leaving the ship? What now?" Rostron asked bewildered. "It's hard to explain, because I don't really get it myself but... Remember the whole Ninetails thing I told you about? Well, I'm supposed to go to the Arceanic, and Ninetails is gonna help me get there, somehow." he explained. "I-I really don't understand... You take down that barrier and we're all..." Rostron replied warily. "She say's the barrier will be fine. My guess is we... Might be able to find some kind of help out there, maybe." Chris explained, the Captain silent on his end trying to wrap his head around the sudden plan. "W-Well, you've done some remarkable things thus far. So... If that Ninetails in your head tells you to do so, then uh... Good luck, lad. I suppose..." Rostron replied, not exactly keen on the plan but warily going along with it nonetheless. Turning and heading back towards the bow, by the time Chris had arrived one of the crewmen were waiting nearby the girls. "Captain says you're headin' out, wants you to take this." he said, handing Chris a flashlight. "Gonna be dark inside her structure, say's he'll do his best to keep the ship lit with the searchlights." the man added before bowing and heading off.
"H-Heading out?" Rose asked nervously. "What did I tell you about doing foolish things?" Alicia asked, Serenity glancing back nervously as well. "D-Don't worry. Ninetails say's she's got my back this time. I'll be perfectly safe. I'm going to the Arceanic over there for a bit, but I promise I'll be back." he assured them, the girls looking at one another with wary expressions. "You girls just do your best to take care of Serenity like I said, and Serenity, just hold on for me and keep everyone safe, alright?" he asked, walking up with a hand on her shoulder. "You not go anywhere without us in long time... And Ninetails always mean to you, what if she let something happen?" she asked. In his mind, Chris could feel Ninetails irritation boiling up from the untrustworthy remark, giving him a slight headache as a result. "D-Don't worry! Even if she does have a bit of a sour side, she's been just as good to us, you know that." he reminded before giving Serenity and the others each a kiss on the cheek. "This time it's just me and Ninetails, you girls have done more than enough up till now, so just do what you can for each other here until I get back." he smiled. Turning away, he walked along the bow before finally stopping by the railing, looking down at the flashlight in his hand before gripping it tightly with a nod. "Alright then, if we're gonna do it then..." he paused, taking a deep breath only to jump in surprise and nearly toss the flashlight over the railing when he heard voices calling out to him. Turning around, he saw Sally wheeling up with her grandmother by her side. "What's going on? What are you up to?" Sally asked. "I'm uh, just er, taking a little... Trip?" he laughed nervously. "You'll die if you try leaving the barrier." Victoria said nervously with a hand out. "Don't worry! I'll be fine, and with any luck I might be able to come back with the help we need!" he assured with a thumbs up. "But with or without help, I'll be back safe and sound. I give you my word." he added, nodding at the two before reaching out and shaking their hands. "Do me a favor and look after the girls while I'm gone? I told them to take care of each other but you know how they are." he smiled nervously, the two nodding in response as he backed away, the crowd taking notice of the three and walking up as well while Chris turned and took another deep breath.
"Alright then Ninetails, take me to that ship." he muttered, climbing up the railing and standing on top of it with a wobble. Looking back, everyone was giving him concerned and bewildered looks, only for Chris to smirk and give them a quick "see ya soon!" and a wave before leaping off. Gasping and screaming in response, everyone rushed to the railing and watched as Chris plummet, hearing Rostron shouting "are you insane?!!" from his communicator as he fell along the Guardians hull. Seemingly about to smash into the bottom of the barrier, he was suddenly yanked back in the air as if attached to a bungee cord, soaring above the Guardian as a thin aura appeared around Chris, leaving a shining trail behind him before hovering over everyone's head. "See? Told you I'd be alright!" he laughed, winking with another wave as everyone and the girls sighed in relief, waving back as he nodded and flew off towards the side of the barrier. Stopping just before it, Chris put his hand against the psychic energy. "Well, now what?" he asked, only for Ninetails to suddenly pull him against the barrier. "Fwat awe you dwoing?!" he shout, his face squished against it before his body slowly began pulling through, Serenity groaning back on the ship and glancing in his direction as he suddenly popped out from the other side and flailed in the water, holding his breath in a moment of panic. "You idiot, you can breathe." Ninetails echoed in his mind as his face turned blue, his body forced to suddenly gasp for air before quickly covering his mouth again. Blinking in surprise, he slowly pulled his hands away and took in another breath of air, bubbles coming from his mouth whenever he exhaled. "H-How did you?" he asked, looking around and at himself, feeling how dry and warm he'd remained despite being submerged in the frigid and crushing depths of the sea. "Oh please, you think I can't defend you against such circumstances as this? Focus on your task at hand." she reminded as he sank to the seafloor. "Then how come you didn't wanna do more before?" Chris asked with a scowl, landing on the sand causing a small puff of it to rise around him like dust. "I just told you, conservation, remember? Otherwise you wouldn't of had my aid when it was required most. I'm powerful, of course, but I'm not an unlimited source. Do you have short term memory, fool?" she asked, using Alicia's taunt against him in a smug tone. "Okay, okay. I get it already. You're powerful, but you're like an old person so you can't handle too much." he mocked back.
About to take in another breath of air, he suddenly took water in his mouth instead, Ninetails having cut off his air supply causing Chris to freak out once again, the Pokemon restoring his air at the last moment as he turned blue, allowing him to gasp in air before coughing on the sea water he swallowed with a sickened look on his face. "You just keep that in mind the next time you open your mouth. Now move." she growled, Chris nodding in obedience with a quick apology before standing straight. Trying to walk along the seafloor, it was an awkward experience as the waters resistance pushed against his movements, finding himself thrown out of whack slightly due to the unfamiliar moon-like experience. "You uh, you... Alright, lad?" he heard Rostron ask through the communicator, safeguarded from the sea as well. "Y-Yeah, it just feels weird." he replied before making a leap forward, floating up high and paddling along with each leap. "You look so ridiculous... Almost makes up for hearing your sass." he heard Ninetails echo, the Pokemon snickering at his clumsy method of moving along. "Sh-Shut up! It's harder than it looks!" he snapped in embarrassment, trying to swim along as best he could with his flashlight in one hand and his staff in the other. "It would have been easier if you left that piece of wood behind." Ninetails point out. "It goes where I go, besides it'll help me keep tabs on Serenity's energy." he point out, looking at her Mega Stone as it glowed brightly. "Very well, you're almost there anyways." she replied. After a moment, Chris let himself float back down onto the sand, another poof floating up around him as he went up to the Arceus figurehead before the bow of the ship, touching its side and looking up at the face pointing towards the surface. "You almost made it, didn't you...?" he muttered before looking ahead, the front of the ship pointing at him. "Maaaan it's huge..." he thought to himself, leaning back and looking up at the tip of the bow looming overhead, bent down at an awkward angle from the impact on the seafloor as if it were trying to look down at him and give a somber hello.
"Ready to journey on board?" Ninetails asked. Jolting in surprise from her voice suddenly popping up, Chris took a step back nervously. "I-I dunno... It's like walking on a grave if I do that..." he replied. "To be on a grave you must stand atop the deceased. This is not a grave, it is a home. Or rather, you humans may call it a prison." Ninetails replied. "Wait... Do what now?" Chris asked, raising a bewildered eyebrow. "Oh just get moving." she groaned in irritation, suddenly lifting him through the water and over the remains of the bows railing, releasing her hold on his body allowing Chris to carefully float down onto the remains of the deck. Hearing it groan beneath him as if ready to collapse, Chris froze up and turned pale as a ghost, holding his breath once again as if he were a boulder on a lake of thin ice, and out of fear of the dead combined. "N-N-Not c-c-cool Ninetails!!" he shout in his mind, his legs slightly trembling as his eyes darted around, afraid something creepy might come out at any second. After a moment, he calmed himself just enough to take a careful step forward, keeping his breathing as steady and quiet as possible while taking another step, followed by another, then another until he was able to make his way along without his paranoia holding him back. With every step, the ship groaned beneath him, its structure having suffered years of deterioration, albeit slowed by the darkness, depth and frigid temperature surrounding her. "Oh wow, it's the crows nest." he muttered, looking it over as it lay collapsed over the remains of the bridge and boat deck above. About to walk up and feel the nests crippled support, he suddenly heard noises asides the groaning of the deck below him, jolting and freezing up before slowly looking around nervously. "Wa-wa-wa-what was that...?" he muttered, taking several steps back before his foot slipped through a hole in the deck, his body sinking down causing him to shout in surprise before quickly shooting back up again. "I-I'm okay!! I'm okay!!" he panicked, standing straight as a rod once again.
"What's the matter lad? The men say you look a tad off." Rostron said, his officers in the bridge keeping an eye on him with their binoculars as they kept the searchlights on the bow. "F-F-Fine. Just fine." he laughed nervously, taking a deep breath before looking around. Taking several steps forward again, Chris heard the same sound as before, an eerie noise akin to the groaning of the deck below his feet yet... Oddly different. The closer he got to the fallen crows nest, the more he heard the noise, and once he reached the base of its remains, he looked along the support, curiously eyeing the remains of the nest itself before seeing something large and red glowing, seemingly eyeing him. Jolting, he took a step back once again as the red object rose from the nest and hovered overhead. "What is your business here?" he heard a deep voice echo. Going wide eyed, Chris gulped and bowed slightly. "L-L-Looking for h-help. We've s-sunk, over there." he point out, the object suddenly forming a dagger-like pupil before it widened into a circle and looked in the direction of the Guardian. "The living have no place here. But that will change soon enough." the voice replied. "I-I'd like to avoid that. I-Is there anyone here who can help?" Chris asked nervously. The eye looking down at him, Chris jolt and turned slightly pale as it lowered to his level and looked at him closely before backing away. "Those you seek here will not help you. They are lost, trapped between this world and the next. They refuse to follow the guidance of those tied to the light, thus they will not listen to one still with the living." it replied. "I-I'd still like to try. Who's here exactly?" Chris asked. Looking at him silently, the eye hovered overhead once again before slowly forming a body, revealing itself as a Dusknoir before it held its arms out, releasing a type of signal from its antenna causing several Dusknoirs to appear from around the ship and gather around Chris.
"Those who are here have been under our protection for one hundred years, and under our imprisonment. They refuse to follow us, therefore we watch over them here instead. They will not go where they belong, therefore we confine them here." the Dusknoir overhead explained before lowering among the others around him. "There is no need for you to be here, there is no one to help you. The dead care not for the living, only for their own sorrows." the Dusknoir went on. "Leave, before you join them sooner than need be. Go be among the living while they have life left to share, for soon we will guide them as well, or imprison them just the same." it warned. Taking a step back, Chris muttered for Ninetails, the Pokemon seemingly ignoring him before his aura was drawn into a ball overhead, Ninetails slowly taking form and looking down at the spiritual guardians. "This one is under my command to seek and aid those here. Give him passage." she ordered, the Dusknoir group jolting back in surprise. "Golden one, you have no authority here. You too are with the living, therefore you stand no ground before us. Be it this human or you, neither have influence on us. Again, I warn you to be gone." the leader replied, irritated by her intervention. "Then let me offer a wager, one beneficial to you be it his victory or your own." Ninetails replied, Chris looking up nervously. "What can the living offer the dead? We have no use for anything in this world." the Dusknoir scoffed, the others agreeing among themselves. "This one has a knack for aiding those who need it. Both humans and Pokemon alike. I see no reason why he cannot do the same for those here. Surely you are not so blind as to ignore the fact he has a special soul within." Ninetails revealed, Chris looking all the more surprised before cowering down as the Dusknoir around him grew closer for a good look, rubbing their chins and nodding among themselves.
"I am willing to offer the soul you see before you without question if he fails, and with it comes all the power you sense, of course. I'd like to think it'd provide all of you with much needed nourishment after your lengthy stay here, correct?" she asked, the Dusknoirs looking at one another and nodding, letting out collective "ooohhh" sounds in response and grunting in agreement, Chris's mouth agape as she explained the wager. "And if he succeeds, you won't get the soul before you of course, but you'll receive a prize of equal value, that being your freedom to resume your duties elsewhere as you see fit, or retiring is another option I suppose... Your confinement here coming to an end after so long would surely appease you as much as the soul you see here, likely more-so I'd gather?" she asked, the Dusknoirs rubbing their chins and muttering among one another. "Pardon for being rude, but I'd like you to make a decision on this wager quickly if you please, we do have a time limit and if said time runs out you lose altogether on the soul and your possible freedom." Ninetails point out, the group looking up at her before facing one another with a nod. Gathering around the leader for discussion before giving an answer, they all faced the two an nodded, the leader floating up to Chris and reaching its hand out. "Very well. We will allow his passage. But should he fail, that soul will remain bound to this ship with us like all the others. However, unlike them it'll be ours to feed on until there's nothing left." it warned, the maw on its torso revealing a wicked grin of sorts. "Very well, then we have a deal. He is not one to fail my expectations so rest assured you and those here will be free from this place by the time he departs." she replied before taking control of Chris's hand.
Jolting in surprise, Chris struggled against her control, trying to jerk away as the Dusknoir reached out further, its hand releasing an eerie aura before suddenly taking hold of his with a painful grip, making something inside Chris feel as though it were ripping apart upon contact causing him to let out a scream as the Dusknoir took a portion of soul from within his body into the palm of its hand while pulling away causing Chris to lower onto a knee, Ninetails wincing above and gritting her teeth. "Consider this your signature, we'll be collecting the rest should you fail." it said before dropping the portion into its maw. "And trust me, the rest will be torn away far more painfully if you waste our time." it finished before nodding as they disappeared one by one, the leader returning to the remnants of the crows nest and looking down at them before fading away as well. "N-Ninetails, wh-what have you done?!" he shout, wincing in pain still on his knee while looking up at her. "I have put my faith in you. Don't fail..." she replied. "From here on, the challenge is yours to tackle on your own. I'll keep you safe from the sea, so focus on completing the task that lies before you." she ordered as the portion of his aura maintaining her form began absorbing back into his body. "Y-You had no right to offer someones soul like that!! Even if I am supposed to do what you want!!" he snapped as she began fading away.
"You fool... Just don't fail." she repeat before fading away altogether, leaving Chris alone in the eerie silence atop the Arceanics bow...
Some time ago, a young man named Chris, now 23, discovered he was chosen to carry a curse passed onto him through his bloodline by a Ninetails his grandfather saved long ago, having grabbed its sacred tails to save it from falling to its demise. Burdened with this fate, which the young man now calls a blessing, Chris accepts the life chosen for him and allows the curse to guide him freely in life, destined to forever put others before himself, to forever follow the path the curse guides him along towards those in need most...
Along his journey thus far, Chris has come across a Ralts who was abandoned by her former trainer for being blind, hurled off the edge of a cliff and left to die that has since evolved into a full fledged Gardevoir by his side, swearing her life to the young man with the mysterious and terrifying ability to use the power of a Shadow Pokemon, granting her the title of a mysterious new Shadow Hybrid... Also traveling by his side is a Snivy who has since become a Servine, abandoned by her former trainer for refusing to evolve after a terrifying battle she had with a Serperior that left her mentally scarred, resulting in her former trainer neglecting and starving her in an attempt to persuade her to evolve, until he finally left her to die as well followed by a Buneary who has since evolved into Lopunny, who's former trainer became enraged due to her refusal to battle and tried to kill her off when he discovered she could only evolve via friendship...
Chris has met many people and Pokemon alike along his journey, each left as inspired by his presence as the last... He's nearly sacrificed himself to save Gardevoir and Servine from a deadly attack by a pack of Houndoom, lead by a Mega formed leader by hurling himself off a cliff to catch the two and nearly dying... Resulting in his lengthy stay in a location called Millennium City where he provided a hospital full of children an awe inspiring play room full of wonders any child would adore... Saved thousands of Pokemon eggs from dying out when their colossal incubation system malfunctioned in one of the cities many centers, and it's the location he saved Lopunny when she was a Buneary from being struck by a massive truck after being hurled into the highway by her former trainer... He's met and inspired a kindhearted old butler named Gerald who served the group during their stay in the city, and even came across the mysterious N from the Pokemon series, inspiring even this strange person during his stay in the city resulting in Chris being deemed a man worthy of keeping an eye on...
Most recently, Chris had become a criminal during his efforts to free Lopunny from her former trainer altogether, having forced his way into the city's top prison the man was held within and taking not only the Pokeball belonging to Lopunny, but taking all of his other Pokeballs to free the Pokemon within them as well only to discover the mans father was the Warden of that very prison in the process. Finding himself intrigued by Chris, the Warden gave him a chance to avoid prison time by revealing he was also the city's Gym Leader, striking a deal that if he won he would be pardoned of all crimes and allowed to leave the city.
Before the day of the match arrived, Chris found himself becoming close friends with the city's top scientist, Professor Rose, and together along with her staff they managed to complete Project Celebi, a device that could transplant sight between two people without surgery! The project turned out to be a success after Chris offered the sight in his left eye to give Gardevoir the ability to see the world for the first time via her right!
After this, the time for his showdown with the Warden arrived, and after a lengthy two part battle, Chris turned out the victor with the support of all those attending the event and beyond... To thank them for fighting for his sake, Chris gave Gardevoir, Servine, and Lopunny their own unique names, gaining the titles Serenity, Alicia, and Rose respectively, with Lopunny being named after the professor who had done so much for the group during their stay in the city...
Now, after regaining his freedom and spending a week at Arthur and Angela's massive manor on the outskirts of the city, Chris has finally bid everyone a fond and tearful farewell, having set sail across the sea as a first class passenger aboard the brand new S.S. Guardian, the first pollutant free ship in the world relying solely on solar power reservoirs currently making its way along its maiden voyage on a seven day trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the loss of the legendary R.M.S. Arceanic, the unsinkable ship that mysteriously vanished without a trace after messages calling for help were sent one fateful night long, long ago...