Enjoy your stay. Don't trip over the knives on your way out.
Celestial Balance - 5/12/2013
Celestial Balance - 5/12/2013
Lunatone & Solrock - themed short story for PokeSun's Writing Contest
River is a simple Pokemon who lived a simple life. But that's all in the past, now. River's life is changed in incredible ways after she encounters a strange portal within Mt. Moon. A portal that leads to the Celestial Dimension, a place inhabited solely by Lunatone and Solrock. The two opposing Celestial species are tearing apart the fabric of space with their war, shattering the stars and mixing up day and night back on Earth. Will River be able to convince the Celestial Pokemon to stop fighting and co-exist in peace?
Ten pages or less.
Part One: Ponderous Misadventures
River hummed lightly to herself as she danced her way through the forest near Mt. Moon, picking berries and tossing them into the woven basket she was carrying. Occasionally, one would find its way into her mouth, interrupting her cheerful song with the sounds of munching. The young Clefairy frequently traveled this way, gathering berries and herbs to bring back to her clan. Their home was actually deep within Mt. Moon, within chambers hidden from the passing Pokemon Trainers. One would think it'd be a rather gloomy place to live, in a dark and damp cavern, but no. The caverns were warm and dry, lit by crystals that glowed with energy collected from the moon. After all, every full moon, all of the Clefairy gathered in the big chamber around the Moonstone and danced, collecting as much of the lunar rays as they could contain before rushing off and releasing the energy into the crystals.
It was like a monthly festival, really. However, for some odd reason, the moon hadn't been releasing as much lunar energy as it used to release. Whereas the moon used to glow almost as bright as the sun, it was now a cool and distant object, shimmering dimly high above the clouds. This had the elders concerned. If the moon didn't return to its previous strength, then part of the colony would have to be unlit. Wild, ferocious Pokemon would then move into the dark, vacated caverns. It wouldn't be a good situation, living so close to that many predators. But the current amount of moonlight gathered wasn't sufficient enough to power all of the lunar crystals. River shoved the thoughts away, resuming her happy humming. Such worries shouldn't be on her mind on a day as beautiful as this, after all! The sun was shining warmly, the Pidgey were chirping melodically in the trees, and the wind was dancing through the leaves.
River sighed happily, but soon frowned as she glanced up at the sky. Storm clouds were gathering on the horizon. She'd need to head back soon; she most definitely did not want to be caught out in a sudden storm. Recently, Mt. Moon was known to have violent, sporadic storms that came and went with little warning. Everyone generally attributed it to subtle cosmic changes in the atmosphere caused by the waning strength of the moon. Whatever the cause, it made traveling far from the mountain unwise. In fact, several members of River's clan had been lost in a storm after venturing too far from the mountain. They weren't able to make it all the way back before the storm hit. Search parties had been sent out after the storm passed but...there was no sign of them anywhere. Looking back at the distance she had covered, River was worried. She had been gathering berries most of the day and had traveled some distance. Her basket was nearly full and quite a bit heavier than when she first headed out.
She wasn't sure if she could make it back to the caverns in time. But staying out here wasn't an option either... Shaking the worries out of her head, she started briskly hopping back towards the mountains, the stubby wings on her back allowing her to moonjump about ten feet with each hop. Eventually, her reserves of lunar energy would be exhausted, though. She'd be forced to run from there on out. Panting from exertion, she balanced the basket of berries on top of her head with both hands as she hopped.
River stopped, gasping for breath. Purple berry juice was dripping onto her from the crushed berries within the basket. The rough handling had apparently caused the weight of the berries to crush the ones in the bottom of the basket. River carefully set the basket on the ground, glancing fearfully up at the sky. Thunder was rumbling occasionally and thick gray thunderclouds covered the entire sky that had been bright and cheery a mere half hour earlier. As she stood there, hands on her waist, hunched over and catching her breath, the wind began to pick up. The branches in the trees clacked together, the leaves and the grass rustling loudly as the chilled wind swept through the forest. River shivered slightly.
And then...a drop of rain splashed onto River's forehead. She visibly flinched at the unexpected icy touch. A light drizzle soon began, pattering in the trees and on the ground. It wasn't going to remain a drizzle, though. It was noticeably growing stronger, becoming more of a deluge. Soon, the rain was crashing down in bucketfuls all around River, who was beginning to panic. To be quite honest, she wasn't the bravest Clefairy out there, anyways. In fact, she was quite timid. So it came as no surprise when she abandoned the berry basket where it lay on the ground and took off, blindly sprinting through the torrential rain and howling wind. Tears of terror mixed with the streams of rainwater that ran down her face, sputtering gasps racking her chest as she struggled to breathe in the heavy downpour.
A cold thought struck her as she fled. What if I drown out here..? What an absurd thought; drowning on land? But as she struggled to breathe, crashing through the forest as fast as her legs would take her, she felt that she was indeed in danger of drowning. Spots danced before her eyes and she felt lightheaded and tingly all over. Just as her vision began to darken and she felt on the verge of falling unconscious, she crashed into a hard rocky surface. Picking herself slowly up off the ground and rubbing her head painfully, she winced and tried to peer through the darkness that the storm had brought. Directly in front of her was a rock ledge, and slightly to the left of where she had collided with the rock ledge...was a small crevice? It had a rocky overhang above it, nothing more than a lip, really. But it was enough to keep the water out, and that was all that was on River's mind at that moment. She sucked in her gut and shoved herself at the crevice, trying to force her way through. She berated herself for all those berries she had eaten all day, struggling to squeeze into the little protected shelter that would be her salvation. After a few moments of awkward struggling, she finally fell through the crevice in the rock ledge and landed in a tiny cave area behind it.
She sighed with relief. If the crevice hadn't opened up on the other side, she might've had to struggle back out. She would've had as many issues breathing trapped in that crack in the wall as she would've had out in the rain. Finally gathering her senses about her, and feeling quite silly in regards to her mad dash through the storm (She must have temporarily lost her sanity or something. No way she was telling anyone back in the clan about that little episode.) River looked around, taking stock of her current situation. Although quite dim in the cave, her body gave off that slight moonlit glow from the lunar energy within her body. It wasn't bright enough to make out details, but it gave off enough light to see the little cave continued further back into the shadows. She got onto her hands and knees and began to crawl forward, ducking her head so as to avoid hitting it painfully on the stone ceiling. She was rather happy that she had grown up in caverns like this, albeit a fair bit bigger, all her life. Having claustrophobia or a fear of the dark would be horrible in this situation.
A few minutes of crawling later (and a feeling of strong surprise at how long this tunnel was), the little cave opened up into a a larger cavern. Although, size is relative. It was much larger than the tunnel she just crawled out of, but it wasn't even half the size of a normal sized cavern back home. A pool of water was in the center of this cavern, ripples periodically running across the surface as drips fell from stalactites in the ceiling. River's eyes widened as she looked down into the pool of water. She did not see her reflection staring back up at her. In fact, as she looked through the pool of water, she did not see the reflection of the stalactite-dotted cave ceiling, either. As she was looking down into the pool of water, it was like she was standing on a platform high in the sky, looking down through a window of some kind at a world far below. She leaned forward to get a better look when suddenly the loose rocks underfoot shifted and she went tumbling forward with a loud shriek of surprise.
Part Two: Absolute Differences
River sat up slowly, clutching her head in her hands.
"Oooh..." She moaned as spikes of pain shot through her head. Where was she? She looked around, completely puzzled. Last time she remembered, she was taking cover in a cave, waiting out the storm.. And she had found that pool of water.. She couldn't remember what had happened. When had she fallen asleep? Had someone snuck up on her, knocked her out, and dragged her out here to the middle of nowhere...? No, that couldn't be right. But where was here, anyways? She climbed to her feet, glancing around at her surroundings. There were no plants, anywhere. Nothing but sand and rocks. Huge, twisted rock formations towered into the sky periodically, but most of the rocks were no bigger than a Graveller, dotting the landscape with boulders.
River jumped up onto one of the boulders to get a better view. The sky was strange... It took her a moment to figure out what it was, but she reeled in shock as the sudden realization hit her. The sky was purple! The stars were much closer, too! And there was no moon or sun anywhere to be seen. Sufficient light seemed to be coming from these large glowing constellations that littered the sky like pieces of broken gems scattered across black obsidian. River shook her head vigorously, sure she was dreaming. But this was the strangest dream she had ever had...
Suddenly, the ground shook under her feet and she nearly tumbled off of the boulder. Looking around frantically, one hand bracing herself against the ground, she searched for the cause of the tremor. Off in the distance, she could see a large dust cloud. She tilted her head curiously and jumped off the boulder, making her way as quickly over to the dust cloud as possible. She soon arrived at what appeared to be a fresh crater in the ground. Smoke drifted up lazily from the partially melted sand-turned-glass which cracked underfoot as River made her way down the side of the crater towards its epicenter. Lying in the center of the crater was the oddest creature River had ever seen. It was shaped exactly like a crescent moon.. Its eyes were closed and she wondered if it was dead. It had hit the ground awfully hard, after all..
She reached out cautiously and traced her hand down its side. Its body was made out of some super smooth stone that was pitted with little 'craters' of its own, just like the moon. Its eyes snapped open and River jumped back in fear, clutching her hands together anxiously. Its red eyes gazed at her inscrutably.
"Are...you okay..?" She asked fearfully, unsure of how to react to this strange encounter in a strange place.
[Yes. I am fine.]
The voice seemed to echo within her own mind, but it was a foreign thought. Not one of her own. She flinched before realizing what it was. Telepathy... So this thing was psychic, huh?
"What happened to you?" She asked, growing a little bit more confident now that it didn't seem like this thing was about to eat her. Yet, anyways.
[A filthy follower of Sol used a dirty trick to throw me out of the battleground.]
Malice seemed to drip from the Pokemon's mental voice, but River was competely baffled.
"Uhm...follower of Sol..? What are you talking about?"
[I am referring to the archnemesis of the Lunatone, Guardians of the Night and Servants of Luna. I am referring to Sol and his legion of Solrock.]
It gradually clicked in River's mind. This thing was a Lunatone, and it was fighting some other kind of Pokemon. A Solrock or something?
[That is correct.]
River flinched again. She had forgotten the thing...no, the Lunatone, could read her mind.
"Why are you fighting the Solrock..?" She asked hesitantly.
[They are filthy blasphemers who believe they alone can rule the skies above. We know different, however. We know that THEY are the unnecessary faction. We will eliminate every last Solrock until the mighty Luna towers above their pathetic Sol and they concede defeat!]
River shivered lightly. These guys definitely didn't like each other.
[But that is none of your concern, outsider. I must return to the battleground. I have toiled here for too long.]
Before River had a chance to register what the Lunatone had just said, it began to glow brilliantly before vanishing into thin air. It had teleported away, leaving River possibly even more confused than when she had first woken up. She still didn't know where she was, nor did she have the faintest clue of how to get home or how she had came to be here. All she knew was that there were two different clans of some sort fighting it out over...ruling the sky? It was such a ridiculous concept that River had to suppress a laugh. No one could rule the sky; it was too big! River shook her head and looked around yet again.
"Well...I guess I'd better just pick a direction.." She mumbled to herself, beginning to walk. She had no idea where she was going, but hopefully she ran into someone more helpful that that Lunatone had been.
Her feet hurt. Her back hurt. Even her wings hurt. She had been walking for hours, but her surroundings never seemed to change.. She was ready to just collapse and give up, but something in her refused that urge. Maybe it was a survival instinct, maybe it was just plain stubborness, but she had to keep going, no matter the cos-
A strange whooshing sound suddenly filled the air and River's ears perked up. She jumped on top of a boulder and looked around frantically. Something was making that noise, and she was going to find it, by Arceus! As she looked around, her attention finally fell onto a bunch of black specks far off on the horizon, gradually growing closer. She squinted, trying to make out what it was.. Her eyes widened as she realized two things. One, it was a large-ish group of Lunatone, nearly twenty in count, with a particularly massive Lunatone leading the bunch. Two, and this was perhaps the more important thing to note; they were headed straight for her! She shouted in surprise and leaped off of the boulder just as the Lunatone zoomed by overhead, throwing up a cloud of dust all around her.
She closed her eyes tightly, feeling sand and dust blasting painfully against her body as the Lunatone whirled around her. The dust gradually settled and River opened her eyes slowly. She let out a quiet meep! at what she saw. The Lunatone had completely encircled her. The massive one glided forward slightly and she turned toward it.
"Wh-What do you want with me?" She asked, trembling.
A soft, almost angelic voice filled her mind.
[Hello, little one. Why are you afraid..?]
The voice completely ignored her question...but for some reason, it made her feel completely at ease. Peace filled her mind and she relaxed a bit, despite not knowing why this voice made her feel so good.
"I don't know where I am or how to get home.." She replied in a daze.
The Lunatone gazed at her and it truly seemed as if the mysterious creature was looking directly into her soul.
[You are in the Celestial Realm, little one. The home of the Lunatone...] The voice suddenly grew hard, bitter with hatred. [...and the Solrock.
"But...I don't remember how I got here.. How do I go home..?"
[You probably found a portal here from your earthly realm, child. But fret not, for I sense you are right where you belong...am I wrong?]
The reply confused River, but as she searched deep within herself, she found that the kind Lunatone was...right? She felt comfortable here. In fact, standing here surrounded by these Lunatone, she felt her body healing and all of her aches disappearing as she soaked up lunar energy that was flowing out of these Pokemon. There were still some things that were bothering her, though.
"Maybe, but...who are you? And why are you fighting the Solrock?"
The Lunatone seemed to tense up, the lunar rays emanating from the Pokemon becoming frigid at the mention of Solrock.
[I am Luna, the leader of the Lunatone. We fight Sol and his Solrock because they are infidels who believe themselves to be superior to the Lunatone. We are here to prove them wrong. We will grind them into dust and prove that we are the better species. They are nothing more than decrepit flashlight flickering in the dark! We were traveling from the Lunar Palace to join the battleground as reinforcements when one of our scouts detected your presence. Fearing you were a spy, we decided to investigate. It is evident, however, that you are no spy. I apologize for any rudeness, but I do not have time to discuss the political affairs of this realm with you. My Lunatone require my assistan-]
This new telepathic voice was much deeper than Luna's. All of the Lunatone whirled around in surprise.
[You pathetic Lunatone, shadows of a long lost era.. You're far too late to help your friends. They have already been defeated, lying in countless smoking craters across the realm. Thank Arceus for your immortality in this realm, or we would have obliterated your sad forces. What's amusing is that you thought you even stood a CHANCE against the might of the Solrock!]
The area suddenly grew blindingly bright and River shielded her eyes with her hands. Floating down out of the sky was a massive flaming Pokemon that resembled the sun. Trailing behind it was a huge force of much smaller Solrock that resembled the large one, albeit without the flames. The voice was apparently coming from the large one, which River assumed was Sol. This was shortly verified by Luna.
[Sol! You disgusting piece of filth.. If it weren't for YOUR immortality in this realm, we would have destroyed you when you first claimed to be superior to us! It's because of YOU that this whole war started. You may defeat us in a single battle, but we will still defeat you in the war!]
Sol chuckled, seemingly amused by the Lunatone leader's words.
[You have it backwards, as usual, my old friend. YOU started this war when you tried to shine during MY cycle across the sky!]
A sudden thought hit River as she watched this exchange. The trouble with the moon, the bizarre weather, the bright and sunny days every day other than during the storms, didn't all of that start after...?
"Uhm..excuse me!" River spoke up.
The Lunatone and the Solrock both turned and glared at the little Clefairy, who withered under their gaze.
"Uhm..well...I was wondering...when did all of this take place...? Was it around a year ago..?"
[Hmm...it is difficult for us to measure time as you mortals do...but that sounds about right.] Luna replied thoughtfully.
Sol just huffed, irritated by the interruption.
But that was the final puzzle piece River needed. A year ago...the eclipse that had happened... All of the weirdness that was happening back home since then was because of these Pokemon's stupid war!
Sol glanced down at the Clefairy.
[What?] He growled.
"Because you and Luna are fighting, it's causing all kinds of bad stuff to happen back in the normal world, where I'm from! The sun shines every day, the moon is really weak, there are all of these freak storms, it's just really bad! We might even lose our homes because we need the moonlight to fuel the crystals that light our caverns!"
River was furious, but with one word, Sol completely blew her mind. He didn't care. Glancing over at Luna, she could see that her words had zero affect on the moon Pokemon, too. They were both too caught up in their hatred of one another to pay any attention to her.
[Lunatone! Prepare. For. BATTLE!! WE WILL FIX THE PROBLEMS IN THE POKEMON WORD WITH ONE CRUSHING BLOW TO THE SOLROCK!]
The Lunatone cheered at Luna's shout and charged upwards towards the Solrock, who quickly fired fiery blasts at the charging Lunatone. Explosion of fire flew through the air as the Lunatone dodged or downright ignored the fire and retaliated with icy blasts of their own.
"W-Wait! If you destroy them, that'll just make the situation worse..!!..." River trailed off, seeing that she was being completely ignored. Luna had completely twisted her meaning, making it seem like it was only Sol's fault that the world was falling out of balance.
Part Three: Eclipse
Far above the smaller Lunatone and Solrock that were battling it out, Sol and Luna were locked in a titanic battle of massive power. Huge swirling blasts of fire were dissipated with massive whirling gusts of ice. Psychic bolts crashed into each others' rocky skins, chipping off tiny pieces. Luna fired off a powerful Ice Beam that slammed directly into Sol's face, freezing a layer of ice over the Pokemon. Enraged, the sun Pokemon blasted fire over his surface, instantly melting the ice. Luna's eyes widened.
[Prepare to meet Arceus, moon.] Sol growled as his body began to glow a brilliant white and he rushed straight at the lunar Pokemon.
"NOOOOO!!!" River screamed, throwing up her hands and harnessing every last drop of lunar power she had inside of her. Her arms glowed brightly as she unleashed a protective shield in-between Luna and Sol. And then...
With the power of a supernova, Sol unleashed his most powerful attack; Explosion. The very air around Luna and Sol was set aflame, incinerated in half a second. Every Lunatone and Solrock froze, looking up at their two leaders as the massive explosion burned the sky a brilliant crimson hue.
And they all floated there as they saw Luna backlit by Sol's fire, darkness and light mixing in the most beautiful of ways. The ground cast into shadows, the sky on fire. And they remembered. The eclipse. Luna had not intruded on Sol's cycle. It was the scheduled solar eclipse when they shared the sky for the briefest of moments, showing the world the beauty of both the sun and the moon, in perfect harmony. Sol had forgotten and became enraged at Luna. Luna had taken offense and thought Sol did not wish to share the sky. War commenced between two immortal entities. All because they had forgotten. The fire faded away, the barrier in-between Sol and Luna flickering and fading out. The realm suddenly seemed dark after such an eye-searing brightness. The Lunatone and Solrock looked on, tears in their eyes as they realized their mistake.
Sol ducked in shame, bobbing rather than floating dteadily due to weariness. Explosionn had drained all of his energy, and he could barely stay afloat.
[I...am deeply, deeply sorry, Luna. I..]
[I know, Sol. I am, too.. I should have explained myself when I entered during your cycle, should have reminded you of what time it was..I just assumed..]
Suddenly, Luna remembered the Clefairy. The mortal had shielded her with a barrier during the explosion; without that barries, she most assuredly would have been hurled to the ground below, possiby even cracked from the force. There definitely would've been no eclipse. As she turned to look back at the ground below, she was filled with grief at what she saw.
Crumpled on the ground was the unmoving form of a Clefairy. River had used every drop of lunar energy she had to hold the barrier up, and when that wasn't enough, had used her very life energy. Luna drifted down beside the body of the outsider, Sol following close behind.
[The foolish mortal...protecting you from my most powerful attack was a death sentence..]
[No.] Luna quickly rebuked him. [I think she knew the consequences. This was not a foolish act. It was a brave one. Her action may have cost her life, but because of that one action, the lives of countless Pokemon down below, who unknowingly rely on for everything, were saved. We are the foolish ones. This.. This is our fault.]
Sol bowed his head.
[We must repay them somehow..]
[Agreed. Let us send out servants below. They can assist the mortals for the rest of eternity. And if they ever encounter a Clefairy...they will thank them.]
And it was done. The lesser Solrock and Lunatone were sent down to the mortal world, mistaken as simple meteor Pokemon from space. And whenever a Solrock or Lunatone ran into a Clefairy, they thanked them from the bottom of their hearts, even though the Clefairy never knew why they were being thanked. The moon soon regained its strength, the sun allowed clouds to appear, and the weather returned to normal. And one clan, deep within Mt. Moon, mourned the loss of their precious berry gatherer who had always cheered up anyone who felt down.
Lunatone & Solrock - themed short story for PokeSun's Writing Contest
River is a simple Pokemon who lived a simple life. But that's all in the past, now. River's life is changed in incredible ways after she encounters a strange portal within Mt. Moon. A portal that leads to the Celestial Dimension, a place inhabited solely by Lunatone and Solrock. The two opposing Celestial species are tearing apart the fabric of space with their war, shatteri