Chapter 29: Battle of Indigo Plateau
Rise on hopeful shining ray
Cross the field of heart's array
Eyes of truth shall fill the light
For the legend is alive tonight
A blood-red sun rose over Indigo Plateau on the morning of December 6th, its crimson light trickling through the storm clouds. Gazing down from the National Pokemon League Headquarters at Indigo Plateau stood the Champion Red, last and greatest of a fallen order. Off in the distance, he could see the massive clouds of smoke rising in immense, rolling waves of darkened gray, ascending up from all that was left of the abandoned and obliteratedcities of Kanto and Johto.
He surveyed the world around him solemnly, the scarred land sprawled before him. So many humans had been slaughtered in the Exile's rage, so many innocent lives lost to the Devil. On the grassy slopes before Indigo Plateau waited the surviving trainers of the Seven Regions, once driven into hiding, who had watched as their family, friends, and homelands were lost in Giratina's vengeance, gathered together for a final stand against the darkness.
Amongst them was Koga, the famous ninja master; Agatha, former Elite of Kanto; Tate and Liza, the mystical twins of Mossdeep. There was Brawly, Chuck, and Bruno, and the Karate King of Saffron himself; and many more trainers beyond. These were trainers who knew all too well the doom which now loomed from all directions, the army that slowly closed in upon mankind's final structures.
As he stared out from his balcony, Red closed his eyes, wondering if there was any hope left, or if they would all perish on this final day in battle. In a semi-circle around their friend and master waited his Pokemon, his oldest friends. Seven pairs of eyes glistened from the balcony, looking down towards the hostile masses approaching in the distance.
From the dark, ominous forests around Indigo Plateau Headquarters and the rocky, mountainous terrain came the sounds of Giratina the Exile's indomitable and massive army. The trainers could hear the mighty roars of the tanklike Rhyperiors, the shrieks and wails of the bone-chilling Mismagii, the burning rages of the Magmortars, the piercing screeches of the Electivires and the Magnezones, and the whirring of hundreds of Rotoms.
All around them was the thunderous stampede of Metagrosses and Rampardoses, the icy-cold chill of Froslasses and Mamoswines' breath, the heavy trampling of undergrowth from the Tangrowths and the Torterras, the swish of Drapions' and Infernapes' tails, the emerging of Hippopowdons and Bastidoons from beneath the ground, and the maniacal monotone cackles of Porygon-Zs.
Yet no sight was more terrifying than the legion of Dusknoirs, led by Giratina's four lieutenant generals--Lord Horizon, the indomitable White Tyrant, who held a great scepter in one hand; Scarlet Streak, the terrible and ferocious Red Dragon who reveled in bloodshed; Darkrai, the cunning Black Prince of rot and despair; and Mewtwo, the fiendish machine of war with power over life and death; each now forever bound unto the Exile's will until at last mankind had been thrown down from its high places.
High up in the sky, his massive thick black tentacles rising and falling in the air, Giratina the Exile watched his mighty army of Vengeance with a savage, fiendish grin, his massive serpent-like body blotting out the alluring sun as the red spikes on the tips of each of his tentacles pulsated with darkest corruption.
The Exile's crimson eyes passionately burned with the anticipation of the impending destruction that awaited Indigo Plateau, piercing the hearts and minds of the humans gathered far below. "Too long has humanity plagued this planet," he declared. "Too long have they influenced the world that Arceus gave to us Pokemon."
In the eyes of the humans gathered below, Giratina could see fear and terror, their only comfort in the prison capsules they carried at their sides, taking solace only in their fallacy of slavery. Bound to the will of their trainers as they were, how could captive Pokemon defy their trainers? And in their role, trainers came to believe that the relationship of master and slave was that of friendship! Giratina gave a low hiss of disgust.
Giratina and Red locked eyes, the Devil with the blood-red eyes and the Champion with shadowed brown. Nowhere else was mankind's folly more apparent in the crowd of trainers standing on the ground below. While this foolish Champion stood atop his balcony, he would have his fellow humans sacrificed for himself. But now, Giratina's army was converging upon the final human city at last, prepared to finally bring a final razing upon the heads of mankind.
"Fellow Pokemon," roared the Exile for all his soldiers to hear. "At last, the final cleansing of this earth is upon us! Let us advance upon this final city of the accursed disease that is humanity, and burn it to the ground!" Together, Tyranitar, Garchomp, Darkrai, Mewtwo, Gabites, Salamences, Bastidoons, Hippopowdons, Porygon-Zs, Infernapes, Drapions, Torterras, Tangrowths, Mamoswines, Froslasses, Rampardoses, Metagrosses, Rotoms, Mangezones, Electivires, Magmortars, Mismagii, and Rhyperiors all roared their battle cries, and charged towards the humans into a final, crushing showdown.
Giratina's soldiers surged forward towards the trainers, pouring down from the hillsides. Winona and Falkner soared up into the air, Skarmory's and Fearo'ws wings flapping through the wind furiously. Jasmine climbed up onto her Steelix's back as it hurtled down from the balcony like a speeding train. One by one, Trainers and their Pokemon readied their attacks; fire, water, ice, lightning, earth, poison, psychic, forest, wind, and all the elements of the world.
Depleted of artificial weapons, Trainers had finally fallen back upon the Pokemon with whom they had trained and befriended throughout the years. As Mismagii and Salamences slashed with darkest shadow and shining dragon claw and thick blasts of lightning struck down from burly Electivire fists, trainers looked into the eyes of their Pokemon, seeking out a final exchange of friendship in this last struggle to the death.
Red motioned to his Pokemon with hand-signals, backing away from the edge as the Red Dragon lunged towards him. Snarling, the Garchomp crashed down upon the Champion's balcony before him, sending great clouds of dust up into the air. At once, his Charizard and his Lapras spat fire and ice attacks at Garchomp, who spun around in a blinding, slashing whirlwind, howling in fury. Red leapt aside as the Red Dragon smashed down at him, destroying the railing where he had stood.
A stream of thick razor-leaves swished at the Garchomp's yellow belly, slicing through the thick scales and drawing blood. Dodging the Draco-meteors raining from the sky, leaping from meteor to meteor, Red's Pikachu aimed a thunderbolt at the place where the Garchomp's blood-drops flew, circumventing the electricity-resistant scales and sending a powerful burst of electricity into the Garchomp's bloodstream. Howling in agony, the Garchomp stomped the floor, sending another shockwave rippling through the balcony, bringing Red and his Pokemon to their knees again.
Massive blasts of red energy rained down from the sky upon the trainers as Giratina unleashed the full might of his rage upon the unworthy creatures who dared to claim authority over Pokemon. Massive shadow storms raged across the darkened heavens, shrieking of death and destruction. Giratina's eyes blazed with savage pleasure as he watched the Trainers scattering, clutching their Pokemon, giving panicked orders, falling to the ground and dying. He vanished and swooped down upon Winona and Falkner, materializing with a great flourish of his tentacles slashing at the two.
The two Gym Leaders circled Giratina, their steeds streaking past the Exile with outstretched talons as massive shadow waves blasted outwards from Giratina's body. The crimson bands of light that ringed his body flashed brightly, and a ring of eerie blue flame erupted outwards. Both rider-steed pairs tumbled back as Giratina cackled and swooped down towards Red. At the exact same time, the Red Dragon leapt high up into the air, trading opponents with her master.
Red and his team stood atop the crumbling balcony, dodging Giratina's relentless barrage of shadow blasts. Thick red beams of light struck the floor around them as they ducked behind fallen pillars and debris, the Champion's Pokemon striking blindly up at the terrible dragon who had brought the world to ruin.
One by one, the many Trainers and their Pokemon were growing fatigued as the battle drew on. Searing heat, biting frost, crushing boulders, and the immense oppression of pervading shadow ground at their wills, slowly crushing their endurance. With each skull bash from the Bastidoons and the Rampardoses, each hammer arm strike from the Rhyperiors, each burst of dragonflame and slash of dragon claw, Shadow Break and Shadow End and Shadow Blast, the humans' Pokemon drew back, their slain comrades falling to the ground around them.
And then, as the trainers reached the very pit of their despair, there were two great shrieks echoing from high above the heavens. Lugia, Ho-oh, Dialga, Rayquaza, and the Iron Fleet descended from the storm-shrouded skies, carrying the New Retrievers on their backs. At the forefront of the aerial charge, the golden determined eyes of Rushing River gleamed from Altaria's back, the Swampert's adamant gaze defiantly meeting Giratina's furiously crimson stare.
"In the name of Aluxiver!" roared the mighty Swampert, rasing a powerful fist as Altaria the Herald and the Iron Fleet shot down from the sky, rushing down towards the corpse-strewn earth. Sparktail, Thalia, Insyte, Shanala, and Lute looked at each other, nodded, and leapt down from the mighty steeds whom carried them, falling through the air towards the battlefield below.
Sparktail landed neatly on his hind legs in the midst of Giratina's army, his knees bending slightly to absorb the shock of his fall. He whipped out his sword and leapt up, slashing at a Lickilicky's neck, the blade easily cutting through the soft pink flesh. Shooting a thunderbolt into the hundred-eyed face of a Yanmega, Sparktail slashed his sword upwards at a Rhydon's unprotected arm as he landed. He whirled around and hacked at the Froslass sneaking up behind him, the blade in his paws strong and true as the icy phantom recoiled with a shriek. Ducking low to the ground and rolling aside as the Rhyperior's mighty arms smashed at the earth where he'd stood, the Raichu struck the gargantuan's back with an HP-Water before whipping aside to meet the Lickilicky bearing down upon him.
At the same time, Thalia landed on the ground in the middle of another group of Giratina's soldiers, the leaves on her body outstretched as if to slow her descent. Firing a barrage of razor leaves into the chest of a Rampardos, Thalia whirled around and struck down with both blades, into the large, plated head of a Bastidoon, cracking the thick black armored head. She pounced upon a Spiritomb and hacked apart the fused spirits' keystone, driving her leaf blades into the stone's cracks. Thalia ran towards a Rhyperior, leaping onto its back and plunging her leaf blades into the back of the Rhyperior's head. The Leafeon let out a high-pitched whistle and leapt onto the back of a Mismagius, evading its shadow claws as she dug her claws into the wraith's tattered cloak.
"Fight! Fight for the lives of the ones you hold dear!" shouted Rush as he brought a mighty hydraulic fist smashing into a Rhyperior's torso, shattering the tank's thick armored skin into gravel dust. Whirling around to blast a Rampardos bearing down on him with a hyrdo pump, the warrior let out a battle cry and sprang into his foes with righteous fury.
"For the Conclave!" yelled Lyther as he drove his crystal spear into a Monferno's torso, whirling around and striking several deft blows to a Probopass' snout with a glowing-blue fist before yanking the spear out of the Monferno and into the Probopass' steel-plated body with Aura might. Letting out a brave cry, he swung his spear around him in a wide arc as five Yanmegas swarmed upon him, cleaving apart their insectoid bodies in one fell swoop.
Insyte and Shanala landed upright on all four paws, the other Vulcans landing on the ground all around them. "Attack!" yelled Insyte, sprinting towards a Purugly and sinking his teeth into the blue-and-white obese cat's neck. He whipped around to see massive streams of flame engulfing Giratina's soldiers, the Mismagii falling back. Grinning, Insyte leapt at a Metagross' back and bathed the steel-plated construct's camera eyes in searing flame. With burning fangs, the Flareon ripped away at the thick metal bars crossing its face. As the Metagross collapsed, Insyte unleashed a flamethrower attack in a wide arc around him, scorching Tangrowths and Magnezones around him.
"Swordians at the ready," called Lute as he landed, bringing his horn slashing down into a Mamoswine's head, cutting between the horns. He darted aside as a Bronzong shot a Gyro Ball at him, and struck down with the tip of his horn to send the shining sphere of rapidly spinning steel crashing back into the Bronzong. At once, the bell-like Pokemon fell to the ground and cracked. Lute turned around to see a magmortar cocking its cannon arm at him, its three red plumes of hair shaking wildly. Almost immediately, three pairs of claws dug deep gashes into the Magmortar's spine, and the magma dweller's body fell to the ground to reveal a Zangoose, a Sneasel, and a Sableye, all of whom were Lute's followers. The four exchanged grins, and then dove into the crowd once more.
"You think you're something, don't you," called Shaymin as he soared at the lord of Pestilence, firing a flurry of Magical Leaves at the Tyranitar as he shot over the lieutenant's shoulder. Tyranitar spun around in the air, his great leathery black wings deflecting the glowing leaves aside. The White Tyrant roared and shot a dark pulse at the Seed of Prosperity, just as Shaymin fired an energy ball at his foe. As the two attacks collided and dissapated in midair, Tyranitar hurtled forward and slammed a spherical cage shut upon Shaymin. Shaymin's eyes widened in shock as the steel bars surrounded him, his paws banging against the side of the cage wildly.
Giratina's eyes narrowed in fury as he saw how the tables were quickly turning upon him. Roars of Time, Spacial Rends, earth flares, hydro pumps, cyclones, aeroblasts, and sacred fire rained down from the heavens upon the Magmortars and the Torterras, the Rhyperiors and the Hippopotases, the Metagrosses and the Mismagii, leaving Trainers and the tide of light unscathed. The humans had been at the very brink of defeat, and he had been upon the very verge of cleansing the face of the earth forever! And now, the soldiers of his invincible and indomitable army were falling to the ground and dying beneath the bright hearts of the Vulcans, the Iron Fleet, the Swordians, the columns, and Sparktail and Thalia.
As the warriors of his foes flooded into the battlefield, borne aloft on steel-plated wings, Giratina let out a screech of utter fury and flew at the pristine-white-furred figure of Shaymin. His infinite might struck at the Seed of Prosperity sixfold as his jet-black tentacles blasted Shaymin with crimson blasts of destruction. With the stunned Virtue trapped in his thick coils, the ancient Exile whirled around to face Indigo Plateau, and swooped up towards the shining stadium at the mountain's peak, the violence of his armies' bloody chaos raging far below. Screaming with malicious bliss, Giratina swooped up towards the arena at the mountain's peak and out of sight.
Rising to his feet, Red approached the crumbling rail of the collapsing balcony. Down below on the ground far beneath him, the tide of battle had reversed. The great surge of new Pokemon joining the battle was driving back Giratina's army, the Rhyperiors and Mismagii which had terrorized so many cities stumbling back. Electivires and Porygon-Zs fell to the ground, joined by the fallen slashed bodies of Salamences. The immense multitude of hostile forces was diminishing, one by one. And at the heart of the battlefield, Red could see a mighty Flareon leading his troops, the troops who were driving out the dark-hearted horde.
Sparktail ducked as a Torterra swung a wood hammer at him and cleaved apart the Torterra's shell with his sword. Gasping as a Purugly tackled him from behind, the Raichu whirled around to electroshock the fat cat before meeting a lunging Carnivine with a slash. Driving an iron tail into the chest of a Rampardos behind him, he glanced up over his shoulder into the wide sneering eyes of a Bibarel bearing down on him. As he drove his sword into the beaver's chest, a pair of blades impaled the Bibarel from behind. Sparktail extracted his sword from the Bibarel, allowing its body to fall over, revealing a startled Thalia standing behind it.
"Sparktail!" called Thalia, panting as she sprang towards him. The two mates' eyes met on the blood-stained slope as the battle continued to rage on, their blades still slashing at their foes. "I think we're winning!" Whirling around, the Leafeon hurled a leaf blade into a lunging Lucario, who sank to the scarlet-soaked ground as Sparktail thunderbolt'd a diving Staraptor.
Suddenly, an ominous shockwave exploded forth from Indigo Plateau and rocked the entire battlefield, violently shaking the earth beneath Sparktail's paws till it tossed and turned like the open seas, hurtling him and the surrounding enemies to the ground in the blink of an eye as a great explosion rang out in their ears. The ground underpaw rumbled and quivered, shattering and cracking and crashing and erupting upwards in showers of debris all at once as battle cries quickly gave way to terrified yelps, and he exchanged a fearful glance with Thalia as friends and foes alike howled in fear all around him. "What was that?" asked Sparktail over the uproar as the Leafeon helped him to his paws, the world churning and bursting into chaos before his emerald gaze.
"I--I don't know," gasped Thalia as they readied their blades, though their foes still lay sprawled out on the shaking ground around them. "But I... I think it came from the League..." Blinking, the two glanced up towards the Pokemon League headquarters standing at the top of the slope to see the once-proud monument of human civilization covered in a spiderweb of cracks, the battle-wreckaged brick-red front wall of the building crumbling into falling chunks of debris. And--with a jolt of horror--on the balcony where the Champion had stood with his team, Sparktail saw only a pile of debris, stacked high with toppled sections of thick brick wall and shattered glass, the Poke Ball emblem cracking down the middle as its two halves fell from the collapsing building front and broke on the balcony.
As the dust which obscured the headquarters slowly dissapated, Sparktail stared past the sea of heads of the clashing Pokemon surrounding him, beyond the immense double doors laying broken in a heap on the ground before the Pokemon League's entrance, towards the flickering violet rift in space and time, a raw wound in the very fabric of existence that pulsated red and blue like a dying heart. The Raichu froze.
Gasping, Thalia stepped over fallen bodies towards the collapsing building, her chestnut-eyes wide with worry. Ducking low to slash at a diving Gligar with dual swords, she rolled aside and sprinted towards the building's gaping entrance, with Sparktail in swift pursuit as he zapped a Lumineon out of the way. "Thalia! Stop!" called the Raichu, sheathing his sword as he ran after her. "Wait!"
As he whirled around to incinerate a Tangrowth with a fiery wave from his maw, Insyte suddenly caught sight of the chalk-white sillouette of the White Tyrant charging into Indigo Plateau's gate building. The Flareon froze, barely aware of his Quilava guards which protected him on all sides. How many hundreds of humans had survived the terrible razing of the regions beyond, escaping the terrible bombings of countless city after city and the obliteration of their loved ones to find refuge here in Indigo Plateau, who would now be crushed beneath the warlord's opression?
A vicious roar of glee filled the warrior's ears to jolt him back to the present, and his eyes shot up towards the fearsome outline of the Rhyperior whose hammer-like fists bore down upon him. Quickly, Insyte ducked low to the ground, preparing to spring up onto the oncoming boulder-like arm, his fangs crackling with searing flames.
But before the Flareon could leap so much as an inch, a massive spear of sapphire-blue steel shot over his head and impaled the Rhyperior in the torso, bringing the rock-bodied beast to its knees with a dying bellow. Insyte and his guards whirled around to see Lyther bounding forward to pull his weapon out of the Rhyperior's body with an elegant flourish.