Chapter 24 - The First Power
“Are you sure we’re going the right way?!” Jirachi shouted over the streaming wind currents beside him.
“Positive,” a male voice stated calmly. “I told you, I know where I’m going!” The bird opened its beak in what appeared to be a smile. “It would be a shame if I’d flown all over Talzere and couldn’t remember my way around now would it?”
Jirachi let the question hang in the air as he closed his eyes. “I still don’t like flying this high!” A gentle nudge caused him to crack half an eye open and glare at the Riolu.
“Relax,” Sierra muttered casually. “I actually think it’s quite fun. And look!” The Riolu pointed to a nearby grassland. “Matuna Valley should be just down there. Silverwing, can you take us closer?”
The Pidgeot nodded. “I’m on it!” Angling his wings sharply, Silverwing dove in the direction of the valley, revelling in the cool air that flew past him.
Jirachi realised they’d indeed been lucky. Just as they’d passed through Shale to gather information, Silverwing had shown up asking about Deoxys’ attack. Being too late to help, of course, he then offered his services to the two Pokemon. He was able to fly them all the way to Psycrave Wood. After that they’d have to find their own way, as his mate was probably already worried beyond belief.
Jirachi was also stunned to find out the rumours that a new Light Pokemon had appeared in Talzere. If this was true, that Pokemon could very well be the only chance to they had to fight Deoxys and win.
The last Light Pokemon I remember is Altair, and that was about ten thousand years ago! Even then he wasn’t exactly a ball of fun…
Jirachi cringed at the memory of Altair before he lost his balance. Grabbing onto a tuft of feathers, the small legendary twisted his head towards the ground. Several blurred shapes soon came into focus; bird Pokemon. “Wah! Silverwing! We’re under attack!”
In answer to his warning, the Pidgeot swerved to the left to narrowly avoid being struck by a beam. “Don’t you think I know that?! Urgh, we’ll never get there like this!” Silverwing deftly dodged another Hyper Beam and used Agility. “Hang on; this is going to be one rough ride!”
Jirachi saw Sierra clasp onto the bird’s back as he did the same. Through the course wind, the legendary spotted two Fearow now flanking the Pidgeot. It seemed they were taking it in turns to dive-bomb Silverwing from below. It was all the Pidgeot could do to stay aloft with the two Pokemon on his back. Beak strained and eyes narrowed, he dove towards the ocean. “Psycrave Wood is on a small island just west of here. I’m going to have to drop you off quickly. Listen! I have an idea!”
Jirachi listened intently to Silverwing’s plan, nodding every few seconds. “Yes! That could work! But you…”
“I’ll be fine!” the Pidgeot replied calmly. “All that matters is that you get to Alakazam safely. You’re the last hope we have for saving Talzere! We must not fail!”
Silverwing’s words tasted sour in Jirachi’s mouth, but he hung on tightly and didn’t say another word. For Talzere
“It’ll be all right,” Sierra whispered beside him, a small smile on her face. “He knows what he’s doing.”
Jirachi merely nodded in reply. Then why is it I still have a bad feeling about this?
He wasn’t usually one for negative thoughts, but sometimes he couldn’t help it. Fear swam within him now. Xatu had set this near impossible task and then just disappeared. All the encouragement he should have had was gone. This did little to uphold his good spirits.
At that moment the two Fearow flanking Silverwing chose to fall back. “Why would they do that?” Jirachi muttered. “They were gaining the advantage.” Not a minute later he saw the answer. An orange figure emerged from behind the clouds and let off a deafening roar. “Wah! What was that?!” Jirachi sank lower into Silverwing’s feathers.
“It’s a…Charizard!” Sierra gasped. Indeed, the dragon-like Pokemon was in hot pursuit.
“Damn!” Silverwing cursed. “Well doesn’t my day just keep getting better?” Jirachi frowned at the use of the bird’s sarcasm, but made no comment. It was the plan they had to stick to. “All right, kids. On the count of ten, you know what to do.” He paused and swung his head round to glance at the gaining Charizard. “Er…we better make that three.” He let off a sly grin before doubling speed.
They were now flying over water. A small island rested not too far in the distance; a forest embedded within its center. This is it
, Jirachi swallowed. He noticed Sierra move closer to him and nod towards the rear. With a heavy sigh, he followed the Riolu until they were both situated on Silverwing’s tail.
“Hold still!” Sierra argued. “Or Silverwing’s going to miss!”
Jirachi closed his eyes briefly. “But this isn’t how it’s supposed to go.” His voice was laced with sorrow. He knew it was the midst of a war they were in, yet he was still powerless. A comforting paw rested on his shoulder a moment later.
“You have to be strong, and I can’t do this alone. This is for the world
, Jirachi. Make Xatu proud.” Xatu’s name instantly brought forth the small legendary’s determination.
If it’s a war Deoxys wants, it’s a war he’s gonna get
. “Silverwing, now!” he cried out.
“ONE!” the Pidgeot shouted, swerving to avoid a fireball. “TWO!” The Charizard was gaining with every passing moment. Jirachi heard a rough cackle escape its lips.
“Give it up, kiddies. This is an adult’s game!” Ignoring the fire-dragon, Jirachi buried himself deeper into the Pidgeot’s feathers before the final call came.
“THREE!” And then he was falling. A millisecond passed in what felt like a minute. Jirachi was dimly aware of Sierra beside him, the rushing air of the wind whistling past their ears. But the feeling didn’t last for long. Hard talons then struck his chest and brought him forwards. Silverwing had turned upside-down in mid-air, arching himself back like a catapult. The bird brought them close and whispered so it was barely audible above the wind. “Good luck.”
Jirachi screamed as he and Sierra were thrust forward, spiralling down towards the island where the forest nested. He just had time to twist his head back and see the instant the two Pokemon collided. The Charizard, outraged by the Pidgeot’s plan, drove a back leg into Silverwing’s chest before punching at his face. The bird retaliated by biting down hard on the fire Pokemon’s underbelly, but even that wasn’t enough.
With a final blow, Silverwing was sent plummeting towards the sea, a faint cry echoing in Jirachi’s ears. The splash he made was blurred by a mixture of tears and blindness due to the wind. The small legendary closed his eyes as darkness began to sink in. The last words he heard were barely enough to keep him conscious, though somehow he prevailed. “Jirachi…hold on! We’re almost there!”
With the last of his strength, he grasped Sierra’s paw to prevent separation. Silence surrounded them as the earth stood still.
Everything was suddenly black and very, very real. Jirachi could hear his breaths come in short gasps before they eventually settled into a normal rhythmic pattern. A cool breeze blew to the side of his head and he groaned.
The sudden hiss came as a shock to the small Pokemon who had jumped slightly, startled by the noise and the sharp pain that was sent through him when some kind of stick connected to his head. Jirachi slowly let his eyes open, a dull brown blur standing over him. Once his vision had focused, the brown creature grinned.
“Ah, I was afraid you’d hurt yourself. You took a really nasty fall back there.” The voice that addressed him was rather gruff, but also held unaccountable wisdom. The creature was obviously some kind of brown fox. It was hunched over slightly and held a spoon within each paw, one of which was also clutching a large cane. Jirachi realised this must have been what had hit him. Whiskers also protruded from just above the creature’s mouth and it stood on two legs, using the cane for support.
“Wha-what happened…?” Jirachi muttered, raising his aching head off the rough ground.
?!” the brown fox snapped, rather agitated. “You crashed into my home! That’s what happened!” Jirachi followed the fox’s pointing cane as it came to a stop at a pile of wooden planks and a half damaged hut. Then it all came flooding back.
“Oh! Sierra!” The legendary tried to stand but failed and fell to the ground again.
“See-who?” the fox asked. “If you mean your Riolu friend, she’s right over there.” Jirachi looked to the left to see Sierra enter the strange clearing with a pile of logs.
“Here’s the firewood just like you asked for, Mr. Alakazam.” The Riolu dropped the logs at the fox’s feet and turned to Jirachi. “Oh, you’re awake! Have you introduced yourself yet?” The small legendary’s face was blank.
“I think the boy has amnesia,” the fox whispered to Sierra. “Look at his eyes. They’re bulging!”
Jirachi then shook his head. “No, I don’t have amnesia. I’m just…you’re Alakazam?” he asked, eyeing the old fox with disapproval. “You’re…uh…older
than I expected.” A brown blur was brought down swiftly on Jirachi’s head. “Ow!” he exclaimed, rubbing the spot where the cane had made contact.
“What do you think wise meant, boy? It takes years to learn what I have; to see the world as I do. Youngsters these days!” Alakazam turned around and walked off nimbly, muttering to himself about ‘respect to elders’.
As soon as he was out of sight, Sierra glared at Jirachi. “What did you do that for? He’s only trying to help!”
Jirachi sighed. “Well I might believe that better if my head wasn’t protesting otherwise!” He pointed at the lump now beginning to form as clear evidence.
Sierra just shook her head. “You had better go and apologise if you want answers. And
for ruining his house,” she added almost joyfully, as if she couldn’t wait to see what Alakazam would do to him. “In the meantime, I’m going to start a fire.” With that, the Riolu repositioned the logs and hastily spun a stick in between them to create a flame.
Jirachi took heed of her advice and followed the fox to his half-beaten house situated next to a cave. To be polite, he knocked on the door before he entered which was only after the fox had sounded, “Come in!”
Jirachi swung open the door and shut it behind him, glancing around the tiny candle-lit hut. It was very bare with only a few chairs, a table, a bed and a tiny crammed desk with all sorts of books and notes resting in and on it. Empty ink bottles lay everywhere, as did quills, and the rear of the hut was blown to bits, shattered, no doubt, by his grand entrance. The small Pokemon grimaced as he approached Alakazam. “I’m real sorry about your house,” he apologised, “and about calling you old. You’re just not really how I thought you’d be; but not in a bad way. I’m just looking for some answers.”
The rather large fox stared down at him sternly. “And what kind of answers would that be?” he queried, sitting down on one of the empty chairs by the desk.
Jirachi swallowed. “I have a few, but what I’d really like to ask first is about my friend, Xatu. He recently…passed away
” – he cringed at these words – “and I was hoping you’d be able to tell me if he was all right?” He looked up with such pleading eyes that the fox could do nothing but oblige.
“Xatu is doing fine, youngster. He has found solace in Altair’s temple, and watches over him.”
“Altair?” Jirachi asked, surprised. “Xatu’s looking after Altair?”
Alakazam nodded. “He met up with the Pikachu recently, and the new Light Pokemon, or so I was told.”
“Oh, yes! Do you know who the new Light Pokemon is? I should find it soon. Maybe it can help us!”
Alakazam laughed at Jirachi’s assumption. “She has an errand of her own right now, but it might be possible. The new Light Pokemon happens to be a female Pikachu, and she has quite the temper, apparently. Challenged Deoxys, I heard, and the result was Groudon’s death. Ah…my old friend.” The fox deftly wiped his eyes at the memory. “But I’m sorry. You had other questions?”
“Yes,” Jirachi continued. “Or one, really. Xatu said the Three Powers may be able to help stop Deoxys. Do you know where I can find them?” He waited as a long silence ensued, in which the fox bit his lip and adjusted the position of his cane.
“Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit don’t like to be disturbed,” he said hesitantly. “But they should help willingly enough if it is for the world. Do you have a map?”
“What for?” Jirachi asked, but still retrieved the map from within his fur. It was a rather old one Sierra had given him and it had several markings on it, but it still served its purpose. Alakazam took the map from Jirachi’s outstretched paw and unfolded it, peering at it with a strained expression. Hastily picking up a quill and dipping it in ink, the fox drew three lines on the map, annotating along the way. Once he seemed satisfied with his handy work, he tapped the map with his cane once and beckoned Jirachi to look.
The legendary hovered over to where Alakazam sat patiently and peered over his shoulder. Three curvy, black lines had been etched into the map, all going off in different directions. The fox slowly pointed a claw towards the map.
“See, this is our current location.” He traced a circle around a small island on the west of the map. “I have drawn three lines from here, and others from the Powers’ locations, to act as guides in finding them. I recommend visiting Uxie first,” he suggested, moving a claw up the line pointing to the north. “He’s the most straightforward and is open to suggestions. I’m sure you will be able to convince him to help. This route is the second longest, but fairly easy. All you have to do is get off this island and travel north up the coast. You’ll need to make port at the foot of Archale Plateau. Uxie spends his time just to the east of there, underground in a shrouded cave. He shouldn’t be too hard to find. The others I trust you can find for yourself, eh?” The fox raised an eyebrow as Jirachi nodded quickly.
“Thank you for all your help. It’s really nice of you.” He smiled as Alakazam refolded the map and handed it back to him.
“No need for thanks, boy. But it might be helpful if you could fix my house in return.” He glared at Jirachi ever so slightly before moving his gaze towards the broken planks at the back of the hut.
“Oh,” Jirachi blushed, totally forgetting Alakazam’s plight. “Of course I can. It’s only a small favour for what you’ve done for me.” Closing his eyes, Jirachi focused on restoring the ancient hut and whispered some words within his mind. Lord Arceus, creator of life, please restore this humble abode to its former glory. That is my wish
. The small legendary then snapped his eyes open and clapped his paws together, sending a white glow throughout the room. An instant later the bright light faded, the rear wall and all its contents intact and undamaged.
“Hahaha, well done, my boy!” Alakazam cried out with glee, giving Jirachi a playful whack with his cane. “Now that my house is fixed, you and your friend are most welcome to stay the night before you leave.”
“That would be most wonderful, Alakazam,” Jirachi smiled. “But there is a slight problem.” He creased his forehead at the thought.
“Oh? And what might that be?”
“Well it’s about how we’re going to get off
the island, sir. We don’t have any means of transport.” The last one we had is gone…
The fox laughed again at Jirachi’s comment, which merely served to make the legendary frown harder. “Ah, that is no problem at all, but is an answer for tomorrow. Rest now, boy. You’ll need it for the journey ahead.” Alakazam grinned towards Jirachi who now seemed a bit more relaxed.
He nodded his head politely. “All right. Thank you. Oh yes, I almost forgot.” The legendary turned his head just as he reached the door. “My name is Jirachi.” Then he quietly slipped out and left Alakazam in peace.
The fox studied the door for a moment longer before turning back to his cluttered desk. “Oh, I know who you are, boy,” His eyes glinted as his form changed and bubbled, a red figure with tentacles emerging from the fox’s body. “I’ve known who you are for a long
time.” Deoxys instantly whirled around and faced the figure he’d withdrawn from. “I thank you for your hospitality, old man.” Then he snickered and flew off out the open window, leaving Alakazam unconscious and sprawled on the floor.
The warm fire was just what Jirachi needed to calm his thoughts. He narrowed his eyes, thinking back to when he was still a child.
“Okay, Xatu! Catch me!” Jirachi laughed, flying around in a circle high above Xatu where he was sure he couldn’t reach. But the next second the psychic bird appeared in front of him, causing Jirachi to lose his balance and fall. “Wah!”
Xatu caught him just before he hit the ground. “I suppose that’s game over, little one,” he grinned, tousling Jirachi’s fur.
“No fair…” he sulked, pouting.
“Hmm…” Jirachi sighed as he remembered the moment. That must have been years ago now…Xatu…
Then his thoughts wandered in a different direction. I wonder…where my parents are now. Would they be proud of me? The only family I know is Xatu. He was like a father to me the way no one else was. And now he’s gone…I have no family
The sudden realisation that he was completely alone made him scared. Jirachi took in several deep gulps of air to calm himself. His heart was racing a mile a minute!
“Oh?” Sierra looked up from the flames to see Jirachi’s face. What she saw was bad. The tiny Pokemon was very pale, his eyes just thin slits, sweat covering his fur. “Jirachi! What’s wrong?!” The Riolu stood up and hastened to reach his side. The legendary sat quite rigid, his mouth open just the slightest bit.
“I never realised before,” he whispered, trying hard to keep himself calm. “But now I- I know.” He paused and hung his head.
“What is it?” Sierra put a comforting paw on his shoulder, but Jirachi gave no sign that he even felt it.
“I…I’m completely alone.” The Pokemon did not raise his head, but left it hunched over, eyeing the ground with a concentrated gaze.
“Oh…” Sierra murmured. Then, to Jirachi’s immense surprise, the Riolu started giggling. Before long she was smiling rather widely, or so Jirachi could see. “You’re not alone,” she replied almost joyfully, wrapping Jirachi in her arms.
The small legendary’s eyes widened as soft fur encased him. I’m not…alone?
“You have me,” the Riolu stated. “And I’m sure that’s far from being alone. I’ll protect you.”
Jirachi sighed as he closed his eyes. Friends…
And Sierra held him as his racing heart calmed and he finally drifted off to sleep.
Continued in next post...