Chapter One: An Unexpected Visitor
“Aislyn! Aislyn!” Cried out a tortured voice, seeming to come from all directions at once.
The young girl spun around, looking for whoever was calling her name. Yet there was nothing to see but the swirling mist that surrounded her.
“Aislyn! You must help me!” the voice echoed again, seeming both far away and very close.
“Where are you?” Aislyn called back, heart pounding in her chest. Confusion and fear gripped her as many more voices whispered in the gloom, voices full of pain, anger, and longing.
“I didn’t see this coming,” the first voice spoke again, clearer and stronger than the others. “But I should have known. I’m afraid that the Eclipse has now begun.”
“What are you talking about?” The girl’s head spun. She wished that she could escape the madness, but something held her back.
“I need your help. No, the world needs your help,” the voice continued.
“Me?” Aislyn mouthed.
“Look behind you,” it said, suddenly loud and clear, directly behind her. Suddenly, all of the minor voices stopped their harsh whispers at once.
Obeying the command, Aislyn turned to see the mist clear and a figure appear before her. It looked like some kind of Pokémon, with a crescent-shaped head and bird-like body, glowing with the brilliance of the moon.
“I am Cresselia,” the Pokémon spoke to her, its voice both kind and a sense of pride.
“Cresselia?” Aislyn said with wonder, dazed by its light and beauty. She had never seen or heard of such a Pokémon before, never mind a talking one.
“I am the Lunar Pokémon. It is I who repels the darkness, and brings reignites the light. It is I who faces dark forces everyday, to keep balance to the word. But those dark forces have finally triumphed over me.” Cresselia suddenly winced. “I have been captured and imprisoned by dark artifacts in a devious spell. Even now, my energy is being sapped away, and within months I will be completely drained. Then, the darkness will usurp our world. Our planet will become paralyzed, and all we know and love will whither away. But there is hope, a way we can defeat the darkness. It has been prophesied that a hero will rise, destined to stop a Pitch-Black future. Aislyn . . . It is. . . Your destiny . . .”
“M-my d-destiny? What are you-?” the young girl began to object, but then her surroundings began to fade. Struggling to hold onto the dream, she searched for Cresselia. The Lunar Pokémon only gazed forlornly at her, whispering her last words over and over.
“Aislyn! Aislyn! For Pete’s sake! Wake up!” someone shook her violently. Aislyn’s eyes flew open and she jerked out of bed, nearly knocking her mother out in the process.
“Calm down,” her mother reassessed, speaking more gently. “It was just a dream.”
“But! It was so real!” Aislyn slowed down, wiping the sweat off of her brow. “There was this P-pokémon, and it spoke to me!”
“Like I said, it was just a dream. Everything’s fine now,” the older woman smiled and patted her on the back.
“Y-yeah, it was just a dream,” she sighed, slumping her shoulders. Outside of her little bedroom, Aislyn heard a Doduo crow and knew that despite the strange dream she had, life was as normal as always back on the farm. No matter how she felt, there was work to do.
Her mother shook her head and stood up. “I knew I shouldn’t have let you eat at that burrito joint. The place was screaming DANGER! Hurry and get dressed. Pokémon need fed and Milktank need milking. Then we’ll see about breakfast.”
“Yes, Mom,” Aislyn yawned, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“That’s a good girl,” Her mother gave her a quick kiss before finally leaving her daughter’s room. Stretching, Aislyn reluctantly crawled out of bed and peered through the curtains. The sun was slowly beginning to rise over Lunnori, a small region located between Kanto and Foire. Though it was a pleasant place, located close to the ocean and beaches, it was focused on agriculture. There was no cities here, no resort areas, and certainly no Pokémon Gyms or League for that matter. It seemed like there was simply nothing to do here but watch things grow.
Aislyn felt trapped. She had so many dreams and hopes for her future, like becoming a Trainer or even a Ranger, but nothing she found here helped. Many times she contemplated running away, but something always kept her back. It seemed like it was her fate to grow and die here, like the crops around her. She was a dreamer, and there was no room to expand her ideas here on this little farm.
Looking to the north, she spotted Crescent Peak the tallest mountain in the region, which wasn’t saying much. Somewhere on its side was the sleepy town of Adelite, where there was an expansive farmers market. Her father would be there today with some of his Tauros and Doduo. He was a famous breeder of those Pokémon, though those he sold hardly ever passed into a trainer’s hands. They were often used as transportation or for uses on a farm. Poké Balls and battles unheard of around here, Aislyn sighed.
As the young farm girl burst out of her old two-story house, bucket swaying about, she nearly stepped on a sleeping Growlithe. The dog-like Pokémon yelped and barked in complaint, but Aislyn ignored him and took off towards the chicken pen. Light beams shone down through the dusty air as she opened the door. The birds cocked their head up at her in curiosity as she hurriedly sprinkled the feed around their pen. Immediately, the birds forgot their suspicions and eagerly feasted on the feed. Aislyn checked for eggs, then dashed to the Doduo pen.
“Morning, Boys!” she cried out to the two-headed birds. A trio of them eagerly ran to the side of the fence, cawing expectantly. As she held the bucket out for them to eat, the heads began to fight amongst each other.
“Cut it out, guys!” Aislyn laughed. “It all goes to the same place.”
One of the heads looked up and ruffled her hair with his beak. She returned the gesture by reaching up and scratching its cheek. These Doduo made fine steeds, being both loyal and fast, especially if they were raised by the Brights. People from all over wouldn’t hesitate to own one of Aislyn’s father’s Doduo. This particular Doduo that was teasing the girl was one that she owned and raised, and she nicknamed him, Dewy.
All the heads lifted at once, and the girl surprised to see that the bucket was already empty.
“Man, you make us look like we don’t feed you enough,” she chuckled, stepping back from the fence. She knew well enough that the Doduo had the best life possible while they lived in their care. They had the best quality feed, plenty of room to run, and people who loved them. Sitting down the bucket and clapping the dust off her hands, she tried to remember her next assignment. “One more thing on my agenda: the Milktank,” she spoke to no one in particular.
This was how most days past on this little farm in Lunnori, with no excitement at all. The calmness and peacefulness was enjoyable, but boredom was most intolerable. Though there was plenty to keep her busy, Aislyn wanted a change in her life. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, this particular day would change the course of Aislyn’s future.
“Aislyn,” her mother had spoken to her after breakfast. “Your father and brother have yet to come back from town, so I need you to look after the Mareep today. Take them up to the meadow by the river up north, got it?”
“What?” she almost spat out her milk. “The Mareep? Isn‘t there something else I could do?”
“Nothing that is as important. Come on, just for a day. Those Mareep need to graze so they can get bigger so that we can get their wool. Since your brother isn’t here to watch them . . .”
“Okay, then,” Aislyn sighed, setting down her mug. Suddenly, she wished that she gone to Adelite instead of Freddie. Watching the Mareep had to be the worst job for her to do on the farm. All it consisted of was sitting out in the hot sun while watching the flock eat and eat and eat and eat . . .
“That’s my girl,” her mother smiled graciously, adding more dishes to the sink. They didn’t have a washing machine, but Aislyn’s mother didn’t mind cleaning them by hand. She enjoyed working with her hands more than anything else. It always made her feel as if she had truly accomplished something by the end of the day. “Make sure you take plenty of water, and you can bring Dewy along with you. Oh, and don‘t forget to bring rubber.”
“Yes, mom,” Aislyn sighed, grabbing a pair of canteens. Minutes later she was geared up and leading the sheep-like Pokémon up the hill. Their Growlithe, Buster, followed behind, helping with keeping the herd intact. She sat astride her Doduo, holding a rubber shepherd hook and prodding the Mareep when necessary. Once the afternoon sun reached its highest point in the sky, they finally made it to the meadow. The wildflowers were beginning to bloom, painting the grass with hues of red, blue, and yellow. Buster disappeared in a patch of knee-grass, and curled up for a nap. Aislyn let Dewy wander around and found a rock to rest on. Here came the boring part, the waiting and the watching.
She did have enough sense to bring something to do, however. Pulling out her sketch pad, she thumbed through its pages. She was a fairly good artist, managing to draw proper proportions and details. Her favorite subject had always been Pokémon. Gazing at the meadow, she began to start a rough sketch of the Mareep. After merely ten minutes, however, she gave up and turned to a fresh sheet. She couldn’t help but think of her dream last night, and picking up her pencil, she began to draw the Cresselia from memory.
Becoming entirely enthralled in her newest subject, she didn’t notice Buster sit up and wag his tail. Nor did she hear Dewy cawing a greeting. Only when she looked up to get a drink from her canteen did she notice something was off. All of the Pokémon in the meadow was looking her way.
“Excuse me, miss,” a male’s voice spoke from behind her, and she suddenly knew why.
Whirling around, she turned to face the stranger. He was roughly her size, but his face was concealed by a hood, and his arms were tucked into his sleeves. She literally couldn’t see any of this person’s features, which immediately raised her suspicion.
“Pardon for interrupting,” the figure continued. “But I have traveled very far, and I am so parched. Perhaps, would you offer me some water?”
Aislyn wasn’t sure what to say, looking back at her Pokémon for assurance. They didn’t at all seem alarmed at this person’s appearance. Buster, normally a bold guard dog towards strangers, was actually wagging his tail! If they trusted this traveler, then perhaps she could too.
“Of course,” she tried a friendly smile, then passed her second canteen to the stranger.
“I am ever grateful, miss,” it bowed, then unfolded his arms. Aislyn gasped and recoiled as two thin, green arms reached out of the sleeves.
“Don’t be frightened,” reassured the stranger, reaching up to pull back the cloak’s hood. It fell away from his face, revealing his true identity.
“You’re a Pokémon? A talking Pokémon?” Aislyn’s eyes grew wide with wonder.
“Yes. I am a Gallade,” he spoke without moving his lips. “I am speaking to you through telepathy.”
“It is a way to project one’s thoughts to another. I must apologize, I didn’t mean to alarm you.”
“No, its okay,” Aislyn snapped out of her stupor, remembering her canteen. Quickly, she offered the canteen again, apologizing. “I just wasn’t expecting this. I’ve never really heard telepathy before, and we usually don‘t get travelers though here. Especially traveling Pokémon.”
“Thank you miss,” The Gallade gladly accepted the canteen and guzzled down the water. Aislyn smiled and blushed. This Pokémon was overwhelmingly chivalrous. She had never heard of a Gallade before, but then again, she hadn’t heard about a lot of things.
“Hmm, that did it,” The Gallade sighed contently, wiping his mouth. “I am very grateful.”
“You’re welcome,” Aislyn took back the canteen, noticing that it was quite empty now. “What brings you to Lunnori?”
“Ah, just my travels. It is a goal of mine to see all of the regions of the world. Right now I’m headed to Fiore, and I though it would be nicer to travel on foot. It gives me more opportunity to see new and different places. And I’m glad, or else I would have missed out on this pleasant little region.”
“Yeah,” Aislyn sighed, not sharing the same opinion of her home region. “What other places have you been?”
“Oh, I just came from Kanto, but I’ve been to the Seven Isles, Hoenn, Sinnoh, and Almia.”
“Wow, what were they like?”
The Gallade chuckled. “There’s so much I could tell you about them! I don’t know where to start!”
Aislyn weakly smiled, feeling a small twinge of jealousy.
“I take it you’ve never been out of Lunnori, have you?” Gallade sensed her sudden mood change.
“No, I was born here and I’ll probably die here. But . . . I’ve always wanted to do what you’re doing. Travel around the world and see new sights. It seems that I’m stuck here though.”
“Hmm,” The Gallade hummed thoughtfully, looking towards the sky. “Perhaps one day, you might break free. From what I’ve learned, a free spirit can never be detained for long. Forgive me, I need to ask of another favor from you.”
“Perhaps you could direct me to a place where I can find food and lodging? And maybe some work. My funds of late have been rather depleted.”
“There’s a town up ahead named Adelite,” Aislyn pointed to Crescent Peak, “but it would be another day of walking from here. The closest place would be my house, and I’m sure my mom and dad would let you stay. We might could help you find a job on the farm, too. Once my brother returns, I could take you there.”
“You are most generous,” the Pokémon bowed again. “I accept your offer. I am called by many, Troy, and if you ever need assistance, I’d be glad to help.”
“Oh, thank you,” Aislyn blushed, looking towards the flock of Mareep. “My name Aislyn Bright.”
Buster barked and came running up to Troy with his tongue sticking out of his mouth. Dewy followed him from behind, heads bobbing excitedly.
“Nice to meet you too, Buster,” Troy laughed, reaching down to pet the Growlithe. “And Dewy as well. They are both very fond of you, Aislyn.”
“Buster’s our family friend, and I grew Dewy all by myself. You could say they’re my closest friends.” Aislyn sat back down on her rock, returning to her sketch pad.
“As it should be,” Troy agreed. “It always makes me feel good to see humans and Pokémon getting along with each other. Even your Mareep are very happy living on the farm.”
“They get the best treatment we can provide. Um, my brother should be coming back soon, so . . .”
“I’ll wait,” Troy sat down on the rock next to her. “What are you drawing?”
“Oh, this?” Aislyn suddenly grew shy, hiding her work. “It’s nothing. I’m not really that good.”
“No, your work is wonderful. May I see it?” The Gallade held out his thin, green arm once again. Not wanting to offend, the girl reluctantly handed her sketch book over. Troy looked through it, examining every sketch thoroughly, until he flipped to her latest sketch.
“What is this?” he asked.
“That? I . . . I think it’s called a Cresselia.”
“I’m not sure. You see, I saw it in a dream of mine.”
“You saw it in a dream?” The Gallade looked genuinely shocked.
“Um, yeah. Just last night,” she added hesitantly, not sure if she should say more. Troy fell silent, examining the drawing in deep thought, before passing the book wordlessly back to her. After a long moment, he merely complimented her on her skill, but Aislyn wondered if there was something she had done wrong. She wanted to ask, but was afraid of making the Gallade upset. There was something unusual about this Pokémon, but she didn’t know what.
After a while, she couldn’t bare the uncanny silence. “Can you tell me about one of those places you’ve been to?” she dared to ask.
Troy shook himself from his suprise, then smiled. “Yes, I tell you about Sinnoh, my home region . . .”