Chapter Five: Thyme Travel
“Good morning, Aislyn,” greeted her mother when the sleepy teen made it down the stairs. The smell of scrambled eggs filled the air, mixed with fresh-baked muffins and bacon. Her mother was vigorously stirring the eggs, and smiled when her daughter yawned. It seemed to be just another slow Saturday morning, with the sun finally peeking over the hills.
“Morning,” Aislyn mumbled, slipping on her boots. She had a rough night, and all she wanted to do was sleep. She hadn’t even changed out of her pajamas yet, but she didn’t care. She just wanted to crawl back into bed. Reluctantly, she went out to do her morning chores. Blinking in the sunlight, she stumbled over to the chicken cage. Before she could open the door, however, there came a noise from the other side of the yard.
Startled awake, she paused and looked for the source. How odd, she thought. What could it have been? Was it Troy or Freddy? It didn’t sound like anything she had ever heard. Setting aside the bucket, she abandoned her chores to investigate.
Everything seemed normal. There was just the house, and Freddie’s wash drying on the clothesline. The blooming lilac bushes swayed innocently in a tiny breeze, sending a thick flowery scent her way. A robin was hopping through the grass, searching for breakfast. Nothing was out of place, so Aislyn began to wonder if she had just imagined the noise.
Suddenly, a shape busted out of the bushes and charged towards her. She screamed and took a step back, only to trip over a misplaced rake. The shape stopped and screamed as well, just as startled as she was. It flew back into the lilac bushes, scattering petals as it did so.
Aislyn sat there a moment, trying to figure out what she had just seen. The creature that had popped out of those bushes looked like a green fairy, with a tear-drop shaped head an tiny body. Could it have been a Pokemon? What was it doing here? Biting her lip, she stood up and went to the bushes. Moving aside some branches, she peered inside.
Bright blue eyes peered back out at her, warily watching her every movement.
“Don’t be scared,” she whispered to them, trying to be as gentle as she could. “I won’t hurt you.”
The eyes blinked, then moved forward. Aislyn backed away, allowing the fairy to come out. They stared at each other for a moment, as if trying to figure out what the other was.
“Are you okay?” Aislyn finally asked the creature.
“Yes, I’m okay,” the fairy answered, sighing.
Aislyn jumped, surprised to hear a reply. This creature spoke through telepathy, much like Troy did.
“You gave me a good scare,” Aislyn ventured a weak laugh.
“No, you did!” the fairy smiled.
“Sorry about that,” she replied, scratching the back of her head. Then she dared to ask, “If you don’t mind me asking, what are you?”
“Why, I’m a Celebi!” the creature replied with dignity. “My name is Thyme. Who are you?”
“I’m Aislyn,” she slowly answered, still trying to figure out this creature.
“Aislyn!” came a voice from behind her. She looked over her shoulder as Troy came racing into the yard. His elbows were extended into long blades, and he looked ready for a fight. “I heard you scream, then . . .”
The Gallade trailed off as he spotted Thyme.
“I’m okay,” Aislyn tried to reassure him. “I was just . . . Surprised, that’s all.”
“You must be Sir Troy,” Thyme’s eyes grew wide.
Gallade retracted his elbows and bowed, “I most certainly am, Celebi. How may I assist you?”
“So if you’re Troy,” The Celebi looked from him to Aislyn. “Then you must be the girl . . . Then that means . . . I am not too late!”
“Too late for what?” Aislyn frowned.
“I was searching for you two,” Thyme grew excited. “I had an important message!”
Troy and Aislyn exchanged glances.
“And . . .” Aislyn prompted, wondering why this Celebi was making such a scene.
“You are both in grave danger!” Thyme’s excitement withered away. “You must leave immediately.”
The two didn’t reply right away, taking time to take in the news.
“Danger?” Ailsyn finally spoke. “Are you kidding? What kind of danger?”
“The Dark One has sent his hunters out to find you,” Thyme explained grimly. “They know that you’re here. Unless you leave now, they might overcome you.”
“But . . .,” she trailed off, feeling overwhelmed. She was going to be chased from her own home? “What about my family?”
“They’ll be fine,” Thyme added hastily, “if you leave now. They’re only looking for you, Daughter of the Moon.”
Aislyn just gaped. She couldn’t believe that she was endangering her family by just being here. This had to be some joke. It just had to be! She didn’t want to be exiled from her own family. She looked to Troy for some support, but the Gallade looked as stunned as she did.
“There is something else,” Thyme went on, speaking slowly. “The Colossal One wishes to speak with you. I was sent to bring you to him.”
“The King of the Frozen Throne?” Troy blinked, bewildered. “Now?”
“Right now,” The Celebi nodded. “And I might remind you that time is short. You might want to bring something warm. It’s rather cold where we’re going.”
“Aislyn, come with me,” Troy commanded, leaving the Celebi in the yard.
“Troy, what is going on?” Aislyn followed, trying to keep up with the Gallade’s quick pace.
“Thyme is going to take us to the Snowpoint Temple,” Troy replied quickly, leading her into the house. “Celebi are time travelers. They can move across time and space at will, and Thyme will take us to see someone important.”
“Snowpoint? What? Where is that? And who are we going to see?” Aislyn stopped as they entered the kitchen.
“There’s no time for questions,” Troy grabbed his traveling cloak and spun it on. “Go grab a jacket, and hurry!”
Aislyn frowned but nodded. She raced up the stairs into her bedroom and dug around in her drawers. It was only spring, and she hadn’t needed to wear it for a long time. It was difficult, but she finally found a good one and raced back down the stairs. Troy was waiting at the foot of the steps for her, his stone-like face revealing no emotion.
“What the big hurry?” Aislyn pulled her jacket on as she galloped down the stairs. “If Thyme can travel through time, then can’t he just take us farther back in time?”
“Celebi indeed can travel through time,” Troy began to explain as they raced back through the house. “But only to When and Where they had been before. I believe this is the first time he’s been to your house. If we are to come back, it can only be now. And if enemies are close at hand, we need all the time we can get.”
“What?” Aislyn furrowed her brows. None of what Troy said made sense, and it made her head hurt just thinking about it.
“Just hurry,” Troy sighed. They made it back out to the yard, where Thyme was waiting anxiously.
“Ready?” he asked.
“As ready as we’ll ever be,” Troy replied, hugging his cloak around him.
“Here we go then,” Thyme smiled, then began to glow. Aislyn watched as her surroundings grew blurry and all the colors blending into one. She felt as if she was being lifted from the ground and separated from her body. Suddenly feeling nauseas, she squeezed her eyes shut to hide from the dancing lights around her. Everything felt like it was moving too fast, and spinning out of control.
All motion seemed to slam on its brakes abruptly, and Aislyn felt as if she was flung back into her body. She fell onto solid ground once more, and for a moment just laid there with her eyes sealed shut. A sharp coldness was biting at her, and she was glad she had brought a jacket.
“Aislyn,” she heard Troy’s gentle voice, “Are you okay?”
She finally opened her eyes and looked around her new surroundings. There was little light, but she could make out stone-gray pillars that reached up towards millions of ice stalactites. The ground was covered in a thin film of ice that caught the light coming from torches. Its blue flame flickered at the feet of a strange marble statue.
“I’m just a little motion-sick,” the teen finally replied, her stomach making a miserable knot. Troy graciously helped her to her feet, his face full of concern.
“That can happen,” Thyme weakly laughed. “Especially to first-timers. It‘ll get better once you get use to it. Now follow me.”
The Celebi seemed to glow in the dark, providing Troy and Aislyn more light to see where they walked. The ground was slick, and Aislyn slipped more than once. Troy seemed to always be there to catch her fall, which she was grateful for. Thyme led them down several staircases, and it seemed to Aislyn that the air grew colder with each floor. Nothing made a sound in the dark cave, not even running water or wild creatures. Aislyn began to wonder if the place was completely abandoned.
“This is the Snowpoint Temple?” she asked after she couldn’t bare the eerie silence anymore.
“It is,” Troy answered, keeping his eyes ahead. “You are in Sinnoh, now.”
“Sinnoh? But that‘s across the ocean!”
“Please, Sinnoh is the least of places I could take you to,” Thyme winked.
“Remember what I told you,” Troy lectured. “Celebi can travel across time and space.”
Thyme led them into a long tunnel that ended at a giant marble door. It arched high above their heads, and was wider than a house. Primitive-looking carvings were etched into its cold surface, depicting many different types of Pokemon. Aislyn gaped at its appearance, having never seen something so large before. It seemed to be perfectly preserved, without a chip or scratch. She tried to imagine who could have built it and how, but with little luck.
At the foot of the door, there were three figures waiting for them. As they got closer, Aislyn could see that one was a man while the other two were Pokémon. Each one of them wore a traveling cloak similar to the one Troy wore, though more elaborate and new. Aislyn blushed, embarrassed to know that she was still in her pajama’s. How she wished that she had changed before going to do chores. Yet how was she suppose to know that she was going on an adventure today?
“Masters,” Troy suddenly stopped and bowed to the three individuals.
“It is good to see you again, Sir Troy,” the man smirked. Aislyn tried to guess that his age must have been around his late twenties. He was dressed in blue with sturdy black boots and gloves. He had jet-black hair that stuck out from under a hat with a feather stuck in it. The man had a jolly spark in his eye, appearing to be quite happy where he was at. Stepping forward, he heartily shook Troy’s thin hands.
“It has been too long,” said a female voice, which seemed to come from one of the Pokemon. Aislyn guessed it had come from the one that resembled a blue dog, but she couldn’t remember what they were called. She wore a silvery cloak that resembled thin silk, but the cold didn’t seem to bother her at all.
“Far too long,” agreed a deep, melancholy voice. It had to be the last Pokémon, the yellow and brown one with a long mustache. He appeared to be a very old Pokemon, having touches of white throughout his fur. He wore a heavy purple cloak that seem to flap as if stirred by the wind. Yet not a single breeze could be felt in the dark temple.
“Well,” Thyme cleared his throat. “While you are reacquainting yourselves, I will see if Colossus will see you now. I’ll be back in a flash!” With that, the fairy-like Pokemon effortlessly opened the giant door and disappeared within.
“I am assuming that this is the one?” the older Pokémon inquired, looking at Aislyn with his ever sad-looking eyes.
“Yes, Master Zhang,” Troy solemnly nodded. “This is Aislyn Bright, Cresselia’s chosen. Aislyn, these are among the leaders of the Knights of the Aura: Sir Tristan of Almia, Lady Silver the Lucario, and Sir Zhang the Alakazam.”
The Knights bowed to her, and Aislyn blushed again. Clumsily, she curtsied back to them, but said nothing.
“Aislyn Bright,” Sir Zhang looked at her thoughtfully. “I always wondered if I would have the chance to speak with you.”
Aislyn didn’t understand what the old Pokémon was saying, but she nodded respectfully.
“Amazing,” Lady Silver stared. “She has the most stunning aura that I’ve ever seen. It’s as white as snow, and glows with such brilliance!”
“Perhaps there is hope for us after all,” Sir Tristan held his chin between his thumb and index finger.
Aislyn felt awkward under the weight of their stares. She was still at a lost for words, looking to Troy for support. Thankfully, the Gallade spoke up to change the subject.
“May I ask what brings you here, Masters?”
“Colossus summoned us here,” the Alakazam answered him. “And we also was seeking his council. These are dark times, Sir Troy.”
“Indeed,” the Lucario continued for her companion. “The enemy has been overly confident, and has started to invade Almia.”
“What?” Troy was caught off guard. “They’re attacking?”
“Yes,” Sir Tristan sighed, a shadow passing over his once jolly face. “They came from the sea in strange machinery, both Men and Pokémon. First they invaded small towns, cornering the citizens and holding them captive. Anyone who tried to resist, Rangers and Trainers alike, were defeated and sent to prison holds. Now they are setting sights on the larger cities. Stealing more Pokemon to serve their dark purposes, they are easily taking more land.”
“They are looking for our stronghold,” Lady Silver crossed her arms, “as well as expelling the Rangers. I believe he knows that we remain a threat to his schemes, and wished to remove us.”
“What a mistake that will be,” Sir Tristan winked, the mischievous glint returning to his eye.
“We are trying to hold him back as best as we can,” Sir Zhang continued. “But our only hope will be Cresselia’s freedom. And the young girl you see by your side.”
Aislyn gulped as all eyes returned to her. “With all do respect, sir,” she stuttered. “I don’t think I’m as great as you all seem to think I am. I’m just a girl! I can’t do anything more than run a farm. How can you expect me to do all these great things?”
“You’d be surprised at what you can do,” Sir Zhang’s face suddenly lifted up into a kind smile. “The strongest power in this world is the strength of the heart, young one. And I sense much strength within yours. I believe that when the time comes, you will know exactly what to do.”
“But-,” she was about to argue, but she was interrupted by the appearance Thyme and another Celebi, once that was pink instead of green.
“Colossus will see you now,” Thyme bowed, holding the door open for them.