"We have gathered here today to honor the memory of Gary Wilson. He left us exactly one year ago today. He was a loving son-in-law, husband, dad, and grandfather. His memory lives on in his friends and family. I knew him personally, once a month we would travel to the Great Marsh, and every July we would travel to Kanto or Hoenn for the Safari Zone. He made friends wherever he went, and always had a story to share," Reverend Michael said, reading the speech he had prepared for this memorial, "I would now like to extend the podium to anybody with a fond memory of this man."
I watched my grandmother, a short brown woman, step up to the microphone. Tears were already trailing down her cheeks, "When Gary left us a year ago, the entire family was devastated. My son Steven and I never got along very well. Whenever we fought, Gary was the voice of reason. Whenever one of us was being stupid, he didn't hesitate to let us know. Now that he's passed away, and my grandson Alex left Solaceon Town to pursue a finer education, the only thing stopping us from killing each other is little Samantha. But that is beside the point, we're supposed to be remembering all the great things my husband gave us. I remember nine years ago, we would always ride this Rapidash around. Alex, who was six at the time, always wanted to ride with us, but Rapidash was too big and dangerous for him. One day, Gary disappeared, he was gone for an entire month. He had gone to the Kanto Safari Zone. When he returned, he had captured a Kangaskhan! That thing was so big, I don't even remember how we could afford to feed it. But Gary didn't care, that Pokemon provided a safe ride in her pouch for little Alex. It made him so happy, and Gary was happy too," my grandma began crying fiercly and stepped down from the podium.
Miguel, my uncle, a very tall man, was next to step up, "My dad loved dogs. I remember he had this Growlithe. He loved that thing to death, which sadly it did. One day, it swallowed a Skorupi. The poison was so strong, it killed the poor thing. Fifteen years later, I finally found the perfect dog companion for him. They were two young Eevees. I remember that Father's Day. I had been taking care of them for a good month. So it was only natural that I expected to have to force them to stay with dad. As soon as I opened the box, the two furballs jumped into his arms. Man he loved those things. In fact, his love caused them to evolve into Umbreon and Espeon. The whole family cooed over those two. He vanished for two weeks, taking them both with him. When he returned, he had a big sack tossed over his shoulder. It was funny because it was Christmas and his white beard made him look like Santa Claus. He had an egg in his arms, which he gave to thirteen year-old Alex. He then said, 'son, a nice couple I know gave me this egg. I am quite sure it will hatch into an Eevee'. I told Alex to take care of the egg, its contents were valuable. Dad looked at me and said, 'I think you over-looked something Miguel'. I asked him what he meant. He reached into the bag and pulled out another egg, exactly like the one he had given Alex! The bag held six more eggs, each identical to the two he had already revealed. 'That nice couple,' he said, 'are Umbreon and Espeon'. I was so surprised, I failed to check their genders! I intended to buy two females, but one of the Eevees was actually a male! He gave an egg to each of his kids and grandkids. Even my daughter, Polly, who was only a year old at the time. I just wish he could see how those little Eevees have grown," Miguel began crying, throwing me off my guard. He was so big, and this was the first time I've ever seen him cry.
The cemetary stood quiet. Nobody wanted to give another speech. At first I was upset, but then I realized that they were still grieving. I left Solaceon Town a month after the funeral, so I wasn't around for most of the grieving process. I suddenly felt terrible, everyone else was torn apart, but I felt nothing. I knew what I had to do. Everybody quieted down as I stepped onto the podium, "As you know, I left Solaceon Town in hopes of higher education. I found that in Sandgem Town, where I spent my final school year with Professor Rowan and obtained my Battle Dimension degree. I made several friends, but returned here instead of exploring the world with them. My memory is one that describes my grandfather's vast forgiveness. I was ten when I got into my first fight. I beat the kid up and got suspended for a week. My grandpa worked the crap out of me. I was cleaning stables, digging trenches, and feeding all the Pokemon. The last day of my suspension, he told me he was going to teach me to fight honorably. So he pulled out that harmonica of his and played a soft tune. A small Skorupi, the same species that had killed his Growlithe, popped out of the ground. He snatched it up with a Pokeball and gave it to me. I initially refused, saying that I would get my first Pokemon when I finished school, but... he insisted," I took a break, fighting back the tears, "we spent the entire day battling with our Pokemon. He was constantly filling me with battle strategies and his own philosophies. I-I just wish he could see what that little Skorupi has become now."
The reverend, dressed in his fine black suit, closed the ceremony. The family all returned home, except for me. I stayed behind, standing over my grandfather's grave. The atmosphere was heavy as I stared at the marble tombstone. The grass under me, which engulfed my grandfather's deceased body, was fairly damp. The cloud cover was thick, casting a dark shadow over the town. I looked up and saw the Pokemon Tower. Suddenly, a thick fog wafted over the cemetary. An eerie green light shined through the thick pea soup-like cover. I cautiously walked towards the strange glow. I hid behind a dark tree that bore Enigma berries and watched a man wearing a dark trenchcoat and wide-brimmed hat. In his hand was a strange rock, this rock was the source of the light. As he crouched down to set the rock onto a grave, I noticed that there was nothing in the trenchcoat! In fact, the coat and hat were floating in mid-air. Green light flowed from the grave and into the rock that rested atop it. The light gave me an ominous feeling.
"What are you?" I asked.
The hat turned to me. In an instant, it bent down and scooped up the rock. I gave chase as it floated deeper into the fog. The farther I chased, the thick the air around me became. Suddenly, the air became freezing cold, goosebumps ran all over my body. Time seemed to stop as the fog wrapped around me, clouding my vision. When it cleared, I found myself lying on the dirt outside of the cemetary. My soul felt like it was being drawn out of my body!
"Alex! What the hell happened?" a familiar voice asked.
I looked up to find a fifteen year-old boy wearing a fancy blue hat and coat. He had black hair that protruded out the back. He carefully lifted me off the ground.
"Riley? What are you doing here?" I asked.
"I was on my way to Veilstone and remembered that you had that memorial today," he replied, "Haven't seen you since we stopped Team Galatic from getting their hands on Professor Rowan's Pokemon."
Riley was one of the friends I made while studying under Professor Rowan. He had inherited the power of aura from Sir Aaron, the legendary hero of Sinnoh. Back then, he, Dawn, Lucas, Barry, and I were, still are, some of the best friends there are. We would always spend our free time training. Eventually though, it was time to split up. Riley was called to Iron Island to train under Gen, another aura-user. Barry, Dawn, and Lucas all left to participate in the Sinnoh League, and to thwart Team Galatic's plans. Riley led me under a tree, where I sat down and relaxed after that eerie experience.
"What happened to you?" he asked.
"I was standing in the cemetary when this weird fog came in," I explained, "everything felt cold, and there was this strange green light, so I followed it. There was this floating trenchcoat and hat that was holding this glowing rock. The rock had these strange markings on it. He put the rock on a grave, and this weird green light came out of the ground. The rock, I think it was absorbing the light! I chased after the man and the fog closed in around me. Next thing I know, I'm lying on the ground outside the cemetary, and then you showed up."
"As I feared, Spiritomb has returned," Riley replied, a strange tone in his voice.
"Spiritomb? What the hell are you talking about?" I asked.
"Gen taught me about this," he replied, placing his hand on his chin, "One of Aaron's first missions was to stop a Spiritomb. I believe the rock you saw is the Odd Keystone. Spiritomb lives in that rock, and that's what gives it power. I'm sure that floating trenchcoat is one of Spiritomb's minions. When the Odd Keystone is placed near a soul, preferably on top of its resting place, Spiritomb absorbs that soul. Judging by how it gave you the slip, I'd say Spiritomb is incredibly powerful."
"If it's so strong, then why didn't it come out and fight me?" I asked, hooked on Riley's story.
"Spiritomb hasn't been placed in the Spirit Tower Well yet. If it had, you would've seen it in its true form."
"So...how do we stop it?"
"I was hoping you'd ask."
Riley and I went to my family's house in Solaceon Town. We sat under a green canopy whose ceiling was transluscent, giving us a clear view of the cloudy sky. Riley explained that Spiritomb's activity is to blame for this dark weather. We sat on a cherry wood bench and watched the Pokemon that were in the Daycare's care. My family owns the Daycare, which, besides the Pokemon Tower, is the only reason people stay in Solaceon Town. Many breeders come here, eager to have their Pokemon learn Egg Moves. Although it was our motto to never turn down a customer, my family despised breeders. They would ditch a Pokemon just because it didn't act the way they wanted. Sometimes they would take a mis-behaving Pokemon and abandon a shy one. Being a trainer, I understood the breeder's methods, so I was the go-to guy whenever I was around. My dad, Steven, a man in his late thirties, roughly the same height as me, joined us under the canopy.
"What are you two talking about?" he asked in his deep voice.
"Spiritomb, Mr. Wilson," Riley politely replied.
"Spiritomb, you mean that old wife's tale?" dad asked.
"It's not a work of fiction dad," I replied, "I saw the Odd Keystone, it stole a soul from a grave."
"I believe you," he replied, "I saw the same thing happen last week, I just wasn't sure what it was. But do you really think it was Spiritomb?"
"Yes, I can sense its presence," Riley replied, closing his eyes, "it is in the cemetary as we speak, collecting souls."
"Then we have to go!" I yelled, rising to my feet, "we can't let it get to my grandpa!"
"He's right sir," Riley added.
"Be careful you two," dad responded.
Riley and I stood in front of the black gates of the cemetary. Sure enough, the strange fog from earlier shrouded the graveyard. We walked through the gates and suddenly felt like we were in Snowpoint City. The green light shined brightly through the fog, just as it had done this morning.
"Listen Alex, we can't just madly run into the fog," Riley explained, "we have to vanquish this fog first."
"And how do we do that?" I asked.
"Simple, use Defog," he replied, pulling out a red-and-white ball.
He pressed a button on the small ball, causing it to expand to the size of a grapefruit. He shot his arm forward, the force cracking the Pokeball open. A flash of white light formed a strange shape. The Pokemon that came out of the ball was egg-shaped, with large wings emerging from the sides, feet and a tail in the back, and three spikes in the front. Togekiss let out a gentle cry, spreading the happiness she stored in her body into the atmosphere, warming up the two boys.
"Togekiss I need you to use Defog," Riley commanded softly.
"Preeee," the Jubilee Pokemon cried.
She beat her mighty wings rapidly. The breeze caused by her constant flapping drove the fog away, revealing the dark grass covered in dew, the marble grave markers, and most importantly; Spiritomb's servant and the Odd Keystone. The floating trenchcoat and hat turned to face the two boys. It knew there was no way to retreat, so it raised its arms and called forth two ghosts. The ghosts were short purple creatures, with sapphires for eyes and a ruby in its chest. The two Sableye erratically moved towards the humans that were interrupting their master's feast.
"Got some assistance for me?" Riley asked, turning to me.
"Yeah, I have my Chimchar right here," I replied, throwing a Pokeball of my own.
The white light dispersed, revealing an energetic orange monkey with a fiery tail. The monkey danced around on his tan feet and hands. He did a back-flip and then leapt into the air, a big grin on his face.
The two Sableye leapt toward the monkey and the fat bird with incredible speed. They were ready to erase the happiness in the two opposing Pokemon. Both of the Sableye fired off glowing rocks at Chimchar and Togekiss.
"Chimchar, dodge it now!" I yelled.
"Togekiss, counter with Aura Sphere," Riley commanded.
The bulky white bird fired off a light blue orb that collided with the Power Gem. Both attacks exploded, dispersing each other. The Power Gem that was aimed at my Chimchar clashed with the ground as the Chimp Pokemon quickly leapt to the side. Using this oppurtunity, the floating trenchcoat fled with the Odd Keystone in tow.
"Chimchar, Flame Wheel, go!" I yelled.
"Togekiss, use Air Slash," Riley said.
Chimchar spun himself into a ball and surrounded himself in fire. The sphere of flames burned through the damp grass. The Flame Wheel ground the Ghost/Dark-type with fire. Togekiss used the wind caused from her flapping to form thin knives that cut through the second Sableye. Both ghosts vanished instantly.
"What the hell?" I asked. "How can they be illusions? Those Power Gems were real!"
"Chimchar! Behind you!" Riley yelled.
The two Sableye rose out of my monkey's shadow. Chimchar turned right into a barrage of claws. The Shadow Sneak was successful. Chimchar was knocked into a tombstone, thunking his head on the marble. Both Sableye chuckled with malice.
"Togekiss, use Fire Blast," Riley said calmly, "that'll cause some trouble."
"Chimchar, make it double!" I cheered.
Both of our Pokemon drew in a large well of flames. They both shot out a human-shaped bullet of flames. They hit the pair of Sableye from both sides, exploding and engulfing them into flames. When the fire dispersed, both ghosts were gone. We took a quick check, to make sure there wasn't another Shadow Sneak coming. Once we were sure the coast was clear, we recalled our Pokemon and bolted towards the Spirit Tower Well.
After several minutes of running, we found ourself in a clearing surrounded by trees at the riverside. The floating trenchcoat dropped the Odd Keystone into a large mound of rock. The glowing rock fit in perfectly. The Odd Keystone floated out of the hole, surrounding itself with all the green orbs that contained the souls Spiritomb had absorbed. A dark purple black hole formed from the Odd Keystone, collecting the souls. The black hole opened up, revealing a glowing green face. Spiritomb cackled and floated into the cemetary.
"Where do you think you're going!" I yelled.
When Spiritomb opened its mouth, an eerie chill engulfed the area, "Dussssssknoir my good man. If you don't mind, I prefer to feasssssst without interferenccccce."
"As you say Master Spiritomb," the trenchcoat replied with a British accent.
The trenchcoat and hat disappeared, and the ghost brought his image into the living realm. It had a bulky stomach with a yellow face on it, a head that looked similar to a knight's helmet, and a curvy tail replacing his legs.
"I don't have time for this!" I yelled.
"Don't worry Alex, I'll handle this one," Riley replied, pulling out a Pokeball, "you protect the souls!"
"Right," I replied, chasing after Spiritomb.
"I will make short work of you guv'," Dusknoir said, turning to Riley.
"Gallade, let's show this guy what you can do!" he yelled in response.
His Pokeball burst open to reveal his Fighting/Psychic-type. A tall figure with white legs and a green upper body let out a cry. His arms were skinny, and sharp blade-like appendages extended from his elbows. An odd fin popped out from the top of his head.
"Ahh, a battle of Good versus Evil," Dusknoir sighed, "This will surely prove interesting..."
The bulky ghost bowed like a true gentleman. Gallade did the same, both Pokemon, albeit being on different sides of the good-evil divide, had a strong sense of honor. They both retreated from their bow and into their fighting stances. Dusknoir widened his arms, his red eye began shining viciously. A strange glow emanated from him and into the sky.
"With Future Sight, I can see the outcome of this battle," he explained, "Two defeats...I see, but from who?" the Gripper Pokemon twitched violently, and lost his accent, "Hundreds of souls...gone. The ones you love...devoured. What's this? A light? What does this all mean? Eons...eons...the key lies in the eons. I don't understand."
Riley was startled by Dusknoir's sudden change in personality, "W-what do you see?"
"It doesn't matter... if your friend wins, or if Spiritomb wins, every soul in that cemetary will be lost!" it yelled.
"Damn! Gallade, we gotta take this guy out fast!" Riley yelled, "Use Fury Cutter!"
Gallade dashed forward and viciously hacked at Dusknoir with the blades that extended from his elbows. Despite Gallade's ferocious strength, Dusknoir didn't move a muscle. It was a bulky Pokemon, capable of taking tons of punishment. But still, it is supposed to feel pain. The Future Sight seemed to drain all of Dusknoir's awareness. Riley tried to run off, but a strange purple light surrounded everything within a fifteen foot radius of Dusknoir.
"Imprison? What the hell!" Riley roared, banging on the barrier.
Dusknoir began glowing with a strange purplish-black aura. It was warming up to use Memento, a vicious attack that, when used, trades the user's consciousness for the ability to drain the very life out of everything in the nearby area. If Riley and Gallade didn't do something about this, they would be left at the mercy of the elements.