Silence covered the snowy forest as profoundly as the snow upon the ground and the branches of the trees. Nothing moved, there was not even a slight, cold breeze to free this forest from the moment in time that it was frozen in. The mountain to the north was like a white monolith, guarding this silent landscape. It was as though everything was sleeping.
Then, movement. The sound of something crunching snow beneath hooves. If someone were to look, they would see a Stantler walking slowly around trees. He didn’t look lost, nor did he look like he was merely wandering. No, this Pokémon definitely had a destination in mind. Deep snow, the freezing waters of a small stream, or even the slippery ice of an even smaller creek did not do well to deter him on his slow walk. Each step was carefully measured to make sure he kept balanced, to avoid any mishaps on his journey. It would soon come to an end, he knew that, so each measurement taken was needed.
Soon, he approached a dark cave. The sound of slowly running water came from the brook that wound around the mouth of the cave on its lazy route. The rather large Pokémon easily stepped over the water, ducking underneath the low icicles at the mouth of the cave. It was dark inside, and if one stayed still and listened, the steady drip, drip
of water dripping from another icicle could be heard. However, this Stantler did not stay still, but instead walked further inside. There, on a ledge, far in the back, a Shaymin lay sleeping soundly.
The Pokémon’s sides slowly raised and lowered in rhythmic fashion with her breathing. Silently, the Stantler sniffed the air. The soft, lingering scent in the air revealed this Shaymin was a female. The leaves and flower on her back were duller than those of a normal Shaymin, and a few leaves were curled up. The Stantler was a little worried about that, but he trusted that this Shaymin was fine. He stepped forward until he was next to her ledge, and nudged her with his nose softly. “Spring…Spring…” he muttered with each nudge.
At his urging, the grass Pokemon stirred. Her leaves shook softly, and she rolled onto her feet to shake her head clear of the dizzy feelings that come from waking after a long slumber. Her leaves and flower seemed to fill with more color, becoming vibrant and alive. Finally properly awoken, the grass Pokémon opened her bright jade eyes and glanced to the Stantler. “Is it…time already?” she asked, her voice light and cheery. Before the Stantler could answer, she immediately hopped up onto his head and cuddled against his antlers in a friendly way.
The antlered Pokémon let out a soft chuckle and turned around, heading outside the cave Spring made her home in for the snowy season. The two of them, as one, gazed out to the soft, silent landscape. Trees, either bare of leaves, or bearing heavy, snow-covered branches of needles, didn’t let them be able to look too far, but enough was seen by Spring to bring a small giggle to her. “My, things are so pretty here…but not very lively, huh?” She grinned a little. “I think I should make things look a little more green.”
There was a slight flash of light from the Stantler’s head, and suddenly, Spring stood in what was known as the Sky Form of Shaymin, with a daring expression, a red, scarf-like attachment on her neck, two wing-like antlers on her head, and a taller physique. This Shaymin was quite the extraordinary member of her species. While others needed the scent of the Gracedea flower to drive this ability for them, Spring did not. Because she was a special Shaymin; it was from this Pokémon that all Gracedea flowers came from. Now with her ability to fly, Spring took off from the Stantler’s head, giggling as she swooped down over the forest floor.
Behind the grass Pokémon, the snow melted away, and in its place, green grass and small, but vibrant flowers took its place. Having only just woken up, Spring flew along the forest floor slowly, but she took such pleasure in it. A few Butterfrees and Beautiflies, having awoken with her returning presence, flew up to join her, some landing on her nose and leaves. She gave another little giggle and softly shook them off, watching them as they flew around her. She then resumes her flight, life springing to the bushes and trees all around, until she dips down to the ground and lands.
She cupped her paws around some dirt and lifted, a stalk appearing in her grasp, and she lets go to reveal a small, but pretty daffodil. She gazed at it, then huffed, unsatisfied. She took the flower between her paws again and rubbed more, then rose higher, the stalk growing at her urging, and when she released it this time, a huge, bright sunflower took the place of the daffodil this time. Happy with what she made, she looked around, and saw the Stantler now standing beside a small tree, its thin branches covered in snow.
She grinned and took to the air again, flitting over to the tree excitedly. She looks at all the branches and giggles. “Needs a little more…color.” She then zoomed around the branches, brushing along them with each pass. Soon, the branches grew and sprouted bright pink blossoms, becoming a very colorful plant. With her work done here as well, the little grass Pokémon flew up higher and higher, passing by the branches of the taller trees until she finally broke free and rose above the trees.
She gave a cry of delight, her eyes closed in her joy, and she did a small back flip before continuing her flight, going faster than ever over the treetops. Behind her, color returned to the frozen landscape as though the sun was coming out from behind the clouds that still loomed over the forest below it. Trees sprouted leaves or grew more vibrant needles, grass and flowers burst from the ground, giving the forest life once more, now that Spring was here to give it. Happy to be flying, she flew towards the snow-capped mountain.
As she flew up the side of the mountain, her spell of life growth followed her…until suddenly, at a certain point, the grass, flowers, and other plant life stopped. The Shaymin blinked and turned around with a surprised expression very obvious on her face. There, she could see that there was a line no grass would grow past. “Huh…what do you suppose is doing that…?” she asked aloud. Slowly, she lowered to the ground, landing. Usually, flowers and grass would sprout instantly beneath her paws as soon as she landed but here…She lifted a paw experimentally, looking at the gray, boring ground beneath. She pressed it down again and then raised it a second time. There, grass appeared this time, but after a second, the grass withered and died.
“What…?” she asked; what caused her beautiful plants to die like that? Ever the innocent, curious creature, Spring looked to the top of the mountain. She took to the air and flew towards the peak, wondering if the answer was up there. However, she found no answer…she instead found a large crater, a bowl in the center of the mountain. Landing on the lip, she gazed down. The crater dipped down low, deep into the mountain. Smoke, blackish-gray smoke, rose lazily from a few points in the crater, but there in the very center of the crater, lay…something. Her curiosity getting the better of her, Spring flew into the crater, towards that…thing in the middle.
She landed and approached it. It was like black stone. Unlike the gem-like onyx stone, however, it was not a shiny stone…and it was darker than even the rocks of the Onix species. This huge, dark stone…was darker than even the night sky. Eyes wide, Spring approached this large curiosity. Slowly, she rose into the air before it, and reached out a paw to touch it…
Suddenly, two large, bright spots, like huge, red eyes, opened on the rock at her touch. In shock, she drew her paw back, jumping back in the air a few feet. Slowly, this…thing rose up into the air, those eyes still looking down on her. Smoke began billowing from this creature in great quantities, almost flowing from it like water. Spring watched it rise higher and higher, her eyes and mouth wide open. From this being…one could feel heat, but also, a sense of terrible fury and destruction. Fear welled up in Spring, and she flew quickly, trying to get out of this crater quickly. She landed on the lip and turned around, to see lava suddenly gush into the crater, filling it up and splashing like geysers of liquid fire.
From the smoke, something huge, red, and fiery rose. The beast rose higher and higher, seeming to grow even bigger, until finally, what looked like wings opened, and Moltres gave a shrill cry to the skies above. The Titan of Fire glowed red and orange in the fires that bathed his body, wings alight in the destructive flames, and lava boiled in the crater beneath him, bathing his body in even more fire. The gigantic firebird then turned his gaze downward, at the frightened Shaymin standing down on the lip of the volcano. Anger filled his visage, and he opened his beak and let loose a torrent of heat and fire at her.
Screaming in sheer terror, Spring immediately turned tail and ran. Behind her, the spot she had been standing in only a split second before was a glowing, orange crater as well. Faster, faster the Shaymin flew down the side of the mountain, and Moltres tried again and again to strike her, barely missing the small target each time. He struck a final, fourth time, and the mountain underneath Spring blew apart, boulders nearly striking her down from her flight, but she was able to avoid most them with a couple quick maneuvers. One smaller stone struck her in her desperate flight, however, and she tumbled to the ground, falling into the forest.
Moltres glared at the lush forest below his volcano, and a dark smirk seemed to flit across his beak. “More fuel to bring light and excitement to this boring forest,” he muttered in a booming voice. He then raised his wings and spread them wide, offering another screeching call to the red, fiery heavens above…and sank into the volcano like liquid. As if using some unholy power, Moltres transformed into the lava now bubbling out of the crater guiding the deadly, molten rock down towards his target. Bright, flaming eyes could be seen on the front of the lava flow.
Below, Spring stirred and climbed to her feet. She shook her head and groaned, before looking up the mountain. A gasp fled her lips when she saw the lava pouring down, surging down right at her. She floated up, placing herself between the flowing lava and the tree with cherry blossoms. “Please, don’t!” she cried in vain. The lava continued towards her, and she had no choice but to turn tail and flee. The lava surrounded the base of the tree, and seconds later, flames engulfed the blossoms and the bark, eating away at it hungrily.
Spring fled for her life from this monstrosity, past many, strong trees that did not offer her protection any more, but merely provided the beast with fodder. The forest transformed from a green, luscious site, to one of destruction and madness. Pokémon of many different species ran hither and thither, trying to escape the lava and flames that would spell their end. Still, the lava pursued, but one target, that of Spring.
The little Shaymin flew through a rocky ravine, hoping to escape the lava, but no, it was waiting for her on the other side of the path. The viscous, deadly liquid reared and struck, but she hopped up on a rock just in time. Moltres was crafty, however, and surged lava over the top of the ravine, hoping to strike at her from above. She was able to avoid it, and scaled the rocks agilely to escape. She climbed over the top of the ravine and fled on foot, feeling too tired to fly much longer. Moltres pursued her, flowing over rocks, bushes, trees, anything in his path to get at Spring. In a last-ditch effort to escape him, Spring leapt up, scaling the strongest, tallest tree as fast as her small paws would allow. The tree had been stripped of all its branches and leaves, leaving nothing barring her way as she ascended. She finally reached the tip top, and clung for her life.
She gazed out on the landscape, everything covered in a red and orange haze. Even the sky glowed an angry crimson. Dark gray smoke flowed from the burning forest below. Everything…everything was burning, dying. Tears filled the little Shaymin’s eyes as she watched everything she loved burn away into nothing. As she looked out over her forest, a huge plume of lava rose from the forest below, and Moltres reformed before her.
Spring stared up at the gigantic firebird, all tears gone, only a look of terror and awe showing in them. Her eyes reflected the visage of Moltres, glowing only a short distance in the sky away. The Titan of fire darkened his glare at her, seeming to take a sick pleasure in this, enjoying his hunt for the small Pokémon. This was it…this was the end.
Moltres gave an ear-splitting screech, then surged forward and struck.
A long time later, all the fires had died out. What few fires remained were quickly being snuffed out by the ashes that now replaced the consumed forest. All around, nothing alive remained. All was gray and black…all the forest was dead. The volcano, now finished unleashing its anger, was nothing more than a black husk, smoke rising lazily form the crater once more. Even more smoke still drifted from the burned forest, filling the sky and air around with a thick, gray haze.
Through the smoke, the Stantler walked, having miraculously survived. Unlike earlier, the Stantler’s path was much more meandering this time. He was looking for something, but he was not sure where his destination lay anymore. Every now and then, he stopped and looked around, but nothing but the devastation and death of the eruption’s aftermath met his gaze, and so he returned to his wandering.
After an hour of searching, those eyes blinked. Could it be…? Taking the chance, the Stantler trotted forward, towards a larger pile of ashes. He stopped before it and stooped low, using his nose to brush away the ashes. Slowly, he revealed the dormant form of Spring.
Unlike before, where Spring’s leaves looked slightly duller than normal because of her hibernation, the little Shaymin, once again in her Land form, was gray all over. All her leaves were curled up, shrunken. As the Stantler watched some of her leaves, and even piece of her skin, peeled off in the harsh wind tearing at her weakened form. She lay still, but as the Stantler nudged her a couple times with his nose, she stirred. A groan escaped her, and she rolled over slowly onto all fours. Immediately, Spring curled up on herself, hoping to protect herself from the wind, and any fires left remaining. She had been scared, terrified to the very brink of insanity, and even attacked with the intention to kill. She was only lucky to still be alive after such a brutal blow.
“Spring…” the Stantler muttered to her, a slightly urgent tone in his voice, “Spring, please, get up.”
The Shaymin shook her head. “I…I don’t want to…” she responded; her voice sounded like that of one who had lost all hope and dove into the depths of despair.
“Spring, please, you have to get up…You have work to do.” The Stantler gazed softly, but intently, down at her. The little grass Pokémon looked over her shoulder, and saw those bright green eyes gazing at her. Beyond the Stantler, she saw the tree that once had cherry blossoms in the distance. The tree, though burned and black, still stood.
The sight stuck in her mind, in her eyes, until the Shaymin could no longer ignore it. With a small sigh and a glance to the Stantler, she nodded and reached up. He lowered his antlers for her, and she gripped them as tightly as she could. The Stantler then stood up, lifting the grass Pokémon up, and, with a toss of his head, helped her get on top of him. Finally happy to have convinced Spring, the Stantler turned around and set off towards the cherry blossom tree and the rest of the forest.
He gained speed as he ran and jumped over debris, ignoring the destruction around. However, the sight could not be ignored by Spring. Everything she ever made, brought life to, and loved, was now gone in the blink of an eye. That very fact pierced her to the very core, and tears leaked from her closed eyes, falling off her cheek and landing on the forest floor.
As those tears landed, the ash covering the ground sent up plumes, and, suddenly, little green sprouts grew, leaves sprouting from the stalks the higher they got. Spring sniffed and opened her eyes slightly…and saw those growing sprouts. She was shocked. “What…how are they…?” she asked herself aloud. She blinked away more tears, and as they landed, more plants began growing, pushing the ash and dead plants away while they took root.
Spring gasped. Finally, she understood why she still had work to do. A small smile spreading across her muzzle, the small Pokémon quickly transformed into her Sky form and jumped off of her friend’s head, taking flight once more. Joy once more filling her heart, her color returned to her. She rose higher and higher, a bright grin flashing from her mouth. As she flew, behind her, clouds filled the ashen sky, but these weren’t dark clouds of pain and suffering…These clouds carried the water than life thrived on. Below, the Stantler ran after her, smiling as he saw her enthusiasm.
Rain began to fall, pitter-pattering against the hard, dead ground. Slowly, but surely, the ground soaked up the water, and more plant life began to sprout from the soaked earth. The gray and black ashes and husks slowly disappeared, replaced by fresh bushes, grass, and flowers. But it was not enough. Shaymin wanted the forest returned, and that would mean trees. Large, strong trees.
Exercising her power more than ever, Shaymin flew over the forest, and tree trunks burst from the ground, showering the grass with the dirt as they grew and grew. These trees grew higher than even the tallest tree in the forest before the eruption, huge branches growing a full cover of leaves. Green once again returned to the land, more vibrant and fulfilling than ever. Pokémon were reborn, and flocked again to this growing forest that was their home. All manner of insect Pokémon flew through the forest in swarms, filling the trees with an unending amount of color and activity.
In ecstasy at flight, and the return of the forest, Spring flew at breakneck speed over the ground, tossing, tumbling, and spinning in her enthusiasm. Behind her, trees, bushes, all manner of forest plant life exploded
from the ground, filling up the dead ground once more with life and splendor. Spring reveled in the amount of power she held in the land now, as if the eruption, despite the destruction it had caused, had made the ground more fit for life. She grinned, and headed for the dead volcano.
With her increase in power, Spring had no problems bringing grass and flowers to the side of the mountain this time. The gray, rocky landscape was suddenly filled with plant life, bringing an exciting color to the once boring mountain. The forest, once cloaked in the silent sleepiness of winter, and even devastated by a horrible eruption, was regrown, bigger and more beautiful than ever seen before. Spring flew through the skies endlessly, happy to be awake, and happy to bring such wonderful life to the land for another year. As the Stantler stood on the mountainside, he watched her fly through the sky, her essence spanning the forest to bring it more life for the long road ahead. He smirked, as the sky looked positively green with envy…
The little Shaymin smiled, happy at the truth of the world. Even in the red and orange of destruction, the blue of despair and depression, and the gray and black of death…Green was the most vibrant, and the most eternal.