The Quest for the Legends (ILCOEp)
The Pokémon Festival – May 25th: Chaletwo's Arrival
Mark just suddenly realized that he was awake. He couldn’t recall waking up, or dreaming anything. That was a relief.
He reached for his watch and looked at it. It was seven in the morning. He sighed, closing his eyes. He didn’t feel tired at all.
His stomach fluttered as he thought about what day it was. His father had told him to stay in his room, lie on his bed and pretend not to exist. That was probably the wisest thing to do. His inner voice of reason told him that over and over with convincing, step-by-step arguments.
And there was really no voice to speak against it, because there was no question about it. There was no way to logically argue that he should rather take the risk and see Chaletwo. There was just a power that could silence all logic immediately. And Mark knew that there was no way he could lie in a room and wait while the most powerful Pokémon in the world was appearing outside. He just couldn’t.
He had a funny, numb feeling as he sat up in his bed and reached for his Pokéball belt at the foot of his bed. He took Sandslash’s Pokéball – no particular reason why, he just felt like it – and dropped it lightly onto the floor. Sandslash came out of it and looked around.
“What is it?” he asked.
Mark shrugged. “Nothing. Just felt like talking.”
They didn’t say anything for a while. Finally, Mark sighed.
“The other day when I got my trainer license… it made me think,” he muttered. “I… do you really like me and the way I train you?”
“Well,” Sandslash sighed, “there is something I wish you would do.”
“Let us outside a bit more. We would all love to be able to run around freely for a bit sometimes when you’re not doing anything. Pokémon don’t like being stuffed inside Pokéballs for too long.”
“Yeah,” Mark muttered. Neither of them said anything for a little while.
“I’m not sure I’m such a good trainer,” Mark said quietly.
“You are,” said Sandslash softly. “I am very grateful for you.”
“Why?” Mark asked. “I’m lousy. Take May…”
“You are a much better trainer than her,” Sandslash said immediately.
“But how?” Mark asked miserably. “Are you really being honest?”
“Well,” the Pokémon began slowly, choosing his words carefully, “when you first caught me, I thought you weren’t a very good trainer at all. I always lost and stuff…”
He trailed off, but then continued: “But then I slowly started realizing that… Well, when you’re a young Pokémon, you think of a trainer as a method of getting strong and nothing more than that, which was why I wasn’t happy to find that you didn’t appear to have much more skill than I did by myself. But then I just started to realize that you cared and really hated not being better, because you felt like you were being a lousy trainer for us. And that… touched me. The reason Pokémon tolerate the limits set by being possessed by a trainer, and thus the reason Pokémon training can work in the first place, is that it usually gives Pokémon an opportunity to be stronger, but in the long run, Pokémon don’t live for that. The reason Pokémon stay true to their trainers after the trainers retire and the Pokémon have reached the physical limits of their strength is that through a trainer’s journey around the world, strong bonds are formed between trainer and Pokémon. This is what keeps Pokémon training alive and what makes it so magical – and this is why you are a better trainer than for example May, who is an extraordinarily good battler, but will never feel like anything more to her Pokémon than a temporary training stage in their lives. It’s sad that so many Pokémon stay with a trainer for years, never realizing how much more there is to life with a trainer than battling.”
“I… wow,” Mark just said.
“Take now, for example,” Sandslash said. “When you’re a young, wild Pokémon, you don’t expect your trainer to send you out just to talk to you. It’s just not in your image of what you believe the purpose of a trainer is. When that happens, though, you realize that this is one of those moments that make you really appreciate your trainer, more than winning some battle will ever do. You’re a great trainer, Mark. May is everything a Pokémon looks for in a trainer – you are much more.”
Mark felt strangely warm. “Wow… thanks…”
“But as I said,” Sandslash continued, “we’d really love some more outside time. You should try that sometime soon.”
“I will. Thanks,” Mark said, smiling.
Mark spent the day as if it were his last. He didn’t encounter May at all, but he was feeling so different that he was kind of glad for that. He focused on enjoying himself, such as by buying a lot of candy, and had a weird, hyperactive ‘happy’ attitude throughout the day. He had no idea why he wasn’t more nervous. He just felt crazy.
That changed, however, when it drew closer to four o’clock. Suddenly the voices in his head were all screaming again; he wanted to go back to the Pokémon Center as he walked past it, but his feet wouldn’t obey and continued towards the slowly gathering crowd of people in the patch of grass just outside the city borders.
A circle with an approximately five-meter radius had been marked off in the grass. Nobody stepped into it. Mark felt numb as he found himself a place behind a few other people; he could peek out between them.
He waited for what seemed like an hour; then somebody in the crowd shouted “Ten!” The rest of the audience joined in with the countdown.
“…Four! Three! Two! One!”
And suddenly Chaletwo just stood there in the middle of the circle.
He wasn’t like Mark had expected. The illustrations in the book about the Ouen legendaries didn’t capture the way he looked at all. Yes, he had the exact same, lavenderish-white skin as Mewtwo, same strong legs but thin arms, same bulgy toes and fingers, same distantly human torso and catlike head – and, indeed, his eyes were closed. But the artist had missed two important details. One was that it was clear that Chaletwo was looking through his eyelids; he didn’t even distantly look like Mewtwo with closed eyes. The other was that Alan had been absolutely right: Chaletwo was obviously not evil. It wasn’t hard to imagine him as evil from looking at the pictures, but Mark just realized suddenly that he had been wrong. He had no idea why, but it didn’t seem like something to question. It was just true.
Everybody was immobilized as Chaletwo looked over the crowd. He then started turning slowly around to see the rest of the audience. Mark’s heart hammered in his chest as the legendary turned towards where he was.
The people in front of Mark automatically shifted to the sides before he knew, and he found himself rooted in place, looking straight at Chaletwo’s closed eyes. After what seemed like an hour, during which Mark’s mind and body were completely frozen, Chaletwo finally turned away.
Mark released his breath as Chaletwo was no longer looking at him.
He’s facing away. You could just throw the Master Ball.
The voice spoke clearly out in Mark’s head before he could help it. Chaletwo turned sharply back towards him; Mark stared desperately at the legendary with only one thought in his head: I don’t want to die now.
Chaletwo’s eyes opened.
The first thing that occurred to Mark was that the ‘Good or Evil?’ poster in the Pokémon Center had gotten Chaletwo’s eyes completely wrong too. On the poster they had been bright yellow, but they were so much more than that. They were terribly, blindingly, unearthly yellow, their brightness piercing through his eyes like a knife, yet so oddly beautiful that he didn’t want to look away.
Then, all of a sudden, Mark felt a burning hand ripping his heart out through his chest. The pain was unthinkable; he screamed, but the sound seemed unrealistic and far away. He faintly heard an echo of other people’s screaming as his vision faded to black, all except for the horribly, horribly bright eyes that were somehow the worst part of all.
Suddenly, it all stopped. The pain was gone. Everything around him was eerily dark and silent.
What happened? he thought.
“Your consciousness has been separated from your body,” answered a calm, telepathic voice. Mark somehow knew it was Chaletwo.
“What… wait a minute… are you saying I’m… dead?” he asked slowly.
“That’s the basic idea, yes,” Chaletwo replied.
“But I can’t be dead!” Mark protested. “I’m right here!”
“Here is nowhere,” was Chaletwo’s confusing answer.
“That doesn’t work,” Mark argued. “We’ve got to be somewhere, if you’re here.”
“No,” Chaletwo said firmly. “I took you to a place that doesn’t exist. We’re in a void of nothing.”
“Why can’t I see you?” Mark wondered.
“You are dead. A floating consciousness,” Chaletwo replied. “Without eyes, you cannot see.”
“But how can I be dead? I mean, if my brain isn’t here, how can I be thinking?”
Chaletwo sighed. “You are as dead as a brick, human. If you’re still not convinced, tell me if you’re breathing.”
Mark waited a few seconds; he couldn’t deny it.
“I don’t think I am,” he muttered. “Fine, I’m dead. But why did you kill me? And those other kids?”
“I needed to talk to you,” Chaletwo answered.
Mark was getting slightly annoyed. “Can’t you talk to people without killing them first?”
Chaletwo sighed. “No, I can’t. Somebody can always overhear, and I can’t teleport a living body to a place that doesn’t exist – there’s no oxygen here, so you would die. And humans are exceedingly easy to fool if you know how to do it. You always think in this ‘If you can do something, you’ll do it’ fashion. Very stupid, of course, but makes it infinitely easier for me to convince you that I kill people for no reason without anybody getting even slightly suspicious. Humans are so blind, it’s entertaining.”
“Huh?” Mark asked confusedly.
“Well,” Chaletwo said, “your parents will cry their eyes out, and those crazy people will write some more articles about how evil I am, but after a while your death will be accepted and you can peacefully walk around with nobody the wiser.”
“What do you mean, walk around?” Mark asked, puzzled. “I can’t walk around if I’m dead.”
“You won’t be dead anymore,” said Chaletwo impatiently. “What good can a floating consciousness do even after you talk to it? I’m going to resurrect you after we finish talking. I just hope Molzapart is coming.”
“Molzapart?” Mark was even more confused now. “Is Molzapart in this with you?”
“Of course,” Chaletwo said like it was something obvious. “We’re good friends… Oh, here he is.”
Another telepathic voice sounded out of the void.
“Hmm… kinda foolish, that one, don’t you think, Chaletwo?”
“Foolish is fine,” Chaletwo replied. “Better, even. We don’t want logic to get in our way. Molzapart, would you imagine some sight for him?”
Mark could suddenly see the two Legendaries as if it were a memory he was recalling in his mind. Molzapart looked like a golden-feathered bird with blue tips on his wing feathers, a long beak and a flame burning on his head. He also had a long, wavy tail feather that Mark recognized from Articuno.
“Wow,” he said, astonished. “This is cool. Why didn’t you let me see like this earlier, Chaletwo?”
Chaletwo sighed. “Only Molzapart can mess with memories.”
“While poor widdle Chaletwo can just kill people,” Molzapart teased.
Chaletwo glared at him. “Don’t listen to him; I’m keeping balance in the world, while Molzapart’s powers are just toys to play around with.”
“Will you two just tell me what this is all about?” Mark said in frustration.
“Sorry,” Molzapart said. “We got carried away. What we wanted to tell you is… well…” He looked at Chaletwo. “Where to begin?”
“See,” Chaletwo began, “once every thousand years, a great disaster happens.”
“Yes,” Molzapart confirmed. “This disaster is called the War of the Legends. What happens is that the legendary Pokémon will lose power, at different rates depending on how powerful they already are, until they are all equal and virtually powerless.”
“Why does this happen?” asked Mark, confused.
“Because of a Pokémon,” Chaletwo replied, “which we have never seen, but is called the Destroyer. It appears to drain power from the legendaries, very slowly at first but becoming more noticeable over the course of the last hundred or so of those thousand years, always faster and faster. When the legendaries are almost out of power, the Destroyer sends the power multiplied back, and all this power finds all the Legendaries in the world again… and when they suddenly gain all this power, they all go insane somehow. Basically, once the legendaries are all mad, they will seek each other out, kill all the other legendaries they can find, and fight so viciously that everything in their path is destroyed. They will keep fighting until only one of them is left alive.”
“And the one that is left alive,” Molzapart said, “will then have the responsibility of creating new life and making the world whole again.”
“Wait a minute, how do I come into this?” Mark interrupted.
“We’re getting to that,” Chaletwo said. “The thing is… if there were no legendaries to receive that power, the War of the Legends couldn’t happen. Molzapart and I started noticing our power loss around twenty years ago or so, so we talked to Mew about it. And Mew told us about this – he was the survivor of the last War of the Legends – and we became very concerned. So we asked Mew if we couldn’t just get all the legendaries to agree on being inside Pokéballs when this happened, as that might prevent it all from happening. Unfortunately, though, Mew just said some nonsense about not trying to avoid the inevitable and refused to help us, and the other legendaries we talked to weren’t too happy about us telling them to get caught when Mew had forbidden us to tell them what it was really about. So we decided that we’d have to take them by force, and Molzapart started killing kids, erasing everybody’s memories of them, and trying to get them to go out and try to capture the other legendaries. However, we didn’t have as much success as we’d have hoped – the kids were terrified of legendaries and didn’t want to come anywhere near them. Then, a few years ago we were getting really worried, and we had the idea of letting me try – after all, everybody knew where and when I appear every year, and people who are passionate about legendaries always came to watch me. So I could just look over the crowd and search for someone more suitable to trying to capture legendaries. I was a lot more successful than Molzapart ever was.”
Molzapart snorted. “Successful, maybe, but you’ve always done it rather sloppily. Too busy being a guardian to even attempt to cover your tracks. Look at the reputation that has gotten you.”
“That was never the plan,” Chaletwo snapped. “I have a protective aura that should be convincing everybody that my intentions are good. Humans are just too stupid to see it.”
“And…” Molzapart looked at Mark, “the human thinks your way, even if successful, could use some improvement comfort-wise.”
“I… I don’t know what Death Stare feels like!” Chaletwo said defensively. “And I’m not ‘too busy being a guardian’! That’s what I exist to be!”
Molzapart snickered. “What a lovely guardian, with lethal weapons in his eye sockets.”
“Chalenor had them too!” Chaletwo said sharply.
“Yeah, how come the guardian before you had lethal weapons in his eye sockets? Bit hypocritical if you ask me.”
“Don’t you dare insult Chalenor in my ears!”
Mark wasn’t feeling that nice at all. Something about them arguing made the atmosphere very uncomfortable.
Stop it, he thought desperately.
“Are you asking to be attacked?”
“I’ll show you an attack!”
A dark purple orb formed between Chaletwo’s hands while Molzapart took an electric blue glow.
“STOP!” Mark’s mind screamed. The two Pokémon looked at each other; Chaletwo pressed the orb together into nothing and Molzapart’s glow faded.
“Sorry,” Chaletwo sighed. “This is all putting us under a lot of stress. We keep arguing… it’s lucky this didn’t turn into an early start of the War of the Legends.”
“So basically,” Mark said, getting back on topic, “you want me to somehow go out and magically catch all the legendary Pokémon?”
“Well,” Chaletwo said, “we got some unexpected help. Rick, the Cleanwater City gym leader, has simplified the problem immensely by catching a great many of the Legendaries for us. He released some of them, such as Suicune, but most he kept for further experiments. And the other trainers have seen successes too, but admittedly it’s getting so close now that you’re the last trainer we’re asking for help. The legendaries yet to be caught are Articuno, Mew, Entei, Suicune, the Waraider herd, the Color Dragons, and Rainteicune.”
“How am I supposed to do that?” asked Mark miserably. “There’s no way I can catch like twenty Legendaries before they all go mad! You’re not even sure if it’s going to work in the first place!”
Chaletwo sighed. “At least you can try.”
“Why me?!” Mark asked.
“Because you’re a foolish little kid who confronts Legendaries when he knows he shouldn’t,” said Molzapart tiredly.
“We just need help here,” Chaletwo said. “If you do it, we’re probably still all going to die. But if you don’t do it, we are all going to die.”
“I guess,” Mark replied doubtfully.
“So, is that all?” Molzapart asked questioningly, turning to Chaletwo.
“I think so,” Chaletwo answered. “Make him remember all of this before you leave, though.”
Molzapart’s eyes glowed deep blue and the memory of the conversation in Mark’s mind was strengthened. He wasn’t sure if it was really needed; he felt like he could never forget even the smallest detail of this. Then Molzapart flickered and disappeared, and Mark could no longer picture what was happening.
“Well,” Chaletwo said, “any questions?”
“Why do you look like Mewtwo?” Mark asked, having wanted to ask this question during the whole conversation. “And why do you have a two in your name? Are you a super-clone?”
“That’s not the kind of question I was hoping for,” Chaletwo mumbled.
“Can’t you still tell me?”
Chaletwo sighed deeply. “Before the last War of the Legends, there was a Pokémon called Chalenor – you heard me mention him when Molzapart and I were arguing, didn’t you? – and Chalenor was like me. The Destroyer isn’t alone; there is a triad, the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. The Creator is Mew, because Mew survived the last War of the Legends. The Preserver is me, but used to be Chalenor.
“Chalenor had the same powers I do, so he could travel through time, just like me. Once he happened to venture far into the future and find Mewtwo there. Mewtwo was interested in Chalenor’s time when he heard that Mew had existed then – Mew and Chalenor were good friends.
“So Chalenor agreed to take Mewtwo to his time, but what they didn’t know was that at that time, the War of the Legends was rapidly approaching. And while Mewtwo was still there, the Destroyer made all the legendaries mad – including Mewtwo.
“Chalenor died in the War of the Legends, like everything else. So did Mewtwo. Only Mew was left alive. When his madness wore off, Mew found Chalenor’s body and realized that the Preserver was no more. But his left eye was lying there and was still loaded with power, and in a desperate attempt to save everything that could be saved, Mew transferred the life force contained in the eye to the nearest whole body – Mewtwo’s – and created new life in it. That was me. Chalenor’s powers in Mewtwo’s body.
“I was Mew’s first creation, helping to create new Pokémon under Mew’s supervision, and the new Preserver. Mew called me Chaletwo, because I was Chalenor’s heir as a guardian of life, and in honour of Mewtwo, whose body I was created in.”
“Wow.” Mark was surprised; nothing he had managed to think of since learning about Chaletwo had come close to any of that. “Can I ask another question?”
“Can I tell somebody about all this?”
Chaletwo took a bit of time to think, but finally answered: “You should not flaunt it – the legendaries might hear it. If you really trust somebody, you can tell them, but Molzapart is really getting too weak for the trouble of mass memory modification. You should talk to Ash Ketchum, though – that’s very important. I’ll resurrect you a little while in the future so you’ll be pretty much forgotten – Molzapart will help with that too. At first when you’re back to life, you’ll be unconscious, but when you wake up, I will be in one of your Pokéballs and might communicate with you occasionally for as long as I have the power to.”
“Is that all I need to know?” Mark asked nervously.
“Should be, yes,” Chaletwo replied.
“I’m never going to manage this,” Mark muttered.
“Just remember that you’re our last hope.”
Mark felt himself fading away. The last thing he heard was Chaletwo’s echoing voice:
“You… have… to… try…”
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