The First Cross:
The Crystalline Genesis
(C r u c e -- A l -- P a c h i)
-Beryl Crystal Forest.-
-Beryl Crystal Forest.-
[The forest has changed. The crystals here now have a greenish color, and it appears to be more of a pine forest. The atmosphere has become different as opposed to earlier.]
Al: Do you think those Nightmares did something to you, man?
Cruce: [Looking down at himself.] I-I don't know. I started to feel the air change and... and I was this... [Feeling lighter, he begins floating at his own will.]
Pachi: I think I know what did it. I can smell the Ecliptic Pull on the air, as strange as that sounds. It was different back at your school, Cruce. Where that area possessed something of a Safan pull, this area must have a Chronic pull. Thus, you're a Pokémon once again.
Cruce: ...Oh... At least I can fly! I missed it! [He performs a quick backflip while flying.]
Cruce: ...Hey... At least you know how to use some water moves. You caught on pretty fast.
Al: I guess... But it was only water gun.
Pachi: It helped though!
Cruce: It did. Al, you're getting experience at a quick rate here.
Al: Think so...? ...Jeez, this really is like V... but it's so different too.
Cruce: I'm tellin' you...
[That experience shows as the trio comes across a small group of deformed human Nightmares. The Nightmares show aggression by swinging the first blow with their misshapen arms.]
Cruce: [He speaks as he starts casting.] Heads up!!
[Cruce casts an offensive ice spell, encasing one of the demons in a shining sphere of ice before it shatters along with the Nightmare. Cruce drops to the ground.]
Cruce: Ack... Casted that one... a little too fast...
Pachi: [Readies his move shock wave. An electrical current makes contact with one Nightmare, bursting on impact and afflicting the other nearby as well.]
[The way is clear again.]
Pachi: ...I think we should get our bearings again. Cruce?
Cruce: Right. [He takes flight, rising over the canopy to check where they are... The black, icy palace is very close by. Something about it seems different to Cruce...] (I feel... nervous... Why...? I've been here before.)
[Cruce returns to the other two, facing the direction he saw the tower in.]
Cruce: We're getting close. We need to keep heading this way and we'll be there shortly.
Pachi: Good, good!
[They continue on, reaching Cruce's drive...]
Al: [He looks up at the hill, the tower in his sights.] Dang, that's a lot bigger up close... So what's this place like?
Cruce: It's fancy on the inside.
Pachi: It's also very dangerous... We are almost certain to encounter something in there...
Cruce: ... [He watches Pachi as he moves along.] (...I think Pachi feels it too... Something's different from before, and I know it's not the absence of the Time Gear...)
[They reach the entrance of the tower.]
Al: ...[He shivers.] Maybe it's the cold, but I'm feeling pretty psyched out about something.
Pachi: Me too... Something's not right.
Cruce: (So they both feel it...) ...There's only one way to find out at this point. Shall we?
Pachi: Mhmm~. Let's go.
[They enter the palace.]
[The interior foyer of the palace has been damaged. Trees have sprung up through the ice. Crystals have fallen, blocking previous routes. Unfortunately, the east winged has been blocked, forcing the three to take the route unknown: west.]
Pachi: This place even got hit by the mass metamorphosis... I wouldn't have expected it.
Cruce: [He looks around at the similar icy structures that the east winged possessed. The only difference here is that these chambers have yellow crystals rather than green. The interior design, albeit damaged by the metamorphosis, remains the same.] (We didn't take this route last time. We can't expect the same little puzzles...)
[They reach the first hall. It is like Cruce predicted: the puzzles are different here, though they have the same concept. The three must work through obstacles without using their mana energy, lest they attract cores. This room consists of a blue force-field blocking the way, followed by a black force-field with a small blue field square in the lower center, followed by a green field. There are switches corresponding to the colored fields.]
Pachi: I see two ice cores. Al, be alert. You do not want to use anything that relates to water-type abilities, or any abilities, around those.
Al: How come?
Pachi: These things are passive if left alone. If you use any sort of magical energy, they'll sense your presence and attack.
Cruce: We don't want that. These things are pretty strong.
Al: 'Kay. I don't know much using mana moves, er whatever, so I'll take it easy.
Pachi: Alright, now let's take a look... Al, could you step through this blue field?
Al: Yep. [He walks through the field, looking at the small blue gap in the black field.] Oh.
Cruce: It looks from here like that's a break in the black field for you! Can you jump through it?
Al: I dunno... I'm still a little shaky on even walking... But I gotta do this, so... [He crouches a bit... then jumps forward.] Haha--whaaa!! [Stops himself before he slides into the green field.] ...Whoa...
Cruce: ...Hey, nice!
Al: Phew... yeah... thanks... [He looks at the pulsing switch next to him. It appears to be green.] Should I hit this?
Pachi; Yes please~!
Al: Got it! [He taps the switch. The color of it turns blue as the two colored fields swap their colors. The green field has become blue, while the blue fields have become green.]
Pachi: Oh! Cruce, you can go through!
Cruce: [He flies through the first field, as well as the small gap in the black field, which has also become green. He has joined Al.] 'Sup?
Al: 'Sup dude?
Pachi: Do you two see anything else in there? Maybe another switch?
[As Pachi speaks, they look around them... but nothing. There are no switches left on the ground... this is when Al decides to look up.]
Cruce: You find something?
Al: Kind of. Up there.
Cruce: [He looks upward, spotting an upside down switch on the ceiling.] Ah-ha! Cool!
Pachi: Wait, Cruce! Before you touch that one... Al, could you step through that field?
Al: Sure. [He does so, reaching the other end of the hall.]
Cruce: [Having flied up to the ceiling, he touches the pulsing switch. The fields revert back to their original forms.]
Cruce: Shoot... Pachi... How do we get you through?
Pachi: Never mind me, Cruce. Go on ahead! I'll think of a way!
Cruce: Are you sure?
Pachi: I'm positive!
Cruce: ...Okay... Al, let's go.
[The two move on to the next hall, climbing the small stairwell that leads to it.]
Al: Is Pach gonna be alright?
Cruce: He'll be fine. You saw how smart that little guy is.
Al: Hah, yeah.
[The next hall has collapsed. Large crystals are scattered about as a gap, rather than a field, obstructs their way. There are no cores in this room, but there is a black field blocking the stairwell to the next hall at the other end of the room.]
Cruce: ...Oh... Well... shoot...
Al: This place got screwed over... Is that a black shield thingy over there?
Cruce: [Sighs.] Yeah... We aren't going anywhere, I don't see a switch...
[A few crashes are heard down one level, bringing Al and Cruce up to high alert.]
Al: Good God!!
Cruce: Hurry, back down to Pachi!
[They return one room to find Pachi sparking with electricity on the other side of the first hall, sparkling crystals around him. There are no cores anymore.]
Cruce: Pachi, are you okay?! What on Earth was that?!
Pachi: Oh, hehe, you heard... [He loosens up his electrical current.] I figured I could handle two cores with some "well-timed" magic~.
Cruce: Awwwwesome! We can get you through now, right?
Pachi: Yep! Just take out those force-fields.
[Cruce moves ahead, touching the grounded switch and converting the colored shields again. He does this so that Al does not have to jump through the gap in the black field again. Cruce looks up at this gap.]
Cruce: Uh... [He simply stares at the green field.] Let's see if I remember how to do this... [He opens his mouth, focusing almost blindly on some sort of grass-type attack...] ... (...Energy ball could do it.) ... [Before he knows it, a green ball of plantlife aura appear at his mouth. (Haha!) [Releases his focus, shooting the ball at the green field. It fades out.]
Al: Whoa... you can do that? I thought you couldn't!
Pachi: Nope, he can! That purple field back in the church building was a type which can't be destroyed. These can~.
Al: Oh, so if I... [He approaches the blue field before him...] ... (Water gun... Water gun... Water gun, c'mon... I lost my gun, now I need water gun...) [The move manifests. He blows forth a small stream of water which causes the blue field to ripple out of existence.]
Pachi: Beautiful! See, you two make fine Pokémon!
Cruce: [Hears this as he shoots another energy ball at the first green field, which vanishes shortly after.] ...Think so?
Pachi: Know so!
Al: ...Dude... sweet.
[They return to the dilapidated hall where Pachi may make his observations.]
Pachi: Oh my. What happened here? ... My my, this looks impassable. [He approaches the edge of the broken hall, looking down. It seems to be the first hall from the east wing. There are no cores here. A large pile of icy debris forms a hill in the lower east hall.] Hm, let's drop down. That's the only way we can get through.
[They follow his advice and drop on the icy debris below, sliding to the other side and reaching the stairwell.]
[Now in the green eastern wing, they come to the next puzzle. There are nothing but cores wandering about. The trio simply moves to the next hall...]
[This hall, too, has been crushed by a pile of yellow crystals, which means the upper level has collapsed like the last. No cores patrol this area.]
Cruce: Hmm... Looks like we can't go any further. We can go up though.
Al: [He looks up.] I don't see anything up there... I don't know how to get up there either.
Pachi: [He notes the loose crystals laying around.] ...I have an idea. [His body begins shimmering blue... Numerous crystals around him do too. The begin floating as they squeeze together to form a platform.]
Cruce: ...Oh, so you both can get up! Awesome, Paches.
Pachi: Hehe, thanks. [He hops onto the platform.]
Al: ...Is it safe...? [Tilts his head, watching it.]
Pachi: 'Course! Hop up. Don't worry, you'll be fine.
Al: ...Mm, okay... [He hops up to the platform.]
Cruce: [Flies up to the next level, followed by the two on the platform...]
[They touch down on the upper level. Whatever the obstacle was here, it has been destroyed by the collapse. Pachi lets the ice crystals separate and fall as they move on to the stairwell and reach the next hall.]
[The next hall seems to introduce something the three have not yet seen. A small altar with a golden light shining down on it's crystal switch stands before a flowery, gold force-field. A surreal, colorless image of a tree occasionally appears on the force-field.]
Pachi: Ooh... this is new to me.
Cruce: It's kind of cool in here.
Al: It's freezing in here.
[The three walk around the glowing altar and stand before the awe-inspiring force-field.]
Pachi: It's almost beautiful... if it wasn't in our way. I don't know how to pass this one.
Cruce: Hm... [He flies up to the altar, observing the switch there.]
Al: D'you think maybe if we combined our attacks at once it would tear this thing down?
Pachi: Maybe... it looks like it would be a grass or wind field, but yellow... and far more complex looking. I think we shou--[He turns to his right...] ...Cruce? ... [Turns around, looking up.] What'd you find?
Cruce: ... [He touches the crystal switch... His body becomes a flash of light, seeming to absorb the crystal's gold radiance. Cruce reshapes into his Safan form.] ...What the?
Al: You're a Safan again? How'd you do that?!
Pachi: ...By the Light...
Cruce: Wh-why does this keep happening?! Transformation kinda feels weird! It's... not super pleasant... [He rejoins the two, hopping down to the ground but slipping through the golden force field.] Ahh... this ice is sli--hey! ...Hey, how'd I get over here?!
Pachi: Ah-ha! I think this field only allows Safans through. I'd test that, but I'd probably get hurt.
Cruce: So what should I do? Should I try to destroy it..? 'Cause I'm ... I'm a... Saf... [His body becomes a light again. He becomes smaller once again, reverting into his Chronic form.] ...Safan?
Pachi: ...Oh... Um...
Cruce: [He is a Shaymin again.] You two wanna try to change into Safans? You're probably gonna turn right back.]
Pachi: That... could be a little risky for me as an Eclipse. And I don't want to endanger Al with that sort of thing.
Cruce: Good point... [He looks up and sighs.] Hmmm... Hey... what's that...? [He notices a crystal switch on the ceiling of the side he is on. Without hesitating, he flies up to it and hits it. The Safan field vanishes.]
Al: Or he could do that. [Trots through, followed by Pachi.]
Pachi: Yep, hehe!
Cruce: I'm Darkness: "Let's place all of the switches on the ceiling. No one will reach them there..."
Al: Heheh, I don't think they expected anyone to fly.
Pachi: Or to hover using telekinesis~! But they should have!
[The three continue on to the next hall...]
[The next hall has partially collapsed, leaving a serpentine shaped pathway to the next hall. There is no puzzle here, but a single core remains. The three ignore it and move to the next chamber.]
[This chamber is blocked by an icy wall with a small tunnel at the top left corner of it. The tunnel is blocked by a tiny Safan field... But that is not the puzzle at the moment. Upon the small altar with the Safan switch, a green cube field surrounds it.
Cruce: Okay, I think I got it... [He flies into the green cube and touches the crystal. He becomes a flash before transforming into a Safan again.] Okay! [He tries to walk out of the cube field but receives a powerful zap of dark electricity.] Ahh!! [Hops back a little, almost coming into contact with more of the field behind him.] OW!! That didn't work! [He shakes the electricity off.] ...
Pachi: Ooh... ouch... Looks like you can only pass those fields as a Pokémon, Cruce.
Al: Can you destroy it?
Cruce: Not at the moment, but when I change back I'll try.
[A few moments later, Cruce transforms back into a Shaymin. Using another energy ball, he attempts to destroy the green barrier... It is of no avail. It is indestructible. Cruce steps out of the field.]
[Pachi and Al join him, observing the field.]
[After a moment's thought, Pachi notices that the ground where the Safan switch is planted is unstable... His body glows blue.]
Pachi: I got it.
[Al and Cruce watch as Pachi closes his eyes, focusing his rather out-of-place telekinesis on the Safan switch. It begins shaking... Finally, it lurches out of the icy ground, floating above the green cube field.]
Cruce: [Stares at it, dumbfounded.] ...Pachi...?
Pachi: Heheh, yeah?
Cruce: I love you.
Pachi: [He giggles, bringing the field down to solid ground.] Okay Cruce! I have an idea. You touch this gem and I'll lift you up with levitation while you're a Safan. You'll be able to get through that Safan field with no sweat.
Cruce: Got it! [He flies down to the gem.] Ready Pach?
[Cruce hits the switch, transforming back into a Safan. Pachi lifts him up, directing him to the icy tunnel in the corner of the blockage. He passes through, walking down a small set of icy stairs on the other side. A lone switch stands in the center of this side. A Safan cube field is around it.]
Cruce: [He hurries over to this switch, feeling himself beginning to change back. He makes it through the field and hits the switch. As he does so, the field vanishes. He changes back into a Shaymin.]
[All Safan fields have disappeared. Pachi takes note of this, assisting Al up to the icy tunnel using his telekinesis before using it on himself.]
[They reach the next stairwell... It leads outside.]
[Outside, the view is, once again, breathtaking.]
Al: Holy crap... [Approaches the ledge.] We really climbed this high...?
Cruce: I guess so... Look at that, that was once our world...
Al: ...Yeah... It's so different now... ...Hm?
Cruce: What's wrong?
Al: L-look at THAT. [Faces a little off to his right.]
Cruce: [Hops off of the ledge and takes flight, looking a bit closer.] ... [He spots an enormous tree-shaped structure in the distance. This structure is even larger than the icy palace they are upon.] Oh my God...
Pachi: [Facing the structure.] I see it... What is it...?
Cruce: I don't know, it's... it's huge... That wasn't there before. I think I would've remembered it.
Al: ...Is that where we're going next?
Cruce: It might be... That's the direction of the airport that Topher mentioned.
[The three find themselves looking out into the distance when they spot a second anomaly.]
Pachi: Cruce... Al... Look at this. [He points to the left of the giant tree, where Team Time had gone off.] That green... Those aren't trees.
Cruce: Oh, you're right... It looks like a field of some sort. It's completely flat...
Al: So much happened to this place, it's hard to keep up.
Cruce: [Shakes his head.] Yeah... C'mon guys. The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can go check this stuff out.
Pachi: Point well made~.
[The three continue up the huge spiral ramp, which connects with the east wing at the apex...]
[They come to the entrance of the chapel. The doors have been destroyed, along with many other features from the previous visit.]
Al: ...So... was a Time Gear here?
Pachi: Mhmm... This was where I knew... that Cruce was the one...
Cruce: (The one... I... still don't know... what "the one" means...) ...
[As they enter the chapel, a few Safan Nightmares appear to greet them... though not in the way one might think. There are four Safan Nightmares: two apes and the bear and the dingo from before.]
Al: Nightmares... ...Tough looking ones...
Cruce: ...[He watches them carefully, waiting for them to attack.]
Nightmare Dingo: ...[Watching the three.] What is this...? Are they who the royal highness was speaking of?
Nightmare Bear: I do believe they are. You. [He looks to Cruce, who is at the head of the group.] Are you who they call Cruce?
Cruce: I am... Yes.
Nightmare Bear: We predicted you might come to this place.
Pachi: Looks like you really were a step ahead of us.
Nightmare Dingo: A step ahead? Maybe so, but I can see right through all of your eyes... It may confuse you when I say that this is, in fact, not a trap.
Nightmare Bear: And that is, in fact, not a lie.
Cruce: You knew I was gonna come here... Who told you...?
Nightmare Dingo: The Princess. Princess Danielle told us this is where she met her... boyfriend...
Nightmare Bear: And we, as her loyal servants must uphold her wishes... even if those wishes are to reject the Darkness.
Pachi: A-are you saying... you're working against Darkness? Nightmares? Doing that?
Nightmare Bear: ...It is true.
Nightmare Dingo: To think we were doing Darkness' bidding but a night ago... Things have gone awry.
Cruce: (Judging by Pachi's reaction, I guess this doesn't happen to often... for now, I'm going to have to trust them.) Hmm... Could you tell us where the Princess is now?
Nightmare Bear: Princess Danielle is currently exploring the Ancient Growth that has been transported to this world.
Cruce: Ancient Growth?
Pachi: What is an Ancient Growth?
Nightmare Dingo: I imagined Pokémon would not know. Ancient Growths would be the equivalent to Time Gears, only far larger. Unlike the Time Gears, Darkness has only learned of the presence of one in the area.
Al: Ancient Growth... was that the giant tree we saw in the distance?
Nightmare Dingo: You would be correct.
Nightmare Bear: We have done our duty. [A vortex of blackness takes shape, spiraling upward at the altar of the broken chapel.] Princess Danielle has weaved this dark corridor in preparation of you arriving. It leads to the base of the Ancient Growth... This is all we may help you with, unfortunately. [They move aside to let the group through.]
Al: This should take us closer to the airport too.
Cruce: Yeah, that's what I was thinking...
[The three move up to the dark corridor.]
Pachi: Wait... before we go... I have a question. [He faces the Nightmare Bear.]
Nightmare Bear: What might that be?
Pachi: Does the Princess have control over all of the Nightmares?
Nightmare Bear: She controls the grunts, as well as the Safans. The Pokémon Nightmares are not within her control. That is for Mewtwo.
Pachi: Then why were Safan Nightmares attacking Grovyle's team earlier?
Nightmare Bear: How recent was this?
Pachi: Only a few hours ago...
Nightmare Bear: Princess Danielle only issued the order to cease the attack on Light that long ago, my Pokémon friend. Also, do keep in mind that we are still operating through Darkness.
Cruce: ...Maybe Safiri will finally be convinced when she notices that Safan Nightmares aren't attacking her anymore.
Nightmare Dingo: Ah, convincing Safiri will not be an easy task. We have known her to be stubborn.
Cruce: (...To think anyone's known my characters longer than I have...) ...I guess that's that... Let's get going, guys.
Pachi: I can't believe I'm saying this... but thanks for your help.
Cruce: Yeah, thanks.
Nightmare Bear: Think not of it. Farewell.
[The three step through the dark corridor... It vanishes.]
Nightmare Dingo: ...How the Princess made this decision is beyond me. She certainly has courage.
Nightmare Bear: I agree. It is a strange feeling leading Light to the truth... and not a trap.
"So... I'm a Safan once again."
"I'm beginning to understand."
"But I have to know the Ecliptic Pull."
--E n d i n g--