Those following me either here or on Twitter may know that I’ve been spending the last couple months working on a sort of reboot of Shattered Gemstones, the discontinued fanfiction series I wrote for The Pokemon Podcast some time ago. Some things in this new, more well-written version will be the same, and some will be different. More on that to come when the series actually begins.
One thing I decided to do with this new version of the story is add some narrative segments to the story’s prologue. The prologue, like that of the original, is arranged as a timeline of events spanning several years. However, I realized this did a bad job of conveying what the rest of the series would be like, so here we are. Enjoy! Or don’t. Feedback is, of course, welcome.
July 2nd, 2005
It was the dead of night when the orbs were stolen for the second time. Nobody was at the shrine. Mt. Pyre was quiet, save for the occasional Chimecho drifting about in the cold night air, like a nearly imperceptible soundtrack to what was about to occur. Two men moved through the shadows, staying silent under the wind and chimes.
Two orbs sat at their altar, only recently returned to their homes. They glimmered in the moonlight; one red, one blue. It hadn’t been long since the day they were stolen. The day the earth trembled and the sea writhed in its bed. The day the sky parted to calm them.
July 6th, 2005
Night was falling in Lavaridge, a sleepy mountain town at the foot of towering mountains. Children were called inside for dinner, and trainers began to make their way out of the Pokemon gym. The gym leader was in the middle of the pack, talking with her trainers and laughing, ready for a night off. It had been a long week, and Flannery decided that she had more than earned a bit of a break. She led her group of rowdy trainers towards the one bar in town, where she knew a welcome as warm as the heat of her gym awaited them.
When the first quake struck, it was lightning fast, as if the earth had been kicked. The whole group stumbled, shouted, and tumbled into one another. Flannery looked around at her posse, about to make sure they were all okay, when something else began. A low, gentle rumble below her feet. Except it wasn’t just below her, she realized, her head snapping up to look above them. It was in the air.
Mt. Pyre had not erupted in decades, at least. The mountain was monitored regularly, and the whole town would have been evacuated by now if something was brewing in the belly of the great mass of earth. Flannery’s heart raced, her mind abuzz. When she had inherited her father’s gym, he left her instructions on what to do in case of a sudden eruption. But he had also sent her instructions of a different kind, instruction which she had never understood until now. Now, as the mountain began to light up the sky, she began to understand what she was up against.
The whole town was cast in bright blue light. It burned atop the mountain like fire, a torch announcing the march of more to come. Flannery looked around at her trainers, their skin turned periwinkle, their hair cast in electric blue. She flashed back to the wisdom her father had left her; to be used in the event of blue fire. READ. She realized, now, that her father had wanted her to read it in advance because when the mountain lit up, there wouldn’t be time to run back to her house and read through the old, handwritten pages.
Flannery took a deep breath. Her trainers watched her, their eyes asking for leadership. There was no time for fear. She turned to face her group, twelve strong, and raised a hand in the air. They silenced themselves. Flannery took a deep breath, and spoke.
“What I’m going to ask you all to do is not what you signed up for when you joined my gym. I know that. But when you joined, you swore yourself to the town of Lavaridge, and right now that town needs you. Up there,” she pointed up towards the mountain and its menacing, alien glow, “is a threat. Our first priority is to get everyone in this town away from that threat. Are you with me?”
There was a moment of silence. For a single second, Flannery’s heartbeat felt ten time stronger, ten times louder, than the rumbling beneath her feet. But then one trainer stepped forward, nodding.
“Absolutely.” He was followed by another showing their support, and another, and then the whole group was cheering their devotion. Flannery smiled for a second. She was in control. This was her time, and her people – no, her friends – were with her. It was time to go to work.
Juan heard the news of Lavaridge’s evacuation hours later, and by then he already knew what happened next. With his gym locked up for the night, he departed Sootopolis in a rush. He rode on his Pelliper’s back through the cold night air, until they came to the spot where he knew the Seafloor cavern lay. Around the hollow of dark water, the waves had begun to shine an unearthly red. Juan shuddered, shook with the sudden realness of what was taking place. There was not much time to spare. Standing on the ring of shallows surrounding the cavern, he called out his Wishcash. The Pokemon looked undisturbed by the red sea, and Juan felt a pang of envy for his Pokemon. With that, they dove.
The cave into which Juan emerged was dark and damp, but Juan knew his way around. He made his way through the blackness as one who had done so many times before. As he turned a corner, he was met not by darkness, but by bright red light. The great chamber shone with a crimson light, shining from the pool of water in the room’s center. A figure stood at the water’s edge, well-built and brawny. As Juan approached, the man turned, giving Juan a good look at his face. His eyes shone red, flickering like lamplight. He wore a sickening grin on his face, and through the gaps in his teeth a crimson light glowed. Juan knew that between himself and the man who stood before him, only one would leave this place. He wasn’t sure he liked his odds.