When one who has the heart of a Pokémon --

but is not Pokémon born--shall rain fire

down upon us, a time of great darkness

shall embrace the land

The Next Generation

PROPHECY

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Chapter 3

Today

 

Smoke slowly cleared away, from the remnants of a terrifically large explosion. Dust still clogged the air, making her want to cover her mouth and nose with her hand to filter the particles out, but refusing to do so. This had gone on too long and gone too far.

"You can't do this," she announced, her voice carrying loudly across the stadium and echoing back to her, her voice and yet, not her voice.

"I won't let you."

Now she could see clearly. She could see him standing there, out in front. She led the Pokémon -- now freed from the black Pokéballs where they were wrongfully imprisoned -- out onto the playing field. They all glanced uneasily at their clone counterparts, their identical twins and absolute opposites.

Twisting her hat around with practiced ease, she charged the figure standing tall, in the midst of all the mayhem. The cause of the mayhem.

Her fist impacted against an invisible psychic barrier, sending a painful jarring up her arm. She was repelled back, landing on her back and sliding on the rough ground. With unrivaled determination and pure stubbornness, she leapt to her feet, charging the self-proclaimed "most powerful Pokémon ever" a second time.

This time she was lifted bodily into the air and flung casually away, all the while hurtling towards a large, rocky edifice...

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She screamed.

Matt, Carol and Terry all sat up straight in surprise as Jordan leapt to her feet, heedless of the constricting sleeping bag. "Nooo!"

"Yaaaah!" Carol yelled, surprised and still half-asleep. She rolled over in her bag, landing on Terry and startling him further. Suddenly the two of them were tangled together, sleeping bags and all.

"What the hell was that?!" Matt demanded, crossing his arms and looking groggy.

Jordan stood, trembling, her sleeping bag bunched around her ankles. The tee shirt and shorts she slept in were wrinkled, and her hair was standing up straight.

DB leapt onto her shoulder, scolding her in high-pitched tones for startling everyone awake. Matt looked at her carefully. Her cheeks were flushed, but aside from that she was deathly pale.

"Jordan, what's the matter? What's wrong?" he asked, gaining his feet and struggling out of his sleeping bag. He aimed a kick at the two struggling lumps. "Knock it off, you two."

Terry managed to get half out of his sleeping bag. "Get'er off me!" he grunted. A final shove and they were disentangled, sprawling across the ground.

Jordan didn't answer any of the queries, staring blankly off into space and still trembling. "Jordan?" Matt asked cautiously, touching her gently on the shoulder.

"Yaaah!" she shrieked, leaping a foot in the air and startling everyone again. Matt stayed calm; he had expected a shocked reaction from her.

"What's wrong, Jord? What is it?"

Jordan stared up at him, and once again Matt was reminded of how small she actually was. Her wide, gold-brown eyes were quivering. "I...I," she said haltingly. Then she burst into tears.

Matt hugged her gently, and let her cry for awhile. "It was just a dream, Jord. A nasty dream, that's all."

Terry and Carol looked at each other, bewildered. What were they supposed to do?

Jordan hiccuped, her eyes streaming. "Th-that's just it," she gasped. "I-I don't think it was a dream!" She frowned, trying to concentrate. "I... I can't remember," she said. "It was very bad."

As she spoke, her voice got stronger and stopped quivering. Matt stroked her head. "Ssh," he said. "It's okay. It was just a dream." He pushed her a little away, so he could look into her eyes. "Are you going to be okay, Jord?"

She sniffled a bit, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yuh-yeah. I'll be fine." She ventured a small grin. "I must look a mess, right?"

"Nah, y'look the same t'me," Terry said. Jordan looked outraged, and Terry barely had time to duck before the shoe sailed over his head.

Carol laughed, and Matt grinned. "You're back to normal," he said, the relief evident in his voice.

"Chuuu," DB added.

Just then, a bolt of lightning lit up the outside world and illuminated the interior of the Pokémon Center lobby, where they were. Several seconds later, an incredibly loud thundercrack issued overhead.

Carol clapped both hands over her ears, wincing. "How on earth are we supposed to go back to sleep with that startin'?"

Matt walked to the window and looked outside. Rain was pouring down in sheets, drowning the vegetation and creating large puddles in the streets. Lightning again split the sky, and thunder followed not long after.

"Better now than later," he said. "Rather not be caught outside in that mess."

Everyone was inclined to agree.

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A little while later, they all were in a much better mood. Well, except for the fact that they all were awake, they were in a much better mood. Flash, who had slept through the entire incident, was now awake and chasing DB around the room. Terry and Jordan had linked their vid-games and were battling some game out.

Carol had commandeered her own sketch pad, and was curled on one of the soft chairs set into the ground, sketching an unknowing Terry and Jordan.

Matt was emptying out his backpack when he frowned suddenly. Something just didn't seem right. "So, Mattie," Jordan said, not looking up from her game. "What are we gonna do now?"

He looked up, closing up the top of his backpack. "I figure that we'll go to the Pokémart and stock up on supplies once is stops pouring rain. Then we can head back to Pallet by way of Route 17, stopping by in Celadon, Saffron and then Cerulan to visit our aunts."

"Sounds sorta roundabout t'me," Jordan said doubtfully.

"Well, it either that or following the cove through unmarked woodlands. You remember what happened last time?"

"You know, you're hyping on that way too much," Carol said. "It's getting old."

Matt grimaced. "Well, fine. Let Terry lead you then."

In an instant, both girls changed sides. "Don't even threaten that, Matt." Jordan said. "It's not funny. Not at all."

Matt shrugged, picking up the large tome and settling back in a chair. "Fine, I won't then. But we can't go anywhere until that storm let's up, so we're stuck for awhile. At least."

"Are you going to tell me something that I don't know, or is this a pointless conversation?" Carol asked, blowing some of her gold bangs out of her face.

"Pointless, without a doubt," Jordan said. "Hey!"

DB used her head as a springboard, leaping into the air and landing on Matt's open book. Scrabbling, the rodent leapt onto his head and out of the sunken pit in the lobby.

Flash followed after, upsetting Matt's book even more. "Damn!" Matt swore, flattening the rumpled pages. "DB! Flash! Knock it off!"

Neither of the Pikachus' heard him, now involved in a wrestling match. Jordan laughed, then picked something up off the floor. "Hey, this fell out of your book, Matt."

It was a rumpled, yellowed piece of paper. She unfolded it slowly, and a small card fell out of that. She studied the piece of paper. "What do you make of this?"

It had two boxes, a yes box and a no box. The yes box was checked. Jordan frowned as the others studied the paper. She examined the card.

"Well, this is certainly bizarre. Who would think that this is important enough to be included in a book all about Pokémon?" Matt asked, holding the paper up to the light to see if it held any secret message.

Jordan held up the card. "Guys, this is a vid message!"

The piece of yellowed paper was quickly forgotten as they crowded around her. "A vid message?" Carol said. "Play it!"

Jordan studied the card. "I don't know if I can. It might be a one-play only message."

Terry took the card from her, studying it. "If it's old enough," he said confidently, "the message is permanently stored in the memory, even if it was a one-play only. You just have to unlock the message, and . . ." he did something to the card, and a small hologram sparkled to life. "Voília!"

It was a woman, dressed in unfamiliar, old-looking garb. Whatever message she bore was lost to the ages, the speech of the old hologram was garbled. Only a couple of phrases were intelligible. Among those were "world's greatest Pokémon trainer", and "New Island".

The hologram fizzled out. Jordan expelled the breath she had been holding. "Well, that was a disappointment," she said unhappily.

"New Island?" Terry said, speculatively. "Never heard of it."

He moved out of the way of Carol's half-hearted swipe. "With your sense of direction, it's a wonder you've even heard of anyplace other than Pallet Town!"

Matt shrugged. "Whatever it was, it's not important now." He replaced the card in the folded paper and used it as a bookmark in the old book.

Carol shook her head before looking out the window once more. "Hey," she said. "The rain's lettin' up! We might get out of here in time to get a good breakfast at that Cafe we passed!"

"Sounds good to me," Jordan said, plopping her cap on her head. "So, who's up for some breakfast?"

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The Lighthouse Cafe was remarkably uncrowded in the sunny morning. A warm wind was quickly chasing the storm clouds south, and the sun was bright. Small puddles lay along the roadside, which were not left unsplashed by little kids, walking along with parents in tow.

The four of them sat in a booth with a stunning view of the ocean and beachfront. Jordan grinned. "Well, everything does look brighter this morning, if I may say so."

"Well, you may not, say so," Terry said, stirring his cereal and frowning at her plate of eggs and bacon. "How can you eat that, knowing they were alive once?"

"Easily," Jordan retorted, taking a sip from her soda. "Care to watch me?"

"Knock it off," Matt said, calmly spreading some jelly on a bagel.

DB was trying in vain to pull of the lid of the ketchup bottle. "Pour me a little ketchup," Jordan told her Pikachu, unscrewing the lid and handing the bottle to DB.

"So, how do you think everyone is back home?" Jordan asked Matt speculatively.

"Honestly? I think Mom was glad to get rid of us," Matt said, taking a bite from his bagel. "That just leaves the twins to be a pain in the--"

"DB!" Jordan shrieked, looking at her platter full of ketchup. "This is a little?"

Carol laughed as the Pikachu nodded. "Chu, pikachu," she scolded Jordan, before diving headfirst into the platter of ketchup-covered breakfast and chowing away.

Jordan winced as some ketchup splattered on her black shirt, wiping it quickly away. She turned to Matt and shrugged. "Spare a bagel?"

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Across the street from the Lighthouse Cafe, a dark figure nestled back in the shadows. From his perch he could see the four clearly. But it was not the four he was after. Just the one ...

He cleaned his white whiskers, licking his chops as he hunkered down in the darkness. The only thing that betrayed his presence was the glittering of a red jewel inset in his forehead. He let a sigh of satisfaction as he spoke but two words.

"Assssh Ketsssssham."

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A/N: Well, Chapter 3, at last. Hopefully Iíll have 4 out soon, but it depends on whether or not I can get near a computer. Because I got one, lousy "F" in Chemistry, Iím totally banned from computer or internet, so if nothiní pops up for awhile, thatís why. Also, stuff might not show up for Prophecy for awhile, because I've decided I'm gonna try to get the regular series up first. It's sorta silly to have this up and not the stories lead up to it, isn't it?