The Way We Will Be @thecartoonfanatic01
The Story of the Lost Queen

A/N: So new games for Generation IX were announced, eh? "Pokémon Scarlet and Violet"? I'm interested to see where they go. But for now, consider their announcements a little reinvigoration for my creative writing faculties when it comes to "Pokémon"!

Anyway, before we begin, I just want to bring all of your attention to something very important. I've already mentioned this in the previous chapter, but I am going to mention it for a second time in case no one decided to read that opening Author's Note. Email notifications all across the board, coming from this site, have apparently been disabled for certain email services. I don't know the full list of email services affected, but I do know that Hotmail/Outlook is one of them. I know this because I had been using a Hotmail/Outlook account for all of my email notifications from this site.

Acting on the advice I saw from someone on the Fanfic Help Desk forum, I decided to switch my account's email address to Gmail, since the email notifications appear to be working over there. After a couple of days of using Gmail, I am quite satisfied to say that it's not affected by whatever issue has befallen upon the site's email notification send-outs yet again. For all of my readers and fellow writers who are using Hotmail/Outlook accounts (or any other affected email services), I strongly recommend switching over to Gmail if you wish to continue receiving email notifications from this site. You could just create a fanfiction-exclusive Gmail account if you are uncomfortable using your existing Gmail account for that stuff.

Now, I don't know if the problem's been resolved as of now (I'm seeing a bunch of mixed reports on that), but if you are experiencing technical difficulties related to your email notifications, then keep in mind what I just described above and try to make the switch.

Alright, enough of this unnecessary rambling! On with the chapter. ENJOY!

P.S.: For updates regarding progress on my writing and just life in general, please check out my profile! I try to update it as often as I possibly can with any status update!

P.P.S.: Due to the slowly improving situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak, I am going to have to remind you all about the basic steps you should take if you want to stay healthy, courtesy of my university's reminder emails:

-Wash hands often with soap and water for 20-30 seconds at a time, and/or use hand sanitizer
-Avoid close contact with people who are sick
-Keep your hands away from nose, eyes, and mouth (I can't imagine how difficult this part is probably going to be)
-Eat well, get adequate rest, and exercise regularly
-Get a flu shot if you haven't already and are able to
-Stay informed on the COVID-19 vaccines, get shots if you're able to, and try to get a booster shot if you're eligible

And if you ARE sick (I hope you get better if you are), please be a good sport and save other folks the trouble of getting sick. You can do this by:

-Covering your mouth and nose with your sleeve, elbow, or a tissue whenever you sneeze or cough
-Not sharing food and drinks with others
-Avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes (Again, I understand this is probably going to be difficult)
-Avoiding close contact with others
-Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects
-Staying at home if you're unwell (PRIORITY NUMBER ONE!)
-Staying calm and keeping yourself well-informed (My personal advice)

If you already know this, then great! If you didn't know any of this beforehand, please keep that information in mind as we all go through this trying time. It's a realm of unknowns at this point, and I wish myself and all of humanity well.

Twenty years in the future...

Mt. Kiloude

"When will you kids learn to stop meddling with our business?! You're always in the way! ALWAYS!"

"We'll stop when you stop poaching Pokémon!"

"Tough luck then, kid."

Kay then made a swiping movement with her arms, activating peculiar devices mounted there. She then aimed her right arm's device at Finn's Lucario, who was preparing to continue its attack on Salamence. The device emitted a powerful sound-wave in the form of a beam, which hit both Finn and Lucario; they fell to the ground, screaming and covering their ears. Having been saved from another attack, Salamence then fired a Hyper Beam at Nate, Yancy, Evelyn, and their Pokémon, injuring them and knocking them back.

"NOOOOO!" Selene screamed as she watched her sister and friends fall. "BIG SIS YANCY!"

Kay then turned towards Selene and fired a red dart from her left arm's device. But Celebi, having seen and anticipated this, used Psychic to the best of its ability, redirecting the dart away from Selene's neck just in the nick of time. Kay gritted her teeth and advanced towards the girl.

"GIVE. ME. THE. CELEBI!" the poacher screamed, her eyelid twitching angrily.

"NO!" Selene screeched at the top of her lungs. "NO, NO, NO! CELEBI IS NOT YOURS!"

And with that, she kicked a large rock at Kay, which hit her in the leg.

"GAH!" Kay keeled over, clutching her knee. She then glared daggers at Selene, causing the girl to regret her latest action of defiance. "You. Little. BRAT! I'LL MAKE SURE YOU PAY FOR THAT!" She pointed a trembling finger at Yancy, Nate, Evelyn, and their Pokémon, who were still lying on the ground. "SALAMENCE, USE FLAMETHROWER ON THEM! DON'T HOLD BACK!"

Selene gasped in horror. She looked towards Clemont and Bonnie's direction, hoping they would intervene. However, she was dismayed to see her uncle and aunt were now a few yards away, preoccupied with Delos, Zora, and their Pokémon. Salamence was prepared to fire the attack...


Everyone had forgotten about Selene's Pichu; now fully conscious, it hopped onto a log and released its most powerful Thunder Shock yet, electrocuting Salamence.

"SALAMENCE!" roared Kay furiously.

Celebi took advantage of this distraction to use Psychic. All of a sudden, massive vines emerged from under the earth and ensnared Kay before she could react. Salamence managed to dodge one vine and burn it away with Flamethrower, but it was ambushed by another vine, which wrapped around its body and held on with a vice-like grip.

"What in blazes is this?!" Kay snarled as she struggled against her binds.

"Whoa, Celebi!" Selene exclaimed, looking down at the Time Travel Pokémon in amazement as it continued controlling the vines. "You could do that...?"

"Biiiiiiiiii..." Celebi whispered. It closed its eyes as it continued to whisper, its voice getting louder and louder every second.

Selene suddenly felt a rush of cool air blowing across her shoulders and over her head. Then, she, Pichu, Yancy, Nate, Evelyn, and their Pokémon watched as a portal started to open up behind Kay and Salamence. Green light shone from within the portal, illuminating the entire area.

"Is that...?" began Yancy.

"A time portal!" Nate exclaimed in wonder.

"So the legends are true..." Kay breathed out, unable to contain her amazement.

Once the time portal had grown considerably, Celebi opened its eyes, and the glow was at its strongest.


Without further ado, Celebi's vines tossed Kay and Salamence into the time portal as if they were balls being thrown through a hoop.


Before Kay knew it, her entire world became a vortex of purple lights, and she and Salamence tumbled around violently into the incomprehensible space. Neither of them knew what was happening, for their minds felt as if they were literally melting, like ice cream stuck in a microwave. Even so, Kay continued to hold onto Salamence as tightly as she could, and with her eyes closing, she could only think of one thing, the only thing that could possibly trump all other priorities in this very moment in time.


Thirty years in the past...

The forests surrounding Mt. Kiloude were peaceful and lively. A flock of Fletchling and Fletchinder flew above the canopy, squawking occasionally. On the forest floor, various herds grazed and galloped. On the rich soil and tall trees, numerous Bug-type Pokémon either resided inside the crevices or camouflaged with their surroundings. If one were to look at it, it would look like something out of a wildlife documentary movie.

But at the base of Mt. Kiloude itself, the area was predominantly occupied by a different type of species altogether.

"Alright! Great job, everyone! Let's take a fifteener, shall we?"

At the director's call, the young, beautiful woman took a deep breath and stepped out of the improvised studio. She had sleek blue hair and equally blue eyes that radiated bubbly optimism. She also wore a stunning dress colored in various shades of blue and white and deliberately designed to evoke imagery of the sky. Her healthy, well-groomed Altaria loyally waddled after her, as did her assistant, a man around her age who had red hair and piercing red eyes; he was reading a notepad.

"What's after this shoot again?" the woman asked.

"Let's see, you've got a two o'clock with the Snowbelle mayor," replied the assistant while his eyes remained glued to the notepad. "And then, you'll be having that meeting with the Laverre Gym Leader tomorrow morning. I just got a call from her, saying she's got some brand-new costume designs for you." He finally looked at the woman. "From the sound of her voice, she's been dying to have you try them on."

The woman chuckled with amusement. "Wow. All of this, and after my visit to the school in Lumiose yesterday? It seems like my schedule is getting more and more packed by the day!"

Her Altaria chirruped in agreement.

The assistant rolled his eyes. "Heh. Well, you were the one who wanted to become the symbol of, quote unquote, Kalos' shining beauty and magnificence. And beauty is ingrained in the heart and soul of all Kalosians. From someone with the title of Kalos Queen, they're gonna expect the best of the best out of you."

"And to think I said the job of Kalos Queen would be an easy one."

The assistant snorted. "Well, forgive me for saying I told you so, but...I told you so."

The woman chuckled again, more sweetly and fondly this time. "Always having something to say back to me and making my days brighter. Now that's exactly why I've got you as my dutiful, loving assistant."

She capped her sentence with a loving kiss to the man's cheek. He blushed slightly but maintained his composure.

"Love you too, Elle."

"But not as much as I love you!"

By that point, the trio approached the small pop-up stables, where they found three overalls-clad farmhands tending to a few of the resident Pokémon, assisted by a Zangoose. One of them, a young teenage girl with a bubbly face, noticed the new arrivals and ran up to the wooden fence.

"Hi there, Elle!" she greeted.

"Hello, Amara," Elle replied. "How are all the Pokémon doing?"

"Oh, all in tip-top shape, Elle! I'm confident that they'll be ready for the next photo-shoots in a couple of days."

"That's very good..." Elle then looked around the rows of stables in search of someone. "Hey, uhhhhh, have you or your parents seen Aria anywhere? I know that we left her here to play with the Pokémon."

"Oh. Last time I saw her, she and Foster told me they were going to look at the Eggs."

Elle cracked a smile of realization. "The Eggs, huh?"

Altaria squawked knowingly.

"Look, Foster, look! I think that one's about to hatch!"

"Ehhhhh? I think it fell over a little because you keep grabbing the incubator like that."

The redheaded girl and the blue-haired boy both stood beside an Egg incubator, which was set up in a large white tent. It was clear that the tent had just been vacated of adults, due to the two children being the only ones present in spite of all the scientific equipment left unattended. Both children peered inside the incubator, examining the half-dozen pale-yellow-and-orange-striped Eggs inside, one of which was lying on its side unlike its upright-facing brethren.

"You gotta be more careful, Ar!" the boy exclaimed. "What if the grownups see that Egg? We'll get in trouble if they know it's us!"

"Oh, the grownups won't find out, Foster," the girl replied confidently while her blue eyes remained transfixed upon all of the Eggs. "They'll just think that Egg was about to hatch!"

The boy pouted. "Maybe, but what if the Eggs don't hatch in a few days, Ar?! Then they'll think something's wrong!"

"Relaaaaax, Foster." The girl looked at her friend with a bright, upbeat smile. "The grownups are so busy with all of their science-y stuff in the forest that they'll forget about what might've happened to the Egg!"

"And what if the Pokémon hatches wrong because of your mess-up?"

"Then..." The girl looked back at the fallen Egg. "I'll take good care of it, no matter what!"

Foster sighed in defeat. "Always looking on the bright side, aren't you, Aria?"

Aria giggled in enthusiasm. "Of course! A Pokémon Performer always has to wear a wonderfully radiant smile! That's the way you make everyone in your audience happy!"

"Wiser words had never been spoken," a new voice piped up, sending chills up Aria and Foster's spines.

"M-Mommy!" Aria quickly covered the incubator's contents with her body, making sure her posture looked as innocent as possible. "H-H-Hi!"

"M-M-Ms. Elle!" Foster too joined Aria in covering the incubator. "Hi there!"

"Why, hi there to you too, Foster," the blue-haired woman replied with a sweet smile. Then, she attempted to peer over the children's shoulders. "Whatcha got there?"

"Whatcha got where?" Aria asked innocently.


The new voice made the girl gulp as Elle's redheaded assistant entered the tent. He was wearing a slightly stern look on his face, and he had his arms crossed. Foster cowered beside Aria, while the redhead tried to put on a brave face.

"H-H-Hi, D-Daddy..." she stammered.

"You know you're not supposed to be in here without a grownup," the man said. "Now, what are you hiding behind your back?"

"Oh relax, sweetie," Elle replied optimistically while giving him a dismissive wave. "You know as well as I do that Aria will never resist the chance to look at some new Pokémon. But..." She looked at her daughter, her grin slightly fading. "The second question still stands, honey. Why are you covering that incubator like that?"

"Ummmmm..." Aria tried to muster the willpower to lie, but the look on her mother's face was like a Psychic-type move, preventing her from doing so. "W-We-Well, I... I, uhhhhh..."

"I-I licked the window!" Foster interjected, springing to his friend's defense. "And it was super-super-super-dirty! Yeah, it was so dirty that it tasted-"

"Wait, the window was dirty?" Aria's father interrupted. "Why would it be dirty when the scientists need to look through it every day?"

Foster gulped in stunned terror. "W-We-Well, I-"

"I knocked over one of the Eggs!" Aria blurted out, the weight of her actions finally dawning upon her. She looked at Elle beseechingly. "I'm so sorry, Mommy! I'm so, so, so sorry! I-I grabbed the thingy and shook it a little, a-and the Egg f-fell over! If the Pokémon comes out wrong, then I promise, I'll take good care of it, Mommy! I promise, I will!"

"Hm?" Elle arched an eyebrow. "You knocked one of the Eggs over? Let me see it."

Aria and Foster reluctantly parted, allowing Elle and her assistant to peer inside the incubator. After only a few seconds, they looked at their daughter with amused smiles.

"The Egg's just fine, sweetie," Elle said.

"A-Are you sure, Mommy?" Aria asked worriedly.

"Mm-hm," her father replied with a nod. "There are no cracks or other defects. The Egg's just as healthy as it was when I last saw it."

"B-But...I-I knocked it over! A-And I know I'm not allowed to open it and-"

"It won't affect how the Pokémon hatches, sweetheart." The man picked Aria up in his arms. "Trust me, I've seen many, many Eggs fall over first before they hatch, and the Pokémon all turn out fine." He looked down at Foster. "And I'm sure you've seen it too, Foster."

"Wait, I did?" Foster asked. Then, he strained his mind in an attempt to remember, before his eyes lit up moments later. "Ohhhhh, yeah! I did!"

Aria sighed and shook her head. As for Elle, she stood up and patted Aria on the top of her head.

"Now I know you're pretty excited about watching the Eggs hatch, Aria," the idol said, "but the scientists said they won't be hatching for another couple of days. You need to be patient."

"Hmph!" Aria puffed her cheeks and looked down at the incubator. "I wanna see them hatch now!"

Elle giggled in amusement. "Now, now, sweetie. A Pokémon Performer must always be patient, otherwise the things she wants will never come to her." She followed her daughter's gaze to the incubator. "Why? You wanna adopt them as soon as they hatch?"

The girl's eyes lit up. "Yeah! I wanna adopt 'em all! I wanna see what kind of Pokémon they are, and I wanna take good care of them!"

"Well, I'm pretty sure the scientists won't allow you to have all of them. They need them for their field studies, after all. Buuuuut..." Elle looked back at Aria with a knowing smile. "I think I can convince 'em to let you keep one. How does that sound to you, sweetheart?"

"That sounds great!" Aria cried with glittering eyes of excitement. She then leaned out of her father's arms and hugged her mother. "You're the best, Mommy! The very best!"

"Wow," the assistant deadpanned. "And I'm the worst? I think you hurt my feelings, Aria."

He started to fake some sniffling, but Aria hugged him too.

"You're the best too, Daddy!" she cried. "You and Mommy are both the best!"

An hour or so had passed, and Elle and her husband had to return to work, leaving Aria and Foster behind in the stables with Amara, Zangoose, and all the resident Pokémon. The two children spent their time petting the Ponyta foal, but when Amara turned her back on them, Foster turned towards Aria.

"Whaddaya think those scientists are doing out there?" The boy pointed his chin in the direction of Kiloude Forest. "They have been out there all day. Shouldn't they be worrying about the Eggs they left?"

"Mommy says they're doing important work," Aria replied.

"But what kind of important work? They never tell us anything."

"Mommy says it's the kind of work that will allow us to understand the world better and make it a better place. But that's all she tells me about it."

"How come she's not telling you more?" Foster asked incredulously. "Isn't she the one sponsoring this thing? That's why we're here, right?"

Aria gave her friend a casual shrug. "Maybe she wants to wait till I grow up and know more. You know I don't really have a clue about science-y stuff."

"Hrrrmph..." Foster stubbornly looked away. "I wish we could see what exactly they're doing..."

At that moment, the boy noticed Amara tending to a pair of Rapidash with her back on them while Zangoose had become preoccupied with breaking up a fight between a hungry Furret and a trio of territorial Patrat. His parents weren't around, and there were any other adults in close proximity to the stables. These facts led an idea to dawn upon Foster, a naughty but viable idea.

"Pssst, Ar!" he whispered in a hushed voice. "Let's go out again!"

Aria looked at him in confusion. "Huh? Whaddaya mean?"

"You're the one who wanted to go into that tent to see the Eggs. Now it's my turn! Let's go find those scientists and see what they're up!"

"Wait, what?!" The girl looked at her friend in surprise. "Foster, I only wanted to see the Eggs because they were still on the studio! We could get in trouble if we go into Kiloude Forest!"

"I promise, we won't go too far from the studio! If we don't find the scientists, we can turn back after, uh...ten minutes! Yeah, ten minutes!"

Aria apprehensively twiddled her fingers. "I dunno... There's gonna be lots and lots of wild Pokémon..."

"It's alright! We'll have Zangoose with us!"


"Yeah! I'll just tell him we lost a Pokémon, and he'll accompany us while we find it!" Then, Foster noticed the expression of uncertainty dashed on Aria's face. "Ohhhhh, come on, Ar! What's fun without a lil' adventure?!"

Aria looked towards the distant Kiloude Forest with her lips pursed. Then, she cast her gaze in the direction of where her mother was supposed to be doing her photo-shoot. And finally, she looked at Foster again, swallowing reluctantly.

Kiloude Forest
Near Mt. Kiloude

"Come on, Zangoose! I saw Patrat go down this way!"

Foster led the way, with Zangoose right behind him and a reluctant Aria trailing behind both. The trio made sure to stick to the defined trails and winding natural pathways through the forest, but even so, Aria felt an uncomfortable chill travel down her spine every couple of minutes or so. The redheaded girl felt as if there were hungry eyes trained on them with every passing second.

"H-How long has it been since we left the studio, Foster?" Aria asked.

"Hmmmmm..." The boy checked his wristwatch. "About twenty minutes. Why?"

The girl felt her heart skip a beat. "Twenty minutes?! Foster, you said we'd be back in ten!"

Foster blinked incredulously. "Wait, did I?"

Overhearing the conversation, Zangoose stopped and stared at the two children with a tilted head. Realizing they were now caught in a lie, Aria and Foster looked at one another, and then the latter sighed in defeat.

"Aw, man!" he snapped quietly. "We didn't see a sign of those scientists too..."

"Zan?" Zangoose asked. Then, it realized what had actually happened, and it crossed it arms in anger. "ZAN!"

"I know, I know! I'm sorry, Zangoose, I tricked you! There was no lost Patrat. I-I just wanted to see those scientists and look at what they were up to and-"

"I-I can't believe you made us go into Kiloude Forest for this long, Foster!" Aria interrupted furiously. Then, she collapsed on her knees and started crying. "We're gonna be in such big trouble!"

Foster crossed his arms determinedly. "Not if we get back to the studio before anybody finds out that we're gone!"

With that, he unflinchingly took Aria's hand, hoisted her to her feet, and began guiding her back down the direction from which they came. Zangoose quickly took the lead, looking around while all five of its senses were put on high alert. Aria could do nothing but follow her friend and look around, hoping no wild Pokémon would be hungry enough to just abruptly come out of nowhere and attack them.

Five minutes had passed, and Kiloude Forest suddenly became thicker and darker than usual. Zangoose stopped with its arms held out in warning, prompting Aria and Foster to freeze behind the Cat Ferret Pokémon.

"Wait, hold on," Foster said, looking around while his face became increasingly worried. "We...W-We passed by a big rock about five minutes ago! Where is it?!"

"I-I dunno!" Aria also looked around in a panic. "Th-The forest didn't get this dark before too! Did...Did we take a wrong turn?!"

"No! I'm sure we went down the path we came from! I'm totally sure of it!"

The two children looked around in all directions, but everywhere they looked, they saw nothing but thick brush after thick brush. The warm, golden sunlight they were used to barely crept into the forest through the thick, obstructive canopy. A couple of minutes later, Foster collapsed against a nearby rock, overwhelmed and defeated.

"GAH!" he cried. "That's just great! I dunno how we even got in here in the first place!"

"Ohhhhh, nooooo!" Aria wailed in panic. "We're...We're lost!"

Zangoose grunted in agreement.

"NO!" Foster shot back up on his feet. "No, we're NOT lost, Aria! We are not! We found our way into this place somehow! So that means there's gotta be a way outta here, right?"

Aria looked behind her. "But the trail ended...who knows how long ago?!"

Foster put a clenched fist over his heart. "My daddy was in a jam like this once before!" he proclaimed. "And he told me he found his way out by finding a source of light on the ground level and following it!"

"Huh?" Aria looked at Foster in awe. "So...all we have to do is find some light and follow where it's coming from?"

"Yep! Obviously not light from the sky, though, since that's coming from the Sun! No..." The boy looked around, his eyes narrowed and analytical. "We gotta find light that's shining closer from the ground..."

Aria and Zangoose joined Foster in his search. At first, the trio didn't see anything through the thick, green overgrowth of the forest. Then, a particularly bright, green twinkle caught Foster's eye, and he pointed at it with a smile.

"Aria, Zangoose, over there!" he cried. "I see something!"

Aria followed the direction of her friend's finger and gasped with relief. "Ohhhhh, thank goodness!"

With that, Zangoose began running towards the green twinkle, and Aria and Foster followed behind. But to their surprise, it didn't take them long to reach the twinkle, and that was when they realized it wasn't light peering from the outside. It was a different source of light, suspended in midair and growing brighter by the second.

"Whoa!" Foster exclaimed in awe. "What is that...?"

"I dunno..." Aria replied warily.

As for Zangoose, it stood in front of the two children, its clawed white-and-red arms outstretched and poised to strike. It did nothing to deter the twinkle, which started to intensify in brightness more and more, until all three had to cover their faces with their forearms to shield them from the light.

And then, all of a sudden, something indiscernible emerged from the shining light, landing on the forest floor with a thud that lightly shook the two children and Zangoose off their feet. At that point, the light started to fade until it turned into nothing more than a flicker and then winked out of existence. When Aria and Foster lowered their forearms to see what had happened, they saw what had landed before them.

It was a menacing-looking woman riding aboard the back of a Shiny Salamence. The woman was around Aria's parents' age, with chin-length green hair and eyes just as green, and she was wearing a green trench-coat, along with all-orange clothing underneath. The design of the trench-coat and the other clothing was unlike anything Aria had ever seen before.

If it weren't for the Shiny Salamence baring its fangs at her, the little girl would've complimented the woman on her style of fashion.

"Wh-Whaaa...?" The woman dumbly looked around, appearing as if she had recovered from a punch-drunk reverie. "Wh-Where am I...?" Then, she noticed Aria, Foster, and Zangoose looking up at her. "Y-You! Where in blazes am I?!"

"Uhhhhhh..." Aria simply replied. She could feel her heart hammering against her chest and beads of sweat breaking out on her forehead.

"You're in Kiloude Forest, lady," Foster responded, his eyes shimmering with fascination. "Where'd you come from? How'd you do that?"

But the woman ignored him. "What? Kiloude Forest?" She looked around again, this time with more clarity. "This is odd... Something about this doesn't feel right..."

She then raised her right arm and pulled her sleeve back, revealing a wristwatch with another design that Aria had never seen before. The woman pressed something on the watch, and a green, holographic 3D image of topographical surfaces and various numbers materialized over it.

"Whoooooa!" Foster cried in awe. "That looks just like one of those sci-fi movies! So cool!"

Once again, the woman ignored his remark and continued to examine the holographic image. But she was stunned when the image started to crackle and undulate from excessive static interference. With narrowed eyes, she lightly tapped her wristwatch in a crude attempt to dispel the interference, but it did not work, resulting in an image that was hard to read.

"Agh, curses!"

She deactivated her device and looked around again, only to remember what Foster said. She slowly looked down at the boy, her stare so piercing and ominous that it made the boy's legs tremble in terror. Zangoose instinctively readied itself for the attack.

"You," she snarled. "You said...'sci-fi movie'..."

"Th-That's correct..." Foster replied reluctantly. "Y-Y-You look like a v-villain outta one..."

She narrowed her eyes even further. "Tell me, what year is it?"

"Uhhhhh..." The boy gulped. "Wh-What year...?"

"Yes. You're not deaf, are ya, kid?"

"H-Hey!" Aria cried, standing beside her friend. "Don't talk to him like that!"

For a brief, tense moment, the woman glared at the redheaded girl, her teeth gritted and her expression foul. Then, her face abruptly slackened, and her green eyes widened in horrified remembrance. Aria felt herself shrinking underneath the woman's analytical stare; there was just something unusually odd and unsettling about it.

"Impossible..." she said in disbelief. "Aria?"

"H-Huh?" Aria took a step backward. "H-H-How'd you know my n-na-name?"

"Who doesn't?" Then, the woman's eyes narrowed darkly. "Those reporters are right. Your daughters do have your face. The blue one especially..."

"My..." The girl blinked, astounded by the woman's words. "M-My what?!"

The woman's lips suddenly curled into a small but terrible, sinister grin. "Your daughters may not have interfered with my operations as often as those other brats, but they are still thorns in my side regardless. Maybe...a little meddling with the timeline will patch things up for me..."

At that cue, the Shiny Salamence opened its mouth and directed it at Aria's direction. An orange ball of flame formed in front of its jaws and grew it size, heat, and brightness.

"ARIA!" Foster cried, while Zangoose bared its teeth in anger.

With a great, deafening roar, Salamence fired the Hyper Beam, but Foster reacted just as quickly. He tackled Aria out of the way, and the attack missed its target completely. It promptly flew across the forest, knocking several trees aside and making a clearing before striking the side of Mt. Kiloude, hundreds of feet away, and triggering a bright, giant explosion.


The distant booming noise nevertheless traveled through the studio, shaking many objects to their foundation and even knocking some of them over. At the scene of the photo-shoot, Elle was so startled by the noise that she fell off the couch she was modeling on, only to be saved by Altaria.

"Cut, cut, CUT!" the director yelled while looking around frantically. "What the heck was THAT?!"

"I dunno..." the cameraman replied somberly while looking down at the ground, "but I think that shock-wave just ruined the camera..."

"Awwwww, DRAT! Quick, have it checked! I don't want an entire day's worth of shots to be wasted!"

As the crew scrambled to gather their bearings and check on their equipment, Elle looked at her husband, who stood at the sidelines in concern. They silently communicated to one another with their eyes, then Elle cast her gaze towards the direction of the stables.

"Aria..." she whispered to herself.

"Amara! Amara!"


The teenage farmhand nearly tripped on herself while struggling to corral a group of panicking Oddish and Seedot. All of the other Pokémon in the stables were spooked by the shock-wave as well, making various noises of fright and fury, with some even attacking the doors of their individual containment units.

But Elle ignored the Pokémon's cries and roars of panic as she ran up to Amara, with her husband not too far behind.

"Amara, where's Aria?!" the woman cried.

"A-Aria?" Amara asked worriedly. She then started looking around frantically. "She and Foster took Zangoose to look for a runaway Patrat!"

"Do you know which direction they were headed?!" Aria's husband asked.

Amara pointed at a certain direction. "T-They said they saw Patrat going that way. Speaking of which, I gotta recount the Patrat, just in case!"

The farmhand ran off, while Elle and her husband looked down the direction she pointed off to. Though there were a few empty stables in that direction, it was clear the two children weren't there. Additionally, the edge of the clearing, leading into Kiloude Forest, was in plain view.

Elle's heart dropped in horrified realization. "Oh no, Aria..."

Aria struggled to run while the persistent high-pitched ringing assaulted her eardrums. Foster was running ahead of her, half-dragging her across the forest floor while his hand remained latched around her wrist. Zangoose followed behind the two children, occasionally looking over its shoulder to make sure they had lost the Shiny Salamence and its rider. And in the distance, past the ringing, Aria could vaguely hear Salamence roaring, several explosive impacts, and trees falling.

As the minutes passed by and her legs started to feel weary, the ringing in Aria's ears started to fade away, and she also began to hear a myriad of forest Pokémon scurrying away from what appeared to be a scene of fiery destruction behind them. Eventually, Foster ran out of breath and hid himself and Aria behind one of the many tree trunks within sight, with Zangoose joining them after taking one last look over its shoulder.

"Ar...Aria!" Foster panted. ""

"I...I think so..." Aria replied. Then, she collapsed against the tree trunk, struggling to catch her breath. "My...legs...are-"

"Zan!" Zangoose barked quietly in warning.

After catching her breath, Aria reluctantly joined Foster and Zangoose in taking a peek from their shelter. To their horror, they saw Salamence landing in the middle of a clearing it had created from one of its many attacks. The rider jumped off the Dragon Pokémon's back and started treading along the forest floor, crushing little ferns and other plants underneath her boot-clad feet. The two children noticed that she now had some eyewear on, resembling some sort of futuristic visor.

"Hrrrmph..." The rider looked around the scene of destruction with a furrowed brow before smirking. "You kids may have escaped my sights, but trust me! You cannot hide forever! Not even your precious mommies and daddies can protect you forever! Just come on out, you two, and we'll settle this peacefully!"

Aria and Foster knew better than to obey the orders of a stranger. When she observed no peculiar movement, the rider's eyes narrowed, and she reached into her pockets.

"Alright, then!" she called tauntingly. "Since you kids don't want to do this the easy way, then I'm afraid we'll have to do it the hard way!" She procured two Ultra Balls from the pockets and threw them in the air. "GO!"

The Ultra Balls opened up simultaneously, unleashing a Druddigon and a Haxorus from their confines. The Druddigon let out a bellow of a roar while swiping its clawed arms in the air in a show of intimidation. As for the Haxorus, it reared its plated, tusked head and loudly sniffed the air, already trying to catch the scent of potential prey.

"Druddigon, Haxorus," the rider said with a malevolent grin, "use every attack that you have to flush those kids out like Rattata." She then returned to her Salamence and hopped on its back. "We'll monitor from the air."

The Dragon Pokémon took to the skies, while the other two started advancing towards the trees that remained standing. Before Aria and Foster knew it, various attacks were being fired at their general direction, knocking down large trees and setting the green vegetation alight.

"AGH!" Aria squealed, just as Haxorus's Dragon Pulse barely missed the trunk they were hiding behind. "Foster, we need to get outta here! Please!"

"If we run, they're gonna find us!" warned Foster, just as Druddigon used Iron Head to head-butt another tree down.

"They're gonna find us either way! Let's just run now, while we still-"

The trunk they were hiding behind was suddenly bifurcated by a Dragon Claw, with the upper half falling to the side with a deafening thud. Zangoose immediately stood over the two children and protectively poised its claws, just as Druddigon and Haxorus peered over the remnants of the trunk and straight at them.

"Foster!" Aria squeaked fearfully while holding onto her friend.

"It'll be alright, Ar!" Foster replied, though his brave voice was shaky. "Zangoose will protect us!"

"Think again, kid," an ominous voice said.

With bated breaths, Aria and Foster looked further up and saw Salamence slowly descending from the air, with its female rider standing atop it. Her green eyes glinted with delight from behind her futuristic visor, and she pointed at Zangoose.

"Druddigon, Haxorus," she ordered sternly, "dispatch Zangoose at once."

Both Dragon-type Pokémon charged at Zangoose at high speeds, materializing their Dragon Claw attacks. The Cat Ferret Pokémon tried to defend itself, but its two opponents were quicker, slashing it one after another and knocking through a tree trunk and into another one.

"ZANGOOSE!" Foster cried.

"Pathetic," the rider commented tauntingly. Then, with a smirk, she swiped at the air with her arm. "Druddigon, Haxorus, take those two children."

With loyal nods, Druddigon and Haxorus prepared to close in on Aria and Foster. The two children were overwhelmed by fear, too paralyzed to move at this point. As Foster's eyes widened more and more by the second, Aria closed hers tightly and yelled the only word that could bring her comfort and safety in this moment.



A pink sphere of energy appeared out of nowhere and struck Haxorus, which in turn knocked it into Druddigon. Foster let out a surprised gasp, and Aria opened her crimson eyes. The outraged rider and her Salamence were looking around for the source of the Moonblast, giving them an opportunity to escape.

So they did.

"Come on!" Foster cried. He grabbed Aria's wrist and began running, with the girl almost stumbling in her step but soon following along.

That was when they saw their savior: Elle and Altaria.

"MOMMY!" Aria cried in immense relief.

"Aria!" Elle yelled, her eyes still trained on Salamence and its Trainer. "You two, behind me, NOW!"

The two children immediately took shelter behind Elle and Altaria, whereupon they noticed that the latter was carrying an unconscious Zangoose on its back. Meanwhile, the rider took notice of the new arrivals; with a look of utter agitation, she pointed a gloved finger at the small group.

"I don't have time for your meddling any longer!" she snapped. "Playtime's over, kids! It's time to get serious!"

At her cue, Druddigon and Haxorus rose from the overgrowth and glared menacingly at Elle and Altaria, while Salamence roared at them in a show of power. But Elle wasn't intimidated, for she merely narrowed her eyes and raised her arm.

"No one lays a finger on my daughter and gets away with it," she hissed. "It's time, Sylvia!"

The Altaria chirruped in agreement and shook its plumage, allowing a necklace holding a pink marble-like stone to show up from beneath its feathers. As for Elle, she displayed her right wrist to the rider, revealing a large, golden bracelet with another marble-like stone attached to it.

At the sight of the stones, the rider gritted her teeth together. "Sooo, Mega Stones and Key Stones have been discovered by this point, huh? Interesting..."

"I don't know what you just called them, lady," Elle replied, "but these are the items that'll stop you for good. Sylvia!"

With a flap of its wings, Sylvia jumped over Elle's shoulder and landed in front of her. Then, it spread its wings, just as its Mega Stone and its Trainer's Key Stone simultaneously activated.

"We shall overcome our limits with our bonds!" Elle recited in a holler, all while she raised her arm high in the air. "Sylvia, Mega Evolve!"

The Humming Pokémon was instantly enveloped in a sphere of light, and Aria and Foster watched in shock as its outline grew and changed in shape. In just a few seconds, the light disappeared in a flash that resembled a double-helix symbol, revealing Sylvia in its Mega Evolved form. With another spread of its gigantic, fluffy wings, Sylvia released a triumphant squawk in a voice that rang through the air like a chorus.

However, the rider and her Pokémon were undeterred by the Mega Altaria's presence. Instead, the green-haired woman smirked as she pulled her sleeve back, revealing a black bracelet with a Key Stone of her own. Elle had to restrain a gasp of horrified surprise.

"Unfortunately for you, lady," the rider said tauntingly, "bonds can't overcome one's own limits. Only power. And you are, sadly, outgunned in that regard. Salamence!"

Salamence let out an earsplitting, bloodcurdling roar, just as the rider activated her Key Stone. Multiple bright beams of energy shot out from both the Dragon Pokémon and the Key Stone and connected to one another. As Salamence roared triumphantly while enlarging and changing shape, Elle, Aria, and Foster were all baffled to realize that there was no Mega Stone present anywhere on its body. How was this person able to Mega Evolve her Salamence like that if there wasn't a Mega Stone? It was impossible!

It didn't take long for Salamence to reach its Mega Evolved form. With a brilliant flash of light and a vague double helix-like symbol, it let out a screech of power unlike any other, so loud that it caused the nearest trees to rumble and the dirt underneath everyone's feet to shake.

"NOW, THEN!" the rider yelled. "LET'S MOVE!"

Druddigon and Haxorus both fired their respective Dragon Pulse attacks, while Salamence unleashed a particularly giant and powerful Flamethrower. All three attacks headed straight for Elle and Sylvia, causing Aria and Foster to cower further behind them and cover their heads in terror.

But Elle remained firm and brave as she pointed at the incoming barrage. "SYLVIA! USE MOONBLAST AGAIN!"

Sylvia started gathering power from the faraway Moon; then, after a couple of seconds, a pink sphere of energy formed from its mouth, and the Humming Pokémon fired it at the barrage. The Moonblast intercepted the trio of attacks, which caused them to explode violently, blanketing the entire clearing with fiery smoke.

"MOMMY!" Aria wailed, just as the smoke enveloped her and blinded her vision. "WHERE ARE YOU?!"

Just then, she felt a pair of arms wrap around her body, followed by a gentle, familiar voice that spoke to her as she was being lifted into the air.

"Hang on, sweetie! Don't you let go, alright?! Whatever you do, don't let go!"

Before long, Aria felt her skin brush up against a set of familiar, fluffy plumage, and she obeyed her mother's instructions by holding on to the feathers. With a squawk and a mighty flap of its wings, Sylvia lifted off into the air and proceeded to soar out of the billowing cloud of ashy smoke. Aria could barely hear the rider shouting orders at her Pokémon, as well as Foster's coughing.

As soon as they emerged from the smoke, the redhead opened her eyes and was met with the sight of Mt. Kiloude. She frantically looked behind her, and the first thing that she saw was Foster, who was still coughing and wiping soot from his face. However, someone was missing.

"Foster!" Aria cried over the howl of the wind. "Where's my mommy?!"

"H-Huh?!" Foster finally opened his eyes and looked around while keeping one hand around Sylvia's feathers. "Wa-Wait a minute, I thought she was with us!"

She looked at Sylvia, whose gaze was transfixed upon the mountain ahead. "Sylvia! Where's Mommy?!"

When the Altaria didn't give her a response, the girl's heart dropped, and her lip quivered.

"Sylvia! Where's Mommy?!" she repeated, putting more force into her voice this time.

Finally, after several minutes, Sylvia gave Aria a simple squawk of remorse, and the girl could feel her heart hammering against her chest even faster.

As soon as the plume of smoke reached her position, Kay gnashed her teeth together and pressed a button on the side of her visor, causing it to transform into a helmet that encompassed her head. The smoke enveloped her and her Pokémon, but she was still able to see what was happening with the aid of her helmet's built-in thermal vision.

And the first thing she saw was Elle putting Foster and then Aria onto the feathery back of her Mega Altaria.

"SALAMENCE!" she yelled, pointing in the group's direction. "USE HYPER BEAM! DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY!"

The Dragon Pokémon obeyed and fired a powerful beam of fiery energy at them. However, the attack was intercepted by an X-shaped construct of energy, which triggered another explosion. This gave Sylvia enough time to fly off with Aria and Foster on its back.

"AGH! CURSES!" Kay pointed at the fleeing Altaria. "FIRE EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT!"

Salamence, Druddigon, and Haxorus fired a variety of attacks at Sylvia, but these were intercepted by another X-Scissor attack. Gritting her teeth, Kay pulled out a small, disc-like device from a pocket in her sleeve and threw it to the ground. The device released a small, sky-blue shock-wave that cleared out the plume of smoke in a matter of seconds, revealing nothing but destruction...

Along with Elle and Zangoose.

"You're not going after them, lady," Elle snarled. "Not if I have anything to say about it!"

Kay sneered at her. "Then I'll make sure that pretty lil' trap of yours is taped shut...FOR GOOD!"

At her cue, Salamence, Druddigon, and Haxorus all opened their mouths and started to charge up their Dragon Pulses at the same time. Acting on instinct, Zangoose jumped right in front of Elle and flexed its clawed arms, prepared to defend her with another X-Scissor when another voice pierced the air.


A spinning figure enveloped entirely in red-hot flames appeared from the safety of the trees. With ruthless efficiency, the figure slammed straight into Druddigon, who was then knocked into Haxorus. Both Dragon-type Pokémon misfired their Dragon Pulses, which missed their targets completely and knocked down the trees behind them. Kay's eyes widened with disgust as the figure's Flame Wheel subsided, revealing a Typhlosion.

However, it was not just any regular-looking Typhlosion. The first thing that Kay noticed about it was its ears, which were drooping beside its head. The fur on its back was colored violet and extended to the front of its neck, forming a pattern reminiscent of a collar. It had a set of fire-producing spots encircling around its neck, all of which lined the collar pattern and were producing a remarkable set of magenta-and-red flames.

Elle and Zangoose noticed the new arrival too. They looked over their shoulders and saw a certain man with red hair, who was running into the fray.

"Sweetie!" Elle cried.

"Hey, honey," the husband replied with a warm smile. "Sorry I'm late. Are the kids safe?"

"Yeah! Sylvia's taking care of them now."

"Thank goodness for that." He then looked up at Kay and her Salamence and glowered at them. "Hey, you! Who the heck are you?! And what're you doing destroying the forest like this?!"

"Think about all the Pokémon living here!" Elle added in outrage.

Kay merely gave them a malevolent smirk. "Ohhhhh, I am most certainly thinking about them. And if it weren't for their Poké Dollar value, I would've held back for their sake. But obviously, I do not hold any Poké Dollar value for any ordinary, weak Pokémon." She then directed her sights on the man's Typhlosion. "Your Typhlosion, on the other hand... If I bring it back to my timeline, then I think I can salvage the situation, economically speaking-"

"Sorry, lady," the redheaded man interrupted coolly. "My Typhlosion's not for sale, unfortunately for you."

"Heh heh heh, well, unfortunately for you, I wasn't asking you a question." Kay pointed at the couple and their Pokémon. "Druddigon, Haxorus, dispatch these meddling fools at once. But save Typhlosion for me later. Salamence and I will take care of our little adventurers."

With a terrible screech and a flap of its wings, Salamence flew off after Sylvia, with Kay on its back. Elle and her husband watched them go while Druddigon and Haxorus closed in on them.

"Elle!" the man cried while tossing his wife a Poké Ball. "Quick, you take Staraptor and get to Aria and Foster before she does!"

"A-Alright!" Elle replied while looking at the device she just caught. "But what about you?!"

"Typhlosion, Zangoose, and I'll have these two covered from here!" The man then focused on the two advancing Dragon-types. "Go, Elle!"

"Are you sure you've got this handled?!"

Her husband smiled confidently. "Hey, of course I've got this! You go protect our kid! That's your job, after all!"

Knowing that she would never convince him, Elle simply smiled at the man. "Alright! But when you get your butt kicked, remember who told you so!"

The man merely broadened his grin while Druddigon and Haxorus faced down Typhlosion and Zangoose, respectively. As for Elle, she threw the Poké Ball, summoning his Staraptor, which gave her a loud squawk and a spread of its wings. She hopped aboard its back and pointed in the direction of Mt. Kiloude.

"Follow that Salamence, Staraptor!" she ordered.

After giving her another squawk of agreement, the Predator Pokémon lifted off into the air and soared towards the snow-capped mountain.

If one were to reach the snowy peak of Mt. Kiloude, they would think that it would not only be absolutely cold, but also a host to some of the most unlivable environments imaginable. That much seemed clear from the thick blizzard winds and the impenetrable mist of the low-hanging clouds, and snow and frost that coated the barren twigs. But the contrary was just as obvious when one ventured inside the peak.

The walls of the cave, one of many carved in the mountain, were coated with an unusually high amount of snow and ice, which gave the interior an extreme chill. Even so, there was something about the smoothened surfaces of the rock walls that gave the cave an ancient, powerful feel to it. And even with the howling blizzard winds, none of the frigid, frozen air was able to make its way into the mouth of the cave.

Then, from within the confines of the cave's pitch-black darkness, a pair of circular red eyes opened, their owner sensing an incoming, airborne disturbance from far away.

A/N: Yep, that marks the end of this chapter! And yep, this is going to be a two-parter. I was originally going to write all of this as one chapter, but the writing process suddenly got difficult for me during the second half. Besides, there's going to be a lot of content to unpack either way, so I might as well split this up into two chapters. It should give me a little bit more breathing room for the upcoming action sequences.

Anyway, there's a real possibility that I might take another quick break from this story. Not because of any dissatisfaction regarding this, mind you. Instead, I'm going to try and tackle a different approach to my writing style, one that has been benefiting me for my most recent story, which I've clearly got a lot of enthusiasm for. It's something that I promised I'd be trying out for years but never got around to doing until now. Hopefully by implementing this style, it will be the saving grace of my current pace of updating stories.

But for now, I'm sticking to the usual schedule of monthly-to-bimonthly updates for this fic. We'll see if I can churn out a few chapters in advance during that time.

Outside of that, my family and I will be out of town for a week, starting in a couple of days, so hopefully I could get some work in during that time.

Now, I'd like to thank the following people for reviewing:


1) Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed my return. And thank you for your patience. :D

2) Anyway, would you mind elaborating more in your next review? Is there anything that you loved about the fic so far? Anything you might have disliked? Any questions or other comments? It'd be greatly appreciated!

-Krexxal: Is there anything that you would like to specify in your review? Anything that you liked about the fanfic so far? Anything you might have disliked? Any questions or other comments? It'd be greatly appreciated!

-MythGirl Writes:

1) Yep! Pokémon Showcases are in a bit of trouble, ratings-wise! The sport's gonna need a huge uptick in public support if it can hope to survive for another season.

2) Yeah, those Performers have ethics, but they are too loyal to a fault. :/

-Ander Arias:

1) Yeah, that's what happens when you've got an author who's got a lot happening in real life and a fic that's continuing to evolve too quickly for said author's liking. :P Anyway, don't worry about me leaving this story unfinished. If I'm going to finish only ONE "Pokémon" fic in my time here, it's gonna be this one. Without a doubt. Only death can stop me from doing so. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself then. XD)

2) Yeah, things just haven't been going Yancy's way lately. Hopefully after the Committee finishes their story about what happened to Elle, she can salvage something from her current predicament.

3) Looks like Sara Lee's finally coming down with a case of character development syndrome! :D :D :D :D :D

4) That was kind of the point. XD Also, I hope you remember this character from somewhere else in the story... ;D

5) Yes, things haven't been looking up for Pokémon Showcases as a whole in recent years. And yes, something does go down in the future that'll signal a second coming from the sport.

6) To summarize, Parker's tracked down Kay at the base of Mt. Kiloude and has hired Nick and his so-called construction company to extract her.

7) Hope you didn't have to wait too long for this chapter! I know I promised a monthly-to-bimonthly updating schedule, but I'm not sure if that kind of wait is enough for you.


1) Parker's a very patient person. Not to mention his tenacity. He isn't a member of the Eight-Headed Seviper group for nothing.

2) Amelia's slap in the face may have been cathartic, but you haven't seen anything yet! ;D ;D ;D

3) No, Faith and Joy didn't travel to the past as well. Nice theory, though! XD

4) Yeah, Blanche was once so close to usurping Aria and taking the title of Kalos Queen for herself. Given her personality, it makes you wonder what exactly happened that didn't make her qualify...

5) Oh, I'm sure Yancy, Ash, and Serena can work out something with the Committee that doesn't involve any revelations of time travel or cheating the timelines... ;)

6) Yes, Parker is alive in the past at this point. In fact, you actually saw that past version in a previous chapter. BUT I am not going to tell you which chapter or which character, though! That'd ruin the surprise. ;D ;D ;D

7) Yes, the group has found Kay, the last person from the future. And once they get her out, real chaos ensues...

-Guest reviewer: Thanks! I'm glad you're excited for the return of this fic! Now, is there anything that you would like to specify in your review? Anything that you liked about the fanfic so far? Anything you might have disliked? Any questions or other comments? It'd be greatly appreciated! :D :D :D

-Rajiv A. Rajaram:

1) Yeah, there's a lot of competitiveness and stickler-ness to the rules for those girls, eh?

2) Yes, there's no way I wasn't going to write this newest chapter without giving Yancy a moment to admire her parents and give us all a demonstration on why Ash and Serena are good role models for all of their children!

2) Nick and company sure are quite a riot, aren't they? XP

-ValorFennekin: Yes, you guessed correctly! This is supposed to be the same person who wanted to buy Celebi, twenty years in the past. And who knows if this is where she develops her interest in Celebi in the first place...?


1) Yep, the one and only!

2) Yet another reason why Parker is intent on dumping Adam and company as soon as he finds Kay and gets the chance to do so.

3) As you can see in this chapter, you're about to find out what exactly happens to Elle! :O

4) Thanks for the updates! The more I think about it, the more I think this newest season is trying a little too hard with the fanservice, not to mention that sort of fanservice feels a little too late in the game. I feel like this should've happened during a more serious story like the XY saga. But that's just me.

Well, hope you enjoyed this overdue chapter! TheCartoonFanatic01 is out. PEACE!

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