Chapter 126:

All Systems Red


Fay was the first to see it.

Maybe she was the only one to see it. To actually see it. Not just parts, not just slices of the thing, but all of it in its entirety.

Everyone looked up at the same sky, at the same eyehole peering through the cracked heavens. Still, none of them could see what she saw.

The aura of every single human or Pokémon in the air or on the ground was the same red color. There were, of course, different shades of red, ranging from dirt brown to bright neon, but all the colors were indistinguishably red, and together, they blended into a screaming sea of shock, desperation, and horror.

She could feel all the emotions almost as if they were her own. They were constantly brushing against her psyche and whispering the thoughts she tried to suppress.

She looked at Luna and Midna; they too were captured by the aura of fear.

Contrasting the ground, the air was livid with colors.

There was aura in the sky in every color imaginable. Wisps of red weaved into long streaks of gold, orange and purple. All drifting and swirling and breathing power into the atmosphere, supercharging the air with energy to the point the fur on her skin was standing straight.

It was an enthralling sight, but the apex of the show was high up in the sky, beyond the sky itself, even.

What Fay saw was hard to describe.

She could see the eye, but she could also see the thing the eye belonged to. Beyond the veil of the sky it's aura was shining through. It was impossibly large, occupying multiple conflicting dimensions.

The shape of the thing was dragon-like, she could spot two appendages that might be wings, legs, arms and a long neck. It was hard to compute what she was seeing, it was as if the thing itself were moving through the space beyond the hole with an impossible fluidity.

As it moved, she could see the aura in the air quiver and shake.

It became hard to breathe.

The hole in the sky continued to crack, revealing more of the empty sky behind it.

The thing moved forward, and the space around the hole began to ripple. First, its head poked out, then the rest of its body flowed into reality.

It flew above Alamos town, turning and craning its long neck.

The cracks continued to rip through the sky, tearing bigger holes into the fabric of the heavens and revealing more of the colorless sky.

The ocean of red aura around became an even deeper shade of red.

Fay looked up, hoping to find some guidance in her trainer, but to her surprise, even he had that same red shade to his aura. No matter how jagged and shattered his aura was, the red still shone through undeniably.

"What now?" Fay asked with a small voice, but only then she noticed that the entire world had turned quiet.

Not a thing moved, even the wind had slowed down to a crawl. Everyone was frozen.

The red was all consuming. The fear was contagious. She could feel herself turn red. She couldn't let that happen.

Forcing herself to calm down, she focused her aura into a long sword-like shape. The shape grew and began to shine far brighter than it ever had before.

Just stay calm.

Aura was pulled from the air and added to the structure she was creating. A shaft of light was captured between her paws. And slowly, she could see the red dissipate around her.

Fay exhaled. Things were going to be alright, she knew it in her heart of hearts.

"Th-That's Palkia," her trainer replied. His voice was shaking a little, but he got back some of his former spirit. Despite that, his eyes didn't leave the creature in the sky for a second.

{You don't say…} Luna commented. Despite her dry remark, Fay could still see her aura show the fear she was feeling.

Around Fay, people were slowly shaken loose of their stifling fear. Murmurs arose.

Then a roar erupted from somewhere. It was as if it came from everywhere at once, silencing everyone.

The flying Pokémon in the sky turned its head to the tall spire near the center of the town.

The sky continued to break down, and like a curtain being pulled back, it revealed something behind the veil.

Another Pokémon. It shined as brightly as the first one. Unlike the first Pokémon, which was smooth, this one had long spikes that poked out of its body.

"That's Dialga, I presume," Midna whispered, as if speaking too loudly would anger the Legendary Pokémon.

Dialga roared again but its message was directed at Palkia.

Palkia roared back.

Meanwhile the sky continued to fall. Behind it was an endless abysmal empty sky stretched out in all directions— complete darkness that stretched into the great forever that covered the town.

Wait, no that was wrong. It didn't go on forever; it just appeared that way. It must have looked that way to everyone else, but not to Fay.

When she focused her power she could feel the dark sky wrap around the town in the form of a perfect sphere.

Like a cage. Trapping the entire town within its blackness.

She cast her eyes down.

Fay's blood grew cold.

She was certain she was the only one who could detect it.

From deep underground, and even deeper, beyond the veil that wrapped around the town she could, if barely, detect something.

And that sliver of something she detected…Fay couldn't help but to feel abject horror.


Caleb threw the rubber ball. With a dry sound, it bounced off against the walls and ground, eventually coming to a halt at a desolate corner of the warehouse.

The sound of the bounce kept echoing after the ball came to a pitiful stop, but when the silence returned, the ball was just lying there, returning alongside the awkward atmosphere.

"Well, go get it!" Caleb commanded the nine tailed fox.

The white fox gave him a blank stare. Her dull blue eyes somehow managed to convey a lot of emotions, but just what exactly they were saying escaped his grasp. Somehow, he felt disappointment in them, but maybe he was just projecting his own emotions onto the blank slate of her mind.

"You enjoyed doing this yesterday," Caleb muttered accusingly before he got up from his spot. He knelt down to pick up one red rubber ball, took a few more steps, and picked up the other one.

He counted them in his head. Three rubber balls had fallen underneath the shelves.

Caleb sighed loudly as he went down on his knees to fish them out of there.

As he did, he could see Snowflake watching him with interest. She tilted her head and her jaw was slightly opened, her eyes remaining fixed on him.

Caleb now knew for sure he wasn't projecting. She was just mocking him.

"Ugh, you stupid thing." He tossed one of the balls into her direction.

Snowflake jumped up at the right time and caught the ball between her fangs. With a dopey smile, she landed and then tossed the ball into the opposite direction, away from him.

Caleb watched it roll underneath an empty shelf.

Snowflake looked at him.

"I hate you so much," Caleb said.

"Yip!" Snowflake happily answered. She bounced happily on her spot, her movement as erratic and strange as the rest of her existence.

But just as quickly as she started bouncing, she froze in her place.

Her mouth dropped and she bared her teeth. She growled.

"Uh…"

The temperature in the room dropped and the air turned a hazy blue.

Caleb shivered and wrapped his arms around himself instinctively.

"W-what are you doing?"

Snowflake didn't answer. He wasn't expecting one, but he at least expected some kind of acknowledgment.

Snowflake didn't even look in his direction. Her eyes were fixed on the wall.

Caleb tried to follow her gaze, but he saw absolutely nothing.

"Stop it!" Caleb demanded.

Snowflake didn't react at all.

Caleb quietly wondered if his job could get any worse.

Then, the sirens in the base started blaring.


Lifeless eyes stared up.

Looker pulled his cloak tighter and covered his nose with the collar of his shirt. The smell still penetrated his nostrils despite this.

With precise steps, the detective moved across the room, careful not to touch or step on anything. It was a vain attempt to preserve the crime scene, and in the end, it was redundant.

Everybody knew who had done it.

There was blood everywhere. Looker had seen many murder scenes, but none of them came close to this disgusting piece of art.

Like with any piece of art, Looker felt intrigued, but in a macabre way. Still, seeing how much blood a human body could contain made him feel more self conscious of his own body and mortality.

What would it take for him to end up like the man on the floor?

There were literally too many stab wounds to count, and the blood had been splattered across the room as if someone had popped a water balloon.

It was excessive and unnatural. No murder scene would look like this, at least not a normal one.

Skin covered the curved swaying chair in the corner. Blood dripped from the marble cooking island and somehow, blood had managed to stain the chandelier above.

Flesh dirtied the expensive living room.

Looker knew he wasn't looking at a murder scene, he was looking at a message. A gruesome message written in violence.

Doctor Mistland was a leading scientist in the field of type-genetics. From what Looker gathered, the doctor had been working on mapping out the genetic map of different Pokémon.

That was 24 hours ago. Now, he was lying dead in his room.

The killer was obvious.

Team Rocket's own Executive Redhand.

Not much was known about him, not even within the Kanto League's own private files. He was one of the Executives and specialized in stabbing, slicing, piercing, and mutilation. He often used the infamous Beedril, though he was just also able to do the job on his own.

He was a true monster.

If Team Rocket wanted to send a message, they sent Redhand. He wasn't subtle, he was far from the most skilled or efficient of the Executives, but he was rather good at getting the point across.

Looker was here just to find out what the point was.

Mistland's living room was filled with designer furniture. A golden watch without any signs of wear was still attached to his wrist. Everything in the apartment, besides the excessive blood, was brand new.

The most out of place thing was most likely Doctor Mistland himself, who, even cut up and sliced to pieces, looked like he was far too low class to afford such a place.

Pokémon Research didn't pay much unless you were working for the big three tech companies or the League.

Mistland was just working at a local university.

Looker made a mental note to request access to the credit details later.

It was just to confirm his suspicions, but he was already fairly certain he could figure out the story here.

His phone rang.

The Rotom flew out of his pocket and hovered in the air in front of him. The screen lit up and displayed the caller ID.

Accept the Call? it asked him.

"Yes," Looker sighed.

Bad connection. Failing to load video stream. Switching to voice only.

"Looker," a girl's voice came through the phone. Her voice sounded metal, static threatened to drown out the call in white noise.

"Hylla," Looker replied with slight annoyance. "What do you need?"

"Just checking up on a friend," she replied cheerfully, "How's life?"

Looker stared around. He idly wondered who would be tasked with cleaning up the crime scene. That person would really have their work cut out for them, in a literal sense.

"It has ups and downs," Looker eventually said.

"Same," Hylla replied knowingly. "At least Galactic keeps our lives interesting, right?"

"Right," Looker said. "If you're working on that, could you help me out with something?"

"Asking me for a favor?" Hylla sounded amused. "Usually it's the other way around."

"You're calling me for a favor, aren't you? How about we help each other out. Doctor Amarith Mistland, I want the financial records of him and every entity that interacted with his bank account."

"W-wi-lll do-" Hylla replied just as the static on the line increased.

"Good, now what do you need from me?" Looker asked apprehensively.

"Actually, I am trying to help out our friend; Dust Wildfire, or whatever he calls himself. I want to help him find his family, but so far I haven't had any luck. I wonder if maybe you can tell me about your interactions with him? Especially during his first hours, I'd like to know if maybe he said or did something that I overlooked."

Looker scowled. "I don't recall anything noteworthy."

"Still," Hylla pressed, "if you could give me your notes on him it would be a great help in finding his origins."

"Sure," Looker said, letting out a small sigh of relief. "That shouldn't take too lo-"

The line went dead.

Connection lost.

The blood covered TV next to him flashed on.


"Hello?!" Hylla repeated. "Looker, can you hear me?"

The static of her laptop swelled for a second, as if it was desperately trying to produce a sound, but then it abruptly cut off. A red error popped up on the monitor.

Connection lost.

Hylla stared at the message. She rubbed her eyes in a vain attempt to make the error go away. Instead she just felt the dry skin of her hands scrape against her dry eyes. She could practically feel the bags underneath them.

She had been staring at the screen for far too long. Her eyeballs burned softly behind the eyelids.

She hung her head low and sighed. Her unwashed hair fell down in front of her eyes, obscuring the screen partially.

The error message might have been a divine sign that she should take some rest.

Around her the floor was littered with books, papers, printed out files and pizza boxes. Scribbles Hylla closed the laptop and moved aside the empty energy drink bottles.

Slowly she stood straight.

The rented room was small, or maybe she had made it too small by filling it up with her work.

On the wall hung a big map of Sinnoh, though the region itself could hardly be seen as drawing pins, coloured strings, and post-it notes cover most of it.

Hylla took a look at it.

The pink strings signified someone or something moving— yellow was a predicted trajectory and blue string was meant to suggest a general area.

She moved the red pin from Eterna Forest to Hearthome City and wrote on a note. Redhand.

Two other red pins hadn't moved yet. Lovesick's location was unknown, though she was last spotted at Eterna. Archer was spotted down all the way up near Snowpoint city and presumed to be still there.

Three Team Rocket Executives in Sinnoh.

One wire connected both Executives to a blue pin.

Dust met both of them and survived. Was this a coincidence?

What was Redhand's trajectory? He was moving suspiciously close to the predicted path of the Snatchers, but he was also close to another pin. A day care she suspected to be part of Galactic.

Was there another Pokémon experimentation facility or was it just a coincidence?

Hylla rubbed her eyes again.

"You're going insane if you keep going like this," she whispered to herself. She looked to her bed. Lying on it was her Charizard.

It has been a while since we flew, so might as well catch some fresh air, Hylla thought to herself. She was about to wake up the lazy dragon when the TV suddenly turned on.

Her movements froze.

How did the TV turn itself on? That shouldn't happen.

The screen of her phone began to cast an eerie blue glow as it turned on. Sound began playing from its speakers as if possessed.

A news broadcast began playing. A red stripe on the bottom announced it was breaking news.

"My name is James Firecrack. I am here, live." A man in a suit looked grimly at the camera. "And as you can see behind me…" He stepped aside and motioned to the camera to zoom in. "A massive black sphere has appeared on the place where Alamos Town used to be."

As the camera zoomed in the quality began to degrade rapidly. Visual distortions began eating away at the edges of the screen as it tried to get a hold of the thing it was filming.

But what could be seen through the static and distortions didn't shed any more light.

The mountain top was completely surrounded by a void black sphere. A perfect shape that cut through the bridge connecting the town and the mainland, piercing the foot of the mountain and breaking through the clouds above.

Different shades of pitch black swirled on the surface of the sphere-like smoke.

It looks so out of place.

Large dragon and bird Pokémon flew around the sphere. Rangers and the police were already establishing a perimeter while journalists and onlookers tried to get a glimpse of the ominous void.

"The zone is 8 kilometers in diameter and a perfect sphere in all directions, with the place where the famous Space-Time towers used to be at its center," the reporter continued, keeping his voice monotone. "It appeared during the annual Sinnoh Knight Festival, so far no information about the people inside is known. The sphere appears to be made out of an unknown substance and seems to be completely impenetrable. So far, we can only speculate about its origin, structure, and what is happening inside it, if there is even something inside it."

The man took a deep breath. "The Sinnoh League has marked it a B level threat, though this can change at any moment. For now, we hold our breath and wait to see how this situation develops."

Hylla stared at the tv screen with shock. Her eyes were burning, but all thoughts of taking a rest had dissipated. Instead, a single thought ran through her mind.

Wasn't he attending the festival as well?

Dust, what did you do?


Doublade slashed the air in front of her face. The second blade stabbed forward, aiming to tear through her face.

Lovesick instantly knew what to do. With two quick steps, she increased the gap between herself and the Pokémon.

The first blade had finished its arc and went for a vertical slice, and although she managed to dodge it, she could feel the wind push against her face as the blade moved the air.

Underneath the fluorescent lights, the steel gray room formed a somber cube. Metallic clangs, panting, and the sound of footsteps filled the room.

Sweat dripped down her face, yet she stared at the Doublades with practiced confidence.

Both blades retracted at the same time. They moved back to the wall, increasing the gap between them again but not letting her out of their sights.

The pink gems embedded in the hilt shined brightly as the swords became charged with energy.

A silver gleam covered both swords, and although they didn't appear to be any sharper, she knew the next hit would cut through her. Aura or not.

And she had to dodge this attack without using Aura or her Psychic powers.

A shiver ran over her back as the memory flashed in front of her mind's eye.

She was back at that stupid museum, and in front of her was him again. Swinging the blade and taunting menacingly. She couldn't predict his movements, and she had no idea what he was thinking or what was coming next.

Looking at him felt wrong.

What was worse, was that she lost to him.

She. Not just anyone, no she, had lost to him. A nobody.

Lovesick faced the Doublade, determined to dodge his next attack without using any of her powers.

Both blades lunged forward, their edges glowing. She could imagine them shredding through her flesh, no future sight required for that.

A sick acid feeling worked its way up her stomach. A feeling she had avoided for a long time.

Fear.

Almost instantaneously, she activated her power. And with that she saw the exact arc the first blade would make, its follow up attack, and the different possibilities that the single swipe branched out to and—

A black void consumed the images playing in front of her eyes.

"Wh—"

She tried to look forward, to see what was coming, but an emptiness dissolved all the visions she had.

Deciding to end the fight, she activated her powers. With a single Psychic blast, both blades were sent flying through the room.

One of the blades hit the wall. Concrete cracked around it while its pink eye closed shut.

The other sword bounced three times before it stopped. It came to a rest face up, the pink gem sending her an accusatory glare before passing out.

Lovesick didn't pay any attention. Instead, she was desperately trying to sense something. She rubbed her eyes with her wrist, rubbed her temples. She kept trying to activate her precognition.

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Not even a glimmer or a hunch of what was to come next.

Weather tomorrow? Nothing.

Silph Co. Shares? Nothing.

Operation Long Game? Nothing.

The acidic feeling inside her stomach was boiling now. Screaming and scraping at her insides.

She was utterly blind.

The worst part was that this feeling wasn't new to her.

No, it was almost exactly the same as during that fight against him, and it terrified her.

While her hand was trembling, she reached out for her phone. She had to send a message out fast. Didn't even have to be Giovanni, anyone would do.

Her phone had already been turned on. A news broadcast was playing.


A stormfront was brewing above the waves. Flashes of white burst through the dark clouds at irregular intervals, and each strike was accompanied by a low rumbling noise that made it sound like something was stomping on the sky itself.

There was a lot of beauty in this moment.

The way the grass restlessly swayed in all directions, as if waiting for something to happen. The shape of the cliff that formed a ramp towards the heavens, or the howling song that the wind played as it scraped across the landscape.

Right here, she could almost feel like she was the only one in the world. People couldn't come here because of the storm.

She let out a long sigh, straightened her back and reached out for the phone. She did not need to see the Caller ID to know who was on the other end.

"I'm here!" she yelled, attempting to compensate for the wind. She coughed and repeated herself louder.

A male voice came through the phone. "Are you aware of what's happening?" The disembodied voice sounded hoarse, as if its owner had swallowed a pack of cigars and coughed them all up an hour later.

"Vaguely," she answered. "Lots of things happening in the last hour."

"Let me provide you with a timeline of what we know. 38 minutes ago, we detected 2 Unknown Legendary Class Pokémon intersecting into our reality above Alamos Town. Roughly 30 seconds later, Alamos town disappears from the map and a massive void appears in its stead. Immediately after, we get reports from Psychics that they are no longer able to see into the future. Long distance teleportation no longer works, and time loops are becoming increasingly unstable. This coincides with a massive attack on the League's cybernetwork. Multiple systems were under attack but ultimately failed to penetrate deep into our systems. However, they hijacked the broadcast network and are pushing this calamity to everyone with a screen and a connection to the web."

"Someone wanted the world to see. Well, can't do much about it now."

"Indeed, no keeping things under wraps now."

"Also, the two unknown Legendaries, they are Dialga and Palkia."

"Oh?"

"I've been studying local myths and legends for a while. According to ancient tales they're the space-time duo. Their stories are deeply tied to the region. Stories say that these two should never meet. Looking at our current situation, both space and time don't function correctly anymore, so I'd say it's those two."

"I see, I'll tell Oak."

Thunder rumbled and roared in the distance. A streak of lighting turned the sky white.

"So, the sphere. What does he think about it?"

"Professor Oak has released the theory that it's just an artificially created dome. Currently that's the story."

She scoffed. "The moment someone touches that 'dome', the story will shatter. There's literally nothing in the area." It was still weird to hear. To see how a solid void could exist in an area.

Someone tried to push his hand against it. When he had pulled his hand back, there was nothing left of it.

There wasn't even a wound. The part of the hand that went through the zone had disappeared.

"Okay, so that's the story. What does Oak really think?" she asked.

The voice hesitated. "We noticed a second spike in black Aura a millisecond before the town disappeared. It is possible that the sphere wasn't caused initially by the appearance of the 2 legendaries, but is a reaction to it. The two legendary Pokémon, what did you call them again?"

"Palkia and Dialga, that's what they're called over here."

"Okay, well. They affect spacetime to an obscene degree. Oak's models point towards the bubble being an automatic safeguard to prevent the further collapse of space time. We are already dealing with several crises with just these two Legendary Pokémon existing. I imagine it could be worse."

"What about the people of Alamos? Did they die from a space time collapse?"

"Not necessarily." The voice coughed. She could practically smell the foul stench of cigars. "We don't know for certain, but Oak says that not everything might be lost."

Cynthia nodded. A small flame inside her began to grow. So the world was not completely fucked yet.

"It's possible that everything contained inside the Zone has been translocated. That's what Oak says at least. It's not really my expertise. However, he sounds hopeful."

"We can only pray." A weird joke after all of this. "What's the Zone's current rating?"

"An A-level threat." There was a pause. "Though we downplayed it to a B level to the public."

"But?" she asked hesitantly. She dreaded the answer.

"Right now it's only an A. Maybe the Zone will expand, which would be really bad. But so far, it's relatively stable. The Zone isn't the problem. Right now, six Legendary class Pokémon altered their course and are headed to Alamos. Five more showed significant changes in behavior the moment the zone appeared. This might turn into an S-level threat, regardless of the Zone."

Was there even anything for them to fight there? Maybe if the barrier fell, something would pop out. Who knew what caused Legendary Pokémon to act the way they did?

"Well, I suppose we were overdue for another S level event. When was the last one?"

"Not even a full year," the voice from the speakers answered flatly. "The International League started the Twilight procedure."

"They're taking it that seriously?" She paused."If the bubble remains stable—"

"Multiple psychics across the regions are no longer able to see the future. Even if the zone remains, we wouldn't be able to prevent future threats. Let's not talk about the current threats that are already becoming unstable, like Celebi's forest, or the bird trio that is going crazy. We don't know what is inside the Zone and what will come out of it."

"They already voted. I tried to contact you, but you didn't pick up the phone. Johto and Kanto assembled teams to alter the course of Suicune and the birds."

"They always get the easy ones," she remarked with a laugh. The storm in front of her grew closer.

"The Hunt is trailing after Lugia while Unova is monitoring their own."

She had already done the math inside her head. She recalled the details and list she had given. She had been designated as one of the fliers. If Lance were working with the birds, then she would most likely be given…

"Rayquaza," she said finally.

"You're already there, aren't you? That's why we couldn't reach you." The voice loudly groaned."You don't need to fight it. Just keep it distracted long enough for the people on the ground to figure out what to do."

"Sure, I'll play tag with the Pokemon that wrestled down Kyogre. Not at all a big deal," she quipped.

Multiple lightning strikes struck the sea. And as each strike lit up the clouds, she could see a large snake moving through them.

Rayquaza.

The dragon was at least not hostile unless provoked. Mostly, it just guarded the skies around earth. However, if Rayquaza along with the others showed up at the same spot, things could get complicated.

She put her fingers to her mouth and whistled. A blur fell down from above.

With a loud crash, Garchomp landed in front of her. She lowered her head and eyes to meet her trainer.

"By the way, Drake, I won the pool this time. I told you the next S-level threat would be in Sinnoh."

"Steven says it doesn't count," the voice replied with a jovial tone. "Officially, this is just a B level threat."
"Semantics," she snorted as she prepared to mount her Garchomp.

"Happy hunting, Cynthia."


A/N. Hey, it's been a while, hasn't it? I got a wee bit distracted by Minecraft and playing with people in discord. But hey, Insane World of Pokémon is back with a 5000 word chapter and even better news.

This story is being cross posted to Royal Road and as I am cross posting there, I am also revising each chapter and removing all the typos, adding lines and basically make it less rough.

It's not a rewrite, just like version 1.1 of this fic. So if you want to re-read the fic because its been going for a while, be sure to check out the fic on Royal Road. Also, I am uploading the revised chapters on , so if any of you got any notes mentioning the story got updated, that's me.

Well, see you guys in a year.

(Chapter as always excellently Beta read by Atomic)

Also, thanks for the kind reviews, and even the ones that provided criticism and stuff. Really helped me focus and pin point flaws to hopefully improve.

-CaptainMoonShine-