Chapter 130:

Out of Time

The first thing that I noticed was the absolute silence that fell over the world. It was uncanny to hear absolutely nothing at all. No footsteps, no breathing, no background noise, no humming of machines or wind rustling, only the complete utter stillness.

'So this is it,' I thought to myself. 'Time has stopped.'

But it hadn't stopped, because if it had, I wouldn't have been able to notice that. I wouldn't hear anything, because I wouldn't hear. I wouldn't be thinking any thoughts because there wouldn't be any thinking.

I opened my eyes.

The silence remained ever so oppressive. The only sound I heard was my own ragged breathing. But I was still breathing, contrary to my own expectations, I was alive and moving.

I looked around.

The world looked almost surreal. No, not almost, it was surreal.

I saw leaves hanging suspended in the air.

People stuck in place like mannequins inside a dollhouse.

Pokémon were caught in the moment like insects trapped inside amber.

A lightning strike fired by Pikachu looked like a bright blue snake slithering through the sky.

Water droplets in the air looked like glitter on a canvas.

I let out a deep breath I hadn't noticed I was still holding onto. Trying to keep my breathing calm I took in the surreal scene around me. I took a step, not quite believing what I was seeing. It was almost like looking at a picture, except I could walk through it. It was a polar opposite to the dream world Darkai had made, now the real world looked unreal.

The strange patterns in the sky had been put on pause indefinitely. I couldn't see Dialga or Palkia anymore, but I saw a giant crater left where Palkia had been, the debris was still flying upwards.

I took another step. It strangely echoed throughout the frozen landscape. Another step followed, it felt like the echo was moving through a slurry.

I turned around again.

My Pokémon were right where they had been before. I don't know why exactly but it was creepy to see them frozen, like they were statues or sprites.

Luna's wide eyed expression gazed into the open sky. Fay herself was facing away and towards the tower, a hollow look was etched into her face. Most striking of everything in the frozen world was Midna who was hardly something at all, but rather a spot of white light in the canvas of reality.

"Ha." My hollow laugh was released into the world. There was no one to hear it. "Hahahaha!"

This should be impossible by all means. Not just transporting to other worlds, not even the stopping of time itself, and not even being able to be immune to it.

There was so much wrong with this, time itself had frozen, or atleast all motion had halted completely. Yet, I was still standing, breathing, laughing.

It shouldn't be possible. Even if I had an inherent immunity to time itself, I shouldn't have been able to breathe still air. Light shouldn't travel to my eyes if I was in a true timeless area. There was so much wrong with everything.

None of this should be happening.

But it was happening, despite all the laws of the world saying it was utterly delirious and impossible.

I exhaled deeply.

"Okay, immunity to time distortion. Add that to the list," I twisted my neck. "Possibly space distortion as well. Could be a worse time to figure that out." No one laughed at my clever pun. I turned to my frozen Pokémon.

I spun around again, just to be sure I was still moving. It was odd to be the only moving thing in the world, or at least, my world.

The sky around me was stuck in the same moment it had been once Dialga fired his blast, but I knew that had to be an illusion or something. Dialga's effects were localized bubbles, not the entire world, right?

I shook my head, it's just the town's square that's been trapped. I presumed that in the real sky outside my bubble Dialga and Palkia were still having a blast tearing apart reality.

"Okay, so now that's done…what's next?" There was obviously no answer.

I looked at my Pokémon. A thought cropped up.

I knelt down and retrieved a gun from my backpack. It was the silver one I had stolen from Crimson. There wasn't anything special about it, in terms of special abilities. It was a gun that I could use to shoot people.

I put away my stuff and looked at the gun, it felt more real than the world. It even properly reflected the light and was subject to gravity.

I breathed out and locked my finger around the trigger. I aimed the weapon a few meters away from me at the ground and pulled hard.

Bang! The bullet was spat out and hit the ground, sparks flew up as it tore into the brick work.

"Fascinating." I put the gun away behind my back and knelt down at the hole.

There was a tiny hole.

"So that's how it works," I murmured. A theory began to form, not only was I immune to the time bubble, I also had the ability to manipulate things inside it and on top of that, this property was transferred to the bullet after it had left the chamber., meaning to a degree I could extend this effect.

In short, I could defy the laws of space and time.

This is just insane. I chuckled.

The macabre idea to kill everyone popped up in my head. A call of the void moment, I knew it was messed up. I felt like the Flash, or Quicksilver, in this time locked world I truly was the king of the world and no one would be able to stop me.

I straightened myself up and took another deep breath. No need to go mad with power just yet, I still had to figure out what exactly my power was, though now it wasn't the right time, which was just ironic. I wasn't sure at which rate, but time outside our bubble surely kept moving forward and I didn't think anyone else could figure out how to deal with Palkia and Dialga.

I pulled three Pokéballs from my pockets and enlarged them.

If my guess was correct, I should be able to recall them to their Pokéballs. My immunity should extend. If my guess was incorrect…no, I couldn't be wrong.

Before I could change my mind I pressed the button. I had no clue which it was, but a light escaped from it and surged towards Fay. It swallowed her and then returned to her Pokéball.

The same happened to Luna after that. I took a pause before holding out the final Pokéball. Midna's.

Midna was still locked between two shapes. She was now just pure light, however weird that might sound, it was even stranger to look at it.

I wasn't sure how dangerous it was to retrieve her. I was already unsure about Luna and Fay, but Midna, stuck between two forms, was double the risk. I could leave her here and try to fix this mess without her and retrieve her later, but Midna was my ace card. I needed her.

I aimed her Pokéball at her and pressed the button.

Nothing happened. The light on the ring blinked. Then, the beam flashed out of it, surrounded Midna's shape and pulled it in its entirety back into the capsule.

Well, that was done. I put away their Pokéballs.

"Well, not much else to do," I said, again to no one. I coughed, stretched my back for a second and then began walking towards the entrance of the towers.

My footsteps echoed around me, each step felt like a clear defiance of absolute reality. It felt good to hear them.

I stopped in front of the entrance.

The towers, up close, were impressive. I craned my head and looked up.

Amidst the time locked world they looked even more impressive. Two steel harp-like structures shaped like the fingers of a clock, piercing time itself.

I pushed through the doorway.

Immediately the atmosphere changed. The air felt heavy, the polished floors reflected weak light and the bronze coloured walls felt oppressive. But there was also something else, something I hadn't even noticed before, but in this timeless world it was unmistakably there.

I heard the soft sound of ticking coming from the center of the building. Gears, levers and pulleys quietly did their work, and any other day they would have faded into the background but now I could hear them clearly.

The large gear in the middle of the tower slowly turned and in turn powered many more smaller wheels and metallic machinery. To me, the entire machine looked like a steampunk Goldberg machine. There were many pipes and cogs that just seemed stupid, but it must have been doing something, because it kept working in spite of all the time fuckery.

The center of the room was occupied by a big…I wasn't sure what to call it. It looked like a machine and there were a lot of gears. The engine's mechanical components kept working, like a heartbeat, methodically continuing its function.

Every second that passed I could hear the noise of the machine, each a gunshot into the timeless world.

Well, it should be safe…right? I retrieved my Pokéballs and tossed up the first one.

It opened mid-air and the beam of light traveled towards the floor. The light shaped into a ballerina like shape, before fading and leaving behind a Kirlia.

"Welcome back."

"Kir!" Luna cried out, facing the wall. The sound died down in her throat, she slowly stopped and blinked her large eyes. After the confusion washed away she turned around and saw me and narrowed her eyes.

{What happened?}

I exhaled, my guess was correct after all.

"Hold on, let me first do the others so I won't have to repeat myself."

I repeated the process for Fay. She appeared in a similar manner to Luna. "Hold your questions for a second," I said. I then pulled out Midna's Pokéball.

I tossed her further away from me. She had been a Zorua before completing her transformation. I wasn't sure what she was trying to shift into, but if she completed that process while near me, and it happened to be a Wailord…welp, there still wasn't enough room for a Wailord inside the towers, but at least I felt a bit safer.

The light dissipated and instead of a Wailord I was confronted with a tiny blue feathered bird Pokémon.

She had turned into a Tailow.

Midna, without a conscious thought, flew straight up, hit the ceiling and then dropped to the ground. Her form shimmered and then she became a Zorua once again.

"Ugh, what the fuck?" she cursed. She finally saw me and frowned. "What happened?"

3 pairs of eyes locked onto me.

"Dialga hit us with a time stop. The entire area around the towers is frozen, except for me. Somehow, I wasn't affected by it."

I waited for someone to raise a question, to voice their concern or surprise. But no, all of them just nodded and took it in.

"That seems normal to you?!" I asked.

"Sounds about right," Midna shrugged. "I don't see why not." Of course she wouldn't care too much.

I turned to look at Fay.

She tapped her chin. "My mom told me legends about past heroes. They usually have special powers," she sighed wishfully. "Usually those powers are Aura related, but you're very different from those heroes." Okay, that wasn't useful either.

{You're already a blindspot, and immune to most psychics,} she smiled. {besides me of course. I don't see something weird here.}

"Well, I suppose." I murmured. "Anyway, time functions normally inside these towers." I pointed at the machines. "I don't know why time works inside, but we'll take it." Maybe it was something about the towers' individual components, or their exact arrangement, heck it could have been blessed by Arceus.

"So we can continue with the plan." Fay said.

"Exactly." I smiled. "Let's save the world."

"Ha!" Midna laughed.

The insides of the towers were beautiful. Several spacious rooms connected all to the center and offered places to rest and enjoy the end of the world while appreciating the beautiful mosaic. The crown jewel of the room was the giant mural, it was an imposing piece of art, but I wasn't here to enjoy art, instead my eyes scanned for Oración.

I found it immediately. The leaf shaped pattern was easy enough to recognize. I saw it yesterday, but didn't take it. There was a slight chance someone might notice its absence.

Now however, I was sure that no one would care.

"That one." I pointed to Midna to get it.

Midna and Fay together managed to pull it free from the wall and brought the disk to me.

I held it into my two hands, briefly marveling over it. "What makes you so special?"

Oración, the song itself wasn't magical as far as I knew. The disc itself didn't look special either, I didn't see any markings on it that would give it special abilities or sensed any ominous aura yet it was a key to calming down Dialga and Palkia.

It also was really heavy.

"Luna take it please." I extended the disc towards her. Invisible hands took it from my grasp and held it afloat.

{And now?}

I pointed up.

A big metallic spiraling staircase awaited us near the big machine. I sighed as I looked up and saw it spiraled all the way to the sky bridge that connected the two towers. There was no elevator and we couldn't exactly fly.

"Can we teleport?"

Luna shook her head.

"Then we walk." I took a step.

Compared to everything before, moving up the towers felt like a drag. In contrast to the high adrenaline rush from earlier this felt like a chore.

The staircase towards the skybridge looked Victorian and didn't do anything to comfort the trip. I could poke my hand through the metallic bars that caged the stairs, but when I did that I immediately felt I was pushing back into the time bubble. The view was also the same inside the time locked world, just from above now.

While climbing the stairs I was looking for words to say but I found none. I could feel we were getting closer to the end of everything and it filled me with uncertain dread.

What if Oración didn't work? What if Palkia and Dialga weren't able to communicate? What if they just didn't care?

I gritted my teeth and kept moving my legs. One step at a time. Slowly getting closer.

No one had anything to say so we continued in silence.

At some point, while climbing the stairs, we rose above the time bubble that had captured the area. After what felt like, and literally was forever, I could see the sky again, hear the sounds of battle and most important of all, see Dialga and Palkia.

There wasn't much to be said about them. For two divine beings, they had become predictable really fast. They just repeated their pattern of devastation, none of them being able to hurt the other in a meaningful way, all the while leaving a trail of destruction.

There wasn't a part of Alamos Town that was still recognizable or in one shape. But besides the time and spatial weirdness, the town was also slowly being eaten by the dark smoke. Patches of the world were being consumed and swallowed, leaving only islands of stable reality for people, not that I saw many.

I couldn't spot Darkrai anywhere, I hoped he was at least in one piece and not caught in either the abyss that swallowed everything or one of the many deadly areas left by Palkia and Dialga.

I continued to climb the stairs. It felt like I had been doing it for ages and maybe I was, with how strange time was working, it wouldn't surprise me.

My aspirations of greatness dwindled with each step and left me exhausted. Still, we kept going, higher and higher. The rooftops made place for the black sky that surrounded the towers. If I closed my eyes it looked like we were in space.

The air felt cold and chilly. I heard something about mountain climbers lacking oxygen the higher they went, I knew we weren't that high, but it did start to feel like that. Still, there wasn't anything else to do.

We kept climbing the stairs.

"Welcome," a voice called out. "It was you after all."

I took another step, only for my feet to not hit the step I expected and instead land on a flat floor.

Tired and a bit in a daze, I looked up.

The staircase had ended and the boundless empty sky had disappeared. I found myself in a spacious open room that was shaped vaguely like a sphere. Metallic beams curved overhead, the murals on the walls depicted vivid colors.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of windows, something that seemed rather unsafe. The wind blew through my hair again and I could look over the entire city.

The second thing that caught my eye was the gold coloured organ that stood in the back of the room, this one had even more cogs and levers attached to it.

All I needed to do was insert Oración into the machine and I would knock on God's door and demand the answers I've been looking for.

However, as Fate would have it, there was someone blocking my path to it. Someone accompanied by a Charizard.

Her eyes held an intense energy inside, she smiled but the smile felt unnatural, manic almost. "Well," she said. "The Knight arrived at last."

A/N Man, three chapter updates in a row. How fabulous, talking about fanfiction. Time to shill something.

Do you like Fanfiction? Most likely not, but in the event you do, I've been working on a youtube channel all about fanfiction. It's called "Generic Self Insert" and it's been going for a while, but I feel confident enough to share it with my own readers now.

So yeah, it's a channel where I'll review fanfic tropes and fanfics.

All about fanfiction really.

I have a problem