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Misc > Fun Stuff > Ash Ketchum vs Climate Change - 02

Intro - 01 - 02 - 03 - 04

Ash Ketchum vs Climate Change - Part 02

It felt like spinning through a whirlpool of amorphous clouds, his body chilled all over like he had been plunged into ice. Before he knew it, his teeth were chattering. Had Pikachu followed him in? He could have sworn he felt Pikachu on his backpack.

Suddenly, the world materialised around him. At least being surrounded by water explained why he felt so cold.

'Screw those guys,' Ash thought defensively. 'I can do this on my own. And they'll thank me when I do!'

When he surfaced, he saw a pier leading to some steps. Somebody was waiting there for him, holding an eerily glowing lantern.

He had a funny feeling of deja vu but tried to shake it off along with the water dripping from his clothes as he climbed out of the water. The light in this area was dark and chilled his insides.

'Welcome to the Crystal Palace,' the woman said. 'Please, follow me.'

All around were crystals and glowing floating orbs, it was a very strange place. The walls vibrated and each step seemed to send a faint hum into the air like singing tuning forks that tickled his limbs.

He was grateful to see Pikachu close behind him. 'Let's go, Pikachu!'

'Pika!' Pikachu, loyal as ever, chased after him as he ran up the spiral staircase.

The stairs spiraled higher and higher and Ash decided the woman who had greeted him at the pier had disappeared.

'I thought I saw her ahead of us, Pikachu.'

'She must be at the top.' As they rose, their movement slowed as if by water. 'Go, Pikachu! She knows something, we have to catch her.'

At the landing was a door sealed shut with crystals. On either side were doors leading to different rooms. Machinery hummed and whirred and the sound of a propeller could be heard in the distance.

He walked through the door on the left, attracted by a bright light that looked like it lead to the outside.

Pikachu rushed ahead of him and stopped, peering past pillars to a passageway ahead. What caught Pikachu's attention was obvious.

A girl standing alone, peering toward him. He couldn't make out her expression as it was half in shadow.

'Are you lost too?' Ash asked, and the girl nodded, completely mute. 'Do you know where the woman with the lantern went?'

The girl shook her head, so Ash took her hand and pulled her through the shade of the trees beyond.

'We'll find a way out together,' Ash said. 'We'll get to the bottom of this. Right, Pikachu?'

Pikachu had run ahead through the arches. Above, the sun beamed, and Ash had to remind himself that he was in some kind of building - inside. That could not be the real sun.

Ash followed Pikachu to some trees. Unlike the greenery outside covered in crystals, these trees were verdant and healthy. The weather was balmy and not freezing cold like the rooms filled with crystals.

He understood why Pikachu had stopped. A beautiful garden graced the path ahead, vines snaking through a metal trellis.

The path opened up to a garden filled with leafy trees and perfectly trimmed lawns.

'How is this place even real?' Ash asked. 'I thought... I thought we were inside a tower.'

Suddenly, a voice boomed through the garden as if on speakers. But no electrical equipment was visible.

'It is real,' the voice said. 'But I never invited you into my garden, Ash Ketchum.'

'Who are you?' Ash cried out. 'Where are you? How do you know my name?'

As if a light switch had been turned off, the sun in the sky turned to a moon, and the garden was shrouded in darkness. The temperature dropped suddenly.

The girl edged closer to Ash, a concerned expression on her face. From behind her back, she pulled out a glowing blue orb.

The light grew brighter and brighter. Ash had to close his eyes.

The light consumed him with warmth, until he was sure his entire body was filled with it - all the way down his spine all the way into his fingers and toes.

It felt as if all his atoms separated and re-organised. Shearing, distorting, warping his perception of reality.

He saw a flash of something. It felt like a memory, but he knew it couldn't be real. The girl was close to him, with a knowing smile on her face, as if she knew a secret he didn't. He just wished he could remember what it was... it was on the tip of his mind, but just out of reach...

He heard bells ringing. They announced a new day, maybe a new union. A sign of a new beginning. It was all fuzzy before his fingers, seeing from a perspective he knew he couldn't possibly have.

Was it his imagination that the girl embraced him? Was it a memory that when he grasped her hand, she held firmer? Was the smell of her hair, light and fragrant with the smell of rivers and salt air, just a dream?

Yet the orb in her hands was real, he was sure of that. Was it a catalyst for something greater? The energy for this great machine, the garden that lived indoors, this virtual reality?

The last image in his mind before he regained awareness of his surroundings was the girl leading him toward the garden. But hadn't it been him who had guided her? Just what had she been doing in this place, all alone?

Intro - 01 - 02 - 03 - 04

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