Legends Never Die
There’s an old saying that ‘legends never die.’ Have you ever stopped to think though, what happens to those powerful beings who are called Legendary, when they become just that? Their greatest fear, forgotten for what they truly are...
A giant of a figure stopped beside a glass-like pool in its walk of a massive garden. A bright-bluish lawn made of springy moss stretched in all directions. Trees more massive in girth and height than ever seen on this world grew haphazardly in the wide area, each one covered with brightly colored leaves that seemed to radiate their own light. More trees could be seen far off in the distance, creating huge forests. Growing in the illumination of the colorful trees were flowers, in every color and shape imaginable. Some hugged the ground, others grew tall. All were tended by small fluttering creatures that resembled butterflies with ghostly wings of shimmering dust. The wide pool was disturbed by a fish leaping from the water, its long translucent fins flicking tiny crystal-like droplets across the surface. When the water returned to its mirror calm, a broad band of nebula was reflected in the surface. A wash of pink with greens, reds, and blues dyed the birthplace of stars. Such was the Celestial Garden. Retreat and sanctuary to many powerful creatures.
One in particular, paused to gaze over the reflecting pool. He was a large, crested dragon, his dark blue scales highlighted by lighter patches in the steely hide. With a gem in the center of his chest plate and a great wing over his back, this was the guardian of time. His gaze was not searching, but rather focused on a particular point over the water. In a moment, he was rewarded by a small flash as another creature entered the garden. It would be difficult to see with the steel crest that ran along his jaw, but he smirked at the sight of the much smaller Pokemon. The green fairy shook his head, making the slender blue antennae over his forehead wave back and forth as he flew up to the much larger dragon.
“That Paldus is such a fuddy-duddy.”
The time keeper rumbled deep in his chest, his way of chuckling. “What did he do this time, Celebi?”
“Ohh, I’m not even sure,” he answered, crossing his arms over his chest. “He usually gives me a hard time entering the Garden.”
“He is supposed to guard the Gate. And you know that-”
“Not all Legendaries are allowed to leave our world,” Celebi finished. “Yes, I know all that, Dialga. The only reason I was ever allowed to enter was because I came with you. But, you see that’s just it. Normally, Paldus gives me awful trouble about trying to enter the Garden alone even though I only come when you’re here. He was never really too thrilled when I came with you. But, this time...” Celebi narrowed his eyes slightly as he thought about it.
Dialga lowered his head a bit to look at the time traveler more closely. “This time...?” he urged.
“This time, he hardly said a thing.” The whole idea seemed so strange to him since there had never been a change in the Gate Guardian’s actions before. “Instead, he was watching me, and he almost looked...like he was sorry for me.”
At this, Dialga showed some surprise. It was well known to those entering the Celestial Garden that the gatekeeper was not overly fond of allowing an “outsider” entry. He was mainly allowed because Dialga had brought him and because after traveling through so many periods of time, he had a greater understanding for the reason that most Legendaries were not able to enter the Garden. This was a crossroads for many other worlds. Paldus, as guardian of the gate into this crossroads, had access to incredible power in order to protect it. Part of his power, was the ability to look into a creature’s soul to determine their worth. He must have noticed something changed about Celebi. But, the time traveler did not know what it was, and it had him worried.
“You know,” he said, “it’s kinda interesting that you didn’t know after I said something. You always like to jump on knowing what’s going to happen next. Like knowing exactly where I was going to appear?” He had noticed that upon arriving to the Garden.
Dialga tilted his head a bit. “I know where you are because of the temporal disturbance. And yes, I could have looked to see what happened, but I prefer to ask.” He knew that the smaller Pokemon was trying to change the subject. “Perhaps you should talk to Paldus. He may tell you why he was acting so differently this time.”
Celebi shook his head at this. “No way. It could’ve just been a fluke. I’m not gonna chance him trying to kick me out again by asking why he had a sudden change in attitude. Anyway, I was waiting on you to come here so I could get a short break, I’m beat. Just left 2406, y’know? When the Highlarens weather machine caused...”
“...that enormous electrical storm,” Dialga finished with him.
“Yeah, I know it,” the big Pokemon said, absentmindedly. As Celebi continued talking, he could not help but notice that his friend was actually worried by what happened despite passing it off.
Time continued on, as it always will. Celebi continued to travel through the reaches of time, seeking out the places of quiet, which unfortunately, often followed destruction. At some point, he had nearly forgotten the event with Paldus that had shaken him, pushing it to the back of his mind. He was beginning to notice something else though. Lately though, he began to notice something was amiss with his ability to travel across time. There were moments when he found it harder to travel, and others when he missed his destination entirely. In truth, he thought that he was simply pushing himself too hard, but he was soon to find it was something much different.
He had just found a place that had been ravaged by a terrible war. The land was torn and pocked with small craters. Trees had been felled and left on the wayside to make way for heavy vehicles that churned far into the precious, fertile topsoil. Celebi looked at the whole area with a look of disgust. It had been several years since the war happened, and still no one had done anything to repair the damage done here. He was about to set to work when he noticed a temporal disturbance close by. This only meant one thing; that Dialga was coming. Flying towards him, Celebi found Dialga already in the time period looking for him.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
The time guardian shook his head. “Do you know that I actually had trouble finding you?” Dialga had never had trouble finding the other time Pokemon and watched him stop suddenly. “Your distortion in time has been growing weaker.”
“Are you sure?” Even as he asked, Celebi knew that he was speaking the truth. “I have been having some difficulty in traveling through time. But...why?”
“I’m not certain. There are few things in time I do not know of, but many that I’m unsure of.” Dialga narrowed his eyes at the smaller Pokemon. “I have been searching time. Celebi, have you not noticed that some of the Legendaries seem to have faded from existence in the future?”
The smaller Pokemon’s eyes grew wider. “I’ve...hardly ever encountered most of the other Legendaries during my travels, even in the past. Are you....are you sure?” This was the second time he had asked the same question since the Guardian’s arrival. This time however, Dialga nodded, and panic began to set in. “How could this be happening? What’s the cause? What...” He suddenly realized what his friend was trying to tell him. “Are you saying that I’m
“I cannot be sure. You exist in so many times, I would have to sort through every point you appear in the past and future to find where it begins.”
Celebi knew that such a task would be difficult even for the guardian of time. He gnawed at his fingers nervously, trying to understand what was happening.
“I began searching some time ago, when you told me about your last encounter with Paldus. As I dug through the future, I started to notice things changing...other Legendaries gradually disappearing from the timeline.”
“You’ve been looking since then?” He tapped a finger to his chin for a moment. Could he have sensed something amiss back then? “Come on, we need to go to the Gate!”
Dialga nodded. “I agree.”
With the Time Guardian, it was only a matter of a thought for them to be at the Gate to the Celestial Garden. Stopping them as always, was Paldus, a shadow that blacked out the countless stars behind him. He moved in front of them, suddenly standing out against the bright nebula of young stars. With dark, metal cuffs around his paws and neck, and a long, wild scruff of fur over his neck, he resembled a great black leopard much larger than that of our world. Though he was still dwarfed by Dialga, the two Pokemon knew that his defenses could stop both of them with little difficulty. He watched them, with gold flecked-green eyes that felt like they could pierce through you. His tail twitched before he spoke, though not with his voice.
“You do not wish to enter the Garden.”
Celebi tried to show that he was not surprised by the matter-of-fact statement. “Um, no not this time.”
The gold-green eyes focused on Celebi. “Time. Time is something you know well.”
Both Pokemon were confused that Paldus was being so civil with Celebi. Tentatively, the smaller Pokemon spoke up again. “It seems I don’t know it well enough. Please, tell me...did you notice something about me the last time I was here?”
“Yes. Time is catching up to you.”
This time, Celebi did show his surprise. He looked at Dialga who hung his head slightly.
“He’s correct. You have aged considerably.”
“But,” Celebi argued, “if I disappear in the future, wouldn’t I know of it? Wouldn’t Dialga know?”
“As its guardian, Dialga is a being who exists outside of time. He will only be present in a single period at any moment in time. You however, as a time traveler, exist in many points in time. You know this is fact because you are able to call on yourself from these many existences, a unique ability in its own right, to be sure. But, you see, you would never know how your own existence progresses by traveling to the future, because every part of you in the future is in truth, your past. Even your future does not exist yet. So there is no way that Dialga would know what is to happen to you.”
He paused for a moment. Celebi was trying to find some way to disprove any thought that his power was fading. Paldus continued in a gentler tone.
“Do you know that there is another reason only certain creatures are allowed passage into the Celestial Garden? It has nothing to do with power...and yet, everything to do with it. You see, there are those whose power comes from the belief that they have that power.”
He was looking directly at Dialga as he said this.
The Temporal Pokemon thought hard, knowing that Paldus meant the answer was there. “Where we come from, we are called Legendary, because we possess legendary power. A person...or Pokemon, can believe that we exist, but it is their belief that we can truly use our power which allows us to possess it. If they no longer believe in the power we hold...we lose it?”
“You are mostly correct.”
Dialga thought harder. “Certain creatures are allowed to enter the Garden...because our power does not rely on another’s belief.” Paldus nodded.
“So, I’ll lose my power?” Celebi asked quietly. “I am
losing my power. I won’t be able to heal forests...or travel through time. I’m becoming mortal?” Again, Paldus only nodded. Tears began rolling openly down the time travelers face.
Dialga bent his head down, attempting to comfort his friend, the one who understood time almost as he did. “We’ll stop it. Find away to raise people’s belief in you again.” Even as he said this, he was searching time...and he could see clearly now, that even though he could not search for Celebi himself, he could see that knowledge of the forest healer and time traveler waned, and dead forests remained that way for far longer. “All that time I spent trying to understand.” He shook his head. “I first thought I’d eventually find the answer by searching. I never knew it was in my soul the entire time.”