A wind blew softly through the crisp winter air, buffeting the snow settled on the vast mountains, disturbing the perfect white blanket freshly laid over the rigid landscape. The sky was clear and sparkled with starlight. The luminous full moon bathed the world in a brilliant blue light, casting its radiance in a cerulean glory. It was a beautiful November night, and one that would prove a very important moment in history.
At the edge of Thorn Peak's ridge, a Skarmory stood on a cliff, his head raised towards the sky as he watched the stars through midnight-blue eyes. The metallic bird had black inner wings instead of red, and wore a red gemstone trimmed with silver on his neck. The spike on his head was chipped. Nightwing was his name, and as he gazed at the dark heavens above, his expression was thoughtful and concentrated.
Suddenly, his attention turned to a patch of stars in the sky just northeast of the moon. His pupils dilated and he almost seemed to shrink in fear, as though the cluster of stars shocked and terrified him. It had captivated him so strongly that a voice, calling his name from behind, caused him to jump in surprise. Slowly he turned his head, and as soon as he saw the owner of the voice, his gaze softened. He spoke back, in a fond and gentle voice. “Lumina…”
She was a shiny Skarmory. She had a daisy on her head, and wore a unique golden crest on her neck, easily distinguishable. Lumina’s eyes glistened, and she had an overall bright expression, but held her head low out of respect.
“All evening duties accounted for, Chief Nightwing!” she piped energetically, while still keeping a formal appearance.
Nightwing remained serious and refined. “Have you anything to report?” he asked calmly.
“Intruders and activists,” Lumina answered simply. “Nothing out of the ordinary, m’lord.”
Nightwing looked away, and closed his eyes in discouragement. “Good...” His tone seemed to betray his feelings, displaying uncertainty and a hint of frustration.
Lumina was confused and concerned. “Sir...?”
Nightwing gave a sigh, and again gazed at the cluster of stars near the moon. “Nothing is ordinary recently, my dear Lumina.” he stated in the same worried tone. More grimly he added, “Especially in the days to come.”
Lumina lowered her head. “So, our usual problems aren’t what’s bothering you, then?” she asked plainly.
“No, no… Of course not.” Nightwing confirmed. “That’s old news.”
Lumina nodded, and her pupils shifted to the left. “I see...” The brass bird looked again at her leader. “Those are problems our flock has dealt with for years. Perhaps it's the disruption of time? That omen that was sent to us?”
Nightwing’s posture drooped in uncertainty. “Well, there’s that too...” he agreed. “But, there’s something more worrying. An age-old prophecy that carries death and destruction in its wake.” His voice was somber, seeming to carry a dark truth in his words.
Now immensely worried, her eyes grew soft with sympathy. Leadership was heavy on anyone’s shoulders. It was a weight Nightwing had carried well until now, so she could tell this was especially bad if it was affecting him this severely. “Tell me.” she told him firmly, yet still with compassion, as if to communicate that she cared but would help him whether he wanted it or not.. “You know you can trust me.”
Nightwing nodded, and motioned his wing towards the cliffside, inviting Lumina to join him. Lumina happily accepted, and walked up to her friend. The two steel-types raised their heads towards the sky and peered at the stars.
“Pardon me, sir, but what am I looking at?” she queried politely. “If you don’t mind my asking so.”
“Lumina,” Nightwing began. “Do you see the new constellations by the moon?”
She nodded slightly. “I think so, yes.” she responded with only half certainty. “What about them?” Lumina glanced at the chief Skarmory, awaiting the answer she seeked.
Nightwing closed his eyes. “Tonight is the night of prophecies.” he explained. “For each new prophecy, a constellation appears.”
“Oh, ok.” Lumina nodded, more sure this time. “Then… These are…?”
“These foretell the prophecy of the 200-Year Curse.” Nightwing answered promptly. He turned to look at his companion. “You do remember it, don’t you, Lu?”
Lumina wore a puzzled expression in her golden yellow eyes as she searched her memory for the answer. After a moment, she nodded to herself. “Do you mean the prophecy with King Jackal and Queen Luna?” she asked. “The one we all heard as kids… How Luna’s curse locked us in their eternal battle?”
“The one and only.” Nightwing confirmed. “It’s haunted us for many generations, and now it returns.”
“If that’s true...” Lumina muttered to herself uneasily.
“This year, however...” Nightwing told her grimly. “The spell falls upon us, the Thorn flock, whether for better or for worse.”
Lumina’s pupils dilated in shock. “You… You can’t be serious!” she shouted in disbelief.
“Oh, I’m dead serious.”
“But it… It can’t be!” Lumina looked down unhappily. She was silent for several minutes. Still in disbelief, the female bird Pokemon turned her head to look at Nightwing. “How can you be so sure?” she asked, prying for truth.
“The constellations are in our spot in the sky.” he told her simply. “There’s no mistake; we’ll soon have to deal with this very large problem.”
“Ok,” Lumina nodded, mostly to herself. She gazed at her leader hopefully. “Please explain something to me… Why are there two constellations instead of one?”
“I’m not sure… exactly.” Nightwing said in uncertainty as he looked away. He looked back up at the stars. “But… I feel it must be a bad sign.”
“Why do you say that?” Lumina asked him with interest.
“Never before have there been two constellations.” Nightwing explained. “This simply cannot be coincidental.”
“I see what you mean.” said Lumina with complete confidence.
The dark Skarmory turned to look at Lumina. In a gravely serious voice he said, “Things will be different now. We’ll have to be careful.”
Golden eyes gleamed as Lumina gazed at Nightwing, but she remained calm and quiet. After a moment though, she finally spoke. “Yes… We can’t take things by their face value anymore.” she agreed. “There will no longer be any coincidences. I understand your frustration; and believe me, as your second in command, I share it with you.”
Though he seemed to share his companion’s sentiment, Nightwing’s eyes were distant and thoughtful. “You know...” he spoke quietly. “I always hoped that I wouldn’t be leading when this happened...” He looked away and sighed. “Even so… here it is.”
Lumina offered Nightwing a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, m’lord.” she chirped happily. “You’ve led our flock well through the years.”
“I can’t do this, Lumina.”
Lumina grew still as stone. The chief's words made shock sweep over her face, hardly daring to believe what she’d just heard. A bit irritated, she demanded, “E-explain yourself.”
“You’re the only one, besides Silver, who supports my leadership.” he told her. “Our people are built on tradition and superstition. They never approved of my ways...” Nightwing narrowed his eyes. “Sometimes I wonder if any of them are plotting to overthrow me.”
Lumina smiled nervously. “Oh, w-well… You know they wouldn’t actually try to do that, right?” she said in an almost bubbly way. After a glance from Nightwing, she chuckled dismissively. “Yeah, some of them might do that...”
“My royal blood, it means nothing to them.” Nightwing told her curtly. “In the end, they are waiting for me to fail.”
“That’s all there is to it.” he cut her off sternly. “You do realize this is going to drive them all into a frenzy? They already don’t like me. I mess this up, I’m done for.” He looked away. “I… I want you to take my place. I’d like to resign.”
Any other Skarmory might be honored by this statement. But not Lumina. In a flash, her demeanor completely changed. She narrowed her eyes in defiance. “No!” she yelled angrily. “No, sir!”
Nightwing nearly jumped, he hadn’t expected her in the least to react that way. “W-well… I…” However, his nervous stammering was quickly interrupted.
“Offering something like that to me out of discouragement?! Really!” Lumina scolded. “You’re better than this! We grew up together, I should know! Don’t be so weak as to be set back by the words and threats of your ungrateful subordinates!” She leaned closer to him. “If they hate you, then shame on them! Not a single one would dare go against you! And everyone knows that treason is unacceptable! They’re just a bunch of weak, snobby critics! Half of them are mindless Mareep anyways!”
Her anger retreated, but she remained stern. “Now, you’ve done well in such difficult times. There are many others who revere you. You either just don’t see them or they’re too nervous to come out in the open.” she told Nightwing calmly. “Don’t disrespect yourself, and don’t you dare let us down. Stop being so pathetic and do something about it.”
Nightwing smiled and chuckled lightly. “You’re right my dear, as usual. That’s just what I need to hear. Thanks.” Nightwing lept out of his armor as once again, Lumina had an unexpected mood change. She cuddled against him affectionately.
Blushing, Nightwing smiled nervously. “Th-thank you, Lumina.” he spoke through gritted teeth, his eyes wide. “I think...”
“Anytime!” Lumina giggled.
“I appreciate your loyalty...” Nightwing said, struggling to regain all seriousness.
“Oh no, it’s my duty!” Lumina cuddled even closer. It seemed Nightwing couldn’t get much redder without spontaneously combusting, or becoming a fire-type. Once the female laid off a bit, Nightwing cursed under his breath and Lumina squealed like some lovestruck fangirl. There was definitely a feeling left unsaid between them as they got back on track.
Lumina cleared her throat. “So, heh...” she chuckled, now embarrassed by her sudden outburst.
“Ok, so, about the prophecy, sir...” Lumina said curtly. “Should the flock be told?”
“I hate to say it, but yes. It would be unwise to keep them in the dark.” Nightwing agreed. “Could you arrange that?”
“No sooner said than done~” Lumina chimed. “I’ll summon the Skarmory at the crack of dawn!”
“Thank you, Lumina.” Nightwing told his companion warmly. “Really.”
“Anything for you, m’lord!” she giggled.
Lumina’s eyes seemed to soften and gain a warm, gentle look. “Now dear, stop your worrying.” she pleaded. “Come home with me and get some rest.”
“If you insist, my friend.” Nightwing agreed, distracted as he stargazed. “I’ll catch up with you soon.”
“You better...” Lumina said quickly, smiling to herself. Then she stood in front of Nightwing to get his attention. There was a very mischievous glow in her eyes. “...or I’ll knock you out myself!” she threatened teasingly.
“Ha!" Nightwing laughed out loud in amusement. “I’d like to see you try!”
“You’ll regret those words, Nightwing,” Lumina declared. "When I kick you all the way to the Shadow Dominion!"
"We'll see, we'll see."
"That we will, sir."
"By the way, using Jackal's domain in a joke isn't funny."
"Yeah, I suppose not. See you, Nightwing."
And so, that winter night, the two left the problem to tomorrow, the mysterious prophecy awaiting their return to the conscious world.