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The world has seen some very dark days.

In the past, the terrorist organization Enigma Shadow made repeated attempts to take control of the world. Under the behest of their leader, a figure known to many only as Queen Shadow, they created Shadow Pokemon - Pokemon turned into fighting machines with sealed hearts - through various avenues, then used them to execute a series of plans. Each time, they came into conflict with a man named Rich Mistbloom, who through a series of coincidences was drawn into their schemes. Rich accumulated a series of allies in his many battles against the organization and Queen Shadow, who turned out to be the woman he believed to be his fiancee. Primarily by his side was Anabel, the owner of the Battle Tower in LaRousse City where Rich earned his fame in Hoenn, and later, their daughter Olivia as well.

Seven years ago, the conflict with Enigma Shadow came to a head in the southern sea region of Oceannia. Having escaped from prison following her arrest during the failure of a previous operation, Queen Shadow resurrected her organization and made her final push for world domination using Shadow Pokemon. Rich, Anabel and Olivia met up with a number of new allies to aid them in their struggles against Enigma Shadow; among them was Matt Chiaki, an archeologist and scientist who struck up a quick friendship with the family. After pursuing Enigma Shadow throughout the region, Rich, Anabel and Olivia stormed their headquarters, Castle Shadow, with the help of not only Matt but his friend Sheena, the Pokemon minstrel Nando and Skull, a Shadow Marowak that could speak human language. They confronted Queen Shadow in her inner sanctum, and in a climactic final battle, Rich defeated her, toppling the organization once and for all. Unfortunately, a terrible surprise was in store for them - Doctor Mitchell Yung, a high-ranking Enigma Shadow scientist displeased with his treatment by Queen Shadow, betrayed her. Dr. Yung had actually been helping Judy, a former member of an organization called Polaris, who wished to stop an event they sought called "The Day of Reckoning" and manipulated Enigma Shadow to do so. Using a machine modified from technology Matt Chiaki created during his time as a naive researcher for Team Galactic, Judy called forth the Alpha Pokemon Arceus from its den in the Beginning Dimension, then attempted to capture it. She succeeded and began systematically destroying those attempting to stop her - including Dr. Yung, who tried to betray her as well - but her efforts ultimately proved worthless when her capture device malfunctioned. Arceus began to die, causing the slow unraveling of the space-time continuum followed by the end of the universe - the very Day of Reckoning she so desperately sought to stop. It was only through a combined effort between Rich and Queen Shadow, whose lost identity as a maiden from five hundred years prior finally returned to her - that the universe was saved. However, it came at a price - both of them lost their lives as a price, with Queen Shadow holding on long enough to marry the knight who defied time to continue trying to save her. Dr. Yung actually survived his injuries, and was revealed to be a member of Polaris, which also contains other members such as Mercury and Cassy as well as Ghetsis, the tyrannical mastermind of Team Plasma, all serving under the direction of a mysterious figure known only as "Father."

Matt Chiaki, who had already gone through his own trials, was thrust into the spotlight. While Rich was busy fighting Enigma Shadow, he'd taken a large amount of time off to investigate the legend of the Golden City of La Ciudad Dorada, a treasure his grandfather, legendary archeologist Sutter Chiaki spent decades hunting. With the help of a team he assembled - including Carter McKenna, his rival from school, doll maker Eleanor Laplace and a Pokemon Ranger named Ross, he unlocked the secrets of Regirock, Regice and Registeel on his path to the Golden City. However, the true colors of his thought-to-be girlfriend, Cassy Natsuka, came out when she allied herself with the kingdom's Count Fernando VIII, a young man who had killed his parents and framed his sister in order to prevent her from becoming the first female ruler in La Ciudad Dorada's history. Though Matt caught the Heatran that Fernando controlled, the count still stepped in when the Golden City was found and used the power of Regirock, Regice and Registeel to awaken Regigigas, the giant who had been sealed away five hundred years ago when the Golden City disappeared. In the final battle, Regigigas was freed and Fernando died, but Eleanor perished as well, and Cassy collected Giratina's Griseous Orb secretly for an unknown cause.

It was not until Matt met Sheena and rejoined Rich's group that Cassy was revealed to actually be working for Team Galactic, alongside his mother Fumika Chiaki (codenamed "Mercury"), his father Charon (codenamed "Pluto") and his former friend and colleague, Viktor Zerossen (who had long since adopted the nickname he'd been given in school, Zero). A split personality calling itself Janus was drawn out of Matt, and this evil side briefly supervised the collection of Legendary Pokemon Dialga's time travel powers. Rich brought Matt back into his right mind, but when Dialga attacked Team Galactic's flying base, the tube containing Dialga's power in liquid form spilled onto Olivia, though it did not seem to have any effect on her. Shortly thereafter, Matt attempted to sacrifice himself out of atonement for Janus's actions, choosing to stay behind in the UFO so Rich and Olivia could escape with his sister Amanda, a blind and wheelchair-bound girl. However, he survived with grievous injuries, losing his left leg and right arm on top of the arm and left eye he'd already lost during the La Ciudad Dorada crisis.

Olivia Mistbloom was placed in Matt Chiaki's care via Rich's desires, a necessity he discovered when he came to understand that he was fated to die against Judy and Arceus. She never knew of her father's death, and grew over time to believe he had simply abandoned her, based on the lie that he had gone on an important, last-minute trip. In order to repair his body after all the injuries it suffered, Matt volunteered for a groundbreaking experiment carried out by his mentor Newton Graceland, in which his injuries would be repaired with extensive cybernetic implants; because some of the necessary things being turned into a cyborg would give him - namely robotic limbs and a cybernetic left eye - he agreed to do it largely because he believed he could serve as a test case for Amanda one day regaining her sight and mobility with them.

Now, five years after the Day of Reckoning was stopped...

Rich Mistbloom is regarded as a hero of legend, and the regions of Johto and Kanto have changed greatly. The public at large is overwhelmingly excited by the completion of the Frontier Society, a new expansion of the existing Battle Frontier championed by Rich as a way to make high-level battling accessible to all. In addition to battle facilities, another element of the Frontier Society is mass migration of foreign Pokemon from Unova to Johto and Kanto and the study of how they affect their new environments. Management of this network is left in Anabel's hands, and with her inability to move on from Rich's death, she struggles daily to get by. With Sheena unable to accept his obsession with exacting revenge for the deaths of Eleanor Laplace and Rich Mistbloom, Matt Chiaki is similarly alone, with only his research and his duty to mentor and care for Olivia keeping him company. He has invented a new energy source and plans to give a speech at the headquarters of oil magnate Liam Everton's company to promote it, but first, he and Olivia add a visit to the Indigo Plateau to their schedule. This is because a tournament to commemorate the opening of the Frontier Society will be held, which will reunite them with Anabel and other old acquaintances as well as introduce them to new friends and enemies.

Little do they know that in both the past and present, the Tohjo Continent will soon be a battleground. While sinister forces jockey for control of the country, Polaris still lurks in the shadows, waiting... 

May 2012

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