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Atmospheric Pressure

Chapter Text

The distinction between climate and weather is one of scale. Weather refers to the state of the atmosphere at a local level, usually on a short time scale of minutes to months. It emphasises aspects of the atmosphere that affect human activity – such as sunshine, cloud, wind, rainfall and temperature.

Climate is concerned with the long-term behaviour of the atmosphere in a specific area. Climatic characteristics are represented by data on temperature, pressure, wind, precipitation, humidity, etc. which are used to calculate daily, monthly and yearly averages and to build up global patterns.

Melody had read every book and paper on oceanography and meteorology she could get her hands on. She'd even contacted the Weather Institute in Hoenn, visited Professor Ivy on Valencia Island, and coerced Professor Oak's videophone number out of an unwilling Misty Waterflower. That incident was the reason she'd taken up Physical Geography at school and later at college – trying to prove it wrong, trying to prove there was a logical explanation.

Nothing. Nothing she found could disprove the fact that Legendary Pokémon were indeed responsible for the known world's climate. How did people that had never seen them believe in this? Or the people that had no idea what it was like to be at the centre of the ecological disaster ten years ago?

Sighing, Melody kicked her heels against the shrine's granite pedestal below her and looked out over the ocean towards the three islands facing Shamouti's cove. The sun was starting to set, bathing the water and islands in a rich gold, and sending shadows of silhouettes across the ocean surface. A silhouette of Zapdos's barren, dead shield volcano and its deep caldera. A silhouette of Moltres' perpetually active stratovolcano. And between them, casting the longest shadow of all, a frosty mountain stranded in the centre of a tropical archipelago, inhabited by Articuno.

Melody had watched them fighting, and their power terrified her. Never again did she want the guardian, Lugia – beautiful and awe-inspiring as he was – to be called forth to stop them.

Never again should the world be turned upside down due to the interference of humans.

Human interference was exactly what had happened. Had that collector not tried to remove Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno – ultimately Lugia – from their natural habitats, the balance would not have been thrown. Furthermore, what if the Chosen One hadn't happened to have turned up just in time for the festival?

Then again, Melody figured, it probably wouldn't have happened if he hadn't turned up. The legend said it would happen, and probably only with everything in place as necessary.

This was precisely where Melody had got with trying to find a logical explanation for the occurrences: nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. Her thoughts simply went around in circles. Was it the fault of placing nature's balance in the hands of Legendary Pokémon? Or was it the fault of the humans for feeling they had to interfere? Or, just by chance, was it simply coincidence that the imbalance in the climate had happened at the same time as the Legendaries being collected?

On the bright side, at least the whole ordeal had given her excellent material for her last meteorology assignment and rewarded her with a useful qualification; though, if she was honest, she'd not given a passing thought to what she was going to do now she'd left college. Even the Hoenn Weather Institute had failed to interest her. Melody might like to travel, but she had no inclination of ever permanently leaving the Orange Islands, even if she moved from Shamouti Island.

Melody heaved an impressive sigh as the sun finally disappeared from view, and jumped down from the pedestal to start her climb back up to the main island and to the home she shared with her older sister and grandfather. She considered somewhat absent-mindedly that the annual Shamouti Legend Festival would take place in less than two months, and it was her final year as the Festival Maiden. Practice should probably be in order to make sure it was her best ever performance. It took her mind off obsessing over all her dilemmas, anyway.

As coincidence would have it, a ship silently appeared on the horizon as she turned away; unbeknownst to Melody and the other inhabitants of Shamouti and the Orange archipelago, something big was about to begin.