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FireflyK
12-28-2007, 07:51 PM
Whimpering and panting, the pup quivered in the cold night air, open eyes staring unseeingly at the moon. The Houndour was soaked in thick, red liquid, the smell of which had drawn his pack to him. He might have been better off if it had not. The teeth of the far older Houndoom standing over him hurt more than the original wound. At this point, Darcel couldn't tell if the Houndoom was trying to remove the bullet, or simply put him out of his misery. The dark dog hissed as Darcel continued to struggle, raising his head momentarily to bark out a command. The sight of his own blood dripping from Kerr's muzzle was too much for the smaller dog. He, mercifully, passed out.

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His eyes were heavy. He couldn't pry them open, nor move any of his limbs. Trying not to cry, the dog put all his effort into moving, to no avail.

Oddly enough, however, it wasn't silent. He could hear whispers, faint ones, almost too distant to make out. Slowly, they began to grow louder, clearer, closer... The others weren't very far away, then.

Grimsley, I don't know if he'll make it that far.... Kerr could have.... humans, again... already getting..... keep.... Kerwin found.... near the elms... send Seymour.... Tynan could... Harkin will fetch Aumury.

Aumury. The old, albino he-wolf. He knew his wound had to be very bad if they were calling for Aumury. Suppressing a whimper, Darcel tried again to move. The very tip of his paw twitched, but before he could try again, he felt a prescence approach him. The light of the moon was blocked from his closed eyes as Seymour and Tynan leaned over him, examining him.

"I saw his paw move," Seymour said, nudging the paw with his nose.

"That's impossible," Tynan responded coolly. Though his eyes were moist, the dog Pokemon's voice was emotionless. "He's dying. Grimsley's given him enough Stren leaves to knock out a Feraligatr, he can't possibly have moved."

"Maybe they don't work on him," Seymour argued, "Look at his face. He's obviously in pain. Stren is supposed to numb you, not just paralyze you."

"We don't have time for this. We have to go." Tynan insisted. "We did what we could. He's dying, Seymour, and we'll die next if we don't go. The humans can't have gone far, and the Claydol are all over the place looking for a sacrifice."

"Claydol are weak, and humans are just thin flesh and watery blood." Snarling, Seymour spun to face Tynan directly, nearly stepping on Darcel. "Let them come for us- I'll kill all of them! "

"You're insane. You'll get us all killed."

"Our brother is dying."

For a moment, the two circled each other. However, they were both too stubborn to back down, but also both aware that now was not a good time to be fighting amongst themselves. With a snarl, Seymour tore his eyes away, turning back to Darcel. However, it was too late. The little puppy was gone. Nothing was left to prove he'd ever been there but for a little puddle of blood, with a strand of black fur floating atop it.





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The soft hum emnating from the black and white Pokemon was not enough to wake Darcel from his stupor, not when he was this weak and had only recently lost so much blood. The little dog lay motionless as his body slowly began to hover in the air, gliding beside the four Claydol. With a soft, owl-like hoot, the first took off, flying speedily through the air despite his lack of wings. The other three followed, albeit a bit more slowly, their minds preoccupied with keeping the Houndour afloat. Bobbing and weaving through the air like prize fighters, they sought the best air currents, hoping to lessen the burden of keeping both themselves, and another Pokemon, buoyant enough to float.

As the Pokemon began to land, Darcel finally shifted slightly. Cracking open one eye, he peered around, but his vision was so blurred that he couldn't tell what the dancing images before him were. The Claydol nearest to him had begun to heal him, using his psychic powers, and Darcel found the hum comforting. With a soft sigh, the little dog closed his eye again, letting the odd tingling feeling cover his entire body. Slowly, his body began to regenerate, sealing some of his wounds. He was asleep again well before the Claydol used another ability, causing a dark mist to settle into the wounds. Darcel had been healed enough to survive, and be reasonably mobile for a day or so. However, the mist had caused the wounds to suddenly cease healing- even the natural healing that the puppy's body could manage without assistance.

The sacrifice, after all, needed to be alive. It did not need to be strong enough to fight back.

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It was mid-day when Darcel awoke, feeling far better than he had the night before. The puppy did not, however, know what time it was. No light penetrated the deep cavern he was within, save that of a few glowing, moss-like plants on the walls. Wondering if he had really slept an entire night, Darcel slowly got to his feet.

"Aumury?" he called into the darkness, assuming the older wolf Pokemon had taken him here. As he stepped forwards, his feet hit something cold- water. There was a deep pool in front of him. Cautiously, he backed up, then took a chance and lapped at the water. It tasted alright.

To his surprise, his side barely hurt when he bent down to the level of the water. Had he somehow been healed? Young as he was, Darcel knew the rules of his clan. Natural deaths, particularly lingering ones from illness or injury, were considered to be unlucky, and upset the balance. They would only bring trouble to the rest of the pack. When a Houndour was too injured to heal, Aumury would be summoned to take him away. They never came back again- ever. Was this where Aumury took them? Darcel was a dark type, but he didn't want this cavern to be the last thing he saw. And if he was too far gone to be healed, then why- and how- had Aumury managed to begin healing his wounds? Before, he'd always considered the wolf worthy of respect, but someone he wanted to keep his distance from. Now, he began to wonder if there wasn't more to the older dog than he'd guessed.

"Aumury?" he called once more, pricking up his ears. Had Aumury gone out for a while, and left him?

Though he heard no response, Darcel did hear a soft noise emnating from farther into the cavern. Walking around the water, he did his best to go towards the hum. Before him was a more brightly lit area, with an actual torch planted in the center of the ground. Unfortunately, the Pokemon he spotted wasn't Aumury, or any of his pack. It was a large, malevolent looking Claydol.

Squeaking in fright, Darcel recoiled, dashing back to his part of the cavern with his tail between his legs. The Claydol, however, drifted effortlessly after him, matching his speed. Darcel cast a frantic glance around, but there wasn't anywhere else for him to run. The only way out was up, and unlike the psychic types, he couldn't fly.

"Get back!" he howled, baring his teeth. "Your mind tricks won't work on me."

Silently, the Claydol spun around, his many expression becoming a whirl. The ground beneath the Houndour suddenly rose, and the rocks hidden beneath the fine layer of dirt lobbed themselves at him. With a yelp, Darcel flung himself to the ground, only to feel one of the rocks pierce his side, re-opening his wound. He might not be affected by psychic moves, but he was weak to powers of the earth. He couldn't even fight back, either- Claydol could simply fly out of his reach.

"Why did you bring me here?" he finally asked, trying not to whimper at the pain in his side. Sitting on his haunches hurt too much, so he remained standing, too proud to lie down before the aloof Claydol.

"Tomorrow is Esk's ceremony." Claydol closed its eyes in unison for a moment, then settled down to the ground beside Houndour. To his surprise, he could actually see the beams of blue-grey power than seeped out of the Claydol. Knowing he couldn't be bound by powers of the mind, he sat and watched with wonder. Unfortunately, Claydol, too, knew he could not bind the unfortunate dog with his powers alone. Sticks, reeds, and string quickly flew towards the beams of the light, which formed around Houndour. These more tangible bonds could, and did, hold him in place. Now entirely immobilized, Houndour cringed, closing his eyes. The wood dug into his wound, and he was tired, and trapped. His legs ached, too, but he couldn't stretch them now.

Though he wasn't resigned to his fate, there was nothing Darcel could do but watch, and watch he did. At the brighter end of the cave, the Claydol were hovering in a small semi-circle, levitating various objects about. They were building a rather large alter, covered in what appeared to be some sort of golden paper. Sticky strips of white held the paper to the objects that made up the altar, though Darcel had never seen humans, and did not recognize the stuff as tape.

Outside, darkness had fallen by the time the Claydol finished the last details on the altar. The weakest of the Psychics, his energy depleted, had already fallen asleep by the time the last decorations had been painted on. As the others slowly descended from where they'd been hovering in the air, a shadow fell over the already-dim room. Darcel sleepily turned his head as far as he good, to catch a glimpse of what he expected to be another Claydol. To his amazement, however, a pair of Pokemon were descending from the high opening in the top of the cavern. A burst of swirling wind surrounded the two- a Razor Wind attack, slowing their descent.

Not daring to move, Darcel held still as the winds flew away from the pair, spinning in all directions before settling. The taller of the pair was a large, sleek Zangoose. Darcel had never seen a Zangoose before, but the other Pokemon was familiar to him. The grey cat was a Glameow. His hackles rising, Darcel barked at the cat. He'd seen one before- a human had walked through their home, once, with one of those by her side. They'd torn the cat nearly to shreds before they'd had the sense to flee, using a large, snake-like Pokemon to guard their retreat. Darcel had been sick for a week from the poison the snake's fangs had dripped on him, but he had been lucky. The Seviper had actually managed to sink those sharp teeth into Kliren, who had never recovered. Aumury had had to be called for him.

"Begone, H'isk!" the Zangoose demanded, racing forward. Darcel was glad the Pokemon didn't seem to be aiming for him- he wouldn't want to be the one that whirlwind of white fur and muscle was speeding at. The Claydol was apparently reluctant, too, to be in the way, for all but the sleeping one scattered, and the body of their friend was swiftly levitated into the air. Hoping the Zangoose would realize that now was the time to press his advantage- hoisting their friend into the air would distract the Claydol from the battle- Darcel tried to shift within his bonds. Unfortunately, psychic energy wasn't all that held the sticks and string in place. The string was actually tying the sticks togethor.

A rush of air swept past him, as the Glameow leapt at the Claydol. With a yowl that sounded almost happy, she slashed at the nearest one. Though he used his powers to deflect the attack, she didn't appear to be hindered at all. As her companion furiously cut at the Claydol before him, she slashed again and again, until the psychic shield crumpled. Her next attack hit, and with vicious intensity, she sunk her teeth into the body of the mysterious clay doll Pokemon, shaking him in her teeth like a bulldog might. The sight would have been comical, were it not for the expression on her face. Glameow was only half the height of Claydol, if that, and had to lean her head back immensely to get room to shake him. Luckily, the psychic type was far, far lighter than he looked.

Reflexively, Darcel tried to move one of his paws to get at an itch on his back. To his surprise, the moment he did, his ties fell away. The Glameow had slashed through the ropes as she darted fast with Agility, too quick to be seen. Unsure of whether he could fight without merely getting in the way, Darcel carefully made sure his side was no longer bleeding, then lurked towards the edge of the battle. He had to duck quickly as the Glameow flung her downed prey behind her without looking- the psychic type had nearly hit him. Eyeing the unmoving figure briefly with distaste, Darcel chanced a glance at the Zangoose. He, too, was a good fighter. The dog could barely make out the whirl of limbs as the Zangoose attempted to use another Fury Cutter on the Claydol, before switching to X-scissor. For his part, the psychic type was teleporting short distances to try to get to the Zangoose's back, using rapid spin or body slam when he got the chance.

The four Claydol had been taken down amazingly quickly. Darcel almost couldn't believe it was over. He was still watching the four to make sure they didn't regain conciousness when his rescuers approached him, in fact.

Grim expression still plastered on his face, the Zangoose walked up to Darcel, lifting the pup wordlessly. Though the Glameow had ambled over, and opened her mouth to explain, she didn't get a chance. With a yelp, Darcel tried to pull free, panicking.

"What ARE you?!" the puppy asked. He had never seen something like the Zangoose, after all, who was a fearsome fighter. As for the Glameow, well, he had disliked the one he had 'met' before.

"I told you your face could scare children," the Glameow said. Her face remained stone-like, but Darcel's eyes were trained to spot movement, so he didn't miss the little twitch of her tail. She was quite satisfied with herself. The cat sat on her haunches, casually licking dark green blood from her paws.

"My name is Xix," the Zangoose said, eyeing Darcel with little more trust than the dog had shown him. "I'm a Zangoose. What are you?"

"A Houndour, of course," Darcel told him. "My name is... Darcel." There would be little point to lying about his name, after all.

"A dark type." Zangoose's face darkened. Luckily, however, the Glameow intervened.

"My name is Gazou," she told Darcel, then turned to Xix. "They were psychic types, and look what wonderful creatures they were. He's dark, not evil. Give the little dog a chance." she wrinkled her nose. "He needs a bath first, if he's coming with us. He smells like wet dog."

"I nearly fell in the pool over there," Darcel admitted. But he tried not to get too sidetracked. "What's a Zangoose?"

"I'm a Glameow," Gazou cut in.

"I know what you are," Darcel retorted, "It's rude to interrupt people. I've seen Glameow before, anyway. It was helping a human."

"There are Pokemon of all species who serve them," Gazou said, raising an eyebrow. The cat sat back, paws cleaned, and toyed with her tail. "Don't generalize, dear." Though her words were endearing, her tone was, as always, sarcastic.

Shrugging, Darcel turned to Zangoose. As he saw the red streaks on the Pokemon's fur, he narrowed his eyes suspiciously. Bright colors often meant poison. "You aren't a snake, are you?" he asked. The question hadn't quite come out right, he realized. Xix didn't realize any snake he'd ever seen, but the Pokemon could still be a poison type. "Or poisonous?" he amended. "I almost was bitten by a snake once."

To his surprise, Xix became more angry than he had expected. The Zangoose grabbed him suddenly, lifting him off the ground by the scruff of his neck. Too afraid to complain about the pain that caused him, Darcel quickly tried to correct his error. "I was just asking to be sure!" he yelped, "You would do the same if you thought I was poisonous!"

"Xix, put him down," Gazou said, rolling her eyes. "He's just a puppy. He wasn't being rude. I daresay he doesn't even know what a Zangoose is."

"I'm immune to poisons." Xix informed Darcel, putting him back on the ground. "My kind have been fighting snakes since we first met them, and those of us who survived can't be hurt by that trick of theirs any longer."

"Really?" Darcel asked, amazed. "I wish I could be like that. I hate snakes...." Noticing a soft glow forming around Xix, he broke off. "What's that?" he asked, nervously. Had he said something wrong again? Or had he just overlooked the building brightness all along? Perhaps the Zangoose was evolving.

"He's going to get us out of here," Gazou said, seriously for once. "Stay close."

Before Darcel could respond, another burst of swirling winds dashed towards the trio. This time, he got to watch from the inside as the Razor Winds lifted them all high into the air. His fur flying in the breeze, Darcel yipped joyfully as they flew higher, higher, then out of the Cavern.

FireflyK
12-28-2007, 09:38 PM
As the winds dissipated, Darcel braced himself. His feet didn't hit hard dirt or soft grass, however. Instead, they sunk into a soft, yellow substance. Sand.

"How far did they take me?" Darcel wondered. The Claydol usually lived near him! Then again, the cavern hadn't really looked, or smelled, lived in. Maybe it was just for sacrifices?

"We'll take you home. Come on." Xix said, beckoning to the dog. He and Gazou had already been to walk away from the cavern's unusual entrance.

"Can we rest for a minute, first?" Darcel asked. He was hungry, but his side was somewhat sore, and now that he was out of the cavern and safe, he wanted to get off his feet for a few minutes.

"It's not a good idea," Xix said. He never got a chance to explain why, however. Below the dying rays of the evening sun, a swarm of Pokemon began to pop up. Darcel couldn't tell if they were flying out of the sand, or from beyond the horizon, but soon, there were huge numbers of Baltoy surrounding them. Panicking, he looked to Xix, hoping for advice.

The swarm descended suddenly, darting at the Pokemon. Attacked from all sides, Gazou screeched a war cry, and raised and straightened her tail. Stiffening her muscles, she swung her tail almost like a baseball bat, knocking Baltoy from the sky. The cat swiped at any who came within range of her claws, managing to keep most of the Pokemon from getting under her guard. The few that did were quickly stopped dead in their tracks by the hypnotizing look in their eyes. Though it took her attention from her other attackers momentarily, the fickle Pokemon used Hypnosis on each one who she could not cut, claw, and crush away from herself.

Deciding that this was something he could help with, Darcel ducked his head, and trotted as fast as he could towards the sleeping Baltoy. To his surprise, however, when he tried to bite them, it didn't work. He couldn't be hurt by their psychic powers, but even in their sleep, they appeared able to shield themselves. Knowing now wasn't the time to sit back and sulk, he got to work aiming fire attacks at them, hoping to burn through their mental shields.

Eventually, one of the Baltoy he was attacking fell, not just asleep but unconcious. Letting out a cheerful yell, Darcel looked at Xix, to see if the Zangoose had noticed his succesful attack. Xix, however, was taking on the bulk of the Baltoy. Between Countering all the physical attacks thrown at him, he was lashing out with some sort of claw attack that made his paws glow black, presumably Night Slash. Though no blows landed, he appeared to be weakening too quickly for it to just be tiredness. Darcel realized suddenly that, unlike himself, Xix and Gazou weren't immune to mental attacks.

A sharp pain in his side stopped his train of thouht. Darcel distantly heard a voice much like his own cry out, all other sounds fading in the distance. Tears filled his eyes, and blackness crept to the edge of his vision. Firmly, he bit his tongue, trying not to pass out. He had a bit of health left, enough to keep fighting, but the crippling wound in his side had been reopened- and made deeper- by the edge of a sharp boulder. The pain alone made him feel like he was going to pass out.

Whimpering, he sunk to the sand. The Baltoy relentless pursued him. Knowing Xix and Gazou had their hands full already, Darcel created a cloud of smog around himself. Much as he hated resorting to poison, he knew had had to keep the Baltoy away from himself, while doing as much damage to them as possible. If he only managed that one last attack, he wanted it to have lasting effects.

Sand began to swirl around him, getting into his side, but also, waving away the poison. The sharp grains stung, forcing him to close his eyes and mouth, and attempt to hold his breath. When the attack faded, he took a cautious breath through his wind-struck, sore nose. To his surprise, the familiar smell of fire- of a Houndour's fire- filled his nostrils.

Quickly opening his eyes, Darcel looked up. Standing over him was Aumury, who was easily disposing of a few remaining Baltoy with a stream of flames.

When the last of the Baltoy was finally knocked out, Darcel caught his breath. It hurt to breathe too deeply, but he had so many questions to ask.

"Where's Gazou and Xix? Is it safe to rest now, or are there more?" The look in Aumury's eyes hushed the rest of his questions.

"We're safe here, but there isn't time to wait," Aumury said. Pity shone from his light pink eyes.

"But what about my friends? Where's-"

"I saw no one but you when I got here," Aumury said, cutting him off. Kneeling on the sands beside Darcel, he added more softly, "Don't try to talk."

Aumury's comfort was even more frightening than seeing him battle. Though his vision was blurring, Darcel tried to talk once more. "But-"

His voice failed him as Aumury lifted him. The Houndoom was gentle about shifting the puppy onto his back, but the pain was still enough to make Darcel cry out, tears coming to his eyes.

"I'm afraid," Darcel managed to croak. Against Aumury's unnaturally light fur, his blood would be impossible not to see. It felt like his energy, his spirit was pouring out with the thick red liquid.

Though his expression appeared unsure, Aumury took pity on the young pup. "You'll be alright," he said, trying to stretch his face into a smile. It had been a long time.



The trek towards the nearest village was fairly brief, but it felt difficult. Darcel was unconcious by the time they arrived, leaving Aumury the relief of not having to attempt to explain anything to him. A well known figure in the village, the albino was allowed to pass without question, though several humans shot glances of pity at the puppy he was carrying.

Walking as quickly as he felt he could without further endangering Darcel, Aumury felt an iron grip settle on his heart. Though he was thought of as the keeper of the balance- a nice euphimism for the one who was kept apart, and who tended to the work that had to be done- he was sad to see so young of a pup dying.

Reaching the edge of the village, Aumury continued to pad along. The soft grass felt much better beneath his feet than the sand or road surface had, and meant he was getting closer to his destination. Sparse trees became a forest, and soon, he was in a little clearing, beneath an enormous stone arch. Laying the pup down gently, he nosed a button on the side of the arch. The signal, however, wasn't needed. The other end of the high-tech walkie talkie was but a few feet away. Five feet from the arch, a human sat on a rock, waiting.

As soon as Aumury pressed the signal, he approached wordlessly. As Aumury stepped back, inclining his head, the man took a brief glance at the dangerously, perhaps fatally wounded puppy before him. Then, slowly and deliberately, he took a Pokeball off his belt, and dropped it onto Darcel.

Legendary Wolf
12-31-2007, 07:23 PM
Haha! I graded something.

Introduction: The Introduction was well received. I felt as though I knew the little pup by myself. The conflicted way of his injury also made the story a bit more exiting as he had it the whole way through the entire story, though he didnít fight through much, I could tell there was a lot going on, though the pup wasnít aware of it. The way that Aumury and his brother talked about it, made it seem worse then what it was supposedly was. But a nice addition to the beginning would have been where our good friend Darcel actually took his chances against what I guessed to be the Serviper or the Glameow, nothing against what has been put, but it wouldíve been cool to see the battle, and how Darcel was poisoned in the first place.

Plot/Story: I really enjoyed the whole plot or process of the story. Though it isnít executed as you thought it would be, and it was really jumpy and pushed around. There was only a small statement about Darcelís injury, and though it kept me wondering about it. It also brought me to this question. Why? Why was he attacked by the Serviper in the first place? How was it brought about? Were there some sort of clan disagreements, it kept a lot hidden and it wouldíve been nice to learn more about.

The story itself consisted of little battle as far as I know. The Claydol battle seemed awkward as neither Pokemon could hurt the other, meaning Darcel couldnít reach and Claydol couldnít imply itís Psychic moves making the battle ineffective all together until the saviors of the battle come, who were Zangoose and Glameow. They quickly take control of the battlefield and bring the little pup farther too where they were going. This brings up a point that you never gave a good explanation of where the story was taking place. I couldnít imagine where it was but I guessed it was either in the park somewhere or the city.

Grammar/Spelling: All in all this seemed okay, except for a few misspellings that I would gladly point out.

Darcel was unconcious by the time they arrived, leaving Aumury the relief of not having to attempt to explain anything to him

Unconcious should be unconscious.

The soft hum emnating from the black and white Pokemon was not enough to wake Darcel from his blood-loss induced stupor.

Emnating should be emanating.

The string was actually tying the sticks togethor.

Iím pretty sure this was a typo but, togethor is together.

Though he was thought of as the keeper of the balance- a nice euphimism for the one who was kept apart, and who tended to the work that had to be done- he was sad to see so young of a pup dying.

Euphismism should be Euphemism.

Detail/Description: The details and descriptions of this story were phenomenal. I could see everything clearly, it was perfect to see. Nicely done here. But like I might have said earlier, where the story took place wasnít very clear and it was quite blurry. There were good descriptions but some things need to be added into it as well. Make sure you think of things like this before you publicize your story so all goes easier ^^.

Length: Perfect for the little injured dog Pokemon. At least it was for me. Keep up the good work in this section.

Battle: The battle for this story was un-identified and really confused me. It was really the only downside to your story. It was really jumpy and I couldnít understand too much of it. For one, our client; the Houndour barely fought in the battle, and since heís the one being caught he should battle. A little Smog or anything couldnít do so much so some other characters are surely going to pounce there selves in. I daresay this could use a little more upping, at least for another story. Make sure you work on helping these types of things out. And who he was caught by also made so sense, at least in my opinion.

Outcome: This is probably my saddest grade ever to give someone. Houndour caught have a fun life with the dawgy puppy.

FireflyK
12-31-2007, 07:25 PM
(Thanks for the grade, DR. ^^; He wasn't poisoned recently, though, that's mentioned as happening a while ago. At the start of the story he was shot but never saw the human (Thus why the Houndoom was trying to dig the bullet out) ^^;. The rest of his injuries throughout are that bad wound getting re-opened in the various fights.)

Epilogue

"They're usually in better condition, Aumury." The man said, pocketing the pokeball. "It's been a while since we lost one."

"This one will live," Aumury responded in his own language. He knew the man could understand him. "He's such a young one, with so much heart."

"I'll see what I can do," the human agreed, "I've saved nearly all of those you have brought to me. I even found a home for your puppy."

Feeling his heart leap, Aumury gave a wolfy grin. "I don't think he's cut out for your sort of work," he agreed.

"No," the man said, shifting his weight. He didn’t have to explain- Aumury already knew. Even in a Pokeball, Darcel would still continue to grow weaker until he was treated.

“Until next time,” Aumury said, casting one last hopeful glance at the Pokeball, then trotted off, praying that the man would reach a Pokecenter in time.