View Full Version : Authority - Collab Contest Entry
04-20-2008, 09:54 PM
Part 1: Invincibility is in the Eye of the Beholder
Perry Cyrus leaned back against the old oak tree he had seen from the hill he climbed, muscular arms behind his head and slender legs on the emerald grass beneath him. He cocked his head, hazel eyes glinting and chocolate bangs tickling his fair skin. He smiled when the view pleased him and tilted his head again, this time to the opposite side. Chuckling to himself, he picked himself up, long jet-black shirt rustling on top his beige cargo pants, and leaned closer to the object he had been watching.
With a hand coated in a white, fingerless glove, he ran his fingers on the sleek surface of the trophy. The award stood in a respectable three feet with a pair of wings, the same golden shade as the rest of it, spreading out majestically. The Poke Ball mounted on the top was a sight to behold with its upper half coated in a ruby powder while the opposite side gleamed a spotless opaque. The sixteen-year-old knew that they were once real gemstones for nothing less than the best could be on the Sinnoh League trophy.
Gently, he grabbed his hard earned prize and let his head hit the tree again as he marveled the item in his hands.
“I can’t believe I’m holding the Sinnoh League trophy in my hands,” he breathed out in awe. His breath lingered around his lips for a second before it drifted away to join the chilly air. “Me, Perry Cyrus, once a skinny and weak, ten-year-old kid in Veilstone who could barely control his out-of-control Piplup.”
His handsome gaze swerved from the trophy that caught any sunlight with every turn to the leather belt around his waist. The six Poke Balls were dented and scratched, so unlike the moment he bought them at the Poke Mart. They no longer sparkled and felt like smooth baseballs whenever you held one it in the palm of your warm hand. Now, they seemed like toys who were played with too often yet never saw the sight of a toy box, only the bottom of a messy bed.
However, he quipped in his mind, a mischievous smile coming over his features. They do say that a trainer can be evaluated by the state of his Poke Balls. Too clean and unscathed and you assume that if he had a handful of battles, it was too much. If they were dirty with grime with deep cuts into the surface it shows that the trainer is too uncaring about both his well being and his Pokemon’s.
Perry looked away and to the carpet of grass that was all around him. Every piece of scenery from the branches of the solemn trees to the boulders that protruded from the earth was covered in a fine layer of dew. The Pokemon trainer touched the locks of hair that fell over his eyes and found they were also moist. He ran his left hand through his hair just to show how neat and soft his hair was and set the trophy down so that it could lean against the tree he had dined under.
He had convinced himself that all those months of training, of beating gym leader after gym leader, and of battling every trainer within his line of vision was truly worth it. Hours of preparing, of coming up with strategies that would overthrow the most skilled trainers in all of the region were not in vain. The trophy that was being tickled with falling leaves of fall was more than just metal welded together into a design worthy of the public. It showed that he had defeated the legendary Cynthia and the Elites before her. It told everybody who glanced at it that Perry was now the strongest trainer in all of Sinnoh and that there was basically no trainer that could defeat him at the art of Pokemon battling.
Which is why he had decided not to go after a trainer he would more than likely defeat. Perry, in his opinion, needed a challenge that would truly mark him as a great Pokemon trainer. He had to go after something most people would only attempt in their wildest dreams.
“Or in this case, their dimensions.”
Perry grinned at his own words and pictured the basilisk that was Giritina, the legend that completed the Dragon trio. Battling him would make his name spread like a wildfire in a crisp summer day yet actually catching him would engrave his name forever in history.
“Besides,” Perry shrugged, kneeling and packing his trophy into the depths of his backpack. The metal had gotten colder from the time it spent in such foreign conditions but the teenager ignored this. “Giritina is just like any other Pokemon, he only has those fancy rumors because he leaves in such a secluded place.”
He was the new Champion, he was practically invincible. Yet, how invincible can a human actually be?
Sendoff Spring made him shiver, there was no doubt about it. He had been walking from the spot he had stopped only half an hour and it already seemed like a new world. Ghostly fog was now apparent wherever he glanced, the light wind that began to blow making the thin wisps dance and twirl. The grass underneath him no longer crunched with every step his sneakers took like it did before; the noise was so muffled that if he wasn’t the one moving, Perry would have thought that he was a floating specter lost in the realm of the living.
He tightened the grip of the navy straps of his backpack as reassurance in the fact that he was not a wayward phantom. The lanky boy let out a sigh that made his chest rattle but he immediately coughed.
How did he not noticed the air had turned frigid?
Letting his breaths become in synch with his steps once again, Perry was calm albeit a bit shaken. Now that he was under control, he noticed another thing that made his skin crawl.
His heartbeat seemed way too loud.
He put a hand tenderly on his chest, looked around, and noticed that there was absolutely no noise other than the four-chambered muscle within him. The crooked trees he past did not have nests or hollows where limber Pokemon could crawl in. The ground was bare of any dug dens or holes.
As Perry contemplated this strange and unnerving development, he felt his right sneaker slip on the slick grass stalks due to the lack of ground in front of him. The skilled trainer yelped, mind coming back to reality, and reeled back so that he did not fall over the small cliff he had come across. Landing on his bottom, he scooted back, stood, and observed the cliff.
From where he overlooked the scene, he could see a veil of water spanning from the edge of the rocks until it was lost in the fog that conquered the air with an invisible fist. However, he could see a large land mass meters away that broke the water, a big splotch in the middle of the body of water. The features of the craggy surface were hidden in shadow so that it only looked intimidating and ancient; nothing but a nonliving being coaxing adventurous travelers to its mysterious depths.
This adventurous youth was undeterred. Zipping up his ebony cloak to keep the hairs on his body from standing on end, he unhooked a Poke Ball from his waist and threw it in the air with a firm cry of, “Empoleon, come on out!”
The sphere cracked in half, and a column of ruby light materialized, shedding light to the grim surroundings. The fog was illuminated for those seconds and the grass actually looked alive. Alas, the light was not constant and it soon disappeared to be replaced by an audible splash. Perry looked over the edge to see a form whose features were clouded by the fog swimming at a standstill in the water. The form’s head looked up at him, showing his golden trio of horns, muscular wings creating ripples in the once still liquid as they helped him stay afloat.
The Sinnoh born male actually hesitated in jumping onto the Water Pokemon’s back. Quickly, though, he regained his courage and jumped off the cliff. The wind whistled in his ears and he could sworn it carried with it a haunting tune unlike any he had heard before. Before he could delve into this thought further, he landed on the penguin’s back in a kneeled position. Empoleon looked at his trainer, slanted eyes carrying a hint of worry.
“We’re going exploring,” Perry simply stated, not helping in looking at the water that lapped the black feathers of his Pokemon. Was it him or was it unusually murky just like the air around them? “But I need you to carry me to the cave over there.”
“Emp!” the Pokemon grunted in confirmation and started to paddle with his plated wings, yellow talons splashing water from behind. Perry looked around as they made their way across the lake. He saw pillars ranging from the points barely penetrating the water to some of them towering feet above his head. Copper in color and rough in feel (he brushed his hand against one of them as they were passing), they were like monuments warding off evil.
04-20-2008, 09:54 PM
He drew in his breath sharply when he saw a thick tail breaking the surface around one of them. Tinted with beige, the brown tail ducked down for a moment to allow the entire body of the creature to the surface. A face edged with cream-colored fur poked out, red nose sniffing the air as small pupils surveyed the scene. The Bibarel caught sight of the strangers and when Perry met the beaver’s gaze, he was taken aback at the intense stare he was getting. Normally, he would put this Pokemon under the category of “goofy-looking and empty minded” but at this moment, he could have been staring into the face of an Aracanine.
The Bibarel’s face was stony and without warning, he dived back into the water. Seeing more watery movements from the corner of his eye, Perry knew that he had finally encountered the local wildlife. Unfortunately, they did not seem to be the welcoming committee.
Perry steered his attention to the upcoming cave in front of them. Not wanting to stay near the water they were crossing longer than necessary, the teen coiled his legs and jumped from Empoleon’s back, closing the three foot gap between him and sturdy surface. He landed soundly on the rocky ground and he turned to see his faithful partner clamber onto dry land. The avian gave an uncontrollable shiver that made his metal plating rattle like rain pellets hitting the roof of a house. Talons clicking against the hard earth, Empoleon walked over to his master’s side with an apprehensive glance at the cave mouth that arched over their heads.
The fully evolved starter was not alone in observing their new surroundings for Perry swept his silky hair back to stare at the entrance. It was pitch black, a dark abyss awaiting to engulf anybody who came. Air whistling inside echoed from the cave into the outdoors, increasing the volume so it sounded like a warning from whatever was inside.
Standing his ground, eyes narrowed and hardened to face the challenge ahead, Perry nodded to the Steel type next to him.
“Come on and keep close to my side.”
That showed his true feelings to Empoleon. Perry was a one-man army, he always faced life alone with occasional help. Telling him to keep to his side told the duo type that this was more than just another petty exploration outing.
Their footfalls joined the wind that flew in and out of the area. Pebbles were disturbed and dust was uplifted from their dormant sleep on the floor. Not keen on squinting his eyes to pierce the overwhelming darkness, Perry now clicked on the flashlight he had taken out. Holding the cold handle in his grip, he waved it around, making the dust that was now surrounding them sparkle and shine like fairy dust. Waving the particles of sand with a free hand, the human let the light beam touch the discolored walls that made up this elaborate cave.
Figures scratched into granite met him and he walked closer to examine them.
To his disappointment, the writing was not in English or any other human language he knew. It seemed like a cross between the mystic Johto Pokemon, the Unknown, and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Touching the writing with gloved digits, he withdrew.
“Lets try the north passage,” Perry hastily said, shaking his fingers to get out the sudden numb sensation he had gotten. “They do say a straight line is always the best route.”
Both Pokemon and trainer, giving the column in the middle of the room little heed, headed to the top passage, one of four that invited them in. As they crossed the arch, a chill simultaneously went down their spines like the feet of many spiders. Perry let the light of his flashlight travel over the small room they had entered, almost identical to the one they just left except for the scattered boulders near the entry ways.
Weaving themselves around the boulders that seemed so out-of-place, they entered the north passage of this room. Perry rubbed his arms as his nerves jumped when they went under the arch.
Startled, Empoleon and Perry turned to their right, the light waving back and forth to find the disturbance that gave them a fright. A hunched cloaked figure transpired from the wall, face a pure white. The tattered ash-colored cloak the Ghost Pokemon carried swayed back and forth to the rhythm of the Pokemon’s wandering eyes.
“This Duskull looks promising,” Perry told himself, a greedy look now lingering in his own orbs. His gloved hand hovered over his belt, eyes never leaving the ghost. Suddenly, the Duskull looked from within the skull he wore, scarlet eyes penetrating. Perry froze and that was enough for Duskull. With a low moan, he flew past him in a blur of gray and wandered into the room the pair had just left behind. With a few clicks from Empoleon’s mighty beak, the trainer shook himself from his stupor.
Determined to prove himself as a capable trainer, the boy turned on his heel and shot back under the arch. This time, the tingle that shook his vertebrae was more prominent and he faltered in his steps, almost making him trip. With one wing, Empoleon kept him from hitting the ground and helped him back up.
With a few muttered words of gratitude, Perry regained his bearings and looked around the room. His eyes caught a column surrounded by steps in the center the room as they swept the premises, making him gasp.
The shock of seeing himself in the first room turned to mild humor when he recalled the name this place was given by the locals and those who believed the legend of Giritina having otherworldly powers.
“Turnback Cave now makes sense,” he commented in dry humor. With a sigh, he found the Duskull nowhere in sight. He realized that Turnback Cave was basically a sanctuary to the Pokemon whose types correlated to darkness and the supernatural; they could hide in the shadows and crevices for as long as they wanted without anybody stumbling onto their hiding place.
A mischievous look soon crossed his face and Perry faced the Emperor Pokemon next to him. Empoleon was gazing around the room, eyes now wide and unblinking at the sheer power he felt radiating from the walls, the white plumage on his chest that resembled a tux bristling. When he saw his trainer looking at him with a look he had seen ever since he was an innocent Piplup, his heart gave a leap, sure that this meant bad news.
“Empoleon, I want you to use Rock Smash on the right wall.”
The words hit like stones. The Sinnoh Pokemon look horrified at this order and he looked at his target as though expecting the writing to come to life and bewitch him. Perry’s look now grew to a glare as the realization of his Pokemon disobeying hit him.
Empoleon gave in, knowing fully that his trainer had the right idea on how to travel in this maze. He would have agreed whole-heartedly if it was any other place but here. Closing his eyes, the giant bird stepped to the wall and readied his wings.
Immediately, they flashed a startling silver that replaced the deep navy and black that was splotched with gold. The sound of metal rubbing against metal resounded in the cave as Empoleon rubbed his wings against one another. Taking a step back, he clamped his beak shut and launched forward with speed one would expect to see in a Ninetales.
He slashed the rock with his right wing, the edge glistening dangerously. Upon contact, the wall began to acquire a web of cracks that began to split stones in half. The writing was now lopsided and some characters were turned to dust. With a heavy heart, Empoleon growled and struck with his left wing, turning it to its side so that it could act like wedge in between the cracks. This worked well and slabs fell at his talons, throwing dust in the air and making the ground crack.
“Give it the final blow!”
Upon Perry’s encouraging yell, the grand penguin stood back and crossed his wings across his face. Determination was now shining in his eyes, the adrenaline of the powerful attack finally seeping into his mind; the fear of disturbing such a sacred place was momentarily forgotten. He ran forward, head and fins leveled with the tumbling wall. On impact, the wall let out one loud crack and then a low groan. Jumping back, Empoleon and Perry saw the slabs that made the wall loose their bonds with one another. They fell with a clash to reveal the dark shadows of the room behind.
“Perfect, nice work,” Perry absently complimented, already climbing over the rubble and into the room. Empoleon watched a piece of rock fall from the mound, the symbols etched into it now looking up at him. Tenderly, he jumped over the mound and landed by his trainer’s side.
“This pillar is absolutely marvelous.”
Empoleon couldn’t have agreed more. The room was identical to the past two they’ve seen yet this one was void of any boulders. The thing that made this room different from all the others was the giant pillar that sprouted in the center of the room. It was at least thirty feet tall, an intimidating sight that towered over their heads. Like the walls around them, it was covered with mind-boggling runes both intricate and simple. These, however, spiraled to the ceiling along the corkscrew-like pillar.
Perry, on the other hand, was not breathless when seeing this elegant and ancient monument. His gray-green eyes were set on the hunched figure that rested on the flat top of the pillar. The creature with the cross bones design on his cloak turned and was startled to see the trainer from before. Duskull shot into the air, the hood on him ruffling as wind passed him.
The human Pokemon trainer scoffed at the Pokemon, his mind already whirring with bits and pieces that would soon become a well thought out strategy; he was the Chamption, after all.
“Empoleon, use a Water Pulse to knock him from the air!”
The water dweller sucked in his breath, making him twice as big and plump, and spurted out a thick and steady stream of water from his beak. The Ghost type was too uncoordinated to avoid such a speedy attack and was knocked back down onto the pillar. As Duskull tried to blink white stars from his spooky eyes, Perry was one step ahead of him.
“Trap him with Whirlpool!”
The loyal avian nodded and jumped into the air with his powerful legs. Midair, he began to twirl in a blinding speed, eyes set onto one point to avoid getting dizzy. From his beak came an incredible amount of water that swirled around his sleek body, the room now filled with the roar of the liquid. The tendrils of fluid licked the walls and the floor, now creating a smell of dampness.
Despite the force that made his body almost lock in place, Empoleon stretched out his wings and manipulated the water with some swift and powerful strokes. The water did his bidding and the whirlpool began to migrate towards the pillar. The bellow of the attack grew as it began to surround the aged monument and the Requiem Pokemon on it. Duskull put his clothed hands on his head, seeing as there was no means of escape at the moment. Water battered him mercilessly but it was not as harsh as the Water type attack from before.
“Now take down the pillar with Drill Peck!” Perry commanded but he was met with a horrified expression. The feathered being shook his head and was met with a scowl, Perry’s eyebrows crinkling dangerously. “It’s only a pillar that a handful of people will ever saw and I doubt the Pokemon will miss it.” When Empoleon did not budge and the Whirlpool was weakening, he gripped Empoleon’s empty Poke Ball in frustration. “Empoleon, obey this instant!”
The serious tone of this female voice made Perry clamp his mouth shut. Turning, he saw a mound of green he knew was not there before. The figure began to straighten and she spread her white wings edged with red and black. Round head snapped to his direction, long, pointed, yellow below pinprick eyes. Shown by two orange horizontal lines that wrapped the emerald body, this was a female Xatu.
The bird that sported a single long feather on her head, walked over to him on red talons. The pebbles and rubble on the floor literally slid from her path as though being invisibly pushed away. Bringing her wings close to body, Xatu stood about a meter from the adventurer.
Perry blinked more than once, trying to figure out where the bird had materialized from, when the wall behind the Psychic avian glowed violet. He stepped back, eyes now transfixed on the wall weathered by time and gaped as the writing seemed to unglue themselves from the surface and float towards Xatu. The symbols danced around her and they suddenly shot at him with magnificent speed. They now circled his head and Perry began to see stars in his vision. After blinking, they were gone, now replaced with a feeling of being watched; a quick look at the wall showed him the symbols back on as though they never left their place.
“I gave you the power to understand us,” she began upon seeing Perry’s mouth hanging open and his pupils unfocused. An edge was in her voice when she stared at the shaken Duskull that was on the verge of falling from the pillar and then at the person at fault. “I have the power to manipulate these hieroglyphics, I’m not as ordinary as I look. I can also say that you are the most selfish being I have come across.”
Perry bristled at this blunt insult, shock momentarily shoved away to be replaced with the sense of protecting his pride.
“And who are you to tell me that?” he demanded, standing his ground although the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. The air had shifted to a halt after the Whirlpool died, making a chill settle in the room. The grip on the Poke Ball tightened as he stared at the Mystic Pokemon as though daring her to speak again.
Lo and behold, she did.
“Though I may not appear it, I am at least a century old and though my time is short compared to Master Giritina’s, I have seen people with greed in their eyes pass by here yet their intentions have always been to capture Pokemon or for mere exploration; their goal was never to destroy this place with their senseless thinking.”
The Psychic’s words floated from her beak with ease as though she had told this many times before. She continued, sending a pitying glance at Empoleon that lasted on her face for only a second before it was replaced with an emotionless face.
“And I should know the actions of you creatures as Master Giritina’s most trusted follower.” There was a hint of smugness in her voice but the serious clip in her words was back before anybody noticed. “So I have a right to confront you when you are destroying this sacred cave that is a haven to hundreds of Pokemon.”
04-20-2008, 09:55 PM
Perry noticed that Empoleon had inched closer to his side, eyes fixed on the mysterious Pokemon. The boy’s feet felt like lead, fixed to the ground with no way to move them. Fear was slowly starting to creep up his spine and skin but he tried his best to swallow it. He was the Champion, he had to let courage shine though everything else.
“My actions were one of a strategy going according to plan. I have been taught to use both my Pokemon and my surroundings to ensure a win. Just because someone tells me I am nothing but a greedy human out to destroy the wonders of the Pokemon world, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stray from my skills.”
Xatu narrowed her eyes dangerously, glistening talons clicking on the floor of the cave. She cocked her head, examining the sixteen-year-old with scrutinizing orbs. “You could learn a thing or two from your partner, he knows when fighting should stop.”
Perry internally growled, hands now fists at his sides, his knuckles white as he still gripped the Poke Ball. The Sinnoh Water type coaxed Perry to follow him out of the cave by lightly extending a wing on his shoulder but his trainer shrugged it off. He was not going to leave with his tail between his legs just because this Xatu could speak to them in words one would hear from a scholar.
“Maybe you should know when to leave the battling to a trainer,” the brown-haired youth spat, not even trying anymore to get his anger under control. Without even bothering to look behind him, he aimed the Poke Ball at Empoleon and allowed the blood-red light to suck him in into the confines of the sphere. Clipping the capturing device back with the five others, he addressed Xatu again, tone now low, “And I’m the Champion, someone above the average who can conquer even your master.”
Perry screamed and fell back in surprise when Xatu flew up to him as quietly and fast as a Noctowl in a midnight flight. With hands on the floor by his sides, he watched Xatu’s eyes boring into his own with such an intensity that it made him want to look away. Her feathers were puffed up and the red feather on her head erect, making her appearance frightening.
“How DARE you consider yourself better than the Great Dragon!” she seethed, expression now alien compared to her calm exterior seconds ago. Apparently finding herself in a position she did not want to be in, she flapped her wings once and descended to the ground; the anger in her features never leaving but not completely. “Ignorant fool, I will show you how great Master Giritina is by demonstrating the powers he has bestowed upon me!”
The Psychic/Flying type spread her wings to their full wingspan, took one last look at the human that dared defy her, and closed her eyes. Her feathers began to gather a glowing tingle of purple and blue, the feather on her head now a beautiful sapphire. Her normal feather colors were staring to be overtaken by these new mystical ones as though they were deemed unworthy for this ceremony.
Perry’s eyes widen, brave façade sliding off him like a Muk’s goop, as he noticed the writing both on the walls and on the pillar glowing the same shades as Xatu’s plumage. The cave was now so lit he could now see every individual crack and pebble in the place. The Duskull, who had now gotten over the injuries he sustained, was looking at the scene with glee, eyes glinting like a maniac at the though of the human that had caused him pain suffering.
Xatu’s eyes shot open, a deep pulsating violet conquering the pupils and the irises, and flapped her wings in one powerful stroke. A strong wind came to life, speeding up towards the living target with unbelievable force, picking up dust and rocks like groping hands. Perry shielded his eyes with his arms but when the wind got within a two feet of him, it split and whirled around him very similar to the Whirlpool Empoleon conjured in the recent past.
The wind whistled and radiated amethyst and sky-blue. He was pelted with grit and pebbles, making him flinch and unable to open his eyes. Xatu stood right outside the paranormal cyclone, an expression of both pity and smugness on her face. Her dimming feathers were whipped to and for but this did not seem to bother her. She saw Perry get on his knees to minimize the chance of getting stung by the debris, his face scrunched up in pain.
“If you want to come back, seek my Master.” Even though the roar of the twister was almost as loud as an Exploud’s battle cry, her voice penetrated the noise like a knife.
“He is more merciful than most people think.”
Perry chanced a peek, right eye only opening a fraction of an inch. Through the blur and wind, he saw the once again green form turning her back to him. Voice was lost, unable to ask what she meant, and in one final tidal wave of wind and rock, his vision became black and his senses no more.
The overconfident boy, who dared mess with affairs beyond his comprehension, never heard the trophy that slipped from his open backpack, the winds carrying it to safety.
Part 2: Even the Greatest can Become Lost
Suffocation greeted his lungs as he was cast downward, a vortex of swirling, buffeting winds battering his body. The boy’s limbs were uncontrollable in the gale; they waved violently about, cleaving the atmosphere as though a collection of barbed knives being pressed into a stick of malleable butter.
Perry’s head, upon which his hair stood on end, as though struggling to escape their host, was thrown back by a sudden gust, and the pain that had previously claimed its innards was intensified tenfold.
His body ached fiercely, screaming out to him to end the torture that it was being forced to endure, and the fact that he could do nothing but float as a fragile leaf in a hurricane angered him beyond thought. Perry despised that he had no control over the situation, for he was in such an alien position…. The youth had always had some say in what went on in his life, but now he had none, and it was like a bitter cold had seized his confidence and ground it into something unrecognizable, something twisted and wrong.
Perry attempted to pry his eyelids from each other, but it seemed as though they weren’t keen to lose the company of their adjacent pair, for they would not yield to his will. His pupils were doused in a blanket of dusk, the result of staring at the cages of eyelashes. He doubted that he would have seen anything different had he been granted the right to view his surroundings, for a savage cyclone such as this could exist in no other environment but the realm of shadows. If nothing else, the boy could be sure of that.
End over end he tumbled, sinking at moments, being whisked upward at others; obviously he had not the faintest idea which way was up, that is, until he struck.
The only fortunate element of his arrival was that his feet met the ground before his head did; other than that, he was absorbed by an unimaginable agony.
Legs having been reduced to little more than pudding during his trip by whirlwind, they immediately buckled beneath his slender frame. Pain splintered up from his toes on impact, apprehending the previously unscathed portions of Perry’s body and introducing them to a state of utter hell. The boy, having resisted a change in momentum, was thrown headlong a few meters, head colliding with the firm earth on several occasions. Disorientation settled over the mind that had formerly been focused on nothing other than escaping the twister, and nothing else existed but the throbbing ache that existed in every organ, every tissue, every cell that comprised his flesh.
Perry was unaware of the fact that his body eventually came to rest twenty or so feet from the point of initial collision, for it seemed to have collapsed upon itself in the stress of the predicament. He did not notice the broad streak of crimson liquid that trailed his mangled build, nor the manner in which his arm had been bent awkwardly behind his back, the fingers dyed a bleached white.
If one had happened to come across the lad at that very moment, there was no possibility that it would be identified as a human being. The chocolate hair, matted revoltingly with a thick spew of blood, was tossed rather carelessly over his face, hindering one from recognizing his features. Perry’s body was quite shriveled as well, the limbs having wilted inward as though once lush petals of a comely flower being scorched by a brutal sun.
Although he had long since lost cognizance, Perry’s subconscious remained a moment longer to dabble in the plight. It was both appalled and sorrowful that such conditions had befallen its host, and it was able to conjure up an obscure vision of the cause of it all. The Xatu, her feathers the only vivid substance in this dreary ambience, became present in Perry’s thoughts….And a deep loathing nipped at his psyche. Her crooked beak was turned upward in a depraved grin, just as it had been when she had unleashed the fury of the wind upon him. And then, just as quickly as it had come, the representation of the Pokemon vanished, as did the only remaining awareness that the youth’s intellect harbored, but not before a faint whisper was swept into the forlorn wind.
How could this happen to the Champion?
04-20-2008, 09:55 PM
The hazy gray wisps of cloud drifted across the northern sky as though absorbed in an adolescent game of tag. They fleetingly dove amongst themselves, a subtle breeze urging them on, like a mother hastening assemble her children before her. The scant sunlight that was allowed to penetrate the customary fog dappled the landscape below in delicate flecks, perhaps supplying the only warmth that this world would ever know. Certainly the dismal panorama couldn’t contribute to such comfort.
The golden glitter of sunshine fell in gaunt threads across the land, whose primary hue was undoubtedly that of a sickly faded gray. Everything, from the exhausted, acrid soil to the rugged expanse of a mountain ridge far in the distance, the peaks capped in a milky breadth of what looked to be snow, was bathed in an eerie, ashen shade. Sparse tufts of dry, tangled grass decorated the otherwise desolate earth.
A single figure, clad in nothing more than a series of tattered fabrics, their patterns not corresponding in the least bit, moved among the patches of parched, overgrown plants, an inaudible spirit tossed in among the lifeless backdrop. The callused pads that carried their feet forward were hushed against the dusty soil, and they wove through the prairie (if you could even call it that) at a quickened pace. The figure appeared to be in pursuit of something hidden among the weeds and released a tender gasp as it came within reach of the being.
The female, whose slight stature suggested an age of ten or eleven years, crouched in order to get a better view, but to stay covert in doing so. The ragged trimming of a polka-dotted cloth that acted as a skirt of some sort tickled the ground beneath, and the girl craned her disheveled head forward once more, on her hands and knees now. She crept quietly and cautiously ahead, pausing every few moments when the creature before her would discharge a steady puff of breath into the frost air. It was clear that this thing was alive, but the truth as to what it actually was managed to elude her mind.
Arm succumbing to a sequence of trembling jerks, the child prodded the thing with a singled outstretched finger, whose nail had long since yielded to a lifetime of grime and dirt. The figure was probably twice her size, give or take, and its flesh sank inward only slightly when she pressed against it. It was shrouded in a certain type of clothing that had a foreign texture to it, a stretchy variety with a coarse, yet gentle feel to it. The touch invigorated her finger, and she wasted no time before stretching out to pat the creature across the back, swiping her palm across smoothly, as to acquire the full effect of the fibers.
When she was content in the number of strokes she had taken, a dangerous thought crept into her mind, one that would require both bravery and swiftness, but then again, those were the attributes that she was known for back in the village. Without stopping to consider the consequences that could result from such an act, for she acted on impulse and curiosity alone, she gripped the locks of hair, which had a sticky property, and brushed them from the face of the thing.
The sudden appearance of a human face impelled a shock upon her heart so severe that she toppled over backward, a spew of incomprehensible syllables spouting from her lips. The call of “Bulba, Bulb!” cantered across the landscape, its pitch upsetting the apprehensive serenity that had always existed out on the plain. The child collapsed in a heap of flying limbs before bustling to distance herself from this bizarre and astonishing anomaly.
It wasn’t possible…A foreign human? Here! How could this be?
Her head swam with the realization of it all…. There hadn’t been a new human in this land in decades, maybe centuries, and then all of a sudden one just falls out of the sky? It wasn’t thinkable, it wasn’t conceivable, it wasn’t right!
When the initial jolt had settled over her, receding to just a nagging uneasiness, the girl peered back at the boy, who seemed to have been unaffected by her sudden outburst. Thinking back to the manner in which she had leapt away, startled and shrieking, her cheeks became ablaze with embarrassment.
Taking his stillness to be either sleep or a tactical scheme in which to lure her off guard (the latter only supplying far more anxiety on her part), the native considered what her following action ought to be.
The lawful thing to do would be to report this abnormality to a village elder at once, yet that would only induce further probing and investigation on her part. What was she doing out here in the fields at this time of day? Why wasn’t she off at work where her rightful place was? Surely a crime such as this would obligate a brutal punishment, perhaps a flogging by the guards, a barbarous Thundershock to set her straight.
But then again, she couldn’t just leave this human here, alone, wounded, exposed to the conditions. After all, she was officially responsible for whatever should befall him, and the girl wasn’t keen to the idea of him being slain by the guards, who thought nothing of those too weak to perform the backbreaking labor that was so ordinary to the village’s inhabitants.
Despite her throbbing fright of what designated disciplinary action would be taken against her for being a “lazy animal”, as was usually the insolent term used to describe one that shirked off their duties, the child knew that there was no other choice.
Having made that awful decision, the only task left was determining how she would transport this behemoth back to the community. It happened to be tucked away on the outskirts of the grassland, concealed among the shade cast off by the towering “berry orchard”, which in reality was nothing more than a forest of brambles and unruly thicket. The girl guessed that it was a mile away at best, and eyeing the size of the boy, whose raven and beige attire was sodden with a glistening ruby fluid, she knew that it would be a difficult endeavor, indeed.
She tottered forward, dread still clutching at her heart, and leaned to collect the male’s boots in her arms. He stirred a bit when they his feet became elevated, legs forming a slant, yet not enough to provide any kind of augmented alarm. The craggy gripping that clung every so valiantly to the underside of the footwear pricked at her palms, puncturing the tough skin just enough to allow a trickle of the same liquid that adorned the male’s clothes to seep down her hands. The sight failed to prompt sort of nausea within her gut, because it was a routine occurrence, the emergence of blood, that is. The arduous toils that arrived every morning at sun up had fortified her sense of pain, and this meager lesion was nothing.
When she had eventually gotten a stable hold on the ankles of the alien boy, the youth proceeded forward, noting the strain that plucked at her forearms due to the weight. Her previous rapid movements were nonexistent with the extra baggage, and she would be lucky to span fifty meters or so before falling to the ground in exhaustion. But slowly and as sure as she had ever been, the native inched ever onward, the glimmer of sunlight on the horizon and the laborious breaths behind her acting as her only fuel.
Damp and throbbing.
Though the vast vocabulary that he had acquired still lingered somewhere in the deep confines of his mind, those were the only two adjectives that Perry could conjure at the given moment: Damp and throbbing.
He was afraid to open his eyes, to gaze about at the space he now filled, fearful of what might meet his eyes. Surely he was still tethered to earth, for if he had been granted access to the heavenly realm, the discomfort that clung to his body, as if flies to a chunk of decomposing meat, would not exist. The same theory applied to any notion that his soul had been seduced into the incandescent, smoldering depths of hell, except that if that happened to be the case, the pain he now felt would be bliss compared to the inexplicable agony of the flames. Now that he had grasped the domain in which he resided, the only thing left to discover would be where exactly he was.
Without having to open his eyes, Perry could tell that he was no longer enclosed by the jagged, inscribed walls of Turnback Cave. The stale, damp smell of such an environment no longer lingered within his nostrils, but instead was replaced by that of a natural, earthen aroma. It undoubtedly was the spawn of the knots of soil that adhered to every inch of the youth’s body, sinking into any crevice available, generally making for a very irritating sensation.
His body trembled, as though by instinct, to relieve itself of the dirt’s presence, but Perry didn’t feel any of the filth tumble from his body. It seemed to be fused with his hair and clothing by way of an oozing liquid, which felt to have dried by this time, encasing him in a mantle of grime. His eyelids fluttered apart, and the teenager summoned the courage within him to glance at the substance to which the dirt was attached.
The moment that he laid eyes on his body, which was drenched in the metallic-scented blood, a surge of nausea rammed itself against the back of his throat. Perry had never been faced with a situation that called for the need of a gag reflex, for he was stronger than that….anybody could provide you with that information. However, witnessing his own self coated in such a fluid provoked a dizzying queasiness in his very core. His vision swam with sights of bruised legs, soiled pants, a shattered, twisted arm, and an exposed chest, various scratches and scuffs garnishing it.
“This isn’t happening,” he breathed through clenched teeth, for attempting to move his fractured arm sent a spike of agony spiraling through his shoulder.
Tenderly he propped himself up on his good elbow, the one that was unharmed except for a gash or two….in pretty good condition in contrast to the rest of his flesh. From here, Perry surveyed himself, taking note that the accident looked worse than it actually felt. Sure, his frame had sustained a number of injuries, fostering an unnatural amount of pain, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as he had perceived when he first noticed himself.
The majority of the blood that lay clumped, drying, against various spots on his skin seemed to have been derived from a single massive laceration on his lower abdomen. Gingerly, Perry brushed a solitary digit across the slash, which spanned from his hipbone to his bellybutton, but pulled away, flinching, when a branch of ache became known amidst the frequent prickling feeling.
Grunting, the male advanced to sit up, just now becoming aware of his surroundings. They had gone overlooked in his initial awakening, but now that he had gotten a hold of himself and his current conditions, Perry was able to observe them without interruption.
Facing him was a structure of some sort, its design of fabrication resembling that of a shanty. The walls, though noticeably dilapidated, rose a good twelve feet or so from the ground, not exactly a comfortable height, yet one that could provide for a certain standard of living. The slatted edifice was encrusted in a charcoal tint, and gazing upward into the air for a brief moment, Perry recognized the color to match that perfectly to the inert clouds that hung above him as though a permanent feature.
Two windows had been carved, rather crudely, on either side of a rectangular doorway set into the neglected planking. A veil of darkness that hung just beyond the glass-less windows prevented Perry from detecting what lay beyond, but the intimidating silence that greeted him indicated that nothing of particular interest occupied the area.
Swiveling about, the characteristics of the shack met the boy’s eyes in every direction. A dozen or so rows of identical cabins, none looking to harbor more than fifteen feet of width and length, were lined up against a backdrop of pure tediousness. Their roofs descended at a slanted angle, the shingles uprooted in various places, revealing the mildewed slab of plywood beneath. It was strange that timber was the principal element in the construction of these buildings, Perry observed, for there were no trees in sight.
With great effort, the boy stumbled to his feet, using the shabby steps leading to the shack as leverage. The throbbing in his limbs was enhanced to a pulsing performance of jagged pangs and spasms as the blood, which had been at rest, began its steady excursion to the southernmost parts of his system. Perry took a step forward and upon finding his legs sturdy enough to support his weight, took a couple more. His balance was a bit offset at first, but a series of further movements toward the hut cured him of that plight.
It was only when the youth had come within two or so meters of the front door that he became aware of the diminutive figure squatting among the shifting shadows in the shack. The need to scream out in terror at the sight pulsed within the confines of his chest, but he swallowed it, instead peering more closely to play witness to this abnormality. Perry shuffled into the doorway, bravery radiating about him like an aura of fiery red brilliance. Instinct advised that he should high-tail it out of there as quickly as possible, but then again, when he had ever really listened to his instinct? It wasn’t instinct that prompted him to face Cynthia earlier that week…. On that day, his senses were squealing that it was all a mistake, that his victory over the Elite Four was just a fluke, luck.
Ignoring his instinct was what won him the Sinnoh League trophy, what declared him the Champion over all other trainers. Perhaps it could play to his advantage to neglect it this time as well.
The word came out soft and wobbly, a mere whisper among the tame wind upon his skin. The creature’s tousled hair, which was decked with an array of twigs and dried foliage, nodded slightly; mystifying silver eyes peeked out at him courtesy of a stray lock of mane. In a swift flash of a filthy arm, the matted tresses were thrown aside, revealing the petite, yet ravaged face of a young human girl. Glimpses of the innocent charm that only existed in children were evident in her features, yet her soil-streaked cheeks and scar-rippled face acted as a mask, covering up her loveliness.
Her pixie nose, planted firmly in the midst of a batch of freckles, twitched as one would expect an animal’s to do, and she relieved herself of the curled up pose she had taken on previous to this encounter. The girl, eyes wide with what appeared to be surprise at Perry’s awakening, stood at the top of steps, burnt blonde hair dancing lightly about her torso in a sudden gust.
“Where…Am I?” It was the second time that the boy had summoned speech, and he didn’t feel awkward in doing so. A bit apprehensive? Sure. Startled? Why not? But embarrassed? Never. There was something about this girl, perhaps her appearance of a child that had strove to dress in a blend of her mother’s apparel, that soothed his nerves.
Perry spared her several moments to answer, but when none came, he floundered forward, hand outstretched before him as if to imply some sort of peace offering.
Seeing this, the bizarre child shrank away, pressing her gaunt, ashen frame into the peeling wall behind her. Her body surrendered to a fit of terrified trembling, and the imperceptible words of “Bulba, Bulb” mounted her chapped lips. The girl’s eyes were transfixed upon a single region of the male’s body, the jangling, clattering Poke Balls fastened to the clip on his belt.
“Wait…wha-?” Perry readied himself for another assault of questions, yet paused when he became conscious of where her gaze was rooted.
“Bulbasaur…” The lone word fluttered from her lips in an enigmatic fashion; her features shifted from those of a timid manner to more stable, inquisitive ones. Clearly she was ignorant of what these contraptions were, and that, probably more than anything else Perry had observed while in this foreign land, was the most peculiar.
“It’s a Poke Ball,” the teenager said sweetly, getting the feeling that he was babying her with his tone. His fingers dove nimbly for the spheres at his side, aimed specifically for the dappled navy one that he knew to house his devoted Empoleon. However, at that very moment, a spasm became present in the appendage, and a lustrous lilac one was knocked from its perch, winding and spiraling downward before it struck the dirt in a clamorous clink.
A tendril of snaking, ruby light crept from within the confines of the orb before erupting into a column of blinding flashes. When the dizzying spots had pranced from his vision, Perry was left staring at a deep purple creature, which levitated a foot or so from the ground, ragged tips brushing the ground as it bobbed. The Mismagius donned a somewhat transparent witch’s hat, which took to curling in a shaggy manner about the Ghost Pokemon’s head. Vibrant sunflower-hued eyes pierced the musty gloom of this world, and a shrill cry of its own name rocketed out into the atmosphere as though a crack of thunder.
When the blood-colored mist cleared from the vicinity of the fallen Poke Ball, Perry noticed that the native, whom he had officially christened “Bulba”, due to her innate aptitude toward reciting the word, had cast herself through the doorway. A second later, her face reappeared, carrying with it a look of someone that had just seen a ghost, and in reality, that was exactly what had happened. However, it didn’t seem to be the type of Perry’s Pokemon that had spooked Bulba, but instead the concept that an actual Pokemon was floating before her.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, trotting past the stationary Pokemon to get within such a distance of Bulba that he could observe the current characteristics of her face. “Haven’t you ever seen a Pokemon before?”
The mention of such a word seemed to act as a flame to her wick of sanity, for she emitted an animalistic shriek that put the previous call of Perry’s Pokemon to shame. Her pupils flashed dangerously in a wild terror, thighs jerking in anticipation of ducking away into the shack, but during the time that Bulba had taken to scream, he had taken her wrist in his rigid grasp, thus hindering her from escape.
A look of pure rage scaled Bulba’s features, and Perry feared that she would sink those fangs of hers into his forearm, but such an act never came. Instead, he whipped around, uttering the words, “Mismagius, use Psywave.”
The Magical Pokemon reared her head back, bonnet ruffling in the act, and released a potent burst of pulsing, gyrating roseate into the air. The wave of supernatural energy washed over the two struggling humans, dipping and winding among the them as though their very breath. A glittering sparkle inhabited the mist and it seemed to plug the nerves of the kids, demanding that their limbs fall still at their sides. A dreamy complexion seized Perry and Bulba, whipping them around to face one another.
Seeing as the trainer had not asked his Pokemon to perform the lethal form of the attack, it failed to do any harm to them, but instead delved into their minds, threading the two with a highway of thought. A plucking sensation gripped Perry’s noggin, and a slight pressure was applied to it before it exploded in a feeling of overwhelming calm. His senses and emotions were eased into a subconscious state, and Perry could only guess that the same was happening to his companion, Bulba.
04-20-2008, 09:56 PM
A male’s voice suddenly resounded in both of their minds, and oddly enough, despite the difference in the way each communicated with their species, both could understand it perfectly.
Are…. You there?
The language barrier that had for so long existed between the two beings was shattered in those three words, and both Perry and Bulba shuddered in this realization. They stared at one another, only now becoming fully aware of the other’s true spiritual entity, the essence that fueled the Psywave attack and allowed them to communicate unimpeded.
This was Bulba’s voice now, and without the coarse grunt of her Pokemon calls, Perry could detect a mellifluous hint to her speech pattern.
Where exactly are we? What is this place? Why am I here?
Perry wasted no time before probing for answers in this girl. He wanted to know here and now precisely what had transpired between himself and the Xatu, as well as where and what this abnormal world was. It didn’t occur to him that she might not know these answers, but it didn’t hurt to try, especially since he didn’t know how long the connection between them would last.
Slow down. For starters, we call this land “Giritina’s Kingdom”, where it is our main and absolute duty to serve and uphold the laws and wants set forth by Master Giritina himself. Secondly, I have no idea how you came to be in this place. It is unfathomable to think that a new human would emerge from a hole in our sky, yet here you are, and it is both intriguing and terrifying. Never has this happened in my lifetime.
So the Xatu hadn’t been lying. She had, in fact, transported him to another dimension, another world. Panic oscillated in his chest and released a sticky, alarm-inducing gas into his head. How would he escape? What would the world be like without him, the Champion, to provide leadership and advice? Perhaps he had been exaggerating to himself in that last self-involved question, but then again, cockiness was his best attribute.
So you are telling me that we are no longer in Sinnoh? A heaviness folded itself between them, and Perry could tell that Bulba was struggling to obtain an answer for his question. Instead of the response he had been hoping for, he received:
What is Sin-oo?
The male was quick to avoid providing an answer to her inquiry, for he wanted to spend as much time acquiring knowledge that would benefit him.
Never mind that…. Where are the other natives? Are you the only one here?
Again, her sweet voice flooded over him, furnishing not only a suitable reply, but also a bit of added information.
No, I am not here alone. There are many of us that serve under the rule of Giritina’s trusted guards, the ones that you call “Pogeymon”. The rest of the village’s citizens are out in the fields, hard at work, which is where my rightful place is. I saw you fall from the sky and abandoned my work. Even though it is likely that severe punishment will ensue for my wrongdoing, I do not regret it one bit.
It was as though her words were a microphone, announcing her crime to the entire plain, for at that moment, a hazy shape became perceptible on the horizon. It appeared to be moving at a breakneck pace, its snowy white fur cascading down around it as it streamed forward. Even from a mile away, Perry could detect the tremendous fury that dwelt within the approaching Ninetales.
Part 3: Duty on Thy Shoulders
Perry didn’t know whether to be shocked or relieved at the fact that another Pokemon was approaching them. Even in this desolate world where everything seemed the exact opposite of the lovely Sinnoh he was forced to leave behind, he now saw a familiar being. He turned to Bulba and the smile that had come to his face after so long was wiped away as fast a Taillow’s Aerial Ace. The native girl had a mask of horror and terror about her, the expression she had when Mismagius was released increased tenfold. Her platinum-colored eyes were wide and transfixed on the approaching fox in the distance.
You have to hide, quickly! she urged him, her grubby fists tightening at her sides so they turned a ghostly white, though it was partly seen under her thick layer of grime. The Mistress is coming, she knows something strange has happened and she does not tolerate anything out of the system she has set up for us.
Perry opened his mouth to argue but the distressed look Bulba send him made him close it with a snap; her face was so full of emotion under the messy curtain of dark, blonde hair that he could not bring himself to utter an arguing word. Instead, he whirled around, picked up the amethyst Poke Ball on the thirsty ground, and ran to the side of the makeshift house. He beckoned Mismagius with the hand that did not belong to his broken arm and as the ghost nodded and let out a haunting trill from her sewn lips, he saw Bulba’s thin frame tremble.
Perry crouched once he was sure he was hidden from view and he let out a hiss of pain; the stinging sensation of his bruised, and maybe broken, bones shooting up his sore and scathed body like a thunderbolt. Gritting his teeth, he said from the side of his mouth, “Mismagius, create a shield to hide us from view.”
The witch-like Pokemon nodded, her body that resembled a ragged cape the only thing swaying around them, and closed her topaz eyes. A violet pinkish glow that seemed to illuminate their dismal surroundings resonated from her body, quickly spreading around them. The supernatural energy rose above their heads then quickly curved downwards to form a translucent dome. Though Perry could see out of the dome, vision now a hazy purple, he knew Mismagius was manipulating the energy so that they seemed invisible to the naked eye.
However, he knew that the female phantom would steadily be drained of energy from this attack and he only hoped that they did not have to stay hidden for long.
Dust suddenly clouded the view in front of him and the ridiculous thought of a pleasant breeze sweeping through the plain crossed his mind. The flying grit soon settled back to the ground and a brilliance of white took its place. It was so clean, so graceful and pure compared to the surroundings around them that Perry had to blink twice to actually believe it was there. The Ninetales was truly there, her nine tails tipped in mahogany swishing elegantly behind her like a curtain in a perfect summer’s day. Her dainty paws patted across the ground and her ruby eyes were set on the shaking Bulba.
The young native had retreated to the steps of her dwelling, her now matted hair down in an attempt to look somewhat presentable. The toes of her bare, calloused feet clenched as the fox came closer to her but she tried as hard as she could to look as normal as possible. The Ninetales’s expression was hard to read but from how her short, triangular ears laid back, Perry knew that she was less than pleased.
Child. The Champion was taken aback that he could also understand the canine’s speech and he blinked up at Mismagius. The Ghosty type softy shook her head, indicating she had nothing to do with this startling development. Xatu’s image filled his mind for the second time, emerald face having a trace of glee. Was it possible that the Psychic bird had given him the power of understanding all Pokemon speech, not just hers?
She had thrown me into some kind of alternate dimension, surely she couldn’t be as cynical as to leave me without some kind of information that can help me survive, he quipped in the sarcastic attitude many challengers found annoying.
Child, Ninetales began to address the native again, her voice smooth as cream yet as dangerous as a doubled-edged sword. Have you worked in the fields today? The words were carefully placed in the question yet she said her words effortlessly as though she had rehearsed for this moment in time minutes ago.
Bulba straightened and curtly nodded, not meeting the intimidating pair of eyes either because she was afraid the fox would find out her true thoughts or she had been taught not to meet the eyes of authority figures.
Ninetales narrowed her eyes but not necessarily at Bulba. The ripples of lavish fur around her neck stood on end and her tails were now at a standstill, the tips twitching like a Buneary’s nose. Her deep eyes strayed from the smudged face of the human before her to the environment around them that never seemed to change. From where he was crouched, Perry stiffened which made pain flare up in his abdomen.
The milk-colored Pokemon, however, did not continue to search the still air but looked over her left shoulder, the face of authority back on.
Drifloon, check the winds and find out if the child has been in the fields.
The air she directed her question to began to ripple and wave before them like the haze on a boiling summer’s day. The waves started to become purple and said color began to take an oval shape. Soon, tendrils ending in a yellow tip whipped around the balloon that had appeared, a yellow “X” splattered across his solemn face Beady eyes looked down at Bulba and once again, the human trainer in the sidelines tensed. Was he doing what Mismagius was doing to keep them hidden? Could this new Pokemon identify where they were?
Yes, Ninetales, he intoned, the wisp of cloud on his head whistling ominously.
Drifloon closed his eyes and immediately, wind that had not been there before shifted to a strong breeze. Dirt was picked up and the dying grass as dry as a Cubone’s back rustled against each other, creating a scratching noise that rang throughout the lifeless fields. Sand speckled the dome, making it twinkle and glimmer with light. Perry picked up the sharp pitter patter of grit hitting the houses around them, an odd concert that made him shiver. Bulba herself was looking around wildly, odd-colored eyes nearly jumping from their sockets. The tips of her fingers glowed silver and the trickles of color that “spilled” from her digits flowed with the air the Ghost type was conjuring.
The wind died down and the clatter on the houses quieted; the dirt settled back to their sleep and the grasses stopped swaying stiffly from side to side. The energy dome that covered both Perry and Mismagius did not flicker anymore, the walls went back to their smooth exterior. Drifloon opened his orbs again, the mouth that was once invisible twisted into a scowl. Seeing this, Ninetales turned fully to him, jaw tight and eyes unwavering.
The child has not been to the fields, her aurora is not sensed among the others. Ninetales’s facial features hardened, the intensity of which she looked at Bulba almost making her miss her companion’s words; his words, emotionless until now, covered in a thin layer of complexion. There’s something different in the atmosphere, something off about the flow…
Perry and Mismagius shared a fleeting look of terror and the former would have run a hand through his hair in worry if it wasn’t matted with caked blood. Instead, he balled his fists, making colorless dirt run through his fingers from where they were at his sides, clutching the sand on the ground.
Ninetales returned her gaze to Bulba, the girl’s rags for clothes shaking in unison with her filthy body. The Fire type strutted towards the human, crimson eyes now ablaze with fury; all her tails swished madly behind her in a dangerous, rhythmic pattern. The female native dared not shirk from her authority figure. She straightened but still did not meet eyes with the Kanto fox; she knew her skin would prickle at the mere sight.
We do not tolerate the skipping of your duties, no one can ignore the job they have been entrusted with and you are no exception. Drifloon flew in closer, his body constantly expanding and deflating like a lung waiting to breath its last breath. Such idiotic actions never go unlooked and they are always punished according to the severity.
04-20-2008, 09:56 PM
Ninetales narrowed her eyes, nostrils flaring a bit as she stared at Bulba severely. As I seem to recall, you are familiar with these punishments. It was not a question nor a fleeting comment, it was a cold statement that was addressed curtly. Bulba nodded again, her shoulders stiff and face taut. From where Perry was crouched, he could see her hands itching to ball themselves but he guessed that if they did, it would make Ninetales think she was ignoring her harsh words.
The command was so simple but it made Perry’s stomach clench. He was used to violence, he was used to seeing blood shed, both Pokemon and human. The fact that a Pokemon was going to be the one who would deliver the blows to a human being made it nauseating and hard to comprehend. For the first time that he got here, the fact that Perry was in some sort alternate dimension began to sink in.
Bulba did as Ninetales commanded and turned her back to her and as she did, she sent a quick look to Perry’s hiding place. Just as quick as it was sent, her pupils were back o facing forward, mouth unmoving so as it wouldn’t show any emotion.
Expose your back.
Swatting away the messy and unruly mess that was her hair, Bulba lifted the back of her sewn rags. Her back, paler than the rest of her body, was blemished by healed cuts and scars that ran down like Ekans entwining in and out of each other. Bruises, some fresh while others fading, splotched her body ranging from light violet to vivid amethyst. Ninetales’ and Drifloon’s expressions were stony; the Fox Pokemon stepped back and opened her jaws.
An Ember attack started to burn within her jaws, the orange-red flames licking her glistening fangs. Inhaling, she let out the glowing sphere and with accuracy she had perfected along the years, the ball of fire hit Bulba’s back and began to drip down her skin. The girl’s face twitched, her jaw stubborn and her eyes fixed on a spot on the house. Her grimy hands were stock still at her sides and her back was rigid.
As the Fire attack started to dwindle away, Ninetales released another Ember; both of them were weak enough to allow the small human to withstand the pain but strong enough to teach her the lesson that was meant to be learned. The miniature flames took over the raw skin and this one made Bulba’s eyes sparkle with tears. Her mouth, though, was still clenched and her face was not scrunched up in pain.
Ember after weak Ember, no bigger than the pebbles that littered the ground, pelted Bulba’s back mercilessly. Her skin was now turning a dull red and it was beginning to sting whenever she breathed. Mismagius’s eerie eyes were wide and Perry’s jaw was tightly clenched along with his fists. Pokemon were not supposed to do this, it wasn’t meant to be this way. His legs itched to uncoil so that he could shoot and stop this whole scene but the strategic part of his mind, the one that helped him become the Champion, told him to wait it out.
Ninetales closed her mouth, the final trickles of fire hanging around her. Drifloon seemed to smile for the “X” on his face twitched and the ends of his strings curled. Bulba now turned to face them, her steps awkward as she tried not to hunch over. She let the rags on her body cover her back once again, her eyes anywhere but on the two Pokemon.
Look at me, child, your punishment is not over.
Bulba did as she was told, knowing full well what the vixen’s tone meant for her. Silver eyes met glowing blood-red, the color of her irises pulsating dangerously. When their gazes met, Bulba’s own eyes closed and her body suddenly went limp. Drifloon flew towards her and by wrapping his tendrils around the thin girl’s wrists, lifted her body into the air from where it was falling to the ground.
The Hypnosis faded from the fox’s eyes, the golden sheen to her pupils now evaporating. Ninetales looked up at Drifloon who was effortlessly carrying the sleeping girl. The faintest hint of a smirk was visible on her maw, tails back to their lazy moving pattern so that the brown tips merged with the color of the ground beneath them.
Come, the Lord should know what punishment is more suiting for these multiple offenses.
The Balloon Pokemon nodded, not even glancing at the human he had a hold on. Nientales started to run back the way she had come from, her white paws a blur under her. The Ghost Pokemon began to fly behind her, Bulba’s small weight making it easy for him to carry her.
“Mismagius, you can stop now.”
The specter stopped glowing and almost immediately, the dome that surrounded them began to disappear. Mismagius closed her eyes and let out a low, rattling moan that was edged with exhaustion. She began to drift closer to the ground and her “hat” began to droop. For some reason, Perry let a warm smile cross his face. Maybe it was because that after seeing those two Pokemon, he began to realize his own were more loyal than he thought; they could easily kill him if they so wanted to. “Good job, return.” Even Mismagius seemed surprised at this but she merely nodded to her master and let the crimson light engulf her light body.
Perry straightened, his muscles taught and sore. He braced himself against the shack, glancing to where the two figures were making their way to who-knows where with Bulba. He was torn as to what to do, as to what his next action should be. As the Champion, he had to make last minute decisions in the wildest times but they never involved someone’s life.
Did he become attached to this strange, wary native? Did the fact that she was the only human being he met in this alien, topsy-turvy world formed some kind of bond?
Aside from that, a Pokemon having the power over a human was just… wrong and unheard of. It wasn’t supposed to be that way, he didn’t care that this might be how things were done in this world. The title of Champion didn’t just come with a trophy and fame, whether he liked it or not, it came with leadership and responsibility and even when he was in a world where not even Sinnoh was known, he had to fulfill the promise Cynthia made him swear. Perry could still hear the solemn words ringing as Cynthia and him stood in the famous Hall of Fame, the dimmed lights accenting the speech that she had given him.
Noticing how his knees trembled, his weight threatening to make him collapse on the ground, he knew that he could not take off after the fierce duo on foot lest he wanted to end up, unconscious, on the blistering ground.
Still using the shack as support, the youth unclipped a cyan-colored ball from his belt and threw it in the air. After seeing Bulba’s reaction to Mismagius, Perry wasn’t too keen on bringing in another Pokemon but desperate times called for desperate measures.
Misty, red light popped into his vision and the energy was held aloft when it formed to a creature with beating, tawny wings. The Pidgeot looked towards his trainer once he was fully formed, the long red and yellow feathers that made up his foot-long crest tickling his feathery back. Chocolate eyes widened when the bird saw where they were and orange beak moved silently in a questioning manner. Pidgeot hooted softly when he tilted his head more and saw the rough state of his trainer’s body.
“No time to explain, Pidgeot,” he swiftly said, motioning for the Kanto Pokemon to come down so he could climb onto his back. Pidgeot did not question any further and come down and arched his back. The injured boy gingerly climbed on and once Pidgeot got back into the air, Perry instructed, “Do you see that faint cloud of dust to our far right? Ok, follow it but keep low to the ground and try to do more gliding than flapping.”
Nodding after the strange orders left his chapped chips, Pidgeot flapped once to rear feet back. With a trill, the avian shot himself forward and by angling his wings, got himself into a smooth but speedy glide. Beige belly was inches from touching the ground whose dust was uplifted and ruby tail feathers were in perfect synchronization with his wings.
Perry gripped the avian creature’s thick neck, shielding his eyes from the sand that threatened to sting his eyes, the rushing air already making his eyes tear up. Through it, he could see two blurs, the white form of Ninetales like a beacon in this grim lighting this world provided; he hadn’t noticed that they had gotten so far away. Were these Pokemon able to travel faster…?
His heart jumped to his throat when Pidgeot interrupted their glide and backpedaled in surprise. As wings beat around him, Perry grasped his Pokemon’s neck tighter; he had almost lost his one hand hold. Flinching as his sore body was shaken about, he barked, “What the hell was that for?!”
“Geot, Pidgeot!” With a pink talon, the majestic bird pointed forward, heart beginning to get back to its regular rhythm after the fright. When Perry righted himself back on his mount, he leaned forward, squinted, and took a quick intake of breath.
Even though the heat made the images waver in the air, he could still make out the towering buildings. The only things he could tell was that they were an ashy gray, darker than the sky above them. The mere fact that something much grander and complicated was in this desolate wasteland took his breath away. Peering closer, he could see two stationary forms. Perry didn’t stop to think as to how it was possible for buildings to suddenly pop into existence; with what he has seen so far, it could be something that was beyond his realm of understanding.
With a few back flaps, they were rocketing forward, the wind blasting their faces once again. Perry’s eyes were determined under his blood-stained locks that limply moved as they flew; he gripped Pidgeot’s light feathers tightly and leaned forward, silently encouraging the Flying type to go faster. They crossed the distance in no time flat and when the Pokemon they were tracking heard something approaching behind them, both Ninetales and Drifloon whirled around.
A human, Ninetales seethed, fangs started to become visible. A human not of this world.
Pidgeot came to a smooth halt, held aloft by a steady beat of his wings. Now that they were here, Perry could see exactly what the gray buildings he had seen from a distance were. With everything he had seen so far, he was not very surprised to see that the buildings were towers made of some kind stone that resembled a pale granite. The towers extended all around them, forming small buildings that eventually turned to another tower. The stone was still sturdy and strong and Perry guessed it was because of the lack of wind the wacky atmosphere gave off; erosion must be unheard off.
Seeing the great variety of footprints in the sand around the cobblestone paths, the Champion could see that many Pokemon walked through here. Oddly enough, he detected no other living thing other than Pidgeot, himself, and the three natives to this world he met.
“Release her!” he commanded towards Ninetales, eyes ablaze with the inner fire that helped him through the Elite Four. He was hoping for her to be shocked, deterred from the original plan by his sudden appearance. That wasn’t the case, unfortunately so he had to go with a more aggressive tactic.
While Drifloon floated in silence with Bulba’s still sleeping body, Ninetales smirked and chuckled with a shake of her head; this made her white mane flow silkily with a faint rustle.
Hehe, ignorant human, she told him, tantalizing smile never leaving her face. Her soft laugh was a sure sign that she was chuckling at the ignorance he was not aware of. Do you honestly think you can tell me what to do, in my own world?
Her calm way of speaking was the thing that made him slightly falter in his words. In all of his years as a trainer, he never met someone so sure of themselves; even Cynthia’s face wasn’t so calm when they faced off in that memorable Champion battle.
“Your world or not, you’re a Pokemon and I’m a trainer, I always win,” Perry retorted, his tone serious and sure.
This time, the angelic fox cackled, the laugh contradicting her beautiful exterior. The cold laugh ended and her eyes glittered dangerously like rubies coaxing a miner to draw near at the first sight of a twinkle.
Human, we Ninetales live for a very long time and unlike any other Pokemon that you encounter in this world, I do remember when a human from an alien world has come to ours. Ignorance seems to run through the blood of your species for he was as sure of himself as you are. He forgot his place, he did not realize that things run differently in our world. It was a fatal mistake.
The last words were uttered in a harsh growl. Ninetales looked up at him, cocking her head sweetly as though she was an innocent Vulpix kit. However, you seem to have some attachment to this child. Why? Why is it you care more about this useless worker than for your own safety?
The way she said it made Perry’s blood boil beneath his cuts and bruises; the innocence in her words were nothing but a façade he had not trouble in seeing through.
“I have no reason to answer to the likes of you!” he spat, letting Pidgeot take him down to the ground. He stepped off the duo type’s back with all the firmness in his steps that he could muster. Perry’s face was as hard as stone and twice as unflinching or at least, that’s what he was shooting for.
Nevertheless, his sturdy stance showed how willing he was to carry out his plans. Pidgeot loyally landed beside him, folding his wings and keeping his gaze set on the two enemies.
“I’m the Sinnoh Region Champion, I will not be walked on by a pair of Pokemon. If you think that all humans are inferior, that they all deserve to be called “ignorant” and “foolish”, I don’t think you can refuse a chance to prove me wrong with a Pokemon battle.”
A barbaric ritual you humans seem to enjoy. Ninetales responded wryly.
“And I suppose punishing your slaves is not your favorite pastime,“ he quipped back.
Ninetales smirked. Touché.
She turned towards Drifloon, who had not made a movement nor said a word throughout the conversation. Momentarily dispose of the child, a more important matter is at hand.
The balloon nodded and with mighty swing, threw Bulba’s almost weightless frame into the air, the worker’s eyes closed in blissful sleep.
At his name, the bird jumped, got airborne with a few powerful strokes, and threw himself at Bulba. He caught her with ease with no more than a muffled ‘thump!’ and he flew back to his master’s side. With a silent order from Perry, Pidgeot slowly rolled Bulba to the ground from his back where she lay asleep and unaware of what was going to transpire.
Deftly, Perry picked and enlarged Empoleon’s Poke Ball, feeling the scratches that lined the surface that began to comfort him and give him strength.
“Empoleon, go!” he shouted, thrusting it into the air and then shooting a glance at Pidgeot. “Pidgeot, you, too!"
The Bird Pokemon landed next to the solidifying form of Empoleon, the armored penguin brandishing his plated wings and his three, forked horns on his cranium that looked as sharp as Ninetales’s eyes. His small eyes only wandered for a small while but putting two and two together after what happened at the cave, he deduced this was something that was out of this world. Perry knew Pidgeot may not be best choice but he did not have the time to release another Pokemon and get them used to this whole situation. He could not risk it, not when he was faced with such a conniving opponent as Ninetales.
“Empoleon, use Aqua Jet on Ninetales! Pidgeot, use Featherdance on Drifloon!”
Pidgeot jumped into the air and spread his wings to their full ten-foot wingspan. He flapped them once in one powerful down stroke and handfuls and handfuls of soft plumage were let loose from his wings, a whirlwind of brown and tan. With another smaller and swifter flap, the bird of prey manipulated the wind so that the feathers swarmed towards the purple balloon. Dirfloon was taken aback, maybe thinking Ninetales was going to be the main target in this battle, and was engulfed in the feathers.
He sputtered and let out a low moan of frustration as his eyes started to sting, his tendrils going straight to his eyes in an effort to rub out the annoying sensation of his eyes being probed by the feathers.
The giant penguin feet away quickly enveloped himself in a veil of shimmering water that sprouted from his mouth and also wetted the ground around him. The cracked ground soaked up the fluid greedily and with Empoleon’s vitamin rich water, the ground was soft and firm under his orange talons within moments. Bracing his short feet, the ground now easier to run on, Empoleon took off at a blinding speed, the sloshing of water sound mixing with the quick-paced patter of his feet.
Ninetales, unlike her companion, was prepared for the attack. She jumped to her right, as nimble as ever, the crest on her head swishing as she tilted her head to glance at the passing Water type.
“Turn and strike her with a wing!” Perry commanded quickly.
Empoleon stuck his left wing to the ground, which was held firmly in one of the many cracks that snaked across the plain, and turned his body towards Ninetales. With a small battle cry, he stuck out his free wing and swatted the female Pokemon’s face powerfully. Ninetales was thrown back but by performing a last minute back flip, landed on the ground neatly on all fours. Looking up, it was noticed that blood was starting to stain her pure face fur, right cheek already a soft ruby.
And the battle begins. With those words, Ninetales shook off her injury and launched into action. She leaped into the air and let an all knowing smile when Perry ordered Empoleon to defend himself and the Pokemon did so by crossing his wings in front of him.
Her nine tails suddenly straightened and the mahogany tips started to glow a light sapphire. Soon, the blue started to take over the tails and Ninetales had a glowing fan behind her, each fur strand pulsating like the slow beat of a heart. Ninetales turned in mid-air, making her tails slap towards her target. A sonic wave the same hue of blue as her tails rushed towards Empoleon and it pulsated madly in the air; this caused a low tone of sound ring throughout the area.
04-20-2008, 09:57 PM
The Extrasensory attack smacked against Empoleon with tremendous force, causing him to slide back a couple of feet. The attack shook his core, the Psychic energy flooding into his veins and making him incapable of moving for a handful of seconds. When Perry saw Ninetales land on the ground once again and encase herself in a veil of shadows that highly contrasted her light pelt, he thought quickly and commanded, “Pidgeot, use Aerial Ace!”
Pidgeot turned from where he was staring down Drifloon and rose into action. Once in the air, at least ten feet off the ground, he did a midair back flip and rocketed towards the being who was getting ready to attack. Light started to shine off his already glossy feathers, the opal light blinding to anybody who looked.
Ninetales jumped towards the flinching Empoleon, shadows now encasing her entire body so that the Faint Attack made her seem like a corrupted Pokemon coming to seek revenge from the shadow depths; the only white that could be seen were her glistering fangs.
White met black. Pidgeot rammed her with unbelievable speed, wings glued to his feathery sides so that he resembled a super-powered bullet. The white energy that had surrounded him merged with the black tendrils of the Dark type attack as Ninetales yelped in pain. Her body was thrown to the ground, the shadows left behind to float in front of Empoleon before thinning out and disappearing completely.
“Empoleon, shake it off and, Pidgeot, use Air Slash!”
While Empoleon was regaining use of his muscles, Pidgeot, with his feathers still holding the sparkling white of the previous attack, trilled fiercely and let both his wings come down in a synchronized down stroke. The powerful action made the air ring and vibrate like a bell on the top of a church; a burst of air came forth. It sliced the still, atmosphere air like an invisible knife and collided with the Fire type that was barely standing up. The Air Slash made her go back down, her fur ruffling and standing on end as the harsh blow of air covered her body.
“EMP!” The Emperor Pokemon’s cries of distress startled Perry and he turned towards his starter. Drifloon had a strong hold of Empoleon’s neck by his two strings and though the Flying type move from Pidgeot prevented him from doing any serious damage through Constrict, he was still cutting off Empoleon’s airway. Above his deadly beak, the Pokemon’s eyes were panic-stricken.
Pidgeot had turned to look at his teammate which was enough chance for Ninetales. She took a deep inhale, standing once again, and let a torrent of flames leave her mouth. The fire crackled and popped at it was released, a dangerous red and bright orange snake slithering in the air. The Fire Spin branched out from its single ribbon of death and spun around the shocked bird like a pack of Houndoom circling their prey.
At the same time, Drifloon, still keeping a hold on the struggling Water type, released an Ominous Wind. The clouds above darkened even more and like before, wind from the blue picked up. Particles of light came with this mysterious breeze and as the ghostly wind hit Empoleon, they burst like miniature bombs upon contact. As the supernatural energy hit his body, the wind battered his face so that it was twisted in pain.
On top of all that, Bulba was beginning to stir.
Part 4: Free Will
The meager shuffling that arose from the awakening child had the incredible ability to seize the wary trainer and force his hazel eyes upon her. It was amazing that among the buffeting winds and screech of his distressed companions this insignificant noise could grasp his focus, but hey, by this point, nothing was too farfetched in Perry’s humble opinion.
The smothering mass of bulbous clouds that had obtained possession of the sky allowed little light to stream through, but in the few trickles of faded orange rays that managed to permeate them, Perry could detect Bulba’s malnourished frame. Dirty blonde hair shrouded her features, but the teen need not even see them to identify that she was coming to her senses; her guttural groans were enough.
A rumbling thud caught his attention as the smoldering form of his Pidgeot tumbled from the air, his body colliding with the cracked earth in such a way that screamed major injury. The avian’s wingtips had crumbled away to reveal haggard bone beneath, leaving the remaining expanse of his feathers to be burnished in a sickening charcoal hue. The scent of burning flesh was wafted in Perry’s direction by an awry gust of wind, and his stomach churned uneasily. Rage replaced this feeling in but a moment’s notice, and coursed through his veins, bubbling what little blood remained within him.
In his animosity toward the situation, all knowledge and strategy abandoned the youth; Perry’s mind was no longer flooded with the intricate tactics that innately came to him when a battle commenced. All that remained was the need to return the favor, to strike that baneful creature with such a fury that the realization of his actions would initiate her downfall. But, in fact, as the command would flutter from his lips, that same fate would befall him.
“Pidgeot, use Mirror Move!”
The crisped Pokemon tottered to his stubby talons with the aid of a few weak flaps of its ash-encrusted wings and trilled a mournful warble. Then, as though the previous Fire Spin had never occurred, launched himself into the air, flames already beginning to tumble within the confines of his beak. A swift downward descent brought him within striking distance of the Ninetales, and a certain sort of confidence bubbled within Perry’s chest.
However, that conviction was wiped clean from his system the minute that he noticed that the Ninetales didn’t even make an effort to evade the identical Fire Spin as it swayed forcefully from Pidgeot’s mouth. Her stationary stance and the triumphant smirk atop her snout almost seemed to invite the attack upon her body, to singe her innards and confer to her a writhing pain.
With equal fury, the fire plowed into the alluring fox, a sinuous, remarkable twister that was sure to deal major damage. It was only when the flames had cleared and the Ninetales had emerged unscathed that Perry comprehended the dire and foolish mistake he had made.
When hit by a Fire-type move, a Pokémon with the ability Flash Fire will have its own moves of the same variety increased by one and a half times the power. Instead of undergoing pain, as one might believe, the recipient will remain unharmed…Perhaps replenished by said Fire-type attack.
The customary textbook answer snapped into Perry’s mind, and he felt momentarily dizzy, as though the battle-familiar mind that he had molded over the years had collapsed upon itself for not recognizing such a stupid and potentially fatal blunder. His breath quickened, but the sight of the gorgeous Ninetales, her pelt glistening with a far greater sheen than before, forced him back to his senses.
“Empoleon, Drill Peck! Go!” He shouted, turning his focus back upon the pair that was struggling against each other a dozen or so yards away. It was clear that the Drifloon had an upper hand, for its lethal tendrils had resorted to swathing themselves around the penguin’s neck as though shipwreck survivors scrambling after the sole life-raft.
But upon Perry’s command, Empoleon ceased his desperate struggling, falling inert. The dirt-encased claws upon which he stood shrugged off the weight of his abdomen and upper body, making the cerulean creature limp; the Drifloon’s taut ribbons were all that hindered the Pokemon’s frame from sliding to the ground. The bobbing, Balloon Pokemon’s eyes allowed his confusion to be reflect upon the surroundings, and Perry took this to be an opportunity to act, shouting, “Now!”
Empoleon, who had appeared a mere, lifeless doll seconds earlier, bounded upright, propelling himself into the air courtesy of his outstretched legs. The velocity with which he performed this act, coupled with his glistening tawny beak, which had spiraled forward to become thrice its length, allowed the Pokemon to yank free of its captor. The yellow obtrusion from his face, a corkscrew-carved skewer, was driven into the leathery violet exterior of the foe, impelling the dumbfounded Drifloon into the air. It lashed against the vines that had snaked out from beneath the Balloon Pokemon to seize the penguin, severing the bottommost tips, which earned a shriek of agony (and a groan of shock) from its possessor.
“Okay, Pidgeot,” Perry bellowed, nodding toward the Bird Pokemon, “Use Steel Wing on Ninetales, and you do the same with Aqua Jet, Empoleon!”
The thrill of battle must have gripped both veteran combatants by this time, for not a breadth of time was wasted before they had initiated their designated moves.
Pidgeot took to the sky, wings flapping thunderously as he tore upward, a stern, yet unreadable expression splashed across his face. Before he became a scant beige speck besmirching the corpulent, chalky clouds, all watching could witness the very tips of his feathers taking on a metallic luster. It was a vivid silver doused in glimmering rays of light that were reflected when light would fall upon it.
Just as the Bird Pokemon terminated his upward voyage, Empoleon was lifted from the thirsty earth by a smothering eruption of water. The clear azure liquid enveloped the creature in a jagged encasement much like a diamond. Then, in a wind-shattering dive, burst toward the intoxicating sight of the Fox Pokemon.
The two comrades met midway, Pidgeot plunging in from the heavens, entire wings aglow with the finish of steel, and Empoleon, barely discernable among the splurges and sloshes of power-infused water. It was a magnificent scene; every spray of mist cast off by Empoleon dappled the durable and effulgent Steel Wing, creating a spectrum of every color imaginable, which took to dancing awkwardly among the two Pokemon. Yet, as quickly as it had appeared, it was gone, and the partners plowed into their target.
Known for their outstanding speed and agile nature, Ninetales was able to elude the threatening Aqua Jet, which was sure to incite massive damage, but leapt right into the path of the striking bird. Pidgeot dealt her a nasty blow, abruptly slashing his wing forward to catch her just beneath the ear, splitting the skin on contact. A spray of blood burst forth from her skull, a fantastic drizzle of glinting ruby that hung momentarily in the atmosphere before falling blemish the fine white coat of the Pokemon.
She landed clumsily, most likely disoriented from the attack. Her front legs had given way beneath her, causing the beautiful animal to smash face-first into the ground; her back pair remained sturdy, lessening the harm only slightly. When she whipped back around to face her adversaries, a ferocious snarl was plastered across her muzzle, contrary to the serene and indifferent pose she had taken when Perry had first seen her. She looked demented and ravaged now; black jaws foamed a bubbling torrent of spit, and her stained teeth snapped barbarously.
Fools! You will pay for what you have done to Master Giratina’s most faithful servant! Your blood will spill upon the earth, and it will cry out in agony for eternity. I will see to it that you suffer from now until the end of ages!
The voice was like nothing Perry had ever heard before. Its resonance was astounding, and the sheer passion within it almost made his legs cripple beneath his weight, but he held strong. He had cracked her armor. She wasn’t as high and mighty as previously conceived; The Ninetales was afraid…. He could sense it in her eyes – those bloodthirsty, yet delicate irises – and her voice wavered just slightly. Yet enough to confirm that she was truly shaken by the Champion.
“It’s time to finish this,” he whispered to the two Pokemon that had crept to his side. “Empoleon, Bubblebeam on Ninetales; and you take out Drifloon with Wing Attack.”
Once again, they acted on command, completely disregarding the deranged outburst of the Ninetales, who seemed to have been knocked off her rocker. Pidgeot, being the faster of the two, reached the stationary form Drifloon first, and fixed him with an unfaltering glare. This, along with the speech of his fellow servant to the master, (which seemed to have given him second thoughts about the situation), induced a frightful quiver upon the Balloon Pokemon. It was clear that he was in no state of mind to attack, so Pidgeot delivered one for him.
Summoning two duplicate gales with either wing, the bird suspended himself midair, focusing all his energies upon the two final gusts. Then, without warning, he unfurled the feathered appendages, releasing a pair of potent drafts at the enemy. Resembling out of control cyclones, the attacks smashed against the unprepared Drifloon, who had taken to nursing the detached vines that dangled beneath his bobbing frame. They swept him up into their vicious grip, battering him all the while with their sheer vigor. It was difficult from Perry’s standpoint to tell which part was up for the helpless beast, for one moment the thick cords drooped below him, and the next they were airborne.
None of the fighters, nor the sole trainer waited to see his body crash to the ground in an explosion of leathery pelt, for they all turned to watch as Empoleon began his rush toward the savage Ninetales.
He rocketed forward, using the customary aerodynamic build of a Steel-type to his advantage. Perry saw nothing more than a blur of cerulean and pale blue as Empoleon whisked himself further and further in the direction of the Fox Pokemon. However, his attention was momentarily drawn to the behemoth substance that had begun to form on the backside of said Pokemon.
In a do or die attempt at victory, Ninetales had summoned an enormous Fire Blast, larger and more powerful than any the trainer had ever witnessed before. It was a towering column of licking, spitting flames, a massive inferno that rose, mighty, against the pale gray backdrop. It was an extraordinary sight, this wall of fire, and Perry could feel the heat radiating blissfully against his skin. The boy’s pores erupted in the comforting warmth, but he managed to shake himself free of the mind-melting sensation long enough to order Empoleon to halt.
Ninetales, however, did quite the opposite, throwing herself headlong in a daring gallop at the penguin. Her stride was remarkable, the way her hide was tossed exquisitely about her lean frame, and the fact that the Fire Blast trailed her to the very step was incredible. It was clear that the attack would scorch Empoleon into oblivion if delivered decisively, and Perry was damn lucky that he was quick to formulate a plan.
“Pidgeot, Quick Attack, now!”
Having been a bystander, the Bird Pokemon was aware of the dire circumstances, and knew exactly where to pick up. He nudged his way into the air in a mere two seconds flat and pitched himself, like a rag doll, across the plain. As though a jetliner, Pidgeot traversed the distance between his prior position and that of the battle within a moment, and it was clear that the blistering temperature of the Fire Blast was already affecting him.
Feathers peeling back to litter the floor, Pidgeot executed the Quick Attack, diving low to knock Ninetales’s bounding feet from beneath her. It all happened so swiftly that not even she could grasp what was occurring until she had collapsed to the earth, the tremendous wave of flames washing over her body.
Shielding his eyes from the blinding fury of the reversed attack, Perry could barely make out the sight of the unconscious Fox Pokemon being subjected to the terrible fate of having her ravishing white pelt being ripped clean from her body to crumble in an ebony dust. The Fire Blast was destined to claim a victim one way or another…. Yet the irony of it all was that she had delivered it upon herself.
That view alone brought a nauseating feeling creeping into the pit of the youth’s stomach, so he dared not risk another with the possibility of vomiting lingering just at the back of his throat. Groping through the sweat-slickened pockets of his pants, Perry extracted two ruby and white orbs and mashed the center button aggressively in order for them to expand to their true form and fill his entire palms.
His aim was precise as he flung one at the heaped body of the Drifloon yards away and at the smoldering black mass that had previously held such a majestic and firm Ninetales. Both were transformed into fluttering tendrils of red light and slurped into the confines of the Pokeballs as a single droplet of rain fell from somewhere above.
It was the first in a century.
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