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Old 04-12-2008, 03:38 AM
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Gem N Ems Offline
Kage no Hikari.
 
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Default Re: Pokemon: Team StormRiders

Chapter 12: A traitor exposed

The pain obscuring my mind began to fade. The jerking feeling had subsided and my consciousness began to return to reality. Is this…a dream? No…I hear voices…calling to me…

“Zanna!”

My eyes snapped open. A yellow face phased in and out of view, like a magnifying glass, or an out of tune radio. As my vision cleared, I realised it was Rye who had spoken. Where was I? The Records room…I gasped. In an instant, all of my memories flooded back to me, bringing with them the horrific scene I had envisioned within Jarre’s orb. Slowly, I put a paw to my head and sat up. “Rye, you said you wouldn’t help me…”

The Elekid’s look of concern faded and turned to a cold frown. “I didn’t.” He thrust an arm backwards to indicate that someone was there.

A hazy, red circle grew into focus. “Jarre!” I gasped, and in my moments panic, fell back to the floor. “You…you brought me back!”

The Torchic stared at me menacingly. It’s sweet temperament gone, he was a Pokemon transformed. “Yes.” He muttered icily, staring at me with horror and betrayal.

But I wasn’t the betrayer here, he was. And I was never going to forget it. “You worked for Scythe,” I muttered. “In her gang, you…were evil.” I stole a look at the Torchic who was now looking at the glossy tiles.

A pained expression creased his brow, and his menacing, blue eyes shone. “I wasn’t always like that, Zanna,” He murmured. “I didn’t want to be what I became.” He sighed.

I turned to look at Rye, who stared at me solemnly and nodded. “But you did,” I said firmly, “And all of the creatures who suffered under your talons…” I trailed off.

Jarre turned hesitantly towards me and frowned. “Did you think I wanted to do it?!” He cried. “Did you think I wanted to work for Scythe? To be who I was?” He paused and shook. “No…It overtook me, Zanna…I was a demon! Scythe made me into who I was; a monster without a soul. I did her evil deeds not because I wanted to, but because she ordered it!” He paused again and studied me carefully before a glazed look fell over his face. “When Raze…when he left, I…I wasn’t the same Pokemon I was when he was here. The only thing that I cared about had vanished and forsaken me. You must understand, I had nothing else to live for!”

“So you ruined the lives of others because you had nothing to live for?!” I spat back angrily. “Then you were just as bad as Scythe! Worse even, a coward and a fool for doing it!”

Jarre took a step forward and glared. “Don’t speak of what you don’t understand! How could you? You’ve never had someone betray you and run off, leaving you all alone. To feel like a black hole, or a deep void, Zanna. To feel broken…” Tears entered his eyes. “Don’t ever say that I was a monster! If you haven’t been through it, you don’t know!”

I grew hot and sparks flew from my cheeks. I wavered as I stood up to confront him. “You had a choice,” I said coldly, “You had a choice and you threw it! Your petty brother doesn’t deserve you! If you thought for one second about whose lives you were endangering, who you so brutally murdered! You think you would feel something!” I shot a cold look at Jarre, who was trying to hold back tears and at the same time trying to stop himself from lunging at me. “But you were right all along! You’re not a Pokemon, you’re a demon! And so you will remain until the end of your days, Jarre,” I remembered the words that the tortured Sneasel had uttered. “Darkrai has your soul now. You’re cursed, and you won’t get it back!” I stopped as my voice rose to a fevered pitch.

My gritted teeth began to hurt, but I was too angry to notice. All I saw was the effect of my words. Upon hearing the line, Jarre’s face had turned inexplicably pale. He must have guessed by now which memory I’d seen. He swayed on the spot for a moment, looking downcast and sodden. But within a second, his fire had returned.

He narrowed his eyes again and glared. His voice had taken on a softer tone, but it was by no means friendly. “You may think I’m a demon, but I’m not the betrayer. You stole into my memories…you couldn’t have just asked, could you? Everything has to be the difficult way for you!”

“And you’re perfect?” I almost burst out in hysterical laughter. “No, I think you’re the betrayer. Of friendship and more. I mean, how do you think I felt when I found out my best friend was a murderer?”

It all happened in an instant. Rye’s eyes snapped and locked onto mine. They widened and wavered a bit before allowing themselves to be torn away. Jarre took a similar motion, though after a few moments he ended up frowning.

“Speaking of friendship, I thought of a name for the team,” He paused to see my reaction, and when I made none, continued. “Team Stormriders,” He said slowly, “For riding out the storm, however tough. This may be one of those situations, Zanna. And I think we both need to adjust.” With a last, glowering look, he turned on his talons and hurriedly left the room.

I sighed and looked at the floor. Team Stormriders…a whole lot of good that did right now. We would probably never talk again, let alone work as a team. I stared at my paws and shivered. Despite the warmth that the room provided, I couldn’t help but shake. My heart was pounding and I thought my head would explode from all the pressure, not to mention the horrors that I’d just seen.

“That was…intense.” Rye’s voice brought me back from my reverie.

I sighed. “Well I’d like to never talk about it again.”

Rye made a small laugh and raised an eyebrow in a cynical expression. “Is this one of those moments when you wish a hole would swallow you?”

I was just about to reply, when I noticed something. Rye had laughed. And not just a snigger either. He’d actually laughed. I looked up and stared at him. A bright, warm smile lit his face, and I couldn’t help but notice that he looked more handsome like that. His emerald green eyes, which were usually narrowed, were now sparkling. Like a leaf that had been splashed with water--completely revitalised! I let my shocked expression fall and allowed a smile to consume my face. “This would be one of those times.”

Rye flashed a grin and held my gaze for a moment longer before turning away.

I stared after him. “You may not have helped me directly back there,” I murmured, “But I can see that you watched over me. Thankyou.”

Rye seemed to hesitate. “I wasn’t about to let that Torchic make a meal out of you…” He paused slightly. “And I wanted to make sure you were okay…you went into a kind of fit. I couldn’t leave you like that.” His tone was more cool now. Back to its usual self.

I smiled. “Well, whatever your motives were, thanks for being a good friend. I don’t know what Jarre would have done otherwise.” I saw Rye start at the word ‘friend’. A look of concern glided over my face. Rye seemed to have gone rather rigid. His back was turned to me, so I couldn’t see his face, but…I took a step forward and peered at him anxiously. “Rye, are you okay? I--”

He cut me off and whirled round to face me. “I--I’m sorry. I have to go.” The distraught Elekid hurried past me towards the door.

I stared at him as he left, slowly letting the door slide back into place after him. What in the name of Arceus? Rye seemed distressed. Had I said something? I remembered the startled look that had glazed his green eyes as he’d turned to face me. It had to be something I did…after that sentence…I shook the thought from my mind. No, he probably just had somewhere else to be. Like he always does when you’re around…The voice inside my head whispered coldly. Gaahhh! I tore brusquely through the room towards the door. I slipped out silently and was about to close it when my foot hit something. “What…?”

I peered down at the tiles and noticed a long, white ribbon. I bent down and picked it up in my paws, frowning slightly. It was silky and smooth to the touch. The edges were embossed in silver, and strange markings appeared across it, like an ancient dialect. As I ran a paw over it, I stared down the hallway. Rye must have dropped it when he ran off, I thought. It wasn’t here when Jarre went. I curled it up carefully and buried it within my fur, deciding I would give it back to him the next time we met, which my previous meetings told me wouldn’t be too long.

Now I really needed to get back. The others would have wondered where I went, seeing as I only told them I was going to the restroom, and that would have been how long ago? I took the elevator this time. No use hiding that I’d been gone, when they probably figured that out ages ago too. As soon as the doors slid open, I took off down the hall, both eager and nervous to get back.

***

“And where have you been?”

The all too familiar brusque voice of Lani drifted into my mind. I stole a look at Jarre who remained silent and watched me with unnerving eyes. So he hadn’t given me away”I just went for a walk around the building,” I answered. “You know, to clear my head.”

Jarre said not a word and continued to stare at me silently. Happy with the answer, Lani turned to Codan who seemed to be holding some kind of badge.

He smiled warmly at me. “Zanna, I’d officially like to confer this badge to you as a rescuer-in-training. Tomorrow, we start the real training--techniques and all. Here you go, and take heed of our motto: ‘To fight with pride and freedom--our honour as rescuers’.” Codan silently handed me the badge, which glinted in the sunlight.

It was small, with an egg shape at the center of it and two wings on the side, just like the one I’d seen Rye holding when we first met. Only this one had my name engraved in it. It glinted across the center with the PRA motto engraved underneath. “Wow,” I muttered. “Thankyou so much.” I glanced at Jarre briefly.

Codan seemed to guess my thoughts. “Jarre will get his when he’s battled me, like you did. If he passes, he’ll be awarded with the badge.”

I nodded slowly and then stopped. Wait”But I didn’t hit you!” I exclaimed. “You said you would only give me proper training if I was able to hit you.”

Codan smiled down at me meekly. “Zanna, you more than proved yourself this morning. You deserve it.”

I nodded again and grinned, looking at them all with pride. “I’ll do my best then!”

***

Rye tapped a paw against a sandstone wall. It reverberated just a little. Hollow? He thought. He moved slightly to the left and tapped again. This time, a larger echo greeted him. Yes, it was hollow.

The Elekid shuffled about uncomfortably and sat down at the base of the wall. I can’t do it…He thought sullenly, I just can’t. Zanna…she…called me a friend…The Elekid shook his head as if to clear all thoughts. Why? What have I done to help her?

A voice inside him answered. You gave her advice about the PRA, warned her about Jarre, stopped a potentially dangerous Empoleon, and to top it off, you looked after her when Jarre came. All the qualities of a friend…

Rye stared at the grass below his feet and picked a blade absently. Why did I do all of those things? I don’t even know her…It’s not my job. My job…Rye’s thoughts struck a dead end. His job had landed him in enough peril already. What he was doing now wasn’t any better either. But they can’t know…and I mustn’t let them find out. A flapping sound made him look up. A flock of Starly were heading towards the west. Free as a bird, Rye thought. Why can’t I be free? He picked up a pebble and threw it across the grass. It landed a few inches from a small pool of water. Rye’s brow furrowed as he stood up.

Upon reaching the pool, he looked down at his reflection. Who am I really? The question stared back at his bright yellow face, emerald green eyes and mocking mouth. Am I doomed to follow in my father’s footsteps? For an eternity…?



Phew! Latest chapter up! Take some time out to read, and expect the next one soon.
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Last edited by Gem N Ems; 07-03-2008 at 01:51 AM.
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