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Old 06-17-2008, 08:00 AM
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Gem N Ems Offline
Kage no Hikari.
 
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Default Re: Pokemon: Team StormRiders

Chapter 16: Plans Revealed


Rye’s sudden change had me very confused; one minute to act all cool and distant, and the next, so friendly. Not that I minded of course. The ribbon he’d given me was almost perfect. But that wasn’t the only thing that was in my head. The incident with Jarre still brought anger and guilt to my face. Since then, he’d stopped talking to me altogether, unless I asked him a specific question. It was as if he was almost going out of his way just to avoid me.

Codan noticed something was up too. Our first day of training didn’t go as well as it should have. I was focusing very little, and caused myself to trip over several times and break one of the vases at the edge of the room. At that point we called it quits. He said it’d be best if we left it until tomorrow. I was in no position to argue, and besides, I didn’t want to. That was just what I needed; some peace and time to myself for brooding. But I needed to talk to someone; maybe that would help.

When I asked Codan where Lani was, he told me that she’d gone over to Polo and Misha’s parents’ house to discuss important business. I’d frowned then. What business could possibly be so important that she had to go herself? Maybe it was standard rescue procedure or something. But either way, Lani was out of the question. I couldn’t go to Codan; I had a feeling he was still upset from the last time we’d talked. That only left one Pokemon: Rye.

I had to search for him myself, because no one seemed to know where he was. I even had the courage to ask Jarre. But he said he didn’t know either and just frowned at me, as if he could see something that I couldn’t.

It was nearing dusk now and I’d spent all day doing nothing. Jarre had taken his training test and passed. He ended up hitting Codan slightly on the tail, which was more than I was able to do at least. I did go to watch, but stood at the very back, hiding amongst some ferns. There had been some really close calls on both ends, so I guess you could say it was a good match. All I felt at the end, though, was sourness. Because he’d hit Codan and I didn’t. What really annoyed me though was that I’d been weak enough to almost faint during our own match.

I had shaken the thought and left as soon as I could, though I’m sure Jarre saw me on the way out. By then I didn’t really care anyway. I knew I needed to make things right with him, to be a team again, but how was that possible? What in the name of Arceus could you possibly do when you found out that your best friend used to be a murderer? Oh, yay! Let’s sit around a campfire and be happy! Pffft. Like that would work. I already felt as sour as a Belue berry, and my instincts told me that was pretty sour.

I hit the ground with a paw and let a frown consume my face. I’d looked for hours on end, but Rye was nowhere to be found. It was like he’d gone from the PRA entirely. I wouldn’t actually be surprised if he happened to do that. He seemed more like an independent Pokemon; as though he usually did everything by himself. But working alone wasn’t always a good thing. If it hadn’t been for Jarre, I’d be squished flat underneath one of the Aggron’s feet. I shuddered just thinking about it. But then it made me realise something. Jarre had saved me. No matter how bad he’d acted in his past life, he obviously came here to start anew. He wanted friends, a happy place to stay and…good Pokemon. And right now, I didn’t feel much like one.

I sighed and put my face in my paws. So, of course, I didn’t see a shadow approaching, and I didn’t bother to notice any footsteps. So when a paw was placed gently on my shoulder, I jumped a mile high.

“I’m sorry,” said a low voice, “Did I startle you?”

I smiled at Rye’s words. “Startle would be an understatement.” I replied, still grinning. This brought a slight smile to his face also. “Where were you today?” I asked, “I’ve been all over looking for you.”

“I know,” he answered simply. “I was out for a bit today and when I came back, a little birdy told me that you wanted to see me.”

I frowned. “Who told you?”

Rye smiled. “Literally a little birdy. Jarre told me.”

“Jarre?” I didn’t try to hide the surprise that flitted across my face. “I thought he’d hate me by now.” I could have sworn Rye almost chuckled.

“You’re very naïve, Zanna.”

I frowned again. “Why do you say that?”

He looked at me with an expression of amusement. “Just because you have a little fight with someone, doesn’t mean they’re going to hate you. I thought you, of all Pokemon, would realise that.”

“It didn’t cross my mind.” I murmured, still standing up from when Rye made me jump.

He glanced at me with brief concern. “Why don’t you sit down? Then you can tell me all about it.”

I obeyed his words and sat down on the ground with my back to the cavern wall. I’d been waiting where I’d seen Rye training. “Aren’t you going to sit?” I asked quizzically.

He let out a soft sigh. “If you insist.” He made a swift movement and sat down opposite me, crossing his legs. “Alright. Enlighten me.” My brow creased again. How could this possibly be enlightening? “Something wrong?” Rye had his head cocked to one side and was waiting patiently.

“No,” I started. “Alright. I’m at a loss with Jarre. I think…I know I want to make things right, but I don’t know how. I swear he’s avoiding me, and with the prospect of us being a team,”—here I sighed—,”I don’t know what to think anymore…” I trailed off to let Rye think for a moment.

“Hmmm.” That was the only sound to come out of the silence.

“’Hmmm?’” I questioned. “’Hmmm’ what? I swear you’re even more frustrating than Jarre at times.” I looked up to see Rye staring at me. It was an awkward stare. Not just an ‘I’m curious’ stare, but…something else.

“I thought the choice would have been obvious.” Rye replied, as though it really was obvious and I was just stupid.

“Obvious?! Would I have come to you if I’d thought it was obvious?!” I raised my paws and gestured wildly, obviously amusing Rye even more, who raised an eyebrow and continued staring.

“I’m sorry, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt,” he explained. As if that was supposed to make it clearer! “What I’m suggesting, is that you just go and talk to him.”

I sighed. “Yeah, like that would work. Did I forget to mention he’s avoiding me?” I didn’t bother to disguise the sarcasm in my voice.

Rye cracked a smile. “You might have. But I think if you just ask him to talk to you, like you’ve done to me, he’d be willing enough to oblige. After all, he hasn’t been ignoring you completely.”

“What do you mean?” I asked with astonishment. “I haven’t seen him around at all.”

“No,” Rye answered, “Of course you haven’t seen him.”

My eyes widened as I realised what Rye was getting at. “He was still keeping an eye on me…through disguise!”

Rye nodded, impressed that I’d gotten it at last. “And if you’d actually been concentrating in your training,” he continued, “You probably would have noticed him.”

I suddenly grimaced. “Oh, you heard about that?” But I was surprised when he shook his head.

“No. Codan allowed me to watch.”

“You WHAT?!” I jumped up in amazement. “Alright, apart from it being my training, how did you come without me noticing?!”

Rye grinned at me. “The same as how Jarre was able to follow you without you noticing.”

I shook my head. I was absolutely fuming! My training! That was supposed to be between me and Codan only.

“You’re mad,” Rye observed. “Didn’t you want me to come?”

“No, no it’s fine,” I sighed. “I just wish I’d known.”

He paused to consider this. “Well how about next time I tell you. Would that be better?”

“Much.” I replied. But I wasn’t concentrating on his words much anymore. I’d just realised how light I was suddenly feeling. As if a whole load had been lifted off of me from the tiny solution Rye had offered. I smiled as I turned to him. “Thanks.” He stood up and eyed me curiously. “What?”

He took a moment to answer. “You’re very easy to please.”

This surprised me. “What? Why?”

Rye smiled lightly again. “Don’t you see, Zanna? I haven’t done anything. All I did was help you realise something. Your conclusion, the airiness you’re feeling now, that was all because of you.”

Somehow, as he said it, I knew his words made sense. And he was right. “Well, I for one am glad to have had this talk.” I offered my paw. “Thanks again.”

He took it and squeezed it gently. “No worries. I was happy to help. After all, we’re friends, right?”

I nodded and grinned. “Absolutely.”

Rye let go of my paw and turned away. “See you next training practice, Zanna!”

I laughed. “Sure, but only if you come where I can see you!” I called after him. I barely caught his reply as he turned around the corner to return to the PRA.

“It’s a promise.”

I smiled and skipped off happily to find Jarre. But as I was passing the arena where I’d seen Rye battling, a voice drifted towards me. It was a rough, oddly familiar voice. I pressed myself to the side of the archway and peered around the corner. Balian stood at the center of the arena, apparently talking to…himself? Then my mind snapped. It was telepathy!

Though I’d never tried it, Jarre had once told me that all Pokemon were connected as one. So, naturally, all Pokemon could communicate with one another telepathically. He’d told me, though, that it was mostly for emergencies, and to bother someone unnecessarily like that was considered rude and was banned in some places. The PRA was one of them, with the exception of the Elites and sometimes, the trainers.

The other technique Jarre had told me was called a mind block. It was where you would block your mind from others, and they could do the same. This process was used in training. But because I didn’t know how to do it yet, Codan had to do it for me. It was mainly so that we didn’t cheat, but also to make sure no one got into trouble because of the ban. It was easy, sometimes, to let your mind slip. So, if Balian was using telepathy, who was he talking to?

I edged closer to the archway and felt stone dig uncomfortably into my back. I could now catch some of what he was saying. “No, not now…I don’t know when.” He paused to listen to the other voice as he paced the room. “I’ve been trying, but I don’t know how to get her on her own…I know. That Pikachu is surrounded by goodwill. Everyone seems to want to help her.” The steel penguin paused again and raised a fin to the back wall, thinking hard about something.

“Alright, fine! You’ll hear from me soon. Don’t mention anything to Raze and Scythe, I don’t want them here,” His face furrowed in thought. “What do you mean they’re coming already?! We had a deal! No, I don’t know and I haven’t heard anything.” Balian sighed and rubbed his forehead slowly. Obviously, something was stressing him out. “Fine, but if I have to look for them, I want a promotion…ALRIGHT!”

The telepathy must have ended after Balian’s shout, because he started to walk towards me. I hastily edged along the archway and when I reached the end, bolted down the hall on all fours, racing to find someone; anyone. I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard! Balian was after me! I had to warn someone; I thought that I’d be safe here. I don’t know why, but I suddenly had a sense of déjà vu. Surely, that couldn’t be good. As I rounded the next corner, I hit something and was sent sprawling across the floor. I hit my head hard on the ground and groaned.

“Zanna?”

I got up weakly. I’d know that voice anywhere. “Jarre…” I murmured.

He took one look at my face and frowned, concern flitting across his features. “Zanna, what on earth-”

But I didn’t let him finish. My ears picked up nearby footsteps, and I knew who they belonged to. “Quick!” I ordered, grabbing one of Jarre’s wings and pulling him along with me. “In here.” I shoved him maybe a little too harshly into an alcove further down the hall. Once I’d made sure we were both sufficiently far enough back, Jarre rounded on me.

“Zanna! Tell me what is going on this instant!”

“Shhh!” I pressed a paw over his beak and harder still when he protested. As the footsteps came closer, Jarre stopped squabbling enough so that it was safe to remove my paw. I held my breath as Balian walked past us and pressed myself as close to the stone wall as possible. As soon as he was out of sight, Jarre started up again.

“Tell me what’s wrong! You look so…scared.” I had no idea what my face looked like, but if the pounding in my chest was anything to go by, it couldn’t be good.

I sighed and slid down the wall to the ground, where I sat cautiously. “I’m so sorry, Jarre. Your past…it wasn’t totally your fault, I see that now.” I stopped to glance up at him and was once again surprised to see him smiling.

“Finally come to your senses, have you?”

I grinned back. “Something like that. I had help though.”

“Oh?” he raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask.

“What I’m trying to say, is that I’m sorry. What matters is who you are now. Not that I think I’ll ever get over you being a murderer.” Jarre scowled and scraped a talon across the floor. “But that’s not what I wanted to say,” I quickly amended, “It’s more serious and…harrowing?” I was trying to find the right word.

“Well?” Jarre said impatiently. “I’m not getting any younger.”

The irritated look on his face made me laugh. “Okay,” I began, licking the sides of my mouth with my tongue. “What if I told you…that I was being hunted?”
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Team StormRiders is BACK. Read it here!
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Last edited by Gem N Ems; 07-03-2008 at 02:01 AM.
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