Ok, finally I'm ready to post this chapter. It doesn't have a picture, so here's two completely unrelated pictures I drew a few days ago:
Random Solus without his collar:
This chapter probably isn't so great, but I tried. ^-^;; It was VERY difficult to write... The next one I hope will be better, since I've been waiting to write the next one since before I wrote chapter 20! xD Also, thanks to everyone who supported/helped me with this chapter, especially Azurai and Grassy!
The Path of Destiny
Chapter 24-Battle at the Rocket’s Base
Justin backed away, terror marked on his face as he watched the scyther leap forward. With a cry of shock he ducked as the outstretched blade moved toward him, coming dangerously close to impaling him. Justin knew he had only managed to dodge fast enough because the scyther was slowed down by its injuries. As Justin had ducked, the pokémon’s blade had become partially embedded in the wall of the building he’d been standing against, giving him the time to scramble to his feet and run.
Yanking her arm free, Thunder watched Justin through narrowed eyes before giving chase, ignoring any and all pain from her wounds.
Justin bolted out of the alleyway and back towards the ruined pokémon center, where he was sure Katie had gone to ask for help from the nurses who were probably still there. Not for the first time, he wished he had a pokémon-any pokémon
, with him. Fear coursed through him as he heard the scyther run up behind him, and though he tried to dodge, he felt one of its razor-sharp blades slice across his back. The cut wasn't deep enough to cause any real serious damage, but it felt as painful as if he had been lashed by a whip.
Justin cried out, collapsing on his hands and knees, feeling blood trickling down his back and wondering why someone hadn’t come to help him. At about that time, the scyther’s other blade struck him, creating a long cut very similar to the first and knocking him over on his side. Panicked, Justin tried to stand up and run away, all the while calling for help as the scyther lifted its blade above him.
To his surprise, his cry was answered almost immediately. He heard a man shout something, and the scyther scream and back away. Looking up, he saw a manectric dart between him and the scyther, sparks flying from its wiry fur. Glaring at the electric pokémon, the scyther looked ready to fight, but as the manectric’s trainer came into view and got ready to release another pokémon, it turned and limped off, vanishing into the dark alley again.
“Manectric,” the trainer told his pokémon, “Make sure that scyther doesn’t attack anyone else.” The electric pokémon nodded in reply and darted after the scyther.
Meanwhile, Justin had gotten to his feet, and turned to the man whose pokémon had saved him. “Th-thank you…” he mumbled shakily.
scyther, was it?” the trainer asked, giving Justin a strange look.
“No!” Justin replied shakily, “It was just lying in the streets…until it woke up and attacked me!”
The trainer looked slightly confused. “You didn't provoke it in any way, did you?”
“No…” Justin whispered, shaking his head. The man continued to look at him oddly, and without another word, Justin turned and ran, hoping to find Katie. The trainer shouted something after him, but he ignored it.
Trying to forget the wounds in his back, Justin kept running, as if afraid the trainer had actually seen him harm the scyther.
He just wanted to get as far away from there as possible…
Thunder was relieved when she at last made it away from the city and her claws finally touched soil. She had just undergone a frantic dash through the city, and had just managed to get away from that trained manectric. Shakily she walked forward, feeling worn out after running and in pain from her wounds. Blood was steadily dripping from several of them, but she paid it no notice; being free was all that mattered.
Picking up her pace, she broke into a run again, heading further away from humans and their city. She was once again free, and now she was on her own. No longer would she be able to travel with the group, and she figured that was for the best; relying on others for help or safety was never
a good idea…
After a long while of traveling through the darkness of the night, Thunder stopped to rest in a large grassy field, unsure of which direction she would travel next. She knew she could not head back to where they had found-and disturbed, the combee hive, and putrid, blue tinged smoke rising in the distance in another direction was proof that some fire had started, convincing her not to head that way either.
Lying down, she decided to rest as she forced thoughts of pain from her mind, focusing on more important tasks. If she was to survive, she would have to learn how to hunt on her own.
For a moment, she felt a pang of regret as she thought of the other pokémon she had traveled with, who had wanted to help her, but she vigorously shook the thoughts from her mind. She could not accept help from them. She had never even needed help. There had been no point in traveling with them anymore. She was far better off on her own, and she always
Justin had reached Katie before she and the nurse had gotten to the area where they had found the injured scyther. After the wounds the scyther gave him had been treated, the two watched in silence as the police, as well as many skilled trainers who had volunteered to help, prepared to seek out the thieves who had killed and stolen so many pokémon.
They had gone back to the area near the Pokémon Center, where most of the nurses were still trying to help any surviving pokémon from the outside enclosures who had been injured from the blast.
It wasn’t long before the trainers and police had all assembled in front of the Pokémon Center, and wasting no time they left quickly, either in cars or riding on the backs of pokémon.
After they had left, Katie smiled and turned to Justin. “I’m going to follow them,” she stated firmly, walking in the direction they had gone as she had reached for one of her pokéballs.
“What?” Justin replied, “I thought you’d have to be a skilled trainer to-”
“Nobody’s going to stop me,” Katie replied, “They’ll be far too busy trying to catch those people. They won’t care that I’m following.”
Justin watched as Katie walked out of sight of anyone by the Pokémon Center, and sent out her pidgeot. The large brown and tan eagle-like pokémon immediately soared into the air, circling some of the buildings before coming to land beside his trainer.
Climbing onto the bird pokémon’s back, Katie turned toward Justin. “Are you coming?” she asked.
“But…but I don’t have any pokémon!” Justin stammered angrily, “And in case you haven’t noticed…I’ve just been attacked by that “poor hurt, innocent” scyther!”
“If you want to stay behind you can,” Katie replied, sounding disappointed, “But if you come, you can use one of my
For a moment, Justin hesitated, but to Katie’s surprise, he mumbled, “Fine…” And hesitantly climbed onto Pidgeot’s back behind Katie.
“Hold on!” Katie warned as Pidgeot spread his wings and took off, soaring into the air and high above the city at frightening speeds.
Shocked, Justin gripped Katie’s waist tighter, averting his eyes from the sight of the streets now far below him. ‘What was I thinking…’
he thought to himself as he closed his eyes tightly, wondering if being able to battle with a pokémon again would be worth all this, and wondering if either of them really knew what they could be getting into.
Wildflame, Snowcrystal, and Spark had only rested a short while before moving on, leaving the blazing forest behind them. The smoke hadn’t traveled far, and the three traveled at a leisurely pace through a wide grassy field, knowing that they were now well away from the danger.
Her mind still in turmoil about why Blazefang and the Forbidden Attack, Wildflame quietly followed the playful growlithe and jolteon. ‘Why did he use that attack?’
she thought, ‘I thought he’d know better than that after what I told him about Shadowflare…is he really that power-hungry?’
Every once in a while, Snowcrystal, who led the way with Spark, would spot a small prey pokémon up ahead and run toward it, hoping to catch it, though not having any success. While stalking a pidgey, the growlithe heard a cry of pain which sent the small pokémon flying off. Turning to find the source of the cry, she noticed that Spark had collapsed on the grass a little ways behind her.
Painfully, Spark stood up. “Ow…my leg…” he moaned, “Do you think we could rest for a little while?”
Giving Spark a concerned look, Snowcrystal turned her questioning gaze toward Wildflame. The houndoom jerked out of her thoughts as she realized that Snowcrystal had asked her a question, and replied, “Okay,” regardless of the fact that she had hardly heard the question.
“Wildflame…” Snowcrystal asked, noticing the houndoom’s strange behavior, “Are you all right?”
“Huh? Oh…yeah, I’m fine,” Wildflame replied quickly, “I was just…thinking.”
Suddenly Snowcrystal’s ears pricked up. She sniffed the air curiously and stood up warily.
The growlithe padded through the grass as she scanned the grassy area ahead of her. Wildflame noticed the odd behavior and padded over to her.
“What is it?” the houndoom asked.
“It’s this scent…” Snowcrystal whispered, “It smells really familiar, though still sort of different…”
Wildflame lifted her head and sniffed the air, soon catching the scent of a pokémon on the breeze. The more experienced pokémon’s eyes widened. “Rosie…” she whispered.
“Rosie?” Snowcrystal repeated, perplexed, “Are you sure? How can you tell?”
“Follow me,” Wildflame said in answer and bounded ahead with Snowcrystal and Spark following.
Rosie had been limping through the grassy field solemnly, not even stopping to enjoy the fresh scent of the many flowers dotting the field. The flowers which she normally loved now only seemed to get in her way. Her head hung low and her nine tails dragged behind her as she stumbled along.
“Rosie!” a distant voice shouted, causing the ninetales to lift her head in surprise.
Leaning back on her hind legs and trying to peer around, she noticed that three distant figures were running towards her.
At first, she thought of running away, but as the shapes got closer, she could see them a bit more clearly, and Snowcrystal’s white pelt stood out clearly against the flowery background.
Relief and excitement filled her mind as she recognized them, and she ran toward them on three legs, shouting, “Snowcrystal, Wildflame, Spark! It’s me!”
Hearing that shout, Snowcrystal, Spark, and Wildflame increased their pace, now definitely knowing that the scent they had found actually was their lost friend. The four pokémon met in the center of the field, all shouting joyfully to one another with relief and forgetting their exhaustion.
“Rosie!” Snowcrystal cried, “You evolved! You’re a ninetales now! And…and what happened to your leg?” the growlithe asked, looking startled as she noticed the injury.
“It’s broken,” Rosie replied, her gaze darkening, “It happened while I was escaping…”
A pause ran over them; all four knew that the past few days had been harsh, ever since Blazefang’s pack had attacked them. After they had sat down and Rosie had related her story to them, from the capture, to the battles and how Nightcloud the mightyena had helped her, she asked the others a few questions herself.
“Where are Thunder and Stormblade? Are they all right? And…and what happened to your leg, Spark?”
Rosie soon found her answers in the form of her friends’ stories. After each had explained what they needed to, another stunned silence fell over the group as they each contemplated the situation, though none voiced their thoughts.
Snowcrystal thought back to the two scyther. Were they all right? What was happening to them now?
Snowcrystal knew that worrying would only cause more problems now, so she forced the thoughts from her mind.
‘When we find Articuno’
, she reassured herself, ‘He could find them…If any of them could rescue them…Articuno could…’
For a while they all rested, and Rosie made sure to keep her leg as still as possible, hoping it would heal well. Wildflame and Spark managed to hunt, and for once in what seemed like a long time, despite the pain and turmoil they had undergone and the worry about their friends, the four pokémon could have a moment of peace.
The police and trainers who had been tracking down the pokémon thieves were lucky. Thanks to the meowth’s tracking collar, they had found the location of the pokémon and the thieves who had taken them. Now, they stood in view of a massive building, partially hidden beside towering columns of dusty colored stone forming a ridge around the building on all sides but one. Several more of these tall stone cliffs were all over the area, and even in the afternoon sun, the place still seemed eerie.
The location had not been as far from Stonedust as many of the trainers had thought; it hadn’t taken nearly as long to reach it as they had suspected and many of the trainers recognized the towering stone formations from pictures. It was an area that was in some places inhabited by hostile wild pokémon, and the steep rocks themselves posed a threat to travelers. It was said to be a very dangerous place. If it hadn’t been for the meowth’s tracking collar, no one would have thought to look there-it seemed far too hostile a place to bring stolen pokémon to train.
“Who do you think built this place?” one of the trainers asked.
“Not sure,” replied a police officer, “But if we’re going to find the pokémon, we have to find a way inside quickly. Follow me.”
Without another word, the trainers and their pokémon headed along the base of the towering rock cliffs and closer to the building.
Redclaw was not sure how longer he could take it. One by one the pokémon had been brought up to the machine and tested. Some survived the electric shock and were returned to their pokéballs or put back in cages; others fell still and never got up. Horrified, Redclaw had tried not to watch, though even when he looked away their screams still reached his ears.
And it would be his
turn soon. Despite trying to fight it, Redclaw was afraid. If the test had been something other than an electric shock, he knew he wouldn’t be so terrified. But the memory of the collar Master had given him was far too strong, and Redclaw was terrified.
Ardunia glanced toward him, sharing his fear. Most of the pokémon the new recruit had brought had not survived, and several others who were injured or sick had perished as well. How Stormblade lived through it, she would never know.
A sound alerted both Redclaw and Ardunia as the bayleef in the cage on the other side of Redclaw’s was returned to its pokéball and brought over to the machine. Fearfully, Redclaw rubbed his head against the bars of his cage, in a hopeless and futile attempt to get his muzzle off.
However, just as the bayleef was released and shackled to the machine, all activity stopped as another Team Rocket trainer ran into the room, looking startled. “Intruders!” he shouted, “And they brought the police!”
“What?” replied the trainer who owned Solus in an outraged tone, “How did they-”
He didn’t get to finish, for at that moment, a large section of the far wall was blown apart, sending debris flying in all directions. Through the new opening in the wall, several trainers and police officers stood, as well as several pokémon. At the front of the group was a trainer standing next to a tyranitar, who had obviously used hyper beam.
Enraged, Solus’s trainer lifted his gun, but as he fired, a large translucent barrier from a trainer’s psychic pokémon materialized in front of the humans and their pokémon, blocking the bullet. Lowering the gun, he glanced toward Solus. “Espeon, attack!” he shouted, pointing toward the trainers.
(Continued in next post...)