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Old 08-27-2008, 10:53 AM
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Gem N Ems Offline
Kage no Hikari.
 
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Default Re: Pokemon: Team StormRiders

Finally! The long awaited chapter 19!

Chapter 19: The Light Within


Fear instantly gripped at my chest, threatening to make my heart explode. The ruby eye narrowed its gaze and stared at me intently. From that one moment of contact, I knew it wouldn’t hurt me. Its eyes shone with an odd kind of fierce determination. It took me a minute to realise that I was still holding onto Rye. Far harder than necessary. I released my grip and peered down at him.

His breathing was shallow and uneven, but I suppose it could be worse. I still found it miraculous how he’d protected me like that. It was funny, but he gave off the impression that he didn’t need or want friends. Why was I an exception? But my thoughts didn’t linger on him for long; a slight rumble in the air caused me to turn back to the battlefield.

With the dust now clearing, I could faintly see the outline of a huge figure. I was certain that the body belonged to the same figure as the one that had the red eye. Wait a minute…I doubled back to the words that had come out of its mouth. “Get away from the light!” It had then fixed me with its piercing gaze that had turned me to stone. But there was something odd in what it had said. Light…Ah! That was it! It reminded me of that time when my body had changed. I remembered – wincing slightly – when I was captured. I had turned white and glowing. Was I this light that it spoke of?

A groaning sound interrupted my reverie. I turned to my left to see Rye’s mouth moving, though his eyes were tight shut. “Scythe…dark…fatal…experiment…” His words trailed off, but didn’t erase the chilling feeling that made my fur stand on end. I looked at him warily, studying his face for another sign of speaking, but none came. I bit my lip edgily. What did I expect? That he’d make sense in his sleep? The thought made me snort, if only briefly.

Rye’s uneven breathing had returned in double force, now making me anxious. Why did he have to be so stupid?! I thought suddenly. Why me?! But my head didn’t have time to argue with itself. A slight whooshing sounded overhead and I looked up.

A dark figure bounded over the edge of the rock, claws raised lethally. Scythe! Without a second thought to my own safety, I positioned myself in front of Rye and glared, white hot electricity erupting from my cheeks. But the Absol never made contact. In the instant before I would have been struck, Codan dashed in front of me. His paws raised towards Scythe, he dodged her attack and sent a punch right to her face. The Absol reeled back, but wasn’t kept at bay for long. She bounded back up, hissing, and lunged at the Dragonite again.

“Run!” Codan shouted as he defended himself against the black creature. “Take Rye and run!”

Too weak to argue, I cast him a thankful glance and turned back to Rye. But I’d never be able to carry him! I slumped down beside the Elekid and buried my face in my paws. Every sound was then intensified, and I realised just how many Pokemon were in the room. Judging by the unfamiliar footsteps, they didn’t belong to the PRA. I removed a paw long enough to glance back at Rye. “It’s all my fault,” I murmured, distraught. “I was too careless. I was stupid!” I hated myself right then. Hated myself because I’d dragged everyone else into this, and they would end up being badly hurt. I’d never forgive myself if anyone died.

“Hey now…” A light wing fell on my shoulder and I turned to find Jarre smiling at me. “Nothing’s your fault, Zanna,” he glanced brusquely at Rye, and though he scowled, I could see genuine concern on his face. “Least of all that. It was his own folly when he saved you. He knew what he was getting into.”

I shook my head slowly as I stood up. “No, he didn’t. He would never have risked his life for me if he knew.”

Jarre looked away from Rye and fixed me with his gentle blue eyes. “How do you know?” I was about to reply, but he turned away and began to walk back towards the center of the battlefield. It was only then that I noticed Jarre had brought several Pokemon back with him.

There was a Leafeon, a Glaceon and a small Pidgey that looked frightened beyond compare. The two dogs seemed to be glaring at me. Why? What had I done? They walked up to me and nodded as they passed. “Im Kraal, and this is Marilai,” the Leafeon said stiffly.

I released a small smile. “I’m Zanna.”

“We know who you are,” the Glaceon, Marilai, cut in sharply. She raised her tail in some kind of defiance as she neared Rye. “Shall we take him back?” she whispered to Kraal.

The Leafeon frowned and then shook his head. “He’s too injured, but maybe we can at least take him to the outskirts. That should be far enough for us to make contact.”

It took me a moment to process this. “Wait, so you’re going to take him away?!” My voice was still weak, but it was enough to draw their attention.

“That’s the plan,” Kraal muttered sourly. “Now move aside, Pikachu, we can take it from here.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “No, you can’t! I have to protect him, I have to-”

You don’t have to do anything!” Marilai spat, teeth glistening ferociously. “You almost killed him! You have no right to do anything, you rat!” A fierce growl rose from her throat as she glared at me with hatred.

“I…did…NOT!” I almost shrieked. A sudden feeling of anguish and loathing boiled up within me. In the same moment that I clenched my paws, a steady white glow began to spread down my body. My eyes narrowed slightly and my fur stiffened. Within seconds, I could tell I was white again; the same pure essence that had enveloped me when I was captive. I bared my teeth and snarled at the two dogs as I stepped protectively back in front of Rye.

The Leafeon snorted. “What is this? Some kind of petty trick?”

“Try me, dog!” I spat. Kraal had snapped. The dog lunged at me then, with absolutely no motive but to slay me where I stood. But I had a motive. I had someone to protect. Though the Leafeon was larger than me, only a calm feeling radiated throughout my body. As soon as he came close enough, I pulled back a paw and brought it forward swiftly. A crackling explosion sounded as my paw made contact, sending Kraal flying several feet across the room.

“Kraal!” Marilai gasped. She glared at me in fear before bolting to his side.

I sneered at them, electricity still surrounding my fur. I turned to Rye and immediately bent down to pick him up. It was strange how light he felt within my paws, yet I knew he should be heavier. This confused me for a moment. What was happening to me? Why was I like this? But even though I was confused, I still felt calm. This was the assurance I needed; to be sure that everything would be alright. Every fight that was around me felt oblivious. All that mattered now was my own safety, and Rye’s.

“Zanna!” I blinked and turned towards the source of the sound. A small Torchic stood a few feet away. Funny that I couldn’t remember if it had a name or not. I glared at the creature with hatred. What was that thing doing here? And why was it calling my name? The Torchic took in my stare and frowned. “Zanna, are you alright? What’s happened to you?” A low growl formed in my throat as he came closer. He hesitated just a foot away. “Zanna?” it murmured in fear.

Yes, I thought, revelling in the fact that I’d caused fear within this insignificant being. I stole another glance at it and made to walk past, but it blocked me. I curled my lips back in a snarl. “Move aside, fiend!”

The Torchic shook its head rapidly. “What are you saying? I don’t-”

“NO! The light is dangerous! It doesn’t remember you. Get away!”

I started in surprise at the deep rumble that filled the room. Sourly, I followed the Torchic’s gaze up towards the center of the field. A Groudon…I thought in fear. Yes, I now felt fear, for I knew this thing could crush me in a second. Could it?

“Get away!” it repeated to the Torchic. The small firebird was rather stunned. When it glanced at me again, I growled and held Rye closer.

“Get away? Why?” the bird shouted up hoarsely.

The massive dinosaur stared at me placidly. “In that form, your friend doesn’t remember anything. She can’t distinguish friend from foe. All she cares about is whatever she is defending. That is the job of a Light Pokemon.”

I turned towards the Torchic in surprise. Friend? Why would it be my friend? I scowled in utter disdain.

“Zanna?” the Torchic called again. I merely hissed and ignored it. This thing was beginning to be a pest. “Do you know who I am?” it continued.

I didn’t even bother to look at it. “I don’t know who you are,” I replied sourly, “And I don’t care. Bit if you don’t move, I will hurt you.” I heard a shuffling from behind me and assumed the Torchic had moved. I smiled slightly and turned around.

It was so fast; I didn’t know what was happening. Something cold slammed into me and knocked the wind from my body. Rye flew out of my arms and landed only a metre away. But before I could get to him, a steel wing whipped up around my throat and I froze. The haze was clearing slightly. I remembered the face staring back at mine with loathing. And the dreaded, cold eyes; blue shards of death. Balian.

The Empoleon held me by the throat. The Torchic was pinned on the ground by a Weavile. It spluttered and lashed out, but it might have been trying to push against a brick wall for all the good it was doing. Rye was still unconscious; nobody bothered to guard him. Just behind the Empoleon, a Dragonite was fighting an Absol. Beside them were a Leafeon and a Glaceon, the latter of which was defending the first from a savage Taillow. Apart from these few Pokemon, and a cowardly Pidgey which perched upon a large boulder, the entire room was now empty. But where had Groudon gone?

I tried to twist my head to see, but Balian was holding me tight. It sneered as it raised a wing to pat me. I snarled and lashed out at it, white electricity surrounding my body again. “Oh, feisty today, aren’t we, Zanna?”

I growled at the smiling face with pure hatred. “What do you want, penguin?” I spat at it and deftly dodged an incoming wing, though I strained a few muscles in the process. Balian clenched his other wing tighter around me, and I struggled to breathe.

“I want what Arc failed to get. I want your soul. But looking at you now…” He trailed off and looked me up and down. “I think the Master might like you better alive.” Balian’s beak curled up maliciously.

I snarled again, but the Dragonite spoke before I could. He held the Absol under his feet and pressed harder every time she snapped at him. “Balian, why? What has Deoxys offered you that we don’t have?” The steel penguin turned and abruptly dropped me on the ground. I scrambled away frantically, gasping for air. I reached Rye in only a second and stood over him, glaring at the Weavile which had the Torchic pinned. The Dragonite began to walk towards Balian.

A mistake, I thought, now the Absol can get you. But the penguin waved a wing when the creature tried to attack. The Absol backed off sourly, instead turning to help out the Taillow. I ignored the two dogs and turned back to Balian. The Empoleon snorted as the Dragonite stopped in front of him, glaring.

“Deoxys has promised me everything,” Balian hissed. “How could I refuse?” I saw the Dragonite wince at the mention of Deoxys’ name. It did not go unnoticed by the Empoleon, either. “Ah, I see. You still don’t like the sound of his name. I bet Reyna would have loved to see this.” The Dragonite let out an anguished roar and shot an energy ball from his mouth. Balian merely caught it and smothered the ball until it was gone. “You’re weak, Codan,” he sneered.

The Dragonite named Codan was now shaking. His face was scrunched in hatred, and if looks could kill, this certainly would have done the job. “Don’t you EVER mention Reyna!” he snarled.

More of the haze lifted from me that moment, and I could remember. That was Codan, the Dragonite who had his other half torn away from him by Deoxys. I let out a small growl as I stared at Balian. How could he taunt Codan so? They were part of a team! The Dragonite was now a complete wreck. He fell to the ground and I pitied him. How much must it hurt? Forever, I thought in sorrow. Something like that would never heal.

“Zanna…” A gentle cry came from my left.

I turned my head slightly to see the Torchic again. It was pinned hard to the gravel. I could see its consciousness fading. Hmmph, why should I care? But I felt as if I should care. I blinked my eyes and narrowed them in confusion. Was it possible that Rye wasn’t the only one I needed to protect? “Jarre…” I murmured slowly. The Torchic, of course, who was my best friend.

The bird smiled feebly beneath the Weavile’s claws. “I knew you would never forget me.” Hatred settled on me. I glanced at Rye’s face for a split second. He would be okay without me for a minute.

The Weavile who held Jarre was no longer smiling when I shredded a paw through its stomach. The creature uttered a startled cry before falling to the ground in its own blood. I helped Jarre up and hastily wiped a bloody paw against my white fur. It saddened me to see it tainted, but then, there were red splotches all over me anyway. It looked the worst near my stomach, where the fur was all matted and beginning to scab. Thankfully, Jarre took my mind away from it.

“Thanks for saving me,” he huffed. “I was about to be smooshed into the ground.”

I laughed for a minute. “You know I wouldn’t ever let someone hurt you.”

Jarre grinned and then his smile faded as he spotted Rye. “He’s sure been through a lot. Will he be okay?”

I closed my eyes briefly in pain. “He did more than he needed to, I really hope so. He stopped me from being a soulless monster. Now I don’t know if he’ll even make it out of here alive.” I ran back to the Elekid and put a paw gently against his chest. “It’s slowing…” I murmured.

Jarre walked over and stared at me gently. “Do you know that you were going to hurt me before if I didn’t let you leave?”

I frowned and blinked. “I…I don’t remember saying anything like that.”

The Torchic stared at me thoughtfully and then turned back to look at Rye. “Hmm,” was all he said. Then he turned his head abruptly to the right. “Uh…do you think we should help them?”

I turned to see who he meant. “The Leafeon and Glaceon?”

“Kraal and Marilai,” Jarre corrected. “And little Quoll up there.” He gestured towards the Pidgey. I’d never seen these Pokemon before.

“Who are they?” I asked Jarre curiously. He watched the two dogs, the Absol and the Taillow for a moment longer before replying.

“Kraal and Marilai er…work with Rye,” he nodded towards the Elekid. “As far as I know about Quoll, Raze and Scythe got her. Kraal and Marilai saved her and then they came back here. Rye was with them in the hospital wing.”

“Rye was there?” I stared at the two dogs in confusion. “And if they work with him, what kind of job does he have? Or do you mean rescue partners, like us?” I could instantly tell that Jarre was avoiding my gaze. He turned away and started towards them.

“I’ll go help. You can stay here with him.” He scowled as he mentioned Rye, but thought nothing of it and took off towards the dogs.

I could remember everything so clearly now. What Groudon had said…I was a Light Pokemon and this was my light form. When I was in it…I shuddered abruptly. I would not be able to distinguish friend or foe, only that which I defended. Then…I turned to stare at Rye, frowning. Then if I was protecting Rye, does that mean I would have killed anyone who got in my way? Jarre was right, I thought. I’m dangerous in this form. I peered down at my white fur in disgust, and then blinked. Wait…Groudon said that I wouldn’t remember anything in this form…so why is it that I can? A loud snap prevented me from pondering it further. I tore my head to where Jarre had gone. In his long, serrated jaw, Kraal held a Taillow. Raze, I remembered.

“Arrgh!” The bird screamed and went limp almost at once. Kraal growled and shook his head in frenzy, tossing the bird to the rubble. The Absol started to twitch and froze where she stood. The two dogs and Jarre did the same, except they just froze.

“Oh no…” I heard Marilai whimper. “Not again. She’s turning!”

Turning? I stared in utter amazement as Scythe started to turn pure black. Like when I was turning white, Scythe’s darkness spread from her head to her paws. Her eyes were now completely black and her fur stood up sharper while her claws grew. I looked at her in terror. Could this also be what I look like? “Ah!” I gasped. Something Rye had said earlier suddenly hit me. As I re-arranged the words in my head, a chilling feeling spread over me. “Dark Scythe, fatal experiment.”

My stomach lurched. Scythe, unlike me, was an experiment. She was only dark out of someone’s torture. But how did I come to be a Light Pokemon? Was it from before I met Jarre? I screwed my face up in frustration. Arrgh! Why couldn’t I remember my past?! I knew I had been, or once was a human. What was I like back then? How did I get here? What was happening?! The whole room whirled around me in a blur. “I don’t even know who I am…” I whimpered. A small stutter came from below me. Rye!

I fell to my knees at once and pressed a paw to his chest again. Still feeble. So uneven…”What have I done?” I murmured. “Why am I the source of this?” I blinked rapidly to hold back the tears now forming within my eyes. Everyone was being hurt because of me.

“Zanna…”

“Ah!” I gasped again. Rye had spoken! I peered down at him anxiously. His eyes were still closed…how did he know it was me?

“You’re cold…” he murmured in a barely audible whisper.

I cocked my head to the side. “Huh? Oh!” I quickly removed my paw from his chest. I didn’t realise I was cold. I frowned and cradled it. A sharp breath came from the Elekid and my stomach lurched again.

“Are you…alright?” he asked me. I looked at him in pity. He was too weak to even wince. The best he could do was talk flatly. I saw that he was also rather tense. I put a paw on his arm hesitantly and he shivered, though relaxed a bit.

“I’m okay, I think. I don’t really know how to explain this, but-”

“You’re Light Zanna,” he whispered slowly. “I can feel your aura…”

I blinked. So that’s how he knew it was me. “Yes,” I murmured. “I…” I looked up and saw his face wince slightly.

“You’re in pain.” I stared back in surprise. How was it that he knew me so well? He couldn’t even see me. “The change in your aura,” he said, “It’s hollow. What’s wrong?”

I snorted gently. “Do you really need to ask?” I waited, but he didn’t reply. Sighing, I said, “When I was protecting you before, I lost my sanity, my common sense, or whatever,” My paw quivered slightly but I continued. “I know…I would have hurt Jarre just to get you out of here alive…” I trailed off and looked away. How would I ever be able to do that? My paws shook of their own accord now. I removed the one that was resting on Rye’s arm.


Continued in next post...
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