Re: Pokemon: Team StormRiders
The temple looked even brighter at night, as Illumise and Volbeat clouded the sky, weaving throughout the mass of vines. The lake shimmered as Buizel frolicked and Horsea swam endlessly. Truly, this was a temple full of wonders.
“It’s magnificent,” Rye murmured in awe. “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.”
I tilted my head sideways to survey the temple. It reminded me of a fireworks display only on standstill. “Magnificent.” I agreed. My eyes drifted towards the stone bridge and my stomach lurched. “That’s where I…almost fell,” I said shakily. “Only Jarre was there to hold me back.”
Watching me with keen speculation, Rye strode over to the bridge and waited for my approach. “Here, I’ll be right behind you,” he said reassuringly.
I took a tentative step. No cracks broke off. Sighing deeply, I moved my other foot and repeated the process. Without even realising it, I’d soon crossed half the bridge before I looked down and stumbled. “Wah!”
Rye inched forwards and steadied me. “Are you afraid of heights?”
“No,” I muttered. “It’s just this bridge gives me the creeps. I also think it hates me.” I shook myself roughly. “It’s alright, I’m fine.” I ignored the Elekid’s look of scepticism as I cautiously crossed the last half. I swear I could have danced when my feet touched solid ground.
“I wouldn’t get too cocky,” Rye interrupted. “We still have to get back.”
Shoot! I forgot about that. My grin faded as Rye walked past, unperturbed by my dismay. Hurrying to catch up, I noticed that the interior of the temple was somewhat darker than the outside. We entered in complete silence, Rye following my lead. “It’s too dark!” I hissed. “Where are the lights in this place?” I glanced at Rye who had his head tilted towards the ceiling.
“There’s your answer.”
Looking upwards, I saw a small clear orb, obviously an old mechanism for a light switch. Rye sent out a jolt of electricity into the orb, lighting it with ease as it revealed the entrance room in all its glory.
“Wow…” I heard him mutter.
I smiled, thinking Altair would be pleased to hear that. At the exact moment I initiated the thought, a whir of cool air passed around me. “Huh?” I turned around in a dazed circle.
“Zanna?” Rye asked, confused.
“I think…I think that was Altair,” I said excitedly. “I’m sure he wants us to follow him!” The Elekid gave a questioning glance but raced after me towards the end of the entrance hall.
Altair led me through a narrower path than the rest. I soon realised that it opened up to reconnect on the outside. A large balcony circled the temple and another stone bridge paved the way to a cave. This time I crossed the bridge without hesitation; Altair had ensured me this one was safe.
Once inside the cave, his spirit disappeared and I was alone again. The Elekid joined me a moment later, staring in awe at the walls. I must have had a similar expression on my face, but how could I not? The walls glittered with pure diamond crystals and stone tablets alike. My eyes moved to the back of the cave where a small marble altar stood. Placed above the altar in a marble bowl was an orb about the size of an apple. It swirled in the majestic colours of silver and gold, tainted only by a stroke of black. Two smaller orbs sat at its sides. These were both a swirling purple.
“Rye, look…” When the Elekid made no reply, I turned around. I found him staring at the first stone tablet that glittered upon the wall.
“It’s a tale of Altair’s events,” he whispered. “Listen. ‘We were vastly outnumbered. Darkrai’s army was fully prepared for war; a horror which we had not envisioned. I knew then that it was my job alone to stop him, yet an unforseen event occurred. In all his malice and rage, Darkrai created a clone which he unleashed upon the world. I have little time to find it before it may be too late.’…”
We both stared in silence at the tablet which had now become rather illegible. “Move on to the next one!” I whispered hastily.
The Elekid took a brisk step to the right and continued. “‘Darkrai did not succumb. The tides of war were endless, and the light was fading. Already, two other Light Pokemon had fallen; my kin. I was now the last. All hope was lost and I was dimming, yet a voice called out to me. ‘Even in the darkest of times, light can always find a way to prevail.’ The lord himself, Arceus, had heard my prayers.’”
“So Arceus saved Altair?” I asked. “Or…”
“Wait,” Rye interrupted. “There’s a bit underneath that. ‘The clone was not as I’d expected. Because Darkrai was nothing but pure evil, his malice was the clone, the primary weapon. This weapon took the form of another Pokemon who could change at will. It was an alien to this world and inflicted nothing but devastation in its wake. Such was the terror of Deoxys…’”
I didn’t care whether I looked shocked, appalled, or both. Deoxys was Darkrai’s clone! His pure evil self! No wonder he doesn’t have a heart, I thought. A shiver raced through my body. “I-I’m fighting pure evil. I don’t think even a Light Pokemon can overcome that.” I looked up to see Rye shaking his head with vigour.
“‘Even in the darkest of times, light can always find a way to prevail.’ I believe that, Zanna. And I believe in you.” He smiled slightly and crossed his arms.
I just nodded. I can’t let everyone else down! I won’t let Rye down! I know he depends on me more than the others, we can do this together. “I can do it!” The diamond crystals resonated the strength in my voice and carried my determination. The glow they left made my fur look almost shiny, as was the same with Rye. A warm feeling buzzed around within me, then, and I didn’t know why. What was it?
My focus was abruptly broken as the crystals dimmed and a small tremor shook the ground. “Ah!” I tripped on a rock clumsily and closed my eyes, bracing for the fall, though it never came. Rye’s strong arms gripped me and held me just off the ground. I sighed. “Er…thanks. I’ve had more than my fair share of falls lately.” I suddenly found myself laughing and another sound, almost like a chime, joined in. I gasped and blinked. That was the second time Rye had laughed!
I looked up at the Elekid. He was chuckling softly with a grin spread across his face. Strange, but it made him look older and more kind than usual, almost mature, even. “You laughed!” I remarked.
“Hmm?” Rye stopped laughing and set me upright, peering at me with interest. “I guess I did.” His eyes remained focused on mine for a while, emerald green sparks glittering gently.
The next moment passed in a strange blur. Rye took a step towards me so that I felt his warm breath bathing me, before a light paw rested around my waist. The silky fur drew me in - further than I wanted to. It was almost dark in the cave now, so little could be seen but the shine of our fur. A sudden impulse drove me closer and I reached forward slightly as Rye tilted his head.
A loud rumble passed through the cave again and I fumbled, the earthquake sending us both to the gravelly floor. No longer dazed, I looked about frantically. “What’s going on?!” Rye had relocated to the cave entrance, back turned to me.
“I think…it’s an attack. Zanna! Stay close to me!” The Elekid stood protectively in front of me, sparks surging from his ears.
Though the attack was in the present, my mind was still shocked by what had almost happened. Rye was…he was going to kiss me…I realised. Even now, when-
“Zanna!” I barely dodged a falling rock in time before it crashed into the ground where I’d been standing a moment before. “What are you doing?” he hissed. “Keep sharp!”
“Sorry!” I muttered, crouching into a safe position behind the Elekid.
Rye shot off sparks towards the cave entrance. He could obviously sense something that I couldn’t. Another tremor shook the earth and more rocks tumbled down around us. Large wing beats sounded close to the entrance and grew louder, throwing both Rye and I to the ground.
“Duck for cover!” he roared over the wind.
I curled into a ball with Rye curled over me for extra protection. I gritted my teeth, keeping half an eye open to check for any danger. The wing beats grew louder until we were being pummelled into the earth by a gale! I curled tighter until the wind died down and a grating noise sounded on the rocks ahead of me. When Rye moved to the side, I saw a large, feathery creature peer down at me.
“Zanna?” it enquired. Huh? Why did it want me? Ignoring Rye’s protesting growl, I pushed him aside and made for the giant bird. At my approach, the Pidgeot bowed. “Well met, Zanna, Light Pokemon of Talzere. I am Windtalon, guardian of the Occa tribe. I have come in need of your aid and will provide you with services if you succeed.” Windtalon bowed again and turned her amber eyes towards Rye. “And he is…?”
“That’s–” I began, but Rye cut me off.
“Lord Rye of Wingardom. Well met, Windtalon. What can we help you with?”
I blinked, dazed again. Lord Rye? He was a…royal Pokemon?
Rye caught the look on my face and grimaced. “I’ll tell you later.” He then turned back to Windtalon and awaited her request.
“My mate, Silverwing, has gone missing. He was last seen heading to Likera where Deoxys attacked. I was informed he never reached the town…” Windtalon bowed her head, slumping her wings. “I need my mate…please, can you help?”
It took a moment for me to think things through before answering. “Er…of course, but I’m kind of tied up with fighting Deoxys right now…I have to go to the missionary to further my training.”
“The missionary?!” An octave rose in Rye’s voice as he glanced at me, eyes wide. “No! We can’t go there! It’s not safe!”
I snorted, raising an eyebrow. “Codan said it was the safest place to be. He wouldn’t lie.”
“No,” Rye persisted. “Please, Zanna! Listen. You can’t go there.”
A sharp cry from Windtalon alerted us again to her presence. “You won’t save him? Oh, Silverwing…”
Rye shook his head. “I promise you, as soon as we’re free of duties, I’ll send someone to look for him. Right now just isn’t the best time. You have my word, Windtalon of the Occa tribe.” He bowed politely and the Pidgeot returned it.
“May Arceus bless you, Lord Rye. Zanna of Talzere, I wish you well.” Without a moments delay, the Pidgeot beat her wings and cast off swiftly.
Rye and I were left standing in the half broken cave, almost dumbstruck, before I remembered something. “Lord Rye?” I accused.
The Elekid turned his back to me, edgier than before. “I-It’s not a formality I like using. I’m no different from before.”
Frowning, I turned towards the orbs, then back to Rye. “Wait…what about–”
“Please, Zanna. Can we just go?” the Elekid cut me off bluntly.
That’s it. I was getting angry now. “Listen! You can’t just ignore the fact that–”
“Zanna!” he snapped, whirling around to face me. “I can’t! It was a mistake coming here. Grab the orbs and let’s leave.”
The edge of steel in his voice alerted me to his boundaries. I didn’t want to cross them. Grabbing the two smaller orbs and the big one, I walked silently back to Rye. “You can’t hide forever,” I muttered. “You’re braver than you give yourself credit for.” I didn’t wait for a reply, just jumped down onto the bridge and bolted across it, letting the wind caress me. Only the soft patter of footsteps made me notice that Rye was following, if slightly slower than usual.
I slowed when I reached the forest again, letting my ears droop. So many things had happened since I’d been here, more disheartening than encouraging. Despite everyone’s reassurances, I knew there was no way I could do this, even with help. Let the planet die, I thought sourly. I don’t want to bother anymore.
Rye was now walking silently beside me. He cast anxious glances in my direction, but didn’t speak, even though he could see my sorrow. The tents slowly came into view a moment later, darkness surrounding them. We stopped at the edge of the road where we were meant to part. I stared at the ground before deciding to say something. Opening my mouth to speak, I heard Rye sigh.
“I’m sorry. It was never my intention to hurt you…or anything else.” I remained silent, grating my teeth gently. The Elekid looked at me calmly. “What we…er…I mean, that wasn’t what I wanted…” he trailed off and rubbed an arm awkwardly. “Maybe I should just go.”
When I gave no reply, he turned hesitantly and began to walk back to his tent. “You did,” I called after him, eyes fixed on a tree beside the river. Rye turned around, surprised by my words. “You did,” I repeated. “I know you’ve been calling to me – when you were sick. You hung on because of your will. You let me go when it could have killed you. Yet you can’t admit those simple words to yourself, Rye.”
I closed my eyes briefly and willed my gaze to move to his. This time he didn’t avert eyes, but remained locked onto me, concentrating on my words. “I know you’re scared – I can’t save the world by myself. I really don’t think I can do it at all…but everyone else believes in me…like you. All it takes is a little faith. When you didn’t wake up, I was scared beyond belief! I couldn’t lose you…after you’d done so much for me. I–” But the lump in my throat rose again and I couldn’t finish.
I scrunched my eyes keep tears from falling as the orbs rolled to the ground. The darkness pressed in; the canopy blocked most of the moons rays. My eyes were still closed when I heard footsteps again, uneven, but there. When I opened them, Rye stood before me, peering down into my eyes.
“You…” he murmured. “I guess…you were right about some things,” He raised a paw and let it sit comfortingly on my shoulder. “But don’t ever think that you can’t do something, Light can prevail; you can prevail.” He drew me into his embrace gently as I curled up against his chest, his warmth making me shudder slightly. I glanced up to see a sly grin on Rye’s face. “I guess I can do that, too.”
This time he didn’t pull away. Rye’s paw swept against my cheek – the touch was soft as a feather – as he bent towards me, hoisting me up slightly onto his feet. His lips brushed mine, testing before drawing me in closer, sealing the void between us. He was surprisingly gentle for such a strong Pokemon, and tested my boundaries lightly.
Rye then pressed his mouth against mine firmly as I returned the gesture, drawing my paws up to his chest. The moonlight shone briefly through the trees just enough to illuminate the dimly lit forest and our faces.
Rye’s eyes – usually a deep emerald – had changed. They glowed a light, leaf-green and sparkled furiously. The Elekid managed to wink once before closing his eyes and kissed me again as I half pulled away to give a silent giggle. The smile returned to his face for just a moment before succumbing to natural impulses.
A gentle breeze rustled the trees around us in harmony as, if only for a moment, the war melted around me. Peace had returned.
So what does everyone think? ^^