I kicked the floor harder, propelling myself across the wood. A sudden thought struck me and I nearly lost focus. ‘What if Raiys saw me going insane?!’
I tried not to think about it, but it mocked me. ‘Luck and that slowpoke must already think I’m a complete and total fool. I don’t need more of my newly-acquired friends – if I could be considered one – thinking lowly of me.’
I shook my head harder, flinging the thought out one ear. ‘I don’t care anyway,’ I muttered sourly and spotted the bad-aura creature. Luck was battling with it! I couldn’t tell who had the advantage, although I could guess, and I again sensed that same invisible barrier that had mysteriously planted itself around a random area of the ship. At least it wasn’t just me trapped inside it...
Suddenly, my eyes widened at the sight before me. The great ursaring was trapped in a corner between the wall of the ship and the invisible one running the width of the deck. The creature was closing in on him, and by assumption, he knew he wouldn’t be escaping. Courage began to bottle up within me, and I snorted black smoke. My teeth grazed against each other and the flames waiting to be released gurgled with excitement. My paws raced me closer, and I could feel the pressure raking at my chest.
In a loud burst, powerful fire roared from my throat, engulfing the menacing creature. Its bone-shuddering cry hurt my ears, but it was a near-guilty relief to hear it in pain. I swooped in between it and Luck, and before he could react, I skidded, turned, and dragged ursaring out of the corner and into the open again with my jaws. We ran alongside the barrier and I tripped over my own paws, tackling him down by mistake. We crashed and didn’t stop for a metre or two, and a momentary rest began the gathering of our mindsets. After realising what had happened, I found myself wagging my large tail while standing on top of him, and the bear-like pokémon looked dumbfounded! He stared at me, eyes wide with question, and opened his mouth to talk.
“Saved ya,” I cheered half-heartedly, flipping off his chest and moving my head in a semi-circled fashion to charge up another hot attack. “Take...” I felt shivers following my train of thought as they tingled up my spine and to my face. “THIS!” My mouth exploded as a voluminous fire raged ruthlessly towards my enraged enemy. It swallowed the dragon and ground type and charred as much as it could, and more pain-triggered cries screeched throughout the area.
“Dusty!” Luck bellowed, snatching me from the battlefield and extinguishing the flame burning in my heart. “What are you doing?” he asked with steady self-control.
“Well, technically I’m talking to you right now,” I chuckled, but received an unimpressed glare from the ursaring. “But just then I was...attacking the garchomp,” I added, speaking slowly since I thought it was obvious.
“Please, Dusty—I don’t want you getting yourself injured.”
“And I don’t want you
A powerful blow from behind rendering me breathless and nearly unconscious was delivered by something I didn’t anticipate, and I was tossed forwards like dead prey for what could have been twenty metres, slamming into a crate daring to interrupt my crash-course. I struggled greatly to inhale, but my muscles had contracted and allowed me not a single breath. Nothing else moved apart from my eyes, and I was left unwillingly inert. The fuzziness set in again, and I attempted with strong intentions to oppose the oncoming injury. My lungs ached for oxygen and the most terrible feeling settled in, choosing me as its involuntary victim. ‘Help,’
I thought desperately, but my open mouth and motionless body must have indicated that I was less than a heartbeat away from passed out.
Luck cursed silently as he failed to warn the preoccupied flareon about the incoming predator coated with a sapphire glow. “Dusty!” he shouted as the fire type soared through the dense night air and slapped against the battered wooden wall of a previous prison. Her frail shape crumpled into a messy, furry heap at the crate’s base, her chest lacking the breathing motion it was required to consistently do. He snapped back to the garchomp, his furious face becoming the result of his much younger ally’s lifeless body. He boomed magnificent roar, charging forward with a vicious face and raised thick claws. His adversary grunted as he neared, and his slash attack dealt more damage than expected.
The garchomp roared, lashing out with its own claws a second too late as Luck ducked. The ursaring suddenly vanished before the garchomp’s body, and the robust creature rumbled with a sense of confusion as it waited. Nothing happened after a matter of seconds, and the beast came to assume that it had defeated the worthless, inferior pokémon like it did the flareon. However, as the monster was least expecting it, an impact caught it off guard and it lurched backwards to follow by landing on its tail end. Luck had turned up out of nowhere, and with a black, sizzling energy surrounding him, he had tackled his foe with a phantom strike attack. His eyes buzzed a deathly white, the uncommon hatred he bore fuelling the dark type move as he had struck the monster. He went for the creature again as it was reassuring its footing, his paw raised, but the gigantic being dodged the slash attack with speed Luck didn’t predict it possessed. It roared again, setting free the sapphire flames seen earlier by Dusty. Luck, barely believing he managed to avoid its path, rolled from the stream, and the garchomp stopped.
Luck deceived his attacker for mere moments, reappearing before it and punching it square in the arm with a faint attack and following up with slash. He jumped from its range, but was surprised as he saw the tall monstrosity had toppled over. He took advantage of the situation and inhaled deeply, filling his lungs, and breathed out pink spores barely visible in the scarce light. The creature, while regaining its bearings, appeared to become slightly relaxed. However, the attacks’ effect didn’t prevent the pokémon from finding its legs again and slamming Luck’s belly with a mighty headbutt, sending the ursaring sprawling a number of paces away.
Meanwhile, a machop who had been on guard with the slowpoke and other pokémon found himself awake, and rubbed his head. His strong arms lifted him up, and his eyes scanned the area. He spotted pokémon scattered about – both dead ones and ones who had been attacked while watching over the ursaring – and frowned. He was ready to wake some of them up, but something else snagged his attention. Grunting and battle roars were ringing in his ears, and his sturdy legs made the choice to investigate, carrying him to his right between two large crates. He emerged into the open where, to his right, along the side of the ship, a monstrous, discoloured evil-looking creature loomed, screeching at the same ursaring the machop had been protecting! His open mouth and surprised face indicated that he was rather aghast, but a yellow and orange blur to his right was quickly his prime focus. He made a note of the injured flareon, and stood—a little unsure of what to do. Was it still breathing? Had it been killed by the creepy, bad-aura pokémon?
He leaned down, holding out a light bluey-grey hand in front of the fire type’s muzzle. No hot air was being exhaled, and the machop lifted his short body to be standing again. He thought it was a shame that so many pokémon were being murdered... He was lucky to be alive!
He ran a finger down one of the three copper half-discs that sat atop his head. His large, red-iris eyes shifted about. “If only you were here, Father...” he murmured, his arms down by his side as his human-like body stood still and his circular head eyed the shining moon. Grey clouds passed leisurely over the magical sphere as if brushing it—
The flareon’s belly suddenly filled with air, life flowing back into her body. The machop jumped, assuming a fighting stance immediately after. He watched the flareon carefully as its eyelids peeled open to reveal charcoal eyes with a hint of green and white. They searched the surroundings, and the machop could see that she rested them on the battle between the pokémon not too far off. “H-hello?” the fighting type wondered.
The eevee evolution’s eyes tried their best to bring him into their view, but for some reason the pokémon didn’t move her head.
‘What’s wrong with me?!’ my head yelled. ‘I can’t move! I can’t even speak or close my mouth! How is...whatever’s there supposed to know what I want?’
My right ear itched, and I longed to scratch it, but trying to move any part of my body aside from my eyes proved to be feeble. It was like during bad dreams when I can’t wake myself up, and instead I sit there pathetically, unable to do anything.
While I was busy giving myself a lecture about why I couldn’t get up, grey feet moved in, and luckily the machop was short enough for me to see his whole self. ‘Help me!’
I growled at him, but clearly he couldn’t read my thoughts. I couldn’t even frown to show my anger!
“Are you...okay?” he questioned, speaking slowly, displaying his confusion. However, of course, I couldn’t reply. None of my muscles bothered to work as I already knew, and this meant I couldn’t blow fire, either... “Maybe you’ve been paralysed.”
I discovered, finally realising that paralysis would explain everything. The machop said something along the lines of getting me up and off the battlefield, and after tossing a worried look over his shoulder, he reached two arms down. However, the moment he touched me, I immediately came back to life, all of my muscles reacting and springing me to my paws. The machop reeled back, completely shocked—but I couldn’t say I wasn’t the same. In fact, I stood staring and glancing at myself for seconds on end before shaking my head. “I don’t know what you did,” I started, facing the superpower pokémon, “but thanks!” I raced away, suddenly feeling an eruption of aches throughout my entire body, and I nearly stumbled.
However, I managed to get by with the addition of clenching my jaw and binding one eye at a time, and met up quickly with Luck. Upon sighting me, he was utterly stunned. He must have thought I was dead—or at least going to be knocked out for longer. He turned to face me.
The side of a giant claw slammed into Luck’s jaw, and he was sent sprawling to the deck. I gasped sharply, horror overcoming me. “LUCK!” I exclaimed, but the garchomp swung his thick head in a loop, knocking the wind from me yet again as I was thrown backwards along the ship’s edge until I landed in a tumbling heap. As I lay temporarily incapable of movement, the ocean’s waves washed around below, taunting me. A new fear slipped between the fissures in my mind, and I rolled to my paws and stole a quick glance at the not-so-distant ocean. If I fell in...
“AUGH!” Luck cried, blue flames engulfing his entirety in no less than an instant. My clenched teeth surely forced tears from my eyes, and I shakily lifted my head. The sound of stony fire swelling and searing weaselled its way into my erect ears, and I shivered. Building up combined pressure for two attacks at once, my head was aching. My limbs began to shudder, my eyes leaking salt liquid. I was burdened with seconds of uselessly before I finally released the flaming shadow ball into the deserving garchomp’s back, and it thundered in agony. Its attack was instantly cut off, and it swung around to stab my eyes with soulless ones of its own, readying its two wide arm-wings as it appeared slightly hunched.
From behind me yelped the slowpoke, his eyes becoming pink as he issued a confusion attack on the creature. It hollered again, but straight away charged at me, each leg creating a miniature earthquake. I rolled out the way, and it continued on to pursue the slowpoke. I was sure that the little pink psychic and water type would have endless problems with running, but I was proved to be wrong as he easily led the thing away. It wasn’t so much that he was fast, but it was the garchomp that wasn’t gifted in agility.
I developed a worried frown, biting both my lips as I folded them in, and trusted the slowpoke to do what he could for as long as he was able. “Luck!” I jumped to the pokémon’s side impetuously. He seemed to be out cold, and my tail sagged as I noticed this—my ears doing the same. “Luck...” I breathed, clamping shut my eyes.
He suddenly moaned, and my ears perked back up. “Ugh...” His eyelids hesitated before opening, revealing his tired eyes. “Little...Dusty...” he whispered, and shivers ran through me. I tried to hold back tears. “I’m...glad Larse was...able to revitilise you,” he wheezed, and I cocked my head.
“L...Larse?” I questioned sadly.
“The slowpoke...” He cringed in pain, and I was about to cry out when he spoke before me. “I’m...done for...” I shook my head in denial while scanning his body. From head to claw he was covered in burns, as well as numerous rips in his coat where solidifying blood crusted the surrounding fur.
“No,” I tried to correct. Tears clouded my vision. “Don’t say
I couldn’t believe he managed a smile. It disappeared after a contraction somewhere in his body probably due to pain. “Fight...the garchomp. I’ll be here...if you need...” He coughed again and returned with no less of a smile. “...Bait.”
“BAIT?!” I whined, a crying quality creeping into my voice. “I will...I will
kill it. I’ll save you too.” He forced another sweet smile, closing his eyes for a few seconds before reopening them.
A thudding made me turn, and I knew the slowpoke and the garchomp were coming back. They came into view within a few heartbeats, and I tore myself away from Luck. If I was going to fight the despicable creature, it wasn’t going to be near him. I threw him one last hopeful and crooked smile before taking off, running straight at the slowpoke. I used telepathy via his confusion attack, as he was open to speech by thoughts while in the psychic process.
“Just keep running toward me!”
However, only metres away, the garchomp fired a weak stream of blue flames, connecting with Larse as he tumbled over and slammed into the floor, which surprisingly knocked him out cold. The demented pokémon continued to run, however, right towards me. I let a frown lick my face as I pounced at the right time, releasing a flamethrower into the garchomp as I flew through the air. It came in contact, dealing the same damage as always, and I only then realised we were about to collide! ‘Didn’t think of that!’
I poked out my claws as I was sent forward and rammed into the giant beast with outstretched legs. It stumbled back from the force as I tumbled down and onto the floor again, landing with my belly facing down, all limbs beginning to pound from the impact.
I groaned with pain, my head thumping from lack of energy, sleep, food and water and from the attacks I had been enduring—or, at least, trying to.
Without warning I was tossed back, tangled in a heap as I landed and the harsh sloshing of the waves returned. Throwing my head over my shoulder, I realised how close I was to the edge of the ship, but I was too weak to haul myself up within the instant. I stared warily up at the enormous shadow after sensing it blocking my path, and shuddered. All my fear swarmed in at once, and my vulnerability dawned on me. ‘Oh...sh—’
“HAAAH!” I heard, and I was booted to my left as something strong tackled me out of harm’s way. I rolled over myself several times, feeling bruises in assorted places, and looked up in time to see Luck’s brown body stand momentarily before being thrust backward and directly overboard, as we were close to the ship’s edge. The railing had shattered, having provided nothing to prevent Luck’s fall.
A dastardly stomach-twinging shudder simmered my innards and flushed my face with a violent shiver. My eyes bulged and my limbs seized up, a hollow realisation manifesting within my body. The breeze seemed to still and the garchomp became non-existent as I lay in silent pre-panic. Reality tugged savagely on my heart.
“LUCK!!!” I screamed, disregarding my injuries and flying to the railing. I witnessed nothing but a high-rising splash metres and metres down, the disdainful sound searing through my ears. “LUCK!” The tears welled faster than a scyther could fly and poured out into the ocean, traces of my sorrow falling with them. “WHY?!” I droned, unable to contain the agonising feelings stacked up inside me. “What did he do
I wailed, facing my head to the sky with my eyes tied shut, then resting my head onto railing which was still present. A roar brought me to my senses, and I spun furiously around to view the disgusting, hideous abomination hunched indifferently before me. “YOU!” I boomed, heaving with every breath in an extensively livid manner. “YOU MONSTER
I began to brew flames in my throat which hissed of brutality, planning to combine them with a shadow ball powered by hatred, fear, sorrow and pure lust for its bloodshed. Although it probably burnt up my insides and scarred my throat, I expelled white-hot flames sure to roast anything it came in contact with. Along with the fire were streams of shadow ball composed of negative emotions. The deadly mixture soaked into the depths of the monster’s skin and weakened it dramatically, and I followed up with a screeching scream, unleashing a molten flow as waves of red heat in the form of energy rocketed towards the creature. I hoped it would melt its very skin and char its black heart until it suffocated in dancing, taunting flames. It would forever burn in the deep corners of the Underworld, its soul unchangingly cringing in the darkness of its own hideous mistakes.
However, I collapsed in a heap before I could see the end result, bathing in my own tears. I couldn’t hold them in. I couldn’t clean them up. A close friend I had only met that very day had died...and to save me. ‘First Sed was taken because of me, and now Luck. Who next?!’
Deafening shattering didn’t faze me as I lay on my side, my tuft lazily laid out and my tail frayed and messy. “Dusty?!” exclaimed a hasty voice, and I barely heard the pattering of her claws as Zhol materialised in front of me. She had entered from in front of me—where the rest of the ship was. She had somehow broken through the invisible wall, and stood before me in a distracted state of mind. She wanted to say something, but it appeared she was short on words. In the background I could hear shouting as the beast presumably chased Raiys off somewhere, now that the barrier was apparently out of order.
“...He’s dead,” I muttered.
“Luck... He died saving me...”
“Died?” gasped the sneasel, seemingly affected by the horrific news. I kept my head down and didn’t see her reaction before I finally lifted my head. She saw this and fought to catch my gaze. “We have to leave!”
“No. He died for me
...” Zhol stopped, probably contemplating how upset I really was. “HE DIED
! And it’s MY FAULT!”
She wasn’t silent for long. “However unfortunate, it was inevitable. Some had to perish for the cause,” she reasoned. I was about to question it, but she spoke quickly. “Haunter’s set the bomb to go off within a few minutes. We have—”
“You know,” I interrupted, “his name’s probably not ‘Haunter’.”
“Dusty!” she snapped, and I slumped my head against the floorboards again, unwilling to listen. “We have to escape!”
“I’m not going,” I murmured defiantly, my eyes closing. “Let the ship take me with it.”
Continued in next post...