SOOOO very sorry for the wait. D= I have my exams now, and my next one is in two hours. xD So I'm putting this up very quickly before I study. n___n
Chapter 28 - Deception
The black Absol pursed her lips as she held a claw out in front of her to survey the damage. Her whole body was bruised and cut, no thanks to the team of twerps. She pulled her mouth back in a vicious snarl, not even caring when her fangs began to draw blood. She let it drop freely down her muzzle, enjoying the rusty taste as if it weren’t her own, but her enemy’s blood. Sadistic. That’s what it was. But being a sadist didn’t phase Scythe in the slightest. She merely held her head high enough to glare at the Taillow in front of her.
“Your brother got the better of you,” she mocked in a falsely sweet voice. “Yet again, my dear Raze.”
The bird narrowed his gaze and attempted to ignore her, instead peering around at the PRA building which now lay in ruins. He had suffered many injuries at the hands of the two Eeveelutions, and it was only thanks to his master that he was still alive. Deoxys had managed to heal the bird’s wounds, even the break in his spine which had rendered him useless for the remainder of the fight. Now he wished for revenge more than ever against the one, insolent being that still tormented him.
“Don’t you ever say that word!” he shot back after about a minute’s silence. “That thing
is no longer my relative! He never was.” Raze shut his beak tightly and glared at the rocky ground. He kept his gaze firmly fixed upon it, seeming to stare off into space, yet his mind was ticking a mile a minute. Brother…
he thought with a sudden feeling of overwhelming sorrow. Then, as quick as it had come, it was gone – replaced by anger and seething hatred.
Flicking his wings through a small puddle in front of him, the Taillow glared at his reflection and the scar that crossed his left eye. Jarre…you
will be sorry! If it’s the last thing I do, I will kill you!
The bird started as a sharp bark came from behind him. He turned as the irritating click of Scythe’s claws sounded on the gravel.
“Stop your pondering and let’s get a move on! The master wants us to track these losers.” She paused and raised an eyebrow, glancing at the stiff body of the Groudon that lay sprawled across the ruins. “What shall we do with him?”
Raze slid his eyes further shut and clicked his beak twice, barely giving the dead Pokemon a glance. “Feed him to the Murkrow for all I care. Let’s just go.”
With a flap of his wings, the Taillow took off into the skies with the black Absol following behind. The small pool of water rippled in their wake as a tiny, iridescent tear mingled with its surface.
Tali was seething with anger. The Buizel’s fur bristled and stood on end as she stormed through the dense foliage of the forest, letting several branches from trees cut across her body. Why did that Pikachu want to meddle in her life!?? And what was Dash doing? Trusting someone at a first glance. Heh!
“I am not
jealous!” she cried out loud, startling a nearby flock of Pidgey who chirruped irritably. She glared as the birds flew away, her own voice echoing off the canopy walls. But she couldn’t even fool herself. She was
jealous. It hadn’t always been like this. There used to be a time when she was happy.
The Buizel shook her head roughly and retrieved two black bands from her fur, snapping them onto her wrists hastily. Glancing over her shoulder to make sure there was no one around, she closed her eyes and tapped into her consciousness, delving deep within her mind until she found a familiar spark.
“Well?” a voice growled angrily. It seemed he was losing his patience with every single second that passed.
“Yeah, she’s here,” the Buizel sighed, ignoring the previous remark. “White circle on her tail an’ all.”
“Good,” the voice sounded, pleased by the response. “And what do you know of their plans?”
Tali scoffed. “I haven’t exactly met the gang yet, but I know from the brief contact with the Pikachu that they’re heading your way soon.”
“Hmm…” A slight pause ensued. “Does Dash–”
“No,” Tali cut in hastily. “He doesn’t know a thing. But he has taken quite a liking to the Pikachu. That could prove useful.” In her mind, the Buizel saw the figure smile, baring its fangs. Instantly she flinched, but for all the wrong reasons.
“Good. See to it that you stick close, my dear.”
Tali shivered at the last words, lowering her eyes to the ground as they wavered. It was so long ago…Heart pounding, she spoke up. “Listen, I…” But she trailed off, suddenly realising the connection had been lost. “I…” The Buizel sighed, tracing a pattern through the leaves with one of her feet. He wouldn’t listen in any case. It was always the same argument.
It can’t be…
But a small trill of excitement buzzed around within her. Maybe, if this worked, things could be normal again. This time when Tali closed her eyes, she didn’t see the malicious grin and glinting fangs, but a charming, quirky smile. Normal…
Suddenly determined, Tali focused her entire mind on the black bands around her wrists. She held her paws palms outward, as if pushing against an invisible wall. The Buizel gritted her teeth as she strained harder. Come on you stupid things! Work!
she cried out in her mind. After about a minute the bands had harnessed enough energy that they began to glow with a dark aura. “Hah!” Tali gasped in wonder. “It works! It actually works!”
A twig snapped behind her suddenly and startled the Buizel, immediately ceasing her concentration. Hastily – and without thought – she snapped the bands off her wrists and replaced them deep within her fur. Tali stood on guard, lowering herself to a defensive position in case of attack, but the voice that followed wasn’t one to fear.
“Tal? Is that you?”
She relaxed as the familiar Sneasel stepped into the clearing. Dash. It’s just Dash.
He stopped a few metres away and tilted his head to the side, peering at her through his hazel eyes.
“You look really awful. Is something wrong? You’re pale and shaking!”
Until then, Tali hadn’t notice the small quivers that wracked her body, but now she did. A side effect?
she wondered to herself. “I-I’m alright,” she managed to stammer as Dash looked over her again. “Really,” she insisted. Still, the Sneasel stepped up to her, placing a friendly arm around her shoulders.
“Here, let me help you back to the camp. You could use some rest.”
Tali flinched at the contact but allowed herself to be steered away, her mind elsewhere. If what he said was true, these bands could be very powerful in the right paws.
Her eyes flickered nervously towards Dash, but he hadn’t noticed a thing.
Tali kept a grim look on her face the entire way back. And still, something inside her wondered what she was doing; wondered who she really was. After that day...for the life of her, she didn’t know.
I bit my lip with concern as Jarre irritably paced up and down the campsite, his talons squelching in the soft, melted snow. His beak was firmly shut and his blue eyes were more dull than usual, but I could see the Torchic was clearly distraught. It made me all the more anxious and a dull throb had begun pulsing through my tail where Rye had broken it that time. I ignored it for now, not wishing to heal the wound completely. I may have been a little crazy, but that pain – the wound – gave me something to remember the Elekid by, even if it wasn’t a good memory. And right now, the green eyes and smiling face I saw in my mind really couldn’t do him justice.
“Zanna, how could you?” Jarre muttered half-heartedly, finally breaking the all-too-long silence.
I swallowed past the lump in my throat but remained silent. I knew this would be hard on him, I mean, how would you feel if you saw someone you’d tortured once? Uh, hi, great to see you’re alive and all. No thanks to me...
I groaned inwardly. Maybe this was one of those times where I’d gone too far. I should’ve just left well enough alone.
“I’m sorry,” I offered, though even my own apology sounded pathetic. “It’s just that Dash could be an asset to us, and we need all the help we can get.”
“You need help,” Jarre cut in sharply, “not me. I was fine before...” He trailed off, but I had known what he was about to say, and my eyes narrowed as his widened.
“Before you met me?!” I accused, sparks erupting from the electric sockets on my cheeks.
“No,” Jarre shook his head hastily, “That’s not what I–”
“Yes, it was! Admit it!” I snapped. “You were fine before you met me.” My voice raised an octave as the lump in my throat swelled. I glared at the Torchic long and hard, focusing on the sharp rise and fall of my chest as I drew shallow breaths. All this pent up pain wasn’t good for me. I needed to get moving soon; that would take my mind off things.
Shaking my head slowly, I willed my feet to move across the snow towards the outskirts of the camp. I didn’t hear movement from Jarre behind me, but I was glad. For once I didn’t want him to follow me; I wanted to be alone. My face curled up into a scowl as I glared at the snow. It seemed being alone was the only thing I was good at.
The Elekid groaned as his eyes wearily snapped open, blinking a few times to clear the haze that surrounded him. A paw rose to his head, just below his ears, feeling for the throbbing pain that coursed through his head. I feel terrible...what happened to me?
Slowly lifting himself into a sitting position, Rye eyed the room in which he was in.
It appeared he was resting in a small, fluffy bed, blankets surrounding him – obviously to keep him warm. The room itself was fairly small and looked similar to the Hospital Wing that had been at the PRA before it was destroyed by Deoxys’ attack. The walls were made of a soft stone and coloured a pale cream. A window was etched into the far side of the room, arched and plain, sunlight shining. Nothing else occupied the small space other than the bed and a small table, upon which sat a jug of what looked like water and a loaf of bread, but the sweetest smell came from the food, and Rye’s stomach growled as he stared at it.
The Elekid reached out a paw towards the bread but as soon as he went to pick it up, it disappeared. The Elekid jumped back in shock, the covers rolling off his bed. He eyed the spot where the bread had been as he drew his paw back and was surprised to see it materialise again.
“W-what trickery is this!?” he asked aloud, shocked. Again and again he tried to reach for the bread, but it disappeared and reappeared accordingly each time. No matter how hard he tried, he wasn’t getting any closer to it and he knew that.
Widening his eyes with fear, the Elekid stood up and twisted around, eyeing the room. A door was to his left, he could try to see what was on the other side. But...did he want to? If that bread disappeared, what could be on the other side of that door? The other option was the window and he knew it was sunny outside. The rays of sunlight shining through the window proved that. I could go through the window...and right now, I think I trust it more than that door.
Glancing at the strange bread one last time, Rye made his way towards the window. He placed his hands upon the glass, feeling the cool, smooth surface under his palms. It was quite welcoming, as the cool temperature was a relief to the Elekid. Rye paused slightly, lowering his palms to rest on the sill’s cool edge. He flexed his claw uneasily back and forth as he peered through the glass.
Outside he could see fresh, green grass, a flowing stream of bright, clear-blue water and some fairly large oaks lining a dirt path to the left.
It seems peaceful,
Rye thought to himself, but it could be a trick, just like that bread.
His eyes stared down towards his paws. What was that? I’ve never seen anything like it...and where am I? I don’t know this place, and that unnerves me.
Rye shook his head and gritted his teeth as he slipped his claws further under the sill, wrenching it open in an instant.
Fresh wind blew into his face, his fur blowing back from the draft. Rye blinked. It was warm. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing and it felt... “Perfect...” the Elekid whispered to himself. Slightly dazed, he hoisted himself over the sill and landed on the fresh grass below, the feel of it beneath his feet more than welcoming. Raising a paw to his head, he ran it deftly through his fur. This place seemed almost too good to be true. The stream flowed downwards, following the curves of a path that stood next to it.
Rye cautiously walked towards it and stood on the edge, peering into the shallow depths. His reflection stared back at him, mouth raised into a slight grin to mimic his own. I don’t know this place, true, but...it makes me feel happy.
“Haha!” The Elekid waded eagerly into the stream, his paws scooping up endless amounts of water and splashing it over himself with glee. After a minute or two he cupped his paws together and bent down to drink, surprised when the sweet liquid touched his lips. It, too, was much better than he’d imagined. In fact...
Rye instantly went rigid, ears on alert for sounds. That was strange...apart from the stream and the breeze, not a single sound of life could be heard. And everything was too good...much too good to be real. It had to be a trick. The Elekid turned as a sound came from behind him. His eyes widened as he stared, but no one was there. He sighed with relief, relaxing, and turned back to the stream.
“AHHH!” His scream pierced the air as he fell backwards into the stream, tripping over his own feet. “Urgh...” Dazed, the Elekid put a paw to his aching head and blinked to steady his vision.
A green figure stood in front of him, just a bit shorter than he was. It had a long horn protruding from its head, two short arms and legs and a fan-like tail, but what he noticed most were the eyes. And he knew those eyes.
“It can’t be...” he gasped, flailing to move backwards through the stream. “N..no...Kr...Kryal?”
The figure nodded once, its mouth turning into a scowl as it crossed its arms. “Riley,” it answered, flicking a foot through the water at him.
“I...I don’t understand...” the Elekid stammered, petrified. It couldn’t be...no
. This dream, whatever it was, wasn’t a dream at all. How could it be? Kryal was dead and this was just an illusion. The Elekid closed his mouth in a firm line as he felt his face pale. He rarely grew scared, but this...this was something else. Too terrified to move, Rye remained rooted to the spot in the stream just inches from Kryal’s seemingly physical body. The Larvitar smirked suddenly as he met Rye’s eyes, noticing the cold fear buried within.
“Oh yes,” he said dryly, answering the Elekid’s unasked question. “I am very much real.” Kryal lifted his arms into the air, reaching towards the sky as he grinned. “See this, Rye? It is all real! This is your reality!”
Rye shook his head deftly, straining himself as not to pass out. It is
he told himself sternly. You know that very well. You were there.
The Larvitar raised an eyebrow when no reply came, lowering his arms again. “You doubt it?” he questioned, narrowing his eyes into a glare. Rye’s mind seemed to lurch slowly back into action.
No wildlife, disappearing objects, a perfect world and horror beyond belief...
He jumped up fluidly, allowing his body to take its battle stance; paws raised, claws extended viciously. A light snarl erupted from his throat to caution the Larvitar, whatever it was.
“This is not
reality!” Rye spat at Kryal. “This isn’t a dream, either; it is a nightmare! Nothing but an illusion conjured by Darkrai, and you can’t hurt me!”
To further emphasise this, the Elekid made to attack Kryal, aiming an uppercut to his face. It was unexpected, however, when the Larvitar dodged, sidestepping past Rye and dealing a sharp blow to his stomach. The Elekid flew back, splashing into the stream below as the wind was knocked from his body. He grazed against sharp rocks as he made contact with the bottom of the stream and blood flowed freely from his arm where one had sliced through it, leaving a deep gash. The Larvitar opened its mouth, a cold laugh echoing through silence and Rye’s gasps for air.
“Do you still think I am an illusion now, Rye? Or do you want to try again?”
The Elekid didn’t answer, but gritted his teeth slightly, ignoring the stabbing pain in his right arm. Whatever it was, he was now sure it wasn’t an illusion, or at least one that couldn’t hurt him.
“Get lost, fiend! Before I rip you to shreds!” he growled at the figure, still panting. A slight ache had begun to throb in his head, but he ignored the pain; it was dull compared to his arm and other matters at hand. The Larvitar snickered and stared down at him, seeming to grin in obvious contempt.
“Hurts, doesn’t it?”
Rye scowled. “That cut is hardly anything. I’m not a weakling.” Kryal chuckled again, raising an arm to point at his head.
“I meant the ache, weakling
,” he crooned, spitting the last word at the Elekid, fangs bared in a wicked smile.
Rye gasped, suddenly becoming more aware of the rising ache in his head. He slowly put his left arm to his head, placing it against his temple gently. He gritted his teeth firmer still as the throbbing pain deepened, seeming to spread through his head and causing the Elekid to let out a gasp of agony. Kryal’s following chuckle pierced his mind to its core, but was still numb; almost nothing compared to the pain he was now in. Rye forced his eyes to open again, since he’d shut them when the wave of pain hit. His lids were heavy and were weighing him down, but still he kept them open, glaring with seething hatred at the Larvitar continuing to mock him.
“F-faker,” he muttered under his breath in a mere whisper. “You’re not him. You’re not my b-best friend.” The Elekid raised his gaze to Kryal’s face, using all the strength he had in his arms to push himself up to stand, albeit weakly and unsteady. The Larvitar’s look of contempt grew grim as he narrowed his eyes at Rye’s determination. He seemed to be thinking, but something in Rye’s voice had stopped him cold.
“Hmm,” he said aloud, though softly, yet the icy ring was still present. Rye felt the edges of his mouth rise again as he bared his fangs. This was not over until he said it was. Even though the constant throbbing in his head was still getting stronger, he kept his cool and reined it in, forcing himself to ignore it. “Fine then,” Kryal finally muttered, coming to a decision. “I see you still resist. Heroic of you.” A light smile flitted across his face before the Larvitar faded into thin air, or at least seemed to.
Rye blinked wearily several times and was sure he was right and this was an affirmation of his thoughts. “So it was true...he wasn’t real.” And for a second as he smiled, the throbbing in his head dimmed. Still shaky on his feet, Rye willed them to carry him out of the stream and released a small sigh of relief as he collapsed against one of the nearby oaks. But the absence of sound still made him uneasy and sent a chill through his spine. It didn’t help when a rustle came from nearby and the Elekid felt his stomach heave in fear. If that Larvitar was back...
Continued in next post...