Chapter Two: Prisonbreak
As soon as the Darkstars had left the moldy, barely-lit room, the Lugia started straining. It shoved upward with all its strength against the cuffs that bound it, its muscles working harder than it’d ever made them work, even though they were shrieking in pain from its recent exertion of… Arceus knew how long it’d been since that. It stayed like this for over a minute, until it finally went limp from exhaustion. Its whole body ached now, especially its left shoulder.
“Hey!” a snuffly, high-pitched voice called from nearby. The Lugia turned its head the best it could, to see a young Poochyena sitting in a tiny cage.
Ordinarily, the Lugia would’ve used telepathy to talk to the other Pokémon, but a bizarre force in the cage kept its mind to its skull. “What?” the Lugia asked aloud in a masculine voice.
The Poochyena’s eyes gleamed. His tone excited and his face eager, he asked, “Are you really a Lugia like the Darkstar said?”
“No, I’m a Wailord
,” the Lugia snapped temperamentally. “What do you think?”
The Poochyena cringed. “Sorry,” he mumbled, “but I’ve never seen a Lugia before, just heard of them in stories.”
The Lugia’s conscience was ordering him to apologize, but he profoundly ignored it. Instead, he turned away, fixing his storm-colored gaze on an uninteresting wall.
“So, what’s your name?” the Poochyena asked after a pause; he seemed relatively recovered from the Lugia’s slight. “I’m Martet.”
The Lugia grunted. Without looking at Martet, he growled, “Lucent.”
“Nice name,” Martet appraised. “Elegant. It fits a Legendary.”
“Hey, no offense, but would you two kindly shut up
?” a voice called from the back of the room. “No one can get a wink of sleep with you whining!”
“Hey!” Martet shouted. “Show a little respect! He’s a Legendary.”
“Ooh, I’m shaking,” the voice sneered, while Lucent turned back to Martet. “I can take care of myself, Martet!”
“Then why are you in a cage?” this purring voice came, not from in a cage, but the front of the room. Lucent turned to see a sleek Hexluk sitting in front of the door. Her violet eyes glittered scornfully and her pointed teeth were bared in a malicious grin.
“That’s Ellyn,” Martet whispered as Lucent glared at her. The Poochyena’s voice was fearful. “She’s the Darkstars’ special assassin. She’s like, level a hundred or something.”
“Level seventy-eight, thank you,” Ellyn purred, her eyes half-closed. “Now, please, don’t let me interrupt your horribly important conversation. And you, Rae, you stupid Dunsparce,” she raised her voice, “Want me to tell Jack that you’ve been a bad boy again?” she grinned wickedly.
“Uh, no thanks!” the voice responded.
Ellyn’s purple eyes closed as she curled up without another word, though her ears stayed pricked and she didn’t completely relax.
“Aaaanyway…” Martet muttered.
Lucent turned back toward the Poochyena. A question had occurred to him. “So, question…why aren’t the…‘Darkstars’ using you to capture and enslave other Pokémon? I thought that was what humans do.”
Martet shook his head. “Not all humans are like Darkstars. The Darkstars are power-hungry jerks who want nothing more than to rule the regions. They use Pokémon as tools, and don’t give a crap
about us as living creatures.” Lucent was surprised to hear his voice grow bitter, as Martet seemed like a rather optimistic and happy Pokémon. “But some humans train Pokémon, and bond with them, and battle against others. That’s actually how the Darkstars caught me,” he added with an embarrassed grimace. “I didn’t fit in with my pack, so I went off to find a human to train me. I found a Darkstar instead, and he made me battle other Pokémon. One time, I don’t know what did it, but I snapped and attacked him. I bit off his finger. They moved me in here, and apparently, because I’m too ‘unstable and dangerous’, they were going to… to get rid of me… tomorrow.”
Now Lucent’s conscience was really working hard, screeching at him to console the poor, dejected-looking Poochyena. “I’m…sorry. I wish I could help, somehow.” It sounded weak and lame, but that was the best Lucent could do. At least in the hands of the Darkstars, his survival was assured – they wouldn’t waste a Legendary, he was certain.
“It’s okay,” Martet mumbled. “But, hey,” he perked up, seeming bright and cheerful, “it’s not all bad. I can probably take off more Darkstar fingers. Maybe even a whole hand
Brave words, Lucent knew that Martet was just putting on a show, only Arceus knew why, but he nodded. “Maybe.” He lay his head down and closed his eyes, thus ending the conversation.
Lucent dreamed that he was in the ocean.
He was flying near the ocean floor, but not as a human would figure it: cold and terrible and depressing. This part of the ocean was still very cold and pressurized, but it was somewhat shallow. His talons skimmed the ocean floor and the surface was barely 300 feet above him – relatively shallow for the ocean. At this level, sunlight was still streaming down. He loved flying in the shallows, where he didn’t have to worry about humans or crushing darkness. He inhaled frigid ocean water and seconds later it shot out through his nostrils as CO2-filled bubbles.
A trench came into view then, and Lucent noted it with delight; he’d been looking for an excuse to go into a dive. He flapped faster, gaining a bit of height as he did so. Just a couple more seconds…
Suddenly, something black and oval-shaped rose from the trench like an ominous Drifblim. He crashed directly into it; not even his claws, which scraped across its surface, pierced it. Startled, Lucent flapped backwards, knocking the object away from him and vice versa with powerful downstrokes.
Now Lucent could get a good look at the thing. It was a submarine; his father had taught him about them. Humans rode in them so that they could study the water and its various, diverse Pokémon. But he’d never seen submarines so huge, or that had a pair of maroon crossed swords painted rampantly and gigantically on its hull. The submarine and all its occupants were a blank spot on his mental map of the ocean, which chilled Lucent to his feather-tips.
A huge net shot out of the sub, quite suddenly and almost randomly, and Lucent stopped it with a furious Psyblast. Fear gripped him. From what he’d been told, humans didn’t attack Legendary Pokémon, unless they wanted to get shredded. But these humans seemed to know what they were doing, what with the impenetrable metal and the mental blank spot and all…
Without waiting for something else to happen, Lucent turned to the ocean’s surface and flapped, starting to rise. He heard something whooshing through the water, and then a second net snared him, pinning his wings to his sides. He started dropping like a stone. Electricity lanced through him from the net, and he screeched with agony. He used another Psyblast, this time an explosion bursting from his body. The net shattered and he landed on the ocean’s sandy floor with grace, despite his stiff limbs.
He turned to look at the submarine. It was still hovering there like some sort of predator.
And Lucent was the prey
He had to get out of there. Another shock like that may well kill me.
He jumped off the sandy seabed, flapping hard. He could get to the surface, he knew it. And if he did, then the submarine couldn’t attack him anymore.
But just as he was on the home stretch, something exploded inches from his left shoulder. He screeched as a wave of pain rolled over him, this one fiery and burning. His head spun and a ringing noise filled his ears. He barely even noticed that he was falling.
, he thought, suddenly exhausted as the explosion’s pain wore off, replaced by monstrous fatigue, you win. I can’t fight anymore.
Another net tightened around his body. He didn’t struggle; all fight had left him. Thankfully, the net didn’t shock him again. As Lucent fell through the water, the submarine drifted nearer, and he watched it, lost in the deep black of its metal…
Lucent’s eyes opened slowly, and he tried to shut out the memories.
When he looked up, he got a pretty big surprise.
A Darkstar grunt - the one who’d been talking to the admin earlier, Lucent realized - was making his way through the maze of cages. He stopped at Martet's cage, brandishing something Lucent had seen once before in a brush with other humans – a pistol.
The human muttered something and flipped a latch on the cage door. Martet lay on the cage floor, his breathing relaxed and slow.
Lucent thought, realizing Martet would die if he didn’t. Please wake up…
The human opened the door, finger on the object…
“AYAH!” Martet cried, red-and-yellow eyes suddenly shooting open. His little legs shoved him up, and he jumped at the Darkstar grunt, snapping and snarling. His jaws met in the teen’s throat, perhaps accidentally, and the grunt screamed, blood bubbling from his throat. He fell, gurgling, his eyes glazing over. The reek of blood filled Lucent’s nostrils.
, Lucent thought, startled. As he watched with disbelieving eyes, hearing the cheers of the Pokémon in cages, Martet grabbed something from the grunt’s pocket with his teeth: a shiny, rounded rectangle. The Poochyena moved fast, gripping the object and dashing over to Lucent’s cage. He held the thing firmly in his teeth, then scraped it across the outside edge of the cage. There was a beep and a pneumatic hiss, and suddenly the cage door slid open, and the cuffs released their grip on him. His mind was able to expand again, touching the minds of the other Pokémon, touching the objects in the room – cages mostly.
He was free.
“Lucent!” Martet cried. The little Pokémon’s eyes blazed as he shifted from black paw to black paw. “We have to go!”
Lucent was too shocked to react.
“Come on!” Martet barked frantically, half whimpering. “I had to attack that guy, and I killed him, and I didn’t mean to or want to but he’s dead, so I guess it’s not important, but still…come on!”
Lucent stared, half shocked by circumstance, half by how the Poochyena had been able to say all that in one breath. “O…kay.” He squeezed out of the cage, then managed to stand somewhat well in the cramped space, though his neck stayed firmly arced.
“Free us, too!” Rae's voice demanded.
“None of you are going anywhere,” Ellyn growled; Lucent turned to look at her. Her purple eyes were glowing, and her claws were unsheathed. Lucent opened his mouth and Aeroblasted her against a wall, then shattered the cages with a Psychic attack. He leaped into the air, Hydro Pumping the near-never-ending ceilings in front of him, grabbing Martet gently in his talons. He flew off into the noonday sun, leaving behind a very confused and angry group of Darkstars.
A Hexluk, just so everyone knows, is a purple-eyed Pokemon with a doglike snout, long fangs, a long tail with a big plume of fur at the end, and tufts around their paws. The males have white streaks that run from the nose down to the tail-tip.