Re: Pokemon: Team StormRiders [PG-13]
“My father ruled before me, and his father before that. The Missionary has been in my family for generations and that is the way it shall be kept.” He paused for a moment. “I have a son called Rye, perhaps you know him?” A dangerous glint entered his eyes and I gulped. He was challenging me; judging me to see what I knew. Well, I would not lie. I would answer him head on.
“Yes, I know Rye,” I said with clarity. “I met him in Likera at the Pokemon Rescue Association.” Then, remembering the ribbon was meant to be a tracer, I reached towards it and held it up for Virok to see. “In fact, your son was very nice and gave me this ribbon. I am quite fond of the etchings on the side, but I’m afraid I don’t know what they mean. Do you, sir?”
“They are runes of the ancient language, child,” Virok said, indulging my request. “I cannot read what they say, but there is a library here if you do wish to find out after. Though I must say that ribbon is very fitting on you, indeed.” I noticed his pupils thin ever so slightly, swivelling over the white fabric. Was he trying to find the tracer that did not exist? I smiled inwardly at the thought. His son was no longer his own.
“Thank you, sir,” I bowed my head slightly.
“By chance, do you know where my son is now?” Virok peered down at me with an inquisitive gaze. He didn’t know where Rye was. Well, nor did I for that matter. I was only lucky I didn’t flinch now when I heard his name, otherwise Virok might be very suspicious of me.
“I’m afraid not, sir,” I replied, looking downcast. “He left us long before the attack on the PRA, when Deoxys attacked.” I lied.
“Ah, yes, the infamous PRA attack. I heard that Deoxys had finally come out of hiding. It looks like he knows what you are up to, child. It looks like he wishes to stop you.” Again, I felt a piercing gaze boring through me. What was he doing so intently? Why was he studying me as if trying to peer into my soul?
“He does. And that’s why I have come to the Missionary; because I realised that to win this war I need your aid – not just you, but the entire town. Sir…I am at a loss if you do not help.” I watched as the Electivire raised a hand to his chin, rubbing it back and forth.
“Of course, child, you will have our help. But I wish to enquire about you first. You are a Light Pokemon, are you not? How did you gain this power? This unfathomable power of light.” There was something eerie about the way he said ‘light’ that I did not like.
“I, well, I’m not sure, sir. I was captured by Deoxys for a brief time when he attacked the PRA. I was very scared and had no idea why he was after me. One of his followers, a Gengar named Arc, told me that Deoxys wanted my soul. He…he didn’t say why,” I interjected hastily. I was not letting this Pokemon know I was human. Worst case scenario, he could tell Rye. Then where would I be? “But after when he was torturing me, and I felt like I might die, this new power overcame me. It was nothing like I had ever felt before. It washed away all the worry and doubt I had, causing me to grow very strong and calm. My head was so much clearer and I was able to fend off the Gengar until I was rescued. I was lucky, really.”
“Lucky, indeed,” Virok mused. “It has been over 10,000 years since a Light Pokemon has graced this earth, the very last being Altair. If I recall, he was a Pikachu like yourself. How very intriguing. They say that Altair sacrificed himself to send Darkrai to the Underworld, you know. It was by his actions that the Pokemon kind was freed from torment. Until Deoxys arrived, that is. I presume you know of the Great War?”
I shook my head. “Very little of it.”
“Ah, well! Short story is the Dark Ones were unleashed upon this world by Darkrai. Lord Arceus created the Light Ones – Pokemon that would banish the darkness. He did not foresee that they would all lose their lives in the Great War, but it was a sad price they were willing to pay for freedom. The rest is a story for another time. While the past events of history bore me, I’m sure yours will not. How did one such as you come to Likera and enrage Deoxys so?” He seemed to be positively glowing as he asked the question. I just gulped.
“I, er, I was lost. I was taken from my parents with little warning; I’m not sure by whom. But I awoke in Likera where I had been rescued, it seemed. I was really grateful for that. I still have no idea if my family is alive or dead, or if… I will ever see them again.” It was the honest truth, if only leaving out a few minor details. Virok studied me closer, if that were possible, but for the most part appeared satisfied.
“I see. Now, before we turn to business, are there any questions you would like to ask? I’m sure there is much you wish to know about the city.”
For a dark Electivire, he certainly was indulging every desire I had. It scared me to think why this was. Why was he acting so friendly when Rye said he was raising an army of Dark Pokemon? Maybe he wasn’t as bad as Rye had said. His tone and demeanour were cold, true, but he didn’t seem evil. I knew that Elekid had been blowing things out of proportion. But as long as I was here I would remain wary, and be careful in regards to what I said.
“How old is the city? I noticed it’s very grand. Surely it wasn’t always like this?”
Virok threw his head back and laughed. It was in no way like Rye’s – the bell-like peal I was never tired of hearing – but rather coarse and unrefined. “Arceus, no, child! This town used to be as small as an Oran berry, let me tell you! It was in my great, great grandfather’s reign that things began to spruce up a bit. We used to have houses built from trees, as you see in the smaller towns. Houses that accommodated the landscape. But as we learned to harness the wilderness, we were able to build grand things made of stone. Almost every building you see in this town is made of stone, whether it is white-washed, marble or something else entirely! We learned to use the skills Lord Arceus gave us to make the land fit us, and not the other way around. After all, we are the supreme beings on this earth.” He said this so matter of fact that I was beginning to see what a narrow mind he had.
“This town is one of the oldest in all of Talzere, dating way back to times before the light predecessors. We are also the capital city, where all information centres. Pokemon at local taverns are always sharing gossip and the like; that is how we at the Missionary receive most of our leads. It is not just our soldiers that do the field work.”
“How many soldiers are there?” For the first time since I’d entered, I raised my eyebrows curiously.
“Many,” Virok answered. “We have soldiers by the hundreds. Thousands, even. They are all specially trained in an area of combat. We have the pure-bred fighters, soldiers – privates, majors, lieutenants, corporals, generals and the sort – navigators, trackers, sentinels, vanguards, agents and such. Then you have your rogues. They’re always causing trouble for us. But each unit specialises in a skill that the Missionary cannot do without. I, as Commander, oversee all the units and make sure they’re doing their job correctly. It’s not easy running a town, child.”
I didn’t believe for a second it was. It then occurred to me that I knew Virok had a son, Rye, but he had not mentioned Rye’s mother. I mean, surely, he had one. It never occurred to me to ask Rye, either. “I’m sorry to ask, sir, but if you have a son, you must have a wife?”
It was all too easy to see the lines on Virok’s face crease at the question. All too clear to see the pain in his dusky eyes. It was the first time since I’d entered the room that I felt his dangerous aura recede. Maybe his heart was not as black as I thought.
“I had…a late wife, Ameli. She died shortly after giving birth to our son. It was not her time.” He waved a hand. “Enough of this, you should proceed to your sleeping quarters, child, there is much to discuss tomorrow about the upcoming battle.”
“Of course, sir, thank you for the chat. It was nice to get to know you a little.”
“Oh, Zanna,” he stared at me, his gaze widening an inch. “You have no idea. The pleasure is all mine.” As his dark aura returned I whirled and hurried from the room, and his sight, to Nadal waiting just outside. The Persian had an uncanny knack for knowing when and where she was wanted.
“Now Zanna, dear,” she purred, “your friends are waiting up in the sleeping quarters. You best be getting some shut-eye now. There is much to do tomorrow!”
She trotted off happily and I followed in her wake, all the while feeling the piercing gaze of the Electivire on my back.
“What a delightful little chat that was,” Virok exclaimed with glee, returning to his chair. “Rakai,” he called to his right. “Did you get anything?”
“Aye. I was able to analyse some of the data, sir.” The Weavile slowly came into focus as his invisibility wore off. He was situated in a far corner of the room latched to the ceiling. A strange device was strapped around his head and what seemed like a scanner stretched across his eye. It flickered in strange motions.
“What was found?”
“Her aura is particularly strong and difficult to read. If I compare it to the recent deceased Light Pokemon, Altair, there is little difference in strength. This could become one brutal fight.”
“She can heal, it seems, but the rest appear to lay dormant deep within her. That side won’t be much of a challenge. She must have had a battle quite recently, because her tail was broken and is still healing. Her condition is far from weak, however.”
“Hmm.” The Electivire raised an arm to the monitor closest to him and pressed a button. “Dispatch Maske. I want to see how the Light Pokemon handles herself in a situation such as this.”
Rakai widened his gaze. “Are you sure, sir? That might not be called for, my data says-”
“Oh, damn your data!” Virok cried, bringing a fist down on the table.
Rakai flinched, but remained firmly rooted to the ceiling. “Half the Missionary could be destroyed by that Feraligatr alone! It will take ages to rebuild!”
“Why Rakai,” Virok lowered his voice to a whisper and laced it with ice. “You’d think you were more concerned about the Missionary than your own life.”
The Weavile dashed from the room faster than a blink of the eye could follow. Virok smiled. Life was good. Now for the test to begin.
My eyes were barely closed when a loud rumble issued through the building, shaking the whole room. Lani and Tali were both upright in an instant.
“What the hell was that?!” the Buizel cursed, rubbing her eyes. “You try to get some sleep, honestly!”
Lani shot a sharp look at the Buizel but turned her head to me. “That seemed like trouble, young ones. You two better stay here while I go see what it is. I will confer with the Commander and be back as soon as possible.” The Houndoom bounded out of the room without another word.
“Damn Arceus,” Tali cursed from across the room.
“Oh, shut up,” I glared at her, but the Buizel only poked out her tongue in defiance. She was a real irritating ball of fur, that Pokemon! “Well don’t just stand there in a daze. Make yourself useful and set up a barrier!”
Tali peered at me. “Whatever would we need a barrier for? As if some huge monster is going to come walking in here and attack us. Hah!” She sneered and proceeded to laugh.
Through seething anger and gritted teeth I snapped back a command. “Just do it!”
The Buizel muttered a never-ending string of curses in my direction but dutifully raised her arms, creating invisible force fields that would stop negative energy from coming our way. As she did so, I waited patiently for Lani to return. It was hard, however, to tune out from the rumbling noise which was growing louder by the second. To distract myself I tried to reach out with my mind, seeing if I could sense the location of the disturbance, but the Missionary defences were far too advanced for my level.
Lani skidded through the doorway, gasping and crying out. “There is a dark Pokemon on this very route! I think it is after you, Zanna. We must escape before it reaches – oof!”
The Houndoom yelped as she was knocked off her feet and sent flying through the air across the room. Tali and I ducked just in time.
“Lani!” I screamed, but it was drowned out by an overwhelming roar.
From the shadows of the doorway appeared a large black Pokemon. It stomped forward and I caught a glint of its face in the dim light. Teeth – thousands of teeth – in many rows lined its jaws. Its eyes glared savagely, arms stretched out to attack. I recognised it at once as a Feraligatr, not from instinct, but because I had seen one briefly whilst at the PRA. Normally they were a teal blue colour. This one, as a dark Pokemon, appeared dusky grey.
It roared again and I raised an arm to shield myself from the drool that was constantly being flung from its mouth. Being scared wasn’t an option, though I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. Lani was rendered unconscious on the floor and Tali seemed struck with dread. As the Feraligatr stepped forward again it hit something. Something invisible. I had been right to suggest raising a barrier. Tali’s barriers seemed to have stopped it in its tracks. Or so I thought. With a groan the Dark Pokemon raised its right arm, bringing it crashing down upon the invisible barrier. The next step it took brought it closer towards us. I cringed.
“I thought those barriers were to stop it from getting through!” I yelled back to Tali. But it looked, for once, as if she was lost for words. With Lani unconscious and Tali’s barriers being knocked down effortlessly, we were in for a tough fight. Assuming we would even get out alive. This was the Missionary for Arceus’ sake! Where were all the reinforcements?!
But there was no time to think. The huge Feraligatr was coming closer and I had to stop it. From what I knew, the Pokemon was a water type and my electric attacks would be super effective. Reaching deep within, I readied what I hoped would be a powerful thunderbolt. “Step back!” I told Tali, who for once, obediently obeyed. I then launched the attack directly at the Feraligatr and watched as it cried out, crumpling into a heap on the floor. “Yes!”
I thought for sure my attack had worked, but it was all too easy. I was sure it wouldn’t go down so fast. My intuition proved right as the Feraligatr merely shook away the rest of the static and roared again, scrambling to its feet. A closer look and I could see my attack had left no mark – not a singed scrap of scales to be found. My smile broke with dismay. It was a Dark Pokemon. Yes, of course it would be stronger than normal. Well, I thought. If my attacks can’t do me justice in this form, perhaps I ought to try my other.
My ears now easily blocked out the savage roaring and stomping of the Pokemon and I closed my eyes. It was hard to do so without wondering if I was about to be squished, but an inner calm had begun to spread through me, telling me that everything would be alright. A gasp issued from behind me – Tali’s –and I realised my fur must be changing to the white hue it so often took in my Light form. It was then that I opened my eyes and glared, glared hard at the enemy causing such distress. Though I could not be sure, it seemed the Feraligatr flinched under my gaze. A smirk touched my lips. Now it was my time to fight back.
Bashing through the barriers with speed, the Feraligatr came close enough to lunge at me. Its jaw snapped towards my tail but I dodged – and just in time. It crashed into the wall, sending debris flying. Tali had come to her senses and was dragging Lani out of the way of our battlefield.
I readied another thunderbolt and released the crackling white energy. This time on impact it singed the underbelly of the Pokemon, leaving a blackened scorch mark. My attacks now had effect. But the Dark Pokemon whipped its head round almost immediately and opened its mouth. A beam of bright cold energy bore into my body, knocking the wind from my stomach. I slammed into the wall with such force I became dazed, unable to stand upright.
W-what was that? I peered through my half-shut eyelids. The Feraligatr was up and charging towards me again. This time it took all my energy to run in the right direction and not crash into an object. I was dizzy and uncoordinated. In no way could I launch an attack like this. It would be likely I could hit Tali or Lani.
But something sparked in my mind. The body of the Feraligatr was becoming clearer as I focused on it. This time when it came close enough, I lithely dodged its paw and grabbed onto its back, holding tight with my tiny paws. Though it tried to shake me off my resolve was strong. I let loose another thunderbolt, singing every scale upon the Feraligatr’s body. As it fell to the floor once more I backed away to the far side of the room, gathering my energy.
I felt weaker than usual. Maybe I wasn’t yet healed from my fight with Rye that had roughed me up so much. At the thought my tail twinged with a slight ache, but I ignored it. I was no longer dazed, although my energy was draining fast. The Feraligatr stood on its feet for a second time and let out the most devastating roar yet. I cringed, covering my ears with my paws. Leer! My feet suddenly felt wobbly.
My eyes caught my make-shift bed. It had escaped my notice that the Orb of Sorrow, which I usually carried very close to my side, had rolled away from underneath my downy pillow. Straight towards the Feraligatr! “NO, STOP!” I shrieked in panic. The orb was very special, an Orb of Altair. If that Feraligatr crushed the orb we would all be lost. No, no, no!
Disregarding my safety I raced after the orb, just as the Dark Pokemon reached down with its jaw. I’m going to be eaten, was my last thought. But then a miraculous thing occurred. As my paw connected with the orb it glowed, illuminating the room in silver light. Feelings of such sadness coursed through my body, casting away the golden warmth of my Light form and disrupting it. My fur turned to yellow once more and I lay in a heap on the ground, curled into a tight ball.
Shadows beckoned and called to me, lamenting with sorrow. Zaaaaaannnaaaa, they hissed into my ears. You shall die where you sleep, Zanna. The light has forsaken you. You…will…die.
My eyes snapped open, glowering fiercely at the orb. “No I won’t.” A brief glance told me both Tali and the Feraligatr were blinded, but I was not. I alone could clearly see through the light of the orb and it did not touch me. “I will not die,” I continued, “and you will answer to me!”
At my cry the light of the orb faded and emitted a wailing screech. It did not harm me, nor Tali, or Lani for that matter. But the Dark Pokemon fell to the floor, clawing at its ears with such power that they began to bleed. It roared and lashed out with its tail, screeching in agony.
[continued in next post]
Last edited by Gem N Ems; 02-01-2011 at 09:49 PM.