Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)
Some members of the swarm didn’t agree with him, but they obeyed. The injured and sick were taken care of as best as the scyther could manage. Stormblade was, as well, and in his case, Bloodscythe couldn’t have been more right. To everyone’s astonishment, he had grown from a weak and feeble hatchling into a large, powerful fighter, who was bigger and taller than any other scyther in the swarm, and with the strength to match. He had overcome his sickness and proven to be a valuable member of Bloodscythe’s swarm.
Though even still, not all the swarm members were convinced that Bloodscythe’s way was right.
There had been a few scyther who had caught a very terrible disease during the winter, and though Bloodscythe had allowed them larger portions of food than what the rest of the scyther got, they didn’t last the winter. One of the scyther in the swarm, Silverbreeze, and a large scyther called Boneslice, who had recently joined the swarm after becoming mates with Silverbreeze, were angry at Bloodscythe for wasting so much food on the ill scyther when they believed it should be saved for the strong.
They tried to convince Bloodscythe to change the swarm’s law, but he refused, saying that it was still a swarm’s duty to care for all its members, and only then could they be truly strong.
Though many scyther agreed with Bloodscythe, they were forced to change their ways when Boneslice challenged Bloodscythe to a leadership battle and defeated him. When a leader was defeated, the new leader was to choose whether or not the old leader would leave or be allowed to stay. Boneslice had gone further than punishing the old leader with exile, and chased Bloodscythe beyond the boundary of the swarm’s territory, telling him that he risked being killed if he ever set foot near the swarm again.
They never saw Bloodscythe again.
Boneslice, with Silverbreeze right at his side as his second-in-command, changed the swarm’s laws. Sick scyther were left to fend for themselves until they recovered and could return to the swarm, or they succumbed to starvation.
Many of the scyther longed for Bloodscythe to return, but since that was impossible, a few of them challenged Boneslice for leadership. They were failed attempts, and each loser was punished with being sentenced to the lowest rank in Boneslice’s new order. The other scyther became afraid to challenge him, and a few were even talking of deserting when Stormblade decided to challenge him.
No one had expected him to; even Stormblade himself would have never guessed he would be driven to such a thing. He was no leader. But he was the only scyther who could match Boneslice in size and strength, and then some.
The battle was fierce at first, but then Stormblade quickly overpowered Boneslice, who was no match for him. Stormblade, being furious with Boneslice for what he’d done to the swarm and the fact that he was willing to leave his comrades to die in the name of survival of the fittest, exiled him permanently from the swarm.
Boneslice’s mate, Silverbreeze, was furious and although she hadn’t been as against Bloodscythe’s ways and beliefs as Boneslice had been, she tried to rally other scyther against their new leader. Her efforts were futile; most of the swarm was glad to see Bloodscythe’s ideals returning through Stormblade.
Stormblade ignored Silverbreeze for the most part, and though he didn’t show it, it made him angry to think of her idea of how a swarm would be run, knowing that she would have sent him to die if she had been in charge when he hatched. Stormblade didn’t know how to be a leader, but he did well enough, doing the same things as Bloodscythe had done.
Until a new threat came to the forest.
When humans began to cut down the forest, Stormblade had not heeded the warnings from the older scyther who told him they should leave, and instead declared that they should drive out the humans, for no one had the right to take a scyther swarm’s territory from them. The result was disastrous, with three scyther captured and several more injured, including Stormblade himself. After their terrible defeat, Stormblade led the swarm to seek new hunting grounds, and almost the moment after they found them and decided on boundaries, several of the scyther, including Silverbreeze, rebelled against him. Silverbreeze herself was the one to challenge him in a leadership battle, and in his injured state, he couldn’t do much to defend himself.
After a humiliating defeat, he was exiled immediately. He staggered around the forest for a few days, in a daze after what had happened and too injured to hunt properly, until he stumbled upon Justin and his pokémon and was captured.
Stormblade knew that Justin had only kept him because he recognized that a pokémon that could fight back fiercely even when injured was a strong and valuable asset to a trainer’s team, and probably, Stormblade thought, because he recognized that Stormblade was bigger than a normal scyther. Justin would have noticed that. Stormblade realized that he must have seemed terrifying to the boy.
He had often wondered what became of Silverbreeze, and now he knew. She must have been overthrown, hopefully by a fair and understanding scyther who would make a good leader, and wandered around until joining up with Cyclone and his army. She must have wanted revenge for what the humans did to the old forest.
Stormblade wondered what his old swarm would think of him now. Bloodscythe would have tried to keep him alive even with Shadowflare wounds, even if all the others believed him as good as dead, as Blazefang had…like he had, before being captured by Katie.
He’d wanted for so long to go back and fix his mistakes, to make it so that he never challenged the humans, that those scyther had never been captured, but there was no way to do that. The only thing he could do was to move forward. But how could he do that, trapped in this hospital?
He had to find a way. He had to fight his hardest to survive, not just for himself, but for his friends. He wanted to help them, to try and repay them for all they’d done for him while he had still been traveling with them, struggling just to rise every day, and he wanted to help prevent any pokémon from being hurt by a Forbidden Attack again. These were the thoughts that kept him going, as well as the hope, the probably futile hope, of being able to help them rescue Thunder from Master. It was probably nothing more than a wild, crazy dream, but it was more bearable than thinking of her being trapped in that horrid life forever.
After all, he thought as he closed his eyes, trying feebly to get comfortable enough to sleep, they had to be trying to come up with a plan to rescue her even as he lay there…
They had to be…
To be continued...
(There was really no good place to split this chapter, so I had to settle for cutting it off after Stormblade's part of it. Speaking of which, both this chapter and Chapter 52 are going to mostly focus on the characters and, in some cases, their backstories. The reason for this is that I want readers to know about them as they are important, and I want it to be before the really major plot-filled events starting in Chapter 53.
So these two chapters are a sort of break from the action, getting to know more about certain characters and showing some other important details. Chapter 53 is where things start to get more intense, a lot more.)
Thanks to Lunar Latias for the banner and Kirimori for the picture!