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Creative Writing Share your fan fiction, stories, poems, essays, editorials, song lyrics, or any other related written work. All written must be your creation. Start a new thread, and keep replying to that thread as you add on more chapters. Anyone can join in at anytime.


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  #1366  
Old 01-12-2011, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

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Originally Posted by UberRaichu View Post
Hooray, new chapter!!! Quite depressing in several ways, but still awesome most definitely! One more thing, does Jake the Eevee remind anyone else of Doug, from Up? It's probably just me, but still, his personality seems alot the same.
Thank you! I'm glad you thought it was awesome. XD He does? o: I guess he's hyper/happy enough. xD


Now, I just finished uploading an animation music video relating to The Path of Destiny. It focuses on Cyclone.

You can watch it here: Click!
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  #1367  
Old 01-13-2011, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

YAY IT'S UP!!!! :D

That was a really cool animation there! :D That song is perfect for Cyclone's story, and certain scenes in it were moving. That part with little Cyclone hiding behind the garbage--all the expressions--I was really scared for the little guy. All that really explains why the dude is the way he is--and I like how that one scene is toward the end, when he says, "Why should I?". (I pictured it just like that, too xD) But man, what a sad story... D:

BTW... that city towards the end that Cyclone's looking over... is that his old city, where he grew up? or is it Stonedust, where our heroes are chilling out? :o FORESHADOW?!?!?
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  #1368  
Old 01-14-2011, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

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Originally Posted by Charmander009 View Post
YAY IT'S UP!!!! :D

That was a really cool animation there! :D That song is perfect for Cyclone's story, and certain scenes in it were moving. That part with little Cyclone hiding behind the garbage--all the expressions--I was really scared for the little guy. All that really explains why the dude is the way he is--and I like how that one scene is toward the end, when he says, "Why should I?". (I pictured it just like that, too xD) But man, what a sad story... D:

BTW... that city towards the end that Cyclone's looking over... is that his old city, where he grew up? or is it Stonedust, where our heroes are chilling out? :o FORESHADOW?!?!?
Thanks! I'm glad it came out close to how you pictured it!

As for the city scene...I'm not telling what it is. >=)
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  #1369  
Old 01-21-2011, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

Talk about a sad chapter... Perhaps everyone will able to forget themselves if they manage to find something interesting in the library. Or so I hope at least. And I also hope Thunder won't lose her spirit now that she's been recaptured. What the Master does is horrible!

The video was real nice! I was wondering, though, if the part about Cyclone being an Eevee will be implemented into the story or if it's just some extra backstory which will help us understand him better.
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  #1370  
Old 01-21-2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

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Talk about a sad chapter... Perhaps everyone will able to forget themselves if they manage to find something interesting in the library. Or so I hope at least. And I also hope Thunder won't lose her spirit now that she's been recaptured. What the Master does is horrible!

The video was real nice! I was wondering, though, if the part about Cyclone being an Eevee will be implemented into the story or if it's just some extra backstory which will help us understand him better.
The next chapter will talk about the library more, so you'll see!

It's mainly there to understand his motives, or what started them, better. And I can't really say what will or won't have a big effect on the story. o:
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  #1371  
Old 01-21-2011, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

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The video was real nice! I was wondering, though, if the part about Cyclone being an Eevee will be implemented into the story or if it's just some extra backstory which will help us understand him better.
Wait...'some extra backstory'? I'm afraid I don't understand... It's his past. Do you remember chapter 36 (or around then) when it explained about Cyclone's past? It's odd that you'd call it 'some extra backstory', since it's what happened to him as a pup. This is how he got to be where he is now, and why he's doing these things. Scy wanted to focus on that so that people would understand more, but it's his past. Every character has a past, otherwise they're...well, it's like they never existed before the events in your story, which wouldn't make sense..

~GS.
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  #1372  
Old 01-27-2011, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

Aww! That was a really cool video Scy! You've got some beastly animation skills. I was sad when Cyclone's parents died, there was a lot of emotion going on in the video.

Who did the voice-overs? That was a neat effect!
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  #1373  
Old 01-27-2011, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

Thanks!

Neo Pikachu did Cyclone's voice, and Graceful Suicune did Silverbreeze's. ^^
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  #1374  
Old 01-28-2011, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

It took me a while to get the chance to watch it, but that video was good. Now I got a voice to tie to Cyclone. It brought back some things I think I forgot about him too. :D
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  #1375  
Old 02-11-2011, 03:19 AM
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Talking Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

Wow! This story is AWESOME! It inspired me to make one! (Just finished first chapter!) Continue writing!
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  #1376  
Old 02-11-2011, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

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Originally Posted by FrozenPika View Post
It took me a while to get the chance to watch it, but that video was good. Now I got a voice to tie to Cyclone. It brought back some things I think I forgot about him too. :D
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it! And it probably did; it's been a while since he's showed up in the story. xD

Quote:
Originally Posted by mspandalolo View Post
Wow! This story is AWESOME! It inspired me to make one! (Just finished first chapter!) Continue writing!
Thanks! I'm glad I could inspire you, and good luck with your story!
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  #1377  
Old 02-11-2011, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

Scy! I finally caught up. (Even though it took me months to do so.)

And this story just keeps getting better! I must say, I was rather sad when they had to leave Stormblade and when we found out that Articuno couldn't help, and when Thunder was re-captured. But I must say, Rosie's behavior after kinda grinded on my nerves for some reason. I don't know why, I would have acted the same.

I can't wait to read more!

~Starr
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

I'm glad you did! I missed seeing you comment here!

Thank you! I'm glad to know I've been improving! And yeah, I see what you mean about Rosie.

Thanks!
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  #1379  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:05 AM
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(New chapter! This was originally longer, but it was so long (longer even than the Articuno chapter), so I had to split it into two chapters. This is the first half, and the rest will be Chapter 52).



The Path of Destiny

Chapter 51 – Searching


It was later in the evening when Justin, Katie and Damian returned from the library. All the pokémon waiting for them sat up eagerly, but Snowcrystal could immediately tell from the look on Damian’s face that their search hadn’t been successful.

“Nothing…” Damian sighed as he released his pokémon into the clearing and sat down on the grass.

“There’s still a lot more left to search,” Justin reminded him, sounding a bit more hopeful. “And some of the books we wanted were taken. We’ll just wait until they’re brought back.”

“That was pointless,” Katie muttered, “we only found the same stupid story over and over again.”

“I guess we’ll try again tomorrow,” Damian sighed.

“Well, Justin and I are going back to the hotel then,” Katie said with a shrug, starting to walk in the other direction.

“You are going to help us tomorrow…” Justin began, “...aren’t you?” Katie mumbled something in reply that Snowcrystal couldn’t hear.

Snowcrystal didn’t know how long they were going to be able to count on Katie’s help, and though she didn’t care much if the human left, she was worried that if she did, Justin…and Spark…would leave with her.

“Uh…Katie!” Justin cried, starting to run after her. Spark began to follow, but paused and looked back at the others. After a moment’s hesitation, he started to follow after Justin.

“I can tell the humans you want to stay,” Arien suggested to him.

Spark hesitated a bit more, but shook his head. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” he told them sadly, before hurrying into the trees after his trainer. Snowcrystal wondered if he was acting sad because he hadn’t had a chance to see Stormblade.

Damian looked back at all the pokémon, who were gathered together in the clearing near the tent, watching him. Snowcrystal could hear some of the others talking and wondered if Arien was telling Damian everything they were saying through their psychic link.

With a sigh, she sat down near Redclaw. “I guess there’s not much else to do but wait,” she mumbled.

“We’re making better progress than we were,” Redclaw reminded her. “Now that we have access to the human’s knowledge.”

“Yeah, but we can’t do anything but wait around for them to find it!” Blazefang growled in frustration. “Those humans better find something tomorrow.”

Snowcrystal was going to agree, when a flash of light filled the clearing and Scytheclaw appeared in front of Damian. The scizor gave the pokémon gathered there a venomous glare and turned and limped away into the trees.

“Hey!” Redclaw said suddenly, his ears pricked, like he had just noticed something exciting. “Do you think…if Scytheclaw has that healing power…”

Snowcrystal knew what he was going to say. “…then he can heal Stormblade?” she finished.

“Yes, and Nightshade,” Redclaw replied, a grin spreading across his face. A few of the other pokémon turned their heads in the direction Scytheclaw had gone, looking suddenly just as hopeful as Redclaw.

Snowcrystal sighed. “I tried asking him last night,” she admitted to the others. “He…refused…”

“Then let’s force him!” Rosie growled. “A few flamethrowers to the face and he’ll do what we want! He’d have to listen to us or get his armor melted off.”

“NO,” Arien said firmly, causing the ninetales to look at him in shock. The alakazam stood up to his full height, looking very intimidating. “He is Damian’s pokémon and I cannot allow you to hurt him. And don’t you think your heracross friend and the wild pokémon have hurt him enough?”

“Nightshade-” Rosie sputtered, but seemed too furious to think of exactly what she wanted to say, until she yelled, “NIGHTSHADE HAD TO BEAT HIM UP. AND HE DESERVED IT! HE-”

“Well then he paid for it,” Arien said calmly. “Now you can all leave the past behind and move on, just as he is trying to do.”

“Now look,” Wildflame began, stepping up beside the fuming Rosie. “Who-besides Rosie-said we needed to hurt Scytheclaw? We just need to…find a way to convince him, that’s all.”

“Good luck with that,” Blazefang muttered, rolling his eyes.

“You can ask him,” Arien said calmly, “but you can’t force him. And if you ask, please at least try to be nice.”

Wildflame glanced at Rosie, and then at the others. “Maybe just a few of us should go,” she sighed.

Damian, who had been watching the argument curiously, but not seeming to understand what was going on, climbed into the tent after a moment’s hesitation. Snowcrystal sighed. She knew she couldn’t be one of the ones to go and try to convince Scytheclaw.

However, Wildflame, of course, didn’t realize that. “Do you want to go with me and Redclaw?” the houndoom asked after a few moments, looking at Snowcrystal.

“I….I don’t think so,” she muttered.

“I’ll go then,” said Dusk the absol, standing up. “Scytheclaw seems fine around us. He might listen to me.”

“Okay, good,” Wildflame stated, sounding worried, as if she was secretly as doubtful as Snowcrystal was that Scytheclaw would agree to help. “Do you think we should…give him something? Can someone hunt?”

“Why don’t you ask him first?” Rosie muttered, sounding a little calmer. “That way you won’t waste your time…”

“We can promise him something, I guess,” Redclaw suggested. “But I…I don’t know if we should hunt prey when Scytheclaw has plenty of human made food…”

“So what?” Rosie muttered. “Those stupid prey pokémon would kill us if they could! That’s just the way nature works!”

Redclaw gave her a fierce glare. “I thought you said we shouldn’t waste our time hunting for him…” he growled, but didn’t say anything more.

“I…I don’t know if…” Snowcrystal began, but stopped herself. She didn’t think this was a good idea, but she couldn’t try and stop them before they’d even had a chance to try. She wondered if it would be too soon to ask him after what had happened the previous night, but she trusted Redclaw to keep calm.

“Don’t worry,” Redclaw assured her. “If he refuses, we’ll leave him alone for a little while.”

Snowcrystal was glad he understood that getting angry or trying to force the decision on Scytheclaw would only make things worse, and watched as the arcanine, houndoom, and absol walked into the trees after the scizor.

***

Wildflame wasn’t quite sure why she was doing this. It seemed a bit hopeless, but she badly wanted to help somehow…now that everything in her life seemed uncertain, now that she had nothing to bring back to her pack, and that there was no way she was returning to serve under Firedash again. Her future, at least for the time being, lay with this group, and she felt she had to do what she could to help them. Though they had started off as enemies, Stormblade was now her friend. She wanted to help him.

Her thoughts wandered to the previous night and hoped Scytheclaw would be calmer now. She was prepared to apologize for what she had said before if she needed to. Redclaw seemed wary too, and she remembered what had happened when they had first met Scytheclaw away from the canyon.

‘Why did it have to be him?’ she thought in frustration. ‘Why not some other pokémon with a healing power?’

They stopped as Scytheclaw’s scent became stronger and the houndoom realized he wasn’t far away. Dusk stepped forward.

“I think I should ask him,” Redclaw told the absol. “After all, Stormblade is our friend.” Dusk hesitated for a moment, but nodded solemnly and let Redclaw lead them further on until they spotted the clearing where Scytheclaw was resting.

The scizor noticed them instantly. He leaped up, stumbling a little because of his injuries, but if he was embarrassed or angry at his weakness he didn’t show it. He held up his pincers threateningly as they stopped at the edge of the clearing, acting completely unafraid, as if he was facing a tiny piece of prey and not two powerful fire types and an absol. “What do you want?” he asked warningly.

“We want to talk to you,” Redclaw told him calmly.

“I know what this is about!” Scytheclaw snapped, his expression even more furious.

“Just listen to us,” Redclaw replied. When Scytheclaw merely glowered at him in reply (Wildflame was surprised he wasn’t screaming at them to leave yet), the arcanine continued. “We’re all willing to put the past behind us. We-”

“Just because you want something from me,” Scytheclaw snarled.

Redclaw seemed to decide to get to the point. “We want to ask you to try and heal Stormblade. At least…the Shadowflare wounds. He needs help badly…and you are probably his only chance. We are willing to do whatever you ask for this favor. We can bring you food, the best of our food, every day, and-”

“Damian gives me plenty of food!” the scizor growled. “Why would I want yours?”

Wildflame glanced at Redclaw worriedly. What else did they have to offer him besides food?

“I have everything I need,” Scytheclaw told them smugly. “There’s nothing any of you can do about it. And I haven’t forgotten the way you attacked me…” He glared at Redclaw. “Or what you said after you found out Damian was my trainer!” He gave Wildflame an equally venomous look. “I’m loyal to Damian,” the scizor said proudly, lifting his head as if he thought the intruders to his space were beneath him. “Not to you,” he spat in disgust.

“Scytheclaw, listen,” Dusk began as he padded forward. “I know these pokémon have wronged you…”

Wildflame had to try to make herself look calm when she really wanted to snarl at the absol. We wronged him?

“But you are the only one who can help this scyther,” Dusk continued. “I’m not saying you have to or we’re going to force you, but…it would be very noble of you to do so. Damian could buy you any sort of food, or treats, or items you wanted. We’d all be grateful if-”

“The answer is NO!” Scytheclaw shouted, and for a moment Wildflame thought he was going to fly at them and attack them, but instead he turned and darted further into the forest. Wildflame’s heart sank.

“I guess…we’ll have to try again later,” she said hopelessly as they turned to walk back to the group.

***

That night, everyone slept in silence, most of them by themselves. For once, Snowcrystal didn’t feel like sleeping next to the others. She couldn’t help wondering how Stormblade and Nightshade felt, alone in those buildings without the sky above them as they slept. As she lay down, she felt the grass prickle against her paws. She still wasn’t quite used to not being around snow or hard stone, and for a moment she thought longingly of her home, wondering how much the growlithe’s territory had shrunk, and what they were doing now. She wondered again if she should have left in the first place. What had this quest accomplished?

‘I’m doing something that’s going to help now…’ she thought to herself. ‘It won’t all be for nothing…I’m going to help the legendaries, and all the pokémon…It won’t be for nothing…I’m sure…’

Stormblade and Nightshade, she thought, would both want her to continue trying to learn about the Forbidden Attacks. Nightshade had even said so. Still, her little adventure hadn’t done them any favors. Yet they had helped her so much…she wished there was something she could do to help them.

Suddenly she sat up. She did know what she could do. For Stormblade, at least. Getting to her feet, she headed over toward where Damian’s pokémon were getting ready to sleep. She needed to talk to Arien.

***

“So…” Katie began, looking from Damian, to Arien, to Snowcrystal, “you’re telling me the police were wrong all this time, and that Scyther-uh, Stormblade-was innocent?”

Snowcrystal looked at Damian hopefully and he nodded. It was morning, and Katie and Justin had just come back from the trainers’ hotel, and as soon as they arrived, Damian began eagerly repeating Stormblade’s story to them. Unfortunately, Katie just seemed confused, and Justin had been steadily backing away as if he didn’t want to hear it at all.

Katie sighed. “Look,” she said, “I know Stormblade is their friend, and they want him to seem like he was always a good guy…but how do they know the whole story? And more importantly, why does it matter? I mean, maybe it was another pokémon that attacked that girl, but we can’t really know for sure, and-”

“YOU weren’t there,” Justin said suddenly, stepping forward. The look in his eyes made Snowcrystal crouch lower to the ground. He looked, in a way she couldn’t really explain, frightening. “You weren’t the ones the police came to. There was blood on the scyther’s blades. Believe me, the stupid pokémon is making that up. If you’re not going to drop this subject…for good, then I’m leaving.”

Snowcrystal gave Damian and Arien an alarmed look. Justin had seemed so eager to help with their new quest, but the look in his eyes was so serious that she didn’t doubt that he meant what he said about leaving. She didn’t think Justin was that valuable an addition to their team; after all, Damian was far more helpful and he could do anything Justin could, but she knew that if he left, Spark might leave too…

“All right,” Damian said reluctantly, looking over at his alakazam, making Snowcrystal think Arien had warned him telepathically not to try and argue with Justin. “We’ll drop it.”

Justin looked satisfied but still angry, and Katie just shrugged, as if the whole thing hadn’t changed anything. Snowcrystal thought she probably had been skeptical because she hadn’t wanted to have any false hopes about Stormblade, and before she could really think it over, what Justin had said must have felt like a confirmation of her beliefs. Snowcrystal felt helpless. She wanted them to know all the details Damian had left out in the quick version of the story he’d told Katie, which he’d stumbled over quite a bit and forgot important details that Arien had to remind him off, making his story seem less convincing.

The other pokémon who were listening, the ones who knew Stormblade, looked disappointed as well.

“Well, it was worth a shot,” Spark said sadly.

“Why don’t you try to get it through your trainer’s thick head that it wasn’t Stormblade’s fault?” Rosie snapped at him.

Redclaw quickly put himself between the two before an argument could break out. “Look,” he growled, “fighting’s not going to help Stormblade. If we want to help him, we need to try to keep the humans together. The three of them can search the human’s information stash faster together than just one human can. Maybe after Justin has calmed down, we can try again.”

“And hopefully Damian can tell it without sounding like a babbling idiot!” Rosie muttered.

“Okay, so maybe explaining things isn’t his strong point,” Redclaw replied, “but he and Arien are the only form of communication we’ve got. It’s better than nothing. It may take a while, but the other humans will understand.”

Snowcrystal wished she felt as hopeful as Redclaw sounded.

***

The next few weeks passed uneventfully, and things remained much the same within the group. Katie, after much thought and discussion with the other two humans, had chosen to stay. How long she would stay, Snowcrystal wasn’t sure, but she hoped she had chosen to stay with them for the entire search. They needed all the help they could get.

So far, none of the humans had managed to find any useful new information on the Forbidden Attacks, and several of the books had stories with details that conflicted with each other. The humans weren’t giving up yet, and insisted that there were many other books they could search through.

(Continued in next post...)
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  #1380  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)

That day, however, Snowcrystal was going to go with them. Doing nothing but waiting day after day had, for a while, been peaceful, but her old restlessness had soon returned, and she could no longer stand being unable to help. She wanted to do something, even if that something was just tagging along with the humans for a day, watching them try and find information. She hadn’t been able to go into the city with them much before, and she had only been able to see Stormblade one more time since she had last seen him. He wasn’t getting worse, but he wasn’t getting much better. But he was alive.

Today, the humans had a new idea. If it worked well, it might mean that she would be able to walk the city streets freely alongside them.

It had taken a few tries, but Damian, Katie, and Justin had managed to die her fur to match the color of an orange growlithe’s. It had at first been frustrating when Justin kept getting the wrong shade of orange, or the humans weren’t careful and messed up, but at last they had succeeded in making her look passably like, as Justin had said, “a normal growlithe”. Runty and with a few oddly shaped stripes, but pretty ‘normal’-looking overall.

“There,” Damian said as he and the others stood back and admired her. “No one will tell the difference.”

Justin frowned. “Some of the stripes look weird,” he pointed out. “And the cream color is a bit too dark.”

“No one’s going to be looking at people’s growlithe to see if they’re actually white,” Katie pointed out. “So she’s small and looks a bit odd. So what? Some pokémon look a little different. No one’s going to care.”

Justin just rolled his eyes and muttered, “fine”, and without further discussion they were soon on their way. Spark and Redclaw were accompanying them to the library that day, as well as Inferno the flareon and Todd the Elekid. Spark was used to the city, and it surprised Snowcrystal to see him walking down the sidewalk ahead of the humans, at complete ease with his surroundings. Seeing that Snowcrystal was nervous, he soon came back to join her.

“It’s not so bad, once you get used to it,” he told her.

“Then I wish I was used to it,” Snowcrystal muttered back, scurrying out of the way of a human passing them from the other direction. Even though she was still nervous about being discovered, the human didn’t give her a second glance.

“Just stick with me,” Spark replied cheerfully. “You’ll be fine.”

As they neared the library, Snowcrystal realized that she didn’t recognize anything. The place looked so different from the rain-slicked streets she had wandered through with Sid and Wildflame all that time ago. How long had it been? She wasn’t sure. It seemed like ages.

As they walked through the massive library’s front doors, Snowcrystal couldn’t suppress a feeling of fear as she remembered the last time she was here, running panicked through the halls as a human chased after her. Trying to ignore the feeling as best as she could, she walked in with the others, sticking close to Spark’s side.

Inside, the library was just as big and confusing as she remembered it being, though in the light of day and with the company of friends, it was a lot less scary. She paused to give the legendary pokémon portraits around the room a curious glance now that she could see them clearly in the light, then followed Damian and the others further into the room.

She wasn’t sure if this was the room Sid had led her into the first time she was here; she remembered there had been pictures of legendaries, but not what they looked like. She let her gaze travel across each one and suddenly remembered that there had been an articuno painting in the room she had first entered. There was no articuno here; this must be a different room.

She wondered which of the towering bookshelves they were going to look for information from, but the humans didn’t even stop to look at them. They passed through the room without a glance at any of the books, down a hallway and into a smaller room with crude, brightly colored art plastering the walls along with other cheerful decorations. There were a few human children reading from large, flat books while a mightyena dozed peacefully in the corner.

They walked through that room and down a few more hallways, until they came upon a sight that Snowcrystal did remember.

Ahead of her, on the wall in front of them by where the hallway split into two paths, was the large circular mural of the Forbidden Attacks. Strangely, in the now well-lit building, it still looked foreboding, and she noticed that the others, even Inferno and Todd, had stopped to give it a nervous glance before tearing their gaze away and continuing on down the right hallway. Snowcrystal stared at the strange mural a few seconds longer before following them. A random memory surfaced of her looking at the painting and hearing the human coming, then running down the left hallway, and she wondered what awaited them at the end of the right.

She followed the others down the hallway and past two wide open doors, and the room they arrived in next was the biggest one Snowcrystal had seen. It was truly massive, and the floor formed a round, even circle. The room had multiple stories, each story having rows upon rows of bookshelves around the circular edges of the room. The center of the bottom floor was a clear space with several chairs and sofas upon which a few humans and in some cases, their pokémon, were lounging upon. On the upper stories, this circular space was a massive hole, so Snowcrystal could see all the way to the ceiling far, far, above, the center of which was comprised of windows, which made up a sphere as big as the openings in the upper stories.

Up above, she could make out a few humans walking around by the rails lining the outside of the center of the higher stories, of which Snowcrystal counted four. She watched a flygon lift into the air from the second story to bring a book to his trainer on the third. Way, way up on the fifth story, a plusle and minun sat on the railing, peering downward and squealing something excitedly to one another. All along the walls on the bottom floor, and probably the upper ones too, were portraits, but in this room, they were not mainly of legendaries. Ordinary pokémon made up a lot of the subjects in the pictures here; she even saw one with a large group of stylized growlithe puppies playing in a field.

“See?” Spark said to her with a grin. “Us pokémon are welcome here! Though I sure hope that moron up there doesn’t fall off and get the humans all paranoid about us.” He narrowed his eyes at the tiny shape of the plusle leaning over the rail.

The place was so massive that Snowcrystal could begin to understand just why the search was taking so long. The humans would be meticulously studying any book with even a chance of having something relevant to the Forbidden Attacks for any clue it might offer them, and as they had long since looked through the obviously relevant books, the search was getting harder.

“All right, you two,” Inferno said in a cheerful voice. Snowcrystal knew that he always liked it when he got to accompany the humans. His fur fluffed up and his eyes were bright with enthusiasm as he looked around the room. “Let’s get started!”

Snowcrystal wasn’t sure what the pokémon could do, and she didn’t think they’d be able to do much other than offer the humans moral support, but that seemed to be enough of a job for Todd and Inferno. They eagerly helped Damian, Justin, and Katie put away books or jumped up to the higher shelves to retrieve one for them. They were on the second story, working their way up toward the fifth, Spark explained to her. This room was full of information about pokémon and the world they lived in. While they waited as the humans skimmed through the books, Spark told her of some of the things he had learned from the humans while being here. He told her that they lived in a region called the Inari region. There were other regions too, places called things like Johto and Kanto, and they each had many human cities. Spark told her that by other regions’ standards, theirs was a strange one. It had very few species native only to itself, and was home to many species from all of the other regions. Snowcrystal found this interesting, and there were also many pokémon even Spark hadn’t seen that he’d found pictures of in books and excitedly showed Snowcrystal.

Snowcrystal found this fascinating, but at the same time, it worried her that this place was so rich in knowledge, yet they hadn’t been able to find any further information on the Forbidden Attacks outside of stories that were very likely fictional. Still, she did her best to help, which usually meant picking books up carefully in her mouth and plopping them back on the shelf, as the humans continued to look. Spark told her that none of the computers used to search for books had helped them, and they’d soon given up on that. He also told her that this was a very old and famous library that contained some very old books that may offer more insight than the more recent ones they had been searching through before.

It worried Snowcrystal how long this was taking, but at the same time, she knew that her friends needed the rest. Rosie’s leg was much better now, though she still had a limp, and everyone else was much happier and healthier, and very well fed. They now rarely needed to hunt. Katie was a good enough battler that between her battling tournament money and Damian and Justin doing random jobs for other humans with the help of their own pokémon, they had enough money to feed everyone, even the wild pokémon. Perhaps it was better if they waited for a while. At least here, they were likely getting closer to a discovery, and it would help them in the long run to take a long, peaceful rest.

Snowcrystal spent the day helping the humans put away books, watching them as they turned the pages to reveal colorful pictures, or lying down and looking up at all the flying pokémon that occasionally crossed the open space in the middle of the tall room. Then sunset came, filtering through the windows and tinting the room a faint orange. It was time to leave.

After Damian’s assurance that tomorrow would probably be the day they found something (which Spark told her that he said every day), they got up and followed the last lingering trainers through the hallways and towards the exit of the building.

“You were a great help,” Spark told Snowcrystal as they made their way through one of the hallways. “Aren’t you glad you got to come along this time?”

Snowcrystal knew he was just trying to make her feel better, but she nodded.

They walked into the small room where they had seen the human children reading before. Now there were no children, just a few adult humans putting away books and talking in a corner, and the mightyena from before, no longer snoozing but alert and awake with the coming of night.

As they walked through the room, the mightyena saw them and froze.

Snowcrystal paused, and so did the other pokémon, as the dark type walked over to them. She didn’t bother to give them a greeting, but walked straight up to Redclaw with a look of concern in her eyes. “That collar…” she whispered. “You…you were there too?”

“What?” Redclaw stuttered, looking completely confused.

“The poachers,” the mightyena continued, giving Redclaw a worried look. “The ones that took us from the forest?”

“You mean Mas-” Redclaw paused. “Wait…no. Poachers? Uh…you must be thinking about someone different. You’re talking about a group of humans, right?”

“Yes…” the mightyena replied. “So you weren’t one of us?” She eyed his collar, and Snowcrystal could tell that she longed to ask him about it, but thought better of it. “The humans can remove that, you know,” she continued after a moment’s hesitation. “It’s difficult, but they found a way to do it without setting it off. If yours has an electrical device, I mean. Go to the pokémon center and they’ll tell your trainer who to look for.” She looked over at Katie, Damian, and Justin, who had all stopped to wait while Redclaw talked to the mightyena. “You see,” she went on, “the police rescued us from the poachers who captured us. I have a new trainer now. He works here. He’s very kind. The first thing he did was take me to the humans who got rid of that awful collar. It was so nice to finally be rid of….” Her voice trailed off as her eyes wandered toward Snowcrystal. She stared at her a moment, and Snowcrystal shrank back. The mightyena kept on staring, her eyes narrowed slightly. “You’re not a normal growlithe,” she whispered.

Snowcrystal’s fur stood on end. “W-what? What do you mean?” Had Justin been right about the fur dye?

“Your fur is dyed,” the mightyena continued. “I recognize that sort of dye. The poachers used it to color pelts sometimes…to trick other humans into thinking they were the pelts of shiny pokémon. But it’s okay,” she added quickly, seeing Snowcrystal’s worry, “if you don’t want anyone to know, it’s not that noticeable. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t been around that sort of stuff. But are you…are you normally white?”

Snowcrystal wasn’t sure why, but she nodded. No use trying to lie now.

The mightyena’s eyes widened. “Rosie…” she whispered. “I knew Rosie. She said she knew a growlithe with white fur. Snowcrystal was her name. Is your name Snowcrystal?”

Numbly, Snowcrystal nodded.

“Where is Rosie?” the mightyena asked, a worried look clouding her face. “Did she…did she make it? Did she find you again?”

“Yes,” Snowcrystal replied. “She’s safe.” Seeing the relief on the mightyena’s face made her forget her worries of being discovered by other pokémon.

From the other side of a room, a human called to the mightyena. “I have to go,” the dark type whispered. “When you see Rosie, tell her that Nightcloud is no longer with the poachers…that I found a new home.”

Snowcrystal nodded. “I will.”

Nightcloud returned to her trainer and Snowcrystal’s group turned to leave. All the way back she thought about Nightcloud, and remembered a joyful Rosie, upon being reunited with her and Wildflame and Spark, telling her a story of how a mightyena named Nightcloud had helped her, but had been unable to escape herself. So Nightcloud had at last found freedom and peace here in Stonedust City. She would make sure to tell Rosie everything when she got back.

***

Stormblade longed to see the forest and trees again. He wished he could go outside to feel the sunshine, and the cool breeze he knew would be blowing at this time of day. And what a lovely spring day it was. From what he could tell.

He was tired of lying there, helpless in the hospital, either in a daze or too bothered by the pain to sleep. Of course, it was much more bearable now, not like his days traveling while injured, which were all one pain-filled blur to him now. But he still felt some of the pain.

And the loneliness, which was much worse.

Stormblade wasn’t used to being so alone for so long. He was a scyther, a pokémon meant to live in groups, meant to hunt and travel with others. Sure, the nurses and doctors and their pokémon came in multiple times a day, but only to treat his wounds, then move onto the next pokémon. They never had much time to talk to him because of the sheer number of pokémon in the hospital, and the volunteer trainers were only allowed to work with the healthier pokémon. And Stormblade greatly missed his friends.

Snowcrystal had only been able to sneak back in once, and he hadn’t been able to see any of the others. Snowcrystal insisted they were all fine and doing better, but he wished he could see them himself. And Thunder…he could never stop worrying about her. It was terrible, not knowing what was happening to her but knowing that it was something horrible. And there was nothing that any of them could do about it.

He hated this helplessness. Hated that he needed help just to eat, that he had such a large room but he couldn’t even move freely in it. He knew how hard it was for them to care for him, and he was grateful to the humans and the pokémon here for their help, and everything they did for him, yet at the same time, it deeply saddened him that he needed to have help with these things at all. He was a scyther. He was a fierce apex predator, a strong and noble warrior. Or at least, he used to be.

He wasn’t any of those things anymore.

Though he knew there was nothing he could do, he couldn’t help wishing that he could go back, before the battle with Blazefang’s pack that resulted in his injuries from the Forbidden Attack. Or even back further, so he never would have found that girl and ruined Justin’s dream of being a great pokémon trainer, or maybe still further, so he had never been captured.

And he had made many mistakes even before those ones. In the hospital, he was often alone, simply with his own thoughts. Maybe it was his longing to be wild and free again, or even just to go outside, for a little bit, but his thoughts, when they weren’t focused on Thunder and what could be happening to her at that moment, often drifted back toward his days in the wild with Spark…or his swarm days.

Stormblade had tried to put his swarm life behind him. Even when being sent back into the wild after Justin lost his trainer’s license, he hadn’t tried to join another swarm. It was partly because Spark needed him at the time, partly because it would be hard to find a strong swarm with a good leader, as the way scyther swarms were run tended to vary depending on who the leader was and the tradition of the swarm itself, and partly because he didn’t want to relive the memories.

Though now, there wasn’t much else to do, apart from thinking of Thunder, but relive them.

Stormblade’s own swarm had been a very good one for the majority of the time he was a member of it. He was one of many scyther born there, but unlike the other young ones, who were strong and healthy from the start, he had been very sickly when he had hatched. Many swarm leaders would have had him abandoned in the forest, and the kinder ones would have killed him first, but not Bloodscythe. Though many of the swarm scyther believed that a sickly young one would either die soon, and therefore wouldn’t be worth taking care of, or would only weaken the swarm by using up food resources while being unable to hunt himself, the leader refused to have him sent away.

Instead, Bloodscythe himself assisted in bringing Stormblade food, encouraging him to try and overcome the sickness. It was Bloodscythe’s belief that abandoning the weak was a foolish and cowardly thing to do, and that made the swarm weaker rather than stronger. ‘If we cannot rely on each other in times of hardship,’ he had said, ‘then why are we a swarm at all?’ And the weak, Bloodscythe took care to remind the other scyther frequently, would become strong, and serve the swarm diligently when they became so. How could the swarm throw that potential away because of weaknesses such as illness or injury which would most likely be temporary? Scyther were brave hunters and warriors. Abandoning the weak was not something a warrior did.

(Continued in next post...)
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Last edited by Scytherwolf; 02-19-2011 at 05:12 AM.
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