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Old 07-15-2012, 10:01 AM
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Gem N Ems Offline
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Default Re: Team StormRiders [PG-13] [Chapter 37 - IT LIVES.]

Not even a single comment? You know, that kinda hurts, especially since I know people are reading. :/ It doesn't take much to come in and just let me know you're reading. In fact, tell me what you like - even dislike - about the story. As long as I know people are reading, I can keep up the motivation to write. If no one lets the author know they like a story, they would most likely just drop it. Even if one doesn't write for others, they write for their story to be heard. So even I like to know opinions and such, or just drop by to say hi. Then I'll know people are actually interested in my story, and that they want to hear it. So...thanks.

Anyway, onto the next chapter!


Chapter 38;


The first thought to cross my mind was that I had just experienced cruel irony. This time I was the one who completed the act. Oh, how ironic fate can be, a voice inside my head mocked me. I was truly surprised that I could even think at all. I had run so far, for so long, my feet were aching. My mind could barely form coherent thoughts and my throat was parched. It had been ages since any form of water had entered my mouth, and I had forgone both breakfast and lunch today due to thinking my body might just haul it back up again if I tried. Many of us had seemed of the same mind when we denied offers of food this morning. Now the night was seeping in, and it cast venomous shadows into the depths of Wingardom City. Just another reminder of that which I couldn’t escape from.

The rise and fall of my chest was the only noticeable movement in the dark. I was hidden far from prying eyes on the outskirts of the town, by the waterfall I had so longingly looked at earlier. It hadn’t been until I’d arrived that I had registered exactly where it was my feet had taken me. It was as if they carried me here of their own accord, wanted to show me something.

There was a gentle longing within me to see Altair, to call out for my guide to help, but I knew that would hardly be the best course of action right now. What I really needed to do was gather all my emotions and turn them into the courage essential to forgive Rye. But that was just the question I was unsure of. Did I even want to forgive him? Could I? Sure, he said he was acting in my best interest, but by doing so he was actually still very much harming me. The longer I thought about it the more I came to the conclusion that there was absolutely nothing either of us could do in that situation that would not hurt the other. It was just bound to happen and now I had to build a bridge and get over it, as I’m almost certain Jarre would say. But I also know he would understand.

I let out a deep sigh and sank to the moist earth, grasping it beneath my fingers. Life seemed so simple back in Likera. At least it seemed simpler than it was here. I still retained the thought that I had formerly been human, but as yet I had no proof that I even existed as one. I could tell my claims to the others, tell Rye now while he was still possibly mad at me. But what good would that do? With no evidence they were just false claims, and it wasn’t even as if that would help anybody. So it wasn’t worth my time mentioning. Surely there was someone out there who knew about me, I just had to find it.

One step at a time, Zanna, I told myself sternly. If I dwelled upon too many concerns it was beginning to be unlikely that I would even show up at the meeting tomorrow. I didn’t know what we should do next, or where we should go. Rye, keeping the promise he made to Windtalon at the temple, would send someone in search of Silvertalon. That was as far as my wanderings had gotten me. Where could we go? Could we take an offensive stand here against Deoxys? We didn’t even know where Deoxys was at this current point in time. It was eerily scary he hadn’t tried another attack. It had also been an age since Raze or Scythe had been spotted. It was just all…too much.

My paws found the sides of my face and pressed inwards, drawing my concerns to a halt. What I really needed right now was to sleep. I had barely slept within the past few days, worried about the others’ wellbeing. Now that they all seemed fine, I could rest peacefully. If only I didn’t have what felt like a dozen Steelix weighing my mind down. In an effort to calm my racing thoughts I extracted the Orb of Sorrow from my fur. If it could demoralise targets by drawing upon the sadness within, I wondered if it also had the power to draw that sorrow out? Virok had stated the Orb of Life could both give and take the life of others, so it seemed only appropriate that this one should work in the same way.

Deciding it was worth a shot I grasped the cool, smooth surface of the orb in both paws and held it tightly to my chest. With all my might I willed the sadness I felt to flow into it, to be taken away. I sat like that for at least a few minutes, clenching the orb firmly, but nothing seemed to happen. If anything, I felt worse. Growing increasingly frustrated with my failed attempts, I tossed the round object away with a growl, launching it towards the lake. It disappeared into the water with a splash, scaring away what little life could be found within. Those orbs were nothing but trouble and I didn’t want another thing to do with them. Adamant, I crossed my paws over my chest.

A bright light illuminated the sky, rising upwards in a beam from where I had just disposed of the orb. It was so bright that I brought a paw upwards immediately to shield my eyes from the glare. If there were enemies within sight I’m sure I would have been spotted from miles away, like a sitting Ducklett. The beacon shot straight up into the sky and disappeared well above the clouds. Everything around me was instantly visible. My first thought was that Rye would be able to find me easily now, if he so wanted. My second thought was why had the orb lit in the first place?

Curiosity seeped into the depths of my mentality. It won out. Gathering myself, I crawled over to the lake edge to peer over into the water. There the orb was, sitting a few metres below the surface in the rocky waterbed. I was lucky that the lake was rather shallow, and if I so desired it would take but a minute to retrieve it. Something stopped me, however. Instead I merely gazed at its tiny round surface in wonder. I believed it was trying to convey something to me, although I had no idea what. The last time I made contact with it I thought it had shown me as I stabbed myself. But…what if I was wrong? It could have been any figure I saw; the vision was so murky. It could easily have been another Pikachu. Another Pikachu…another Pikachu…another…Pikachu.

“Oh no,” I gasped, my voice escaping in an exasperated cry.

I was almost frantic, scrabbling and splashing through the water to retrieve the orb. I didn’t want anyone else to see its light, to know I was here. Taking a deep breath I broke the surface of the water with a thousand ripples. I extended a paw around the orb now below me and held it to my chest once more, willing it to show me the vision again. I had to see it; had to confirm my suspicions. It didn’t occur to me that I was beginning to run out of air until the orb complied and dragged me into a subconscious state, the apparition once more beginning to take form from within.


“I said I won’t do it!” The white Pikachu growled menacingly towards a dark figure, which crowed with glee.

It was a gloomy cavern, deep underground. The likes of which I had never seen up here on the surface. It was filled with glittering stalactites and stalagmites, each trying to desperately reach the other. The moonlight that shone through a break in the cavern ceiling lit them with hues of blue and purple. And although I knew this sight should cause me to gaze in wonder, it only served to send a shiver down my spine. Something was not quite right about this place.

Altair stood in the center of the room, facing the wisp of a figure. At first I had just thought my imagination was causing hallucinations within the vision, but that didn’t seem to be the case. This was a Pokemon – a dark, ferocious being. Just the mere presence of the creature was enough to make my stomach twist and turn. The imminent feeling of dread that followed almost made the former feel like a happy fun-ride gone wrong. This was more like hanging from the edge of a cliff when you know you’re about to plummet, and there wasn’t a single thing you could do about it.

“I know that everything comes with a price when it involves you, Darkrai!” Altair shouted towards the Pokemon. “Did you really think I would kill myself again?” The Pikachu shuddered. He hated to remember the harm he had caused this world. He hated even more to remember the pain his death had cost him. But this shadowy figure – Darkrai – merely offered a lopsided smirk in response.

“It will simply transfer your state of being – there is no other way. You are the one who wanted to live, is that not so?”

Altair cursed his own folly. He had come to Darkrai out of his own selfish desire to help Zanna. He believed, that with this evil Pokemon’s assistance – for he refused to call it help – he could once again walk among the living. There was absolutely little he could do from the Farplane, but he was certain he could be of use if he were alive again. He would be able to feel the breeze as it tousled his fur. Run within the many plains that encased the land. Eat food fresh from the buffets of Wingardom City. And most of all, most of all…he would be able to see Zanna. He could help her – he knew it. He could save her.

“That was hardly what I had in mind,” the Pikachu stated in response, lowering a brow. “You’re an almighty god, right? I thought you had a safer transportation method. If you don’t, however, it seems that I’ll just have to leave.” Eager to get this over with, Altair turned his back on the nightmare Pokemon and made for the exit. He was not willing to kill himself for what might be permanent. He did not trust this Pokemon. And while there was no proof, he was more than willing to mull around here. It wasn’t so bad.

“But for how long can your other half survive?” Darkrai’s haunting tone entered his thoughts, mimicking his own.

He knew. Knew that Zanna could fall at any moment. And yet…

“How long,” Darkrai repeated, “before she succumbs to the darkness within that boy…”

There was that, too. At this very moment Rye and Zanna were separate. But if they somehow drew closer and the darkness seeped into Zanna then…the Light Pokemon would be tainted. And a tainted Light Pokemon cannot fulfil its duties. She would be stripped of the power to defeat Deoxys, and ultimately Darkrai himself. That was the last thing anyone needed.

“How long can you watch while that happens? Unknowing, unwilling to say–”

“Shut up.” His words came out as a hiss. Altair whirled around, eyes thin slits piercing through the darkness, fur elongating into thick spines. He felt his fangs grow, piercing the sides of his mouth. “Shut up!”

The being before him raised an eyebrow and chuckled. “Ooh, temper, temper. Did I hit a nerve? Well, well. One cannot have two…”

“Darkrai!” Altair was shouting at the figure in front of him, doing everything in his power to hold himself back from tearing him to shreds. That was what he wanted. Darkrai could no longer send him over if he were not here. But the Pikachu felt his muscles quiver with the pressure it took to restrain himself. If the two fought here, it might ruin everything. It might ruin the only chance he had. He could not let that happen.

By the time Altair regained his composure his breathing was thick and ragged. His chest heaved and his mouth tasted unpleasant, as if ash had seen fit to settle itself against his tongue. “Tell me everything,” he commanded with a dull voice. “I will not do anything unless I am certain. So tell me.”

Darkrai stared at him without scorn this time. The nightmare Pokemon crossed his arms as a deep rumble filled the air. “Very well. You know as well as I do that those within the Farplane are denied access from the outside world. Only those that have the dark taint or the purity of light can be ‘pulled’ over for a brief time.”

“Yes, yes, I know this,” Altair snapped, growing impatient. “Tell me what I need to know.”

But Darkrai merely ignored him, giving a snort of derision. “Within the Farplane, the physical body is separated from the spirit. We are denizens with no physical form, hence unable to traverse the two worlds. What you are now is no more than the energy that was Altair before he died. To be able to cross to the other side you need a body, a vessel that will contain your spirit.”

“And you’re saying that by sacrificing myself I will be returned to my physical state?”

“False. Sacrificing oneself brings upon the transfer, but it does not grant a physical body. Even if one should sacrifice itself, without a vessel there is no use. It would not work. Your spirit would have nowhere to enter.”

Altair pondered this. “So then how…how do I gain a physical state? If I cannot find one here?”

Darkrai’s eyes gleamed at the Pikachu’s question, and Altair felt he had hit a crack, one that he could fall through at any moment now. “You must find one in the living world who is willing to accept you. You must live within another.”

“I what?!’ Altair was taken aback. “But shouldn’t I just be able to retrieve my own body? Can’t I do that?”

“Foolish boy!” Darkrai shot at him. “Your body no longer exists! It would be possible if it were done when you were recently deceased, but that is not the case. You have no physical form and cannot retrieve it. To survive within the other realm you must live off another. By entering their body you take over their existence; force them out.”

“’Force them out?’”

“It means they die,” Darkrai stated flatly, not bothering to cover the obvious. “With life and death there is a balance; there must be a balance. It is as simple as that. To survive where your so-called precious one is, you must force another out of their body and take over its existence. The Pokemon in question will be sent here, to the Farplane, to remain until you are incapacitated once more. That is the catch you were looking for, yes?”

“I…” But Altair had no words. How was he able to do it? He desperately wanted to see Zanna, to help her, and yet…how could he kill another just for his own selfishness? It was unthinkable. He couldn’t do it. There was no way. He screwed his eyes tight in turmoil. There had to be something he could do, someone... “Wait.” Altair glanced at Darkrai who awaited his question. “Am I able to choose any Pokemon to transfer into, or do they have to accept me, as you said before?”

Darkrai’s grin vanished. “To an extent, they must accept you,” he said grudgingly. “But if your spirit is strong enough, you will be able to force the other out without too much resistance. It is possible.”

“So I would be able to take over anyone I chose, really, if my spirit were strong enough to force them out.” He smiled.

Deoxys was out of the question; Altair would be no match. But maybe he could enter the body of one of his underlings, play along for a while and gather information, then return to where Zanna was. The only question would be if she would trust him. If it was someone who she had met in the past, of course not. But if he took the form of one she had never seen, there was a chance. Although he could always war with the Elekid over his body. But he knew at once that would be wrong, and Zanna would never, ever forgive him. It was out of the question. He would not take over one of her companions.

“There is…another way.” Darkrai had conveniently chosen this moment to intervene with another option. How uncanny.

Altair cast him a brief glance, scowling. “What do you mean?”

“I mean that I will be able to retrieve your body for you…”

“What? But I thought you said that was impossible? Because I am already long dead!”

Darkrai bared glittering teeth in the dull light, eyes glinting. “It is not impossible for me, boy. Who do you think you are talking to?”

Altair didn’t know what to think. If there was the option of regaining his own body, shouldn’t he take it? But Darkrai had told him there needed to be a balance, so what would balance out something this large? “And what about the order of balance?” he questioned the nightmare Pokemon. “What would happen then?”

“When the time comes, the debt will be repaid,” Darkrai stated. “I cannot say in what form, as even I do not know. But a debt will be repaid. It is the natural order.”

So either he could go with option A and render another body null, forcing its existence to join the void. Cut its life short. Or he could go with option B, regain his body, the debt being collected at a later date. But…the debt was unknown. Could he leave something that large up to chance? How much would his life cost? A single soul? Ten? A hundred? No, it was still only one life, and only one life would be taken in return. But it could very well be Zanna’s. Was he willing to gamble everything on a risk that large? I can do this, he thought to himself. Zanna will not die if I help, I am sure of it. Things will work out; they will be all right.

“So…you are able to recover my body?” he asked tentatively. “I understand the debt will be repaid, and I am willing to pay the price.” He drew in a deep breath of air at coming to a conclusion. This was how it would be. “Yes, I am willing to pay the price.”


Altair was unable to read the emotions on the nightmare Pokemon’s face; he had completely wiped it clean. Whilst a niggling feeling at the back of his mind told him it was unwise to ignore this, he let it go. Soon he would be able to have a body of his very own, to fight by Zanna’s side. He would protect her. This he was sure of.

“Then let us begin.” Darkrai waved an ethereal hand through the air and a silver dagger began to materialise. Its hilt was a dark crimson; or at least it appeared that way in the dim light the cavern had to offer. Inlaid within was a set of four onyx gems, each at one point, balancing with the jagged, serrated blade. Altair felt his stomach heave at the thought of plunging that into his body. Though he was unable to feel any fragment of pain, he knew that dagger would harm him. The point of crossing realms was to die, to be reborn again. As such he knew this weapon would mar, and the pain would be very real.

After a moment of admiration at the dagger’s beauty, Darkrai held the blade towards Altair, watching carefully as the Pikachu took it within his grasp. “So I…just stab myself with this?” He swallowed. Somehow his bravado had disappeared. He couldn’t believe it, but he was actually afraid to feel any ounce of pain. He was safe here. Cut off from the outside, yes, but he was safe. He could experience any kind of catastrophe in the outside world. But he had said he was willing to do this, he couldn’t turn back now. It was unthinkable to show Darkrai that the great Altair, a Light Pokemon, was scared of a little pain. He was not a coward.

[continued in next post]

Team StormRiders is BACK. Read it here!
.......................--> art duo with: Xanthe | bff: k_pop |

Last edited by Gem N Ems; 07-15-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Team StormRiders [PG-13] [Chapter 37 - IT LIVES.]

The Pikachu took a deep breath and spun the blade inwards until it grazed the white fur of his chest, and deeper still, until it made contact with his skin. Then he jumped. The dagger! He could feel it! It was cold, the point of the blade made him shiver. But whether it was because of the coolness or the fact it was barely mere millimetres from his heart, he could not tell. “I can feel the blade!” he exclaimed to Darkrai, who nodded at the Pikachu’s outburst.

“It is ready to give you life, boy. All you must do is strike your heart. Plunge deep, swiftly, and it will be done.”

Altair’s grip tightened on the blade, but he hesitated, sweat gleaming across his forehead. “And you? What will happen to you?”

Darkrai presented a slight shrug. “I am in the Underworld, the depths where you imprisoned me. What can I possibly do from here?”

He lies, Altair thought through gritted teeth. Of course he did. But if he did not go through with this, things could turn out a lot worse. Then something occurred to him. “The dagger won’t work on you?”

Darkrai’s upper lip curled with disdain. “I am trapped from your stupid intervention. The spells woven on me do not allow it. They are stronger than the power contained in that blade.” He loathed admitting it; that much was apparent.

I bet he wishes he could just kill me and be done with it, Altair reflected. Of all things, why was Darkrai choosing to help him? The Pikachu shook his head. There would be time for consideration later. Deciding that it was now or never, before his resolve vanished, he swallowed through the lump in his throat and thrust the dagger through his pelt.

His first thought was that it cut like butter; the blade slid so easily into his heart, where he could now feel a million tiny stings growing with intensity. It was unlike anything he had felt before. It was the worst pain imaginable and then magnified tenfold. His second deliberation was that he was bleeding. Profusely. Sanguine liquid poured from the wound he presently inflicted, and his paws slipped off the hilt of the dagger as he held them out before him in stunned silence. Crimson laced his once white coat as it began to change hue, seeping from the point where the serrated edge of the dagger had entered his body. Yellow – it was now yellow. Just as he was before he became a Light Pokemon. The two stripes that crossed his back to the sides were no longer grey, but a dark brown. Altair noted that the white circle stayed on his tail, however. The distinct mark of a Light being.

So this is it, he thought sluggishly. The Pikachu’s mind was becoming clouded. He was filled with so much pain, so intense, so close. But when he tried to scream no sound came out. It was a meagre gurgle. He was unsure of when his body hit the ground, but was shocked that he could feel it through the darkening haze that quickly washed over him.

Yes, this is it. The cavern began to disintegrate, peeling back and flaking away into a million pieces. The obscurity lightened, and its intensity only grew. Too bright! Altair tried to raise a paw to shield his eyes from the illumination, but found he could not. Much too bright! And just when he thought the white-hot light was going to consume him, it changed hue. A dark sky-blue greeted his vision as it cleared. Puffy wisps of grey slowly took form, afloat in front of his eyes, dancing across the blue expanse. Stars littered the night sky with fervour. With a jolt of disbelief, he sat upright.

The white Pikachu held his paws outstretched before him. No, that wasn’t right. In the dim moonlight they shone yellow. He gasped and patted his chest, expecting matted crimson blood. But no, it was dry and fluffy – not a single cut to be found. And what was strange was that he could now feel his fur. It was soft, so very, very soft. The breeze that blew by rustled it slightly, and he shivered. It was cool, but not overly so. And he had felt the breeze! He actually felt it!

“I…I’m alive…” he uttered with incredulity. He felt woozy; his head swam. It was too much. His throat was parched, burning. And yet…he was truly alive. Everything paled in comparison to that. He had been given another chance.

Altair laughed and cast his head towards the sky, almost ecstatic to see the outline of a flock of Pidove that flew by overhead. “I’m alive!” he shouted at them, and was pleased to hear their song in response to his words. But they hardly reached him now, for his mind was far away. Yes, he had been given a second chance indeed. This time he would set things right, he would atone for his past sins. Deoxys would be cast back to the underworld. He would be the debt Altair now owed. All he needed to do was find Zanna.

The Pikachu’s lips curled up in a smile at the thought. Oh, to see the look on her face when she saw him! A babbling sound came from his left, and thoughts snapped close. Altair noted he was by the base of a large waterfall, and something was bubbling just below its surface. Ripples were cast outwards as the figure rose to a float. As the Pikachu squinted his eyes to see through the moonlight, it became apparent that the object buoyant on the water’s surface was a Pokemon. And it wasn’t just any Pokemon. When the face turned towards him, Altair flinched, all colour dissipating from his visage.



The apparition blurred my eyes. Or was it the water? I couldn’t tell. My mind grew thick and clouded. I had a desperate need to breathe air, but my body couldn’t find the will to force itself upwards. My paws still held the Orb of Sorrow clutched securely to my chest, but even they were beginning to drift outwards, fingers slipping from the cool surface. I couldn’t move. I was numb.

Altair… The Orb of Sorrow had shown me the vision I needed, and it confirmed my fears. Altair had wounded himself in order to be transported to this world. But I was sure of it. He would die before he even reached here. There was no way Darkrai would ever allow him to live. And with Altair gone from the Farplane, who was to say Darkrai couldn’t escape? There was no one to keep him in check. What a fool the Pikachu was, for believing such a thing. A brave, idiotic fool.

Not like it would matter. If I were to die here Altair would never encounter me. His attempt to stop Deoxys would be in vain after all. His plan would ultimately backfire. Stupid Pikachu. That was the last coherent notion I could form before my eyes closed from the pressure. Water filled my lungs as I caught my last breath. Then I simply ceased to exist.

A shout came from above me. No, a whisper? I was convinced it was a shout, though, since it was growing in volume. Something soft gripped the edges of my face as I began to regain feeling once more. My throat burned, and I found strength from within to retch, casting up all the water from my system. I coughed and spluttered past the fire in my lungs, taking in slow, sharp gasps of air. I was conscious of the fact I was on soft grass, resting on my side. Someone had pulled me from the lake.

“Zanna…thank Arceus you’re alright.”

I felt tender arms encase me, holding me tightly, but safe, not enough to hurt. It wasn’t suffocating. It felt oddly warm and familiar. The voice I heard also belonged to a male, but it was not one I knew. Then why did I have a feeling I had heard it before? I willed my eyes open, to see the figure before me. It took a while for the world to come spinning into focus, and even harder to distinguish because of the dark night sky, but my eyes slowly made out a form.

“Am I dead…?” My voice came out in a rasp; I wasn’t even sure it was my own. I had never sounded so bedraggled. I tried to swallow, but it caused too much pain.

“No,” the voice laughed softly. “No. You’re very much alive.”

“Altair…?” My eyes narrowed, making out a Pikachu in the darkness. I thought it was Altair, but something was off. This Pikachu appeared to have a yellow hue to its fur, akin to my own. The Altair I knew had white fur since he was a Light Pokemon. The very first, in fact. “No,” I dismissed the thought aloud. “You can’t be. Your fur is all wrong.”

“Zanna,” the intonation greeted me again with zeal. “It is me. I’m alive.”

“You’re WHAT?” My eyes flew wide open, fully adjusted and honed in on the Pikachu before me. It did indeed look like Altair. If the visualisation I had seen was true, if Altair really was here, then…could it be? But my throat protested at the outcry, and I raised a paw feebly to rest beneath it. “Altair?” I tried again after a moment, frowning. I removed the paw from my throat and reached out to cup the side of the Pikachu’s face. His eyes closed on contact and he leaned into it, his soft strands of fur tickling my palm. Through the contact I felt a slight humming, which only grew the longer it lasted, until I felt it as clearly as a thousand thrumming Beedrill. The draw of a Light Pokemon; my other half. He was alive.

I could scarcely believe it. Pushing myself upwards feebly, I flung my arms around the Pikachu, burying my head into his chest. Fresh tears stung my eyes and I was aware they must already be red and puffy from my near-death experience. But I didn’t care. Neither of us was self-conscious now. Altair was alive; I was alive. He had saved my life. This was a time to be joyous. He held me for as long as I desired. Not a word was uttered, not a single sound. Through the embrace alone we communicated, and it was much more than any word could describe.

“How are you here?” I muttered against his body. “And your fur…it’s yellow. Why is that?”

“I’m not sure,” he replied, just as quizzically as I had asked. “To both of your questions. But does it really matter? I can help you now. I can protect you from here. Zanna…” Altair let out a sigh of relief. “It feels so good to be alive again.”

But as I grew more conscious, my brain began to focus. I had a deep feeling of dread that I just couldn’t seem to shake. “But Darkrai, he said there was a debt you would owe so the balance would not be skewed. It could be anyone, Altair. What will happen if…what if it’s me? Or one of my friends?” I blurted, then slammed a paw over my mouth for ruining the once-happy atmosphere. That’s me, ever the optimist.

I felt Altair’s face grow grim. His mind was obviously along the same wavelength. “I thought about it,” he told me in a hushed tone. “In the worst case scenario, it ends up being you, and Talzere is most likely doomed.” He paused, as if to clear his head of the ridiculous notion. “But I won’t let that happen. It will not happen. This I swear to you.”

“But you don’t know that for certain!” I cried up at him, drawing back enough that he was able to see my face clearly. “You made a deal with Darkrai, Altair! Do you know how every deal with an evil being has ended up? You can hardly expect to come out of this unscathed.”

Altair looked shocked. “I had thought you’d be happy,” he whispered meekly, distantly.

“I am,” I stated, perplexed. “It’s just that I don’t think–”

“What is…?”

We both withdrew automatically, stunned by the sudden appearance of a Pokemon we had not noticed, too wrapped up in our own world. And if I thought things couldn’t get any worse, here was the living, breathing proof. My other, other half.

Oh crap.

“Rye, I–” But my words cut off there, for at that moment the Elekid decided to launch himself forward and send a paw flying straight into Altair’s face. I screamed, which only served to agitate my raw throat once more. The Pikachu stumbled back and flailed as he fell into the water, feet unable to keep a stable grip on the slippery edge. “Rye! What are you doing?! Leave him alone!”

Eager to get him to stop before he caused anymore damage, I dashed in front of him, gripping his raised paw with every ounce of strength I had – granted it certainly wasn’t much at this point in time. Most likely I was making as much impact as a feather would to a brick wall. Rye cast a glare towards me, eyes wide with fury, pupils contracted into thin slits. “Let go of me, Zanna. He deserves much worse!”

“No!” I pleaded, swaying my head fiercely. Rye tried to shake me free but I hung on tight. Altair had reappeared behind me in the water, treading below its surface. I knew this because the splashes alerted me, and his breath came in ragged gasps.

“Let him go, Zanna. He’s had this coming for a while now. I’ll make him pay for what he did to you. Tenfold!” He growled past me towards Rye, a real menacing sound. But all this fighting – all this confusion. Hadn’t I been through a great deal already?

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” I screamed into the night, and the air reverberated with my cry. Birds flew from the trees, scattering in every direction possible but this one. No one wanted to be within striking distance of me right now; that was certain. I shook with rage, still grasping Rye’s paw. I was vaguely aware my claws had dug into his skin, but I didn’t feel an ounce of concern. Not a single bit. Rye cast me a final glance and shook my paws from his roughly, stepping backwards and folding his arms. He panted with the exertion of energy, ready for a fight. Altair was much the same.

I leered up at Rye, hurt. “This was the last straw,” I told him through gritted fangs. “I do not want to talk to you right now. I don’t even want to see you.” I strode straight past him, paws clenched, without even feigning a glance in his direction. Altair hoisted himself up from the water and made to follow me. Rye didn’t even glare as he passed, just stood there blankly. My words had cut deep. I hated to harm him any further, but he had crossed a line. He had already wounded me enough, and now he wanted to hurt my friends, too? Unforgivable.

“I’ll see you at the meeting,” Rye called out to me, finally gathering his voice. I paused for a second and then continued right on walking. I didn’t even bother to offer a reply. If he was going to be there, then I most certainly was not. Let the others deal with what was going to happen, at the moment I wanted no part in it.

Altair had pursued me to my quarters, where I allowed him to enter, seeing as he really had no other place to go. I wanted to keep him out of sight until morning, or for as long as possible. His appearance would only stir uproar amongst the land, and I sensed that was the very last thing he wanted at the moment. I also avoided discussing anything relating to his visit to Darkrai, or his more recent ‘death’, if it could be called that. I knew this was a time to be cheerful, but my mood couldn’t seem to lift. It was stuck trailing in a puddle of mud. A really, really big puddle. I seated myself on the end of my bed and stared down at the marble floor.

I hadn’t noticed Altair once he’d crossed the threshold, but when I looked up to find him, I saw he was holding a paw to his face gingerly. I was suddenly aware that there was a rather large cut on his cheek, no doubt from Rye’s energetic outburst. The bleeding had stopped, but it was beginning to dry and matt his fur.

“That Elekid,” I growled sullenly under my breath. “Here, I have something for that.” Altair watched as I rummaged around in the drawers by my bedside for a bottle of ointment, some berry juice to cleanse the wound, and some cotton pads. Made from Mareep wool, they were some of the finest the Missionary had to offer. When I’d had the time the past few days, I managed to acquaint myself with most of my room, and the insides of the Missionary itself. I now considered myself to be pretty knowledgeable if it ever came down to reconnaissance.

As I gathered the objects within my arms, I gestured for Altair to sit on the end of my bed so I could do this appropriately. He obeyed silently, and I placed the assembled paraphernalia beside him. As I began to clear away the dried blood with a damp cloth, Altair winced. He was trying really hard to be brave, not to show any emotion. But I could see he wasn’t used to pain, and this was hurting him.

“Sorry,” I muttered. “It was Rye’s fault, if that makes you feel any better.”

Altair smiled gingerly. His trademark lopsided grin. “It’s not too bad, this will just take some getting used to. And that does make me feel somewhat better.”

I continued to dab at his face, removing the last of the bloodstains. “You don’t mind me treating you?” I queried. I knew some guys would have their pride badly wounded if they had to be tended to by a female.

“Nope.” Altair winced slightly as I applied a small amount of acidic berry juice to the lesion, to flush out any contaminations that might be brewing. “Although I do wonder why you don’t just heal me with the powers I gave you,” he commented.

“I don’t go around flaunting them carelessly,” I replied. “I’d rather save them for more pressing situations. It’s actually pretty taxing, you know.” Mister big shot.

“That’s only because you don’t know how to tap into them properly.” The Pikachu gave a diminutive shrug. “If you know how to harness your reserves of energy, tapping into your Light powers should be a cinch. You’re probably letting out too much excess, and that can be dangerous.”

I frowned at the superiority he placed in his words, but ignored it. “How come exactly?”

“Because others can find you,” he said simply. “Those who are accustomed to the flow of natural energy – chakra – could find you in a heartbeat.” Altair paused and raised a single finger to the light bulb that lit the room. “Simply put, you’re like a flashing beacon to them. Anyone could locate you.”

My insides lurched at this realisation, and it was enough for me to halt my movements. “Then…has that how Deoxys has always found me? What can I do about it? I didn’t know!” My words floundered in the air. “You can teach me, right? There has to be a way I can mask my presence from others!” My breathing was growing at an alarming rate. Maybe I was thinking too much about this. But if others could find me whenever they wanted simply because I was broadcasting myself like a lighthouse, I certainly wanted to be able to do something about it. I was putting everyone at risk.

“Relax, it’s alright. I can teach you.” He grinned up at me warmly, then cocked his head to the side and arched an eyebrow. “But you know, with your luck, you might just end up making things worse.” Altair laughed, and I swatted him on the cheek with a paw.

“Oops, slipped.”

The Pikachu appeared stunned, astonished that I’d actually hit him. His brow furrowed in contempt, but then disappeared as he realised I, too, was laughing. I placed a paw over my mouth as the sound flowed from within. I wasn’t used to laughter anymore, especially not from myself. It was both astounding and startling, but also a relief to be able to do so. I hadn’t laughed in so long. It seemed I wasn’t as far gone as I had believed.

Altair smiled once more, tentatively stroking his face. “See?”

“See what?” I enquired through a series of chuckles, trying to regain my loss of self-control.

“You can be happy.”

I stopped right there. Okay, amusement gone. My forehead creased once more, and I shook my head at his words. “I used to think so. I was, once. But so much has happened in such a short span of time. I…I don’t know what to think anymore. Happiness is a rarity I just can’t afford right now.”

[continued in next post]

Team StormRiders is BACK. Read it here!
.......................--> art duo with: Xanthe | bff: k_pop |

Last edited by Gem N Ems; 07-15-2012 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Team StormRiders [PG-13] [Chapter 37 - IT LIVES.]

Seeing I didn’t want to talk any further, Altair remained still as I finished patching him up, pressing a wad of cotton to his cheek and taping it in place. “All done?” he queried.

I nodded absent-mindedly, propping myself up next to him. Silence followed.

“Here.” Altair stretched his paw out to me, the Orb of Sorrow resting within. “This is yours, correct? I retrieved it from the lake. You didn’t want to let go of it at first.” His lips raised in a small smile. I remained silent. “You saw me, didn’t you?” he questioned as I took the offered orb from his paw.

“Yeah,” I muttered. “The Orb of Sorrow granted me the same vision I’d seen ages ago. I thought it was myself, at first. Only tonight, just before…” I trailed off and shook my head. “I knew it was you. I wanted to be sure.”

Altair nodded. “Despite the fact you almost drowned in the process. Good thing I was there to save you.” He patted my head with a smile.

I knew he was doing his best to cheer me up, but I was so down lately I didn’t think anything was going to work. And there was now the issue of where we stood. No, in fact it wasn’t just us any longer. It was where Rye, Altair and I stood. All three of us. Now Altair was here, alive and breathing, it just made things all the more worse. I couldn’t have the two going at each other’s throats again. At the moment I wanted nothing to do with Rye. I clearly told him that. The Elekid had caused me too much pain. Showing up now, even though he had saved my life in the process, hadn’t changed a thing. He should have known better. I noted I was beginning to accumulate a rather large sum of debts to others.

“Rye knew, didn’t he?” I asked Altair, peering through the bangs on my forehead to venture a glance up at him.

Altair sighed, resigned. He didn’t need to ask what I was on about. Of course he knew. “Yes,” he told me. “I said as much.”

“I thought so.”

A cool stillness encased the room once more. The muted chirps of Ledian and Kricketune outside were the only sounds of life. This room seemed devoid of it. The silence was almost beginning to be deafening, and I was growing increasingly uncomfortable. Altair saved me by leaping off the bed onto the stone floor. “Well then, I should go. It’s clear I’ve caused you nothing but trouble, Zanna. I’m sorry for that. It was my last intention. Thank you for your help, though,” he added. “It was much appreciated. If you need me, I’ll find you.” He inclined his head faintly and smiled his warming smile – a mask, I thought – and made to leave.

“Wait.” Without even realising what I had done, my paw acted of its own accord and grasped his, preventing him from walking any further. I stared down at the joined paws as shock flitted across my features. Altair swung around in surprise.

“You don’t want me to leave?”

Eyes widening at my rash action, I dropped his paw immediately. “I just…don’t really want to be left alone right now. You have nowhere else to stay. The others wouldn’t be so understanding of your situation, I don’t think. It might be best if you stay where I can keep an eye on you,” I concluded somewhat awkwardly. What was wrong with me? My thoughts were becoming all muddled. This was really not my day. And the last thing I wanted was for him to get the wrong idea. And what was the wrong idea? I didn’t think there was one. I didn’t know what ‘wrong’ was anymore. I tried to relax the muscles in my face in an attempt to mask my confusion, probably unsuccessfully.

But Altair stayed. The Pikachu told me to get some rest and after hearing I hadn’t been sleeping well lately – and that it really was no surprise – doubly insisted I do so. Under his wishes, I crawled under the covers, drawing them all the way up to my chin. I bade the Pikachu goodnight, and he nodded his head at me from his position at the doorway. Even though there was really no threat within the Missionary now, one couldn’t be too careful. Altair was adamant about keeping watch. He told me he wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway, and I came to the conclusion that would most likely be the case. He would have much on his mind to mull over.

So I watched him from where I lay, blinking away the sleep every once in a while as I did so. There was something I was missing about the situation, I was almost certain. It seemed odd that Altair would show up here, now, of all things. My mind wandered to Arceus, the supposed lord of this land. I used ‘supposed’ because I had as yet to see any proof he actually existed, or cared about what happened to Talzere. So far I had no inclination to believe either.

But it wasn’t long before the day’s exhaustion overcame me, and the events I experienced throughout spun into vapour before my eyes. And so I fell into a deep sleep. The last thing I remember seeing were the bright hue of Altair’s hazel eyes, staring back at me with some emotion I couldn’t fathom in my sleep-induced state. And I couldn’t help but note they seemed sad. Why would that be?


I didn’t wake until early afternoon, which was fine with me because I had missed most of the morning meeting. It seemed no one had bothered to intrude upon me anyway, probably thinking I could use a well-deserved rest. No one had seemed to notice Altair. In accordance to my wishes, the Pikachu had not left the room. At this moment he was still in the chair where I had left him, only I suppose he had been tired after all because he had managed to fall asleep. His breathing was soft and even, so at least he was sleeping peacefully.

I watched him silently for a minute or two before pushing the covers away from my body and stretching wide, ready to welcome to sunlight into the room. I roughly pulled open the window to allow air to circulate through it. The breeze was warmer today, and lifted a few stray leaves over the balcony as it flowed by. I snorted as one tickled my nose. Spring was here and summer wasn’t too far beyond. It would be growing warmer soon. Jarre had told me this year might even bring about a heatwave. The earth’s climate was changing; the weather was getting hotter by the day.

Altair stirred behind me and I turned from my position against the balcony to give him a warm smile. “Sleepy head,” I grinned. “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”

The Pikachu rubbed an eye with the back of a paw and yawned. “No, it’s all right. I just dozed off for a minute there. Did you sleep well? You were out like a light as soon as your head hit the pillow. But your breathing was deep, I suppose you didn’t have any nightmares.”

“I did sleep well, ye–” I stopped mid sentence. “Wait, you watched me sleep? That’s a little, uh…disconcerting.” I mulled the word around in my mouth, thinking it was better to use that than ‘creepy’.

“Oh, sorry if that makes you uncomfortable,” he shrugged. “I used to watch my family sleep just like that when I was alive. It gave me peace of mind.”

“Family?” It shocked me somewhat to hear Altair speak of them. I suppose after thousands of years I had expected him to forget about them completely. I hadn’t even asked if he’d had a family. But that was childish; of course he had. Where else had he come from?

“Yup. It’s a little hazy, but I remember I used to have a mother, a father, and two younger sisters. My father passed when I was only young, but the other males in our clan taught me all I needed to know about survival. I was always a survivor, they said.”

A clan? Oh, right! I had forgotten Altair was technically over 10,000 years old. Civilisation would have been merely sticks and twigs back then. No houses, no means of transport, nothing. I wondered why he wasn’t stunned being in this new, modern world. It most certainly wouldn’t have been what he was used to. But just as I was about to ask, Altair continued on with his train of thought.

“The leader of our clan always told me; ‘the best way to deal with a problem was to face it head on.’” The Pikachu chuckled at the recollection of the quote from his elder, but my mind had completely closed off. It was as if a sudden spark had lit in my brain; one that I was unable to see before until this very moment. And suddenly everything became clear. I knew now how we were going to defeat Deoxys.

We were headed into the very depths of Meteor Mountain itself.

As a tiny note, I also changed the theme song for the fic, which can be found at the top of the first post. It's called Light My Fire by KOTOKO. And yes, it's a Japanese song that I heard while watching the anime Shakugan no Shana.

But after looking into the lyrics for the song, it seemed fitting enough to be placed as the theme for this story. It's about fighting against life's fate, and telling the world who you are; don't be afraid to be who you are. Everyone deserves the chance to exist. And that's what Zanna allows. As a Light Pokemon, they quell the darkness and give life to those around them. So everyone deserves their own life. n.n

Team StormRiders is BACK. Read it here!
.......................--> art duo with: Xanthe | bff: k_pop |

Last edited by Gem N Ems; 07-15-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Team StormRiders [PG-13] [Chapter 38: Lucidity]

Caught up, yaaaay! :3 My my, what a big surprise. Altair is alive, but he sure is a dummy. If he put Darkrai, with spells, into the Underworld, then with him gone, it's possible for said spells to grow weaker and eventually dissipate. Bad news indeed.

And honestly, I'm with Rye on this one. It's a dumb move for what he did, although acting out in anger...Well Rye is pretty hurt with everything.

Also, pffft, a tainted Light Pokemon could defeat things. Totally. Light AND Darkness? HELLO AWESOME.

Question, when it says "other half", is she merely stating because she has feeling towards him, or that all Light Pokemon form a type of bond, and the same for Dark Pokemon? (Er, natural ones anyway).

“Then…has that how Deoxys has always found me? What can I do about it? I didn’t know!”
I think you meant "is" there :P

Good work, keep it up :3 (Hey someone had to revive this thread :D )
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Team StormRiders [PG-13] [Chapter 38: Lucidity]

Originally Posted by Grassy_Aggron View Post
Caught up, yaaaay! :3 My my, what a big surprise. Altair is alive, but he sure is a dummy. If he put Darkrai, with spells, into the Underworld, then with him gone, it's possible for said spells to grow weaker and eventually dissipate. Bad news indeed.

And honestly, I'm with Rye on this one. It's a dumb move for what he did, although acting out in anger...Well Rye is pretty hurt with everything.

Also, pffft, a tainted Light Pokemon could defeat things. Totally. Light AND Darkness? HELLO AWESOME.

Question, when it says "other half", is she merely stating because she has feeling towards him, or that all Light Pokemon form a type of bond, and the same for Dark Pokemon? (Er, natural ones anyway).

I think you meant "is" there :P

Good work, keep it up :3 (Hey someone had to revive this thread :D )

OH MY GOD, A COMMENT. And just when I return to check. xD THANKS, GRASSY.

Yes...Altair can be rather naive and childish, but his heart is (mainly) in the right place. He just wants to help out Zanna and rewrite the wrong he caused so long ago. However, he isn't much thinking of the consequences.. >.>;;

Aha, light and dark would be cool, eh? xD We'll see how well that works out!

As for your 'other half' question, all Light Pokemon are linked, and each has a partner to which he or she is bonded. When a previous partner dies, another takes its place. Not that I said any of this. I should have. xD Altair's friends, Trix and Scry, were said partners. And Altair is the bonded partner to Zanna. Each feel a certain kinship to the other, like they're two halves of a whole that work better while together, which may possibly develop into feelings. But usually its easy to distinguish what is real attraction and what is not.

Dark Pokemon are not linked in any way, and would probably sooner destroy each other than work in a team. xD Light Pokemon are built on all the 'good' in the world, whereas Dark ones are built only for destroying that good.

Thanks for reading! 83

Team StormRiders is BACK. Read it here!
.......................--> art duo with: Xanthe | bff: k_pop |
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