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Thread: Team StormRiders [PG-13+] - Chapter 39; Tactician

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    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Team StormRiders [PG-13+] - Chapter 39; Tactician


    Author's note:

    Hey everyone! Team StormRiders was a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fan-fiction that I first started on PE2K waaaaaaay back in the good ol' year of 2007. I haven't redone the first chapters, so as such, my writing is a little on the old side. I ask you to forgive any errors and shotty writing that you see. I do plan to go over these one day when the entire story is completed, however long that may take!

    As my readers (if there are any here) might know, StormRiders has been on a very long hiatus because of an insane writer's block of mine. However! I seem to have finally recovered and am able to continue on with the story. I will do so, but I can't promise regular updates because life and stuff gets in the way. You know how it is.

    Despite all of this, I ask that you please read and enjoy my story. Thanks!

    - Chibi Alt.




    - P o k e m o n -...................
    .............T e a m...S t o r m R i d e r s


    A Legend Untold...

    A war once raged between Pokemon. This was no ordinary war, no, but a war of unimaginable proportions.
    Beings called Light and Dark Pokemon had come to fruition; Dark Pokemon being called upon to destroy
    the land whilst Light Pokemon were called to protect it. Lord Arceus, angry from being awakened from his
    sleep by the Dark Ones, called forth the Light Ones to banish the darkness once and for all. After a terrible
    battle that spanned many years, the Light Pokemon finally prevailed - but at the loss of their lives.
    Having the land finally restored, it seemed a peaceful era could begin again. If only that were the case.

    ~*~

    In the land of Talzere sits Deoxys; an evil and malicious Pokemon hell-bent on bringing the world to its knees.
    Using powers unbeknownst to others, he has once again called upon a dark army to take away the peace held for so long.

    In a far off, distant land, a human girl is unknowingly involved in events that are yet to occur.
    When she is attacked and whisked to Talzere, she is caught in the crossfire of a war, and could possibly
    be the only one strong enough to counter it.

    Talzere, a world inhabited only by Pokemon, is not defenceless, but it cannot keep Deoxys at bay forever.
    With the help of the Pokemon Rescue Association, the capital of Talzere's defence force, the Wingardom Missionary,
    and an arsenal of allies, one human must find the light within and do what it takes to defeat darkness once and for all.

    Lest Talzere fall.

    - - -

    *Please note this is a PG-13+ Fan-Fic.
    Contains violence, coarse language and romance.


    All reviews and comments appreciated!




    Chapter Logbook:

    Key:
    Black Links - Chapters done
    Red - Chapters not yet written
    Green - Chapters being re-written
    Blue - Chapter in progress


    P A R T ...O N E: ....U P R I S I N G

    P A R T ...T W O: ....J U D G E M E N T

    P A R T ...T H R E E: ....F A T E

    *Note that chapter names are subject to change




    x W O R L D of T A L Z E R E x

    - - -

    M A P
    Spoiler:

    C H A R A C T E R....S U M M A R I E S

    Spoiler:
    Name: Zanna/Suzanna Harper [Soo-zan-ah Har-pur]
    Age: 17
    Gender: Female
    Species: Pikachu
    Appearance: Looks like a normal Pikachu except for a glowing, white circle on her tail. Wears a mysterious pure-white ribbon given to her by Rye. The engravings on the side must have some meaning, but are yet unknown. She is slightly smaller than the average Pikachu her age.
    Personality: She's really very caring and lighthearted. She can be quite sarcastic at times, and more than a little moody, but has a fiery spirit and won't easily give up. Loyal to those around her, she always strives to do her best. She retains a particular soft spot for Rye, protecting the Elekid above all else. As a Light Pokemon, instincts will take over and she acts more like an animal than anything. Controlling this side of her will take time at most, but she's willing to try anything to save Talzere.
    History: Not much is known about her history, execpt that she used to be a human. But of course, the others don't know that yet. She first came into the Pokemon world when Jirachi managed to save her from Deoxys' attack. Since then, she's been training hard, and striving to be a master rescuer. When Rye left Zanna was crushed. She now with-holds her emotions as to not burst into a ball of despair. She doesn't remember much about her human life, but recent events are causing certain 'flashbacks'. She's even more worried if any of them find out she is not Pokemon-born - especially Rye. What would the Elekid think of a human?

    - - -

    Name: Jarre [Jar]
    Age: 17
    Gender: Male
    Species: Torchic
    Appearance: The same as any Torchic, though his feathers might be considered rather rough and more red than others. Sometimes sports a torn dark red bandanna around his neck; the only symbol from his childhood.
    Personality: He's quite the caring Pokemon, usually looking out for others before himself. When he gets angry though, you don't want to mess with him. He has a bad temper, and can be quick to anger. Doesn't trust too easily, but can be swayed. Harbours a strong hatred for the Elekid, Rye, which is unknown to Zanna. The two have history which they'd rather not bring up again. Loyal friend and rescue partner to Zanna.
    History: A Torchic with a troubled past, Jarre used to work for the reknowned gang leader, Scythe, in his hometown of Shale. Jarre grew up as an orphan after his parents were killed during a previous war. He has murdered before, but likes to keep his secrets. He joined Scythe after his 'brother', Raze, deserted him. He has since mended his evil ways, and moved to Likera to start a new life, hoping to put the past behind him.

    - - -

    Name: Rye/Riley [Rye-lee]
    Age: 19
    Gender: Male
    Species: Elekid
    Appearance: Unlike usual Elekids, Rye has stunning emerald eyes. His mouth is usually set in a straight line.
    Personality: Rye's more reserved than others. He keeps his secrets, and others keep theirs. He does not trust easily, but once he's on your side, will be as loyal as the best of them. He doesn't smile often and may appear rather cold at times, but that's just who he is. Calm and collected, Rye can maintain his cool even in the most dire situations. If he's ever heard laughing, it's a miracle. Holds a soft spot only known to Zanna. Hates the Torchic, Jarre, with extreme passion, constantly calling him 'kid' whenever he gets the chance to undermine the firebird.
    History: Rye works for a type of 'detective' agency, called the Wingardom Missionary located in The Marble City, Wingardom. His father, Virok, sits as Commander, which puts Rye under a lot of excess stress. His father once murdered his best friend and the Elekid has yet to deal with it. He hides his past from others as he masks his feelings. Tormented by the fact he is now caught under the same curse as his father was tampering with, he desires to put off a visit to see him anytime soon, though it is inevitable. He currently cares more for his job than for friends, but since Zanna came to town, he's beginning to be a bit more lighthearted than usual, which has him worried. His main objective now, is to sniff out Raze and Scythe and stop them from ruining the lives of others. Again. Currently training under Darkrai, who is teaching him to control his new powers.

    - - -

    Name: Codan [Code-an]
    Age: 36
    Gender: Male
    Species: Dragonite
    Appearance: Looks like the average Dragonite, only much wiser and with slightly larger wings and longer horns. Has hazel eyes.
    Personality: Despite still being young, Codan is really wise and quick-thinking for his age, usually sticking to the rules. He's generally calm, but can be very dangerous if provoked. Mostly serious, but he does have a quirky side he only shows to close friends. Extremely protective of younger creatures, especially Zanna, whom he seems to share a heartfelt bond with. Strong-willed and determined, he makes the best leader any team could have.
    History: Current leader of Team Obsidian. Codan's history is something he prefers to keep quiet. Having no family of his own, he was an orphan before being adopted. The death of his brother and his dear beloved, Reyna, was particularly hard on him. Over the years, he's become more cold and distant, even to his own partners, Lani and Balian. He has a death wish against Deoxys that will never break. Anyone who gets in his way WILL be removed.

    - - -

    Name: Lani [Lah-nee]
    Age: 32
    Gender: Female
    Species: Houndoom
    Appearance: Bright, crimson eyes, Lani is just a bit smaller than average Houndoom. Her body is more narrow and lithe, and her tail somewhat longer.
    Personality: Unlike her rescue partner Codan, she isn't afraid to joke around and mock others. Even so, Lani follows her maternal instincts most of the time, choosing heart over mind. This makes her very protective of others. Her small size is no hindrance in battle, as she can be deadly if provoked. Being a fire Pokemon, she has an affinity for them before all other; thus keeping a particular close watch on Jarre, knowing he has a knack for finding trouble. Is a mother figure to Zanna.
    History: Lani's history is a mere mystery, and only Codan knows the truth. Little is known about her origin, but rumours say that she came from the Dark Lands itself. How she came to be here, no one knows. Like Rye, she masks her inner feelings with carefully placed jokes, leading others to believe she has forgotten her past. That is hardly the case.

    - - -

    Name: Altair [Alt-air]
    Age: 18 (Over 10,000 deceased)
    Gender: Male
    Species: Pikachu
    Appearance: He's pure white, being a Light Pokemon, and is slightly taller than average Pikachu.
    Personality: Altair is really quite easy-going, and is rarely terribly serious. His attitude is more calm and quirky, as he still retains his childhood instincts. As a Light Pokemon, he varies from Zanna, being able to control all his urges and powers. If angered, spikes protrude from his body and he takes on a fearful appearance. He does, however, feel very lonely most of the time due to the fact that he cannot access the Overworld - the upper realms where the living reside. Seeing Zanna has brought him hope once again in many years, which might have sparked the interest he feels for her. That, and Light Pokemon have an instant connection. He can only watch from afar as Zanna fights on.
    History: Altair was the first ever Light Pokemon which was over 20,000 years ago. He was chosen by the lord Arceus to guide others into battle - including his two best partners and Light Pokemon, Trix and Scry - to stop Darkrai's attempts to take over Talzere. He did succeed, but with one backfire. Darkrai created a clone of himself in the form of Deoxys. Unable to rid the world of the red beast, Altair willingly sacrificed himself to send Darkrai to the Underworld. At least the world is now safe from one more danger. He does, however, hold a terrible secret unknown to anyone; the creation of Deoxys. Somehow he knows if anyone finds out it will be his undoing. He now spends his time in the Farplane, unable to do more than help others by using telepathy.

    - - -

    Name: Raze [Rayz]
    Age: 18
    Gender: Male
    Species: Taillow
    Appearance: A normal Taillow, only with a manic grin on his face and blood red eyes.
    Personality: The seemingly smart one of the evil duo, Raze can be very sadistic. He can also let his sarcasm run wild at times. He doesn't like working with Scythe however, and would just LOVE an opportunity to get rid of her. But he sees her as more of a follower than anything, someone who, if need be, can be eliminated. Raze loves to torment the weak and tease the strong. He has a superiority complex which often gets him head-on into trouble.
    History: He was like a brother to Jarre in his early days when he was an orphan, and the two were almost inseperable. But ever since the 'unfortunate incident' with Scythe's gang, The Darkshades, Raze deserted Jarre and now works for Deoxys alongside Scythe. Raze only joined Scythe after Jarre had left though, seeing as he wanted nothing to do with the bird ever again. If anyone were to mention Jarre's name to him, I'd don't think they'd be alive to recount the tale. After many years of living a lie, Raze is beginning to regret his choices. He hates that his emotions are unstable and as such is now very dangerous to be around.

    - - -

    Name: Scythe [Sythe]
    Age: 20
    Gender: Female
    Species: Absol
    Appearance: Unlike any other Absol, ever, Scythe is completely pure black, except for her face and tail, of course, which are dark grey.
    Personality: Scythe has a wicked reputation. If she gets angry, you'll likely end up dead; or at least badly mangled. She can be sarcastic and has a very moody temper. She's also rather self-centered and cares more for herself than others. Despites working with a bird who loves nothing more than to pick on her. She's not too bright, though, and perhaps this leads to most of her plans being foiled.
    History: Back in the good old days, Scythe ran a reknowned gang called the 'Darkshades' in a small town known as Shale. She was feared and respected. Until Deoxys came to town. She's resented him ever since, but only works for him in return for power. Which she has. If Scythe ever gets too angry, something odd happens and she 'turns'. This was brought on due to an experiment a long time ago made possible by Virok the Electivire. However, her condition was so unstable that she was released into Deoxys' care, as that was the deal that was made. She goes completely black and is more like a demon than anything. Mostly nothing can stop her in this state, but one drawback is she doesn't remember how she got that power. Her memory leading up to the experiment is slate-clean.

    - - -

    Name: Deoxys [Dee-ox-is]
    Age: Unknown
    Gender: Male
    Appearance: Full of malice, Deoxys is the usual red shade with whipping tentacles.
    Personality: Deoxys has a short temper. A VERY short temper, and is not to be messed with. Anyone who ends up on his bad side are either eaten or tossed away to be tortured in a gruesome manner. The two exceptions are his lackeys, Raze and Scythe. He has absolutely no capacity to feel anything but darkness. He is void of any emotion, being an incarnation of Darkrai. What he feels is hatred - the hatred of his master who was forced to the Farplane by Altair. Deoxys will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and the only thing he fears is death itself.
    History: Deoxys was not born like normal Pokemon; he was created by an incident that occurred many years ago during the Great War. The first Pokemon to ever create evil, dark creations was Darkrai. Deoxys was the pure evil incarnation of Darkrai, not stopping until he gets what he wants. He has lived for thousands of years terrorising the land of Talzere and waging an all-out war with the inhabitants. He will stop at nothing for world domination.

    - - -

    Name: Dash
    Age: 18
    Gender: Male
    Species: Sneasel
    Appearance: Like most Sneasel, only with pin-marked scars on his chest and body. Scorch marks also evident.
    Personality: Dash has a large heart and isn't afraid to show it. Often refers to others using nicknames he has thought up - even if the recipients don't happen to like the names he's given them. Though Sneasel have a clear reputation as being thieves and murderous, cold-blooded individuals, Dash is doing his species proud by not living up to that standard. Once gained as an ally he is a very loyal companion. Thanks to his torture years ago, he is unable to trust quickly, but is somewhat gullible and can be swayed easily.
    History: Works with Tali as her partner. He was tortured by the gang known as the Darkshades, though at Jarre's doing. From the encounter he has suffered terrible scars and burn marks which will never heal. He's rather wary of the Torchic and will take any chance to escape from his presence. Much else about the Sneasel is unknown.

    - - -

    Name: Tali [Tah-lee]
    Age: 16
    Gender: Female
    Species: Buizel
    Appearance: A scowl is etched to her face most of the time. Dull, black eyes.
    Personality: Uptight and full of sarcasm, Tali isn't the Pokemon to mess with. Although Dash notes that she 'isn't always like this', leading us to believe she has a kind side which is only known to a fair few. What she was like before she met the rest of the group is a mere mystery. She's stubborn and won't do what anyone says, an exception being Dash and authority figures.
    History: Tali doesn't like to divulge much about her history, and others prefer not to know. She works with Dash as a partner - for what exactly, is unknown. It is clear that she shares some kind of history involving the Weavile of the Hunters known as Rakai, but doesn't wish to reveal what that history is. She was subjected to torment before the gang known as the Darkshades, like Dash, and at the talons of Jarre. She hates to bring this fact up, as it makes her look weak.

    - - -

    Name: Rakai [Ray-kai]
    Age: 18
    Gender: Male
    Species: Weavile
    Appearance: Houses a menacing smirk, is slightly taller than the average Weavile.
    Personality: Before he was tainted by Virok, Rakai used to be a very troublesome Pokemon. He was hardly ever seen away from Tali's side; the two were like a duo. His personality was quirky and rash, yet reasonable. After the taint, however, things quickly turned sour. Rakai refused to talk to Tali, or listen to reason. He prefers to pick on smaller beings, and sometimes ever those who are larger, to test his brute strength. Somewhat cold and reserved, though he still remembers a little of the old days, as his former self tends to break through.
    History: When little, Rakai used to cause trouble around the town. He does not remember his family, but remembers being raised in a clan, and was taken into the Missionary at an early age, to train with Rye, Tali and Dash. Finding skills that others had never dreamed of, he quickly excelled to become one of the Hunters; a band of Missionary soldiers tasked with finding others who had gone rogue. Not long after his acceptance, the Sneasel became tainted with dark matter, transferring to him the power of Shadow Poison. Through this, he was able to taint others and create a stronger breed of soldiers, as was part of Virok's plan. He now resides as Virok's right-hand Pokemon, never questioning tasks, though sometimes straining to see the logic behind them. Holds a rivalry with Dash, whom he never liked, and still retains feelings towards Tali, although he would never act on them.
    Last edited by Chibi Altaria; 02-27-2017 at 10:01 AM.

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  3. #2
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Prologue;
    .............hanging by a wing


    ---------


    "Zanna! You're early!" exclaimed Mrs. Maple, staring at me with interest.

    "Yeah, I know," I said, looking at the ground. "But I just couldn't wait to start the play." Mrs. Maple beamed at me.

    "It's so good we have people like you at our school, Zanna. Oh, let me get you a copy of the script. Why don't you have a seat while you're waiting, hmm?" She gestured to a brown oak chair in the corner.

    "Thanks," I said, sitting down on the chair. The drama room wasn't exactly what you'd call ‘perfect for a play’, but it did the job. It had a light brown wooden floor, usually dusty, with a small stage at the back.

    A few old chairs were scattered around the room, along with some brass instruments and props. The stage curtains were blue and smelt like musk, but we all liked it that way. Last years play was "The Wind in the Willows" and I got cast as a skunk, but I did my best anyway.

    One of my lines was: "That is not fair. Should the Swallows stand by, while Frog gets the credit?". But me being me, I got myself all tongue-tied and actually said: "That is not bare. Should the gallows stand high, while hog gets the credit?". I was the laughing stock of the whole school for a month.

    I was still deep in thought, when Mrs. Maple reappeared, holding a newly bought script. She smiled at me.

    "Here we are then. Now, all you need to do is choose a part you want and go over the lines. If you perform well enough for the part, you might get it at the end of the term."

    "Thank you, Mrs. Maple," I said kindly as she handed me the script.

    "You're welcome." She smiled warmly at me. "Once everyone else gets here we'll start rehearsal." I flipped through the script, fingers passing over roughly cut edges.

    "Okay, thanks," I replied, already engrossed in the first scene.

    She disappeared behind the curtains again, probably going into her office. This year’s play was going to be "Romeo and Juliet". I was thinking about trying out for Juliet, but if I mucked up again, I don't know what I'd do. I shook my head, trying to free myself from negative thoughts, but it wasn't working.

    Suddenly the door opened and Hawk came in, carrying a heavy bag over his shoulders. "Hey, Zanna. Fancy seeing you here," he said when he noticed me. "I thought after last year, you'd have your head down a toilet!" He raised an eyebrow when I didn't answer.

    "What part are you trying out for?" he asked me, sneering. I closed my eyes and breathed in calmly.

    "Maybe Juliet," I answered. He grinned at me.

    "Juliet, huh? Better not, ‘cause I'm trying out for Romeo." I nearly choked. Hawk trying to get Romeo? I think he'd be better off trying to fly to the moon.

    And if we both got our parts, I didn't want him on stage saying he loved me. That’d just be plain horrible! You see, Hawk’s the delinquent at our school, always getting into trouble. But he doesn't look half bad, so all the girls swoon over him. If you ask me, he more or less needs an attitude adjustment.

    Today he wore blue jeans and a grey tank top. His brown hair sat almost perfect, which is a change because it usually never does. He has blue eyes, a small nose and a slightly sneering smile. But on good days, it looks like the sun's reflected in his teeth. This wasn't a good day.

    "Don't get all hysterical, now," he snapped, glaring at me. "Just because I'll be prince of the play." He smiled menacingly, lowering his eyebrows. "And you'll be the servant." It took all of my strength not to punch him in the stomach. I glared at him. He turned away, walking towards Mrs. Maple's office. "Seeya round, Drama queen!"

    "What nerve!" I muttered to myself. "If he gets Romeo, I'm gonna stick to art instead!" But I couldn't back out now. I’d promised my parents the best play ever. It looked like I'd just have to put up with him. I needed to clear my mind. I got out of the chair and opened the door.

    A walk was just what I needed right now, or at least somewhere quiet away from Hawk. The rest of the school was almost deserted. No one ever came this early. After all, who likes school? I frowned, trying not to put myself in the "I like school" category, but it's hard when you show up half an hour early.

    I walked out of school, across the road to the park. One of my favourite spots was in the park, under a huge oak tree. My best friend, Cody, and I made this our special place last year. And yes, my best friend is a guy. I don't care though. He's great to hang out with and he's always there if I need him.

    I found a nice, soft patch of grass below the trunk and flopped down, sighing. I closed my eyes for a second, breathing in the crystal clear, autumn air. When I opened them again, I found a silhouette standing over me, humming to itself. What day is this? Can I not at least get five minutes of peace?

    I was just about to tell whoever it was to get lost, when I noticed something. I knew the tune it was humming. I sat up, and when I could see again, I realised it was Cody. He grinned at me, his brown hair blowing in the wind. "Hey, Zanna," He said, sitting down beside me. "How are you this morning?"

    I sighed, closing my eyes again. "Not so good."

    "Why? What's wrong?" he said. He sounded concerned.

    "Oh, you know. Just Hawk again. I mean, if someone doesn't do anything soon, I may have to- Arrrgghh!" I made choking gestures with my hands. Cody laughed, his voice ringing like a song through my ears.

    "Think nothing of it, Zanna. We all know he likes you." I stared at him.

    "Are you insane?! I already told you a thousand times he doesn't!" Cody stared back coolly.

    "Okay, whatever you say." But he raised an eyebrow anyway.

    "Although it would make a lot of sense why he wants to try out for Romeo," I said.

    Cody almost choked. "He's trying out for Romeo?!"

    "Yep," I said. "And that was after I told him I was trying out for Juliet."

    "Ah," Cody said slyly. "So he does like you."

    "Oh, knock it off!" I said, whacking him over the head with a stick.

    "Okay, okay, chill," he said, rubbing his head thoroughly. He was still grinning though. I leaned back against the tree trunk with my arms behind my head. Cody sat beside me, pulling at the grass.

    We sat in silence, watching the clouds drift across the sky. "Hey, look. That one looks like you," Cody said suddenly.

    "What?" I said, already half asleep.

    "The cloud," Cody said again. "It looks a bit like you." I looked to where he was pointing and the strange thing was, it did look like me.

    But the cloud suddenly transformed itself, blown by the wind. Now it looked more like a blob. "Awwwww, it changed," Cody said, disappointed. "Weird shape, though," he added. It was. It kind of looked more like a rabbit now. I shrugged off the thought of the cloud.

    In the distance, the school bell rang. I didn't realize how late it was. Cody helped me up, then he held his hand outstretched towards me. "Here you go, Zanna. For you." He was holding a small flower. It was light purple, darkening towards the middle. I took the flower and placed it in my hair, behind my ear.

    "Thanks, Cody," I said, smiling warmly at him.

    "No worries," he said, smiling back. "It's supposed to bring good luck." He turned to go, then winked at me. "Don't worry. Everything will get better soon, I promise." He walked off towards school and I followed close behind.

    We parted at the main gate and I walked off towards drama class. Don't get me wrong, I completely trust Cody, but with Hawk in my class I didn't see how things were going to get better. As I entered the room, Hawk greeted me with a wide grin. "Hello, Zanna. Have a seat," he said, patting a chair next to him.

    I frowned. His look was giving me the creeps. "Why? What have you done to it?"

    "Nothing," he said, still grinning.

    "It's okay, Zanna," said a younger girl in year nine called Amy. I looked hard at her face. There was no trace of a lie in her eyes. Sighing heavily, I sat down in the chair.

    "Huh, seems okay." But just as I was getting comfortable, one of the legs gave way and I fell on the floor, the hard wood softening my fall. Or rather, it softened me.

    Everyone burst out laughing. I swung my eyes around and glared at Hawk. "You really are too easy to fool, Zanna!" he said between laughs. I looked over to Amy.

    "I swear I didn't know," she said softly, looking at the floor. I blew a clump of hair out of my eyes and stood up.

    Somehow, Cody's words now seemed far away. Life wasn't going to get better and drama certainly wasn't. I grabbed another chair and sat down in the newly formed circle, across from Hawk. See, this was why I like being by myself. No worries, and definitely no people who always make fun of you.

    I sneered at Hawk, who smiled back. Just then, Mrs. Maple came in. "Okay, everyone. Let's make a start," she said, clapping her hands before staring around the room. Most faces were already full of boredom, but mine was as fresh as ever. "Seeing as it's such a nice day today, I thought we'd have rehearsal outside. A bit of change in the scenery couldn't hurt, don't you think?"

    The whole class cheered and competed with each other to be the first outside. I was the last one to leave. Everyone paired up, ready to exchange lines. I was the only one without a partner. "Oh, Zanna!" said Mrs. Maple when she noticed. "We'll swap second half, okay? Why don't you find something creative to do in the meantime?"

    "Okay," I muttered sourly.

    I walked back towards the park. Stuff creative things, I'm going to read my lines! I spotted the oak tree and my eyes lit up. Seeing as the play was Romeo and Juliet, I might as well feel like a bird. Once I reached a high branch in the tree, I read my lines out loud to a nearby crow.

    The crow stared back blankly, probably wondering what I was saying. I don't know what it was about that stare, but it made me mad. I snapped, "I'm trying as hard as I can, okay? Would you like me to sing a song too?" The crow must have took that as an insult, because it flew out of the tree, curved round, and came back towards me at full force.

    I barely dodged it in time. I grabbed hold of a small branch above me to keep myself steady. The crow veered to the left and came in for a second round. I sidestepped it again, but just as I put my foot back on the branch, I slipped. I felt the cool air rush around me, the ground coming closer.

    I screamed, but no one seemed to hear. I took one last look at the crow before the world around me darkened. Its red eyes were cold and full of hatred as it landed on a branch and cawed loudly, mocking me...

  4. #3
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 1;
    .............jirachi's wish


    ---------


    The sun hangs low in the sky, like a shining orb full of despair. But… it wasn’t always like this. I can still remember when the land was rich and full of prosperity. When pokemon stood side-by-side, like comrades in arms. We were so peaceful, I guess… we never thought we would fall.

    But we could fall. Now, the land is dimming. And with it, the hopes of all those around me. I fear I am too late, but I must try…I will try! For that is the first step towards success.
    Suddenly, Jirachi lost his train of thought. A small sound had erupted from his mind.

    But it was a voice, a voice he remembered. The voice of a wise pokemon. One who’s thoughts reached beyond understanding. A calm, but stern voice.
    “Xatu…,” Jirachi answered, straining his mind to the pokemon. “Xatu, I cannot do this. We have failed. I, have failed.”

    Jirachi’s voice faltered and he found he could say no more. But Xatu was renowned for his courage and wisdom. He, at least would not give up on him.
    “With every failure, comes a new chance to succeed.” Replied Xatu simply. His voice was strong, as if a burning fire raged from within.

    Did Jirachi dare to believe? His eyes shimmered, like faith renew.
    “You’re right, Xatu! Though we’ve had many failures before, we can do it this time. I can feel it!” Jirachi’s voice strengthened with every word he spoke, as if just saying something could give him hope.

    Xatu let out a short laugh. “That’s it my friend! If we stand together, anything is possible.” But Xatu’s following words were that of concern. And perhaps…fear. “Jirachi, I need your help. You know this?” Jirachi nodded solemnly.

    “With the last of my strength, I will help you. What is needed to be done?” Xatu seemed to be thinking. There was a long pause before he replied.

    “I…need you to go away for a bit.” That was it. Jirachi lost his spark.

    “Where to?” He replied gravely. In his mind, Jirachi had an image of Xatu lifting up his head. But it looked different somehow. Like that of a ghost, fading away.

    “Watch and listen. Only then will you know what to do.” An image like a video flashed through Jirachi’s mind. The place where he was to go. He was racing over sand dunes in a desert, only to be replaced seconds later by a huge city, roaring with life.

    The video slowed as an image of a school came into view. Jirachi watched silently, intimidated by a world he didn’t know. The video swung round from the school towards a park. It was then he realised he was following a girl, A human girl. She had long, brown hair, blue eyes and a quirky smile.

    She wore a blue skirt and a light pink t-shirt, embossed with a logo of some kind. The girl halted in front of a tall oak tree. It was then that she climbed it, hair tangling in the branches. She did not notice a large crow alight on a nearby branch. She turned and saw the bird, but merely started reading to it.

    The crow became enraged by what she said and tried to make the girl fall, constantly diving at her. Jirachi noticed her eyes. The look of determination was gone, replaced by that of fear. Then the girl slipped and hurtled towards the ground, screaming. Jirachi could do nothing but watch, stricken.

    The images slowly subsided and when he came to, Jirachi found he was sweating uncontrollably. Jirachi panted, gathering his voice from within. “Is…is this where I must go?” He asked weakly.

    “With my help, you will be transported safely to the land above,” Xatu answered gently. “Now, it is time.” Jirachi felt himself begin to tingle, as an orb of white light surrounded him. The pokemon gave a short gasp, then was gone.



    The darkness swallowing Jirachi was dimming. “Where am I?” He said, wincing slightly. Tall buildings surrounded him on either side. Humans lined the streets, some even in metal monsters. Jirachi’s memory was then jolted, coming back almost instantly. The transportation had drained most of his energy.

    But he had a bigger concern. “Can these humans see me!?” He wondered out loud. Looking around, he saw they could not. Kneeling weakly, he looked down at himself. The sun danced off his body, although it wasn’t much of a body anymore. He was transparent and shimmering.

    A mere spirit in this world. But he had no time to contemplate his concerns, for at that moment he saw the girl. Without exactly knowing why, he followed her, floating silently In the cool breeze. It was as if everything had rewound itself. He was watching the whole thing all over again.

    Only this time, he was in it. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the crow. Jirachi’s brow furrowed. Time may be repeating itself, but the fall will not. Jirachi quickly meditated to regain his strength and whizzed off in pursuit of the crow. However, he found out the hard way that the crow could see him.

    It dive-bombed Jirachi, trying to shake him off, but how could he let this beast hurt the girl? The crow slammed into him from the side, knocking his breath away. Jirachi’s eyes fluttered. For a fleeting moment, he considered just leaving the girl behind in order to save himself.

    Xatu’s words rang through his mind: “With every failure, comes a new chance to succeed.” No! He could not run this time. He’d already done that too many times in the past. No, now was the time to stand and fight. A white hot fever pulsed through his body, giving him the feeling on invincibility.

    Jirachi used his agility to speed up and gain advantage of the battle. The crow reeled, as Jirachi slammed a blasting ball of energy against it. He was expecting the creature to fall, but was stunned when it did not. If anything, he just enraged it even more, causing a new flash of energy to flow through the crow.

    Jirachi paused in mid-air. A strange and peculiar thought surged through his mind. Somewhere, he was sure he had battled this creature before. It used movements familiar to him. But even though he strained his mind till it hurt, he could not remember. Jirachi whizzed around the crow, every moment gaining more speed.

    The two kept colliding with each other, each time using more force than the last. Jirachi backed off, panting. No matter how strong he was, he could not keep this up forever. A new tactic was needed. A diversion. He flew up high into the air looking down upon the crow.

    Jirachi could see it was tiring too, the wing-beats much slower than before. Jirachi sighed and mustering all his courage, stuck his fingers in his mouth and poked out his tongue, taunting the crow. The crow shrieked and hurtled towards him. Well, at least it had worked.

    Jirachi eased in and out of the trees, begging the crow to follow him, but he needed a rest and soon. Hands glowing, Jirachi whirled around to face the crow, pointing them at him. The crow chortled, laughing at him.

    Fine, we’ll see how you laugh now! As Jirachi’s hands came forward, a dozen stars flew out from his body, engulfing the crow brutally. Seizing the chance, Jirachi bounded off to find the girl. She sat alone in the tree, reading her lines. At least now she’d be safe.

    He crept slowly towards the branches, hiding among them. He sat silently, watching her read and relief empowered him. Jirachi turned to go and froze almost immediately. Unbelievable! The crow was tattered, but still it stood above him, glaring at the girl. “Leave her alone!,” Jirachi called out to the crow.

    “Your battle is with me!” The crow ignored him, advancing along the branch towards the girl. Jirachi cursed silently. “I said leave her!” He bellowed. The sound must have startled the crow, who’s wings flapped wildly, which caused the girl to stumble and fall. Jirachi flew off the branch and glared at the crow.

    Jirachi met it’s eyes and knew then who it was. Deoxys grinned, then spoke for the first time since he had encountered it. “I told you that you always ruin everything.” He sneered and transformed back to his normal form, the crow disappearing. The whipping arms reached out and caught Jirachi around the throat.

    He struggled, gasping for air. “Let me go, you brute!” Jirachi spat.

    “I’d be careful if I were you,” Deoxys said, flicking an arm about. “Someone could get hurt.” Deoxys forced Jirachi’s head to turn round so he was looking at the girl. But she was no longer falling, time itself had stopped!

    Jirachi felt faint. “Take me, but leave the girl.” He said weakly.

    “Now, where’s the fun in that?,” Deoxys replied, hissing. “I prefer a hunt!” As the words rang across the park, he disappeared in a bright light, leaving Jirachi spluttering for breath. Time slowly lurched into action again.

    No! I can’t let her go like this! Jirachi grew hot again, that same fever pulsing through him. He closed his eyes and began glowing. “Oh, world heed my wish. Deliver safely this girl, so that she may be reborn somewhere untouched by evil.” The light surrounding him entered the girl’s body, then suddenly she was gone.

    Jirachi smiled meekly, then ran out of energy and began to plummet. But still he smiled, the deed was done. “Oh, world. Please hear my wish.”…

  5. #4
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 2;
    .............caught in a trap


    ---------


    A crackly sound entered my ears as I began to wake up. I groaned and rolled onto my back opening my eyes. Everything was still a bit hazy-I must have knocked myself out pretty good. As my vision cleared, I became aware of a bright orange face in front of me.

    “Ah, so the hero finally decides to wake up.” A kind voice said to me. I sat up and noticed I was in a bed of some kind. It was made of soft down and a blanket for a pillow. A small chicken was peering down at me. It had bright blue eyes, small feet, a yellow crest and wings and a small beak in the middle of it’s face.

    A Torchic, I thought without exactly knowing how. Though the eyes seemed a little out of place. “Hero?” I muttered back. I still felt groggy and weird.

    “Well, either that or someone very silly.” He said frowning at me.

    “How did I get here?” I asked, looking at him inquisitively.

    “I found you outside, obviously unconscious, then-”

    “No,” I said, thinking hard. “How did I get here. In this world.” The Torchic didn’t reply-He looked rather confused in fact. “I, I have this weird feeling,” I said slowly. “But I don’t think I’m from here.” I racked my memory, but it was all a blur.

    “You can’t be from somewhere else,” The Torchic said, looking at me like I was crazy. “You’re a Pikachu.”

    “Huh? A…Pikachu?” I said cocking my head to one side.

    “Yeah. I guess you must have hit your head really hard.” Come, look at this.” He said, tilting his head towards a small pool of water.

    I walked over to the pool and looked down. A startling cry emitted from my mouth. I was small and yellow, with long, pointy ears that formed a black tip at the end. Two red, electric sockets were on my cheeks, next to a small nose, bright black eyes and a little, curving mouth.

    I twisted round and saw a pair of brown stripes that hovered just above a lightning shaped tail. Somehow, I knew this wasn’t what I was supposed to look like. I touched my soft cheeks with my paws, and felt the outline of the electric sockets rub against them. I stood bending over the pool, staring at my reflection.

    “I’m…a Pikachu…” I muttered to myself.

    “Well you look like a normal Pikachu,” The Torchic said softly. “Except for that.” He pointed to my tail where I saw a strange, white glowing circle. I had no idea how that got there. I wanted to change the subject.

    “What’s your name?” I asked the Torchic cautiously.

    He stared back solemnly. “You do know that it’s impolite to ask for someone’s name, when you haven’t given yours?”

    “Oh,” I said, I didn’t know that. It must be a custom here, I thought. “My name’s…Zanna.” The Torchic smiled fondly at me, eyes sparkling.

    “Well met, Zanna. I’m Jarre.”

    I smiled for the first time since I’d woken up. “Jarre…”

    “Are you alright now?” Jarre asked, looking at me with concern.

    “Yes, I think so.” I replied, turning away from him. Jarre seemed to guess my actions.

    “What!? Are you leaving already?” He exclaimed, looking somewhat downtrodden.

    “Yes, I should go and-” I stopped abruptly. It just occurred to me that I had no idea where I was. I explained my situation to Jarre, who just grinned at me.

    “Why don’t I show you around then?,” He offered. “I’m sure I’ll be of some help.”

    “That’s okay. I’m more of an independent type.” I answered him, walking towards the doorway.

    “Oh, if you’re sure…” He said looking remotely downcast.

    “Positive.” I replied. Was that a hint of steel in my voice? I shook my head.

    I stopped at the door, turning back one last time to see Jarre smiling at me half-heartedly. I went with a sinking feeling in my gut, but I couldn’t trust anyone.

    Not at the moment, anyway. Instead, I focused on the beautiful scenery around me. A small town stood in front of me, surrounded by a lush forest that seemed t stretch back as far as I could see. I stared wide-eyed at Likera Town. To some pokemon, it would probably be no more than a scratch on the map, but to the inhabitants of Likera, it was just perfect.

    Looking around, I saw pokemon everywhere! A Swellow, hastily delivering mail, Squirtle and Mudkip playing in a nearby pond, and a strange looking Elekid doing-hang on. What was it doing? The Elekid shuffled about nervously, then took a small piece of paper off a wooden board. It looked about shiftily until it spotted me.

    Eyes narrowing, it backed away slowly into the bushed behind the board. I frowned. What was an Elekid doing that was so secretive? I didn’t know, but you could bet I was going to find out! I raced off on all fours to the bulletin board, for that was what it was, peering closer at the papers pinned there.

    They were rescue requests! But why would the Elekid want to hide it? Rescuing pokemon was a good thing. I bent down and sniffed the ground on impulse, finding the Elekid’s scent. I decided it might be a good idea to tail him. I jumped into the bushes where the Elekid had disappeared, and wove in and out of the trees following it’s scent.

    A moment later the trees thinned out and I found myself in a canyon as large as a big lake. It was nearing sunset now, and from the top of the canyon it looked magnificent. If you’ve ever seen a rose begin to flower, than you’ll kind of know what I mean. A small river flowed at the bottom of the canyon, snaking it’s way through the forest.

    A tall mountain of rock rose from the centre of the canyon, like a tall spire disappearing into the clouds. Mostly though, the canyon was just filled with jagged edges and large crevices. Just at that moment, I lost the Elekid’s scent. It was like it had vanished, but who could hide in a place like this?

    Out of the corner of my eye, something caught my attention. It sparkled from behind a couple of berry bushes. I walked up to them cautiously, and slowly parted the prickly branches. A badge glinted back at me. It shone in the fading sunlight, the wings on either side like those of an angel. A rescue badge.

    I reached down to pick it up and ran my paw over the smooth, metal surface. Even though it was warm, I felt a small shiver flow into me. Suddenly my ears pricked up. Something was watching me. I closed my eyes, trying to lock onto a scent or sound. I picked up a small rustling noise not far away, near a few crowded trees.

    I felt scared-something was wrong. I turned to run but was immediately thrown backwards, the rough ground skinning my fur. I was pinned in place by the strong arms of a pokemon. An Elekid. It stood over me, smirking in that same way I’d seen it do in Likera Town.

    But right now I only had one question. “Who are you?” I asked it, my eyes narrowing. The Elekid let off a surprised look.

    “Don’t you know that-”

    “Yeah, I know. I’m Zanna.” I answered quickly, struggling under the Elekid’s weight. It was a boy, probably no older than I was. The Elekid shifted to the left, lightening my load a bit.

    “I go by many names around here.” He said to me, holding my gaze. “But you, you may call me Rye.” My tail dug into my back and I squirmed uncomfortably.

    “Well met, Rye.” I said, mimicking Jarre’s words. Rye seemed to notice my discomfort and let me stand up, though he never took his eye off me.

    “I’d say we could have met under better circumstances.” Rye said slyly, then decided the conversation was heading the wrong was and quickly changed the subject. “You’re not from around here are you?” He asked me suspiciously. I tore my eyes away, shaking the dirt from my fur.

    “I’m…from out of town.” I replied honestly.

    Rye knew there was more to it, but he didn’t press me. He walked over to a tree and ran his claws over the rough bark, then turned to look at me. “We don’t get many pokemon from out of town around here.” He said. His face held no expression, so it was hard to tell whether he was sad or angry. I took a step towards him.

    I wasn’t so scared anymore. “I like this town.” I ventured. Rye stared back coolly, then smiled. His face didn‘t look mean anymore, though something told me he didn‘t smile very often.

    “You’re a good sort then,” He said back to me. “We also don’t get many of those." I smiled, then chose to ask a question I knew would be risky.

    “What were you doing at the bulletin board, back there?” Rye’s smile faded. He walked up to me so that I could feel his warm breath on my face.

    Don’t ask me about my business.” Rye said coldly, sparks flying from his ears. I sensed he was guarded again so I backed off a bit.

    Rye stared at me for a second longer before walking away again. I didn’t stop him. I watched him go, still wondering what he was up to. At the last turn before the forest started again, he turned back towards me. “You might want to look around a bit before you leave.” He said.

    I had a feeling he as hinting at something. He may not have told me what he was up to, but he wasn’t exactly hiding it either. Rye smiled one last time, then disappeared around the corner from sight. He is an odd pokemon, I thought, but he’s not bad. Inside me I knew we’d meet again.

    I was sure of it. I took Rye’s advice and looked around the canyon. It wasn’t hard to find what he’d left for me. He had it pinned to a small shrub, close to where I came in. I took out the pin and picked up a piece of paper that was sparkling in the sunset, just like the badge.

    I read the note out loud quietly, staring intently at the words written on the page. A huge heading jumped out at me.

    “Pokemon Rescuers! The PRA (Pokemon Rescue Association) needs your help! As you all know, pokemon everywhere are being affected by recent natural disasters occurring all over the world. We need as many pokemon as we can to help us during this difficult time.

    If you’re able to help your town, we urge you to think about this: Is any life, a life worth living? Have pride in who you are and help those in need. For more information, contact the PRA at your nearest town today. And remember, you’re braver than you think.

    ~PRA”

    Was Rye thinking about joining? I sighed. I didn’t think I’d make a good rescuer, but it was about helping pokemon, and Rye obviously believed in me. Maybe- “Aaagghhhh!” A loud shriek snapped me out of my thoughts. I took a step backwards. A clump of dirt gave way and I fell, tumbling into a small pit.

    I lay on the ground, dazed by the fall. I was covered from head-to-toe in dirt and it made me look like an odd-shaped rock. I stood up carefully and shook myself, shaking the dust from my fur. The bright starlit sky looked down upon me, almost mockingly. “Help!” I called up, my voice echoing off the jagged walls.

    I sighed and sat down, blowing a clump of fur from my face. A murky shadow towered above me, and, for a second I was too afraid to look up. When I did, I noticed it wasn’t anything bad. Quite the opposite actually. Jarre peered down into the darkness of the pit, grinning widely, a long rope slung over his back.

    “Need some help?” He called down to me. I instantly regretted how I’d treated him. Despite all I’d done, he was still willing to help. Maybe I can trust him.

    “Only if you’re willing to give it.” I replied half-heartedly. I looked up at him and to my surprise, he was still grinning.

    “Would I want it any other way?” He answered softly. My mouth began to twitch and I found myself smiling. Looks like I’ve finally found a friend.

  6. #5
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 3;
    .............a rescue like no other


    ---------


    I hurriedly shoved the letter in front of Jarre’s face. “See, see! I told you I found it!” Jarre shook his head as the paper tickled his beak.

    “I would see if you held it further!” He snapped, but he smiled all the same, obviously amused by how childish I was acting.

    “So do you think we’ll be accepted?” I asked Jarre with bright eyes. After Jarre rescued me, we had walked back to his hut and all the while I had talked about the PRA. I kept my meeting with Rye secret though, that was just between him and I.

    “Only one way to find out, right?” Jarre beamed at me.

    I automatically jumped up, almost bumping my head on the ceiling. “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” I bounded towards the doorway, but when I turned around, Jarre was still sitting in the same spot and hadn’t moved an inch. “What’s wrong?” I asked him, frowning.

    Jarre raised an eyebrow, then burst out laughing. “You look like you’ve just been run over by a herd of Tauros!” He said between giggles.

    “Oh, very funny.” I said, looking at the ground. But I couldn’t help it that my cheeks grew hot. I quickly turned towards the doorway and began grooming myself.

    The dirt felt like rough sandpaper on my tongue and tasted bitter, like sour berries. “Pah!” I spat out a clump of dirt, “This tastes like garbage!”

    “What is it meant to taste like?” Jarre replied sarcastically, “Pecha berries?”

    “It’d help,” I muttered to myself between clods of dirt.

    When I was finally clean and ‘Shining like a star’, according to Jarre, we left to visit the PRA. “Follow me,” Jarre said excitedly, “I know the way.”

    “And you kept it from me!?” I exclaimed rather loudly.

    “Well, you were already talking so much. I thought if I told you about that, you’d explode!”

    Jarre said to me, grinning as widely as a Gengar. I chose to ignore that remark and focused on following him through the bustling town instead. He lead me down several paths, all of which were very busy. As I was walking, a small Chikorita tried to run past, but accidentally bumped into me.

    It looked up at me and grinned, the large leaf on it’s head blowing in the breeze. It had shining, red eyes, a small green body, four legs, a stubby little tail and green bead-like things around it’s neck. “Sorry, I was just trying to catch my friend,” She motioned towards a larger Chikorita across the path, poking it’s tongue out at her.

    “We’re playing tag.” She explained. She caught one glimpse of her friends face and laughed. “Polo, you look like a Politoed!” She raced off to join Polo and I was left standing awkwardly next to Jarre.

    “Ah, cute kid?” He said lifting an eyebrow.

    “Yeah,” I replied. “I like this town.”

    “Then you’re gonna love the PRA!” Jarre said, running ahead of me. “Come on, we don’t have all day!” I sighed and ran after him. This was going to take some getting used to.

    ~ ~ ~

    The PRA was nothing like I’d imagined. It was much better! From the outside, it looked like a normal white building with an arched roof and a sparkling, rescue badge in the centre. Two, golden statues stood on either side of a large oak doorway. One was a Pikachu, the other, a Lucario.

    “They were great rescuers,” Jarre explained. “The Pikachu was called Prosper, and the Lucario, Lyra. But they both disappeared in a raging sandstorm in the Mugale desert, so we built these statues to honour them.” Jarre’s face grew pale. “I hope I don’t end up like that…” I put a comforting paw on his wing.

    Apart from the statues, the building was surrounded by ferns and palm trees. They reached all the way to the top of the building, some even covering the many windows that shone in the sunlight. This it it, I thought as I put a shaky paw forward. Jarre must have been thinking somewhere along the same lines.

    “Do you want to go in first, or should I?” He said through a forced smile. I shook my head and pushed open the large, oak doors that lead into the entrance of the PRA. It was almost deserted inside. “What’s up here?” Jarre said, frowning. “This place is usually full of life.”

    As if in answer to his question, a large Houndoom came rushing towards us. It had a long, slender, black body with grey stripes that arced over the top. It’s grey horns thrashed furiously, as did it’s arrow-shaped tail. Sharp claws protruded from within it’s paws, and just above them was a metal ring.

    The Houndoom mostly looked like a wild dog. It skidded to a halt, just inches from where we were standing. “I’m sorry, but we’re not seeing anyone right now. A crisis is taking place at the Maze Caverns!” She seemed somewhat weary, and out of breath. At that moment, another pokemon came in, this one a Dragonite.

    It looked like a yellow dragon, with brown curvy horns, green wings and sharp claws. It flew to the Houndoom’s side. “Lani! Status report!”

    “Two small pokemon are trapped in the Maze Caverns! They can’t find their way out, and somehow managed to fall through a crack in the ground!”

    They looked at each other in panic. “I already sent a squad of Abra to the area, but I haven’t heard from them since!” Lani replied looking distraught. Something rang in my mind.

    “What were the two pokemon?” I asked them, heart pounding. Lani glanced over at the Dragonite, who nodded.

    “Two, small Chikorita,” She said hoarsely, “And we don’t have much time!” She raced off and the Dragonite bade her good luck.

    “There’s not much we can do now but wait.” He said, sullenly. I felt something from within me that urged me to find those Chikorita. It was strange, but I knew I could do it.

    “I’ll go.” I said as I took a deep breath. My voice was strong, and Jarre was looking at me with worry and admiration at the same time.

    “Zanna, are you crazy!?” He began, but the Dragonite cut him off.

    “Zanna, is it? I’m Codan, but there’s no time for an introductory.

    If you really want to go, maybe there’s something I can do for you…” He left without another word and reappeared moments later holding a long rope. “Here, take this,” He said urgently handing me the rope. “And hurry! There’s no telling what might happen if you don’t make it.” I put on a defiant face.

    “I’ll save them, Codan. I know it!”

    ~ ~ ~

    Maze Caverns was not what I expected, though it did hold up to it’s name. It was a natural maze! “How will we ever find the Chikorita in this?” I said sadly. Tall, rocky walls formed the entrance to the cave. We were only a few metres in, but it was almost completely dark!

    Jarre thought hard, then his face lit up. “I know, Zanna! You can be the ears, and I’ll be the eyes!”

    “And how do we do that?” I asked him intrigued.

    “Well, I’ll use my crest as a torch and you can use your ears to hear where they are!” I let off a small smile. Jarre may not be tall, but you’ve got to admit he’s smart.

    I nodded. Jarre began to focus intensely, until he was glowing red hot. He then transferred the energy from his body to his crest, which acted like a light bulb. Now for my part. I closed my eyes and pricked my ears. Soundwaves echoed off the walls while I searched for the two pokemon.

    I snapped my eyes open. “Hurry!” I called to Jarre, racing off into the darkness. “They’re this way!” I bolted through endless tunnels, always one step in front of Jarre, but it was hopeless. I never seemed to be getting any closer, no matter how far I went.

    I grew tired, my energy drained from running. I leant back against the rocky wall, and felt their jagged edges, cold against my fur. Jarre slumped down beside me, feathers in a matted mess. “I swear I’ve seen that rock three times now.” He panted, tilting his head towards a large rock nearby.

    I had the same feeling. “We’re doing something wrong,” I frowned, “But what?”

    “I don’t know. But we’ve got to keep trying-as long as we have hope.” Jarre was right. I still have hope. Strength renewed, I picked myself up and let a few sparks fly from my cheeks.

    “Okay, let’s play mazes.”

    This time I felt the wall as I went along. I recorded every rock-even every grain of dirt-to my memory. This time I knew we were going the right way. A loud cry emanated off the walls to my left. I gasped and dashed around the corner. The sight that greeted me wasn’t a very good one, but then had I expected it to be?

    A very distraught Chikorita was peering down a crack in the cavern. I noticed it as the same one that had bumped into me earlier. “Polo!” She shouted hoarsely. “Polo, wake up!” I ran to her side to give what little comfort I could.

    “What happened?” I asked her gently.

    “We were playing, Polo and I, when the floor rumbled and cracked,” She had to pause to stifle her tears before she continued. “Polo fell through and big rocks came down and blocked the way out.” She cried, sobbing rather loudly.

    “What’s your name?” I asked her. No time for customs now.

    “M, Misha.” She stammered back. I took the rope off my back and kneeled down, so I was at the Chikorita’s level.

    “Could you hold this for me Misha?” I asked her softly. She nodded, wiped away a few tears, and held the rope over her leaf. I stood up again and turned to face Jarre.

    “No time for games,” I said, eyeing the small crack in the cavern floor. “I’m going in-alone.” Jarre nodded gravely.

    “Just come back safely, okay?” I didn’t reply. It hurt too much to think that I might not be coming back. I shook away the thought and bent down on the ground, flexing my body as low as it would go.

    My fur stood on end, but I inched forward along the dusty gravel, squeezing my way into the tiny crevice. The jagged edges dug first into my fur, then my skin. I winced in pain, but there were worse things that could happen. My paws finally found an edge to hold onto and I pulled myself out of the hole, tumbling towards the ground.

    My fur relaxed and I let go of my tensed muscles, returning my body to it’s former state. I stood up weakly and backed myself against the wall. I was in a small cave that was connected to three other tunnels. A few crystals glittered off the walls, tempting me to pick them-but there was only one thing I wanted.

    However hard I looked though, there was no sign of Polo. I shook the gravel from my once shiny coat and placed my paw against the wall. A faint pulse flowed through the cold, hard rock and I was sure it was Polo’s. I bolted down the right tunnel on instinct, but I was slowing down rapidly-the jagged rocks had cut my paws badly.

    A sudden roar filled the caverns and I froze, pressing myself tightly to the wall. Whatever had made that sound couldn’t be good. I picked up the courage to peer around the corner. A large cave gaped menacingly at me. Crystals hung from the walls, lighting the cave, but they were dim.

    Through the darkness I saw a pile of rocks and a familiar leaf sticking out from underneath. “Polo!” I cried, dashing towards him. I fell to my knees and began to scrabble frantically at the rocks, clenching my teeth to soothe the pain now blasting through my paws.

    As I lifted the last rock, Polo’s head came into view. His eyes were closed and his breath came in ragged gasps. I picked up the limp figure of Polo, cradling him gently. His eyes fluttered open and I saw fear. Cold, hard fear. “It’s okay now. I’ve got you.” I told him softly.

    Polo managed a weak smile before he fell unconscious. Now all I could think about was getting out of here. I made my way slowly towards the tunnel entrance, when the ground began to shake. I almost tripped, so I put my paw against the wall to steady myself. My eyes grew wide with fear as the shaking got worse.

    An ear-splitting thud came from above and I looked up just in time to see a metal tail come crashing down. With no-where to run, I tried to dodge the attack, but it was too fast. Searing pain burst through my side as the tail connected, right on target. I slammed into the ground, grazing my fur, and Polo was sent flying across the other side of the cavern.

    I just managed to lift up my head and saw him, bruised and cut. “Polo, no…” I cried hoarsely, but it was no use. I had to get to him. I put one paw forward, grasping onto the ground to pull myself forward. Inch by inch I worked my way across the dirt, flinching from the pain.

    I reached Polo’s side and collapsed, my head on his leaf. A massive quaked roared, and a huge, metal monster crashed into the cavern, blocking the only exit. It was an Aggron. It looked down at me with cold eyes of steel and growled, thrashing it’s tail about. I dragged myself over Polo’s body to protect him, feeling his warmth on my fur.

    I had to get him out, and if this was the only was to do it, then so be it! I stared straight back at the Aggron, clenching my paws. “Bring it!” I cried out, my voice echoing through the cave. No running, not today. This time I fight!

  7. #6
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 4;
    .............thunder down under


    ---------


    Jarre stood silently in the cavern with Misha by his side. His face was expressionless, but inside he was cold. Cold with fear and helplessness. It had been a while now since Zanna had disappeared through the crevice and Jarre was beginning to feel anxious.

    He had talked to Misha and found out that there was a rumour of a monster deep in Maze Caverns. Misha obviously wasn’t concerned, but Jarre knew there must be a hint of truth in what she said. He phased back to the present as the ground began to shake violently beneath his claws.

    Misha let out a gasp and grabbed hold of Jarre’s wing. “What’s that?!,” Jarre exclaimed to himself. “It’s not an earthquake, that’s for sure!” The shaking stopped abruptly and his head began to spin. He leant against the wall to support himself, while he held Misha tightly in his wings.

    The little Chikorita began to sob and buried her face in Jarre’s feathers. “I’m scared Jarre.” The muffled voice stammered.

    “It’s gonna be okay, Zanna’ll sort everything out.” He replied, trying to soothe her. But he didn’t even believe his own words. Jarre’s feathers stood on end as he noticed voices coming towards him. “Hide.” He whispered to Misha and gently nudged her out from beneath his feathers.

    She nodded and dove behind a rock, while Jarre stood in the shadows, against the wall. A bright light illuminated the cave and Jarre tensed, ready for a battle if need be. But it wasn’t a monster at all. Jarre relaxed as he recognised the faces of Lani and Codan. “It’s okay, Misha,” Jarre called out to her. “It’s just the PRA.”

    A tiny head peeked out from behind the rock and smiled. She ran up to Codan and leapt up into his arms, nudging his fur with her head. Codan laughed and held Misha up to his face. “I told you to be back by lunchtime. Your mother isn’t going to be happy about this.”

    Misha turned away and looked at the ground. Codan gently put a paw underneath her chin and lifted her head up. His face was serious, though he showed no sign on fear. “How’s Polo?” He asked softly.

    “I don’t know. Zanna went to get him.” Misha replied, looking at Codan with teary eyes. Lani let off a worried look as she turned to Codan.

    “The Pikachu you told me about is trying to rescue a Chikorita? In Maze Caverns!?” Codan was about to speak, when Jarre interrupted.

    “Zanna’s brave! I know she can do it. She-” Jarre stopped as another earthquake pulsed through the ground. An anguished cry floated up to them. The cry of a Pikachu. Jarre tried to run to the crevice, but Lani held him back firmly between her paws. “Zanna!” He screamed out, behind a veil of rushing tears.

    ~~~

    I have to protect Polo. That was my only thought at the moment--nothing else mattered. My breath came in short gasps and I knew I was close to fainting. I had managed to lure the Aggron away from Polo. I glanced quickly at the sleeping pokemon, though never taking an eye away from the danger that stood before me.

    I seemed to glow with an intense heat that I’d never felt before. It was as if the energy was thinking for me--it always knew what to do. The Aggron lashed out with it’s tail again and I barely dodged it in time. The sheer force of the attack sent me sprawling across the ground.

    I kneeled on my paws weakly, knowing they wouldn’t be able to support me much longer. The Aggron roared and launched a couple of boulders towards me. Instinct immediately took over as I jumped up onto the first, then second boulder.

    Again the steel-hard tail hurtled through the air, ready to pummel anything that got in it’s way. It took all my concentration to keep myself crouching down on the rock and not to run away. A determined expression settled on my face and twitched into a sly grin. The Aggron either didn’t notice, or care.

    It just growled, as inch-by-inch the tail began to close in. Well I for one, am not giving it the satisfaction of turning me into a pancake! I leapt through the air at the flying tail and it slammed into me at full force. The Aggron cheered in triumph and bent down to inspect it’s prize.

    It almost reeled when it saw that I hadn’t been crushed. I hung on tightly to it’s tail and smiled. “Pika!”--“Gotcha!” A hot energy pulsed through me and I cried out to the Aggron, letting it know that it was over. “Piikaaachuu!” I tensed, clutching the tail with all my might.

    My fur stood on end as a huge discharge of electricity surged through the Aggron’s body. The tail writhed and I was flung to the ground. I hit it face first and let out a cry as pain flowed through my now throbbing cheek. But what did it matter? The Aggron wouldn’t bother me anymore.

    I rolled onto my back and saw the steel-hard face of the Aggron towering above me. No! It wasn’t meant to be like this! Why hadn’t it fainted? Then it hit me. I was just a Pikachu--no more, no less. Could I have really thought it would faint? I turned my head to Polo, who would never see light again.

    “Polo…I’m so very sorry…” My eyes fluttered and closed. I couldn’t hold on anymore. Come, take me. It’s the last you’ll get!

    ~~~

    Jarre’s feathers stood on end as he saw the still figure of Zanna lying but a few metres from him. “Make no sudden movements,” Codan cautioned as he stepped up behind Jarre. “Or you could be next.” Lani put a heavy paw on Jarre’s wing.

    “All things must come and go,” She said soothingly. “It is the nature of life.” Jarre simply refused to believe this, though her words struck him to the very core. Suddenly he felt frail and he shuddered. This monster was going to take away his new friend, and there was nothing he could do about it.

    Tears began to well in the corners of his eyes as he looked helplessly at the Pikachu and Chikorita, sprawled across the ground. The dirt welcomed his sorrow and swallowed his tears, but Jarre could still see them hovering above the surface. His brow furrowed. There was something reflected in them.

    But we’ve got to keep trying--as long as we have hope. Jarre stared intently at the shimmering tears. Zanna didn’t give up when things got tough, and neither will I! Jarre turned to Codan, a determined look on his face. “Let me save them, Codan,” He said with a steely tone, “I can do it.”

    For friendship, he added in his mind. He stared at Codan, hoping he could see it in his eyes. The great dragon tensed, then seemed to relax a bit. He put Misha on the ground and turned to face Jarre. “You sound so much like Zanna,” He said gently, looking Jarre straight in the eyes.

    “Do what you must, but never underestimate your opponent.” Lani smiled and a small rumble erupted from her throat.

    “Go with good wishes.” She whispered, touching Jarre on the forehead with her snout. He nodded. He had nothing but respect for these two and they knew it. He surveyed the cavern carefully, taking in every bit of detail. However, he had no time for a plan.

    The Aggron turned round and aimed a punch straight at Jarre. He dodged it quickly and counter-attacked with a small jet of flames. The metal beast reeled in pain as Jarre adjusted himself, ready for the next attack. He clenched his beak, crushing the dirt beneath his claws, feeling their grainy texture.

    The Aggron lashed out with his metal tail again and again, and every time Jarre dodged it, he was growing weaker. His movements slowed and the tail scraped his chest, leaving him exposed to harm. He landed on the gravel with a thud. His legs were shaking and he was drenched with sweat.

    The Aggron seemed to notice this, and what seemed like a sneer appeared on it’s face. It raised it’s huge arms into the air and roared. Dozens of metal copies surrounded Jarre, each staring at him with the same cold, blue eyes. Jarre felt dizzy and his wings slumped by his side, torn by huge claws.

    But the monster didn’t come rushing at him as he’d expected. It just tilted it’s head back and let out a screech. A terrible, blood-curdling screech. Jarre winced and covered himself with his wings, but he could already feel his power weakening. This was the toll of metal sound.

    He couldn’t move--he was rooted to the spot. His head told him to run but his legs wouldn’t obey. He looked up in fear as all the Aggron closed in on him mercilessly. All he could do was close his eyes and wait. But the attack never came. As he opened his eyes, he saw a distinct black figure in front of him, surrounded by flames.

    Lani! Her red eyes glowed and she snapped viciously at the Aggron, launching intense fireballs at the copies. The real Aggron appeared and tried to shake her off. But Lani was too fast, merely side-stepping the attacks. She had been trained to move fast as a form of defence!

    Jarre shook his head and slowly got up on his feet. He glanced at Zanna and Polo with concern. If only he could reach them! Lani disappeared into thin air, leaving the Aggron looking around in confusion. She reappeared moments later behind the Aggron, attacking it with a purple blast that surged from her body--a faint attack.

    With the Aggron occupied by the flailing dog, Jarre made a dash for Zanna. He dove at the ground, dodging a few rocks that were scattered towards him and tumble to the Pikachu. He collapsed in a heap by her side, exhausted from the battle with the Aggron. Jarre peered at her cautiously.

    Was she still breathing? He put his soft head against her chest. A faint beat pulsed through her warm fur. So she was alive…but in bad shape. Just then, Zanna’s eyes fluttered open. “Polo…” She said hoarsely. Jarre put a feathery wing against her paw.

    “Don’t worry Zanna. I’ll save you and Polo.” Zanna seemed to smile for a second, then drifted off again. Jarre quickly glanced back to Lani, who was now battling paw-to-paw with the Aggron. He took one last look at Zanna and ran to Polo. Jarre did the same to him and felt a tiny pulse against his head.

    Relief flooded through him. Both were okay. But the victory was short lived. A yelp erupted from the Houndoom as she was flung against the wall. Jarre clenched his beak with worry. Codan was keeping the steel monster away from Lani the best he could. He stood his ground firmly in front of her, using protect.

    But the Aggron seemed to have a short attention span. Giving up the endless battle with Codan, it went for the next best thing--Zanna. Jarre’s eyes were wide with fear as the monster stomped towards her. Even though he was only a few metres away, he knew he couldn’t make it in time.

    Jarre’s eyes blazed, and angry tears flooded down his face. For no reason at all, he cried out to the monster. “I was always brought up thinking there was some good in everyone. But you,” Jarre lowered his voice menacingly, “You are a monster!” The Aggron roared and raised a paw to swipe at the defenceless Pikachu, but Jarre got in first.

    “No more!” He cried savagely. Jarre felt his stomach boil. The heat had to escape somehow and the closest thing was his beak. He took a deep breath and released a raging inferno, scorching the Aggron. Codan stared blankly at Jarre, while Lani stared in awe.

    When the last of the flames left his body, Jarre stood dazed. But the Aggron was still standing! It roared and smacked Jarre in the side, knocking him to the ground. He flinched as a rock hit his leg. Searing pain flowed through, leaving him unable to move. The Aggron advanced on Jarre, sharp teeth shining like knives.

    Jarre looked up weakly and saw a yellow figure emerge from behind the monster. Zanna! She stood very feebly, although she was up at least. She found her footing and glared up at the Aggron. “No, more…” She said weakly. A yellow glow surrounded her as she leapt into the air, towards the Aggron.

    A bolt of lightning rushed into the cavern through a crack in the roof, and connected as one with Zanna. She cried out savagely. “PIIIKAAACHUUU!!!” A yellow aura of thunder surrounded her and erupted from her body. Jarre was flown back by the force of the thunder attack.

    Just before he fainted, he caught a glimpse of the Aggron falling to the ground, and Zanna behind it. She wavered for a bit, then fell to the darkness, as did Jarre.

  8. #7
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 5;
    .............recollections


    ---------


    A voice entered my dreams. “Jarre, please be alright…” It was all I could do to hold onto that voice, but even so I felt myself slipping away. No matter how hard I tried, I was still dragged under; succumbed by the darkness.

    ~*~

    It was as though I was back in my home town, Shale. It was exactly as I remembered it--I was a kid again. I peered into a puddle and saw my blank, blue eyes staring back at me. My feathers were rough and a jagged, black scarf was tied loosely above my wings. But this is how it was for me.

    I had to do what I could to survive, even if it meant being a thief. I lived my life on the streets and they welcomed me as the family I never really knew. In Shale, there was only one rule: You’re on your own. Unless of course you were in a gang, which was pretty hard to come by if you lived on the streets.

    The alpha gang in Shale was a group of malicious pokemon known as the Darkshades. No-one ever dared to defy them for fear of getting beaten to a pulp by their leader. Scythe was every bit as evil as you could imagine. Her look pretty much gave it away.

    Though she was as Absol, you wouldn’t think so just by looking at her. Scythe was twisted by dark powers--cloaked in a layer of dark matter. She had black streaks that tainted her once beautiful white coat, and no-one knew how she got that way. But nobody really cared.

    As far as they were concerned, as long as they never met her they were safe. The puddle reflected my thoughts; my memory…To survive, I had to join a gang. And the only one that would even consider letting me join, was Scythe. I shuddered at the thought and my feathers drew in close to my body, as if to protect me from it.

    I jumped as the metal lid of a bin hit the ground. The alley I was in was no longer quiet--something stirred in this place. A shadow bounded overhead and landed in front of me without a sound.

    “Scythe…” I whispered. She smiled slyly and sat up as tall as she could. I felt something grab me from behind. I tried to scream but my beak was covered by strong hands. I stopped thrashing about and lowered my head to the ground. Scythe spoke, her voice was rich and majestic. But it was not without scorn.

    “Let him go, Arc. The binding is not required.” Scythe narrowed her eyes and flicked back her head as the huge arms uncoiled from around me. Arc stepped back and grinned widely. Scythe’s right-hand pokemon was a Gengar. He pushed me forward roughly and I staggered to stay upright.

    Scythe looked at me so hard with her red eyes, that in the end I had to turn away. She scraped the ground with one paw, then spoke. “A little birdy told me that someone wanted to join my gang,” She lowered her head to my height and I felt her breath on my face, cold and heartless.

    “Is this true?” I gulped and nodded feebly. She frowned and stood up again, turning her back to me. “Do you know this bird whom was sent to me?” I had to lie, it was better not to get him involved.

    “No. I just met it the other day.” Scythe seemed unimpressed. She whirled round and I saw that she was holding a struggling Taillow beneath her paw. I remained calm, urging myself not to scream out. Scythe clicked her claws together menacingly.

    “So, if I was to kill him, that wouldn’t matter to you?” I clenched my beak tightly and shook my head. The Taillow let out a yelp and turned it’s head towards me. The look in his eyes was horrible. They cut through me like swift blades. I tore my eyes from him and back to Scythe.

    “Well then,” She said cruelly, “I guess I don’t need him anymore.” With one fluid motion, she raised a paw and brought it down swiftly.

    “Wait!” I screamed. I couldn’t hold my voice any longer. It wasn’t his time to die. The Taillow beat it’s wings against the ground wildly, gasping for air. Scythe didn’t seem to notice. She looked at me firmly and raised an eyebrow.

    “Ah, so you do know the little one here. What is it you’re not telling me?” I stole a glance at the Taillow, who was now lying faintly on the ground.

    “Nothing,” I lied, “I’ve already told you everything I know.” Scythe bared her fangs and pressed down firmly on the Taillow’s neck. It let out a screech as her claws cut through flesh.

    “Don’t toy with me, bird!” Scythe spat at me.

    “LEAVE HIM ALONE!” I yelled back at her. Scythe recoiled, taken aback by my sudden outburst. The Taillow seized the chance and flew to my side, fondling a hurt wing. Scythe growled menacingly in our direction.

    “Arc! Seize the Taillow and bring him to me!” Arc disappeared and grabbed the helpless bird from below. It cried out, surprised by the sudden attack.

    “Jarre, help me!” But I didn’t move. I was too scared. Arc hovered to Scythe’s side, holding the struggling bird. Scythe started towards me and stopped only when she was an inch from my face.

    “Do you really want to join my gang?” I nodded slowly. Scythe raised her head and smiled. “Good then, you’re accepted.” She walked back to Arc and I let out a deep breath.

    “Oh, and another thing,” Scythe turned abruptly and smacked me with a paw. She walked steadily to where I lay and bent her head down so low, that I felt her fur brush my feathers. “We play by my rules.”

    ~*~

    I shivered from the cool breeze that blew past me. The trees bent back and forth, almost as if dancing to an unknown song. But it wouldn’t have been a happy song. Rain pelted against my feathers making them stick together. I was in a rocky field. Trees lined the edges and jagged rocks protruded from the muddy earth.

    Stars reflected the rain and even so it was almost pitch black. I could hardly make out Scythe’s face as she stepped up onto a large rock. She stared at me with those red eyes and flicked fur from her face. Arc stood below her, watching me with complete and utter disdain.

    I sneered at him and focused my attention towards Scythe. She swished her tail and when she spoke, it was as if the whole world fell silent. “We have a new recruit,” She said coldly. “And as you all know, new recruits must take a test.” The mob of pokemon around me cheered.

    A test? Who said anything about a test? I recalled her words and shuddered. So this is what she meant. Scythe flicked a small pebble over the edge of the rock and continued. “If he succeeds, we shall welcome him with open paws. If not,”--Here she turned towards me and smiled.-- “You know what to do.”

    The mob cheered again and pushed me forward. I was beginning to regret my choice. But how else was I supposed to survive? Scythe focused her gaze upon me and asked the question I’d been dreading: “Are you ready?” Do I have a choice?, I thought.

    “What’s the test?” I called up to her through the watery sky. The grey fur covering her face seemed to shimmer as she held up her head.

    “Do you really want to know?” She seemed rather satisfied when I didn’t answer. “Fear is good,” She said solemnly. “Harness fear and you harness power. Control power,” Her eyes flashed cruelly. “And you’re invincible!” Scythe was pure evil, but what did she intend for me to do? A bolt of lightning broke the silence.

    Only then did Scythe seem to regain her senses. She peered down at me and sneered. “I want to see just how cruel you can be.” She answered slyly. Scythe laughed mirthlessly as she pointed across the field. Large ropes stretched out from the rocks, ending in the middle as a tangled mess.

    But it wasn’t the ropes I didn’t like--It was what was in them. That same Taillow that Scythe had captured hung limply between the cords. My friend. My face showed obvious fear when I turned to Scythe. “I can’t…” I pleaded, “This is madness!” Scythe merely jumped down from the rock and laughed.

    “Madness it may be, but you wanted to join my gang.” It was true, I couldn’t deny that. Scythe padded towards me and looked over at the Taillow. “Now, in ten minutes time those metal rods,”--She gestured to two metal poles, one on either side of the Taillow-- “Will attract a lightning bolt. You have two choices,”

    She stared at the sky, as if waiting for a signal. “You can either play the hero and save your friend there. Or,” I didn’t like what was coming. “If you want to join us, you will leave him be.” The last few words were like claws in my heart. How could I do that to an innocent creature?

    However, it looked like my only chance if I was to survive. Scythe walked right up to me until her nose was brushing my beak. “Let the challenge begin.” She said, barely louder than a whisper. She whirled round and jumped back onto the rock. “I’d be thinking if I were you, firebird! You don’t have much time!”

    I looked over at the Taillow. Ever since I was little, Raze had been my only friend. He looked out for me, as I did for him. We were almost like brothers. The rain fell louder now, nearly drowning out the taunts from the mob. Scythe stood as still as a statue, watching me with hawk eyes.

    Was this the only way to provide for us both? Raze lifted his head weakly. “Jarre…help me…” I closed my eyes and turned away. I couldn’t do anything--my mind wouldn’t allow it.

    “Brother…” I muttered under my breath. Five minutes had already gone and Raze was looking at me with concern.

    “Don’t you remember who you are?” He said softly. He was looking at me so strangely that I didn’t know what to feel. I was a mixture of fear, sorrow and anger. Thought rushed through head, melting away everything that was around me except Raze and Scythe. In desperation I turned to her.

    “Don’t make me choose…I can’t. You must know how I feel!” I stared straight into Scythe’s eyes and for a second the cruel look was gone, replaced by a tender frown. But the raindrops washed away her feelings and she was back to her usual self.

    “Better to ask forgiveness than permission.” She said scornfully. Tears ran down my cheeks.

    “How could you?” I stammered.

    “Or rather, how could you?” She retorted. “Time’s up bird.” Scythe threw her head back, looking towards the sky and growled. “Feel the wrath of thunder!” A huge flash of light flew through the sky and connected to the two poles. The ropes writhed like a snake catching it’s prey. I turned away and stared at the ground.

    “No…” When the lightning withdrew, Scythe jumped down dutifully from the rock. She walked over to the ropes and I waited for a growl of triumph. But it didn’t come. I turned round and stared carefully at the ropes, then at Scythe’s shocked face.

    “Raze escaped!” I cried out in joy.

    “No thanks to you.” A harsh voice called out from behind me.

    “Raze?” He was perched on a nearby tree branch glaring at me with hatred.

    “We were brothers!” He spat at me.

    “But, I…I only wanted what was best for you.” I answered him, slightly shocked by his sudden change.

    “Best for me!” Raze screeched shrilly. “By frying me in a lightning bolt!” He flew to my side and jabbed me in the chest with a wing. “I have no brother!” He hissed. I stepped back as the shocking reality began to sink in. At that moment, Scythe seemed to regain her voice.

    “Impotent bird! Die now!” She lunged over my head and began to tear at Raze. The last thing I saw of him was the surprised look on his face. But just as all seemed lost, a black streak shot into the sky and disappeared. Raze was gone. Scythe cursed and turned towards me.

    “Welcome to the gang.” She said as her stone-cold eyes met mine. A sudden hot feeling billowed within me. I felt power and I had to unleash it. Was this what vengeance was? The hatred rose in me until all I could do was bask in it’s light.

    I turned to Scythe and smiled. I looked at the sky as I opened my beak. “I have no brother!” I hissed.

  9. #8
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 6;
    .............as the spirit heals


    ---------


    The sun that shone through the window welcomed a new day, ready to begin. The walls of the hospital wing seemed to be full of life. The engraved leaves sparkled as a ray shone upon them. But life was still within the walls. Jarre lay on a soft bed made from down; unmoving, but breathing.

    Codan sat on the floor beside him, pondering his thoughts, as did I. I looked down at my paws and thought how easily a life could be held within them. For two days Jarre hadn’t stirred , and I was worried. I looked up at Codan who met my gaze and smiled slightly. The silence in the air was unnerving--I couldn’t take it anymore.

    “Codan?” He looked up and nodded his head in a friendly gesture. “When will Jarre wake up?” His brow furrowed as he sought an answer.

    “The body heals fast, but the spirit takes longer.” He replied.

    “Does that mean he won’t wake up for a while?” I asked, confused.

    “It depends whether or not he decides to,” Codan said thoughtfully. “Only time will tell.” I lowered my head back to the ground and studied the patterns on the floor. Misha and Polo were okay, they were just resting up. Lani was looking after them down at the PRA.

    The thunder attack had taken its toll on me, so I had to stay here in the hospital wing for a bit. Codan was fine, but Jarre was still asleep. I felt weak, as if the life had been sucked right out of me. I lifted my head again and looked out the window. “Is it wrong to feel so weak?” I asked Codan.

    “An attack like that should take a lot out of you,” He answered. “Especially for a Pikachu of your stature.” I turned towards him.

    “I should be okay in a day or so, right?” He nodded.

    “But that was a very impressive thunder attack. I can’t believe a Pikachu so young, with absolutely no training pulled that off.”

    Codan sounded amazed. “Why? Can’t Pikachu’s normally do that?” I asked him, completely absorbed in the conversation.

    “It’s very rare without training,” He replied. “But you, Zanna, have some real talent.” I smiled at him, happy for the compliment. I could become a master rescuer, I thought.

    Then I realised something. I’d never actually asked if I could join. I was about to ask, when Codan put a paw to his snout. “Sssshhh.” I listened and my ears picked up the sound of small footsteps rustling outside the window.

    “I’ll go check it out.” I said quietly as I began to stand up.

    “No!” Codan hissed, but it was too late. A pain erupted in my side and I gasped as I fell. Codan rushed over and caught me in his arms before I hit the floor. “Careful,” He said with a concerned look. “You need to rest now. You’re not ready to move.” I winced at the pain flowing through me and grimaced.

    “I guess I underestimated my status.” I said weakly as Codan carried me gently over to a bed.

    “See that it doesn’t happen again.” He replied softly, laying me down on the fluffy wool. I pricked my ears, but the sound of footsteps had gone. Whoever it was had left. Codan sat down again, across from Jarre and I, watching us with concern.

    A tiny head peeked round the doorway and I saw Misha smiling at me. She came bounding in and Polo followed slowly. He was lucky he’d only suffered minor injuries. Nothing but a few cuts and bruises and a twisted leg. Misha was about to jump up onto my bed, when Codan grabbed her.

    “Hey!” She cried, “I want to sit with Zanna!” Codan smiled and placed Misha back on the floor.

    “Zanna needs her rest now.” He said softly. Misha frowned, but sat down anyway. Polo walked over to Jarre’s bed and stared at him, wide-eyed. He bowed his head and turned to me.

    “Is he gonna be okay?” He asked.

    I nodded. “But it’s going to take a while for him to wake up.” Polo studied me for a second before replying.

    “Hey, thanks for rescuing me. I heard what you did.” He added. I looked at Codan, who just smiled warmly.

    “That’s okay,” I said. “It was the least I could do.” Polo nodded, but he looked worried. “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll be better in no time.” I assured him. He still didn’t look convinced, but he went to sit with Misha anyway. A small rumble filled the room and I turned my head towards the doorway.

    “Well, what a happy reunion we have here.” Lani grinned, showing her pure-white fangs. She padded across the floor and halted in front of me. “How is the little one?” She asked gently.

    “He’ll be okay.” I replied, looking at Jarre. Lani lifted her snout up to Jarre’s bed. She sniffed then turned towards me.

    “He is resting peacefully.” She said. Her voice then took on a more serious tone. “That was a very brave thing you did for everyone. Especially Polo and Jarre,” She snorted and raised her head. “But it was foolish. An attack that powerful could have mortally wounded you.” I looked up, a shocked expression on my face.

    “Really? I didn’t know.” So that’s why I feel so weak.

    “The limits of your energy you must discover for yourself,” Lani replied solemnly. “But that takes training, dear one.” She turned her head to take one, last look at Jarre, and joined the rest of the group that resided on the floor.

    I lay on my side, focusing my gaze intently on Jarre. He hadn’t even moved since we came back. I wondered why--the shock wave from the thunder attack wasn’t that big. His feathers were ragged and pale. He kept his beak closed and his wings were firmly tucked within his chest.

    My tail quivered with an eerie feeling. I sighed and rolled over, careful not to move too fast. Lani seemed to be reading my thoughts. “Jarre was very worried about you in the caverns,” She said mystically. “He insisted upon saving you.” Codan nodded as he lifted Misha and Polo up onto his lap.

    “Just before you unleashed your thunder attack, Jarre stunned the Aggron with a flamethrower.” I stared at Jarre in awe. He unleashed a flamethrower…to save me?

    “That must have been hard for him to do.” I said slowly.

    “The same way you did yours.” Codan replied.

    Lani snorted a wisp of fire into the air. “You have a good friend there, Zanna. Don’t lose him.” I nodded. I won’t.

    ~ ~ ~

    A shadow stood outside, underneath the window. Tapping his paws against the stones, Rye listened carefully to their conversation. Of course, by now the story of the amazing rescue was known throughout the entire town. Rye’s ears pricked as they began to talk about the Torchic--Jarre, he was called.

    They may have what it takes, Rye thought as a smile spread across his face. He hardly dared to take a peek through the window in case the PRA spotted him. Listening was all he needed. I’ve never heard of a Pikachu so strong. Maybe the legends are true. Rye folded his arms and closed his eyes.

    The sharp voice of the Houndoom resonated through the room. Silence followed, but breaking through the silence came a small tune. I know this tune, Rye thought, as he opened his eyes in awe. The Song of the Guardian of the North Wind…

    ~ ~ ~

    I lay frozen to the spot as the tune from Lani’s throat deepened. The majestic notes sounded almost as though they were alive. They urged me to jump and soar, although my body was far from reaching that stage yet. The song ended abruptly on a low note that rang and echoed in the room.

    I was still spellbound, but at least I had my voice back. “What was that?” I asked Lani, still half absorbed by the imaginary notes. Lani closed her eyes and drew a paw back and forth across the floor.

    “That was the Song of the Guardian of the North Wind,” Lani replied with a hint of thrill in her voice. “Suicune has been said to have amazing powers. It can heal sick water and bring back life to dying plants and trees.”

    She opened her eyes and a glimmer of hope flashed through them. “It is also said that the melody of the song can help with the healing of injured spirits.” I turned my head towards Jarre.

    As I reached out with my senses, somehow he felt more alive. Could it be that the song was actually working? Codan held both Polo and Misha between his paws. Somehow they seemed more jumpy now that the song had been sung. “I know the legend of Suicune!” Misha exclaimed excitedly. “Would you like to hear it?” Codan hushed her with a gentle word.

    “Now is not the time for stories. Look.” He nodded towards Jarre’s bed. The slightest twitch passed through his wings.

    “Jarre!” I cried. Ignoring the warning from Codan and the throbbing pain in my side, I rushed over to Jarre’s bed.

    My eyes brimmed with silky tears as he began to stir. His blue eyes were still dull, but as they opened, I knew he was back.

    “Zanna?…” Jarre’s voice was husky, but it was his.

    “Jarre…” All I could do was stand there beside his bed, quivering. A small smile spread across my face as Jarre focused his hazy eyes upon me.

    He smiled weakly. “That was a very strong thunder attack you did.” I almost gave a short laugh. Instead, I replied,

    “I heard you used a flamethrower attack,” I lowered my voice so that it was almost a whisper. “To save me.” Jarre’s brow furrowed and he turned his head away.

    “I had to do what I could, Zanna. To save you and Polo.” I knew there was more, but I didn’t want to push him too hard just yet. “I’m glad.” Was all I said. Misha and Polo jumped on the bed and smiled warmly at Jarre. Lani came over and nudged him gently with her snout.

    “How are you feeling?” Jarre grinned at her.

    “Better. But still weak.” She nodded and sat down to watch the two Chikorita. I felt something press down on my shoulder. Codan stared down at me with a kind face.

    “Can I have a word?” I frowned, but answered anyway.

    “Sure.” I nodded. Codan led me to a corner of the room and spoke quietly.

    “You handled yourself pretty good down there in the caverns.” I scratched my head and smiled.

    “I wanted to help.” My fur bristled with anticipation for some unknown reason. Codan continued.

    “With some training, I think you could become a first-class rescuer.” I hardly dared to believe it. Me…a rescuer?

    “You mean I can join the PRA?” Codan winked.

    “As a rescuer in training.” My face lit up and somehow I felt myself starting to cry. I hurriedly wiped away my tears and rushed over to Jarre. Everyone cleared as I came towards him.

    “How would you like to become my rescue partner?”

    For a moment, seeing the shocked expression on his face, I didn’t think he’d answer. But when he did reply, it was just as I’d hoped. “It wouldn’t be a team with just one now, would it?” His eyes glimmered and his beak widened in a grin. Then we both started to laugh. A rescue team…with Jarre. What could be better?

  10. #9
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 7;
    .............a new kind of training


    ---------


    I faced Codan across the arena. My eyes blazed with a new ferocity that I’d never felt before. Codan stared back with a determined expression on his face. Jarre and Lani stood on the sidelines, watching with interest. Jarre began to jump up and down.

    “Go Zanna! Wipe him clean!” I turned to him with a smile on my face.

    “Jarre! You made me lose my concentration!”

    His cheeks turned red and Lani let off a small laugh. “Oh, sorry.”

    I put my paws on my hips and giggled. Codan cleared his throat and raised an eyebrow. “Whoops…” I readied my stance again and focused on Codan.

    “This will be a one-on-one match only,” Codan said loudly, making sure his voice carried across the arena. “I’ve seen some of your skills, Zanna, but I’d like to see more.” He put a paw forward and whipped the air with his tail. “Let’s see what you’ve got! If you can hit me, I’ll give you proper training.”

    I dashed forward to the white line. “Oh, yeah? You’ll see what I’ve got--and much more!” My voice rang with confidence that should have unnerved Codan, but he merely smiled.

    “We’ll see.”

    Lani stepped up to ref the battle. Jarre was keeping a close eye on me and though he smiled when I looked at him, his eyes showed concern. What for?

    Lani stomped a paw on the ground. “Codan vs. Zanna. First hit to Codan and Zanna wins.,” She turned her head towards me. “Good luck challenger. Let the match begin!”

    I focused all of my strength on Codan. At first, all we did was stare at each other, trying to psych each other out. My gaze was wavering, and Codan knew it. A small smile twitched from the sides of his mouth. I gritted my teeth and scowled, but Codan’s eyes danced like fire. He was toying with me! I felt the anger boil from within. Who did he think I was? I’m no play-thing! I’ll show him what happens when pokemon get serious! I dashed onto the arena aiming straight for Codan, but he was ready. He dodged lightly to the left and gave me a friendly whip with his tail.

    “Rule number one, Zanna: Don’t let your opponent psych you out. Remember, friend or foe, on the battlefield, it’s all business!”

    I growled and struck out again and again, but he dodged my moves as if I was a harmless Caterpie. I marvelled at how fast he was. As long as he kept that up, I’d never be able to hit him. I was running out of ideas and fast. As I was thinking, Jarre’s voice drifted from the sidelines.

    “Don’t give up, Zanna! Look for a weakness!”

    I stood up and looked at him. Jarre was right, I needed to find Codan’s weak spot. But what could I do against such a powerful Dragonite? Just then, I remembered what Jarre had told me in the Hospital Wing.

    “Each Pokemon has a different type, and so do their moves. It’s like nature. You know, fire burns grass and water puts out fire. That’s how your thunder attack hurt the Aggron so much.”

    I nodded. “Because steel conducts electricity, right?”

    “Right,” Jarre smiled. “And you’re a Pikachu, an electric Pokemon. The steel acted like a huge magnet, drawing the electricity.”

    “How many others types are there?” I asked him excitedly.

    Jarre lifted his head higher. “Many. About seventeen different types. But some Pokemon can be a combination of two.”

    I gasped. “Wow! So they can be even stronger!”

    Jarre’s face furrowed in thought. “Yes, but it also means they can have more weaknesses.”

    I nodded solemnly. “I guess so.”

    That’s it! Pokemon types could beat Codan! Now, what did Jarre say he was?

    “Take Codan, for example. He’s part flying, part dragon.”

    Hmmm…So I could get him with ice, dragon, rock or electric attacks. I couldn’t use ice, dragon or rock attacks, but my electric attacks could work! Codan was watching me intently from where he was standing. I lowered myself back down on all paws. Time to try a new tactic! I dashed towards him again, but this time, I had no intention of hitting him physically. Codan quickly dodged to the left again, but I kept running. I quickly turned and pushed off from the ground, leaping towards Codan in the air. I readied my electricity; my fur prickled and my sockets began to feel heavy. I let out a cry and white hot sparks flew from my body towards Codan. The Dragonite saw this and dodged my attack again, disappearing briefly. I landed with a shocked expression on my face. “But how!?”

    “I’ve had years of training, Zanna,” He lifted his paws and a smile flitted across his face. “I can move faster than the speed of light!”

    I clenched a paw. “No way! That’s not possible!” I gritted my teeth.

    Codan flew into the air. “Perhaps another demonstration?”

    I growled and launched more thunderbolts towards him. Codan dodged them again and again, nothing more than a faint image to show where he was. “I…I can’t keep this up…” My ears drooped as I felt my energy draining. Codan re-appeared and landed lightly.

    “Lesson two: What use is strength, if you can’t hit your opponent?”

    I looked at the ground and glared. My attacks would do nothing as long as he kept that up, and I couldn’t fill the whole arena with electricity--I wasn’t strong enough. There had to be another way. There wasn’t anything around that could help; the arena was completely bare. I shifted my gaze to the ceiling. Jagged rocks hung down, almost like stalactites. That was it! Rocks were effective against flying types. If I couldn’t use a rock move, I’d make a temporary one! Now, how to get them down. But I didn’t have time to think. At that moment, Codan lunged forward and sent out an electrifying ball of energy. I barely dodged it in time. I looked down at my grazed fur. “What was that!?”

    Codan roared again. “Arrghhh!”

    I stepped back clumsily and tripped on a stone. I landed on my back in the dirt. Puffs of smoke rose around me, obscuring my gaze for a moment. I blinked and realised I was smiling. That’s how I’d get Codan! I got up wearily and began to focus. You can’t hit someone who’s faster than you, or if you can’t see them!

    I relaxed my body, letting time flow slower. Using this technique meant I could use agility! I began to race around the arena, moving almost as fast as Codan. With every passing second, I got faster and more dust swarmed around me. After a while I lost sight of Codan through the hazy dirt and fog. Out of the corner of my eye, a whirlwind brushed through the dirt, hurtling towards me. I clenched my teeth and strained my body to move faster. The whirlwind crashed past as I turned the corner. I sighed, letting out all of my insecurities onto the battlefield. At the moment, I was focused on my goal. Codan was struggling to clear the air--I was moving too fast now for his wings to handle it. I smiled as I changed my course.

    Cutting through the center of the arena, I leaped up as high as I could towards the ceiling. I opened my mouth slightly as the air brushed past my face. “Speed tackle!” Before anyone knew what had happened, I was racing along the ceiling, slamming into the rocks, one-by-one. Soon the roof cleared--the jagged rocks falling to the arena below. I clung tightly to a few holes, willing myself not to fall as a huge quake surged through the walls. My eyes darted back and forth, searching frantically for any sign of the Dragonite, but it was nearly impossible to see through the foggy cloud. A movement from the center or the arena caught my attention. I stared closely, expecting to see Codan, but instead another energy ball blasted through the rubble.

    I cried out--All my muscles were too tense to move along the ceiling again. But my instinct prevailed. I kicked off from the ceiling towards the energy ball. I know I should’ve been scared, but I wasn’t. It was as if, somehow, I knew what I was doing. As I collided with the energy ball, a strange thing happened. A thousand different shards of Codan’s memories rang through my mind.

    Him playing as a little Dratini, the first day he got his rescue badge. But out of the darkness, another figure approached. Codan was screaming. The figure retaliated by whacking a limb into the side of his jaw. Codan shouted harsh words as he kneeled, tears pouring from his face. It wasn’t the Codan I knew. This one was more fragile and filled with sorrow. Then I saw why he was like that. On the ground in front of him lay a body. It’s figure was close to Codan’s reaching out with a paw. The words were blurred, but they were in anguish. The dark figure clearly had no mercy. It growled and grasped the body lying next to Codan. He shouted angrily, fighting back his tears, but still they came. He roared and launched a beam of light at the darkness, but just as the beam reached it, the figure disappeared, leaving only a motionless body in it’s place. Codan crawled to the body, laying a paw on the scarred fur, then he reared back and roared towards the sky, letting it absorb his pain and sorrow.

    As quick as it had come, the images disappeared and I burst through the energy ball, but I didn’t have the strength anymore. Seeing the suffering figure left my body weak and quivering. I stared helplessly into Codan’s eyes with a new feeling wrenched upon me. He sensed something was wrong. My eyes fluttered as Codan caught me in his paws. When he spoke, his voice seemed to come from afar.

    “Zanna? Are you alright?” Worried faces surrounded me, all voicing their concern.

    “I just need to lie down for a bit.” I muttered slowly.

    ***

    My head was aching with thoughts about Codan’s memory. The room was completely silent; not even the wind rustled through the windows. I sighed and looked at the ground. “Is it possible to see someone’s memories through an attack?”

    Jarre and Lani kept deathly silent as I waited for Codan to answer. He seemed rather reluctant and fidgety. Was he worried about what I saw?

    “There have been rumors,” He replied hesitantly, “That an attack may hold the very feelings and memories of the Pokemon using it. Whether it’s true or not, I think you just found out.” He stopped abruptly and lowered his head.

    It felt uncomfortable to speak of his memories like this, out in the open. As if on cue, Lani rose and began to pad away silently.

    “I’m just going to check on Balian and his new apprentice.” She called back.
    Jarre eyed her carefully. Lani coughed and stole a glance at him. He jumped up as he realised what she meant.

    “Uh, I’m going to go supervise.”

    Jarre had to run to keep up with her, as she walked down a flower filled hall. With Jarre and Lani gone, I turned my attention back to Codan. He seemed rather distressed.
    “I can’t help what I saw,” I said gently. “I know that doesn’t make it right, but--” I was cut off by a small laugh from Codan.

    “It isn’t your fault for what you saw. But memories can be disturbing things,” He stopped and clicked his claws together before continuing. “But I must know, Zanna. What did you see?”

    His voice was urgent and held a hint of fear. But why would he fear me? Or was it the memory that brought the discomfort? I was reluctant to answer. The memory seemed to be very important to Codan, but I couldn’t keep it secret--it didn’t belong to me. Codan’s voice came again.

    “Zanna?” I looked into his eyes and saw them wavering, waiting for an answer. But at the moment, there was only one thing I wanted to know; the only word I had heard clearly. I twitched uncomfortably as I told my question.

    “Codan?”

    “Yes, Zanna?”

    “Who’s Reyna?”

    Codan’s face fell into a worried expression and immediately turned pale. Clearly, this wasn’t what he had expected.

  11. #10
    Reach for the Stars ~★ Chibi Altaria's Avatar
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    Chapter 8;
    .............fragments of the past


    ---------


    “Reyna?” Codan’s voice sounded shrill as he said the word.

    Obviously the memory had a larger impact than I thought. Codan sighed wistfully and bade me to sit down. As I did so, I managed to catch a glimpse of his eyes. Dullness
    wavered among them, and tears began to well. I watched him sadly and thought frantically of a way to comfort him, but none came. I just sat and waited, as Codan began his tale.

    “When I was just a dragonling, I was taken from my home by a monster. As far as I can remember, it wasn’t a Pokemon from these parts. It brought me here, to Likera town, where I grew up.”

    I marvelled at how one’s life could change so easily. “So you were an orphan?”

    Codan paused. “In a way, yes. But I was taken in by another family of Dragonites. Back then, I was only a Dratini of course, but they loved me all the same.” He fumbled with a flower on the ground and continued. “I had two brothers and a sister, Reyna. Well, they weren’t really my family, but I was taught to respect them. The oldest, Marvo, was always challenging others for battles,” Codan laughed as he recalled the memory. “It usually got him into trouble most of the time. So when he went out to Meteor Mountain, my parents were really worried.”

    “Why?” I asked. “It doesn’t sound scary.”

    Codan gave me a wise look. “Names can often be misleading, Zanna. A monster was rumoured to be in Meteor Mountain. And Marvo being Marvo, went to challenge it. But no-one could prepare him for what was coming.”

    I was captivated by the tale, and Codan now had my full attention. “What happened?”

    “Well I went, of course.”

    “But you were just a Dratini!” My voice sounded hoarse. How could he have tried!?

    “I know,” Codan sighed. “But he was family. So when I found him I was really glad. But the rumoured monster was also there.” Codan’s eyes darted towards the ground and a single tear fell.

    “Who was it?” I asked him slowly.

    He looked up and stared at me. His huge eyes glistened, and as they widened, his pupils contracted until they were almost slits. A single word was uttered from his mouth, and though I didn’t know who it was, it sent the coldest shiver down my spine and made my fur stand on end. “Deoxys.” Codan hissed.

    “Deoxys…” I rolled the word around on my tongue. Somehow, it felt oddly familiar…

    “Marvo was no match for Deoxys,” Codan muttered, “He didn’t know his own folly when he tried.” Codan gave a wry smile, but it vanished as he said the next line. “Then Deoxys….Deoxys ATE him!”

    I jumped up and gasped. “He ATE him!? But another Pokemon…why!?”

    Codan stared hard at me. “You don’t understand--you don’t know Deoxys! It is pure evil! Deoxys would do anything to get his way…” He drifted off, as if deep in thought.

    I lowered my head. “Even eat another Pokemon…To take someone’s life…,” I clenched my paws. “That’s not right!”

    “That’s Deoxys,” Codan reasoned. “When it comes to Pokemon, right or not, he doesn’t care. As long as he gets his way.”

    I hope I never meet Deoxys, I thought through clenched teeth. Or I could end up like Marvo. “But if Marvo was…you know…what happened to you?” I asked Codan. “How did you even get out?”

    “Through chance,” He replied sullenly. “The PRA had come just in time. Before Deoxys could grad me, a Flygon flew in from a hole in the top of the mountain and rescued me.”

    “Wow,” I murmured. “What happened to Deoxys after that?”

    “He relocated to a more…fitting place.” Codan decided.

    I nodded. “Where to?”

    He narrowed his eyes and fixed me with a haughty expression. “You sure do ask a lot of questions, don’t you?”

    I regarded him with interest. “Yes, well I ask a lot of questions when I’m intrigued.” I wondered if I was going too far with this.

    “Sometimes you have to go with your intuition,” Codan replied coldly. “And other times…”

    I caught the warning that hung in the air like wild, untamed fire. I lowered my head. I knew I had no right to pry into other Pokemon’s memories, but there was something about Deoxys that captivated me. Codan’s expression settled on me again.

    He sighed. “After that…everyone blamed me for Marvo’s death.”

    “But you had nothing to do with it!” I exclaimed. How could one’s own family do such a thing?

    “I knew that and Reyna…she was the only one who believed me.”

    “Then you ran away.” I guessed.

    Codan nodded slowly. “As much as I hated it, I did. But it didn’t go to plan,” He gulped. “Reyna came too.”

    That would have made her parents furious, I thought. To lose a son and then a daughter…

    Tears were welling in Codan’s eyes. “It was the worst mistake I ever made,” He stammered. “Dragging her into that.”

    I didn’t like where this was going, and I knew it ended badly.

    “It wasn’t long before Reyna forgot her family. I was her new world now, and we fell in love.” At that moment, Codan’s face was like a book. It showed grief, sorrow, anger, admiration and love in one, single expression. He shook his head and stood up. “Let me tell you something, Zanna. There is one, golden rule that you should follow when you’re in a rescue team: Don’t fall in love. If you do, it only hinders yourself and everyone around you.”

    I looked at my paws and clenched them. “But what if you can’t help but fall in love?”

    Codan stared at me solemnly. “Then you have to do the best with what you’re given.”

    It must be hard for a rescuer to do their job and have a normal life. I grimaced. I wondered if I knew what I’d gotten myself into?

    “I should go now,” Codan said as he waved a paw. “You pretty much know the rest.”

    I stared at him with a sorrowful face. “I…I’m so sorry…” Now I really felt bad.

    Codan stopped as he put a paw on the archway. “Oh, it’s not your fault,” He turned towards the window and his eyes sparkled. “I never forgot her, you know. And…I can’t stop.”

    I watched as he walked out of the room along a green, deserted hallway. What had I gotten myself into?

    ***

    Jarre stood behind Lani and watched the Elekid battle with an Empoleon. Balian’s huge wings blocked an electric attack with ease. “Balian is part of our rescue team,” Lani explained without taking her eyes off the battle. “Codan and I, I mean.”

    Jarre nodded and looked on with awe. They hadn’t spotted him yet, and Jarre had no desire to get any closer. He fixed them both with a cold expression. Seeing this brought back bad memories.

    The Elekid raised it’s arms and readied itself into a battle stance. Balian let loose a hydro pump, but the Elekid was ready. It’s arms circled and a silver shield of light appeared in front of it. Light screen, Jarre thought.

    The Elekid peered out from behind it’s arms and smirked. “You never learn.”

    Before the words had even reached Balian’s ears, the steel penguin was surrounded by shockwaves the size of a lightning storm. Balian’s eyes widened in surprise as the waves blended together into an electric dragon. The Elekid’s shield was gone now; it moved it’s arms in jerking motions, controlling the dragon’s movement. Balian was under pressure now. Jarre saw him clench his teeth and narrow his eyes. While he struck a rather impressive figure, the Elekid was clearly skilled in combat. Balian twisted to face the snapping jaws of the electrified dragon.

    “Protect!”

    A circular shield surrounded him; all that stood between him and the dragon. While Jarre thought that the Elekid should have been scared, it’s face remained expressionless.
    Lani seemed to be thinking along the same lines. “What is he up to?” She murmured in awe.

    Jarre didn’t have to wait long to find out. Faster than lightning, the Elekid punched the air with it’s paw. As if one, the dragon followed the movement and struck out towards Balian. The Empoleon raised it’s huge wings as defence, but as the dragon struck, Balian’s protect was tossed aside and the ground exploded. Rubble flew everywhere, creating a massive dust cloud.

    Lani gasped. “What happened!? How could an Elekid be so powerful?”

    Jarre scanned the dust cloud for a sign of movement, but all was still. The Elekid smirked again and folded his arms. As the cloud began to clear, a light shone through and pierced the arena. Jarre shielded his eyes from the blinding light. Had Balian caused it?

    ***

    The Elekid raised an arm and squinted. Where is he? A sudden movement caught his eye and Balian stood in front of him; wing locked with the Elekid’s arm.

    “I should have destroyed you!” Balian hissed. “An annoying whelp like you doesn’t deserve to live!”

    The Elekid growled. “I know what you are! You may fool everyone else, but I see through you!”

    The Empoleon reeled and hissed again. “This body is a mere puppet! I will dispose of it soon enough.” Balian’s claws grew and swiftly made their way into the Elekid’s stomach.

    “Monster…” The Elekid’s face grew pale as he staggered backwards.

    Balian sneered. “Oh, don’t worry. You won’t live long enough to see the corruption I unleash on this pitiful world!”

    The Elekid weakly passed a paw over the three bright gashes in his stomach. “You…possessor! Hiding behind weaker foes,” He sneered meekly. “Coward!”

    Balian cursed and picked up the Elekid by the throat. He hung limply and yelped as the cool wing tightened it’s grasp. “Fool! You rescuers think you can save the world, when you yourselves are doomed!”

    The Elekid gave a slight gasp. “You know nothing…of loyalty!” He swung an arm round and smacked Balian cold in the face. The penguin dropped the Elekid on the ground and swaggered.

    “What trickery is this!? It burns!”

    “No tricks,” The Elekid murmured as he stood up weakly. “Just something you’ll never have.”

    Balian’s eyes narrowed then rolled back as he fell to the ground, unblinking at the ceiling above. The dust cloud began to clear and banished the light into the darkness. The Elekid panted and looked down at his blood-stained fur. That was…not right. He must be stopped!

    A gasp raised him from his thoughts and he looked up. The Houndoom’s face was shocked and wait--who was that? A small, red body had disappeared behind the dog, and he knew who it was. The Elekid glared. Jarre…

    “Rye beat Balian…” The Houndoom trailed off.

    Rye looked at the massive penguin that had begun to stir. I will expose you fiend, then you’ll be sorry. Rye smirked once more then crossed his arms. Loyalty…is power!

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