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Old 04-03-2008, 12:50 AM
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Gem N Ems Offline
Kage no Hikari.
 
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Default Re: Pokemon: Team StormRiders

Chapter 9: The new apprentice

Who could be so powerful? I thought, as Codan led me, Lani and Jarre to a nearby arena. The PRA building was magnificent; glittered walls lined hallways and everyone was helping out. Like a huge team. Codan slowed and held out a paw to stop us.

“Wait here.” He said quietly as he went through a large archway.

“What’s going on?” I asked Lani.

“He must confirm with Balian first,” She snorted, “It’s a policy.” Jarre looked at me nervously.

“Who could do something like that?” He scraped at a tile nervously with a talon. “I mean, you’d have to be a…god!”

Lani laughed and smiled at Jarre. “Our leaders aren’t immortal. Anyone could beat them if they were strong enough.”

“I knew that.” Jarre replied, but he still looked at the ground.

“What is Balian anyway?” I asked Lani curiously.

“He’s an Empoleon. One of the best fighters around and a water-and-steel type.”

An Empoleon… I thought. Must be tough. I heard a rushing noise and a moment later Codan landed in front of us.

“Come on, this way!” He said cheerfully. “And watch your step.”

I walked out onto a beautiful, glistening arena. The sun shone through the windows that lit up a nearby lake. A rocky field covered the southern half and ferns lined the walls. In the middle I noticed a huge, blue figure. It looked like a penguin with steel arms and a trident covering it’s face. That must be Balian. As soon as we approached, he turned and smiled painfully.

“Welcome, Codan. How are the two from the caves doing?” Codan returned the smile and held out a paw.

“Oh, they’re fine. Made a complete recovery.” Balian shook it and smiled, turning to Lani.

“A pleasure, my friend,” Lani said gracefully. “I’d like you to meet Zanna and Jarre.”

The Empoleon looked first at Jarre, then me. However, as his gaze passed over Jarre it hardened, as if he’d said something mean. And if that wasn’t odd enough, Jarre returned the stare with gritted teeth. What on earth was going on here? But I didn’t have time to think, Balian had already offered a wing.

“So you’re the Pikachu I’ve been hearing so much about?” I shook his wing and nodded. “You travel in curious company too.” He added, glancing at Jarre briefly.

He scowled. “Watch it, Balian.”

The Empoleon smirked. “Oh, so you haven’t--”

“Okay, who’s the new apprentice then, hmmm?” Codan cut across Balian and smiled meekly.

Balian averted his icy gaze from Jarre and turned to Codan. “A young Elekid,” He said reluctantly. “And a good one at that.” He gestured behind him to an Elekid I hadn’t even realised was there.

The marking’s looked a lot like…

“Rye!” I gasped. He raised an eyebrow and nodded. Jarre’s mouth was gaping and Codan, Lani and Balian turned to me.

“You know him, do you?” Balian asked.
I shrank a bit under his gaze and nodded feebly. “We met briefly.” I replied.

Jarre had managed to close his beak and was shifting his gaze from me to Rye and back again.

“Rye beat you?” I asked Balian slowly.

“By mere luck, I assure you.” He replied with a sour tone.

I noticed Rye’s mouth twitch into a grin as he folded his arms.

“Chance or not, we have a star in the making!” Codan smiled.

“Just add him to the list.” Balian waved a wing and walked to the exit.

“Is he always so cold?” I glared as he left. Something was definitely not right here.

“He’s only been that way recently,” Lani sighed and lowered her head. “And I have no idea what’s wrong.”

Rye was also eyeing the spot where Balian had disappeared. “That’s leaders for you. Think they’re so high and mighty.”

I couldn’t help but notice Rye’s tone. It was sharp when he spoke. I frowned as Codan took a step forward.

“Let’s go and have some lunch, shall we?”

Jarre’s stomach rumbled. “I agree.” He said, grimacing. Everyone followed, but Rye didn’t move. I glanced at Jarre.

“I’ll catch up.” He was hesitant, but nodded. Rye had walked up to me and unfolded his arms.

“We need to talk.”

***

Rye led me outside to a small balcony overlooking the town. He gestured to a bench and I sat down anxiously. Something had dawned on me. “You know Jarre, don’t you?” Rye was still standing and he didn’t show the slightest inclination to sit. He nodded again vaguely.

“Do you know who he is?” Rye’s eyes narrowed and locked onto mine. I felt that same guarded feeling about him that I’d had when we first met.

“He’s a good friend.” I replied defensively.

“Then you don’t know…” Rye turned to face the sun, then looked back at me. “What has he told you of his past?” A shocked expression settled on my face.

“His past? Nothing, why?”

“I thought as much. Then this is going to take a while.” He shifted from foot-to-foot, then folded his arms again. “Be careful. He’s not all that he seems.”

I frowned. “Why? What has Jarre done?”

Rye sighed. “A long time ago, when he was just a kid, Jarre joined a gang.”

I nodded. “So what’s that got to do with it? Joining a gang’s not bad.”

“No,” Rye reasoned, “You don’t understand. He grew up in Shale, renowned for it’s gangs. It was either, you join one, or…” He dragged a paw across his throat. “Well, to put it blunt, you die.” He had obviously noticed my face go pale. “Don’t worry. Mostly everyone was okay. But back then…” He paused to gather his thoughts. “Jarre was an orphan. He, he joined this gang that was renown for its wickedness.”

I couldn’t help but gasp. “Why would Jarre do that? He’s not bad, he’s…,” I paused to recollect the memories I’d had with him. “The nicest friend I’ve ever had…” Rye stared at me so hard, I was surprised he didn’t bore a hole straight through me.

“It was the only way to survive at the time and this gang leader, Scythe, was more…lenient than others.”

“Huh? Who’s Scythe?” Rye frowned, apparently unimpressed by my lack of knowledge.

“She…rumours say that she was twisted by dark powers. But one thing was certain: She was an Absol without remorse.”

An Absol…I pictured the disaster Pokemon in my mind, though this one was different. A body as dark as night itself and blood red eyes that could pierce you to the very core. I shuddered as the thought subsided. “What then?”

“Jarre had a friend called Raze. As far as I know, they grew up together, like brothers. He was a Taillow captured by Scythe. There was a test that you had to pass to join the gang, however, and Scythe had wicked schemes.” Rye stopped suddenly.

“Maybe you shouldn’t tell me.” I told him, but Rye, regarding me with interest, shook his head.

“No, you have to hear. To learn…The test was this: Raze was tied in between two metal poles, on the night of a lightning storm. If he wasn’t rescued in time, he was…fried. What I heard, Jarre accepted the challenge, but when he tried to save Raze…he hesitated.”

“Wah! Why would he do that?!” I jumped up and clenched my paws. “He couldn’t…he couldn’t!”

Rye still had his arms folded. He closed his eyes and continued in an agitated manner.
“Raze escaped, but the two…they were different from then on. Raze swore revenge, and Jarre…he stuck with the gang.” My paws fell limply to my sides and I stood completely still, frozen in place. Rye’s eyes widened. “Listen, you don’t know what he’s capable of. All I’m saying is, be careful.” I raised my head to look at him.

“I--I’m lost.” I thought I knew Jarre. We were friends, weren’t we? He wouldn’t…but I had to find out the truth. Rye shook his head abruptly as he felt the discomfort in the air.

“I’ve got to go, but…watch yourself.” The sincerity in his eyes almost scared me, as he was scared of Jarre. I managed to utter a few words before he disappeared behind the balcony.

“Hey…thanks.” Rye turned and smiled meekly.

“Rescue is your priority right now. Remember that, Zanna.” He raised a paw and vanished around the corner.

In his own way, Rye was kind, even if he didn’t usually show it. I hope I make a good team someday, and who knows how many friends I’ll make. The thought made me smile, but while the issue of Jarre was unsolved, my mind remained clouded. I had to know what was going on. And if that meant being sneaky, then so be it.



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Last edited by Gem N Ems; 07-03-2008 at 01:43 AM.
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