Re: The Origin of Storms (PG-13)
Syr and Karo arrived shortly thereafter at the Haven. Once through the doors, they were immediately greeted by a scene that neither of them had expected to find.
Teresa was unloading a small bundle of assorted medicines when she noticed the presence of the arbok and the nosepass. “Oh good, you’re finally back!” she said.
But neither Syr nor Karo really heard her, particularly not Syr. This was because the two of them had noticed the tall, blue figure lying on its side on a bench near where Teresa was busily sifting through her portable remedies.
Syr moved closer to the unknown being. He was almost completely certain that this pokémon, with its blue skin and its black tail that held a presently-closed oculon in each of its four branches, bore some relation to the species of wynaut and wobbuffet. He turned to Karo for verification. “Is that…?”
“Kwazai, female,” Karo confirmed. “Yeah, I wish I’d had time to show you that video—you’d have liked Demi, man, you really would’ve…”
Teresa came to stand with them, carrying a spray-bottle of potion and a faintly glowing, coral-colored revive crystal. “Karo, I presume?” she asked of the nosepass. Karo responded affirmatively with a small grunt and an action that would have been a nod if he had possessed a neck.
“Can you tell us what happened here?” Syr asked Teresa.
“Well, she showed up here and managed to let me know that she was looking for Esaax, but something was driving her madder by the second. There seemed to be no calming her. And when we tried to restrain her, she started psywaving everything in sight before screaming bloody murder and passing out. Unfortunately, one of those psywaves did hit Jen…”
“What?!” Syr said, instantly worried.
“He’s not hurt,” Teresa assured him. “The poor kid’s just had his brain scrambled a little bit. He got so dizzy that he just tipped right over and hasn’t been able to get back onto his feet yet. But other than that, no damage done. He’ll be just fine soon. I put him right over there,” she added, pointing. “You can see for yourself.”
She was indicating a chair off in the corner, in which the snorunt was lying with his eyes half-closed. Syr, distracted by the kwazai, hadn’t even seen him there. He slithered over to Jen. “How are you feeling?” he asked concernedly. Jen only groaned softly, rolled over, and turned his back on Syr in response.
“Best not to stimulate him in any way right now if you’d rather he didn’t throw up,” Teresa said.
She took the revive and held it against the kwazai’s forehead. The crystal’s glow intensified for a moment, then ceased entirely, leaving the spent crystal darkened inside like a burned-out lightbulb. The kwazai stirred slightly and gave a soft moan, revealing the first, faintest signs of returning consciousness. Teresa then set about spraying potion over a series of scrapes and bruises covering the kwazai’s arms; the wounds began quickly fading away at once. “Poor thing. She must have taken a nasty spill on the way here,” the chansey said.
“Who is she?” Syr wondered aloud as he gazed down at the kwazai. “Did you manage to get any personal information out of her before she passed out?”
“I tried to get her name,” Teresa said, “and I think I succeeded. It sounded like ‘Intro’…”
Teresa’s attention turned to the kwazai, as did that of the others. “What?”
“It’s N-tair-row.” The kwazai’s voice was breathy and lilting. She also sounded rather groggy at the moment—she was still in the process of waking up. “Is that all you want to know?”
Teresa opened her mouth to answer, but before she could get a single word out, she was interrupted by another chansey, one who was bawling her eyes out as she came barreling in. The new arrival just barely managed to come to a halt in front of Teresa in time to avoid colliding with her.
“Rebecca, what is it?” Teresa asked of the other chansey, clearly alarmed.
Rebecca tried to speak, but then froze, her mouth hanging halfway open as she stood paralyzed by some unknown horror. Finally, she just began howling like a siren.
The noise abruptly brought Ntairow to her senses. She got up onto her single pair of long, stiltlike legs with a suddenness more befitting teleportation than a simple act of standing. She held her tail high, its branches fanning out.
“What is it, Rebecca?” Teresa asked again, more slowly this time. She placed her paws upon Rebecca’s shoulders and gave her an imploring stare.
“It’s… just… horrible,” Rebecca managed to gasp out. She then backed away from Teresa and cast a fearful glance into the hallway from which she’d emerged just moments before. Returning her tearful gaze to the others, she breathlessly said, “Here. It’s over here,” and then took off down the hallway from whence she’d come.
Teresa rushed after her as fast as her short legs would allow, accompanied by Syr, Karo, and Ntairow. Ultimately, Rebecca came to a halt, and once all of the others had arrived at their apparent destination, she wasted no time in fleeing the scene. She had not wanted to come back to that place and the sight that it presented, and upon seeing it with their own eyes, no one whom she had brought there was in any doubt as to why.
There was the twisted, blackened corpse of Madeline. There was her blood, cast all over the floor and walls. And there was the door to Esaax’s cell, left wide open, with a hole burned through the far wall that was more than big enough to admit an escaping kwazai.
Cries of shock, sorrow and revulsion tore through the air. Karo immediately looked away from the slain Mr. Mime. Syr turned and retched. Ntairow cried out and buried her face in one of her left hands while reaching out with both of her right hands to prop herself against the wall.
“My God… no…” Teresa’s voice was constrained and fragile-sounding. She leaned over the corpse, reaching for Madeline’s remaining hand. The moment she touched her, the lifeless pokémon crumbled into black dust. Teresa broke into sobs.
Shakily, Syr turned to Ntairow. The kwazai swayed slightly where she stood, as if she were about to pass out again. She was clutching her head and her chest simultaneously, and the tension in her face told Syr that she was in very real pain.
“The darkness…” Ntairow said almost voicelessly. “The residue of it still hangs in the air. But he’s not here.”
She pushed herself away from the wall and began to stride determinedly toward the exit that Esaax had made, avoiding the blood on the ground with graceful and sure steps. But then she found the end of a long, purple tail coiled around one of her arms as if to try and halt her.
“Wait!” Syr called out to her, struggling not to be dragged along as she kept on walking.
The kwazai stopped and turned her long, flat face toward him, wearing the glare to end all glares.
“…Listen,” Syr said. “Esaax is my friend, too. If you’re going after him, I’m going with you.”
Karo approached Ntairow and Syr. The expression on his stone face was unreadable. “And if he’s going, then I’m going,” he said. “I’ll look after you, buddy, don’t worry,” he told Syr.
Ntairow didn’t feel as though she had the luxury of time or of patience enough to argue with them. The urge to seek out the terribly troubled creature that Esaax had become and rush to his aid was hard-wired into her brain—she couldn’t easily resist the demands of her highly developed powers of empathy and flat-out wouldn’t resist them when it was the suffering of someone whom she loved that spurred them into action. She nodded in concession to Syr and Karo, and Syr released his hold on her.
The arbok looked back at Teresa. Tears fell silently from his gray eyes. “Take care of Jen,” he told her. Then Syr turned away, and he and Karo followed Ntairow out of the Haven in silence.
In the original version of this story, the battle between Alain and Acheron was not actually written out. Basically, the text just stated that Karo and Syr watched a video of a Gym battle, and there was a kwazai in said battle. XD
Speaking of that scene, I decided one time to subject a previous version of it to the comedic wonders of Babelfish, one paragraph at a time, through a battery of translations and re-translations. From the end result, I learned that alakazam are apparently Golden Delicious apples and that kwazai apparently use bide by going into a “mental toilet”. XD
The two different forms of the kwazai were originally the result of my inability to decide which of the two designs I’d come up with I liked better. At some point, I thought of one of them being the male form and the other form being the female and decided to go with that.
Next time: Esaax wrestles with his new instincts and finds himself in territory where he is most unwelcome. See you then!
- Sike Saner
Last edited by Sike Saner; 04-10-2011 at 09:13 PM.