Ok, I just finished a new chapter! It turned out much longer than I wanted it to be, and it really has no right to be so long, but the stuff in this chapter needs to happen to further the plot. ^-^; Also, I know there’s not a lot of action in this chapter (well, they can’t all be action-y! xD) and there’s a lot of dialogue but there should be a lot of stuff to think about (hopefully), namely Cyclone’s appearance. Again sorry for it being so long, and I think I’m going to split up what I planned for the next chapter into two chapters. Also I couldn’t draw a picture for this because the computer with my tablet/scanner isn’t working, so sorry about that. I really was planning to! D:
The Path of Destiny
Cyclone was relieved to have finally made it through the desert. As the vaporeon padded softly across the sandy earth and sparse grass of a large spacious field, he could see trees ahead, and scent water. He was surprised he’d managed to make it through that desert when he had been so weak. Yet the stone he had touched had given him new strength; he’d even been able to use his water attacks again.
And the attack he had gained from it…it was very strange indeed. And Cyclone had an idea of what it was. He had used it once-in the desert, just to try it out. When using the attack, he had felt powerful…invincible, almost. He had liked that feeling.
If this attack really was what he thought it was, then it could be just what he needed. Increasing his pace, Cyclone dashed toward the trees, reaching them quickly. Remembering the fearow he’d talked to just a short while ago, he set about looking for the tallest tree, enjoying the feeling of grass and soft earth beneath his paws after the long trek through the desert. Based on what the fearow had told him, the pokémon who could give him the answers he needed lived close by.
Spotting a very tall, thin tree with several damaged branches, Cyclone increased his pace until he reached the base of the tree, peering into a small den made between two of the roots. Reaching out with his paw, Cyclone raked his claws down one of the tree’s roots, alerting the attention of the pokémon in the den.
A zigzagoon scurried out, ruffling his brown and tan fur and staring at the vaporeon. “A newcomer? Well what is it?” he asked in an annoyed tone. This pokémon seemed to be used to getting visitors. Cyclone supposed many others must visit him.
“I was told you know much about stories and legends,” the vaporeon stated calmly. The zigzagoon shuddered; for some reason, he found it uncomfortable to talk to this pokémon; Cyclone spoke with such a calm and unreadable expression, it was difficult to know what the water type was thinking. Somehow, that unnerved him.
“Yes,” the zigzagoon answered slowly, “I can tell you one of those legends…but I don’t do it for free. Find me some berries, and then
you’ll get your story.”
Cyclone smiled ever so slightly, though his eyes remained calm and emotionless. “I have no berries,” the vaporeon stated in his same smooth and quiet tone, “But I’m willing to offer you something much better. Do any humans ever come around here?”
“Humans?” the zigzagoon asked, “Uh, yes…why?”
“Do they try and capture you? Take berries or fruit from this place? Set out traps?” Cyclone asked, sitting down and wrapping his tail neatly around his paws.
The zigzagoon shifted uncomfortably. “Well,” he began, not seeming to want Cyclone to know that the pokémon here had much trouble, “They’ve taken our food before, and there have been a few trappers, and it’s a bit difficult to hide from trainers sometimes…”
“Well then,” Cyclone stated quietly, “You and I both have received ill fate at the hands of humans. Do you think they can be stopped?”
The zigzagoon shrugged. “Dunno,” he replied uneasily, “Humans just do what they want. I don’t think there’s any stopping them. It’s just better for us to avoid them.”
For a moment, Cyclone’s eyes took on a dark tone, but he quickly regained his tranquil and indecipherable expression. “Listen,” he began, “For a long time, I have thought otherwise. There used to be a great many lands uninhabited by humans, but those areas are quickly shrinking. Do you want to send a message to the humans? To tell them that these lands were ours to begin with? To tell them that pokémon aren’t their servants? To tell them that they can not maim or abuse pokémon any longer?”
“Well, that would be nice but…how?” the zigzagoon asked, looking at Cyclone with a puzzled expression.
“If there was a way,” Cyclone replied in a clear tone, his voice sounding calm and mysterious, “Would you?”
After a moment’s hesitation, the zigzagoon nodded.
Cyclone smiled another of his faint smiles. “Then tell me…” he whispered, “About the Forbidden Attacks.”
Snowcrystal was running frantically through a dark, thickly wooded forest. Branches and brambles seemed to jump out at her as she ran; causing her to stumble and fall or make her have to stop and claw her way through. This frightened her; something was chasing her, and she was trying to get away, but as she went on the branches became more thick and tangled, and she was fighting back panic as she ran. She knew not what was chasing her; she just knew that she had to get away-at all costs.
Suddenly she emerged into a quiet clearing, strangely feeling the threat of her pursuer lift. Whatever it was, it was gone, though how, she didn’t know. She was staring instead at a pool of water, and around it were other pokémon. She recognized her friends among them.
Noticing Thunder and Stormblade sitting by the pool, she ran up to them, feeling relieved. She noticed that the other pokémon, the ones she didn’t know, looked faded, as if they were made of nothing but shadow. She chose to ignore them, and sat beside Stormblade, who was leaning down to drink from the pool.
“Stormblade!” she cried in relief, “I’m so glad you’re here, I thought you might’ve-” She stopped, for Stormblade had suddenly gone rigid; his eyes grew wide and he jerked away from the water and stumbled back from the pool, only to fall down on his side where he lay gasping for breath. Wondering what was wrong with him, Snowcrystal quickly turned around to ask the others for help, but surprisingly, they were gone. She and Stormblade were alone.
She turned back to the scyther, who was trembling, and seemed to be having trouble breathing. “What’s wrong?” she shouted desperately, seeing that his eyes were wide with pain and his struggles seemed to be growing weaker.
“Thunder! Wildflame, Rosie, Spark!” she shouted, looking frantically around for her friends, “Something’s wrong with Stormblade and I don’t know what it is-” She stopped and glanced at Stormblade, who’s breathing seemed to have stopped altogether. She tried to rush to his side, but sharp fangs met roughly in her scruff and pulled her away. She was released, and turned around to see Icefang, her clan’s leader, looking at her sternly.
“Have you forgotten what you went on this journey for?” he growled, advancing toward her and coming to stand between her and Stormblade. Snowcrystal shook her head vigorously. “Then move on!” Icefang growled, pushing her forward and rushing after her, until she was forced to take a completely different path from the clearing; heading through the darkened forest, which seemed to be fading now, once again…
Snowcrystal’s eyes opened as she awoke suddenly, then she looked around slowly, for a moment unsure of where she was. Faint starlight slanted in her eyes, and she tried to look up towards the source of the light, only to find that it was hard to move. Small vines had been tied around her paws and muzzle-not the vines like the moving ones that had caught her, but strange thin, yet strong vines that she couldn’t break when she tried to struggle.
Trying to calm herself down, she moved her head in order to glance around. She was lying in a large cavern, next to a few large columns of stone reaching up to the ceiling. Near the center of the roof of the cavern was a large hole, through which moonlight was shining. She could hear whispers all around her, but at first she could not see any of her friends.
Through the darkness of the cave, shapes began to appear; the shapes of various different pokémon; all grass types, moving in and out of various cave tunnels. Two of them, an ivysaur and a young tropius, rested on rock ledges near the moonlit hole in the ceiling. Though there was a way for light to come in, at least in this cavern, it seemed odd that there would be grass types living in a cave.
A groan from behind her made her try to turn around, but was difficult to move. She craned her head backward, noticing Spark’s spiky yellow pelt close behind her.
“Spark!” she whispered, finding it hard to speak with the vine around her snout, “Are you awake?”
Spark painfully turned his head toward her, glancing around the cave in confusion. “Where are we?” he asked, his voice sounding muffled because of the vine around his own muzzle.
“I don’t know,” Snowcrystal replied quietly, “Deeper in the cave, I guess. These grass pokémon must have took us here…”
“Well of course they did!” Spark growled, looking around, “Watch me give them a little surprise…cover your eyes, Snowcrystal!”
At first Snowcrystal was confused at his request, but immediately placed her paws over her eyes as hundreds of small, thin spines shot out of Sparks pelt and toward the grass pokémon. Several of them struck her, and she whimpered slightly. However, a moment later, and it was over.
None of the grass types had cried out, but the ivysaur and young tropius glared at them, and so did a small oddish who had just entered the cave. Spark gave them a threatening growl, his fur crackling as he readied an electric attack.
Snowcrystal knew that the attack wouldn’t do much good against these strong-looking grass types, but she couldn’t attack, so it was their only way of fighting back. She wished she knew where the others were.
With surprising speed, the ivysaur lashed out with one of its vines, striking Spark across the face and causing him to skid backwards a few feet. The jolteon turned his head toward the grass type and growled again.
Snowcrystal cringed; they weren’t going to get anywhere by fighting while they were tied up; maybe this was all a misunderstanding. If they had trespassed in the grass types’ cave, it had been an accident, and she knew it wouldn’t hurt to try and explain.
“Please listen to us!” Snowcrystal cried from between clenched teeth, “We didn’t know this was your cave-we’ll leave, just let us and our friends go!”
“Quiet!” snapped the young tropius, “We know that you’re either spies, or you were planning to attack us-a foolish move I might add.”
“Are you insane
?” Spark snarled angrily, “We came into the cave to hide from humans, you can have the stupid cave-we just want to get out of here!”
“You’re lying!” the tropius shouted, but the ivysaur interrupted him.
“Wait a minute,” he said quietly, “It does
seem strange that they had an electric type with them, and this is certainly the first white
growlithe I’ve seen. Besides, they don’t seem to know what we’re talking about…”
“Yeah,” Spark agreed, “What are
you talking about?”
“Shut up!” the tropius yelled, “They’re probably just trying to trick us,” he added with a glance at the ivysaur, “They’re some of those fire pokémon that took our land and forced us to live in this filthy cave! We barely have any food and it’s all because of them!”
“Calm down,” the ivysaur replied impatiently, “It’s very possible that this could be a trick…but
…” he added, seeing that Spark was about to protest, “We should talk this over with the others first before we decide on what to do with them.”
The tropius nodded reluctantly and followed the ivysaur through a tunnel and out of the cavern. A moment later, a bayleef appeared, followed by Wildflame and Rosie, who was limping. Neither of them had any vines tied around them, but they both seemed fearful of attacking. “Stay here with the others,” the bayleef ordered them, and left the cavern.
Wildflame quickly broke the vines from around Spark and Snowcrystal’s paws and snouts, and the two stood up, looking relieved.
“Wildflame…” Snowcrystal began, “Do you know why they’re keeping us here? We heard they-”
“Yes,” Wildflame replied, “Apparently there’s a group of fire pokémon who drove these grass types out of their home…” Snowcrystal remembered the cool streams and lush grass they had passed through before; maybe that had been where the grass types’ home had been.
“And since we’re fire types,” Wildflame continued, “They think we’re some of the ones who drove them out…” Her gaze drifted to the hole in the cave ceiling. “Do you think there’s a way we can climb up there?” she asked.
“I don’t think so,” Snowcrystal said quietly, “Those ledges look too high up for me to climb…and I had to climb plenty of times back at the mountain. I think the grass types use vine whip to pull themselves up or something…and that tropius can fly…I don’t really know how we’d get up there…”
“I think it’s ridiculous that they think we’re responsible for what some wild fire types did!” Spark growled, “Can’t they realize a white growlithe wouldn’t live around here?”
“They think we’ve been sent here as spies,” Rosie whispered, and Snowcrystal could see pain in the ninetales’s expression; her leg must be hurting badly. “They see you and Snowcrystal…and me as well, because I’m injured, as just a way to get them to think that we’re not trying to trick them…” She shrugged. “I’m not sure how we’re going to convince them otherwise…” she mumbled.
For a little while more they talked quietly amongst themselves, and then the ivysaur and tropius returned. “We’ve made a decision,” the ivysaur stated, sitting calmly in front of them, “Attack us, and you’ll regret it. I don’t think you want to deal with poisonpowder.” Rosie and Spark cast nervous glances at each other and then looked back at the ivysaur as he continued, “It is entirely possible that you could be travelers passing through, and it’s also entirely possible that you could be spies or attackers. I’m afraid we can’t just let you leave unless we have proof of your innocence…and to prove that,” he added, “We have decided that you will help us battle the fire pokémon and reclaim our home.”
?” Rosie cried, outraged, “That’s not fair-this isn’t our fight! It doesn’t concern us at all! And how exactly am I supposed to fight in a battle with my leg damaged like this?”
“Quiet!” hissed the tropius, “He’s giving you a simple choice; help us fight the battle in a few days…or rot in this cave.” He narrowed his eyes angrily, before finishing, “It’s your choice. I’d choose wisely if I were you.”
Stormblade wished that morning would come. Even though he knew he would have to travel again, he was desperate for the long night to be over. He knew there was no way he’d be able to sleep, not when he was in so much pain, and he felt miserable and alone. Sitting up painfully, he began slowly sharpening his scythes, hoping that the simple action would be some distraction from the pain he was feeling.
The sudden snap of a twig somewhere behind him caused him to turn, and to his surprise, he noticed Thunder limping through the clearing on the other side of the trees, obviously not noticing him.
“Thunder?” he whispered quietly, but he didn’t receive an answer. Worried, he stood up slowly, using the nearest tree for support. He sat down as he began coughing again, and waited for it to subside before staggering upright and slowly following Thunder.
He tried to keep as quiet as possible, though it was hard when he kept stumbling. However, Thunder never turned or noticed him; she seemed too distracted. Stormblade almost felt that he could have made as much noise as possible and she still wouldn’t have turned around.
(Continued in next post...)