Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)
He increased his pace as much as he could, getting closer until he could see Thunder clearly. One thing that both surprised and worried him more was that she was stumbling…limping…almost as badly as he was, not bothering to hide her pain. Every few steps she would let out a gasp or a small whimper, and sometimes pausing to struggle for breath and quietly mutter words that Stormblade couldn’t hear. This was so unusual and surprising that he stopped suddenly, wondering if he should ask Redclaw, that arcanine who had saved him, for help.
Only too late did he realize that he’d paused too long. Giving no sign or warning, Thunder whirled around, an enraged look in her eyes which made Stormblade realize that she really had only just noticed him. Before he could move, Thunder raced toward him, lashing out at him.
Stormblade felt the dull side of the other scyther’s blade slam into his uninjured leg, knocking him off balance and causing him to fall flat on his back…which due to his burns, hurt. Thunder stood over him, placing her foot firmly on his chest to hold him down and raising her scythes above him.
However, Stormblade could tell that she didn’t intend to attack him. She was just angry, and that anger was quickly fading away to be replaced with annoyance.
“Why are you following me?” Thunder asked, regaining some of her calm though she did not let Stormblade up.
“I…I was…” Stormblade rasped, “Just trying…to see if you were all right…” He wasn’t sure how Thunder would react to this statement, as she had never seemed to approve of him being concerned about her.
Thunder narrowed her eyes, and Stormblade noticed that she was standing firmly again, nearly all traces of pain gone from her expression. “I’m fine,” she spat, “I always was. There’s no need for you to follow me around!” She pressed her foot down harder, and Stormblade winced.
“I’m sorry…” Stormblade replied weakly, not knowing what else to say. To his relief, Thunder backed away from him, allowing him to sit up. He looked up at her, suddenly realizing with shock that crimson blood was slowly flowing from the gun wound in her side. The wound hadn’t been bleeding that badly before, except for when she had first gotten it. “Your wound!” he gasped, “Are you-”
“SHUT UP!” Thunder yelled, her anger coming back, “I came here to be alone. Alone. I thought you’d at least have the decency to let me be by myself for once without having to come and follow me. I’m just fine alright! And there’s no way you could help me anyway.”
“How do you know?” Stormblade replied, “I’m your friend…I want to help you.”
Thunder stiffened at the mention of the word ‘friend’ and glared at him. “You can’t even help yourself,” she retorted, “You’re helpless and weak. There’s nothing you could do.”
Stormblade remained silent for a moment, confused over Thunder’s last statement. Maybe it had just been his imagination, but it almost seemed like, for once, she wanted help…she just didn’t think anyone could help her. “Well…” he began hesitantly, pausing when he had to cough, “It seemed like something was bothering you…and not just your wounds and I-”
He didn’t have time to finish, as Thunder interrupted him, completely changing the subject. “Why on earth do you still have those bandages on?” she asked in an annoyed tone, “Everyone who sees you can see that you’ve let humans…willingly let humans try to ‘help’ you. It shows how weak you are. You would never survive as one of Master’s pokémon…ever.”
Stormblade was about to make an angry reply, but stopped himself just in time. Instead, he just muttered, “I don’t want my wounds to get infected any worse than they already are.” He turned his gaze away from her, staring at the ground instead. It was hard to think clearly through all the pain, and he was beginning to regret following Thunder. He was surprised that she hadn’t tried to drive him away yet.
Thunder didn’t reply to his statement, and turned away from him, leaning against a tree for support. Stormblade could tell that she was leaning rather heavily against it, looking as if she could collapse any moment. He knew now that her tough attitude was just an act…and he wasn’t sure she could keep it up.
“Look,” Stormblade told her, “I just want to help…but if you want me to leave, I will…but…I do want to talk to you…” He was aware of Thunder glaring at him, but she said nothing, so he hesitantly continued, “You know…you don’t have to hide the fact that you’re in pain. It’s not a weakness…and if you let others help you, it’ll be a lot easier to bear.”
For a moment Thunder looked furious, obviously angry with the fact that he could tell that she was hiding her ‘weakness’, but to his surprise, she seemed to calm down after he finished speaking. “How?” she asked curiously, “If a pokémon is in pain…another pokémon can’t just simply take that pain away. They’d be wasting their time trying to help.”
Stormblade wasn’t sure how to reply. He was still surprised Thunder hadn’t run away or forced him to leave yet. He wondered if she was just listening to him because she needed a way to pass the time. As he was about to speak, Thunder interrupted him.
“You aren’t a healer,” she told him, “So you can’t help me…not that I really need a healer anyway. I survived most of my wounds on my own. Master only ever treated the injuries of his pokémon if they were serious or they got infected. I’ve lived through worse than this. I’ll be just fine…” She emphasized the last word with a growl, digging her claws angrily into the dry earth at the same time.
Stormblade decided that he shouldn’t press the matter further. “Do you want me to leave?” he asked sadly, leaning against the tree and getting ready to stand up.
Strangely, Thunder just shrugged. “I don’t care,” she stated crossly.
Stormblade stayed where he was, not replying. He really didn’t feel strong enough to walk all the way back to where he’d been resting. Though he knew it was really only a relatively short distance he felt too weak to stand up and walk back, and he felt dizzy from pain. Remembering what Thunder had mentioned about her ‘Master’, Stormblade sighed and told her, “I think I understand…at least a little…about what your master did to you, and what it was like. I mean, Justin never injured me, but well…he wasn’t exactly the best trainer.”
“So you think you understand?” Thunder asked, sounding more amused than angry. She watched him through slightly narrowed eyes, though she seemed curious about what his response would be.
“Well…you see,” Stormblade began, “When Justin captured me…I had been…separated…from my swarm. I was lost and had recently been in a fight. I was injured, but not seriously. I had been wandering through the forest aimlessly when Justin appeared. He was very frightened, and sent his jolteon, Spark, to attack me. We fought, and I was winning. Spark scarcely had the energy to dodge my blows and Justin could see that he was going to get hurt, so he threw a pokéball at me while I was distracted to give Spark time to get out of range and catch his breath, but…he didn’t expect the pokéball to actually capture me.”
“He caught you the first time he threw a pokéball?” Thunder asked, coming as close to smiling as Stormblade had ever seen her, “That’s pathetic.”
“I was weak from the fight…” Stormblade muttered, looking at the ground. At first he felt angry, but then he realized that Thunder hadn’t tried to silence him and she still wasn’t making him go away. Whether it was just for amusement or not, it seemed as if Thunder really wanted someone to talk to right now. Deciding to forget her last comment, he continued, “I was confused at being captured, but even while in the pokéball I could hear a little of what Justin was saying. He hadn’t wanted to capture me. He didn’t want a scyther, and he wanted to get rid of me, but he was afraid to release me because he thought I might attack him.
“I found out later that he was going to tie my pokéball to a rock and just drop it into a river, but he didn’t. He realized that I was a good fighter after my battle with Spark, and chose to keep me, because most of his other pokémon weren’t as skilled in battle as I was. But that was all he cared about-other than that I meant nothing to him. He was always afraid of me, and he never got over that fear…I suppose it’s even worse now…
“That fear stopped him from ever trying to get to know me like he did with his other pokémon. I was often made to stay in my pokéball, not getting to eat as much as the other pokémon did…he neglected me most of the time, though I know he didn’t always mean to.
“After a long time, Justin went back to his house during the winter time and let me out in the snow. I tried to find shelter and ended up finding a hurt human and trying to protect her from a luxray…but by the time the other humans had found her, she had died, and they thought I was the one who killed her. Justin was made to release me and Spark and the others, and he got his trainer’s license taken away…”
“What’s a trainer’s license?” Thunder asked curiously.
“It’s what all trainers have to have to own pokémon,” Stormblade told her, “It’s like a small card or something. If a trainer shows up at a Pokémon Center without one, they can get in big trouble.”
“Hm…” Thunder muttered to herself, “Master didn’t have one.”
Stormblade wasn’t sure what to say, so he went on, “Not many days ago, soon after Rosie was captured…” He gave a sad sigh and continued, “I went looking for water during a rainstorm because I knew I couldn’t make it to a stream by myself with these injuries. I heard a human coming and quickly ran into a cave. That human was Justin…and there was another human there…it must have been his friend.
“The female human wanted to help me but didn’t have the right medicine. Justin was afraid and threw rocks at me, but he didn’t recognize me. His friend wanted to take me somewhere where I could get food and help, despite the fact that Justin didn’t want her to. However…Justin somehow found out who I was. He made the other human go out of the cave and told her that I was a murderer…”
“I suppose it makes no difference,” he sighed, “Those Team Rocket humans would still have invaded the Pokémon Center and I would have gotten captured anyway. I’m just glad Redclaw was able to help me get out of that building...”
Thunder didn’t ask what Team Rocket was, but she looked confused…and a little angry, after Stormblade finished speaking. “So that’s it?” she asked, sounding un-amused, “That’s your oh-so-horrible trainer story?”
“Well…” Stormblade began, “I thought…”
“Your trainer was nothing but a cowardly weakling!” Thunder growled, “And you felt bad about the way he treated you? What did he do? Forget to feed you for a few days? Leave you out in the cold for a couple of hours? Is that all?”
“I just…” Stormblade replied quietly, “I just wanted you to know that I went through some of the same things you did…of course not everything, but I understand what you had to go through.”
“You’re far from understanding…” Thunder stated coldly, and her dark blue eyes narrowed, “You’re complaining about a trainer who was a forgetful coward, but nothing more. I don’t see how this has anything to do with me or how it’s supposed to make you ‘understand’.”
“I’d understand if you told me…” Stormblade replied slowly.
“Told you what?” Thunder replied, seeming annoyed and almost angry again.
“About your trainer,” Stormblade told her, “What he did to you…maybe if you told me, I could understand better.”
“What’s there to understand?” Thunder asked, “If you want to know about Master, ask Redclaw. He knows too.”
Stormblade hesitated for a moment, before replying, “Redclaw wasn’t your master’s pokémon for as long as you were…was he?”
The question caught Thunder by surprise, but she just muttered, “You’re right. He wasn’t.”
Stormblade paused a moment before asking, “How long were you owned by your master?”
Thunder stiffened and gave him an angry glare; Stormblade wondered if asking her these questions had really been a good idea after all, and she merely hissed at him, “Why do you want to know? And more importantly, why do you care?”
Stormblade wasn’t sure how to answer. He didn’t feel like she would understand if he tried to tell her that it was because he wanted to help; she hadn’t responded kindly to him when he had said that before. Pain was still filling his mind, making it hard for him to think. He wished it would go away…for only a few seconds, so he could think of what to say. “Because I don’t want you to be hurt,” he managed at last, “I want to know if there is some way I can help you…and I think if you told me about your trainer, I would understand better, and maybe find a way.”
Thunder remained silent, staring at Stormblade with a mixture of confusion and uncertainty. However, she had to admit, she wasn’t entirely sure she disliked the idea, though she was still hesitant. “What good would that do?” she asked, but there was no snarl or growl to her voice this time.
“You said I didn’t understand,” Stormblade replied, “Well…I want to understand.” He reached out with his scythe and lightly touched the side of it to Thunder’s, but she jerked her arm away as if he had burned her.
“Why?” she asked, “All I’d be telling you about is events in the past… memories that don’t matter anymore.”
“But they do matter,” Stormblade told her, “If they can help me understand and be able to help you, they do. You can tell me about it now…there’s no reason to worry. I only want to help you.”
Thunder hesitated, not liking the way Stormblade seemed to imply that she was worried. There was no reason she should be, after all. Stormblade was the one who was worried, and worried for no real reason. She wondered if it was even worth listening to him anymore…
Yet the way he had spoken to her, he had seemed so sincere, and so willing to listen to her, for the sole purpose of trying to help. She wasn’t sure any other pokémon would ever be willing to do that. The others she had traveled with hadn’t wanted to put up with her after a while, and had left her well alone for the most part, and she had wanted it that way. But now…she wasn’t as sure.
And she wasn’t sure she wanted to share her memories either, but she felt that if she didn’t now, there might never be a time again when someone would willingly want to help her. And besides, the memories were just thoughts of the past…they didn’t matter now in the present. They were long since over. ‘If the memories don’t matter anymore…’ she thought to herself, ‘Then there’s no reason not to share them…’
“Fine,” she muttered, crossing her blades and fixing her gaze on Stormblade, “What do you want to know?”
“Well…when…and how, did you get caught by ‘Master’?” Stormblade asked calmly, and feeling the pain of his injuries start to get worse, he slowly lay down on the dry ground and watched her.
Thunder sighed impatiently, as if she was annoyed already and just wanted to get the whole thing over with, but nevertheless, she answered his question. Surprisingly, her answer was much longer than Stormblade had expected.
“It was a long time ago,” she began, speaking calmly, “I was very young and small…my wings had not yet grown enough to carry me in flight, and my blades were not sharp enough to inflict any bad injuries. I was somewhere in a forest, and I had a bad wound in my head. I couldn’t remember anything, but I was probably too young to remember much anyway. There was another scyther there, a small male, even younger than I was. He could have been my brother…I never knew. We were both injured, but he was worse off. He was missing two of his wings, and one of his scythes was broken in half. He also had a lot of deep cuts in his back. Whatever had happened, it certainly hadn’t gone well for him, whoever he was.
“I didn’t know what had happened to us, and he wouldn’t talk…or couldn’t talk. We stayed there in the forest, and for some reason I tried to take care of him. I couldn’t, really, but I still tried. I did not know how to hunt so we went hungry for a while.
“Then a few days later, a human showed up, with a cyndaquil. I didn’t know what a human was at the time, but I could tell that him coming there wasn’t a good thing. He didn’t see us as a threat and he picked me up. I cut him, and he made his cyndaquil attack me. After that, he took us in a human vehicle and away from the forest.
“We got taken in some building and put together in a cage. We were left there for a little while, sometimes given food that tasted strange. I think that other scyther was the only reason I got through the first few days…I was scared then. The room and the cage were cold, so we huddled together most of the time.
“After a while that human…Master, came back. He took me out of the cage for a moment and said something to Volco, his cyndaquil. He caught me in a pokéball but didn’t want me to stay inside it, so he let me out and then put me back in the cage. Then he took the other scyther out.
“He must have decided that that scyther was too weak, so he ordered Volco to kill him. He did it right in front of me…” Thunder paused for a moment and turned away, and Stormblade could see a spark of anger in her eyes, but she remained calm, though her voice was a little shaky.
“I realized later that Master never wanted to bother training him. He knew his injuries were too bad, and he’d never make it through the training. He kept me, though he didn’t think I would be very strong at first.” She shrugged and turned back to Stormblade. “That’s it,” she stated simply, “Don’t know how this is supposed to help you or me, but you have your answer. Happy now?”
Stormblade looked both shocked and horrified. “Why would your trainer kill one of his own pokémon?” he blurted out, “How could he do something like that? Why did he even take that other scyther from the forest if he was just going to-”
“You said you wanted to know about Master?” Thunder asked suddenly, interrupting Stormblade and fixing a piercing gaze on him. Now that she had told him a little about her trainer, she seemed willing to tell him more, and Stormblade wasn’t sure he knew why.
“Well then listen,” Thunder continued, and some of her anger faded. She wasn’t exactly certain why she wanted to tell him this, but she had nothing to loose, and it wouldn’t matter to her if Stormblade told anyone. Maybe telling him about Master would be a good thing, after all. Maybe he would finally leave her alone after this. She leaned closer to Stormblade, speaking more quietly this time, as if trying to make sure that her voice wouldn’t wake Redclaw up. Speaking in a calm voice once again, she began.
“You see,” Thunder told him, “Master wasn’t a trainer like yours was. Yes, I’ve heard of trainers before…and I’d never trust one, but Master was worse. He fought pokémon for money, and got a lot of money from it. Humans would make bets during the battles. Master’s pokémon won lots of times. Humans mostly bet on him.
(Continued in next post...)
Last edited by Scytherwolf; 08-12-2008 at 09:04 AM.