In helpless terror, the growlithe tried to cover her ears with her paws to block out the horrible roaring noise as she lay on the ground, making cries of terror as small rocks pelted her huddled form.
Then suddenly, it stopped.
Snowcrystal coughed, freeing herself from the small bits of stone that now covered her. The cave was completely dark. The first pokémon she thought of was Stormblade. Lighting up the cavern with a small ember, she quickly spotted the scyther and ran over to him. “Are you okay?” she asked, nudging his shoulder carefully.
“Stormblade hasn’t been okay for weeks,” Rosie grumbled, standing up slowly near where Stormblade lay. To Snowcrystal’s relief, she didn’t seem hurt by the rockfall.
Stormblade looked up, but didn’t look at Snowcrystal. “Sure. I’m fine. Not hurt worse…” he replied quietly.
Snowcrystal glanced around and saw Thunder get shakily to her feet, and turned to look around for the others. There was no sign of them. Looking around, she quickly noticed a huge wall of rock and debris from the collapse, blocking off the small area behind them. Realizing that the others must be trapped on the other side, she hastily climbed the rugged boulders, hoping to find a way she could slip through to reach her friends. Rosie, meanwhile, was studying the cavern they were in, gazing into the dark tunnel that lay ahead of them, cool cave air ruffling her fur. The others, she realized, must still be back near where the stone column had fallen.
Snowcrystal pawed at the rocks, not seeing any place where she could possibly get through to the other side. She gave a small squeak of surprise as some of the smaller rocks near the top shifted, and using ember again, she saw Nightshade’s claws break through, then retreat.
“Nightshade!” she cried, running up to the hole. The heracross did not try to break through the rocks, but she heard his voice from the other side.
“Are you all right?” he asked. “Redclaw, Wildflame, and Spark are fine. So is that houndour, Blazefang.”
“I’m fine!” Snowcrystal answered. “Rosie and Stormblade aren’t hurt any worse…I don’t know about Thunder…but can you break through these rocks?”
Nightshade took a moment to reply. “There’s a very large rock near the top of this heap of boulders on this side,” he replied at last. “I can’t shift more than a few of these small rocks without causing it to fall over. I can move the rock itself, but it might make the whole tunnel collapse! There’s enough space for us to go back the way we came and find another route-Cyclone’s cronies are gone. I’m afraid we’ll have to go separate ways.”
“But-” Snowcrystal began.
“Just help the others,” Nightshade replied. “You’ll be fine if you stick together and make sure either you or Rosie provides light to see by. Be careful, and remember to mark the walls of the tunnels you pass by with your claws so you know you’ve been there and won’t end up going in circles.”
“I…I’m not sure I can-” she replied hesitantly, but Nightshade cut her off.
“Just lead the others,” he replied calmly. “Me and the rest of us on this side need to get going. This place could still collapse.” Another rumble was heard, and the heracross’s voice sounded more anxious. “We need to go now. Get the others and move further along the tunnel. You should be safe away from where the collapse started.”
“Ok…” Snowcrystal whispered uncertainly, and she heard Nightshade scramble back down the rocks toward the others. Snowcrystal then headed down the pile of boulders to the cave floor.
“Good luck, Snowcrystal!” she heard Redclaw call from behind the rocks as she and Rosie did what they could to help Stormblade get up, and along with Thunder, the four of them walked away from the scene of the collapse.
A short while later, Snowcrystal’s group stopped to rest, safely away from the danger of falling rocks. Rosie had curled up near the wall of the cave to try and get some sleep, and Thunder had soon done the same. Stormblade sat away from the others, refusing to talk to anyone.
Leaning against the smooth and wet cave wall, Snowcrystal’s thoughts constantly wandered back to the group of friends who were separated. Were they all right? Would they find a way to reach her again? Had Blazefang left or was he still with them?
Sighing, she lay her head on her paws, listening to the soft sound of water dripping from somewhere further within the cave, as she closed her eyes and willed sleep to come to her. If there was anything she needed now, it was to have as much strength as possible for the journey ahead.
To be continued...
(P.S.-I'm curious to know...who's everyone's favorite character(s)?)