Master’s gaze flickered from the pokémon trying to hold back Volco’s flamethrower toward her. Fury crossed his face as he hurled the pokéball at her-it missed-and then reached in his pocket again.
A sharp gasp from Volco distracted him; the typhlosion had stopped his flamethrower and the shimmering barrier in front of the pokémon-which Snowcrystal could now see was a yellow and brown bipedal pokémon of some type-vanished. Snowcrystal couldn’t see any more, for the pokémon holding her had whirled around and began racing through the trees. She heard a cry of pain from Volco, and a furious shout from Master, but she couldn’t tell what was going on. Branches whipped in her face and her back legs hit rocks and tree roots painfully, but the pokémon did not stop. It raced up a steep slope and suddenly they were standing on the ledge the strange human and his pokémon were, but further back, out of range of Volco’s attacks.
The pokémon set Snowcrystal down, but she felt too numb to move. From here, at a slightly higher vantage point, she could clearly see Master, his furious gaze locked with the gaze of the trainer standing boldly on the cliff. Both Volco and the trainer’s pokémon had stopped attacking. Master gave the other human a nasty grin.
“You want a pokémon battle, boy?” he asked, reaching into a pocket on the inside of his jacket. Snowcrystal saw the glint of something shiny and silver, and she thought he was going to pick up that, but he didn’t. Instead, he grabbed several pokéballs and flung them in front of him in the clearing.
Five pokémon at once began to materialize-Snowcrystal only recognized a nidoking and a tyranitar from Spark’s descriptions of them; the others she was unfamiliar with-and before they had even finished forming, Master had thrown out several more pokéballs, each with a different pokémon. Snowcrystal didn’t know much about trainers, but Spark had told her enough for her to know that they were only supposed to carry six. “Find the growlithe!” he barked at one, which Snowcrystal immediately recognized as a houndoom, but one much bigger and scarred looking than Wildflame. The houndoom took off in the direction Snowcrystal had been taken; she realized it would find them by following their scent trail in a matter of moments.
Looking wildly for an escape, she heard the strange human’s footsteps as he retreated, and turned to look at him without thinking. He looked, for the first time, scared. His pokémon had put up another barrier of energy, and some sort of attack slammed against it, creating a deafening noise and knocking both the pokémon and his trainer off their feet. And that had only come from the closest pokémon. The others had started rushing toward the cliff-Snowcrystal saw strange collars around their necks that looked different from the one Thunder had-and at the same time, she heard the houndoom’s panting as he neared them from behind…
A sudden change came over the strange human. Looking almost like he was acting in a blind panic, he got up and dived toward Snowcrystal and the pokémon who had been carrying her, who ran forward to meet him. The boy’s hand gripped the white mane around the pokémon’s neck and his other grabbed the fur on Snowcrystal’s shoulder. The still stunned growlithe was still too frozen with fear to think of pulling away. She heard the sounds of pokémon firing attacks and rocks crumbling nearby, and then the first of the strange trainer’s pokémon, the one who had put up the barrier, ran up to the human and touched his shoulder.
Instantly Snowcrystal felt an even stranger sensation come over her than the one she had felt being pulled inside the pokéball. Everything vanished before her eyes and she felt almost like she was falling, or being pulled forcefully in another direction, and when everything reappeared in a haze that slowly lifted from her eyes, it looked completely different. They were no longer in the canyon, though from the looks of things, Snowcrystal could tell that they weren’t far from it. She couldn’t quite recognize the place, however.
Slowly, she stood up, shaking from head to toe. She could feel warmth trickling down her back; she was bleeding from where the pokémon had grabbed her.
“Relax,” said a smooth voice, and Snowcrystal turned to see the white and dark blue pokémon, the one who had carried her, looking at her. “You must stay calm. Arien, this Alakazam, you see, used his teleport move, but it can only take us short distances. We still need to move.”
Snowcrystal stared back at the pokémon she knew was an absol (she had recognized its species once she had gotten a good look at it and managed to recall its name), then looked at the other pokémon called Arien. He had two long, pointed ears, and clawed feet. Two long clumps of fur like whiskers sprouted from either side of his snout. She didn’t think she had ever heard of this species before. Arien gave her an odd look and she turned back to the absol. “Why can’t he teleport us a bit further?” she managed to ask.
“Teleporting just one extra pokémon or person, let alone three, takes far too much energy,” the absol replied. “Energy he can’t afford to lose. Come with us. We have to get away from here. Don’t worry,” he added to her, “you don’t have to worry about being captured.” Snowcrystal wasn’t sure how on earth he expected her not to worry, but, feeling like she had no choice, she stepped closer to him, looking at the human worriedly.
The trainer got unsteadily to his feet, quickly putting out the small flame on the sleeve of his shirt that must have come from being too close to an attack before they teleported. “Let’s go,” he told his pokémon, but instead of walking, he unclipped a pokéball from his belt. Snowcrystal flinched and drew back, but when the human threw the pokéball, a pokémon came out of it.
It was a pokémon she had never seen before, but, like absol, had heard about. It was brown and green with a long neck and four massive leaf-like wings fanning out from its back. It had what looked like fruit growing on its neck, which arched high over Snowcrystal’s head. She backed away nervously, trying to remember whether this species was dangerous or not.
“I can’t go,” she told the absol and Arien in a panic, turning away from the large pokémon. “I have to find my friends…”
The absol looked a bit unsure of what to tell her. Arien did not answer either, but instead turned to look at the tall human who looked ready to mount the tropius. A knowing look flashed between them; Snowcrystal was surprised…it was almost like…understanding…
Then it clicked. That pokémon’s a psychic type
, Snowcrystal thought. He’s bonded with that human and they can communicate…
It suddenly seemed as if Master and his illegal pokémon were far, far away, much too far to reach her. It almost didn’t matter anymore. Here was a human…a human who could, through Arien, communicate with pokémon. This was exactly what she had longed for but hadn’t even dared hope for, her link to the humans’ knowledge of the Forbidden Attacks.
“Come on,” the human said, “we’re going to get away…and find your friends.”
Snowcrystal looked up at him numbly as he scooped her up in his arms and sat on the tropius’s back, returning his other two pokémon to their poké balls. She was no longer focused on whether he was trustworthy or not. He had access to what she needed, and if there was any chance he could help her find the information the legendaries needed, it was worth the risk of being captured.
“Let’s go!” the human called, and the tropius’s wings beat up and down frantically and it lifted into the air.
Snowcrystal’s eyes widened as the ground grew smaller and smaller before her eyes. She whimpered and dug her claws into the human’s arm, trying not to look down or at the sky around her. She didn’t want to know how high they were. Being up on a high mountain while standing on solid rock was one thing, but being suspended in midair on a pokémon, completely helpless, was something else altogether. She wished she could ask the human just how far he planned to go, but without Arien the alakazam out of his pokéball, there was no way she could communicate with him.
Nevertheless, he seemed to sense her nervousness, and held her more tightly with his right arm, his left resting carefully on the tropius’s neck. Snowcrystal’s eyes wandered to the tropius’s head, which seemed far away on its outstretched neck as it glided, Snowcrystal thought, horribly close to the clouds. “Where are we going?” she called up to him, but the wind blew her words back in her face. The tropius gave no answer; either he hadn’t heard, or he was too focused on flying.
Suddenly the tropius’s body and wings seemed to shudder a bit, and he turned his neck as if looking at something that had suddenly surprised him from below. The human noticed and leaned as far over as he dared (while keeping Snowcrystal in the same place) and his expression turned to one of surprise. “Go down, go down!” he cried.
Snowcrystal wasn’t sure what he was shouting about, but she wasn’t about to look down to see. She closed her eyes as they suddenly tilted forward, telling her that the tropius was making his descent. She didn’t dare open her eyes until they landed with a slight jolt. Dazed, Snowcrystal looked around, seeing that the canyon was still near them, but she still wasn’t sure where she was. Still being held in the trainer’s arms, she watched, confused, as he stepped off the tropius’s back. Once the tropius’s neck had stopped blocking her view, Snowcrystal realized what the trainer had seen.
There were two other humans standing nearby. One of them, she realized with a jolt of shock, was the one who had Stormblade. But any thoughts of Stormblade were pushed to the very back of her mind as the smaller of the two other humans stepped forward, a furious look in his eyes.
The trainer holding Snowcrystal did not seem to notice. “You have to leave,” he told him urgently. “There’s-”
“Wait,” the smaller male trainer interrupted. His eyes were completely locked onto Snowcrystal, so much that she wasn’t even sure he had really noticed the trainer holding her. “That growlithe…” he said slowly, seeming like he was trying to sound calm and innocent when he was really angry. “Did you catch it?”
“No,” the trainer holding her replied, but there was a panicky edge to his voice, as if he was still thinking of Master back at the canyon. Snowcrystal wished he’d hurry up and tell them; she wanted to leave, and fast.
But the trainer seemed to have no intention of leaving so soon. The smaller human who had looked at her funny walked closer. “Good,” he replied, and reached in his pocket for something. Snowcrystal felt a familiar feeling of panic as he took out a poké ball. “Because you have no idea how long I’ve been searching for it.”
To be continued...
(Sorry it ended at such a stupid place. This rest of this chapter was split off into Chapter 49 (which, by the way, is done, I just need to go over it again and will post it in a little while). No happy part of the story yet. Actually, that'll probably come in Chapter 50. ^^; The chapters I planned turned out a bit longer than expected. And we won't see Thunder again until Chapter 50, either. I know this wasn't a great chapter; the next one should be better.)