Re: The Path of Destiny (PG/PG-13)
“Uh…just for a walk,” Snowcrystal replied. He didn’t say anything, and she crossed the clearing and went through the trees. Once in the darkness of night without any pokémon surrounding her and with nothing but the light of the moon and her crystal to see by, Snowcrystal suddenly became worried, remembering the last time she had tried to do something like this. “I have to do it…” she whispered to herself. “For Stormblade.”
She came to a spot on the ground where she could smell Scytheclaw’s scent; Damian had released him here. She kept walking, noticing the scent growing stronger as she moved through a grove of trees, then she suddenly emerged in a clearing.
“What is it this time?” a nasty voice hissed back to her. Scytheclaw was standing on the other side of the clearing, gazing at the sky.
Snowcrystal hesitated, then walked forward. “I have to ask you something.”
The scizor turned around and fixed the tiny growlithe with a piercing stare. “Didn’t you ask already? I only know as much as you know, or as much as you told Damian,” he growled. “He just told me what you all said.”
“We told him everything we know,” Snowcrystal replied. “But that’s not what I wanted to talk about it. You see, my friend, the scyther that was with us when…when we came to the canyon…he’s hurt bad and he can’t heal. Damian probably told you about him. I was thinking…that…you could…”
Scytheclaw’s face betrayed no emotion, but he lowered himself down to her level and stared into her eyes. She felt even more unnerved now. “And what,” the scizor hissed, “makes you think I’d do that?”
“You’re the only one who can!” Snowcrystal replied, trying to feel brave. “You know he’s been hurt by Blazefang’s Forbidden Attack now, right? Spark says they don’t heal, and it certainly hasn’t been healing. Stormblade has nothing to do with what you have against Redclaw or Nightshade…or me…surely you wouldn’t…let an innocent pokémon suffer…” She wasn’t sure how he would react.
“You don’t seem to care that the healing power, or Forbidden Attack, or whatever it is, hurts me,” Scytheclaw growled. “Why should I care about the pain of your friend when you clearly don’t care about mine?”
Scytheclaw’s expression turned furious again. “He gets to stay a scyther!” he yelled. “He should be grateful for that! I’m not going anywhere near a scyther,” he spat bitterly, and it was clear to Snowcrystal that he did not want to be reminded of what he once was…what he lost. Scytheclaw had to have some major issue with evolution, or maybe he just really missed his scyther form. She had remembered him saying to Nightshade, during their battle, that he had been forced to evolve. She knew that some pokémon never wanted to; Scytheclaw had been one of them, one that had to have been particularly horrified with the idea, if it had affected him so much. But that was no reason to refuse to help…
“Look,” Snowcrystal told him, “if there’s anything I can do that will convince you to help him, I’ll do it.”
“There isn’t,” Scytheclaw snarled. “Get out of here.”
“But there must be something I can-”
“What would I want from a filthy, fleabitten freak like you?” Scytheclaw yelled. “I don’t want your help, and you certainly won’t be getting any from me. Now leave, or else I’ll have to explain to Damian why there are growlithe entrails all over this clearing in the morning.”
Snowcrystal wasn’t sure he really meant the threat, but she wasn’t going to find out. She turned and left, feeling depressed and hopeless. How could she ever convince Scytheclaw to help Stormblade? Maybe she couldn’t, she thought, but maybe…someone else could. Scytheclaw seemed to have a certain respect for Damian… That was it!
Breaking into a run again, she reached the clearing in no time. Looking around at the pokémon, she spotted Arien still awake. Walking up to him, she prodded his arm with a paw. “Arien,” she whispered. “I need your help.”
“What is it?” the pokémon asked, turning toward her.
“It’s about Scytheclaw,” she told him. “You know how I was talking about what he said…how he had that weird healing power?” She watched as the alakazam nodded. “Well, I think that could be the answer to curing Stormblade’s injuries. If anything can, I’m sure Scytheclaw’s power could.” She waited to see what he would say, and for one frantic moment she felt a rush of panic, wondering if Scytheclaw had been lying and there was no power at all…
“I’ve seen Scytheclaw use this power,” Arien replied, immediately putting her fears to rest. “He used it on Damian after he found the scizor injured and helped him. Damian had a minor injury from a wild pokémon, and although Scytheclaw managed to heal it, I could tell it caused him a considerable amount of pain.”
Snowcrystal stared. She couldn’t imagine Scytheclaw repaying anyone for helping him. She was also growing to doubt that the power was a Forbidden Attack at all, and she could tell that Arien felt the same way.
“Damian saved him, you know,” Arien continued.
“What?” Snowcrystal replied, shocked, but then remembered that Damian had to have no idea about what Scytheclaw had done in the past; he had probably just wanted to help an injured pokémon. “Oh…yes, but…well, Scytheclaw doesn’t seem like the kind of pokémon to be helpful. I mean…he’s ruthless, cruel, even. He…he tried to kill Nightshade before, in a battle.”
To her surprise, Arien didn’t seem angry that she had said such a thing about his teammate. He remained completely calm. “A horrible leader, I suppose,” he began. “Yes, Scytheclaw told Damian that he was once the leader of a group of pokémon, though not a good one, from what I can tell.” That, Snowcrystal thought, was an understatement. Scytheclaw had been the worst leader she had ever heard of. “But believe me when I say that unless provoked, Scytheclaw will not harm any of you anymore.”
“What do you mean? We can’t really trust him to just…you know, sit there and do nothing, especially when Nightshade comes back…”
“He won’t harm Nightshade either,” the alakazam replied. “Hate him, perhaps, but not harm him. He only tried to attack Wildflame because she threatened him.”
“How do you know he won’t attack Nightshade…or anyone else?” Snowcrystal asked. “How can you be sure?”
“You’re going to have to trust me on this,” Arien said calmly. “I know it’s hard to believe, if you have been harmed by Scytheclaw in the past, but trust me when I say that you will not get any trouble from him if you leave him alone.”
Snowcrystal wasn’t sure why, but somehow, she believed him. After all, Scytheclaw hadn’t wanted to fight them when they had met him in the wild; he had been beaten and alone, far from the pokémon he was used to ruling. “Okay…” she said softly. “But there’s something else…I talked to him tonight, and he said he wouldn’t try to heal Stormblade…”
“You were asking a lot of him,” Arien replied. “Healing injuries like what you said Stormblade has would take a lot of energy, perhaps even be more painful.”
“So what?” Snowcrystal growled, forgetting for a moment to be silent. “Stormblade’s in pain all the time, and he doesn’t even deserve it! Scytheclaw’s his only hope!”
“I’m not saying Scytheclaw made the better choice,” Arien replied calmly, “only explaining why he told you ‘no’. And seeing how hostile you and you friends seem toward him, that probably influenced his decision too.”
“I wasn’t being hostile…” Snowcrystal said softly. “Being nice sure didn’t make a difference. Do you think…” She paused. “Do you think you can speak to Damian? If Scytheclaw has respect for him, and he’s Damian’s pokémon, Damian can make him do it.”
“Maybe,” the alakazam replied, “but I won’t tell him.”
“Why?” Snowcrystal whispered, but she really wanted to shout it out loud.
“Because I know Damian won’t,” the psychic pokémon told her. “Damian never makes his pokémon do anything they don’t want to do, and I’m not sure any good would come out of him trying to force Scytheclaw anyway. I’m afraid this decision is Scytheclaw’s alone. No one can physically force him to use his power.”
“Then it’s hopeless then,” Snowcrystal muttered, and without waiting for a reply, she walked back to her tree and lay down. She saw the alakazam giving her one last look before she turned and faced the other way. There didn’t seem to be anything she could do, no way to force or trick Scytheclaw into helping her. She started to wonder if there was any real hope for Stormblade to heal at all.
To be continued...
Thanks to Lunar Latias for the banner and Kirimori for the picture!
Last edited by Scytherwolf; 07-25-2010 at 12:02 PM.