the enigmatic princess; eon returns!
The Houndoom awoke in a daze, barely able to lift her head more than a few inches from the ground. It was cold and dark; not a single sound could be heard. It was much too quiet. What happened…?
She strained to remember, but every memory after she saw that Dark Pokemon was a blur. Her body felt heavy and groggy, as if she’d been out for days. Finding reserves of inner strength, she sat on her hunches, waiting for her vision to regain focus.
She could not remember how she got here. What had happened? She was racing to tell Tali and Zanna of the Dark Pokemon and then… Tali and Zanna! The Houndoom drew a quick breath and then gasped in pain. Her side was aching fiercely, and a dark bruise was beginning to form. She was attacked. That was right; that Dark Pokemon attacked her. But what had happened to the others? Were they all right?
Lani took a hesitant step forward before her paws buckled and she fell to the ground once more, letting out a cry as a sharp pain jabbed at her side. It seemed she wouldn’t be going anywhere in a hurry. Unable to move, the Houndoom merely surveyed her surroundings. Perhaps there would be a clue around here as to what happened. A dark red streak across the floor caught her immediate attention, and she lowered her muzzle to sniff at it. Blood. But this blood contained a scent she did not recognise. It was not Zanna or Tali’s, though the Buizel’s scent was mixed within it. Perhaps they were safe after all, if they had gotten away.
However, the unknown scent of the blood gave rise to more questions. What happened to that Dark Pokemon? Had she been taken from the room? It wasn’t far from here, and this hallway seemed to be connected to the medical wing; she remembered it from earlier. It was silent now, so the commotion from before had to have been settled. She needed to get out of here at once to treat her injuries, but there was no one around to help her. It seemed like she’d just have to do it herself.
The Houndoom struggled to move, but since she could not stand, she had to resort to crawling on the ground like an underling. She hated to feel so useless, especially when all this time the others could be injured. No, she couldn’t think like that. She needed to keep a positive attitude about her. The others seemed so dismal these days, it was all she could do to try and smile. But the truth was that even she was beginning to crack under the pressure. However she had been tasked with this seemingly impossible job, it was now her duty to protect Zanna and make sure she would grow strong enough to defeat Deoxys. The world had longed for calm for an age and it was high time they got one.
Brisk footsteps interrupted the Houndoom’s stumbling, and her meditations. As she squinted through the dim light, her eyes caught the dusky outline of a figure not too far ahead. It walked towards her a ways, before halting. Lani could not make out who it was, although she hoped it was friendly. She really needed some help right about now.
“Is someone there?” The voice was from a male, and it was not one she recognised, though it sounded familiar. The figure took a few more steps forward and then repeated itself. “Is someone there? We’re looking for survivors from the attack.”
Lani’s face lit up. She was saved! “I-I’m here!” she called out grimly, her own voice sounding ragged. Her side ached and she longed to lie down someone safe.
The figure blinked – she was sure – and then proceeded to walk towards her. Who was it? It reminded her of Dash, and yet…she was sure it wasn’t. As he came closer, she made out a grey body and large claws. A crimson headpiece seemed to lace the Pokemon’s head, and large ears flicked outwards. Almost at once, the pounding in Lani’s heart ceased and she froze. This was definitely not Dash. It was…
“So there are more survivors after all…” A giant grin spread across the newcomer’s face. “I was told to look for survivors, so I could wipe them from existence.”
The Houndoom struggled to move once more, but she could not. She was stuck, and in a quicksand of trouble. The Weavile lowered himself to one knee and placed a claw against her muzzle, grasping it shut. However hard Lani thrashed, she could barely thrust her tongue through her teeth. Eyes wide, she looked on in fear.
“No one is here to protect you this time, my dear. Soon all shall know the name of Lord Virok. And they shall scream it to the Heavens itself!”
Claws dug deep into the muzzle of the Houndoom and Rakai laughed as she screamed, bringing a whole new meaning to the words ‘seeing red’.
It had been only a few seconds since the tiny green Pokemon appeared before us with a smirk, but already it was a few seconds more than I wanted. Something about her unnerved me, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. She seemed to know Tali, that much was certain. But from where? I eyed the Larvitar with a narrowed brow. Eon…Why did it seem like I’d heard that name before? It was a nagging thought at the very edge of my memory. I knew the name…I was sure of it.
A painful memory drifted to the fore of my mind. It had been a cool day, snow about us. Rye – I flinched involuntarily at the thought of the Elekid – had been telling me a little of his past.
“Kryal had been the best friend I never had. I grew up with him in the Missionary; him and his sister, Eon.”
…EON! Could it be?
“You’re Kryal’s sister!” I blurted out before I could stop myself, rising fluently to my feet. “Eon!”
The Larvitar turned her head towards me, the smirk wiped clean from her face. “How is it you know who I am, Pikachu? And without even mentioning your own name, first.”
“I’m Zanna,” I amended hastily, answering her scowl. “And I know you because Rye told me about you.”
I watched as Eon’s face changed into an expression that was almost unreadable. Completely blank. It was silent for about a minute before she finally shook her head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“What?” I took a step forward in surprise. She must have been a very good actor, because the words she just said appeared to me to be genuine. “You know very well what I-“ But I was cut off as a paw fell on my shoulder. Tali glared down at me, tilting her head ever so slightly. Oh, of course. I should have known better than to bring up Kryal…of all Pokemon. I was an idiot. “I…uh…”
“I see you two need a hand getting out.” Eon had regained her smirk and looked towards Tali. “Care to explain how you got yourself into this mess? I thought you were more careful than that.”
“Tali was always one to rush head-on into danger.” My ears pricked as a familiar voice sounded from behind Eon. Dash stepped forward and offered me a smile. “Lamb, you’re a magnet for danger, that’s for sure.” He flicked a glance towards Tali and the Buizel seemed to relax ever so slightly.
A genuine smile lit my face in response. It hadn’t been more than a few days, but already I had missed Dash and the others. They offered support when I needed it the most. “Where’s Jarre and Codan?” I asked, peering behind him, my brow furrowing. “Aren’t they with you?”
The Sneasel shook his head. “I told them to go find you, but you’re here. Where’s Lani, though? Is she okay?”
“She got…knocked out,” I replied, a bitter taste in my mouth. “I don’t know where she is now.” I glanced at Tali to fill Dash in.
“Last time I was with her she was not too far from the med bay… I don’t know where she is now, though.”
Dash nodded. “Well if I leave Eon to take care of you two, I can go find Lani.” The Sneasel’s face turned more serious. “Lamb, I need you to stay away from Virok at all costs, but I don’t think I need to tell you that now. Stick with Eon and Tali, they’ll watch your back. And don’t worry about me, or the others. We’re strong.”
“Dash!” I ran up to the bars, feeling the cold metal touch my skin. “Be careful. Please. I don’t want anyone else to be hurt because of me.” I wouldn’t let anything else happen while I could still fight, I’d been stupid enough already.
The Sneasel stretched out a claw to me and I reached through the bars to grasp it. Though it felt cool and sharp, it was gentle, and warmth flowed through it. “You’ve got enough to worry about, Lamb,” he told me gently. “I’ll be okay.”
I smiled meekly as he dropped my paw and turned for the exit. I didn’t know Dash all that well, but he was proving to be quite a loyal friend; Tali too. Once you got past her bristly side. The Buizel turned to Eon, and I directed my gaze at her.
“Well isn’t it about time you get us out?” It seemed Tali had regained her usual haughty composure, which I now knew was just a mask to what lay beneath.
Eon’s smirk grew wider. “Alright, alright. But first, turn around and close your eyes. This could get messy.”
I frowned and blinked, but Tali turned and I followed her suit, closing my eyes. “What is she going to do?” I muttered from the side of my mouth.
“How the hell should I know?” came the snapped response from my left.
I waited for another fifteen seconds before a huge creak sounded and a loud thud caused me to jump a mile high. When I’d regained my footing well enough to spin around, I found two of the adjacent metal bars were spread wide enough for even Virok to have squeezed through, if he’d wanted to. My mouth fell open and I pointed at the bars with a shaky finger. “HOW DID YOU DO THAT?” For such a tiny Pokemon, I would not have thought it was possible.
The Larvitar merely shrugged and dusted her paws. “Do we really need to spend time asking such frivolous questions? Last I heard there was a Dark Pokemon on the rampage and a homicidal Electivire. Come on, get out here before I kick you out.”
Geez, for a small Pokemon her manners were almost worse than Tali’s. I think I was beginning to prefer the Buizel in comparison, and that was saying something. However, I was none too hesitant to step through the bars, tasting the freedom in the air. “What’s our objective now?” I asked curiously after Tali had followed behind me. “Shouldn’t we go find Jarre and the rest?”
Eon shook her head, refusing to even spare me a glance. “No, I’ve been assured the Torchic and Dragonite can handle themselves. Dash is capable; he’ll be okay. Our main priority now is to get you out of here.” She prodded my chest with a stubby paw in none-too-gentle a fashion. “You’re the main cause of this, at the moment. If Virok gets another paw on you, I’d say our only chance to get rid of Deoxys is as good as finished.” She gave the metal bars a once-over before turning her back to us and striding off down the hall.
“But, wait!” I called after her, glancing at Tali. “What about Rakai? What about everyone else who resides in the Missionary? What about the residents of the town?! What are we supposed to do, just leave them here?”
The Larvitar shrugged. “They’re not my concern, why should I care?”
My fur bristled. That was it. This prissy Pokemon had taken it a step too far, I didn’t even care that she’d saved us.
“Zanna…” Tali warned, but it was too late.
“NOT YOUR CONCERN?” My cheeks sparked with anger. “You were once part of this town! You grew up here! Does that mean NOTHING to you now?”
“Well then what about Kryal?!” I was grasping at straws here, but as soon as the words were out of my mouth, my paws flew up to cover it.
The Larvitar froze. It was eerily silent. “Why do you keep mentioning that name to me, Pikachu?” Eon spun around to face me, brow furrowed. “Is it meant to MEAN something? Am I meant to know who that is? What is this ‘Kryal’ you speak so high and mighty of? Is he your boyfriend? Is that it?”
“WHAT?!” I opened and closed my mouth several times, but no audible sound came out. Finally, I turned to Tali. “Are you kidding me? Has she lost her marbles?!”
“Zanna…drop it and leave it alone, okay?”
“No, I will NOT drop it and leave it alone. I want to know why SHE” – I pointed a finger at Eon – “doesn’t want to save everyone after what happened to her brother!” Once again, I raised a paw to my mouth, and everything fell silent.
“…Brother?” The sound came from Eon, who merely peered at me with interest. “If you’re talking to me, Pikachu, I don’t have a brother. I’m an only child. I’ve never had a brother, much less a family.”
“What…?” My head was beginning to spin. But Kryal…
I thought this was the same Eon who was Kryal’s sister. Could I have been mistaken? But she obviously grew up here, she had obviously lived here, or she would have denied that when I mentioned it. There couldn’t be two Larvitar’s with the same name, could there?
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” the Larvitar repeated for the second time since our meeting. “You’ve obviously been cooped up in there for too long. Regardless, we’re not going to risk our lives for the rest of the city when yours is the only one that matters. Now come on, I’m not getting any younger!” This time the Larvitar didn’t turn around again when I called out to her.
Tali glanced at me and raised and eyebrow. “She’s lost her marbles, hasn’t she?” I asked. “And we just trust the crazy Pokemon that obviously belongs in an asylum?”
“Come on,” Tali sighed, placing her paws on my shoulders and steering me towards the exit. “You heard the Pokemon. If we dawdle, she most likely will just leave us here.”
“That’s enough, Zanna,” Tali snapped. “We can come back and save everyone AFTER you’re safe. I know you’re worried, but now isn’t the time. However crazy, she was right about one thing, though.”
“Your life is the only one that matters.”
But that didn’t answer any of my questions. It still left me wondering why Eon refused to admit she had anything to do with Kryal, and why Tali was so adamant for me not to press her about it.
He was sure of it; a cry had come from this direction. Dash raced down the endless hallways, stopping every once in a while to relocate the sound. Someone had screamed, and that was definitely not a good sign.
He hoped Zanna and Tali would be okay with Eon. It had been an age since he’d seen her, and he still wondered if her condition was…the same. Tali had told him it was irreversible; that she’d done this to herself. But he didn’t believe that. Somewhere deep inside her fragile frame he believed was the sister who had once cared for her brother so deeply. Though maybe it was better for her to be like this… It would cause less pain, and the world always needed less pain. There was too much of it.
Another scream. This time, louder. As the Sneasel rounded the corner he spotted a body not too far from where he stood. Running up to it, a small gasp escaped his mouth. “Lani! Are you okay?” He rested a paw gently against her muzzle and withdrew it when the Houndoom flinched. The strong scent of blood reached his nose, and he raised his paw to the light. Crimson liquid clung to it, staining the bright silver in a dull hue of red. “Who attacked you…?” Dash asked in a whisper, lowering himself to the Houndoom’s level. Lani’s eyelids fluttered. She was barely conscious! Who had done this to her? The Houndoom opened her eyes briefly and let out a single sigh of relief, but choked off in a strangled snarl, leaving Dash panicked.
“Lani? What-“ But the words were barely out of his mouth before something sharp connected with the side of his head.
The Sneasel flipped in midair and landed on his feet somewhat clumsily, tipping to the side off-balance. What in the world had hit him like that?! A searing pain throbbed where he’d been struck. His answer was right in from of him, however. As his vision regained focus, Dash spied a form across the hall that he loathed. Of all Pokemon, it had to be him. And now he’d pay for what he’d done to Tali. The Sneasel pulled his lips back in a snarl, baring his fangs. The once calm composure gone, Dash was the spitting image of terror. “Rakai,” he uttered icily.
“Welcome home, Dash,” the Weavile crooned, taking a step towards him. “I’ve already given Tali my regards. Does she send them in return?” He lifted a claw to his chin and stroked it, baring a smirk. Glinting in the light came a crimson stain, and Dash recognised the scent as Lani’s.
“GGGGRRR!” He launched himself at Rakai, claws glowing. The Weavile raised his own and prepared to brace for the attack, but was caught off guard by the Sneasel’s raw power. He stumbled backwards a few steps and glared, narrowing his eyes against the sparks of the steel-clashing claws. “How DARE you harm Lani! And Tali! After everything you meant to her! HOW DARE YOU!
” He pushed with all his might against Rakai’s claws and broke through, causing him to jump back and retreat a few metres.
Dash felt his heart pound and let the blood boil within him. His body shook with uncontrollable anger, and his chest heaved. He felt himself begin to slip into the frenzy that all Sneasel and Weavile alike shared when they were so consumed by wrath. It was a state that the Sneasel himself feared, for whilst in it, most lost control of their senses entirely, focusing solely on rage to get the job done. He wanted to control it, he wanted to rein it in, but there was something about this Weavile that caused every ill feeling he had ever had to rush to the fore. It was impossible to keep it down. And worst of all, he’d hurt Tali. He should have known better.
Rakai stood poised, claws now fully extended. His brow furrowed. He’s underestimated the little runt, but that was no matter. Even if he might be stronger than he’d thought, he was still no match for him, leader of the Hunters. Virok had placed his trust in him and he vowed he would not sever it, no matter the cost. He still had tricks up his sleeves if all else failed, and he had something this whelp didn’t. He felt his lips curl up into a grin again.
“So Tali doesn’t send her regards? Shame.” An icy laugh filled the air, and his eyes narrowed until his pupils became thin slits that were barely visible. “BRING YOUR BEST, RUNT. YOU CAN’T BEAT ME!”
Rakai drew his head backwards, opening his mouth wide enough to draw in the cool moisture that surrounded them. With a final heave, he released the glowing white energy that filled his mouth in the direction of the Sneasel, following his steps as he attempted to dodge.
Dash felt the Ice Beam clip his heels; it was close, but not on target. Looks like the Weavile still had some training to do. He clung to the ceiling tightly. “Is that all you have?!” he shouted towards the grey figure, pushing off from the wall, claws outstretched once more. This time Rakai welcomed him with strength equal to his own, and the clash of steel screeched in their ears.
“Tell me something, Sneasel!” Rakai hissed through gritted fangs, eyes glinting. “Does she know what’s in here?!” He made to swipe at Dash’s chest, grazing against the skin as the Sneasel jumped back, recoiling. “Does she know?!” Rakai repeated loudly. “Does she know that you love her?!”
Dash hissed and shook his head, caught off-guard. “I’m merely doing what you never did! I care for Tali’s safety, that’s all!” The moment the words flowed from his mouth he felt a bitter aftertaste. No, that wasn’t entirely true. He was doing what Rakai never did, but he could never seem to reach her. His words had never reached her. She was still stuck in the past, so all he could do was protect her with every inch of his being, if it was all he had to give. The Sneasel roared and pushed with all his might. I…will…PROTECT HER!
[continued in next post]