Teiran, paws raised and eyes focused, managed to move Lani onto the stretcher with minimal movement and no further casualties. It was a sign that he had indeed been at this post for a long time. After the Houndoom was placed, aqua bars of energy criss-crossed the stretcher from one side to the other. It was this energy that held the Pokemon in place whilst transport occurred, as to prevent further damage. The psychic Pokemon then commanded the stretcher to move with the flick of a wrist. In the span of a few seconds, the two Pokemon retreated to the medical bay and set about their work.
Dash was told to either reside in the waiting room or search for others whom they could help. The two seemed marginally better they now had a patient to treat, and one that did not require them to search for and produce emergency first aid. Reinforcements had been notified, and were to see to any survivors and to report if Virok was found. Until then, all they could do was wait. The Sneasel decided it was best to leave Lani in their care. Teiran and Minako could surely handle themselves if they were attacked – it was a requirement of all staff to be trained in combat. He would be best off searching for the others. Only Arceus knew how much help they needed.
He only now realised just how much he was worried for Tali. The Sneasel raised a claw lightly to his chest and pressed it there, then shook his head and lowered it. He knew the Buizel’s love would never be his, not truly, but all he could do was hope. One day she might come to her senses. Maybe he could take her away from all of this, like in the good old days when they used to take missions on together, far away from prying eyes. Where they would laugh and just have fun. That was what it was meant to be like. But it would never be like that again. Memories are just that, and they belong in the past for a reason.
At least the thought of Rakai leaving them alone was enough to make him smile, if only briefly. It was one thing he could do for her, at the very least. She would find solace in knowing there was closure, and that the past would not try to contact her again.
Dash set off with a firm resolve in his mind, but it was still frail compared to the one in his heart.
Rye raised an outstretched paw to Virok, a silver film forming between his claws. In the span of a few seconds, the Elekid extended the substance to form ropes and bind the Electivire’s paws and feet together. His mouth was left open. And so the onslaught of curses continued.
Codan was finally able to release Virok from his grip. The Dragonite panted with the effort of restraint it had taken. He surely was one strong Pokemon, at least when it came to fighting for his life. But now that he had done his job, it was time for Rye to do his. It was ultimately his decision what should be done with Virok. All the others could do was wait for his judgement, and respect his wishes no matter the outcome.
The Dragonite folded his paws across his chest and peered down at Rye. The Elekid’s eyes had become as cold and hard as steel, but they wore thin around the edges. Everything had its toll.
“So what happens now, dear boy? Are you going to kill me?” Even bound Virok mocked his son. At least he had ceased struggling against the binds that held him, obviously apparent that he was unable to break free. Rye’s face remained expressionless.
“You have no right to play with others this way,” he stated, ignoring the previous question. “You have no right to harm others for the sake of your goals. You have no right to harm those I care for.” He paused, taking in the Electivire’s laboured breathing. He had become silent. “I used to care for you too, once.” Rye’s eyes dimmed as he held Virok’s gaze. “But the damage you have inflicted here cannot be undone. You do not deserve to live.”
Virok grinned from within his constraints, though it was clearly a half-hearted effort. “So I am to die then?”
Jarre, a few metres away from Codan, opened his beak to protest and then seemed to think better of it and shut it tight. It was Rye’s decision. We all knew that.
“No?” Virok appeared genuinely surprised. Then he let out a soft laugh. “Oh, I get it now. You want to play the gallant hero, who swoops in and saves the day while still retaining his honour
.” He spat the word with contempt. “Save it, my son. You have no honour. None of you do!”
Rye merely blinked. “I will not kill you because that is what mother would have wished. I am her son; I am not like you. I will never
be like you. And I will never kill as you do.”
“So what are you going to do to me, then? Come on, out with it!” Virok hissed, losing his patience. He was not one for keeping still, and biding time did not sit well with him. It was clear he’d rather die, and Rye would not give him that wish.
“You are exiled,” Rye said simply. “You will be banished from the Land of Earth forever. You are to wander the Dark Lands until the day you die. Should you be spotted within the border at any time, I will issue an order for your death. Be grateful I am giving you this chance. It is better than you deserve.”
Exile. I was proud of Rye for coming to this decision. I knew he would not be able to kill his father. Despite what he had now become, he was still a remnant of the past, and if I knew anything about Rye at all, I knew he would want to at least keep some part of it intact. He was also not the cold-hearted murderer his father was. Rye could see reason where he could not. Despite my conflicted emotions towards the Elekid, at this moment I was proud.
“So shall I take him to the border?” Codan asked, slapping his paws together with as much menace as he could manage. Rye shook his head.
“No, I will organise for a squad to take him away as soon as they are accounted for. We need the best agents on this case, lest he slip away.” He glared at Virok with blank eyes before whirling to walk away. But the Electivire smiled.
“You won’t do that, Riley.” He had counteracted again. I began to think maybe I should just step up to the plate and deal with this, but something in Virok’s tone had made Rye stop, just for a split second. “You won’t do that because I know something that you do not. Something that you wish.”
The air seemed to hum with all the tension filling the room. The silence was almost unbearable. Rye turned to his father and waited. Waited for what seemed an eternity. Then, having his motives questions, growled low in defiance. “You have no right to spit words at me, father! I know perfectly well what I’m doing! The breath you breathe now will be your very last in this land. And it is better than you deserve for your crimes.” He glowered at his father with contempt and readied a paw, now onyx energy encasing the soft fur. He made to bind Virok’s mouth.
But still, he smiled. “You won’t do this because I know. I know how to bring your mother back.”
The world keeled. “What…?” The news shocked Rye so much the energy completely dissipated from his paw. He stumbled backwards a few steps and had to regain his footing. “You know…what?
” he replied blindly.
Virok’s now tensed position relaxed ever so slightly. “Y-yes!” he shouted almost gleefully. “I can bring her back to you, Rye. You can see your mother again!”
My mouth was agape. This Pokemon was full of it! There was no way to bring back the dead! ...Or was there? No, of course not. If there were, no doubt Altair would have found it by now. Or Deoxys, to resurrect Darkrai. This was just another of the Electivire’s ploys to escape punishment. He really was the worst Pokemon I had ever met. He should have been born a slippery Seviper, for that’s the snake he was.
“Impossible,” Rye stated, regaining his composure, though he still seemed somewhat shaky. “You cannot bring back the dead.”
“Oh, but that is the beauty of the unknown. What did you think all these experiments were for, Rye? They were not just to take back the world, but to remake it as we once knew! The Light Pokemon do not have the power to raise the dead, but I know of something that can. My research has found the right direction and it has pointed me to a latent source known as the Orbs of Altair.”
Now it was my turn to freeze. At this very moment I held one of them – the Orb of Sorrow – within my fur. If Virok had known he certainly would have retrieved it from me. Now another orb could apparently raise the dead? Was that even possible? No, he was probably just lying again. He had to be.
“This orb,” Virok continued, “is known as the Orb of Life. It has both the power to take and give life to whoever is able to wield it. My sources indicate the orb’s resting place is not too far from here. I can lead you to it. Together we can change the past. Together…we can bring Ameli back!” Virok was almost too gleeful.
“No.” Rye shook his head, removing the bewildered look from his face. “Even if there were such a thing – even if it were true – dabbling in life and death is to defy the law of nature. Such things can have repercussions like you would not believe. It is impossible. I will not help you.” Rye pursed his lips and seemingly zipped his mouth shut. He was wavering on a thin precipice, and all colour had drained from his face. But still he was defiant. As a leader should be.
Virok’s joy faded almost instantaneously. He was so certain that Rye would take him up on the offer; let him live in exchange for the orb and his mother’s life. “So that’s how it is.” His gaze swivelled to me for the first time in a while. The intensity made me flinch. “She has you wrapped around her fingers, you know. The deeper you drown in love, the more it can only come back to hurt you, until it is worse than even death itself. That is when you wish you were dead, but you know you never will be, not truly.”
Rye’s teeth gritted in accordance with my own. Virok’s statement earned silent glares from the both of us. I loathed admitting it, however, but to an extent he was indeed right.
“Take him away from my sight.” Rye flicked a paw into the air and turned his back once more on his father. Indefinite. His gaze did not meet mine. Instead, he turned it to the gravelly ground, lost in his own thoughts. Rye…
Codan nodded in acknowledgement and made to move inwards when suddenly the energy binding Virok snapped. The Electivire dispelled the silver matter and struck the Dragonite hard to the chest, knocking the wind from his body and sending him back several metres to collide with a large, serrated boulder. Codan cried out in pain. Rye whirled but his movements came too late. Caught off guard, he too, was knocked back, a paw smacking him upside the head.
“Rye!” I screamed, finding the energy to launch myself from the floor and dive for the Elekid. My body braced itself for the impact, arms reaching out to receive Rye as he collided with them. Though we were both sent tumbling backwards, there was no major harm done.
Virok cried out once more, filling the room with bursts of electricity. None of us could ever fathom he would escape. Rye’s bounds were tightly woven! The only reason he could have had for escaping would be that he knew about kinetic energy – studied it. Of course, and we were fools not to have anticipated such an act. We were beginning to look a lot like fools lately. But my main concern now was the Elekid resting in my arms, and the faint murmurings he gave me.
“I need to…stop him…Virok…” Rye’s brow creased in pain and his eyelids fluttered at me. “Stop…capture…must not escape…” I hushed the Elekid with a single gesture. I was conflicted. I needed to stop Virok, who was inching ever closer to the exit. But I had hardly any energy left in me to fight, and everyone else was much worse for wear than I was. We had no hope. Even now, Jarre’s feeble flamethrower attempts were merely tossed back at him. Virok would flee this place and capture us. We were doomed. Talzere was doomed. I closed my eyes and waited for the end.
Then there was a single snap. My eyes flew open to the sight of Virok tumbling to the ground. The whole act seemed to last minutes, but I knew it to only be a second, if that. The Electivire crashed to the rubble, dust encasing the body instantly. Was he dead? What had caused it? Who…? But my erratic thoughts were silenced as a figure stepped into the dull light of the room. As the dust cleared I was able to see that Virok’s neck had been broken, for his head was twisted at an odd angle. Our saviour had apparently dropped from atop a large boulder, unwittingly watching us for only Arceus knew how long. But as I recognised the form, I sighed with relief, knowing things were finally over.
“You’re safe now, Lamb.” Dash offered me a small smile, sparing but a final glance for the Electivire.
And then it was done.
Virok was no more.
Dash had informed Jarre and I of his trip to the med bay, and of course, Lani. I was more than relieved to hear she would be all right. In fact I was so relieved I even laughed, earning an odd stare from the Sneasel. But I could see he, too, was glad. At least as glad as he could be amongst the carnage. The three of us – Dash Jarre and I – had managed to retrieve the healers Minako and Teiran to extract Eon, Tali, Codan and Rye from the room. Virok was also removed, but he was to be gathered with the other traitors to be cremated.
Rye drifted in and out of consciousness. I dared not tell him what had happened to his father for fear he might fall asleep and never wake up again. The shock should best wait until he was alive and well, or at least somewhat recovered. When he’d had the strength to ask about the Electivire’s whereabouts I merely shook my head and told him to rest. Rye’s face had furrowed, but he soon drifted back into a peaceful sleep. The morphine given to him had chosen to finally kick in.
At the moment he and the others were sleeping soundly and recuperating within the medical bay. Dash, Jarre and I had left them to get some rest, in accordance to the wishes of the two healers who told us it would be best to do so.
We had taken to searching for survivors from the attack, but the Missionary was not in as bad a shape as I had thought it would be. Only a few rooms were irreparable, and most of those were on the lower levels. There was no sign of the Dark Pokemon anywhere. So either they had fled once Virok had died or else were eradicated by the Missionary’s defence forces. Virok’s second in command had informed me that the laboratories below the Missionary had also been destroyed, but would be combed again at a later convenience just to be sure there were no traces left. I had merely nodded, telling him to do whatever he wished. He knew what was best for the city, after all.
There was no sign of Rakai, either. He had fled along with the other surviving traitors. Dash had told me what had taken place between the two of them. He was surprised the Weavile was able to move as soon as he did, seeing the amount of pressure he had applied to render him unconscious. It did not matter much, however. It seemed highly unlikely the Weavile would ever return to the city, or do us harm after the threat Dash had issued.
The Sneasel had now returned to Tali’s bedside and had fallen asleep waiting for her to regain consciousness. His head rested on his claws as he kneeled by the soft, woven fabric, and I fetched a blanket from one of the nearby drawers to drape over him. It warmed me to see how much he cared for Tali, for I had noticed it of course. It seemed our recent endeavours had opened his heart to be bolder for her sake. Despite what little I knew about the Sneasel, I knew this was a good trait. I wanted the best for him. If Tali could take her mind off Rakai long enough to assess what was in front of her, well…who knew? It wasn’t my place to say, though, so I withdrew to my thoughts in silence.
The next two days passed drearily. The others were getting better with ever waking second. The Missionary was now in full force, everyone working together to repair what was damaged. Most of the attack was kept secret from the city for fear of how the denizens would react. From what I knew it was going well. No questions had been asked and things continued as normal. Those who had noticed that Virok was gone merely turned a blind eye. They had known for a while that something was amiss, and though they mourned his loss for Rye’s sake, none seemed too close to the overly-mad Pokemon.
Rye had awoken from his sleep, but was still required to stay in bed for at least another day to rest. I spent my time either attending to the others or by his bed. I hardly offered any words to the Elekid, but I mumbled something every now or then, or when he asked a question. It had been Dash who broke the harsh news of his father’s death, as I hadn’t the heart to tell him myself. When Rye had heard the news he simply shook his head and stated that it was what had to be done. But I felt a genuine stab of pain in my heart, for he had lost another parent. He had no family left, and it was now his claim to the throne of the Missionary – to be ruler of Wingardom City. He instantly refused, however, when the claim was made to him. And nothing anyone said could persuade him otherwise. I had an inkling they intended to try again once he was well, but I doubt Rye would change his mind. He was not one who wished to rule.
[continued in next post]