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Creative Writing Share your fan fiction, stories, poems, essays, editorials, song lyrics, or any other related written work. All written must be your creation. Start a new thread, and keep replying to that thread as you add on more chapters. Anyone can join in at anytime.


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  #1  
Old 05-07-2004, 09:06 PM
Pancake Offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 32
Red face Following Disaster

:0!! Anyone remember me.. ? XDDD guess not ^^;;;.. well, this is a story I was writing here.. over a year ago, i think!!! 0_0 It's finished, but the other chapters are at my dad's computer.. which is in another state XD;; So I gotta just be content with posting this for now. ^_^ When I go to his house next, I could post the rest if anyone actually wants to read it. XD Anyway, I hope you like, and of course I'd loooove feedback ^_~

Following Disaster
Prologue

Thick clouds of creamy silver-gray hung in a deep purple midnight sky. The mountain tops, cloud formations, and glittering sea below were iced with generous pools of moonlight, glowing dreamily in the silent atmosphere. A whisper of wind through sturdy wings was all that disturbed it as a Skarmory soared through, tearing through the wispy clouds and streaking their cottony masses across the sky. The base of its metallic wings was smooth and strong, pumping with the energy that kept them aloft. A firm grip on the bird Pokémon's long, slender neck was kept by a boy in his young teens, brown hair whipped back from his forehead by the force of the wind. A belt of six Pokéballs was slung loosely about his waist, and he was obviously a trainer. Riding on the Skarmory's back, the two creatures' sihlouettes were one as the bird gave a burst of speed and sailed off through the darkness.

One silhouette floated alone in the clouds. One silhouette plummeted from the sky. The silence was broken, a loud splash and a strangled cry. Then, once again, the lull was complete.

Naia's dark eyes opened wide. She lay quiet, tranquil, though part of her wanted to jump up immediately. She blinked and searched her memory for the details of the dream, bits of which were already beginning to seep away. She knew that most dreams were hazy and dark and made no sense, but Naia sensed that this one was shockingly clear. She could even see the boy's face in her mind's eye, each feature sharp and perfect like a photograph. And this was what worried her the most, because she knew the face. She pulled it out of her most cherished memories, could see the little boy he was four years ago, when she had last known him. It was him, Naia was sure of it; the long brown bangs that constantly fell into his excited eyes, the small nose with its little trail of freckles, the grin which seemed always full of interest. But most of all, Naia remembered the look in his eyes, that determined and faraway gaze.

That spark had been in his expression for as long as Naia had known him. He had been a decent Pokémon trainer who always fought to win (but really only won about half the time). He hadn't lived in Fortree all his life, as Naia had, but he hovered around the area often. The initial reason was because he was determined to catch an Absol, the distaster Pokémon: it was his favorite, and they lived only in the marshes at the outskirts of Fortree. This was how the two had met. Once he had caught his prized Absol, he kept coming back. He and Naia had become friends.

The boy was restless. He heard many legends of one-of-a-kind Pokémon that lived in the deep and dark, or the endless skies, or the tops of impossibly high towers. Eventually, his team was trained to incredible extremes and he was eager to leave his local roaming area and set out for these rare Pokémon. The last of him that Naia saw was on a breezy spring day, mounting his Skarmory and soaring away. First, however, he put a Poké Ball into her hand and told her to keep the Pokémon to remember him by, in case he didn't come back for a while. Naia watched him go, clutching the Poké Ball tight and attempting to comfort herself. Then, she threw the Ball and waited for the blinding flash of neon light to shape itself into a Pokémon.

It was Chaos, his Absol. The Pokémon that had brought him to Fortree. His most prized and strong. Naia almost gasped. She felt that she should go after him and return Chaos, knew that she couldn't let him give away this Pokémon, but that was impossible. She watched the sky, which by now was devoid of the Skarmory, and tried to untangle her thoughts. The boy had given away a piece of his soul in handing her that Poké Ball.

Naia remembered it all as clearly as if the four years had been four days. Naturally, she had thought of the boy often over the time, but she knew this dream told her that thinking wasn't enough. It was high time to go after him and seek him out. If he had fallen into trouble, she would do her best to help. But in the back of her mind, what Naia feared even more was the concept that he had forgotten her and continued his journey elsewhere. She stared pensively at Chaos's empty Poké Ball, which rested on her bedside.

'I'm going to find Spect,' She told herself firmly. It was the first time she could remember speaking his name aloud in over a year.

Outside, Chaos the disaster Pokémon let out a long and lonely howl.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2004, 09:07 PM
Pancake Offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 32
Default Re: Following Disaster

Following Disaster
Chapter I

Naia winced as a vividly green leaf flicked in her direction a tiny shower of dewdops. Fighting through the tall, grassy marshes around Fortree was not an easy feat and she was making slow progress. It didn't help that she could hardly see through the thick forest of grass that surrounded her and her Pokémon in all directions, and she kept a firm grip on Chaos's fluffy mane. Chaos was accustomed to the area and he navigated quite precisely.

Naia was on her way to seeking out Spect. That morning she had awoken with brilliant sunlight shining on her face but with the midnight decision weighing on her brain and her heart. She knew that no amount of arguing with herself over the possible consequences could change her mind. She proposed her idea to Chaos, who was eager to go, and the two of them prepared for an excursion.

Now, Naia and the Absol emerged from the patch of foliage they'd struggled through to come blinking into the sudden warmth and brightness of the clear grass. Naia sighed, exhausted.

'I can't believe we're only a little way from Fortree. This is taking forever..'

'Absol Ab..' Chaos replied darkly.

'Hmm..' Naia dug into her pocket and extracted a battered paper folded over itself until it was a tiny square. With some difficulty, she picked the layers of paper apart and unfolded it into a large map. With her finger she traced over the routes they'd covered. 'There's only a little way to go until we get to Lilycove. Once we're there we can rest, I think they give lodging to trainers at the Pokémon Centers..'

'Sol!' Chaos muttered. He seemed reasonably cheered up by this news and trotted ahead at a brisk pace. The path was nearly devoid of trainers at this point and Naia was able to take an enjoyable stroll through the alternating sunlight and shadows. Absol stalked through the grass, frightening the occasional small Pokémon that skittered through the grass. It wasn't long before the familiar tall silhouettes of city buildings stretched across the horizon, which was beginning to turn dusky. Naia and Chaos broke into a sprint as they spotted the streets of Lilycove ahead, paved with their shiny, flat stones. As Naia's sneakers finally left the spongey grass of the field path and slapped down onto stone with a satisfying smack, the two stopped and panted, Naia grinning as she spotted the Pokémon Center looming ahead.

'Here we are. Let's have somethin' to eat and then we can rest..' Naia was surprised at how tired she was. She wasn't accustomed to using her muscles and even the relatively short distance they had covered had her aching. She wasn't even interested in exploring Lilycove, which was a city of many attractions. The beach and docks, ferries, huge department store, and large contest center could wait until tomorrow. She entered the Pokémon Center and took a tentative step inside. Chaos followed silently, scarlet eyes roving over the other trainers and Pokémon and his cruel claws clicking softly on the floor.

Naia approached the desk and was directed to a section of the Center which was furnished with comfortable couches. She stretched happily and settled down to eat some of the food she'd packed, which Chaos shared.

It seemed odd to Naia that she had nearly forgotten about her purpose for embarking on the journey when she'd been thinking about the short-term goal of reaching Lilycove. Now that she had reached that goal and was free to think, she was apphrehensive.

'Chaos?'

'Sol?'

'Do you think we'll find him?'

Silence.

'How will we ever know where to look?'

Still no reply.

'Do you think.. maybe.. maybe we should just go home?'

'Absol!' Chaos stood up so suddenly that Naia fliched. His voice was firm but not forceful, and Naia knew that finding Spect was something that Chaos sorely yearned to accomplish. Still, now that Naia really thought about her eventual goal, it seemed almost impossible. She sighed and turned over, burying her head into the couch's pillow and easing herself into sleep.

Naia stirred, blinked, and finally broke her state of unconsciousness. Moonlight flooded the room and splashed on the walls, changing the highlights in Chaos's fur as his sides moved up and down in regular breathing. Naia yawned and prepared to curl up again and go back to sleep when movement in the window caught her eye. She sat up and squinted through the glass. Despite the time of night, there was someone outside--a girl who seemed just a bit older than Naia. She was sitting unmovingly, attention locked on something in the sky. Her long strands of hair were what Naia had noticed; they flowed and rippled freely on the breaths of wind that wheeled through Lilycove from the sea. Naia tried to spot whatever it was that the girl was so interested in, but she could see nothing but low, wooly clouds and the unblinking eye that was the moon.

Finally, fatigue overcame curiosity and Naia lay back again to dream until morning.
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2004, 09:07 PM
Pancake Offline
New Trainer
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 32
Default Re: Following Disaster

Following Disaster
Chapter II

Naia's eyes sprang open for the second time that night. Head cocked, crimson stare fixed on her, her Pokémon waited in silence. Chaos was already envigorated and fully awake, and he gave an impatient flick of his scythe-like tail as he waited for Naia. She blinked, still clearing her head from that morning stupefication, and stretched. Her muscles were sore from the walking she'd done yesterday and she scowled as she felt the painful tug of stiffness. Chaos didn't seem to share the problem; he seemed and acted perfectly in shape.

Naia hurtled excitedly from the automatic door of the Pokémon Center, offering herself to the morning sunbeams. It was the first time she'd seen Lilycove in the light of the newly risen sun, and it really was a dazzlingly beautiful place. Her lively eyes darted from the store to the beach to the contest center. She caught herself suddenly and wondered if she should be focusing more on her goal. A part of her mind dragged her toward the promising attractions of Lilycove, but another pulled at the problem of locating Spect. Naia argued with herself--just because she was here to find Spect, it didn't mean she couldn't have fun along the way. You've had enough fun, it's time to get to work, snapped back the other half of her mentality.

Naia compromised with herself. She contended herself with a stroll along the lovely beaches, freeing herself of sneakers' imprisonment and digging her bare toes into the warm sand. With the ocean spray sprinkling her with its refreshing coolness and the constant gentle wind that wafted from the water, it was enjoyable weather.

'Hey..' Naia stopped short as she saw what lay ahead in the next stretch of shoreline.

'Absol?' inquired Chaos, leaving his large pawprints before Naia as he stepped in front of her, raising his delicate nose to the scents of the atmosphere. Naia studied the person who stood just a short distance from her, and swiftly covered the remaining ground between the two of them.

It was the girl Naia had spotted the night before, the one who'd been out so late and who'd so attentively searched the skies. The girl had a strange appearance: fair skin, contrasting oddly with the dark green shirt and black pants she had on, but blending nicely with the dirty blonde of her hair. The girl's hair was quite long in the front; it came nearly to her waist and was carelessy harnessed in some worn elastic bands. In the back, however, the hair was cut quite short, not even reaching her shoulders. She stood with her face to the ocean, her reflection broken by its constant ripples.

Naia joined the reflection to make a wavy portrait of two in the changing sea waters. She looked back at her own features. The short chestnut hair that framed a friendly face, the tanned skin and freckled cheeks, the pools of deep brown that were her eyes. Finally, the other girl looked up, noticing the intrusion on her reflection.

'Hi.' Gray-blue eyes blinked and searched Naia as the greeting was issued.

'Hey.. um..' Naia paused, wondering if it would be impolite to pose the question of what the girl had been doing the night before. Perhaps the girl would be angry at Naia for noticing. Maybe she was out so late because she didn't want other people near. Naia decided on a different question. 'What's your name?'

'I'm Kyuudou,' The girl replied. 'What about you?'

'My name's Naia,' Naia informed her. She reached out a hand to touch the Absol, who was eyeing Kyuudou suspiciously. Kyuudou noticed, her eyes following from Naia's face to her arm to her hand to the odd, helmet-like head of Chaos.

'You have an Absol.. I've only seen a few.' A hint of a smile flitted across Kyuudou's face. Her eyes moved over Chaos's powerful stance and the strong muscles that were noticeable beneath his glossy fur. 'He looks healthy. And strong. Did you train him yourself?'

Naia hesitated. 'Well, no. That's kinda why I'm here. Looking for his trainer.'

'What happened to him?'

'We don't know. He left four years ago and I haven't seen him since. He was after these Pokémon legends that he was always hearing about.'

To Naia's surprise, Kyuudou's face brightened and lit up into a grin. 'Really? That's what I'm doing too.. I've heard so many stories about a chamber under the sea.. and what you could have if you can break the seal.. Oh, and that reminds me.' Kyuudou turned her head toward the water, long silky strands of hair whipping around as well. 'Relicanth! That's enough practice.. resurface.'

Naia blinked in confusion as nothing seemed to be happening in the sea. However, Kyuudou was smiling, and a moment later the strangest undersea creature Naia had ever seen raised its head from the water. It was fishlike, but it looked more like a piece of the ocean floor than something that would live there. Its scales weren't shiny and smooth, but jagged and rough like rock fragments. As it opened its mouth to receive the Pokéblock that Kyuudou was retrieving from her bag, an ancient sound rumbled from its throat, a cry unlike Naia had ever heard.

'Is that your.. Pokémon?'

'One of 'em, yeah. This is Relicanth and he's gonna get me into that undersea place.'

Naia blinked and wondered what Kyuudou meant by that. Would he break down the walls to the chamber? Would he force open an underwater door? He didn't look especially strong to Naia. 'How?'

Kyuudou flipped a tail of hair behind her shoulder. 'According the the information I've gathered, a trainer must enter the chamber with a Relicanth and a Wailord in order to unlock the hidden doors to three ancient Pokémon.' Kyuudou's head was down, watching her Relicanth, and Naia couldn't see her expression as she spoke.

'What ancient Pokémon?' Could they be the ones that Spect had sought?

'I don't know exactly. No one really does. I don't think anyone alive has ever seen them. And no one yet, I think, has figured out the way to unlock them.' She raised her head to the sky and grinned. 'Except me..'

'So why haven't you gone yet?'

Kyuudou's expression quickly melted into a frown. 'My Wailmer hasn't evolved yet. And I need for him to become a Wailord before I can go. He's almost there, though. I'll only have to stay here awhile longer..' She seemed to be talking to herself more than Naia now.

Naia shifted her weight to the other leg and searched her mind for something to say. It was an awkward moment. However, picking up the conversation again was needless; Kyuudou broke the silence with a new comment. Her bright eyes searched the clouds still as she spoke.

'I don't think there are just ancient Pokémon under the water or in ancient prisons or anything like that. Sometimes.. when I look at the sky, I see something really immense. It's hard to make out.. and it's usually only at night or early morning, when no one else is around.'

'Is that what you were doing last night?' Naia blurted out.

'Yes.' Kyuudou smiled, and to Naia's surprise, didn't question how she knew that. Kyuudou lapsed into silence for a little bit, running her hand absently over the rough skin of Relicanth and watching the clouds drift across the mountains.

Mountains.

Suddenly, Naia's body gave a jerk as the setting of her dream flooded back, crystal clear, into her memory. It was here and she was sure of it. The distant islands peeking through the waves, the imperious mountains that jutted grandly from the horizon. Surprising though it was that the journey had been so short, this was where she had to start her search for Spect. Chaos took a sharp intake of breath and Naia knew he too sensed something here.

But where to go? And how to start?

The three figures stood in silence on the shoreline. Three pairs of eyes watched the shifting skies and three pairs of lungs drank in the cool air. Three minds wondered and feared, but three figures were motionless still.
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2004, 09:08 PM
Pancake Offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 32
Default Re: Following Disaster

Following Disaster
Chapter III

'Hey Kyuudou?'

'Mm?' Kyuudou snapped out of her reverie as her name was spoken.

'I have a favor to ask.' Naia blinked as she tore her eyes from the landscape and faced Kyuudou for the first time in quite a few moments. 'I just realized that what I'm looking for--I mean, my Absol's trainer, like I told you--is somewhere around here. But.. Chaos is my only Pokémon and I have to get across the water. Do you know how..'

'A flying Pokémon would be best,' Kyuudou interrupted as Naia trailed off. 'It's faster and besides, surfing gets your feet wet.' She smiled. 'And I can provide a Pokémon who'll get you there, if you want..' She snatched a Poké Ball from her belt.

'Really? Thank you so much!' Naia's grin wasn't repressible, and she eyed the Ball that Kyuudou had selected eagerly.

'She's a Flygon and she answers to Cloudburst.. she'll obey you fine, I think.' Kyuudou tossed the Ball to Naia and tapped thoughtfully on a different Poké Ball that adorned her waist. 'Hey.. before you go..'

Naia stopped in the action of tossing the Flygon's Poké Ball. 'Yeah?'

'I have a favor to ask of you, now.'

'Sure, anything!' Naia was enthusiastic, glad to repay Kyuudou's generous service.

'Remember how I told you that my Wailmer's got to evolve before I try to enter the chamber? Well.. I think a good battle will toughen him up a little more. Your Absol's pretty strong, and it would be terrible if I let such a good Pokémon go to waste!' Her friendly smile countered the aggressive words, and Naia smiled tentatively back. Should she? She had never once used her Absol in battle before.

'Umm.. I don't know.. I've never battled with Chaos before.'

'There's a first time for everything.' Kyuudou's eyes were shining, and it gave Naia a sudden jolt as she recognized the spark in them. It was the same expression that Spect had worn all through his life. I guess both of them are pretty serious about Pokémon, she thought to herself. And where would Chaos be if his trainer hadn't been? Kyuudou was right, the Absol was strong. And it really would be a waste if he never had the opportunity to use that strength. Naia glanced at Chaos.

'Do you want to?'

'Absol Sol!' Chaos leaped up with a fanged grin in place, excitedly pacing across the sand.

'I guess we'll accept your challenge, then.' Naia confirmed confidently.

'Alright. Let's go, Wailmer!' Kyuudou flung the Poké Ball to the sandy terrain with an expert twist of her wrist, and caught it casually as it rebounded. The flash that erupted from the depths of the ball formed a large, spherical shape that towered over Kyuudou. As the bright neon light faded and Naia was able to make out its specific features, she could see that it definitely resembled a whale. It had a mouthful of baleen and streamlined fins to propel it through the water. Its body, though, was anything but streamlined. It was as round as a beach ball and many times larger. Naia guessed that helped the creature to float in the sea.

'Okay, Chaos.. umm.. use your Swords Dance!' Naia shouted to her Pokémon, intiating the battle. The Absol obeyed immediately, springing into the elaborate steps that would raise its attack power to an extreme point.

'Wailmer, Water Pulse attack!' The immense whale Pokémon sent out an ultrasonic water wave that bubbled and splashed over the Absol's head. He spluttered and shook his sodden fur, glaring sullenly through ruby-red eyes. Chaos panted, momentarily weakened.

'Chaos, use Snatch!' Naia ordered quickly. Absol nodded and did nothing, waiting quietly for the Wailmer to make his move.

'Hmmm.. Surf, Wailmer.' Kyuudou was thoughful. Wailmer carried out the command, rising on a swell of water that crashed forcefully over Chaos's head. He let out a cry of pain, and immediately attacked back with Snatch. The move had allowed him to use Surf against Wailmer. Most of the water attack was absorbed by Wailmer, it being a water Pokémon, but Swords Dance had given it enough edge to do some damage. It was Wailmer's turn to be tired out.

'Careful, Wailmer,' Kyuudou warned. 'Restore your health. Rest.' Wailmer closed its eyes gratefully and settled into a light sleep. Naia could see the battered skin heal before her eyes and watched in amazement as Wailmer fully heale itself.

'No more playing around. Shadow Ball attack!' Naia cried. Chaos shut his eyes and focused, building a dark mound of energy that he hurled at the Wailmer's sleeping form. It slept on, and Naia called for another Shadow Ball. Chaos obeyed and Wailmer awoke. Chaos managed to hurl a third Shadow Ball at Wailmer before he could counter-attack. Kyuudou opened her mouth then, but Naia was quick to guess what the order would be and spoke first. 'Taunt, Chaos!'

Sneering, Chaos used the attack and Wailmer was rendered unable to use any defensive or healing moves-- it couldn't use Rest anymore.

'You learn fast,' Kyuudou commended softly. 'I'm very impressed. However, you've forgotten about the state of your own health.' She turned to her Pokémon. 'Wailmer, one last Surf.'

The huge whale Pokémon crashed another torrent of water onto Chaos, and finally the Absol collapsed on the beach. Naia kneeled down worriedly. 'Chaos, are you okay?'

'Absol.' Chaos nodded, wincing. He was down and Kyuudou had won. He glowered sulkily at his opponent as his trainer stroked his fur.

'Hmm..' Kyuudou was watching her Wailmer. 'Nope. He's not ready to evolve yet. Darn. I'll have to find some more good trainers to battle him against.' She grinned in Naia's direction. 'That was great, especially for your first battle. Keep at it.'

Naia shook her head. 'Nah. I'm not cut out to be a Pokémon trainer like you are. You and Wailmer are amazing. Good luck wherever you're going..'

'Good luck to you too, Naia. I hope you find what you're after. You'd better heal your Absol in the Pokémon Center before you go, and I'll see you off after you do.'

'You're right. Come on, Chaos.' Naia pulled on her sneakers again and helped her Pokémon to the Center, where his wounds were properly healed. Naia peered at the sky as she made her way back to the beach. The weather was lovely, and she imagined the thrill of ripping through those puffy clouds on a strong Flygon. It was still sunny afternoon and night wouldn't fall for quite awhile. She didn't know where she would go, but at least the conditions would be good.

'You've got my Flygon?' Kyuudou asked as Naia approached. Naia held up the Poké Ball to confirm the question. 'Good,' Kyuudou said. 'Return her to me next time we meet. And I know we will.' She gave Naia one of her strange half-smiles. 'See you.'

Naia tossed the Poké Ball, releasing Cloudburst the Flygon. She swung herself onto the Pokémon's back with little difficulty and returned Chaos to his own Poké Ball. 'See you, Kyuudou. And thank you so much.' With that, she nodded to Cloudburst and was suddenly airborne. Suppressing the thrill of flight long enough to wave to Kyuudou, she rose farther from the ground and further from Lilycove-- out to the endless sea.
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2004, 09:09 PM
Pancake Offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 32
Default Re: Following Disaster

Following Disaster
Chapter IV


Naia tightened the belt meant for holding Poké Balls tighter around her waist. She hadn't needed to use it until now, and it seemed silly to do so when there was only one Poké Ball to store there. But as Cloudburst took off and gathered speed, it seemed less likely that Chaos's Poké Ball would be safe anywhere else. She checked to make sure it was fastened as tightly as possible before clinging with both hands to the Flygon's neck and trying to enjoy the ride.

It was wonderful to soar through the sky and scatter the clouds and attract attention from the occasional swimmer down below. But at this high an altitude and with the wind from the Flygon's speed rushing past her skin, she was starting to feel chills.

Naia didn't have much of an idea where she was headed, nor did she have any clue of Spect's whereabouts. She had a vague idea of reaching the distant islands or mountains, but she didn't see how that would help. The little islands that they had already flown over looked tiny and deserted, and she didn't expect any of the ones she spotted in the distance to be inhabited.

She thought of her dream. Spect had been somehow toppled from the back of his Skarmory and fallen into the ocean. Maybe he had simply drowned. Or maybe whatever had befallen him was in store for Naia too..

Naia scolded herself. It was just a dream, there wasn't anything real behind it. She couldn't depend on it to show her the way to anything. But, she reminded herself, you did start on this path because you recognized it from your dream..

It is my only guide, she thought sullenly. Didn't seem like asking around Lilycove would help. And if it would have.. it's too late now. If the dream I had really was clairvoyant, even in a metaphoric sort of way, it means Spect's in trouble and I was given that warning for a reason.

Naia looked at the sky. The sun was still bright and high, and it beat down on her mercilessly. She was beginning to feel tired and she noticed Cloudburst's wings had slowed their energetic pace. A tiny island was coming up in the next stretch of sea, and Naia pointed it out to her mount. The Flygon nodded in assent and dove swiftly, wings pinned torpedo-like to her sides. As they neared the inviting sands, the wings popped out again and let themselves catch the friction of the wind they had stirred.

Naia hopped off and headed for the shade of a few lone trees. They seemed strange and out of place, growing from sand, but they offered cool shadow nonetheless. Naia let herself rest under one of them, and Cloudburst lay beneath another. She was surprised at how comfortable it felt--probably because it was such a relief to get out of the sun. Slowly she could feel herself losing consciousness and warned herself that she couldn't take a nap--it would be dark when she awoke and that could be dangerous.. Her eyes ignored her brain and closed in relaxation.

Naia jerked awake to an expanse of deep, velvety blue seen through the shifting silhouettes of the leaves above her head. The regular, gentle roar and lap of the waves against the shore were the only sound. Naia sat up quickly and hated herself. How could she let herself and the Pokémon both fall asleep? She scanned the darkness for the glimmer of reflective, ruby-red eyes. There was nothing to be seen but the black, blue, and gray of darkness. There was no moon and she was blind in the night, fumbling around for the Flygon.

'Ack!'

'Flyy?'

'Oof.. sorry about bumping into you, Cloudburst.. I can't see too well.'

'Flygon,' reassured Cloudburst.

'I'm sorry I let us fall asleep. It was dumb of me.. we really have to get going. I'm sorry.. unless you can't see in the dark either?'

'Flygon gon.' The answer informed Naia that Cloudburst could, in fact, navigate in the night.

'Good.. then let's go.'

Cloudburst stood and stretched, shook herself, and was prepared to go. She was an amiable, easygoing Pokémon and Naia knew Cloudburst wouldn't hold this interruption of her naptime against her. She touched the Flygon's back and made sure she had the right idea of the Pokémon's position before swinging herself onto her back.

Why was she going now? There was no rush to get where she was going, Naia thought as they lifted off. But even as she told herself that, there was an urgency that pounded at her heart and made her stomach turn. The question that never ceased, that What If? What if I'm not on the right track? What if I am, and I quit because I think I'm not? What if he's dead? What if I can save him, but what if I'm too late?

Not even bothering to control and quell these discouraging thoughts, Naia dwelled on them as they sliced silently through the night air. It was refreshing and cool after a day of hot sun and sand, and Naia was beginning to enjoy it, regardless of the fact that she couldn't see a foot in front of her due to the darkness.

WHAM!

Suddenly, impact, pain, a flurry of wings and confusion. Something had smacked into Naia's side and she could feel it there, the pain, burning, as she was frozen in the air for what seemed like an eternity. Separated from the Flygon. Then, suddenly, sickening descent. Gathering speed from the altitude, air rushing past her at such a frightening rate that she couldn't muster up a gasp or scream. Toward the unknown and murky water below. A pair of scarlet eyes flashed above. Cloudburst! Help! A rustle of wings, but too late--Smack, she hit the water with agonizing pain, forcing her limbs to relax, covered all over in tingling pain. She couldn't move. She was slowly moving down.. waves lapped over.. water filled in.

Darkness.
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