Ok new chapter...don't worry, there will be more plot and stuff in later chapters. (Though chapter 7 and this one are still kinda important...)
The Path of Destiny
Chapter 8- Blazefang's Plan
(This is really old...feel free to laugh at the stupidity of Snowcrystal and Spark's expressions!)
Stormblade was getting tired of waiting. Snowcrystal and the others had been gone for a while, and he was debating whether he should go after them or stay in the field and wait. Also, he was starting to wonder if he should have gone with the others in the first place and got some food for himself. However, the possibility of getting attacked by hundreds, maybe thousands, of combee just didn’t seem worth it. For now, he would have to be content with simply waiting for them…alone.
Not far from the field where Stormblade was resting, the houndour pack was nearly out of the forest. Blazefang could tell that the trees were beginning to thin out. Knowing that this meant that they’d be leaving the forest completely soon, he urged the rest of the weary pack to greater efforts. After a while, the houndour leader’s assumptions were found to be true, as up ahead, far less trees could be seen, and there were many more clearings and patches of grass. Uncertain of what lie ahead, Blazefang and Wildflame left the pack and crept through the grass to scout the land ahead, soon emerging from the last group of trees and onto the grassy plains.
Blazefang lifted his head above the tall blades of grass and glanced around warily, and sensing no danger, headed back to the pack with Wildflame following behind him. Once they reached the rest of the houndour pack, Blazefang led them toward the grassy plains area, certain that there was no trouble or danger awaiting them.
“We’re getting close to the growlithe an’ her friends …” Blazefang told the others, “But we would travel much faster if we knew where Articuno was and not have to rely on following the white growlithe, wouldn’t we?” He paused, waiting a few moments before carrying on, “And of course there’s always the chance that Articuno will help the growlithe instead.” Blazefang smiled grimly and continued, “This is why I believe we should eliminate her and her companions once and for all, so at least the growlithe clan won’t have a chance at finding Articuno before we do. But first…we need to find out if they actually do know anything about the whereabouts of the legendary bird. Wildflame, that’s where you come in.”
The houndoom glanced at him, surprised, and Blazefang went on, “If they know we’re following them, that’s no problem. Wildflame will tell them anyway. If the growlithe’s seeking help from others, I want Wildflame to join her traveling party.”
“But…” Wildflame began, clearly confused with Blazefang’s absurd plan, “If they know about you…they’ll never-”
“The growlithe would suspect a houndour or houndoom to be an enemy of her clan,” Blazefang explained, “After all, we are her clan’s rivals. To earn her trust, make up a story-say you were part of my group who was sent out to stop her by our own leader but we exiled you after your evolution-she knows there aren’t many houndoom in our clan. Pretend you’ve turned to their side and tell them…tell them about me and my pack and how we’ve been tracking them. It will help you gain their trust when they find out it’s true…and it matters not what the growlithe knows about us anymore. We outnumber her little group by far.”
Wildflame still looked a bit uncertain, but Blazefang carried on, “And when the moment is right, I’ll lead an attack on the growlithe and her friends. You’ll fight on their side to further gain their trust. No, we won’t kill any of them; in fact, we’ll only stay there long enough for you to help the growlithe’s friends drive us off. Now, what I want you to find out is where Articuno is. The growlithe must know…why else would she have set off all alone? And the moment you find out anything, report back to me. After all this is finished and we’ve found out what we want to know, we can get rid of the growlithe and the others for good!”
Wildflame was silent for a moment, and then a cruel smile slowly crept across her face.
Stormblade had decided that he’d waited long enough. Fearing that something could be wrong, the scyther now planned to sneak into the hive himself and find the others. Staying hidden in the tall grass, Stormblade watched more combee fly into the cave. Luckily, the bright green grass camouflaged him enough so that the combee didn’t notice him creeping closer to their hive.
A sudden swishing sound in the grass behind him caused him to turn around, startled. But the pokémon scent that reached him wasn’t combee. Moving silently out of the way of the approaching pokémon, Stormblade saw the black pelt of a houndour through the grass to his left, followed by many more.
Unsure if they were friendly or not, Stormblade decided to stay hidden until they were gone.
“Wait…” Boneclaw grunted from behind Blazefang, causing the pack leader to turn around, “There’s someone close by.”
Blazefang sniffed the air, and replied, “I smell scyther…and growlithe…they passed this way, come on!” Blazefang moved forward, but Boneclaw stayed back.
“No, there’s someone this way…” the houndour told Blazefang. The whole pack crept toward where Stormblade was hiding, and the scyther darted away, the sudden movement of the grass alerting the combee...
…To the houndour pack. Blazefang and the others darted away from the cliffs as a large group of combee chased them away from the hive. Peering from the grass, Stormblade realized that the combee had spotted the houndour pack instead, and moved toward the hive while they were distracted. Quickly flying up and into the cave, he couldn’t help but wonder what that houndour had meant by saying ‘They passed this way…’
Stormblade wasn’t exactly sure why, but he now knew that they were being followed.
Snowcrystal led the way through the gloom of the tunnel, her glowing crystal the only light source aside from the faint shine of the giant crystals from the previous caverns still slightly visible from the back of the tunnel. Spark, seeing another faint glow up ahead, ran forward, accidentally stepping on a few of Rosie’s tails.
“Ow!” cried Rosie, “Watch it!”
“Shhh!” whispered Snowcrystal, “Let’s just find a way to get out of here…” She crept past Spark and headed toward the next cavern up ahead.
Snowcrystal carefully emerged from the tunnel, and then stopped dead in her tracks. Spark, Rosie, and then Thunder appeared behind her and froze as well.
They had emerged into another large cavern, and surrounding them on all sides was what looked like a wall of infuriated combee. The angry pokémon surrounded them completely, blocking off all exits but the tunnel they had just emerged from.
Spark stared at them for a moment, and then quickly swiped his paw across his muzzle, hoping to rid the traces of honey from his face. “Uh…back through the tunnel,” Snowcrystal whispered urgently, ready to dart into the narrow space. Spark and Rosie nodded, but Thunder reacted differently.
To Snowcrystal’s shock, the scyther did not seem to want to follow them away from the combee swarm; she instead headed right toward them. Leaping towards the nearest group of combee, Thunder struck out at them with both scythes, breaking through the combee’s barrier and ending up on the other side of the cavern. Spark was already heading down the tunnel when Snowcrystal cried, “Wait! If we go that way we’ll end up in the bigger cavern…and there’s even more of them in there!” Spark didn’t seem to hear, as he had already vanished. A large group of combee swerved behind them, soon blocking off the tunnel just after Spark disappeared. Snowcrystal nudged Rosie toward the combee blocking off the rest of the cavern, but the vulpix was standing still, absolutely petrified.
“Come on, Rosie, we can’t just stand here!” Snowcrystal whispered. She didn’t know why the combee weren’t attacking yet, but she also knew it could only be a matter of time. She tried to push Rosie in the direction Thunder had gone, and the vulpix started wailing.
“No! I can’t do this…I’m not going near them!” Rosie cried, “They’re bug pokémon and I’m not taking a step closer!”
“Thunder and Stormblade are bug pokémon, Rosie!” Snowcrystal cried, picking the vulpix up by scruff before she could reply or protest.
On the other side of the cavern, a battle had broken out between Thunder and about forty combee who were all using gust to try and stop her. Thunder was slashing at them left and right, not even trying to dodge the attacks. After several combee had sustained serious injuries from the attack, they backed off, giving Thunder a wide berth. This was just what Snowcrystal needed. Gripping Rosie tighter, she bolted over to Thunder, noticing a small tunnel up ahead that the combee, who had been guarding it previously, had abandoned during the fight.
Heading toward it, she raced inside and set Rosie down before calling over to Thunder, “Quick, in here!” Thunder completely ignored the shout, racing toward the combee and chasing them through the air, striking any who came too close. Snowcrystal stood watching for a moment, confused. It was as if some bizarre change had come over Thunder, and all she could think about was fighting the enemies. It took a moment for Snowcrystal to realize that she had
seen Thunder like this before. When Stormblade had surprised her when she was still chained, she had ripped a section out of his wing, and after that, she had tried to attack her and Rosie upon first seeing them.
However, Snowcrystal didn’t have time to dwell on these thoughts for long. There were about sixty combee in the cavern, but Snowcrystal had no way to tell how many total were in the hive. Due to Thunder’s attacks, the combee completely ignored Snowcrystal and Rosie, and if anything, seemed confused and frightened, unsure of what to do. As she watched them, Snowcrystal couldn’t make out any attacks other than gust being used by the combee, and she felt a bit less wary. Unless they were attacked by a very large number, they couldn’t be too dangerous. But sixty was a very large number for one scyther, and Thunder would soon be taken down.
“Thunder! Come over here!” Snowcrystal cried.
Rosie seemed to have recovered a bit from her fright, as she added to Snowcrystal’s shout. “Get in here before they kill you, you idiot!” she screamed, but Thunder appeared to not have noticed either of them.
Snowcrystal crouched further into the safety of the tunnel and sighed. “I don’t want to do this, but…” Her voice trailed off and she launched an ember in Thunder’s direction, striking the scyther’s left wing and causing her to turn around. Somehow, that seemed to snap her out of it. At first she ran towards Snowcrystal with the same angry determination to fight she had shown the combee, but as she neared the tunnel, she seemed to realize that Snowcrystal had fired the attack for a reason and quickly darted inside.
Snowcrystal and Rosie ran, hearing the combee behind them but noticing that, strangely, the bee pokémon did not enter the tunnel. Snowcrystal paused to rest. “I don’t get it…” she whispered, “Those combee hardly looked like they knew what they were doing, and they didn’t even attack us when we were standing by that other tunnel.”
“Don’t you get it?” Rosie muttered from beside Snowcrystal, “They weren’t trying to kill us, they were trying to trap us there. Huh, they’ve probably got us trapped in this tunnel by now for all we know. Obviously they were ordered to do it. They didn’t look like they knew what to do when Thunder went crazy and attacked them. They couldn’t have been expecting that.”
Snowcrystal thought for a moment, and decided it made sense. Now that she thought about it, the combee had seemed like they had been trying to stop them from going anywhere rather than trying to eliminate them, but why? They had seemed so angry…she’d been sure they were going to attack them…or had they been waiting for something?
Snowcrystal noticed that Thunder was breathing heavily and leaning weakly against the wall, as if taking all those attacks had finally started to affect her. She wouldn’t be able to fight her way out if another large group tried to stop them. What Rosie had said about the combee trapping them in the tunnel suddenly dawned on her fully. “We have to get out…” she whispered, “Now!”
Spark had bolted back through the tunnel and through the cavern with the forgotten honey. He now raced along the rock ledge of the massive honey-filled cavern toward the tunnel they had come into the hive from. Combee soon noticed the fleeing jolteon and flew toward him. In a panic, Spark let loose several bolts of electricity, not bothering to look back and see if he’d struck the combee as he made his way toward the exit. Quickly finding the tunnel he was searching for, Spark leaped into it and ran.
The jolteon could hear what sounded like more combee swarming into the hive, and to his shock, the cavern up ahead, which had been unoccupied before, was full of combee flying towards the main cavern. Swiftly Spark darted into another side tunnel, trying to think of something. The combee were sure to have blocked off all the exits; he couldn’t decide what to do now. His only option, he decided, was to find another way to the cave’s exit, and make a run for it, or if he had to…fight his way out.
Blazefang paused once his pack was far enough away from the combee. “Well that was annoying,” he grunted, “There’s a stream over there. Let’s rest here, see what prey or other food we can find, then we’ll keep going.” As the pack spread out, Blazefang leaned back against a small tree, pawing his stone amulet.
He still was not completely sure what Shadowflare was, only that it was some odd sort of power or attack the stone had given him. Since the incident in the forest, nothing strange had happened, and the stone no longer seemed like anything out of the ordinary.
Blazefang was aware that the white growlithe was somewhere close, and he didn’t want to lead his pack any further until he was sure that Wildflame had done what he’d told her to do. Just minutes ago, the houndoom had set off to catch up with Snowcrystal’s group, wherever they might be.
Stormblade was unaware of the danger his companions were in. He had at first considered himself lucky for being able to sneak into the cave and then into one of the passages without being noticed. However, as he wandered through long, maze-like tunnels, he quickly realized that he had no idea where he was going.
The winding passages he was forced to travel through were dark and confusing. He had wandered through them for what seemed like quite a long time with no sign of the combee’s hive or of his friends.
Stormblade paused to rest, tired out, as he tried to think of what to do next. It suddenly occurred to him that his friends had probably left, and just hadn’t met up with him yet. After all, there didn’t seem to be many combee around these passages, and they had probably gone in and out of the hive relatively easily while most of the workers were away. Surprised, and slightly confused, Stormblade started to head back, glad that he’d had the sense to make small marks in the cave walls with his scythes as he’d explored. Now, he could easily follow the marks back to where he’d come.
After a bit of confusion and a short while of stumbling through the darkness, the scyther reached the large cavern he had entered before going into the tunnels. He peered out, and realized with a tremendous shock that the cavern was now filled with combee, blocking the entrance to the tunnel he had used to get into the caves. Ducking back into the passage before he could be noticed, Stormblade wondered if there was another way out. If there was, he realized, the combee would know about it and have it blocked as well.
He was trapped.
(Continued in next post...)