New chapter! This one is a lot shorter than my usual chapters, and not quite as detailed. I meant for this one to seem kind of quick, especially the end, but I'm not sure how it sounds. Hopefully it'll still give you something to think about, and hopefully I can start chapter seven soon, since I've been wanting to write that one since I started this thing! xD
Chapter 6-The First Rescue Mission
The flickering light from Ashka’s flamethrower sent odd shadows flittering across the walls of the cave. Water dripped slowly down the walls and from the pointed stalactites, the tiny drops sounding eerily loud in the dark silence. Kinje glanced around in awe and confusion, marveling at the several strange and captivating rock formations that decorated the walls and hung down from the ceiling overhead.
“Wow, this is amazing!” the scyther whispered, running ahead of the other two. “It’s like…it’s like we’re on an adventure! I mean, we really are on an adventure, but…but I never thought our first mission would be somewhere so…mysterious!”
“Quiet, Kinje,” Ashka warned, his fire flickering lower as he spoke. “This place could be dangerous. Let me go on ahead first, I have the light.”
Kinje nodded and stepped back, letting Ashka walk on ahead. He followed the houndoom with Cera beside him.
“If you smell any pikachu scent,” Cera whispered to him, “tell us. Any sign that the pikachu’s brother was in this cave could help us.”
“All right!” Kinje replied, his voice lowered to a whisper. However, he realized that it would be hard to find any one scent in this cave. Everything smelled strange and confusing. It was overwhelming and made his head spin. Kinje looked up ahead at Ashka, but the houndoom probably wouldn’t be able to focus on scent while keeping that flame up. Hopefully, if he couldn’t find a trace of the pikachu, Cera could.
As he walked, Kinje couldn’t help being distracted again by the scenery around him. He had never been in a cave like this before, but he had heard stories of massive caves with beautiful rock formations that were full of rare gems. He figured that this must be one of them, or at least something like what he had heard about, but without any rare gems. As he was thinking about that, he suddenly felt his foot plunge into icy water. He pulled it out quickly, shuddering. He had stepped in a pool of water near the wall.
“Careful, Kinje,” Cera warned him as she moved gracefully to his side. “You may have just stepped in water that time, but there could be places you could fall through. Just stay alert.”
“Do you think it’s dangerous in here?” Kinje asked suddenly, glancing at the arbok.
“The pokémon in here usually aren’t very strong,” Cera answered. “I think the cave itself is more of a danger, but not if we’re careful.”
Kinje tried to hide the obvious fear in his voice as he replied to his friend. “You mean…like deep pitfalls and cave-ins and stuff? Well, I don’t think that will happen because pokémon live here so it must be safe. And if the pokémon attack us we can fight them, right? Scyther are supposed to be natural fighters-I mean, that’s what my dad said. Scyther are warriors. We can survive anything!” He laughed nervously.
“Kinje,” Ashka muttered from up ahead, still managing to keep the flame lit, “no one can survive forever.”
“I didn’t mean forever
,” Kinje called back to him. “I just meant until we die!”
“That makes perfect sense,” Ashka muttered, but Kinje didn’t catch the sarcasm.
“Hey, Cera,” Kinje began, turning to the arbok. “Do you think we’ll get one of those badges that Team Skystorm has if we rescue that pikachu? I bet my dad would expect me to get one. You see, he was a really good exploration team member. A while ago, he went off to help out another guild far away and I don’t know when he’ll get back, so I guess I have a lot of time. Hey, do you see that cave spike? It’s shaped really weird…I think it’s pretty cool!”
“It’s called a stalactite, Kinje,” Cera whispered, only half-listening to Kinje’s nervous ramblings.
“Oh,” Kinje replied. He paused for a moment. Then, “are you sure we’re going the right way?”
“We don’t have a scent yet,” Cera sighed, trying to stay patient. “Or any other trace. As far as we know, any way could be the right way. Are you checking for any scent of the pikachu?”
Kinje nodded vigorously, though he hadn’t been checking. He immediately focused on trying to do so, embarrassed over having forgotten for a little while.
The cave tunnels twisted and turned, but Kinje couldn’t see any other pokémon. Occasionally, he would hear the sound of something scuttling through the darkness in some other nearby tunnel, but none of the pokémon making those sounds crossed their path or openly challenged them, to his surprise. Still, he kept his eyes fixed on the dark tunnels around them, watching for any sign of impending danger. Nothing came, and he tried to focus more on finding a trace of the pikachu’s scent, although he still kept looking around nervously.
After a while he tore his gaze away from the shadows and looked up at Ashka. The light from the houndoom’s fire seemed glaringly bright-making it difficult for him to see anything ahead.
“Hey! Ashka, can you make your flame smaller? It’s getting really bright in here!” he called, squinting against the light.
Cera paused, and Ashka already had. The houndoom’s flame was no bigger or brighter than it had been-the light was coming from somewhere further down the tunnel. Kinje jumped back behind Cera as the light made its way toward them, glowing brighter the closer it came.
An electric type, sparks flying from its fur and lighting up the area around it with a blinding brightness, dashed toward them through the tunnel. But it wasn’t a pikachu. It was an electrike, a small canine covered in course green and yellow fur, and it didn’t look pleased with the intruders. Kinje was painfully aware that electricity would hurt him more than the others, and he tried to back against the wall out of its sight.
“Out of our way!” Ashka growled, a red glow building in his throat. “We won’t fight if we don’t have to, but…”
The electrike didn’t even bother to reply. As it rushed past, Ashka was hit with a bolt of electricity, making the houndoom screech in pain. Kinje froze, realizing that he was being of no help to his friends by cowering against the wall of the cave. He quickly ran up to Ashka, who was luckily only stunned by the attack, and was quickly getting over that too.
The houndoom opened his mouth, launching a fireball at the quick-moving electric type. The electrike dodged, turning around to face Ashka as Kinje appeared beside him.
A bolt of electricity flew right past Kinje’s head as he reached Ashka’s side and struck the wall behind him. “Leave him alone!” the scyther shouted, darting toward the electric type despite Cera’s cries of “Kinje! Wait!”
The electrike may have had the type advantage, but Kinje had the advantage of speed. Reaching the small green canine in a fraction of a second, Kinje brought one of his blades down on its side. Tufts of green fur fell to the ground as the electrike darted a few feet away with a cry of pain.
“Kinje, look out!” Cera cried, and just in time, Kinje saw another electric attack making its way toward them and managed to dodge just before it struck. “Kinje,” Cera told him as Ashka moved in front of them and fired another attack at the green pokémon. “That’s an electric type. Let us handle it.”
“But I want to help!” Kinje protested.
“You’ll get to,” Cera replied. “But it isn’t wise to let you fight an-”
The arbok wasn’t able to finish her statement. For at that moment, all four pokémon froze as a loud screech sounded from somewhere deeper in the cave, a strange, desperate, painful, unearthly sounding cry that sent shivers through every one of them. The electrike gave the tunnel ahead a frightened glance before darting away into another tunnel and out of sight.
“What was that?” Kinje asked as the sound finally faded. He didn’t even bother to hide the fear in his voice.
“It didn’t sound like something angry or vicious,” Ashka whispered back. “It sounded like someone in trouble. Let’s go!”
The three pokémon rushed through the cave tunnel, passing unusual formations that loomed eerily at them in the dark, sometimes appearing suddenly through the gloom and throwing them off guard. Kinje was half-expecting that whatever pokémon had made that other one scream would jump out at him from anywhere.
After what seemed like ages of running through black, twisted tunnels, the three suddenly burst into a large, circular, domed cavern. Massive stalactites hung down from the ceiling and there were several wide stone columns at odd areas of the room. A few lumpy looking stalagmites pointed upward from the floor, and in the center of the cavern, a shallow pool of water lay. Right next to this pool, was the limp shape of a pikachu.
Kinje stepped closer, close enough to see that the pikachu’s body was covered in cuts and bruises, and it looked unconscious. Something was standing next to it-no, more than one something. There were three larger pokémon standing around the unmoving pikachu. One of them, Kinje knew, even though he couldn’t see them well in the darkness, was a garchomp. He had never seen one up close, but he had heard his mother talking of them before and there was no mistaking the massive dark blue shape with huge fins and claws, and the vicious, pointed teeth that were larger than his own. His mother had been friends with a garchomp at the guild she had once been a part of, he had heard. This one, however, looked anything but friendly. Next to the garchomp was a large orange lobster-like pokémon with massive pincers and what looked like a star on its forehead-a crawdaunt, he realized. On the other side of the crawdaunt was a rather creepy cactus-looking pokémon that Kinje recognized as a cacturne from a book he had seen once.
If the other group of pokémon were just as shocked to see the newcomers barge into the cavern, they were the ones who recovered from it first. Before Kinje, Cera, or Ashka had a chance to do more than stare, the crawdaunt fired a powerful bubblebeam attack straight at Ashka, knocking the houndoom over and sending him sliding into a stalagmite. Team Shadowfang’s supply bag, which Ashka had been carrying around his neck while in the cave, slid off and was sent spinning across the floor into darkness.
Cera darted forward, moving faster than Kinje would have guessed she could, and wrapped her body around the garchomp, sinking her fangs into one of his fin-like arms. The pokémon roared and slashed the long white claws on his forearms across Cera’s scales, but the arbok held on tightly.
Kinje shuddered-the roar had not sounded like the garchomp was in pain, or angry, or anything. It had been empty of emotion. He put the thoughts aside-these pokémon didn’t exactly seem like those absol. There could be nothing unnatural
about them, right? He cried out suddenly when something jabbed him in the side-he looked down to see a long needle sticking out from one of the weaker parts of his armor. The sight alone made him about ready to panic, but it was the thought of what that needle was
that filled him with terror. Poison sting.
Having no means to pull the needle out, he looked over at Cera to see the arbok battling both the garchomp and the cacturne while the crawdaunt fought Ashka somewhere out of Kinje’s line of sight. Limping, he tried to make his way to the pikachu-he wasn’t feeling any signs of poison yet. That was good.
Cera was fighting the two pokémon away from the pool of water now, and Kinje reached the pikachu alone. The small electric type was still lying unmoving on the rocky floor. Kinje leaned closer, glad to hear that the pikachu was still breathing, even if it was shallow and coming in short bursts. After a moment or two, much to Kinje’s surprise, the pokémon’s eyes snapped open. He looked up at Kinje in surprise, his eyes wide. “Are you-”
Kinje had no chance to hear what the pikachu had been about to say. The cacturne had left the battle with Cera and come up behind him, slamming its arm into the scyther’s back, several smaller needles piercing his wings. Kinje could only hope that most of them hadn’t penetrated his back armor but he couldn’t tell for sure. He fell sideways into the pool, splashing water all over the injured pikachu. Not wanting to leave his back exposed, he turned around and faced the enemy pokémon with a terrified expression-through the darkness behind it, he could see both Cera and Ashka-out cold. The cacturne, who was looking at the pikachu now, slowly turned its head to face him, and then something strange happened.
The moment their eyes connected, Kinje felt something that wasn’t quite pain, yet was just as unbearable, surge through his body. He could not tell what exactly the sensation was, but he could not stand it. It flooded his senses, threatening to overwhelm him. With a cry, he closed his eyes and stumbled back, and whatever was happening stopped abruptly. The cacturne moved closer to him, but Kinje was too stunned to fight back. Was that some effect of the poison?
he thought, his mind racing. He couldn’t feel it anymore, but that seemed to be the only explanation he could give himself for what had happened.
The cacturne struck him again with needle arm, knocking him further into the shallow pool, but this time he barely felt it. He found that couldn’t feel much of anything anymore, or see much of anything, for that matter. Everything felt hazy and unreal, as if he was waking up from a dream. Somewhere in the background-it sounded like it was quite a long way away, he heard shouts, not coming from his friends, but coming from the three pokémon who had battled them. He couldn’t tell, but he thought it sounded like a battle was going on. Then something rushed up to him and stood by his side.
“Kinje…Kinje, can you hear me?” It was Tarak, the eevee, and he was holding his paw out with something gripped loosely in his claws. It was a berry.
Kinje thought that the gesture was very odd-why would Tarak be giving a carnivore a berry? That was just silly. The scyther looked up through hazy vision at the eevee standing by his head. Making an effort to sit up, Kinje tried to fight through the haze of confusion that was threatening to overcome him so that he could see what was going on. As he did so, the pain from his injuries began to return, and once he felt that, he simply slumped down and closed his eyes, letting it overwhelm him. Tarak’s hazy voice saying words he couldn’t decipher was the last thing he remembered hearing.
He had never had a very high tolerance for pain.
To be continued...
Wow, can you believe I fit a chapter in one post? xDDD