The Origin of Storms
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February 19th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter 11 – The Vault
Karo returned just a short while after he’d left. He was accompanied by Breanna, a granbull from across the street, who fetched the dried cheri berries from Karo’s kitchen and administered them to Syr. She also provided a couple of sitrus berries from her own cupboard for the nosepass’s injury.
Syr had never watched Karo eat before. After finally doing so, the arbok decided that he would never watch it happen again if he could help it.
The granbull even helped to rid Karo of the graffiti that had been inflicted upon him. Unfortunately, though, not all of it came off.
After the granbull left, Syr explained to Karo what had happened to Esaax at the Haven. He then asked the nosepass if he possessed any information about the evolved form of wobbuffet.
Karo gave Syr an odd, sly look. He beckoned the arbok to a closet that, when opened, appeared to contain nothing other than an obscene message scrawled in yellow smeargle ink. Then Karo uttered a harsh, trilling sound, and the closet’s back wall split open to reveal another, larger room.
“After you,” Karo said curtly, ushering Syr into the hidden room before entering it himself.
Syr wasn’t surprised by the secret room; this wasn’t the first time that Karo had shown it to him. He also wasn’t surprised when he felt the room begin to make a descent. He knew that it was actually an elevator, having ridden it several times.
He was, however, a bit surprised to be riding it on this particular occasion. He had hoped that Karo would be able to provide some information about what Esaax had become but had not really expected him to be able to do so. “I take it this means you
know something about what wobbuffet evolve into?” he asked.
“You could say that.” The elevator came to a stop. “Now, you’re not gonna find one
of smeargle in here,” Karo said, snorting grumpily. “Stupid furballs, scribbling their filth—I’d like to show
who likes to eat their own…”
Syr and Karo exited the elevator and entered what Ren had dubbed the Vault. It was a large room that had been the home of all of Ren’s most valued possessions. Just as Karo had predicted, it was completely free of any signs of intrusion by smeargle.
The Vault contained more books than anything else, which were arranged on towering bookcases that lined the wall directly in front of Syr as well as those off to either side. Syr’s gaze swept over the vast book collection. “Which of these has the information we want?” he asked.
“Never mind them,” Karo said, making his way further into the room. “I kinda got the impression that you’re in a hurry—” Syr made an exasperated noise at this, with the face to match. “—so, for the sake of time, just watch the screen.”
The screen to which Karo was referring was mounted next to the elevator doors and covered a sizable portion of the wall. Syr slithered over to Karo, who then produced a deep and very resonant sound. The overhead lights turned off, and the screen before Syr and Karo came awake with light.
“Number thirty-nine,” Karo said. Words and symbols flashed briefly on the screen, and then a film began to play…
A pokémon battle was about to commence in a gym that was lit by glowing, pale green crystals—the Exo Gym. The walls were decorated with carved figures of pokémon over a softly glowing background of shifting colors. The floor was covered by an equally colorful mosaic depicting planets, comets, and stars.
Ren sat on one side of the arena in a dark-colored, metal chair. The strange lighting and the camera angle didn’t allow for a very detailed examination of his appearance, revealing only that he was slight of build, completely bald, and dressed in simple, entirely black attire.
Opposite him, his challenger was seated in a chair like his own. The camera revealed somewhat more of the challenger’s appearance than Ren’s. Like him, she wore dark clothing, deep blue denim for her jacket and pants and black for the rest of her outfit. Unlike him, she had hair: dark, unkempt, and reaching down past her shoulders.
“You’re sure you want to do this the straightforward way?” the gym leader said in his sly-sounding, slightly lilting voice. “The special features of my gym do exist solely out of consideration for the challenger.”
“Thanks, but I came here to battle a gym leader, not a gentleman,” responded the challenger in a low, cackling voice.
Ren gave a short laugh. “Out with it, then!”
The challenger produced a nest ball. “Go, Alain!”
With a burst of light, an alakazam appeared. Alain gazed intensely at the gym leader, holding both of his spoons in one hand while thoughtfully stroking his long whiskers with the other.
…” Ren remarked. “Very nice. A shame, really, considering… oh well. Acheron? Could you step forward, please?”
There was no pokéball of any kind thrown, no flash or sparkle of light to herald the entrance of Ren’s pokémon. Instead, the summoned creature emerged from the shadows at Ren’s side. Rays of pale green light fell upon Acheron, revealing the form of…
“Okay, Syr, is
what you saw?” Karo asked.
“Yes. Yes, it is,” Syr answered almost breathlessly. The arbok could barely believe his eyes, but the sight they presented told the truth: whatever Esaax now was, Acheron was the exact same thing.
Syr returned his attention to the footage, watching the commencement of the battle between Alain and Acheron.
In the Exo Gym, as well as every other gym in the Apex League, the trainers were not allowed to issue commands to their pokémon. Ren and his challenger had to merely sit back and watch their pokémon carry out the battle on their own terms.
Sensing the presence of the dark element within his opponent, Alain knew that his psychic attacks were of no use in this match. He furthermore identified Acheron by sight as having once been a wobbuffet; as such, Alain knew that he risked doing more harm to himself than to Acheron in attacking him.
Alain quickly formulated a plan to get around that risk, however. He transferred one of his spoons to the other hand, then summoned one of the techniques that he had inherited from his medicham father. The air around the alakazam crackled with electricity, and miniature bolts of lightning began a frenzied dance around one of his hands.
Acheron, meanwhile, stood calmly on the other side of the arena, his long tail waving as he looked upon his opponent with a faint smirk. Alain surged forward and leapt high into the air, his psychic power allowing him to hover momentarily over the head of his eight-foot-tall opponent before slamming his thunderpunch into the back of Acheron’s neck.
Small tremors rippled through Acheron’s body as electricity briefly coursed through him, but he kept silent and showed no visible signs that the thunderpunch had caused him any actual pain—that is, until he caused an orange aura to blaze into being around himself, sending the alakazam flying with the force of his counter attack.
Grunting at the pain of the retaliatory strike, Alain telekinetically righted himself in midair and looked intently at Acheron, hoping to see evidence that he’d successfully paralyzed him—the less pain Acheron could feel, the less he could inflict, Alain reckoned. Acheron’s tail was waving back and forth just as fluidly as it had been before he’d taken the thunderpunch, however, and his legs were steady beneath him.
Accepting this, Alain lowered himself back down to the ground and implemented the other aspect of his plan, hoping that it, at least,
work on the first try. He transferred his other spoon back into his empty hand, and then a dull red glow filled his eyes. A ball of energy in the same color gathered between his spoons and then fired forth at Acheron, bursting into jagged red streaks that snaked over his entire body on impact. The streaks gave a single red flash, then turned black and vanished into Acheron’s skin. Alain smiled at this—Acheron’s counter technique had been successfully disabled.
Acheron regarded this new development without any concern—he hadn’t been planning on relying solely on that technique and knew that he could do just fine without it. He shut his eyes, allowing his mind to sink into a deep meditation.
Alain wasted no time in launching more attempts to paralyze his opponent, hoping to succeed in that endeavor before the effects of his disable technique wore off. The Exo Gym was filled with the crackling sounds of electric power as he delivered three more thunderpunches in quick succession, to all of which Acheron gave no more reaction than he had to the first.
Alain then moved back from him, once again checking to see if Acheron was showing any signs of paralysis. Acheron’s skin was blistered and raw at the site of each thunderpunch’s impact, and he reeked of charred flesh and trembled on the spot.
Those tremors subsided very quickly, however, and the moment they did, Acheron’s body suddenly took on a bright red glow. The light expanded outward in a bide attack, forming a shockwave that knocked Alain off his feet and blasted him clear across the arena—he was almost sent flying right into his trainer’s face.
Acheron grinned as he watched the alakazam on the other side of the arena struggle to catch his breath and get back onto his feet, greatly weakened now. This, Acheron decided, was a good time to bring out the big guns—as weak as his opponent now was, he might only have to do it once. Besides which, he figured he’d played around with him long enough.
He allowed a dark-type charge to build around one hand, seeing a faint, off-white glow surround Alain as he did so. The alakazam was trying to heal himself via the recover technique—but too late. No sooner had his injuries begun to repair themselves than a black beam came roaring forth from Acheron’s hand and struck him. Alain screamed in agony—and curiously, so did Acheron.
The attack ceased. Alain, covered from head to toe in black scorch marks, twitched briefly before falling unconscious and still. Acheron fell to his knees, still voicing his pain in the wake of the last attack that he’d launched, but he remained conscious. The match was over. The challenger had lost.
“So that’s it, then,” Syr stated, knowing that the Exo Gym allowed only one pokémon to each competitor.
“Yeah, that’s it. But don’t feel too bad for her. She may have lost the match, but,” Karo said with a chuckle, “she won
Syr watched as Alain’s trainer first recalled her pokémon into the nest ball and then rushed into the arena to the aid of the moaning blue pokémon there—the very same pokémon who had just denied her a victory in this gym. Syr could just make out the expression of wonder that was forming on Ren’s face, and a realization hit him. “You mean, that’s
“You guessed it,” Karo confirmed. “She made an enormous impression on Ren there in that gym on that day. And the rest is history.” He smirked insofar as he could with a face that was comprised of a nose and not much else. “Let’s give them some privacy,” he then said. He produced the same, low sound that he had used to activate the video screen, and the screen was returned to blankness.
“So… that creature… what
that?” Syr asked.
“That,” Karo said, “was a kwazai.”
“Kwazai…” Syr echoed. “And that last attack he used…” Syr had never seen anything like it before, especially not from any creature bearing any relation to a wobbuffet. This was no retaliatory technique—Acheron had attacked proactively, something that wobbuffet were unable to do. Apparently evolution freed the species from that restriction. “What in the world was
“That would be reflux,” Karo answered. “It’s a dark-type attack, and it’s one of the nastiest ones there is, too.”
“Does this mean that kwazai are dark-types?” Syr asked.
“Only half that. Psychic/dark-type, to be specific. But that’s only the males. The females, now, they’re another thing altogether…”
“Yeah. Males evolve one way, and females evolve another,” Karo explained.
“Just how much
you know about kwazai?” Syr asked, astounded.
“Meh… pretty good amount, I guess…” Karo replied nonchalantly.
“That does it. You’re coming with me!”
* * *
Syr and Karo arrived shortly thereafter at the Haven. Once through the doors, they were immediately greeted by a scene that neither of them had expected to find.
Teresa was unloading a small bundle of assorted medicines when she noticed the presence of the arbok and the nosepass. “Oh good, you’re finally back!” she said.
But neither Syr nor Karo really heard her, particularly not Syr. This was because the two of them had noticed the tall, blue figure lying on its side on a bench near where Teresa was busily sifting through her portable remedies.
Syr moved closer to the unknown being. He was almost completely certain that this pokémon, with its blue skin and its black tail that held a presently-closed oculon in each of its four branches, bore some relation to the species of wynaut and wobbuffet. He turned to Karo for verification. “Is that…?”
“Kwazai, female,” Karo confirmed. “Yeah, I wish I’d had time to show you
video—you’d have liked Demi, man, you really would’ve…”
Teresa came to stand with them, carrying a spray-bottle of potion and a faintly glowing, coral-colored revive crystal. “Karo, I presume?” she asked of the nosepass. Karo responded affirmatively with a small grunt and an action that would have been a nod if he had possessed a neck.
“Can you tell us what happened here?” Syr asked Teresa.
“Well, she showed up here and managed to let me know that she was looking for Esaax, but something was driving her madder by the second. There seemed to be no calming her. And when we tried to restrain her, she started psywaving everything in sight before screaming bloody murder and passing out. Unfortunately, one of those psywaves did hit Jen…”
?!” Syr said, instantly worried.
“He’s not hurt,” Teresa assured him. “The poor kid’s just had his brain scrambled a little bit. He got so dizzy that he just tipped right over and hasn’t been able to get back onto his feet yet. But other than that, no damage done. He’ll be just fine soon. I put him right over there,” she added, pointing. “You can see for yourself.”
She was indicating a chair off in the corner, in which the snorunt was lying with his eyes half-closed. Syr, distracted by the kwazai, hadn’t even seen him there. He slithered over to Jen. “How are you feeling?” he asked concernedly. Jen only groaned softly, rolled over, and turned his back on Syr in response.
“Best not to stimulate him in any way right now if you’d rather he didn’t throw up,” Teresa said.
She took the revive and held it against the kwazai’s forehead. The crystal’s glow intensified for a moment, then ceased entirely, leaving the spent crystal darkened inside like a burned-out lightbulb. The kwazai stirred slightly and gave a soft moan, revealing the first, faintest signs of returning consciousness. Teresa then set about spraying potion over a series of scrapes and bruises covering the kwazai’s arms; the wounds began quickly fading away at once. “Poor thing. She must have taken a nasty spill on the way here,” the chansey said.
“Who is she?” Syr wondered aloud as he gazed down at the kwazai. “Did you manage to get any personal information out of her before she passed out?”
“I tried to get her name,” Teresa said, “and I think I succeeded. It sounded like ‘Intro’…”
Teresa’s attention turned to the kwazai, as did that of the others. “What?”
-row.” The kwazai’s voice was breathy and lilting. She also sounded rather groggy at the moment—she was still in the process of waking up. “Is that all you want to know?”
Teresa opened her mouth to answer, but before she could get a single word out, she was interrupted by another chansey, one who was bawling her eyes out as she came barreling in. The new arrival just barely managed to come to a halt in front of Teresa in time to avoid colliding with her.
“Rebecca, what is it?” Teresa asked of the other chansey, clearly alarmed.
Rebecca tried to speak, but then froze, her mouth hanging halfway open as she stood paralyzed by some unknown horror. Finally, she just began howling like a siren.
The noise abruptly brought Ntairow to her senses. She got up onto her single pair of long, stiltlike legs with a suddenness more befitting teleportation than a simple act of standing. She held her tail high, its branches fanning out.
“What is it, Rebecca?” Teresa asked again, more slowly this time. She placed her paws upon Rebecca’s shoulders and gave her an imploring stare.
,” Rebecca managed to gasp out. She then backed away from Teresa and cast a fearful glance into the hallway from which she’d emerged just moments before. Returning her tearful gaze to the others, she breathlessly said, “Here. It’s over here,” and then took off down the hallway from whence she’d come.
Teresa rushed after her as fast as her short legs would allow, accompanied by Syr, Karo, and Ntairow. Ultimately, Rebecca came to a halt, and once all of the others had arrived at their apparent destination, she wasted no time in fleeing the scene. She had
wanted to come back to that place and the sight that it presented, and upon seeing it with their own eyes, no one whom she had brought there was in any doubt as to why.
There was the twisted, blackened corpse of Madeline. There was her blood, cast all over the floor and walls. And there was the door to Esaax’s cell, left wide open, with a hole burned through the far wall that was more than big enough to admit an escaping kwazai.
Cries of shock, sorrow and revulsion tore through the air. Karo immediately looked away from the slain Mr. Mime. Syr turned and retched. Ntairow cried out and buried her face in one of her left hands while reaching out with both of her right hands to prop herself against the wall.
…” Teresa’s voice was constrained and fragile-sounding. She leaned over the corpse, reaching for Madeline’s remaining hand. The moment she touched her, the lifeless pokémon crumbled into black dust. Teresa broke into sobs.
Shakily, Syr turned to Ntairow. The kwazai swayed slightly where she stood, as if she were about to pass out again. She was clutching her head and her chest simultaneously, and the tension in her face told Syr that she was in very real pain.
…” Ntairow said almost voicelessly. “The residue of it still hangs in the air. But
She pushed herself away from the wall and began to stride determinedly toward the exit that Esaax had made, avoiding the blood on the ground with graceful and sure steps. But then she found the end of a long, purple tail coiled around one of her arms as if to try and halt her.
“Wait!” Syr called out to her, struggling not to be dragged along as she kept on walking.
The kwazai stopped and turned her long, flat face toward him, wearing the glare to end all glares.
“…Listen,” Syr said. “Esaax is my friend, too. If you’re going after him, I’m going with you.”
Karo approached Ntairow and Syr. The expression on his stone face was unreadable. “And if he’s going, then
going,” he said. “I’ll look after you, buddy, don’t worry,” he told Syr.
Ntairow didn’t feel as though she had the luxury of time or of patience enough to argue with them. The urge to seek out the terribly troubled creature that Esaax had become and rush to his aid was hard-wired into her brain—she couldn’t easily resist the demands of her highly developed powers of empathy and flat-out wouldn’t resist them when it was the suffering of someone whom she loved that spurred them into action. She nodded in concession to Syr and Karo, and Syr released his hold on her.
The arbok looked back at Teresa. Tears fell silently from his gray eyes. “Take care of Jen,” he told her. Then Syr turned away, and he and Karo followed Ntairow out of the Haven in silence.
In the original version of this story, the battle between Alain and Acheron was not actually written out. Basically, the text just stated that Karo and Syr watched a video of a Gym battle, and there was a kwazai in said battle. XD
Speaking of that scene, I decided one time to subject a previous version of it to the comedic wonders of Babelfish, one paragraph at a time, through a battery of translations and re-translations. From the end result, I learned that alakazam are apparently Golden Delicious apples and that kwazai apparently use bide by going into a “mental toilet”. XD
The two different forms of the kwazai were originally the result of my inability to decide which of the two designs I’d come up with I liked better. At some point, I thought of one of them being the male form and the other form being the female and decided to go with that.
Next time: Esaax wrestles with his new instincts and finds himself in territory where he is most unwelcome. See you then!
- Sike Saner
CHAPTER 17 POSTED
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Last edited by Sike_Saner; October 8th, 2011 at
. Reason: Revisions.
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