The Origin of Storms
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March 1st, 2007, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter 13 – X
Esaax wasn’t unconscious for long. He awoke to find himself feeling quite unwell, nauseated and fatigued. Pain pounded savagely in his head and seared down the length of his spine to the end of his tail.
He tried to stand, but found that he couldn’t do so. Instead, he fell into a four-legged version of a kneeling position. He looked about, sweeping the space surrounding him with a gaze that wouldn’t quite focus. Grumbling, he buried his face in his hands and tried to rub the haze out of his eyes.
When he looked up again, he spotted movement off in the corner. He turned his head toward the motion. There he saw Travis the smeargle crawl out of the junk pile, brush himself off, and begin walking up to him. The smeargle was covered in black scorch marks, with the metal shard still pierced right through him.
“Feeling all right?” Travis asked amiably.
Esaax stared blankly at Travis for a second. He then tried to get back onto his feet once again, succeeding this time, and started backing away from Travis in as much of a hurry as he could manage. His legs gave out from underneath him before he got very far, however, forcing him to once again kneel before the undead smeargle.
“What are you running from, huh? Can’t we have a little chat?” Travis asked.
“I’m not talking to you,” Esaax said flatly.
“Yes, you are, you just opened your mouth and said—”
“I’m a damned good hallucination, though, you have to admit,” Travis said, fidgeting with the bloody piece of metal that protruded from his chest.
Esaax shut his eyes and shook his head. To his dismay, Travis was still there when he opened his eyes once more. Esaax groaned. “I feel like crap,” he mumbled.
“Well, of course you do! I mean, think about it. You keep using that crazy black beam of yours, and you hurt yourself every time you use it, no matter how much you hold back when you do. And it’s cumulative, you know. That damage adds up over time.
“But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, isn’t it?” Travis went on. “See, every time that nifty little attack bounces back at you, that’s pure dark energy hitting your system. Psybane. Which really shouldn’t bother you
much, right? After all, you’re half-psychic, but you’re half-dark, too, aren’t you?”
Esaax sighed. “Yeah, that’s right.”
“Well, now, wait a minute. Suppose that’s… not
“…What do you mean?” Esaax asked, perplexed.
“Botched evolution, my friend,” Travis answered. “Or are you gonna try and tell me that there wasn’t something distinctly…
about your evolutionary experience?”
Esaax only growled in response.
“The problem with you evolving is that
weren’t supposed to,” Travis said. “Wasn’t supposed to be possible, was it? My friend, you got
into this form. You got
into this combination of elements, and it’s not one that’s not meant to be fooled around with.”
The smeargle began to pace in front of Esaax. “Dark and psychic. That’s a completely one-sided matchup right there. One is devastatingly dominant; the other, totally helpless. Now, maybe somewhere out there in the wide world of nature and supernature, that works just fine. But not here. Not in
“You just can’t go forcing these things, man. Yet someone—I repeat,
—forced it on you. Now, I want you to take a moment right now to think back. Can you figure out
might have done this to you?”
After a moment’s hesitation, Esaax did as he was advised, but his present illness made it hard for him to focus well enough to recall his memories clearly. As he managed to remember some of the most recent things that he’d done, he found himself sickened further, swallowing hard as his stomach gave a threatening lurch.
It wasn’t until he managed to reach back to his memory of the period of time immediately preceding his evolution that anything even remotely resembling an answer to Travis’s question came to him. “I… I don’t know who it was for sure, but… I remember something hitting me right before I evolved. And I thought I felt someone in the room with me… I think it was a ghost.”
Travis cocked an eyebrow at him. “You
you felt a ghost in the room with you, huh?” he said in a skeptical tone. “May I remind you that you… weren’t exactly feeling so great at the time? In case you haven’t noticed, sometimes the mind plays tricks on you when you’re feeling under the weather.”
Esaax just glared dully at him.
“But anyway,” Travis went on, “try looking a little further back than that. Is there anything else you’ve experienced recently that had any kind of significant physical effect on you?”
Esaax combed through his memories again, trying to keep his thoughts moving in a straight line backward from his evolution without overlooking any potentially important details. He remembered being brought to the Haven, then remembered the ride in Jen’s car from Syr’s house, and then remembered the ride to Syr’s house from…
Esaax’s eyes widened, and he felt his mouth go dry. In his mind, he held a picture of the private counseling office at the Hope Institute, wherein a needle sank into his arm under the guidance of a human hand…
,” Esaax said hoarsely.
“It was that serum he gave me…
what started all this…”
“You’ve got it,” Travis said, beaming proudly. “You’re miserable now because of that sorry excuse for a human. He just
another type on you, and that screwed up the one you already had. Your new body was elementally unstable from the start, and it’s growing ever more so, I’m afraid…”
Travis came to stand right in front of Esaax. He stood on his toes, brought his paintbrush-tail forward, and painted a large “X” across the kwazai’s chest in bright red ink. “You’re a goner, Evergray.”
“What if I just don’t use that dark attack anymore?”
Travis shook his head sadly. “I’m afraid it’s too late now, my friend. Too much damage and too much stress in a period of time that’s much too short for your poor body to cope with… and there’s no fixing it, man. You’re on the way out, and there’s no turning back…”
Esaax spent a few moments in silence. “So this is really gonna kill me,” he said finally, wearily.
Travis nodded, uttering a small, affirmative noise. “And it’s all thanks to Mr. Sylvester DeLeo.”
Esaax sighed and knitted his spidery fingers on top of his head, covering his face with his large palms. “Maybe I
go,” he whispered. “I
what I’ve become. Do you realize how many people I’ve killed
“You’re a predator now, so what? You’ve gotta eat, right?”
on a full stomach,” Esaax pointed out.
. And no, you didn’t kill
just a hallucination, remember?”
Esaax groaned miserably and lowered his gaze to the dirty floor. “This is all just so
“I agree,” said Travis, lowering his head somberly. “I wish that there was some way to change your fate… but there just
one, man. Sorry. Oh… but there is
you can still do about it…”
“What’s that?” Esaax asked, lifting his gaze.
“DeLeo put this misery on you. Why don’t you go pay him back?”
“Come on. You know you wanna.”
“I don’t know,” Esaax muttered. “I’m just so
“There, you see? Your time is running out. So go on, get going. It’s not too far from here.”
“I don’t know if I can walk there right now, even if it is close. I’m sure I can’t run,” Esaax told the smeargle. “And besides, I… I just don’t think I have it in me… I mean, going over there, and then hurting him…
have it in you, my friend,” Travis said with more than a hint of enthusiasm. “You
do this. You
pull this off. There’s just one thing you have to do.”
“And what’s that?”
The smeargle gave a bloody grin. “Surrender, Evergray. Let me take over.” His green eyes shifted dramatically in color, becoming black all throughout like a pair of deep, dark holes. The rest of him followed suit, the scattered scorchings of his coat spreading until he was pitch-black all over. He became an animate shadow, a dark mass that rapidly changed shape and grew until it took on a form that was very different from the one that it had held previously.
Esaax now beheld the great, dark form of another kwazai, one who was made out of softly glowing shadow-substance. He stared at it, and he quickly found himself moved by the sight and presence of it. He found it beautiful, incredibly so, and he wondered why he had not allowed himself to look at this presence and that which it represented in this way before.
The shadow-kwazai lifted Esaax’s head in its hands, comforting him as if he were its child. It took him by the shoulders and lifted him back onto his feet, supporting his weight easily. It gazed deep into his eyes as it held him steady. “
” it asked in a hollow-sounding voice.
Esaax’s surrender was silent. He opened his arms to embrace the darkness, which melted into him like ice. It left him feeling virtually nothing: no remorse for his recent actions or trepidation about what he was about to do, no pain or illness, not even the tiredness that he had known mere minutes before. All that was left was the cold simplicity of his new resolve:
Go. Find him.
Esaax rose, exited the empty store, and strode over to the curb, stepping over it onto the street. Headlights appeared from around the corner a short distance away, and the moment they did, he collapsed onto the asphalt.
The approaching car came to a stop just short of where Esaax had fallen, and the golduck who’d been driving it got out and rushed to his side at once, leaving the vehicle running.
“Are you all right?” the golduck asked concernedly—then gave a squawk of surprise as a massive hand lying at the golduck’s feet suddenly seized him by the ankles and pulled him to the ground. Esaax’s other hand came down hard in a fist against the golduck’s head immediately afterward, then did so again for good measure, knocking the golduck out.
Esaax got back to his feet once again, then went over to the car. He determined that he could probably fit into it and operate it just fine if it weren’t for that roof. With a fair bit of effort, he managed to tear away enough of it to suit his needs. He then smashed the window in his way and stepped over the door to get in, not noticing the broken shards of glass that bit into him as he did so. Somewhat awkwardly, he turned himself to face forward and extended his hind legs up and over into the seat behind him.
Had he been in his right mind, Esaax might have felt a thrill at the fact that he was going to drive for the first time in over a decade, with no Syr or anyone else around in any position to tell him that he couldn’t do so. As it was, though, he was still focused wholly upon the task that awaited him. Without a second’s hesitation, he sped off toward the Hope Institute, very nearly running over the golduck from whom he’d stolen the car.
* * *
Just as the three pokémon who were seeking Esaax exited the forest, Ntairow stopped abruptly in front of Syr and Karo. Syr very nearly ran right into her, reeling back and veering off to the side just in time.
“Ntairow, what is it?” he asked her.
“I’ve lost him completely now,” Ntairow said heavily. She turned to the others. “I can’t sense
of him now. It’s as if he’s simply
“You don’t think that he’s… that he’s no longer alive, do you?” Syr asked fearfully in barely more than a whisper.
Ntairow lowered her head. “I don’t know,” she said quietly. “I honestly don’t know.”
Out of nowhere, two shapes burst onto the scene then: the two surviving smeargle. They stopped dead at the sight of Ntairow.
“Run for it, it’s another one!” said Tom.
“No, it’s not…” said Mark.
“Yes, it is,” said Ntairow. She swiftly grabbed both smeargle by their tails and raised them to eye level. “You two have seen Esaax, then?”
“If by ‘Esaax’, you mean that big, blue
who killed our friend, then yes!” Mark said, flailing in a futile attempt to escape.
Syr and Ntairow both winced at the news of yet another murder having been committed by their friend. Karo, meanwhile, came to stand before Ntairow and looked up at her two captives.
“Give them to me,” the nosepass said. There was an ominous weight to his voice that hadn’t been present before, and he seemed to be bearing down on the smeargle even from below.
It was then that the smeargle finally noticed Karo. Their nervousness increased, and they began to struggle even more desperately to get away.
“Karo, you have no way of knowing if these are the same smeargle who broke into your house,” said Syr.
“Are you sure about that? Cause I’ve gotta say, they’re looking pretty guilty from here.” He edged even closer to the smeargle, and their reactions to this made it clear that they badly wanted to be somewhere else at this point. “See how they fear me,” Karo said with a laugh. “They know what they’ve done. And they know what’s coming. Now, let’s see…” he said, examining the ink that was beginning to leak from their tail-tips under the pressure of Ntairow’s grip. “There’s Mr. Blue… there’s Mr. Yellow… hey, where’s Mr. Red?”
“I already said,
, that ‘Esaax’ thing killed him! He tried to kill all of us!” Mark said angrily.
was the one trespassing in
territory!” Tom added.
“Yeah, but then I blasted him with one of these—” Mark raised his hand and shot a reflux into the sky, at which Ntairow nearly dropped him. “—and down he went.”
him, did you?” Ntairow asked shakily.
“No, Tom wouldn’t
me finish him off,” Mark said acidly.
“Cause when you shot him, it hurt you, too! You might have
if you’d killed him!” Tom responded.
“You can’t possibly know that any more than I can!” Mark argued. “Well, okay, then. When that blue freak wakes up and decides to come after us, I’ll just tell him he can go ahead and blast your brains out first since it’ll have been
bright idea to show mercy to the psycho that’ll have made that lovely scenario possible in the first place, you dumbass!”
“Stop it, both of you,” Ntairow said firmly. She knocked the smeargles’ heads together. Karo cheered. “Is he still where you left him, then?” Ntairow demanded of the smeargle.
“Urgh… I don’t know,” Mark replied after he stopped seeing lights bursting in the back of his eyes. “If he’s stayed unconscious, then yes, he’s probably still there.”
“Actually… he’s not,” said Tom. Everyone, including Mark, turned to stare at him. “Over there,” Tom said, pointing.
Everyone looked in the direction that Tom was indicating. There they saw a kwazai in a mangled blue car hurtling down the street at an incredible speed.
Ntairow threw the two smeargle facefirst to the ground. “Come on!” she shouted, taking off at a run in the general direction in which the car was heading. “And leave
alone!” she added over her shoulder to Karo.
“Awww…” the nosepass groaned in disappointment. He turned to the two smeargle, who were still sprawled out on the ground and rubbing their sore muzzles. Now he really
bearing down on them. “Make no mistake—I am
gonna squash you one of these days,” he told them, using the “ominous” voice once again. Then he shot off a tiny bolt of electricity to send the smeargle scurrying off on their way.
Next time: It’s back to the Hope Institute for Esaax, where something of a history lesson ensues. See you then!
- Sike Saner
CHAPTER 17 POSTED
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Last edited by Sike_Saner; June 3rd, 2011 at
. Reason: Revisions.
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