The Origin of Storms
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March 19th, 2007, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter 16 – Balance
Syr awoke to a rather different scene from what he had last seen. From where he was presently lying, he now had a sideways view of shattered floor tiles illuminated by scattered moonlight, as well as of an irregular hole in the wall through which he could see Ntairow leaning partway.
There was also a sound in the air that hadn’t been there before: a very faint moaning in an unfamiliar voice. Syr’s brows drew together in puzzlement as he pulled himself up from the floor; a bit of a daze still lingered in the wake of his unconsciousness, making it hard at the moment for him to guess to whom the voice belonged.
He made his way over to Ntairow to see if she had any clue what the source of the voice was. The sound grew louder as he approached her, though its volume still remained very low. Once he was by her side, he found out exactly whom he was hearing without having to voice his question after all, and the answer snapped him back to full awareness in an instant.
Just on the other side of the ruined wall lay a glalie; Syr could only assume that this was the same one who had knocked him out. Even in her current state—her right horn missing its tip, her ice armor broken off in places, and a pool of nearly colorless blood trying to form around her but hampered a bit by the fact that it was slowly turning to pale mist as it left her body—her presence made him distinctly uncomfortable. His breaths began escaping in worried hisses, and he found himself moving back away from the broken wall without really having decided to do so.
Syr shifted his gaze to Ntairow and held it there, the glalie now entirely out of his sight. In the corner of his vision, he noticed a bluish-purple light glowing briefly through the hole in the wall. When it subsided, so did the moaning.
The arbok moved ever so slightly closer to Ntairow once more as she ducked back out of the hole in the wall. “Did you…?”
“She’s alive,” Ntairow said, which didn’t answer the question that Syr had actually had in mind. “But she won’t be giving us any trouble again anytime soon,” she then said, which did answer it. “You have nothing to fear from her now. Although I have to say that you undoubtedly scared her every bit as much as she scared you.”
“Yes, well…” Syr began irritably, doubting Ntairow’s claim. Then he noticed the gray-and-orange shape lying several feet away from Ntairow, back in the direction from whence they’d come. “Karo!” he shouted concernedly. He rushed over to him, ignoring the way that the broken floor and scattered debris scraped and dug into his belly as he did so—but he stopped in his tracks when he got close enough to see just what sort of condition his friend was in at the moment.
He was looking at roughly half of a nosepass.
“Oh God…” Syr whispered.
“It’s all right,” Ntairow assured him. “He’s still alive, and he has already begun to repair himself.”
Syr just stared for a moment at what was left of Karo, his horror giving way to a strange sort of awe. “He wasn’t kidding…” he said, more to himself than anyone else. Karo had once bragged to Syr that nosepass lived indefinitely if no one or nothing else could kill them and that killing them wasn’t easy. The nosepass had said that even if he were smashed to pieces, he would just regenerate. Syr had always just always figured that he must have been exaggerating.
“He said it’s a very slow process, though. Regenerating, I mean,” Syr said, then sighed. “He needs to go to the Haven. They can speed up his repairs with their revives and potions there. Otherwise… God, from the look of him, he probably won’t see the next hundred years. At least.”
“He’s perfectly stable for the time being,” Ntairow told him. “The same can’t be said for Esaax.” And with that, she turned away from the broken wall and the glalie beyond it and set off in search of Esaax once more.
Syr didn’t start following her right away. Leaving the glalie behind struck him as a very good idea, but leaving Karo behind did not, no matter how indestructible the nosepass claimed himself to be. Syr took a moment to wrap his tail securely around Karo, then proceeded onward after Ntairow, now noticing and dodging every bit of debris in his path while trying not to think too hard about just what the source of some of it was.
But not thinking about this was difficult for him, especially since, in addition to the fact that he was presently pulling the weight of the pokémon to whom some of the debris had formerly belonged, he was still furthermore not altogether certain of just what had left Karo in such a state in the first place. “What did this to him, anyway?” he asked.
A couple of Ntairow’s tail branches curled toward Syr. She stopped and turned around, then gave a sigh and closed the distance between her and the arbok; dragging Karo along had prevented Syr from catching up to her.
“He used an explosion,” Ntairow answered him as she went over to take hold of Karo. She saw a look of astonishment overtake Syr’s features—the arbok had craned his neck to watch what she had been doing—and gave him a nod that silently said,
, as well as a forward wave of one hand that silently said,
Now let’s move along, please.
Syr followed her unspoken directions, able to move somewhat faster now that Ntairow was helping him carry the unconscious nosepass, still in disbelief at what he’d just been told. “God… what possessed him to resort to
?” he asked as they left the room for the corridor beyond.
“That glalie seemed to have a particular talent for using double team,” Ntairow said. “There were just too many copies, and they were indistinguishable from their maker. He decided to just take them all out at once, I suppose.” She smiled very faintly. “I do have to commend him for managing to do that—or to come close, anyway—without taking us out, as well. I’m still not completely sure how he did it.”
“I’m not sure either, but wow…” Syr said.
to make this up to him someday,
Meanwhile, something else in what Ntairow had said was striking him as a little odd. “…You said that you couldn’t tell the real one from the copies, right?” he asked her.
“Yes, that’s right. I think her dark subtype may have been overdeveloped; it was deflecting my psychic perception.”
“Oh,” Syr said at first. Then, “Wait, what do you mean, ‘subtype’?”
“An elemental factor that’s strong enough to have an effect on its owner but not strong enough to figure into their actual type. All pokémon have—”
She fell abruptly silent, and Syr didn’t wonder why—he could see the reason for himself. It was another glalie encounter, but this time there were four of them, all of whom looked at least somewhat alarmed. On top of that, Solonn was one of those four; Syr immediately wished that he had been able to go through life without learning that glalie could get that large. There was also a claydol in the glalie’s midst, to which Syr gave almost no real attention; the arbok was aware of almost nothing beyond the glowing blue eyes that were quickly approaching and the frantic pounding of his own heart.
Distantly, he felt the weight that he was helping to carry sink to the ground, then saw Ntairow move into his peripheral vision. “Stay put,” she hissed as she swiftly made her way around to stand beside him, “and try to stay calm.
Syr gave neither a word nor a motion in response. Her words had managed to get through to him over the din of instincts and memories that were clamoring in his mind for him to attack or flee or do
, but while he was managing to keep stock still for the time being, he didn’t trust himself not to break at any moment.
“What are you people doing here?” one of the glalie demanded as he and the rest of his group came to a stop a few feet away from Ntairow, Syr, and Karo. He shifted slightly to look past Syr, his eyes finding the partially-destroyed nosepass who was still being held in Syr’s coils. “Actually, never mind that. I think we’ve already got our answer,” he said, nodding toward the unconscious rock-type.
“You were responsible for that explosion?” Solonn asked of Ntairow and Syr.
“Yes,” Ntairow began to answer evenly, at which Syr immediately threw her a sanity-questioning look, “but we hadn’t intended to. It was all just a misunderstanding—we ran into one of your people unexpectedly, he—“ She gestured toward Syr. “—attacked her out of panic, and things just sort of escalated, unfortunately. Don’t worry—she’s still alive, although she does need to get some medical attention soon.”
The glalie who had spoken first swore at this, and all of the glowing blue eyes that regarded the intruders widened. “Where is she?” he demanded.
Ntairow pointed back toward the room off behind her. Two of the glalie rushed off in that direction at once, as did the claydol. “You will need to come along with us,” said one of the remaining glalie, at which Ntairow nodded and gave Syr a nudge, then went back to help carry Karo once more.
Syr felt a tug on the end of his tail, a signal from Ntairow that he needed to get moving. He was anything but enthusiastic about spending more time in the company of that many glalie, but the notion of offending them further by disobeying them scared him even more. Nonetheless, it was with considerable reluctance that he turned around and headed back into the explosion-damaged room, feeling his body trying to fight him the entire way there.
As he and Ntairow carried Karo into the room, with two of the glalie following them, the two who had gone in ahead of them turned to regard them from the spot by the broken wall where they and the claydol hovered. One of them stayed there with Moriel, while Solonn and the claydol approached the intruders. One of the glalie who had just come in moved to hover in front of them, while the other continued on past Solonn and the claydol, pausing very briefly to get a quick assessment of Moriel’s condition before heading off toward an exit.
“Why did you come here?” Solonn asked of Ntairow and Syr, his tone heavy.
“Because someone here desperately needs help,” Ntairow said. “I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but there’s a pokémon here who’s been forced to evolve. He’s elementally unstable—he needs a psychic-type of his own kind to serve as a vessel for his excess darkness. Please… you’ve got to give me a chance to try and balance him out. He won’t survive otherwise.”
“Do you mean Esaax?” Solonn asked her.
“Yes, I do. You’ve got to let me see him,” Ntairow said urgently.
“She could still be lying,” the glalie over by the broken wall pointed out.
Solonn sent him a brief glance, then sighed and turned his gaze back toward Ntairow. “Would you consent to a psychic scan in order to prove that you’re telling the truth?”
Ntairow didn’t quite bother to keep herself from scowling. “Will it be quick?”
<Yes,> the claydol assured her, speaking telepathically while what Syr could only assume was its actual voice rattled on incomprehensibly alongside its silent words, <and it will be painless.>
“Fine, then,” Ntairow said.
Without hesitation, the claydol moved to hover right in front of her, lowered its head, and closed all but the foremost of its eyes. Soon afterward, <She is completely truthful in her claims,> the claydol confirmed.
“All right, then,” Solonn said quietly. “If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to where Esaax is being kept.” He made his way back toward the hallway through which Ntairow, Syr, and Karo had tried to pass before. “I hope for his sake that you succeed in saving him,” he said as first Ntairow and Syr—carrying Karo once more—followed him out of the room and then one of the other glalie did likewise. “He’s already been through enough that he didn’t deserve.”
“I hope I succeed, too,” Ntairow said quietly. Syr, still too uncomfortable in the presence of the glalie to speak, only nodded in agreement.
* * *
Not very far away from his would-be savior, Esaax stirred in his containment field, his eyes widening. Two words, nearly voiceless, escaped on a breath exhaled as if he’d been holding it all his life.
Next time: It’s the final chapter… After decades apart, Esaax and Ntairow are on the verge of being together again at last. But someone—or
—is determined to undermine their joyous reunion. 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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