Well, here's the continuation! Sorry for the gap, I had to make some small changes to make it a little easier to read.
“There they go…” Misty commented, grasping the rubber edges of the raft when a sudden wave nearly caused it to turn. “Do you think Ash is okay…?”
Brock groaned and sat back in the uncomfortable surface. “He’s smart. He’ll make it out.”
The thought wasn’t leaving the female Gym Leader comfortable enough, though. While Ash was indeed smart enough to get out – so she thought, at least – there was something leaving her agitated. Something else… and she felt it was related to him.
She wished the last night they spent together hadn’t been so short. She spent barely four hours with him in the ship since they met, the four of which in her room talking. And that was exactly what she wished it had turned out differently.
She leapt to the other side of the raft when Brock suddenly jumped to her side and nearly fell to the water shouting, “Look up there!” while pointing at the ship’s sinking halves.
The yell was heard by most of the rafts around them, as all of them immediately turned around to check what could be catching so much attention.
The large helicopter which flying near the right half of the ship, carefully lowering its height while throwing down a rope was enough for many passengers to complain when they were shaken off the cord.
A smile crossed Misty’s face at the sight. “They’ve come to save us!”
“But where are the rest of them?” Her companion added. There were probably some four more people inside the raft. Misty hummed at the strange question. “I mean, you wouldn’t think they came to save us all with just one helicopter, no matter how big, right?” The answer made Misty gasp.
“There’s someone climbing the ropes…!” A guy with a large, round and scarlet afro cut in, pointing at the end of the steps.
On a closer look, two men, each garbed in differently colored lab coats, were climbing the ladder under the death threat the wind was offering as strong gusts of air hurled the rope close to the ship’s hull.
“Mr. Eldes! What are you doing?!” Rhyan desperately shouted from the deck, fiercely grabbing the iron fences to keep himself from sliding down.
“I’m afraid I have to take care of matters of much larger importance. Farewell, Rhyan!” The blue haired man bid while entering the helicopter.
“Shame. I really liked you, Mr. Rhyan.” Ein added, following his superior.
His hand was starting to slip from the handle, especially because rain was starting to fall over the wreckage, moistening the metal.
“Take more people, you idiot! You’re going to get more people killed if you don’t!”
“I will be sure to deliver my condolences to the families!” Mr. Eldes finished, closing the door behind him.
A burst of air made it even harder to clutch the metallic surface, even if he was doing it with both hands.
With no Pokémon of his own to use, Rhyan closed his eyes and prayed; prayed for a way to be saved from the wretched storm approaching.
The rain felt like fire on his skin, and particularly burned the palm of his hands for each second that went by, which caused them to slip from the bar.
A brief yet strong gust created by the helicopter’s rotors spinning motion gave Rhyan the feeling of security for a split second, before the gust became too strong for even him to handle.
Unable to hold on for much longer, he opened his eyes once more, gazing at the helicopter that gradually moved away…
“Curse you… Eldes…” He mumbled before opening his hand completely, releasing the bar from his grip…
Below him, few grabbed on tight at whatever the deck offered to take hold of. They were few, but kept well alive the hope to survive inside themselves, which blazed inside them.
And Rhyan’s eyes saw it all going past him, disappearing into deep darkness at one point… the point.
“Answer me!” David tried, yelling at the apparently empty halls. There was someone there, it had to be! And whoever it was, he was decided to save them: be it a Team Rocket goon from Kanto who managed to land a ticket onboard or a resolute Cipher supporter from Orre. They would rotten in jail, but heck, he’d save them. “Ampharos, light the way!”
“Pharos!” The Pokémon gladly replied before taking the lead, leaving David shouting the same thing over and over, hoping to hear a response. “Is anyone there?!”
“Here…!” The voice finally came back this time closer than before. David sighed in relief, since it was obviously a good sign.
“Keep talking! We’re going to save you!” The trainer replied right after hearing the answer, guaranteeing he would be heard.
The reply didn’t come now, but he did hear something echoing, and it wasn’t a sound caused by the destruction of the ship in the inside.
As if something was knocking on a metallic surface, producing a sound that guided David to a pile of rubble concealing a door he could clearly see.
“Are you in there?” He called again. A series of chimes was enough of a confirmation for him to call Walrein outside. “Get that rubble destroyed using Body Slam, Walrein!”
The walrus Pokémon didn’t question the order and readily launched itself against the rubble, trying to reduce it to smaller, moveable debris.
David crossed his fingers, hoping the attempt wasn’t risky enough to the point of collapsing the ceiling under the water’s pressure, which he knew was right above them, judging from the landscape outside, seen through the windows of the many rooms he had been while searching for this helpless passenger.
But Walrein was rather fast to finish the job without the ceiling having fallen over their heads.
With the most of the rubble destroyed, David combined forces with his Pokémon to push aside the remaining debris, allowing the trainer to slam the door himself, bringing it down with a loud BANG.
The room, though, seemed just as empty as the other rooms did, and he stopped hearing the sounds that had guided him to that point.
“Come in here and light this room, Ampharos! Fast!”
The Pokémon ran inside and immediately emitted a blinding light, leaving the room completely illuminated thanks to a constant light emanated from its tail.
It was a complete mess all around the room, possibly due to the ship’s constant quivers which sent sliding against the walls anything that wasn’t attached to the ground.
David flinched at the thought that his imagination was playing tricks on him. But if even his Pokémon heard it, why wasn’t there anyone inside the room?
“Pharos! Pharos!” The Light Pokémon suddenly called, pointing at a pile of rubble in the corner while walking towards it.
“Beneath?” He asked, and Ampharos nodded, stopping by the stack. Moving so much rubble was getting repetitive and tiring, but he had no choice.
After a short sigh, David grabbed a large iron rod on one end while Ampharos lifted the other, and both threw it to the ground with combined strength.
However, the pile wasn’t just made of iron rods, and the trainer was actually questioning himself how the heck anyone even survived underneath the steel’s weight combined with all the wood and some resistant materials that would simply crush someone with relative ease.
There had to be quicker and better way to get it done.
“Please… help me…” The voice once again called. David felt how close the voice was, and how far he actually placed himself from reaching it. It’s disturbing to know that a life can be saved by just taking some sticks and shafts off dust, but he still wasn’t able to do it.
“Hold on in there!” David yelled into the pile, grabbing the last visible pole and throwing it over the bed. Ampharos lighted the pile again, trying to search for some kind of way out for the prisoner. The dust and wood, though, were covering it all.
“Look, I can help! But I’ll need some cooperation! Can you hold your breath for some seconds?” A Pokéball was already maximizing in his hand.
“I think so…” David immediately threw the Pokéball in the air, releasing a bird Pokémon, one bearing a long crest with golden and scarlet colors, possibly taller than even its trainer.
“Then do it! Pidgeot, use Whirlwind to drive that dust away!” He ordered before hiding behind his arms to protect from the upcoming wind.
The bird Pokémon immediately took flight to begin flapping its wings with brute strength, taking a split second to create a strong gust that blew away the dust and even most of the wooden planks in the pile, spreading the dirt over the entire room.
“Return Pidgeot! Light the way, Ampharos!”
While the bird returned inside the Pokéball, the Light Pokémon leapt to the corner, providing David enough brightness to find the person and help it get up. In spite of the steady glow, he couldn’t even see the person’s face, nor if he or she was injured anywhere. He just knew they had to move.
“Can you walk?” The person nodded weakly, giving some steps forward, but tripping over to fall on the ground; if it weren’t for David, that is, who promptly grabbed its shirt. “I guess not, then. Ampharos, go call Walrein in. We’re going for a swim.”
Once more, the Light Pokémon gave a cheerful answer, quickly disappearing from the room… and darkness cloaked the room once more, giving David an odd sense of blindness. Even the waters outside the window were dyed a deep, blue color, as a trainer once told him…
For a while, he heard Ampharos yelling for Walrein, but then fading away, possibly to look for the curious walrus.
When silence installed in the room, his tension eased; the pipes, probably ruptured due to the recent events, were dropping water on the ground, cleaning some of the dust Pidgeot managed to spread across the room.
David could hear a heavy breathing coming from his side, along with coughs and some sighs. He knew it was from the person by him, but he didn’t dare to ask how it got underneath a pile of debris like that.
“So, hum… what’s your name?” He shyly asked, trying to sound as relaxed as he could: which was probably as panicked as any passenger outside.
“M-May… C-call me M-May…”
Female, then. Just your luck, David.
“David.” He instinctively offered a hand to shake, but then he remembered he couldn’t even see her. “Listen, I’m not really good at this… but don’t worry about it. We’ll be fine.”
“N-no… you should j-just leave me here… Y-you’re going to die because of me…”
“What?! Nonsense!” David immediately replied back. He felt a spark of disbelief in his oh-so-well-planned scheme for the first time since he went looking for his backpack. “Why do you even say that?!”
“I helped them… because of me… he’s probably…”
“Them? Them who, May? Who did you help?”
“They said they were going fix it…”
“Listen to me! Who did you help?! Who’s going to die?!”
David regretted making the last question with such an aggressive voice. That May person was probably broken into tears now between sobs and sighs…
“I’m… I’m sorry.” He could hear her now. It was true that he had gone too far.
Talk about a lifesaver!
“Ampharos! He’s back!” The boy immediately got up as a light kept growing stronger in the room’s entrance, describing a shadow with it.
His Walrein’s cries were heard close behind, which meant Ampharos did manage to find him!
“May, this is it! We’re going back to the surface!” The comment was almost satirical, especially now that he could see her face. Though covered in filth and some scratches, her blue eyes still shone under its brown, messy hair. A green bandanna with a white Pokéball pattern, slightly ripped on the front, was fallen over her forehead.
David kneed and took her hands, showing a confident look when he tried to convince her again “Come on. It’s the last chance you’ll probably get to fix your mistake, whatever it was. It’s not too late.”
He pulled May’s hands just when she lowered her head, trying to call her attention – and keeping the lady from passing out unexpectedly.
“You’re a trainer, right?” She nodded, bringing a smile to the boy’s face. “Would you leave your Pokémon to die with you? Or would you rather bring them with you, back to where they can live? There’s no third option here you know?”
“No. Either you come, or they’ll probably stay here with you.”
He sounded cruel, but he wanted to. Driving her into a desperate thought was the only way to bring her into reasoning.
And once more, David shook the other trainer’s hands.
“For your Pokémon. Your friends.”
I’d say that’s enough of a confirmation for me. He thought, beaconing Walrein to make a move.
An icy beam shot from the Pokémon’s mouth, immediately freezing the wall behind the two humans.
“No going back now.” He commented one last time, getting up to help her stand too.
“W-what d-do… do you want to do, then…?”
“Heh. You’re voice is recovering, I see.” He remarked, walking to Walrein’s side. The grin she rewarded him with was encouraging enough to keep explaining. “The plan’s simple. Walrein’s going to blast this wall using Body Slam.”
She was going to object when David raised a hand and kept talking.
“AND give us a ride. We’ll have to hold on tight him when he’s going through the wall. After that, he’ll just swim to surface and get us out of here.”
“A-and… o-once we’re up t-there…?”
A Pokéball suddenly appeared in David’s right hand, being maximized.
“My friend Pidgeot’s giving us another ride. I… I mean, he’ll take you to the safety rafts and we’re both saved.”
May wasn’t too confident, though, and even Walrein was staring at David from the corner of the eye with suspicion.
“Look, we’ve done this already, okgrrmph…?”
May tilted her head, much like Ampharos.
“Something the matter?”
“No…! nothing…!” David discreetly took his feet from underneath Walrein’s paw and discreetly stepped on the Pokémon. “Just some nerves from, you know, doing this again so suddenly…” Taking some steps back, David continued. “Okay, hang on to Walrein. Go no his back and leave some pace for me.”
The trainer nodded and walked to the Pokémon’s side, carefully settling herself on its back. Walrein narrowed his eyes and glared at David as he circled the two in search for a May’s so-called “reserved space” for him.
“Take some aim at the wall, you’re doing the Body Slam in the dark, Walrein.” David explained after lying on the Pokémon’s back as well, clutching the fur around his head. He then used the Pokéball on his free hand to call Ampharos back, leaving the room in perfect obscurity again. “Okay, Walrein… whenever you’re ready, go for it. Just give a warning.”
“Are you sure this is going to work…?”
“Trust me. I’m confident of my Walrein’s skills. Now hold your breath.”
Walrein cleared its throat and coughed.
“And you owe me a handshake.”
David swore he heard something similar to loll when Walrein finally charged against the ice with its full body, smashing the wall with the noise of a thousand mirrors shattering at the same time all around them.
It wasn’t a lasting sensation, though, as a severely cold liquid immediately bathed them upon exiting the ship, which seemed more like a blast from nowhere to those observing underwater, followed by a protruding sound that echoed through the ocean’s waters…
David and May turned their watched toward the ship, the half of the ship they managed to stay and come out alive from after long, endless minutes…
The other half of the ship, unfortunately, was already in the depths…
Their half of the ship was about to have a similar fate, however, since just where the lost half landed, was a wide crack on the seafloor, possibly a one-way ride to eternal darkness…
They felt a warmer water touch their skins when Walrein gave a speed boost, and the sun’s light finally started to bath the water’s lower layers, relieving them for avoiding a much worse fate than most of those who were left behind inside the halls of a sunken ship.
Misty could barely believe her eyes as the helicopter took flight, disappearing into the storm clouds that threatened to attack the survivors. She felt like her heart had been ripped from her chest when she noticed that Ash wasn’t coming out of that ship. Nobody would, not now.
She hadn’t taken her eyes off the vessel ever since the first half completely sank, and now watched as a second half slowly slid into the cold, sea waters.
Staying there wouldn’t guarantee their safety. So Brock and the other ones in the raft made the first move among the crowds.
Releasing their Pokémon, all kinds of water specimens, from Gyarados to rare Lapras, were seen throughout the area, while their trainers wrapped around their necks and tails the ropes found on the boats’ edges.
Misty handed her Pokémon to the others in the raft so they could use them as well, and so she could keep looking out, hoping that, against all odds, something would…
Wait; there was something in the water! She saw it, bubbles!
“Brock! Quick, help me out here! There’s someone here!” She immediately hollered, reaching out for the water. Please, be him…
The bubbling started to increase, and a shadow appeared underwater.
“She’s right! Give her a hand!”
Two men came and also reached their hands into the water, pushing whatever was there back to the surface.
A white object appeared at first, but the three quickly realized it was a Pokémon carrying humans because of the tusks it showed and the two bodies holding on to its neck.
A boy and a girl, more precisely, each of them seeming dismayed and awfully cold.
“Where the heck did these two come from…?” One of the men questioned, helping the other one in putting the two bodies onboard.
“Hey!” Brock suddenly piped up, grabbing the green bandanna on the girl’s hand. “I know that! It’s May’s headband!”
“May?” Misty repeated, trying to remember why the name sounded so similar. “You mean, that girl who followed Ash in Hoenn?”
With the two bodies loaded, they started turning them around, revealing their pallid faces, darkened due to the sun’s absence in the sky.
“Why…” The Cerulean leader started, approaching them. “That’s… David and… May… Then that Walrein must be his…”
“So they escaped from the ship while it was sinking? Impossible!”
“Well they are here, right?”
“Check her pulse. She’s not breathing.” Brock ordered, noticing that David was still breathing, though heavily.
One of the men carefully took May’s pulse and tried to feel the pulsation under Brock and Misty’s anxious eye, uneasily grabbing the gelid skin in search for a sign of life.
“It’s weak, but I can feel it.”
“Will… will… she make it?” The boy coughed his first sounds, astonishing the crew.
“I-I’m no doctor, and she needs serious medical attention. She might make it to shore, but she might not. There’s no way of telling…” The man nervously explained, somewhat embarrassed for his lack of knowledge.
David weakly punched the rubber.
“Your Walrein seems to pack some power. Did you use it to escape?”
“Yeah… he’s really useful.” David commended, patting the walrus on the head.
His hand then fell to the belt around his waist, unclipping a Pokéball that was thrown in the air to release Pidgeot. The people in the raft seemed surprised to see the bird Pokémon, probably because everyone escaped in their first chance. “Put her on Pidgeot and let him do the rest of the job. He’ll know what to do to reach Orthan.”
Pidgeot lowered his altitude enough to allow the men to carry May onto his back, and he immediately felt the girl’s deadweight.
“Go! There’s no time to lose!” David commanded to his Pokémon, watching it fly away, beyond his sight. He sighed and rethought his plan.
It hadn’t gone according to what he thought it would. The plan was to reach the surface with May in a good, healthy state, not hypothermic and or with some possible disease derived.
He didn’t feel sick or even weak, but seeing May in that condition was a letdown for him.
And now, there was only one way for him to reach Orthan: on Walrein’s back. He had no time to lose, and the rafts would take longer to reach the mainland than he would.
It was decided: he confidently got up and jumped out of the boat, climbing up to Walrein’s back again.
“Where are you going? You can’t leave now!” Misty immediately argued, grabbing David’s jacket, but he grabbed her hand and pulled it away.
“I’ve got to reach Orthan in time. If Walrein takes me, I’ll reach it fast than you all will. Besides…” He stopped, staring up. “There’s a real big storm coming. I have to get there fast.”
“But what about us?!”
“I’ll make a call to Kanto and send your coordinates so they can warn the Orthan coastal police and come here with a decent ship.” He signaled with his Pokégear, showing the regional map. “You’re not far from the coast. Make sure you get there soon if the police don’t get here first.”
Walrein started swimming forward, preparing to submerge itself for higher speeds.
Before leaving, David turned one last time, waving his hand.
“Good luck, you all. Hit it, Walrein!”
Before he could even see them nod, Walrein had already started swimming away as fast as he could; and for a walrus, he went out of sight rather quickly, disappearing behind the waves, which’s crests towered high above them.
The storm was coming. And it wouldn’t become a sight to behold.
“Dawn, snap out of it.”
Is it you…? Why are you lifting me…? Why are you just a blur…?
“WAAAH!” The girl suddenly yelled after being hit by a gelid bucket of water. “Where am I?!”
Only a laugh was heard.
“Gary?” She said. She didn’t recognize him right away with that white garbing. She’d been used to seeing Ash’s eternal rival in much darker clothes than a clear cape buttoned by a badge with the shape of a crown on his chest. “I thought… I thought you were…”
“With those doctor wannabes? Yeah right…”
Gary grabbed the bucket and tossed the object into a random cabin, helping Dawn getting up afterwards.
“Those two ran away before the siren even rang. Thanks to them, I nearly got crushed by a table.” Dawn couldn’t avoid giggling with the way he said it. He smiled at her complete consciousness. “Feel anything hurting you?”
She shook her head, which pleased Gary.
“Good. Come on, there’s someone we need to…”
Gary’s eyebrow twitched. It was too perfect to be true.
Dawn kept silent for a few moments, considering the best way to ask it.
“Where’s Piplup? And Ash?”
“I don’t know about your Piplup, but… Ash is probably safe. That guy’s got more lucky shots than anyone else. Like he’s got some aura protecting him.”
The girl giggled again.
“You’re not nervous at all, are you?”
“Nah. We’re on the seafloor, so what? You could be in the rift just ahead…” He satirized, pointing at a dark pit visible through the windows. Dawn felt a chill run down her spine.
“You mean… we’re…”
“If we don’t get out of here soon, you’ll spend the rest of your days in a pit.” She would have passed out in fright right there if it weren’t for Gary reaching her hand, feeling her cold skin into his warm palm. “Just follow me. We’ll be ok. I promise.”
She stared directly into his eyes, trying to search for the truth. They didn’t tremble; they didn’t even move when she made eye contact. His lucid words were telling the truth, and she knew it. In a peaceful manner, her hands clutched his.
“I trust you.”
“Tha-…” The solemn moment was abruptly interrupted by a sudden bang from above, where the twosome stared in panic. “There’s no time to lose now. Follow me!”
Gary grabbed her hand tightly and started running down the hall with her, escaping the tracks of a rambling sound that chased them beyond the ceiling.
Piplup… be safe…
The tragedy as sprawled to all of our heroes… some set apart, others have their fate unknown… friends to whom their friend’s luck is a mystery…
Many survivors await a crucial rescue where time is of essence…
Will the rafts ever reach Orthan in safety?
Vos estis sal terrae
(S. Mathew, 5)