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Old January 23rd, 2010 (12:48 PM). Edited January 24th, 2010 by Grovyle42(Griff8416).
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Grovyle42(Griff8416) Grovyle42(Griff8416) is offline
No. 1 Grovyle Fan
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Great Green North
Gender: Male
Nature: Calm
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Author's Notes: Sorry it took so long. I've had a lot of stuff to do and I got bogged down. I'll update more quickly.

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Deserted


“<Treeeecko… Treeeeeeeeecko… Treeeecko…>”

Corphish stood on the picnic blanket beside Treecko, who sat leaning against his tails. Corphish continued prodding the back of his green head with his claw, hoping to get the reptile’s attention. Treecko opened his eyes and glanced over to Corphish in irritation.

“<Howdy, pardner,>” Corphish said with an innocent smile.

The wood gecko looked back forwards and closed his eyes.

“<Come on, Treeck! I just wanna hang out!>”

“<Too bad,>” he replied, his eyes remaining shut.

Corphish frowned and began ‘stomping’ away from the twig-chewing gecko. “<You used to be cool, man!>” After pausing to think for a moment, Corphish corrected himself. “<Nah, that‘s wrong. You’re always cool, but you’re still being a jerk!>” The water type walked over to Piplup and sat down.

The penguin looked at Corphish and grinned. “<You reek of desperation, you know that?>”

The crustacean shook his head. “<That’s nothin’; you should see me around girls! You don’t know desperate until one of your pick-up lines is ‘Hi, you seem capable of mating and I don’t want to die alone, so could we be a more perfect match?!’>”

Piplup chuckled.

“<You don’t understand the joke, do you?>”

“<…Of course I do!>”

Corphish grinned. “<Maybe when you’re a Prinplup, there, kiddo.>”

“<I’m barely younger than you!>”

Corphish rolled his eyes and began eating bread crumbs on the blanket from the food earlier.

“<Hungry?>” Piplus asked, watching the Corphish with amusement.

“<Always.>”

Blane quickly stood up and pointed. “Hey! I see them!” referring to the search party who went searching for Strix after he went missing.

Sure enough, the group of three humans walked under Daedalus and Avis, who flew above them. The other pokemon were inside their pokeballs due to the injuries they sustained earlier. Kevin held Ace and Jeff was still complaining about being drenched.

“Oh, stop whining, Jeff, or else I’ll make Ace soak you again,” Kevin good-heartedly threatened.

“Do that and I’ll get Atlas to give you an Onix-sized hug,” Jeff retorted.

“Do that and I’ll get Blitz to practice his sword-dance right beside you,” Kevin countered.

Jeff swallowed. “…You win.”

“Was there ever any doubt?” Kevin said with a grin.

“Oh, brother,” said Rachel, sighing.

He sneered at Kevin, not giving up yet. “Well maybe I’ll give Corphish a gun. You know how much he likes the Die Hard movies.”

The blonde haired boy froze with fear. “N-Not cool…”

Jeff smiled victoriously as they reached the picnic blanket where the others were. Corphish looked up with excitement at the returning group.

“<Did Strix find that flower?>” he asked.

The dark-haired teen stared down at Corphish for a good few seconds. “…You knew about this?!”

“<Yup! I’m a good secret-keeper,>” said the water pokemon with a joyful smile.

Jeff let out an exasperated sigh. “Of course. This whole thing could have been avoided.”

“<And I would have told you, too, if you acted like a Growlithe for the rest of the day!>” Corphish added.

“Gee, thanks. I knew I could count on you, Corppy,” Jeff murmured.

“<Uh oh! My sarcasm detector is going off the scale!>”

Corphish, Piplup and Treecko all stood up. “Are we going now?” Blane asked.

Kevin nodded and twirled a pokeball around on his index finger. “Yeah, we should. Everyone should return most of their pokemon to their pokeballs.”

“Why?” asked Jeff.

“Well it’s not very considerate if we make Atlas and Prometheus carry our whole teams on their backs.”

Jeff rolled his eyes and Daedalus glared at Kevin. “<They’re not automobiles!>”

Kevin ignored him and looked to Jeff and Blane. “You two go on Atlas.” Jeff was about to protest, but Kevin cut him off when he turned his attention to Rachel. “And, Rache? You get to ride my Onix,” he said with a wide grin.

Rachel blinked. “…What?”

“I said you get to come with me on Prometheus’ back.” His smirk grew even wider.

She blinked again. “…Excuse me?”

“Are you blonde? I just want to know if you want to get on with me on my rock snake!”

Corphish was laughing uncontrollably on the ground, tears forming in his eyes as he struggled to breathe.

Rachel blushed. “I swear, Togepis are more mature than you! And you’re the one who has blonde hair!” she huffily said, pushing by Kevin, who was grinning feverishly.

“I just don’t understand what was so confusing about what I said!” he remarked, casting a wink to Corphish, who was still doubled over in laughter.

Jeff rolled his eyes. “Return, Corp.” He returned the water type to the pokeball and looked over to Daedalus. He looked at the other pokeball in his hand and felt guilt flood through him. “Dae, I won’t make you go in-”

“<It’s fine. Why would I want to be out here anyways?>” he snappily said.

“Daedalus, I don’t-”

“<Oh, just get it over with,>” the Taillow said, glaring at him.

Jeff stalled and then sighed. He reluctantly pointed the pokeball at him and recalled him to the device. “And you, Treecko?” he asked, turning to where Treecko was standing, but the grass type wasn’t there. Jeff looked around and saw that he was positioned over in the grass attempting to practice his bullet seed. He watched as the wood gecko pokemon managed to get out a short burst of energy seeds before it was cut short.

Kevin winced as he took out a pokeball; his skin was still tender from the poison powder.

“Let’s go, Pro!”

As the rocky titan emerged before them from a mountain of light, he irritably responded, “<It’s ‘Prometheus’.>” He looked around. “<Where is Atlas?>”

Kevin glanced to Jeff, who nodded and retrieved the pokeball from his belt. With a heave, he threw it away from the party and Atlas appeared in an open plain of grass.

“What’d you do that for, Jeff? Now you have to go and pick the pokeball up!” Kevin said matter-of-factly.

Jeff cast him a glare. “I thought it’d look cool, okay?”

“Just because the trainers you see on TV do it, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.”

“Why do you say tha-” Jeff cut himself off upon hearing a series of cracks. He and Kevin looked over to see that Atlas had unwittingly crushed the open pokeball with his heavy body.

Kevin stared at him with an all-knowing grin.

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!” snapped Jeff, blood rushing to his face. He reached for his sixth pokeball and pointed it at the Onix. “Hold on, Atlas, I need to do something.”

“Jeff, what are you do-”

A laser shot from the center of the pokeball and hit Atlas. The Onix, much to Jeff’s confusion, was unaffected by the beam. Then an electrical shock surged out of the pokeball into his hand, and coursed up his arm.

“AHH! What the-?!” he sputtered, dropping the pokeball in shock. Rachel and Blane, who were busy folding the picnic blanket, looked over in surprise.

“You can’t return a pokemon to a pokeball that isn’t the one you caught it in,” Kevin said, walking over.

“I can’t?” he asked, holding his tingling hand.

Blane walked over too. “No. The new pokeballs were installed with extra security measures. When you catch a pokemon, it autoamatically identifies itself with that pokemon, so it will recognize when you try to use it for trying to recall or catch a different pokemon,” explained the black-haired boy

“And they electrocute you when you try?!” he asked.

“Nah. It looks like yours just malfunctioned. They don’t usually do that,” Blane explained.

“Oh, terrific. That was my last pokeball… How am I supposed to recall Atlas now?!” Jeff shouted, his eyes widening in realization.

“Well…” Blane said. “You send the pokeball to your local professor- in your case, Professor Birch- and have him program it to accept Atlas, using the data he received when you caught him, and then you get the pokeball sent back.”

“But we’re nowhere near a pokemon center!”

“Hey, we were going to have Atlas and Prometheus out anyways,” Kevin reminded. “So quit yer’ belly-achin’.”

Atlas looked down at everyone; he was particularly interested in what Treecko was doing, since the grass type seemed to make odd gestures with his mouth.

The wood gecko pokemon attempted to focus despite the commotion surrounding him. Maybe that time it would work. He opened his mouth and attempted to fire the seeds. Nothing.

He tried again. Nothing.

Attempting not to let his frustration take over, he attempted a third time. He built up the energy…

“<Treecko, what are you->”

…and shot them in an inconsistent, short burst… just as Atlas peered his face down into his line of fire. The seeds dug into his face and, worse, his deep scar.

Atlas reared his head up and let out an agonized bellow of sheer pain. The four humans and Prometheus’ eyes widened. Treecko seemed shocked for a split second, but he blinked, folded his arms and aloofly watched the situation with a barely visible scowl on his face.

“Aw crap…” Kevin murmured, beginning to run for cover with Jeff, Rachel, and Blane.

“<A-Atlas! What’s wrong?!>” Prometheus worriedly asked, watching his friend thrash around.

Atlas didn’t hear him; he was in too much pain. He contorted his body and swung his head about. Prometheus quickly slithered forwards to try to get a hold of him. Atlas rammed himself into the Onix, causing him to fall back onto the grass. Prometheus growled and tried to get himself up as quickly as possible.

The roaring Atlas had other plans. He managed to launch himself in the air so that his whole body was airborne. He drove his head into the ground, creating a hole that he quickly dug into. Within seconds, Atlas was completely underground.

“No!” Jeff yelled, running over.

“<Atlas!>” Prometheus said, following suit.

“We have to go after him!” Blane said, getting ready to jump into the hole.

Jeff nodded, also prepared to jump in. Prometheus blocked them with the end oh his tail.

“<That’s idiotic; I want to find him too, but you can’t just go rushing in there after him. The run could cave in at any moment and bury you two alive,>” Prometheus explained.

Jeff grimaced. “Then what do we do?”

“And what set him off?” Rachel asked.

Treecko averted his gaze and idly placed his hands behind his head.

“I saw Treecko hit him with a bullet seed,” Kevin explained.

Jeff glared at Treecko. “What the hell would you do that for?!”

Treecko calmly answered, “<He was unlucky enough to get in my way while I was practicing Bullet Seed.>”

The angry teen growled and looked back down the hole. “Ugh, forget it. We have to focus on getting Atlas before he gets himself or somebody else hurt.”

“But how?” Rachel asked.

Blane nodded, seconding the question. “Yeah. How are we supposed to see where he’s going if he’s underground since we can’t follow him down there?”

“Not to mention the fact that I can’t recall him once we find him…” murmured Jeff.

Kevin folded his arms. “You guys are such downers! Pessimism won’t get us anywhere. We need to believe that we’re gonna find Atlas!”

“YEAH!” Blane yelled. “We’re gonna get Atlas back!” he said, both he and Piplup raising their fists high into the air in a heroic pose.

A brief silence ensued.

Jeff stared at them. “Um… Right, but we’re not going to find him without a plan.”

Just as he finished speaking, there was a small tremor nearby. Everybody looked over to see that Prometheus was hunched over with the side of his head pressed against the ground with his eyes closed.

“Pro, this is no time for napping. Your buddy is out there!” Kevin exclaimed, walking over to him.

“<I’m not ‘napping’, moron; I’m picking up vibrations in the earth so that I can get an idea where Atlas is headed.>”

Kevin shot him a look. “Yeah, that’s what I said!” Kevin elbowed Jeff and muttered to him. “Wow, looks like he’s not as thick-headed as I thought,” he joked.

“<What was that!?>” Prometheus snarled, peering over at him.

Kevin froze and straightened up. “I said you’re really strong!”

The Onix smirked. “<Damn right, I’m strong.>” He lifted his head from the ground and craned it towards the humans. “<I could beat a Steelix if I had to.>”

Kevin folded his arms and raised an eyebrow, looking at the towering serpent curiously. “Is that what happened back at Dewford Cave?”

Jeff wasted no time in backing away from Kevin, as he fully expected him to crushed by an angry Onix. To his surprise, Prometheus averted Kevin’s gaze and looked down the north end of the valley.

“<…Come. Let’s get moving. I felt him go this way- towards the crags on the far end of this valley.>”

“You can see that far?” Kevin said with some admiration in his voice.

Prometheus nodded while continuing to look down the valley. “<Growing up in a dark cave helps. … Now move those thin and gawky limbs of yours and let’s go! You all can hop on my back to save time, but don‘t get too accustomed to this!>” he told them in an intimidating fashion.

“You can sit next to me, Rache,” Kevin said with a grin while he climbed upon the Onix’s rocky back. “It’ll be a bumpy ride.” He cast her a wink.

“Oh brother,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “You’re sitting in front, got it?”

“<Quit hanging about! Let‘s go already,>” Prometheus ordered, glaring down at them.

“What’s the rush, Blue-Eyes?” Kevin goaded.

The Onix narrowed his azure eyes as he loomed over Kevin who still sat on his back. “<You have them too, you know,>” he pointed out.

“Have what?”

“<… That colour… of eyes,>” Prometheus said, rather uncomfortably.

Kevin grinned. “I know. They’re sexy, huh?”

Prometheus raised an eye brow and turned back around. “<And the rush is that my friend is out there doing who knows what? He could get himself hurt or in more trouble.>”

Rachel, Jeff, Blane, Piplup and Treecko all hopped on and held on tight as Prometheus began to move and gradually gain speed. He kept most of the length of his body hugged against the ground, partially to accommodate his passengers, but mostly to detect any vibrations in the ground caused by Atlas.

“Any luck?” Jeff impatiently asked, tightly clutching the serpent’s rocky form.

“<Don’t rush me… but yeah, I can feel some aftershock reverberations. They’re going in a straight line; Atlas must be too focused on something to bother changing directions,>“ Prometheus responded.

His passengers looked forward to see, at the end of the valley, a passage between two cliff faces. It was there that the grassland converged into a desert. Perpendicular to that was a continuation of the valley that led to the left as the cliffs began to rise higher and become more mountainous.

“<Nice place…>” Prometheus murmured.

“Yeah, it’s a great big maze for finding Atlas, but at least it looks nice,” Kevin joked.

The Onix rolled his eyes. “<Lucky for us he’s headed towards the desert. Since we lived near a beach, as soon as he hits that sand his gut will tell him to surface.>”

“Why?” Blane asked.

“<Where we come from, sand means water. And the deeper you go, the wetter it gets. I hope I don’t need to tell you that we Onixes don’t like water much.>”

“Oh, so you guys are afraid of water?” Kevin asked in a good-hearted, goading manner.

“Kevin…” warned Rachel, holding onto Prometheus even tighter than before,

Prometheus abruptly stopped and looked over his shoulder, or lack thereof. “<No, we’re not afraid of water! …We just have a healthy respect for it,>” he proudly replied, nodding before continuing to slither over the blades of grass towards the pass. “<What happened to him anyways? My buddy’s tough as nails; he wouldn’t do that over a few seeds.>”

“<Want to put that to the test?>” Treecko asked, opening one of his eyes and glancing at Prometheus.

“<Yes…>“ he answered. “<But later. Well?>“

Everyone looked at Jeff, who let out a sigh of reluctant agreement. "Well, when something hits that gash in his face," Jeff said, pausing for effect as he gave a brief, over-the-shoulder glare at Treecko, "he goes wild." The Nurse Joy from Slateport said that it had something to do with iron and a nerve. I’m not really sure, but I have to treat it like once a day or something.”

“<‘Or something’. That’s reassuring,>” Prometheus muttered.

“So, I guess Treecko literally ‘struck a nerve’, huh?” Kevin said with a wide grin, which soon disappeared after being glared down by everybody.

“<Right… So we’re here,>” Prometheus said, coming to a halt in front of the pass. Prometheus’ passengers jumped down to the grass below. They looked into the pass, which was a wide gap between two tall cliff faces- the cliff that went along the valley as it formed an upside down 'L' shape. Within appeared to be a vast desert of brown and golden sand which was immersed in what looked like a large sand storm. Waves of granules swept horizontally across the pass, hindering their view of what was inside greatly. Even without the sandstorm, they probably would have had trouble seeing the opposite side of the desert.

“I’ve read about this place,” Rachel said. “The wind comes down on the opposite side from where we are and banks off each of the cliff faces on all sides of the desert, creating a sort of contained sand cyclone.”

“So what’s that mean?” Blane asked.

“It means if you like having unshredded skin, then there’s no way we’re going in there,” answered Kevin.

“What?!” Jeff protested. “What about Atlas?! We can’t leave him!”

Prometheus looked back at them. “<I can find him, of course. It’ll be no problem for me.>“

“You can’t administer the medicine though. You might be able to get him under control for a few moments, but he’ll just break out into a rage again. You won’t be able to bring him back here by yourself.”

“<I’ll find a way,>” Prometheus growled.

“No. It’s not going to work.”

“<I don’t remember when I started taking orders from a soft-skinned human who’s one twentieth my size,>” he snarled.

“Okay, okay. Let’s settle down. We’ll think of something,” Rachel said, hoping to diffuse the situation before Prometheus got too worked up and did something that might crush them.

Kevin eyed the backpack hanging from Jeff’s shoulders and a victorious smirk creeped onto his face. “Hey, Jeff? How did I hide the bags when that cop showed up outside of Mauville

Jeff gave him a confused look, but responded, “You threw the bags into Prometheus’ mouth to hide them…” He glanced at Kevin as the blonde-haired teen’s smile grew exponentially. Jeff’s eyes widened with realization. “No… No no. No way! That’s not gonna happen! Not in your life!”

“Uhh… Am I missing something?” Blane asked.

"Well, Blane," Kevin began, "I figured out that a way for both Prometheus and Jeff to go- Prometheus to find Atlas and Jeff to give him the medicine- without Jeff having to worry about being torn up by the sandstorm, is for Jeff to be transported in Pro’s mouth.”

Prometheus sneered. “<It’s ’Prometheu-’…>” He cut himself off as he backtracked to what Kevin had said. Like Jeff, his eyes also widened.

“I don’t want to be in an Onix’s mouth!”

“<I don’t want a human in my mouth!>”

Their chorus fell on deaf ears. Kevin, Blane, and his Piplup all seemed to be stifling laughter. “You want to get Atlas back, don’t you?” Kevin asked between laughs.

They both nodded and looked at one another tentatively. Prometheus sighed. “<Let’s get this over with…>”

Jeff conceded as well and reluctantly approached Prometheus’ mouth. He cast a furious glare to Kevin. “You’re loving this, aren’t you?”

Kevin’s chuckle was a full on guffaw by now. “You have no idea! …Quick! Toss me Corphish’s pokeball! He has to see this!”

The dark haired teen ignored him and looked at Prometheus. The Onix slowly opened his mouth, with some embarrassment at the situation obvious on his face. Jeff meant to step forwards, but his limbs seemed to refuse. He stared with trepidation at the large serpent’s open maw. “<Get on with it, then. My mouth is starting to dry out.>”

“That’s supposed to make me go faster?”

The Onix shot him a glare. “<The longer we wait around here whining about it, the longer Atlas is out there in who knows what sort of trouble!>”

Jeff nodded and quickly stepped in, staying close the beak-like part of his lip and keeping away from Prometheus’ tongue. “If you swallow me whole, I promise I’m going to make your liver my punching bag.”

Prometheus chuckled slightly, sending a wave of hot air over Jeff, whose nose curled at the earthy smell of the rock pokemon’s breath. “Man, ever heard of Mentos?”

“<I don’t know who or what that is,>” was Prometheus’ reply to Jeff. “<I’ll stop talking now so that there’s no… accidents… in there.>”

The distraught teen let out a worried gulp as Prometheus closed his mouth, leaving it open a crack for Jeff to breathe from and peer out of.

The Onix slowly slithered over the ground. He went through the pass and soon became engulfed in the sand storm. It didn't phase him however - only his sight and hearing was impaired. The waves of sand were thicker than any fog and the high winds wailed in his ears. Prometheus was forced to resort to his sense of touch, feeling for vibrations like he had been doing before.

In every direction was airborne sand. It was so dense that Prometheus could barely make out the face of the nearby cliff. The golden haze of sediment constantly slammed against his rocky hide, but it did nothing more than ricochet off of it. The stone serpent carefully treaded through the sifting sands.

“<I think I’ve picked up something,>” he thought to himself as he creeped through the treacherous desert.

Jeff eagerly looked out the small slit in Prometheus’ mouth, but saw nothing but sand which almost blotted out the sun‘s rays as it flew about.

“Where are you, Atlas?” he murmured as he attempted to ignore the Onix saliva drenching his feet while he crouched.

Suddenly, a very slight, irregular vibration in the ground caught Prometheus’ attention. Without a second guess, he changed his course and turned on a diagonal angle. Sure enough, he could see a large hole in the sand, that was quickly filling in, and a trail in the sand leading from it that was undoubtedly from an Onix. Prometheus followed the trail which was being covered at a rapid rate by the storm and within less than a minute he could see Atlas’ silhouette in the storm of sand ahead of him.

Prometheus slithered forwards and found his friend lying on the ground, unmoving except for the end of his tail which would occasionally whip against the desert floor. Sweat coated his body, dripping through the microscopic pores on Atlas’ rocky hide. The Onix took rapid, laboured breaths as if he was hyperventilating.

Prometheus quickly opened his mouth and shoved Jeff out of it using his tongue. Before Jeff could utter any words, the Onix curled around both Jeff and Atlas’ head, creating an almost elliptical barrier to protect the human from the sand storm. The teenager scowled as sand stuck to the Onix slobber that drenched his clothes and skin. His annoyance, however, quickly turned to concern. He ran over to Atlas and stood in front of his face.

“<Atlas? It’s us: Prometheus and Jeff. Say something. Are you okay?>” Prometheus asked while glancing over from his position of hugging the ground.

Atlas’ bloodshot eyes opened slightly but he soon grimaced in pain. He attempted to slow his breaths and calm down. “<…Jeff? …Prometheus?>”

“Yeah, we’re here. You’re going to be okay,” Jeff reassured, attempting to hide his worry as he swung around his backpack.

“<…What…>” Atlas was forced to pause as he felt a wave of pain come back to his scar before leaving again. “<…What happened?>”

“A stray Bullet Seed hit your scar and you went berserk again.”

Atlas winced. “<Did I… hurt anybody?>”

“<Nah. You just slithered off in a hurry,>” Prometheus answered.

The pained Onix half-sighed in relief before taking to wincing again. “You’re going to have to try to stay still, Atlas,” Jeff told him as he readied the spray bottle of medicine.

Atlas barely nodded in response. His eyes scanned the area as best as they could from his place on the ground. “<Where… am I?>” he managed.

“In a desert,” Jeff answered, beginning to spray the medicine into the interior of the gash. The greenish paralyze heal medicine sent a cooling sensation through Atlas as it lined the wound.

“<I’m not sure if this human of yours is brave or stupid for insisting on coming after you in a sandstorm like this,>” Prometheus said with a slight grin. Atlas remained silent, absorbed in his thoughts. Prometheus looked over at him with a raised eyebrow. “<…Atlas?>“

The Onix shut his eyes tightly. “<…You came all the way out here… for me?>”

Jeff grinned. “Of course, Atlas. You’re my friend,” he answered warmly.

Tears entered Atlas’ eyes. “<Jeff… I have to tell you something…>”

“…Atlas? Are you… okay?”

A tear rolled sideways down his face and landed in the sand below. He opened his grey eyes slightly and looked at Jeff. “<Please… Just listen…>”

Jeff nodded silently and placed a hand on Atlas’s nose. The Onix’s eyes strayed to the ground as he began. “<I was using you…>” Jeff stared at him in confusion. “<…Back when we first met. Outside that town… I purposefully slept near you and the others. I had heard about trainers back in the cave where I lived. I knew that they went by Dewford Island for the gym there. I figured you probably hadn’t been there yet… so you were my ticket back to the cave.>“

Atlas shut his eyes and another tear made its way onto the sandy ground. “<…I needed to stop Cronus. What he was doing… I couldn’t handle it. Once we were in Dewford… I was going to abandon you… to go to the cave. And once I got rid of Cronus… I was going to stay there,>“ he explained shakily, his words dripping with guilt.

The distraught Onix willed himself to open his eyes and stare at Jeff, who seemed to be in a state of shock. “<… You’ve been such a great friend to me, though. I… I don’t deserve your friendship, Jeff. I’m so sorry.>”

“… I-…” Jeff’s attempt to say something comprehensible failed miserably. He was simply at a loss for words.

Prometheus shifted uncomfortably in his place. He decided now would be a good time to interrupt. “<Here’s the deal, guys. First of all, Atlas, can you move at all?>”

“<Sorry…>” Atlas responded, almost at a whisper.

“<Okay, yeah, here’s the deal. I need to bring you out of here, Atlas, but I can’t safely do that while the human’s in my mouth, so we need to do this one at a time.>”

“Bring Atlas first,” Jeff said, seeming half-lost in his thoughts.

Prometheus stared over at him. “<Do you have a rock-hard hide that you weren’t telling us about?>”

“Uhh…”

The serpent was just about to let out a victorious snark, but his grin abruptly disappeared. He looked around for his tracks that had been made when he set out looking for Atlas, but they had been swept away by the sand storm. “<Groudon’s blood…>” he swore.

“<What is it?>” Atlas asked weakly.

Prometheus grunted and rested his chin on the sand. “<When I was looking for you, I had to rely on the vibrations in the ground that you made in order to find you. That was my only sense of direction in this thick storm. But now that we’re here, I can’t use you as a reference point… and now the storm erased my tracks.>” He let out a slightly embarrassed grumble. “<I have no idea where we are…>”

If the mood could have gotten any worse, it just did. Atlas sighed and lifted his head slightly. “<You need to bring Jeff somewhere safe. There’s no telling what the wind will do.>”

“<Yeah, great. I don’t suppose you see any caves in the middle of the desert, do you?>”

“<No…>” Atlas’ gaze shifted to something behind Prometheus’ head. He even raised his head to look upwards. Confused, Prometheus looked behind him and a silhouette of something large caught his eye. A giant obelisk, of sorts, stood towering in the thick of the sandstorm.

“<Great Groudon‘s tail…>” Prometheus said with astonishment.

“Mirage Tower…” Jeff said, almost at a murmur, as he looked up at the sizable tower. He remembered learning about this tower on TV. They were doing a lot of careful digs and excavations inside and around the tower, though people who wanted the tower preserved and untouched in its entirity barred any further official digs.

“<That seems like a good place to put the soft-skinned human while I take you, Atlas, and try to find our way out of here. Then I can leave you back with the others, come back for Jeff since it won‘t be hard to miss something like that, and then you can thump your tail on the ground constantly so that I’ll be able to follow the reverberations out of here,>” Prometheus explained.

“<That’s a good plan, Prometheus. How does that sound… Jeff?>” Atlas asked, looking over at the teen, insecurely.

“Uh… yeah. Sounds good,” he replied, still slightly distracted.

Atlas’ eyes found themselves staring at the ground again. Prometheus glanced at Jeff. “<Get on with it then. The sooner we get you over there, the better. It’ll be nightfall soon.>”

Jeff nodded and walked over to Prometheus, reluctantly jumping in his mouth again. The Onix broke his elliptical position and began to slither in the direction of the large beige tower, which the sandstorm made seem darker than it was.

As they approached the tower, they saw that the tower seemed abandoned and relatively decrepit. It was stable enough, but Prometheus could easily destroy it by ramming into it, if he wanted to. The large dusty stones were cracked in some places and worn down by all the past sandstorms in the desert. Large dunes surrounded Mirage Tower, almost hiding the lower half of the tower, however its sheer height in comparison to the relatively low and level desert made it still easy to see. It loomed over even a Steelix at a full stand. Any traces of human or pokemon activity around archaic tower were long since erased by the sands sifting from the strong winds.

Prometheus slithered around it until he came across an opening, which was really no more than a door-shaped hole in the wall at the top of three deteriorated stairs. Beside the door were some barely visible, word down glyphs- a language of which may have been lost in time. He moved his snout close to the door and opened his mouth so that Jeff could jump out and be immediately inside.

“<Just stay away from the door and stay put,>” Prometheus ordered. “<And don’t go wandering. Understood?>”

Jeff nodded and stepped to the side as Prometheus backed out and quickly slithered back the way he came. The human sighed and leaned against the wall. It was cool, as was the air inside the tower. Jeff’s eyes adjusted to darkness and he began to look around. The interior was made entirely of stone. Limestone, probably. The floor, littered with sand and dirt, was level around the perimeter of the walls, but there was a large excavation in the center of the room, about two meters deep that took up more than half of the room‘s width. In the far right corner of the room, he saw what appeared to be a stone staircase leading up to a second level. Having nothing better to do, he decided to go check it out. He didn't pay much heed to Prometheus' words since he was very preoccupied, so Jeff walked alongside the wall, going around the depression in the floor, which he presumed was created by archaeologists or palaeontologists.

He ran his fingers along the left wall as he walked towards the stairs. The teen let out a sigh. “First Treecko… and now Atlas?” he mentally asked himself. “I try so hard to be a good friend to them… so why does stuff like this keep happening to me? Is it me?”

Jeff attempted to shove the thoughts aside. “It’ll only make me feel worse if I dwell on it now. I should focus on where I’m going,” he thought, approaching the stairs and tentatively placing his weight on the first one. Upon being reassured that it was safe, he slowly made his way to the next… and then the next… and so on. He reached the top of the stone stairs and to his right he saw a wall leading from the side of the tower he was on, to the opposite one. Further down, closer to the far end, was an opening that led into a similar room as was on the floor below.

The teen shrugged and decided to allow his curiosity to get the better of him. He walked down the dark corridor and warily approached door. Jeff halted in the doorway. In the center of the room was an excavation similar to the one below, but it wasn’t as deep because it wasn’t on a ground floor and it looked as if it wasn’t created by an archaeological team.

Jeff suddenly heard scuffling from inside and he stepped forwards to get a better look. In the center of the depression, he could see the contour of something… something moving. He backed up and narrowed his eyes, leering into the dark of the room until he could make out a bit of the figure. To his dread, he identified the colour of the figure as a dense hue of purple.

Two loud stomps could be heard as the silhouette turned to face him. The form was indeed familiar to Jeff. Way too familiar. A small, singular ray of light that made its way through a small crack in the wall and illuminated the creature’s face as it suddenly stepped forwards. The human saw the face of a Nidoking that donned an eyepatch over his right eye.

“…Daggerback…” he whispered in shock.

The Nidoking stared at him in shock, but soon a malicious grin crawled onto his face. “<Well… my day just got better.>”
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[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
Older Fic banner by Scenice.
Old Fic banner by Sammi-Chan.
New Fic banner by Scenice
Banner and avatar by Anastasia R.
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