[QUOTE=Cutlerine;6964358]Like a boomerang, like a pigeon, like a rubber ball, I return, and bring on my wings the twin gifts of reviewing and... er, something else. I should really start thinking these things through before I start writing them.
OK, onto the review. There are a couple of dialogue-related mistakes here:
That comma after 'mumbled' ought to be a full stop, because the two things Black says aren't part of the same sentence.
Here, you should remove the comma before 'Marylin', and change the one after 'trainers' to a full stop, as well as capitalising the 'don't'. It's all for the same reason as the above example: 'Palkia's plectrum' and 'Don't try to stop us, it's for their own good!' are separate sentences. You make similar mistakes throughout; I suggest you look it over and search them out.[.QUOTE]
Yeah, I know. I was all over the place with commas and periods after dialogue in these old parts. I will likely rewrite the whole story once I finish it, but since in my current planning there will be seventy-seven chapters, that's still very far away. So until then, the grammatical mistakes in the early chapters are unfortunately going to stay.
Chapter Eleven: Incendiary Inferno of Crimson Chaos Fire
The Heatmor and the Ninetales breathed in deeply, while the Chandelure's flames burned larger and larger as they prepared to incinerate Octa and Boreas. Though both tried to think of a way out, it seemed there was no escape from their impending doom. All three of their enemies spit a huge ball of flame, and just as Boreas thought his fiery, painful end was nigh, a dark shape jumped into the fiery stream. The fireballs exploded in a massive eruption of intense heat, consuming the dark figure. But when the blast of fire wore off, the figure was still standing, glowing with fiery energy.
“Flash Fire.” Lucius sneered.
“Wat?!” Rood exclaimed.
Black, Bianca, Cheren, and their pokémon stood in the cave opening. “You have an interesting way of “liberating” pokémon, Rood.”
Boreas saw Lucius was about to unleash the fiery energy he had absorbed from the three Fire Blasts back at the enemy. “No! Don't use fire-attacks!”
Lucius stopped only to look at him with contempt. “Don't tell me what to do, pup.”
“Look, if they can do that too, you'll only make them stronger!”
Lucius stopped before spitting fire, though he didn't acknowledge Boreas' correctness.
Still seething with anger, Rood said “You have defeated my grunts, I see, while you sent your pokémon ahead to cheat!”
“They smashed three of my pokéballs!”
Black chuckled. “Hey, that was a good idea! Great job, you two!”
“See?” Rood seethed, “This is the sort of thing that made me leave the Elite Four and join Team Plasma. You trainers are all cowards, who don't even respect your own rules! Just because you forced some innocent pokémon to battle for your own filthy glory makes you think you can do anything you wish! What even gives you the right to force a pokémon to battle for you in the first place?”
“Well, what about you? You claim to be liberating pokémon, and yet you use them, and in fact you were about to kill two pokémon just now!”
“Kereltje, Team Plasma only uses pokémon for real, important matters, not for petty personal goals. The liberation of pokémon is for everyone's good, especially the pokémon. If a few minor sacrifices have to be made on the way to a better world, those sacrifices are worth it. I don't expect you to understand. I only expect you to surrender. You know you can't win against me, even though you outnumber me and your cowardly cheating left me at half strength. If you dare oppose me, I will kill you and your pokémon as an example of what happens to those who oppose Team Plasma. Please don't make me do that. The screams when someone is burning to death are rather... Appalling.”
Boreas felt his fur rise in fear, and wanted nothing more than to get away from the three large, fiery pokémon about to burn him to death. “No.” Black said, “Your threats shan't work on us, Rood. We're going to stop you.”
As much as he wanted to get as far away from the three powerful fire-types as he could, Boreas resolved to stay and fight if Black did.
Cheren nodded resolutely. “Yeah. We outnumber you three-to-one, and besides, I'd love to test my strength against a real Elite Four.”
Bianca, however, was silent, and biting her fingernails. Rood smiled a disgustingly friendly smile. “En jij, meisje? Do you have a death wish too or are you smart enough to surrender? I don't want to kill you, and you don't want to die, so why don't you allow both of us not to do those things?”
Bianca's lip started trembling. “Okay.” She whimpered silently.
“No!” Black shouted, “Bianca, don't give up.”
“I-I'm sorry. Please don't fight him, he'll kill you!”
“Bianca, please!” Black begged her, “Don't surrender! He's just trying to frighten us because he's scared of us. If we stand together, he's outnumbered three-to-one, he can't that.”
“I can't fight!” Bianca panicked, “he's an Elite Four, he'll beat us even outnumbered! Please, I don't want you to die, don't fight him!”
“Bianca, please, we need your help!”
“No we don't.” Cheren interrupted snidely, “Why would we need her help?”
“Cheren, shut up.” Black hissed.
“It's true, isn't it? We don't need the help of someone too scared and weak to help her friends when they need her help most.”
“You're not helping...” Black said between clenched teeth.
Bianca looked like she was going to say something, but then burst out in tears and returned her pokémon to their pokéballs.
“You made a wise choice.” Rood said, “Are either of you two going to surrender too, or am I going to burn you alive?”
“I told you, Rood,” Black said, “you can't intimidate us.”
“Fine!” Rood shouted, suddenly furious, “Then you brought it over yourself! Eat flaming death! Hel, Vuur, Vlam, Flamethrower!”
The next moment the entire cave was filled with fiery crimson chaos. As huge beams of fire raged through the cave, Boreas had no time to keep an eye on anyone else's actions, too busy just staying alive in the fiery hell that the cave had suddenly become. He rolled away to dodge flames, ducked under them, and fled from them. Occasionally he would catch a quick glimpse of another pokémon doing the same. He tried to at least dodge to the enemy's direction, so that he might get to attack them at some point. The air in the cave was a wild gyre, as the flames were constantly heating different parts of it. Temperatures in the cave fluctuated insanely and rapidly between a sunny day in a desert and enough heat to ignite flesh and melt bones.
Boreas saw a quick glimpse of Cheren's Pidove performing an aerial assault on the enemy Heatmor before his head was almost burnt off by a ray of fire he barely dodged. It ignited the tip of his left ear instead, but he had no time to extinguish it as he had to push himself to the ground to dodge another Flamethrower trying to incinerate him. Lucius ran past him, ignoring the flames and blood dripping from his jaws before Boreas lost sight of him in the burning fury. He extinguished his burning ear by slapping it with his paw. He yelped in pain as a momentary wave of air that would probably have set him on fire if it lasted longer washed over him.
Boreas realised how incredibly different this battle was from the Gym battle. In the Gym Battle his opponent had only been trying to incapacitate or temporarily injure him, and had kept his fire relatively cool and under control. While here there was no question about the fact that the opponent was trying nothing less than to kill him with huge, incredibly hot flames. Boreas saw a glimpse of Black rolling over the ground, his right leg on fire, before his view was obscured by a blast of flames.
Suddenly a part of the omnipresent veil of fire parted, and Boreas and the gorgeous Ninetales saw each other. She immediately drew a big breath to execute Boreas, who did the only thing he could think of: he tossed a pawful of sand into her eyes. With the sand obscuring her vision, she managed to miss Boreas, who used the opportunity to Tackle her. The Ninetales, however, easily stopped him with a claw, and backhanded him away with a slap of another claw. In a stroke of extraordinary luck, he wasn't directly hit by any fire as he hurtled through the sea of flames. He landed next to a dried-out looking yellow-green snake.
“'Tis pleasant to see you again, my dear fellow.” Octa greeted him calmly, sounding as if they had just happened to run into each other while enjoying a walk in Hyde Park, “It seems we are in a quite troublesome situation.” He cringed with pain from the heat as he sidestepped a Flamethrower.
“Enough with the stiff upper lip already, are you alright?” Boreas said as he heard a horrible screech and saw Cheren's Pidove, ablaze with fierce blue flames, fly over erratically.
“Well, the heat is quite unpleas- Watch out!” he struck Boreas with his vines, hurtling him back a moment before a stream of flames passed between them. “As I said, the heat is quite unpleasant, but the flames themselves are a rather more immediate concern of mine.”
Suddenly a dark shape emerged from the flames as Hel the Chandelure approached, firing bursts of blue flames at them. Octa and Boreas tried to run away, but the ghostly creature created a ring of horrid blue fire around them. Boreas looked up in despair at the Chandelure powering up for an executing Flamethrower, but then he saw something that gave him an idea. “Octa! Hit the stalactites!”
The Chandelure was about to incinerate both of them when Octa stretched his vines around it and hit a stalactite above. The stalactite broke off and came crashing down onto the fire-type, taking it down to the ground. Though it seemed injured, it started to move again when Octa made two more stalactites crash into it. One of the stalactites pierced the ghostly body with its tip, and big pools of a transparent fluid leaked out of the creature and immediately caught fire before Rood returned it to its pokéball.
“There's two more to go!” Cheren's Tepig, running past, called. Suddenly a torrent of fire forced Octa and Boreas to run away in opposite directions. Boreas passed a dark wounded shape on the ground and realised it was Lucius. He was unconscious and his legs looked broken, but seemed to be alive. Boreas tried to make his way to the remaining enemies to see if they could be dispatched in the same manner as the Chandelure when suddenly a beam of fire shot from the left. Boreas tried to dodge it by jumping out of the way, but it was too late.
An abhorrent gust of infernal, flames hit Boreas, much, much warmer than anything he had ever imagined possible. Every single cell in his body screamed in torturous agony, as did Boreas himself. His entire body was in excruciating anguish as the flames enveloped him. Though he had been in the Flamethrower only momentarily, the torture continued as he was on fire. He tried to roll over the ground to extinguish the agonising flames consuming his flesh, but they burned so hard that even if he did manage to extinguish something, it would catch alight almost immediately from a neighbouring body part. With the last bit of his thoughts not concerning itself with writhing in torturous agony, he realised his only hope was to find the underground river, but he couldn't even look out of his eyes to find it, as the fur around them was burning and blinded him with its intense light.
Then there was suddenly relief from the burning heat. He wondered if it was death, and if it was he wouldn't even mind as long as it stopped the pain, but then realised that it was, in fact, water being shot at him, dousing his burning body. He gasped with joy as the pain all over his body lessened to approximately the pain one would feel if his skin had been torn off and cautiously opened his eyes again. It was very hard to see through the dried-out eyes, but he saw a blue, white, and rather stupid-looking shape.
“Oshy!” he gasped, “Thank you so much! Spit water at the enemy now!”
“Already tried that.” Oshy said softly, “They just counter it with Flamethrowers, which are so hot they evaporate my water before it reaches them.” Then he ran off as a long, pained yell sounded.
Gritting his teeth in pain, Boreas managed to get on his feet and dragged himself to the enemy. He saw Munny float over and be blasted away in mid-air by a beam of fire. He dragged himself to the underground river, and unceremoniously fell into it. The water soothed his burns and stopped his fur from smouldering. Rehydrating his dry eyes in the water, he looked at the part of the cave he could see. Though it seemed there were no stalactite above the remaining enemies, Boreas managed to think of a plan. But he would at least need Octa and Oshy's help for it.
He clambered onto the shore and immediately had to duck under a Flamethrower. He found Octa, looking even more dehydrated and with a burnt tail, in the crimson chaos and told him his part of the plan. He found Oshy and as the Oshawott blasted the enemy with water to distract them, Boreas managed to find Cheren's Purrloin, the only other pokémon still in fighting condition, and together they performed their part of the plan: throwing sand into the eyes of the enemies. The sand made it harder for them to properly counter Oshy's Water Guns, though even when they were hit, it seemed to have little effect. But Boreas caught a glimpse of rising water, realising Octa's part of the plan had worked: He had collapsed the stalactites above the river, thus blocking the water's exit. The cave was rapidly flooding, but Vuur and Vlam were too busy trying to counter Oshy's Water Guns and were nearly blinded by all the sand in their eyes. The water washed over their feet, and both fire-types yelped, but when they tried to step out of it, they found more water in all directions.
“Wat nu weer?!” Rood yelled, “Vuur, Vlam, Inferno!”
They stopped trying to hit specific targets with their Flamethrowers, and instead resorted to emitting huge waves of intense fire, emerging to all directions. Though there were holes in the waves of flame that were not that hard to get through, it was hard to do this wave after wave. As they planned, the four remaining pokémon slowly manoeuvred around the two mighty fire-types, so that they stood between them and the rising river.
“Get to dry land!” Rood commanded his pokémon as the water rose rapidly. Blinded by the sand in their eyes, the two assumed this to be the direction their enemies were standing in, and they blindly charged them, firing Flamethrowers in their direction as they did so. Moments after running past them, the two fell into the deep water, releasing massive amounts of steam and smoke.
“Nee!” Rood shouted as he threw two pokéballs. Then he spoke into his Xtranceiver: “Plasma, initiate Operation G.T.F.O.!”
“Surrender, Rood.” Cheren said, walking through the thick smoke that by now filled the cave. “You lost.”
“I don't think so.” Rood said as he threw a smoke bomb and even thicker smoke filled the cave. “You may win today, but it was only through luck and cheating. Don't meddle with Plasma again, as you won't be so lucky next time.”
After the thick black smoke finally cleared, Rood, nor any other Plasma member, was to be found. It seemed they had been extremely lucky, as none of the pokémon had died during the battle. Cheren's Pidove had been closest, but she had turned out to have crashed into the river and was floating around on her back, badly burnt but still alive. Now that the excitement of battle was over, Boreas had a chance to examine himself. His fur was badly burnt, completely blackened and dead in some places, while in others it just looked poor and thin. The skin underneath had been somewhat protected from the fire by his fur, and though burnt all over, it only looked very bad in some spots. He did notice an awful smell of burning meat, though, and with horror realised it was his own smell.
As Bianca found her injured pokémon, Black, walking with a slight limp on his burnt leg, thanked her for joining the battle after all, while Cheren didn't speak a word to her and barely acknowledged her existence. Octa's tail had been hit with a direct flame, but the rest of his injuries amounted to dehydration from the heat. Boreas felt he had to talk to him.
“I'm sorry, Octa.” he said.
“You were right, I shouldn't have gotten so angry and wasted everyone's time. And I shouldn't have insulted you.”
“No, my dear fellow, I should be the one to apologise. I might have been somewhat more considerate of your feelings, after all you've been through quite the experience and 'tis unfair of me to expect you to be entirely rational about it. And I really shouldn't have insulted your family and implied you were not worthy to interact with me.”
And with a quick hug, they forgave each other. Octa sniffed. “Oh my, you really don't smell or look too good, my dear fellow.”
“I don't feel too good either.” Boreas agreed. “Do you think I'll get better? I really wish I won't have to live feeling all this pain and looking like this.”
“Don't worry, humans are very good at treating injuries. With their medicine, I'm sure you shall make a full recovery.”