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Old February 6th, 2012 (2:23 PM).
apenpaap apenpaap is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 79
Quote originally posted by destinedjagold:
Anyway, it was a great re-read.
A bit weird since Boreas wasn't on this chapter when I first read it, but it was still good. Would have been more fun if you included what Lucius and Selene were up to. xD
I really wanted to focus on Toxica in these few chapters, since she hasn't had much development and Boreas' absence was a great excuse to give her some by making her the protagonist temporarily. Aside from her, I mainly wanted to portray Octa's family, and Lucius and Selene were not all that conductive to doing that.

Chapter Forty-Six: Celestial Tower Skirmish
A week after their stay with Octa's family, Toxica had still barely spoken a word to the Servine. He had not simply broken her heart; he had shattered it and jumped on the remains. If he had simply broken her heart, it would've been so much better. The sadness and rage she felt reminded her of the meltdown between Boreas and Aqua in Chargestone Cave. At least those two had made up a month later and were probably having some how's your father together right now, Toxica thought bitterly and enviously. They had had it so easy with their love-life, barely facing any difficulties at all, while she had fallen in love with some stupid dental from a family on an incredibly high Rapidash. She hadn't told Octa that his mother had told her about his family's ridiculous habits yet, figuring he'd infer it from her behaviour. Surely her anger was unmistakable? She had even tried giving him the same stare Galaxia had subjected her to, but it didn't have remotely the same kind of effect without thirty-three generations of practise backing you up. Yet, despite all her obvious signs of anger and broken heartedness, he hadn't even asked her what was wrong. This made her feel even more furious and sad, especially since she had no-one to share her troubles with. She wished Capella wasn't dead, or at least that Boreas wasn't off fooling around with Aqua.
The grasslands were now lower than they were on the southern parts of the route, allowing Toxica to see her surroundings. The White Mountains, which she knew they'd have to climb to get to Icirrus, were visible on the horizon; very small and blue with distance. A tall white tower was also visible, much closer than the mountains. The plains they were now on would soon pass into a thick conifer forest growing on the White Mountains' foothills, by the looks of it.
At some point they noticed some humans grouped together in the plain to their left. Curious, Black went to them to see what was going on and found Skyla among them, talking to the other humans.
Skyla!” Black greeted her happily, “what are you doing here?”
Skyla turned around in surprise. “Oh, hi, Black! I guess it's a small world after all, running into you like this! I flew here, because there's a problem in Celestial Tower.”
Then it's a good thing I came by, I'll help you solve it,” Black boasted.
Hmm, I could use some help. Are you afraid of ghosts?”
Me? Afraid? I don't know the meaning of the word.”
It's a strong, unpleasant emotion caused by the perception of danger,” explained Selene.
It's a metaphor, featherhead!” snarled Lucius.
Nah,” said Selene, “it's an emotion.”
As Lucius and Selene bantered, Toxica realised she was afraid of ghosts. She had never met one, but the idea of a malicious gaseous lifeform which lives in the dark and loves being around graves terrified her. Not to mention the many legends about them actually being dead people or stealing your soul... Toxica looked around to see if the others felt the same way as her, but they didn't seem too worried. Lucius and Selene had it easy of course, being dark-types. But Octa wasn't worried either. Admiration for his bravery and fury at his eternal cold, emotionless state both clouded Toxica's mind.
She tried to shake her troubled emotions off to listen to Skyla's problem. Apparently Celestial Tower was the large white tower. It was a burial ground, so naturally it was home to some ghost-types, but since yesterday they were much more numerous and powerful than normal, and had attacked the people manning the tower and taken over the village around it, chasing the villagers away.
...So the villagers called in the help of me and Brycen, as Gym Leaders of the closest cities, and here we are,” Skyla finished her explanation.
Brycen?” asked Black.
Oh, he's just here, finding more information from the villagers. Brycen! Where are you?! Brycen?!”
Here,” spoke a masked man in bizarre clothes who stepped out of the crowd. He wore a sort of woolly blue toga over a tunic.
Woah, you startled me!” said Skyla. “You're so quiet, sneaking up on me like that. Anyway, this is Black, a trainer who defeated me and offered to help us. Black, this is Brycen, Icirrus' Gym Leader.”
Black greeted Brycen and extended his hand, but the older man simply nodded curtly without saying a word or shaking Black's hand. “Let's go,” he simply said, and led the way to the tower.
Was it something I said?” Toxica heard Black whisper to Skyla as they followed Brycen.
Don't worry, he's not upset, he's always like that. He just doesn't like to use many words.”

The village around the tower was deserted and empty, their footfalls the only sound in the vicinity. The tower itself looked scary and threatening as it loomed over the village. Usually a human settlement had at least some wild pokémon in it, attracted to the humans' food, but this village was abandoned by even them. Toxica's entire instinct told her to run away from this place, and especially from the threatening white tower. Somehow it was even scarier because it was white than if it had been black. Maybe it was because, though Toxica mainly lived by day and slept by night, her species was naturally nocturnal. But there was something else about it, she thought. Something about the unforgiving, plain white that looked hard and unpleasant.
Toxica would've fled, but the three humans and their other pokémon were walking so purposefully and undaunted, that Toxica had no choice but to follow, albeit a bit behind them and rather uncertainly. Normally she would probably have gone to Octa and talked to him for a dosis of his reassuring logic and bravery in a situation like this, but she definitely wasn't going to do that now.
It'll be best if we attack the ghosts from two sides,” Skyla whispered, “that way we have effectively surrounded them. I'll fly to the top and work my way down while you two work your way up from the normal entrance.”
Yes,” said Brycen.
Black looked from Brycen to Skyla with a disappointed look on his face. “Uh... Wouldn't it be handier if I went with you, Skyla? I mean, Brycen here clearly can take care of matters on his own,” he hopefully said.
Maybe,” said Skyla with a grin, “but how would you fly up there?”
Black looked at his pokémon one by one, clearly disappointed to find only Selene could fly, that she was only fifty centimetres, and her feathers looked so ruffled it was a surprise she could keep herself flying anyway, let alone carry an adult human as well. “Uh... Maybe Selene could fly me?”
Skyla smiled pityingly, climbed on her Swanna's back, and flew away to the tower's top.
Black looked disappointed. “Well, I guess it's just you and me then, huh Brycen? Brycen?”
Without saying a word, Brycen was already walking to the tower, releasing ice-types as he walked. “Oh, great,” mumbled Black, “Instead of going with Skyla and having a chance of her spontaneously hugging me in fear when a ghost pops up, I get to go with mr. Icebucket.”
Brycen's team consisted of Cryogonal, Vanilluxe, Glalie, Mamoswine, Beartic, and Glaceon. Toxica's eyes went wide in surprise at seeing a Glaceon, and her teammates had similar surprised reactions. Black caught up with Brycen. “Oh, you have a Glaceon as well?” he chatted. “I have one too, y'know. He's just not here right now.”
Brycen said nothing.
So... uh... that's like, nice and all...” mumbled Black.
Yes,” said Brycen.
Toxica did notice, though, that this Glaceon looked quite different from Boreas. The dark hair on her head was arranged in an odd hairstyle that resembled a crown of three diamonds or ice crystals, rather than Boreas' unruly mess of semi-long hair which mainly resembled a mop. For a moment she wondered if the difference might be because this Glaceon was a female, then she remembered Boreas had had hair like that too shortly after evolving before it had come undone. Perhaps this Glaceon was recently-evolved, or perhaps she had taken care to preserve that odd hairstyle, contrary to Boreas.
Toxica had no time to think about it, because following Brycen, they had entered the tower. While the deserted village was scary, the tower was even creepier; a terrifying atmosphere hung heavily in the greasy air. The fact that the tower was filled with gravestones made it even worse. Row after row of rectangular stones stood like giant stone teeth in the semi-darkness. A wide staircase made a half circle around the floor as it climbed to the next floor, high above. It was even more silent than the village, a terrifying deathly silent that seemed less like the absence of sound and more as if something was actively making negative sound to make it even more silent than silence itself. Toxica wanted nothing more than to run away screaming.
Brycen and his pokémon were already climbing the stairs. “Yeah, great idea now that you mention it,” Black sarcastically mumbled.
Toxica took a deep breath as they reached the second floor, which was even more full of graves. This time the stairs started on the other side of the hall, meaning they'd have to fully cross it. They began walking in a deathly silence.
You know,” she heard Lucius' snide, Brooklyn-accented voice whisper, “apparently a Chandelure's flames burn up the soul, leaving the body behind as a soulless zombie...”
Toxica's eyes went wide with fear, and she felt tears stinging behind them. “Sh-shut up, that's not true!”
Lucius shrugged. “Hey, I'm just repeating something I heard, I don't know if it's true. And y'know, a Banette is a doll left behind and possessed by evil spirits, imbuing it with an insatiable wish to kill anything alive. Apparently. A Ghastly can spread itself invisibly through an entire building, get into your lungs, and then suffocate you at any time it likes. A Gengar is a dead Clefable, come back to this world to steal people's souls. A Yamask used to be human, and its mask is a cast of its face... When it gets really wistful, it'll look at it with a great sadness... And a great desire to do the same to others...”
Toxica couldn't hold back her tears of fear any more and began crying, though she knew that was exactly the effect Lucius was hoping for. “Stop it... Please...”
Lucius' grin only widened. “A Spiritomb was made from fusing 108 spirits together, and it's looking for a 109th to add to the collection. A Dusknoir-”
Did you perchance not hear the lady?” Octa asked Lucius in stern tones. “Cease your efforts to frighten her at once, 'tis not a very comradely thing to do, is it?”
Shut up, Octa,” Toxica barked, grateful for his help against Lucius but unwilling to admit it, “I don't need your help!”
Oh dear,” said Octa with a sarcastic bow, “I do apologise for springing to your aid when you were about to burst into tears.”
I don't need you, Octa!” Toxica hissed furiously, “What would I need you for?! You're nothing but an arrogant git with an insane family!”
What is your problem?!” Octa hissed. “You have acted hostile and displeased all week! Is there any reason behind this uncivilised, hostile behaviour towards me, or do you merely enjoy acting like this?!”
You know perfectly well what's wrong!”
I do not! I am not telepathic, so how could I know the reason behind your hostile, intolerant behaviour?”
Fine! Let me spell it out to you! You know who else is hostile and intolerant?! Your family!”
Oh, what an absolutely brilliant comeback that is. Truly, Oscar Wilde would feel quite insignificant next to your wits.”
It's not a comeback, you git! Your family prohibits you from foolin' around with anyone they don't choose! An' that means anyone who's not a Snivy an' anyone who's not of “noble blood”, because they think it'll make 'em less pure, an' that's the most insane idea ever!”
Oh.” Octa looked down. “They... told you about that, then...”
Yeah, your Mum did!”
I... I can quite see how it would make you quite upset...”
Quite upset?! You've been hiding that from me for a year, though you apparently knew I fancied you!”
You made me waste so much feelings on you! If you had just told me when you first realised I fancied you, I'd have got pretty angry at such a stupid rule, but then I'd have moved on! Now I've been pinin' for you for ages!”
No buts, I-” Suddenly Toxica realised she and Octa were alone on the floor. Except they weren't, as lots and lots of little flying purple candles with faces on them were surrounding them, and disembodied glowing eyes were behind them, staring maliciously. “Oh, bugger.”

Toxica woke up in a dark, rectangular hole. She started up, a terrible weakness inhibiting her every move. “Oh... What in the name of Darkrai's dandruff happened?”
Then she remembered the ghosts... And nothing after that. She looked around the pit she was in and saw a rectangular slab of stone stand at the head of it. “Oh no... No, please...” she gasped with dry throat, realising she was lying in a grave.
BUT YES, spoke a voice like slabs of lead falling onto the floor.
Toxica turned around with a shock and saw a robed skeleton. A single red light, like an eye, flashed inside the skull, alternating between the two eyesockets. “No... No... You-you're-”
YES, it spoke in a voice like an epitaph being hacked into a gravestone. I AM DEATH. THE GRIM REAPER. I HAVE COME TO TAKE YOU.
Y-you can't!” Toxica squealed in terror. Her heart pounded loudly in her ears. “Yes, you really can't! My heart still beats! I'm alive!”
Y-you won't kill me!”
A Chandelure, a Jellicent, a Cofagrigus, a Drifblim, and a Froslass floated over the grave Toxica was lying in, and a big circle of twenty-five Litwicks floated around them in a circle. Death grinned at the new arrivals. All spooky eyes were aimed at Toxica.
Ah... An untarnished soul...” Chandelure spoke. “She will burn well...”
Burn her!” the Litwicks sang, their voices perfectly synchronous and very high-pitched, like the highest tones on a small flute. “Incinerate her soul! Leave her body an empty, mindless shell!” they chanted.
The legends Lucius had recounted echoed through Toxica's mind. She was so drowned in terror that she couldn't even scream.
No...” said the Jellicent, its pink mass floating above Toxica like a macrocephalic monstrosity. “Don't waste her soul by by burning it... I want to eat and digest it until nothing remains...”
Eat her! Devour her soul!” the Litwicks chanted, flying in the circle faster and faster.
I will take care of her...” said the Cofagrigus, with a voice like slime dripping out of a rotting coffin in a swamp, “...I will turn her into a mummy, the remains of her soul forever imprisoned in a rotting body, hungry for the flesh of the living...”
A mummy!” the Litwicks chanted, “One of the walking dead forever, so shall her fate be!”
No...” spoke the Drifblim, “give her to me and her soul will forever burn inside me, helping me float...”
She will be fuel for an eternity!” the Litwicks chanted in their ultra-high voices, “Her soul helping Drifblim fight gravity!”
A long blade of ice appeared in Froslass' hands. “But first... Let me have a little fun with her... Let me cut a few petals, fingers and toes off... Or maybe her eyelids? Maybe her lips? So many possibilities for fun...”
Pain her! Cut her!” The Litwicks chanted, floating in circles so fast their flames were beginning to look like a single blue circle of light. “Make her beg for her death before the end! Make her scream! Make her suffer! HAAAAAAAA!!!” They chanted a single, continuous note.
Toxica had been afraid before, but now her entire being was utter terror. To say she was afraid would be like saying there was water in the ocean. She couldn't move a muscle, could barely breathe or think, couldn't scream at all.
Why do you talk in that funny voice?” a raspy voice above Toxica's head asked. All the ghosts turned at it in surprise, including the Litwicks, who got confused in their circle-flying and chanting because of it and collided with each other.
All this made Toxica slightly less afraid to the point were she could actually scream, so she did. She screamed in utter morbid fear, channelling all her fright into her lungs until Death swooped down and put its hand over her mouth.
Is Death a Duskull?” the other voice curiously asked.
You're not very anthropomorphic if you're a Duskull. That's Duskullmorphic.”
Sh-shut up!”
That didn't sound much like Death, and Toxica now recognised it was indeed a Duskull, not Death. She bit its hand, which was still covering her mouth, and resumed screaming as it retracted it with a yelp of pain. She looked at the gravestone standing at the head of her grave, and saw the unmistakable, ruffled silhouette of Selene sit on it.
Why is she screaming like that?” Selene wondered. Toxica was still too terrified to explain it herself.
Uh...” stammered the Chandelure, “we... uh... We were going to burn her soul! And your too now, foolish mortal!”
Are you?!” Selene asked happily. “Did you hear that, Toxica? This must be our lucky day!”
Yes!” The Litwicks chanted uncertainly and much less synchronised than they did at first. “We will burn... What?”
She likes it?” a Litwick piped.
What the...” another mumbled.
Soon the Litwicks were all chatting through one another.
S-silence!” roared the Cofagrigus. “I will turn you both into mummies, dooming you to an eternity of pain in a slowly rotting body as you hunger for the flesh of the living!”
Wow,” Selene said, completely unperturbed. “I've always wondered what that was like, this is amazing! Hey, don't worry, Tox, they're just going to turn us into mummies.”
The Litwicks were now all chattering through each other as the bigger ghosts looked at Selene in utter puzzlement. “She's weird!” “What is she playing at?!” “She's just pretending!” “Weirdo!” “G-get her away...” “She scares me!”
B-but...” the Jellicent stammered unsurely. “I... I will eat your soul. You know? Your very deepest “I” thing? I mean, you will suffer greatly as you're digested by me? And your body will remain as a thoughtless zombie. D-doesn't that scare you? A little?”
A zombie? Cool! Think of all the people we'll scare, Tox! And we get to have our souls eaten, aren't we lucky?”
Toxica noticed she had stopped screaming to stare in astonishment at Selene, like the ghosts. In fact, the Litwicks were now routing, terrified by Selene, while the other ghosts seemed to be shrinking back slowly, muttering to each other: “S-she can't be serious.”
N-no-one thinks things like that...”
Let's just look into her mind using our telepathy, then...”
I-I'd really rather not...
I'll give it a try- OH GIRATINA!!! I-I'm out of here!” the Chandelure floated away, its flames burning green with terror, as the remaining ghosts seemed unsure of what to do.
What's all this noise?” a new, low-pitched voice asked.
G-Golurk...” Jellicent stammered. “W-we were just playing a prank... But that Murkrow, s-she's utterly terrifying!”
A prank?” Golurk asked. It now stood next to the grave and looked down at Toxica. “She is not laughing. Did you go too far again? You know mistress won't like that.”
M-maybe a little... But that Murkrow...”
A little?!” Golurk yelled angrily, “look at the poor thing, she's terrified! Go away, now, and tell mistress we're leaving. I'll have a solid word with her and you later.”
The ghosts fled, leaving Selene disappointed. “Aww, but they seemed so much fun...” she pouted.
Golurk extended a mechanic hand into the grave to help the still-trembling and crying Toxica up. “I'm really sorry for them. They're good deep at heart, but...” it paused, giving the impression it would have sighed had it had lungs. “They have a bad sense of humour. I'm afraid it's rather common in ghosts.”
Toxica grabbed the arm and let herself be helped up, but she was still trembling all over and crying. “Th-they were going to... G-going to do horrible things to me... They were going to b-burn my soul, and use it as fuel, a-and stab me...”
They would never have really done those things. In fact, most of the things they threatened you with are impossible, just bits of the many stories told about ghost-types. Sadly our cruel sense of humour leaves people telling these kinds of stories about us, and to be honest I can't blame them...”
Toxica was taking deep breaths now to calm herself down. “O-Octa? Where is he? H-he's a Servine.”
He's probably back with your trainers now. You were all dispersed in their attack, but the others have managed to regroup on the second floor. I'm afraid the others specifically attacked you because you must've seemed the most susceptible to their attacks and- hey, that is interesting...”
What is?” Toxica asked.
Well, let me explain it: I have lived for ten thousand years. I was built by a civilisation so ancient modern archaeology doesn't even know their name. When you have lived for ten thousand years, you know how time passes... You get a certain knack for telling what's going to happen next. And therefore, you can see a bit of the future... Mainly very big events, details are very hard... I had thought this might be coming before... But now that I've met you two, I'm certain...”
What?” Toxica curiously asked despite her fear.
A battle. The greatest battle of your time is coming soon, probably within a year from now. Two large armies will decide the fate of Unova, and possibly the world, on that day... But whoever wins, will do so at the cost of a great many lives. I can only hope it'll be worth it. And you,” it pointed at Toxica, “will play a vital part in this battle.”
But... When? Where? What will happen? What will I do?”
I don't know. The future is always in motion. Everything that happens changes it, so I can't be certain about any details... But the battle will happen, almost certainly. And now I must leave you alone. Your companions are a floor down, searching for you. I have to return to my own companions. We will leave this place in peace now, and I will have a strong word with them about how far is too far.” It walked off, to the stairs leading up. Toxica was too scared to follow her, and walked to the stairs down.
Aww,” said Selene as she flew over Toxica's head, “It's a shame they're going; they were so much fun...”
Y-yeah...” said Toxica. “Selene, you were so brave back there!”
Was I?” Selene asked with a baffled expression on her face.
Yeah, you were all fearless and stuff!”
Well, yeah. I mean, what was there to fear?” Selene asked as if that was incredibly obvious.
W-well... Getting our souls burned, or getting turned into an undead monstrosity and things like that.”
Right...” Selene said as if expecting her to continue.
So... You know, those were bad things.”
Oh. Why?”
Toxica searched for words, finding none. “Be-because... Okay, I'm not going to talk to you about this any more, 'cause you're beginning to scare me as much as you scared them. I'll just say: thank you, and move on.”
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