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Part Three: Double: Evolutions and Trouble
Chapter Fifteen: The Stolen Skull
When Team Plasma arrived at the museum, they started trying to open the door without setting off the alarm.
“I propose one of us leaves to get Black and Lenora,” Octa whispered, “While the other two stays here to observe Plasma's actions and, if the possibility should arise, thwart them. My dear fellow,you're the fastest runner, would you do the honours of getting human reinforcements?”
Boreas liked neither the idea of running away from the action or the idea of leaving a tipsy Toxica alone with Octa. “I think it would be better if Toxica was the one to get help.”
“And I think it would be better if you went to get Black!” Toxica bristled.
“No, Octa may need my help here, so you should go.”
“Well, he may need my help too!”
“Boreas has a point, I'd really rather have his wits on my side should the need to stop Team Plasma arise,” Octa said. “Toxica, would you please go fetch Black? Pip pip!”
Giving Boreas a foul look, Toxica said “Okay” and left.
A minute after Toxica left, Team Plasma managed to get through the door without setting off the alarm. “We have to stop them!” Boreas started running off, but was stopped by a hand on his shoulder.
“Hold on, my dear fellow.” Octa said.
“C'mon, let's go! We can't let them do whatever they want in the museum!”
“And how are we going to stop them, hmm? Methinks the tipsy two of us don't stand much chance against twelve grunts carrying Arceus knows how many pokémon.”
Boreas stopped. “I hadn't thought about that.”
“Well, that is your general problem. Rash behaviour is what causes one to get into trouble.”
“Yes, and pride is what keeps one there,” Boreas retorted.
Octa was about to deliver a comeback to that when Team Plasma came bursting out of the door, their leader carrying the skull of the Dragonite skeleton.
Boreas escaped from Octa's grip. “I don't care how bad our chances are, we can't let them get away!” He ran at Team Plasma and stood in their path growling.
“Hey, look guys! It's a cute little Vulpix!” A grunt said.
Boreas growled to make it clear that they wouldn't get past him and that he didn't appreciate being called a Vulpix. “Haha, look, it's growling. Let's take it to Sage Gorm, we may get a small reward.”
A couple of them threw pokéballs that Boreas easily dodged and escaped from. Then they sent out a mass of Scraggies, Sandiles, Patrats, Trubbishes, and Purrloins. The whole group of them attacked Boreas, when suddenly a Leaf Tornado knocked a lot of them away. “I wonder why I keep rescuing you from tribulation you get yourself into.” Octa, standing next to him, said.
“Hey, I didn't ask for your help!”
“Quite, but you did need it.”
“Hey, a Servine, Sage Gorm will certainly reward us for that one! Surround them!”
The pokémon quickly surrounded Boreas and Octa. “Excellent,” Octa said. “Do you have any other brilliant ideas?”
Then, suddenly, a wave of water from the river washed over the land, flooring several Plasma grunts, and a furious female voice cried out: “How dare you desecrate Draco's remains?! You'll pay for that!”
A Scraggy was knocked down by another aquatic attack, and then Boreas saw the source of the attacks: a thin, serpentine blue pokémon. He didn't know what species she was, as he had never seen a pokémon like her.
“Goodness gracious,” Octa spoke reverently, “'tis a Dratini! Let us help her defeat Team Plasma!”
They joined the fight alongside the Dratini, but it was soon clear that they were just outnumbered too badly to win. All three were tiring rapidly, when they heard Lenora's voice:
“What's going on here?”
“Uh oh, it's the Gym Leader! Let's skedaddle!” As per usual, they threw some smoke bombs for a quick escape.
Once the smoke cleared, Boreas could see the Dratini was very upset. “No! In the name of Rayquaza, I failed!”
“Don't worry.” Boreas reassured her. “I can still smell their trail, so I can lead you to them.”
“Oh!” It seemed almost as if she hadn't noticed him and Octa until now, “That would be great. I have to get that skull back, you see, it was once the progenitor of my entire family.”
“Then you descend from that Dragonite?” Octa asked.
The Dratini nodded. “By thirty generations.”
“Oh well,” Octa boasted, “My family goes back thirty-five generations. Our progenitor's name was Equinox, a truly grandiose Serperior whom-”
“Well, mine may only go back thirty generations, but those thirty generations do constitute a history of five thousand years. I doubt your thirty-five go back even a tenth of that time.”
Octa bit his lip nervously. “Well, quite. Perhaps my family does not go back that long, but in the end, 'tis all about the achievements of its members, is it not?”
“Quite,” Boreas said imitating Octa's voice, “And correct me if I am thoroughly mistaken, old chap, but did one of thine ancestors not invent the ballpoint pen?”
“No, not quite,” Octa said, annoyed at Boreas' mockery, “but I do have an ancestor who was quite possibly single-handedly responsible for the success of Sir Edward Slateport's expedition on which he discovered Hoenn.”
“Oh.” the Dratini said, “Well, my ancestors were worshipped as gods by humans for several thousands of years across an entire continent. My name's Capella, by the way.”
“Others call me Boreas, for 'tis my name. My acquaintance here, a gentleman of great skill and ego, is named Octavianus, but he prefers others to say Octa when using the vocative, for Octavianus, though a glorious name to bear, is quite too polysyllabiccally sesquipedalian to use in conversation.”
Then Boreas saw that Toxica had returned with Black and Lucius. “You're a pair of loonies, that's what you are.” Lucius said by way of greeting.
Capella was looking rather confused after the impersonations and the sudden arrivals. “O...Kay... So, let's follow them, I'm sure your humans will get the idea soon enough.”
“Hold on.” Aqua interrupted, “I'm getting stiff from all this sitting, I need a stretch.”
She got up and stretched her back. Boreas couldn't take his eyes off her gorgeous body as she stretched. His eyes traced her long, strong finned tail, her wide hips, her waist, but when he reached her head, he saw she was looking at him with an eyebrow arched quizzically. He quickly looked away, feeling himself blush like a tamato.
“I should warn you:” Aqua spoke, her voice very close to his ear, “males have died for this body.”
“I don't doubt it,” Boreas responded as he looked back to see she was now sitting very close to him, “but I would rather live for it, if it's all the same to you.”
“I may just take you up on that offer...”Aqua whispered.
They looked deep into each other's eyes, and it felt as if time had stopped. Then suddenly a voice called “Boreas! Where are you?!”
Boreas closed his eyes in annoyance. Not now, he thought, can't you wait just a bit longer?
He heard a splash, opened his eyes, and saw Aqua had disappeared. “Aqua?” he asked, looking into the water, “Come back, please, it's just Black!” but Aqua didn't resurface, and he didn't see her underwater either.
The motorboat came by and its human pilot saw him on the rock: “Boreas! Thank all the legendaries I found you again! Come on board!”
Boreas looked in the water around the rock again and saw nothing, so he sighed and jumped into the water, swimming back to the boat. After he had swam a few metres, Aqua's head suddenly appeared from the water right next to him, gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, and disappeared under water again. Boreas was so surprised and joyed that he completely forgot how to swim for a moment and sunk underwater, accidentally breathing in some water. Coughing and spluttering, but with his cheek feeling warm and rosy, he resurfaced. He tried to see where Aqua was, but she had disappeared again. He was starting to believe the stories about Vaporeons being able to melt into water. When he reached the boat after a few more metres, he was lifted on board by Black, who promptly hugged him and ended up all wet.
“I'm sorry, Boreas,” he said, “I didn't notice you had fallen out for a very long time. I'm just glad I found you again.”
He put Boreas down, and Boreas immediately shook the water from his fur. Only then did he notice that there was also a Servine in the boat, who was now looking rather wet and annoyed.
“Oh, sorry, I didn't see you, Octa.” Boreas apologised.
“Quite,” Octa muttered.
“So, how did things go with those grunts? Is everyone alright?”
“Yes, we were all fine, my dear fellow, until Black suddenly showed up without you and made me rather worried for your well-being.”
Boreas hadn't considered that yet. “Sorry.”
“Now, Black may believe you fell out of the boat, but I know you better than that and thus suspect you jumped out because it seemed like a really good idea at one point.”
“You're quite right there.”
“I know I am. What puzzles me is this: what prompted such behaviour?”
Boreas arched an eyebrow suggestively. “Can you think of nothing that might make a male act like that?”
“You jumped off a boat on a river while having little to no swimming experience because you saw a lady?” he sighed, “You have surpassed yourself, my dear fellow.”
“Not just any lady.” Boreas defended himself, “She was... So cute, and nice, and gorgeous, and smart, and sexy... I mean, her fur was so soft and blue and gleamy, and her tail was so long and strong, and her smile was blinding... And her eyes... Oh, her eyes...”
“I do hope she had two of them, my dear fellow.” Octa quipped.
“I'm serious, Octa! She was completely worth jumping off the boat for. And she even was interested in me too. She wanted to me to tell about all our adventures, and she was flirting with me...”
“Fine, so you jumped off a boat on a river while having little to no swimming experience because you saw a perfect goddess of love.”
“I didn't jump off directly. I tried to ask Black to just stop the boat and wait for me while I went to talk to her, but-”
“-He didn't understand a word you said.” Octa finished his sentence. “So, I expect she must have been surprised at you jumping off the boat to meet her. What did you say to this...”
“Vaporeon. Her name was Aqua. I told her that my Blizzards were usually powerful enough to freeze a Heatran, but with someone as hot as her nearby I couldn't even manage a cooling breeze.”
Octa burst into laughter. “I do hope that's a joke.”
“My dear fellow, the one time you actually tried to use a Blizzard you almost got everyone in the room, including yourself, killed. And I quite doubt it could have frozen a Heatran.
“So you were beginning you communication with this lady with a lie. And directly telling her she's “hot”... Not quite the way one treats a lady, my dear fellow. Did she tell you to bugger off?”
“No, actually.” Boreas said with a grin, “she laughed and asked me to join her on that rock.”
“Well, I would have.”
“Yeah...” Boreas said, “I'm not about to tell you that you're hot in the first place. Anyway, we had a most pleasant conversation until you two suddenly appeared and chased her off.”
“Oh, I do apologise for thinking your life might be in danger and attempting to save it.”
Boreas tried to engage Octa in conversation, but it seemed he was not interested in hearing a detailed description of Aqua's cute, perky ears. So pretty soon, Boreas was once again staring off at the horizon in boredom. He hung a bit over the edge of the boat and looked down into the water. Suddenly a splash of water hit his face and a pretty blue face surfaced very close to his as Aqua grabbed a hold of the boat.
“Boo!” she said, giggling at Boreas' startled reaction.
“Aqua! I'm so glad to see you again!”
“I could hardly just let you go,” she said.
“Not without hearing the rest of your story,” she added, somewhat to Boreas' disappointment.
“Oh, okay, I can continue the story. But why don't you join me on board? It can't be easy to hold on to the boat like that.”
Aqua climbed on board, taking a large splash of water with her. Octa and Black turned in surprise. “A Vaporeon!” Black enthused, “Octa, Leaf Tornado!”
“No, I don't think I will.” Octa refused.
“Boreas, Ice Beam! C'mon, listen to me!”
“Boreas,” Aqua asked, “could you please tell him not to try and catch me? I don't like that kind of behaviour. At least,” she added with a wink, “not from humans.”
Boreas growled as Black grabbed a pokéball, but he just didn't listen. When he raised the pokéball, Boreas figured there was only one way to stop him and Ice Beamed the hand he was throwing with. Black yelped in pain as the ultra-cold beam hit his hand, and the pokéball flew away and harmlessly landed into the river.
“Okay, fine! If you don't want me to catch it, just say so!” Black went back to steering.
“Thanks,” Aqua said with a teasing smile, “but I thought you couldn't even produce a cool breeze with someone as hot as me around?”
“Uh...” Boreas stammered, trying to think of something, “Blizzards and Ice Beams work very differently, that's why I can still make an Ice Beam. I couldn't do a Blizzard, though.”
Octa decided to introduce himself at that point. “You must be Aqua,” he said, “My name is Oc-”
“-tavianus, but your nickname is Octa, I know. Boreas told me all about you.”
“Interesting, he told me all about you as well.”
“Oh?” Aqua said with a twinkle in her eyes, “I don't hope he told you all about me.”
“I don't think he did. But he did give me quite the detailed physical description.”
“Hm-hm.” Aqua said with a half-smile that made Boreas feel even more embarrassed than Octa's words alone already made him feel. “I'm sure he did.”
Trying to change the conversation's topic, Boreas said: “Why don't I continue telling you about our trouble with Team Plasma?”
“Great idea!”Aqua said, sitting down next to him.
“Do you mind if I listen in, my dear fellow?” Octa asked.
Several possible answers shot through Boreas' mind, all along the lines of “Of course I mind you listening to me talking to the girl of my dreams and making any potential flirting rather awkward, idiot!” but instead of saying any of these rather rude things, he said:
“Of course I don't mind!”
“The boat's too small not to overhear you in the first place,” Octa apologised.
Then ask Black to return you to your pokéball! “Yeah, you're right. So as I was telling you earlier, we met Capella the Dratini when Team Plasma stole the Dragonite skull, and together with her and the Gym Leader, we pursued Team Plasma out of town. They soon entered a maze of a forest named Pinwheel Forest, and started leaving individual grunts behind to slow us down. That didn't work very well, as they were absolutely no match for us and Lenora. We kept chasing them and slowly gained ground...”
As usual, the new chapter was a great read!
And you were right about making their love scene a bit more interesting.
When Aqua left, I was like "nuuuuuuuuuuuu dun't leave! :C" and that "boo" really gave me a 'lol' xD
Excited to read the next chapter~
Chapter Sixteen: A Good Servant, but a Cruell Master
“...I just don't know,” Boreas said while dodging the Sandile's jaws, “First I thought I wanted to be a Leafeon, then an Espeon, then a Glaceon, then I came back to Leafeon again, and now I just don't know. What do you think I should evolve into?” He counter-attacked the Sandile, knocking it out.
“I see.” Octa, defeating a Scraggy with a Leaf Tornado, said, “I think it might be fun if you were to evolve into Leafeon, together with Toxica we would be the three grass-type amigos. On the other hand, you don't quite possess the temperament of a grass-type.”
“What do you mean?” Boreas asked as they moved on from the defeated Plasma grunt.
“Well, us grass-types are all to varying degrees vegetable. And being vegetable, sometimes one finds one has to do what plants do: just be patient and calmly let everything come to you. Methinks that is not quite your style, my dear fellow. Of course, evolving to a Leafeon might be an important learning experience for you, and as such it might teach you some patience and equanimity. However, methinks you might make a good Flareon. Of course, the idea of another fire-type in the team seems rather less appealing to me than another grass-type, but considering it would still be you it would not be problematic.”
Boreas hadn't considered being a Flareon yet. “Maybe you're right. Being a Flareon would be cool.”
“I know. Incidentally, methinks we might be getting close to the fellow carrying the cranium. If I counted correctly, the grunt we defeated just now was the eleventh.”
Boreas frowned. “Did we just defeat a grunt?”
“Yes, remember, while we were discussing your potential future evolutionary metamorphosis.”
Suddenly a human in the most bizarre clothing Boreas had ever seen jumped out of a tree right in front of them. Boreas started growling at the intruder, but then Lenora greeted him. “Burgh! You startled me, what are you doing here?”
If someone had taken an insane Darumaka, trained it to walk upright, glued a loofah to the top of its head, strategically shaved its eyebrows, injected it with an almost lethal overdose of every psychostimulant on the planet, poured super glue all over it, and then let it loose to rampage through a clothing store and a working paint factory, the result would not look exactly like Burgh, but those who knew him would certainly consider the similarity eerie. “I was looking at the bugs in the trees to get inspiration for my art.” Burgh explained.
“Did you see Team Plasma pass by?” Lenora asked.
“No, but I did hear someone run by. That distracted me from the bugs, so I looked around and saw you.”
“Then they're close by?” Lenora asked.
“Oh yes, just up in the tree I jumped down from.”
“Team Plasma, not the bugs!”
“The guys we're chasing!”
“You're chasing someone?”
“Yes! Team Pla- Oh, forget it, just come with us, we might need your help!”
As they ran on, Lenora introduced Burgh and Black: “Burgh, this is Black, a trainer who's on a quest to collect all badges and has already defeated Chili and me. Black, this is Burgh, Castelia's Gym Leader.”
“I prefer to think of myself as an insectious artist in the first place, and Gym Leader in the second, though.”
“Insectious?” Black inquired.
“Yeah,” Burgh nodded.
They rapidly approached the final Plasma grunt, and were soon close enough to hear his running footsteps ahead. Then they entered a clearing after the grunt. A small river ran through the middle of the clearing, and towards the edge there was a big, moss-covered rock that pulsated with odd energy. The exhausted, panting grunt handed the skull to a bald old man in blue clothing standing by the river.
“Hoots mon, how are ye holding up, laddie?” the goatee-wearing man asked the grunt in a Scottish accent.
“I... Have failed, Sage Gorm!” the grunt panted, “We couldn't lose the pursuers, they managed to follow me here!”
“'Tis nae important, laddie.” Gorm said, “I will defeat them meself. 'Tis even better this way, lad, as this allows me to fix it so they never interfere with us again.”
Lenora stepped forward. “You're outnumbered, Gorm, you're not fixing anything. Hand over the skull and come with us.”
Gorm laughed. “I be one of Team Plasma's Seven Sages, lassie. Even if there are three of ye, ye cannae defeat me. And don't start pointing out that ye are Gym Leaders. That doesnae matter. Ghetsis, the founder of Team Plasma and another of the Seven Sages made sure all of us are much more powerful than even the strongest of Gym Leaders, let alone B-list Gym Leaders like yerself and Burgh.”
“Don't break your arm while patting yourself on the back, Gorm. Just give back that skull and no one has to get hurt. What do you want with it in the first place?”
“Ah, now that be a good question, lass. As an airchaeologist, I take it ye're familiar with the fact that a fossil can be revived?”
“We are going to revive this Dragonite. It is one of the most powerful pokémon in existence, and will be a great asset to our cause.”
Capella seemed to be just about ready to attack him at this. “I can't let you do that,” Lenora spoke as she and Burgh threw six pokéballs each to unleash their full teams so that their side stood seventeen pokémon strong.
“Gorm,” Black said, “you can't win, give up now!”
Gorm swept aside his blue cloak to reveal six black and yellow pokéballs on his belt. Boreas immediately rushed over to him, picking up the biggest stone he could hold on the way, climbed into his leg, grabbed a pokéball with a Gastrodon in it, and smashed the stone into the button sideways. But to his surprise the button didn't crack or break in any way. He tried again, to no result. Then a powerful hand grabbed the scruff of his neck and he was lifted into the air.
Black approached Gorm. “If you do anything to hurt him...”
With his free hand, Gorm threw a pokéball, releasing a gigantic Gyarados between him and Black. “What will happen if I do, lad?” he asked as Black backed away from the huge beast. “Thought ye could pull the same trick twice, dinnae ye?” he said to Boreas, “When Rood told aboot his defeat at yer trainer's hands, we all switched ta ultra balls, which are much more resilient than normal pokéballs.” He tossed Boreas over his shoulder, and as he flew through the air in a large parabole, Boreas saw him throw his other five ultra balls, unleashing a Gastrodon, a Carracosta, a Crawdaunt, a Cloyster, and a Kingdra. The grunt sent out a Sandile and a Scraggy. “Return yer pokémon, lad.” Gorm said, “they wadnae make any difference in this battle, and I dinnae want ta get them hurt.”
Boreas plunged into the river, and started flailing about wildly to try and stay afloat, as he didn't know how to swim. Then a massive wave flooded the river and took Boreas with it, as it washed over the clearing. Helpless in the massive wave, he hit Octa, knocked him over and landed on top of him, faces mere centimetres apart.
“This really isn't the time, guys!” Lucius, swimming clumsily, snapped.
Boreas got off Octa and felt himself blush. “It's not what it looked like!”
Lucius smiled a crooked smile. “I won't tell anyone.”
Octa rolled his eyes. “Oh, do be quiet. We have more immediate concerns.”
The six powerful water pokémon were creating wave after wave, rapidly flooding the entire clearing. Boreas managed to find a way to stay somewhat afloat in the increasing water levels. Octa hit the enemy Gastrodon with a Leaf tornado, and it cringed in pain with deep cuts from the leaves all over.
“Octa,” Boreas cheered, “You're hurting it!”
“Quite.” Octa basked in the praise, “As a grass-type, I have a natural advantage to these aquatic creatures, despite their power and-” an Ice Beam missed his head by millimetres, leaving a white trail of frost where it had grazed his face, “-Holy smokes, that was close!”
Boreas was fiercely jerked away by a powerful current as the water-types had finished flooding the clearing to their liking and were now making whirlpools, currents, and gyres in the water. Boreas was powerlessly forced over the whole battlefield by all sorts of conflicting currents. He passed Kindgra breaching the water and producing a bright, luminous pulse that hit Burgh's Dwebble directly. Small chips of its rocky shell rained everywhere. He saw several attacks just bounce off Cloyster's shell harmlessly, and saw Carracosta effortlessly flicking Lenora's Minccino away as it tried to attack. He found himself in a spot with calmer water were three familiar looking leaves broke the water's surface. With horror, he realised Toxica was drowning and tried to get her above water by pulling on the leaves. She surfaced as a massive beam of high-pressured water blasted by.
“Hey, what do you think you're doing?” she asked angrily.
“Saving you from drowning!”
“I won't drown as long as my leaves are above the water, idiot, and I was keeping an eye on-” Suddenly she kicked him in the right side of his face, kicking his head to the left, and immediately he felt a sharp cut on the right of his neck as the Crawdaunt's attempt to decapitate him with its mighty pincer was barely foiled by her quick reaction. There was no time to thank her, however, as the Crawdaunt immediately proceeded to try and cut him in halves. Boreas tried to swim away, but his swimming was really awful, and though Toxica tried to stop the Crawdaunt, it had its mighty pincer in place within two seconds. Just when it seemed Boreas would have to go through the rest of his very short life half as heavy as he used to be, a heavily bloodied Schliemann the Herdier came flying out of nowhere and hit the Crawdaunt's claw, making it give Boreas' tail a bit of a trim instead.
Toxica produced a cloud of spores that Boreas was wise enough to stay out of, but completely enveloped the Crawdaunt as it Crabhammered Schliemann out of his way to get to Boreas, who was swimming away. Toxica yelped and a second later Boreas felt the sharp pincer close around the base of his tail, lifting him up upside down while it lifted up Toxica, whom had been grabbed around her head by the other pincer. For a moment the Crawdaunt just stared at him with small, cold eyes, and Boreas felt mortified that he could be about to lose his tail.
“Please,” he begged the Crawdaunt, “don't cut it off. I surrender, just let me go and I'll leave the battle.” Of course he wasn't actually going to surrender while his friends were still fighting but just making false promises to save his tail. Toxica said something, but it was unintelligible as the pincer covered her mouth.
The Crawdaunt's small eyes seemed to consider it for a moment, then turned an expression that might have been bundled with a malevolent grin in a creature with facial expressions.
“No, please,” Boreas negotiated, “I'm very attached to my tail. I know, I'll even turn to your side if you let me go!”
The Crawdaunt's cold eyes kept that same malignant expression, and Boreas was just starting to think about how nice it had been to have had a tail until now, when the Crawdaunt was stricken from behind by five vines, making it twitch in pain and drop Toxica and Boreas.
Octa was going to say something, but had to swallow it when Crawdaunt angrily snarled out at him with a big pincer. Boreas jumped onto Crawdaunt and tried to Bite it, but its thick exoskeleton was impenetrable to him. He did provide enough of a distraction for Octa and Toxica to hit it multiple times with grass-type attacks, though. After a while it seemed to realise that Boreas was no threat to it and it ignored him to attempt to Guillotine Octa instead. Boreas climbed to the crustacean's head and dug two of his claws into the only vulnerable part of the Crawdaunt: its small, pebble-like eyes. The Crawdaunt hissed in pain and attempted to kill his blinder, but Boreas just jumped off his enemy now that it had effectively been made unable to battle.
Then a massive wave caught Boreas as the Gyarados surfaced between him and his two grass-type friends and launched itself to the air. Just behind its head, a much smaller serpentine creature with one of her wing-like ears missing had latched herself on. It seemed that while she wasn't actually managing to hurt the Gyarados, she was still distracting it enough that it didn't partake in the battle.
After finding another relatively tranquil part of the water, Boreas looked around. It seemed Crawdaunt was the only enemy who had been made unable to battle, while only about half of their side was still fighting. He saw Octa, Toxica and Dubois the Watchog battle the Gastrodon together in a very shallow part of the water. They seemed to be doing surprising amounts of damage, and Octa was adopting quite an arrogant swagger in his fighting when an Ice Beam suddenly came from the left and hit him right in the chest. Boreas screamed in fury as he saw his friend collapse, and tried to charge at the enemies, but found the current too strong. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Octa stand up again, albeit with a face screwed up in a pained expression.
Though Boreas didn't know it, the Ice Beam that had hit Octa had actually been intended for Burgh's Leavanny by its creator, the Cloyster. Leavanny had dodged it, however, and it had passed through a particularly large wave that Kingdra was using to try to drown the several pokémon that were battling it together. The Ice Beam had lost most of its energy to the wave, and this is how Octa managed to survive taking it to the heart.
When he swam through the Gastrodon, avoiding the currents, Boreas found himself in a very deep part of the water, and then the Gyarados surfaced once again just in front of him, still trying to remove Capella from his neck. As it flew up into the air, Boreas grabbed a hold of its fin in an attempt to help Capella. As they flew above the battlefield, he crawled up the Gyarados' body, finding himself next to Capella, whose left ear seemed to have been torn off, leaving only some heavily bleeding remnants. The Gyarados flew through the trees' foliage, attempting to remove the pests on his back.
“Boreas!” shouted Capella, “I'm trying to get to its” they dived underwater, “gills, but it keeps protecting them!”
“Hgrblurplplpl!” said Boreas, realising he couldn't speak underwater. The Gyarados swam upside down and scraped its back to the ground, and with a massive thud, Boreas was torn off its back. He gasped for air when he reached the surface. A current so strong he barely managed to keep his head above the surface forced him along until he reached a shallow and pretty calm spot and found himself right next to Octa and four others, fighting Kingdra and seemingly losing.
“Ah, my dear fellow,” Octa greeted him, barely ducking out of the way of a Dragon Pulse, “'Tis my supreme desire for the next few words out of you mouth to be “I have a plan,” for we could use a plan as cunning as a fox who used to be professor of cunning at Oxford, but has moved on and is currently working for the United Nations commission of international cunning planning.”
The water level rose rapidly. “Have you ever been in a situation where you stopped talking like that?” Boreas asked incredulously as the Kingdra made a rapid spiral current that was developing into a massive whirlpool.
Octa gleamed with pride. “Never, my dear fellow! 'Tis the mark of a great mind to have the capability to remain eloquent in even the most perilous situations. But do you have a plan?”
A rogue downward current pulled Boreas under, and when he resurfaced he said: “No. Not right now!”
They spun around ever faster and closer to the centre were the mighty Kingdra was waiting with a malicious grin. Lenora's Minccino reached the middle first, and as soon as she did so, the Kingdra and the current it produced pulled her deep underwater. “You must have some idea!” Octa pleaded.
A light flashed underwater five times, and the Kingdra resurfaced alone. “No. Except...” Boreas had a faint idea, “This forest is rumoured to be the home of Virizion! We could call for his help!”
Octa stared at him incredulously. “Honestly?” he asked, “Your brilliant plan is to hope for legendary interference? I have come to expect better ideas from you.”
“I never said it was brilliant!” Boreas defended himself as he was approaching the Kingdra closer and closer, “Why don't you think of something better if you don't like it?”
“Fine, then, we'll try calling Virizion.” Together, they called: “One for all, and all for one!”
But Virizion didn't appear. “Well, 'twas worth attempting, I suppose.”
Boreas was caught in the inner current of the whirlpool, and approached the grinning Kingdra was massive speed. “No! Boreas!” he heard Octa shout, but there was no fighting against the current. He reached the centre, spinning sickeningly fast, and was forced underwater by the Kingdra. He tried to fight to get back up, but he was absolutely no match for the Kingdra and the current. As the current trapped him underwater, a bright light shone from Kingdra's mouth as it prepared to execute him with a Dragon Pulse.
Suddenly Boreas' every cell blazed with a bright white light, and he was filled with a feeling of joy and power, despite his impending death. After a moments confusion, he felt as if every part of his body was connected to the forest around, and noticed he was growing with amazing speed. His ears and tail were losing their fur and turning flat and leaf-like. Leaves were sprouting from his body and his fur was losing length and turning yellow.
But I don't want to be a Leafeon.
It was a simple realisation, but he was completely sure about it. Despite what he had thought earlier and how much help he could be in the current battle as a Leafeon, he simply didn't want to be one. He concentrated on being an Eevee, and noticed he was shrinking again. The leaves that had sprouted on him fell off into the water, and his fur grew rapidly longer and browner. His ears and tail returned to their old state again, and finally the sense of connection he had felt with the forest around him disappeared. The light stopped, and then Boreas noticed he was no longer underwater but in shallow water with Octa.
“What happened?” Octa asked, “Why did you not evolve?”
“I realised I didn't want to be a Leafeon.” Boreas said. “What happened to the whirlpool?”
“The Kingdra was so surprised by your sudden near-evolution it forgot to maintain its whirlpool. Within seconds it ended, and because it had collected so much water for it, all that water flowed away and took us with it. 'Tis good to hear you have narrowed down your choice of evolution, incidentally. Do you intend to keep having epiphanies at the last moment of evolution or do you intend to make a choice beforehand?”
“Just get- I have an idea!”
“What if we threatened to kill Gorm? He would probably recall his pokémon then.”
“What an uncivilised idea,” Octa said.
“They're trying to drown our trainers too, in case you hadn't noticed, and have already killed at least one of us.”
“Two wrongs don't make a right.”
“Okay, maybe they don't. But unless you want them to kill us all, we should do it anyway. We're on the verge of defeat. We may have defeated three of them, but I don't see us defeating the other three, and there's only six of us left, four if you don't count Karrablast and Munchlax, who are about to disappear into Kingdra's whirlpool. Hey, Leavanny!” he called Burgh's Leavanny swimming by.
“My name is Salvador, you know.” The Leavanny said haughtily.
“Sorry, Salvador. I need your help. We're going to take Gorm hostage, and I'll need your scissors for it.”
“How shall you get to Gorm?” said Octa, who seemed to have resigned to this course of action, “Cloyster is guarding him fiercely, Ice Beaming anyone whom approaches. I assume you have considered a way of dealing with this lethal icy tank?”
“We'll have to distract it,” said Boreas.
“And by we you mean me,” said Octa.
“Alright, then I shall go distract the mighty creature that can probably kill me with a single attack and is nearly impervious to damage.” He sighed, “you know, I really detest ice-types.”
Octa approached Gorm on his own, as the others were either distracting and/or being killed by Gyarados or Kingdra or doing their part of the plan. When he approached Gorm, Cloyster rose from the water, slightly opening its shell, and lashed out at him with an Ice Beam that made him shiver though it missed him by more than a metre. Octa retreated a bit, but found that the Cloyster wouldn't follow him. So he Vine Whipped it, to absolutely no effect, except that it tried to kill him with another Ice Beam. So he launched a Leech Seed at it instead. The seed nested in an indent in Cloyster's shell and rapidly grew roots all over it, eventually penetrating the opening and reaching the small black creature inside. As its energy began draining, Octa launched a Leaf Tornado at the Cloyster. Though most of the sharp leaves harmlessly hit the shell, a couple managed to get in, and the Cloyster shivered visibly.
“Oh?” Octa said, “so you do have some weakness. Let me try that again from this safe distance...”
The Cloyster rapidly swam at Octa, shooting Ice Beams. “Muir, come back here!” commanded Gorm, who was treading water with the ease of an experienced swimmer, but it was too late as Salvador had positioned himself on his back with a scissor around his neck.
“Surrender,” Boreas growled, “or he cuts your throat.”
Though Gorm couldn't understand him, apparently the message was clear as he returned his pokémon to their pokéballs. “Kich! Ye win.”
Without the water types to keep the water they had built up around, it all flowed away immediately. As the pokémon trainers tended to their pokémon, Lenora angrily took the skull from Gorm's hands. “You murdered my Minccino, you bastard!”
“Aye, regrettable, but evil must be opposed at all costs. Besides, ye blinded me Crawdaunt.”
Lenora slapped him. “That can be healed in a pokécenter, but Agricola is dead forever!”
Gorm didn't care. “'Tisnae so bad anyway, we can afford ta abandon the dragon skull project. We'll be going now.”
Before anyone could object, the grunt had thrown his smoke bomb, a minor scuffle happened in the darkness, and Boreas heard several splashes. By the time the smoke cleared, Team Plasma was gone.
Chapter Seventeen: The Endless City
“Now hold on, my dear fellow,” Octa interrupted.
“What is it?” asked Boreas, annoyed at the interruption.
“'Tis just that my recollection of that battle differs somewhat from yours on one specific point.”
“Does it?” said Boreas while giving Octa a dirty look.
“Quite. When that Crawdaunt was about to decaudate you, I don't remember your brave and heroic speech about how 'twas unwise of it to follow Gorm as its master and how it should release Toxica, for killing her would be a most wicked and useless thing to do. As I recall it, you were pleading for your tail's continued attachment to your body and negotiating your surrender when I saved you.”
“Were you?” Aqua asked.
Thanks Octa, Boreas thought bitterly while smiling apologetically. “Yes, I guess I was. But I was only lying, not actually going to surrender.”
“How noble,” said Octa.
“Look,” snapped Boreas annoyed, “I had to say something. I didn't know you were about to rescue us, and I had to try to save my tail and Toxica's life.”
“By making false promises.”
“Yes, by making false promises. It's a lot more sensible than letting it kill Toxica and cut off my tail.”
“I agree,” Aqua winked, “it would've been a shame to lose such a nice tail. Though that part sounded a lot cooler when you told it.”
Basking in the compliment he had just received, Boreas said: “Well, that's why I embellished it.”
“Sure.” Aqua said, “That was your motivation behind it.”
“Anyway,” said Boreas, quickly changing the subject, “I hope you see now what a bunch of bastards Team Plasma is.”
“What for?” Aqua asked, “stealing an old fossil skull and attempting to revive it is hardly a heinous crime.”
Boreas chuckled. “Don't let Capella hear you say that. She was furious about the desecration of her ancestor's bones. Though that does show how arrogant they are, they will gladly steal something that's not theirs if it so happens to be useful to them, not caring about others. But what is more important, I think, is that Gorm tried to kill us, and actually succeeded in it with Lenora's Minccino.”
“Sure, but he was defending. It's not as if he sought you out to try and kill you. And it doesn't invalidate their point that humans and pokémon should be separated.”
Octa answered. “No, it does not. But quite a lot of other examples invalidate that position. Think of all the pokémon whose lives have been improved by their friendship with humans. My own family has a long and noble history of friendship with our breeders and trainers. Or take Boreas-”
“I intend to,” Aqua shamelessly said.
Boreas felt as if he was melting on the spot and blushed uncontrollably and tried to say something, but couldn't manage anything.
Aqua giggled. “You're very cute when you blush, d'you know that?”
Boreas decided he had to say something. “Yes.” Yes? He thought, what yes?
“Well, quite,” said Octa with an arched eyebrow. “What I meant was: take Boreas as an example. Without humans, he would not even be alive to trade innuendos with you today. My dear fellow, did you tell the lady about that unpleasant incident in Castelia yet?”
Boreas realised he hadn't, and that it would likely convince her, but still felt as if his tongue was glued down. “N... No.”
“Well, 'twas a few weeks after the skirmish in Pinwheel Forest that we arrived in the luminescent capital. However-”
“I'm telling the story.” Boreas said, “As Octa said, it took us a few weeks to get to Castelia. First we had to return to Nacrene to get to the pokécenter, as some of us were pretty badly wounded. I mean, Capella had had most of her ear torn off, and Karel, Burgh's Dwebble had had his shell destroyed by a Dragon Pulse while he was inside it. Luckily the pokécenter was able to heal everyone's wounds and mend all broken bones. After that we spent about a week in Nacrene before we left. But by then Capella had become good friends with us and was satisfied that her ancestor's remains would be better protected, so she decided to come with us.”
“As a team member?” Aqua asked.
“Well, she said she's just accompanying us, but she's really become a team member as much as Octa or I now, Black has even used her in Gym battles. Though if you asked her, she would probably still say she's not on the team. Anyway, after a week or two's travel through Pinwheel Forest, we crossed the Skyarrow Bridge into Castelia.”
A breathtaking view opened up as they left the forest behind. The broad mouth of the river opened up wide ahead, the setting Sun's light reflecting off the waves like a million sparkling jewels. Over the river, a bridge spanned, but it was not just any bridge. It was very high, had two levels, and looked as elegant as a Ninetales and a Milotic performing ballet together. Far away on the other side of the river, the Sun was setting behind an incredible number of spires that were only visible because of the sharp contrast they provided in front of the Sun. The Sun itself was deep red, very close to the horizon, and pretty dim, as one could look straight into it without discomfort. A glittering Skarmory flew over while Finneons made small jumps out of the river's water.
“Wow.” Boreas gaped in awe at the view.
“Behold,” Octa spoke, “Skyarrow Bridge, the only suspension bridge in Unova, as well as the longest and highest bridge in the land, which shall take us to Castelia City, radiant capitol of Unova!”
“Yeah,” Lucius said mockingly, “we know.”
They walked through the guardhouse and stepped onto the pristine white bridge. The late day's sunlight gleamed off the white surface. The wide bridge travelled upwards in a helical shape at first, making a loop over the stretches of Pinwheel Forest before it went straight ahead to Castelia. Deep below them, waves washed on the shore and salt and fresh water mixed. Between the water and the pedestrian bridge, cars drove over the lower surface. Massive spires that suspended the bridge rose up far above Skyarrow Bridge's surface. To the right, the calm and broad river separated the land into two, while on the left ships floated on the great sea. As they continued over the bridge, the Sun set and twilight set in, making the distant forest behind them disappear into darkness. But as it grew darker, the approaching skyline of Castelia City only became clearer, as it was illuminated with thousands of tiny lights.
Finally the bridge reached the other shore and descended. Castelia's skyline disappeared behind the closest buildings as they neared the ground. After one final look back at the beautiful, illuminated bridge against the dark night, they entered the guardhouse and Castelia.
Castelia was astonishing, amazing, abnormal, and many more adjectives beginning with an A. Huge skyscrapers were everywhere, towering high into the sky and dwarfing humans and pokémon alike. And yet, despite the omnipresent grey buildings, the city did not have the lifeless atmosphere of Striaton. Instead it seemed as if everyone on the planet had come to Castelia, making the city a mad and busy hustle.
Despite first appearances, Castelia was not all buildings. When they walked through the city the day after they had arrived, Black and his pokémon found the large park that formed the city's centre, Nucleus Park. The park was a complete chaos were people sunbathed, danced, performed music, flew kites, sold ice cream, trained their pokémon, discussed philosophy, walked over the bicycle paths, cycled over the pedestrian paths, swam in fountains, carved their initials into trees, and much, much more.
They also found the docks of the city, with their many piers. Ships from all over the world arrived at the docks and made Castelia's endless ensemble of people and pokémon ever more endless.
Now Black and his pokémon were exploring the inner city. They entered a street that was devoid of people. Boreas' ears twitched in the empty street when he heard a group of suspicious people in long coats sneak around the corner, following them. He bit the leg of Black's trousers to draw his attention.
“I've noticed them.” Black whispered without looking around. Then, suddenly, eight Team Plasma grunts walked out of a building ahead, blocking the road. They turned around, but the suspicious people behind them threw off their coats and showed themselves to be Plasma grunts as well. Black's pokémon formed a protective circle around him.
“Gutentag, herr Black,” said a long-haired old man with a moustache as he left the building the grunts had come out of. He wore long brown robes.
“What do you want?” Black snapped.
“How rude.” the old man said, “Let me introduce myself. My name is Bronius of the Seven Sages, and I've come to welcome you to my city.”
“Your city?” Black scoffed, “Funny, the mayor's name didn't sound like Bronius to me. Of course, it could just be your stupid accent being hard to understand.”
“Very funny. Let us get straight to business, then. You have become a thorn in Team Plasma's eyes. You... Beschädigtest the operations of Rood and Gorm. One does not trouble Team Plasma without consequences. After Gorm alerted us all about his defeat, I knew you would be coming to Castelia next, and ordered mein men to look out for you. It was probably just luck that allowed you to defeat Rood and Gorm. But perhaps not, and in that case I don't want you walking around freely.”
“So you're going to kill me.”
“Kill you?” Bronius seemed insulted, “do you think I'm a barbarian? I am a forgiving man, and we could use a man with your talents. Why don't you join us? You must love pokémon, don't you see they are much better off without humans forcing them to obey?”
“Oh, as if!” Octa scoffed.
“No,” Black said, “you're just a sad bunch of hypocrites who want to force your ideals down everyone else's throat and I will never join you.”
“Schade. I had hoped you would cooperate, but in that case, you we will have to liberate your pokémon.”
“I don't remember asking you anything. I don't want your permission to liberate them, as I don't need it. You don't get a choice in the matter,” he sent out a Gigalith, an Archeops, an Aggron, a Rhypherior, a Magcargo, and an Omastar. “I will now battle you to liberate your pokémon. If you really are special, you can probably defeat me.”
The six powerful rock types charged through the thin street, creating tremors with each step. Octa made a Leaf Tornado to try to hit as many of them as possible, but it didn't faze them. Soon Boreas had to dodge huge rocks flying around, and powerful arms trying to crush him. He barely managed to get away from Archeops' piercing claws, dodged the Iron Tail of Aggron, and avoided Magcargo's attempt to incinerate him, only to find himself alone in front of the Rhypherior.
The massive beast towered above him, seeming as tall as the skyscrapers to Boreas, who didn't even reach to its knees. It brought a massive, powerful arm down, almost crushing Boreas, and immediately after he had to dodge its other heavy rock arm. Boreas thought just keeping an eye on its arms was enough, but when the Rhypherior suddenly turned around, he saw too late that there was a huge rock on the end of its tail. With a bone-crushing impact, Boreas was launched into the wall by the heavy boulder. He fell to the ground and found his consciousness, as well as quite a lot of blood, quickly escaping his body. He tried to concentrate on staying awake, but his view became unfocused, he heard some unintelligible mumblings, and sank away into darkness.
Another great chapter! It was a nice read, but I feel as though that this new chapter was a bit short than usual, but no matter.
Anyway, I tried quoting the new chapter of yours, but I noticed something...
This is how you write your fanfic...
[FONT=Berling Antiqua, serif][SIZE=3]Chapter Seventeen: The Endless City[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Berling Antiqua, serif][SIZE=3][I]Present[/I][/SIZE][/FONT] “[FONT=Berling Antiqua, serif][SIZE=3]Now hold on, my dear fellow,” Octa interrupted.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Berling Antiqua, serif][SIZE=3]Chapter Seventeen: The Endless City [I]Present[/I] “Now hold on, my dear fellow,” Octa interrupted.[/SIZE][/FONT]
May I suggest you to do that, 'cause I feel like you're troubling yourself to put those codes in every paragraph... =/
^It seems the chapter is indeed short; fanfiction.net's story stats thingie says it's the seventh shortest chapter in the entire story (that's out of 46 chapters).
And the code thingie is funny, I hadn't noticed that yet. But don't worry, I don't manually write all those tags; I just write it in my text processor and copy-paste it into this forum. Apparently it creates enormously redundant tags in doing that.
Chapter Eighteen: Liberated
The first part of Boreas' consciousness that returned to him was a severe, throbbing pain over most his body, but especially in his left legs and flank. When he opened his eyes, an unfocused pattern of blinding white and deep black assaulted his eyes, and the severe physical pain in his body was joined by a splitting headache, dizziness and nausea. His mind was as foggy as London in 1952, and felt as if there was a Frenchman living in it.
A voice said something, but to Boreas it was as intelligible as an aphasic with a severe speech impediment standing on the other side of a wall speaking Czech while enjoying a mouthful of thick yoghurt with fruity bits.
“Mmwuh?” Boreas mumbled while trying to get up, but he cursed “Mew's splanch!” when he found out that was a really bad idea as the pain in his legs increased from the sensation one might feel some seventeen hours after a car carrying two morbidly obese parents and their adorable baby daughter had driven over one's left foot to the pain one might feel if one took a particularly large, prickly cactus, dipped it into the juice of Naga Viper peppers, set it on fire, and inserted it into one's own ******. In addition to the pain intensifying, Boreas immediately collapsed to the left, on top of his left legs, which were now under his body in unusual positions and screaming with pain like a stereotyped housewife seeing a mouse and Edward Cullen at the exact same moment. He tried to get up, but it only worsened the pain and didn't work. But then someone gripped him, put him on his other side, and moved his legs to positions were their pain was much more bearable.
“Don't move, my dear fellow,” a voice spoke kindly, “you have broken both left legs, as well as several ribs. You shall only make things worse by moving.”
Boreas felt a lot better now that he knew that whatever was going on, at least Octa was with him. “Octa? What the hell happened? Why do I feel like a particularly large Rhypherior smashed me into- Hang on, that's exactly what happened, isn't it?”
“Indeed. You have been unconscious for several hours, my dear fellow, and are likely feeling very poorly right now.”
“Really? I hadn't noticed that myself yet, thanks for pointing it out. But the battle! What happened? Did we win?”
There was a slight pause. “I'm afraid we didn't, my dear fellow.”
“I don't know if you can see it, but we are currently in cages in what seems to be some form of pokémon gaol of Team Plasma.”
Boreas' eyesight was indeed coming back, and now he could see he was in a small cage inside a white room with other cages in it. The cages were stacked up on each other in two stacks. “Then how did you get in here to help me?”
“Oh yeah. What about the others? Is everyone alright?”
“We are all present, albeit not in excellent condition. None of us is in as poor a condition as you, though.”
“What about Black?”
“We don't know his location and status. We were taken here by grunts as soon as we had lost the battle, and unfortunately we lost sight of Black and Bronius.”
“Oh damn,” Boreas said.
“Oh, as you so rightfully put it, damn,” Octa said.
“So what happened to us being liberated?” Boreas wondered, “why are we in these cages instead of in some forest somewhere?”
Octa snorted. “Methinks Team Plasma uses the verb “to liberate” in some novel context.”
Finally, Boreas' splitting headache largely cleared and the dizziness stopped, and his eyes would finally focus properly. It seemed he was in the top cage of one of the two stacks of cages, and he could only see the top cage of the other stack, which contained Octa, who was covered in several large, ugly bruises and some deep cuts. If he very cautiously moved his head, he could see the upper half of the cage under Octa, in which Toxica, two of the leaves of her head partially torn off and with one black eye and several cuts, was looking around nervously.
“'e alrigh', guv'nor?” a heavily accented voice asked.
“Who's that?” Boreas asked.
“Wotcher, name's Thomas.”
“Hi, I'm Boreas.”
A light, feminine voice spoke up. “And I'm February. It's nice to meet you.”
“'Ear choo.” Thomas whimsically bettered her.
“Yeah, it's nice to meet you two too. Is there anyone else here I don't know?”
“No guv, Febby an' I was the only tews what was 'ere in the Jimmy Nail until they tossed'choo in wiff us. 'Ear choo gots a bit of an unscheduled meetink wiff Team Plasma.”
“Yeah,” Febby said, “Octa told us all about it.”
Boreas dragged himself to the cage's lock very carefully and started messing around with it to no end. “'Tis no good, my dear fellow,” Octa said, “I already tried that.”
Boreas sighed frustrated. “Well, we can't stay here, we have to do something!”
“Calm down, guv,” said Thomas, “I've been 'ere five days, ain't nuffink choo can do 'cept wait.”
Boreas shuddered at the thought of having to remain inside the cage much longer. “Wait? But I want to get out now!”
“Calm down, my dear fellow. You'll only hurt yourself. Why don't we talk for a while to pass the time, hmm?”
“Fine,” grumbled Boreas, “What do you want to talk about?”
Octa seemed to be unable to think of something for a moment. “Thomas, February, were you two stolen from the same trainer?”
“I ain't stolen from anyone, guv'nor,” said Thomas, “I'm me own free pokémon, livin' in this here city by meself. Humans is incredibly wasteful, they is, an' they throws away enuff food for me to eat like a king each day. But a couple of days ago, I was just mindin' me own business when these Plasma dental flossers shows up an' captures me, takin' me 'ere. Febby showed up a day later.”
“I see. What about you, February?”
“They stole me from my trainer,” Febby suddenly sounded very sad, “I was in my pokéball on her belt, and they pickpocketed me.”
Boreas heard sniffing sounds. “Hey,” he tried to support her as best he could, “don't be sad, I'm sure she'll come rescue you. And so will Black, mark my words.”
“But what if she doesn't notice I'm gone?” Febby sounded panicky, “I'm so weak and have so little use in battle, maybe she doesn't even miss me!”
“Nonsense,” Boreas said, “I'm sure she misses you terribly and is trying to find you right now.”
“D'you think?” Febby sounded less sad.
“Sure. And if she doesn't, she doesn't deserve you, and Black will rescue you together with the rest of us!”
“Yeah,” Thomas said, “Boreas is righ', Feb. She'll come for choo, I'm sure.”
“But there's so many of Team Plasma, even if she comes, she wouldn't stand a chance.”
Capella spoke up. “Wars aren't won by numbers, little one. Even if they are outnumbered, they can still win by superior strategy and skill.”
“Shh! Someone's coming!”
Two Plasma grunts entered the room with buckets of berries. “Right,” the bigger one said, “Let's give this lot their food and get out.”
They pushed some small berries into the cages. Boreas mimed the act of pickpocketing to Octa, who extended his vines to carefully look for the grunts' keys.
“So how long do we have to feed this lot any more anyway?” the smaller one asked.
“A week I guess. They usually ship them to the castle on the 25th.” He was feeding Boreas right now, “Don't think this Poochyena here will be much use there, though. Sage Bronius messed it up pretty badly, and it looks weak in the first place.”
Boreas growled at the man for his insult and for calling him a Poochyena.
The grunt turned around, and Octa retracted his vines just in time. “Huh,” the smaller grunt said, “I wonder if they'll let us keep it if it can't work.”
“What's the use of a pokémon what can't work or fight?”
“It has nice fur. My wife'd love a fur coat.”
“A whole coat off that runt? You might get a hat out of it.”
“Heh, I guess.” they left the room, leaving Boreas feeling very insulted and worried for his skin's future.
“I'm sorry, my dear fellow,” said Octa, “I didn't manage to steal their keys. But if they really do intend to keep us here for a week, I shall have plenty chances to try again.”
The thought of staying there for a week made Boreas shiver, but he tried to banish the thought by thinking about other things. “What's this castle they're going to take us to?”
Nobody seemed to know that. “Dunno, guv,” said Thomas, “but i' doesn't sound much like liberashun to me. Course, it didn't sound much like liberation in the first place, 'cos I was a free pokémon. Blimey, what's the bloomin' use o' liberatin' me from human masters if I don' even 'ave any?”
“Yes,” said Capella, “and I'm not a captured pokémon either, I'm only travelling with a human. Anyway, Boreas, we should make sure your broken bones heal properly.”
“What d'you mean? Can't they do that in the pokécenter?”
“Not if it's been too long since they were fractured. Those machines can't do their work properly if scarring tissue has formed, you see, as it means your own body is repairing the damage, and if the machines would do that too it all becomes one big cross-repairing nightmare. So we should make sure the bones heal properly, or you could be cripple for the rest of your life. Or at least until you evolve.”
“Okay, sure, what do I need to do?”
“We need to make sure the two halves of the broken bones are touching each other in the right way. Octa, you can reach Boreas, right? Do you have any experience with this sort of thing?”
“I'm afraid I don't.”
“Then I guess I'll have to talk you through it. By the way, putting the bones in the correct positions is going to be about as painful as breaking them was in the first place, so be warned.
Boreas gulped. “Okay. So how do you know what to do with a broken bone anyway?”
“Well, when you get to be a hundred and seven years old, you learn a thing or two along the way, I guess.”
“107?!” exclaimed everyone else in chorus.
“Yeah, is that so strange? I know it's a bit older than most of you, but not that much, is it?”
“Yes it is,” Boreas said, “I'm barely half a year old, you're more than two hundred times as old as I am!”
“Wow, that's young.” said Capella, “I guess it all depends on your species, other Dratinis would consider me relatively young. I could easily have nine centuries ahead of me.”
“Blimey,” said Thomas, “That's quite some longevi'y chore kind 'as.”
Octa set Boreas' bones in place with Capella's guidance. Boreas didn't know what he found worse: the pain or the annoyance at Lucius, who was sjirachiing to himself and making some very annoying remarks about the situation.
The only way they knew it was night was the light suddenly went out and the entire room became dark. Without any light everyone fell asleep very quickly. Everyone except Boreas, that was. He lay awake with a throbbing pain in his entire left side, while his right side was uncomfortable. He felt like changing position, but Capella had told him he should try to keep the same position as much as possible, as his bones could easily shift positions without a cast. Then he found out he was not the only one awake, as he heard Toxica's voice:
“Octa? Are you awake?”
“Hmm? Yes, I believe I am.”
“Well, I can't sleep, and I wanted to ask you something...”
“I shall be happy to enlighten you with the answer.”
“I was wondering... What's it like to evolve?”
“It is... Well, 'tis... I say, 'tis quite difficult to describe.”
“Really? But you normally have such a way with words.”
“I do, don't I? Yes, I shall endeavour to describe it... It feels very odd indeed. It feels strange, but also pleasant... As if one is turned into a liquid and inserted in a different mold that one's body is changing form to fit. One can actually feel their body alter, and watch it happening from inside.”
“It must feel so weird... But after you have evolved and you have turned into this awesome new form... I mean, you became so much bigger and stronger... And more handsome... And more charming... And your voice became so... Sexy. Do you think when I evolve, I'll become amazing, like you? So strong and attractive?”
There was a bit of a pause. “I'm afraid you shan't. Your evolution possesses a notoriously unpleasant odour and is not exactly aesthetically pleasing.”
“Oh,” said Toxica in a very disappointed voice.
Boreas had to mask his laughing as a very odd snore as something very malicious in him cheered for Octa's obliviousness.
The week passed incredibly slowly, and yet it was not slow enough. To just lie still in the same cage was intensely boring, but Boreas was scared of whatever would happen on the 25th. Though none of them knew exactly what would happen that day, they all had the feeling that they had to escape before then if they ever wanted to see their trainers or freedom again. Octa had tried pickpocketing the grunts that fed them every day, but it seemed they just didn't carry the keys. No-one slept on the night of 24 July, as they were desperately trying to think of a plan for the next day.
“Octa,” said Boreas, “What if you just wrapped your vines around their necks and threatened to strangle them to force them to let us out?”
“I'm afraid that shan't work, my dear fellow,” Octa replied, “I don't think I quite possess the strength to strangle a human, and-”
“Nonsense!” said Toxica, “you're worth a million of them!”
“Yes, well quite. Thank you. But I'm afraid 'tis only in terms of intelligence, civilisation, and decency that I'm their superior.”
“And charm,” Toxica interjected, “and good looks and-”
“Look,” Boreas interrupted her annoyed, “can we get on with planning our escape?”
“Quite,” Octa said, “as I said, I probably don't possess the strength to actually strangle them, and even if I did or could make them believe I did and thus force them to open these cages, methinks they do not have the keys to our gaol at all, so I'm afraid it would be utterly pointless.”
“The way I see it, if they're going to take us somewhere, they'll either have to open these cages or carry them around. If it's the first, they'll have the keys, while if it's the second... I guess we could attack them while they're carrying us so they drop us, and then... I don't know, but it's better than cooperating. Lucius, you could spit fire at them, right?”
“Yeah, obviously. Don't be expecting no infernos, but I could probably hurt them pretty badly.”
“Great, and you could do that wave-thing you did when we first met you, Capella!”
“I'm afraid not. I'm not a water-type, so I can't just create the water. I can only manipulate what's already there. And I couldn't do a Thunder Wave without paralysing myself in this cage.”
“I could poison or paralyse them with my spores!” Toxica quipped.
“Great! Febby, Thomas, could either of you do something?”
“'Fraid not, guv,” said Thomas, “we ain't no use tew choo unless we's out of these cages first. What'chore plan, anyway?”
“I don't have a plan, beyond improvising something to get us out of these cages. Can you think of something better?”
“No, guv, chore plan o' improvisin' sumfink tew get out an' then scarperin's the best we can do.”
“I agree,” said Capella, “and I think we'll all need our sleep tomorrow. Let's try to sleep the last few hours of the night so we may be alert to opportunities tomorrow.”
After it had been silent for a while as everyone tried to fall asleep, Boreas heard a small voice say his name. “Boreas?”
“Do you think we'll make it?”
“Of course we will,” Boras lied, “I'm sure of it.”
“R-really? Because I don't want to go to this castle... I just want to go back to White.”
“Don't worry,” said Boreas in the most encouraging tone of voice he could muster, “I promise you will get back to White.”
Ah... Another great read! Thanks for the new chapter.
Though the parts of explaining how awfully painful his situation a bit annoying... But it was still great.
Oh, and also...
And oh, by the way...
This fanfic has...46 chapters!?
I'm going to enjoy reading this. :D
Indeed, I was thinking that I might've overdone all those similes a bit.
Chapter Nineteen: Rolling Rocks
A few hours after they were awoken by the light turning on again, Sage Bronius and a grunt entered the room. It was the first time they had seen Bronius since they had become his captives, and he seemed to be inspecting them.
“Decent specimens, I suppose,” he said, “I think they'll put in some good work. But if- Dummkopf!” he suddenly shouted at the grunt, “You put the Servine in a normal cage? It has vines, you idiot! Get it a closed off, plastic cage!”
Realising it was his last chance, Octa immediately extended his vines to Bronius and ran them through his pockets. Bronius, however, grabbed the vines with both hands and gave them a hard pull, thus smashing Octa into the cage's bars. “Next time your vines are out of your cage I'll tear them off.”
Octa retracted his vines and rubbed his bruised face. Suddenly a different grunt from the one that had just left entered the room. “Sage Bronius! The ship has arrived!”
“Ah, gut! See to it that these seven are brought there as soon as the Servine is put in a plastic cage.”
“I will, sage. There was a bit of trouble, by the way.”
“N-nothing to worry about, sage. Just some stupid tourist with a Sinnoh accent who wanted to get on board and have us give him a tour of the city.”
“You told him to go away?”
“Yeah, but he tried to sneak on board anyway, so we knocked him out and threw him off the ship.”
“Yeah, but he was carrying something you will find interesting: some strange rock!”
The grunt presented a piece of light grey rock to Bronius, who recoiled a bit as he took it. “That's odd... Ja, this will be interesting to research when I have some time.”
After examining the rock for a moment, Bronius put it in a pocket in his brown mantle and walked over to inspect Boreas. “I don't think we need to bother with taking this one to the castle, it can't work.” The door opened, and Boreas could hardly believe his eyes when he saw whom entered.
Still looking at Boreas, Bronius pointed at the person whom had just entered. “You, have this Eevee put out of its misery.”
“Get away from my pokémon,” said Black. Bronius turned around in surprise and Black punched him in the face. Bronius stumbled back, hit his head on Boreas' cage, and fell to the ground.
All the pokémon cheered for Black as a brown-haired human female wearing a white shirt and blue shorts entered the room. “White!” Febby cheered.
Black cheerfully greeted all his pokémon and stole the keys, as well as the odd bit of rock, from the unconscious Bronius. He released them one by one, and Toxica and Octa immediately jumped into his arms, while Capella maintained a more respectable distance and Lucius just walked out of his cage without paying Black any attention. Boreas, finally, had to be carefully carried out of his cage by Black, who gladly hugged him.
“I'm so glad you guys are here!” he said, “Don't worry, Nurse War can heal you all, I'm sure.”
Boreas saw a lithe, feminine Eevee with a bushy tail in White's arms and suddenly felt oddly dizzy and nervous. “You're an Eevee!” he exclaimed.
Febby looked around and saw him. “Oh! And s-so are you.”
A bit of an odd silence fell between them as they both cuddled with their trainers.
“Blimey, it's nice tha' choo got reunited wiff your trainers, but shouldn't we scarper? I ffink this dental flosser 'ere's wakin' up!”
Boreas turned to talk to Thomas, but when he actually saw him, he suddenly felt very cold and a veil of crimson hatred clouded his mind.
He was back in the forest, seeing his father's corpse and his mother about to die fighting the vicious monsters. He saw his brother collapse, his throat cut, and expected to die as the beast lifted its sharpened claw up to execute him.
“Someffink wrong, guv?” the Zangoose asked as he stared at it with the sort of stare that usually only those who have died and returned as some form of vengeful ghost to avenge their murderers manage to pull off.
“You...” Boreas hissed, his voice drenched with pure hate like a garment soaked with poison to assassinate a king, “You're a monster, you killed them...”
“What'choo talkin' 'bout, guv? I ain't killed nobody, it' chore china Thomas, remember?”
“You killed them! I'll kill you! I'LL KILL YOU!!!!” Boreas screamed, and he tried to launch himself at the Zangoose, but a severe pain shot through him as his legs immediately gave way and he plummeted from Black's arms. Octa managed to catch him just before he hit the ground and returned him to Black's arms.
“I'LL GET YOU!!!!” Boreas screamed like a madman, “MURDERER!!!!”
“Blimey, i' wasn' me, wha'e'er i' was! Wha' 'appened to us bein' mates?”
“Calm down, my dear fellow, please!” Octa commanded, “Thomas did not kill your parents, he's our friend!”
Boreas came a bit closer to calmness, like Pluto coming a bit closer to the Sun during one part of its orbit. “It.” Boreas seethed between clenched teeth, “Is. Not. My. Friend! It's a Zangoose, a murderer!”
“Arceus luv a Ducklett, I didn' make chore paren's kark it, guv, i' was a differen' Zangoose!”
“You're all the same!” Boreas hatefully seethed, “Your kind murdered them!”
“Please,” Octa apologised, still holding Boreas, “accept my humblest apologies for this behaviour.”
“No problem, guv'nor. I unnerstan' chore anger, but i' wasn' me what kill 'chore parents, mate. An' I'm sorry for wha' other Zangeese did to choo. Just lissen to me voice, an' remember tha' I'm chore china.”
His logic managed to calm Boreas down a bit more. “I don't care, your kind murdered my family! You can't be my friend, you're my enemy!”
“Look guv, can I help i' that I look like the Aris wha' kille' chore parents?”
Then this little argument was interrupted as Bronius had awoken and was sending out his pokémon. “I was merciful to you, boy, and let you live, and this is how you repay me? Fine, then it's your own fault! Kill them!”
Black, White, their pokémon, and Thomas ran for their lives out of the room into a long white corridor as the six mighty rock types started pursuit. Boreas and Octa were still in Black's arms.
“My dear fellow,” Octa said, “I thought you were over it.”
“Yes, so did I!” Boreas snapped, “But I guess we were wrong, hmm?!”
“Look, you have to realise that this is highly illogical. Thomas didn't-”
“Logic be damned! That thing is a Zangoose, and I hate it!”
Gigalith and Omastar followed them through the door, while Rhypherior and Aggron didn't bother with that formality and just bashed through the wall with a single stroke. White threw five pokéballs to unleash a Vullaby, a Rufflet, a Darumaka, a Panpour, and an Audino. They all ran in a fighting retreat, except Boreas whom was still being carried by Black as he was unable to walk for himself. The other eleven battled as they ran off, only fighting to block the enemy's attacks or slow them down.
Octa launched a Leaf Tornado at the Omastar which was shooting its sharp spikes at them, Lucius spit fire at Aggron in an attempt to slow it down, Vullaby, Rufflet, and Capella launched themselves into the air to intercept Archeops attempting to fly over the others to attack Black and White. Rhypherior fired a massive rock at Thomas, who dodged it with unbelievable agility. Boreas caught himself hoping that the Zangoose's Detect would fail.
Don't be like that, he thought, even if his species turned out to be a bit of a nasty surprise, it's Thomas, I don't actually want him to die.
Yes, I do. It's a Zangoose, how could I not want it to die? They killed my family!
He didn't, and I'll feel very bad if his Detect actually fails.
No, I won't, I'll feel very good, because there will be one less of those bastards around.
They turned a corner into another long white corridor, and Aggron saved itself some time by cutting the corner through the walls and the room on the corner. It was now running in front of the other rock types, trying to kill Panpour and Octa with a single Iron Head. But Panpour was only scraped by the attack and Octa dodged it with a bizarre pirouette, launched himself into the air with his vines, and landed in Aggron's neck. In an excellent position to do so, he began draining Aggron's energy with a Mega Drain. The others overtook Aggron as it slowed down trying to get Octa off it.
The rock types were a bit too large for the small corridor together, and actually destroyed quite a bit of the corridor's walls as they pursued Black and White, leaving a trail of destruction behind. A storm of sharp gemstones wounded everyone when Gigalith used its Power Gem attack. Capella tangled with Omastar as she fled, returning its water attacks and paralysing it with electric pulses at the same time.
They tried to make obstacles for their pursuers by pulling down lamps, throwing over drinks machines and cupboards, and opening doors in passing, but there was just nothing that could even slow down the powerful rocky creatures pursuing them, as they casually smashed through any obstacle as if it was a cardboard prop in a poorly budgeted sixties sci-fi show. Occasionally grunts would show up ahead to block the way, but Black and White shoved them aside without slowing their running.
Gigalith took a break from shooting gemstones at them and instead fired a barrage of sharp stones the size of a fist that missed all of them. However, it seems they were not even aimed at them, as they floated around further down the corridor, waiting.
“Stealth Rock!” White shouted, “Go left!”
They entered a door instead of continuing down the trapped corridor and entered some kind of large mess hall. It mainly contained cheap plastic tables, and quite a lot of them too. A few out of uniform grunts who were eating dinner looked very surprised at the group of humans and pokémon running for their lives, and then looked even more surprised when the wall collapsed and five powerful rocky creatures bashed through, destroying the entire hall. Cheap plastic tables were splintered en masse as rocks were shot into them and they were brushed aside in large groups by Rhypherior's powerful rock arms. Seeing the sharp plastic splinters flying about, Boreas had an idea. “The shards!” he shouted, “use them as ammunitions, aim for their eyes!”
Vullaby made a Gust, which immediately sucked up a lot of shards, turning into a whirlwind of sharp plastic. She caught Omastar, by far the most vulnerable enemy, in it, and it came out with several of the sharp plastic spikes sticking out of its body. Archeops flew over, but was suddenly caught by vines coming from somewhere in the charging horde of rock types, and before it could respond Octa launched himself into the air by pulling on the vines, flew barely over the charging Rhypherior's horn, and landed just behind Black. He retracted his vines, whipped up a Leaf Tornado which gathered some splinters, and fired it at Omastar. In severe pain, with a lot of deep cuts and sharp spikes sticking from its soft body, the cephalopod retracted into its shell. There was no time to cheer, though, as the other four were still after them. They crossed the last part of the mess hall, jumping over a fallen table and ducking under a ray of sharp gems and entered a door leading to another corridor.
They dashed through the corridor, and by now Boreas was really starting to wish that he could walk for himself so he could make some meaningful contribution instead of just lying in Black's arms. Archeops was the first to catch up as the others started demolishing another corridor in an attempt to kill them, and it swooped over the battling pokémon, ready to grab Black in its claws, when Lucius made a large jump, landed on its back, and dug his jaws into its neck. With a screech the Archeops missed Black and struggled to get Lucius off it. Lucius suddenly shone with a blinding white light, and they left Boreas' view behind White. When he saw them again a moment later, Lucius had evolved to Houndoom and Archeops collapsed to the ground, unable to fly a creature heavier than itself around, especially with Lucius' terrifying jaws around its neck. Lucius was about to kill it by biting its throat, but changed his mind when Rhypherior came very close to crushing him and ran away instead, very fast now that his size had increased.
They were nearing the end of the corridor where a door blocked the way. Black and White kicked the door down together, and they entered what seemed like the reception room of an office building. The other side of the reception was a wall of thick glass with an unmoving revolving door in it. They ran for the revolving door immediately, but found it was closed and the glass of the walls and door was more than a decimetre thick. However, through the glass the Gym on the other side of the street was clearly visible.
“What the...” Black exclaimed, “This is Gym Street!”
“They made a hideout right in front of the Gym?” White said.
At that moment Aggron, Gigalith, and Rhypherior burst through the wall, covering the entire reception in rubble. As there was no way out, their only hope was to defeat their enemies. Rhypherior suddenly shot off a massive rock that exploded just before Black and White's feet, and the humans were knocked away, Boreas launched from Black's arms. He thankfully hit the ground with his right side, and immediately tried to see if Black was alright. He seemed hurt, but alive and busy trying to get away from the huge Rhypherior trying to crush him. The pokémon were mostly fighting Aggron and Gigalith in groups.
Boreas saw Thomas rush forward at Aggron, slashing and kicking it in powerful Close Combat, and wounded his enemy pretty badly by dislodging the armour on its underbelly and cutting into its soft flesh underneath. The Aggron screamed in pain, but in Close Combat Thomas had neglected his defence, and the Aggron smashed into him with a calamitous Head Smash. Thomas was launched through the hall, and hit the glass outer wall above Boreas head-first. He fell down on the ground before Boreas, his neck twisted in an impossible angle, and Boreas heard him exhale his final breath and saw the light leave his eyes.
“N-no.” Boreas stammered.
It's a Zangoose. He thought, don't feel sorry for it, it got what it deserved.
That's rubbish! It's Thomas, and he didn't deserve this at all!
A tear ran from Boreas' eye as he looked into his dead friend's eyes. Realising that this was hardly the time or place, he turned his thoughts to the battle, and saw how Rhypherior crushed Panpour into the ground.
“Hey, Aggron!” he shouted, bringing himself as close to a standing position as he could manage, “you killed my friend! I'll get you for that!”
Aggron looked up from his battle with Toxica, Darumaka, and Audino to give Boreas a mocking look.
“Come on here, then, and I'll kill you myself!” Boreas shouted, “Just you and me, one on one! I'll get you!”
The Aggron ran at him, ignoring his current opponents, and charged at him with a Head Smash. Boreas grinned as his plan was working, until he realised he couldn't walk properly and thus couldn't get out of the charging behemoth's way. Black ran by, just before the Aggron, picked him up by the scruff of his neck in passing, and dived out of Aggron's way. It kept going and crashed right through the thick glass wall, immediately collapsing it into a million shards.
Now that they could get out, the surviving combatants rushed outside, into the street full of shocked people, but they were quickly followed by their enemies. Then Burgh, Bianca, and a long-haired human girl rushed out of the Gym and joined the battle.
Now that they had such a massive majority, the battle seemed to be going the other way. The enemies just weren't powerful enough to battle almost thirty pokémon at once. Then Bronius and his three pokémon that had fallen behind showed up in the ravaged reception.
“Arceus in Halle des Beginns!” he cursed, getting his Xtranceiver, “Plasma, our hideout has been discovered! Initiate Operation And The Bandit!”
The building itself exhausted thick black smoke, plunging the entire Gym Street, as well as most of the rest of the city, in smoky darkness that persisted for more than an hour and allowed Team Plasma to escape them, as well as caused quite a lot of accidents.
A few days later Boreas found himself alone at a simple grave on a grassy knoll. He wasn't sure what you were supposed to do at a grave and just sort of looked around nervously. That didn't really make him feel better, though. For some reason he felt as if he had to say something.
“I'm sorry I hated you for being a Zangoose,” Great, now I'm talking to a grave. “I... Shouldn't have acted like that. Your species shouldn't have mattered, and yet it did. I know you can't really hear this because you're dead,” So why am I saying it in the first place? “but I'm sorry I acted like that in our last conversation, my friend.” He looked around, “I hope you won't mind- I guess you won't, 'cause you're dead- But I hope you won't mind if I just pretend for now that my family is buried here too... They never had a grave, you see...”
He visualised their names on the grave. “Dad, Mum, I miss you... I remember the day you took me outside of the burrow for the very first time... I was so fascinated with finding out that there was so much more than just our burrow, and wanted to see it all that day, and you had to disappoint me by telling me it would take a bit longer than that...” the tears were streaming now, though he felt oddly happy at the same time, “...And then you caught me sneaking outside that night, Dad, and got very angry... But the next day, everything was good between us again...
And Eurus, remember that time when you told us all you had found a monster, and then I wanted to see it, and we ended up running through the forest all day looking for it?
Notus, remember that time when we were at the brook and you wanted to swim like the Duckletts, and the water made me all wet and miserable and we ended up being chased off by the Swanna? Odd how that seems like such a good time now, looking back.
And Zeph, remember when we scared all those Pidoves together and we felt incredibly cool for doing it? And that time when we found Nuvema and spied on the humans there and thought they would eat us?” he chuckled, “If only you could see me now. Humans are really pretty friendly... Well, most of them, that is.
I must be nuts talking to you like this, but it really made me feel better, you know. Farewell.”
Note: You may be wondering where Black suddenly came from, how he met White, who she is, and other questions. Since this story is focused on Boreas and not on Black, I didn't switch to his point of view to show that side of the story (I considered it, though), but I can tell you what happened:
After Boreas lost consciousness Bronius quickly defeated each of Black's other pokémon. When the grunts took them, Black struggled to get them back himself, so Bronius' pokémon gave him a good thrashing and left him unconscious in the street. He was found by a hobo who took him to the pokécenter, where he was quickly healed. Black decided he wanted to get his pokémon back on his own, seeing it as his duty as a trainer to them and so didn't ask for help. He went back to the street where they were taken from him, but only found that the building Team Plasma had come out of was an empty office building.
He started asking people around the city whether they had seen Team Plasma, and at some point met White, a trainer living in Castelia who had lost her Eevee, February, and asked her. White not only recognised the description, but when he mentioned that they were pokémon thieves was very interested, and they soon came to the conclusion that their pokémon had been stolen by the same group.
They tried to look for Team Plasma together, but Castelia is a big city and Plasma is good at hiding, so they were pretty unsuccessful. But when Team Plasma's ship arrived, they just happened to be looking for them at the docks, and thus saw Team Plasma and followed one of them to the backdoor to their hideout. They sneaked inside and, with the help of White's pokémon, managed to get all the way to Bronius without being seen.
As for why Bianca and Iris were in the Gym, Bianca was challenging Burgh and Iris, visiting Castelia, was the battle's judge when they were interrupted by the rather loud noise of Aggron bursting through the glass outer wall.
OMG 77 chapters!? You're right, I AM going to enjoy reading this fanfic o'yours~! :D
Anyway, here's my comment about the newest chapter; Chapter 19...
The nurse's name is Nurse War? Seems a strange name for a nurse...
There's a part of the chapter 19 fanfic that goes: "He wasn't sure what you were supposed to do at a grave and just sort of looked around nervously. That didn't really make him feel better, though."
Is the story asking me about how would I feel, or was this supposed to be a "he" instead of "you"...?
The scene where he was literally talking to a grave was really touching and heartwarming and a bit sad...
The chase was really well-written! I loved how I can imagine the whole scene while reading it! :D
Black was wandering the city for a whole week...
That must've been pretty hard convincing one's self not to give up hope.
Another Eevee, and it belongs to White...
I'm a bit excited about what will Aqua react to that.
All in all, you wrote chapter 19 pretty well. It was a really really good chapter!
I seriously can't wait for the next one~!
Excellent, I hope you will.
Chapter Twenty: Water and Ice
“So did you ever find out what they meant by “the castle?” asked Aqua.
“No,” said Boreas, “but from the way they talked about it, I think it's a place where they put the pokémon they claim to have liberated to work.”
“Did they literally say that, or did you have to read between the lines?”
“They didn't literally say it, but they did say we would be taken to this castle and talked about whether or not we could work, and it sounded like there was a relationship between those two topics.”
“I see,” Aqua thought for a moment. “Well, it could be that “castle” is a place like the daycare you visited, and that you'd be taken there and expected to care for young pokémon...”
“They literally used the phrase “What use is a pokémon what can't work or fight?””
Octa interrupted him. “Whom can't fight.”
“Yes, I know,” said Boreas annoyed, “But the grunt used the word “what”. And later, Bronius ordered me put out of my misery because my legs were broken. Does that sound innocent to you too?”
Aqua thought for another moment. “No, I guess you're right. There is certainly something fishy going on in that branch of Team Plasma.”
“That branch?” Boreas asked exasperated, “what about all the others?”
“Well, from what you're telling me it sounds like each of their sages commands a part of their forces. So perhaps Bronius is the only one who makes pokémon work for them, while the others may actually be liberating pokémon. There's a rotten leppa in every basket.”
Boreas was going to answer that, but then he saw they had arrived back in Driftveil and where just mooring onto the pier. “Oh, looks like we're back.”
Aqua stood up. “Well, I think I'd better be going.”
“No, wait, don't you want to come with me? You could have dinner with us at the pokécenter.” he pleaded.
“Nah, I have to swim all the way back upstream and it's getting late. But perhaps we can meet up again tomorrow?”
Boreas' heart and stomach both made a double somersault as he realised she had just asked him on a date. “Yeah, great! Gladly. Sure! Where d'you want to go?”
“I've got an idea, but we can only get there by swimming. Let's meet right here on the pier tomorrow.”
As much as he liked having a date with Aqua, Boreas didn't want to put his very limited swimming skills to the test. “I dunno... You've seen I'm not much of a swimmer.”
“All the better... Then you can hold on to me...” she whispered. Then, with a wink, she jumped overboard. Boreas looked over the moored boat's edge to watch her swim away. She was swimming under water, so he only saw an incredibly fast moving shadow swim up the river. He watched her swim away into the distance, wishing he could swim along with her. Even after she had long disappeared from sight, he kept looking at the river dreamily until the Sun set half an hour later.
That evening Boreas was playing chess with Octa, and losing even worse than usual. It was mainly because he kept daydreaming about Aqua. He kept running over their conversations in his head, hearing her voice like a nightingale flirt with him, saw her wink at him, and felt the kiss she had given him whilst swimming.
Octa moved his bishop, and though Boreas hadn't been paying much attention to the game and had already lost all his small pieces and a rook, he immediately saw his chance and took it with his sole remaining rook.
Then he noticed Octa was grinning smugly. “I see. Your eyes are open, you can move the pieces, but the brain is on vacation with a certain charming lady, isn't it?”
“What d'you mean?” Boreas responded.
“This.” Octa took the rook with his knight, “Check.”
Boreas saw that not only his king was in danger, but his queen as well. If he moved his king out of the way, the queen would be taken. Sighing, he moved his king to the only tile he could. “I see what you mean. A bishop for a rook and the queen is a very poor trade for me.”
Grinning self-assuredly, Octa took the queen. “Do you think that's all you're losing here? This is checkmate, my dear fellow.”
“You're right. You win..”
Of course, now the boasting began. “Obviously my strategy was superior, my dear fellow, the fork I executed just before checkmate was a thoroughly masterful move, even if it hadn't led directly to my victory, as it gave you no choice but to sacrifice your queen.”
“It sure was, but I was just a bit distracted, you know.”
“You see, this is why looking ahead is so important in chess. 'Tis not good enough to be able to make a good move, you have to anticipate making that move ten turns ahead.”
“Alright, I was just a bit distracted. I think I'm going to go to sleep now.”
“Already? Don't you want to play another round?”
“No, I want to be well-rested tomorrow.”
“Alright. I'd wish you sweet dreams, but I doubt you shall need my wishes to get those after meeting your new ladyfriend.”
After a night of pleasant dreams, Boreas awoke. Normally, he would go back to sleep pretty much instantly, but now he immediately stood up, got out from under Black's bed, and walked to the door silently, attempting not to awaken anyone.
“My dear fellow, what on Earth are you doing?” a voice said.
“What does it look like I'm doing?”
“It looks like you are sneaking away to go to your date at half past six.”
“Don't you think your ladyfriend might not have meant for you to encounter one another this early in the morning? She is probably still sleeping, like all civilised people do at this hour.”
“That's no problem, I'll just wait for her.”
“My dear fellow, we both know your patience is as capacious as an ant's bladder. And being enamoured makes one's judgement worse. Yes, you could go to the pier now and wait for hours, probably start feeling very miserable and doubtful that she'll ever show up, or you could just go back to sleep, go there in a few hours, and only have to wait for her for a short while. 'Tis your choice, my dear fellow, but I believe you know which option I would recommend.”
Boreas couldn't help see the logic in that and got back under the bed. “Okay, fine. But I don't think I can sleep at all... I'm so excited!”
“Yes, I get that impression,” said Octa.
“I'm in love, Octa! I'm in love, I'm in love, and how could I not be? Y'know, I suddenly understand why people write poetry now. I thought they were just being whiny and overreacting, but now I see that when you're in love, you just have to express yourself somehow. I had no idea someone could be so madly in love with another person. And I completely take back what I said about that Byron-guy a few weeks ago.”
“Good. Lord Byron did not deserve your original assessment.”
“I wish I could just go to her right now... It's as if every fibre in my body is magnetically pulled to her, she's so incredibly lovely... I mean, when she smiles, her black eyes light up as if there were stars in them, and her ears point up a bit, and she gets these really cute dimples in her cheeks... Oh, she's so charming, and nice, and handsome... Her eyes, have you seen her eyes?”
“I believe I may have caught a quick glimpse of them.”
“And her tail... Wow, her tail... And her nose is so pretty... And she actually kissed me yesterday!”
“Yeah, it was just on my cheek, but it felt as if time stopped and the entire universe was absolute bliss... If I was the kind of ice-type that's actually made of ice, I would probably have melted... Y'know, it feels as if I'm going mad, but in such a good way. I thought I had been in love before, with Febby, but now I know I was just attracted to her, that it wasn't even close to the real thing... Octa, have you ever been in love?”
Octa answered with a snore, and Boreas realised that while he felt more awake than ever before, to everyone else it was still 7 in the morning and that he probably should shut up.
At nine, Boreas just couldn't stand lying under the bed thinking of Aqua any more, and was pining for the real one. So he got up, ate a minimal breakfast on the pokécenter's ground floor, and left to go to the pier. To his disappointment, she wasn't there yet. He sat down on the wooden pier and started scanning the river. It wasn't long before he got up and started pacing around the nearby shore. He started worrying she would not show up, that he would never see her again. Though he knew that fear was probably ungrounded, it gripped him like the cold, slimy, dead hand of a ghost and made him very nervous and afraid. Am I stupid? He wondered, it's just very early, no need to start hyperventilating.
But he wouldn't stop being nervous and wondering if she'd ever show up. Then he became nervous about how he would look if she did show up and tried to take a look at his reflection in the water. He walked back onto the pier to look at his reflection in the water. His reflection looked back with an intelligent gleam in its eyes and rather unkempt hair for a Glaceon. He sighed and ran a paw through his hair to make it look a bit better. Just his luck that he was one of the few species of pokémon who had a different kind of fur on their heads than on the rest of their bodies, and thus had to worry about haircuts like humans. He was blushing slightly, which mixed with the blue fur on his cheeks to give it a slight hint of purple. He remembered that Aqua had said he looked cute when he blushed, and immediately his cheeks turned a much clearer and more expressive purple.
Suddenly a splash of water hit his face and a gorgeous blue face breached the water. “Hi!”
Boreas made an involuntary movement in start, lost his balance, moved his legs by reflex to regain it, moved them off the pier and fell into the water. He surfaced clumsily next to Aqua laughing. “H-hi.”
“I see you fell for me.” Aqua joked.
“How could I not?” Boreas said, “so, where is this place you wanted to swim to?”
“I thought you weren't so enthusiastic about swimming.”
“Well,” said Boreas, “I wasn't at first, but when you promised I could hold on to you, I liked the idea a lot better.”
“Oh did you? Well, if you want to hold me, you'll have to catch me first!” she said with a grin as she rapidly swam a few metres away and splashed some water into his face. Boreas swam after her, but just before he reached her she dived underwater and reappeared almost instantly on Boreas' other side. He tried to grab her, but she was gone again and Boreas felt a sudden yank on his tail. He turned around only to see Aqua looking innocently at the shore. When he tried to get her, she disappeared, reappeared on his other side, and splashed some water in his face.
“Heehee, catch me if you can!” he tried to catch her, but she was gone again. “Here I am.” she whispered in his ear.
He tried to catch her, but as was to be expected she was gone again. “Okay, you win! I can't catch you, you're too fast. Can you help me get to the shore? 'Cause I'm having trouble staying afloat.”
“Do you really think I'd fall for the same trick twice?”
“It's no-” a wave washed over his head, and he resurfaced coughing, “trick! I need your help!” he disappeared underwater.
As he struggled underwater, he felt Aqua nudge him up to the surface and immediately used the opportunity to put his paws around her. “Gotcha.”
Aqua chuckled. For a moment they just relished in the aquatic embrace. Then she said: “Yes, you did. But there's something you failed to consider: what are you going to do when I dive down to the bottom of the river?”
“Hold my breath until you resurface, I suppose.”
“I can hold my breath for five hours, y'know.”
“I can hold my breath for five minutes. I hope. But by all means, dive. When I run out of breath, you can give me mouth to mouth resuscitation.”
Aqua brought a paw to her mouth pretending to be insulted whilst trying to stifle her laughter. “I would never! What kind of girl do you think I am?”
“I bet you would,” he teased, “You would jump at an excuse to snog me.”
“I would not! I'd rather let you drown.”
“No, you wouldn't. Besides, what about all those stories about Vaporeons rescuing drowning people?”
“Two things:” Aqua said, stroking Boreas' left ear gently, “firstly all those stories happen at sea, while this is a river. Secondly those are the good Vaporeons. I'm a bad one,” she said with a wink.
“Yes, you are,” said Boreas as they moved their faces closer together. Then he was suddenly underwater, zooming through blueness.
“Pretty, isn't it?” he heard Aqua's voice, though he could barely see her.
“Bllupp,” he said. Then he mouthed the words “I don't know, I can't see underwater.”
Suddenly the bubbles of air he had just exhaled when he tried to talk came back and clung to his eyes. After a moment of getting used to it, he actually saw everything in brilliant detail as if he was above the surface. It was indeed pretty, but he mainly had eye for Aqua, who looked even prettier than above the surface with the wet fur clinging close to her body and the movements her tail and finned ears made to help her swim. He was about to start pretending he was suffocating so she would give him mouth to mouth resuscitation, when they resurfaced.
“Well, what did you think?” Aqua asked, her face close to his.
“Absolutely gorgeous,” Boreas said, staring deep into her black eyes. “So was the view, incidentally.”
Aqua chuckled. “Are you ready to go again?”
“Always,” said Boreas with a suggestive smile.
They dived underwater once again, and Aqua made sure air bubbles clung around his eyes once again. The river was full of life, with many aquatic creatures and plants everywhere. They were swimming at incredibly speed, though Boreas thought he was bound to be slowing Aqua down. He hoped he was, as it would mean it would take longer to get to their destination, so he would get to hold her like this longer.
After a few more dives at incredible speed, they resurfaced once again, near a small, white beach sheltered between rocks. “Look, this is where I was taking you. Barely anyone knows its existence, so we won't be disturbed.”
“Good.” Boreas smiled.
“Anyway, you've clung to me enough. Let's see you swim the last bit for yourself.”
Boreas pouted. “But I can't swim.”
“Yes, you can.” She struggled to get free from his grip, and managed to escape very quickly. He swam after her, and when he reached her found he already was on the beach. As they got onto the sand, Boreas shook himself dry.
“You know,” he asked Aqua, “I have been telling you quite a lot about myself, but I still know so little about you. Like, how did you evolve to a gorgeous, foxy Vaporeon?”
“I don't know how you evolved into such a cute Glaceon either. You first.”
“But I've already told you so much...”
Aqua blinked in rapid succession a few times and snuggled up to Boreas.
“Okay, fine. You're very persuasive. I evolved quite soon after we escaped from Team Plasma, actually...”
My life is less busy, and so I return. One final word on the Hamlet front: I am aware, of course, that there are numerous different ways in which you could interpret the scene, but the compassion one just doesn't seem that satisfying to me. Given what happens in the scenes immediately before and after, and Hamlet's behaviour elsewhere, I think that there are three or four more convincing ways to explain his failure to kill Claudius at that moment than compassion, with the 'hire and salary' argument being one. It's true he's lacking in resolve; that's probably partly why the Ghost reappears in the closet scene. But that amount of compassion for Claudius at this juncture seems... improbable, although of course it is possible.
Anyway, I liked this:
It's nice to see that it isn't all such plain sailing for everyone, too: you've included a fairly major loss, though I'm not sure that the ease with which everything was recovered was entirely convincing. It certainly dulled the impact of it a bit.
Furthermore, Octa made a surprising mistake here:
There were a couple of mistakes with the speech punctuation again, but you said they got sorted by Chapter Twenty, so I won't mention them here.
The back-and-forth between Aqua and Boreas is good, though. It's funny and entertaining - but since it's almost entirely based around fairly well-known and cheesy jokes, it gets tiresome quite quickly. I'd suggest trying to balance the jokes with some slightly more serious dialogue; as it is, their relationship doesn't quite feel real.
However, for all that the story still interested me enough to bother catching up with the chapters I'd missed, so it must be going well. I quite like Capella, though I'm not sure if you explain quite where she came from; she sort of pops up from nowhere. It's a bit like Toxica: you think of a good character, and they appear without much explanation. At least the reason why Capella was still with the team was explained, though, which shows the story is improving.
All in all, there are a few things I'm picking up here and there, but not too much. It's good work; keep it up and aim ever higher. For my part, I'll try and keep up with chapters better in future; I await the next update.
The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World * The Rocket Case * The Rocket Revival
Neither Here Nor There * The Beastman * Coriolanus Rowland's Guide to Pokémon Husbandry
Robin Goodfellow's Christmas Carol * Snow * Stranger Than Fiction
My Trip to the End of Time, by Pearl Gideon * A Smell of Petroleum Pervades Throughout
For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.
Chapter Twenty-One: Premier Insect Artist
Boreas tried to ignore the pain in his legs as he walked through the street, following Black to the Gym. It had been six weeks since his legs were broken, and Nurse War said they were healed as well as they ever would be. But the fact was, despite the nurse and Capella's cares, his legs hurt a lot when he walked. He tried not to let anyone notice, though, not wanting the Gym battle delayed even more than it already was. He was sick of Castelia after so many weeks there and just wanted to defeat Burgh and go somewhere else. Though he tried to hide the pain he felt with each step, it seemed he was not entirely successful.
“My dear fellow,” said Octa, “do your fractures continue to ache?”
“No, not at all!” Boreas lied, “I'm just... Uh... Annoyed by the warm weather. Yeah, that's it. Bloody August, eh?”
“It so happens August has always been my favourite month of the year, actually.”
“Well, for one thing, I like the heat and the long daylight. For another, it was named after a namesake of mine.”
“No, it isn't,” Boreas said with annoyance, “if it were, you would be named August or the month would be named Octavianus.”
“Actually, it is. August was named after a Roman named Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, whom transformed the Roman republic to an empire through sheer cunning and charisma and became its first emperor. Then he changed his name to Augustus, which is Latin for majestic or honoured, and changed the name of the month Sextilis to August.”
“So it's not really named after a namesake of you, but after someone named Augustus.”
“Didn't you listen to what I said? It was named after-”
“Yes, I heard what you said, but obviously he stopped being a namesake of yours when he changed his name to Augustus.”
“But that is not the point, is it? The point is he originally bore the same name that I do.”
“Yes, but the month was named after him after he changed his name.”
Octa was going to say something, but they had arrived in Gym street. The complete carnage that the skirmish with Bronius had caused in the street had been completely cleaned up, the only trace of it was that the former Team Plasma building was now enveloped in construction scaffolding to rebuild the glass outer wall. Black paused in front of the Gym, which looked like an ordinary building, except for the large red and green sign above the door that said “BurGH'S gaLlErY” in hideous purple and yellow neon letters. Black stopped and talked to his pokémon.
“We're at a type disadvantage here, as Burgh uses bug types and two of you are grass types, including Octa. That means I'll have to rely on the rest of you. Despite the disadvantage, I think we can defeat Burgh.”
He started to open the Gym's door, but a voice said:
“Black, wait up!” White was running at them.
“Hi,” Black turned his attention to White as Boreas nervously greeted Febby and then started staring at the hideous sign instead, “come to watch me beat Burgh?”
A mischievous smile spread on White's face. “Well, that too.”
Black responded with a grin of his own. “Oh? For what else?”
Yellow everywhere and a rancid, sweet stench assaulted their senses as they entered the Gym. Bizarre surreal painting hung from the honey-covered walls, and some of the walls were actually made from only the honey. Insects buzzed around. Black and his pokémon looked at it with mouths hanging open with surprise. After a few moments, they started to realise Burgh wasn't there.
“Looks like Burgh's not here. Can't blame him either, this place stinks!” Black exclaimed.
Burgh's voice sounded. “I'm here, actually. You just have to find me!”
“You have to walk through that wall of honey there,” White said.
“You can't be serious.”
“I am serious.”
“This is what you came here to watch, didn't you?”
Black arched an eyebrow. “So did you walk through the wall of honey when you challenged the Gym?”
White blushed. “Yes, I did. And stop imagining me drenched with honey.”
Octa sniffed the air haughtily. “Walk through a wall of honey? Me? Are they completely doolally?”
“It is rather undignified,” said Capella, “but it won't stick to us too badly. I would be more worried if I had fur.”
“That is not the point, is it?” Octa responded, “the point is that it's disgusting, and that I shall look like fifteen types of **** when I come out on the other side. And I shall smell like the decaying corpse of a beekeeper who forgot to put on his protective suit and was stung to death inside his bees' hive. Besides, Black already indicated he does not plan to use me in this battle.”
“Come on, don't be such a big girl's blouse and just walk through the wall.”
“I am not doing it. It doesn't befit a gentleman.”
“I've got an idea,” Toxica said blushing, “Octa, why don't you and I go through the honey wall first so no one sees you, and then I can lick you clean.” she was blushing so deeply now that it looked as if she was about to burst an artery.
“There'll be no need for that,” Boreas said gladly, “there are holes in the walls small enough for us to fit through, probably made by the bugs. Black's the only one who has to walk through the honey.”
They all sighed relieved, except Toxica, who gave Boreas a foul look. After crawling through the holes, they saw Burgh painting something that seemed like a Dugtrio turned inside out flying out of the mouth of a bizarrely proportioned and partially molten Mr. Mime. They heard a blobbering sound and saw something that could most accurately be described as a honey elemental emerge from the wall of honey. It began clawing at itself and shaking honey off until it took on a vaguely anthropomorphic shape. Finally Black managed to get his face mostly honey-free.
“Burgh!” he said, stepping towards the painting artist as big blobs of honey fell from him, “I've come to challenge you. And also to tell you you're insane, what's with the honey walls?”
Burgh turned around in surprise. “Oh, hello. I didn't hear you come in. You're that guy who was running around in Pinwheel Forest with Lenora, right? The one with a colour for a name.”
“Right, that. So you've come to challenge me? How do you feel about using three pokémon each?”
“Alright, I accept!”
Burgh didn't do anything and Black just stood there rather awkwardly, dripping honey. After about a minute of nothing happening, he scraped his throat. Burgh didn't respond. After another while, Black said:
“So... Shall we get to it?”
Burgh looked at him as if he didn't know Black was there. “To what?”
“Yes, the Gym battle! Three vs. three, no switching out, that sort of thing!”
“Excellent idea! Go, René, bug him out!” he threw a pokéball, sending out a Whirlipede.
“Lucius, start with Ember!” Black commanded.
Lucius ran at René, spitting fire. Though the Whirlipede looked like a plump, compact, and slow creature, he immediately proved this impression wrong as he began rolling around at high speed, making Lucius' flames miss easily. He tried to steamroll over Lucius, but the canine proved himself fast as well despite his large size. They tried to hit each other for a while, both failing. Lucius managed to get the first hit in, singing his opponent badly with the flames he spit. Lucius was now aiming his flames quite a bit ahead of his opponent, anticipating where the Whirlipede would be once the flames got there., and he was managing to hit the circular centipede time and again. To prevent being hit again, René began moving very erratically, not only managing to dodge Lucius' flames, but actually managing to hit him. The centipede suddenly hit Lucius from the side, knocking him down, and immediately proceeded to roll right over him, going back and forth several times. Suddenly there was a burst of flames, the Whirlipede squeaked loudly, and it stopped rolling and fell over sideways.
Lucius got up, looking pretty bruised and with some wounds caused by the Whirlipede's spikes. “Yeah, and how did you like that?! Get me another opponent now!”
Burgh returned René to his pokéball and sent out the Dwebble whom had lost her shell in the battle with Gorm, now with a brand new shell. “Snick, my switch was turned on! Go, Max!”
Boreas was just left speechless by Burgh. “...I don't even want to know what's going on with your 'switch'...”
The Dwebble immediately began proving her worth as a rock type by firing parts of her rocky shell at Lucius. The Houndoom was hit by several of them, but retaliated by spitting flames at Max. The Dwebble retreated into her shell for protection and shot more rocks at Lucius. Lucius ran at the withdrawn Dwebble and grabbed her shell in his jaws, lifting the entire smaller pokémon up. Boreas saw him strain to bite through it.
A dampened laugh came from inside the shell. “Go on, break your teeth on my shell if you like!”
Lucius stopped trying to crush the shell in his jaws and instead breathed fire straight into the shell's opening. He threw the shell away, and Burgh returned Max to her pokéball. Lucius howled victoriously.
“Good job!” Boreas cheered, “You're on fire!”
“Don't encourage him, my dear fellow,” said Octa.
“Oh, bugger! Could it be time to bug out of here?” Burgh asked, throwing his third pokéball, “No, no, I refuse to be squashed!”
Salvador the Leavanny appeared from the pokéball. “Ha!” Lucius barked, “a grass type and a bug type in one, this is my lucky day! I'll toast you for appeti- AARGH!”
With movement as fast as a lightning bolt, Salvador had rushed forwards and given Lucius two deep, long cuts with his scissors. Lucius tried to retaliate, but Salvador kept giving him more cuts, not giving him a moment to respond, before he collapsed with a patchwork of red cutmarks over his body.
“Okay Capella, it's your turn!”
“Leave it to me,” said Capella. She slithered into the battlefield and nets of electricity were launched from the jewel on her head in an attempt to slow Salvador down by paralysing him. But the Leavanny jumped aside with startling agility to dodge the Thunder Waves. Capella kept trying, but because of his quick movements she couldn't hit him. Then Salvador jumped forward and started cutting Capella, but unlike Lucius she was prepared for it and managed to break the rapid slashes by Slamming Salvador with her long body, hitting him like a whip. The Leavanny was knocked away, lost his balance and fell on his bum, and Capella reacted immediately with another Thunder Wave to paralyse him. It nearly hit him in his helpless condition, but again he was just too quick and was only scraped by the electric web. Giving Capella another X-Scissor in passing, Salvador got out of range of her Slam and began firing sharpened Razor Leaves at the draconic pokémon. Though the leaves didn't seem to do too much damage, there was little Capella could do about it. Salvador was just too quick, especially at a distance. The leaves were leaves lots of little cuts to go with the big cuts made by the earlier attacks when Black realised there was nothing Capella could do and forfeited. “Capella, switch out for Boreas.”
Boreas didn't feel too good about going up against Salvador with his pained legs, but he stepped forward, clenching his teeth at every step. He was about to start doing something when all of a sudden Salvador was in front of him and there were two long cuts in his skin that hurt like extremely long papercuts. Though the cuts were not very deep, this being a friendly battle, they still hurt like blazes.
Boreas didn't give Salvador a chance to start cutting at him like he did with Lucius and immediately jumped into him with a Quick Attack, knocking the Leavanny back. He sunk his teeth into an arm, but was immediately thrown off and received a few more slashes that, combined with his poorly healed legs, were rapidly weakening him. He realised he needed to think of something very fast if he was going to win at all, and ran for the wall to buy some time. He got a nasty cut on his tail as he crawled into one of the holes to the other side. As he tried to think of something, Salvador began cutting big slabs of honey out of the wall to get to him. As actually getting out of the other side of the hole would probably be considered a forfeit, Boreas had no choice but to go out the same way he came in. He waited a moment until Salvador had slashed, then ran out, just before the slash of his other scissor, Tackling the Leavanny and than ran off as fast as he could, which was not very fast courtesy of his legs. He didn't have a plan yet, but was mainly trying not to get cut up now. He ran back, ran past Black, who looked very nervous and was looking in his backpack for some chewing gum. Salvador caught up with Boreas as he was running past Black, and launched himself at the Eevee at full speed, but Boreas flattened himself to the ground and made a sudden turn despite his legs protesting. Salvador missed him, and with a tearing sound he cut Black's backpack open instead. A rain of berries, maps, papers, and other things showered Boreas. Among the other things, he caught a glimpse of the piece of light grey rock Black had stolen from Bronius about to hit him on the head, and before he could react, it hit him. He shuddered, feeling it was icy cold to touch.
Suddenly the icy coldness of the rock melted through his skin and filled his entire body. For one second it felt unbearably cold, then he experienced the tactile equivalent of looking at a picture of two silhouetted faces and suddenly seeing it as a picture of a white candlestick, and felt very comfortable with the cold instead. In the surprise at the cold moving into his body, he hadn't even noticed yet that his body was shining a bright, white light. He was filled with a deliciously icy feeling and a feeling of power as he was growing with amazing speed. His brown fur was rapidly turning an icy light-blue, and hit tail grew longer, more pointed, and less bushy. His legs increased in size, making him feel like someone standing on stilts.
As the frigid, but pleasant sensation filled him, he realised two things: the tourist Team Plasma had stolen the chip of icy rock from must have broken it off the Ice Rock of Snowpoint City, and also that he wanted to be a Glaceon. Being a Glaceon didn't just seem cool, but now that he was rapidly turning into one he felt he would love to spend the rest of his life as one. His collar was retracting, and instead longer dark blue hair was sprouting on his head in a haircut formed of three diamonds of hair, while two strands of it grew very long. The light finally subsided, and Boreas was reborn as a Glaceon.
Everything around him suddenly looked tiny, and despite the cold feeling inside him, the air around him seemed to have been heated quite a lot. The pain from the wounds he had received and from his poorly healed legs was completely gone. He drew his first breath with his evolved body, and felt hot air enter his lungs and frigid air leave them.
“Splendid, my dear fellow!” Octa cheered.
“Wow, you evolved!” Black said, “Get him with... Let's try Icy Wind!”
“Icy Wind?” Boreas mocked, noticing his voice's altered sound, “I can do better than that! I'll use Blizzard!”
Salvador had watched the evolution patiently, but now that the battle had recommenced, he ran at Boreas to X-Scissor him again. Boreas felt all kinds of powers inside him he never had before. He tried making the air around him colder, and immediately it was as if coldness rushed from nowhere, using his body as a conduit, and chilled the air around him. Then he made a Blizzard by doing the same, but this time really putting effort into making as much cold as he could. Frigid, howling, ferocious cold blasted into his body and then into the air around him, immediately freezing all the moisture in the air around him and making a Blizzard so cold even Boreas found it painful. He tried to stop more cold from coming in and tried to command the Blizzard to move to his opponent, but neither of these things happened. Instead icy waves of cold kept flooding through Boreas and fincreased the severe Blizzard.
Boreas felt incredibly cold, and began to panic as he realised he couldn't stop the cold rushing into the world through his body. Though he couldn't see more than a metre ahead in the howling Blizzard furiously raging around him, he heard the creaking of the freezing honey walls, the splintering of the Gym's windows, and the screams of agony as the bitter cold hit everyone else in the room. By now, droplets were forming out of nowhere as the air was beginning to condense. Then Boreas' eyes froze over painfully, making his visibility even lower. He tried desperately to stop the out-of-control Blizzard, but it was far too powerful for him. He was in agony, every part of his body rapidly freezing in temperatures usually unseen between here and Saturn. An idea came to him, and he immediately stopped trying to stop the cold, instead he tried to create even more and send it off onto the world with as much force as he could muster.
His set-up worked: instead of remaining close to him, the cold now had a lot of energy and blasted away into the world, making the Blizzard expand hugely, far beyond the Gym, and in doing so it became so diffuse that it became little more than a cool breeze after unleashing snow and ice on the streets near the Gym. Now that the Gym was approaching terran temperatures again, Boreas found it much easier to stop more cold from coming in and stopped the Blizzard. Then he collapsed with effort and the cold. He soon felt a gentle hand helping him up.
“Are you alright, my dear fellow?”
“Yes, I think so.” Boreas said, rubbing his eyes to thaw them, “I just got a bit overconfident and let it get out of control. What about you all?”
“We are fine. Black returned us to our pokéballs immediately to protect us. So did Burgh. The humans don't look too good, though.”
“S-s-s-s-sorry.” Black stammered at Burgh. His lips were blue and he was shivering all over. The honey still hanging onto him had frozen into hard yellow crusts which were shattering and falling off as he moved.
Burgh began laughing, which made some icicles fall from his hair. “Oh b-b-b-b-b-bugger! I lost, b-b-b-b-but what a cool way to w-w-win!”
“W-w-win?” Black asked stupefied. The pools of liquid air lying on the ground had almost completely boiled away by now.
“I returned Sa-Sa-Salvador t-to his pokéball, didn't I? That's a forfeit, isn't it? But losing to you doesn't bug me because your insectibly- I mean incredibly- strong! Here, take this Insect Badge!”
That evening Boreas stepped in front of the pokécenter's mirror to get a good look at himself. He saw a Glaceon in the mirror, and looked behind him to see if there was one standing there before he realised he was the Glaceon. It was bizarre to see the Glaceon copy his every move exactly. It was going to take some getting used to this new form. He could recognise his own face in the Glaceon's after a while, but it took some effort. He was also still not used to feeling like a giant. He had grown by almost a factor three, and everything suddenly looked tiny.
He gave the mirror a long look. He did look pretty cool and elegant now. He looked at the hair on his head and wondered if it would stay in the haircut it was currently in or if he would have to take effort to keep it like that himself. He ran a paw through his hair to test it, and already his haircut was coming undone. That got him to wonder about the long strands of hair that hung from his head almost to the ground. He had nearly tripped over the things twice already. The hair in those things seemed to vastly prefer staying together, and separating hair from it was pretty hard, and even then it seemed to automatically reattach itself to the long hair thingie. Boreas wondered if the hair would grow back if he cut it off. He was really going to have to find a word for the hair thingies. Fringes or bangs just didn't seem to fit. Headtails sounded like the most appropriate word for them.
I was expecting a new chapter since I was gone for a day and a half, but meh, I guess I'll just have to wait.
Anyway, here are my comments to the two latest chapters: chapters 20 and 21~
Chapter 20 comments...
"Oh, she's so charming, and nice, and handsome... Her eyes, have you seen her eyes?”
Anyway, Chapter 20 was very nice to read, a bit short, but still good. I like the part where Aqua suddenly appeared and made the Glaceon fall to the water. xD
Chapter 21 comments...
"The leaves were leaves lots of little cuts to go with the big cuts made by the earlier attacks when Black realised there was nothing Capella could do and forfeited."
I didn't understand that part in red... =/
"...and hit tail grew longer, more pointed, and less bushy."
I think this would have been a "his" instead of "hit", right?
Anyway, it was still a great chapter to read! A cool way to win, it really was! :D
Is there something wrong with that word that I'm not aware of?
Part Four: City of Light
Chapter Twenty-Two: 8/7
“Talk about a surprise,” said Aqua.
“Heh,” Boreas chuckled, “you're right. One moment I was an Eevee, not expecting to evolve yet for a while, the next I suddenly was a Glaceon, and the moment after that I nearly froze Black, Burgh, and myself to death.”
They were lying on their backs on the beach, enjoying the moderate heat the winter Sun provided. Boreas couldn't resist occasionally throwing a quick glance at Aqua's belly button. “I guess it's my turn to talk now,” said Aqua.
Boreas shifted positions to lie closer to her. “I guess it is.”
“Well, first of all, I take it you know how an Eevee evolves to a Vaporeon?”
“By Water Stone, right?”
Aqua started laughing. “You really haven't spent much time with your own species, have you?”
Boreas felt ashamed and a bit insulted. “No, I haven't, but Eevees do evolve to Vaporeon by Water Stone, I'm sure of it.”
“That's the answer a human would give, and it's not entirely wrong.” Suddenly she looked troubled, “I hope someone did tell you about the Pidoves and the Combees?”
Boreas blushed like mad and looked away. “Y-yeah.”
“Oh, good, just checking. Now, I suppose I'll have to tell you how Eevees normally evolve. Usually our evolution is based partially on our personality and partially on adaptation to the area we live in. An Eevee living in a forest will usually evolve into a Leafeon and an Eevee with a fiery temper will often evolve to a Flareon. Since an Eevee who is with humans doesn't live in nature, they usually don't evolve by themselves when they are with a trainer, unless it's to Umbreon or Espeon, because we don't interact with nature enough. But items like a Water Stone or an Ice Rock contain a lot of energy that is similar to that found in a natural habitat but much more powerful, enough to induce an Eevee to evolve in an instant.”
“I didn't know that.”
“It's no problem,” said Aqua sweetly, running a paw through his hair, “when you have spent so little time amongst your fellow Eevees, I guess it's only natural that you know little about them.”
Boreas gently rested the back of his head on Aqua's soft, blue stomach. “Now tell me how you evolved into such a comfortable pillow.”
Aqua giggled and pretended to be insulted. “Did you just call me fat?”
“I would never! I'm just saying you're a very comfortable pillow. Nice and soft and warm.”
“If I actually was fat, I would smother you right now.”
“Well, you're welcome to try anyway.”
Aqua seemed to consider it for a moment. “Perhaps later. I'll answer your question first. Evolution was a surprise to me too, though not nearly as much as it was to you. Most of my family consists of Vaporeons, you see, as we lived near the river, and so we usually spend most of our time in or near the water. Occasionally someone evolves into something else because they don't like the water or have a strong personality that leads them to another evolution, but usually we become Vaporeons. I never doubted I would become one as I already was a brilliant swimmer when I was still an Eevee, and I would often swim and practically lived off fish alone.”
“And you also have a personality that befits a Vaporeon,” Boreas added, “very elegant and lovely and charming. But what happened on the day you evolved?”
“I was a bit older than you when you evolved. I was about a year old, so pretty much an adult. I had swum down the river pretty far from my family's burrow to meet my bo- to go catch some fish, when a pair of hunters saw me and-”
“You know, humans who hunt pokémon.”
Boreas wasn't sure he understood. “Hunt them for what? To catch them and train them? For the pokédex?”
“No, to kill them.”
Boreas couldn't believe what he was hearing. “What?! Kill pokémon? That can't be true, surely they're just trying to catch them to train them or to sell-”
“They killed my sister, my brother, my grandmother, several cousins, and a friend.”
“Oh. I'm sorry-”
“Don't be, it's not your fault.”
“But... Why? Why would they do that?”
“In our case it's either because of our fur or-”
“Our fur?!” Boreas spat, “That's disgusting! What kind of monster would want to wear another creature's skin?”
“Or,” Aqua continued, “for fun.”
Boreas was revolted. “Fun? That's even worse! These people consider murdering a living creature fun?”
“Yes, they call it a sport.”
“But that's...” Boreas searched to find the right word for it, and eventually settled on “...Barbaric.”
“It certainly is. But that doesn't stop them, I can assure you. But as I was saying, a pair of them saw me while I was fishing...”
Aqua swam through the clear river, looking for Lothario with her head just above the surface. Though they had agreed to meet here, she didn't see him, but knew he was somewhere as she smelt his odour on the water's surface. She wondered if he was hiding and called out sweetly: “Lothario? I'm here...”
He didn't respond, but he had to be hiding nearby from the strength of his odour. She took a look under water, but couldn't see anything that looked like an Eevee. She grinned. “I know you're hiding, so there's no point in trying to startle me.”
Something rustled in the thick shrubbery on the water's edge. “Alright, then I'll come find you!”
She began by looking in places she knew he wasn't hiding to make him think she didn't know where he was. She searched at a small group of rocks, then between the reed. Then she dived underwater and rapidly swam to the shrubery where she knew he was hiding. She jumped out of the water and ran into the shrubs. “Ready or not, here I come!”
She was expecting to see Lothario's surprised face as she ran into the shrubbery, but instead she saw something horrifying: a Machop was handing Lothario's limp, bleeding body to two large humans carrying rifles. She cried in fury and charged the Machop, knocking it over in surprise, and she tried to reawaken Lothario as the humans exchanged surprised remarks. Lothario was no longer breathing and had a bloody hole all the way through his chest. Tears of rage filled her eyes as she looked up to those responsible, and looked right into two gun barrels aimed for her head.
Two deafening bangs were followed by a vicious, searing pain in her tail and her right hind leg, as she jumped away immediately, but not quite fast enough. She limped back to the water with all the speed she could muster, fighting tears of rage and pain. She dived into the water a moment before she was grabbed by the Machop, and tried to swim away as fast as she could. But she found that with only three legs to her use, she was much slower than she normally was, and her tail was providing her much less speed than it usually would. She looked around to see why, and gagged when she saw the top two-third had been shot off.
A shot scraped her head, leaving a painful path of burnt skin so she dived underwater to avoid the shots. She tried to swim further, but could see the humans on the shore walking along with her, rifles aimed. The water around her was slowly turning red while she ran out of breath rapidly. She was determined though not to go back to the surface. She refused to give them the pleasure of killing her, preferring vastly to drown. After several minutes her vision began fading, first going black and then white, so she closed her eyes. She realised drowning wasn't so bad after all. After the initial unpleasantness of running out of breath, it felt a lot like falling asleep. Though she had always liked the water and the river, the water had never felt as soft on her skin, nor had she ever felt as if the river was a friendly, living creature before. She didn't even feel the pain in her leg and tail any more. She floated underwater for several minutes, expecting her breathing reflex to kick in at any moment making her die of inhaling water, before she realised something very strange was going on: she had been under water for at least seven minutes, and had spent most of that time thinking she was about to die.
She opened her eyes, and to her surprise her vision had stopped going either black or white, and was back to normal. Much better than normal, actually, considering she was under water and should actually be seeing everything vague and unfocused, but instead she saw everything perfectly clear, much clearer even than she normally would above the surface. She went to rub her eyes in amazement and recoiled when she saw her paws had turned blue. A quick look at her body showed the rest of her had done the same, and that her tail was back, much larger and more powerful than it had been before. With a sense of euphoria she realised she had evolved to a Vaporeon. She swam a bit and was startled at the speed she could effortlessly make. For a moment she was overjoyed, but then she rememberer how Lothario had just been murdered, and a grim determination sunk in.
She looked at the surface and saw the two humans and their Machop putting their rifles away and walking off, apparently convinced she had either drowned or escaped. But Aqua wasn't going to let them get away. She tried to make a wave to practise. At first she failed, but then it was almost as if she melted into the water, becoming one with it, and when she tried to make the wave again, this time doing it as if the water was a part of her body, a minor wave formed. The wave calmly washed over the feet of one of the humans, leading him to curse and the other to laugh. Then Aqua, still feeling as if the river was a part of her in a bizarre way, summoned all her rage and hatred and put it into a gargantuan wave. The river responded furiously, foaming and waving like the sea during a storm, and a massive wave of fury bashed on the shore, washing the humans and their Machop away in a single wave. The river returned to its bed, taking the horrid creatures with it. Aqua could feel them swimming around pathetically and swam back to the surface and closer to them to make sure they knew why this was happening before she drowned them. The look in their panicked faces as they saw her almost moved her to pity them, but then she saw Lothario's corpse floating around. Her entire being filled with hate and disgust for the humans, she extended her will into the water and pulled them under, creating a powerful downward current that made it impossible for the murderers to stay at the surface as they were sucked to their grave on the river's bottom.
“...After one of them had drowned, though, I felt pretty guilty about killing them, so I let the other one and the Machop go. But after that, I realised they would be looking for me, prepared for taking on a Vaporeon with electric weapons or harpoons, so after a visit to say goodbye to my family and warn them about the hunters, I swam down the river for about a week before I found a nice burrow on the riverside, not too far from here,” she concluded.
Boreas felt as if he should be feeling a lot sadder after that story than he was, but it was hard to feel anything but delight as Aqua was stroking his hair while he lay on her stomach. “I'm so sorry.”
“Look, don't be. Don't pity me, after all I don't pity you either, even though you've lost your family entirely. There just doesn't seem a need for it, as you sound like you cope with it very well and have a fun life now. The same has happened for me. I'll admit I was very sad about Lo- about having to leave my family like that and very lonely at first, but it's been six months, and it's not as if I can never see them again either, I occasionally swim upriver.” She chuckled and stopped stroking through his hair. “There, you're all done.”
Stifling her laughter, she said, “Why don't you take a look at your reflection?”
Reluctantly Boreas got up from his extremely comfortable position to take a look at his reflection in the water. An androgynous-looking Glaceon with braided hair and girlish pigtails looked back. Aqua couldn't hold in her laughter any more and burst into roaring laughter as Boreas ashamedly undid the pigtails.
“Aww, you looked lovely,” Aqua laughed, “have you ever been mistaken for a girl?”
“No, have you?” Boreas responded, “How did you do that without opposable thumbs anyway?”
Aqua winked. “It's a secret. Now, why don't you come back here and tell me more?”
Boreas obliged to the first part, sitting down in such a way that as much of his side as possible was touching Aqua. “Tell you more about what? I've already told you how I evolved, and I don't have much more compelling evidence against Team Plasma.”
“Just continue your story. I like it, and you have an attractive voice.”
“Yeah, you should try singing sometime.”
“I did, actually, at the pokémon musical in Nimbasa.”
“Well, then start with telling me about that, and we'll see where it goes from there.”
“Okay. I'll start by telling you about the other things that happened in Nimbasa, as you'll find some of it very interesting. The day after the Gym battle and my evolution we set out for Nimbasa. Unfortunately Route 4 is almost entirely a desert, and I'm an ice type, so that didn't work out too well.”
“I wish I'd been there. I could've at least kept you wet.”
“As tempting as that sounds, that desert would've been hotter than the Sun's surface with you there as well. As it was, it was far too warm there for me, so Black returned me to my pokéball for the journey. Which was, in fact, the very first time I'd ever been in there.”
Aqua's ears raised curiously. “What's it like?”
“It's...” Boreas searched for the proper adjective. “Bizarre. Surreal. You're essentially turned into pure energy. You're only semi-conscious, it's like a sort of state between being awake and sleeping, like a dream. Or like being really, really pissed. You're in a sort of dream world, where your thoughts don't seem to be your own and they seem to be all around you, like in a dream. There's no up, down, left, right, ahead or back, and yet every direction is all of those things at the same time.”
“Oh, that clears it up,” Aqua drolly said.
“I can't really describe it otherwise. You don't really have any senses in there, as they have all been turned into energy along with you, and yet a part of your mind is aware of what's going on outside, and you can see, hear, and touch your thoughts that are all around you, a bit like in a dream. In my case, my awareness of the outside world was usually nothing interspersed with an occasional battle.”
Aqua seemed lost in thought. “Doesn't this worry you, though: when you are turned into energy when you get put in a pokéball, you're essentially destroyed. The exact composition of your body is stored, obviously, but I wonder if you don't actually die when you are put in a pokéball. Then, when you're released, the pokéball uses the stored information to build another you, and since its brain is the same, so are the memories, so you never know, but essentially the original you was killed when he got inside the pokéball and the Boreas I'm talking to now didn't come into existence until the moment he was released from his pokéball, not realising he had just been born because he had all the memories of the original Boreas.”
“Yes, I have thought of that. And there's unfortunately absolutely no way to prove or disprove it.”
“It's scary though, innit? Especially the thought that you would never know. If you do actually die, it would happen too fast for you to realise what happened and you'd be gone before you knew the answer, and if you don't die you can never be sure you didn't.” She shuddered.
Boreas was feeling pretty spooked now as well, so he cautiously draped a paw around Aqua's shoulder to see if she would object and to reassure both of them. She responded by leaning closer to him. “I know, it's a scary thought. But essentially it's a bit of a form of paranoia to assume the pokéballs kill you when you enter them and you come out as a copy. And I can hardly go through life assuming I was born on 10 September either and that I'm a copy of the original me, whom died not even eight months after he was born because he was put inside a pokéball.”
“I guess you're right. But it's still a pretty disturbing thought.”
“It certainly is. I'm not planning to be put into another pokéball any time soon either. But let's move on from disturbing thoughts.”
“Great idea. It's chilling me to the bone. Which brings to mind another question: how come you're so pleasantly warm? I would've thought a Glaceon would be icy cold to touch.”
“You mean like this?” Boreas lowered his body temperature below zero for a moment.
“Eep!” Aqua yelped before Boreas restored his body temperature to normal so she wouldn't move away from him.
“We can control our body temperature, and can channel it to use in various ways, as most of our moves are based on it. But if I'm not doing that, I am still a warm-blooded mammal like you, so then my body is warm too.”
“Well, don't do that again, okay? I don't like to feel as if I'm snuggling with a snowman. I like you better warm. So continue telling me, skipping the creepy metaphysical questions that pokéballs raise.”
“Okay. Black let my out of my pokéball when we were approaching Nimbasa and the climate was getting less harsh...”
Or is the word "handsome" can also be applied to females as well?
English isn't really my first language, so I always think that if we're talking about how good-looking females are, we use the words: pretty, beautiful, lovely... while the word "handsome" is applied to males only, right?
Anyway... I also wanted to ask you about this new chapter...
My comments for the new chapter~
First, let's go to the errors I spotted...
"but then she rememberer how Lothario had just been murdered, and a grim determination sunk in."
I think this would have been a "remembered", right?
"Black let my out of my pokéball when we were approaching Nimbasa and the climate was getting less harsh...”
I think this should have been a "me", right?
Now onto my thoughts of this new chapter...
To me, it felt like it was yet another short chapter. But I still enjoyed reading it, and imagining the scene as I read through it.
I find it really sad about Aqua's past. Humans are indeed freaks or nature, eh?
I also find it funny that one is expecting ones's self to be already dead, or just waiting to die, but it turns out, he/she isn't going to die yet...
I also like the part where you made it very natural for Eevees to evolve in different factors, instead of the human-way-to-evolve-Eevees-with-stones-or-happiness ways.
And as always, I am looking forward for the next new chapter~
If it is, I'm unaware of such a distinction and have heard the word 'handsome' used for females as well as males quite a lot.
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Shining Beauty
Though they arrived at the Nimbasa pokécenter at noon, Black and his pokémon were more exhausted than Kublai Khan was the day he jogged from the one side of his empire to the other. They all collapsed on various soft places as soon as they entered their room in the pokécenter, falling asleep within seconds. They woke up around 22:00, had breakfast in the pokécenter, and then decided to explore the city since they couldn't go to sleep again anyway.
Outside it was as if Nimbasa City considered the fact that the Sun had set a personal insult and pretended nothing had happened. The entire city was lighted by millions of lights everywhere, and it seemed everyone was still awake and going about their business. In fact the only difference between night and day seemed to be that the light came from a single direction at day, while it came from everywhere at night, and that the sky was light-blue at day but dark-blue at night. Not a single star was visible, and even the Moon seemed feeble and unimpressive compared to the city's own light.
The walked through the busy, heavily enlightened streets. It was no wonder no one went to bed, as there was a lot to do. There were amusement parks, sporting events, something called “Battle Subway”, loads and loads of shops, and much more.
“Heeey, Black!” someone shouted from behind.
“For crying out loud, woman, don't scream like that, you're standing right next to me!”
Black turned around greeting them. “Hey, Bianca. Hey, Cheren. I didn't expect to see you two here, I'd have thought you'd be in Driftveil by now.”
Cheren looked embarrassed. “Yeah, we... uh... Decided to wait for you. I didn't want to be too far ahead of my rival.”
Bianca giggled. “No, we didn't, silly. We're still here because we lost to the Gym Leader.”
Cheren seemed even more embarrassed and annoyed. “Well, yeah. She's sort of right about that. Bianca lost to Elesa, and then I tried to show her how it's done, but unfortunately I'm suffering from gastritis and had a heavy attack during the battle, so I had no choice but to forfeit.”
“You don't have gastritis, silly,” Bianca said sweetly, “you just can't handle roller coasters.”
“No, it's gastritis, don't be ridiculous.”
Bianca turned to Black. “He turned all green and white the moment the coaster launched, and was vomiting over the side before the first pokémon had fainted.”
Black laughed along with Bianca. “Hey, it's okay, Cheren. That's fairly common. What's this about a roller coaster anyway?”
“Oh, didn't you know yet?” Bianca exclaimed, “Elesa's gym is a really cool roller coaster in the amusement park! You battle her in a large, open carriage, and while you battle the roller coaster goes up, and down, and turns, and even makes loops!” Cheren was rapidly going white while she described the roller coaster. “You can't even hear the description of the coaster without going queasy?”
“I can handle the description, it's no problem,” Cheren said panicky, “describe it all you want. I'm just having another attack of gastritis!”
“And I told you: you don't have gastritis, silly, you're just afraid of roller coasters.”
“I am not. And stop calling me silly. I am neither silly nor your boyfriend.”
“Yes, you are,” Bianca said before adding with a blush: “silly, I mean.”
“I am not! And besides, it's rude to make fun of someone's disease.”
“What disease? Being a nervous Nellie?”
Black interrupted Cheren before he could respond to quell the argument. “Where is the Gym, then? I'd love to challenge it tomorrow.”
“You probably don't have to wait that long!” Bianca exclaimed, “almost everything in this city is open day and night, including the Gym!”
“Great, I'll challenge it right now if you show me where it is.”
“Uh,” Cheren nervously said, “wouldn't you rather challenge tomorrow? You and your pokémon must be tired after a long day, you'll be much better rested tomorrow.”
“No thanks, we've slept all afternoon.”
“So you're already adapting to this city?”
“No, we were just really tired after walking through the desert.”
“It's okay, Cheren,” Bianca said, sticking her tongue out at him, “you don't have to come if you're scared.”
“I'm not scared! Lugia's liver, woman, I just suffer from gastritis.”
“Look,” Black said tiredly, “it's nice to see you two so much in love with each other, but can it please take another form than this constant arguing?”
“Are you insane?” Cheren protested, “I, in love with her?”
“Yuck!” Bianca exclaimed.
But after some more protestations, they stopped arguing and just showed Black to the Gym. The Gym was a flashy purple building covered in neon lights in the middle of an amusement park.
“Oh hey, a puppet theatre!” Cheren exclaimed in a forced voice, “I love those. Black, do you mind if I don't cheer you on?”
“Sure, have fun.”
Bianca looked like she was going to tease Cheren, but remembered what Black had said about their arguing and kept quiet. At least until Cheren was out of earshot. “Hehe, Cheren gets sick on roller coasters. Funny, innit?”
“If you say so,” Black said, “personally I found it funny the first time I heard it, but I've kind of moved on from this joke.”
“Well, okay, but what's so funny isn't that he's sick on the roller coaster in itself, but that he gets so embarrassed about it and tries to cover it up with obvious lies and stuff. I mean, if he just said he got sick on the roller coaster, I'd try to support him and help him get over it and all, but when he acts like this... I just can't help teasing him... Hey, about what you said earlier, that was a joke, right? You don't really think I'm in love with Cheren, right?”
“No! Obviously not! I mean, maybe you were right about him, maybe he's in love with me... D'you think he's in love with me?”
“I wouldn't know, I just said that to get you two to shut up. Let's go to the Gym now.”
Black talked to his pokémon as they walked the final bit. “Three of you are at a type advantage to the Gym leader's electric types. Boreas and Lucius have recently evolved and are pretty powerful now. But that doesn't mean we should assume we're just going to win. We shouldn't underestimate Elesa, she didn't become Gym Leader for no reason.”
From the inside, the Gym was a massive hall filled mostly with a roller coaster track. The roller coaster tracks lighted up with purple lights, and rested on a black platform that ran the entire length of the roller coaster, except for the loops, and was about fifty centimetres on each side of the tracks. Near the door there was a large tiled blue and black platform where they were currently standing on. They were alone except for a tall, thin woman in yellow who was wearing enormous headphones that were leaking very loud and fast music. She was messing with the interior of some machine that was sparking with electricity at every touch. Bianca walked over to her and tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention.
“Oh, hey, Bianca!” she spoke terribly fast, “good to see you again, I thought you'd die laughing after your friend's challenge failed with him getting sick and all that, have you come to challenge me? I hope you have, you really showed potential during our last battle.”
“...” Bianca said.
Elesa had paused for just long enough for Bianca to begin talking before she resumed the flow of five words per second. “Speaking of potential, you really shouldn't surprise me when I'm repairing the machines, before you know it I could've startled and been shocked, and then my hair would stand upright like a Jolteon's, I imagine my designer might like my hair standing upright from that, maybe she would even design me a Jolteon-based dress, but I wouldn't, especially because it would obviously hurt, speaking of, she's designing a dress based on a Weavile, not the sort of pokémon they usually base dresses on, which is cool, right, because that means it'll really look special, instead of like a generic dress, hey, I see you've brought a new friend, what's his name?”
“Oh, Black, what an unusual name, what's it's origin? Does it come from the English word black or is it based on a foreign word that just sounds like it but is unrelated? Or maybe it's based on a foreign word for black which has been translated into English, or is it just short for something, like Blackburn or Blakeley or Blagorod or Blandford?”
“And where are you from, are you from Nuvema too like Bianca here? I've never actually been there myself, is it a nice place for a vacation? In spring I mean, I can't go on vacation in summer because there's too much work to do in summer and my designers prefer if I don't catch too much of a tan anyway, it wouldn't really fit with my image, see? So why are you here, Black, did you perhaps come to challenge me, instead of Bianca? That would be interesting too, I always enjoy battling new people!”
“...” Black said.
“Oh, great, let me formally introduce myself then, my name is Elesa and I'm Nimbasa City's Gym Leader and I also happen to be a model, we will have our battle on the roller coaster, let's use three pokémon each, switching out counts as a forfeit, no using items, that sort of thing, also I must warn you that the entire Gym is the battlefield, not just the cart where we'll be sitting, and your pokémon are allowed to battle outside if they want, are you ready?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess-”
“Great, let's get on the cart then, Bianca, are you coming to watch?”
“Great, great, great, great, great, let's get into the coaster, I can't wait!”
They entered a big blue cart with no roof which was mostly empty space, with only a row of seats backed against the outside of the cart. Though Black's instinct was to stand in a fighting pose for the battle, Bianca and Elesa sat down on the seats and strapped themselves in, so Black reluctantly did the same. “What about the pokémon?” he asked.
“Well,” Elesa said, “they can't really battle sitting down and strapped in, and they go through worse than can happen to them here in most battles, it's less dangerous than it looks, though you can't see it the Gym's floor is not very deep below and covered in soft pillows, and there is no current flowing through the rails because the cart runs on a battery.”
“This sounds like a really bad idea,” Capella mused.
“Well, are you ready, let's go!”
The cart fired off at great speed and began shooting up and down and lurching left and right, making Boreas feel pretty queasy and scared. But there was no time to enjoy the ride, as the battle was beginning. “Did the fantastic speed leave you dizzy already?” Elesa asked, releasing an Emolga from its pokéball, “my beloved pokémon will be the next to make your head spin!”
“B-Boreas!” Black yelped while holding the seat next to him tightly, “show her what you can do, but don't overdo it this time!”
Boreas cautiously stood up, nearly lost his balance due to a sudden turn, and began chilling the air around him, careful not to let the attack get out of hand again, and summoned an Icy Wind.
The Emolga was much faster than him, however, and dived under the freezing gust, charging herself with electricity as she dived, and swooped just over Boreas, releasing all the charge. Every muscle in his body spasmed at the shock. He created more cold air to freeze his opponent, keeping it around himself until the Emolga attacked again this time. The flying rodent dived again, swooping at him with another Spark, so Boreas jumped aside, trapping her in the freezing cold cloud he had gathered while the attack missed. He made sure to keep the icy cloud around his opponent even as she struggled to move free, but she was just too fast. Boreas tried to hit her with another Icy Wind, but suddenly she had left the cart and was flying through the Gym on her own, electrifying Boreas from a distance with Thundershocks.
Boreas tried to hit her with Icy Wind and Powder Snow, but both attacks were just far too slow to hit the Emolga, especially at a distance. It graciously soared through the sky on its own, making Boreas feel like a right prat, unable to do much more than sit in the cart and wait for his opponent to electrify him. He realised he would need a more powerful and faster attack and tried to create an Ice Beam. He lowered his body temperature to Antarctic levels and channelled all the cold to his mouth, envisioning a thin beam of coldness. But all that happened was the saliva in his mouth freezing before he received another shock.
He realised that wouldn't work either and looked ahead to see where the cart was going, just in time to brace himself for a loop. As they were going upside-down in the loop, Emolga flew through it, shocking Boreas at every point of the loop. Boreas' fur was now constantly standing straight up with charge and he was rapidly weakening, but saw something ahead that gave him a chance. He summoned the largest icy cloud he could handle safely, and instead of actually trying to hit Emolga with it he tried to herd her to the exact spot he wanted her to be.
The moment they reached the sharp turn Boreas had seen, he jumped out of the carriage, using his momentum for an enormous jump, and landed on the surprised Emolga in mid-air. The moment he touched her, he received a severe static shock, and she immediately began giving him more shocks as she tried at the same time to keep flying. That was, of course, not working with a Glaceon five times heavier than her refusing to let go despite the defibrillating shocks he received. Boreas channelled all the cold inside him to his mouth once again and sunk his ice-cold teeth into his opponent.
They were rapidly collapsing to a lower part of the tracks, but the cart had gone through several turns while they were fighting in mid-air and was now approaching the part they were collapsing to. Alternatively freezing and shocking each other, they hit the cart with a mighty thud. Boreas was in severe pain and felt his consciousness slip away like a particularly large fish you've just caught slipping from your hands back into the water before you even had the chance to show it to anyone. Despite his best efforts to stay awake, everything went black.
Boreas awoke wondering why everything was shaking so much. It felt as if he had gone to sleep in a roller coaster. He opened his eyes and yelped when he saw a huge yellow spider. Then he remembered what had happened and got up. He fell down again as the cart lunged, and was helped up by Octa. He saw Lucius was battling the Galvantula, exchanging flames and electricity.
“What did I miss?” Boreas asked as the spider jumped over Lucius' attack, launched a thick, yellow, sparking strand of spider wire at a far away bit of track and swung away from the cart, leaving a furious Lucius behind.
“Hey, get back here, you stinkin' bug!” he roared.
“You were out for less than a minute, my dear fellow,” Octa explained, “your opponent was unable to battle at the same time as you were, so Elesa sent this Galvantula out and Black responded by ordering Lucius to battle. And, as you can see, things are not going excellent.”
Lucius was getting more and more covered by electrifying webs while his opponent used those same webs to spin wires at the different parts of the track and keep pace with the cart. It was pretty amazing how fast the slow-looking arachnid managed to crawl over its wires. “They're at an advantage to us,” Boreas said, “they can move freely here, but we're stuck in this cart.”
Octa nodded gravely. “If we can't solve our mobility problems, I fear we shall lose this battle.”
That was proving to be increasingly true. No matter what Lucius tried, he became more and more stuck in the Electroweb with every move, and it was completely non-flammable too. The Galvantula was moving too fast to hit, and Lucius was continually being electrocuted. After a while, Black forfeited and ordered Capella to attack.
Capella attacked Galvantula with a howling Twister sucking up most of his webs, but the Galvantula managed to stay out of it himself and began firing Electrowebs at Capella. Though she was hit by them, her type had a natural resistance to electricity and her skin was much smoother than Lucius', making the webs stick less to her. She began parrying the spider's electric attacks with her own Thunder Waves. The Galvantula soon approached the cart closer, and jumped on top of Capella, sinking his mandibles into her skin and delivering shocks directly to the flesh in this way.
Capella wrapped herself around Galvantula and squeezed him as hard as she could while shocking him with her own electricity, but with his mandibles biting and shocking her, she couldn't keep it up for long and eventually fainted.
“We... Lost.” Boreas muttered disappointedly.
“Whew!” Elesa said, “I won, but you and your pokémon shone brilliantly! I'll be more than happy to grant you a rematch once you've trained enough!”
aw... no new chapter? sad face...
anyway, here's my comment for the newest chapter; chapter 23...
Damn, Elesa talks too fast, I'm having a headache reading while trying to imagine her talking five words per second. xD
Anyway, that was a disappointing match. And why the heck would a gym leader have a battle in a very terrifying way?
But it was still a good read, still a bit short, though...
Can't wait for the next chapter~!
Because they lost or because it was poorly-written?
Chapter Twenty-Four: Hours of Fun
Black, Cheren, Bianca, and their pokémon entered Nimbasa central station for the fifth day in a row. The large, round station featured twenty-five different platforms with trains to the various cities of Unova. The station was this huge because it made sure any station in Unova was reachable from any other by at most two trains, as every train stopped in Nimbasa at some point. But the platforms that interested the trainers were the five that hosted the Battle Subway. The Battle Subway consisted of several trains were trainers battled while being driven to their destination, so to Black, Bianca, and Cheren, that meant a morning of battling, an afternoon spent picnicking in some new place, and an evening spent battling again, which was great training and fun. That day they decided to try the one platform they hadn't tried yet.
“Sorry,” the conductor stopped them, “this 'ere's a tag battle train. You can only board in groups of two or four.”
“Oh, that's a shame. I guess we-”
“That's no problem, there are four of us,” said a new voice.
They turned around in surprise to greet the new arrival. “Oh, hey White,” greeted Black, “what are you doing in Nimbasa?”
“Just visiting the city.”
Black introduced the others to one another and they boarded the train. They entered a large, mostly empty wagon and the train began riding.
“I guess we should get started with the battle,” said Black.
“Right!” exclaimed Bianca, “I'm with Cheren!”
“What?” Cheren said while Bianca pulled him to the opposite side of the wagon by his sleeve, “but I want to team up with Black!”
Bianca stuck her tongue out at him. “Too late, you're with me now!”
“Then I guess we are a team as well,” said White.
“Great. Let's use three pokémon each,” said Black, “Octa, you're up first.”
“In that case,” Cheren said with a grin, “I'll use Pignite!”
“Then I'll use Oshy to complete our starter trio!” Bianca exclaimed.
“Don't you know anything?” Cheren asked exasperated, “You don't use pokémon that are at a type disadvantage to your opponent's if you can help it!”
“It's just a training battle, and how better to train him for battling electric types than to use him against his other weakness?”
“Training or not, you battle to win.”
“Well, I battle to have fun!”
White cleared her throat. “Rufflet, go!”
The four pokémon looked at one another for a moment, then Octa summoned a Leaf Tornado at Oshy the Dewott, while Pignite encased itself in flames and bashed into Octa. To complicated matters further, Oshy slashed at Rufflet, who performed an aerial swoop over Pignite at the same time. As the battle turned into close combat, Octa switched to using Vine Whip attacks while Pignite used his fists and mass to do the talking.
Boreas was watching the battle intently, but slowly became aware that with each Vine Whip Octa used, Toxica's grin became a bit broader and her blush a bit deeper. Eventually she sighed deeply. “Oh, how I wish he would just sweep me off my feet, wrap me up with his gorgeous green body, and kiss my lips while he's at it...”
“Please excuse me while I go vomit into someone's eye,” said Boreas, quickly moving away from Toxica to go to Lucius and Capella who were sitting a few metres further, chatting with White's pokémon, including, Boreas nervously noted, Febby.
“Hello, non-creepy, non-obsessed people,” he greeted them.
“I take it Toxica was swooning over Octa once again, then?” Capella amusedly asked.
“More like obsessing over him.”
“Don't worry,” Lucius sneered, “I'm sure Octa has eyes for no-one but you.”
While Boreas hadn't been paying attention, the battle had continued and by now Octa was the only combatant left standing. “Octa,” Black commanded, “switch out for Boreas.”
“Good luck, my dear fellow,” said Octa as they passed each other.
“Then it's up to you, Liepard!” Cheren said.
“Pansy,” Bianca commanded, sending her Pansear out, “begin by lowering its defence with Tickle!”
White sent out her Vullaby to help Boreas. Pansear lurched at him, but he dodged with a quick roll that led his straight into Liepard's claws. The feline slashed him several times, opening long cuts on his body. As he recoiled in pain, Pansear used the opportunity to grab him and begin tickling his belly. Boreas recoiled and laughed as he tried to wrestle the Pansear off him.
“So you're ticklish?” asked Aqua, interrupting Boreas.
“A bit, yeah,” said Boreas.
A diabolic grin slowly spread on Aqua's face. “Oh, you are?” she said in a tone that was as sweet as a caramel onion.
Suddenly she jumped on top of him, placed her paws on his stomach, and started tickling him. He tried not to laugh, but the feeling of her tickling was too much to handle and he burst with laughter while his limbs convulsed uncontrollably. “Hahaha- No, stop it- Heehee- Please- Nononono- hahaha- Okay, stopstopstop, please- hahaha- knock it off, pleahease!”
“Never!” Aqua said, tickling even faster, “I'm going to tickle you to death!”
“Hihihi- pleaheaheahease- haha- stohohop!”
“Maybe I'll be lenient to you if you beg me for mercy.”
“Hahaha, mehehehehercy, please!”
“Percy?” she said with a look of ignorance, “My name's not Percy!”
“Do I look like a Percy to you?”
“No, no, hahaha, merceeheehee!”
“I don't think this “Percy” of yours can hear you, so he won't come to save you. You're all mine!”
Realising she wasn't going to show him any mercy, instead he tried to get his convulsing limbs under as much control as possible, grabbed her wrists, flipped her over on her back, and sat on her hind legs. “Ha!” he exclaimed, “we'll see who tickles whom to death now!”
He began tickling her stomach, finding out that she was ticklish too as she began laughing. “You do know you really deserved this, don't you?”
“Hahaha- if I sayayayay yes, will- heehee- you stohohohop it?”
“Not a chance,” Boreas grinned, enjoying this position very much.
“Hahahaha- stop it- heeheeheehee- I gayayave you a fair way ouhout!”
“Okay, I'll stop if you can say 'antidisestablishmentarianism'.”
“Ahahantidisest- ahahaha- Antidihihihi- it's not faihaihair, knock it ohohoff!”
“No, I don't think so.”
“Hahaha- please- hahaha- pretty pleaheahease!”
“Not a chance. I'm tickling you to death!”
“Hahaha- no, mercy!”
“Percy? I don't know anyone named Percy.”
“Thahahahat's mean! Hahaha- knock it off, mehehercy!”
“My name's Boreas, not Percy.”
“That's not my name either.”
“Hahaha- I give uhuhuhup. You win.”
Boreas stopped tickling her, and immediately she grabbed him, rolled them over, and said “And now it's payback time!”
But Boreas was prepared for that: he used their rolling momentum to continue rolling and end up on top again. “You were saying?”
She laughed coquettely. “I guess I shouldn't have tried to trick you. Now you really win, you sly fox.”
As she lay there, still panting from the tickle fight, she looked absolutely stunning and Boreas was overcome by an overpowering sense of adoration. “To think that I only met you yesterday...” he whispered.
“Incredible, isn't it?” Aqua whispered blushing, “it seems as if I've known you for so much longer.”
“Yeah... It does.” Boreas slowly leant forward, approaching her face closer and closer as she held her breath in expectation. But when he was only twenty centimetres away from her, he suddenly lost all courage. His nerves made him freeze in place, he blushed so deeply it was a surprise his eyes didn't pop out of their sockets, and he got off Aqua.
Why didn't I kiss her?! He thought, angry at himself, if I hadn't chickened out, I would be feeling her soft lips on mine right now!
But what if she didn't want to kiss me? A voice of doubt inside him asked.
Obviously, she wanted to kiss me, she hasn't exactly made it a secret that she fancies me! And look at the disappointed look on her face right now.
A few seconds passed in a highly awkward silence, and Boreas was deeply jealous of another Boreas in a parallel universe, who was spending those few seconds snogging Aqua instead. But in this universe, the moment had passed and Boreas felt he had to break the silence somehow.
“So... um... when Bianca's Pansear tickled me, it wasn't remotely as much fun as that,” he said.
“Oh?” asked Aqua, somehow managing to put interest, indifference, disappointment, and curiosity into just two letters.
“Yes,” he continued, “because as soon as I began laughing, it gave me a Fire Punch instead and the Liepard scratched me with his claws.”
Boreas cringed in pain from the several attacks he was being hit by and his vision was rapidly going black. He concentrated on staying awake and created Powder Snow out of thin air to cool and soothe his wounds. Feeling less dizzy, he took a look at the world around him. His ally had taken the pressure off him by engaging both opponents at once, and though her bone-armour protected her she was clearly about to faint. He formed Icy Wind to envelop both opponents and draw them to him, but once again he was finding the attack was just not direct or powerful enough for his purposes. He tried to concentrate all his cold in a beam, but again, all it did was make his mouth very cold, so he resorted to using Ice Fang on Liepard instead.
Vullaby immediately reacted by stabbing her beak into Liepard's flesh like a knife. Pansear tried to use Boreas' distractedness while he bit Liepard to give him another Fire Punch, but Boreas had expected that, jumped aside just in time, and laughed as Pansear punched his own ally. Using moves from when he was an Eevee, he Tackled the Pansear multiple times, pinned him down to the ground, and allowed his ally to Peck it again. Pansear and Liepard were soon defeated, and Black recalled Boreas as White switched the wounded Vullaby out for Febby. “Boreas, switch out for Toxica.”
Boreas was rather surprised by that, as he couldn't remember a single time when Black had used Toxica other than against Team Plasma. Apparently Cheren was surprised too. “An Oddish, really?”
“This is a training battle,” explained Black as Boreas sat down by Capella and Octa, “and I think it's about time she evolved, so I'm training her.”
“That is weird, now that he mentions it,” Capella mused, “Toxica should have evolved a while ago. I wonder why she hasn't yet?”
Boreas had a pretty good idea of why Toxica hadn't evolved yet, recalling her conversation with Octa where he called Glooms smelly and ugly. He didn't say anything, though, as though Toxica's fawning over Octa annoyed him highly, he still wasn't going to spill her secrets to others.
Cheren sent out his Tranquill and Bianca her Munna to battle Toxica and Febby. They began attacking Toxica, who unleashed a cloud of powder before jumping out of the way, so that her opponents both inhaled a big breath of the toxic powder.
“Excellent!” Octa exclaimed. For once, Boreas was not annoyed by this as he was too bust watching Febby. Toxica turned for a moment to smile and wave at him with one of her leaves, and was immediately punished for it as Tranquill swooped over her and slashes his talons across her face, while Munna was battling Febby.
“Just out of curiosity,” Capella's calm voice whispered, “have you told her how you feel about her?”
Boreas turned in surprise. “Whom? And what am I supposed to feel about her and tell her about?”
Capella sighed. “Look, don't bother trying to hide it, it's pretty obvious and I've seen it often enough.”
“Okay, fine,” Boreas submitted, “no, I haven't told her.”
“I've been in love more times than I can remember, and let me tell you that it's always better to tell her. Sure, she might not return the feelings, but in that case you get over it relatively quickly compared to how long it takes if you never know what she might have said.”
“I appreciate your concern, but just let me deal with it my way, okay?”
After relentless psychic attacks by Munna, Febby collapsed. However, the effects of the Poisonpowder were rapidly becoming apparent: one by one, every vein in the opponents' bodies became clearly visible as it turned black, and their eyes were turning a bloody red while their faces were screwed up in pain.
Before White could even switch Febby out for Vullaby, Tranquill swooped over Toxica, scratching her with his claws. Meanwhile Munna's bleeding eyes glowed and Toxica seemed to be in severe pain. Within moments, she fainted as well.
“Woohoo!” Bianca cheered, “we won!”
“I'm afraid we didn't,” said Cheren, “White still has a pokémon left, and Black only retreated his Servine and Glaceon, they never fainted, so he can use them again, while our last two pokémon are poisoned.”
“Oh,” said Bianca disappointed.
“We could call it a tie,” suggested Black.
An interesting tag battle, and I agree with Capella about telling someone about how you feel towards them. It's always better.
Also, I hope, if Toxica does evolve into a Gloom, that she turns into a Belossom(or Bellosom, I forgot how to spell DX ).
Also, Boreas' and Aqua's love scene got a bit interesting, though chickening out from a kiss is understandable, yet disappointing...
And oh, does poison poweder stay in one place? It's in the air, so I suppose it should, y'know, spread inside the train? But meh, no matter.
And also, is Boreas really telling Aqua about Febby, or is he just skipping the part of the story where Febby is taking part of?
Anyway, all in all, another good chapter. But as you said, it was indeed short... =/
Aw well. I can't wait for the next chapter~!
I noticed that you're only posting a new chapter when someone leaves a comment... May I ask why? =/
Believe me, it will come back to bite him in the fundament. Or not, depending on how you look at it.
Chapter Twenty-Five: Sunset at the Ferris Wheel
“Take a look behind us, my dear fellow,” said Octa.
Boreas did so. The Sun was setting, the lower half of it already disappeared behind the horizon while the upper half was very dim and red. Because they were on Main Boulevard, a broad street that crossed Nimbasa in a single straight line, they could see it even in the middle of the city. “Yes, it's a sunset,” observed Boreas.
“I think it looks really romantic...” Toxica swooned.
“Uh, yes, quite,” said Octa, “but 'tis no ordinary sunset, you see. Today is 23 September, meaning 'tis an equinox.”
“Equinox...” Boreas thought, knowing he'd heard the word before, “That's your ancestor's name, innit? The one your family names itself after, because he was pretty awesome?”
“Quite right, my dear fellow. I am pleased you remember some of my family's history. However, my illustrious ancestor is not the type of equinox I speak of. I mean the astronomical event. You see, twice a year, as the Earth moves around the Sun in its 360 day-long orbit, its rotational axis is pointed at an angle exactly perpendicular to the Sun's direction, meaning the Sun is exactly above the Equator the entire day. Thus these are the only two days of the year when day and night are exactly equal in length, meaning the Sun rises precisely in the East at 6:00, and it sets precisely in the West at exactly 18:00, which is...” he looked at a nearby clock and then at the Sun, “in one minute.”
The last bit of the Sun that was still above the horizon turned into a stripe of red, and then disappeared completely. “Naturally,” Octa spoke, “the equinox is also by definition the conclusion of summer and the commencement of autumn. 'Tis a shame, really, I shall miss the heat and light.”
Boreas grinned. “Well, I shan't. I didn't like the summer when I was an Eevee, and evolving to an ice type really hasn't improved my opinion of it. I have never seen an autumn, but I think I'll like it.”
Lucius uttered a sigh that might have been mistaken for an approaching hurricane. “How long's Black gonna stay inside? 'Till we all died of old age?”
“Have some patience,” lectured Octa, “You do not see Boreas complaining, despite his astounding lack of patience.”
Three people in long coats entered the shop where Black was. “What do I care what Boreas does,” snapped Lucius, “he's probably too mesmerised by your fancy-shmancy talk of the Sun and equinoxes to be bored.”
“Hey!” growled Boreas.
“Equinoctes,” bettered Octa.
“He's been in the stupid egg shop for hours,” Lucius exaggerated, “If he doesn't get out in a minute, I'm goin' in to get him, and to hell with possibly upsetting the newly hatched pokémon.”
“Please do,” grinned Octa. “Go in and have a callow Igglibuff or a beatific Cleffa imprint on you. I can already imagine how much you would like a cherubic little creature with the misapprehension you were its mother following you wherever you went.”
“Hmpf,” Lucius grunted, but he didn't get the chance to say anything else, as there was suddenly sound of commotion inside the shop, and they heard Black's voice calling for their help.
Inside, the people in the long coats had thrown their coats off to reveal themselves as Team Plasma. One of them was just finishing stating their demands.
“I have some better demands,” stated Black as his pokémon entered, “One: you leave here right now, without disturbing a single egg or baby pokémon. Two: you tell me and the police every little bit of information you have on Team Plasma, then you leave Plasma forever.”
The grunts laughed. “Ha, why should we listen to some brat?”
“Because this brat has three badges and will kick your arses if you don't listen to him,” said Black.
“Ha! I'll warn you, brat: Sage Zinzolin authorised us to use any means necessary to liberate these pokémon eggs. We won't hesitate stepping over your dead body if you force us to.”
“And what are you going to do with these eggs?” Black angrily asked, “when you “liberated” my pokémon, I found them back in cages, their injuries not even treated! You shan't steal these helpless eggs!”
“Then prepare to die, brat!”
A few minutes later, the grunts had returned their pokémon to their pokéballs after losing the battle. “Uh oh, this is bad for Team Plasma! Or PlasBad for short!”
“Now will you-” Black started, but the Plasma grunts had already thrown smoke bombs.
“Oh no,” Boreas said determined, “not this time!”
He created a fierce Icy Wind, blowing most of the smoke out of the shop. The Plasma grunts were already outside, running rapidly over the boulevard. They began pursuing them immediately, but it almost seemed as if people were intentionally getting in their way, and the Plasma grunts were very fast runners. Unbelievable though it may be, they were getting away. The last glimpse they saw of the grunts in the distance, they entered one of Nimbasa's amusement parks.
Boreas tried to pick up their scent in the amusement park, but between the thousands of human and pokémon scents in the busy park it was like seeking a piece of hay in a stack of needles. It seemed they had lost Team Plasma, but then they saw a human in white clothes with long, green hair. “N!”
N was surprised to see them. “Oh, hello, Octa. Is that you, Boreas? You evolved to a Glaceon, that's great!”
“N, there's no time to talk!” said Boreas, “we're looking for Team Plasma, they ran into the amusement park!”
“Team Plasma, eh?” N smiled, “yes, I saw them run by just now. Come with me.”
They followed N for a while, but it soon became apparent that he'd lost them too. “Are you sure you saw them?” asked Black.
“Yes,” said N, “Let's ride the Ferris wheel and see if we can spot them.”
A large Ferris wheel, at least thirty metres in diameter was supported by a huge steel scaffolding. Eight glass carriages that were attached to the big wheel by their metal frames hung from the wheel and they entered the one that was just at the bottom of the wheel. The doors closed automatically as it began to rise.
Inside the carriage, N spoke: “I love Ferris wheels.”
Black was busy looking out of the cart trying to spot Team Plasma. “Oh, do you?”
N nodded. “The circular motion... The mechanics... They're like collections of elegant formulas.”
Black seemed a bit weirded out. “I... guess they are.”
An awkward silence descended over the cart as it passed its highest point. After a while, N drew a deep breath. “I must tell you... I am the king of Team Plasma.”
Boreas was quite surprised by that remark. It was obviously not meant literally, but he wasn't sure what N really meant by it. A look at the faces of him companions showed the same puzzlement in them. Black smiled a disbelieving smile. “Are you?”
N nodded, seemingly oblivious of the sarcasm. “Ghetsis asked me to work with him to save pokémon.”
“Did he?” asked Black.
“I wonder how many pokémon exist in this world.”
They had reached the ground again and exited the carriage. “I didn't see them, unfortunately,” said Black, “I guess they must be somewhere inside.”
After walking for a minute, they passed and ice cream parlour just as the three Plasma grunts came out of it. They stood still when they saw N and Black. “My lord N!” one of them exclaimed.
“What?!” said Black, “Do you mean you were speaking the truth? The literal truth?”
N seemed insulted. “Of course! Why would I lie? Only dishonest humans lie.”
Boreas' opinion of N plummeted like Icarus with the Titanic tied to his feet. He was completely speechless. “You...” he stammered furiously, “You fancy-dress fascist! Your Team Plasma set me on fire! And that really hurt!”
Black furiously set a step forward as N tried to say something. “You're Team Plasma's leader?” he spat in disgust, “You're responsible for all the things they did?!”
“Team Plasma tried to drown me, and kidnapped baby pokémon and eggs from the daycare!” Boreas accused N.
“Okay,” said N, “I know you and Team Plasma don't always see eye to eye.”
“Eye to eye?!” spat Boreas, “you broke my legs and stuffed me in a cage for a week! You murdered my friend!”
“I know my subjects haven't treated you too kindly,” said N, “but surely you're exaggerating. They would never do anything like that.”
“Exaggerating?! I couldn't walk for weeks! And even after that, it hurt until I evolved! Half my fur was burnt off and I would've been Dragon Pulsed to death if I hadn't got really lucky! And they were directly responsible for murdering Thomas!”
“Enough!” N shouted, surprising everyone, “this is not the time or place to discuss whatever Team Plasma might have done to you. What's important now is my subjects. You are part of the people we brought in to save the pokémon. That means you're under my protection. Go now, report to sage Zinzolin, and I'll cover your retreat,” he tossed a pokéball and released a Tropius as the grunts began running away, “Perhaps I can't beat you here and now, but my battle will allow my subjects to escape.”
“No, it won't,” said Black, “Boreas, battle that Tropius while the others go after the grunts.”
As the others ran past N, he threw four pokéballs at once over his shoulder, somehow managing to have every one land directly in front of one of them. Lucius was blocked by a Krokorok, Capella by a Scraggy, Toxica by a Darumaka, and Octa by a Sigilyph.
They had no choice but to fight the quintuple battle. Fortunately Boreas' opponent was at a severe type disadvantage and he thought there was still a chance to catch Plasma if he finished the Tropius quickly. He created an Icy Wind and enveloped the Tropius in it, expecting to win the battle in a single hit, but the Tropius emerged from the icy cloud grinning, barely even hurt. Boreas was so surprised he didn't even think of dodging when it pounced him and began slashing at his face. He squirmed under the weight of the massively heavy sauropod pressing on his ribcage, but couldn't manage to escape from under it. He could barely even breathe, and was pretty sure his ribs were about to break.
Boreas tried to free himself by summoning Powder Snow to fall on the heavy sauropod, but it didn't seem to care much. It kept slashing at him, which puzzled him, as it didn't even have sharp claws.
“Diego?” he asked, “how in the name of Kyogre's closet organiser did you get so heavy?”
The disguised Zorua was so surprised by Boreas saying his name that he was momentarily very distracted, so Boreas used that moment to scratch at where he hoped the other fox's face was while he kicked him using his legs. To Boreas' fortune, his leg hit something soft with great force and the fake Tropius howled in pain, giving Boreas a chance to wriggle free and envelop his opponent with another icy cloud. When the cloud disappeared the Tropius was gone, and in its place was a small black fox with an agonised expression on his face.
“I thought as much,” said Boreas smugly, “but how did you get so crushingly heavy?”
“I... Have heavy bones,” the Zorua lied between teeth clenched in pain.
Boreas laughed. “That is a blatant lie, and we both know it. Either your bones are made of enriched uranium, or...” he smiled as what he realised was the truth popped into his head, connecting all the dots, “Or you've evolved to Zoroark and are still using an illusion. That's the truth, isn't it?”
The still pained expression on Diego's face made place for resentment, and then the Zorua was gone and a huge Zoroark standing on its hind legs was in its place. Yikes, thought Boreas, he's as large as a human, it's no wonder he was so heavy, “So, you show your true form.”
“You're pretty clever,” said Diego. “I've rarely battled someone who figured out the fact that I'm a Zorua, much fewer who manage to deduce that I'm actually a Zoroark now. But that won't help you defeat me.”
Boreas laughed, though he did realise the Zoroark had a point, there was little chance of him defeating his opponent if he didn't think of something. “I guess your master doesn't tell you much about Team Plasma's matters, then.”
“My master?” Diego scoffed, circling Boreas like a predator circling its prey, “I have no master. N is my best friend, and he tells me everything.”
“Apparently he didn't tell you that I defeated three of his Sages using nothing more than my wit,” bragged Boreas, though he mentally added: and an immense amount of luck and a lot of help from my friends. And I never really defeated Bronius. “You don't have the skills or the wit to defeat me.”
“Wit?” Diego scoffed, “I don't need wit to break your spine!”
“See? That wasn't witty at all.”
Suddenly Diego charged Boreas, and as he ran a wave of murk formed around him; it was shaped like a gigantic monstrous maw about to devour Boreas. Boreas froze with fear for just a second before realising it was just an illusion, but that second was all Diego needed to pounce him with all his massive weight, slash a bloody red striped across his chest with his claws, lift him up, and punch him away with a near bonebreaking impact. Boreas landed in a heap several metres away, groaning in severe pain. The battle was beginning to look and feel a lot like a fistfight with a train.
Diego didn't even bother attacking him again, instead waiting for him to rise with mock-gallantry. Boreas managed to get up, groaning in pain. “If he told you- Argh!- everything, that means you must've known he's the king of Team Plasma.” Boreas enveloped his opponent in a freezing cold cloud.
The Zoroark jumped out of the icy cloud, small bits of ice glistening in his fur, and pounced Boreas, whom managed to dodge this time. “Knew it? I was there at his coronation as his chamberlain! And even before that, I have been with N from the very beginning. Without my guidance and friendship, he would never have grown into the man he is now, the man that Team Plasma and all pokémon need.”
Boreas enveloped him in another freezing cloud, but this time the larger vulpine didn't jump out immediately. Instead the white cloud of coldness transformed, became pointier and dark, until it looked just like a gigantic Zoroark's head. As the Zoroark licked its lips looking at him and opened its mouth, Boreas had to remind himself very hard that it was just an illusion, and that Diego was still somewhere in the actual cloud, rapidly freezing. Determined not to panic or drop his cloud, he stood his ground watching for the real Diego even as the huge maw opened up and he could see all the way into the illusion's throat.
Boreas couldn't resist closing his eyes in fear for a moment as hundreds of huge teeth came down, and the real Zoroark used this single moment to pounce him, nearly crushing him as he landed on top of him. After a few more slashes, Diego jumped off. Boreas rolled away and jumped to his feet, and Diego immediately backhanded him across the face, making him do a flip in midair and land on his back with an impact that promised to hurt for weeks to come.
As he lay staring at the sky turning all colours of the rainbow and quite a few outside of it, the dark form of Diego entered his field of view, towering above him with a broad grin. He realised it was absolutely adamant that he kept his distance from the Zoroark, as he didn't stand a chance in physical combat against and opponent twice as large, thrice as heavy, and at least five times as strong as him. Though if he kept his distance it would be hard to deal with the illusions, especially now that his opponent seemed to have latched on to the primal fear of being eaten.
“Had enough yet?” Diego asked.
As the sky returned to dark blue, Boreas decided to keep Diego talking as long as possible to catch his breath back and so that he might have a chance to think of something. “Argh, you never seemed this tough when you battled Octa.”
Diego's smiled broadened. “Evolution can change a lot.”
As his eyes became focused, Boreas noticed some details that showed his opponent to be much less invulnerable than he seemed: thousands of tiny ice crystals glistened in his fur, and there were even ice crystals in his nose and the corners of his eyes. His long pony tail was wrapped around him for warmth and he was slightly shivering. “I guess you're right,” he spoke slowly to stall. “When I evolved, I was losing a battle with a Leavanny, but then-” he looked in open-mouthed surprise at the sky behind Diego, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!”
At the same moment that Diego looked up, Boreas rolled to his feet, exhaled a cloud of cold air, and ran as fast as his legs could carry him to the Ferris wheel. He could hear the sounds of the other fox behind him pursuing. At the Ferris wheel one of the carriages was just closing and rising, so Boreas sprinted even faster to jump through the door before it closed. He was a little too slow, so instead of jumping into the carriage, he jumped on top of it instead as it was rapidly going up the wheel. The carriage rocked as Diego jumped too, didn't make the jump, and hung from the edge of the carriage by his front paws. Before the Zoroark could climb on, Boreas stepped on his paws and pushed them off the slippery glass surface. He hit the ground four metres lower and immediately ran to jump on the next carriage.
As Diego climbed on the other carriage, Boreas created all the cold he dared handle and sent it in a wintrous cloud to Diego's cart, surrounding it in a miniature hailstorm. What exactly was happening wasn't visible because the cloud obscured it, but it suddenly rained shards under the cart as the glass had shattered from the intense contrast in temperature between its inside and outside. Boreas knew what was going to happen next and was prepared for any manner of illusionary horror emerging from the cloud.
A phenomenal roar sounded behind him as a gigantic Steelix had popped up there. He startled, not expecting it to come from that side, and slipped on the smooth glass, over the edge of the cart, and barely managed to grab it again. His claws couldn't hold on to the glass very well, though, so he was rapidly slipping away. He took a look down, and saw, aside from the open maw of the illusionary Steelix, the ground already being shockingly distant. He was half up on the wheel, at a height of about twenty metres. He nearly slipped, pushed himself to the left, and managed to grab the metal frame of the cart with a single claw. He climbed back on the cart, this time making sure he kept at least one foot on the metal frame and ignored the Steelix that was doing its best to scare him.
He took a look at Diego's cart and saw the glass had been completely destroyed; it only existed of the seats hanging from the metal frame and all of it was covered in snow and ice. But no Diego. Boreas spotted him climbing from the destroyed cart to Boreas' cart by the rotating frame of the big wheel itself. He was already past the halfway point and rapidly approaching. Boreas created a hailstorm around Diego, hoping to make his paws so cold that he wouldn't be able to hold on any more, while he tried his very best to ignore the terrifying Steelix that appeared to be about to eat the cart and Boreas with it. His instincts were telling him to get away, run away, even jump down, anything to avoid being eaten, though he knew it was a fake. He forced himself to concentrate on nothing but his opponent even when the entire cart disappeared in the gigantic steel mouth. He could barely contain his panic, yet he kept the freezing cloud where he thought his real opponent was.
He was almost happy when the fake Steelix's mouth disappeared as the heavily besnowed Diego jumped on the cart with a great swing. He ducked one massive punch, bit his opponent, and nearly slipped off the cart's edge. He jumped aside from the Zoroark's claw, but now found himself on the cart's corner. He considered climbing down, but the metal frame didn't cover this part of the cart and he couldn't risk it on the glass. Diego's powerful, but icy cold claw grabbed him around the neck and lifted him, cutting off his breath. He struggled, but the Zoroark's grip was too powerful. He tried kicking his opponent again, but since he held him at arm's length he couldn't reach him. Zoroark watched him struggle for breath with a satisfied grin, and for a moment Boreas thought he was going to choke him to death.
The cart reached its highest point where it passed by the steel scaffolding that held the big wheel; Diego, still holding Boreas in his death grip, jumped over from the cart to the scaffolding and climbed up using his three spare paws. Boreas wasn't quite sure what happened next because oxygen deprivation was beginning to black him out, but he felt two lungsful of sweet air enter him at the same moment as something heavy grabbed his tail painfully hard and hung from it. He opened his eyes to tell whatever it was to sod off and go pester someone else, when he saw nothing hung from his tail, but instead it was firmly stuck between two pieces of the metal scaffolding. He wasn't sure he had completely recovered, because for some reason the twilight sky was down and gravity seemed to pull up.
He looked up and yelped when he saw the Earth there. “What in the name of Darkrai's saggy left-” he began, before realising that he was in fact hanging upside down by his tail, almost fifty metres high in the scaffolding. He was dangling over nothing but open air, not a single metal beam in reach to hold on to. When he looked what was up to him, he saw Diego climbing down the scaffolding, back to the wheel.
“Diego!” Boreas shouted, making the other vulpine look up, “you utter bastard, get me down right now!”
The Zoroark looked up to him and grinned. “Or what?”
“Or...” he began, realising there was nothing he wasn't in a position to demand anything, “Or I will fall to my death when my tail slips away from between these beams. You win, just help me down.”
“Not much chance of that, I made sure your tail was stuck so hard it won't let go by itself.” he continued climbing down.
“You can't just leave me here!”
“Can't I? Watch me. That kick you gave me still hurts, so I'm not going to help you myself. Don't worry, though, I'll tell your friends where they can find you.” He jumped on a passing carriage and began going down, then added: “Tomorrow morning.”
Boreas found he couldn't even reach Diego with an Icy Wind, because he was just too far away. Instead he furiously roared every curse and insult he could think of at the grinning Zoroark. Then he tried pulling himself up, but he just couldn't get high enough to reach his stuck tail, which was already beginning to hurt from being clenched between the two beams and from having his full weight hang from it.
He continued roaring insults at the Zoroark, but he had arrived at the ground, much too far away to hear the names Boreas called him, and was walking away from the big wheel with an arrogant swagger. All Boreas' rage and hate concentrated itself in a single ice-cold point in his throat, and when he opened his mouth to call Diego a two-timing troglodyte, a super thin beam of intense cold fired out at high speed instead, striking the distant figure of Diego in the small of the back barely a second later. To his enjoyment he saw Diego fall over, look up at him, and begin to run away like a frightened rabbit instead. Boreas tried to make another Ice Beam, but found he couldn't do it again, no matter how hard he tried.
Diego disappeared from his view when he turned a corner, and Boreas' thoughts turned to how he was going to get out of his current predicament. He saw a few humans get in a carriage down and he tried to get their attention and hoped they would see him. But he soon found that he was virtually impossible to see from the carriages: not only was it dark and would they have to look straight up, but at almost every point of the wheel he would be obscured by the metal frame on the roofs of the carriages.
He had some hope that the operators of the cart would wonder what had happened to the destroyed cart and go investigate the entire wheel, but they just didn't seem to care enough to investigate at night.
Contemplating the stars below him as his tail began aching more and more, he realised two things: he would kill Diego next time they met, and that it would be eleven very, very long hours until dawn.
that made my day! xD
anyway, a nice new chapter.
it was a fun read, and the battle was written well.
Hanging there from a great height must be very troubling, considering the fact that your tail is really hurting you... x,x
as always, i'm excited for the next chapter~!
Chapter Twenty-Six: Of Trapped Tails, Crazy Corvids, and Fencing Friends
Boreas clenched his teeth in pain, as he had for what felt like days by now. He could barely believe the Sun still hadn't risen. How long it was exactly that he had been hanging upside down by his tail, he would know once he finished some final calculations. The previous evening, after some time of just furiously hanging there cursing Diego, he had realised he would need something to occupy his mind and some way to tell the time. So he had tried to recall several things Octa had once told him about the movements of the Sun and stars. He had forgotten most of it, but had the time to work the bits he had forgotten out. In fact that had taken what Boreas was sure was most of the night. The first thing he'd done was to determine the location of the Sun, as he'd been sure he'd need that to tell the time. Since the Sun was obviously under the horizon, he picked a bright star in the constellation Espeon that was just rising in the east, and therefore should be approximately at the opposite side of the sky from the Sun. Thus if he followed the star, he also knew where the Sun was under the horizon. After a lot of time of thinking and calculating while the pain in his tail slowly increased from annoying to torturous, now finally knew the exact location of the Sun under the horizon. It was at an angle of 47 degrees west of the north, and since it moved a full circle every day, it had to move fifteen degrees each hour, meaning it was...
“Eight minutes to nine...” Boreas whispered in horror. He had barely been hanging for two hours and there were still at least nine hours to go before someone would come rescue him. Fury and hate washed over him again like a crimson wave of blood. “Diego, I hate you!” he yelled at the night, “I will cut your gut open and strangle you with your own intestines! I will cut off your toes and tracheotomise you with them! I will castrate you with a train and bury you alive!”
Because of the shouting he noticed his throat was getting dry and he was feeling very thirsty. That wasn't much of a concern now, but in nine hours, he imagined, he would be very dehydrated. He had a splitting headache from all the hanging upside down, and muscles he rarely used hurt, protesting against their sudden, prolonged use to maintain a position that was not entirely uncomfortable with gravity coming from the wrong side. For a moment, he caught himself wishing he had never been born, but he quickly amended that to wishing Diego had never been born. As the constant, throbbing waves of pain from his tail grew a tiny bit worse with each heartbeat, he continued imagining graphic ways to kill the Zoroark.
While he was enjoying the thought of shattering a glass window with Diego's head and then force-feeding him the shards, he suddenly noticed something he hadn't noticed before: as one of the moons passed behind the higher parts of the scaffolding, the silhouette of a Murkrow was clearly contrasted against the pale moon. Boreas couldn't believe his luck to have someone with wings nearby. “Help!” he shouted.
The Murkrow had to have heard him as it was pretty close, but it didn't react at all to him. “Hey! Help me! Hello, Murkrow, look at me, I'm right here!”
The Murkrow didn't even turn around to look at him. “Please, c'mon, you're my only hope! If you don't help me, I'll hang here until the morning, and I'm already in a lot of pain!”
Absolutely no reaction. “Look, helping me won't cause you any trouble at all, it'll be quite easy! You just have to warn someone on the ground that I'm up here, that's all I ask, you don't have to fly me down or anything. I'll be eternally grateful and I'll get you mountains of food! And shiny things, lots of shiny things, you must like those! And anything else you want, you only have to ask and I'll get it for you!”
The Murkrow didn't move a muscle. “Fine! You're just as bad as the guy who hung me here! I hope the same thing happens to you some day!”
Boreas went back to grinding his teeth in pain and fury while he imagined more ways to kill Diego, now occasionally guest-starring a certain Murkrow. After a while, he saw the Murkrow still hadn't moved, which annoyed him to no end. “Do you enjoy watching me hang here?”
“I'm not watching you,” a hoarse voice said.
“Well, well,” Boreas sneered, “it can talk!”
“Yes, I can.”
“Why didn't you say anything earlier?”
“Because I wasn't sure if you were talking to me.”
“What? Whom else could I have been speaking to? I even called you Murkrow!”
“That's not my name, and you could've been talking to another Murkrow. After a while, I came to the conclusion that you were talking to me, but then I realised that since you hadn't asked any questions, you probably weren't waiting for answers.”
Boreas wasn't sure whether the Murkrow was being intentionally unhelpful or just insane. “I- What- Never mind. Can you please help me?”
“Oh, I've got this scratch on my back, could you get it for me?”
“Okay,” said the Murkrow, beginning to spread its ragged wings.
“No,” Boreas explained in exasperation, “I was obviously being sarcastic. What do you think I want help with?”
“I don't know,” said the Murkrow, with genuine sounding confusion in its voice.
“Okay, I'll give you a hint: I don't have wings. Yet, I'm here at a height of fifty metres. My tail is crushed between two metal beams and I'm hanging upside-down from it.”
The Murkrow's silhouette shrugged after a long period of deliberation.
“Well, help me down, obviously!” Boreas snapped.
“Don't you like it up here?”
“Let me repeat: I'm hanging upside-down by my bloody tail from a metal scaffolding over a huge depth and it hurts terribly. I have had better times. Will you please help me?”
“Okay. What do you want me to do?”
“Great! Fly down and look for a Servine named Octa. He has a posh, upper-class accent, talks like an overacting Shakespearean ham, and walks as if he owns the planet. An annoying Oddish is usually following him around. He's probably looking for me so he'll be in or near the amusement park. Otherwise he'll be in the pokécenter. Tell him where I am and that I need his help. My name is Boreas.”
“Okay.” The Murkrow flew off, leaving Boreas alone yet again, though at least with some hope of salvation now. The pain in his tail was a lot more bearable now that he wasn't faced with the prospect of it continuing for nine more hours and only getting worse. But after a while, doubt began to gnaw at him. The Murkrow had seemed either intentionally obfuscating and unhelpful or a bit dotty. And he didn't even know its name, or even its gender, and its silhouette had looked ragged and shaggy. The more he thought about it, the more he realised what an idiot he had been to send his only hope away so soon. After some more time passed, all his hope for an early rescue had turned to bitter despair, and he tried to find the Sun's position under the horizon again to find out how long he still had to go.
“42 degrees west of the north,” he sighed as the pain in his tail slightly increased to a whole new form of horrible. Still almost nine hours to go.
It is, of course, a well-known fact that time seems to pass at different speeds depending on the situation you;'re in. When you're having a great time with friends, the river of time seems to be approaching a waterfall, rapidly churning at great speed; while if you are bored and have nothing to do, it flows like a river of syrup slowly crawling through a plain instead. When you're hanging by your tail from a metal scaffolding, the river of times has frozen to a glacier: it has not entirely stopped, which is of course impossible, but the movement is so slow that every second seems like an eternity.
Pain kept pulsating through Boreas' tail with every heartbeat. If there' a second between each heartbeat, Boreas thought, I still have more than thirty thousand to go before I'm rescued. At least.
He was beginning to notice another discomfort: he was getting very tired. The hanging was surprisingly exhausting. But, of course, there was little chance he would manage to nap between the pain, the thirst, the unusual position, the anger, and gravity pulling his eyelids up.
“By Jove, 'tis really him! My dear fellow, are you conscious?”
“Octa?” he mumbled, and saw his friend, with the Murkrow, on the scaffolding. “Octa, I've never been so happy to see you!”
“Hang on, my dear fellow,” Octa called, climbing up the scaffolding, “I am getting you out of there.”
“Brilliant choice of words, right there,” Boreas remarked, “why don't you ask me how it's hanging while you're at it?”
When Octa had reached the same height, he extended two vines, wrapped them around Boreas' shoulders and back, and lifted him slightly up, taking most of the weight off his tail. Boreas gasped with delight as the pain decreased by a lot immediately.
When Octa reached the beams were Boreas' tail was crushed between, he sucked air into his mouth with a sort of backwards flute that seemed to indicate it was going to be difficult to help Boreas. “How the devil did you end up in this position, my dear fellow?”
“Diego hung me up here.”
An angry cloud darkened Octa's brow. “How barbaric.”
“Yeah,” Boreas agreed, “now can you get me down from here?”
“'Tis not going to be easy, my dear fellow. First, I shall obviously have to pull you up onto this beam, or you'll fall. Then 'tis likely going to take the strength of both of us to release your tail. I should incidentally warn you: your tail is not a pleasant sight.”
“It doesn't feel too great either.”
Octa held on to the beam with his three other vines and pulled Boreas up with the two wrapped around him. When Octa deposited him on the beam it immediately went black in front of his eyes and he collapsed into his friend's arms as the blood flowed away from his head. It took about a minute before his heart had coped with gravity's new direction and he was as conscious as could reasonably be expected in the situation, so Octa let him go and he held on to the beam by himself. He took a look at his tail. What little of it he could see looked very bad; it was swollen and bloody. Boreas was sort of happy that he couldn't see the part of his tail that was crushed between the beams as, judging by the amount of blood that dyed the beams, it looked even worse.
“Are you ready?” Octa asked as they both got ready to pull the beam apart. They both pulled the top beam with all their strength, but it only moved for a tiny bit. Boreas tried to get his tail out, but it hurt a lot so he pulled the beam harder to make more room instead. Suddenly Octa grabbed his tail and gave it a strong yank, freeing it but causing terrible pain to Boreas as his wounds dragged against the beams. They let the beam go, Boreas cursing in pain. He took a look at his tail and nearly gagged. Most of the skin of the part that had been stuck was gone and it was very swollen. Boreas even thought he saw a glimpse of bone through a particularly deep wound. Now that his blood could flow freely into his tail, without being impeded by gravity and the crushing beams, the wounds began bleeding badly. Boreas suddenly felt very weak and wondered how he was ever going to get down. Octa answered that for him as he wrapped three vines around him, supporting most of Boreas' weight.
“So, where are the others?” Boreas asked.
“We are unsure of Black's location. Toxica and Capella both lack arms to climb with, and Lucius preferred to have me risk my life rather than he risk his.”
Boreas had almost forgotten the Murkrow, sitting on the scaffolding again. “Murkrow! Thank you!”
She (as Boreas was now pretty sure it was a female) looked at him with a quizzical expression. “What for?”
“For saving me.”
“But didn't your friend save you?”
“Yes, but you called him. I have to thank you for allowing me to escape early. What's your name?”
It seemed to be a very difficult question, as she had to think about it for a while. “What about Selene? Yes, Selene will do.”
“Well then, Selene, or whatever your real name might be, if there's ever anything I can do for you, you only have to ask.”
They climbed on in silence as Selene kept sitting on the scaffolding. After a while, Octa smirked. ““Talks like an overacting Shakespearean ham and walks like he owns the planet”, hmm?”
“What a git,” said Aqua, “to leave you hanging up there.”
“Yeah,” Boreas agreed, “even if I did kick him in a very sensitive spot, that was just cruel. I'm very lucky to have managed to get out after less than three hours.”
“You were. But did your tail recover completely? Let me feel.” Her soft, strong tail wrapped around his and began rubbing and massaging it. Boreas felt dizzy, almost as if the blood was flowing away from his head again, though a fierce blush proved the opposite to be true.
“No, your tail feels fine. Great, even.”
“Actually,” said Boreas, thinking quickly, “Nurse Death couldn't heal all the damage, if you feel very carefully and take a long time for it, you may feel some damage yet.”
Aqua grinned and winked coquettishly. “Okay, then I'll look for it. While I try to find this damaged spot, why don't you tell me more about the pokémon musical? And I obviously want you to sing the songs for me while you're at it.”
“I'm not sure if- uh- I can concentrate enough to talk sensibly with you fondling my tail like that.”
“Oh, I'll stop it then, shan't I?”
“-No,” Boreas quickly added, “I was wrong, I could easily handle it.”
“Aww, don't be such a party pooper,” Bianca whined.
“I will not waste my time on this,” Cheren resolutely stated.
“Since when is having fun a waste of time?”
“In case you forgot, we're on a pokémon journey, and are supposed to be training to beat Elesa. We won't defeat her by wasting our time with this rubbish, we can only win by training on the Battle Subway.”
“Or in your case, on other roller coasters.”
“I told you, I'm not-”
Black interrupted him. “Here's an idea, Cheren: why don't we go see a musical first to see what it's like, and if we like it we can follow Bianca's plan enter our own pokémon into one.”
“Hmpf,” Cheren sighed, “fine. Let's get it over with.”
Boreas felt a sharp pinch in his shoulder as Selene landed there. “Oh, hey Selene. What's up?”
The shabby-looking Murkrow looked at the sky. “Clouds. What are you going to do?”
“We're going to the pokémon musical.” Selene looked at him with a non-understanding expression, though it was pretty hard to distinguish as it was very close to her neutral expression. “It's a sort of theatre where pokémon perform a play and sing and dance.”
She thought about it. “Do you mean they pretend to be other people?”
“Yeah, I guess you could put it like that.”
“I like that idea. Can I come?”
“Sure. Don't pinch my shoulder so hard, though.”
As they entered the large hall of the theatre, Lucius said: “What, we're not taking this loony ol' chicken with us, are we?”
Though Boreas knew Selene was slightly dotty, he couldn't help defending her. She had saved him, after all, and he liked her better than Lucius anyway. “Shut up, Lucius. If you don't like it, stay outside.”
“I'm not a loony,” said Selene.
“You sure look like one to me,” Lucius retorted.
“The one difference between myself and a loony is that I'm not mad.”
Then Lucius did something that Boreas had never seen him do: he gave a friendly smile. It was very small and gone after a single moment, but it was unmistakably there. “Hmpf,” he snorted, “crazy bird.”
An hour later they all came back into the theatre's hall, enthusiastically talking about the musical. The story had been about a disfigured Weavile with a beautiful voice who falls in love with a Gardevoir singing in the pokémon musical. Some of the songs had been very good, and the last one was still stuck in Boreas' head. Though the humans couldn't even understand what the pokémon on the stage were saying, they all seemed to like it. Boreas had even seen Cheren enjoy himself. The black-haired human was now arguing with Bianca again, though.
“...And another thing, I thought it was very unrealistic that the pokémon constantly started singing.”
Though Cheren was obviously just kidding, Bianca responded seriously. “But, but, that's the whole point of a musical!”
“Nevertheless, it is completely unrealistic. You don't see our pokémon singing, do you?”
With a cheeky grin, Toxica began singing: “In sleep he sang to me,
in dreams he came...
that voice which calls to me,
and speaks my name.
And do I dream again?
For now I find,
the Phantom of the Opera is there...
inside my mind!”
Though the song sounded not half as good in her squeaky, cockney-accented voice as when the Gardevoir sang it in the musical, Boreas couldn't help joining in: “Sing once again with me,
our strange duet!
My power over you-”
“Yes, yes, I get it, thank you,” Cheren interrupted, “but Bianca, I still say it's unrealistic and silly.”
As they continued arguing, Boreas stopped listening to them. After a while Selene spoke for the first time since the show had begun. “I liked it. The pokémon would pretend to be people they weren't and say things they didn't really mean. Some of them even pretended to be humans! I wonder what that feels like.”
They were about to find out, as Black and Bianca signed their pokémon up for an upcoming musical about the musketeer trio. Boreas was immediately enthusiastic; his mother had told him stories about the musketeers when he was a cub, and he had loved them. So he found himself hoping to be cast in an important role in the casting room. All the pokémon who were going to be in the musical were lined up as a Smeargle who introduced himself as Grigor walked past them. Though most of the pokémon in the line-up would end up in the choir or with a minor role, all except Selene hoped for a major role.
When the Smeargle walked by Boreas he stopped and looked him in the face for a while, making him rather uncomfortable. “Hmm... Intelligent, piercing eyes; somewhat scruffy, Giratina-may-care look; mildly attractive... I think we may have found our Keldeo!”
“Scruffy?!” Boreas exclaimed, “What do- wait, Keldeo? I get to play Keldeo?”
“We'll have to see how good your acting and singing is, first. But if that's fine, then you probably can.”
The Smeargle moved on, but Octa, standing next to Boreas stopped him: “And I suppose you'll wish me to play Cobalion. With my impeccable, noble manners, general excellence, proper pronunciation, and bearing, I couldn't be better for the role.”
“Not really, but maybe I know a better role for you.”
“Ah, Virizion, then. Yes, between my wit, charm, and good looks I suppose I would make an excellent Virizion as well.”
A few weeks later, Boreas stood in the spotlight as he sneaked over the stage, a big, feathered hat on his head and his headtails drenched with water and then frozen to form the single horn/sword of Keldeo. A tense silence hung over the theatre, and though they had rehearsed this at least a hundred times and he knew what was coming, he knew he was going to startle.
Suddenly a second spotlight turned on as a single chord was played, showing Octa dressed in a long, black, Victorian coat, a top hat, and a monocle. “Keldeo!” he boomed, “I have been expecting you!”
Boreas looked up to the balcony where Octa was standing. “Count Rochefort, your reign ends here!”
Octa laughed a haughty, chilling laugh as the light spread, showing off the high, Gothic décor as Octa slowly and haughtily descended the stairs. “My dear boy, and who is going to end my reign? Your friends are currently battling my pokémon outside, as you are no doubt aware, and their skill vastly surpassed yours.”
“Your pokémon? You stole them all!”
“I took,” Octa carefully articulated, “what was rightfully mine. And no one, especially a” he sniffed haughtily as he paused dramatically, “commoner like you can stop me.”
“We'll see about that,” Boreas grinned as he saluted Octa.
Octa returned the combat salute and drew a Leaf Blade. “So we shall. En guarde!”
The friends crossed their swords as the choir began to sing a battle song. Since Octa was wielding the Leaf Blade with his hands while Boreas was using the frozen headtails that were attached to his head, Boreas was at quite the disadvantage. He had asked if he couldn't just make a strong icicle like a sword and wield it with one of his front paws, but the Smeargle had been adamant: everyone knew the musketeers fight using their horns as swords, so Boreas would just have to manage.
“Soon,” Octa threatened as he slashed with his blade, “you'll be wearing my sword like a shish kebab!”
That was not in the script, and the audience wouldn't be able to hear it anyway with the music drowning it out, but if Octa wanted to have some improvised fun with their fight, Boreas would happily join in. “First, you'd better stop waving it like a feather duster!” he responded, nearly hitting Octa with a lunge that forced Octa to jump back with a startled face. “Arceus preserve me, you look like something that's died!”
Octa jumped over Boreas with an impressive salto, swung around, and nearly stabbed him in the back. “The only way you shall be preserved is in formaldehyde!” Octa tried a more aggressive stance, forcing Boreas to take a step back or be hit. “My attacks have left entire islands depopulated!”
It really was a shame the audience couldn't hear their insults, Boreas mused. “With your breath, I'm sure they all suffocated!” he retorted, blocking Octa's attacks and making dangerous ripostes that forced Octa to take several steps onto the stairs. “Nobody has ever drawn blood from me, and nobody ever will!”
“Do you run that fast, boy?” Octa retorted. Now the song was reaching its climax, though, which meant that they had to stop improvising their duel and actually had to move on to the choreographed part.
Octa feinted, getting in a few hits that Boreas made look as if he could parry them only barely, and then it looked as if he was going to lose, as if Octa's next strike would finish him off, but he parried the hit and made a surprising riposte that looked as if it penetrated Octa's heart (though it was actually under his arm) just as the music reached its climax. He withdrew the sword from under Octa's arm, and the Servine clasped his hands to his heart with an agonised expression, actually making the packets of tamato ketchup hidden in his clothes tear open, making it look as if he'd actually been mortally wounded. With overly dramatic acting, Octa fell to the ground as Boreas began singing his part of the song.
“That was fun,” Octa whispered behind him, still playing dead, “we should try fencing more often, my dear fellow.”
Finally, Boreas was removed from his misery... xD
Though I was expecting Boreas reaction when Octa tells him about how Boreas described him to Selene... xD
Anyway, their musical play was really good. Sad that the humans understood nothing of what they were saying, and that I don't know which role Selene had, or if Black registered her, but it was still a very good read. Wonder if Black decides to catch that Murkrow.
Anyway, as always, looking forward to another great chapter~
Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Great Warrior
Storms raged across Unova throughout November. Every single day fierce winds would howl through Nimbasa, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees, causing blackouts, and generally making the streets a place people didn't want to be. Water as cold as ice, occasionally intermixed with hail, poured down from the sky and made unprotected hands and faces feel frozen after just a few minutes. Rumours that Tornadus and Thundurus had declared war on civilisation were soon abound. After the third week of storms and a couple of gruesome railroad disasters, the Unovan trains were closed down until further notice, meaning Black, Cheren, and Bianca couldn't even train on the Battle Subway any more. They would have challenged Elesa then, but she had no time for it between her job as model and her volunteer work to help combat the many blackouts the storms caused.
The stormy weather was affecting all of Black's pokémon: all except Boreas were completely miserable and depressed in the constant icy rains and were very grumpy and quiet. Boreas actually liked the cold and thought the constant howling winds that seemed to slice straight through the flesh of others and freeze their bones were, in a certain way, delightful and awe-inspiring, as were the constant rolling clouds and the lightning. He didn't like the rain, though, as it drenched him like everyone else. But what was even worse was that he was stuck in the pokécenter. He hated staying in one place for too long, and it was even worse with it being a single building. He often went outside, of course, but the rain would drench him and he had to watch out for things being blown around by the wind. That didn't get him out of Nimbasa, though, something which he was really longing for. Whenever groceries needed to be bought, Boreas would happily get them, as it was better than to be stuck in the pokécenter with his friends while tensions ran higher and higher.
They had also been taking care of Selene. The Murkrow didn't see any problem with flying through the storm for some reason, and had ended up with several broken bones after being blown into a wall. After that, she was still convinced flying through the storm was a good idea, and no amount of logic or injuries could convince her otherwise. So for the weeks after that they had made sure she stayed inside the pokécenter and kept a close eye on her, though she wanted to go outside.
One day, Boreas was fighting the storm with Bianca to get groceries. They had tried letting Boreas get them on his own earlier, but the human clerks' inability to understand him had proved too much of an obstacle, so the humans would now take turns going with him. Bianca was wearing a lengthy raincoat that made the most infernal noises as the storm rattled it. An umbrella might've helped, but every umbrellas in the city had long been destroyed by the mighty winds and they were now usually flying around town like a swarm of metal-and-plastic insects occupying the city, giving the impression that they had gone feral. Boreas found the wind's howling through his fur and ears sort of pleasant. The streaming rain was another matter, though, and he tried to stay in Bianca's wake to keep at least a bit dry. When they finally reached the store, the human and the fox were both exhausted from fighting the fierce winds, and Bianca's face was red from the ice-cold rain. They began picking up what they needed, when they overheard two men talking in another isle.
“...And apparently he defeated Louis before his pokémon even got a single hit in.”
“But that's incredible, how did he do that?”
“Beats me. Apparently the guy was just standing around by the stadium as if the world wasn't coming to an end all around him, and he challenged Louis and all kinds of other trainers to battles. Well, you know Louis, he wouldn't refuse a challenge if his life depended on it, but he was completely steamrolled.”
“Must've been a pokémon master.”
“That's what they say, yeah. He uses some incredibly powerful fighting types, apparently.”
“Y'know, if the weather wasn't this awful, I might seek him out. I'd love to test myself against a real pokémon master.”
“Heh, rather you than me. I don't want my precious Cleffa punched to bits.”
As the two men started chatting about other things, Bianca and Boreas looked each other in the eye, having the same thought. They rushed out of the store, nearly forgetting to pay, and ran back to the pokécenter, dodging a few umbrellas on the way back.
“You forgot half the groceries!” Cheren snapped.
“I know, just listen to what I have to say, okay?” Bianca said, taking off her coat. The coat had barely helped against the storm, as she was almost as soaked as Boreas was.
Apparently Cheren noticed this too, as Boreas saw his eyes dart down for a moment before replying. “What is it now?”
“There's a pokémon master in town, and he's a really great master of the fighting type, and he's challenging people at the stadium and he defeated a guy named Louis!”
That got Cheren and Black's attention, and they wanted to know everything from Bianca. Boreas wondered something, so he asked Octa. “Octa, I wonder what a fighting type can really do. Apart from kicking and punching, I mean. They just seem at a bit of a disadvantage to other types like us, who can do stuff like making ultra-cold beams of coldness, spit fire, enter the opponent's mind, be plated with steel, and other useful things like that.”
“You are quite right, my dear fellow. Their fighting style is entirely based on simple physical strength, meaning they are at quite a disadvantage. Especially considering they usually aren't too bright either. When a fighting type encounters a problem it can't solve with violence, it usually tries to solve it with even more violence.”
“Perhaps,” interjected Capella, “if you two are not too busy feeling superior, you'll consider that this is a fighting pokémon master. If he became a pokémon master with the fighting type, that on its own shows he is a force to be reckoned with.”
Octa looked embarrassed. “Mmmyes, quite. I was just about to say that. Besides, my dear fellow, you should be extra careful regardless.”
“Because your type is at a disadvantage to fighting types.”
“It is? Why?”
“Well, ice is a brittle substance, which can be fractured by a powerful punch.”
“Right, I suppose ice is, but I'm not made of ice. I'm made of carbon, just like you.”
“Quite, but you are still an ice type, my dear fellow.”
“Yeah, I am, but since I'm not a Glalie or a Cryogonal, why would ice's brittleness be a concern to me? I'm not made of ice, I just use it for attacks, like most other ice types.”
“Um... Yes, but... Quite, yet... Oh, look, the humans have put on raincoats, it seems we are going outside.”
They asked Nurse Death to keep Selene with her and left the pokécenter. They battled through the raging storm, dodging feral umbrellas flying around. While the piercing cold combination of temperatures just above freezing, streaming rain, and sharp winds didn't bother Boreas too much, he saw all his friends hated it. He had once tried making it less horrible for them by creating Icy Winds in the direction opposite to the storm's, but that had turned out counterproductive: not only was the storm far too powerful to be silenced by him, but the opposing air streams actually fed the winds and made them very erratic, and it cooled the air down even further, turning the rainstorm into a frigid hailstorm. So Boreas didn't try that again this time and just let the storm be.
When they finally reached the stadium, they saw a lone figure stand in front of it. He wore a long white cloak that covered his entire body, including his head, but even with the cloak it was obvious he was a very large, hefty man. He didn't seem to care about the storm, though he had to be drenched and freezing. As they approached the man, a pair of other humans, a male and a female, jumped out of an alley. One of them carried a microphone and the other a camera.
“Hi,” shouted the one with the microphone against the storm, “we're from Unova News Network! Are you going to challenge the mysterious pokémon master?!”
“Yeah!” Black shouted back.
“Which one of you goes first?!”
“I am!” said Black.
Bianca and Cheren didn't seem to mind. “Great! Do you mind if we film your battle?! It may end up on the news, people are longing for news that isn't about the storms and the damage they're causing!”
“If you can film in this weather, that's okay with me!”
“Okay, would you mind introducing yourself and your pokémon and how you caught them real quickly?!”
“Fine! I'm Black from Nuvema Town. This is Octa, I received him from Professor Juniper as a birthday present; this is Boreas, I rescued him as an Eevee when Zangeese attacked him; I caught Lucius here on Route 3; and Toxica and Capella just sort of joined my party out of their own choice. Now can I get to battling?!”
“Yes! Show the world an amazing battle!”
Black walked to the cloaked figure.
“Do you wish to challenge me?!” a voice so loud and deep it could easily have been mistaken for thunder boomed.
The voiced roared an inarticulate battle cry as the figure entered a battle position and threw a pokéball. A vaguely humanoid form with a big red nose holding two massive stone pillars appeared. The Conkeldurr's muscles bulged like steel cables in its massive arms.
“Toxica,” Black commanded, “you go first!”
The Oddish ran at the Conkeldurr, giving the impression of an ant attacking a tank. As she neared him, she released a cloud of powder, but the rain immediately flushed the spores out of the air. Before Toxica could react, Conkeldurr swung one of its pillars with a move so fast it seemed impossible, hitting her like a golfer hitting the ball, and she was launched off her feet at incredible speed.
Fortunately, Octa managed to catch her, and they exchanged some words before she fainted in his arms. For a moment Boreas though Octa was blushing, but then he realised it was just because of the ice cold rain and wind. Black cursed. “Capella, try to paralyse it!”
Capella didn't listen to Black, however. Instead the gem on her forehead glowed and the storm, instead of raging at random, suddenly obeyed her will and directed all its might, rain, wind, feral umbrellas, and assorted debris, at Conkeldurr. The fighting type was enveloped by the raging storm's energy concentrated in a single point. However, it was obvious from Capella's face that this cost her immense amounts of energy and that she couldn't keep it up long.
The two huge pillars suddenly flew from the concentrated storm cloud, and one of them landed on Capella and shattered into a thousand pieces, instantly knocking her out and returning the storm to its own chaotic will. Black rescued the heavily bloodied and unconscious Dratini from the mass of rubble that had been created around her.
“How many pokémon are we using anyway?!” he asked his opponent.
“Use as many as you want,” the voice responded, “you won't defeat Conkeldurr.”
“We'll see about that,” said Black, “Octa, you're up next!”
Unlike Toxica, Capella seemed to have done some damage to Conkeldurr: several of the umbrellas had given it mean cuts and it looked a bit hypothermic. Perhaps more importantly, it had thrown and destroyed its pillars, so its main weapon was gone.
Capella's attack had forced the Conkeldurr to actually move. So far it hadn't even taken a step, but now it walked at Octa threateningly, seeming to tower over the Servine, even though it wasn't actually that much taller. It was far more massive and muscular, though, and now seemed to radiate with pure might. Octa drew the long, sharp, rapier-like leaf that he used for his Leaf Blade attacks.
Suddenly Conkeldurr showed off its deceptive speed as it jumped at Octa, with a pounce that would surely have crushed him if he hadn't ran at Conkeldurr at the same moment, jumped up, ran two steps over the flying Conkeldurr's back while dragging the point of his Leaf Blade across it, and jumped off behind it with a jump that seemed more flashy than was necessary.
Conkeldurr jumped to its feet immediately with a roar of pain as the metre-long cut across its back began bleeding. Octa was going to say something, but he had to swallow his words as he pressed himself against the ground to duck under a fist like a cannonball aimed for his head. The Conkeldurr tried to step on him, but Octa rolled under its foot, jumped to his feet, and stabbed his opponent in the back of the thigh.
Conkeldurr responded with a mighty roar as it turned around while swinging its arm and backhanding Octa in the face. Octa was launched by the hand's impact, made a big parabola through the air, and landed with an awfully hard impact on the pavement.
“Boreas, take over!” Black commanded as he rushed to help Octa.
Boreas had been thinking of some way to beat his opponent, and had come to the conclusion that Capella had had the right idea when she took control of the storm. It was the only thing around that was even close to the power level of the Conkeldurr, so it made sense to try to use it against it. Of course, Boreas couldn't take control of the storm like Capella, nor would he have even tried to control something so mighty. Instead, he just cooled it down a degree or twenty while still letting it rage to its own will. The storm was already near zero, and cooling it down further only increased its ferocity while the massive raindrops froze and became large hailstones. Between wind speeds now approaching a hurricane's, temperatures far below zero, and hailstones the size of golf balls being blown around at very dangerous speeds, the storm was getting to be very painful for all present, except Boreas to whom it was merely uncomfortable.
Conkeldurr, very red with hypothermia and bruises from the hailstones, pounced Boreas, whom could only barely dodge by increasing the wind speed even further with an Icy Wind to make it so powerful that when he jumped, the wind carried him for nearly ten metres. He immediately followed up with more Icy Winds around the Conkeldurr, catching the creature in a flesh-freezing hurricane of ice and air. Boreas found he was thoroughly enjoying himself. After weeks of putting up with the storms and having everyone go grumpy and depressed because of them, he was now actually getting to make the storm even more powerful. He almost felt as if he and the storm were allies, even friends, though he was quickly reminded of reality when the sharp, frosty skeleton of an umbrella nearly hit his face.
Conkeldurr, now red all over, ran at him. He once again used the winds to get away, but the furious creature kept following him, and soon the unpredictable winds turned against Boreas. Conkeldurr ran at him, fists ready to punch him into submission, and Boreas saw there was no escape from his speedy opponent. Suddenly he had an idea and to his great surprise it happened exactly as he pictured it: all the cold the storm had created in his fur and a lot of cold inside of him all moved instantly to a single point on his forehead and shot off in a hyper-cold beam, shooting between Conkeldurr's legs into the puddle he was about to step into. The puddle instantly froze so that when Conkeldurr stepped on it to punch Boreas, it slipped and fell onto its face (and nearly on Boreas).
“I-Ice Beam,” Boreas stammered in surprise. He immediately jumped on his enemy's back and tried to do the same thing again. This time he hadn't created the Ice Beam out of pure anger, but had actually done it more or less consciously, so he found he could actually do it again this time. The cold drew to a single point and fired another Ice Beam, this time at the top of the long, bleeding cut Octa had left on Conkeldurr's back, right between the shoulder blades. The creature howled in pain and rolled over, slapping Boreas off him with an impact that knocked all air and nearly all sense out of the Glaceon. He was launched into the air and his ribs felt so sore they might've been broken. Boreas flew through the icy cold sky and saw the ground rapidly approaching. Quickly, he increased the wind he was in right now to increase his horizontal speed as he Ice Beamed his landing spot. He landed on frozen puddles, so instead of coming to a painfully abrupt halt on the pavement underneath he kept all his speed as he graciously landed on ice. He managed to turn around and launched himself into the air again with the winds. It was almost as if he could fly now: he would soar over his opponent on the storm winds and graciously land on the ground he had covered with ice first, all the while Ice Beaming his opponent.
Between the wounds Capella and Octa had caused and the fierce cold Boreas was subjecting him to, it was a surprise Conkeldurr didn't give up earlier. After having more and more trouble running after Boreas, eventually his trainer returned him to his pokéball.
“Impressive,” said his trainer, “No-one in this city has managed to do that yet.” A Mienshao appeared from thin air. Boreas was going to use the same technique, but suddenly his body screamed in pain as his new opponent punched him at the speed of sound. The Conkeldurr had been amazingly fast, but this was a whole different kind of speed. He couldn't even see the Mienshao moving, just felt its incredibly rapid fists punch him dozens of times in a single second. His insides felt like they were punched into stew. After a few moments of severe pain, he blacked out.
Anyway, it was a nice battle. Boreas was flying, eh?
Also, what's up with Selene? xD
Can't wait for the next chapter~