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Noah Endris ~ The Flash
-Alamagna- A Hasty Retreat
Noah solemnly put his hand into the the circle. He hoped the others didn't think less of him for opting to retreat. He would promise in his escape, he would find a way to support them in the near future. As their hands pulled out he gave a short nod. "Those of you that choose to stay; make sure you indeed show them the might of the Gold Tribe". The confidence in those words were true to his heart as well. The Typhlosion has faith in his brothers and sisters. He just hoped everything would end well in the events soon to come.
Turning away from the group he fell to all fours and dashed down the corridors to the elevator. There was no time to waste and The Flash intended to make haste in his retreat. He wasn't certain exactly where they were headed, as he hadn't used the tunnels before but he did know where to meet Garland. All along the way through the streets of the fortress, pokemon where already preparing themselves for the battle. Civilians started taking shelter and grounded troops of the Gold Tribe began fortifying the area. It wasn't long before he reached the entrance of the mines and he immediately identified with Garland and Thrasher.
The entrance would certainly be hard to locate for 'mon that don't know how to navigate through the streets. "We're going through here right?" Without exactly waiting for an answer, he walks straight into the mouth of the tunnel, flexing his shoulders and setting his flame vents ablaze once visibility became low. Redeeming his impatience with surveillance, Noah scans the immediate area of the mines beyond the entrance and rushed back with a report. "It's just wide enough for a few 'mon to go in side by side. There are a few different paths going in that split further." He turns to Garland visibly puzzled. "Err, you should probably lead the way sir."
Zi-Zi's Journey - Lindsey Stirling
The smallest of the group, Tavhir, reached forward to put his bladed hand in the circle, taking care not to inadvertently cut somebody in the process. Determination showed in his eyes; even though their plan was decidedly a safe retreat rather than a full fledged assault, he was willing to follow it for now.
Tavhir pondered the best course of action. While part of him wanted to join the defensive in the fight, he also knew that the other Gold Tribe members were going to need help navigating through the tunnels, and if they ran into trouble underground, they'd need all the help they could get. Since this was the planned route for evacuation, Tavhir considered defending the tunnel escort a higher priority than the battle out in the city. After all, there's no use in defending a city if all of it's citizens are dead. Not to mention, his small stature would allow him greater maneuverability than the rest of his comrades in the compact confines of the underground passages. There were advantages to being the smallest pokemon in the group.
As the group began to disband, Tavhir made his way down to ground level, quickly making his way through the city streets to the tunnels. He had noticed the other members of the Gold Tribe there already, notably Flash and Thrasher. He was glad the former had decided to go with them; having a fire-type to illuminate the consuming darkness of the caves would be invaluable. Once he had joined up with the group, he stood silently in front of the entrance of the cave, taking a look inside. If what Althalos said before was true, these caves most likely went on for miles, assuming they didn't take the correct path. Tavhir turned to face Garland.
"Ready whenever you are."
"You forget, Doctor. I'm the one who asks the riddles..."
"Where do we start sir?" The Thrasher asked Garland, when he reached him. "I've never been in the caves before, so I am uncertain how large it is."
Garland said nothing, he only crouched to relax his knees and shut his eyes, recalling the last time he had been in these caves. This was the last place he wanted to be at a time like this. He wondered what his old friends would say. What Dareon would say. A leader must not ask of others to fight in the front lines, if they themselves are not willing to join them, that's what a young Dareon would say. But Dareon was old now, and changed. He then wondered what the other 'genius', Achilles, would say about him. Having authority is the sweetest thing. Look at Dareon, he commands half the Realm to die fighting in his name, while he's drinking tea in his chambers back in the safety of Union City. I do the same thing! And you should, too.
Lost in his thoughts as he was, he didn't notice the Flash getting past him. "Err, you should probably lead the way sir."
Garland set his stony gaze on the Typhlosion. Tavhir the Restless had also arrived. He grunted as he got back on his feet from the crouching position. "Let's get on with this, then," He grabbed his floatation device, as if it gave him strength, and marched into the cave. Good thing the Flash had come; the fire on his back lit their way easily. "Somebody mark the ground, lest we get lost on the way back."
Garland was sure he was taking the right turns. His feet took him where he needed to go, and his ears and nose guided him to the right way. The last time he had been here had been so memorable in his life, he could not possibly forget. The memories made him think of the past; the times he especially did not want to think of right now. He grimaced in the dark.
As youngsters with great ambitions and dreams, Garland, Dareon and Achilles were great friends. However, once they achieved all those dreams, they weren't friends anymore. It's what his sister, Ariadne, always said, power corrupts.He felt corrupted. What has happened to me? There was a day, one of the early ones, where I would not even think of retreating. I would bash my enemies full in the face with everything I had and a foolish smile on my face. Am I starting to become more like Achilles...? The image of the delicate, always perfumed Medicham with the pale, blue eyes came to his mind. The smile, albeit a restrained one, was courteous, and his manners always polite. People always thought of him as a kind, tolerant and charitable person. Now Garland was wondering if that was truly the case...
The Floatzel stopped at the sight of the cave separating into multiple paths. He perked up his ears, listening to the constant sound he had started to pick up not a long time ago. His nose smelled those unique flowers that bloomed in only one place... but he didn't remember that the main path dispersed into so many others. He got on his four feet to poke and smell the ground. It was foul down here, and that gave him no clues as to which direction to go.
He looked through the cave's paths. "One of those leads to the old waterworks, and from there, to the old aqueduct of the city. That's where we're headed. There is a waterway that connects Alamagna to Ascanfell; it was used to transfer water to Ascanfell during the summer droughts, long ago. After the Illinkar invasions, it became unusable... the Eshirians intended to convert the waterway tunnel into a train track, but that project was abandoned. A dangerous construction... too many deaths. But, it should still serve as our escape." He now looked at his comrades. "Brothers, we must split up, if we're to find the place on time. You'll know if you reach it: the name, E-88 is the first thing you'll notice about the aqueduct.
As for the other paths... they could lead anywhere, really. Even outside Alamagna, in the middle of the Grey Waste. I recall one leads to a cave under Alamagna. In any case, mark your way on the ground; we'll come find you if you get lost. Good luck, soldiers."
The Marill clutched her little Banette doll, looking up at the statue of God, Arceus. It was made of white marble, a great contrast to the deep black obsidian walls. Her doll's eyes were also made from white marble, and they seemed to reflect almost anything.
The Stygian General was in front of the statue, and he hadn't noticed her. Althalos had settled on the floor with his eyes shut; Cozette supposed he was praying. She knew the nobles on the upper floors would be praying too, though they weren't allowed to come down here. She wasn't allowed in here either. No noble was allowed to exit the Tower of Nobles during a lock-down... at least they were in the Obsidian Citadel, and not locked down in some common house, where there was danger of being killed. But she could not simply accept being pinned down. If she was to die in the siege, she would go down fighting too.
Once Althalos noticed her, he grunted with worry. "You're not allowed in here! Get back to your room, little lady! I don't want the battle finding you here."
The little Marill girl shouted, "it makes no sense, why are we locked in a tower? Why don't we just get away?" She didn't care for herself. She wanted to join the armies and take part in the battle; but her parents were defenseless here. They needed to evacuate, and fast.
"Get away!" the Gigalith roared, exasperated, "and go where? There is no place for us to go!"
"Where are my father's teleporters?"
"The teleporters will get you as far as outside the walls, girl, and that's where the bad people are waiting for you. Go back to your room!"
"No!" She ran outside, dragging her Banette doll with her.
Outside were the soldiers waiting for their General.
"Huh?! A little girl!"
"Capture her!" Althalos roared from within the Tower of Nobles as he rushed outside.
A Heliolisk got in her way. She tried to jerk out of his way, but she was too slow. Soon, she was brought in front of the General, her teeth grit and her eyes full of tears. When I grow up, this'll never happen again, Cozette promised herself. I will grow up and be strong and feared. The nobles weren't supposed to become warriors, but that's exactly what she was planning on being: a hero of her country. She wouldn't just stay locked up in a tower because of some stupid law, while men fought and died for her country.
She wiped her tears, but more were coming up.
Althalos brought his head close to the ground. Their eyes were at the same level. "We're working on an escape route as we speak," he assured her. "You'll be the first one through there, how about that?"
"I don't care," she shouted, "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care! I want to fight!"
Althalos had no expression on his face. He was a rock, anyways. "I wish all of us were as eager to fight as you. You're too young to fight with us... and I wish I could tell you to enjoy your childhood while you can, but death has come knocking on our doors this day. Take her back to her room, and see that she does not escape again." He turned away from her. "Men! We're moving out."
As she was being dragged back to the Tower of Nobles, she dropped her doll, but she was too choked up in tears to ask for it. The linen Banette was left there, on the obsidian stairs, staring at the cloudy sky sightlessly.
Noah Endris ~ The Flash & Thrasher
-Alamagna Mines- Into the Darkness
Thrasher grinned and stepped into the caves. "Hmm... it's pretty dark." He frowned and thought for a moment and then looked back at the The Flash. We can go together brother. There are many tunnels in here no? I'll let you decide which we go down first. We must be careful though, if there are other cave entrances, then it very well could mean that we encounter Stygian soldiers out there. We must be prepared for anything to come out at us, so keep your eyes peeled." He smiled, "It shouldn't be that much, hopefully the caves are tight so they won't be able to swarm us."
The Flash nodded. "True. However, tight tunnels would restrict movement if we found ourselves in a need to escape." He smiled and gave Thrasher a reassuring pat on the back. "Though we'll make sure stealth is our priority...In any case...", Noah scanned the three tunnels back and forth. After briefly observing the cave-mouths, he pointed a finger the leftmost tunnel. "There. I have a good feeling about that one."
Thrasher nodded, "Lead the way then brother. I'll be right behind you."
With a huff of smoke, the Flash used Will-o-Wisp's ghostly blue fire to make a distinct mark on entrance to their path to avoid getting lost. Wearing the flames on his back proudly, he guides himself and Thrasher into the would be dark tunnel. The Typhlosion wasn't exactly sure what awaited them despite the confidence in his selection. However he rarely had grim luck, so the Flash had that to ride on. After several minutes the monotony of wandering through the caverns became painstaking. He thought conversation was in order. "What exactly do we intend to find at the aqueducts again? Erm, that is if you are knowledgeable of our destination of course."
Thrasher followed along, nodding at the usage of Will-o-Wisp. That was as good a mark as any for them to keep track of their progress. The quiet did get boring however and he was glad for the Flash to speak up. "What we intend to find is a clear escape route my brother." He sighed, "It is hard to accept, but we won't survive a assault. If they do not take us down that way, then eventually we will run out of food and starve to death. There is only so much food for us and the civilians here. As Garland said, it connects to Ascanfell, so if we are able to get through there, then we will have to wary. Here in the Stygian's territory they will have the numbers to their advantage."
The Flash nodded. "Ascanfell hmm...? I would assume the territory is neutral seeing as both enemy and allied forces are currently in Alamagna. I'm not sure how Ascenfell would welcome us".
"Correct... but it's the only way out. At the very least we could separate, here we are bottled up... but if we get to the city we could spread out, be harder to find and in that way get out of the city and try and regroup somewhere else. In any case, if these tunnels do lead to other places, as a last case scenario we could split into teams and work together in small groups, find each other should we stay separated. I have learned in my life that stealth is a good option to turn to if in need. And we are in need at the moment."
Noah nodded once more as they walked onward. He couldn't exactly tell how long they had been walking after a while. The duo had only backtracked a total of two times indicated by the markings. Regardless it would be a pain if they had taken the wrong path. The Typhlosion put his hand out in front of the Primeape to signal him to stop. Taking his ear and pressing it to the cave wall there was nothing but a dreary hollowness. "I'm trying to determine if we are going the right way. If the aqueducts were anywhere near I think running water would be audible after a time". Listening more carefully the sound of emptiness still remained. The Flash wasn't exactly troubled yet...that was until after another lengthy period of walking and still no sound of running water. He then clenched his teeth at not thinking to make a second mark guiding them down their original path. "I...think we may be wandering into the cave Garland mentioned".
Thrasher nodded slowly, "I see. Hm... a cave could be here, but if that is the case, then we should head back don't you think? If we find a cave we'll just be stuck in the tunnels and the army will be able to block us in and kill us all. Let's head back then if that is what you think... or we could keep going. It's possible that we could head out into the Gray Wastes. In any way, we could find another exit and if it goes out there, that could lead the army to find a back way inside the city and we could collapse the tunnel instead to prevent that."
The Flash scratched his head for a moment weighing their options. They might be pointlessly wandered in the giant cave or they could just have a longer ways to go like Thrasher said, and eventually make it out. After a few minutes he then decided to continue going forward. Just until they were certain of their situation. They had marks and an infinite light source. With that the Typhlosion nodded to his brother and they both continued their trek down the stony cavern.
Zi-Zi's Journey - Lindsey Stirling
Kallet "Dauntless" Galliger
Kallet gingerly placed the last Voltorb in a cranny in the arch above the gates, a last gambit in case the enemy was flooding the city too greatly. That'll be a nasty surprise when their leaders come through. A smirk ran across his face as he thought about the mass destruction his mines would cause. All of the mines on the ground would go off when a Stygian rebel came running through the streets hollering like mad men. It would startle them well enough to set the Electrodes and Voltorbs off. Those stored in convenient places, like upper floors of buildings, would have to be thrown to go off. That's where Dauntless would come in. He had taken the authority to make himself the official "Mine Thrower." He would jump and swing between buildings to chuck the Ball pokemon at whoever he damn-well pleased. He may have not had a very good accuracy in math, but his throwing skills were among the best.
As Kallet dropped to the ground, a young Aipom came running up to him, almost like he was in a hurry. "Sir! A package for you!" He held out his tail to show a strange looking box. "Another Goldie...Prankster I believe, said to give this to you."
Oh...Delightful. A gift from Prankster. A smirk spread across his face as he began to ponder what was inside it. "Thank you, my man." He took the box using his actual arms, patting the Aipom on the back using one of his tails. "Good job. Hey, can you do a job for me?"
"What's that, Mister Dauntless?" The Aipom looked perplexed.
"I want you to climb up there," Kallet gestured to the Voltorb he had hidden up in the corner, "And throw it down below if the enemy comes pouring in to quickly. You should be fine as long as you duck into a corner. If you feel it's not safe enough, I could always move it on top of the wall. It may, or may not, bring down the gateway."
The Aipom looked a bit concerned about the request. "Do you really think that's a good idea? It could take a long time to repair the wall!"
Kallet grinned. "Small chance it will. These babies are made of tristanite. I'm no genius, but it'll take the wrath of Arceus himself to bring those walls down."
The Aipom, now more sure of himself, started to smile. "Aye, I think I could do that."
"Good man." Dauntless gave a reassuring nod. "What's your name, soldier?"
"Ajax, Mister Dauntless."
"Call me Kallet, Ajax." A look of surprise came across the Aipom's face. "Find me after the battle...If we survive that is. Drinks on me." The Ambipom grinned, turned around, and began to probe the streets for any faults in his mine layout. Convinced his work was complete, he climbed up to the first mine. He placed the box Prankster had sent him beside him and drifted off into sleep. Surely the battle would wake him.
Sir Lucius Noble, The Blue Baron
Noble nodded in agreement. Everyone was to play their part in the coming battle, he knew that. And though he felt the best course was to run, he was bound to the will of the Gold Tribe.
One hour passed...
Lucius made rounds to all the Cannons. It was not that he didn't trust the shielding they had been given, but thought they needed just a little extra insurance. At each barrier, Lucius gently applied a well hidden trap. For anyone who tried to take down the shield, a triggered Hex was waiting for them. Not strong enough to kill, but certainly strong enough to hurt.
"What are you doing...?" Asked a curious soldier, as he was finishing up.
"Just making sure you're as protected as possible, my good sir. Just leave it at that." The half threat shook the soldier as Lucius left. Looking down, he spotted the pair of Meowstic as they parted ways. Lucius, rather than waste time, decided to float down to ground level this one time. After all, they would have time for leisurely transportation after the war was won.
"Jacob, I've found you!" Lucius shouted down at him. "I have that gift for you!"
Landing with the grace of an Aromatisse, Lucius began to dig around in his bag. He was careful to hide it's contents from the eyes of the young Meowstic, for fear of exposing his secrets. "Aha!" He produced a small, woven tube from the bag, and handed it to Jacob. "This is called a finger trap. I've heard that the makers of these actually live outside the great barrier. But that's just a story. Anyway take it and be careful not to get caught in it yourself. I figure you may be able to put it to better use than me." Lucius chuckled. "After all, I've got no fingers!"
Aecron "Cowboy" Everhold
Aecron had followed the new blood to the skysaber, and had his friends Malvin “Tunnel Pig” swinub and Galith “Raider” Bisharp. He was curious to see what remained of his precious fleet. The years he had put into those ships were years now destroyed. He looked upon the battered ship and sighed.
“So this is what’s left.” Aecron looked down, “Then let’s get her in shape.”
Galith and Malvin went into the ship to give them ship a once over. Aecron remained outside checking one of the rudders that had major damage to it. He grabbed some tools and began to fiddle with the parts until he had broken it apart completely. From there he inspected each piece discarding those too broken for mending, but he kept them piled up for melting down into new parts. In times like this there was no use for waste. He assembled the rudder to near perfect condition then went up to the helm to test it. On the way he found Malvin who he sent to watch the rudder while he turned the wheel. With an A-OK from Malvin Aecron went on to do other repairs.
All the while his thoughts were on the pokemon he didn’t see around the ship. He wanted to ask where they were, but he knew where the majority of the crew had gone. One of his dearest friends, a samurott named Torok “White Blade” Hybal was out on those ships. The man had joined just before Aecron. They trained together, and Torok became more like a real brother than ones in arms alone. Bitterness was growing in Aecron. If he had been there maybe more would have lived. He could have gotten more ships out and need be would have traded his own life to save another ship.
“This time. This time they’ll have to deal with me. They’ll have to deal with the consequences of their crimes. Aecron growled his face dark as he remembered Torok’s face.
He went off to find the new captain. When he did so he introduced himself,
“Aecron ‘Cowboy Everhold. Mechanic, Artillery, Pilot, and Vangaurd of the gold tribe. Permission to join your crew?”
The hearth always feels warmer after long absence.
It's good to be back.
EarthquakeHe stepped out his tent and stopped, staring at Asaito who was balancing on one foot by the entrance of the royal tent. He was a slender, agile, shady-looking Greninja who was famed for his mastery of the Water Shuriken technique. The Greninja's movements did nothing to conceal his pride in an otherwise subtle and humble demeanor. Asaito was anything but humble in lord's hearing. He'd claimed his killing streak in the Mark was higher than Romulus's in front of Chantalai, who chose to believe him. That had gotten the Haxorus seething with silent fury, and he was on the verge of challenging him to a duel to prove he was only as good as dead meat when facing someone like Romulus.
Romulus woke to the gentle sound of a flute playing, a glorious melody coming to his tent from somewhere outside. His eyes were already wide open and full of furor, as if he wasn't sleeping moments ago. He'd made it his habit to sleep while standing up in the middle of the room, so the slightest sound would wake him up; a surprise attack on their camp wouldn't ever find him sleeping. The Haxorus was staring at the entrance of the tent, but he did not make a move for it yet. I will strangle that man one day, he vowed, grinding his teeth hard. It was Asaito again, playing his goddamn flute. Lady Alucianna had found his preludes so soothing and exhilarating, she had commanded him to play every song he knew. Asaito is a warrior, little lady, not a musician, Romulus had said, but his words fell on deaf ears. If the Lady wanted something, she would get it no matter what. It didn't matter if Asaito was a warrior or a musician, he would play the flute for the sake of annoying Romulus all the same.
The Greninja smiled calmly at him, putting down his flute, still balancing on one foot like a fool. There was a hint of mischief in his eyes. "Cute flute," Romulus rasped, his words stumbling on his teeth. "What are you pretending to be? The lady's fool?"
Asaito spread his arms, smiling. "I'll be whatever my lady requires me to be. And what are you pretending to be, Romulus?"
Romulus, disturbed, shifted his mouth, as if he was chewing on something that was hard to swallow. "I do not need to pretend. And if you wake me up again, I'll choke you with that scarf you fancy so much."
"So you are resorting to threats... since you don't dare go any further."
Romulus took two sudden steps towards him with all his speed and the Greninja lost his smile, dropped his flute and slipped in his battle stance, realizing he was about to be attacked. The Haxorus stopped as suddenly as he'd advanced, when he heard a voice from the nearby tents.
"You two, get inside."
The tent was dark and thick with smoke that made Romulus's nose twitch. On each of the corners of the tent, there was one bowl with ashes that were still smoking. There were two candles on the table, shedding what little light they could around. Lord Chantalai was crouched on his red, velvet chair, his massive black mane falling from the back of his chair to the floor. His wooden cane rested against the chair, its rubies reflecting the sunlight outside the tent. The light of the candles made the silver hair on Chantalai's head shine dully. Looking at his face, Romulus could tell he was angry.
The two warriors stood in front of their lord, bowing their heads in respect. The lord inspected them with his mismatched eyes, having his arms crossed. "I will say this once. There will be no fighting between you two," he said, though it was more of a statement. Romulus made sure to meet his eyes, lest the lord think he was weak and therefore untrustworthy. And that moment was harder than killing.
The Zoroark raised his eyebrows, tilting his head slightly as if to point his ear to their direction, waiting for their response. "Yes," Asaito said carefully. "No fighting." At least he handled that well, Romulus thought with contempt. He nodded to show his agreement.
"Asaito, you're in the vanguard with the Tocan," Chantalai informed Asaito without preamble. The Greninja probably inflated with pride, but he hid it well.
Instead, he bowed deeply and said, "that would honor me greatly."
Chantalai bared his fangs in what seemed to be a smile, but it wasn't. He didn't care for Asaito's pride, only his usefulness, Romulus figured. He slowly turned to Romulus, who was breathing heavily from all the smoke. "And you will find the commander of the fleet."
"What should I do with him?" Romulus asked grimly. So he wasn't to be in the vanguard?
"He should have a ship ready for you. Board it and wait for orders."
The Haxorus stood unmoving at first, and Chantalai was still staring at him intently. He's waiting for me to question his orders. Instead, Romulus bowed his head and said, "as you command."
Lord Chantalai nodded curtly. "You're dismissed," he said, between his teeth.
Romulus made sure to exit the tent before Asaito, as not to seem like the sluggish one. Much to his dismay, the Greninja followed him down the valley, to join the troops of the vanguard no doubt. Of the three areas of the camp, they were in the area where the Vanir had settled down; their tents were either black, or grey, and they outnumbered the Tocan and Shukahen. Smoke was coming out of all the tents, many thick streams of grey that joined in the sky, shrouding the camp in a cloud of smoke that concealed it from sight. The grey dust on the ground, combined with the smoke and the clouds made it impossible for the camp to be seen from a great distance. It was one of Lord Chantalai's tactics, luring the enemy into the Grey Waste, where he could mislead them with the smoke and unleash a stunning strike from absolute cover.
It was hard for Romulus to see the main road, let alone breathe. Some soldiers saw him walk past, they looked at each other, but they didn't whisper anything like before. Some of them held the Gold Tribe in great contempt, and Romulus was forever stained as one of them in their eyes. Once, before the Mark, a bunch of Vanir soldiers had mocked him for his broken vows and questionable loyalty, so Romulus broke their bones to send a message. When he was brought in front of Lord Chantalai for his crime, the lord let him go. "Hang those fools," the lord had said, pleased that the Haxorus had forsaken his old, peaceful ways. "Romulus ought to have killed them." Chantalai could spare some warriors for Romulus, and he would spare Asaito, too, but his usefulness kept him alive... Romulus was sure of that.
"I wonder," Asaito said suddenly, "will you go running back to Garland as soon as the battle starts?"
"I will," Romulus agreed. "... to cut his head off."
The Greninja laughed. "Not if I get to him first."
Romulus exhaled with his teeth grit together. If he was forced to listen to this fool a minute more, he would have to kill him in his sleep. But nothing would really give him more pleasure than killing him in single combat. He stopped put and turned to look at the Greninja for the first time ever since he was about to attack him. "Pay attention, little man," he whispered menacingly, "if I catch you near Garland, I'll make sure you become a messy casualty of war."
Asaito cocked his eyebrow. "Another threat, 'big man'? I thought you were a man of action, rather than just words."
"No threat. Only a promise." He placed one claw on top of the Greninja's head, who remained on the spot, defiant. The pressure on his head was enough to get the message across. That was Romulus's way of sealing a promise.
After that, Romulus walked his own way to where the fleet had docked, just out the camp. There were a series of zeppelin landed on a stable, straight part of the grey wasteland. The fleet had to be, ten ships in total. Not too many... in fact, less than Romulus remembered there were. He walked through the main path, glancing from left to right; he found the flagship, a great ship named Pestilence, which was called also Fat Fussock by its engineers for its poor maneuverability. Romulus saw her captain, an old Braviary, shouting something at the engineers aboard the ship. They hurried to do as he commanded.
The elder Braviary noticed the Haxorus approaching and gave him a hard eye. "You're Romulus, aye? That spot on your neck marks you."
Romulus looked down his shoulder, at the base of his arm. "A battle scar, nothing more. And you are?"
"Fleet Commander Jonathan, under the command of all the true lords of Stygia."
"We were told of your coming," the Braviary begun saying, but Romulus interrupted him.
"I see ten ships. The fleet had more than thirty."
"They've gone south to help Lord Teneth on the southern front... after command given by Lord Chantalai. I don't know what he's thinking, but he says we won't be needing them here." The Braviary looked troubled for a second. "Weren't you in the war meeting?"
"That's no place for me. I do as I am bid, and nothing more."
Jonathan threw him an examining look with his sharp, yellow eyes. "You're a good soldier... but a bit of a heavy one."
Before Romulus could say a thing, a certain somebody showed aboard the Pestilence. It was a rare Pokemon, a Meloetta who was almost small enough to fit in his hand and fragile enough to be broken by it. "There's little harm in being heavy," she said, "it's not like your fussock can go any slower."
The Braviary cried out his laughter. "That's true, miss Vendra, she's always been slow."
Vendra was that mysterious woman - or rather, teenage girl - who performed the Ritual of War for the tribes. Romulus had first seen her nine years ago, before the first Stygian rebellion; she'd come to Lord Chantalai while Romulus was protecting him as part of his standard ECUL training program. He hadn't heard what was said between them; the next day, he was dismissed and returned to Union City. A few days later, hell broke loose when news reached the south: two of the tribes, Vanir and Tocan, had performed the Ritual of War, and the recent death of the leader of the Shukahen served as a trigger for the war. The rebellion failed, and she was nowhere to be found; Chantalai or the other lords did not speak of her again and Romulus returned to his duties as a personal household guard, after graduating. Nine years later, she shows up and brings war, the same stuff all over again.
Romulus never trusted her, because he didn't know who she was, and she didn't trust him, probably because he had the stain of Gold Tribe on him. But the thing that bothered him about Vendra most was that she hadn't aged at all after nine years.
"Earthquake," Vendra called him out, "why are you here?" She'd jumped off the ship to fly in front of him, at the same level as his eyes.
"Lord Chantalai's commands."
Her big, green eyes glowed strangely. Romulus saw cunning in there, and he didn't like it one bit. "Is that so?" she asked with a smile of amusement on her delicate face.
Just then, the horn of war sounded. It was a deep sound, resonating oddly in the extent of the Grey Waste.
"A'ight boys, time for war," Fleet Commander Jonathan chirped and flew over to Pestilence. "Sorry miss Vendra, but I'm gonna have to ask you to go. We're lifting off soon."
Vendra and Romulus locked eyes. He showed her his teeth, not in a smile, but in a smirk. In the end, she turned and floated away. "Good luck up there," she giggled.
Romulus wasn't used to flying. The ground was his ally. The wooden deck of a ship was more like his enemy, bound to break under him. He was so heavy, he thought the wood was going to yield under his feet and he'd fall to his death. He cursed loudly as the wind swept through the deck, Pestilence diving from one cloud to the next. Heights didn't bother him, it was ships that were untrustworthy. He'd be better off in the vanguard, smashing some things up properly.
Alamagna wasn't far. As soon as the ship escaped the clouds, the city showed. It was closer than Romulus had thought. Below Pestilence, the horn of war sounded, multiple times as the hordes of the Stygians marching through the grey wastes to the walls of the city. The army was vast, though not as endless as it had been in the Mark; many had been killed, many had been ordered to retreat. Apparently the lords did not think the full might of their tribes was needed to conquer the city. Romulus thought they were underestimating the ones guarding that city. Still, the amount of soldiers amassed below the ships were indeed great. They outnumbered the defenders tremendously.
The armies marched up to a point, then a psychically enhanced voice commanded them to halt. It was a metallic, skin-stirring voice that belonged to no other than Chantalai, who used his powers of illusion to alter it. Even with the wind, Romulus could hear him up here. The banners of Stygia flapped as the wind struck them. The clouds brought dust back and forth, covering the horizons, but not the sky. Visibility was surprisingly clear. The defenders on the walls could see the strength of three combined tribes in all of its immensity, halted just outside their range of fire. Then, Chantalai spoke again. "Let them see," he said, only. Silence had fallen, only the wind to be heard.
Then, the horn of war roared again. Many other roars joined the sound. The armies charged forward, the attack on the walls had begun. Romulus scratched the black spot on his shoulder, his eyes fixed on the blue figure running swiftly to be the first one in the walls. The Greninja was fast, Romulus knew that already. It seemed like Asaito would be the first one through.
The airships didn't move, their engines shut down. The crew had their attention at the top of the battlements, Romulus realized. The Hyper Beam cannons made it impossible for them to approach by air. If they did, they would be destroyed in a matter of seconds. Romulus put one foot on the edge of the airship, leaning his long neck forward to scan the situation.
The three tribes clashed with the walls, some throwing attacks at them, trying out if that would work. Some begun to climb using their feet, others using ladders. The flying-types were all held back with the fleet... they would be unleashed once Jonathan gave the green signal. The Hyper Beam cannons worked their magic, releasing those blindly flashing beams that laid annihilation and carnage below. They were extremely destructive, but their range wasn't large enough. And the tribes were attacking in a thin line, forming a spear of sorts, so not many of the cannons reached them at first. Romulus watched carefully Asaito, climbing the walls with incredible dexterity and speed. He landed on top of the battlements, where he was met by the defenders. The walls made it impossible for him to see what happened next.
The Haxorus cracked his knuckles, watching the attackers gather to the trench, below the walls, some attacking the gate. Explosions went up, flames licked the wall, streams of war struck, lightning came down from the sky and some hyper beams were shot by the Pokemon at the base of the walls in an attempt to destroy them, with little luck. The walls were too thick and well-made for that. They would need to improvise to get through.
OOC: the siege has started! Asaito is the first one up the battlements. If any of you want to fight him, let's make a joint post! Those of you who are with Skysaber currently, wait a bit for the end of the first phase.
Punisher - Defending da cannons… unenthusiastically
The Machamp couldn't help but pace after a while, grumbling as he realized how boring a task this was going to be. There were no enemies here and despite his great thought of perhaps a few enemies making it over the walls, he realized that his other brothers and sisters had different ideas. They were along the walls, protecting them as best as they could. No doubt any warriors would be easily kicked off and he would be left without any chance to charge in! Of course he was here at a cannon now… but at the same time if he could make it out of the walls and onto the other side he would be able to wreck true havoc amid the enemy's numbers. Now… the question was how could he get there without just abandoning his post?
The Charmeleon at the cannons was far from bored and looked a bit frightened. Punisher was far from a smooth talker, so he mostly just paced and ignored the fire type as best as he could. With those shields the siblings had set up there was no doubt that the cannons would be far from destroyed, rather they could easily kill off any ships that would make it here. On the plus at least if any birds tried to get down to him the canon could shoot them out of the sky.
Once he heard the sounds he couldn't help but smile. He flexed his four arms eagerly as he saw in the distance the army coming right at them. Perfect! They were now able to fight! He couldn't help but giggle in glee as the Charmeleon armed the canon and began to fire out. Punisher saw that there were way too many bodies out there for the canons to take them all out, meaning he would have his chance at punching in a few faces! He soon saw a Greninja hop out onto the wall and move along it quickly. He clenched his muscles in anticipation, knowing he was probably the best bet to bring down the dark type, yet he was stuck HERE and not there! Oh, he so wanted to get onto the wall now!
He glanced back at the Charmeleon gunner and sighed, his lower arms crossing themselves angrily as he could only wait. Once the army surged in he would have his chance at beating them to the ground. He couldn't see Garland around at the moment, so he figured he had run into those caves. Heh, at least he would go down fighting! He began to brace himself as he clenched his muscles, taking in a deep breath as he focused for a bit. There! His eyes snapped open once more as he began to think a bit more. He reached into his bag and grabbed out a oran berry. At the least he could provide a bit of support to anyone on the wall by throwing berries at them… like that would matter. If anything else he could grab random objects and fling them out at his opponents.
Noah Endris ~ The Flash & Thrasher
-Alamagna Mines- Back to Square One...
As the two 'mon continued to press on, eventually something became audible as they went deeper. However, it wasn't what the aqueduct they were searching for. Pebbles and debris fell from the ceiling as the earth trembled above them. The Flash at first fearing a fatal cave in, realized that the siege above them in Alamagna was underway. "What a battle", Noah said to the Primeape. "The vibrations can even be felt down here. You think our brothers will be able to hold their own?"
Thrasher thought for a moment, "On the one hand... we could return upside and help with the battle... on the other if we abandon our mission to find the exit... then we will only aid in their downfall. Eventually they will need to retreat or face death. "If we cannot find the aqueducts... then we will have failed in our own mission and only more will perish. It is up to you brother, should we head back up and fight for a few minutes and perish along with everyone? Or should we try and find the route that will save our brothers and sisters?"
The Typhlosion sighed. I appreciate your optimism, he thought sarcastically. Looking back up to the cave ceiling, he shakes his head. "No, no we have a goal in mind and that is to reach the aqueducts. Now that we at least know which path we took, I suggest we head back to where the tunnels began to diverge and choose a different path."
Thrasher nodded, "Right. We must be also prepared for anything though. It could be that the tunnels behind us could be filled with Stygian soldiers. In that case we'll need to find the aqueducts. If that does happen... we'll have to head through the aqueducts and lose the soldiers in the city. In that case we'll have to find someway to hide our symbols to make sure that we can even hide from civilians. In such a scenario we will meet outside the city gates. That's only IF such a scenario happens. In any other case let's find those aqueducts and help get as many of our brothers and sisters out of harm's way."
The Flash nodded in agreement. They hastily backtracked their way through the marked tunnels. It took much less time going back due to both 'mon not bothering to slow their pace. Noah took a citrus berry from the pouch around his waist and offers one to Thrasher. "To keep your energy up." As they approached the original three tunnels at the beginning of the mine they were careful to make stealth a priority just in case Stygians had found the cave-mouth. Once all seemed clear, they observed the remaining two paths. One lead to the aqueducts and the other could probably lead to the Grey Wastes for all they knew. "Let's take the central path this time. I hope it'll yield more promising results". He shifted his gaze to Thrasher for his approval.
Thrasher licked the remaining berry juice from his lips and nodded, "Let's. Also we should observe our surrounding while we move this time. If any Stygians do come after us we will already know where weak points in the caves are, that way we could cause a tunnel collapse if we get desperate. But lead on brother."
The duo set off once more into the mines, this time down the path that neither they or their comrades had taken. The explosive sound of the siege slowly began to fade behind them and was gradually replaced by the hollow echo tunnel itself.
Zi-Zi's Journey - Lindsey Stirling
Tavhir and Garland - The Escape Route
"Let's go this way," Tavhir said towards Garland, taking the opposite path that Flash and Thrasher had taken. He approached one of the walls, feeling the surface of the rock against his bladed hand. Taking a step back, he drew his arms back and swung them violently forward in a Metal Claw attack, making a large, distinct X mark on the wall should they need to find their way back. "In case we get lost."
"Good thinking," Garland muttered, glancing briefly at the Pawniard as he walked down the dark path. The moisture in the air was getting thicker and the air thinner. Garland could feel it, they were getting close to that spot he had once known so well.
"I feel like I owe an apology to everyone," the Floatzel said, his voice trembling a bit. "Let me start with you... I'm sorry things did not turn out as expected in the Mark. So many deaths... if it is anyone's fault, it's mine." He couldn't bear to look at the Pawniard walking next to him.
"Don't dwell on it too heavily," Tavhir responded, thinking of the attack on the Mark. "What's done is done. We will avenge our Gold Tribe bretheren and put this rebellion down. Their sacrifice will not have been in vain." Tavhir said with confidence, though there was also a small amount of what sounded like vengeful anger in his tone as well. He kept his pace, stopping every few feet to make another mark on the stone walls.
Willful lad, Garland thought, and said, "the factor of confidence and morale is important in a battle, I suppose." He would try, for once, being optimistic. "The escape route we're searching for is what keeps us all comfort... let's do our best finding it."
There was a pleasant scent to be found in the wetness of the air, the farther down the caves they reached. The aroma was soothing for Garland, strangely and unexpectedly, even though the memories from this place weren't the best. He knew it was coming from those white night-flowers that grew on the walls of the depths of this cave, blooming when it was night...
As they walked in silence, the dark passage started to seem familiar. Garland was now convinced he had walked this path before. Many signs were there: the scent, the humidity in the air, the distant sound of traveling water. The rest of the way was now clear. The Floatzel got on his four and started running.
Garland ran straight past Tavhir, the latter running after the Floatzel. He had abandoned marking the walls; they appeared to have found the right path. He chased after Garland, running surprisingly quick despite his small size.
"I assume we're going the right way?" Tavhir called out to Garland as they continued to run down the path.
"I suppose," Garland shouted. He hoped the old aqueduct was still accessible. The waterway was one landfall away from becoming blocked off and unusable. If anything of the sort had happened down here in the past years, they were all doomed.
The path was widening, a lush, green light was coming above. The river was roaring under the natural bridge the rocks were forming. Grass grew on the wet walls and those white nightflowers bloomed in thick patches. The sound of running water resonated radiantly in the cave; a waterfall was crushing down from somewhere above. Garland tried looking up until his head pushed his back, but he couldn't see the ceiling of the cave. The light coming from above was the sun, coming as rays through openings in the rock above. Green light was also mixed in there, for a reason that eluded his understanding.
A wave of freshness and pleasant aroma hit Garland's face the moment he walked across that bridge. This place was an underground heaven - and an excellent resting place. Clearly, he recalled himself and his sister, Ariadne, easing up close to the river and brainstorming on battle tactics, trying to figure out how to thwart the Stygian opposition, during the first rebellion. He stopped walking, kneeled on the ground and picked up one of these nightflowers. It was so fragile, it melted in his hand... raising his eyes, he saw the rock with the familiar symbol. E-88.
Past that rock were stones once polished well and placed in order. The aqueduct connected to the river, but some fallen rocks prevented water from getting into it. The waterway led to a massive opening in the cave's wall, the start of the pipe that led to Ascanfell, where moss had overgrown terribly, covering the ground, the wall and hanging from the ceiling. The depths of the waterway's pipe were dark, but the sun managed to reach just below the opening... Garland's eye caught something peculiar. He walked over there, to make sure his eyes weren't deceiving him.
"Snow," he said out loud, touching it. His heart beat faster as he looked at it, his mind working feverishly. There was no way snow reached naturally here. Snow hadn't fallen for weeks. And it wasn't that cold down here, so it could not have formed on its own. When he took a closer inspection, he realized the snow was quickly melting. He looked within the pipe's darkness, as far as his eyes could possibly see. There was snow all over the floor, and it was melting quickly.
He gestured to Tavhir, without looking at him. "Somebody is down here," he whispered.
Tavhir's expression turned serious, taking notice of the unnatural presence of snow in these caves. Garland was correct; they were not alone down here. Whether this person was still in the room was unknown. Tavhir shifted his stance slightly, not an overt combat stance, but one where he could easily spring into action if need be.
"Friend or foe?" he whispered back to Garland, mentally preparing himself for the worst. They could have walked right into an ambush for all he knew.
"Foe," Garland muttered, feeling the blood pump through his limbs. His ears were occupied with the sound of the crushing waterfall and the river, but now that he was getting over it, he could hear something else from the darkness of the pipe. It was a constant, shrieky metallic sound that echoed one the walls. Garland felt his hackles rise, knowing that whatever it was, it was coming. He braced himself... in the light came a floating ring of steel. Many keys were hanging from it, creating that metallic sound as they touched together. A Klefki, Garland knew.
Just then, something stirred in the shadows next to the pipe. The Floatzel managed to see a pair of yellow eyes, before the thing lunged at him. He sidestepped, water forming in his hand as he prepared to strike back. The thing was a Ferrothorn with nasty spikes and a mean stare. "Problem!" it shouted, "you are problem!"
"The Stygians," Garland cursed. They had found the place through the caves, surely.
"Good," the Klefki said softly, "I see we've found their leader!"
Garland jerked behind him, to see a ghost floating behind Tavhir. It was a Chandelure, its mauve flames whirling with the breeze.
Tavhir saw the alarm in Garland's eyes as he turned to face behind him. Tavhir knew almost instantly that someone must have snuck behind him. In one swift motion, Tavhir spun around, delivering a Night Slash attack to whomever was foolish enough to sneak up on him. The Chandelure reacted quickly, dodging to the side and just barely avoiding the attack as it floated back, away from Tavhir.
"Cover your ears!" Tavhir shouted to Garland, the Pawniard crossing his bladed hands together and scraping them against each-other to create a terrible noise like grinding metal: Metal Sound.
The Chandelure recoiled from the noise, growing more hostile and retaliating with a powerful flamethrower attack, the spiraling flames rapidly flowing towards the Pawniard. Garland leaped above Tavhir, right into the stream of flames. He blocked the stream, letting the wild flames lick his fur, grunting with the force he had to withstand. The water floating on his hand burst, and suddenly, a whirl of water engulfed the whole of him. The flames fought the water, and steam rose, but they were quickly overwhelmed; Garland shot through the flames like a bullet towards his opponent. The whirl of water smashed at the ghost, who screamed and swerved abruptly, floating away.
The Klefki launched a blast and the Floatzel was forced to leap aside to dodge it; he rolled, the power of the winds gathered into his hands. He saw the Ferrothorn had begun a cruel advance, its long, vine-like appendages acting as weapons for smashing. "Remember your training," Garland shouted to Tavhir.
Tavhir dodged the blast launched by the Kelfki, jumping in the opposite direction of Garland. Regaining his bearings, he looked up to see the Ferrothorn approaching, smashing the ground with his approach as he let out a sadistic laugh.
Tavhir stood his ground, dropping down into a battle stance once more as he scanned the Ferrothorn, waiting for a opening. Once the Ferrothorn was within distance, it raised one of it's maces, intending to crush the Pawniard in one swift motion. Tavhir sprung forward, launching himself with tremendous speed towards the Ferrothorn, letting loose a powerful sucker punch attack at the Ferrothorn's face. The Ferrothorn fell back from the pain, his attack abruptly ended before it could land. The thorn pod fell to the ground momentarily, and Tavhir took advantage of it, landing on top of Ferrothorn's head and using it as a booster to launch himself again, this time aiming for the Klefki. The Pawniard readied himself as he flew towards the Klefki, steadying his blades for a metal claw attack. The Klefki swerved in mid-air, just narrowly avoiding the metal claw. Tavhir cursed to himself; he had to be quicker next time. He landed with a roll next to Garland, seeing that the Ferrothorn had recovered from his earlier attack, once again approaching the two with malicious intent.
Garland unleashed the Razor Wind, which cut through the Ferrothorn with little effect and reached the Klefki behind it. The Floatzel was coated in water already, puddles forming around his feet. The water was soon rising up in a wave aimed at the Ferrothorn. However, Garland didn't manage to finish his attack. There was a scream coming from above, where the light was coming from. Garland glanced to see a shadow, something huge was falling towards him; in the very last second, he managed to leap away before the thing crushed with the disgusting sound of a bag of liquids being broken.
The Floatzel was met with a Garbodor, who roared, "I needed to see what took you guys sooo long!" He didn't close his mouth. Instead, he unleashed a Gunk Shot directly at Garland. There are more of them, and they're not just amateurs, he thought furiously, the Gunk Shot slipping past him as he sidestepped with incredible speed, but he screamed of pain the next instant. He'd stepped on a Poison Spike that the Garbodor had spread with its arrival. He blinked, pushing himself off the ground, baring his fangs in pain; the Ferrothorn came at him quickly and this time, he couldn't dodge. He took a direct hit to the chest with the spiked vines, which send him flying and rolling onto the rocky wall of the cave.
"Garland!" Tavhir shouted, seeing his comrade blasted back by the Ferrothorn. He turned again towards his attackers, the Chandelure once again appearing behind the rest of his Stygian friends; there were four of them now, all of them facing towards Tavhir with a vicious grin.
"One down... one to go!" The Klefki said with a grin, laughing maniacally at the Pawniard.
"Your leader is no more," the Ferrothorn shouted, "and you're next. Prepare to die!"
"You forget, Doctor. I'm the one who asks the riddles..."
Through his spyglass, he could see the battle as if he was there. The battlements were riddled with Stygians, charging into fight and clashing with the defenders. The sounds of the blasts, mingled with the cries for victory and screams of pain reached all the way over to the Dock Rock. "Order. Entropy. Order! Entropy!" gibbered Skysaber. "It really is interesting. Frank! Do you see? Everything falls into place in a matter of seconds, then it suddenly is restored to its former place." At one moment, he could see everything clearly. Who was about to kill whom. The next moment, everything became chaos. He put the spyglass down, leaned on one knee that was based on the rail and chewed on his gum loudly. Two Magnemites were buzzing loudly on the rail next to his foot.
The Kadabra blinked. "I've no idea what you're talking about." That happened quite often. Zack reached out to pet his Magnemites, who zapped him with a weak jolt of electricity that was absorbed by his fur. Those were mindless Magnemites, wild Pokemon as some called it, but Zack preferred to call them living artillery, because the projectiles that did most damage were the living ones. It was his idea to include Magnemites to the Storm's Fury's arsenal, and it had saved them when running away. The little guys could do wonders.
"The clouds are coming." Nik was a Castform, the weather-boy of the crew who it seemed always had one eye in the sky, or so Zack thought. "Captain, we had better set off in the clouds. That way, they won't see us coming."
"We're one airship against..."he looked through his spyglass again. In the horizon, he saw the Stygian fleet floating idle. "Many. More than ten. Doesn't matter, they're more than us, and they know we're here, so the element of surprise is not considerable."
"The bigger guns we got sure are considerable," smiled the Kadabra, snatching the spyglass off Zack's hands. He looked to the horizon. "Those ships are old generation. If we handle this correctly, victory won't be impossible."
Yeah, that seems to be the case. "Oookay-dokey... round up, boys," he shouted, especially to Aecron, who had recently joined their crew. "Aecron ‘Cowboy Everhold. Mechanic, Artillery, Pilot, and Vangaurd of the gold tribe. Permission to join your crew?" The Chestnaught had asked. Hell yea!Skysaber was pleased with the new addition. They could fit that guy in Donna, the cannon fixed on the mouth of the Gyarados figurehead of the ship, then shoot him off to blast some enemies to smithereens. Plus, he seemed experienced. The equation of the impending sky battle was starting to tip to their favor in Skysaber's mind... the fact that they were massively outnumbered didn't matter to him, like he mentioned before. The escape from the Mark seemed to have given him confidence in his skills as a captain, but it wasn't only that that made him chew his gum with open mouth, grinning widely without a care in the world. Now that he was the captain, he called the shots... literally, as it happened. And this time, he had something that he could not possibly have before: a plan that he personally devised on his own.
The Electabuzz took his foot off the ship's rail and reached for a great barbed iron spear next to him; it was so heavy he could barely lift it, but the heavier, the worse the damage was. "Expertly designed, properly forged. The tip oughta pierce through anything but tristanite." His crew had gathered around, listening. "Take a look at their ships--" he turned to the grey horizon. "Oh. They're too far away... at any rate. They're always shielded with protective and most of the time reflective barriers that ward off ranged attacks that could otherwise prove harmful to their regularity, even to the point of utter destruction. Yeah, they're shielded at all times. What kind of moron sets out for a sky battle without shields?" He chuckled dorkishly, then cleared his throat. He raised the iron spear so everyone could see it. "This is no normal ranged attack. It might be a projectile, but it's still solid iron that can't be held back by mere psychic power. It'll shoot right through their barriers. I found it in the Citadel's armory, it was used by the old cannons before the Hyper Beam cannons were invented. But here's the best part: if I do this..."
The electricity stored in his fur showed, flew from his arm, traveling all the way up to his hand. The two Magnemites followed the surge, attracted to the iron, until they stuck to its tip. Zack grinned at them. Sparks flew around wildly. He took the end of the harpoon and attached it a cannon's chain, then armed it in. "Now this, I call revolutionary weaponry. Aimed right, this should anchor us to the enemy ship, and me and the rest of my Magnemite friends here can pump some electricity through the chain, channeling it to the other end, where the harpoon is. Great range, shoots through the barrier, the additional surge of electricity causes gradual but quick ignition, it melts the Magnemites on the tip of the spear, they go crazy and boom!" The Electabuzz raised his arms as a visual representation of the explosion. "Fire, everywhere. If the wood around them doesn't burn, then the heat will cause the Flogistron gas is their balloons to become thinner and thinner, till they explode and let the ships fall like rocks. Heh! Fatal damage done from the inside, all in one shot."
"Woah..." Nik was overtaken by the concept. "You're a genius, Zack!"
Zack rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. "Well, nah..."
"All we need now is somebody with good aim," Frank said.
Zack quieted down, looked at Frank, who looked at him back. Nik was looking at him too. "What! Don't look at me. I came up with the thing, now somebody has to help it get home. Well, I handle the machines and Flogistron. Everybody's got a role in here. Pyro! What's yours gonna be?"
Frank had brought the Meowstic to their ship through teleportation. He hadn't seen her in action, but her title hinted her abilities. Perhaps she could use a fire-type Hidden Power. Pyro was also the brother of the second-in-command, so her dependability was secured in Zack's mind, as that had to count for something.
"And you, Cowboy," Zack turned to the Chestnaught, "I've heard of that dive bomb of yours. We can fly above those ships or we can load ya to Donna and shoot you off wherever. Heh. Your choice."
Thrasher, Tahvir, and Flash: Three GT in a cave!
Thrasher followed along as closely as he could. Every so often rocks and dirt would fall from the ceiling and hit onto the ground, sometimes dirt would fall onto his fur, but Thrasher knew it was pointless to stop and try and wipe it out. He could get clean some other time, but for now they had to keep moving. The sounds from up top were getting softer the further they went and Thrasher had to assume that there were either moving further from the battle or were going deeper into the earth. He hoped that they were actually making their way to the aqueducts.
Still, he had to wonder why these caves weren't filled with other soldiers. It wasn't like they were hidden and a great state secret. The government in the Stygian cities had to know they were here, right? Maybe they just thought the Gold Tribe would stand and fight. Either way, it was a lucky break on their side. Now, if this did lead to the Gray Wastes it wouldn't be wasted either. They were only two mon and wouldn't be worth sending hundreds of soldiers their way and if they were really lucky they would end up some distance from the battle itself. If they couldn't find the way to the aquaducts in time they could simply move out here, make their way across the wastes and try to find another cave to hide in. It would be a waste of manpower to only find a few Gold Tribe stranded out in the wastes after all.
The best option was to find the aqueducts, get up them, then scatter throughout the city. Let no one stick together and one by one find each other in some pub or such. They could wait a few weeks, and he could try and blend back into Stygian society. Hopefully they would go undetected in such a state. He cast away his thoughts and spoke up, "So, any signs of an exit yet brother?" He asked softly.
The Flash took this moment to place his ear firmly to the cave wall. It took several moments but he could faintly hear a distant trickling sound. His eyes widened with releif. "Yes! I think we are close to water. Let's just keep moving forward." The Flash eagerly led the way the next ten minutes or so until the tunnel itself began to change and the running water was clearly audible. The walls were lined with moss and greenery and the tunnel expanded outward and a luminous green light came from above rendering the Flash's flames no longer necessary. Past patches of flowers and grass was a bridge the led of the pounding stream of the aqueduct. "Well I think this is it.", he finally said to Thrasher. He took in a waft of the moist air. "I beleive Garland said he'd be here."
Thrasher sighed in relief and followed behind him. They just had to get up the aqueducts, make sure that there were no soldiers patrolling the streets, and lead the others here. It was just the need to be cautious once they arrived. The Primeape nodded, "Be careful. I'm not sure if there could be mon down here working on the sewers or the like. We can't have anyone alerted too quickly. So keep your voice low and try not to make any noise. We'll need to find a way up to the city." He suddenly paused, "Hm... you hear that?" He asked.
It took the Typhlosion a moment to adjust his ears to the sound as well, but sure enough, there was a ruckous in the distance. Both 'mon crossed the bridge carefully and soon layed eyes on a cluster of Stygian soldiers across the cave from their position. Imediately on the alert, he crouches down on all fours and takes cover behind a near boulder. "How do we get past them?!" Noah asked his companion.
Thrasher stuck to his own positions against a wall and frowned, "First off, be as quiet as you can be." He said softly. He thought again, "It's likely that there are more soldiers down here, waiting in various paths in case we would have taken them. If that's the case... then if we proceed further into the aquaducts we'll just find more soldiers and if we try to ascend there are no doubt soldiers there ready to kill us or take us hostage. Given the sheer amount of tunnels we'll need to tread carefully, but it's likely we'll be ambushed either way we go."
He looked back over at the soldiers, "In any event... it might be best for us to simply go all out. Given the noises no doubt echoing all over the caves by this point, we'll be surrounded. We'll need to make our own escape route. Tell me brother, can your fire melt through rock? If you can make some exits for us we can escape up and onto the surface. The caves are no longer safe. If we do get separated, that'll be the plan. Head to the surface as fast as possible." He sighed, "This was an ambush from the beginning. Some of our own brothers no doubt betrayed this information. Hold up." He looked closer and let out another sigh, "I see... a Pawinard... one of our brothers. Garland and him must have been ambushed here. We'll head in, fight them off long enough to retrieve our brothers, and you make an escape route for us. Agreed?"
The Flash scratched his head. "I do suppose I can melt the rock but it would take more time than we have. Especially since the area is moist. Though I do agree we should confront them now." He ignited the flames on his back. "I''ll charge in first. Come from a different angle after I blast them." Noah then leaped over the rock he had taken shelter behind and unleashed a powerful lave plume, covering the area with molten lava and scattering the Stygian troops.
Just as the Flash rose so did Thrasher. He cast a glance around, making sure there wasn't someone in the corner ready to pounce out at them. He was soon running after the lava had gone by. As he ran he opened his mouth and let out a high pitched Screech. He knew such an attack might hit his brothers, but it was a risk he had to take. If it meant weakening the Stygian soldiers here, then he was willing to take it.
Landing in the middle of the cluster of Stygians next to Garland, Flash uses Extrasensory to pick the giant weasel up and quickly places the body a safe distance from the fighting. He then called to Thrasher, "Hurry and clear them out!"
Tavhir faced down the four Stygians, defiance in his eyes as he returned their glares back at them. He was outnumbered, but damned if he didn't go down without a fight. He prepared himself for the worst, when suddenly, Flash came crashing in, unleashing a deadly lava plume and scattering the enemy. In the same moment Thrasher came in as well; the odds had turned in the Gold Tribe's favor.
Thrasher moved on in, grinning as he aimed for the Chandelure. He leapt up as his body briefly took on a black glow. He jumped on up and struck out with his fist to hit into the ghost type with his Punishment attack and soon landing back as he grinned up at the ghost, "Heh, you're going down first Stygian!" He declared.
The Flash simutaneously charged and launched a devestating Inferno at the Ferrothorn, annialating the Grass/Steel type and leaving it in a pillar of hellish flames. He then quickly dashes over to the Pawniard's side.
"Took you long enough," Tavhir said as the Flash landed to his side.
Noah grunted. "Hmph. Hardly the warm welcome I would've expected. It's not like you to be backed in a corner like this anyway."
"A minor setback," Tavhir responded, brining his hands up in a combat stance. "Come on, these fools want to die, so let's grant their wish."
"Oh, you're in big trouble," the Klefki hummed, watching the Ferrothorn struggling to get up. Its body was set ablaze and it was screaming and moaning like a madman. "Athos here is rather volatile! You could say he, well... explodes if he's enraged! Even if he gets knocked out, he'll explode. It's gonna be a big boom! And you know what that means, don't you?"
"W-what?!" Noah glanced inbetween the Klefki and the burning Ferrothorn who the former claims the latter has explosion. If explosion was used it would mean the end for them. The cave will collapse on top of them and their escape route would be reduced to rubble, rendering the entire operation pointless. The Typhlosion clenched his teeth as the Ferrothorn continued to wail in pain. Quickly dashing to the waters edge, he gathered energy and unleashed Nature Power in the form of Hydro Pump, dousing the burning pokemon. It was still concious, but burns and ash was clearly visiable across its smoking metal. "Are you insane?! You know blowing up the cavern would be the end of us all!"
"He's bluffing!" Tavhir accused the Kelfki. "Unless you rebels are as clueless as you are cowardly." Tavhir had a hard time believing them. How could lowly grunts be so devoted to a cause that'd be willing to kill themselves for their goals?
Thrasher frowned and stepped back, "So then... let me guess this straight then. We either all die down here, or you take us prisoner lest we all blow up?" He looked over at Flash and back at the Klefki, "Well you all would die in such a case, so why give up your lives so easily?" He was still guarding himself. There were only four of them, but perhaps he could get their guard down.
At the very least, they could just ignore the Ferrothorn, and he was pretty sure his attacks on the Chandelure were effective enough. Still in these close quarters he couldn't really lay down a plan with Flash or Tavhir.
"Ha! Did you think we got all the way down here, so we could be blown to pieces with you?! That's why we brought Jiggs with us!" The Klefki hummed happily, and the Chandelure's smile became creepier. That had to be Jiggs. "While you're crushed under the rocks, Jiggs here will make us transparent! Oh, look..."
"Athos's gonna explode! Woo-hoo," the Garbodor chanted. The Ferrothorn was seething and shaking, its eyes red with anger, its body hot, melting and smoking. An Explosion was brewing!
The Typhlosion quickly began to weigh his options. He wanted to make sure there were no holes in their plan. Glancing at the chandelure he made a declaration to the Stygians. "How do you plan to turn intangible when you have no ghost type?" Before anyone had the chance to respond, he gathers energy from the cave and unleashes Nature Power in the form of Power Gem, striking down the chandelure with a barrage of energized stones.
Thrasher looked over at the Ferrothorn, then an idea struck him. There was a large pool of water here too, how deep it was... he didn't know, but it was better than nothing! With that he raced forward and grabbed the Ferrothorn. "Then how about exploding like this!?" He cried out as he fought off the urge to let go of the rather hot mon. He could already feel the heat searing into his hands as he swung him faster and faster. One swing, two swings, and there! With that the Primeape cried out, mostly in relief, as he let the Ferrothorn go. He had angled it as best as he could to try and throw the Ferrothorn deep into the water, hopefully it wasn't buoyant. Still, he dived off to the side and pressed himself low to the ground, unsure as to how large such an explosion would be.
Athos the Ferrothorn had fallen into the water, sinking quickly, until he was out of sight. "No!" the Klefki screamed. The Chandelure was knocked out by the powerful strike Noah the Flash had unleashed; there was no getting them out of there, and their trump cards were disabled one after another. Garland watched from the ground as his brothers showed them what it meant to be a member of the Gold Tribe. A slight but weary smile formed on his face, and he immediately winced, clutching his bloodied chest.
The explosion went off, and it was a powerful one. It shook the waters like a small earthquake and brought dust from the rocks down upon them, but that was it. The escape route was saved. Stunned, caught by surprise from the wits of Thrasher and the ferocity of the Flash, the Stygians screamed in dismay. The Klefki tried to get away by floating away. The Garbodor's face seemed as if he'd taken a whiff of his own stench.
Garland made an effort to get on his feet, leaning on a nearby rock. "Do not kill them. Knock them out and capture them. I think a questioning is in order."
Thrasher was quick to get back up and glared at the the retreating enemies. "Tahvir, go get him!" He shouted to the Pawniard as he suddenly picked up his brother, and using his strength, threw him right at the Klefki. Tavhir straightened his body, flying like a javelin through the air, aiming directly for the Klefki as he readied another metal claw attack. Once he was within range, he flipped in midair, swinging his blades down on the Klefki with all of his might, smacking the hapless fairy-type down to the rocks below.
The flames on his shoulders burning more furiously, the Flash traps the panicking Garbodor in a Fire Pledge, the flame pillar quickly extinguishing the poison type's conciousness. Walking over to the body, he pokes the 'mon's burnt body. "Uhh, I hope I didn't overdo it..." He then turned to his brothers. "Thrasher and I will handle the prisoners. Tahvir give this to Garland so he can recover more quickly." He tosses two sitrus berries from his pouch to the Pawniard. Tavhir caught the berries, rushing over to Garland's aid.
As the two were busy with that Thrasher went over to the water's edge and put his sore hands in them, gritting his teeth a bit at the pain and pulling them out. He could deal with the pain for now, but he knew he would have to get them treated for some burns. He walked on over to the Klefki and picked him up.
Garland took the berries into his mouth, gobbling them down almost without chewing them. "My thanks. That was a job well done... it's a good thing you showed up in time, Flash, Thrasher. Let us return to the surface. I've no idea how the battle is progressing, but our help will be welcome up there."
"You forget, Doctor. I'm the one who asks the riddles..."
Jacob "Prankster" Marinos
Alamagna - The Battle Begins
"Jacob, I've found you!" Lucius shouted down at him. "I have that gift for you!"
The dark-blue Meowstic hurriedly stood up straight, erecting a Protect around himself until the Blue Baron mentioned the gift. Jacob relaxed a bit, stepping away from the traps as Lucius began rummaging through his bag. Perfect time for him to pull a trick or something. Although, the Jellicent was taking care to keep the bag's contents out of Jacob's sight. What was Lucius hiding?
When the Baron pulled out the finger trap and talked about it, Jacob couldn't help smiling a bit. "I'm sure I will," he replied, taking it gingerly at first, until he was sure it didn't have any triggers. Dropping it inside his own satchel, Jacob added, "I doubt I'll get myself caught, since I don't have any actual fingers, either."
"Traps are pretty much done," the Parasect soldier said, stopping a few feet away.
Jacob nodded. "See you around, Baron." He turned and walked away, heading back for the walls. This finger trap would need to be further examined, but since his initial look had revealed nothing hidden, he could leave it in his satchel for now. When he got to a cannon that stood above the gate to his trapped street, Jacob sat down and closed his eyes. He began focusing his mind; he'd need a Calm Mind for the coming battle.
The Watchog that manned this cannon perked up, and soon the Hyper Beams began tearing into the attacking army. Jacob opened his eyes and stood up, moving to a gap in the battlements and watching for enemy soldiers that would come up this part of the wall. Before long, the end of a ladder clacked against the wall before him; Jacob pushed it away with a Psybeam. He elevated himself into the same gap in order to actually see the enemy.
Just a few feet below him was a Grovyle. A few orbs of blue and purple energy formed around Jacob, and he fired two of the Psyshocks at the Grovyle, pushing him off the wall, and fired the last Psyshock at the same ladder, which was trying to come back. As it fell again, Jacob formed a Reflect-and-LightScreen barrier around himself, adding to the cannon's barrier as well.
Aecron, Pyro & Skysaber
"What! Don't look at me. I came up with the thing, now somebody has to help it get home. Well, I handle the machines and Flogistron. Everybody's got a role in here. Pyro! What's yours gonna be?"
Sophia turned away from staring out in the enemy's direction, looking back at the Electabuzz. "Oh. Yeah, I'm usually a ranged fighter," she said, standing on the ship's rail. "I also just took the time to reinforce the shielding around this ship." The white Meowstic took another look at the spear that Zack had showcased. "Mm...I do better with using my own attacks, but I have good aim regardless. And fire to blow up enemy ships." A small orb of fire appeared beside Sophia for a moment before being snuffed out.
Aecron headed to the front of the ship looking off into the enemy fleet. Today would be a good day to die which greatly dissapointed Aecron as he didnt want to give his foes such a pleasure. They deserved a rotten day to die on.
After a moment, Sophia remembered something and added, "Oh, I'm also what might be called an Infiltrator. I can penetrate enemy shielding better than most."
“Captain,” Nik said suddenly, “look! They’re moving in!”
Frank handed Zack the spyglass, who used it to peek into the sky. The Castform was right, the airships of the Stygians were beginning to move. Fear rose to grasp his throat like an iron hand, making him lose all the nerve he had before. He was the captain of the airship now, responsible for all the lives aboard, and also a member of the Gold Tribe now. If there was ever a time he shouldn’t be afraid, it was now. “Alright,” he muttered, swallowing his fear, “men (and woman), let’s move out. Frank!”
“In position!” the Kadabra shouted from belowdecks. The steam screamed, running through the pipes, and the machines roared, now fully started up with Frank’s psychic energy. The dyna-cores pulsed with power, compressing the flogistron inside the airship’s rigid balloons. The Storm’s Fury begun elevating from the docking ground and Zack waddled over to the rudder to steer her towards the Dock Rock’s exit bay.
Sophia hopped off the rail and sat down near the bow of the airship, near Aecron. She closed her eyes and began calming her mind, storing up power for when she'd need it. It wouldn't be long before they'd be close enough to the enemies for Sophia to use it.
Aecron looked down at the meowstic chuckling shortly. Her calm look was the last thing he expected during a suicide mission like this. He stood like a statue at the bow gazing out at the battleships sailing through the sky. They were marauders and murderers at best. Soon they would ash and corpses. Holding both his hands before him Aecron summoned a blade of pure aura.
"I hope for their sake they said goodbye before they left camp," Aecron muttered as a cruel grin came to his face, "The chance will not be given to them again."
“Time to shine,” Zack hummed. “Nik, how’s Donna doing? That cannon’s better be working when we reach those guys. Frank! Put up the shields, man, what’re you waiting for? Go!”
The Electabuzz took a black rag from his belt and tied it around his head like a bandana. Now he was almost ready. Looking through the spyglass again, he confirmed the enemy movement.
“Donna’s ready, sir,” Nik the Castform returned. He was floating right in front of Zack’s eyes.
“Get out of my face, I can’t see!” Zack waved him away wildly. He then noticed the enemy airships in the sky, how close they had gotten to the walls. “Damn, we’re left behind,” he said, “they’re gonna start firing on the walls. Nik, grab the wheel, I’m gonna get us there, pronto.” As he let go of the rudder, a pink, round barrier was set around the airship; a spell cast by Frank and powered by the dyna-cores so it would last longer. Sophia took a few moments to renew her own barrier around the airship, adding to Frank's spell.
Zack rushed to the engines belowdecks to see the dyna-cores pulsing pink with power, the steam hissing and whistling in the pipes. Alright, he thought quickly, his mind racing, an increase to the pressure of flogistron should get us higher, and this… he smashed a button on the control panel of the engine and pulled a lever all the way that made the machine scream. He almost fell back as the ship increased its speed drastically.
“Woo!” he heard Nik shout from above.
"Ha ha! Have none of you lot ever flown with an overdrive before?" Aecron laughed still poised firm at the bow.
The white Meowstic let out a small yelp of surprise as the airship's speed suddenly rose, sending Sophia tumbling a few yards across the deck before she stopped. She had never spent much time on airships in the first place. Ow... Sophia pushed herself back up and returned to the bow. Seeing the distance gradually lessen between them and the enemy fleet, Sophia formed a ball of light-blue energy between her hands. She encased it with a dose of her Fire Hidden Power before sending off the Future Sight attack, which disappeared until it would strike a minute or so later.
With a great deep laugh Aecron swung his blade send spheres of aura out infront on the ship. They hovered there a moment until gravitating towards the twisted red auras of the stygian airship crews. The spheres would collide with the shields and embed themselves into them until finally piercing. They were like savage animals hunting prey. Each sphere crashing into its target causing pain to them and their aura. The more wicked the target the more the attack burned.
“Uh-oh,” Frank said from somewhere belowdecks. He was looking through one of the opened lids that allowed the gunners to take aim and fire the Geodude guns. True enough, there was a crate packed with unconscious Geodudes that were ready to be fired.
“Uh-oh?” Zack asked, “I feel like this is the sound I want to be hearing the least right now."
“Eh, Zack? We’re flying above the city right now, and we need to hurry up if we’re to reach the walls before—“
Shots were fired at Alamagna’s walls, Zack could see and hear. That was an airship’s work, he was sure of it. Zack clenched his teeth, removing his gloves and tossing them aside, sparks flying from his electrified fingers. He grabbed the an iron strut of a machine different than the engines, and electricity flew through it. The propellers on the back of the airship started moving, and soon, they were spinning around fast enough to shoot the ship forward. So far, the ship was moving by the pressure that was applied sideways and upwards to the Flogistron trapped in the balloons by the machines, which pushed it forward and up, dragging the balloons and the ship behind it. The propellers where Zack’s innovation: through his power to create electricity, he was able to boost the ship’s speed with an additional source of power. Naturally, he couldn’t keep up with this for long, so when Nik gave the signal that they were in range of the walls, Zack grunted with relief and released the iron handle of the propellers, his tongue out and sweating with his heavy breathing.
Sophia had thought they couldn't go any faster. She had to grab the rail in front of her in order to avoid tumbling again when the propellers added even more speed. When they reached the walls and slowed down, Sophia let go and peeked through a space in the rail. Sometimes it was irksome to be two feet tall. She took a deep breath and reached inside her, pulling her Stored Power into a purple sphere between her hands, infused again with some of Sophia's fire. The Meowstic kept it there, letting it slowly build as she waited for an enemy ship to come into range.
Zack grabbed one of the iron spears with the Magnemites and the chain and armed it to a gun. Nik, steer Fury so I have a target and get us within firing range, he said to the psychic network Frank had created. Indeed, the ship steered and Zack was able to see their fleet, protected by the pink barriers, flying closer and closer to the walls. They were raining fire upon the walls, explosions sending people flying. They didn’t care who they hit – whether it was enemy, or their own. Some of the Hyper Beam Cannons were directed their shields, but the barriers were too strong and the beam was dissolved by the time it reached the ship, doing minimal damage. And then the ships answered with a barrage of Geodudes that exploded on impact once shot, shaking the walls with explosions that were threatening to rip the cannons apart.
Zack took aim at their flagship, Pestilence; he recognized her from the red hull and the blue barriers that surrounded her. “Heh-heh, they’re not prepared for this.” Aiming was easy. The harpoon was shot when he pressed the trigger, the chain following it through the sky. It pierced right through the blue barriers, just like Zack had thought, and stuck on the red hull. Zack smirked, grabbing the chain and pumping electricity through it. Almost instantly, the Magnemites at the tip of the harpoon exploded, shaking Pestilence terribly. The airship had gotten on fire and it started falling down, towards the walls, where the fighting was. “Oh crap,” Zack shouted, “what have I done?” He let go of the chain to fall out of the Storm's Fury. It was like time had stopped; he watched as the enemy vessel’s barriers went out and it crushed on the walls, exploding into a million pieces. Flaming debris was sent everywhere, two Hyper Beam Cannons lost their barriers and were destroyed and fighting people were crushed underneath the flaming monstrosity.
As the airship began falling, Sophia mentally panicked. "Jake! Watch out for the falling airship!" Another enemy ship came into range, and she got a clear look at the Pokemon at its bow. Sophia boosted herself back onto the rail and fired off her Stored Power, which shot through the enemy ship's barriers and struck her targets, sending them flying back. Turning her eyes to the Pokemon steering the other ship, Sophia brought an arm up and shot a Psybeam at him. Sure, the barriers lowered the power of her attacks, but she was still an Infiltrator.
Pendro “Reaching Mind” Malis, Cassandra "The Peacekeeper" Eldren and Matthew "The Punisher" Blaze
Alamagna – Obsidian Citadel Walls – Fighting Asaito
If I die here, and an afterlife exists, I’ll have to find everyone and tell them I told them so…
Pendro, finished with his Magnet Rising of the cannons, had taken to a more solitary spot on the walls. He just hoped to all the gods above that he was wrong about this whole thing, and the enemy weren’t planning something more. There they were: the Stygian rebellion. Why did they have to rebel? Why couldn’t they just… not? Pendro would have whined for days on end about it, had his logical side not reminded him of how futile that would be. They looked like they were almost ready to mobilise, and that’d be- wait, were they-? Panic nearly overcame Reaching Mind in that instant, the marching soldiers approaching finally thrusting reality upon the Metang. Pendro composed himself quickly; he needed to prepare for the battle ahead, that much he knew.
Right. Push ladders off with Psychic. Make use of Iron Head or elemental punches for enemies who do make it to the top. Flash Cannon for those below when the opportunity arises. Defend cannons. Keep a watchful eye for flying ‘mon and the airships if anything does happen to them.
As the soldiers below the walls rushed to meet them, the Hyper Beam Cannons begun charging up. Soon, the sky was filled with the sudden flash of energy unleashed. Cries of victory turned into screams of pain, mingled with the steady, turbulent noise of the Hyper Beams. They spread wide destruction below, their white light engulfing many Pokemon and shooting through them. However, for one rebel that fell, two took his place, and soon, they clashed against the walls. Ladders were raised and Pokemon jumped over.
Cassandra kept her eyes on the field below, watching as the rebel soldiers fell to the Hyper Beam cannons. Despite their best efforts though, it seemed as if the rebels were infinite in number. As the enemy made their way to the walls inbetween cannon blasts, ladders were thrown against the walls, as eager soldiers began to climb in an attempt to breach. With a few well-place Razor Leaf attacks, Cassandra managed to send a few of the ladders tumbling down to the ground.
The battlements, where the Hyper Beam Cannons were, soon filled with attackers that had climbed or jumped over; soldiers struggled to keep them off. The first one to have arrived was a Greninja with a scar across his chest. Sharp water had appeared in his hands in the form of dripping Shurikens. He used them to slice right through the base of an unprotected Hyper Beam Cannon, which cracked, collapsed and fell. "Too easy!" He turned his head, noticing the shiny Metang with the golden bands upon the walls. "The Gold Tribe," he mused out loud, "you're a shiny one, but not all that glitters is gold... I wonder, can you live up to the name the Gold Tribe has worked hard to preserve?"
Things were getting more difficult up here. Another ladder approached, carrying a nasty-looking Nidorino. Luckily the ladder was a far less intimidating enemy, and a quick Psychic rendered the offensive useless. That wasn't the only assault, though, and with a quick check of his surroundings Pendro found that the walls had been breached in several places. A few enemy 'mon were finding their way up ladders elsewhere. He turned again, and his eyes widened immediately in distress.
"B-breach! Greninja on the walls...! Breach...!"
Amidst the fighting, Cassandra's attention was diverted when her comrade, Pendro, suddenly cried out. Turning her gaze, she saw a fierce-looking Greninja eyeing the Metang. She reacted quickly, tossing a razor leaf towards the water-type like a throwing star, grazing the Greninja's arm.
"Hey! Pick on someone your own size!" she called out to the Greninja in defiance. She readied herself for combat. This Greninja didn't look like some two-bit merc, especially considering his apparent ease in breaching the walls.
The Greninja bounced off the ground with incredible swiftness, leaping out of the razor leaf's way; the Water Shurikens left his hands, aimed at the Metang, and soon, liquid darkness covered his right hand. As he came down from the sky, he brought the darkness down at Pendro in a vicious strike. The shurikens were fast - Reaching Mind raised his hands in an Iron Defense as quickly as he could, but the first slipped through. He flinched in pain with the impact, but was luckily largely unaffected; in fact, he barely felt the second one.
Hmm, that wasn't so bad. Maybe I can do this after a-aaaaaahhhhh!
Pendro recoiled as the Night Slash sent him spinning, closing his eyes as his right fist instinctively glowed with power. He felt the Meteor Mash connect with something, and he slowed to a halt before opening his eyes. Asaito was thrown back from the blow, he tumbled and regained his balance.
It... worked. Pendro realised, feeling a renewed strength coursing through him. Huh. You know, I feel a little better about this whole fighting thing.
Around that same time a piece of rubble was thrown to try and hit the frog. "Hey! Fight a real warrior!" Punisher boomed out as he stood on the wall.
"Standing by a cannon is WAY too boring, but you seem to be quite the fighter." The Machamp chuckled, "Just don't die too early frog face."
Asaito bust a mocking smile. "I don't plan to. Nice guns you got there..." he gestured at the Machamp's arms. The next moment he was gone; jumped high up, unleashing a torrent of water that came crushing down the walls.
Punisher held up his hands, using his upper pair to shield his face while his lower arms tried to also block the water, "Heh, no one told me I was going swimming! Is this how you battle? If so, I'm going to be extremely dissapointed!" He took in a deep breath, waiting for the water to die down and once it did he let the focus he had been building up dissipate along his muscles. He smirked and flexed his lower pair, "Heh, these guns will rip you apart froggy."
Seeing Punisher battle against the Greninja, Cassandra rushed over to help. She turned her attention to Punisher, seeing him full of vigor, as expected. She concentrated a moment, holding her arms out and casting Helping Hand on the Machamp.
"Whenever you're ready," she said to Punisher, readying her own defenses against the Greninja.
"Okay, guys. I'm, uh... spinning." Pendro informed his comrades, slowly but surely advancing on the rebel in a Gyro Ball attack. He was glad to have some supportive back-up. Three-on-one was perhaps a little mean of a battle tactic, but frankly he wasn't going to argue with it. The Greninja shot himself down towards Pendro's Gyro Ball, but faded at the last moment; the Feint Attack was executed from behind, like a backstab, with zero chance of failure. The next moment, the image of Asaito split into many Greninjas who started running around and pretending to attack the defenders. They all begun throwing Water Shurikens, and it seemed like they hit everyone, while only some of them did.
Punisher smirked at the illusions as he looked upon them and cried out. "Foresight!" He boomed out as his gaze swept across the various Greninja. "Nice trick, but I have better." He chuckled as he held up his arms to block some of the Shurikens. He felt one embed into his thick muscles, but the illusionary shurikens just faded away.
Cassandra dodged the shuriken being thrown her way. Some of them managed to graze her, but did little damage to her grass-typing. She focused, trying to discern which of the illusory copies was the real Asaito, when an idea struck her. She threw her hands out, several multi-colored leaves appearing seemingly out of thin air: Magical Leaf. With a flick of her wrist, the leaves went flying in multiple directions, aimed at the multitude of copies from Asaito's Double Team. Some of the copies started fading one by one, after being hit by the Magical Leaf, but more just kept popping up.
"Hey, I know I'm made of metal and all, but I'm kind of taking a beating here..." The Metang called out weakly to his fellow Gold Tribe members. He tried to focus, taking a moment to raise his Iron Defenses again. "Does anyone know where the real one is?"
"Let's find out!" Cassandra called out to Pendro. She extended her arms to her sides, a look of determination etched on her face. "Brace yourselves!"
With that said, she began to concentrate, a powerful wind beginning to blow as small leaf-like flower petals began to materialize around her form. She spun around quickly, as the petals flew like razor blades, attacking everyone in the area.
Punisher had to quickly raise his arms to protect himself as the leaves cut along his arms and legs, "Hey watch it!" He shouted out.
Pendro was curious at first, then alarmed. "What are you plann- OH ARCEUS ABOVE!" He, too, had to cover his body with his arms. At least those Iron Defense techniques were doing their work, he supposed.The images of the Double Team were hit by the Petal Blizzard and started fading. After a while of mass destruction, they couldn't be replaced anymore as the original Greninja was hit by a storm of leaves that cut through his skin like blades. Once the attack settled down, visibility was restored; Asaito was standing on one foot, his eyes shut, as if he was meditating. "It is not yet time to die," he muttered. That moment, a big shadow covered the walls. He raised his head slowly, to look at the airship on fire that was coming straight at them.
"CASSANDRA!?" Pendro yelled in shock. "WHAT DID YOU DO!?"
The airship crushed onto the walls in a fiery explosion that parted it to bits, destroying the upper part of the walls.
Turnips shall rise.
Time had stopped. Romulus's eyes widened, seeing the projectile shot at to the ship he had boarded, Pestilence. As if by some instinct, he knew it was going to go through the barriers. The harpoon with the chain behind it stuck on the airship's hull, shaking the whole airship violently. The Haxorus hissed a nasty curse when he saw electricity pumping through the chain, taking one step back, a second before the explosion. His scales were licked by flames and the sound wave knocked many crew members overboard, but not him. Flying wood, steel, blood and screams, all around him; his senses dulled for a brief moment, before he noticed the Captain of the fleet, Johnson the Braviary, shouting a command and flying away as quickly as possible. Romulus grasped the rail strongly, the flames blackening the wooden deck below his feet, spreading quickly. He watched sparks shoot to the chain that held one of the two rigid balloons; it instantly caught on fire and begun melting.
Romulus realized at the very last moment that the airship would drop sideways without one of its balloons, so he chose the course of action that guaranteed the best possibility of survival. He bent his legs, gathering strength, feeling the deck sink feebly beneath him, then he jumped. The chain snapped behind him, one of the balloons was set free and the flaming airship dropped sideways, falling quickly to the walls. Romulus was about seventy feet off the ground when that happened; mid-air, he flew across the mighty walls of Alamagna, right towards the houses. The city unfolded before him, just like his life that flashed before his eyes. Multiple images ran past his sight, memories old, locked away in his mind that chose this moment to emerge. He saw a little girl Axew, digging happily in a cave, he saw her crying after he had bullied her, he saw a house made of stone with a roof made of hay, then he saw it catch on fire and Pokemon trying to run away. They were killed by others before they could go far, but he was fighting, and he killed as well. He saw the bloodied banner of Stygia, the one with Aggron casting Thunder from the skies upon itself. A mirror passed in front of him, his father was standing behind him there, a strong Tyrantrum who had taught him how to rip the earth in two, same one who had recruited him to the Gold Tribe. It all faded when the ground came rushing to meet him. Earthquake shook the whole city when he landed.
Garland limped, rushing through the tangled routes the merchant districts of the city. The wound on his chest was still bleeding. He clutched it, feeling his blood drench his fur and the pain cloud his mind. His hearing was boggled with the distant sounds of war. Glancing behind him, he made sure to remember the faces of his comrades who ran alongside him towards the walls, where the fighting was. This could very well be the last time he was seeing any of them, as soon enough, they would engage the enemy in combat, where it was likely they'd die. Garland didn't believe in salvation. They could run to their retreat, of course, but the Stygians could run too... He recalled what the former leader of the Gold Tribe had once told him. Don't run, you'll only die tired if you do. And they were planning to do just that with their retreat...
Flames burst in the sky from an explosion near the walls, then more explosions were set off. Upon reaching a square, Garland momentarily saw something landed from the sky; it fell like a meteor, shaking the earth terribly. The shock wave threw the Floatzel on his knees, clenching his teeth in pain. He raised his head to look. The cloud of dust was settling down on cracked cobblestone, and a shadow emerged. Garland's first thought was to protect his comrades, so he extended his arm past his side to stop them. But, he realized the kind of figure was familiar. The dust settled down entirely. A Haxorus was kneeling on the ground, his sharp fangs bared and bloodied, his eyes brimming with ferocity, once he spotted Garland, who suddenly felt a numb calmness overcome his body.
Earthquake looked to be hurt from his fall; a few fractured bones, perhaps, but he was standing, and he looked powerful enough to break any of them into bits if he hesitated for one moment. That Pokemon was indeed dangerous, even when hurt. Especially when hurt. The Haxorus had served under Lord Chantalai of the Vanir for years, so none of them had seen him fight, except Garland. Romulus's Earthquakes would set them all bleeding; and there was no stopping him from preying on his target. If the others stayed here, they would provide easy targets for him and his earthquakes. Garland was no easy target. He knew how Romulus fought, and he could counter him. He slipped into his battle stance, readying himself for what was about to come.
Just then, Zack's voice permeated their minds through the telepathetic network Frank had created. This is Zack Skysaber reporting from Fury; the gates have been breached. I repeat, the gates have been breached. His tone was monotonous and oddly professional, as if all fear had drained from the Electabuzz. Garland clenched his jaw, glancing to the walls, towards the main road. Roofs blocked his view, but he could hear them: Stygians were rushing into the city, the Pokemon on the walls started to retreat after the annihilation the enemy airships were laying upon them. Garland's gaze travelled upwards, to the Storm's Fury, which was still intact and firing at the enemy fleet. Just like he had thought, Zack's airship wasn't enough to hold them all back... It's a Charlie Foxtrot, Zack muttered in their minds, probably without realizing it. The Floatzel jerked to the others behind him. "Leave this one to me." Garland ordered, pointing at the Haxorus, who seemed to be waiting for them to make a move. "Go help the others in the main road, I'll handle this. And I want no objections."
They had retreated to the Obsidian Citadel, just below the Tower of Nobles. Hell had been brought down onto the walls, and it was a miracle Althalos was alive from the destruction that fallen airship had caused. Their enemies were jumping over the walls and their troops retreating further into the city, as ordered. It was a matter of time, now... Skysaber spread the message, the southern gates had been breached. Hostile Pokemon came rushing right into the city, falling into the traps the defenders had set, other running different paths that let them pass unscathed. Althalos was sure the city would be spared the destruction, up until that moment. He panicked with what he was seeing: the attackers were laying waste on civilian houses. For the first time in history, Stygians were sacking their capital city. A roar of anger and anguish rose to the Gigalith's throat, but he choked it down. The citizens had been locked up in safehouses the whole time, promised to be safe, but now that that promise was broken, they would panic and break out in a hurry for the escape routes, as not to be slaughtered like Mareep in the chopping block.
Why, Chantalai? What kind of sick mind commanded his troops to murder their own blood in their homes? Inside the capital, which was sacred to all Stygians? Or was it Teneth? The Windseers were always treacherous and without compassion... or was it Brynjolf? He looked around to see them - thousands, rushing through the paths and the main road.
He was stumbling to the end of his post. Skysaber! He shouted in his mind, the enemy is breaking the Stygian code in front of our eyes - can you see? They're destroying the houses. The civilians...
General, despite all this highly disturbing situation we find ourselves in, I can't help but question the supposed guaranteed security of the gates. The breach was easy. Too easy. It must have occurred from the inside. Do you happen to be aware of any... rats? Zack spoke to his mind, and Althalos smirked at his tone; he'd never heard the Electabuzz speak like that to him. Usually, he was awkward and timid. Maybe the battle had given him a nerve he didn't have before.
What does it matter how they got in? Althalos said, exasperated. They're in, and that's it. If we're alive by the end of this madness, we'll figure it out then. Don't you have more pressing matters to deal with, Skysaber?
I do, as a matter of fact.
Good, then let me worry about what's going on in the ground, soldier.
The Gigalith turned to his own troops. He had hoped to be an inspiration to them, but the words wouldn't come out. He was weak... only a General with peaceful intentions, not fit for war. He always let Garland, Dareon and General Vektor take active responsibility for solving every conflict as it appeared. Perhaps that was why the rebellion had started, because he was too weak for a Stygian General... but now it was no time to be weak. At last, the time had come to fight, for real. "Our families are rushing to our retreat route," he said, trying to maintain his hard expression. "We must hold them back enough for our brethren to escape. We're Stygians!" He nodded towards the destruction that was spreading on the city below. "They're not true Stygians! These are monsters. Only monsters would slay their own!"
Garland's grim voice permeated his mind. Remember what it means to be Gold Tribe, brothers and sisters... it means to die defending the innocents, to secure their future with no regard of our own. The citizens are of priority here. Let us grant them a safe exit.
Hey, leader, Zack's worried, awkward tone filled the communications channel. No need to be so pessimistic, he chuckled nervously, I'll, uhh, I'll, tell you what, I'll come pick you all up with the Fury-- there was a sound of an explosion from the sky; the pink shields of the Storm's Fury flickered and faded for a second, then they were restored. Wow, Frank, get us the hell outta here! Uhh, you get my point, right? Can't serve the realm if we're dead, heheh...
OOC: the enemy has breached the southern gate (somehow)! They're pouring all over the main road. You who've set traps, it's your turn. You who've returned from the caves, you can help them out!
Kallet "Dauntless" Galliger
Kallet watched as the Stygian troops poured through the now-open gate. Dammit! I was expecting the gates to hold up a bit longer! The first soldier to come running in was a fearsome-looking Tyranitar. He paused under the threshold of the gate and roared in challenge, "I AM THOR, CHAMPION O-" PHOOM! Before the man could finish his monologue, a Voltorb came down on top of him, blowing three of his companions, as well as himself, to pieces.
Kallet grinned at the destruction. Good job, Ajax. He looked over at one of his personal Electrodes. There were dozens hidden throughout the upper parts of the buildings for his own personal use, but he had piles of rocks and stones as well, and he intended on making good use of them. Seeing as he was in command of the troops on this street, it was his job to spring the ambush.
Dozens of Stygian troops, now moving slowly, began to advance again. They met no traps in the first few feet, their confidence returning. They rushed forward with their battle cries sounding out, only to turn to pain-filled howls. It was obvious they discovered the Stealth Rocks and various spikes. There were a few dozen Stygian troops within the spikefield. Enough to narrow them down. Maybe we can push them out of the walls again... "FLAMETHROWERS, FIRE!" Heh. Pun. From down below, dozens of flames flooded into the street, completely engulfing many of the poor souls who were trapped by the spikes. Soon enough the horrible screams and curses died down, the soldiers now dead.
But that wasn't the end of it.
Dozens of troops poured through the walls, this time a wave of steel types. They managed to bear through the pain of the spikes, and a few even made it through the Flamethrowers. Doors were kicked in and soldiers were killed. The enemy pressed on. The first thing Kallet did was pick up the biggest stone he had stored, about the size of Graveler, and chucked it as hard as he possibly could. The stone struck an Aggron across the head, leaving it either dead or unconscious. Bam! A second rock struck a Medicham in the gut, crumpling it over. WOOHOO! "TROOPS..." Dauntless called out throughout the street, "ATTACK!" Several different ranged-fighters, ranging from a Magmortar to a Grumpig, leapt out from alleyways and began to fire attacks into the growing crowds. Several of the more limber troops hurled rocks down from above like Kallet. As many troops as they brought down, more replaced them.
Eventually the enemy began to press forward, slowly but surely. Kallet had exhausted his stone pile. Time to set some things off. He picked up his Electrode and looked to the first 'mine' he had placed earlier. Time to wreak some havoc. The Electrode left his hand. Seconds later, a blinding explosion went off, devastating an entire building and the street it resided on. If their taking the city, they can have the husk I leave them. Broken bodies lay everywhere. Ha! Many of the defending troops took the cue and began to set off mines in every which location.
After a few moments the explosions ceased. The Stygians, now aware of the threat on the roofs, sent their most limber soldiers scrambling up the walls. Dauntless was met with a Toxicroak with an evil sneer on his face. "You're gonna die, monkey." His fist began to glow purple as he lunged forwards.
Dauntless, ever the acrobat, easily avoided the attack and smirked. "You don't know who you're dealing with." His fist began to glow a bright white.
The Toxicroak, now angry, began to lash out randomly, paying no heed to strategy anymore. "WHY. WON'T. YOU. DIE?!" Brick Breaks were flying everywhere.
Kallet couldn't help but smirk as the Stygian tried to slay him. Cute. His right fist shot forward in a Focus Punch, catching the opponent square in the jaw. The poison type flew off of the roof into the troop-flooded streets below. Kallet began to look for his fellow ambushers to find that most were being overtaken in single combat. Dammit...We're getting picked off. He called out to his fellow soldiers, "FALL BACK TO THE SECONDARY POSITION!" He began to leap between buildings. "FALL BACK! FALL BACK!" He could only count a dozen soldiers leaving out of the fifty or so that had staged the ambush. We're losing men fast...
The troops moved quickly to the secondary position, an ad hoc barrier that had been thrown up across the entire street, sort of like a sandbag wall composed of barrels and crates. Dauntless and the other survivors leaped behind the small wall to find a few more dozen soldiers, all raring to fight. As he tried to catch his breath he filled them in on the situation. "They've broken our first line of defense. We're all that's left, I believe. They still have yet to hit some mines though."
Brawler, the Diggersby from before, approached Kallet and nodded. "We can hold them here for a good while. We can buy more time, but nothing beyond that."
Kallet nodded. "We need some more damn reinforcements bad. They'll overwhelm us before we can put a dent in them." He paced back and forth as he heard more explosions in the distance. "They're closing in. EVERYONE, GET READY!" Battle cries could be heard now. The horde was coming.
Noah Endris ~ The Flash & Thrasher
A Vital Decision...
Thrasher had been following along, though a nagging thought entered his mind. How did these soldiers figure out they were going to use the aqueducts? The answer seemed simple enough, basically they had gold tribe that had rebelled and joined the rebellion. Now the next question was.. how much preparation had the army done? The aqueducts DID lead into a Stygian city, meaning there would be many Stygians up there. Simply put, they could come out and be blasted or worse, have a new bomb thrown in that would collapse the tunnel upon them and kill most of them. With that in mind he couldn't help but wonder if they should use another exit out of the tunnels.
They did have many ways out into the gray wastes, and if they all rushed out into the city then they would be grouped up as well as seen by rebels informants. All that needed to be done was let the army know what species had come up, and they could search through the city or monitor anyone leaving. It was a fool proof plan in fact, so much so that Thrasher had to face Flash, "Brother, I must confess, it would no doubt be better for us to split the forces, to take a different route from the others." He glanced around the tunnels as they ran along. "If there are informants up there, then they can monitor the inside of the city as well as follow us around once we leave the aqueducts."
The Flash turned to Thrasher with a puzzled expression but nodded soon enough. "Which route are you deciding to take? I'm not sure where I would be most effective..." Glancing behind him at the explosions he quickly added, "I'll take a vacant route by myself if that's quite alright."
Thrasher nodded, then his voice dropped, "Listen... " He paused for a bit as screams filled the air, "They're dying." He said softly, "The Stygians are killing their own." He murmured. "Why would they betray their culture in such a way?" He mused. "There is something wrong with that army... and we aren't going to figure it out by standing here and fighting them." He looked at the limp soldier he still held, "We need to figure this out soon. We need to get these soldiers we captured out of here as quickly as possible, we can't risk losing them. They have answers. They were ready to bomb their own aqueducts under their own city for crying out loud!" He hissed. "You get what I'm saying... correct?" It was no small feat, to disobey the leader's commands... but at the same time it made sense to the Primeape's mind.
The situation seemed to be getting tenser as time dragged on. The Typhlosion eyed the prisoners that they carried. "I...well if you feel strongly about this, then I suppose..." He then shook his head more convincingly. "Alright, we need to reach a safe location where we can interrogate them. Swiftly enough to where we can return to directly supporting allies. The Grey wastes sound suitable?"
Thrasher thought a bit more and looked on at the battle that the Haxorus and Floatzel were undergoing, "Flash... you must realize this." He looked at him, "If we do this... if we do abandon to do a greater good... we will face the consequences. Understand?" He said with a firm stare, "I will not hold you accountable if you do decide to run out with me or if you wish to stay and help the others... but if we can figure out why the army is doing this willingly... then it will help. It is ultimately up to you."
"Yes I do realize the consequences and several things are unfolding at once. I do admittedly prefer to stay here and support the others. However I do understand your concerns. No matter which option we take there will be a consequence of some kind." He grew more calm yet maintained a serious expression. "Answer me this. Do you think you will be able to handle venturing out into the wastes alone? If you feel as though you need assistance, i'd gladly accompany you."
Thrasher nodded, "I will need help. The civilians are already pouring into the tunnels, we can use that time to block off other tunnels to the wastes and ensure their protection as well. Get as many up through the aqueducts. Why would the Stygians bother going after civilians" He paused, "We're heading into the caves. Remember that one cave that was a dead end? We go there, make sure no one snakes up on us, and find out what they know." He looked at Flash, "We can do this."
The Flash doused the flames on his shoulders seeing as Thrasher's plan caused for stealth. "Alright I'm with you. You lead us to which tunnels need to go down." He took of his golden armband and placed it securely into his berry pouch in his waist.
Thrasher likewise slid the gold band off of his arm and pushed it into the thick fur covering his abdomen. Garland wouldn't like this at all, but they had to take initiative as well. He did remember one time... a long time ago. Sometimes, it was better to disregard orders in some situations. He ran back to the tunnels and grunted as he moved among the civilians. He pushed through and tumbled out into the empty tunnel, "This way Flash! We get them awake and force them to talk!" He cried out.
Upon entering the tunnel to the cavern, he launches a fireball at the entrance causing a minor cave in. "That way were won't receive any possible interference and they have no escape route." He positioned the captives along the stone wall then fed them each an oran berry from his sac. A minor sacrifice, as it wasn't the best fruit he carried with him. He braced himself for a possible resistance. Whatever the case, there was nowhere for them to run, and answers were needed badly.
Thrasher looked on at the Klefki and curled his hands into fists. "No running you two. You're prisoners of war." He muttered. "Now... tell us... why?"
Zi-Zi's Journey - Lindsey Stirling
Punisher - Breaking up fights is NOT cool
Oh, he had him. Yeah, the frog was fast, but he was stronger. He just needed to grab-need-ne-WHY WAS HE SO FAST!? This frog was cheating, that was it! He was so seriously cheating! Whenever he tried to grab the real Greninja he would just pass by and that was making Punisher so mad! "Oh come on!" He shouted out angrily. That's when he heard Pendro cry out. He looked up, "DAMMIT CASSANDRA!" Punisher shouted out as he began to run. He looked up and began to run as fast as he could as it tipped lower and lower. He wasn't the fastest, but he was able to finally crouch and raise his arms to shield his body as flames and a loud boom sounded out. The ship landed down and he clutched to the wall to help keep him stationed, but soon soldiers began to stream in. On the one hand, it was bad, on the other he saw something he could jump on now. Why use ladders when you can just have a cushy bed of soldiers to land on? He was just a bit burned, but he was big enough to not have been blown off the walls thankfully.
The machamp cried out as he jumped down, landing on an unfortunate Glaceon and Sentret. He rose up and his adrenaline kicked into high gear as he grabbed two nearby startled soldiers. They were small enough and he began to fling them about, using their bodies as weapons as he whacked and smacked them into other forms. "Heh, and they say I'm not creative!" He chuckled out. He swung his mini weapons about, but the soldiers were still flooding out and soon they would overwhelm him. That wasn't good, time for a plan B. "Hey ya go!" He cried out as he threw the soldiers he had out on the advancing crowd and spied a large piece of rubble from the crashed ship. The metal was hot as he touched it, but he only held it for a bit as he flung it out and crushed a few soldiers under the weight of it, but more importantly it served as a temporary barrier they would have to climb over. It was still hot so most would end up succumbing to the pain and not bothering to climb.
Punisher ran along between the buildings until he saw another scene. There was a brother there, an Ambipom and he rushed to the voice that had shout out. "Heh, Punisher on the scene!" He cried out. He had to flinch as he saw the numbers rushing at them, but his fear was quickly overwhelmed by his adrenaline. "Hm… rubble around." He picked up a stray piece of a broken building and threw it into the crowd of soldiers, "Heh, trim them out." He said eagerly.
He looked at the Ambipom and smirked, "Heh, we can take them." He said as he looked back up at the rushing soldiers and cracked his knuckles. "Just let them come to their demise." He said with a chuckle. "Also, the wall is breached, so we may have some soldiers heading to us from the other way. Thus." He looked behind the group, "We'll need to divide our attention."
“Cassandra!? What did you do!?”
Cassandra, confused, looked up, seeing a huge airship about to crash into the walls. She turned in a panic, seeing that Punisher had already dashed a ways off. She had been too caught up in her Petal Blizzard she hadn’t noticed the wreckage flying towards them. Her eyes widened in horror; there was no way she could escape in time.
In a panic, Cassandra turned, leaping away from the blast, but it was too late. The explosion rocked her vision, sending her flying off the walls towards the ground below in the city streets. She fell to the ground, violently crashing and rolling some distance away before coming to a complete stop. Intense pain wracked her limp form as she struggled to hold onto consciousness. Cassandra lay still in the aftermath of her landing, unable to move.
Her vision went black for a few seconds, but to her it felt like a lifetime. The blast deafened her, the only audible noises being a high-pitched ringing and her own breathing. For a moment, she was oblivious to the world around her, too wracked with pain to comprehend what was going on. Slowly, her hearing began to come back. The sounds of battle could be heard, Stygian rebels pouring in through the hole created in the crash. Everything sounded so distant, as if she were miles away, but it was all right in front of her. She brought her head up; her vision was blurred, but she could make out the shapes of the rebels as they took advantage of the crash, infiltrating the city.
The rebels began to siege the city, clashing with the defenders in a vicious struggle. The rebels ignored her, assuming her to be dead. With the pain she was in, they were almost right. Suddenly, one of the rebels, a Rhydon, walked over to her, looking at her with a sadistic grin. As her hearing became clearer, she heard his gloating.
“Still alive?” he jeered, readying his fist for an attack. “Don’t worry, I’ll fix that for ya!”
Pained as she was, she needed to do something. She was not going to die here, helpless before a common soldier. She raised her hand, ignoring the pain it caused her; she just needed this one attack…
“Oh, still got some fight left in ya?” the Rhydon laughed. “Not for-- gah!”
The Rhydon froze in place, an unseen force grabbing his form and sucking the life out of him. In her wounded state, Cassandra managed to get out a single Giga Drain attack. The Rhydon vitality drained from him quickly, filling Cassandra with a surge of energy. She slowly rose to her knees, keeping the attack held on the Rhydon as he began to fall. Her wounds began to heal slightly, and soon enough, the Rhydon was no more. His lifeless form fell limp, collapsing on the ground. Cassandra rose to her feet, though not without some difficulty. The Giga Drain managed to provide a temporary relief, but she was still in no condition to fight.
She frantically searched the area, limping over to an empty alleyway. Here, far from the fighting in the main streets, the Lilligant leaned against the wall, sliding down onto the ground with her back against the wall. Cassandra slammed her hand to the ground, using Ingrain to provide further healing for her wounds. She just needed a few minutes to recuperate…
Cassandra only hoped that she had that kind of time….
"Go help the others in the main road, I'll handle this. And I want no objections."
Tavhir looked at Garland with aggravation. The Floatzel was suicidal, thinking he could take the Haxorus alone in his weakened state. Regardless of his own opinions, he heard the last part of Garland’s order. No objections.
Tavhir simply nodded his acceptance. If “The Exalted” wanted to die a fool’s death, then so be it. The Pawniard turned towards the south gate, seeing his fellow Gold Tribe brethren defending that entrance. Turning to the site of the crash, he saw no such defense, and the incoming horde from the south-east needed to be repelled.
Tavhir took off towards the wreckage in a full sprint, rushing to meet the enemy head on. These Stygians… no, these weren’t Stygians. True Stygians would respect the traditions of their people, even in times of war. These rebels - these barbarians - had taken to ransacking the city itself. Tavhir’s blood boiled over, filling him with rage. These primitive beasts would soon feel his wrath. He passed by an alley, filled with Alamangan troops setting traps. Tavhir pointed his bladed hand at them, shooting them a cold glare.
“You,” he said, addressing the group. “Follow me. We need to cover the civilian’s escape.”
The soldiers, seeing Tavhir’s scarf and Gold Tribe insignia, simply nodded, abandoning their devices and following the young Pawniard into battle. They charged headfirst towards the invaders, as Tavhir shouted a battlecry to invigorate the soldiers behind him.
“Let’s show these fools how true Stygians fight! For Althalos! For Alamanga!"
"You forget, Doctor. I'm the one who asks the riddles..."
Jacob "Prankster" Marinos
Alamagna - Falling Back
"Jake! Watch out for the falling airship!"
Jacob formed a Protect around himself, allowing himself the time to look up at where the airship would land. Not on top of the south-southeastern gate he stood at, but the ship's impact was sure to change the tide of battle. "Hey." Jacob turned briefly to the Watchog at the Hyper Beam cannon, moments before the ship would land. "I think we're gonna need to fall back."
Okay, even considering the damage that the one airship had done with crashing onto a section of the walls, Jacob did not see how any Pokemon could have gotten from that hole to this gate so soon to open it. No, he was even more sure now that the Stygians had an insider.
It had been a few minutes since Jacob and others had fallen back from the south-southeastern gate, which had been opened sooner than expected. The traps they'd laid - Toxic Spikes, Sticky Web, Stealth Rocks, to name a few - had done their job in slowing the advance of the enemy. Jacob and the soldiers that had been lying in wait had struck with long-range attacks while enemy troops were distracted with trying to break through the trapped area.
It was inevitable. Enough troops that Jacob and others were now falling back gradually through their section of the city, fighting for every yard. In their street, Jacob and two other Pokemon threw up a large Protect in front of their group of soldiers, blocking a SolarBeam and two Fire Blasts for the next two seconds before the barrier dissipated. As a few Pokemon tried rushing straight at them, Jacob's fur briefly crackled as he dished out a Thunder Wave, slowing the closest enemies and allowing them to be shot down.
Jacob looked up sharply, seeing what an ally had meant. The enemies were actually attacking the houses! This was not the way of a true Stygian. At the same time, though, the battle was such that, with the gate open wide, enough enemy Pokemon were pouring through that the defenders were losing ground no matter what. As his previous Reflective wall fell, Jacob raised his arms and formed another Reflect and renewed the Light Screen as well, lessening the damage of the enemy's attacks.
A second pair of Pokemon formed another Protect in front of the street's defenders, but the next Hyper Beam broke it. They fell back again, this time to a physical barrier of crates and other objects. Jacob stepped up long enough to fire a Psychic wave that swept down the street in front of him, pushing back the enemy soldiers for a couple seconds.
As he came back to the cover of a crate, a Haunter appeared at Jacob's side. "What now?" she asked, watching as Jacob peeked out and fired a Psybeam into an approaching Rapidash, which fell to the ground.
"Hide for now," Jacob answered quietly, ignoring the looks that a few soldiers gave him. He jumped up into the air, clapping his hands together. The red barrier of a Quick Guard formed in front of them, stopping the Quick Attacks of a Doduo and a Blitzle in their tracks. Returning to the ground, Jacob added to the Haunter, "Sonia, assume that your place will be found. Stay hidden, be careful. If after this battle, your place isn't compromised, gather the essentials and get outta there. I'll contact you twenty-ten-four hours from now."
"Of course." The Haunter faded from view, leaving the defenders.
Once again, more and more enemy troops got close enough for personal combat that the call came to fall back again. Jacob knew that with the breaches formed by the crashed airship and the opened gate, the battle for Alamagna was only being drawn out now before the invaders' eventual victory.
Aidan "Silvertongue" Wyldfire
Aidan thrust his claws into the soft belly of the Grumpig in front of him, deep into him, and heard the Grumpig splutter and groan. He felt the warmth of his body escape, and the cold envelop his hand as he finally pulled his hand out and wiped the blood off it. Looking at the bloodied main road in front of him, Aidan let out a long sigh.
"War," He thought, "Always so very interesting..."
The Charmeleon was one of the few left from the first line of defense. He was usually not one who stood in the frontlines but this time, considering the violent attack that had taken place, he had felt it was necessary. Most of his fellow soldiers were dead, dying, or fleeing back though, and he had watched it all take place while he picked off enemies one by one. He liked getting close when he slaughtered his enemies. He felt it was his duty to feel their last moments of life slip out from within them.
The enemies had just charged through their defenses despite the Electrode mines and their various traps. They were fighting a losing battle here. Aidan retreated to where his fellow Gold Tribe members were. The command for the defense of the gate had been given to Dauntless, who even Aidan agreed was suited for the job. Aidan spotted the barriers and jumped behind them quickly, and waited for Dauntless to issue them their next command.
"They're closing in. EVERYONE, GET READY!", he heard him yell, and that was followed by a deafening war cry from all the members huddled behind the barrier. Aidan peeked up and spotted a huge amount of Pokemon still charging towards them. Some hit the leftover mines and went down on the spot screaming, but the main force was still charging.
"Holding our position in such a hopeless situation... heh. I would have done the same." Aidna smiled. His black eye twitched, reminding him that he probably would have retreated and not stayed behind, but Aidan ignored the feeling. He was a changed Pokemon now. He was a member of the Gold Tribe.
Aidan walked towards Dauntless, who had now been joined by Punisher who had just pointed that the gate was blown. Scoping out the enemy once more, Aidan turned his head back towards Dauntless and did what he did best - advice.
"The enemy obviously have a great advantage over us, in numbers and tactically too, but I still believe we can beat them." He started, because taking a long breath. "But, this barrier cannot be held. Somebody will have to cushion the blow..." Aidan pointed at the force of Pokemon that were charging towards them. "We will have to bring the attack to them, rather than them bringing the attack to us. But looking at their numbers, it seems like a suicide run. I can hold this position along with a strong frontline and some ranged attackers, but we have to strike back. We can't hold here forever. But for the time we have, we have to take down as many as we can."
They circled around each other, keeping their distance. A cloud of dust blew across the ravaged square, between the dragon and the otter. The tension made the air stiff and numbed the screams from the outside. They were alone, now, none would dare interrupt them. Romulus begun wondering how best to handle the situation. Garland had seen him fight before, he knew how to counter him, and he could feel broken bones inside his chest, although the pain was only minor. He hissed a curse, baring his fangs with hostility. Garland was calm, on the other hand, his expression showing absolutely nothing. It wasn't hateful, it wasn't sad, it wasn't disappointed. It was Garland's stone face. Romulus doubted if his expression would be any different if he was watching his son sparring with his peers; the truth was, he hadn't smiled in a long time...
"So, what bargain did you forsake our vows for?" Garland asked him calmly, as if making casual talk.
"I am to cut off your head and bring it to Chantalai," Romulus immediately answered, cracking his knuckles, which caught on dragonfire - the fire of the dragons, the element which differentiated a Dragon Claw from a mere Slash. Following his words, the ground thumped with every step of his charge forward. Garland's icy blue eyes reflected the red and blue dragonfire, and from his fur emerged water that dripped on the ground. The two rushed to meet each other, joining hands to battle each other with their strength. Dragonfire fought against water, and although it was obvious Romulus was at an advantage, the water on Garland's hands was not extinguished. They let go, then clashed again. The Floatzel appeared to have a wound on his chest, but he didn't appear to falter under Romulus for one moment.
The dragon glanced to the right, then suddenly let go and slashed at his opponent, dragonfire trailing behind his hand; he was expecting Garland to use Ice Punch - that would really serve to counter him at that moment. But he was disappointed. Instead of ice, a sudden torrent of water merely pushed him back, without hurting him.
"My head, in return for his trust? I'm afraid not. My head will remain on my shoulders for now," Garland told him. "A pity, though... all those brothers and sisters, fallen on the Mark..." Garland's shadow appeared behind the rising water; he dealt the Haxorus one, two quick hits to the neck, which almost made him stagger.
"Hit me," Romulus roared angrily, "come on! Show me you're angry for what has been done! Show me how your blood boils with fury, how your head pounds with the thought of the next death I bring to the tribe! Whose head shall I take next?"
Garland's mouth tightened, but his face gave no emotion, it was only collected in concentration. They joined hands again, dragonfire against water, locked in a battle of strength. Romulus bent his legs, jumping backwards a few feet up; when he landed, the earthquake he caused shook down the surrounding houses to rabble, cracked the square terribly, but the Floatzel seemed unharmed. Somehow, he had managed to avoid the shock-wave. A stream of water came rushing out of his mouth to hit Romulus. Suddenly, the stream froze middle air - literally. The ice travelled quickly to Romulus's leg, freezing him to the ground; he watched Garland propelling himself above the frozen water in an Aqua Jet technique which hit him right in the chest. Romulus only grunted, his dragonfire extinguished from his hands, which were spread wide to his sides. He'd almost made a mistake.
"A few fractured bones?" Garland asked him, keeping his distance. Romulus had already broken himself free from the ice. He nodded curtly. Suddenly, the memory of Vendra came to his mind, and how she had said that she loved the ice. He didn't know why she'd told him that; perhaps the witch wished to get him to her side with small talk.
He glanced behind him, to the gates, where the shouts of the rushing warriors were coming from.
"You're out of luck," Romulus stated solidly. "Brynjolf's made it his goal to kill Althalos. Thinks he'll be the General if he's the one who did the dirty job. Althalos's death will be cruel and savage. Not as cruel and savage as the torture the Gold Tribe who were captured alive will go through..." He saw surprise taking over the Floatzel's face. Now he knew that not all the members of the squad that was sent to negotiate peace with Chantalai had been killed. Indeed, Vendra had commanded that they keep some of them alive. For what purpose, Romulus did not know, but he had assumed it was torture. He'd never seen them again.
Romulus put these thoughts aside and charged forward again, bringing down his claws in a slashing attack, which grazed Garland to his side. The Floatzel answered with his own watery slash, but he barely managed to hurt Romulus's arm. They kept their distance after that.
"Were those men underground Chantalai's? Teneth's, perhaps? I am not too sure on Brynjolf's perceptiveness..." Garland said, jumping high up in the air just as Romulus launched another earthquake; he smirked mid-way through his attack. That question had caught him off guard.
"I know nothing of the sort." He finally said; that was when Garland summoned his power to its full extent. Water flooded the ravaged square, to freeze almost immediately after Garland's fangs had turned to ice. That was the trademark technique of Garland, who developed it himself. No common Pokemon with water mastery could pull this off.
Romulus froze up to the waist, and this time, he couldn't move no matter how hard he tried. He felt the cold sapping his strength, but he'd felt much worse. Dragonfire burst in his hands; the ice started melting, but too slowly. At least he could not freeze entirely with his hands on fire.
Then, the Floatzel leaped backwards, once, twice.
"You're running away?" Romulus asked him, taken aback.
"This is a tactical retreat. This part of the city will soon be flooded with enemies."
"Don't run. You'll only die tired if you do."
The Floatzel glanced back to him. That was always what Colossus, their former leader, was telling them before a battle. "I may die today," Garland said, "but hopefully, it won't be you who does the deed."