Fanfiction of the Month (July): Stir of the Thunderstorm
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August 12th, 2007 (8:55 AM).
Chapter 8- Battle in The Enemy's Lair
It seemed as if time had been lost. Eralynn could no longer keep track, since she could not see the sun rising and setting over the horizon. Her best guess would’ve been that she’d been waiting for at least two days, but she could not be sure of this.
During their time there, Rhylan slept a lot, trying to avoid conversation with Eralynn. She, on the other hand, stayed awake for hours, waiting for the creature near her to claim that it had its powers back. She wasn’t normally patient, and she was dying to escape on her own, without its help, but she tried her best to control herself, not having much of a plan of her own.
Every single idea she had come up with had involved the help of Aerance, but her whereabouts were unknown now. Eralynn desperately wanted to see her friend again, not only for help out of this cage, but because she missed her and worried about her. She hoped that the being imprisoned next to her would help her find Aerance, as well as escape.
Meanwhile, the evil men, who had captured them all, constantly came to check on them. Their eyes must’ve been very used to the dark, since they didn’t need to bring a torch to view them. Eralynn could always tell when they were checking up on her and Rhylan, though, since they taunted them both incessantly.
Whenever one of them came in, despite how the fierce creature next to Eralynn was feeling, it would drop to the floor and lay down as if troubled or sick. The idea that the poison was still affecting it gave the men false confidence, and they checked on them less and less as the time passed.
Eralynn decided that it would be best to stop asking it so many questions, due to the fact that it was going to help her regardless. It seemed worried enough on its own, without having to answer all of her annoying queries.
Eventually, Eralynn fell asleep. She’d been trying her best to ignore her head injury, and her exhaustion had proven to be quite a burden. So, she gave in, finally sleeping soundly.
However, she hadn’t been sleeping for very long when a voice behind her caused her to wake with a start.
“Hey, yeah... just bring it in here. These aren’t much of a catch, but the boss should care since we got him the biggest prize of all,” a man snickered.
Eralynn slowly rolled over on her side so that she could face the side where the man’s voice was coming from. She stared hard, able to see slight motion, as one... No, two men brought in another cage. It was much smaller than hers and Rhylan’s, though. They were dusting their hands off on their clothing, when it all seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.
Eralynn could see, on the other side of the chamber, the two eyes beginning to glow, like she had witnessed before. This time, they were at a higher level, so she had to assume that it was now able to stand. It took the two men a few moments to notice, but by the time they had turned around, it was much too late. From the faint light of the glowing eyes, Eralynn saw that they were both pummeled by a stream of rushing water, which knocked them backwards. The force of the water caused them to slam against something, most likely the wall of the enclosure.
Her gaze flew from the two men back to the glowing eyes. She saw them slant to the side, and she heard rough scraping against the bars. It trying to rip them apart. After it gnawed viciously at the steel, Eralynn finally heard the creaking and breaking of the cage walls. She marveled at its strength, never having known anything with jaws so powerful.
It continued its escape by pushing the bars outward with only its weight. It eventually got out and turned to Eralynn and Rhylan’s cage with haste. The small girl fell back next to Rhylan as the eyes were suddenly thrust so close to her. They both gasped as they watched and listened to it ripping through the steel, tearing open the cage for their freedom. It pulled back the tough bars almost effortlessly, making a clear escape for them both.
“Come!” The beast shouted.
Eralynn grabbed Rhylan by the shoulder of his cloak and yanked him out of the cage with her. She watched as the creature leapt quickly away from the room, trying to lead them out. Carelessly running after it, she tripped over a rock and fell to the ground. She felt Rhylan bump into her, but caught himself before he could fall on top of her.
“We cannot see!” She exclaimed towards the creature. Frustration surged through her body. How was she supposed to follow such a swift one, when she could not even see where she was going, much less who she was to follow?
“Yes, you are right,” its voice rang again in her mind.
Then, the solution to this problem came. Eralynn and Rhylan’s attention was grabbed by a sudden light in front of them. It was not so much a glow as it was a faint blue and green shimmer, but it was enough to make Eralynn squint at first. She forced her eyes to get used to the strange aura that lay ahead, and focused upon it.
It was a Pokemon. Eralynn was sure of it, now. It was rather large, and she knew that it would tower over her with ease. Its body was all blue, with white diamond spots scattering its sides. It stood on all fours, and its body resembled that of a magnificent, giant dog. It had a white snout, and atop its head it bore a hexagonal, dark green ring. Beneath the ring, a purple mane was attached, which draped out across its back and flowed gracefully as if it was made of silk. Its tail split into two parts that resembled strips of ribbon, and they wrapped around, towards the creature’s front.
Eralynn wanted badly to ask what and who this Pokemon was, but they were in a hurry, so she bit her tongue and got up quickly, so as to follow the giant, glistening dog. She could see the rocky floor slightly better than she could beforehand, and she kept herself wary of obstacles that might be in her way as she ran. She kept looking down at the ground, up at the Pokemon leading her out, and then back to make sure Rhylan was still with them.
Before exiting the room, she saw something familiar lying in the corner. It was her bow and bag of arrows. She also spotted Rhylan’s sword lying against them.
“Hold on!” She pleaded as she ran to grab her and Rhylan’s weapons.
They made it out of the room just fine, and now, the huge Pokemon led them through a narrow tunnel. Not able to really ask questions at this point, Eralynn was forced to just quietly follow the creature, hoping that it knew the way out of this place. Strangely enough, it seemed to run by leaping and jumping, not by trotting, and it had incredible speed. Eralynn and Rhylan were holding it back a lot. She knew this because it kept having to stop and wait for them both to catch up.
They came to a sharp curve in the tunnel, and the Pokemon suddenly come to a halt. The two humans followed suit, gasping for breath while they had a chance. They waited to hear its orders, but instead, it only stood and watched. Suddenly, its shining body began to fade, and they were all shrouded in darkness again.
“What are you doing?” Eralynn whispered anxiously.
“Shh, do not speak for a moment,” it told her.
She obeyed, trying her best to breath softly. She looked up and barely saw the creature staring intently at something. She attempted to follow its gaze, and she could see a dim light in the distance. Listening closely, she could heard faint noises: a banging sound and also voices.
“They are there,” the Pokemon said, and even its whispers echoed within the tunnel.
Without a word more, it began to walk forward. Eralynn sighed, but followed it anyway, Rhylan trailing close behind. As they crept forward, the light grew brighter and brighter, and they no longer needed the Pokemon’s aid to see their way. Turning yet another sharp corner in the tunnel, the light suddenly became brilliant, and Eralynn was forced to cover her eyes with her hands. The strong creature that guided her only needed to blink a few times before it was able to stare into the firelight.
“You must crouch lower now,” it informed the two.
Listening, they both bent down low to the stone floor of the tunnel. The large dog Pokemon did the same, and they followed it as it crawled forward, closer to the opening of the rocky corridor of the mountain. Slowly, the square opening towards which they crawled grew larger and larger, and the sound of voices rang louder and louder.
Just before the edge and out of site of those below, the blue creature made them stop. They remained there, crouched down, observing the room that this tunnel had led them to find. It was vast, with a ceiling that seemed to possess an infinite height. Torches were scattered about the walls, giving the large room a bright, orange glow. Each of these was positioned at a gigantic hole in the wall, which Eralynn presumed to be more tunnels, just like the one she now waited in. There were many of these, at least twenty in this room alone, and at their entrance was a flight of stairs leading to the floor of the room.
Beneath her, Eralynn could hear men shouting orders, but to whom, she did not know. She could also make out the distinct sound of a cracking whip, and roars and cries which did not seem familiar.
“They are taming Pokemon down there,” the creature next to her muttered gravely, answering her unasked questions.
Eralynn looked down and frowned, feeling the anger building up inside of her. This was why her people were at war. This is why these cruel humans had captured her and Rhylan. The reason that they wanted to treat Pokemon this way was for their own greed and desire for power. She felt it difficult to control her temper, especially now, and she wanted badly to stand up and fight all of them by herself with only her bow and arrow. However, she tried to calm herself as she glanced up at the one who had saved her from being imprisoned. They had all made it this far alive, and Eralynn now knew for sure that she could trust the great Pokemon, whoever it may be.
However, her thoughts were instantly interrupted when she heard a sound that she recognized coming from below. Her heart leapt in her chest as she realized that it was a horse’s whinny.
“Aerance!” She screamed, unable to control herself.
“No!” The powerful creature at her side bellowed as she rose from her hiding position.
She stood staring down at the floor of the great chamber, now able to see the men and Pokemon at its bottom. She observed that she, Rhylan, and the blue Pokemon were quite high in the room, and that there were many stairs leading down from the tunnel to the floor. She watched as the men below stopped what they were doing and turned to look at her. Anguish filled her as she saw all the Pokemon chained to the walls, being forced to obey their new masters.
Scanning the bottom quickly, she spotted a flash of fire. Her eyes rested upon her best friend, chained to the wall by a rope tied around her neck. She appeared out of breath, struggling to free herself from the clutches of these evil men all this time.
The man that stood in front of her, the one trying to tame her, was momentarily distracted, and Aerance took advantage of this. She quickly opened her mouth, revealing a ball of flame. She shot it at him with all the force she could muster, and it hit him from behind, leaving him stunned. He screamed in agony, feeling the flames licking his back, and all eyes were on him.
“Why would you do that?!” The dog Pokemon at Eralynn’s side screamed angrily at her.
She was speechless, now perfectly aware that she had made a mistake, giving away that they had all escaped.
“It’s those kids from Derelon!” One of the men below shouted. “Do not let them get away!”
Almost immediately, all of the men dropped everything and began running up the stairs that led to the tunnel housing Eralynn, Rhylan, and the dog Pokemon. They scrambled upwards, believing Eralynn to be the only one there. However, they stopped dead in their tracks as the blue, majestic Pokemon arose from hiding to face them. Eralynn watched as their expressions changed from those of determination to those of terror.
“Suicune is loose, too!” One of them screamed.
“Impossible! It has been unconscious from the tranquilizing herbs for days!” Another muttered to the rest.
“Yes, I even checked on them all... They all seemed...” A man’s voice trailed off in despair and disappointment.
They stopped discussing the problems and watched as Suicune, whose name Eralynn finally knew, raised its head towards the ceiling, as if baying at the moon. Rather than a howl, it let out a great roar that echoed throughout the entire cavern, causing all within to cover their ears with their hands.
“You will pay for what you have done,” Suicune spoke nobly, powerfully.
The men below pushed their fear aside and charged towards the three once more. Eralynn glanced at Rhylan, looking for a plan or a way out.
“Let me handle this,” Suicune ordered, and stepped right out on the edge of the tunnel.
Its body began to shimmer blue, green, and purple, just as it did before, and suddenly, Eralynn could hear the sound of rushing water coming from behind them. Suicune grabbed the sleeve of Rhylan’s cloak in its jaws and pulled him closer. He beckoned for Eralynn to come near, as well.
“Hurry, get on!” He shouted over the sound of fast running water coming from behind.
Eralynn and Rhylan obeyed the great creature, and climbed swiftly onto its back. They held on tightly as Suicune leapt gracefully from the edge of the tunnel, and landed on the other side of the men who had previously trapped them. Just as Suicune began to speed down the stairway to the floor, water flowed forcefully out, making its way for the group of men the trio had narrowly avoided. They turned and ran, but they were no match for the push of rushing water. It collided with them all, and they fell with it as it flowed down the stairs.
Eralynn looked across the floor as Suicune reached the bottom. She spotted Aerance in the far corner, ripping at the ropes that strangled her with her teeth. She was trying her hardest to free herself. Then, the terrifying realization came to Eralynn.
“Oh no! Aerance is a fire Pokemon! She can’t take the water, Suicune!” She yelled over the sound of screaming men, Pokemon, and gushing water. “Aerance!” She shouted. “Try to climb to higher ground!”
Aerance still struggled to free herself, pulling and tearing at the ropes that entangled her. She could not seem to break them, since her teeth weren’t those of a carnivore.
“Suicune! Do something, please!” Eralynn exclaimed in her fury.
The great Pokemon nodded, and flew towards Aerance. It shouted at her to move to the side so that the rope would stretch out. As soon as she did, it leapt, and with only one bite, Aerance was free. Immediately, she ran for the nearest staircase, galloping rapidly upwards, away from the flowing water beneath. Suicune followed her, with Eralynn and Rhylan still holding on.
The other Pokemon that were enslaved by these people were also breaking free. They ran as fast as they could up the stairways, anxious to reach safety. They followed the way Suicune and Aerance had run and were now waiting in the tunnel beside them. Eralynn noticed a familiar Meganium amongst them...
On the other hand, the evil men were not so fortunate. They were swept up by the careless, relentless waves, and they were now trying to stay afloat the violent waters that trapped them.
Suicune finally came to a halt, as did Aerance. They both turned, allowing Eralynn and Rhylan to watch what was occurring at the depths of the giant chamber. This was only a temporary victory, though. Eralynn knew somehow that she, Rhylan, Aerance, and Suicune were not the only ones who were trapped within the mountain. The other warrior initiates had to have been there, as well. She turned back to look at Rhylan.
“This is the lair of Team Devastation, Rhylan, I just know it,” she said solemnly.
“It has to be,” he replied, for once not arguing with her.
“They must have the others, then… Listen, back in Derelon, I saw these Pokemon, Mightyena, you know. Anyway, they had these dark red collars on. It must’ve symbolized that they’re on the bad team. So, I saw these Pokemon chasing you and the others… They had the red collars on, as well,” She explained quickly to him.
“How the hell did you see us being chased by Pokemon?” He asked her, frustrated.
“You just have to trust me; I know that they’re here, okay?” She said.
“Ugh... fine then,” Rhylan grunted.
“Suicune,” Eralynn said, turning around again, “There are others like Rhylan and myself, here. We have to go find them, too.”
“Hmm, yes. We should set all the prisoners free, now that my full potential is back,” it said.
“But, there’s a slight problem,” she said. “I have no idea where they might be.”
Suicune sighed hopelessly. He seemed to be thinking for a moment.
Suddenly, Aerance walked up to the dog Pokemon’s side and nudged Eralynn on the cheeked. She snorted, indicating that she wanted Eralynn’s attention.
“What is it, Aerance?” She asked her friend.
Aerance whinnied, kicking up her front legs. She then turned, and began walking deeper into the tunnel in which they all stood.
“Should we… follow you, then?” Eralynn inquired, puzzled.
Aerance nodded, shaking her mane up and down, causing the flames to spiral upward.
“Okay, then,” Eralynn said, then turned to Rhylan. “Perhaps she saw where the other prisoners were taken.”
He nodded, looking back at Aerance. She trotted slowly, making sure they could see where she was leading them. Suicune followed closely behind, able to see clearly by the light of Aerance’s flame upon the stone walls of the tunnel. The other Pokemon walked right behind them. They walked quite a distance, but Aerance seemed quite confident in where she was taking them. They came to many forks and turns, but the fire horse barely hesitated, leading them deeper into the mountain.
Eralynn grew nervous after some time. What if the men from the gigantic room had finally escaped the water that engulfed them before? They could have easily been following them by now. And although Aerance kept them going at a fast and steady pace, they could’ve caught up anyway.
Her fears were soon replaced by curiosity, though, as they finally came to a small doorway. They all ducked and stepped inside cautiously, careful not to make too much noise. Eralynn could see two guards lying inside. Behind them, there was a large cage, housing many people. Eralynn recognized them soon enough, and realized that these were the warriors who had been captured by Team Devastation in her vision.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing here?” One of the angry guards asked them, drawing his sword.
Suicune’s reaction was nearly instant. It threw its head back and opened its jaws, releasing a stream of water from its mouth that directly hit the guard. The other gasped at its power, and he quickly sheathed his sword and tried to run. Aerance caught him right behind her, though, and performed a stomp attack, throwing him off balance and causing him to fall.
“Yeah, Aerance!” Eralynn praised happily.
Aerance turned to face the fallen guard, and he now lay quivering in the corner of the room. She stared him down, making him even more frightened than before.
“Hey, grab the keys off of him!” Rhylan shouted at her.
She listened, bending down and taking the keys out of his hand. She brought them back to Aerance, who hopped off of Suicune so that she could unlock the cage which held all the warriors.
“Eralynn? Rhylan?” A hoarse voice came from within.
“Landon?” Eralynn and Rhylan both uttered at the same time.
“What are you guys doing here?” Landon asked.
“We’re saving you,” Eralynn replied, rolling her eyes.
She twisted the keys in the lock until she found the right one, then she opened the door, letting the prisoners out. They all exited slowly. It seemed they couldn’t walk very well. Meanwhile, Aerance kept watch on the guard in the corner.
“Come on, hurry up!” Eralynn urged impatiently.
Eventually, the last person stumbled out, and Eralynn shut the cage door behind him. Landon and the others seemed to be exhausted, and they could barely stand.
“How long have you guys been here, anyway?” Rhylan asked them.
“We’re not sure, actually,” a boy named John responded. “They captured us and brought us here, and we don’t really remember much of it…”
His cloak was ripped, along with everyone else’s. It appeared as if they had been beaten, but none had very serious injuries.
“I’d say maybe six days or so,” Landon told him.
Then, a sudden smile came across his face as he looked through them and towards the group of Pokemon behind them. His eyes lit up and he staggered towards them.
“Meganium!” He said cheerfully. “I thought I’d lost you, buddy!”
The green grass Pokemon came forward to greet its friend. It looked like a dinosaur, stood on all fours, and had flower petals around its thin neck. Eralynn knew she had seen it somewhere before, and this only confirmed it. It smiled happily at Landon as he hugged it.
The rest of the tired warriors did the same, getting up just to greet their friends. They were caged up for a long time, so Eralynn and Rhylan let them have their moment before making them run off again.
After they had all found their friends in the crowd of Pokemon, Eralynn told them that they had to leave as soon as possible.
“Does anyone know a safe way out of here?” She asked everyone around her.
They all responded with murmurs of uncertainty, and she only sighed with worry. They had come this far, though, and she would not let them all give up now. She glanced up at Aerance.
“Alright, we’re going to have to lead them out of here, bud,” she informed her.
She hopped up on her back and noticed that there was still a piece of rope around her neck. She untied the knot and pulled it off, revealing a line of irritation around the Ponyta’s neck.
“You poor thing…” Eralynn muttered softly.
Aerance turned around, so that both she and Eralynn could face the group behind them.
“We must leave this place now,” she said loudly enough to get everyone’s attention. “We are lucky that we have escaped and made it as far as this, but we need to find a way out. If anyone knows one, please, tell me.”
She looked around at the quiet group. The humans were having a hard time moving and standing, while the Pokemon looked scared and frustrated. They were all so weathered, and she did not know what to do for them.
“Um, everyone mount your Pokemon now,” she said quietly.
To her surprise, they obeyed her without question. Did they think of her as some form of authority, now? She didn’t know, but she felt that they needed some sort of leader. All of them were so tired and disheartened. They had no motivation to escape on their own, so it would only help. She herself had been imprisoned for a couple days, while they hadn’t had any food for at least one week. It was up to her and Rhylan to aid them now.
“Follow me,” she told them, and she could hear the sound of their Pokemon's feet walking behind her.
Rhylan on Suicune walked at her side, not a pace behind her. Landon and Meganium were on her other side, but a couple steps back. With the four of them flanking her, she found herself to be slightly less nervous, but she was still rather uncertain of exactly where she was going. She was finally doing something that wasn’t just for fun. She wasn’t playing a game or a prank, but trying to lead a small band of her people to safety.
“Psst, Aerance,” she whispered to her friend. “Do you have any idea of the way out?”
The Ponyta snorted, declaring that she didn’t. She kept walking at a steady pace, allowing the slower, tired Pokemon behind her to keep up. They had not been walking for very long, when they suddenly heard voices.
Eralynn felt Aerance twitch in excitement, and she saw, out of the corner of her eye, Suicune prepping itself to attack. Landon’s Meganium, tired from the lack of sunlight that a grass Pokemon normally loved, still extended its vines and poised itself for battle. Eralynn was dreadfully nervous. She now could hear the sound of a Pokemon… A big Pokemon…
She saw a dim shadow coming around the corner, and five men in dark cloaks emerged. Eralynn sighed in relief at first, thinking they were safe from any real danger.
Then, to her absolute horror, two huge, winged beasts came up behind them. Through the firelight, she could see their dull-colored bodies, their sharp teeth, and their ripping talons. She could hear nearly everyone positioned behind her gasping in shock, as the two creatures let out a piercing, deafening roar.
“Everyone, hold your ground,” Eralynn instructed, while shaking from fear herself.
How were they to defeat such huge, vicious Pokemon when all of them were exhausted and unfed? She knew that they were all doomed. She knew that even Suicune’s power might not be able to match these creatures,’ from the looks of it.
“Yes, that’s it,” one of the cloaked men said, stepping away from the others. “You will pay for trying to escape, little ones. You have no chance against my ferocious beasts; it is over for you!”
Stir of The Thunderstorm
Joined Jan 2004
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