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Old August 9th, 2012 (6:25 PM). Edited August 14th, 2012 by silverexorcist.
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silverexorcist silverexorcist is offline
Individualism in Normalcy!
    Join Date: Jul 2012
    Location: Evergrande, Hoenn
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Adamant
    Posts: 104
    "Well, my shoes are officially ruined." I sighed as I glanced down at them, now blackened by soot. The three of us were trudging through the knee deep mess, slowly making our way uphill along the Jagged Pass. Flannery took the lead, easily navigating through the 'black snow' without any problems. Her shirt was already black, and she wore jeans, so of course none of this bothered her. Solana didn't seem worried about her clothes in particular, but she did constantly brush the falling ash off of her bonnet regularly.

    "Atchoo!" She sniffed as she rubbed her nose with the back of her hand. "Ugh, this stuff is clogging up my nose."

    "You get used to it after a while." Flannery assured and I nodded in agreement. "Just be sure not to inhale too much of it at once."

    "You two are both fire type gym leaders, right?" Solana asked as she indicated us with one finger. "Why did you also ask Francois to come here all the way from Kanto?"

    "Because of what happened to his home, Cinnabar, a long time ago. He's experienced first hand how dangerous volcanic activity can be. I was hoping that he might be able to help with what's going on. Lately, the Pokemon on this path have become scarce. The ones we've seen have all gotten sick for some reason, and we can't seem to figure out what exactly is wrong, no matter what we do."

    "An unknown illness?" Solana frowned in thought. Just then, the ground beneath us began to shake, throwing us off balance as low rumbling sound echoed from below us. It sounded as if the heart of the volcano itself was angry, for some reason. The quake was apparently strong enough to loosen a boulder further up the slope we were on, as a large rounded boulder began to tumble toward, picking up speed toward Solona, who'd tripped in surprise.

    "Arcanine!" I called as my Pokemon manifested from one of the pokeballs around my neck and charged forward. Arcanine carefully bit its teeth into Solana's jacket and quickly dragged her out of the way of the boulder as it went rolling past, shattered as it slammed into a jagged rock we'd passed.

    "That's sort of thing is fairly common recently." Flannery informed us as she sighed in relief, seeing that Solana was alright. I motioned to her to climb onto Arcanine's back so he could carry her up the rest of the way. "The volcano itself seems to be having problems. Something similar happened years ago, back when the legendary Groudon had awakened."

    "Do you think that it might have awakened again?" I asked as I gave up trying to make Solana comply. She stubbornly refused, wanting to continue climbing with us. I held a hand out to her to help her up the slope nevertheless and kept Arcanine out of its pokeball in case another emergency appeared.

    "I doubt it." Flannery sighed. "There would be a lot more earthquakes in places aside from Mt. Chimney as well if it had. But I don't really have any other leads to go on, so..."

    "Hmm." Was all I could say in response. I didn't know what to make of it either. I noticed Arcanine sniffing around curiously, but when I raised a questioning eyebrow, he simply shrugged, apparently not sure of what it was trying to sniff out.

    "Watch out!" I heard Solana cry out suddenly and I whirled around just in time to see three figures fly at me suddenly, slamming into my chest and gut. The force of the attacks threw me onto my back roughly and Arcanine immediately hurried to stand between me and the attackers, arching its back angrily. The three figures were quickly bouncing around on the rocks in front of, using the move "bounce".

    "What are those things?" I muttered as I sat up. Flannery released her Torkoal from its pokeball as she stood beside me.

    "I don't know." She admitted. "Do you think there is an enemy who's causing all of this?"

    "One way to find out. Arcanine, iron tail!"

    "Over heat!"

    Arcanine charged forward with intense speed, shooting toward the bouncing Pokemon as Torkoal spewed flames right behind him. With the flames limiting the attackers' movements, Arcanine was able to swipe its claws at them and knock them back with ease, stopping their bouncing. But as Arcanine moved in to deal the fainting blow, Solana suddenly threw herself in front of Arcanine and my Pokemon stopped immediately, digging its paws into the ash below to kill his momentum.

    "Stop it!" She cried angrily. "You're hurting them!"

    "What are you talking about?" I demanded. "They attacked us first!"

    "They must have been startled by the earthquake like we were! Don't attack them anymore!"

    It was then that I finally looked to see what Pokemon had been attacking us, and I was surprised to see that it was three injured Spoink. They had obvious unjuries sustained by Arcanine and Torkoal's flames, but there were also older wounds on them as well, probably caused by falling debris. And above all, the did look sick. Very sick. I was impressed that Solana had been able to spot that while they were moving around so quickly. But because of these injuries, the three Spoink were hostile, glaring at us with hurt pride apparent in their eyes. So I was annoyed when Solana hurried over to them.

    "Wait!" I said as I started forward, but Solana knelt beside one of them and picked it up in her arms. The Spoink glared at her for a moment and began to use an extrasensory attack, but before it could unleash the attack, its hostile expression faded and instantly became more relaxed. I came to a stop and stared in surprise as the Spoink's wounds faded quickly and soon a rejuvinated Spoink was hopping around happily. Solana quickly moved on to the next two, and the same strange phenomenon happened, leaving three Spoink nearly healed from their external wounds. However, all three were clearly still suffering from an illness, but were no longer in pain.

    "How did you do that?" Flannery asked in awe as Solana walked over to us with the three Spoink following right behind her, cuddling by her legs gratefully. Their attitudes sure changed fast. "How did you heal them like that?"

    "It's a special ability I was born with." Solana shifted uncomfortably as a shyness crept onto her face. "When I touch a Pokemon or person, I can sort of feed my own energy into them and heal most wounds. At the same time, I can glean their thoughts and memories, so I try to avoid using it too much, since it invades privacy..."

    Solana kept her eyes trained on the ground for a long moment before glancing up at me, seeing my frown.

    "You think I'm a freak." She didn't ask, she was sure I thought so. I shook my head.

    "I admit, it's weird. But it suites you. You said you can see their thoughts and memories, right?"

    She nodded, looking directly at the two of us as her timidness vanished. It was only the topic that bothered her, huh?

    "These three Spoink are the only ones left on the mountain down. All the others have fled because the environment is...changing. They're not sure why it is, but they've been scared lately. They didn't want to leave their home behind, but once they saw it would only get worse, they were too sick to leave on their own."

    "The environment?" Flannery repeated. "Ash in, the mountain itself? So it's not just a sickness, but they're getting sick because everything around them is different?"

    "I think so. Like I said, they're not sure of things."

    "Then we'll just have to investigate a bit more." I decided with finality. "I say we go to the top of Mt. Chimney and see what we can find. Something about all of this just doesn't sit right with me."

    The two nodded in agreement and we continued scaling the mountain. Solana, of course, took the three Spoink along with her. I didn't doubt that they would follow her anyways. As the last three Pokemon on the volcano, I'd imagine that they were pretty lonely.

    As we neared the top of the volcano, Arcanine became more and more agitated. Soon, he was sticking his nose into the sooth and breathing in deep, closing his eyes in concentration, then sticking its head up as it inhaled the air. It even sniffed the three Spoink several times, annoying them.

    "Alright, seriously. What's up?" I asked, now exasperated as Arcanine came up to me and started sniffing. "Did you suddenly get a fetish for sniffing people?"

    Arcanine whimpered as it shook its head, sniffing at the air once more. Solana and Flannery watched as it made a frustrated grunt and stuck its nose in the soot below once more.

    "Maybe it's trying to remember something." Flannery suggested. "It might be smelling something familiar."

    "Neither me nor Arcanine have been here before." I assured.

    "Let me see." Solana knelt in front of Arcanine and touch one hand to his head. Both shut their eyes in concentration.

    "He seems to find the soot here to be vaguely familiar..." Solana murmured after a moment. "It's an old memory that he's nearly forgotten. Have you ever been to another volcano before?"

    "Yeah." I nodded. "Some years ago, before Cinnabar kind of, you know, exploded. He was a Growlithe then, though."

    Arcanine suddenly jumped up and barked excitedly, nodding vigorously. Apparently, I'd been right on the money.

    "So you're smelling Cinnabar's soot?" I was clearly confused. "But this isn't Cinnabar. Why would you be smelling that here?"

    "Because time and space have been warped."

    "Hmm, really?" I blinked, then looked up to see who had spoken. Two figures stood at the top of Mt. Chimney, which we had only been a few paces from. One was a man in a black trench coat with a black fedora worn over his head. He had pale skin and black hair that was long enough to be drawn into a single ponytail that laid between his shoulder blades. Beside him, an Armaldo stood, smirking down at us. The other figure was wearing a black hood that hid his face and the rest of his body. His Rhyperior stood right beside him, looking quite intimidating.

    "Who are you?" Flannery demanded, looking surprised. "And how did you get up here? The lift has been shut down until further notice!"

    "We are the Schola." The hooded man replied simply. "We are the loyal worshippers of Arceus and the guardians of the reality he sought to protect. The strange phenomenon you are investigating is the warping of time and space. Cinnabar Island's civilization was once annihilated by an eruption from the volcano there. That volcano is now dormant and is in a far away region. However, thanks to the warping of time and space, the climate Cinnabar once had is now present here, causing abnormalities and the deteriation of nature."

    "Warping of time and space..." Solana repeated. "But...that's just like the stories I heard in Sinnoh! Why is it being warped here?"

    "Because." The man poined slowly toward Solana, then me. "You are here."

    "You're telling us we're the cause of all of this?" I snorted. "That's a lot of bull you're trying to feed, 'Schola'."

    "You don't need to believe us." The man with the ponytail said rudely as he stepped forward. "Fact is, because of you two, this world--this reality--is in danger."

    "And why is it our fault?"

    The hooded figure stepped forward and pushed his hood back, revealing his locks of spiky blonde hair and luminous blue eyes. He looked down at us with an apathetic expression.

    "If you are left alone, the "Guardian of Time" and "Regulator of Space" will return and destroy this world in favor of another, once freed from their prisons in the depths of their banishment. I understand that you two are ignorant. I, Xansa, leader of the Schola, personally apologize to you in advance. Rock slide."

    Both Rhyperior and Armaldo slammed their feet on the ground and numerous boulders began to tumble toward us with dangerous velocity. I considered dodging out of the way with Arcanine, but with Solana and the three Spoink weight us down, I wasn't sure we'd be quick enough.

    "Heat wave!"

    Torkoal spewed a powerful wall of pure heat from its mouth that formed a thick barrier between us and the falling boulders, allowing them to pass around us harmlessly.

    "I don't get what they're talking about, but it looks like they intend to get rid of you guys." Flannery looked me in the eyes, as if trying to see what I was thinking. "Are you okay with me helping?"

    "Go ahead." I shrugged. "Just leave one for me to strangle some information out of. Arcanine, iron tail!"

    I hopped onto Arcanine's back as we charged through the wall of heat almost completely unharmed and hopped up the slope, jumping into the air. I gripped onto Arcanine's main as he spun in midair and swung its tail down fiercely toward the composed Xansa. Armaldo quickly shot forward and intercepted with a metal claw and sparks flew through the air from the collision. Arcanine skidded back as he landed on the ground once more. The man with the ponytail smirked at me as the Armaldo stepped in front of him, claws at the ready.

    "I am Kinsley, an advisor to Sir Xansa." The man introduced himself without much civility in his voice. "And the last person you'll be seeing today."

    "I'm Francois, gym leader of Cinnabar Gym." I couldn't help but chuckle. "And if you think one guy alone can take me down, you've got another thing coming. Thunder fang!"


    Arcanine charged forward and ducked underneath the initial swung from Armaldo's claws, and quickly dug its claws into the ground to push itself out of the way to evade the second swing. This Armaldo was quicker than it looked. But my Arcanine was ultimately faster. After evading several more strikes, Arcanine rushed in on a small opening, smashing its large paws against Armaldo's body and pushing the fossil pokemon to the ground. Arcanine dug its fangs into Armaldo's body as they crackled with electricty, scoring a direct hit that shocked the Pokemon badly. But Arcanine's teeth themselves found no purchase on Armaldo's thick Battle Armor. Armaldo's claw came flying up and slugged Arcanine across the face, throwing him back and nearly tossing me to the ground as a result.

    "That's one sturdy Pokemon you've got." I praised with a grin. "It's not half bad."

    "Thanks, though your Arcanine's not too shabby either." Kinsley passed his thin tongue over his lips hungrily as a dangerous look sparked in his eye. "Armaldo, finish that thing with stone edge!"

    "We're going in for the kill this time, Arcanine. Flare blitz!"

    Flames spread across Arcanine's whole body as he charged forward and I gripped his fur even more tightly. Despite the heat, I was nearly unaffected by the flames myself. We charged through the flying shards of sharp stones that rained on us, and I ignore the feeling of them grazing my flesh, cutting through my clothes, as we rammed straight into the Pokemon, throwing it back against Kinsley. I was slightly dissapointed, however, as the Pokemon stood back up off of its master.

    "Still not down, huh? I guess we'll just have to hit you again."

    "Actually, this battle's over." Kinsley smirked as he pointed to my right. I looked and my eyes widened as a fearful shock went through me. Flannery was lying across her defeated Torkoal, completely unconscious among several shattered boulders. Solana was standing in front of the three Spoink with her arms held out protectively, showing no signs of hesitation before the Rhyperior looming over her.

    "Arcanine, extreme speed!" I ordered frantically. Arcanine charged to the right at top speed, just in time to ram into the "Rock Wrecker" attack Rhyperior fired, deflecting its path. I hopped to the ground as Arcanine suddenly gave in under my weight, the damage from intercepting the attack having injured his left thigh badly. Nevertheless, Arcanine forced himself to continue standing as he stood beside me, glaring at the Rhyperior and Xansa, who eyed me silently.

    "It's futile." He warned. "You may have more Pokemon to fight, but it's useless if the trainer himself collapses first."

    "I don't really care." I shot back angrily. "As if I'll let you attack this girl. She didn't even fight back, did she?"

    "That was her choice. I already told you what our intentions are."

    "Really? Cause it seems pretty stupid to me. How do you know it is us who are causing this space/time distortion, or whatever? What if you're wrong?"

    "Still trying to find a way to argue--?" Kinsley began, but Xansa raised a hand to cut him off. Xansa continued to watch me curiously.

    "I suppose you should know this much. The reason we know it is you is due to simple observation. We know that you two aren't normal. Why is that? Because you hold the pieces of our savior, Arceus."

    "What?" I asked blankly.

    "Surely you've at least heard the legend? Arceus shattered to pieces after stopping Palkia and Dialga's feud, banishing them to the deepest trenches of the rifts within this world, shackled to the duties of guarding time and regulating space. 'Shattered', not 'vanished'. Meaning, his pieces can be salvaged. Those pieces are you."

    "That's insane! How on earth could a piece of the so-called, 'Perfect Being' be inside me?!"

    "It all begins with a prophecy. A foretelling of a specific five who will cause planetary paralysis."

    "And what if you're prediction is wrong?"

    "It is no ordinary prediction. Someone from where the world has been paralyzed has told us this herself. If nothing is done, the world will end."

    "From where the world is mean the future?! That's impossible!"

    "Is it? Take the girl behind you for example. The ability to communicate and heal Pokemon with her bare that normal to you? A piece of Arceus gave her that talent, a talent that transcends human restraints. You have an ability of your own."

    "And what is that?"

    Kinsley grinned. "Remember when we fought a few moments ago? You stood by your Pokemon the whole time without even thinking about the pain. You withstood each of my attacks, putting yourself in danger. Well, let's see just how reckless you are. If you dodge this, the girl being you will die. Armald, hyper beam."

    I stepped directly in front of Solana and spread my arms around without hesitation as the beam of energy sailed toward me.

    "Francois!!!!" Solana cried in terror as the attack hit its mark perfectly, slamming into my chest. Even Arcanine barked angrily as I stumbled, but I didn't fall. My shirt had been completely blown off and my chest was bleeding badly, but I was still breathing. I'd hardly even felt the attack.

    "Immense durability and sturdiness." Kinsley nodded. "Just as she said. I wonder just how many of these you can handle? Armaldo, hyper beam."

    I didn't move an inch, ready to take the next attack, but a barrier of energy erected itself right before me, stopping the "hyper beam" cold. Solana was holding her bonnet in her hand, touching a pokeball on it, having released the Audino that now stood beside me, holding up the protective barrier, "protect".

    "Stop this, Kinsley." Xansa said sharply as Kinsley prepared to have his Armaldo attack until the protect collapsed. "We did not come to make them suffer. There is no need to finish them now anyways--I have already dealt with the Elite Four."

    "Even so, I don't feel the need to let them live." Anger flashed in Kinsley's eyes as he glared directly at me. "They could still prove to be a problem."

    "We're leaving, Kinsley. We have a duty to fulfill at Mt. Pyre. If it goes well, there will not have been a reason to finish them."

    Kinsley continued to stare at me with sadistic longing, but it eventually subsided into a reluctant nod. Kinsley raised another pokeball up as Armaldo and Rhyperior were returned and an Aerodactyl appeared for them to stand on before flying up into the soot filled skies.

    "Wait!" I yelled as I stumbled forward. For some reason, my body wouldn't move as I wanted it too. Solana grabbed me before I could get too far, pulling me to the ground.

    "You're too hurt!" She told me firmly as she sat beside me. Her Audino was standing beside my Arcanine, using heal pulse. "If you try to follow them now, you'll die!"

    "If it was a fair fight, I would've won." I growled angrily as Solana quickly assessed my wounds. "How is Flannery?"

    "She's fine. She was knocked out my a rock blast to the head. I don't think Xansa intended to kill her as well. The Schola tend to follow their own rules pretty well."

    "You know about them?"

    "I've heard about them once or twice. They have a church in Hearthome City in Sinnoh. But...this Arceus thing is new to me. Did you..."

    I shook my head. "This is my first time hearing about it too. But it won't be the last."

    "Why is that?"

    "I'm going to go to Mt. Pyre and find out just what the heck is going on, that's why."
    An avid writer, willing to join any worthwhile creative writing effort. For the Gs: Google, Games, and Gallade!!!
    Because if we can't protect the earth, you can be damned well sure we'll avenge it. -Red, Pokemon Adventures
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