Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Realms ❯ Dark Thunder ( Chapter 14 )
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Arrgghhh...I hate it when that happens. Firestorm told himself.
He was slowly regaining consciousness, but from what he was feeling, Storm wasn't sure he wanted to.
I want to be able to feel my toes! Flap my wings! Move my tail! Garrghhh....why can't I?! Dammit nnoo!!!
He could still think as far as he knew, but realizing that he couldn't move was the major problem. That meant that he was either dead, or....
Firestorm forced his eyes open and was greeted by a scene of great dismay. He was back in the garden of the ancient tree....and as a plant himself.
"NNNNNNNNOOOOOOO!!!! Not this again!!" He wailed.
"Ugh....must you announce it to the entire place?!" Nightslice moaned. The Scizor was also in plant form and didn't look too happy about it either.
"I think they brought us back here after that roof came down." Vance, also as a plant, called from behind the pair.
"Come on! This has to be a joke!!" Firestorm growled, struggling in vain. He remained firmly rooted to the spot. "Don't tell me that old tree really bought the speech you gave it Nightslice."
"Hey, it was something that had to be done." Nightslice muttered. "Despite the costs...."
"Even if it means we're stuck here as vegetables for good?!" Firestorm yelled.
"Some things are worth sacrificing for honor's sake. You remember that right? I have a feeling that you were thinking the same way."
"You just have to bring out the worst in me." The Charizard moaned sarcastically.
"The two of you seem to share a pretty strong bond." Vance commented.
"Humph." Firestorm huffed. His mood however, quickly changed when he spotted Garrick coming into view. "YOU!!!!!"
"I...." Garrick began.
"What you ungrateful little b##tard?! We risk our necks to save yours and this is how you repay us?!" Firestorm roared. "Sure, stick us back here and pretend the whole f###ing thing never happened?! I swear, I'm gonna find some way to get my claws out and rip that crappy little head off your shoulders, even if....."
"I know, I know that I misjudged you." Garrick muttered. "And I want to apologize...."
"Apologize my ass!! I'm still stuck in your little garden, and as what?! Part of it!!"
"Look, you lot were badly poisoned in the fight, so we brought you back here to let the Earth heal your wounds. But...."
"But what?! After you not only turned us into a couple of potted plants, but brainwashed us and...."
"You'll be free to go after this." Garrick finished. "The Ancient One sees you trustworthy...and I owe you I guess. So do the rest of my people whom I was able to save thanks to your help."
Firestorm stopped and simply stared, shocked.
"Excuse his profanities, he's never been good at public relations." Nightslice grinned.
"Hmmm, he sure fits the typical characteristics of Charizards." Vance added in. "Hot-tempered and....."
"Rargghh! Stop picking on me!!" Storm wiggled about. "Let me move now!! I'm gonna flame both of you!!"
"It'll take a while more for you to be cured." Garrick explained. "Let the poison flow out through your roots and the waters of the eternal spring take their place."
"And how am I supposed to do that?" Firestorm asked.
"Just relax and let it happen naturally."
"Wait, you mentioned the eternal spring Garrick." Nightslice cut in. "Juncan was looking for that too. What's it all about?"
"Why don't I show you instead?" Garrick nodded.
The green dino took a few steps back and slammed one of his vines into the ground, stirring up a lot of the early morning dew from the grass there. As the cold water rained down on them, the others saw that Garrick had actually been tapping a smooth stone concealed there.
Garrick held a paw to the stone and a bright green light emerged from the ground. The flash was very bright, forcing the others to squint, though they could still make out the scenery changing around them.
With the view clear again, all gasped at the area they'd been transported into.
The bar squabble had been short, but furious. Fortunately, Skiar had been more than prepared to deal with any fool who'd dared to challenge him.
Alken was impressed at his dragon's ability to both take on and counter attacks from multiple directions. Trying to figure out how the Legendary Dragon fought through his 'sixth sense' however, was the thing that left him pretty stunned.
Skiar had left amidst the chaos and was walking, silently as ever, down a forested path. The cloudy sky hid out much of the moonlight, though the dark elemental Dragon was hardly bothered by it.
Still something didn't feel quite right.
Even with his acute senses, Skiar felt he was being watched and conveyed the thought to Alken.
[What could get past you?] Alken wondered.
[Someone who's from this region, trained in stealth, or possibly both.] Abetossuggested.
Skiar grunted, seemingly in response. Then, he was sent stumbling an instant later. A thin translucent string had been set up between two trees on opposite sides of the road.
In his moment of distraction, Skiar lost his balance and fell forward....straight into a concealed pitfall. The Dragon slammed his head hard against a rock at the bottom, stunning him momentarily.
"There! We have him!" A voice hissed.
A metal cylinder was hurled into the pit, releasing a dark green gas that left Skiar coughing and gasping for air. With the walls of the pit about three times his own height, Skiar's instinct to leap out was met with resistance.
His attackers were jabbing him with blunt metal rods, knocking him back into the gas trap. The first attempt ended with a blow to his chin, and the second a jab to his gut, knocking him breathless.
To make matters worse, the gas had a strong effect which was rapidly slowing Skiar's movements and senses.
[Try changing directions!] Alken urged. [Make your movements less predictable!]
The Dragon fought against the ever-growing weariness in his body and sprang against a wall, digging his claws into it. There was suddenly a lot of screaming in the background, but Skiar focused on keeping his grip. Even the two within the Dark Dragon felt that their 'host' was about to pass out.
Suddenly, a claw reached down and latched onto his wrist. Skiar wasn't in any position to resist and was immediately pulled out onto the grass.
"You fell for them far too easily." A fierce female voice snapped.
Skiar's senses constructed an image of their savior, a humanoid dragon with bird-like wings and talons.
"Is that her? Myollnir?" One of the downed attackers stared.
"Grrr...this is going to make things more complicated." The second one said, standing up.
Both of the attackers had a similar body structure to Skiar.
Their tails were longer and thicker, helping them to balance in their upright stances. Each one wore some metal armor over their heads and upper bodies, but the scales visible beneath were a night black. Although they lacked wings, both were about three feet taller than Skiar, baring their fangs and claws.
These Dragons carried the element of Darkness.
"Shadow Drakes." Myollnir growled. "Your kind of element, eh?"
Skiar made an annoyed snarl and pulled his hand away, struggling to his feet.
[Who are you?!] Alken demanded. [And why are you helping us?]
"Fight first and ask later!" The female Dragon hissed.
The two attackers were back on their feet by now and had retrieved their pole weapons, brandishing them with frightening animosity.
Skiar ducked beneath a pole swing as it smashed a tree behind him. He made the mistake of trying to block the return swing, and paid for that with a broken left wrist. Skiar's face hit the dirt, and he quickly rolled over to avoid having his back smashed by the following downwards strike.
Kicking the pole aside sent the Shadow Drake off balance, giving Skiar the window of opportunity to throw off a Shadow Ball. The energy burst exploded in his opponent's face, knocking the Drake to the floor.
Both warriors sprang to their feet and met head-to-head. The Shadow Drake took advantage of Skiar's injury and twisted his left wrist.
Even as he went down, Skiar managed to shove his opponent away with a roar of fury. However, he also found his right thigh covered in his own red blood, where he'd been stabbed during the frenzy.
The Shadow Drake was back on his feet and approaching fast....with the large, blood-stained dagger.
Sparkling clear water flowed off a small waterfall and down into a lake below. The rocky surroundings making up the waterfall were of a light gray color and also served as support for the many varieties of plant life there.
A rainbow was visible over the waterfall, along with bright rays of sunlight that shone onto the water, giving it a dazzling effect.
The lake branched off into many small streams, one of which ran by the patch of grass where the transformed group had been brought to.
"Wow...." Nightslice whistled. "Quite a place."
"All my time here and I never expected something like this." Vance glanced around.
"This is an old and sacred place, which those assigned as guardians are destined to protect with our lives." Garrick came forward and explained. "The waters here bring life into nature, supplying the mystic energies that flow from the Earth, to its plants and beyond."
"This is what you've been afraid of intruders attacking?" Firestorm queried. "Why would anyone come here? Just to disrupt the cycle?"
"Well possibly. However the waters here are said to have other effects." Garrick replied. "Drinking the water for long enough is said to grant one eternal life."
"Become an immortal...." Nightslice muttered.
"Only those of the grass element can enter here." Garrick continued. "And because many of us living here are in constant contact with the Earth, it's safe for us to sample a bit. Here...."
With his vines, Garrick scooped up a little water and sprinkled some onto the group's roots.
"I feel like there's a great burst of energy within me." Nightslice realized.
"This is why the eternal spring must always be protected." Garrick stared down into the clear waters.
"Always be protected...." Vance repeated.
"Hm?" Garrick asked.
"Oh, it's nothing."
"We've got our own cause to protect too, remember?" Storm spoke up.
"Of course, I understand." Garrick nodded. "All three of you will be free to go after this."
"Three?" Vance started. "You mean....me too?"
"You helped too. And....I guess you've been kept here against your will for far too long. For now, all of you just calm yourselves and enjoy the sacred aura of the spring."
Vance couldn't hide the delight on his face, and his newfound friends smiled with him.
"Wherever you are Kris, we're coming soon." Nightslice whispered. "Just a while longer...."
"Thunderbolt!" Myollnir cried out as she launched the attack.
She was startled to find that her opponent simply blocked the electrical charge with the metal pole.
"Electrically insulated gloves..." She muttered. "Smart ass...."
She almost forgot to dodge the next swing, but executed a summersault when the frustrated Drake reversed directions of his swing for a second strike.
Myollnir landed on top of the pole and slid down towards its wielder, giving him a kick in the face for good measure.
Even as the Shadow Drake fell, Myollnir saw him uttering a soft chant.
An Ice Beam shot towards her, forcing the Thunder Dragon to counter with a fire elemental move, Sacred Fire. It sent off a whirl of flames that caused a small explosion.
Stream hissed as the elements met, eventually clearing out to reveal Myollnir standing as the winner.
"Ugh...that was too close for comfort." She grunted.
Skiar's sudden roar of fury had her snapping out of her weariness and rushing to his aid.
The other Legendary Dragon was on the floor, with a Shadow Drake about to gut him with a large hunting knife. Myollnir hit the Drake with a Thunderbolt, turning his attention towards her.
In the next instant, Skiar was no longer there, but had left Alken and Abetos in his place.
The Houndoom was quick to burst out with a Flamethrower, forcing their opponent away. Alken was tall for a human, and yet dwarfed by the size of the Shadow Drake.
Still, it didn't stop him from smashing his gun into the Drake's knee. The dark elemental lurched over in pain and Alken stuck his gun into the Drake's neck.
"Heads up." Alken grinned.
With a burst of gunfire, the Shadow Drake dropped dead amongst a pool of his own bright red blood.
"Even your partners seem to have picked up some of your nature, Skiar." Myollnir commented.
Alken felt a tingling and Skiar took form before he or Abetos could do anything else. The re-joining process took a lot of effort from the worn down Dragon, but also rejuvenated him back to 'full health'.
Skiar snarled, snatched up the fallen Drake's dagger and hurled it towards Myollnir.
The bird-dragon ducked with a scream. However, the dagger hadn't been aimed at her, but instead the throat of the second Shadow Drake, who'd gotten to his feet behind her.
The carcass dropped to the ground with a dull thud, the only sound between the two Dragons for the next few seconds.
"Watch yourself." Myollnir said finally, dusting herself off. "The forces of this new 'Kaiser' await at every corner to catch you unprepared. It's no longer you, just your Spirit Crystal that he wants."
[We'll take note of that, thanks.] Alken replied.
"Well, I'll be going now." Myollnir spread her feathery wings. "Do me a favor and look after old Skiar for me. He seems to be a little rusty around the edges."
[Why help us in the first place?] Abetos questioned.
"My master has his own objectives. They clash with Kaiser's, but that's all I'll say for now."
[You're like us aren't you? Formed in the same way from two separate entities.] Alken pushed. [And you also seem to know Skiar well enough.]
"And what makes you think that?"
[Just cut to the chase. Who's inside of you?]
"Oh, wouldn't you like to know." Myollnir winked as she took off, disappearing into the night sky.
[Finding out is going to be the fun part.] Abetos commented. [Skiar?]
The Dark Dragon still had his head turned upwards, facing the direction Myollnir had disappeared into.
Being released felt very different from the time they'd first been captured. Neither Storm nor Nightslice could really see what was happening to their plant forms, but it felt like a lot of leaves dropping and the 'vines' being uncoiled from around their bodies.
Before long both were standing by the ancient tree in the garden, finally back to their true forms.
"Man, this feels so good!" Nightslice stretched his limbs.
"Hell yeah." Storm agreed, flapping his wings.
Vance was equally excited and was flying circles around the area in joy.
"He's awfully energetic." Nightslice looked up. "For someone who's been cooped up here as long as he's been, I understand where all his energy comes from."
"Living off the land here does have its advantages." Vance called down. "The pure clean water and fresh air really does a lot for your well being."
"Yeah, and even I feel so much stronger myself." Firestorm clenched his fists. "I'll be sure to take care of Juncan the next time we run into him."
"Hmm, your enemy did manage to take an important item from here though." Garrick gestured. "At the base of the Ancient One, a crystal lay partially buried. It seemed to enhance the growth and strength of the plants here."
"That must've been the glow we saw the very first time we entered this place, remember?" Firestorm nudged his comrade's shoulder.
"A crystal?" Nightslice continued. "A Spirit Crystal perhaps?"
"That's what I was thinking. It's all in the interests of that leafy lizard and his conies anyway."
"Either way, he's got the crystal and there's nothing we can do about it for now."
"I didn't sense the crystal here giving off any particular elemental energy, unlike the others you claimed to have found." Garrick informed them.
"Must've been the Non-elemental (Normal) Spirit Crystal then." Nightslice nodded. "We'll have to do our research later."
"Hey Garrick." Vance flew over them. "Do you mind if I stayed around to, you know, help you out a little?"
"Didn't you want to leave?" The green dino queried.
"Sorta, but I don't have anywhere to go and..."
"Oh, all right. I guess there can be a lot to do around here." Garrick held out a vine to shake the Flygon's claw. "But you'd better keep up with me."
"Always." The Dragon winked.
Silently, Firestorm and Nightslice nodded to each other.
"This place...." Kris glanced around. "Doesn't seem much like a town to me."
[You didn't really expect the teleporters to bring you all the way, did you?] Bahamut's voice sounded.
"Well, never hurts to hope."
Kris had materialized inside of a small cavern, and walked out into the moonlight. She was at the bottom of a ravine with a shallow stream flowing through it.
The circle of symbols behind Kris gave off one last purple glow before the lights faded out, leaving her with nothing but the moonlight to guide her path.
[Its power is exhausted for now, but you should be able to fall back here if anything goes wrong.] Bahamut informed her.
Kris then remembered her Scizor body and checked over her equipment. Her utility belt was strapped across her shoulders, with her sword's sheath placed between the wings. The communicator was also strapped around her wrist, but with pincers for hands, it would be a pain to operate.
"Hmm, the teleporter definitely isn't instantaneous. It's taken me what? An entire day or so?" Kris muttered, noting the time displayed on her communicator.
[Well, magic isn't necessarily logical.]
"Guess that's true." Kris managed to activate the communicator by crossing her wrists and pressing down on the wrist-mounted device. "Zian? Come in."
All she got was an electronic fizzle, followed by some static.
Hmmm....perhaps I need a clear area to allow for a better signal reception. She thought, glancing up the walls of the ravine.
Kris got a running start, then leapt up against the wall. Finding some footing in the uneven rocky surface, she bounded off the wall and propelled herself higher up. Step by step, Kris repeated this process until she was standing at the top, panting.
[Impressive.] Bahamut remarked.
Taking a quick look around to make sure no one was nearby, Kris tried the comn-link again. This time, a voice came through from the other end.
"Receiving your signal Kris." Zian's voice responded. "Seems that you've arrived."
"With some delay, but otherwise I'm all right. What's my position?"
"Let's see, grid 37-4....."
"In English, please."
"Sorry, I mean according to the maps, you're about three miles from your destination of Saffron City." Zian replied. "The terrain is mostly forested and mountainous regions. There is a main highway leading towards the city, but I'd suggest that you stay off that one if you want to keep out of trouble."
"Yeah, I can't take on a whole army by myself..."
[Cut the signal quick!] Bahamut instructed. [I sense another presence nearby!]
"Zian I've got to go! Get back to you soon." Kris shut the comn-link off and sprinted for cover.
A pair of Wyvern-like Pyro Dragon suddenly swooped over the area. Kris' heart was pounding as she dove into the bushes.
Damn! I was too careless!
The Wyvern duo continued circling the area and Kris wondered if she'd been spotted. Then came a sudden rustling of leaves as another Dragon approached from the ground.
It was a gray quadrupled Rock Dragon, the very same breed as the one Kris and Nightslice had fought upon entering this new world for the first time. Unfortunately, she was neither able to call on Bahamut, nor get under cover in time.
"Hey, you there!" The Rock Dragon called.
Kris froze, body tense. There wasn't enough light for the Dragon to clearly make her out, not while he was still some distance away at least.
She couldn't run without drawing the attention of the Rock Dragon, and fighting would only attract the two Pyro Dragons above. No matter which path she took, it looked like Kris was on the losing end.
And time was running out.
[Play along with this!] Bahamut whispered hastily.
"Wha....?" Kris gasped.
"Oh, thought you were one of those rebel Pokemon who hang out around this area."
Kris moved an arm and realized that it now looked like Bahamut's in their melded form, complete with the silver armor, three-fingered claws and the retracted arm-blaster.
"Yeah, no problem. Happens to the best of us." She managed.
"Got turned around in the forest?" The Rock Dragon asked casually, stepping up to her side.
"My shortcut didn't turn out so well after all. Should've just stuck to the main road." Kris nodded.
"Just head back in this direction and you'll arrive at a dirt path marked with some stone monuments. Follow that path North and you'll be back at the road before long."
"Thanks, I'll go for it." Kris nodded.
Kris moved away and walked in the opposite direction from the Dragon patrol.
[I put a hologram of myself over your form.] Bahamut explained once they'd made a safe distance. [Luckily it's nighttime, otherwise your shadow might've given us away.]
"Much appreciated. I really owe you for this one." Kris agreed, shrugging off the fact that she barely avoided having three hostile Dragons snapping at her heels.
[Owe me big time is right! You know how embarrassing it is to have to have my form speaking with your voice?! I care about my image you know?!]
"Really, I wonder if it's Lombadra or you who's got the bigger ego?"
[And don't you dare tell anyone I stuck my neck out this much for you.] Bahamut continued without really listening.
"Cross my heart and hope to die." Kris gestured.
But I don't have any fingers to cross right now. Still, I'll need to be at my best. I have a bad feeling that there won't be any second chances the next time...
"This is unpleasantly familiar." Jade muttered.
He'd emerged from a cavern similar to Kris', only his was located high up, amongst the cliffs. Ravines and valleys ran out in all directions, though there was a general lack of greenery around. It was dusty and rocky surfaces as far as eye could see.
[Seems like my kind of realm.] Lombadra commented. [What's so bad about it?]
"You won't know. It was an accident that made me part human and part Charizard, but for a while, I was fully Charizard, just like I am now. Back then, I hit my head and forgot who I really was." Jade shook his orange head. "I made a mess of things, almost got myself and my friends killed. It's what scares me really, the feral side of me."
[It's also a side that you'll need to bond with if you want to succeed in this.]
"Huh? You..." Jade certainly hadn't expected that from the Legendary Fire Dragon.
[You're just so simple minded you fool.] Lombadra huffed.
Jade still had his utility belt across his body and communicator around his wrist. However, his communicator just wasn't functioning properly, no matter how he banged it about.
I should be able to fix this....but I just can't think right now. Jade thought furiously. Am I going Charizard already? Or perhaps I'm just tired...letting the stress get to me....
"I don't know where to go." He finally admitted. "I can't reach Zian or the others."
[Then do something on your own for a change. You'll never get anywhere if you keep depending on others.]
[Sometimes, you should just let instincts take over.]
"Instincts?" Jade wondered, closing his eyes.
Suddenly, he heard a faint noise. Perhaps it really was far away, maybe it was the wind, or like Lombadra had said, just instinct. But he felt that presence....the presence of others.
Charizards...the Charisific Valley....I hear their calls!
"I think I know where to go!" Jade leapt off the cliff and spread his wings, soaring away into the early morning sun.
[Perhaps there's hope for you after all kid.] Lombadra's voice chuckled.