Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Realms ❯ Trapped for a Trap ( Chapter 27 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
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Trapped for a Trap
“This is the place all right.” Firestorm nodded, glancing around the forest.
The hidden entrance to the sacred fields was located amongst the trees here, just a few miles from the Alenky Labs.
It had taken the group about a day to make the trip, having flown part of the way at the expense of their much needed energy. But everyone had deemed it necessary considering the urgency of Garrick's message…and now they saw why.
It looked like several skirmishes had recently taken place in the area, with broken trees, charred patches of grass and uprooted plants lying all around.
“Hey! Firestorm! Nightslice!” A voice called from above.
“Is that Vance?” Firestorm's head jerked up.
A greenish blur suddenly shot out of the sky. Nightslice was swift enough to step aside, but Firestorm wasn't nearly as agile and Vance knocked him head over heels, ending up standing on the Charizard's belly.
“Erm, hi there!” Vance beamed. “Sorry, got kinda over-excited.”
“Yeah, I figured.” Firestorm grumbled, heaving up and tossing the Flygon off.
“Still the same as always.” Nightslice laughed.
“It's good to see you again.” A small four-legged dinosaur, a Bulbasaur, stepped out of the bush. “You have my gratitude for coming to here.”
“So you're Garrick?” Kris knelt down. “This fellow here is Jade, and my name is Kris. We're battle partners with Nightslice and Firestorm.”
“A lot more than that actually.” Jade added in.
“So they've told us.” Garrick nodded. “But we shouldn't talk out here where any undesired listeners may be present. The Sacred Fields will be safer, but even then they're not entirely secure for the moment.”
Nodding, the group watched as Garrick raised one of his vines and waved it about. A greenish light appeared between a couple of trees, indicating that the portal had appeared.
“Please, this way…” He gestured.
As much as Hazuki desired to save her sister, she just couldn't bring herself to leave the situation as it was. She realized now that Bashaamo had helped them so much. It had been in fact, she who had freed Yusia and kept her hidden from Kaiser's troops.
Now she was willing to sacrifice herself so they could escape…
(We have to help her!) Hazuki declared.
“Just what I thought you'd say.” Asiyu grinned.
“What are you doing?” Bashaamo yelled as the ice dragon thrust her claws into the mass of swirling energies.
“We can do this together.” Asiyu gritted her fangs. “We can beat him!”
“Humph, have it your way then.”
All three combatants screeched and grunted, focusing their powers into the swirling mass that represented the center point of the clash. The glowing orb grew brighter and bigger as more power was channeled into it.
Even Kaiser was struggling and for a while, it seemed as if he might've lost. Unfortunately, everyone had forgotten the last factor Kaiser had in his favor… Raguragi.
Asiyu only realized the critical mistake from the Swampert's roar.
But by this time, it was already too late. Raguragi raised his two crystals, representing the Water and Ground elements, and fired off a beam from each one. Rather than shoot them into the center of the energy mass, Raguragi blasted Asiyu in the back instead.
The dragoness crashed right through the nearest wall with a howl of agony. Some of her bones had definitely snapped and blood was getting into her eyes too.
However, even that wasn't her greatest concern. For Bashaamo was now left all alone against the massive convergence of energy that they'd created. Bashaamo neither tried to run nor resist it any longer. All she could do was direct one final Fire Blast projectile against Raguragi, hurling the Swampert against the wall.
Seconds later, the gigantic energy orb detonated around her.
(No!) Hazuki and Gwyen screamed.
At the last moment, the Blaziken looked directly towards them with a warm smile.
I can finally…see my…son again…Bashaamo's voice echoed as she disappeared into the explosion.
The force of the blast was so powerful that it shoved Asiyu along the floor and out through the building's window to the main street. The red-stained ice dragon was smashed into a bloodied crater of broken bones.
Raguragi barely had enough time to shield himself while Kaiser did the same. Only thing was, the dark Scizor made sure to shield Yusia's unconscious form as well.
When the dust cleared, Raguragi found his master staggering unsteadily to his feet. Behind him lay Yusia, completely unharmed. Asiyu was sprawled outside the alleyway, barely even conscious.
“Master!” Raguragi limped over, one hand clutching his side.
Kaiser lifted Yusia carefully onto his own shoulder and gestured to Asiyu's limp form. The dark Scizor intended to have Raguragi take the ice Spirit Crystal, but a series of loud noises quickly caused him to reconsider.
The explosion had attracted the attention of the local Pokemon. By this time, the trained guards had gotten organized and were sweeping the area. The first thing they saw was Asiyu's battered body and immediately jumped in to attack.
“Look! It's a dragon!”
“That must be the one!”
“Hurry! Get it!”
Asiyu was instantly swarmed and mercilessly battered into submission. All she could do was cry out in agony. Even though Hazuki and Gwyen didn't physically feel Asiyu's pain, their energies were tremendously drained too…leaving them to helplessly watch through Asiyu's eyes.
“We'll leave the ice crystal for now.” Kaiser decided, handing Yusia's body to Raguragi. “Have your troops take the crystal, once the locals are, how shall we say it? Done with her.”
“Of course master.” Raguragi grinned.
Retrieving Bashaamo's Fighting and Flying element crystals, Kaiser and Raguragi quietly departed…leaving Asiyu to her fate.
“Yu….si…a….” The Ice Dragon whispered in despair.
“It really is a beautiful place.” Kris remarked as she finished a brief walk around the garden.
The fields were exactly as Firestorm and Nightslice remembered, except without the two of them `decorating' the scenery. In fact, this was probably one of the longest times that they'd actually stood here without being attacked by vines or being rooted to the spot.
Nightslice shuddered and shook the thought off.
Meanwhile, Garrick had been updating everyone on the situation. But even the guardian didn't have much more to say than he did in the letter. Only that Juncan and some of his troops had been showing up recently, about every three to four days. A few brief struggles had ensued, but Garrick and Vance felt that they would not be able to keep resisting for much longer.
A majority of the grass-type Pokemon that once inhabited the fields had already vacated, presumably sent away by Garrick for their own safety. That left only themselves and the sacred tree to worry about.
“What do you think Kris?” Jade asked, discussing their plan of action. “Should we just bring it up to a head-to-head?”
“That'll be messy.” Nightslice replied, glancing around the area. “We don't want to destroy the place we're trying to protect. Besides, if it comes to Storm, he'll be spewing flames everywhere…and that won't be good for the locals.”
“Hey! Don't you think I'm that reckless?” Firestorm snorted. “Humph!”
As he did however, a small jet of flames emitted from his nostrils charring a nearby set of bushes. Vance had to scramble to snuff the tiny fire out.
“Storm!” Everyone yelled.
“OK! I'm sorry!” The Charizard waved his claws in protest. “But besides, the grass field is Juncan's element. He'll find some way to use that to his advantage for sure.”
“Either that or he'll flee if he doesn't have that advantage.” Nightslice muttered.
“Fleeing is something we don't want him doing. We have this chance to take him out, and I'm not gonna waste it!” Firestorm growled. “Plus, I don't think he really expects us at the moment.”
“In other words, you're suggesting we set a trap.” Kris nodded.
“Set a trap that will catch a thief?” Vance whistled. “Sounds tricky.”
“And you're the one to talk about it.” Garrick shot him a glance.
“Well, I'm an ex-thief. That counts a lot.”
“So, you should be the one to advise us.” Kris tapped the Flygon on the shoulder. “How would we get him to lower his guard?”
“Erm…well…” Vance scratched the side of his head thoughtfully. “Maybe if you give him something he really wants, yeah…perhaps that might work.”
“Man, what sort of a thief are you?” Firestorm sighed. “No wonder you got caught!”
“Hey, ex-thief! Do get it right!”
“Hmmm…give him something he wants…” Kris tapped her belt, feeling the scabbard of the sword that was strapped there.
(Oh great, you planning on using me?) Bahamut's spirit spoke from within the blade, catching the attention of Garrick and Vance, who hadn't exactly heard the Legendary Dragon talk yet. (I don't appreciate being…hey!)
Kris had drawn the sword and stuck it into the ground. Puzzled, Jade followed and did the same with his own weapon.
(Fine use me too.) Lombadra muttered sarcastically.
“No, it's too obvious.” Kris shook her head, gesturing towards the swords. “If he sees just our Spirit Weapons here, Juncan will definitely suspect us to be hiding around somewhere.”
“Yeah, the guy's cocky, but he's not stupid.” Nightslice agreed.
“You know…I think I have an idea…” Firestorm suddenly grinned. “Here guys.”
The Charizard dragged the rest of the group away with his wings, leaving the two swords stuck in the ground. Everyone's voices lowered to whispers as they entered the discussion.
(Fine leave us like this then!) Bahamut huffed.
With the discussion done, the rest of the group quickly spread out. Kris and Nightslice followed Vance deeper into the forest while Jade, Firestorm and Garrick remained behind. The three left there began digging a couple of pits in the ground.
Kris' group soon returned with some thick branches and large clumps of leaves. The branches were sharpened into spears and placed at the bottom of the freshly dug pits, which were then covered up by thinner branches and the larger leaves.
Finally, bits of dirt and soil were thrown over the pitfall traps to conceal them.
“Whew, that should do it.” Jade panted, dusting his hands off.
(I thought you lot already gave up on the `set a trap' part.) Lombadra remarked.
“Oh we never said that.” Firestorm gestured. “Just that we decided on some different tactics.”
Instead of answering, Firestorm turned towards Garrick and Vance.
“Hope you guys can handle it.” The Charizard winked as Kris and Jade retrieved their swords from the ground.
“Just leave it to us.” Garrick acknowledged.
“Dragon Meld!” Kris and Jade called out, raising the Legendary Weapons above their heads.
Garrick and Vance had to shield their eyes as blinding flashes of light emitted, changing the forms of the four heroes into those of Bahamut and Lombadra. The two Pokemon were left staring as the Legendary Dragons stretched their limbs and flexed their wings and tails.
“About time we got to do something.” Bahamut growled. “So, what's this secret plan of yours?”
(You'll see…) Nightslice's voice sounded with a bit of a laugh.
(Ok Garrick, you can do your thing now.) Firestorm added in.
“I'm confused.” Lombadra scratched his head.
Nodding, Garrick extended a couple of his vines and tapped them against the ground. Lombadra and Bahamut glanced around, puzzled. Nothing seemed to be happening…for the moment at least…
Suddenly, vines shot out from all directions and immediately wrapped themselves around the bodies of the Steel and Fire Dragons. There was practically no chance for the pair to even move or react as they were tightly bound, dragged down….and more.
“What the f….”
“I do not appreciate you not telling us this in advance!” Bahamut screeched. “Have I told you that already? I really DO not!”
(Hey, you'd never have approved if we'd told you earlier.) Nightslice replied.
“That's exactly the point!”
(And since when did we ever need your approval to do anything?) Kris added in.
“Plainly humiliating!” Lombadra finished his fellow dragon's sentence.
(Quit complaining will ya?) Firestorm growled. (What Nightslice and me went through was much worse! At least you know they're letting you go after this.)
(I never really believed it until now.) Jade whistled. (You know, the part about the plants and all…)
(Well Zian wasn't exactly supportive of our story either.)
“Hey is anyone even paying attention to me?” Bahamut yelled furiously. “Hey! Hey! Grrrarrgghhh! I can't move! This is pissing me off!”
“I think you guys are quarrelling too much.” Garrick interrupted, frowning.
(Just try tying their mouths shut.) Nightslice suggested.
“What?” Bahamut gasped. “You're not going to have him…mmmrrrrppgggghhhh! Hmmuurrpphhh!”
The steel dragon's sentence was abruptly cut off as Garrick used his vines to wrap a couple of ropes around his and Lombadra's jaws, leaving them to emit only muffled screeches.
(How do you think they look?) Nightslice asked.
(Pretty helpless.) Firestorm grinned. (That'll fool Juncan for sure.)
The reason for the Legendary Dragons' distress was rather obvious. Much like Firestorm and Nightslice had once been put through, Lombadra and Bahamut had been `attacked' by the vines that guarded the sacred fields…and transformed into plants themselves.
Unsurprisingly, their plant forms resembled those of their Pokemon counterparts.
The mystical vines had embedded themselves into the dragons' scales and armor, changing their gray and red colors into green. Their waist levels were now stuck in the ground, with their legs and tails modified into roots. Going upwards, their arms and wings had all been `tied' beneath the outer surface of their plant forms, leaving only a circle of leaves at their waist and neck levels.
Neither of their heads had changed in shape, but were now wrapped and covered by the vines, giving them their plant texture. Only their eyes and jaws had remained intact. Being rooted to the spot, there wasn't much movement either was capable of other than wiggling their necks.
However, the spots had been carefully chosen, for they were just behind where the pitfall traps had been dug earlier.
The tunnel marking the entrance to the fields then flashed, glowing with a greenish light.
(Looks like he's coming.) Kris noted. (Put on your best act guys.)
Bahamut certainly didn't need to act. He was extremely furiously with practically everyone at the moment, and continued futilely struggling as Vance moved into view, followed closely by Juncan.
“Well, I didn't really believe you had them at first.” Juncan said with a laugh. “But now that I'm seeing it…hmm…”
“So, we can negotiate then?” Garrick queried.
“Sure, just lemme check em out first.”
The Grovyle roughly shoved Vance out of the way as he approached Garrick's location…and the pitfall traps.
(Looks like he's falling for it.) Jade smiled inwardly, even though no one could see it.
(That was even easier than I thought it would be.) Kris added in.
Juncan continued to walk forward, materializing a green Spirit Crystal in his claw. It was of the Grass element, the same type as the field, and thus protected him from any effects of the defensive vines.
“Hold on.” Garrick extended a vine, blocking Juncan's path. “You don't want to step there. There's a pitfall trap.”
(WHAT?) Everyone stared.
What the? He's betraying us! Bahamut though, furiously struggling, but to no avail.
Dammit! I knew this was a bad idea! Lombadra had similar thoughts. Those idiots didn't even think of leaving us an escape route! Now we're completely helpless! Garrghh!
“They put you up to that?” Juncan huffed.
“Figures. I guess I shouldn't have expected them to just come waltzing in here at your call.”
“I have a responsibility to my home and people first.” Garrick declared. “Let's just get this over with.”
“Ooh, guilty conscious eh?” Juncan moved around the pit and stood imposingly in front of the two immobilized dragons, who were both struggling in vain. “Let's see now, just to check if you're the real thing…”
Juncan held out his own Spirit Crystal, which glowed in response to the ones that powered Bahamut and Lombadra.
(Hit his chest! Now!) Kris and Jade abruptly yelled at the same time.
Bahamut and Lombadra were so startled that they just did as they were told. Utilizing the little parts they could still move, both thrust their heads into Juncan's chest. As the Grovyle grunted in surprise, Garrick suddenly shot a vine out and smacked the Grass Spirit Crystal right out of his hand.
“Oh shit! Garrgghh!” Juncan stumbled backwards and felt the ground give way beneath his feet.
It was the hidden pit that he'd accidentally stepped onto. Reacting on instinct, the reptile flipped backwards and clear of the trap. However, that was the last move he would make…literally.
A large amount of rustling caused Juncan to turn his head, gulping. Dozens of the guardian vines were now looming over his head. And without his Spirit Crystal…he wasn't protected from their wrath…
“Oh son of a b…rarrrrrggghhhhh!”
Leaving the vines to do their job with Juncan, Garrick tapped the ground beside Bahamut and Lombadra. The pair immediately felt the vines begin to uncoil themselves from their bodies. It took several minutes, but the dragons finally found themselves free to move.
The first thing they did was to pounce onto Garrick and pin the Bulbasaur to the ground.
“What the heck did you think you were doing?” Bahamut roared. “We played plants for you and you were thinking of backstabbing us? Why…”
(Hey, relax you guys!) Nightslice called. (That was part of the plan!)
“Yeah, and it worked like a charm.” Vance flew over to the group, who moved and allowed Garrick to get up.
“Part of the plan?” Lombadra queried.
(To catch Juncan off guard.) Firestorm explained.
(All that stuff, having Garrick purposely reveal the pit's location so Juncan would stand in front of it instead…) Kris continued. (And be in perfect range for you two to stun him while Garrick took his Crystal away…we planned it all from the start.)
“The WHY didn't you tell us?” Bahamut and Lombadra fumed.
(Hey you guys had to react appropriately to be believable.) Jade told them. (And a genuine reaction is always the most believable one.)
“I can't believe you used us like that.” Lombadra huffed. “Twice!”
“Well, it worked, and we have this.” Vance handed them the Grass Spirit Crystal, which he'd retrieved during the argument.
“This one seems like one of your crystals too.” Garrick held out a second Spirit Crystal, the Bug elemental one, from the tangle of vines that Juncan was trapped in.
The Grovyle's howling had stopped, but he still couldn't be seen due to all the vines wrapped around his body. However, Juncan definitely wouldn't be causing any more trouble for them.
“Sure it worked out fine, but we didn't get to fight.” Bahamut growled unhappily.
“Well, there is the matter of Juncan's troops waiting outside the entrance.” Vance spoke up.
Bahamut and Lombadra exchanged wide, toothy grins.
“Perhaps this won't be such a waste after all…” Lombadra chuckled.
All manner of murmuring was going on between the Pokemon gathered in the forest. After seeing their leader, Juncan, disappear through the strange portal, the various troops had remained waiting outside.
“What's taking so long?” Wondered a Cacturne, who was waiting close to the portal's entrance. This Pokemon was pretty much a human shaped cactus covered in sharp torns.
“You're just too impatient bro.” A second Cacturne waved an arm. “Hey look, I think it's opening!”
Sure enough, the greenish light that marked the secret entrance was beginning to glow. However, what came out instead was a fireball that blew the two grass types away.
“Now this is what I was expecting!” Lombadra roared, jumping out of the portal.
“All right, who's next?” Bahamut stepped up beside his comrade.
A massive upright blue alligator known as a Feraligatr took the challenge, spraying a powerful jet of water. The Legendary Dragons dashed off in different directions, but the water type cleverly turned his attack towards Lombadra, who was part fire type.
“Rarrggh!” Being hit in the face was enough to stun Lombadra slightly, allowing the Feraligatr to clear the gap.
Lombadra was dragged to his feet, feeling the alligator's vice-like grip around his body. The Legendary Dragon responded by `spreading' his wings of fire. The wings on Lombadra's back weren't normally revealed, but only emerged when he wanted them to.
Being made of pure flames, the wings caused Lombadra's attacker to howl in pain and released his hold. The fire dragon quickly turned and drove both fists into the Feraligatr's stomach. Undaunted, the Feraligatr sank his fangs into Lombadra's arm.
Snarling furiously, Lombadra struggled with the blue alligator, shoving each other back and forth. He finally got a foot against his opponent's and kicked the knee, throwing the Feraligatr off balance. Utilizing the advantage, Lombadra hurled the gator aside, smashing down several trees in the process.
(Hey try not to destroy the whole place while you're at it.) Jade sighed. (That was the point of this mission, remember?)
“Oh fine.” Lombadra sighed. “Just as long as this lot keeps me entertained.”
Meanwhile, Bahamut found himself busy dodging attacks from a brown, elephant-like creature called a Donphan. The ground type was using a Rollout attack, curling into a ball and attacking him by rolling about at high speeds.
It wouldn't have been so difficult if not for the various Cacturne and Hariyama that were pestering him. The latter of the two were human-shaped fighting Pokemon whose specialty lay in their large hands and palm thrusts.
In fact, Bahamut had almost gotten run over because the Cacturne and Hariyama were attacking him in-between the Rollouts.
(Better think of something else!) Kris warned. (You can't keep this up.)
“Ya think?” Bahamut hissed.
The steel dragon leapt over the rolling Donphan and found himself dodging the missile-like needles fired off by a Cacturne. Bahamut used his tail to smack away some of the spikes and ended up off-balance. Next thing he knew, the rolling Donphan had knocked him into the air.
Spinning head-over-heels, Bahamut barely made out the Hariyama leaping to attack. With a low growl, Bahamut shot his claws out, catching his foe's wrists. Making use of his momentum, Bahamut spun the Hariyama a full 360 degrees and sent him rocketing to the ground like a bullet.
That left a large crater in the ground with the Fighting type Pokemon's unconscious body in it.
The Donphan and Cacturne also stopped their attacks in shock as Bahamut came down, hardening his tail and twirling into an Iron Tail attack. Both were immediately thrown aside, leaving Bahamut to land neatly on all fours and get up to dust himself off.
“Ha! Nothing to it.” The Steel type laughed.
“Now's not the time to start bragging pal!” Lombadra somersaulted over to Bahamut's position.
“I find that remark funny, especially coming from you.”
“Be quiet will ya?”
All around, the remaining Pokemon troops were gathering into a large circle that surrounded the dragons. Bahamut and Lombadra stood back-to-back, growling and glaring at the opposition.
“So…” Bahamut muttered. “Think there are enough of em' for us?”
“Well…” Lombadra cocked his head to the side. “If one more shows up, it'll probably be trouble.”
“Then that'll have to be the one I take care of.”
With howls that befitted their ferocious-looking forms, the Legendary Dragons charged into the fray.
“So, how's the town Tanya?” Alken queried.
“Pokemon territory, but with a few problems.” The Salamence informed him, flying in and landing on all fours. “The whole town's uneasy because of a dragon attack earlier.”
Tanya winced slightly, having flown on a partially healed wing. Her pride didn't allow her to show it openly, but even Alken could sense that she was still in pain.
“We can never seem to get enough of them, can we?” Abetos sighed. “No offense to you Skiar.”
It had been a tiring trek through the maze of caverns, but they'd finally made it out. The forest was a welcomed sight for a change, despite how dark and brooding it felt. Tanya had offered to check out the town first, leaving Alken and Abetos to camp out in the forest until nightfall.
“A dragon? Here?” Alken wondered. “Aren't these Pokemon grounds?”
“Hmm…I'm sure they aren't normally stupid enough to stumble in here.” Abetos remarked. “Unless you're thinking…”
“One of the others? Yes, I was about to say that.”
“From what I could gather from the townsfolk, the attack occurred just a day ago.” Tanya continued. “There was at least one dragon, possibly more, but it's being carefully kept under wraps. An outside organization is helping to transport the dragon away.”
“Outside organization eh?” Alken reached down and touched the gun strapped to his belt. “Skiar, can your senses pick up any Spirit Crystal energy?”
(Lend this dragon your strength and he shall see.) Skiar focused.
Alken and Abetos put their hands against the Spirit Weapon, channeling in some energy to raise Skiar's senses. The weapon glowed with a purplish light for a few seconds before returning to its normal black color.
(This dragon indeed feels Spirit Crystal energy. He thinks it's weak, but indeed it is there.)
“Seems to merit some investigation.” Alken decided. “How is this organization planning on transporting the dragons?”
“They were preparing a train down at the loading platforms.” Tanya replied. “I can show you to them.”
“However, we have to hurry. I heard that they plan to move out at nightfall.”
“Whew…” Kris panted. “I think we're finally done.”
“Yeah, no kidding.” Nightslice agreed.
“Man, how do you keep this up Kris?” Jade was flopped on the ground in exhaustion, with Firestorm leaning against a tree next to him.
(Well, we did most of the work, so you really should be thanking us.) Bahamut huffed.
(Yeah, who fought most of the troops?) Lombadra added in, although exhaustion could be detected in his voice.
“Unsympathetic as always.” Kris sighed. “Well, couldn't have expected more of you two.”
All around the forest lay the groaning or unconscious bodies of the various Cacturne, Donphan and other Pokemon that they'd fought. Bahamut and Lombadra had reverted to their partners' forms towards the end of the fight, leaving Kris' group to clean up the remaining troops. Even Garrick and Vance had emerged to help at one point, and were now resting in the corner.
Everyone was covered in scars and bruises, along with some bloodied patches, although none of their wounds were serious. Still, they probably had to thank the disorganization and confusion amongst the enemy Pokemon for that.
“Only thing is, what do we do with them now?” Jade wondered. “They're bound to wake up sooner or later.”
“Just leave that to Garrick and his memory powder.” Vance assured. “You guys had better come into the Sacred Fields so it doesn't affect you too.”
Flapping his wings in front of them, the Flygon led Kris, Jade, Nightslice and Firestorm through the portal as Garrick begun spraying off a bluish powder from the bulb on his back.
“Memory powder?” Firestorm asked.
“Oh it's a little something I helped him develop.” Vance explained. “Basically, it'll knock those guys out for a few more hours and when they wake up, they'll have forgotten everything that happened in the past 3 days? Cool eh? Sure made it easier when we wanted to keep trespassers out of the fields.”
“Why couldn't he have had that when we first came along?” Nightslice sighed.
“Hey, why the long faces people?” Vance continued in his cheerful tone. “We won the fight, didn't we? The fields are now safe again, all thanks to you guys!”
“He's right you know?” Jade happily raised the two new Spirit Crystals they'd acquired, representing the Grass and Bug elements.
“I'm just hurting.” Firestorm rubbed his right shoulder, which was rather swollen.
“Yes, we all do need to rest for a bit.” Kris agreed.
“Just as well that we can get tons of healing herbs and remedies in here.” Vance winked. “Besides, there's someone I think you'd like to see.”
“Juncan!” Firestorm and Nightslice raised their heads, their injuries forgotten for the moment.
“No fair!” A voice from up ahead screamed. “I've been triple-crossed! Hey! Help! HEY! You can't do this to me! Let me go! Let me out of here!”
The Charizard and Scizor reached the clearing and immediately burst out laughing.
In front of them was Juncan, as a plant, and rooted to the spot. His coloring wasn't affected much since he was already green, only that Juncan's body now had a plant-like texture to it. Like they'd been before, Juncan was up to wait level in the soil, with his legs having been turned into roots. The vines had wrapped up his arms and upper body too, leaving only his head and neck able to move.
A circle of leaves went around his body at both waist and neck level, with the long blade-like leaf on his head remaining as it was.
“Oh crap…” Juncan moaned as Firestorm and Nightslice stomped over to his position.
“Well, well, look who's the one rooted to the spot now.” Firestorm growled.
“Yeah, we haven't exactly had the chance to pay you back from the last time.” Nightslice continued.
“Erm…err….you're the good guys right?” Juncan muttered nervously. “You won't kill me, right?”
“Nah, we're not savages like you.” Firestorm gestured. “I think it'll be a lot more fun to slowly snip your leaves off, eh?”
“Much agreed.” Nightslice grinned evilly.
“What? No! Arrrgghh! Hey!” Juncan screeched. “Ow! Ow! Ow! No! Stop it! AARRRRGGGHHHH!”
“Man those two are scary when they're angry.” Jade remarked.
“You won't be having any more problems with Juncan.” Garrick said, entering the fields. “We'll keep him here where he can't cause any trouble.”
“That sure sounds good, thanks.” Kris sat down and leaned against a tree. “One less enemy for us to deal with.”
“Ow! Ow! Hey!” Juncan yelled from across the fields.
“Hey, how bout the leave on his head?” Firestorm gestured.
“No! Not that!” Juncan wailed. “That leaf's a Grovyle's pride and…”
Evening had rapidly turned into night by the time Alken's party made their way through the streets, a constant indication of how little time they had left. But at last, Alken found himself spying on his quarry from the darkness of an alleyway.
Several Pokemon, including Mightyena and Swellow, were gathered around a storage carriage of a train, whose doors were currently wide open. An Aggron and Rhydon were struggling to shove a large object up onto the platform.
Alken couldn't make it out at first, but as his eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, the ex-Rocket found himself gasping at what he saw. Without a doubt, it was Nala's dragon form, the same one he'd seen on that day back in the cavern where they were attacked by Registeel.
Only now the large dragon's form was battered, bruised and unconscious. It was also wrapped in some thick metal netting with additional leather straps to further restrain it.
Was this the vision I saw? Alken asked himself. Of Nala being in trouble?
“Alken…Alken!” Tanya's voice snapped the soldier out of his thoughts.
“Seems like they're moving out.”
Indeed, whistles were sounding, along with the grinding of the engines growing louder and louder. Cursing inwardly, Alken jumped up from their hiding place and sprinted onto the track.
“Abetos! Tanya! We've got to get on that train! That's Nala they've got there!”
“Dammit, say so earlier!” Abetos growled as Tanya and himself followed suit.
Neither one had bothered to check out the surroundings, but it was fortunate that all the Pokemon troops were already onboard the train. Thus, there was no one to see the three infiltrators dashing to the rear caboose in the dark.
Abetos easily overtook his partner and leapt onto the last carriage without a problem. However, Tanya stumbled due to her previous forepaw injury and Alken dashed back to help the Salamence up.
“Just leave me and go.” She hissed.
“No, I said we would work together…and I mean it!” Alken insisted. “Now come on!”
Struggling with Tanya's body weight, Alken carefully pushed her up onto the train with some help from Abetos. He had placed one hand on the platform, preparing to pull himself up, when the train abruptly begun moving.
The jerking motion was so sudden that it shook Alken's grasp loose, hurling the black-haired man onto the railway track.
“Alken!” Abetos and Tanya yelled.
“Dammit!” Alken scrambled to his feet, desperately shaking his head to clear out his vision. However, the train was far out of his reach by this time…and there was no way he was going to catch it on foot.