Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Realms ❯ Critical Crisis ( Chapter 29 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

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Critical Crisis
By nightdragon0
“The end of all roads…” Kris stepped out into the light, blinking.
Close behind were Jade, Firestorm and Nightslice, all exiting the cavern together. The whole group stared in awe at the landscape before them.
The place they'd emerged from was a small cave at the base of a huge mountain. All around, the peaks of other mountains in the range were mostly visible, although some were partially blocked out by the clouds.
A dirt trail led up a small hill, covered entirely with bright green grass, and ended in a wide, flat plateau at the top. That was where a huge white, coliseum-like structure had been erected.
“Wow…” Jade gasped. “What the heck is this place?”
“Indigo Plateau.” Kris replied. “The place where all journeys cross and end. At least, that's what they like to say about it in our world.”
“Yeah, the league.” Jade nodded. “But they can't really call this a plateau. I mean, it's just a flat piece of land surrounded by mountains!”
“Don't ask me, I didn't name the place.”
“He told you to come here?” Nightslice queried. “Kaiser?”
“I just followed the feeling that popped into my mind.” Kris tapped the sword strapped by her side.
“Had to be a pretty strong one considering you had us jump into a teleport point without any sense of where we were going.” Firestorm remarked. “What I don't get is why he didn't go through Nightslice to pass his message.”
“Whatever connection between us was severed in the previous battle we had with him, remember?” Nightslice nudged the Charizard's side. “And even his connection with you, in a sense. Kaiser's now just an individual born from my shadow…one we need to take care of.”
“So, he's in there?” Jade gestured towards the building.
“Most likely.” Kris nodded. “Let's head forward, but keep on alert in case there are any traps waiting for…”
“Oh there are no traps this time.” An obnoxious voice sounded. “Just you lot…and me.”
Poised at the top of the path was none other than Raguragi the Swampert, glaring menacingly down at them.
“Ah hell! Not you again!” Firestorm snarled furiously.
“Haha, yes, my master has finally deemed it to be the appropriate time for you to be called here.”
“I find that very odd considering how long he's operated in secret.” Nightslice shot back.
“Well, that was before, when the master was weakened.” Raguragi said with a wave of his hand. “However, he now holds half the balance of the elements at his command. And that's more than enough…”
“Balance of the elements?” Kris wondered.
“Sure is cocky of him!” Firestorm continued taunting. “I thought you'd have a whole army for us to fight.”
“You'll only find me and the master here.” Raguragi huffed. “Too many individuals would throw off the balance of the elemental energies so carefully gathered here.”
That certainly was a new development, one that wasn't making any sense at the moment.
“What do you mean?” Nightslice asked.
“Oh, do I have to be the typical bad guy and spill the beans for you? Well, if you can beat me, then I'll consider it! Rarrggghh!”
With that, Raguragi leapt forward and smashed a massive fist into the ground. The party scrambled out of the way as a huge fissure split the path in two.
As Nightslice completed his evasive maneuver, a back flip, he quickly regained his center of balance and fired off a Hyper Beam from his claws. But the attack was poorly aimed and Raguragi easily moved out of its way.
“If that's the way you want to play it, then so will we!” Firestorm roared, stepping into a battle stance.
(Hey, I knew I was sensing something different.) Bahamut's voice whispered. (Raguragi doesn't have any Spirit Crystals equipped.)
“What? Are you sure?” Kris blinked in surprise. “I thought he wouldn't go anywhere without them.”
(We're positive.) Lombadra insisted. (But there is something strange about this area. It's like…a jumble of different elements.)
Raguragi interrupted the conversation with a roar, sending off and Ice Beam. Immediately, Firestorm spewed a breath of flames from his mouth, resulting in a great amount of hissing and steam as the opposing beams clashed.
“Shouldn't an outside area feel that way normally?” Jade spoke in response to Lombadra's earlier statement. “For example, in a field, there's grass, earth, water, wind and such.”
(I'm not sure, but I definitely sense something out of the ordinary about it.) Lombadra muttered.
Firestorm and Raguragi's beams had converged into a huge ball of energy, which exploded in a great whitish cloud. With stunning agility, Nightslice sprang through the cloud and attacked.
His foe blocked several of the Scizor's slashes and shoved a foot against Nightslice's chest, throwing the steel-type backwards.
“Hey, who cares?” Firestorm snarled. “If he doesn't have those Spirit Crystals, we can take him out easily if we Dragon Meld!”
“No, we shouldn't.” Nightslice came up to his comrade's side.
“What? Why?”
“Because that's what he wants us to do. Use up our Spirit Crystal energy when the real enemy is just up ahead.”
“Kaiser! Jeez, I never thought of that.” Storm blinked.
“Oh, what a pity. I've been found out.” Raguragi sneered. “But you'll find that I'm no pushover either!”
“We'll take him Kris.” Nightslice turned his head.
“Sure about that?” Kris asked with concern.
“Hey, trust us.” Storm showed a thumbs-up. “It'll be just like old times when we used to do all the fighting for you!”
With that, the Charizard and Scizor charged into the fray.
“Yes…” Raguragi whispered. “All according to plan…”
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The auto-piloted train was coming up alongside yet another tall mountain. The party couldn't help but stare as the train tracks led them on a winding path around the massive structure.
It was practically featureless brown rock with small clumps of vegetation few and far between.
“Hey! Look there!” Hazuki pointed.
The blue haired girl had spotted a white coliseum-like building on the `level' above them. However, the train seemed to be taking them into a tunnel at the base of the structure.
“That's Indigo Plateau, or so I've heard.” Tanya spoke up.
“How fitting.” Nala muttered. “They called us to the place where all journeys end…at least, they say that where we come from.”
“Where paths converge and end….is also where new ones begin.” Alken added in.
No one said anything else as the train plunged into the dark tunnel. Their stay in the tunnel wasn't very long, and the train soon emerged into what looked like a small subway station.
The automated vehicle screeched to a halt and opened its doors. Immediately after, the engines shut off and refused to respond to any of Nala or Alken's poking.
“Well, seems like there's only one way to go.” Alken shrugged, gesturing towards a thick metal door on the opposite wall.
“Ugh…” Tanya moaned, collapsing in the one of the train's doors.
“I think you'd better rest here Tanya.” Alken knelt by her side. “You're still rather beat-up.”
“No, I need to…”
“That's an order lady.” Alken tapped the Salamence's head.
“All right…” Tanya reluctantly gave in. “But don't leave anyone here with me. All of them need to go with you. I'll take care of myself.”
“I highly doubt Kaiser's interested in you anyway.” Hazuki said grimly. “It's us that he probably wants. Yusia…”
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Raguragi shattered the ground with another swing of his powerful fists, sending Nightslice and Firestorm leaping into the air. But what seemed like an Earthquake attack suddenly turned into a Rock Throw, with Raguragi sending the shattered pieces of earth against the two.
“Garrgghh!” Firestorm dropped to the ground with a bruised left shoulder and a bleeding left cheek.
Nightslice was able to use his wings to shield himself and suddenly found a huge fist headed right for his face. Time seemed to slow down as Nightslice jerked his head to the right, avoiding Raguragi's punch by a mere couple of inches.
The Scizor retaliated by thrusting his claw upwards, sending Raguragi spinning to the ground.
“Grrr…not bad…” The Swampert growled, wiping blood off the side of his mouth.
“You ain't seen nothing yet!” Firestorm yelled. “Flamethrower!”
The Charizard fired off a huge burst of flames that seemed sure to strike Raguragi head-on. The latter didn't even try to move, but bent over and held his arms out.
Firestorm watched in anticipation as the fire attack hit its mark…and swirled around Raguragi instead.
“What the?” Firestorm stared in disbelief.
Raguragi was momentarily surrounded by a bluish aura, which seemed to push the flames away from his body. The flames had barely even dispersed when a powerful jet of water shot out, striking Firestorm squarely in the chest.
Startled as he was, Firestorm could only grit his fangs as he was sent hurling through several smaller boulders, before finally being stopped by a larger one.
Seeing his comrade go down, Nightslice's eyes flared with rage. The Steel-type leapt in, bringing up his shimmering claws to execute a Metal Claw attack. Raguragi turned and blocked using his arm…but this time a reddish aura flashed around him.
Nightslice suddenly felt as if his claws were on fire, drawing back in pain. His opponent quickly battered him with a double-fisted blow, sending Nightslice to the ground, clutching his aching chest.
The Scizor looked up just in time to see a flaming burst hit him in the face. Or more specifically, Firestorm's Flamethrower attack, which Raguragi had somehow captured and reflected right back at him.
“You all right?” Firestorm called, staggering to his feet.
“What the hell was that?” Nightslice muttered weakly. “When I touched his arms…it felt like they were on fire!”
“I don't know.” The Charizard replied. “But it wasn't any attack I know of…”
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“This looks like some sort of generator room.” Nala remarked.
“Perhaps it supplies power to the building above it.” Riot suggested.
“Well that was kinda obvious.”
“Hmm, considering the size, it must require a whole lot of power.” Alken added in his input.
The party now found themselves walking through a series of dimly lit corridors. However, lining each wall were rows and rows of various machinery. All of which had been completely silent until a few moments ago, when they'd suddenly started up, startling the group in the process.
That was in addition to the strange collection of elemental energies the Legendary Dragon spirits were sensing, adding to the feel of uncertainty as they continued on. Despite the fact that the group tensed themselves for any kind of trap, nothing served to impede their progress.
Finally, they reached and ascended a series of spiral staircases, emerging into a huge circular room, undoubtedly the main room of the coliseum. Positioned in the very center was a circular altar of white marble, with eight glowing lights on its surface.
“Quite a work of art, isn't it?” A dark figure strode out from behind one of the many pillars holding the ceiling up.
Everyone immediately had their hands on their weapons, but Kaiser waved them off.
“There's no need to come to that if we can avoid it this time.” The black colored Scizor laughed.
“Yusia…” Hazuki called. “Where is she? Is she all right?”
“You have my assurance that not a hair on her little body has been touched. She is an essential part of our agenda after all.”
“Agenda?” Nala blinked.
“But why don't I discuss it with your dragons instead?”
(Let us.) Asiyu assured.
“This sounds suspicious.” Abetos growled softly.
“Yeah, be careful guys.” Gwyen added in.
In a few blinding flashes of light, three Legendary Dragons stood where the group of humans and Pokemon once were. All three faced Kaiser with ferocious growls, but the dark Scizor barely even flinched.
“Let me ask you all…do you know why the ancient wars started all those thousands of years ago?”
Asiyu, Erizar and Skiar exchanged confused looks, but said nothing.
“Because mortals grew so powerful until they thought themselves as gods, being able to shape the very world with their hands.” Kaiser explained. “But my counterpart Harasalt didn't see it that way. They were his people, he said. Too bad he didn't foresee that his people were on the verge of destroying his own world.”
“We knew you back then, and that wasn't the case.” Erizar hissed. “How you used to command us…and what you did to Skiar…”
“What would you all have understood back then?” Kaiser shook his head. “And Skiar, he was once too wild and salvage for his own good. What I did helped to quell those instincts, or he might not be standing amongst us now.”
“Grrr…” Skiar snarled.
“Perhaps it is true to say that even I was a little deluded back then. But now that I've been mortal, in a sense, for myself, I do see the truth. And the truth is, the ancient wars will repeat themselves if the humans continue as they are.”
“Look back at what's happened to the three of you humans in your own world. And even your two other companions. Remember what your own race has done to you?”
(Guys…) Abetos muttered.
“The surviving dragons didn't understand this. Protecting the other world was their sacred duty and I would be their sworn enemy no matter what. Think about it!”
“So, is that why you've decided to cleanse that other world?” Asiyu asked.
“And leave this one intact?” Kaiser cocked his head to the side. “Yes indeed.”
(That can't be…) Hazuki yelled. (You've started a war in this realm too!)
“Better to start it off while it's still small rather than let is escalate into something bigger.” Kaiser replied with a wave of his claws. “You know, let the bitter ones fight it out amongst themselves. All of it is a necessary sacrifice…”
None of the three had any response and Kaiser let the words sink in for a moment.
“Two of you fought beside me once.” Kaiser continued. “Come, and do so again.”
“That's all a bunch of lies!” Asiyu suddenly snapped. “Guys, you…”
Erizar and Skiar had their heads turned towards the ground.
(Erm, guys?) Alken asked with concern.
(You didn't actually believe him, did you?) Abetos added in.
“Erizar?” The heads controlled by Nala and Riot nudged the center head of their hydra-like Legendary Dragon form.
“You know…” Erizar brought her head up. “Once, I would've believe all that…taken it all in without question. But I've seen, felt, experienced so much more since then.”
“This dragon now knows much, but says little.” Skiar turned his head. The dark elemental did not have eyes any more, but if he did, they would've been fixed on Kaiser with a harsh stare.
“Now that we've seen both sides of the story, I think I understand what our surviving brethren did.” Erizar nodded. “Our age and time are over.”
“Even immortals have to fade away some time.” Asiyu stepped in front of the group. “It's time for us to step aside. You just haven't realized that.”
“Hmmm….I expected as much.” Kaiser hissed.
“Well then, this dragon says…” Skiar raised his claws. “To prepare oneself!”
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“What was that?” Jade stared, watching the battle from afar. “Some kind of shield?”
(If that was a shield, then the last one was charged with a lot of Fire elemental energy.) Lombadra told him.
“But there isn't such a known technique, is there?”
Too many individuals would throw off the balance of the elemental energies so carefully gathered here Kris repeated Raguragi's words in her mind. He now holds half the balance of the elements at his command.
“That isn't a normal Pokemon attack.” Kris realized. “He's drawing on raw elemental energy itself.”
“T…that's impossible!” Jade shook his head. “I mean, raw elemental energy is far too unstable! You need to know a technique, charge it up and fire!”
“It's certainly not what he's doing.” Kris said as she took off running. “There's some other source that he'd drawing upon.”
“Hey, you think it's around here?” Jade chased after his comrade.
“I'm positive. Help me look around for anything out of place.”
“Out of place? Hey this is the outdoors! Every stone and blade of grass is out of place!”
(Perhaps to you…) Bahamut snorted. (But not to the trained eye.)
As Firestorm and Nightslice continued fighting, Kris ran along the grassy patch beside the trail, carefully scanning the ground.
“Is it around here?” Kris whispered, holding up her sword.
(Yeah, the converging point of the elemental energies is close.) Bahamut replied. (I just can't pinpoint its exact location…)
However, it was Kris who spotted it…an odd patch of grass at the base of a small shrub. While the rest of the grass around it was healthy and green, that particular spot had crumpled and withered grass…almost as if someone had dug up that spot and covered it up again.
Kris immediately got down on her knees and dug, coming up with a device that seemed like a miniature satellite dish.
“No!” Raguragi hollered, turning away from the battle. The Swampert fired an Ice Beam straight towards Kris' back.
“Watch out!” Jade stepped in front of Kris and swung his blade defensively.
Somehow, he managed to get it directly in the beam's path, causing the attack to encase the blade in a coat of ice. The force of the attack had Jade struggling to keep his balance, and it didn't help that Lombadra was instantly screaming obscenities into his head.
“Hold still!” With one motion, Kris tossed the mini-satellite dish into the air and swung her weapon.
The blow not only sliced the device in two, but went all the way through and struck the ice encasing Jade's blade.
Sharp fragments of shattered ice shot towards Raguragi like bullets, who received multiple cuts when instinctively using his arms to block.
“Storm, Flamethrower now!” Kris ordered.
It was second nature by now and Firestorm responded immediately to the command, leaping forward and firing off his largest burst yet. Raguragi spun round and prepared to block, but the strange aura didn't appear this time.
While the fire attack did not work to its full effect against a water-type, it still dealt out a great deal of pain.
Nightslice attacked while Raguragi was stunned, lashing out with the sharp edges of his claws. Raguragi howled as a couple of large bloody marks appeared on his chest.
With all sense of his previously calm state gone, the enraged Swampert shoved his body weight against Nightslice, with the intention to force the Scizor to the ground. At least, he almost succeeded, for Nightslice kicked his feet up and threw Raguragi's body over his own.
Raguragi went screaming down the steep part of the hill, rolling head-over-heels and leaving a bloodied trail from his wounds. In the midst of his desperate struggling, Raguragi failed to notice the edge of the mountain cliff…until he went over it.
All that remained was the echoes of his mad howl as Raguragi disappearing into the mists below.
“Whoops…” Nightslice gasped.
“Forget it.” Firestorm patted his shoulder. “I doubt Raguragi would've told us anything. He's far too stubborn.”
“But what did you do Kris?” Jade asked, straightening up. “It seems to disable whatever shield he was using.”
(Imagine it like this…) Bahamut explained. (A huge, invisible dome of energy with that building as the center point of it all. This dome was made out of unstable concentrations of raw elemental energy.)
“And what Raguragi was doing was drawing upon the appropriate element. Let's say fire, to counter Nightslice's steel type.” Kris continued.
“So the mini-satellite dish was to help him focus the elemental energy?” Jade deduced. “It must've been keyed to his body's unique energy signature or something.”
“Exactly.” Kris nodded. “That's why he kept countering Storm and Nightslice with the element each were weak against…and boosting the element's power by drawing it from this `dome of energy'.”
“I see…” Jade nodded. “But what could create such a thing?”
(Shouldn't it be obvious?) Lombadra snapped.
“The Spirit Crystals!” Nightslice realized. “That's what he meant about half the balance of the elements.”
“Then that must mean the he…wants the rest of the crystals from us.” Firestorm snarled.
“Not just us, but Hazuki, Nala and even Alken.” Kris clenched her fists.
Suddenly, a deafening explosion drew everyone's attention to the coliseum.
“Oh no!” Jade exclaimed. “Are we too late?”
“Only if we keep telling ourselves that.” Kris' eyes darkened. “Everyone! Let's hurry!”
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Skiar gritted his fangs, being tossed against the floor yet again.
(Something's definitely not right…) Alken whispered.
(Perhaps it's about that strange elemental field you guys were sensing earlier.) Abetos suggested.
Their dark elemental dragon was beginning to believe it too. One of the things a dark-type was weak against was a bug-type attack. And Skiar felt like he'd been hit by a Silver Wind at least three times over already.
The battle had taken them close to the entrance of the arena, where Erizar launched another Hyper Beam. Kaiser blocked, or at least he seemed to, and the beam simply changed directions, rebounding and blowing a large hole in the ground.
Asiyu leapt over the debris and broke into a spinning attack, which Kaiser side-stepped to avoid. Erizar took the chance to spray a jet of venomous breath, but their foe nimbly twisted his body and swung a pincer.
The attack was reflected towards Asiyu instead, who barely scrambled away in time.
(This is not good.) Gwyen noted. (He's hardly attacking, just deflecting everything we throw at him. Somehow, it works with every element we use too…)
“But his energy is going down…” Asiyu panted. “We can definitely feel it…”
(Hmm…let's try everything at once.) Alken suggested. (Let's see if he can deflect three different elements at once.)
(Worth a shot.) Hazuki mentally nodded. (We're running out of options.)
The fierce stare down continued as the three dragons moved to form a triangle around Kaiser.
“Wait! Everyone!” Bahamut's voice hollered from the doorway.
Unfortunately, it was too late.
“Freezing Catastrophe!”
“Dusk Requiem!”
Tri-Way Destroyer!”
Each unique attack corresponded to the main element of Asiyu, Skiar and Erizar respectively.
Kaiser quickly stepped back and seemed to focus some of the elemental energy into his claws. He swung both arms in different directions, sending the special attacks wildly off course.
Skiar's wave of dark energy went right over to Erizar, blowing the poison dragon off her feet. At the same time, the three breath attacks that were emitted from each of Erizar's heads hit Asiyu with a mighty explosion.
Asiyu's special attack normally consisted of hurling dozens of ice spikes at an opponent. Only now it was Skiar who was on the receiving end of things.
The dark-type's head was armored, but not the rest of his body. Bahamut and Lombadra had to witness their fellow dragon being impaled, and watch as his blood-covered body hit the ground with a sickening crunch.
Asiyu and Erizar were thrown to opposite sides of the arena and disappeared in the cloud of dust stirred up by the explosions. There was nothing left once the view cleared…save a large hole in the floor where each one had fallen.
“Why you!” Lombadra howled. The fire dragon went straight for Kaiser while Bahamut knelt by Skiar's side.
“Skiar…” Bahamut shook his fellow dragon's shoulder.
“Go…” Skiar muttered weakly. “Help…him…”
“But what about you?”
(Kris? You in there?) Alken's voice called.
(Alken!) Kris acknowledged. (Hang on!We'll…)
(No, listen…you have to attack him now!) Abetos cut in.
(He'll just keep deflecting the attacks.) Nightslice told them.
(It is weakening him.) Alken insisted. (The three of us…he's been wearing down. I don't know what powers he had when you last fought him, but he probably won't have them here. He's relyingentirely on the elemental field.)
(The one generated by the Spirit Crystals.) Kris noted.
“This dragon…feels the energy of…his foe…decrease…” Skiar raised his head. “Time to…strike…is now!”
“I understand.” Bahamut nodded. “Just take care of yourself.”
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“Rarrgghhh!” Lombadra smashed into the wall, leaving the impression of his body in it. The fire-type fell to the ground groaning as Kaiser moved in for the kill.
Suddenly, the black Scizor stopped as Bahamut grabbed the former's shoulder.
“Hey! No one does that to my friend!” Bahamut snarled.
BAM! Kaiser took a fist to the face that sent him flying backwards.
“Grrr…another one who's decided to betray me.” Kaiser wiped the side of his bleeding mouth.
“Call it whatever you want, but I'm here and I'm going to fight!” Bahamut turned his eyes to Lombadra. “You OK?”
“Yeah…” Lombadra shakily pulled himself to his feet. “And…thanks…”
“Humph.” Bahamut readied the two cannons mounted to each of his arms.
The steel dragon let off a dazzling Hyper Beam attack that flew across the room in the blink of an eye. Yet, Kaiser was still faster and managed to deflect the beam towards Lombadra instead.
“Hey whoa!” Lombadra rolled to the side as the beam blew out the wall behind him. “You knew he was going to do that, so why shoot?”
“That's the whole idea….to let him do it.” Bahamut winked. “Come on, I thought you were the smart one.”
“Oh I get it…” Lombadra grinned. “Your buddy there gave you some tips?”
You're with me, aren't you?”
“Well, I hope this answers your question!” Lombadra reared back and fired off a Flamethrower at Kaiser.
The dark Scizor knocked the flames towards Bahamut, who had moved to the opposite side of the room.
“Light Screen!” Bahamut utilized a psychic-type attack, creating a semi-translucent shield to lessen the impact of the flames.
Gritting his fangs to ward off the stinging feeling, Bahamut shook the flames off and fired a Hyper Beam at Kaiser. As expected, Kaiser used his connection to the elemental field to re-direct the shot.
However, Lombadra was prepared for it this time. Setting up a Reflect screen for defense, Lombadra held firm as the beam struck…then quickly fired another Flamethrower.
Kaiser's eyes widened with concern as he was forced to deflect the attack. Once again, Bahamut used Light Screen to defend himself and retaliated by shooting off another Hyper Beam, only a little faster.
That meant exposing himself to more of the flames, but the overall result was Kaiser having to deflect the elemental beams faster and faster.
Although he did realize the Legendary Dragons' plans, Kaiser ended up too caught up in their `trading' of beams to do anything. Each shot drained more energy out of him until one Hyper Beam finally blew the dark Scizor off his feet.
By this time, Bahamut and Lombadra were panting too. Bahamut with many burn wounds and Lombadra's scales covered with similar ones from warding off the Hyper Beams. But the end result was they were standing and Kaiser wasn't, the latter barely propping himself up against the altar.
“You're through!” Bahamut pointed his arm cannon at Kaiser.
Now that both were closer to the altar, they could see that it was more like a well, with thick edges and a hollowed out center. Arranged on the outer rim were eight glowing crystals…the eight Spirit Crystals that Kaiser possessed.
Namely, thunder, psychic, normal, fighting, flying, rock, water and ground.
Kaiser staggered for a few seconds more…then stared coldly up at them.
“Not yet I think!” Kaiser abruptly leapt back and dragged something…no….someone out of the hollow center of the altar.
“Zian!” Everyone stared in utter shock.
“I had Cid bring me!” Zian spluttered. “I just had to…arrcckkk!”
Kaiser clamped a pincer around the small dragon neck, causing him to choke.
“Go ahead and shoot…” Kaiser taunted. “If you dare to.”
“Son of a…” Lombadra hissed, although his arms were still raised in a battle stance.
“That's cheap!” Bahamut growled angrily.
“Do…it!” Zian gagged. “I'm not….worth it…just…do it…acckk!”
(Zian…) Kris muttered.
“Come on…gargghh…shoot us both! It doesn't matter…what happens to me…acckk….”
Bahamut and Lombadra hesitated…a moment too long…
All of a sudden, Kaiser dropped Zian's limp form and fired a couple of orange beams from the insides of his pincers. Obviously, he'd been charging those up inside his pincers for a while, but Bahamut and Lombadra didn't have time to react as the beams struck each one through the chest.
Both went down in a spray of blood and didn't get up.
“No…” Zian stared.
Kaiser simply flung the crippled Zian aside and walked over to the dragon's bodies as they reverted into the unconscious forms of their partners.
Beside Kris lay her sword, which was fused with Bahamut's Steel elemental Spirit Crystal. She also held on to a second crystal, representing the bug-type element. Jade likewise had the fire crystal in his weapon and the grass crystal in his possession.
Skiar had reverted to Alken and Abetos' forms as well, who were barely conscious as Kaiser took the gun containing the dark spirit crystal. Lying around the room too were Hazuki's ankh, containing the ice crystal, Nala's pistols, with the poison crystal, and the loose ghost-type crystal Nala had been carrying with her.
Since the crystals were `attracted' to the altar, the girls' crystals had been left on the surface while they'd fallen onto the level below.
“No…no….” Zian moaned, helplessly watching Kaiser gather up the fallen crystals.
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“Wake up! Wake up please!”
“Ugh…” Hazuki rolled over, moaning and suddenly found Gwyen's tongue in her face. “Ow…”
“Oh thank the gods you're all right!” The Suicune gasped. “I thought I'd lost you!”
As Hazuki's vision cleared, she realized that they were back on the lower level, in the halls with all the machinery. However, they weren't alone.
“Cid?” Hazuki gasped.
“I wish I could say that it was good to see you, but I'm afraid good is far from the way to describe the situation.” The old human spoke, leaning against Tanya's frame for support.
“Yeah, we got our butts seriously kicked.” Gwyen added in.
“But Kris and the others…they came along just as our attacks got reflected, right?”
“There's no telling how well they're doing though.”
“Asiyu!” Hazuki felt for her ankh, which wasn't there. “Is she…”
“Gone…” Gwyen shook her head.
Hazuki let off a sigh and turned towards Cid.
“What are you doing here?” The blue-haired girl asked.
Cid briefly filled her in on the latest information, and his meeting with Kris back at the labs.
“Kris and the others left the remains of the labs first.” Cid explained. “But Zian decided that he wanted to go and help, and had me bring him. Then this Swampert ambushed us along the way to the teleport point…and I guess he had a quicker way to get Zian and me here.
“I found your friend tied up behind a hidden wall at the train platform.” Tanya informed them. “I guess he must've been unconscious when your group initially left. However, there was no sign of this Zian.
Hazuki felt a stab of exhaustion come over her, and realized really how drained she was.
“Things are going from bad to worse…” Gwyen shook her head.
“Hazuki! Over here!” Nala suddenly came running around the corner. “Yusia! We've found Yusia!”
“What? Where?” Hazuki cried.
Nala led them around several bends before arriving at an open section, where Riot was waiting. And there, asleep inside a large, hovering blue sphere, was Yusia.
“Yusia!” Hazuki rushed forward.
“No wait!” Nala pulled her arm, but didn't manage to stop Hazuki in time.
An invisible force field activated, flinging both girls onto the ground.
“We already tried that, and there doesn't seem to be any way around it.” Riot growled.
“She does not seem to be harmed though.” Tanya commented.
“The Swampert was saying something about her being a `harmonizer'.” Cid scratched his head. “Apparently, Kaiser needed some power from within her to focus the full force of the elemental energies.”
“And open the portal back to the other world…” Hazuki's eyes went wide. “Our world…”
“How…” Tanya began.
“Asiyu's talking to me somehow, weak as she is.” Hazuki explained. “She says Kaiser now has all the 16 Spirit Crystals of the Pokemon elements.”
“But then, that would mean that Kris and the others were…” Nala let that trail off.
Suddenly, the machinery around the group hummed to life, causing them to back away. The sphere holding Yusia within began to rise towards a circular opening in the ceiling.
“No!” Hazuki slammed into the invisible barrier and was thrown to the ground again. “Yusia! Yusia!”