Reflections

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  1. #1
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Reflections

    Reflections


    Back in January 2007, Kaze (or Kaze Megami, as she was known back then) made a deep Role Play on the Pokémon Elite 2000 Forums known as Reflections. It was popular, and the storyline was well thought out. While it gained some members that either didn't make much of the RP or dropped out, six members were persistent in continuing the story, including myself. We really wanted to continue the story to the very end, and indeed, it looked as though it would be one of the few RPs to ever come to a successful ending. Alas, Kaze eventually became more and more inactive, until she vanished from PE2K completely. Because of this, the RP died prematurely. It was upsetting, but such is the way of RPs. Then, in August of 2007, Kaze returned under the screen name of Comexback. I was ecstatic to see her, because she was a good friend.

    Because of its death, I wanted to give Reflections the ending it deserved; therefore, I wasted no time in asking permission to make it into a Fanfic. She approved, and here is the end result. I now present to you a Fanfic based on a very good Role Play, Reflections!

    xXxXxXx


    Reflections. Images on a shimmering surface. Echoes of the past. Glimpses into the future. A shining face. A disheartened frown. Walls that hold curses and magic behind them. A reason to go on, a reason to stop.

    If you look onto the surface of the water or into a mirror, you will likely gaze upon a familiar face. You may see faults in that face, beauty, or just feel indifferent to it. However, others may look into the image and find fresh scars, nasty reminders of their wrecked pasts. Some may find their faces aging and preparing itself for its appearance in the forthcoming years. Others see simple failure, and still others pure joy.

    What do you see in your reflection?

    Lately, many Pokémon have begun to ask themselves that. Previously, they have rebelled against their trainers, following their leaders to search for a safe haven. Humans have trailed after them, but as they stopped, new threats lurked behind every corner and in every shadow. The trainers have fallen back, but hostile members of the Pokémon’s own species have turned against them.

    They have to keep moving.

    Several still bear the scars of battle, healing wounds originally inflicted by those Pokémon loyal to the human trainers. They see these marks every time they dip their heads for a drink. They have changed outwardly and inwardly, too. They are looked at different. They are judged by past events. These Pokémon must look past all of that, what they see and what others see, and press on to Paradise.

    Just how far away is it?

    How many mirrors will they have to pass by to get there?


    Quote by Kaze at the beginning of the Reflections RP.

    xXxXxXx

    Main Characters

    Nakkura

    Nakkura is a proud, arrogant Zangoose with a quick temper; he'll turn on someone in a heartbeat. Those who take his threats idly learn a powerful lesson in pain. For those who gain his trust, he will stay by their side and help them, as long as they don't get on his bad side. He isn't big on romance, however, and tends to stay away. He has stunning gold eyes with black slitted pupils and a dull-red scar running from his left cheek down to his left shoulder, but otherwise looks like any other Zangoose. (Role Player: Kaze Megami, now known as Comexback)

    Kilia

    Kilia is a pure white Absol, eyes as well, except for her face and the gem on her forehead. She's a little smaller than an adult female Absol. Kilia can be seen as the mediator of the group, choosing words over claws and teeth. She always puts others before herself, even jumping right into harm's way to defend them. While she can be a bit dark and moody like most Absol (amplified by her sad past), for the most part she's easy-going and likes to have fun. She hates traitors above all things, however, and will pursue them with eternal vigor to get revenge. (Role Player: Dog of Hellsing)

    Avaron

    Avaron is moreover the wise one of the group, being the oldest; he's lived his entire life expectancy, and has seen many things in those long years. Because of this, he makes a rather good teacher. He is a tiny bit shorter than most other Sandshrew, but makes up for it with muscle mass; he may not be extremely buff, but he does have muscles. He is an excellent tunneler, probably the best one in decades, if not ever. He suffered a scar over his left eye from a battle with a Scyther, making it blind. However, his right eye and all his other senses have been amplified by his loss of eyesight. He's kind of slow on his feet, however; he sometimes falls behind others he's with. One thing he hates above all else is how the younger Pokémon are willing to sacrifice their lives. Having known exactly what that's like, he feels that all younger Pokémon should live under their own consent rather than someone else's. (Role Player: Deathspector)

    Shinko

    Shinko the Buizel has cerulean eyes, a chocolate nose, dark violet fins, and what appears to be three dark stripes on her back, but upon closer inspection are revealed to be scars from her journey. Her blue eyes, shining with happiness a lot of the time, become clouded with depression every now and then. She has recently become depressed and scared more and more, always expecting an ambush. She is quiet and shy, and seems helpless, but only between battles; in combat, she is fierce, brave...and even eager, wanting more of the fight, even after it's over. Some in her clan said that deep within Shinko's heart resides the soul of a demon. Shinko as herself loves an easy, gentle peace, like that of her home. (Role Player: Snowball Sunday)

    Shen

    This Larvitar is very scarred by his horrible past, both physically and mentally. Shen's eyes, normally with red irises, now have black irises and blood red color where the white should be; he believes that they are stained with the blood spilled from his parents' murder. On his back is a large, deep scar, running diagonally from his left shoulder to his right hip. Shen was forced to live on his own from a young age, and therefore has a mature mentality of an adult Tyranitar; however, this has caused him to very untrusting of strangers. Despite his mature mentality, he is still quite naive at times. He would enjoy having friends nearby, but friends for him are far and few in between. Shen has a mildly friendly attitude, though it's hard for him to forgive someone who gets on his bad side; he hasn't been taught that those who ask for forgiveness won't go back on it. (Role Player: Shen)

    Aya

    Aya doesn't look much different from other Bulbasaur, only with darker skin, a lighter shade of red (bordering pink) in her eyes, a few light scars on her bulb, and blunted claws from traveling far. On her back, she carries a small pack made of leaves and grass; she uses this to carry all her herbs. Aya is a healer, staying clear of combat unless it is unavoidable. She is very knowledgeable of which herbs do what, so she is nearly unparalleled in her art. She is quite motherly to those close to her, getting concerned a bit easier than some others. Aya is almost always happy, hardly ever getting angry or sad. She dislikes how many Pokémon are being judged for their looks, before they can get known, and therefore chooses to judge on how someone acts rather than how they look, accepting all as they appear. (Role Player: Shen)

    Suko

    Suko is an odd Seviper. He doesn't have any scars whatsoever...not even ones all Seviper get from their feud with the Zangoose population. He doesn't have the inborn urge to fight Zangoose that all other Seviper have; indeed, he doesn't like to fight at all unless there is no way around it. Always the cunning one, he uses his slyness and wits to trick the opponent into losing before the fight physically begins. He uses these same wits, knowledge of his surroundings, and a healthy dose of Double Team to avoid a fight. However, if it is unavoidable, he's a strong, vicious foe who won't back down until he's either won...or died. (Role Player: Dog of Hellsing)

    Sakata

    Like Kilia, Sakata is almost completely white, though the only thing not white about this Jolteon is her eyes; otherwise, she makes even Snow White jealous. The other thing different about her would be the three crescent scars over her right eye; they were caused just far enough to not affect the eye, so it still sees perfectly. She's often quiet, choosing quiet over chatter. However, she is very trusting, often being the first to trust someone. Because she is very trusting, she will hold a grudge against someone who betrays her, much like a Ninetales; she only has a grudge against one Pokémon, and that would be a Persian named Éclair, who was once her friend. Because she has traveled alone for some time, she's picked up the habit of talking to herself, referring to herself as "Saka" so others she's around won't think that she's talking to them by mistake. (Role Player: Kitty-chan)


    All images from http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/www.arkeis.com, and altered by Comexback (Kaze).
    Click the banner to check out my Pokémon fanfic, Reflections!

    Thanks to Comexback from PE2K for the banner and avatar!

  2. #2
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections


    Banner by Comexback

    Chapter 1: Coming Together


    And I'll take my time anywhere
    Free to speak my mind anywhere
    and I'll never mind anywhere!

    Anywhere I roam
    Where I lay my head is home!


    A pure white Absol dashed through the fields, enjoying the feeling of the wind rushing through her fur. She didn't care where she was going, nor who or what she passed. She only cared about one thing. Something that she'd been searching for for a while...

    Paradise...

    With this thought in mind, she sped up her dash, bounding over rocks and weaving around the sparse trees. She saw a trainer or two, but didn't bother staying around out of curiosity; she couldn't deviate from her path now. Invigorated by the cool air of Springtime, she continued a mad rush. She saw that she was approaching something fast, and skidded to a stop and took in the sights before her. She stood before a large forest, with plenty of trees and bushes (as well as other undergrowth), though with plenty of room to roam freely. She gazed upon its dark depths, eyeing it with interest. Maybe, just maybe, she'd find the rebel group in there. Surely they'd lead her to Paradise...there was hope in this yet.

    Smiling lightly, Kilia the Absol entered Oldenshire Forest...

    --->

    Nakkura the Zangoose stared at the trees of the forest that now surrounded him and the other rebels with him. There were only a few, but they were looking for the main body of rebel Pokémon searching for Paradise. They were the ones in this group who'd not yet given up out of the increasingly shrinking group; others had decided to go off on their own, or had merely given up entirely. Nakkura scoffed at every one of them. Buncha babies...

    He sat upon a rock, munching on a couple of ripe bluk berries he'd found on a bush nearby. He'd barely eaten anything all day, and his stomach was bothering him to no end. So he had to make do with what he had...especially after that weakling of a Treeko had taken off with all their supplies that morning. Nakkura was pissed, to say the least, and had given chase, but the Treeko had used his skillful tree climbing to gain ahead of the Zangoose and eventually pull away...

    Still irked, Nakkura pounded the rock he sat upon with his paw, making a small crack. This brought the attention of an elderly Ivysaur. "No use worrying about the Treeko now, young Zangoose. What's done is done..." he sighed.

    "That doesn't exactly help me out, old one..." Nakkura shot at him, but softened the blow of his words; he knew how old the Ivysaur was, and that his heart couldn't take much. His statement was enough for the rest of the Pokémon to leave him alone.

    Finally, they were all ready, and resumed their trek through the forest. Nothing new happened, except for the eventful time the Treeko had decided to return and take anything else they had; he'd mistakenly brought the stolen supplies with him. He was flattened, rolled up, and tossed aside by Nakkura, who attacked immediately. As the Treeko ran away with that big-ass tail of his between his legs, Nakkura passed out food to the dwindling group.

    Then they came upon a meadow in the forest...a meadow that seemed to have the scents of many Pokémon foreign here; maybe the main body of the rebels had come through here. So they decided to settle down there for the night and try their luck in the morning...

    --->

    At the end of yet another, larger group of stragglers searching for the rebel group was an old, battle-hardened Sandshrew named Avaron. He was quite possibly the oldest there, and yet he knew he could whip any of these younglings around him. His abilities may've been weakened by time (and arthritis), but he was still a tough one to crack. However, time is the bane of all creatures, and it was wreaking havoc upon him. He was tired...dead tired. He used to be able to travel twice this far in the same amount of time, and he still wouldn't have been this tired. He cursed his old age at that point, the first time in a long time.

    The mood in the group was a little dark, but slightly brightened by the day's magnificent sunlight. They'd not been attacked for a couple weeks now, and were thankful for that, too. The meadow they were in was decently sized, but visibly surrounded by forest in all directions; they'd come through a forest to be here, and most, having been thankful to get out of the forest into the open air, were depressed about having to go back in.

    Avaron searched fruitlessly for some way to cheer the younger ones up, but nothing came to mind. This depressed him; they were already willing to sacrifice their lives for others, and this only made their willingness for suicide even greater. This alone was irritating to Avaron.

    They had decided to stop here in the middle of the meadow, too depressed and tired to go on...

    --->

    A young Buizel walked eagerly towards the forest looming before her. Shinko'd been so happy to be on the road, one might say; she wasn't one to settle down anymore, not since she left her home. She missed her family every now and then, but still the idea of Paradise kept her onward. She also didn't want to endanger them again, not with her demonic heart so eager for battle...

    Don't think about that... she thought, depressed that memories came unbidden to her mind, reminding her of horrible things she never meant to do. She had run away to prevent that from happening again, to keep her from hurting more of them and getting herself banished forever. She'd avoided battles entirely, except that one trainer...and he'd gone home with a few scars of his own. Tears sprang to her eyes, and she shut them tight to ebb the flow.

    That was kind of a mistake, as she walked right into a large pine tree.

    Shinko fell on her rump with a startled squeak, rubbing her sore brown nose. She looked up, awed by the size of it. It was a beautiful tree. Feeling tired by the day's travel, she laid herself against it and promptly fell asleep.

    --->

    A jeep careened across the plains, looking like it was going to fall apart if it kept the pace, and yet it still kept its course. One of the famous Officer Jenny's sat at the wheel, an expert about driving her jeep across such terrain. In the passenger seat was a young man with a worried face, frantically looking around for something. There was silence between them for a few moments, but then Officer Jenny spoke. "Are you sure that he went this way?" she asked.

    The man nodded vigorously. "Yeah, definitely. I can't believe that Janos just all of a sudden attacked me and ran off!" He cried softly. "Please help me recover him...he's all I have right now..."

    "You got it!" Jenny slammed her foot down on the gas pedal, spurring the jeep onward. Little did they know that there was a stowaway under some cloth in the rear of the jeep. A small Larvitar peeked out and looked around, hardly surprised that the jeep he'd been napping in was moving, nor at the speeds at which it was moving. He looked around the landscape speeding past him, and saw they were only about a hundred feet from a forest. Prepping himself, he leapt out of under the cloth and off the jeep, slamming his feet into the ground and skidding quite a ways.

    The jeep shuddered as he jumped, causing Jenny to look around. "What was that?" she asked, but shrugged and continued driving, speeding away from her unknown passenger.

    When the Larvitar came to a stop, he brushed himself off, looking unfazed by the landing. He looked to the forest, hoping that it'd be the beginning along his path to the perfect place he'd heard whispers about. Paradise, he hoped, wasn't far off now.

    He dusted off his shoulder, catching a glimpse of his huge scar on his back out of the corner of his eye. He frowned; he had to reach Paradise. That'd be the only way he could ever escape the torment of his past. He'd only be free of the nightmare when he was happy once more.

    Steeling himself, Shen the Larvitar waddled into the forest, ready to go to the ends of the Earth to find his perfect home away from that maniac...

    --->

    Night fell upon the forest like a cloth draped over the sky, looking down as the five Pokémon entered without the slightest inkling as to what fate had in store for them. They may've had horrible pasts, and they may not yet know each other, but destiny was working in its own strange ways again. These Pokémon, unique by the burdens they bear, were about to begin the greatest story of their lives...
    Click the banner to check out my Pokémon fanfic, Reflections!

    Thanks to Comexback from PE2K for the banner and avatar!

  3. #3
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 2: First Impressions


    The following morning was completely the opposite of the sunshine from the previous day. Gloomy clouds covered the sky, threatening to let loose upon the forest below anytime soon.

    With her innate ability, Kilia knew it was about to happen any minute now.

    The stark-white Absol trekked slowly through the forest, looking for some trace that the rebel Pokémon had come through. However, for now she was hopelessly lost. She wasn't worried, though, and even enjoyed going alone through the beautiful forest. Some company would've been nice, she mused.

    She felt it before it happened, and a bolt of lightning careened across the clouds like a great rip in the cotton looking things in the sky. Thunder boomed a second later, and the clouds unleashed their load on the earth below. And unleash it did.

    Kilia was very quickly soaked to the bone in the warm rain, and sighed in contentment. She loved the feel of the rain in her dirty fur, soothing her aching muscles and joints, and she had what seemed to be bucket loads constantly being dumped on her. Travel had been long and hard, but it would all be worth it when she found the rebels. After she did, Paradise would only be the next step away.

    Fatigue of her trip remained even after sleeping all night, and she desperately needed rest once more. So, she was relieved when she found a hollowed, empty log lying on the forest floor. Ignoring the smell of what seemed to be a wet Poochyena family, she crawled into the log and curled up. As soon as she crawled in, though, the rain had stopped. Of course... Kilia thought moodily as she began to drift back off to sleep...

    She wasn't as alone as she thought she was...

    At that moment, a white-and-red scarred figure was making his way towards Kilia's resting place, having been following her ever since seeing her some time ago. He'd been intrigued by her and was curious about her. Was she a rebel? Was she wild? Why was her fur completely white? He didn't know why he was so interested, but he was, and his pride wouldn't let him turn his back on his quest for knowledge now that he was so close.

    Kilia, unawares of the fact that the Zangoose named Nakkura was coming, slept undisturbed.

    Elsewhere, underground, Avaron dug through the soil like a fish cleaving through water, trying to keep away from the rain that would weaken his already sore joints. However, he paid these no mind as he continued to "swim" through the dirt, knocking his head on a couple of tree roots as he went under the forest. Thinking of this fact, he decided to surface and look around. Gravity pulled him down as he angled straight up, but he was the stronger force. He burst from the soil head and claws first...only to bump his head on a low tree branch.

    "Bloody trees..." he muttered, rubbing his head lightly. He pulled himself from the ground and looked up, surprised to find that the sky had stopped dumping buckets on them and settled for more of a sprinkle. However, there was now the new addition of fog through the trees, light as it may be. It was the sort of gloomy day that only the ones who liked this moisture enjoyed; Avaron just wasn't one of those who did, being a ground-type Pokémon.

    He looked around some more, and was surprised to see a Zangoose sitting on a rock behind a log, within which slept a lone, ghostly Absol. A lone stream of sunlight from the heavens bathed the Zangoose's ears in a bright gold glow, almost God-like...

    These new scents tickled Kilia's nose and woke her. She shook her head through the grogginess that came with sleep-fatigue, and realized the scents were real: two males were near her. Fearing she had trespassed on someone's territory, she tried to extricate herself from the log, but quickly found out that she was stuck, curled up in the log in a most unmanageable position. With a growl and a little bit of flailing, she managed to dislodge herself and tumbled from the hollow log...right into a cold, muddy puddle. Giving a yelp of surprise, she leapt out of it and shook her fur vigorously, flinging mud and dirt from it.

    Shaking, she turned to face Nakkura, whom she hadn't seen before. Maybe it was because she was so young, or maybe it was because he had the high ground, but the Zangoose looked damned intimidating to her. He stared down on her with golden orbs, examining her.

    Fearing it was his territory and that he was prepared to fight, she quickly bowed her head, saying in a frantic voice, "I'm sorry...if this is where you live, I didn't know. I mean, there's no scent..." She then tried to make her fur stand down, because it was standing straight up in her fright. Then she remembered...there was a scent that she'd smelled, but it wasn't the Zangoose's; it was of a family of Poochyena...musty, wet Poochyena. She sighed a bit and relaxed, realizing she hadn't trespassed on his turf. However, she wasn't stupid; it didn't mean the Zangoose wouldn't be hostile with her. She backed slowly, keeping ready should a battle ensue.

    Kilia heard a noise behind her and turned, preparing a Slash attack, sure that someone was sneaking up on her. When she saw the Sandshrew a distance away, just staring at her, she relaxed again, putting her paw down. What's a Sandshrew doing all the way out here? she thought to herself; Sandshrew aren't common in this area, because they liked the drier, more arid places. Maybe another looking for Paradise.

    She glanced back Nakkura, and noticed he hadn't come after her...or even moved. Taking the pause in activity, she shook her fur vigorously, getting rid of the excess water drops soaking her. This was wasted, as the clouds covered the hole in the sky and began raining again, but not as strong. She looked into the sky and sighed.

    Avaron wasn't taking the new rainfall well. He pressed himself against the tree, which had a thick canopy of leaves that let very little rain through. As he did this, Kilia giggled a little. He glared over at her, muttering, "Oh, you think that's funny, do ya?"

    The Absol stopped and took a somber expression suddenly, bowing her head slightly towards him. "I apologize, Sandshrew. I didn't mean it in an insulting way."

    "Pfeh..." Avaron exhaled, "The name's Avaron, not 'Sandshrew,' thanks." While he did say this gruffly, he said it respectfully and as kindly as he could manage.

    Kilia smiled. "Nice to meet you, Avaron. I am Kilia."

    "So, what are you to doing out here, exactly?" came another gruff voice behind Kilia. She whirled around to see the Zangoose had hopped off the rock and was walking towards them slowly on his hind legs.

    "I'm looking for Paradise, of course" Kilia responded, "As I'm sure you are, as well."

    Nakkura smirked. "Clever girl." The smile faded as he regarded the white Absol. "I don't know about you, but in my opinion, it isn't smart to be looking for something like that alone in these times."

    Kilia frowned. "Well, I've been looking for the rebel group for some time now. However, if it comes down to it, I think I can manage." Kilia smiled again as she said the last part. "I wouldn't mind company in the least. Would it be alright if I tagged along with you?"

    Nakkura was slightly taken aback by the sudden request, but his surprise only showed for an instant. He thought a moment, a paw resting near his mouth with the claws tucked against the pad. After a minute or so, he lowered his paw and nodded. "Sure, why not? Might as well...I'm sure the others have moved on without me anyway, so I'm without traveling companions myself." He held out a paw in greeting. "My name is Nakkura. It's nice to meet you, Kilia." He then looked over to the Sandshrew. "Do you want to come along as well?"

    The Sandshrew gazed at him, deep in thought himself. Finally, he shrugged and said, "Eh, why the hell not...You seem better company then those damned suicidal kids I was with before, anyway." He stepped towards him (careful to stay under the protection of the foliage) and held out his paw. "Name's Avaron, if you didn't catch it earlier."

    Nakkura grabbed his offered paw lightly and shook it. "Nice to meet you, Avaron." He then looked between the two. "So, which way should we head now?"

    Kilia chuckled. "The hell you asking me for? I dunno my way around here. I just want to find the rebel group fast as possible."

    Avaron merely shrugged.

    Nakkura sighed, scratching behind his head. "Well, alright. I think they went-"

    Before Nakkura could finish, however, something ran into him and bowled him over.

    Kilia and Avaron jumped back, startled by the arrival of something small and orange running into Nakkura. They gazed as a Buizel extricated herself from the Zangoose, amid a few curses on Nakkura's part.

    "Nakkura! Are you okay?" Kilia asked.

    Nakkura growled, his fur bristling with annoyance. "I would be if this furball'd get off me!" he said loudly. He finally sat up as she got off of him, his fur ruffled and untidy. Out of habit, he licked his fur flat before talking to the at the one who had run into him. He looked at the Buizel. She gazed at him with cerulean eyes; there was something in those eyes that suggested she knew him from somewhere, yet Nakkura was sure he'd never met this orange water Pokémon before. He stood and gazed at her with one fierce gold eye. "Why'd you do that, anyway?" he asked her gruffly, "You trip or something?"

    Trembling, the Buizel shook her head slowly. "No, it's just...I thought you were someone I knew. I'm sorry, sir." she apologized in a quiet voice.

    "Who are you?" the Zangoose asked, now looking at her with both eyes. His eyes had softened as they peered into her own.

    "I'm...Shinko..." she said. Then she looked up at him and half-smiled before having the sad look on her face. Suddenly, she closed her eyes and blurted out, "You wanna be friends?!"

    This took Nakkura, Kilia, and Avaron all by surprise...and it seemed Shinko as well. She blinked, eyes wide. Then she closed them as they began brimming with tears. "I-I'm sorry..." she stammered.

    Nakkura blinked. "Um...don't men-"

    Before he could finish, she turned around and bolted, tears flying off her face.

    "Shinko, wait!" Kilia yelled, running after her.

    Nakkura, confused by what had happened since Shinko arrived, just blinked before sighing and sitting back down. "Today's gonna be a long day..."

    Shinko ran away on all fours as fast as she could, thinking, How could I've been so stupid?! Why'd I just come out and say that?! She cried harder as she ran, unseeing...and almost right into a Larvitar. She never noticed, and kept running.

    Luckily, Shen the Larvitar did notice, and sidestepped out of her way before she could run into him. Gazing after her, he asked, more to himself, "What was that all about...?"

    As the Larvitar came into view, Kilia skidded to a halt just past him, seeing that Shinko had almost run into him. She noticed his question, turned to face him, and said, "That's a good question, little one."

    Shen started and looked at her, showing his odd, intimidating eyes: blood red where it should be white, and black where the iris should be. It was a frightening sight, coupled with the long, deep scar that cut across his back from his left shoulder down to his right hip. However, his eyes were not furrowed in anger...rather, they were wide with fright and uncertainty.

    Kilia gave a tiny sniff of the air, noting his male scent, young it may be. She looked over him, saying, "She didn't hurt you, did she?"

    Shen turned fully to face her quickly, as if hiding his scar from her equally odd eyes. He shook his head to answer her question. "Uh, no...no, I'm perfectly fine."

    Nakkura had seen that Kilia had stopped, and got up on his hind feet and walked over to see her looking over the newcomer. He smirked; this day was turning out to be interesting. Already, he's met four others after leaving his small group. He stopped a little bit behind the Larvitar and saw the scar on his back. He opened his eyes wide, feeling sorry for the Larvitar. Whatever caused that to him must've been lethal.

    Shen noticed his presence and gazed at him over his shoulder, displaying his eyes to him as well. Nakkura grunted in surprise. Those eyes are gonna cause him unwanted trouble, I'm sure... he thought.

    Kilia looked up and said to Nakkura, "I'm gonna go after Shinko." Without waiting for an answer, she turned and bolted after the Buizel.

    She had only run a moment when the Buizel came into her view; apparently, she'd stopped and was just standing on her hinds, looking up into a tree. She stopped a small distance away and walked up slowly. "Hey, what's wrong?" she asked.

    Shinko looked at the Absol over her shoulder and smiled a little before looking back at the treetops. "Sorry back there. I...I dunno what came over me back there."

    Kilia crept closer, confused. "What are...you doing?" she asked tentatively.

    "Oh...just thinking." Shinko responded. "I crashed into grumpy back there cause he reminded me of someone I left behind." She sighed, and turned her body fully to face Kilia. She was smiling, and her tears were gone; the only evidence there were any were the lines of matted fur beneath her eyes and down her face from there. "Again, I'm sorry."

    Kilia chuckled a little and padded closer. "No worries; I'm sure he's over it by now anyway." She turned around and took a few steps in the direction she came from before stopping and looking over her shoulder at Shinko. "Come on, let's go back."

    Shinko thought a sec, then nodded. "I wanna apologize to the Zangoose anyway. By the way, what's your name?"

    Kilia smiled warmly. "I'm Kilia. It's nice to meet you, Shinko."

    Shinko nodded, grinning. "Yeah, nice to meet you, too." With that, she ran on all fours next to Kilia, and the two took of back to the other three.

    When they arrived about a minute later, they saw that Nakkura and Avaron had hardly moved, save for the fact that Nakkura was sitting down. One major difference, Kilia noticed, is that the little Larvitar was no longer with them. She hoped he was okay, he looked like he was terrified of something.

    Nakkura looked in their direction as he heard their paws approaching. he smiled and stood on his hind legs again. "Ah, it's the Buizel with the emotional problems." he said jokingly, "Shinko, wasn't it?"

    "Nakkura!" Kilia snapped at him, drawing up to him and halting, "Don't you think that was a bit harsh?!"

    Shinko giggled. "Nah, he actually got me right on that one. Don't worry about it." She, too, stood on her hinds and held an orange paw out to Nakkura. "I wanted to apologize for running into you earlier."

    Nakkura took the paw in his own (careful to have his claws tucked back), smiling, which looked a little odd on his fierce visage. "Don't worry about it. I suppose you already know my name, eh?" He glanced at Kilia at that.

    Shinko giggled again. "Yeah. Nakkura's a good name." She let go of his paw.

    Kilia took another step forward. "By the way, what happened to the Larvitar Shinko almost ran into?"

    "I almost ran into a Larvitar?"

    Nakkura shrugged. "Dunno, but I think I scared him off..."

    "What?!" Kilia exclaimed, "What did you do or say?"

    "Nothing out of the ordinary." Nakkura responded indignantly, "He asked me as soon as you left if we knew where Paradise was, and I answered him like anyone else would: I told him, 'No, I dunno where the hell Paradise is! What the hell are you asking me for?!' Honestly, I don't know what it is about me that's so intimidating." Even a simpleton would know he was joking around...sort of.

    "Oh, yeah, real nice, Nakkura." Kilia scoffed. However, she smiled the next second. "I suppose that we should be getting off to find where Paradise is, huh?"

    Shinko perked her head up at that. "Oh! Can I come with you guys to find Paradise? Traveling alone hasn't exactly been the best..."

    Kilia smiled. "Well, sure, why not?"

    "Why do I get the feeling that by the time we do get somewhere, you'll have invited a hundred more Pokémon to join us?" Nakkura asked with a smirk. That earned him a small smack on the jaw with her scythe-like horn. "Alright, sheesh..."

    Avaron got up, his arthritis-ridden joints creaking a little. "So, we finally gonna go now? An old codger like myself can't sit in one spot for long, especially if a rainstorm had stopped and you happened to also be weak to water." He stretched a little.

    "Oh, is pops feeling sore?" Shinko asked with a sly smile.

    "Pfeh..." Avaron exhaled indignantly, "I could still give you a whompin', ya little-"

    All four of them jumped suddenly and turned their heads as one as a scream pierced the calm air, tearing at their hearts...
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  4. #4
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 3: Bound by Blood


    The Larvitar named Shen walked along the forest floor slowly, thinking about the three (or, rather, four) Pokémon he had left behind back there. They didn't seem too bad...Though, I have to admit, that Zangoose was a little mean... Shen thought quietly to himself. Sighing, he stopped and looked up at a large Willow tree before him. The long tendril-like branches hung down like a curtain. The deciduous leaves along each thin branch shook and moved with every small breeze that drifted through the forest. Shen was always intrigued by these trees. These trees always intrigued Shen, because they always looked like they had hair from a distance, instead of branches and leaves. A few Tailow, Pidgey, and Spearow sat in the branches, conversing quietly, and a couple even looked down at Shen curiously.

    Smiling slightly, he turned and walked around the great Willow, continuing on his lone path. However, as he walked, doubts entered his mind about his choice to go alone...and thoughts of those other four Pokémon he'd encountered. They really weren't bad company...I wonder if things would be much different if I decided to go with them... These thoughts were interrupted by the sound of something crashing through the leaves of a bush nearby. It sounded like a Heracross, or maybe an Ursaring, was stumbling through some branches haphazardly. Looking up, Shen noticed the branches of one such bush nearby shaking. He stopped, curious as to what could be making such a racket, and gazed at it.

    When whatever it was stepped out, however, he wished that he hadn't...

    Out from the bush stumbled a tall human male. He had dishelved, matted, dirty-blonde hair that stood out at odd angles. His eyes had large purple bags beneath them, as if he hadn't slept for days. The small, rugged beginnings of a beard he had on his chin showed that he hadn't shaved for a little while. His breathing was ragged and irregular as he gasped for air. His clothes were very dirty, ragged, and ripped in a few places. One hand was on his chest as he caught his breath. strapped to his back was a double-barrel shotgun, the butt of the gun visible over his right shoulder. After his breathing finally became regular, he opened his eyes and glanced around: they were a murky yellow color. The air around this man smelt strongly of alcohol.

    When his eyes fell upon Shen, his eyes flashed and a grin stretched over his face. "I finally foundja..."

    "No...not you..." Shen groaned, fear dripping from his voice. His eyes opened wide at the sight of the human, and Shen backed up a little. "NOT YOU!"

    The gruff man chuckled and pulled the shotgun from his back, shouldering it. "'Larvitar, lar lar tar vi lar' t'yeh, too," he responded, laughing a little. "Y'know I can't understand yeh. Now, be a good little mon, an' come back with me."

    Whimpering a little, Shen shook his head very slightly and very slowly. "No...you...not...not after what you did..." Shen began backing away again, very slowly, and all the while shaking like mad. One of his paws drifted to the edge of his scar on his left hip; a nasty reminder of Shen's last encounter with this man...

    A slight frown came over the man's face. He held the gun by the bottom and cocked the gun with one movement. He then pointed the gun at Shen and aimed, putting one finger onto the rusted silver trigger. "Now, I'm not gonna ask again. Come with me, yeh little creature, or you can join your parents."

    A scream, a horrible, ghastly scream, leapt from Shen's throat as he turned and ran for his life, his small legs carrying him faster than he'd ever run before...except for one other time. However, this time he wasn't so lucky, and a sound of thunder erupted from behind him, causing the multitudes of bird Pokémon in the trees to fly away fitfully. Pain exploded in Shen's left shoulder, and the force behind it sent the little green Pokémon tumbling through the air. He skidded on his wounded back painfully, and a tiny knoll in the uneven ground caused Shen to flip in the air. He landed hard on his stomach and stopped. AGH!" he cried in pain.

    Rain began falling then, a downpour out of nowhere. Shen shakily stood on his feet and stared in hatred and fear at the man. The air around them was filled with the sounds of bird Pokémon’s wings and loud, fearful chatter as they flew away. Shen glanced over his shoulder to look at the wound. It was a small hole drilled into his rocky skin, with small pellet holes around it to show how it had spread. The rain did little to soothe the pain as the bucket loads of water washed away the blood gushing from the wound.

    Hooting in delight, as if enjoying a hunt of sorts, the man walked closer. Shen heard his footsteps and looked up at his face, frozen to the spot in fear. Then man looked down at him, grinning insanely and laughing as he got near. He stopped and aimed the gun right in between Shen's eyes. "Since you decided to run, I'm gonna do yeh in. Oh, and just so you know...this woulda been your fate even if you'd come with me; you just woulda lived longer."

    His finger squeezed the trigger.

    "NO!"

    Time slowed for Shen at that precise split second. As the trigger was pulled, a nearly pure-white Absol cut through the double-barrels of the gun with her horn, slicing them off cleanly; Shen recognized her from the earlier incident. However, she was too late to stop the shot, and her shoulder exploded open as the pellets buried deep within her skin. She was blown back a few feet, but landed upright on her paws. She turned to face the human, eyes furrowed in anger and teeth clenched in pain. Letting out an angry bark, she leapt forward again, unsheathing her claws and slashing at the stunned human's exposed arm holding the bottom of what remained of the gun. The man reeled back in surprise and pain, his blood droplets adding to Kilia's on the grass of the forest floor.

    "Kilia!" A yell came from the left, and Nakkura, Avaron, and Shinko ran into view, staring in fear and anger at the scene before them. "Kilia, are you okay?!" the Zangoose yelled.

    Kilia growled low at the human, who was looking around slightly at all the new Pokémon who'd arrived. "Leave!" she barked, baring her fangs. Blood stained the beautiful white fur around the wound as it seeped from the hole, dripping onto the grass at her paws.

    "Idiot, he can't understand you!" Nakkura yelled, though he didn't mean it in that way. He unfurled his claws, taking a battle stance.

    The human smirked again as he saw that he was half-surrounded by four new Pokémon. "Well well well, new friends, eh, Larvitar? Heh...too bad I have only one working Pokéball left." Indeed, on his belt there were a few Pokéballs, but three out of the four were cracked and chipped; one was even missing its bottom half. Grinning insanely again, he reached into his pocket with his right hand. He grasped something within and slowly began pulling it out. "That Zangoose looks like some piece a' work; he'd be a prize Pokémon, alright. However..." He turned his gaze. "I think I'm goin' for the Absol instead." He pulled something long and metallic from his pocket. Clicking a button, a wicked, slightly curved blade popped out. He pulled his wrist back.

    Nakkura shot forward with uncanny speed as he saw what was going on. Leaping at the man's arm as it started to come forward, he latched his teeth on it and bit down hard. But he was too late, and the sharp steel flew at Kilia.

    Kilia, still fatigued by her wound, saw the blade coming and drunkenly leapt to the side. However, her balance was off, and the blade sliced a long, shallow cut across her side as she crashed to the ground. She groaned in pain as her wounded shoulder hit the ground. She tried to stand, but saw a flash of red and white as she had no success. Crimson ran down her fur in rivulets.

    The man was yelling in pain as Nakkura bit down harder on his wrist. He used his other hand and, balling it into a fist, began beating the Zangoose repeatedly over the head to get him to let go. All this did was strengthen Nakkura's resolve, though, and the next bite snapped the man's wrist, causing him to howl in pain.

    All the while, Shen was watching from a detached sort of view. Shock and fear turned his muscles to stone, and seized up his lungs. He shook more than ever as he watched the others, whom he'd only met a few minutes before, laying their lives on the line to save him. No...this is my burden! No one else was supposed to get involved! he thought furiously to himself; he blamed himself for everything that had unfolded in a matter of seconds.

    Off to the side, Shen didn't notice that Shinko the Buizel seemed to be in the same fearful state he was, but for her own reasons. I...I can't fight...I don't want to do it again...

    Avaron, ignoring the water pouring onto his rocky skin and weakening him, slammed his foot into the ground, using an Earthquake attack in the human's direction. The ground shook and contorted, making the man stumble a little with the Zangoose still attached to his shattered wrist. The ground suddenly jutted upwards underneath his feet, and the man fell backwards, landing hard on his back. It was only then that Nakkura let go and backed out of danger. Blood trickled from his clenched jaws. He turned his furious golden eyes towards Kilia, willing her to just turn and go.

    Steeling herself, Kilia clenched her jaws and practically threw herself to her paws, staggering and swaying unsteadily for a moment, but finally finding her balance. Letting out a soft growl, the Absol tottered forward, blood pulsing from her gunshot wound with each step. But she put it out of her mind, along with the cut on her side and the pain in her whole body. As she did this, she narrowed her eyes and focused her entire being, and within moments Kilia could see ghostly outlines of swords clashing and clanging all around her. As she got into the Swords Dance move, the Absol started to sway with it, and felt her spirit rising as her heartbeat increased. This caused her wounds to bleed more, but it didn't matter to her as her attack power grew with every move.

    Nakkura and Avaron stood back, watching her movements with curiosity and fear. Shen stared at all before him, eyes still wide and a paw clasping at his bleeding wound. The human staggered to his feet, grasping at his broken wrist and groaning in pain. He looked up and saw Kilia swerving around a little. "The hell're yeh doin'?!" he yelled.

    Finally, the swords faded, and Kilia now felt an anger course through her as she instantly lunged forward in a Quick Attack, slamming herself, horn first, into the man's middle. The human grunted in surprise as the air left his lungs. The Absol then started unleashing a volley of Fury Cutters, and with each blow that landed was increased her anger and strengthened the power of her strikes. With each hit, the man yelled and screamed in pain louder and louder, blood streaming from each slash in his body.

    But the Absol couldn't keep it up for long, and before long Kilia found herself on the ground, panting heavily and feeling awfully dizzy. Head lolling, she tried to stand, but her strength had fled her body entirely. Kilia crumpled to the ground, her energy and fury spent. In front of her, the man staggered back, tiny breaths leaving his lungs as death began to work its cold, clammy fingers over him.

    "Damn it," hissed Nakkura. He padded toward the fallen human and Pokémon. His blazing golden eyes lifted up to meet those of the man; the hunter Pokémon winced and looked away. The human would die here if no one found him. The red-streaked ferret turned to the Absol. Frowning grimly, he crouched next to her, scooping her up into his arms. This was nearly impossible, since he was only a little bit bigger than her. His strength failed him, and he kneeled, holding her head up. The Zangoose's gaze trailed back to the surrounding trees. Someone, help... he begged inwardly. He didn't know how long the Absol would last with two serious wounds. For a rare moment, his mind shifted away from himself and to the injured Pokémon as the man moaned behind him as his life slowly faded away.

    Shinko just stood there, fighting the urge to kill, to deliver the finishing blow to this despicable human. She clenched her eyes and fought the impulse, walking up slowly to Nakkura and Kilia, eyeing the human warily. "I'm sorry, I couldn't." She bowed her head low to the Zangoose, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I'm just... to weak. Forgive me... please forgive me. I just...! I don't know..." The Buizel turned her head and looked at the unconscious Absol. She winced as she saw the wounds. "I could find... find herbs... in the forest, if it would help. I'm... I'm not going to run away any more. I just want to help her, to repay her." Shinko looked straight into the Zangoose's golden eyes. "And you. I want to be your friend, and help in any way possible." She then walked towards the Absol, new tears running down her tawny face. "If she dies... I won't forgive myself. So please, let me help you." Her cerulean eyes had a look of intense maturity. She was growing stronger. All I want is to stay with Nakkura and Kilia. And start a journey all our own. But if she dies... She couldn't continue the thought.

    "If you can help, you have my gratitude." He bowed his head respectfully to Shinko. Nakkura glanced down every now and then to make sure the Absol was still breathing. Suddenly, Kilia began to stir, opening her white eyes slowly and shutting them again. Kilia moaned a couple inaudible words.

    "Mama, Papa...where are you...?" she mumbled, blinking slowly. It took her a little while to grasp what was going on. She blinked slowly, then twitched. A flea was biting at her right hind leg, and it was beginning to drive the Absol crazy. Grunting with the exertion, she forced herself into an awkward sitting position and flopped until she could bite at the offending parasite with her sharp teeth. After seeing to the itch, she shook her head to clear it and managed to find the strength to stand.. She finally turned her head toward the Zangoose again, giving him a gentle smile and saying, "Thanks."

    Nakkura frowned. "...You're welcome," he said after some hesitation. He watched her walk off, but she didn't get far; she finally lay down again near a stump.

    "So tired," Kilia muttered to no one, closing her eyes with a pained, fatigued sigh. She seemed relieved to be able to rest again; the ferret sighed in time with her, wanting to sleep himself. Nakkura stood up slowly and shook his coat gently. The man bashing him over the head had hurt him, and he could feel his skull throbbing now. His smile faded, and his eyes narrowed suddenly. He turned his head away, staring out into the distance. He remembered hesitating before...before that fateful battle that had given him his scar. It had caused his trainer to abandon him. It had caused him pain, suffering. It had sent him on this long journey. He promised himself he wouldn't hesitate again; to win, he would have to be tough. Faltering at the ruby gaze of his Zangoose opponent long ago, he had altered his path forever. Nakkura shook his throbbing head at the thoughts, and he came to a decision.

    I'm going soft. I have to go strangle someone tomorrow...

    Avaron sighed as he looked over at Kilia, ambling over quickly, trying to get out of the rain he now noticed. "Nakkura," he called as he stumbled over to the Absol, while still looking at the Zangoose. "Kilia needs her wounds tended to." Avaron squinted down at the cut, and the bullet bruise. She was losing blood fast. Avaron quickly took the bullet wound as more severe, as it had gone deeper, and held her skin tight around there. "I need the Freiya leave, and some water."

    Meanwhile, Shen had walked over to the dying man and stared down at his crumpled expression while Shen's own face gazed down with hate. The man got what he deserved...he was a menace, and only brought this fate upon himself... the Larvitar thought to himself. He didn't hear much of what was said behind him, with his attention entirely upon his former owner. He was turning to the others and was about to join them around Kilia when something caught his attention from the corner of his eye. He turned to see what it was, and gasped.

    The man was slowly and quietly getting up, despite his many wounds and all the blood he must've lost. Shen stared wide-eyed at him, the air catching in his throat and making him unable to warn the others. As the man got to his feet, staring at the other four with a malicious look glazed on his face, he reached a hand into his left boot and slowly pulled out what looked like a long piece of metal. It took a few seconds for Shen's shaking mind to recognize what it was.

    The sheet metal the human used on the Larvitar, giving him his scar.

    Instantly, the scene before his eyes altered. They were by an old, ramshackle house, a broken tree littering the front lawn. Two large Tyranitar, one male and the other female, collapsed on the ground, lifeless and covered in blood. The man laughing...That scene filled Shen with rage.

    "NO! get away from them!"

    That instant, Shen shot towards him, his arm glowing with a Stone Edge attack. He slashed at the man, sending him flying into a tree, blood blossoming from where the Larvitar's attack had cut into him, the blade burying itself into his chest.

    The human was finally dead.

    The other three conscious Pokémon turned their heads in alarm as the yell brought their attention temporarily away from Kilia's limp form. They watched Shen strike the deadly blow, and the metal sink into the man's heart. They stared from the bleeding corpse to the Larvitar's wide-eyed expression. He brought his arm he attacked the human with to his front, staring at the blood on the appendage. He was shaking terribly.

    "What have I done...?"
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  5. #5
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 4: Meeting the Rebels


    Avaron shook his head. The poor blighter...As a trained fighter, Avaron had killed before; Pokémon and human alike. He knew the sick feeling that rose in one's chest as you dealt the final blow...Horrible memories of his past awakened in his mind as he thought this.

    Shinko, too, was buried in her thoughts. This battle had brought up a few unpleasant memories of hers, and she tried and failed to remove them in her head. She felt sad for the Larvitar; he was younger even than her, and had experienced something she hadn’t, and never wanted. He had killed a living creature, a human. Consumed in memories, Shinko sat and closed her eyes, tears falling slowly again.

    "Whaddaya looking so depressed for?" Kilia muttered, grabbing Nakkura and Avaron's attention. However, the strain of talking only caused a bolt of pain to shoot through her shot shoulder, and couldn't hold back the tiny whine it caused to leak from her throat. She lowered her head back between her paws, resting her chin against the cold, wet ground, and shivering again. Taking a small breath, she managed to gasp out, "Are you guys okay? Is anyone badly hurt?" It never occurred to Kilia what an ironic question this was, with her lying on the ground bleeding out as she was.

    Kilia’s voice brought Avaron out of his thoughts. He shook his head in exasperation at her words and chuckled. "You brave idiot. We're all fine. You're the one who needs to taking care of," Avaron turned his head to the others. "Well, are any of you going to get the Freiya leaf? Or should I do it myself?"

    The Sandshrew's voice jerked Nakkura's attention toward him. He narrowed his eyes and growled, "No need to be-" He was about to say "impatient", but with another look at Kilia he realized that it was urgent. He stalked off with another glare at Avaron, his fur bristling. He knew that it was to save Kilia, and that it was just a question, but he felt as if he was being ordered around.

    Kilia watched Nakkura leave, and noticed Shen's expression; one that suggested he was greatly upset. The Absol couldn't understand why; she didn't think it was because of her wound. He looked...extremely troubled, not worried. Kilia wondered what was causing him such distress and was prepared to ask, but then saw the human who'd shot her lying a good distance away, crumpled against a tree like a discarded toy. The metal had been embedded in his chest.

    Did he do that? she thought, looking at Shen. She felt her heart go out to him. He was so young, and had already had to experience the pang of murder, even if it was in self-defense. Being an Absol, Kilia was used to it, even though Kilia herself had not had to actually kill another living creature. Her family, up until the point her mother had been caught, had lived a rough life, and sometimes death had to be dealt out.

    Shen sat back, still staring down. He looked once more upon the human, and a sudden thought flitted through his mind: I'm free...I'm finally free from him...This thought sent shock through his body; he hadn't felt like this since before the human had come into his life. Shen looked over to Kilia and the other two still gathered around her; everyone looked to still be breathing. At least nobody had been killed on my behalf. Shen thought with a sigh of relief. He had only just met them, and never expected them to help him like that, even going to sacrifice their own lives...then the Larvitar knew.

    They were the ones he could trust, even with his life. Now, Shen felt like he belonged with them, those who bear scars of their horrible pasts, those who seek Paradise.

    This new paradigm made Shen truly smile for the first time in over a year...

    At that moment, the brush rustled, and Nakkura tumbled through quickly; his fur was bristled, and he seemed agitated. His amber eyes narrowed angrily, ready to glare at anyone there who thought his situation funny, but no one did. Leaves and dirt sticking to his pelt, he prowled over to Avaron, trying to control his breathing to a normal rate. His heart still pounded in his chest, but he set the leaf by the Sandshrew's feet.

    "We need to join back up with the rebel group," he said suddenly. "It will be safer with them. They probably have Pokémon more experienced in healing with them. Kilia, when you can walk, we need to go."

    He still felt his fur tingling. He lowered his head to lick at his fur, grooming his shoulder and side. Slowly, after a painstaking moment, he felt the danger pass away. He let out a soft sigh of relief, angling his eyes to the sun shining through the canopy of leaves.

    Kilia didn't reply at first. She had the thought, to begin with, that this might be the rebel group. Of course, it had been a foolish thought, but it was still what she had believed until this point. Finally, Kilia twitched her tail and lifted her head again, just enough to manage a small nod, then dropped it back to the ground. Kilia couldn't hold back a smile as she saw him begin to groom himself. He’s almost as bad as an Absol.

    The Zangoose stretched his arms out quickly before cocking his ears when he heard a plop next to him. He looked over to see that the Larvitar had come over, seeming upset, and sat down next to him. Nakkura frowned a little until the young Rock-type spoke up, looking at him. "I...I want to thank you for what you did back there. Without you guys, I'd probably be joining my parents right about now... Would it...be alright if I traveled with you?"

    Parents. Nakkura stiffened for an instant. Kilia heard, and her heart clenched at those words.

    Suddenly, Kilia lifted her head, and they saw the effort pained her slightly. Nakkura was about to tell her to lie it down again, but she said firmly, "Of course you can!" She smiled kindly before adding, "I got shot for ya! You think I'm going to let you run off after that? No way."

    Nakkura attempted to hide his smirk, but he failed. The Zangoose gave Shen a glare. "Sure, I guess," he muttered, trying not to chuckle. "My name's Nakkura. Just don't bother me, and you'll be okay, kid." His golden eyes sparkled quickly to show he was joking, sort of. He still wasn't the best, warmest person in the world if someone got on his nerves.

    Shen was a little intimidated by the stare, but upon seeing the shimmer in the golden orbs staring down at him, he smiled warmly. "Won't be a problem. I'm Shen."

    As soon as the Zangoose placed the Freiya Leaf and his feet, Avaron ignored just about everything else. Kilia’s wound was still bleeding free, and Shinko looked…preoccupied on her thoughts. Avaron decided to act quickly. For Kilia's sake. He bent to her shoulder wound, and licked off most of the blood he could. In most Pokémon cultures licking another was considered breaking personal space, but Avaron knew that he needed to heal the wound as quickly as possible. He wouldn't do a very good job, and as Nakkura had said, there would probably be a better healer with the rest of the rebels, but he could do a temporary thing.

    After licking off most of the blood, he quickly placed the Freiya Leaf in his palm, and crushed it until it was a powder. He then sprinkled it over the wound. The Freiya Leaf was a sort of a painkiller, as it numbed whatever it touched. Already Avaron's paws were feeling as if they died, but at least Kilia would feel no pain. It was fabled that the Freiya Leaf could cure all diseases, but in reality it did naught but lower the pain. He then looked at her leg wound from the sheet metal and grimaced. There was too much blood to lick off. Shinko would have to wash it out.

    Avaron then turned to the Zangoose in apology. "I'm sorry about being so...brusque. But Kilia is in dire need of healing. I hope I haven't offended you," He then looked to Shen and added as an afterthought. "My name is Avaron. It’s nice to meet you, Shen."

    Shinko snapped out of her thoughts among all the greetings and welcomes. She wiped her eyes dry and smiled at Shen. “Yes, a pleasure,” she said with a steady voice, “I am Shinko.”

    Shen stood up and nodded in thanks and greeting. “It’s very nice to meet you all.”

    Shinko smiled warmly before looking over to Kilia. “I might be able to help, Kilia. I can wash out those wounds for you, if you want. The Shotgun pellets will need to come out of your shoulder wound anyway…”

    Kilia chuckled a little and waved a paw at her side. The rain had done a good job of cleaning away the blood on the outer layer of her fur, but that had been a while ago. Now, more blood had oozed out of the wound and was crusting over. The Absol knew if she allowed it to clot completely, the scab that formed would catch her fur, and that could lead to painful problems, as well as infection. Not only that, it, too, needed a thorough cleaning out. “Would you please?”

    Nakkura looked over at the timid Buizel. "Help her out," he suggested halfheartedly before turning around and hunching his head, flicking his ears in irritation he tried to keep to himself.

    Shinko nodded and moved to Kilia’s side after Avaron had stepped back. She made a small “o” with her mouth and exhaled, shooting a tiny stream of water into the wound on her shoulder. Kilia grimaced a tiny bit as it stung her, but otherwise kept still and silent for the Buizel. As she watched, the small, lead pellets slid from the hole with the water, falling out of site in the grass. As time went by, more and more slid from the wound, and then a whole clump of blood-covered metal pieces came out, falling on the grass in a lopsided ball. Finally, no more seemed to come out, and Shinko even examined closer at the wound to make sure she did a good job. Happy, she smiled at Kilia, and the Absol returned it happily.

    "Maybe you could clean this one too? You're pretty good at this, and I'm glad you're here to help out," Kilia said as cheerfully as she could as she spoke, not wanting Shinko to feel any more unease than he already had.

    Shen watched this with a bubbly happiness, glad Kilia was getting the treatment she needed and well deserved. Shen then glanced over at the human’s corpse, looking stark white against the tree. He walked over slowly to it and looked one last time at his disgusting features. Shen scowled and bid one final farewell. Now rot in hell for killing my only family... he thought in pain. A single tear fell from his eye.

    Reaching out suddenly and grasped the sheet metal still embedded within the human’s chest, then ripped it out. Never wanting it to see it hurt or scar anyone, Shen brought it down on his knee, snapping the piece of metal cleanly in two. “You will never harm anyone ever again…you old fool…” he muttered as he tossed the pieces back onto his chest.

    As soon as he did that, a relief Shen had never known bloomed in his chest. The human was no longer on his trail and would never bother him again, and he’d found friends. Shen was happier than he had been in a long time. It's finally over. I never have to look over my shoulder again, not as long as I have friends with me. he thought, sitting up against a tree.

    "All right fellas. And fellaesses,” Avaron said, addressing the whole group, “It's time for us lot to get back with the rest of the rebels. Safety in numbers, as they say. We shouldn't have too much trouble, as the human probably scared off anything else of possible threat."

    Kilia nodded and looked about to try to stand up, but Nakkura held up a claw. “Nuh-uh, not yet,” he said, "I'll scout ahead. Call me if you run into anything unpleasant," he muttered halfheartedly. He bounded forward into the rest of the woodland, ears perked and all senses alert for the signs of the larger rebel group.

    Avaron turned away from the rest of the group, staring out of the canopy at the sky, careful to stay out of the rain that persisted, though now a light sprinkle instead of a downpour. He heard the Larvitar thank them. Kilia's getting star treatment, and she deserves it. the ground type thought to himself. Avaron, anyway, had done his bit. He turned back to the others. "I'm off to go with Nakkura. He's really strong, but some things can only be done with two people."

    With that, the veteran Sandshrew scuttled off after the lumbering Zangoose.

    Kilia stared after them, still half raised, then slumped down as Shinko moved to the slice on her leg and began to spray water at it as well, washing away blood.

    Shen, meanwhile, was also watching after them until they disappeared behind the foliage. A sudden pain in his shoulder reminded Shen that he still had pellets in his shoulder. Gritting his teeth, he pressed a paw into the wound, causing fresh pain to burst forth. Still, Shen was silent as he continued his work. The Larvitar didn't need to dig deep; thankfully, the pellets hadn't gotten into his bloodstream, but that could change any minute. So he worked vigorously to get the poisonous bits of metal out, one by one. Finally, Shen grabbed the last one and popped it out, sighing quietly as the pain left instantly. Shen dropped the bloody pieces of metal next to him and dropped is paws at his sides in relief.

    A sudden thought crossed his mind, and Shen ambled over to Kilia, hoping she felt better after Shinko had finished his work and had the Freiya Leaf powdered onto her gunshot wound. Sitting down, he smiled at her and said, "Hey, uh...thanks for taking that shot for me earlier. That was really brave, especially since we had only just met. So, are you feeling better?"

    Shinko sat next to Shen, having finished with the slash, and nodded in agreement. “Yeah, it was. I couldn't have done that….I wish I were like you."

    Kilia couldn't help but smile. "Nah, it wasn't brave, it was just what needed to be done. Still, you're quite welcome. And yes, thanks, I am feeling a lot better." The Absol waved a paw at her injured shoulder. "Though I don't think the effects of this leaf will last for long. But all in all, I feel alright." Here she paused. "But I'm still kinda tired. I think it was the loss of all that blood. No biggie though. My jewel is very healthy, which is why I'm regaining my strength so quickly." It never occurred to her Shinko and Shen might not understand that last sentence, so she didn't bother to explain.

    Shen and Shinko both nodded. “That’s good to hear,” the Buizel stated happily. She then looked at Shen and said, “By the way, I’m Shinko.”

    Shen smiled. “Nice to meet you.”

    “The same to you.” Shinko said, returning the smile.

    “So, we’re all acquainted now, right?” Kilia asked. She placed her weight on her left shoulder and began heaving herself up. “Well then, I suppose it’ll be good for us to follow after Nakkura and Avaron. Can’t make ‘em wait forever, can we?”

    Shinko stood and offered a paw to Kilia. “Here, let me help you up.”

    Kilia graciously accepted, and was soon on all four paws. She wasn’t in pain, thanks to the Freiya Leaf, but time was ticking by, and soon enough, the effects would be gone. Shen stood as well, ready to follow.

    Suddenly, the sounds of a struggle entered the clearing, suggesting trouble. Shinko cocked her ears and bared her teeth. Something must have happened to Nakkura! "I'm sorry Kilia, I have to help this time!" Leaving Kilia behind, the Buizel ran out of the clearing.

    "Well, I'm not going to stay here while the others might be in trouble! Come on, we have to see what's going on and make sure everyone's alright!" Kilia said as she dashed off after the Buizel, hot on her trail.

    Shen followed, determined to help out Nakkura after the way the Zangoose had saved him. However, being a Rock and Ground Pokémon, he wasn’t exactly made for running, and soon fell behind the two. Still, he persisted, and ran full pelt.

    Ahead, Shinko ran behind Kilia, who, despite the wounds, was running pretty damn fast. Shinko kept up after being passed, though. Then the smell of blood wafted through the trees, and they picked up speed. Poor Shen, who’d begun to catch up by that time, was left in their dust, but he just kept after them.

    Finally, Shinko and Kilia could see the trees thinning, and within another few minutes they burst from the forest. Before them stretched a huge meadow, with flowers bobbing in the breeze and grass swaying gently. The sunset brought a wonderful array of colors to the meadow.

    In front of them was the huge, group of Pokémon; the rebel group. All facing two of its members, with Nakkura injured and Avaron declaring, "You have no right to attack us. Isn't the policy of the Rebels to allow any Pokémon that hates humans to join? Who asked you to attack my friend?"

    Their eyes quickly took in the scene: Nakkura was injured, and lying a fair distance away was a stunned Luxray. The Electric Lion was stumbling to its feet, obviously dazed, and a Mightyena was growling angrily at Avaron. Before another blow could be dealt, Kilia leapt over Avaron and Nakkura into full view of the rebels. Gasps rang throughout the clearing; Kilia knew what kind of affect her appearance would have on them.

    "Let my friends speak unchallenged!" Kilia cried out, waving her white horn from side to side. "We seek what you seek, a place to call home, a place where we can live together in peace away from the human threat! Why do you treat my friends so poorly? Proud Pokémon be you must not, for no Pokémon with self-respect would attack others seeking sanctuary and posing no threat!"

    "Silence!" the Mightyena barked, though he seemed somewhat shaken by her sudden leaping entrance, and the almost pure white of her body. The Absol locked her milky eyes onto his crimson ones, and she saw a shudder pass through him. Kilia hated using how she looked as a weapon, but if it would help them out, she'd do whatever it took. "That Zangoose challenged us with his arrogance! He did not drop his pose when I demanded to know whether he was friend or foe! It is his own fault-"

    "Are we all not cautious and wary these days?!" Kilia cried out, prancing forward as she lifted her head high, tossing her horn about. "Do we all not keep our guards when encountering others? Are we not entitled to such, when all we seek if to defend ourselves should another decide to strike against us!? I ask you, would you have so easily dropped your pose if the same had been demanded of you, that was demanded of my friend?"

    There was an uneasy silence for a moment, and then the Mightyena let out another growl. Kilia continued to stare at him, and finally he dropped his gaze from the Absol’s.

    "Perhaps you are right...these are hard times, and we are all highly strung." He made a shrugging motion of his shoulders, and Kilia sighed softly. Perhaps there would be no further need for violence...

    Shen had caught up with them at that point, and was breathing deeply to get oxygen into his lungs. He had seen that the hostilities were going away, and he sat down and sighed as well. They didn’t need any more trouble after what they’d just gone through.

    "Excuse me, are you hurt?" A voice said behind him, causing the Larvitar to jump. He turned to see a female Bulbasaur.

    "Uh...no, I'll be fine, thanks. It doesn't hurt anymore, so I think I'll be fine." Shen offered a smile to show her he spoke truthfully.

    Whether she heard him or not wasn’t evident, because she continued looking over his wound. "A puncture wound from a shotgun, right?" she asked. Shen nodded. "You may need an herb or two anyway. We need to make sure you don't get lead poisoning." And with that, she walked off. Stopping suddenly, she turned her head and looked at the Larvitar. “By the way, what’s your name?”

    “Uh…I’m Shen.” He responded.

    “Nice to meet you Shen. I’m Aya.” And with that, she left to get the herbs.
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  6. #6
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 5: Insanity


    An elegant shape seemed to float away from the main body and toward Nakkura and Kilia as Nakkura approached the Absol’s side. He managed to whisper, “Thank you...and you, Avaron,” with a tiny nod at Kilia and the Sandshrew in turn. He then looked upon the shape coming towards him.

    The Pokémon stepped into view. It was yellow-and-brown, a dented spoon held in one hand. The Alakazam’s whisker-like mustache was short, giving evidence that it was female. She smiled briefly and bowed her head with a quick glance at Kilia. “My name is Celeste,” she murmured. She reached her other hand out, as if to touch the Absol. Nakkura growled quietly, but Celeste took no heed of him. “Some Psychics are possessed with the ability to heal themselves via the move Recover. A few of those, however, are also able to use the move on other beings.”

    The Alakazam smirked nervously for a moment, but her kind and quiet voice continued to drift out, easing the tension in the air. “I could help you with your wounds,” she stated. “We have some with the knowledge of herbs, as well, but I can quicken the process.” She turned away, though she gave no signs of walking off; she needed an answer.

    Nakkura frowned slightly and muttered, “Help her out… I’ll manage with just a few herbs.” He turned his head toward the woodlands, shuddering once as a brief gust blew and toyed with his thick white fur.

    Kilia faced Celeste and smiled at her, then sat down and tilted her head back a bit, giving the Psychic better access to her wound. It was a humbling symbol of trust in any Pokémon to bare their throat to another, but Kilia knew how Alakazam were. They weren't at all violent or mean, and preferred fighting using their psychic powers when they were pushed into a battle. The Absol was comfortable with showing Celeste her throat.

    "I think there may still be some pellets in there," Kilia told her as Celeste reached out and touched the bent-up spoon in her hand against Kilia’s shoulder. At first, nothing happened, but then the spoon started to glow. Kilia watched as Celeste worked, then gave a little gasp of surprise when suddenly a few pellets popped from the wounded shoulder. There were quite a few pieces, which was surprising, even after Shinko’s work at rinsing them out. The pellets fell to the ground, and Kilia watched as the wound slowly stitched itself up.

    The Zangoose turned his eyes away from the woodlands and settled on Shen, sitting on the ground. He noticed the Bulbasaur Shen met when he first arrived was pressing some green, pasty substance into his shoulder…

    "OW!"

    Shen gritted his teeth together as Aya pressed the herbs into his wound. Those herbs may help, but without the numbing herbs, they can sting. He winced again as the female Bulbasaur pressed some more of the herb poultice into his gunshot wound. "Don't you have any Freiya Leaves?" he asked.

    The Bulbasaur didn't even look up from her work to answer. "No, they're quite rare around here. We used the last two about a day or so ago, so I'm sorry. You're just gonna have to bear through the pain." She continued putting more stinging poultice on the wound. Shen gritted my teeth harder and went with it, refusing to let out another cry of pain.

    "There, all done." Shen felt pressure lift from his back. She had finally lifted her paw and stopped pressing the poultice in the wound. "Oh dear..."

    "What?"

    "Wh...where did you get that horrible scar? I mean...if it's not too personal..." Aya said quietly.

    Shen sighed. “I’ve had that for a long time now, really. I don’t really like to talk about it…maybe some other time.” Shen looked back at her and smiled.

    "Well, I can help get rid of the scar, if you-" She began.

    "No," Shen said, stopping her, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I want to keep it. It reminds me of how I came to be here."

    "Well, if that's what you want, how am I gonna stop you?" She smiled warmly.

    Shen gave a small giggle of delight, mostly to himself. “You’re really nice.” Before he could say more, he heard whispers from some of the rebel group behind him.

    "Look at his size, so unnatural..."

    "That's a gigantic scar on his back, he must've had a rough past."

    "His eyes are red! He must be a dangerous one…”

    Shen looked down, a hurt expression on his face. Yes, he was slightly smaller than normal Larvitar’s, and he did have a rough past, but he wasn't someone dangerous, nor did he like people talking about it like that.

    Suddenly, the Bulbasaur stared them down with a cold gaze. "Hey, lay off!” she snapped, abruptly stopping the whispers, “Jeez, that’s just cowardly, talking behind someone’s back like that. You know for a fact that not everyone is always as they appear." Aya narrowed her eyes. "Now stop." With her words, the other Pokémon went away.

    Shen smiled at the small grass-dinosaur. "Hey, thanks."

    Aya gave a smile back at him, her eyes sparkling. “No problem.”

    Nakkura watched the two, smiling slightly. He knew that they’d be good together, and it might do the little Larvitar some good to have friend, after what he’d been through. However, these thoughts of his were interrupted by a growl, and Nakkura stiffened. He faced the source to see the Luxray from earlier was giving him a foul look.

    “We aren’t finished here…” He growled low, electricity sparking on his footpaws.

    Nakkura scowled at him and looked away. “Not only is this stupid, but it would be a waste of my time to fight someone like you.”

    “Don’t ignore me!” the Luxray shot, the electricity sparking more.

    The air was once more thick with tension. The group watched, wide-eyed, as the two fierce fighters faced each other down. A couple yelled out encouragement for the Luxray.

    Avaron watched carefully as the Zangoose sized up his opponent. Nakkura was evidently fighting back a very powerful natural urge, and doing a rather good job of it. Avaron took in the lion's appearance in a long, withering stare. It was evidently a Luxray of reasonable size and power. His legs were spread ever so slightly, but pushed into the ground so as to spring better; a battle stance if you wish. But it wasn't the Luxray’s fault completely. Nakkura had to shoulder some of the responsibility for starting off the feud. He seemed to shoulder the responsibility of a hell of a lot. If Avaron had to choose a leader out of their mini-group, Nakkura would definitely be his first choice.

    True, Kilia was quite the Absol, and had many qualities that Nakkura lacked. She was a very brave warrior, although much too impulsive to be effective in a strategic fight against someone well versed in the art of war. She was good at talking, but even that could lead to problems in a fight. It was often better not to talk, and to wait for your opponent to begin the conversation. Also, Kilia seemed a lot younger, and less experienced than Nakkura. It may not be true, but this was the impression that Avaron gathered. The others? They were much more followers than anything else.

    Avaron watched as the Luxray made a withering remark, and stepped forward.

    "Nakkura-rah," he whispered softly to the Zangoose as he neared, hoping that he would notice the Sandshrew honorific, "Don’t get into a fight with him just yet. We have only made acquaintance with the Mightyena moments ago. Let him threaten you all you want. Eventually he will calm down." Avaron then turned sternly to the Luxray, saying out loud; "Friend Luxray, come. Do not begin a relationship with a threat. Let us befriend each other. You may call me Avaron, and this is Nakkura-rah."

    The Zangoose allowed himself to pull away, loosening his muscles and drawing his obsidian-colored claws in. His golden eyes continued to blaze as he stared at the lion, however. Avaron introduced him and the Normal-type as he spoke loudly to the Luxray.

    "I-" About to suggest simply calling him 'Nakkura', the Zangoose cut himself off and shrugged slightly. He allowed his bad-tempered stare to cut through into the woodlands again.

    The Luxray gave an odd stare at Avaron, then smirked darkly at Nakkura. “Need old codgers to talk your way out of battles, eh?” he taunted, “Fine, I’ll leave you alone. You’re the one who’s not worth the time.” With that, he stalked away.

    Nakkura stared defiantly at the Luxray as he retreated. “Piss-off…” he muttered.

    Shinko glared at the Luxray. “You shouldn’t yell at people who try to make peace with you, you jerk.”

    The Luxray stopped before her and looked at her through the corner of his eye. In a flash, he snapped at her nose with his teeth, missing her intentionally by mere millimeters. Shinko, frightened, turned and bolted into the woods. “Heh…not so much of a tough missy now, are ya!” the Luxray yelled after her with a cackle.

    Nakkura was about to go after him, but the Mightyena leader ran passed him before he could react and started berating the Luxray loudly. Sighing, Nakkura just sat down and scowled, his forepaws crossed.

    “Shinko!” Kilia yelled, about to run after her, but Celeste put a hand on her shoulder to stop her. Kilia looked up to her with a confused expression.

    “Let her go; she’ll return when she’s ready,” Celeste said softly, “Let her gather her thoughts. Now, let me finish patching up your wounds.”

    Kilia hesitated, but then sighed and nodded, staying still for the Alakazam. She looked over her shoulder to see the progress, and saw the last of the flesh patch up. However, there was a scar that would always be there, silvery and raised. No fur would ever grow in that spot again, nor, she knew, where the knife had slashed her side open. As Celeste pulled the silver spoon away, she sadly reached up and patted the bare, silver flesh on her shoulder with her paw.

    "It is better to have a scar and your life, than have neither," Celeste said, smiling slightly. “Let us rejoice that you have been healed, at least.”

    Kilia sighed softly and nodded in thanks, knowing she was right. Still, it was depressing. Absol are proud creatures, especially when it came to their appearance.

    Celeste nodded and stepped back, seemingly pleased with her work. Kilia didn't have the heart to look at her side, where she knew a long stretch of fur would be missing. Instead, she thanked Celeste as the Alakazam walked off. Kilia smiled slightly and then stretched, glad that she was now healed and that, so far, everything seemed to be alright.

    Nothing much else was said for a little while longer, save for animated chatter between Shen and Aya, so they were greeted with mostly a nice quiet evening. The sun had finally dipped below the horizon, leaving the sky beautifully painted with hues of orange and pink splashed together to make a wondrous panorama of the heavens. The sight was soothing to those who’d been through so much that day.

    It was then, that things began changing for the worst.

    There was a small bit of rustling, and a few Pokémon, including Nakkura and the others, looked over to see what it was. Out from the leaves of a bush floated a wicked-looking Banette. His eyes were blood red, just like Shen’s, and he had a few faint battle scars on his body. One of his most stunning features was the double-edged sword on his back, just big enough for him. He didn’t look ready for battle emotionally, though; he had a depressed look in his eye, and almost seemed scared. A few Pokémon nearest him of the rebel group shifted away uneasily, immediately beginning to fear him from his God-forsaken appearance...and the sword he carried on his back for no known reason.

    Always the friendly one, Kilia immediately got up and sat before the Banette. “Hello there.”

    The Banette looked up to her white ones, and Kilia almost shuddered. His eyes were nothing like Shen’s; while Shen’s had a friendly, alive look, the Banette’s only had a cold, dead look in them. “Is this the rebel group?” he asked timidly, “If you are, I'd like to join in. I don't have a home, or friends...”

    Kilia smiled warmly. “I’m sure they’d love to have you. What’s your name?”

    The Banette gave a small smile. “I’m Seth. And you?”

    “I’m Kilia,” the Absol responded politely, “Seth, did you see a Buizel out there in the forest?"

    Seth thought a second, then nodded. “Yeah, I actually did. She was sobbing to herself.” Then he figured out something. “You were the friends she spoke of when I asked, then?”

    “You talked to her and didn’t try to bring her here?” Nakkura growled, a little irritated, “Seems rather cold of you to do that.”

    Kilia glared at the Zangoose. “Nakkura, that wasn’t-“

    “Wait…” Celeste said, stepping forward, “Why can I not read your mind, Seth? What would you have to hide…?”

    “You tried to read his mind?” Avaron asked, looking down on a practice like that.

    “It’s precautionary. You see, times aren’t as friendly as I’d have hoped…” Celeste said with a small frown. She then looked back at Seth. “Now, please answer.”

    Seth’s eyes took on a different look almost immediately. He pulled his sword off his back and pointed it at the Alakazam Healer. “Look, you. You have no right to read my mind, nor demand to know why I decided to block you. Try that again, and you’ll end up like that stupid Buizel…”

    There was a collective gasp, and all those present stared at him. There was a definite change to Seth. Not only did he sound slightly different, more gruff and dark, but also his body flowed with an aura that exuded anger, pain, and madness. He glared at Celeste, his aura strengthening.

    “Seth, what the hell are you talking about?!” Nakkura yelled, his claws extended from his palms.

    Seth glared at Nakkura next, then gave him a wide, insane smile. “Oh, yes, did I forget to mention that bit? Your friend Shinko is currently in Havoc Tower, screaming her lungs out. I’m sure she’ll be as insane as me by morning!” Here, he gave a loud cackle.

    “You sonuva-“ Nakkura leapt at the Banette, but Seth gave another laugh as he shot forward in a flash and hit Nakkura in the chest with a Sucker Punch, knocking the Normal-type back. Nakkura landed hard on his back.

    “Tsk tsk tsk…” Seth said, waving a finger at him, “I hope you remember that your Normal moves do not work on a Ghost-type like myself.”

    “No, but my attacks do!” Kilia yelled, jumping forward and striking at Seth with her claws, which glowed a mix of black and purple hues in a Night Slash attack.

    Seth quickly brought up his sword and blocked Kilia’s claws from reaching him, actually holding her back with the flat of the blade. He then pointed a hand at her and gave another insane grin before launching her back with a Shadow Ball attack. Kilia flew through the air and landed on her newly healed side.

    “Well, I was hoping that I could get you to come with me without a hassle, but seeing as this isn’t possible, I’ll just have to settle with poor little Shinko.” Seth cackled. “She will make an excellent follower, and even if she isn’t, I’ll have something to practice my attacks on!”

    “You monster!” Shen yelled. He stood and took an offensive stance, his arm glowing with a Stone Edge attack. Aya stood by him, looking at the Banette furiously, “You won’t get away with this, I swear!”

    Seth gave him a furious glare, as his aura flowing more than ever. “Oh?” He then raised his sword to the air and yelled to everyone, “Just try and stop me!

    Suddenly, lightning struck Seth’s sword, and the flash blinded everyone. Smirking at his brilliant use of his Thunder attack, Seth immediately bolted into the forest. His cackle followed after him.

    Kilia shook her head and stared after the Banette. She then turned her head to the rebel group behind her. “We have to go after her!”

    “No,” the Mightyena said, plain and simple, “We’re leaving first thing in the morning, and we all need our rest. Just leave her; it will only be a distraction from our goal of reaching Paradise, and as you could see, it would be a deathtrap for most of us.”

    There were tears in Kilia’s eyes. “You’re all so terrible! Fine then, if you’re not, I will!” She then bolted after Seth.

    Nakkura bolted after her, yelling to the rebel group as he left, “Cowards!”

    Shen followed after them, refusing to talk more. He was too angry, and probably would have said something that would make the Luxray at least attack him.

    “The fools…” the Mightyena said, shaking his head. He then looked up at Aya to see her glaring at him, cold fury etched into her face. “Aya, you know this is the truth. Ignore them, and let’s just get some rest. You have some more healing to do.”

    Aya still glared, but walked over to the tree that her herb pack made of leaves and grass sat against, picked it up in her mouth, and ran after Shen with one last glare at all the rebels. As she ran, she threw the herb pack onto her back around her bulb. She even ignored Celeste calling her name after her, and sped up to catch up to Shen.

    Ahead, Nakkura and Kilia were gaining on the Banette. Looking back, Seth cracked yet another grin and turned around, still floating the same way. He held out his hands, and orbs of fire materialized. He launched out his Will-o-Wisp attack, the orbs catching the trees and grass on fire. He then turned back the way he was facing and flew faster. Undaunted, Kilia and Nakkura ran quickly through the flames, easily avoiding the ones that could prove dangerous to them.

    Seth grinned as he floated along. He made it into a clearing, and behind him, a Tower appeared out of the night sky. Perfect…they took the bait, and they will soon be under my power… he though as he vanished to the Tower’s top.

    Meanwhile, a ways behind Kilia and Nakkura, Aya had caught up to Shen, yelling for him to stop. “Aya, why are you coming? Aren’t you going to stay with the rebels?”

    "Pfft,” Aya scoffed, “They don’t need me, you, Kilia, Nakkura, and Shinko do. Against that maniac, you'll die without help." Aya then smiled and showed him her herb pack. "That's why I'm coming with you."

    "What?" Shen was astounded. "That may not be a good idea..."

    "Don't think you can stop me." Aya said matter-of-factly, "You'll need my help if you go to fight. I've got all the herbs we'll need in a situation such as this anyway." She shook her little herb pack. "That thing had powerful attacks, not to mention a sword. It will be dangerous, so a healer should be a welcome addition to the fight."

    After some time thinking about what she had said, Shen sighed in defeat. "Alright...you can come. Just...try not to get killed, okay?"

    "I've been in a fair number of battles before, so don't worry. I know how to avoid being in direct combat."

    They nodded at each other, then continued running in pursuit of Kilia and Nakkura, though the Banette had made it hard for anybody to come after him. They made it to the area he’d used Will-o-Wisp, the flames licking hungrily at the foliage and wood.

    Stopping, Shen said, "Cover your eyes, Aya." She obeyed, then the Larvitar used a Sandstorm to whip up the topsoil and suffocate the fires. The fires flickered as the sand blew around the part of the forest it was used. It didn't take too long, cause the fires were still young.

    Shen let the Sandstorm die down and took a look around to make sure he didn’t miss any. Everything looked fine to him...but then he spotted another fire a little ways away, just out of the attack's range.

    Shen prepared to get it, but a stream of water put it out before he could get over to that last tree. Confused, Shen looked around the tree to see who had done that.

    It was Shinko.
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  7. #7
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 6: A Difficult Struggle


    Thunder rippled in the darkening sky over Oldenshire Forest. It was a gloomy twilight, the last bits of bright sky from the sunset disappearing behind thick clouds. There were no Tailow or Starly in the sky, all huddled in their nests to keep warm during the storm the clouds must surely unleash. It was quiet…

    Suddenly, lightning lanced through the sky, throwing Havoc Tower into sharp relief. Even in the darkness, one could tell that evil emanated from it.

    High in the tower, Seth looked out of the ruined, damaged windows of his room at the top. He grinned as he caught sight of the white pelts of the Zangoose and the Absol he had lured here with his false allegations of capturing their friend.

    Behind Seth, near the entrance to the room, were three figures cloaked in darkness. The malicious, wide, white smile of one of the figures could be seen, as did one large eye on one of the others. All was silent in the room, save for Seth’s soft, yet still insane, chuckle to himself.

    “Perfect, now it’s all been set,” he muttered, more to himself than his three servants, “They’ll soon be mine to control…However…You three can have a little…fun with them.” Seth addressed his servants without even looking back. He grinned ever wider. “If they die, they are of no use to me, so don’t hold back. If they prove to be strong…bring them here.”

    There was a slight shuffling as they bowed low, and a small gust of wind blew through the room when the three teleported.

    Seth cackled. “It’s all going as planned…”

    ~*****~


    “Kilia, stop!” Nakkura yelled as he trailed behind Kilia; he was losing strength, while she only seemed to be gaining it the longer she ran. Nakkura’s chest was on fire, but he persisted; he wouldn’t allow Kilia to get hurt again…She had already almost died, wasn’t that enough? “Please…”

    Kilia’s ears were deaf to his pleas as she surged forward. The only thing on her mind was saving Shinko from that maniac. She ignored and overcame the obstacles Seth had thrown their way, intent only on catching him. However, the Ghost was faster than he looked, having flown far ahead already. The further away he was, the farther Kilia was from saving the poor Buizel, and that would not do for her. She put on an extra burst of speed as she ran forward.

    Eventually, the sound of ragged breathing behind her made her instinctually slow up a little for Nakkura, but not much. After he cried out and pleaded for her to stop one more time, Kilia’s gallop finally began to slow drastically, actually slowing to walking speed in a few seconds. Kilia stopped completely as Nakkura stumbled up to her, his sides heaving as he drank in the oxygen around them greedily. Kilia instantly felt bad for him; she had ignored him, and yet he continued to follow her as closely as he could. If she had had just a bit more sense and patience, he wouldn’t have to wind himself so badly to keep up with her.

    Nakkura stopped by Kilia and panted, leaning against her a little. “D…damn, Kilia…you’re…fast…” he gasped out in between breaths. Still, he managed to grin at her.

    Kilia touched her nose to his cheek. “Nakkura, I’m sorry…Are you alright?” she asked, very concerned.

    Nakkura grinned and stood straight, beating at his chest with his paw. “What, me? Kilia, you underestimate…me,” He may’ve been breathing a little harder and deeper now, but he wasn’t gasping for air anymore, at least. “I just needed to catch my breath for a second. No need to worry about me yet.”

    “That’s good, because we’d be very disappointed if our new play toys were too tuckered out to play!”

    Kilia and Nakkura jumped in surprise, looking in the direction of the noise. There, standing together, were a trio of Ghost Pokémon: a Gengar, a Dusclops, and a Mismagius. Lightning forked in the sky, and Kilia noticed the outline of the base of what looked like a tower behind the ghosts. It was a startling site, but Kilia replaced the look of shock and surprise by one of anger and hatred, baring her fangs at them. Nakkura, finally having caught his breath, unfolded his claws out and took a battle stance. His icy glare, however, didn’t faze the Ghost Pokémon.

    “Well, well, looks like we’re all ready to play, then,” The Gengar mocked, crossing his arms and leering at them, the wide grin still on his face. “Let’s just get to having fun, shall we?”

    Immediately, the Mismagius vanished, only to reappear right in front of Kilia in a split second and launch a Shadow Ball at the Absol. Kilia only just managed to jump over it and avoid it. When she landed and turned to face the Ghost and attack, she saw the Mismagius glowing a grayish color, the aura of the glow flowing like smoke. This smoke then began forming in front of the Mismagius, in the shape of a nail, which then impaled the Ghost harshly in a Curse technique. As the nail pierced the Mismagius, a small orb shot out from the wound right at Kilia. She tried to jump and avoid it, but to no avail; the orb connected, and Kilia felt her strength begin to fade from her body.

    The Zangoose would’ve tried to help if he could, but currently his eyes were on the Gengar’s. The red lights within its gaze seemed to swirl, and the white-and-red mongoose tried to fight back within his mind. However, he felt himself starting to succumb to the sleep the ghost was trying to inflict upon him. As the Mismagius took a moment to recover from the Curse, the Dusclops landed before Nakkura and fired off a Confuse Ray, followed by an Ice Beam. Eyes narrowing, Kilia lunged forward and slammed hard into the Zangoose's side, knocking him out of the path of the attacks. He landed and rolled to his feet quickly. Kilia, however, tumbled to the side, just in time, as the Absol could feel the cold passing of the Ice Beam over her back. Kilia hit the ground and laid there for a moment, stunned, feeling a bit more of her energy drain out of her. Kilia knew it wouldn't be long before the Curse took all her energy and she fainted, but she would fight as long as she could. After a moment she struggled to her paws, the claws popping out of their sheaths as she shook slightly. Kilia was still a bit weak from all the blood loss because of the shot wound earlier, and it was hitting with a vengeance now. Still, the Absol didn't let it get to her as she bared her fangs in a snarl, her fur vibrating like mad as the rain started again and the sky was torn open by a huge tongue of lightening. She collapsed into a sitting position, however, her breathing a little erratic; she was at their mercy.

    Nakkura laid his ears back with a growl of his own. Drawing back his lips to bare his fangs, he started toward the ghosts. Presently, the Gengar rammed forward, hurling his fist at the Zangoose as a shadowy light consumed his arm. The attack seemed to go through him; he grinned and swung an iron-hardened tail around into the creature. With a smug grin, he watched the Gengar stagger to his feet and begin to stumble as he hissed in reply to the strike. “So, the Normal-type has a little fight in him after all. Fine then…TAKE HIM DOWN!” he yelled.

    The Dusclops and the Mismagius both turned their attention from the Absol and directed their fury at Nakkura, flying forward in a flash. Nakkura was ready, though; the Ghosts’ best attacks wouldn’t affect him, and, though neither would his affect them, he was ready with his other techniques he had perfected. As soon as the Dusclops was in range, he unleashed a savage Night Slash upon him, opening a wound in the left side of the Ghost. The void within him began drawing in wind from the air around them, and he desperately tried to hold the wound closed to prevent himself being drawn into the vacuum. Meanwhile, the Mismagius zoomed forward and punched him under the chin hard, knocking him into a tree.

    “Damn…Sucker Punch…” Nakkura, muttered, shaking the feeling back into his arms. The Zangoose lunged at the Mismagius, his paws glowing black and purple with another Night Slash. He struck hard, but she dodged to the side. Nakkura pursued her, slashing again and again in fruitless attempts to catch her. The Mismagius almost seemed to be toying with him. However, her luck ran out as Nakkura’s claw caught her right side, causing a little of her essence to begin drifting into the air like smoke from the cut; it was as though she were bleeding, though instead of blood, which Ghost Pokémon have none of, she was bleeding the essence of her existence that tied her to this world. She almost fell out of the air, as if stumbling back, and it was all Nakkura needed to deliver a powerful Iron Tail to her face, knocking her back into the tower wall.

    The Mismagius got up quickly and glared at Nakkura…or, where Nakkura was. She was surprised by this, and glanced around frantically for him, but couldn’t find him. “Where is he?” she said, her voice merely a whisper.

    “Look up!” a yell alerted her, and she looked up in time to get smacked in the face by a harsh Iron Tail. She quivered on the ground in pain as Nakkura stood above her and smirked, cracking his knuckles. “Sneak attack…me likes,” He taunted, grinning maliciously.

    Nakkura’s gloating was interrupted by the black shock wave of a Dark Pulse emanating from the Gengar. The Zangoose was thrown head over heels, but he righted himself and landed on his feet in time. An icy glare passed between the two for a mere second before they ran at each other and engaged the other. Nakkura’s Night Slashes and Iron Tails were parried and countered with Dark Pulses and Focus Blasts, the two trading immense blows between them without a single successful attack. It would only be a matter of time before fatigue caught up with them, and one fatal mistake would give the other the edge in the fight.

    They took a second to catch their breath after a few more minutes of intense battle. The Gengar had several wounds that seeped his essence, and Nakkura bled from a cut above his brow and on his shoulders. The fight wouldn’t last much longer, and if things continued, they’d both be down for the count. However, as they charged at one another again, the Gengar cringed in pain for a mere second; that was all Nakkura needed. Smirking, he gave a Night Slash to the Ghost Pokémon’s face, raking deep wounds in his visage, before turning and slamming an Iron Tail right into him, sending him into a tree and knocking it over.

    The Zangoose knew things weren’t over yet, though; the Gengar was a fierce opponent, and would still be able to fight even after a blow like that…not to mention the other two Ghosts. He kept his ears primed for any indication of the enemy attacking…and shifted to the side as the Mismagius tried to Sucker Punch him again. He countered with another Iron Tail, knocking her to the ground. Nakkura grinned victoriously, seeing the Mismagius on her last legs, but in all honesty, he was very fatigued by the bout as well.

    Nakkura didn’t see the Dusclops dissolving and reappearing behind him. It pulled its fist back, ice coating its hand, before it rammed into his back with terrible force. Nakkura’s mouth parted in a silent gasp as he collapsed. He crouched for a moment, breathing heavily as pain buzzed through him. His golden eyes enraged, he delivered another Iron Tail at it. The Dusclops struck with another Ice Punch that slammed into his shoulder. He fell again, extreme pain exploding through his shoulder.

    The world swirled around the Zangoose as he hit the ground, slipping into unconsciousness.

    ”Nakkura!” Kilia yelled, panic blazing through her as she hurried to his side. The three Ghosts snickered and cackled as they pressed in close, and Kilia felt more of her strength fleeing her as she stood by Nakkura's side, snarling and growling as she tried to decide what to do. Finally, the Absol had to act.

    As the Gengar tried to use Hypnosis on her, Kilia let out an angry bark and jumped at him, clamping her jaws on him in a Bite attack. The Absol gripped it tight and started shaking, feeling a sudden fury course into her being. Even as she felt her reason slipping away and being replaced by an awful force, she knew what was happening. Kilia was being overcome by the Blood Rage, the anger that engulfs an Absol in the heat of a critical situation and drives their sanity away. The Absol couldn't stop it, even though she was scared of what would happen after the Ghosts were taken care of. She didn't want to do anything bad to them, even though the Ghosts were attacking them, Kilia didn't want to hurt Nakkura or anyone who came across her if the Rage was still on her...

    Kilia shook the Gengar in her jaws like a Mightyena with a rag doll, snarling and dripping drool all around as the Pokémon cried out in pain. The Disaster Pokémon felt her sharp fangs ripping through the Gengar's body, and suddenly he went limp and fell from her jaws, his essence leaking out in great quantities; he was dissolving away. Kilia whirled, saw her next victim, the Mismagius. The memory of her Cursing Kilia coursed into the Absol’s veins, and she howled her rage before lunging for the Mismagius, claws slashing, fangs tearing. The Ghost fell quickly to her savagery. After taking out the Mismagius, Kilia turned on my last foe.

    The Dusclops came at her, an Ice Punch at the ready. Even as the attack connected with her chest and she felt an icy pain spread through her front, Kilia buried her fangs into his thin body and tore into it. Kilia immediately threw the Dusclops into the tower wall, knowing what would happen to those near him upon death even in her enraged state. The Dusclops staggered up to his feet and glared at Kilia, before his eyes widening at the gravity on his body: he’d been wounded too badly, and the void within him was making him collapse upon himself like a black hole. A horrid scream fled his non-existent mouth before his body was crunched and flattened by the intense pressure of his inner black hole. He was gone in a split second. Kilia breathed hard, her chest heaving. As the rain fell and the lightening flared she released a mad howl, looking around wildly for another foe to rip to shreds. When her eyes landed on Nakkura, the Absol instantly jumped forward, claws out, ready to tear...

    But her fatigue and Curse caught up to her Blood Rage, and Kilia collapsed right next to him, suddenly exhausted beyond belief. As fatigue swept over her, the Blood Rage slowly faded, until she was left with the horrible guilt of having killed, and the inconsolable grief of almost having attacked Nakkura. Kilia was grateful, at that moment, for the Curse that had been placed upon her. It had been draining her strength the whole time she'd been fighting, though she hadn't noticed it in her fury.

    Now, as she gasped for breath and tried not to faint, Kilia steeled herself to the thought of having to leave the group. Kilia was a danger, a threat to her new friends. There was no way she could safely travel with them now that this monster had awoken within her...however, Kilia's fatigue was too great. She was too tired to go any further, even if it was to leave to save her friends. Kilia’s thoughts turned to Shinko, and silently the Absol prayed for her forgiveness as she closed her eyes and fell into the inky blackness of unconsciousness…


    ~*****~


    "Shinko!" Shen called out, running after her before she could get too far. Aya followed closely.

    Shinko paused and turned to the calling voice, smiling and waving at the two. “Shen, hey! Er…who’s you’re new friend?” the Buizel asked, inclining her head toward Aya.

    They caught up to her and smiled. "Thank goodness you're alright. How'd you get away from that Banette?" Shen asked quickly.

    Shinko blinked. “Er…Banette?” she asked, befuddled, “I never met any Banette, ever…” She looked down and furrowed her brow while trying to figure out what it was Shen meant.

    Shen was flabbergasted; Shinko never met a single Banette? Then what did Seth mean when he- Shen’s thoughts were interrupted as a streak of lightning crackled through the air above their heads.

    "Shen, the Absol and the Zangoose don't know that Shinko's not in the tower," Aya informed him, "We gotta get them before they end up getting killed!"

    “Tower? What…what are you talking about, er…” Shinko asked, but stopped short as she didn’t know Aya’s name.

    “It’s Aya, sorry…” Aya introduced herself apologetically; she knew she should’ve introduced herself earlier.

    “Ah, that’s okay, and thanks. You already know my name, obviously…” Shinko said with a slight smile. She then looked at Shen again. “Please explain...”

    "Shinko, a Banette from earlier had come along, apparently wanting to join us, but he soon revealed his insanity," Shen explained. He thought back to Seth’s little display back there to Nakkura and Kilia. "He floated off into the forest, saying he had you in some tower in the middle of the forest. Kilia and Nakkura followed him to get you outta there, and I followed them to help. These fires the Banette probably caused blocked my way, so I put most of them out, save the one you did. And now, here we are..."

    The Buizel stared wide-eyed at Shen. The whole story sounded like some sort of horror film. "But-" Shinko shook her head and got on all fours, preparing to find the two, at all costs. They were her friends; if they died, she wouldn't know what to do.

    "I'm going to find them. If they die, it will be my fault," Shinko explained, tears forming in her eyes. "You can come if you want, but that's your decision.” She turned to where Kilia and Nakkura ran. "Bye!" The Buizel sped off.

    "Come on, we can help." Shen said. Aya nodded, and the two gave chase. Once again, Shen got left in the dust due to the Buizel's speed, and Aya only went the same speed as him to make sure he didn't have to run alone. We've become friends so fast, it's amazing… Shen thought to himself.

    The Larvitar looked up, shielding his eyes from the rain, and saw the bleak outline of a tower not far from where they were. Shen put on a burst of speed to try to catch up with Shinko. The two crashed through the foliage of bushes that seemed to border a larger, more open area, and stopped upon an appalling sight.

    The smell of blood was pungent here. There had been a fierce battle, as shown by the marked landscape. There was a crater or two, not including in the rock wall of the tower, and a tree had been knocked upon itself. Two Ghost-type Pokémon, a Gengar and a Mismagius, lay a little ways off, dissolving into nothingness as their lives were swept away. Nakkura was a little closer, definitely unconscious, the fur on his shoulder and back coated with a thick layer of ice. Then Shen’s eyes turned to Kilia and Shinko...

    Shinko had her nose buried in Kilia's limp form, crying her eyes out. Kilia's body wasn't moving at all, not even to breathe.

    Shen’s own breath caught in his throat. No...Kilia can't be...

    Aya quickly stepped forward and used a vine to examine Kilia’s neck. A small smile painted her lips as she faced Shinko. “Do not worry, miss Shinko. She’s alive…though barely. I can help, though.”

    Shinko sniffed and wiped her eyes and looked up at Aya. “R-really…?” she asked. Aya nodded, and Shinko sighed in relief.

    Shen turned to the Tower and glared at its heights. Somewhere up there, Seth lay in wait, probably thinking he’d have all of them running up into the tower and into his grasp. Shen knew now that wouldn’t happen, and he’d make sure of it. He wanted revenge for the pains that had been caused to his friends.

    Without a second thought, but merely a glance back at his friends, Shen entered the open tower doors alone…
    Last edited by Shen; 16th April 2010 at 02:42 AM.
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  8. #8
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 7: Lies of the Past


    Darkness…absolutely no light, not even from the open doorway, offered its guidance through the thick darkness that permeated the interior of the Tower for the Larvitar now trying to find his way in. As soon as he had stepped in, he could feel the very dark power than emanated from deep within, a horrible feeling of intense evil and darkness. It chilled him to the bone, but nothing would deter Shen now. He would find Seth and make him pay for almost killing his friends.

    With the supernatural darkness covering every bit of the tower interior, Shen had to rely on his other four senses…

    Shen walked carefully through the first floor of the Tower, occasionally bumping into a pillar or table he was unable to avoid. Besides these small detours around these objects, the walk was smooth. He was glad that it was merely these that he bumped into, and not something less desirable…

    It wasn’t very long before Shen stumbled upon what he found to be stairs; just what he wanted. With a huff and furrowed brow, he began climbing the stairs, slowly. He was not to be deterred, but he still didn’t want to rush into anything unpleasant. So, step by step, he penetrated further into the damned building…

    At the top of the stairs, an oddly flighty sensation suddenly passed through Shen, like something familiar was near and his mind knew it, but Shen found nothing that would bring such feelings to him. Carefully alert, he looked around into the absolute darkness, but, of course, still unable to see. So he branched out his search with his other senses. He heard…the soft splash of a small, distant waterfall, and the sound of wind rustling quietly through tree leaves. He felt…the cool wind against his rocky skin. He smelled…was that some kind of pie? And it smelled like it was bluk berry pie, his favorite…These things would’ve once brought Shen comfort, but now they made him more tense and wary of the Tower. He’d have to watch for anything and everything.

    Shen took a single, agonizingly slow step forward…

    Light exploded in front of Shen, causing a great amount of pain in his eyes. He slammed his eyes shut, rubbing them hard and groaning at the sudden pain inflicted upon him. Stars buzzed out of the darkness of Shen’s eyelids as he rubbed them frantically. Then, all too soon, the light dimmed. Shen squinted out of his eyes to see what lay before him. When the Larvitar saw it, he gaped and opened his eyes wide in surprise.

    He stood in a small, hilly meadow, the grass short, yet long enough to sway in the light wind. Close by, he saw a raised portion of the land, like a cliff but only about fifteen feet high; a waterfall cascaded softly down the rocks into a small pond. Near this pond, hidden in the shadow of a large tree, was a house, looking to be made for only about three people. From a window nearest Shen, there sat a cooling pie…the bluk berry pie he’d smelled earlier. These features in the landscape held a huge meaning for Shen…This was where his first trainer, his kind trainer, had lived; that pond was where the trainer had even trained Shen’s resistance to water little by little. “This is where I grew up…”

    “Shen, there you are,” a voice spoke up from behind him, “Where have you been? It’s almost lunchtime, hun.”

    The very sound of that voice made Shen’s breath catch in his throat. It…It just can’t be…Can it? he though. Slowly, very slowly, he turned around.

    Standing before now were two Tyranitar, both smiling kindly down at him…His mother and father.

    "Mom...dad..." he whispered in disbelief.

    Shen’s father cocked his eye in confusion at his son. “What’s wrong, Shen? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

    "Oh, dad!" Feelings of love and pain exploded within the little Larvitar, sending him running to his mother and father. Shen grabbed onto his mother’s leg and cried into it. "You're here...you're really here..."

    A look of puzzlement crossed between the two Tyranitar. The female Tyranitar looked back down to Shen and patted his head behind his horn. “Shen, what’s up, sweetie? Of course we’re here, it’s not like we went anywhere. You only saw us five minutes ago, after all.”

    Shen’s eyes blinked open in confusion. He looked up to his mother’s face, tears still leaking from his eyes. “Five minutes ago…? But…I haven’t seen you in so long…I saw you two die…”

    The two Tyranitar adopted incredulous expressions. “"Die? What are you talking about? We’re standing right here, after all,” his father said, “You must’ve dozed off and had a nightmare, or something, son.”

    “But…” Shen backed up a little, slowly. There’s only one way to prove that I’m right… he thought, reaching behind his back with his right hand slowly, feeling for one specific feature of his body…He grimaced as he felt the very tip of the scar on his back, the one thing that proved his nightmare to be real. “If it was just a dream…how did I get this?” Shen asked, turning around on the spot.

    Shen’s parents both gasped in unison. “Shen?! How did you get that horrible cut on your back?!” his mother cried.

    Before Shen could even begin to answer…the scene shifted instantly before his eyes.

    It was nighttime, and the area he stood in was lit by a large light source that came from behind him; Shen could smell wood burning, it must be a fire, and by the sound of it…a large one. Short, leafless trees were scattered about, maybe three within the light of the fire. There was little grass, all of which was stiff and dead-looking, while the rest of the place was filled with dirt. Shen turned slowly, memories surfacing with every vision before him. There was a wooden house with the roofed porch; the house was in disrepair, boards broken, sticking out, or right-out missing from the building. The porch was caving in on itself, sagging down low to the dirt. A tree was half-collapsed onto the roof of the house, its roots sticking up where they had been ripped from the ground.

    Before Shen turned any more, there came the sound of a whip cracking, cutting through the partial silence of the night. Shen froze; something about that whip sounded…too familiar. He turned the rest of the way around quickly, facing the source of the noise, to see an awful sight.

    There was the cruel man who had given him his scar…who had killed his parents…holding a whip tight in his right hand. He wore blue jeans with holes in the knees, a tan shirt with a flimsy leather vest, and a floppy, wide-brimmed hat, and on his back was that shotgun he always carried. Before him, crouching over and bleeding from several extremely deep cuts…were his parents.

    “W…what the hell?!” Shen screeched, “YOU!”

    The man turned to him and growled, showing his yellow teeth. "Don't dare speak out against me, ya little runt!" He turned the whip to Shen, approached him, and raised it. Shen flinched slightly, but continued to glare at the man. The whip came down…

    Only to stop in the grip of a large, green claw. The man yelled as the claw closed down hard on his hand, crushing the bones within. “Don’t you dare touch my son!” Shen’s mother growled loudly at him, livid. Shen’s father, equally angry, came from behind and hit the man hard with a right hook to his side, causing him to be flung from the female Tyranitar’s grip and slide hard against the dirt, a cloud of dust obscuring him momentarily. Roaring loudly, the two Tyranitar charged at him.

    Then the smoke cleared, revealing him standing up and clutching his shotgun a little ungainly, because of his broken hand. His hat was still in the dirt, and his hair was mussed up, giving him a completely insane look when coupled with his wide eyes and his awful sneer. As the Tyranitar charged in a bloodthirsty rage, he took aim. “If you won’t listen t’yer master, ya ain’t worth keepin’ alive!”

    “NO!” Shen screamed…but it was too late.

    The shotgun lit up as the man pulled the trigger, firing out its deadly load. Tyranitar have strong carapaces, able to withstand the hardest hits…save in their faces, where their armor is very susceptible to projectiles. Unfortunately for Shen’s parents, that is exactly where the pellets hit them. They were thrown back as blood sprouted from their wounds, still barely standing. The man cocked the shotgun with his broken hand and fired once more, hitting them on the dot and blowing their heads apart.

    The two Tyranitar collapsed, dead.

    "No…” Shen moaned, crying again, “Not again..." He sobbed aloud as he clutched his head...

    Suddenly, there was a flash, and Shen could tell that things were different. The specific sounds and smells had jolted silent, but the fire still burned. Slowly, Shen removed his paws from his head and opened his eyes…

    As he suspected, he was still in the dirt-filled yard of that cruel man, but his parent’s bodies were no longer before him. Shen blinked, confused, and glanced left and right. The scene was the same, save for the fact that there wasn’t another living being around…

    Suddenly, the crack of that whip cracked through the air, right behind Shen. He spun and set his eyes once more on the scene of the man whipping his parents mercilessly. But something was different, and it was strikingly obvious what it was…

    Shen saw an exact duplicate of himself standing right next to the man.

    It was something else, to see one’s self apart from one’s consciousness. As he watched with curiosity on the scene, he noticed that his duplicate already had the changed eyes, and the scar on his back, which made Shen wonder what exactly was going on here; if those changes were already there, what were his parents doing alive and still being whipped? The old man seemed to tire of whipping soon enough, and looked down at the doppelganger Shen. “They ain’t gonna listen, Shen; finish ‘em off.”

    The other Shen grinned maliciously and stepped close up to his parents, looking them right in their faces. “Please, Shen…” his mother begged, “Don’t do this…remember who we are, who you are…”

    As Shen watched with horror and astonishment, the other Shen ignored her pleas and stomped the ground hard, suddenly, causing the ground to shake…and sharp stalagmites to suddenly stick up through the ground and impale the Tyranitar couple fatally. Shen screamed and stumbled back, absolutely appalled by the vision he’d just seen.

    Then the scene changed, to one of a blinding white background. Shen looked around, but saw nothing, and no one; he was alone again.

    "It was your fault..."

    "What the-" Shen started, looking around. All that was in sight was the white scenery, nothing more.

    "It was your fault..."

    "Who's there?!"

    "Your parents are dead because of you..." As the voice said this, the scene of the other Shen impaling his parents on stalagmites played through the room again, before going back to the white scene.

    "No...No, i-it was that-"

    "He did not attack them. It was you, with your anger and immeasurable power..." The same scene played again, burning into Shen’s mind.

    "You're wrong."

    "Look deep inside yourself...you'll find I tell no lies...

    "You're wrong!" Shen cried defiantly. However, the scene played yet again, and it just began seeming so real to Shen…like it really was the truth…

    "See? It was all because of you..."

    "No..." Shen clapped his paws over his ears, determined to shut out the voice.

    "You caused them to suffer..." The scene played again, yet froze indefinitely at the part of the other Shen actually committed the impaling.

    "No!"

    "And for that you must perish!"

    "NOOOO!"

    Instinctively, Shen struck out defensively, in the form of an Ancientpower attack, in an attempt to smash everything around him, as well as the aggressor. The ground at his feet cracked, the large fragments rising up and swirling around the Larvitar in a furious whirlwind, smashing into everything in sight. The image before Shen began to warp and twist hideously, becoming completely unrecognizable. Then, all became dark.

    When the attack died down, Shen looked around at what he recognized as what must be the tower's second floor. It was actually lit enough for Shen to see, though barely…and then he saw it. There, on the ground in front of him, was a Shuppet, which Shen assumed was the one responsible for casting the illusions on him. It shook a little with a chuckle. "Such power...no wonder they were killed by such a pitiful creature..." It coughed up blood before continuing. "And all your friends will suffer at your hands..."

    "Shut up!" Shen was about to strike out again, until the Shuppet disappeared and was replaced by a different dead body...one he recognized..."No...not her...not Aya!"

    Indeed, laying where the Shuppet had been was the deceased form of Shen’s new Bulbasaur friend, Aya.

    "No..." Shen stared down on her before collapsing to his knees and crying. His wails of grief carried throughout the tower interior…

    ~*****~


    Kilia groaned, feeling wet and tired. Her entire body was sore, and all she wanted to do was to go back to sleep. However, she soon heard words and voices, and realized there were others around. Giving a weak cry as she tried to pull herself away, the memories of what had taken place moments before crashing down upon her as she fully came awake. Her eyes popped open and she saw the young Bulbasaur from earlier before her, herbs clasped in her vines as she worked on her injuries. Beside Kilia was Shinko, looking down on her form, tears leaking from her eyes in worry. The Absol glanced around and saw Nakkura on the ground, his shoulder and back coated in glossy ice.

    Aya blinked as she saw Kilia’s eyes open. “Ah, Kilia, you’re awake,” she said softly, “Don’t worry, everything’s going to be okay.”

    Kilia shook her head and stood up quickly, causing Shinko to start and fall back. “No!” she managed to choke out as she heaved herself up, staggering away from the others and shaking terribly. Kilia backed away, shaking her head as the scent of the battle assaulted her nose. “Stay away,” she muttered, eyes wide with panic, “It’s not safe, I’m not safe!” With that, she whirled and ran, using the bit of strength that had returned to her in her deep slumber to put as much space between herself and the rest of the group. Unbeknownst to her, because her eyes were closed as she bolted, she ran right through the open doors of the tower.

    When she finally stopped, sides heaving as she gasped for air, she opened her eyes and glanced around. As she took in the sights, she was struck by the old musty smell of the place. Sneezing, gathered herself and took in her surroundings. She could barely see in the gloom, and she felt her fur prickle at the eeriness of the place. Still, the Absol pressed on after a moment, the memory of her slaying of the Ghosts playing again and again in her mind. She couldn't risk being around Nakkura and all the others, not after what she'd done. This is the only place a monster like me could live, away from others I could hurt.

    As she walked, Kilia suddenly heard a huge crash coming from above her, on the second floor. She froze for a second, startled by the noise, and then some instinct drove her into a run. Urged by something she couldn't quite explain, Kilia ran until she came to a series of stairs. Legs pumping, chest and lungs burning, she practically flew up them, straining her muscles for every bit of speed she could muster. She HAD to reach the second floor, HAD to see what had caused that explosion...

    After reaching the second floor the Absol stopped, head cocking to the side. The echo of the explosion soon faded away, and she was left wondering where the source had come from. However, she didn't need the echoes, as she soon heard the distinct sound of crying a second later. She followed it, until she came to a long, dark hallway. She padded closer, seeing a shape on the ground, and it took her a moment to realize who it was.

    "Shen!" she gasped, surprised at his appearance. The little Larvitar was on his knees, sobbing terribly. Her first instinct was to go to him, find out what was wrong and try to comfort him. But the memory of how she had destroyed the Ghosts washed over her, and Kilia found myself torn between wanting to help Shen, and wanting to flee from him in order to not put him in danger.

    As she stood, shaking and trying to decide what to do, she heard something very faintly. Kilia whirled, thinking someone was behind her, only to see a misty outline that looked vaguely familiar. She crouched, prepared to flee, as the foggy figure took on a more definite shape, until it looked like...

    "Keiza!" she gasped, for standing there was the ghostly form of her oldest brother.

    The Absol smiled sadly at Kilia, and when he spoke his voiced sounded distant and hollow. "Dear Sister, this place is not for you, nor any of your friends. You must leave this place before its madness claims you all."

    "But...I can't return to the others...the Blood Rage..." she murmured, hanging her head in sadness and shame. Her brother sighed softly, and she was urged to look up. Slowly, Kilia lifted her head and met his eyes, so pale and white, just like Kilia’s. Only, his were white in death.

    "Whiteling, the Blood Rage is not to be feared. Respected, yes, and honored above all things, but never feared. To fear the Blood Rage is to fear yourself, and to fear yourself is to fall into darkness and despair. The Blood Rage is a part of all Absol, all Pokémon, and we must learn to embrace it along with the rest of us."

    "But I almost attacked Nakkura!" she argued, feeling the shame and guilt hit her like a physical blow. Kilia dropped my head again, eyes closing as tears threatened to spill. But again, she felt her gaze being drawn up, her eyes opening as her brother began to turn misty and insubstantial once again.

    "You will never touch claw or fang or horn to those you love, Kilia. Even the Blood Rage cannot turn you against them, for you are special. You are an Absol unlike any other before. Your oddity will be the salvation of your friends when the Blood Rage is upon you. When you leapt for your friend, it was in desire to defend, not to kill. Look deep inside yourself and you will find this is the truth." Keiza smiled again, this time full of softness and assurance. "All will be well, Whiteling. You just have to believe..." And with that, he was gone...

    For a moment Kilia stood, stunned. Then, slowly, she turned back to face Shen. She could feel that Keiza was right, but was still afraid of the Blood Rage that now dwelled so close to the surface of her consciousness. Kilia knew she would always be a little scared of it, but she wouldn't let that fear conquer her. Instead, she would meld it, turn it into the respect and honor Keiza had spoken of. The first step to that transformation was trusting herself, and trusting Keiza.

    ”Shen, are you alright?" she asked as she walked over to him, hoping that the others would be able to trust her as she had to trust her...

    Shen had barely registered her appearance, he was so wrapped up in his sadness. He could never have killed his parents…could he? No, no, he’d never be so heartless and cruel…would he…? Maybe…maybe the Shuppet was right…maybe he was a monster…then…Shen made up his mind…he’d have to leave his friends behind, for their own safety. "Please...stay away..." Shen groaned, barely audible to himself. "I...I don't want to harm you too..." In a fit of grief, he suddenly tore off across the floor, hoping that nobody would follow him. Tears streamed from his eyes as he left the only friends he had ever trusted...the only friends he ever had...
    Last edited by Shen; 16th April 2010 at 01:05 PM.
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  9. #9
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Awesome chapter Shen! And your banner is too!

  10. #10
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Why thank you ^^. I always enjoy seeing how others enjoyed my writing :3

    Chapter 8: Havoc Tower


    Shen suddenly took off running, and for a moment Kilia was so shocked that all she could do was watch him go. Finally, though, her wits returned, and she gave chase. “Shen, wait!” she cried after him, finding it hard to go after him in this supernatural darkness.

    "The madness of this place has already started, trying to claim your friend," Keiza's voice whispered across the back of her mind. "A Shuppet has shown him illusions, told him heartless lies about his past, and now he is lost in grief. Quickly, Whiteling, before he does something rash! You must catch up with him and stop him!" Keiza's voice then faded away, and Kilia knew what she had to do. She didn't know exactly what the Shuppet had shown Shen, but it was obviously something horrible that had made Shen believe he'd hurt someone.

    Kilia ran, putting every last ounce of her remaining strength into catching up with the Larvitar. She caught a brief glimpse of him standing near the landing of another flight of stairs, but before she could call out to him he lurched forward and started up them. Kilia hurried over to the stairs and watched him heading up them.

    Taking a breath and trying to ignore the painful stitch in her chest and sides, Kilia bounded up the stairs after Shen, shouting, "Shen, wait, please! I don't know what you've seen, but it's a lie! Please, I know what you're feeling, you have to stop!"

    Shen ignored her, for her own sake; he couldn’t allow her to become the next victim of whatever it was inside Shen that caused him to willingly kill his own parents…and not know about it afterwards. As fast as he could, he climbed the stairs, getting further away from Kilia.

    Kilia couldn’t just let Shen run away and live with the lies he’d come to believe, so as soon as she was near enough, she bunched herself together and leapt, sailing over stairs and Shen's head, landing a few steps up in front of him. Shen, surprised by the leap over him, stopped suddenly. The Absol stumbled for a moment, her balance thrown off by the odd landing, and she slid a few more steps down before coming to a stop. Trembling slightly, she stood and shook herself lightly, before hopping down the couple of stairs between Shen and herself.

    "Please, just wait and listen," Kilia pleaded, hoping Shen wouldn't try to run off again, "Just give me a moment, I promise everything is alright..."

    "Good, Whiteling," Keiza's voice said, and Kilia smiled faintly; it felt good to hear his voice after all these years, and the affectionate nickname he and the rest of her family had come up for her. "But your work is not yet done. You must be quick, convince him of his innocence, and flee this horrid place. There is not much time, for the Ghosts are already beginning to gather now that they have all sensed your presences. Hurry, Kilia, before it's too late!"

    Shen, however, looked down, unable to even face Kilia. “Nothing is alright with me…I…I’m horrible…”

    Kilia shook her head. “No, you’re not, Shen,” she said kindly. She smiled a little. "Everything's going to be okay," she said, in what she hoped was a reassuring tone. "Please trust me. Something like this happened to me, but I know now I can't be afraid of it. I don't know what you saw or heard, but I can tell you for sure it was a lie. The Ghosts here are trying to make us crazy, why I don't know, but if we don't get out of here we're going to be in big trouble. I'm still tired from the fight with those Ghosts..." Here, Kilia trailed off, unable to shake the memory of rending the Ghosts lifeless. With an angry snort she shook her head and banished the memory. The Ghosts had attacked them, and she had done what she had to in order to protect herself and her friends. Kilia then smiled more brightly at Shen and jumped over his head, ticking her tail in a joyful manner as she landed and turned to face him. "Come on, let's get out of this dreary place, and we can talk about what happened, if you want to."

    Shen tried to smile back, but his mouth refused to move. His eyes brimmed with tears. Shen looked back down. " You were the one who murdered your parents? You have something evil inside of you that kills indiscriminately? Because if you do not, I'm afraid you know nothing of what I feel now..." Shen glared at her, but, regretting it immediately, looked away again, shutting his eyes. "I can't be forgiven for what I've done, and I will not risk you or the others suffer at my hands...I'm sorry, but..." He trailed off; this was even harder to say than he thought. "I...have to leave you guys..."

    “You have to do no such thing…”

    Shen’s eyes snapped open at the voice, and he looked up. Once again, the feeling of familiarity swept through him. Kilia, startled by the voice, turned around to the source.

    You did not kill us, nor do you have to stay away from your friends..."

    "Who-" Shen broke off as the room became extremely dark. All he could see were himself, Kilia, and…

    As Kilia and Shen watched, the two saw Keiza form behind the female, looking right at Shen with a soft and gentle expression. Before the Larvitar could wonder if he was the one who talked, two more, much larger, figures mysteriously appeared next to him. They were two Tyranitar...

    Shen’s mother and father.

    "Mom...dad..." Shen muttered faintly.

    The two Tyranitar’s forms were hazy, just like Keiza’s, and their eyes were white and ghostly as well. However, their smiles were full of life, proving their happiness at being able to see Shen.

    “I…Is this real?” Shen asked, “Or another illusion…?” Shen’s doubts about this being real were cast aside when he considered the appearance of the Absol, who looked so much like Kilia…Shen figured it must’ve been a family member of hers.

    The female Tyranitar smiled gently at him. “Of course this is real, my son, and yes, we are truly dead…”

    “Then…how is this possible?” Shen asked, “If you are dead…how are you here before me…?”

    The male Tyranitar chuckled. “My, your curiosity is never sated, m’boy. We are able to contact you because this tower, Havoc Tower, is the closest place to the Plane of the Dead on the planet. Through the dark Necromancy surrounding the building, we are able to bind ourselves to the world of the living, if only for a little, and talk with you. We’ve been waiting ages for this moment, Shen…”

    Shen’s mother nodded. "Kilia is right, Shen. The Shuppet has shown you lies." The spirit, smiled at her son lovingly. "It was the human who killed us, as you originally had known, not you."

    “And you do not have a dark, evil force within you, Shen. You merely retaliated against the Shuppet in anger and disbelief. To finish the lie, it took the form of Aya with its last bit of energy, to seal its lies in your mind as truth. See past the lies, my son. You are one of the few who sees the absolute truth, if you were to try," the other Tyranitar said.

    Kilia scowled slightly in confusion. Who is Aya…? she pondered. After a short time, she decided it must be the kind Bulbasaur from the Rebels. With this revelation, she smiled, now knowing at least the name of Shen’s new friend.

    “Yes, Shen no lie or illusion can fool you, for you are rather unique for a Larvitar, or any Pokémon,” Shen’s mother continued. “Your eyes aren't colored like that for no reason. You can banish illusions and lies. Use this unique ability to help guide your friends to the Paradise they seek..."

    It took a little time before Shen took this in. My eyes aren't colored with the blood shed in the past? Then...He believed them, and nodded slowly. "I...understand. Thank you..."

    The two Tyranitar parents smiled one last time. “Good luck, son,” Shen’s father said, “We’ll be watching you, always…” With that, they faded.

    After a moment Shen turned to face Kilia, tears in his eyes. "Kilia...I'm sorry for the harsh words I said...The...the Shuppet had..." He stopped for a split second, as if unable to finish whatever thought had been forming. Instead, he said, "Please forgive me..."


    "It's okay," Kilia responded as she turned to face him and smiled at him kindly. "You only said that because you were afraid for me. You said what you said not to hurt, but to keep me safe. I understand. Sometimes, when you hurt someone, it's really to help them." Kilia shifted a little and watched as Keiza nodded once, then smiled faintly as his form started to go misty.

    "Whiteling," he said, and there was so much love in his voice that Kilia wanted to cry. "My duty is finished. I knew you would need help after my death, and now that I have helped you, I must go join our family." He lifted a paw in farewell as he faded faster, almost completely gone now. "One day we will be reunited for eternity, but may we not rejoin for a very very long time. Goodbye for now, Kilia..."

    And with that, he was gone...

    After a moment, Kilia sighed softly and turned back to face Shen, shameless as the tears in her own eyes now. "Let's go Shen, the others are probably waiting for us," she said with a smile, feeling suddenly at peace and comfort as she turned and headed back towards the entrance to the tower.

    Shen walked beside her, feeling happy for the first time since Seth’s appearance in the Meadow. The Larvitar kept to his own thoughts as the two walked across the floor towards the landing of the final staircase down. My parents had actually talked to me from beyond death...Shen thought with amazement. He was comforted to know they still watched over him, even in a place such as this. And what of this strange ability they said I had? Shen still didn't know what to believe of it, but he had no reason to disbelieve what they said either. I guess it'll just have to come with experience...

    Before they reached the landing, Shen turned his head to Kilia and muttered, "Thanks, Kilia. I dunno what happened if you hadn’t found me..."

    Kilia grinned back at him, tail ticking as she slowed to a walk while they descended the stairs. "You're a tough little Pokémon. You would have figured it out, no doubt about it. Not to mention, your parents were watching over you. Even if I hadn't come, they would have still done all they could to help you out." She then looked away, suddenly feeling guilty. “Truthfully, though, Shen…I found you by accident. Earlier, during the battle Nakkura and I had with those Ghosts outside the tower, the Blood Rage came upon me, and I thought I had almost attacked Nakkura. Feeling like a monster, I fled into the tower to keep the others from being hurt by me, much like you were after that Shuppet showed you those lies. Keiza, my brother you saw, helped me to believe in myself again, and dispelled my fears.”

    “You went through what I did…?” Shen asked, “Geez, I’m sorry…”

    Kilia laughed a little. “Shen, there’s no need to be sorry, it wasn’t your fault, and everything’s resolved, so it’s all good. Try and be happy it resolved well, would ya?” she said, meaning well.

    Shen blinked, and then a smile crossed his lips. “You’re right, Kilia. I guess I’ve just been in this damn tower too long.”

    However, before she could respond, she felt a shiver run down her spine, a chill descended in the air, and her fur started to quiver, ever so slightly. Shen began to tremble as well, but not because of the temperature. In the distance, one could hear faint moaning and ghostly echoes of unholy wailing cries.

    Shen opened his eyes wide as he put it together and looked behind them. "The ghosts..."

    Feeling her stomach clench in tension, Kilia did a little hop and turned as she did, so she was facing Shen. Without speaking, she used her horn to scoop him up and deposit him on her back. A little rough and definitely ungraceful, but Kilia knew they needed to get out of that tower NOW.

    "Hold on!" the Absol exclaimed as she whirled back around and crouched, then lunged forward in a dead run. Behind her, the cries and shrieks of the Ghosts grew louder and louder, and she put all her quickly-failing strength into making it to the door. It was so close, so close, but even though she was running as fast as she could it seemed they'd never make it before the Ghosts reached them...

    ~*****~


    Stupid, arrogant youngsters!

    It was like a mantra that repeated itself over and over in his head until it was firmly planted at the forefront of his thoughts and concerns. What Avaron was angered about was not the urge to protect one’s friends, nor the anger they felt towards the Banette. What really got on his nerves was the willingness in which they seemed to want to part with their lives. It was good to feel loyalty and friendship, but if the other Pokémon were truly your friend, then they would not want you to give up your life for no reason. But it was like that with all of the younger Pokémon these days. They didn’t seem to understand the meaning of living. They mourned the dead, true, but they never really saw death from the other side…the eagerness to die, to leave the cursed place.

    As the scent of his friends grew stronger, Avaron sensed something bad. There was evil at work here, and he would know. Necromancy. The blasted ghosts of the Tower were using Necromancy. Avaron gritted his teeth, and looked up at the ghost-infested tower. It was immense, stretching high in the sky, towering up above the trees, and seeming to emanate the cruel feel of Necromancy. Only those who had performed the Dark Art could feel it; those who were pure would never be able to. But they would be affected by it, and that was not a good thing.

    Avaron worked his way through the forest, and finally burst through, catching sight of three of his new friends; well, two, considering he had yet to get acquainted with the female Bulbasaur. She was doting over Nakkura, and he was sitting up and ingesting some herbs she had just given him. He looked at the three of them with glee. There stood Nakkura, proud and strong as ever, smiling gratefully at the Bulbasaur, and sitting beside him was Shinko, the lovely Buizel. But before Avaron could get close, Nakkura collapsed, and trembled. Avaron saw the remnants of some sort of impact on his shoulder; it seemed to be frozen. It could only be some form of ice attack. Nakkura stood up, and Avaron approached him.

    Avaron plodded his way to Nakkura, and placed a comforting paw on his elbow, not being tall enough to touch his shoulder.

    “Forgive me, Nakkura-rah, for not being there when you were hurt.” Avaron paused for a moment before deciding to do it. He knelt down on one knee, and lowered his head. “I, Avaron, pledge my life to Nakkura-rah.” He looked up to Nakkura’s surprised face, and said, “You must know that I once practiced Necromancy, and that I can sense it, and use it when necessary. It is prevalent here, and we must escape.”

    …Huh? Nakkura listened intently as the Sandshrew continued on to speak about how he could sense that Necromancy was widespread in the area. Still bemused, he lowered his eyes and hesitated before nodding, agreeing.

    There was a sudden commotion, and the ritual was broken.

    ~*****~


    Shen, holding onto Kilia’s fur for dear life, chanced another look behind them as the wails became increasingly louder, and saw a group of four or five Ghost Pokémon giving pursuit, flying as fast as they could to catch the two of them before they reached the exit. Kilia, hearing the shrieks, put on an extra spurt of speed, causing Shen to have to grab onto her fur to stay on.

    They heard a whoosh to the side, and saw a Dusclops flying next to Kilia, his eye glinting. The next instant, he fired off a Shadow Ball towards Shen.

    The attack slammed into the Larvitar, sending him sprawling through the air. Shen tried to land on his feet, but the force of the attack threw off his control. He slammed into the ground on his side, skidding across the oddly slippery floor.

    "Shen!" Kilia cried as she whirled around, desperate to get back to him, but before she could, the Dusclops fired another Shadow Ball, this one aimed at the Absol. As Kilia sluggishly dodged the attack, she could see more Ghosts swarming the area, flying towards them and moaning horribly.

    When Shen finally got up, he saw the Dusclops had engaged Kilia in battle, and a Banette, unlike the one who we pursued to this tower, came for him.

    It launched two shadowy Nightshades at Shen, and all he could do was defend himself from the brunt of the attacks. They ricocheted off of his rocky body, then he launched an Ancientpower at the Ghost. The ground cracked again, the resulting rubble flying up towards the Bannette and striking it, knocking it back; Shen immediately felt slightly stronger, faster, and more endurable with his attack's special ability. Grinning, Shen ran at the Banette and connected with a Stone Edge attack, knocking to the ground. Shen then latched onto it with a debilitating Crunch. The Banette screamed as its energy was drained and shook around, but the little Larvitar would not let go. Finally, its strength gave out, and it fell to the ground, its essence fading as it died. Shen let go and stood up, ready to take on the next one.

    Snarling, Kilia jumped at the Dusclops and readied to attack, but it phased through the floor and she landed awkwardly, stumbling a few steps as she tried to regain her balance. However, before she could, the Dusclops popped from the floor under her, slamming into her stomach and sending her into the air a good three feet. The air whooshed from her lungs from the force of the blow, and when she hit the floor she hit it with a painful thud. For a moment Kilia laid there, stunned, as the Ducslops prepared a powerful Hyper Beam. There was no way she'd be able to avoid it...

    Until a small, yellow shape zoomed by, slamming into the gut of the Ghost. The Tackle, instead of passing right through the Ghost, instead slammed it back, and as the smaller shape latched on with its jaws, she saw it was Avaron.

    Kilia staggered to her feet. aching all over and exhausted from the earlier battles. She shook heavily, watching the other battles rage, when she heard a welcome voice call out, “Guys, get out of here! Avaron and I can hold them off until you escape!”

    Kilia turned and saw Nakkura fending off a Duskull and couldn't help but feel relieved. A moment later, she saw Shinko come running into the tower and engage battle as well. It was short, but the Buizel seemed pleased with her victory over a weak Gastly.

    Still, it seemed hopeless to Kilia. They were being overrun as more and more Ghosts descended upon them. She didn't know what to do, since she was so low on energy. But she had to do something...

    She sucked in a deep breath, threw her head back, and let it out in a wailing howl, putting everything in her body and soul into it. The sound rang from her throat, swelling as it left the Absol and filled the tower. Kilia howled until her throat ached and her lungs burned, and only when she felt like she was going to pass out did she stop. However, it had the desired effect.

    The Ghosts ceased moving altogether, their attention turned towards Kilia as they floated in a daze. Absol, with their eerie abilities over Darkness, could quell Ghost and other Dark Pokémon for a few moments with the sound of their haunting voices. In the few seconds they had, Kilia turned to the others and hissed, "Quick, get out before they come to!"

    The Absol then started for the door, but didn't get far before she suddenly collapsed. She had finally run out of energy. Grunting, Kilia tried to stand but couldn't. With a resigned sigh, she closed her eyes, wanting nothing more than to fall asleep and rest.

    She did not, however, foresee one of her comrades becoming affected by her howl…She didn’t notice Shen, standing still as rock, eyes wide and white in agony…
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  11. #11
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Chapter 9: Desperate Fight


    Seth stared into the crystal orb that allowed him to see what was happening down below in his Tower. He glared, as his Ghost minions were defeated one by one, failing to incapacitate those he sought to make his new mind slaves. Whipping around, he faced a large bulk. “Idiots!” he roared, “Can you do nothing right?! Swarm them and defeat them!”

    As the Ghosts disappeared, three more appeared. “The battle is still faring bad for us, Master,” the middle one moaned.

    Seth’s glare spoke death to the unknown Ghost. “You incompetent fools…No more games! I’m joining this fight, and I’ll get what I want!”

    ~*****~


    Avaron shivered as Necromancy fled from his fingers as the howl pierced his heart. It was the howl of the Absol. The howl that seemed to be able to control the powers of darkness, and this included Necromancy. And all of a sudden, the Art had disappeared, returned to its eternal plane where it would brood until summoned next. Avaron grimaced as he saw the hordes of Ghosts simply stop in their tracks. It had affected them, and any other Ghost- and Dark-type Pokémon in the vicinity. And this included Shen. He pondered why he was affected, since Larvitar’s were not Dark-types, and decided it must be the fact that the Larvitar's last stage of evolution, Tyranitar, was part Dark-type, and therefore Larvitar had this Dark-type written in their DNA.

    At once, Shen’s limbs seized up, and his breathing came only at a minimum. The Larvitar’s mind was being assaulted by some power he was yet unaware of, but it was taking a heavy toll on his mind. He struggled to stay conscious, but he was losing the battle. With Shen’s last bit of strength, he managed to notice that all the Ghosts had frozen as well.

    Avaron was torn between helping the fallen Kilia, and helping the momentarily frozen Shen. He decided that the others would think of Kilia, but may forget Shen. The small little Larvitar wasn't exactly an imposing figure, while the Absol was completely the opposite; it was kind of hard to forget that white-eyed Absol. Avaron ran as fast as his little feet could carry him, and reached the Larvitar. He quickly threw the Pokémon over his shoulder, and ran towards the exit. "GRAB KILIA AND RUN! GET OUTSIDE, IT'S ALMOST SUNRISE, AND THE GHOSTS WILL NOT ATTEMPT TO CATCH US UNDER THE SUN!" he screamed to the others in the battle.

    After hitting a Shuppet into the wall and burying it under rubble from the wall that came loose with the impact, Nakkura hissed urgently for his group to keep moving. He jumped toward Kilia, lifting her easily and throwing her over his shoulder; even size and weight ratios didn’t seem to faze the proud Zangoose as he effortlessly hefted the Absol.

    Kilia’s eyes cracked open a little, and she could see the ground moving beneath her slightly as she was picked up. For a moment she was confused, until she realized someone, Nakkura, was carrying her. He had lifted her onto his shoulder and was looking towards for the door. Kilia groaned faintly and glanced around. Avaron was bolting for the door with Shen over his shoulder, and the Ghosts were still floating in a dazed manner. But it couldn't last forever...

    A Mismagius twitched and shook its head, then let out a faint sort of shriek as it came back to its senses. It looked around, momentarily confused, then let out a louder scream of anger that it and its brethren had been frozen and their prey was escaping. The scream seemed to rouse the others, and within seconds they were coming back at the group, still slow, but gaining speed as their movements and senses came back to them.

    “Not good. This really blows…it’s been nice knowing everyone…” Kilia muttered. Her eyes closed again, and she fled into unconsciousness.

    For a moment, panic fluttered in Nakkura’s stomach, and he started running as fast as he could for the door, dodging over and around Ghosts that appeared and moved in his way. He was very agile. However, his luck couldn’t last forever, and sure enough, a stray Dark Pulse struck Nakkura’s feet, and he tumbled through the air, losing Kilia from his grip. He hit the ground hard, crying out in pain as he hit the ground. As the Ghosts started to converge on him, he looked up and saw Ghosts beginning to swarm over Kilia. “No, Kilia!” he yelled, struggling to get up and get to her. However, he knew he would be too slow…

    Suddenly, a beam of light erupted from the doorway and smacked into the Ghosts around Kilia, sending them flying back and screeching in double agony; one from pain, and one from the pseudo-sunlight the beam emitted. The other Ghosts fled into the Shadows of the room, trying to escape the light of that beam. Nakkura only had to put two and two together to realize that it was a Solarbeam…

    Indeed, the beam faded, and another Pokémon approached Kilia, running on all fours. Aya had fired that Solarbeam, Nakkura realized, and he thanked Arceus for her assistance as he stood up. The little Bulbasaur shot out her vines and wrapped them around Kilia, lifting the prone form of the Absol up and laying her over her back, a little haphazardly, but using her vines to make sure that Kilia wouldn’t fall off as she ran.

    “Keep going!” Nakkura told the others needlessly, feeling the urge to speak. He shook his head and leapt toward the approaching Ghosts, distracting several of them with a few desperate swipes of his claws. They went through the Pokémon, but they turned to pursue him instead. Slowly, he led them further away, noting that a few had broken from the main group and were chasing the rest. Nakkura knew that he had to distract them too, but he was surrounded yet again.

    A blast of water suddenly hit them, sending them sliding across the ground. Shinko ran towards them almost eagerly, yelling a battle cry. She was suddenly so into the battle, so fierce…Something was different about Shinko’s personality, but for better or worse, Nakkura knew not.

    A nearby Misdreavus took her chance to attack the Buizel in front of her. She shot a powerful beam of dark energy at the defenseless Pokémon, but Shinko dodged before it made contact with her orange fur. Her cerulean eyes glowed with hate and desire, nothing like the innocent creature she was before. The Buizel leapt up into the air, shooting a jet of water at the Misdreavus. The water hit its mark, causing the Ghost-type to slam onto the ground. Shinko got on all fours, ready to kill, but the Misdreavus had disappeared through the wooden floor. Shinko snorted in distaste, but at least she still had the strength to fight, hopefully for a while.

    Nakkura sighed in exasperation. His fur beaded with sweat, he leapt toward the few Ghosts coming at him again as a herding dog might, standing up onto his hind legs and flexing his black claws. Immediately, they greeted him with a barrage of attacks. A Banette loosed a bolt of electricity from between its hands. Lightning surged through Nakkura’s body, but he continued to stand his ground. The brightening skies were visible through the windows as a Shadow Ball from a frustrated Gastly went through him. He smiled as he realized fewer Ghosts were pursuing Avaron and the others.

    Avaron had finally reached the outside, still with the stunned Shen on his shoulder. He took note that the little guy was starting to stir finally, waking up from the daze caused by Kilia’s howl. After reaching a tree nearby that survived the earlier battle, Avaron decided that was far enough, and set Shen down, sitting the Larvitar against the trunk. With that settled, the old Sandshrew ran back to help his friends, calling on his returning Necromancy to help in this fight.

    "The...the fight..." Shen whispered, his mind still in fight mode. "I've gotta help...the others..." Avaron didn't seem to hear him, and continued to run into the Tower. Slowly, the Larvitar opened his eyes, and gasped at what he saw.

    “Hello, little Larvitar,” said the sinister voice of Seth as he materialized before Shen, pulling his sword from his back, “I believe that you wanted to, what was it now? Make me pay for the pain caused to your friends?” he said with a dark grin.

    Shen couldn’t believe what he heard…Could Seth read thoughts…?

    The evil Banette pointed his sword at Shen. “Well, here’s your chance, then!” With that, he pulled his sword back and flew at Shen, swinging his sword in a deadly arc.

    His sword was met with Shen’s glowing right arm, his Stone Edge attack making his appendage a makeshift sword to combat the Ghost. Shen’s glare spoke pain and death to his adversary. Seth seemed a little surprised, but then, once again, grinned. “Ah, wonderful, I’ll have the pleasure of wearing you down instead of taking you out just like that. Let’s just see how adept at fighting you are!”

    With that said, the two began a terrible duel, slashing and parrying many times as each tried to rend the other’s body. Seth seemed to favor overhead blows, while Shen preferred quick and powerful strikes. Neither gained any advantage over the other as the fight continued, but anyone watching would know that neither was anywhere near ready to give in.

    Aya breached the doorway, carrying Kilia over to the shade, when she caught sight of the battle between Shen and Seth. Eyes wide, she turned back to face the others inside the tower. “Guys, Seth’s out here!” she yelled, trying to catch their attention and draw them out of the tower faster, “He’s fighting Shen! Come help!

    “What?!” Avaron yelled in response, running towards her, “What do you mean-“ He then caught sight of the dark Banette, and had a conundrum just then; he had just pledged his life to Nakkura, and therefore had to make sure the Zangoose got out alright. However, he was also concerned for little Shen, locked in deadly combat with the one responsible for all this pain and suffering they’d all endured that night. The question was…who to assist…?

    Seth, who’d caught sight of Aya and Avaron and smirked at their appearance, gave the answer. Jumping back for a second from Shen, he raised his unencumbered hand into the air. Instantly, four Ghosts materialized before them. Giving cries of surprise, Aya and Avaron retreated from the Ghosts, only to have their route blocked by them. So yet another battle began, Aya swinging her vines and firing razor-sharp leaves to fend off her attackers, while Avaron was using his Necromancy powers to the absolute limit he could.

    As Shen parried another blow from Seth, the Banette grinned. “So, you are a decent challenge,” he said, seeming pleased, “I think I should change that…” Instantly, Seth’s eyes began glowing a dark purple color as he gazed deep into Shen’s eyes. “Normal Banette may not be able to use Hypnosis, but you see…I am no normal Banette!” he said as he chuckled darkly.

    Shen immediately found his gaze drawn to Seth’s, and he couldn’t gaze away. Shen knew he would soon be asleep and at Seth’s mercy if he did not, but he could not tear his eyes from the Banette’s. Shen despaired…

    And yet, felt no urge to sleep building in him…

    Seth blinked, his eyes still glowing. “How are you still awake?!” he cried suddenly, getting closer to Shen’s face and staring yet deeper into the Larvitar’s eyes. “You will succumb to my power!”

    Shen, confused, thought about why Seth seemed flustered, but then the words of his parents came back to him. “I get it now…Hypnosis is an illusion to trick the mind into thinking it is in desperate need of sleep. However, I have a power you do not, Seth,” Shen said with a grin, “I am not affected by illusions of any kind!”

    Astounded, Seth dropped his gaze and slackened his hold with his sword. Shen knew that was his opportunity, and threw his strength into the shove, sending the Banette back a ways. As Seth stumbled, Shen concentrated his power and used Stone Edge on his arms, causing both to glow a fluorescent light and making them lethal.

    Yelling a battle cry, Shen launched himself at Seth, swinging his arms quickly and deftly. Seth found himself using every bit of skill he had just to keep Shen at bay as the screaming Larvitar struck again, and again, and yet again at his adversary. Seth’s eyes were wide. Where the hell did he get this absurd ability to resist my illusions?! he thought furiously, getting pushed further and further back. Seth’s breathing was becoming labored, and his arms were burning with the effort of parrying Shen’s blows. I am a master of illusions, none can resist me! Except…his thoughts filled with doubt, causing him to falter.

    Shen saw his blade drop a couple inches, and immediately took the only advantage he may ever have. He swiped with one arm against Seth’s hand, causing the Banette to yelp in pain as the blade went spinning off into the bushes. Yelling loudly, Shen dropped low and brought his other arm up to uppercut his opponent underneath his jaw, and hard. Seth’s eyes went blank, stunned, as he flew through the air, and disappeared into the shrubbery some distance away.

    Shen stood ready, breathing hard, waiting for Seth to come out. The minutes passed, filled with the sounds of the others battling, but Seth did not reappear.

    Warily, Shen took a couple steps forward, desiring to see if Seth was still in the bush, knocked out, or if he ran. However, before he got much closer, he heard Aya yell out, “Shen!” He dropped his arms, the glow ceasing, and he looked over to see that Aya and the others had finished off the ghosts that Seth had summoned, and was running over to him quickly. Behind her, Avaron was kneeling next to Kilia’s prone form, trying to see if she was alright. “Shen, are you okay…?” Aya asked.

    Shen nodded, but fatigue made itself known harshly, and Shen dropped to his hands and knees. He gasped for air as sweat, an unusual thing for Pokémon of his type, trickled around his head and dropped onto the grass below. He was absolutely exhausted. Shen knew that if he had continued to push himself in that way for much longer, he would’ve killed himself. His eyes clenched, he silently berated himself for being so careless.

    Aya stepped forward, a vine reaching into her herb pack for a large leaf, and she started wiping the accumulated sweat from Shen’s face and head. When that was done, she tossed the leaf aside and sat next to Shen, a vine on his back. “You were very brave to fight Seth off alone.”

    Shen looked up to Aya and smiled softly at her. “Th-thanks…”

    Inside the Tower, Shinko and Nakkura were still fighting off those ghosts who persisted in pursuing those who had dared enter Havoc Tower. The otter and the mongoose Pokémon were fending them off well, which was beginning to frustrate and anger the ghost Pokémon as time passed, and their attacks grew careless and more erratic then before, actually making the fight easier for the two.

    A Dusknoir’s scarlet eye gleamed with a final, determined glare. It released an icy beam that struck Nakkura full in the chest. Immediately, the biting cold enveloped him… He staggered backwards to the entrance, his golden eyes shining as he Detected another brunt of attacks and dodged out of the way. Finally, he felt sunlight on his back, and the ghosts let out a shriek before vanishing instantly, disappearing back into the shadows with vengeful glares of shock and hatred.

    Nakkura shook from the power of the freezing sheet across his chest. His breathing slowed as he backed up, facing the disappearing figures of the enemy, until it stopped all together and he lay still.

    "Nakkura!" Shinko called, running to his side. It was too late however. Nakkura was laying on the ground, the ice still coating his body. Without a second thought, the Buizel grabbed the Zangoose's arms, and tried to carry him on her back. She swayed to the side with every step, and was panting heavily, but she would do whatever it took to save Nakkura's life.

    Avaron, having finished tending to Kilia, ran back inside the tower and saw Shinko carrying Nakkura, also noticing that no ghosts were pursuing them any longer. The old Sandshrew hurried inside to help the little Buizel, making it easier to carry Nakkura’s heavy form faster and further from the tower. Finally, their feet crossed the threshold, and they were outside the tower once and for all. They set the Zangoose down after going a bit farther to be sure, and began trying to think of a way to break the ice without hurting Nakkura.

    Suddenly, a thin, tinny shriek filled the clearing, making everyone awake jump suddenly, and Kilia's eyes popped wide open as the sound of screaming filled her ears, and it took her a moment to realize that it was coming from herself. As soon as she noticed, her throat seized up and the scream was abruptly cut off. She glanced around and saw she was outside, lying on the ground. The rising sun warmed her fur, and the Tower stretched into the sky before her. She blinked a few times, then shook her head slowly and looked around. Shen and the others were there, and she sighed softly. Just a nightmare.

    Then her eyes fell upon Shinko, Avaron, and Nakkura. She shuddered as she eyed the coating of ice still clinging to the Zangoose's chest. As she looked at him, her fur shook, ever so slightly, and she knew the mongoose was in bad shape. Kilia got to her paws slowly, surprised that she had gotten so much strength back even though she'd been unconscious for only a few minutes. After taking a moment to steady herself, she walked over and offered Shinko and Avaron a smile, before sliding her horn between the ice and Nakkura's chest. Carefully, she jerked her head a bit, using the sharp tip of her horn to crack the ice. A few more blows and the ice fell away, hitting the ground with a dull thud noise. Afterwards, she stepped back a few steps and sat down hard, exhausted from the simple task. It would be a while before she was at full strength again.

    Aya had her pack open and was rummaging around, obviously looking for something. She smiled and pulled out a tiny blue leaf. She handed it to Shen and explained that it would restore his strength if he ate it, and Shen took it gratefully. Gathering up her pack, the pretty Bulbasaur walked towards the others to help them with any hurts and ailments they might have. She handed the three conscious ones some energy-restoring herbs and Restberry seeds, which looked like long, black grains of rice, explaining that the three of them were fine and just needed rest. Heavily. As for Nakkura, she began tending to his freezing form immediately afterwards.

    Nakkura’s heart rate was faint, but present. Aya did everything she could, and was pleased to note that Nakkura was responding well, and not a minute later, his eyes drifted open. He sat up slowly and looked around, a glare on his face, showing he was still ready to fight, but he relaxed when he noticed everyone was alright. Aya smiled and handed him some herbs for restoring his energy, as well as to keep the chill from doing him any internal harm and a Restberry seed.

    Shen smiled and stood, feeling the herb finally restore his energy enough to where he could join the rest. They all felt relieved; everyone got out of that fight just fine, and they were together once again. As a group, they laid down and ate a single Restberry seed each. Kilia smiled as Shen and Shinko snuggled against her comfortingly, liking the close contact with her new group as sleep began to take a hold on her. Avaron laid close by and Aya serenely laid down with Shen. Nakkura decided to take watch over them, but he underestimated just how tired he really was and, sitting on a stump and watching the forest, his head bobbed and he too fell into dreamland.

    A calm, peaceful quiet fell over the clearing as the group slept and healed together.
    Last edited by Shen; 19th April 2010 at 10:23 AM.
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  12. #12
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 10: Newcomer


    The rest of the day passed by without event, nothing to stir the group from their well-deserved rest. Hardly a breeze disturbed the branches of the trees and bushes around them, and in the daylight, even Havoc Tower had an unintimidating appearance. When the sun had set, and night had fallen, the moon was bright, shining in the darkness, and the Ghosts of the Tower did not disturb the group further, choosing merely to tend to their own whims inside the more inviting aura inside their home. Soon, the Eastern sky began brightening as dawn approached. More and more, the black of night, speckled with tiny stars, was chased away by the light and warmth of the sun.

    A light breeze whispered through the forest, rustling the leaves gently and bringing the scent of several flowers toward the group. The sun came down in beautiful rays, dappling the shadows under the trees with splatters of gold. Dust motes floated in some of the beams as if they were dancing. Somewhere, a Swellow perched on a branch and twittered, its sharp eyes searching for the familiar mass of bodies that was the Rebel group. They had moved on long ago, and only peace remained.

    All of this was lost on Nakkura, who had fallen asleep. An entire day of guarding the others passed, but he had simply collapsed and slept through most of it. Eventually, a prickling at the back of his mind caused him to open one yellow eye. He suddenly sprang to his paws and nearly lost his balance on the slab of rock he was perched on. He whirled around and looked for the others, but they were all laying there, most of them asleep as well.

    The Zangoose stretched and then let his muscles relax. However, the prickle came again, causing the fur along his spine to stand on end. He bared his teeth and turned his head to look around, spying a flash of purple scales in the leaves of a nearby bush, revealing the presence of an Arbok. The violet cobra triggered a familiar buzzing, but it was a lot fainter than the one currently bugging Nakkura. He dismissed the Arbok's presence altogether, knowing that the Poison-type was merely searching for his morning meal of Rattata and Bidoof...especially the latter.

    I guess it’s time to keep moving, Nakkura decided. He leapt down into the midst of the others, prodding Kilia with a dark claw. He glanced at Shinko out of the corner of his eye and sat down. Halfheartedly, he growled, “C’mon, let’s get up and keep moving. We’ll follow the trail of the Rebel group if they know what they’re doing. I want to get out of this forest soon.”

    The faint prodding in the Absol's side woke her from her restful slumber. With a little groan, Kilia opened her eyes, then squeezed them shut again as she yawned. After that, she slowly stood and stretched her body, before shaking herself. As Nakkura's words registered in her mind, she yawned again as he turned to stare into the forest, his entire body filled with anxiety. Kilia sighed softly and glanced at the others, waiting for them to come to. "What is it?" she asked softly as she went to sit next to her friend. "Do you sense something?"

    The Zangoose sheathed his claws and glanced back and forth through the tree trunks, ferns, bushes, and other flora of the forest floor, his keen eyes straining to see anything. He remembered his near encounter with a Seviper earlier on, perhaps two days ago, when they had attacked the man who came after Shen. He didn’t know how long it had been since he had first run into the Absol that rainy day. It seemed like an eternity. The negative feeling was back and stronger than ever. Whatever was coming would be there soon. Nakkura stood at the edge of the clearing, muscles tense as the tips of his claws pricked the earth. It was out there, and he’d find it.

    He narrowed his eyes, his keen hearing picking up a slight brushing sound beyond the low vegetation. Unsheathing his claws, he tensed again, whispering out of the side of his mouth in reply. “Yes. I think it’s—”

    He didn’t finish. He picked out a dark shape ahead covered with vibrant markings. Recognizing the long fangs and a blade-like tail, he let out a hiss and took a half-step back. His fur stood on end as he stared back at the serpent, his kind’s mortal enemy. His heart pounded wildly, and adrenaline quickly flowed through his body. Nakkura stepped slightly to the side, his shoulder brushing Kilia’s in a warning nudge.

    “A Seviper,” he finished quietly. In the next heartbeat, he leapt.

    Nothing but instinct and some quick thinking led him on to attack. His dark claws scythed through the air as he brought his unnaturally lean body forward. He aimed a powerful Crush Claw at the scaly side of the snake, sounding a battle cry as his claws glowed white with the issuing attack.

    The snake heard this, and his head snapped up to look at the dark form descending from the sky towards him. Letting out a surprised hiss, he tried to move back as the Zangoose flew through the air towards him, letting out a shriek as it did. He was too slow, though, and the Crush Claw caught him along the side. The Seviper recoiled from the blow, then curled his body up tight to defend his tender belly.

    Instantly, Nakkura hopped back onto his hind legs, ready for another strike, but he lost his balance after the power he put into the slashing movement. He fell onto all fours again, staggering to the left without seeing if he had managed a hit.

    “Wait!”

    Nakkura stood tense, his eyes narrowed to furious golden slits. He had been ready to strike again, but the snake curled up defensively, instead of striking back as everyone knew instinct dictated. Hiding his puzzlement, he bared his teeth and growled darkly. His own instinct was driving him forward to attack, but he held back, blinking several times before slowly taking a half-step back. Something was going to happen, and he had no need to attack.

    The Seviper, a male, spoke again. “I don’t wish to fight you! I…I don’t know why, but it seems I was destined to meet you. I tried to stay away, but no matter what I did I always kept coming to the path of a Zangoose…”

    The Zangoose frowned before opening his mouth to reply. However, before he could utter a withering remark, an ivory shape came from the corner of his eye and stopped at his side. He glared at Kilia, but his expression then softened a moment later. He reluctantly let his muscles loosen. As he looked at the Absol, from the corner of his eye, he saw Shen, Shinko, and the Bulbasaur, Aya, approach, the tussle having definitely woken them up, and all three wore concerned expressions on their faces on the events unfolding right in front of them. Avaron seemed unperturbed, however, still soundly sleeping in the grass by himself.

    From his curled-up ball, the Seviper chanced a look, gazing at Kilia as she stepped forward an additional step. "Good morning," the violet snake said pleasantly, though its voice was tightened with anxiety.

    Kilia nodded tensely at it, realizing it was a male by its pungent scent and coarse voice. It was then that she noticed what was wrong with it. Seviper and Zangoose proudly display scars they have gained in battles with the enemies of each species, but this Seviper was completely different. His hide was unflawed by any scars.

    "Hello," she replied uncertainly, before turning to face Nakkura. "Er..."

    Nakkura's glare returned to the snake. “Why should I believe you?” the mongoose snapped at his species’ enemy, though he was obviously surprised by the Poison-type’s behavior. Unsure of what to say, he sat down and averted his eyes momentarily. “You’re here now,” he added in a distracted voice. “If you aren’t going to fight, do something else.” His fur bristling, he slid into a half-crouch, and his ears lay back. He was puzzled by what the Seviper was saying. Deciding he’d let the creature speak instead of attacking him again, he pushed away the bloodthirsty urges his instinct was forcing on him and watched closely.

    "I...I don't know what to do, to be honest," the Seviper replied in response to Nakkura's question. He then dropped his head closer to his body, as if afraid the Zangoose would be angry with his answer. "Perhaps I should offer my name? I am Suko."

    "Nice to meet you," Kilia offered, trying to ignore the thick cloud of hostility coming from Nakkura. She'd never seen a Zangoose and Seviper battle, but she had heard from her mother's Trainer that whenever they saw each other, they battled viciously, most often to the death. The Absol couldn't understand, then, why Nakkura was ready to fight, but this Seviper, Suko, wasn't. "My name is Kilia." She stopped at that, wanting to give Nakkura a chance to introduce himself if he wanted to. Suko turned his gaze onto the mongoose, his tail twitching nervously from side to side. Kilia hoped the white-and-red Pokémon was in a good mood this morning...

    The Zangoose stared back darkly, his fur still standing on end. Nothing seemed…right…anymore. “…My name is Nakkura,” he said after a thoughtful pause.

    Kilia smiled, relieved, as Suko lifted his head enough to give a respectful nod.

    The red-streaked mongoose relaxed fully and slid into a lying position, hopefully seeming less hostile. He stared at the serpent questioningly, wondering what to do next. He knew that they had to keep moving on to where Paradise was said to lay. For a moment, his golden eyes widened. Paradise was what they all had in common…They were all outcasts heading for Paradise…

    “Perhaps you were meant to join us,” he growled decidedly, nodding his head, and startling the Seviper in the process. “We were seeking Paradise, like many of the others, but we aren’t a part of the main rebel group. I don’t see why you can’t come, too.” He closed his eyes, restating the words he had heard elders speak several times before. “Every Pokémon has rights to its own Paradise. Through blood and tears, through struggle and friendship, we have to reach it as we are destined to.”

    Kilia grinned at the words, and Suko seemed to relax at them as well. His long, sinuous body seemed to untighten, and he lifted his head a bit as he uncoiled slowly. His tail stopped its nervous twitching as he regarded Nakkura.

    The Zangoose finally offered them a sly smirk. “I never believed in all of that destiny crap, but I'm with them,” he stated, jerking his head in the direction of Kilia. The prickle of distrust he still felt for the Seviper was pushed back in his mind for now, even if he was ever alert. He was an oddity enough, so who said he couldn’t speak on friendly terms with his species’ mortal enemy?

    "I suppose this means a formal introduction to the others then," Kilia said, and Suko turned to face her.

    "Others...all of you going to Paradise..." His crimson eyes seemed to glaze over for a moment, and he was obviously thinking about something from his past. Finally, though, his eyes came back into focus, and he nodded his head. "I would like to join you. I've been seeking the rebel group, but I would prefer a smaller one. I've heard from several sources that the rebel group simply keeps growing in number. Not good for when you're trying to avoid the ever-prying eyes of humans." He then smiled, though it looked rather fierce because of his long red fangs. "No, I think I should quite like traveling with a small group such as this one. If your other friends will have me, anyways."

    It isn’t that small...Nakkura began to think. For the Zangoose, small met one or two. He never lived by “the more, the merrier”. However, he thought of everyone in the group, and he finally decided that he wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m getting soft, he sighed inwardly. I really have to find someone to strangle today, those Ghosts weren't enough yesterday, I guess...

    "Of course they will," Kilia said with a confident nod. She then stood and shook herself, then shot both Suko and Nakkura a grin. "How odd this little family of ours keeps getting, eh?" With that, she turned and looked back to where the others were standing, watching this new and unexpected happening. "Everyone, come greet out new friend! This is Suko, and he wants to come with us!"

    ...Family?

    Nakkura’s face fell instantly, his amber eyes darkening. Family. Something he hadn’t known forever. He tried to picture his parents, the dark Absol face of his father, his mother’s pretty and comforting one. However, he couldn’t. They had died long ago, if he could remember correctly. His family had been ripped away from him when his first trainer had sold him…sold him to become somewhat of a fighting machine, destined to win every battle or to pay the price. He had paid the price...In fact, the only other family member he knew of was Tiria, who he hasn't seen in just as long. He didn’t know if he would ever see her again...If he could see anyone of his blood again…

    “…Gah, Kilia…Wait up!”

    The mongoose kept his face indifferent as he bounded through the foliage, brushing his fur past bushes and small branches. He smiled slightly as he saw her white form ahead; he skidded to a stop and fell over, saving himself from hitting the ground in the nick of time. He saw the young Buizel, Shinko, who had become his friend. He saw the Larvitar, Shen, whose life he had helped save. He saw the Bulbasaur, Aya, who had saved his life, twice. He gave them a nod as they greeted the Seviper, welcoming him, and looked at Kilia, one of the most beautiful creatures he had seen despite her injuries.

    This is my family, now.

    Kilia looked back at Nakkura as he gazed at her, eyes widening only slightly in surprise. The sunlight filtering from the canopy of leaves above shone down on him, giving his outline a golden glow. For a moment the Absol was stunned, because she'd never seen anything more moving in her life. Then he shifted, and the halo faded. However, none of Nakkura's stunning presence did. His golden orbs looked into her ghostly white ones, and for a moment, to her, it felt like her heart stopped.

    "I-is Suko coming?" she asked after finding her tongue, though her words were slightly slurred. Kilia forced her grin a bit more, trying to figure out what had suddenly come over her. The Absol broke her gaze from Nakkura's and stared into the trees where he'd come from, and instantly her heart thawed. A soft sigh escaped her maw, as she wondered what THAT had been about.

    By that point, Nakkura was standing in confusion, feeling himself beginning to blush. He shook his head quickly in order to clear the surprise. He took great care in avoiding looking at the Absol as he turned to look instead at Shinko, who spoke up.

    “I’m so glad that you’ve come! I am sure that you will quite enjoy our company, as we will quite enjoy yours. Please, you don’t have to be so shy! Just come out of your shell, and let us get to know you better!” She came forward, offering him a paw before letting it retreat with an embarrassed look. “Oh, sorry. You’ll come to learn that I’m like that,” she apologized.

    Nakkura laughed, though not unkindly, surprising himself. He averted his eyes to the ground and growled, “If we really are searching for Paradise, we might as well keep going unless anyone needs a rest.” He went from cheerful and amused to dark in a heartbeat. Turning his back on them, he sighed and stepped into the bushes before giving Kilia another glance and a small smile that told her not to worry about him. He must look depressed at the moment.

    Well…let’s get moving, then…he told himself, one ear swiveling back to listen for the others if they came.

    Kilia smiled back, somewhat worried. Nakkura looked...sad, or upset. She had the strange, almost overwhelming urge to run over and put a paw on his back to console him, but couldn't move or speak. The Zangoose turned back around, an ear cocking back towards the group, and the Absol shook her head.

    Come on Kilia, get it together! Quit thinking like this...I doubt Nakkura would appreciate you being all touchy-feely with him in front of the others. In fact, I don't think he'd like it at all...Still, even as the thought floated across her mind she pushed it away. The mongoose was warming up towards everyone, which was nice since pretty much all of them considered him the group's leader.

    "I don't know about rest, but I'd like to find something to eat," Kilia said after a moment, her throat suddenly dry. She scowled, then noticed Suko studying her out of the corner of her eye. The Absol turned to face him, and he gave her a subtle smile that left her feeling more odd than before. She grunted faintly and turned from him, then padded over to stand before Nakkura. Her stomach clenched as she did, and she had to force out her next words instead of standing there looking stupid. "I'll go on and scout ahead. I'm feeling a lot better after I got some sleep, so don't worry about me."

    Feeling guilty, as if he had caused her hunger, the Normal-type turned around to face the group. The old Sandshrew hadn’t woken up yet, either, he had almost forgotten about him, which increased his feeling of guilt. Part of him told him to awaken him and carry on, yet the other half demanded that he head on to Paradise with those already up and ready.

    “I suppose,” he started to agree, his stomach protesting in a low, quiet rumble.

    Kilia flashed a smile, then turned and bounded off into the trees, needing to get away and have some time to think about what was suddenly happening to her.

    Nakkura watched her with a worried expression before looking at the others, attempting to conceal the wary look he shot the Seviper. He dipped his head and growled, “We will have to go soon. I believe there’s a river up ahead. When Avaron awakens, follow at what pace you like, and just follow my scent. Even if you can't see me in front of you, that should lead you right to me if you pay attention.”

    With this, he turned around. A resigned look crossed his eyes like a weary shadow falling down onto his face. He sighed aloud and trudged off through the woodlands, sniffing the air. He wondered what was bothering Kilia…and what was bothering him. He shook his head quickly. Suko’s sudden appearance had put him on edge, so he guessed he was being overcautious. The tingle of his instinct burned once again. Before, he had managed to place it in the back of his mind as to not harm their new…friend.

    Nakkura sped up unconsciously, unaware that the others could be a ways behind. He hadn’t traveled far when he stepped into the field where the fight with the Mightyena and Luxray had been. He kept his face expressionless, but tension was visible in the raised ridge of fur along his spine and the subtle tightening of his jaw. He crossed the open grassy area briskly, every muscle quivering in anticipation for some kind of attack. Finally, he stopped and sniffed the air. In the woodlands beyond, he could hear the sound of running water, and the cascade of several small waterfalls.

    Back with the rest of the group, Aya and Shen were quietly talking together, and a moment later, Shinko joined them, happy to be a part of the conversation. She wanted to get to know everyone now the danger had passed, and things were calm once more. The topic drifted to the still sleeping Sandshrew a couple times, but they were certain he was fine; he just needed a lot of rest, after doing all he did, at his age, the night before.

    Suko silently gazed at the three, then shifted his eyes over to take in Avaron's form, still save for the slow, steady rise of his sides with every breath. He smiled, happy to have found this small, friendly group, before his gaze shifted once more, this time to the two separate sets of tracks leading off into the forest.

    Slowly, the Seviper slithered away, following one set of tracks...
    Click the banner to check out my Pokémon fanfic, Reflections!

    Thanks to Comexback from PE2K for the banner and avatar!

  13. #13
    Paladin of Dragons Shen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reflections

    Chapter 11: Realization


    Kilia ran until she was a fair distance away from the group, then slowed to a trot, and finally stopped. Her heart was pounding, but not from the run. She scowled and glared at the ground, unable to figure out what was wrong with herself. She had left the group a moment ago to gather her thoughts while they waited for Avaron to awaken for this reason, and yet she still had not come to a conclusion…

    I have to get it together, she thought to herself, shaking her head and lifting her gaze. And while I do, I can find some food for everyone. With that heartening decision, the Absol padded forward, nose testing the air for any scent that might be an indication of something to eat. Unfortunately, the only things she could smell weren't edible. Kilia began to grow annoyed as she continued forward, as well as more hungry, when suddenly the trees thinned and then released into a large clearing. Instantly, familiar scents assaulted her nostrils: this was where they'd run into the rebel group, and that odd Banette that had nearly cost her and her friends their lives…

    The Absol scowled darkly and cautiously stepped from the cover of the trees. The group had moved on, at some point last night or the day before; the scents were still strong, due to the number of Pokémon that had been present, but none were fresh. Still, Kilia felt her hackles rising as she hurriedly crossed into the meadow and continued towards the edge. As she did, she noticed a winding river, and on the other side, what looked like a Pokémon moving around...

    She turned fully to see it, but the movement she'd spotted had stopped. For a moment the Dark-Type Pokémon wondered if she'd imagined it or been seeing things, then shrugged and turned away. It really didn't matter at the moment to her anyway.

    She continued on her way, moving closer and closer to the river. As she did so, her mind wandered back to the oddness of what had occurred to her earlier. It was the first time she'd felt so...The Absol wasn't sure how to describe the way she'd felt. When she had locked eyes with Nakkura, it had felt like the world had screeched to a halt. Kilia stopped walking, squeezing her eyes shut. It didn't make sense, what had happened back there...?

    "Aaahhh, here you are. It took me a while to catch up with you," a voice said behind her. Kilia turned to find Suko there, slowly slithering along to join her. She scowled at him, wondering why he'd come after her. "Don't worry, I've told the others I was going to come with you and hunt for food. Nakkura already went on ahead, told us to meet him at a river. I suppose this must be it." He nodded his head to the river that was slogging on about three or so yards away from them. After a second of contemplating it, he suddenly asked, "What do you think about him? Nakkura, I mean."

    "Nakkura?" Kilia repeated, and Suko nodded without looking at the Absol next to him. "Well, I think...he's a good leader," she muttered lamely, suddenly anxious to talk about what she thought about the Zangoose. Suko turned to face her then, eyes serious.

    "What do you think about him personally?"

    "He...he's a good Pokémon. A good friend. He risked his life yesterday for all of us, when we were attacked by Ghosts in that tower. He almost died." The Absol suddenly became aware of tears pricking her eyes, and quickly dropped her head so Suko wouldn't notice. "A Ghost used an Ice Beam on him, and it hit him in the chest. Luckily, Avaron and Aya were around to help him. I was worried if they could help or not..."

    "…I see..." Suko replied after a lengthy silence. Kilia raised her eyes and found him studying her closely. It was somewhat unnerving, even to the Disaster Pokémon. "And about this morning...has it happened before? You seemed...uneasy..."

    "No," Kilia answered, not wanting to talk about it. But something told her Suko might know what was going on, and she suddenly found herself blurting, "Suko, do you know what's wrong with me?"

    "Wrong?" Suko asked in a surprised voice. "My young friend, there's not a thing wrong with you!" Then he laughed, and Kilia couldn't help but scowl, somewhat hurt. He noticed her expression and sobered a bit, though he was still grinning. "Kilia, what you felt...you feel strongly for the Zangoose, that's obvious. What else could happen, after all you've been through together? And nothing brings Pokémon together closer than living together, surviving together, helping one another out..." Here he suddenly sighed and turned back to the river. "Do you understand?"

    "Not...really," she said, honest. She didn't know what Suko was getting at here, but Kilia noticed a funny roiling in her stomach, like she was about to get a revelation of some kind. Suko said nothing, but simply stared at the rushing waters of the large river before them. Finally he spoke, his voice quiet.

    "When you look at Nakkura, your heart feels like this river. Wild, pulsing, free...it fills you with something great. This must be the first time you've ever felt it, which is surprising." He turned to Kilia, and a gentle smile spread over his features. The Absol shuffled tensely from paw to paw, waiting for him to continue; what he had described was what she felt exactly. "I once felt like this, but it was several years ago, and the feeling has long since passed into demise." He sighed heavily, and she couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Before she could offer any sympathy, he said, "Kilia, my new friend, what you feel is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of. All you carry within you is love, love for Nakkura. Be sure to cherish it, for nothing is more important..."

    Kilia felt her jaw drop as shock coursed through her. Love?~ She watched Suko smile at her expression, then nod his head and turn away. He said nothing else as he slithered off the way he'd come, then turned towards the right and moved faster. Soon he vanished, and she still couldn't move or speak. When her wits finally returned, she shook her head vigorously, then turned and leapt forward, suddenly feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from her spirit.

    Love!!!

    The Absol soon found herself standing in the river, the gentle tug of the current swirling around her knees and elbows. She let out a joyous little bark and cajoled around, leaping in circles and pouncing at fish as they swam by. As she waded deeper, she became vaguely aware that the current was getting stronger, dangerously so, but ignored it in her happiness.

    Love…

    The scent of the river water made the white mongoose feel dizzy. Nakkura shook his head quickly and quickened his pace, brushing past some leaves. Another smell blew across on the wind that ruffled his fur. He felt a pleasant warmth bloom inside him as he realized it was Kilia. She couldn’t be extremely far away. He debated whether or not to go and find her. She could easily take care of herself, and he realized with a pang of guilt that he had left behind the others.

    I might as well head back, he thought, but his mouth felt dry as he opened his it to call out to them. He listened to the river again and finally pushed his way through, smiling at the water. He sprang down to the bank, mud slipping through his claws as he tried to get a grip in order to drink. Finally, he dipped his muzzle to the water and lapped some up.

    I’ve been unusually happy lately, the Zangoose decided as he drank. Before he could figure out why, he watched the flash of fish scales in the water close to him, and he swiped a hefty paw out, catching it. Its silvery body flopped on the bank before he could finish it off with a bite, and it retreated into the river as he struggled.

    Sunlight fell upon the water, making it glimmer. He let the light warm his pelt, sighing, when a white shape appeared out of the corner of his eyes. Licking water from his arm, he watched the Absol leap into view, barking happily as she pranced about in the water. The red-streaked Pokémon raised an eyebrow and ran along the grassy bank, his body cooled by the mist rising from the nearby waterfall.

    “What do you think you’re doing?” he snapped sternly as he stood on the bank above Kilia. There was no mistaking the glitter of amusement in his amber gaze. He smiled before realizing she was springing into the stronger current. Nakkura’s eyes widened, and he called out, “Kilia! Get out of there!” He started to run toward her…but he was absolutely frozen with fear after only a few steps

    At that moment, she felt her paws suddenly swept from under her. With a yelp, Kilia was dumped underwater and dragged along by the current. After a moment of floundering, she managed to get her head above the surface and gasp for air, sputtering and coughing as she was towed along.

    The Dark-Type Pokémon clawed at the water, trying to desperately get back to the surface. Her lungs screamed for fresh air, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn't break free. The white and red male leapt into a run, trying to keep pace with the current and keep sight of the Absol. His claws gripped the earth as he dashed alongside her, yelling her name. Kilia could not hear him over the sound of rushing water, and her own desperate gasps whenever her head surfaced. However, she was harshly thrown upwards as the river became rougher, and tossed into the air for a few precious seconds. Kilia managed to take a few gasping breaths, but when she slammed back down into the water the next moment it was knocked from her lungs by the impact. She went back under, jaws still gaping as she tried to get her wind back, and ended up swallowing a large mouthful of water. Panicking, she started to breathe in, but stopped just as she did; she knew she would drown if she did.

    Nakkura felt his heart beating wildly as he searched for where her form would resurface. He was more terrified than he had ever been in his life. Fear lanced through him like a bolt of electricity, and he felt himself unable to move again. “Kilia, where—”

    Suddenly, Kilia felt herself slammed into something hard and immobile, and without thinking she instantly unsheathed her claws and scrabbled at the rock, drawing her sore body out of the water and on top. As soon as she managed to climb atop she hunkered down, claws clutching at the rock as she shivered and looked around wildly, fear clawing at her body.

    "Someone help me...".

    “Hold on,” Nakkura growled as he stopped on the bank. He took an unsure step forward, claws clutching at the earth, until he finally pulled himself together soon enough to launch himself into the river. He realized all too suddenly that he wasn’t the best swimmer… He went under instantly, the current pulling at his thick white fur, but at last his muzzle broke the surface. He sucked in air and swam along the current toward the Absol.

    “I’ve got you,” he said as reassuringly as he could, reaching forward to grasp the scruff of her neck in his teeth. He started to pull her back into the water, but her weight brought him under. He pushed her back against the rock and held onto it with a frustrated growl. “Alright, I don’t have you,” he muttered. He looked around, desperate to find one of the others. Who would come their rescue now?

    “It’ll be okay, Kilia,” he murmured against her fur, closing his eyes as he wished he was telling the truth. He turned his searching eyes to the bank again, his heart hammering against his chest as water lapped powerfully against his back.

    "I'm sorry," she whispered, tears stinging at her eyes. "I should have been paying more attention..." she trailed off, a horrible sinking feeling clawing at her belly. They were in danger, and it was because she'd been acting like a foolish pup. The thought of Nakkura dying because of her was too much to bear. If anyone was to pay for her mistake, in her opinion, it should only be her.

    "I'm sorry," she said again as she opened her eyes and shifted slightly. Gathering her strength, Kilia twisted her head back and dipped it down, using her horn to hook Nakkura around the middle. He tensed and tried to maintain his grip on the rock, but then she tensed her neck muscles and jerked her head back around, flinging him with all her strength towards the opposite side of the shore. He weighed more than she'd thought he would, considering his soaking pelt, and she wasn't sure he was going to make it all the way to the shore.

    He splashed in the water momentarily, but his front paws found purchase on the muddy earth as he heaved himself up and turned around with a gasp. “Kilia, no!” he shouted.


    Kilia sighed softly as she watched him, then closed her eyes and pulled her claws into their sheathes. The instant she did, the Absol was carried away by the river. As she went, she could hear the roar of a waterfall growing louder and louder. Kilia no longer fought the water, filled instead with an odd sense of peace. She went limp, and seconds later she felt the water drop out from under me suddenly. For a split second the Pokémon hung into the air.

    "Everyone..." Kilia whispered, and then plummeted to whatever fate lay below...

    ~*****~


    Shinko suddenly turned to Shen and Aya. "I don't care if he’s asleep; we need to wake Avaron," she said, hurrying towards the sleeping Sandshrew. "C'mon, old guy, wake up! It's time to leave," she whispered, kneeling to shake them awake. However, her efforts went unnoticed by the sleeping Sandshrew; it seems that his efforts had indeed been a drain on his elderly body.

    "Uh...He may still be very tired, dear." Aya said to her, walking to the Buizel's side. "We'll just have to let him sleep."

    Shinko pouted. “I know thaaaaat! But Nakky and Kilia left us behind, and we’re going to really be left behind if we don’t catch up soon…”

    Shen was pondering what the little Buizel said, when a chill suddenly ran up his spine, which was odd, because the day was fairly warm and no wind was blowing. Shen shivered and looked back and forth, wondering where such a feeling came from, when two faces drifted through his mind.

    Kilia and Nakkura...

    "Aya...I've got a real bad feeling..." he whispered.

    "Oh, they'll be fine." she snapped light-heartedly, "Stop worrying about it."

    "I know, but...I can't shake it...Just wait here. If I see that they're alright, then this feeling might go away."

    Aya hesitated, then nodded.

    "Thanks. See ya." Shen turned in the direction Nakkura left a little while ago and set off at a quick trot. I don't like this feeling…I need to prove to myself that Kilia and Nakkura are alright, and get rid of this bad feeling now...There was little noise, despite it being late morning. A few chirps from a lone Tailow, and the rustling of leaves that Shen passed, were it.

    Very soon, the Larvitar came upon the meadow where the group had come across the hostile rebel group in...where he met Aya. Memories drifted through his mind’s eye of the past couple of days...meeting with Kilia, Nakkura and Avaron, finally getting rid of the human who hunted him, meeting Aya, seeing his parents one last time...The little Larvitar felt like the past couple of days have fulfilled what he’d been denied in life.

    His mind is especially filled with thoughts of that cute little Bulbasaur. He didn’t know her but two days before, and already she was so deeply on his mind. She was so kind, and helpful to him when he first arrived, and she even left the ones she knew to be with Shen and his friends, to help them out in a crisis when no one else would. She was quite a cute Bulbasaur, too…He smiled before returning to his task.

    He sniffed the air, instantly catching Nakkura's scent, along with the smell of water. There was a river nearby, and Nakkura's scent seemed to be going in that direction, so he went with it, turning and walking along at an easier pace. Nakkura’s scent was fresh, nearby, and he was starting to become sure that things would be fine with him, as with Kilia, when he found her, too.

    He also delighted in the smells of the nearby river; he hoped that maybe later, he and his friends would want to go for a little dip. In his training with his first Trainer, Shen had actually been given a stronger defense against water, to the point that water-based attacks affected him only as much as any other type without strengths or weaknesses to it. This training was also applied to his parents. It took a few of his first few years of life, but the training was successful, and he couldn’t wait to try going swimming with friends for the first time. He remembered how fun it was to splash and move through the cool liquid…

    Soon he heard the river's flowing sounds, a low roar that increased in volume as he drew near. A minute later, he caught sight of the sun's reflection on the water, shifting as the water moved. Shen smiled, Nakkura's scent becoming stronger and mixing with another smell he recognized: Kilia's. The Larvitar had found them, and together, no less. This fact made him smile. It was then he caught sight of something that made the breath catch in his throat…

    Nakkura and Kilia were hanging on for dear life. He watched in horror as the Absol tossed Nakkura off the rock with her horn and onto the bank, and Kilia then lost her grip on the rock she was holding on to, plunging her over a waterfall.

    "KILIA!"

    Nakkura stared after her as she left him and resigned herself to the fate of the river. His eyes were wide, his body shaking in terror and loss. She was pulled by the current out of his view, and he had to stagger to his feet and follow again, weighed down by his dripping fur. He saw her disappear over the edge of the waterfall and stood still. “No…” he murmured, taking a step back as fear and shock clutched at his heart. She was gone. “Help! Someone, please!” Nakkura yelled. He was obviously in grief, because he bowed his head and began to cry.

    Shen ran forward as soon as he saw Kilia’s body flung out into the air from the force of the water going over the falls. His mind whirled, he had to act quickly. Kilia had gone over the falls, Nakkura was still standing on the bank unsure of what to do, and he was the only one near enough to do anything about the fate of the white Absol. He had little time to think. Shen sighed. Aya is gonna kill me for this...

    Shen changed direction and sped up, before he threw himself over the cliff.

    He hung in midair for a split second before he, too, dropped like the stone he was. The Larvitar kept his body straight, causing him to fall faster to Kilia's plummeting form. Time seemed to have slowed down in his mind. They weren't far from the lake below, and he had to reach her now. Shen reached out to grab her paw. Come on...only a few inches...

    Shen clenched his teeth and stretched further, taking hold of Kilia's paw.

    Because of her recent injuries, Shen wasn't sure she'd survive if she hit the water at this speed, but he knew he was more hardy and could survive, as well as his boost from his training, so he, spun them around in midair and placed his body under hers to cushion the impact. He’d only done this once before, in a single training session, but still, he’d done it. As the water neared, Shen shut his eyes tight. Arceus help us...

    The two falling Pokémon slammed into the surface of the lake…
    Click the banner to check out my Pokémon fanfic, Reflections!

    Thanks to Comexback from PE2K for the banner and avatar!

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