TEEN: Storm Island - Page 2
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 46

Thread: Storm Island

  1. #16
    Registered User Beth Pavell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England
    Posts
    851
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default Re: Storm Island

    I meant to review the last chapter as well. Right so ... a smooth read. I wasn't thinking about awkward sentences while I was reading, and that's a good start. I like the pace of the story so far. The battle felt a little choppy - I get that you're not going to be referring to moves by name, but as a result it was a little hard to follow what Steelix was actually doing. On the plus side, Steelix leaving its Poké Ball was a great piece of description

  2. #17

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 7: Overgrowth


    Physical discomfort greeted Larson as he woke up. He could barely move, but he could easily think. The first thought that crossed his mind was why he decided to sleep sitting up against a stone wall. He opened his eyes and looked around. A early morning golden glow gushed in through the entrance to the hot springs, followed by a cool breeze. He looked down to see Andrea curled up next to him, resting her head on his lap. "Glad one of us is comfortable..." he groaned. He pushed at her shoulder to wake her up. "Come on, sleepy head."

    It took a few forceful nudges to wake Andrea. She was still half asleep when she opened her eyes and looked up to see Larson. The dopiest smile appeared across her face followed by a giggle. She sat up and stretched, looking at the R-Kit to see the time. 7:37 AM. "T's a bit, uh, early, right?" she slurred.

    "You try sleeping with a jagged rock digging into your back," he said, rubbing it. "Besides, I'm sure you woke up this early all the time when you worked at the Crimson Crawdaunt."

    "Mmm," she said, nodding and yawning. "Guess I'm used to sleeping in until noon, now."

    "You hungry?"

    "Not really," she replied.

    "We can get out to the caverns now, if you're up for it."

    Andrea, still half asleep, tried to remember what he was talking about when it hit her. She didn't want to, but figured that learning was for the best. "Oh... Sure. We'll be back in town before nightfall though, right?"

    "Most likely," he said. He stood up and stretched his sore back, groaning loudly as he did so.

    "Are you up for it?" she asked.

    "I've climbed a mountain while in worse shape. Let's go."

    - - - - -


    The sun was low in the northeastern sky, casting long and deformed shadows against the ground and showering everything else with golden light. Andrea, Larson and Furball were on their way towards the Silverridge Caverns entrance just outside of Silvermist City on Route 302. The early morning songs of the local birds pepped the two up, as well as signaled the start of the day; the tall grass began to move with the critters that roamed in it and the flowers opened up in preparation for a warm day in the sun. Down the precarious silver cliffs, one could see the ocean, sparkling and clear as day. Off in the distance could be seen large and ominous rain clouds, lumbering over the horizon. Hurricane Adele would soon be arriving.

    Andrea was carrying a rapidly melting ice cream cone. She tried her best to contain the ice cream as it streamed through the textured lines of the cone. "So how far is this place?" she asked.

    Larson watched as the ice cream dripped down the cone, over her hands and down onto the ground. "I don't know what made you think that was a wise purchase." he said. "Anyways, the cavern entrance is just around this bend in the road if I remember."

    As Andrea prepared to finish off the ice cream that rested atop the cone, Furball perked upwards, pecking at the cone with pinpoint accuracy. Opening his mouth wide, he gobbled up the entire cone in one bite.

    "Hey! You little..." she squealed.

    Larson erupted into laughter. "There's your first lesson in becoming a Pokémon trainer. Always keep your eyes on your food."

    The two came across a sign indicating the entrance to the Silverridge Caverns. Flimsy, weather-worn wooden planks held a literal ton of dirt and rocks out of the way of the cave entrance, a sight that made Andrea uneasy about venturing into the cave. Dangling from the main entrance was an old oil-burning lamp with broken glass, indicating to Andrea that the area was not maintained. Broken planks painted with yellow and black stripes littered the floor of the tunnel.

    "Well, here we are. Silverridge Caverns. It's been years since I've been here... Hopefully there won't be too many people asking for trainer battles here, it's been a popular hangout for trainers of all skill levels ever since they shut the mine down."

    "They reopened the mine six months ago, didn't they?" Andrea asked, trying to remember a largely forgettable event.

    "Looks abandoned to me," Larson remarked, studying the dilapidated interior. Along the entry tunnel was a rusted out mine track with a cart sitting at the end of it, covered in dust and gravel. He took a good look at the entrance to judge if it was safe, then walked inside. "Let's get started."

    Andrea was simply too afraid to venture any further. When she was told that she would be going through the caverns, she pictured something a lot safer looking, something brightly lit, something filled with beautiful stone formations. Instead, she looked into the dark and dreary mine shaft and felt that certain death was staring back at her.

    "Come on, you'll be fine. I'm here to protect you." he said.

    Andrea felt a push from behind her as she tried to steel her nerves. She entered the mine shaft, ducking under a large cobweb. The look on her face was that of distress, as she looked like she was on the verge of a mental breakdown. "I hate the darkness... Always have." she said. "And you're absolutely sure that this is safe?"

    "Yes," he stated with confidence. "This will help with the darkness." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Pokéball, tossing it ahead into the tunnel. After the flash of light subsided, there stood a small, pink and stocky star-shaped creature.

    "Not that creepy thing..."

    Looking back at Larson with a devious grin on her face, she showed her small fangs and fluttered her tiny wings. Without even a simple command, she began to glow brightly, lighting up a large section of the mine shaft around her. The brightness reflected off of the spider webs that lined the corners of the support frames.

    Andrea's fear of darkness was no longer an issue, but now her fear of spiders was starting to bubble up to the surface. "I'm done. Get me out of here."

    "Nahhh..." Larson said, pushing forward through the spider webs. "This'll help you toughen up. Especially when the wild Pokémon start crawling all over us."

    Very uncomfortable, Andrea reluctantly nodded and followed Larson and Star down the tunnel, occasionally looking behind her whenever she heard anything. She groaned in discomfort the further they ventured into the tunnel.

    "It's fine," Larson said. "I know what I'm doing, Andrea, I'm an expe-AAAH!" Not paying attention, Larson walked straight into a hole that Star had waddled around. He acted quickly to grab the ladder that stretched down to the floor, but the force of him falling and the age of the ladder did little to stop his fall. The ladder crumbled into splinted wooden shards, kicking up a cloud of dust. Larson landed hard on the cold, squishy ground with an audible splat.

    Andrea, Furball and Star crowded around the hole. "Are you alright?" she asked.

    Larson picked himself up, astonished that he was mostly unharmed from the fall. "I think so," he said as he looked around. Unfortunately, he couldn't see anything except for a yellow glow ahead of him. "Hey, Star. C'mere, I can't see."

    Without hesitation, Star hopped to the aid of her master, falling down the hole without the slightest bit of grace as she tumbled down.

    "No, no no!" Andrea said, trying to grab Star as she jumped down the hole. "Great, now I can't see anything!" Behind her, a sinister slithering noise could be heard, sending a bone chilling shiver down her spine. "Help! How do I get down there?!" she shouted. Larson didn't respond, instead walking out of her light of sight. "Hey!"

    Larson returned with a large, grassy vine which he tied into a lasso. "Catch!" he shouted as he tossed it up the hole. "See if you can tie that to anything."

    Andrea grabbed the vine and frantically clawed her way through the darkness. She stumbled on a stalagmite and hurriedly tossed the vine around it, then scrambled back to the hole and made her way down. She breathed a sigh of relief as she entered the welcoming glow of Star, almost wanting to hug her. As she composed herself, the sight that was before her took her breath away. "Woah..."

    It was indeed a peculiar sight. The floor of the tunnel was covered in thick and dewy, green grass. Thick vines poked out of the grass, choking the walls as they climbed upward to the ceiling, wrapping around a multitude of colored mushrooms the size of a person, as well as around gigantic, green hexagonal crystals that jutted from the walls. Old, broken bits of wood and twisted rusted metal poked out of the rampaging overgrowth, presumably old mine tracks. Every now and then, the mushrooms would shake, releasing a cloud of luminescent spores that dissipated quickly. The smell of decaying plants was heavy in the air, making it difficult to breathe.

    "What is this?" Larson asked, having never seen anything like it in all his travels.

    Andrea's curiosity got the better of her. She slogged through the wet grass to inspect the vines along the walls. "This is so gross!" she said as she tried to tip toe through the grass. The vines were shiny, covered in a thin coat of slime, but coarse to the touch. The vines seemed to flinch as Andrea touched them.

    "What's going on here?" Larson asked.

    "What are you asking me for?" she said, just as confused as he was.

    "You're a researcher now, aren't you? Go on, science the hell out of me."

    Andrea racked her brain as she tried to think of what could possibly be responsible for the plant growth. As the two tossed ideas back and forth, the vine that Andrea had climbed down earlier started to slither back down. It coiled up behind Larson, latching onto his wrist tightly and pulling hard.

    Larson yanked back. "What the hell?!" he shouted as he tried to unwrap the vine around him. "Get it off, get it off!"

    Andrea quickly acted, grabbing the vine and attempting to untie it from her friend's arm. The vine fought her every move, slithering around as she tried to grab the end of it, determined to stay attached to its new toy. "This isn't good!" she said, grabbing onto Larson as the vine pulled harder. She looked back at Star, shouting, "Do something!

    Star looked at Andrea, puzzled, then back at Larson as he struggled against the vine, all while having a bemused look on her face.

    "She's not much of a fighter..." Larson said. Tired of being wrangled by the vine, he pulled his arm towards his face, chomping down onto the vine and growling viciously. The vine's grip loosened on him, retreating back into the wall and dripping a thick, gooey substance. As he rubbed his wrist, he was in agreement with Andrea. "Ok. I'm done too. Let's find a way out of here." he said, looking up to inspect the hole he fell down. "Unfortunately, our only way out slithered back into the wall... We'll have to find another way."

    Andrea whimpered. "I knew this was a bad idea..."

    "I have lots of bad ideas, but I make the best of them. Come on, before that... thing... decides to come back."

    Andrea, Larson, Furball and Star decided to move on, approaching the yellow glow on the horizon. They tromped through the wet grass, keeping an eye out for any suspicious vines that might drop from the ceiling to attack them.

    She tried her best to calm down, thinking. "There has to be some logical explanation for this." she said as she studied the damp, thick vines and other vegetation that had the stone walls of the cave in a choking strangle hold. She decided to see if her R-Kit might have any idea of what was going on, tapping away at the screen. She turned her attention to a large green gem that poked out of the floor. She wanted to resist the urge to touch it, but grabbed it anyways; the gemstone was warm to the touch and filled her with a relaxing and soothing feeling. "Woah."

    "What is it?"

    Andrea clicked away at her R-Kit once more, not even sure of what she was doing. It beeped and a light shot out of the side of it, scanning the crystal up and down. "...Alive..." she said in disbelief as she studied the information that appeared on the R-Kit.

    "What? What do you mean 'alive'?"

    "My R-Kit says that it's organic. Chemically, it's stable, but it's producing its own energy... more than it can handle. It seems to be venting that excess energy into the environment."

    "Huh." Larson quipped, not understanding a word that she said.

    "It'd probably explain the plants... maybe."

    The two continued down the tunnel towards the source of the yellow light, entering a large, circular pocket cave. The room was large enough to get lost in and if one wasn't careful enough, could easily do so. The room was covered from floor to ceiling with thick vegetation; hanging vines, giant mushrooms, overgrown grass, glowing globes of fruit and even trees. At the center of it all, above the plant life, was a swirling cloud of luminescent gas, glowing brightly and showering the area with a golden-orange light. Giant bat-like creatures swooped through the room, moving from tunnel to tunnel. Scattered near the entrance to the room was what looked like an abandoned and wrecked mining camp.

    The small group approached the camp. The tent was covered in mildew and slime and many of the boxes containing mining equipment and other supplies had collapsed. Atop the desk was a journal that was simply labeled 'Reliable Excavation and Demolition'.

    "This breaks every law of nature that I know of," Larson said as he looked up at the swirling cloud of gas that lit up the area.

    "What does?" Andrea asked, picking up the log book and opening it.

    "This... this entire place. The glowy air, the vines, the crystals..."

    "Mmm... no it doesn't." Andrea said, recalling her days of studying the basics of biochemistry. "Certain gaseous compounds are known to glow in energy rich environments. My guess is that these crystals are responsible in some way... I just don't know how."

    Larson laughed. "I wish I were as smart as you. I never was much of a bookworm." he said, walking over to her. "What is it?"

    "It's a log book it looks like," she said, studying the contents of the pages. She began to read, "Foreman Clayburn's Mining Expedition, Tuesday, July 7th. Something strange is in this cave. As we were digging an exploratory tunnel, Johnson found something amazing! As he dug into the northern wall of ET-B, it began to bleed with a strange, purple sap-like substance. As we investigated, a thick vine protruded from the hole, latching onto our drill. Within minutes, it was dismantled! After a few hours, the cavern was overrun by plant life!"

    "Cool," Larson quipped.

    Andrea flipped the page, brushing the dirt off. "Wednesday, July 8th. Things have taken a turn for the worse. Johnson has gone missing... Others are saying that the plants have turned violent! We've moved the camp back twice today and we're losing precious resources and time to this... this... thing. What is it? What is going on?" she read, flipping the page. "Thursday, July 9th. I sent word yesterday to corporate HQ. They'd decided to end this expedition after hearing of Johnson's disappearance. Perhaps it's for the best, we may have uncovered something that was best left locked away behind these stone walls. I've ordered my men to collapse the tunnel with TNT in hopes that it will contain the growth."

    "Clearly it hasn't," Larson said.

    Andrea flipped the page again. "Thursday, July 9th. This will be my final entry. Corporate HQ has informed me to instruct my men to keep quiet about what's happened here. I'm not sure I have the conscience to do so... but I feel it might save a lot of curious lives. But what if the growth--"

    "What if?" Larson asked.

    "I don't know. It just... stops." she said, closing the book and putting it down. "I don't like this place, we need to find a way out."

    "Yeah, this isn't a safe place to learn the basics," he said. "So stupid, we could have just... Let's get moving."

    The four progressed further into the large, jungle-like room, keeping an eye out for anything suspicious. They approached the small grove of trees in the center to get a better look, noting that the room they were in branched off into old mining tunnels in several different directions. As they attempted to decide which tunnel to go down, Andrea noticed a steady stream of liquid pour down from the ceiling above her.

    As she looked up, she saw a vibrant yellow plant that was shaped like a bell with a pink ring along the bottom of it. Every few seconds, it would open up, dumping more of the liquid down to the ground in front of them. "What is that?" she asked.

    "Looks like a Weepinbell. I'd be careful, it's dropping highly corrosive acid."

    Andrea took a deep breath and sighed, realizing that she should have listened to her previous instincts to avoid the cavern. "Why do I listen to you all the time?" she asked.

    "That's a good question, I'd have figured you would have learned your lesson by now."

    Not wanting to be doused in acid, Andrea made the decision to move along, leading Larson, Furball and Star down a tunnel off to the side of the room. The tunnel was obviously man made; Rotting wooden support posts held up the vaguely square shape of the tunnel, and broken bits of rusted metal poked up out of the grass every now and then. As they went down the tunnel, they spotted the remains of another mining camp.

    This camp was a bit larger than the previous one, indicating that the mining team had perhaps left in a hurry, abandoning most of their supplies. Several wrecked tents lined the walls, covering boxes of equipment, supplies, rocks and all sorts of now-forgotten ore. There was another desk, this one with a miner's helmet on it. The flashlight on it was still on, but very dim.

    "Hey, check it out," Larson said as he picked up the helmet. "This light couldn't have been on since July... Someone must have been through here recently." He handed it over to Andrea and cupped his hands around his mouth. "Hellooooo! Anyone here?"

    An echo was all that greeted him.

    "Or maybe something turned it on..." Andrea muttered. "Why would anyone be down here?"

    "Well, we are. It's not out of the question." he said. He followed the remains of the mining track to a large pile of rubble, kicking at it and scattering the loose stones. "I have an idea."

    "Oh boy, please tell me it's not a stupid one."

    Larson was silent as he returned to the camp and rummaged through the wrecked tents. Picking one of the crates up, he tossed it into the mining cart that sat on front of the pile of rocks. "I've always wanted to do this." he said as he pushed the rusted cart forward with all of his might.

    Andrea inspected the crate as it slowly rolled by. Adorning the side of the box was a large skull and crossbones and a warning label. "No, no, no. You are not doing this."

    He ignored Andrea's protest and reached into his pocket, pulling out a Great Ball. He then led the others back down the tunnel to what he thought was a safe distance. He held the Great Ball out in front of him. "Albrecht, I could use some help."

    As the Great Ball opened and the contents burst out, the shape of a feline creature emerged. Its black and blue fur bristled with raw electricity, the golden rings on its paws sparking as it investigated its surroundings. Its large, rounded ears perked up as its master called out to it.

    "Albrecht, think you can blast this minecart with some electricity?" he asked, pointing at the cart.

    Albrecht locked onto the minecart and nodded. Without even giving a warning or assuming an aggressive stance, a large bolt of white lightning arced between it and the minecart.

    "Cover your ears!" Larson shouted, pulling Andrea down to the floor with him.

    After a brief moment, the crate of TNT exploded. The shockwave sent a cloud of dust, mist and shredded plant matter down the tunnel towards them. As the blast wave hit them, it took their breath away and caused their hearts to skip a beat.

    As the carnage faded and the dust settled, Andrea looked at the aftermath. The minecart was reduced to nothing more than a twisted wreck of jagged metal in the center of a large crater. Much of the plant life that clinged to the walls was blown off of them. The pile of rubble remained, but a large amount of it had been cleared, enough for the group to squeeze through to the other side. "I can not believe you just did that." Andrea scolded.

    "Relax, I know what I'm doing... kind of." Larson said as he recalled Albrecht. "Look on the bright side! Light! We may have found a way out!"

    Andrea noticed the beams of light that were poking down from the ceiling of the room that had just been opened up. She was so overcome with excitement at the idea that she'd be escaping from this horrible place that she dashed down the tunnel carelessly, hurdling over the loose gravel. As she entered the room, she looked upward at the source of the light, a large hole that offered a glimpse of the cloudless sky. Her excitement got the better of her, not paying attention to the vines that were creeping up on her. The vines snatched her by her left ankle, pulling her airborne.

    "Andrea!" Larson shouted as he scrambled over the pile of rocks. "Uh oh!" he shouted as another set of vines appeared and grabbed ahold of her hands and other ankle.

    "Get me out of this thing!" she shouted in a panic, trying to look around as the vines slowly lifted her to the ceiling.

    Larson tried to jump up towards her in an attempt to rip her down, but she was just out of reach and steadily rising. "Hold on, I will!" he said as he looked around to see what he might be able to do. Unable to find any rocks, sticks or other objects he could use to potentially get her down, he looked back at her to see a vine reach down from the ceiling and wrap around her neck.

    "Hurry!" she grunted, finding it harder and harder to breathe.

    Larson pulled a Pokéball out of his pocket. "I know she hates bugs, but..." He dropped the Pokéball to the floor and it opened with a flash of light. The shape of a large insect creature with a giant spotted orange mushroom attached to it appeared. Its eyes were pure white, cold and dead, devoid of any emotion or intelligent thought. It rose up on its four thin legs, waving its pincers around, ready for action. "Blade, I need you to get Andrea down from there. Be quick about it!" he shouted.

    Blade stood there like a statue, looking as if it wasn't intent on moving. However, just as if it looked like he ignored his command, Blade sprung into action, flinging itself high into the air with its surprisingly powerful legs. It latched onto the vine that was wrapped around Andrea's neck, and in a blur of movement, shredded each of the vines that were holding her up.

    Andrea crashed to the ground, landing in the soft, muddy grass and creating quite a splash. However, she felt far from safe, noticing Blade fall right on top of her. In another panic, she stumbled to her feet as fast as she could to escape him.

    "Woah, woah! Easy there Andrea!" Larson called out. He held out his Pokéball to call Blade back. Approaching Andrea, he held his hand out to help her up. "You okay?"

    Andrea was defeated. She was done with their little adventure. All she wanted was to get out of the caves, no matter where it took her. "I'm done. Get me out of this place, now. I don't care how." she said.

    "That's the idea..." Larson said as he looked up at the hole in the ceiling. "I wonder if Drake would be able to fly us out through there..."

    "It looks big enough. Let's go."

    As Larson reached into his pocket for Drake's Pokéball, he noticed some strange movement coming from a tunnel that branched off of the room they were in. A strange, clustered mass of tentacle-like vines was slowly shambling towards them, rolling like a tumbleweed. "Hold on..." he said. "Is that..." He pulled out a strange device that was largely unfamiliar to Andrea, one of Professor Oak's Pokédexes.

    "Tangrowth, the Vine Pokémon." the Pokédex said in its monotone robotic voice. "Tangrowth are known to take refuge in caves or heavily wooded areas. One should take care around a Tangrowth, as they aggressively ensnare and strangle anything that intrudes upon its territory."

    "I've never seen one of these before," Larson said. "Help me capture it, Andrea. I'm sure Professor Ansen would love to study it."

    "No, let's just leave. Screw this place." Andrea replied.

    Larson looked between Andrea and the slowly approaching Tangrowth. He wanted to listen to Andrea's advice, but at the same time his own confidence started to get the better of him. He chose to ignore her advice. "This is perfect for you, though. It'll teach you how to command Furball in a battle. Star and I will assist."

    "Come on!" Andrea said, clearly frustrated that her chance at immediate escape was being thrown away. "If I get killed, it's on your head! My dad will make sure of that."

    "You won't, trust me."

    "Are you out of your mind?!" Andrea shouted as the tangled mess of vines shambled closer. "I need to stop asking that... you clearly are... What do I do?" she asked, waving her hand for Furball to stand by her side.

    "Maintain a distance, first and foremost," he said, backing up as slowly as the Tangrowth approached. "Most trainers start out by assigning names to commands... like... I don't know, I called my Charmander's first fire attack 'Ember'. He seemed to understand what I meant."

    "I've never heard you do that," Andrea said, keeping an eye on the Tangrowth.

    "After awhile, things start to evolve to where you don't need to give commands by name. Try it."

    "Umm..." she started. "What do you suggest?"

    "How about a Tail Slam?"

    "You heard him Furball," Andrea said.

    Furball dropped to all fours, ready to pounce. He dashed ahead, dodging side to side as the Tangrowth raised its thick and thorn-covered vines and smashed them down into the muddy grass. The ground shook with each impact, sending bits of grass and water into the air. Furball deftly circled the Tangrowth, approaching from behind and jumping in to the air. With a quick circular motion, he whipped his tail straight into the creature, but it seemed to have no effect.

    "Battling against a wild Pokémon isn't just calling out attacks. It's also about strategy and tactics. Analyzing your opponent." Larson said.

    Andrea followed his advice, watching the Tangrowth attempt to pound Furball into the ground. She noticed a pattern; Every time Furball got close, the Tangrowth raised its vines and slammed them down where he stood. "Furball!" she called out, formulating a plan in her head. "Stand on top of it and be ready to dodge!"

    Furball was skeptical of the plan, but followed it anyways. He slowly approached the Tangrowth, dodging three more vines. He climbed up the slipper vines and stood atop the Tangrowth, keeping a watchful eye on two vines that ended in spiky clubs, rising above him. A twitch in the vines caused Furball to jump out of the way, as the spiked clubs pounded back down onto the Tangrowth.

    "There ya go, now you're doin' it!" Larson said. "Quick, toss a Pokéball at it while it's stunned!"

    Andrea reached into her pocket and grabbed one of the Pokéballs that the Professor had given her. She held it in her left hand and cupped it with her right hand. Pulling her leg up, she threw it like a baseball with pinpoint accuracy. However, before the Pokéball reached the Tangrowth, it lashed out like a whip, deflecting the Pokéball into a wall, shattering it into dozens of pieces. The Tangrowth once again started to shamble towards Andrea and Larson, retracting some of the vines that covered its face. Beneath the shaggy vegetation was a pair of eyes, glowing red with rage.

    "Oh, snap," Larson said. "Try that strategy again."

    "Go on, Furball. Get on top of him again."

    Furball listened, boldly charging towards the Tangrowth. He dodged another vine attack as before, but was knocked out of the way by another as he attempted to jump on top. After crashing into a wall, he got back up, ready to attempt again, but was constricted by some vines that had shot out of the wall towards him.

    Seeing the tide of the battle turn, Larson reached into his pocket and pulled out a Pokéball with a green and yellow swirl on it. "That's a good start, but you can't win them all." he said, tossing the Nest Ball out towards the Tangrowth. The ball exploded in a bright flash of fire, revealing a large, orange dragon-like creature. It roared angrily and flapped its wings, kicking up a gust of wind that knocked the grass surrounding it flat. "Show us your fire power, Drake!"

    Drake took a few lumbering steps towards the Tangrowth, shaking the ground with each one. He turned his head to the side, spitting a small fireball out of his nose in cocky defiance towards its opponent. It took a deep breath and expelled a large cloud of fire breath onto the Tangrowth, setting it on fire. Set ablaze, the Tangrowth abandoned its zombie-like speed, quickly sprinting throughout the room in a desperate attempt to put out the fire. Before long, however, the fire proved too much and the Tangrowth stopped moving. Drake approached and breathed more fire onto it.

    "Alright, Drake. That's enough." Larson said. "You might kill it if you're not careful."

    "Drake is quite vicious..." Andrea said, hiding behind Larson and peaking over his shoulder.

    "Only when he wants to be. You're safe, believe me."

    Drake obeyed the command, ceasing his fire breath and walking back to his master triumphantly.

    Andrea looked at the charred lump of vines laying lifeless on the floor. "Maybe now I can catch this thing..." she said. Taking one of remaining Pokéballs, she tossed it at the Tangrowth in a manner similar to before. The Tangrowth was sucked into the Pokéball, which fell to the ground and shook gently. After a brief moment, a loud beep was heard. The capture was successful! "Whoo!" she exclaimed, dashing over to pick it up. As she did, the vines surrounding Furball loosened, allowing him to escape.

    "Not bad for a beginner," Larson said.

    Andrea picked up the Pokéball and looked at it, brushing off some dirt and a blade of grass that was stuck to it. "I'm glad that's taken care of..." she said, looking at her surroundings. The vines dangled peacefully and lifelessly, dripping with moisture from the cave ceiling. "You think we're out of trouble, Larson?"

    Larson held out a Pokéball and recalled Star. "I don't want to stay and find out. Come over here and recall Furball."

    Andrea did as she was told, recalling Furball back into his Pokéball and placing both him and her new Tangrowth into her pocket. "Now how do we get out?"

    Larson pointed at Drake. "He can fly, ya know. Hop on."

    Andrea timidly approached Drake as he growled deeply while looking at her out of the corner of his eye. Despite his mistrust towards Andrea, he did as his master told, kneeling down and allowing Andrea to climb onboard. He stood up as Andrea grabbed on tight, then began to flap his wings slowly. He took a large leap upward, slowly but surely ascending towards the hole in the ceiling of the cave. Drake then sped up, taking her skyward.

    "No! Bad! Stop, put me down!" she shouted. Drake ignored the command but slowed his ascent. Andrea tried to calm down and look at her surroundings; among her many fears, heights weren't one of them. She was greeted with a beautiful sight. A large waterfall was cascading off of a nearby mountain peak, creating a lake in the densely forested area that surrounded the hole into the caves that she had just left. The skyline of Silvermist City could be seen below her to the west and the skyline of Azure Ridge was seen on the eastern horizon. "This is incredible..." she said, then began to scream in terror as Drake dive bombed towards the ground. "Stop, up, up!" she shouted, but to no avail.

    Drake continued his descent, but pulled up just before he slammed into the ground, gently hovering back down to the ground. He knelt down so that Andrea could safely climb down, but her shock at what just happened caused her to fall off instead. As she looked back up, Drake stepped out of her sight, jumping back into the hole to retrieve Larson. Dazed, she stood up and dusted herself off.

    After a brief moment, Drake came soaring out of the hole again with Larson onboard. He again landed on the ground gently, kneeling down to let Larson off. "There we are, thanks Drake." he said, holding out Drake's Nest Ball. Drake spit a small fireball to the side as he nodded and slipped back into the green and yellow Pokéball. "So now what?"

    "I catch my breath... Your Charlizard--Charizard is a monster." Andrea said, adjusting her bandana.

    "Wild ride, eh? It's a good thing I don't do that very often." he said. "So, where are we?" he said, looking around.

    Andrea tapped on her R-Kit's map feature, bringing up her face and pinpointing it onto the map of Storm Island. The two were located just north of Route 302 in an area that was, according to the map, the rocky slope of a mountain. "Not even this thing knows."

    "Well, let's look around," he replied.

    "Let me wash some of this dirt and slime off of me first," she said as she walked towards a crystal clear pond that was covered in lily pads and surrounded by tall weeds. She dunked her dirty hands into the water, scrubbing them clean, then scrubbing her arms and face clean as well. She realized that her clothes were a lost cause, so she shook her hands dry as best she could. As she did so, she noticed a familiar faint outline in the water, one that she couldn't quite identify. She shook her head and blinked, but still saw it. "Hey Larson, come look at this."

    Larson walked over and stared into the water. "Find something?"

    "I don't know how to describe it, but... do you see anything in the water?" she asked.

    As Larson studied the water, the outline faded. "No. I think you're going slightly crazy from stress."

    Andrea sighed, thinking he was right. Looking across the pond, she saw a rickety old sign that was covered in moss and vines next to a faded, dirt trail that was covered in leaves and permeated by unruly tree roots. "Do you know what's up that way?" she asked, pointing.

    "I didn't even know there was a forest here." he said. "Wanna check it out?"

    "Sure." she said, splashing through the long, ankle deep pond. She approached the sign and brushed the moss away, revealing bold black letters. "Jadestone Point?" she asked. "Where have I heard that before..." she muttered. "It should be just up this..." she started, trailing off as she visually traced the overgrown dirt road that faded into the wilderness as if it wasn't even there. "...path..."

    "And you're sure we won't get lost?" Larson asked. "I mean... I said that before... nevermind. Lead the way."

    - - - - -


    Nearly an hour had uneventfully passed since Andrea and Larson began their peaceful hike along the dilapidated trail. Andrea was visibly distressed, fearing that she had gotten the two lost. Larson attempted his best to reassure her and calm her down. They continued, but not for long before they were greeted by a peculiar sight. Ahead of them was a large pond, shrouded by the thick forest. In the center was an island with a strange, green pillar of smooth and weather-worn stone rising from it.

    Peering into the clearing from behind a tree, Andrea and Larson saw another pair of travellers standing on the island, inspecting the stone pillar. Getting a closer look, green, crystalline formations similar to those in the cave sprouted from the ground around the stone and small orbs of light fluttered around the area much like lightning bugs. Atop the man's shoulder sat an Eevee.

    "Hey... aren't those the two we saw as we headed into Crystal Bay?" Larson asked, recognizing the characteristic hairstyle the man sported.

    "I think so," she said. "We should--"

    Before she could finish, her attention was grabbed by a bright flash of light as the Eevee hopped off of the man's shoulders and onto the moss covered pillar. Globes of energy began to swirl around it as a faint, pale green glow began to radiate off of its plush fur. Then, another surge of blinding light enveloped the area, kicking up a moderate gust of wind. As the light faded, a larger, yellowish fox-like creature with broad leaves sprouting from its ears and tail stood atop the pillar. Letting out a howl, it hopped off of the pillar into the spring, splashing violently as it playfully returned to the man's side.

    "Well I'll be damned, it did work!" the man said excitedly, turning to his female companion. "Audrey, you were right!"

    "Mhmm." she said, nodding graciously. After writing some notes down in a notebook, she continued. "Perhaps it's time we get back to the gym? I'm sure we have plenty of people waiting to challenge you."

    "Yeah... I didn't plan on spending the night out here just to find this place again." he said, grabbing a swirly green and yellow Pokéball from his belt. "Baxter, return!" he said as the new Pokémon slipped into the ball.

    "Maybe you can rename him, too... I never did like Baxter." Audrey said, grabbing a Pokéball of her own from her purse. As she tossed it into the air, a large, golden Pokémon appeared, wielding a twisted and mangled iron spoon in its claw-like hand. "Take us home, Kadabra."

    The Kadabra raised the spoon in the air in a triumphant pose with purple wavy energy emanating from it. Foxworth and Audrey began to glow a pale shade of pink then disappeared with a flash and an audible 'Whoosh!', followed quickly behind by Kadabra itself.

    "What was that?" Andrea asked, having never seen such a sight before.

    "That was what we trainers call evolution."

    "But evolution from one species to the next happens over millions of years..."

    "I didn't come up with the term, dear."

    Andrea walked out into the clearing, walking across the rickety wooden bridge that led to the island in the center of the pond. She approached it cautiously as it loomed over her, standing at least twenty feet tall. "I guess this is Jadestone Point?" she asked. She retrieved her phone from her purse and began dialing a number. "I'm going to call the Professor, see if she's heard anything about it..." After a few moments of ringing, an automated message greeted her.

    "Hello!" Professor Ansen's voice said. "I'm currently not in the lab at the moment and all of my staff are either busy or too lazy to pick up the phone. If you could leave a message or call back later, that'd be great, thanks!"

    "Figures, she's not there..." she said. Andrea tapped on the encyclopedia function of her R-Kit and searched for the term 'Jadestone' but no results came up. However, other information came up on the screen as she pressed the scan button. A blue beam of light emitted from the top of the R-Kit, scanning up and down the strange stone. As she read the information, her face lit up in surprise.

    "What is it? Is this thing 'alive' too?" Larson asked jokingly.

    "No, but... its energy content is off the charts!" She looked up at the top of the stone, trying to figure out just what they had found. She was curious about the energy readings and decided to touch it. "Come over here and grab me... just in case."

    "In case what?"

    Andrea closed her eyes and held her hand out. She reluctantly placed her hand on the smooth, rounded spire. The sensation was unlike anything she'd ever felt before; Warmth and happy thoughts flooded her mind. The lingering frustration she felt with Larson over what had happened earlier in the day faded. Her sore legs felt as if they were well rested. For the first time since she was a young child, she was experiencing true peace of mind, a feeling that scared her but reassured her at the same time.

    "Well?" Larson asked.

    Andrea opened her eyes and looked around as she pulled her hand back. "That... was the most amazing... what is this thing?" she asked in astonishment.

    Skeptical, Larson also placed his hand on the pillar. Warmth and happiness flooded his mind as well; memories of his mother, whom he hadn't seen in person in over thirteen years, returned as if he had experienced them just yesterday. A tear formed in the corner of his eye as the memories began to fade.

    "What do you feel?" she asked.

    "My mom... I saw her clear as day." He said with a long sigh. "And now she's gone again."

    Andrea was unsure of how to react to her friend's experience. She decided that a comforting hug was probably all that was needed and grabbed him to do so. "It's okay." she said.

    "She's in a better place. I could feel it."

    Letting go, Andrea decided to take pictures of the area and send them to Professor Ansen for analysis when she returned to the lab. She aimed her phone around, taking pictures of the stone pillar itself, the crystal clear pond, the crystals that grew on the ground as well as the abnormally tall trees that surrounded them. Wading through the water to take more pictures, she stubbed her toe lightly on a small green gemstone that was sticking out of the dirt below the water. Kneeling down, she looked closer at it; the gem was pristine and flawless, rigidly shaped as if already fashioned into a piece of jewelry. Inside the fist-sized gemstone was a beautiful red maple leaf, encased since ages long forgotten. She swung her backpack off of her one shoulder, unzipping it and dropping the gem into it as she walked back to the pillar. "Umm, Larson." she said. "You can take your hand off of it, now."

    "Oh... yeah..." he said distantly, as if he were being sucked in by his memories. "If you and the Professor figure out what this thing is, I'm interested in knowing."

    Andrea nodded. "Hopefully we do." Unsure of what to do from here, she continued. "Well... maybe we can make our way back to the city now, eh?"

    "I agree," he replied. "I doubt you want to walk back, of course."

    "Through that horrible cave? Not a chance."

    "There's only one other option, then," Larson said as he pulled out Drake's Nest Ball, then tossed it up into the air. A blast of flames erupted from the ball, enshrouding Drake as he appeared and roared. "Drake, I'm going to ask you to do something you've never done before. Do you think you're able to lift two people?"

    Drake flexed the muscles on his stubby, weak looking arms and nodded.

    "Well all right then! Let's try." Larson said, turning to Andrea. "Hop on!"

    Once again, Andrea timidly approached Drake. "Try not to do anything crazy this time, okay big guy?" she said, climbing onto his back.

    As his master walked over towards his back, Drake turned around and shook his head.

    "What?" Larson asked before being violently grappled into the surprisingly strong grip of Drake's small arms. "Wait, no, stop!" he shouted as Drake leapt towards the sky and began flying.

    With Larson firmly held in his arms and Andrea resting comfortably on his back, Drake flew skyward to the south west toward the gleaming skyline of Silvermist City, flapping furiously to keep afloat. Regardless of the extra weight, Drake persevered, leading his master and new friend back to the safety and security of the bustling city.

  3. #18
    Registered User Beth Pavell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England
    Posts
    851
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default Re: Storm Island

    I enjoyed this one. Loving the sense of adventure - Storm Island is a vivid place, the geography is consistent and vibrant. I have no idea where the story is going, and in the context of pokémon fanfiction that's a very good thing. I do wonder why nobody seems to be doing anything about that hurricane though ...

  4. #19
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,592
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 8: Rising to the Challenge


    Panic overtook the busy street of Continental Avenue in Silvermist City. A large dragon-like creature was dive bombing out of the sky, causing many bystanders to take cover or try to run away. Just as it seemed that the Charizard was about to crash into the ground, his speed of descent dropped rapidly as his wings flapped with fury. Beneath his stubby and bony arms was a young man who looked stiff as a board. On his back was a young woman, who seemed to have enjoyed the ride. The Charizard landed in the middle of the street, releasing his grip on the man and dropping him onto the brick road.

    "Now... what were you saying about a wild ride?" Andrea jokingly asked after she hopped off of Drake's back.

    "Bloody hell..." Larson said, holding out his Nest Ball to recall Drake. He stumbled to his feet and looked around at the crowd that had gathered. "The hell are y'all lookin' at?"

    Despite lingering confusion and elements of panic, the crowd dispersed to go about their day.

    "So what's next?" Andrea asked.

    "I'm not sure. Maybe you should get in touch with Professor Ansen?"

    "Maybe..." Andrea started, tapping away on her R-Kit's screen. Information about Silvermist City popped up for her to read. "Oh, hey! Before I do that, maybe we should go down to the Silvermist Arboretum and Nature Center, see if anyone has a clue about what we saw in the cave."

    "Smashing idea," Larson said. "I think the local Pokémon League Gym is there too, if I recall. You could watch a few trainer battles if you'd like."

    "I don't know about that..." Andrea said, clearly not too interested. "I think I've had my fill of this trainer business for the week."

    "Heh," Larson started. "It won't be that bad. I mean, I sat through your softball games in school and I didn't die."

    "And what's that supposed to mean?!" she asked, playfully shoving him.

    The two walked down the bustling street of Continental Avenue towards the Arboretum and Nature Center. There were noticeably less people on the street than when they arrived the day before, and many shops along the street had closed, possibly in preparation for the oncoming hurricane. People pushed and shoved each other impatiently as they tried to enter the few remaining shops that were open, a scene that was oddly hilarious to the two.

    Before long, the two had arrived at the Arboretum and Nature Center. The exterior was beautiful, combining an old mansion that had been renovated to be a museum and a circular glass greenhouse. Inside the greenhouse could be seen what looked like a sports arena with people and Pokémon inside of it, battling. Larson led Andrea to the front door, into the refreshingly cool air inside.

    Andrea approached the front desk, looking for anyone who worked there. The lobby was abandoned however, and a sign that read 'Nature Center temporarily closed. Please check in later.' sat on the counter.

    "Of course nobody is here," Andrea said. "That's my kind of luck."

    "By the looks of it," Larson started, motioning towards the glass door that led to the greenhouse, "Everyone is out there, watching the gym battles. Let's go." he said as he walked over to get a better look. Larson opened the door to be greated with a blast of hot air from inside of the greenhouse.

    As the two joined the small crowd spectating the battle, a man with thick, tan hair that hung over his left eye yelled, "I knew this would be too easy!" Standing before him was a Leafeon, and on the other side of the arena was a young boy that Andrea recognized. The boy was clearly losing based on the crowd's reaction, but seemed determined to turn the tide of the battle.

    A young woman stepped into the center of the dirt circle. "In this three on three match, our challenger Kyle is down to his final Pokémon. Can he pull out a surprise and turn this around?"

    As the young woman returned to the sideline, Kyle turned his red and white official Pokémon League hat around. "Igglybuff, you can do it!" he shouted as he threw the Pokéball he was holding onto into the ring. In a shower of sparkles, a small, pink circular creature with a puff of skin atop its head appeared. It looked up at its opponent, jumping in fright and retreating to its master's ankle.

    "Oh no..." the gym leader said. "C'mon, kid. Don't make me do this..."

    "I have faith in Igglybuff!" Kyle said, kneeling down to pat his snivelling companion.

    "No. I refuse."

    "You can't!" Kyle shouted.

    "Yes I can." he said, walking toward the center of the ring. When he reached the center, he motioned impatiently for his opponent to come closer.

    "Aww man..." Kyle said, kicking at the dirt. He sulked over towards Trent, moaning and complaining to himself.

    Trent knelt down, placing his hand on Kyle's shoulder. "Listen, Kyle. You're not ready for the big leagues yet. You barely even put up a fight. You lack experience." he said, looking down towards Igglybuff. "Throwing your Pokémon away in a battle you'll never win doesn't show any courage, skill, or even determination."

    "But--"

    "I know what you're going to say. No, your Igglybuff won't surprise me. Look at her! She's too scared to even compete."

    "But I've never been defeated..." Kyle sulked.

    "Well that's one thing you know, how to pick an easy fight," he said. "I'm ending this challenge. Gain some more knowledge, talk with experienced trainers, study how battles work. When you've done that, you can return to me and challenge me as many times as you like. Does that sound like an idea?"

    Kyle let out a long sigh, hanging his head dejectedly. "I guess so, mister."

    "That-a boy. Keep your chin up." He stood back up and turned to the small crowd that was watching. "Let's give him a hand for trying!" The crowd cheered with limited enthusiasm over the one-sided battle as Kyle walked in shame over to the doorway.

    As Kyle left the greenhouse, Trent turned to the crowd. "Do we have another challenger?" The crowd was silent. "Step up!"

    Larson looked around the crowd who were cautiously silent. It appeared as if no one wanted to offer a challenge. He raised his left hand and pointed it downward to Andrea.

    Trent noticed. "Ah, good!" he said as he stepped towards Andrea and Larson's side of the arena. He stopped short of stepping onto the bleachers and said, "Come down, ma'am." as he looked at Andrea.

    "Uhh... excuse me?" Andrea asked, perplexed.

    "You've been volunteered by the young gentleman next to you."

    Andrea turned to look at Larson, frustrated. "What is with you today?" she asked.

    "You always told me that in order to learn something, you needed to be pushed in the right direction and shoved," he replied.

    "When I'm ready! Or did you forget that part?" she scolded.

    "C'mon, what's the worst that can happen?"

    Andrea grumbled in anger.

    Foxworth crossed his arms, then looked at his watch. Tapping his foot impatiently, he called out, "Unless anyone else wants to have a battle! Anyone?" After a moment of no volunteers, he walked over to Andrea. "What's your name?"

    "Andrea," she replied.

    "Tell me, Andrea. Why are you here if you don't want to challenge me to a battle?"

    "This dolt brought me here," she said, looking at Larson. "So that I could learn something about being a Pokémon trainer, I guess."

    Trent fixed his gaze on Larson, looking him up and down to get a good sense of his character. He saw an arrogant young man sitting before him. "And you. What's your name?"

    "Larson, sir."

    "Larson, you've got a sick sense of humor, you know that, right?" he asked. He paced back and forth, then addressed the crowd. "What do you say? Should I battle Andrea or should I battle Larson?"

    The crowd murmured in anticipation. "Probably Larson." a quiet voice called out.

    "One vote for Larson!"

    Andrea looked at Larson and whispered to him. "Why do you do these things to me?"

    "Because I want to see you succeed." he replied.

    As Trent counted up the votes the crowd offered, five went to Larson and two went to Andrea. "There you have it, Larson. Do you accept my challenge?"

    "Hmmph," Larson said with an arrogant smirk on his face. "I am on vacation... but I'll play your game."

    "Good," he said, pointing to the right side of the arena. "Now march, smartass."

    Larson and Trent walked to opposite sides of the arena. The two faced each other as Audrey approached the center to recite the rules for the match.

    "Standard League rules, gentlemen. Three Pokémon each, calling one back eliminates it. Any external interference from the challenging trainer or leader will result in automatic disqualification. Understood?"

    The two nodded.

    "Let's get started! Trent, do the honors of calling on your first Pokémon." Audrey said, leaving the center of the arena.

    Trent silently buried his hand into his pocket, retrieving a standard Pokéball and tossed it into the center of the ring. It exploded in a splash of water that muddied the dirt circle, revealing a peculiar looking blue tadpole-like creature. On the sides of its round head were two purple antennae, wiggling as it looked around. It was sitting on its tail, rocking back and forth as it looked at Larson with a large grin and a look of ignorant serenity on its face.

    "A Wooper, eh?" Larson said to himself. "No problem." He tossed a Great Ball into the makeshift arena, exploding into a shower of electrical sparks. Albrecht the Luxio appeared, lowering down into a defensive position.

    Andrea tapped on her R-Kit. It whirred with a digital sound, analyzing the environment around it, locking onto the Wooper. "Wooper, the Water Fish Pokémon!" it chimed. "When walking on dry land, Woopers leaves behind poisonous footprints. Great caution should be taken around wetlands and marshes when walking barefoot. The antennae are thought to be the source of the venomous film that coats the body of it."

    "Lightning won't work very well here..." Larson said, calling back on a previous experience with a Wooper. "It's a good thing you're a tough guy though, Albrecht. Knock him out of the park!"

    Albrecht hopped forward towards the Wooper, who didn't respond at all to his advance. Albrecht sparked with energy as the blade-like star shaped puff of fur on the end of his tail began to glow intensely. Albrecht swung around with immense speed, slamming his tail into the Wooper and sending it flying. To the observing crowd, it barely looked as if he even moved.

    The Wooper sailed through the air like an airplane, and an audible squishing noise could be heard as the Wooper collided with the wall, deforming slightly before popping back into shape, still keeping the large grin on its face. He waddled back over to the arena slowly, still keeping that bizarre and freakish grin on its face. Albrecht was now gnawing on its tail which was covered in a thick coat of poison slime, completely distracted.

    "Help him out, Deedle," Trent said. "He appears to be covered in your poison!"

    Deedle the Wooper stood on the tips of its rounded feet, opening its gaping mouth. A deluge of water began to form in front of it, swirling around like a twister. The sheer amount of noise generated by the whirlpool caught Albrecht's attention, however, allowing him to avoid it with ease. The whirlpool continued in a straight line until it crashed into the wall, losing its form and splashing down onto the grass.

    "So a physical attack isn't going to do anything..." Larson said, trying to figure out his next move. "Albrecht, fight him in his own territory. Bring him to that pool of water over in the corner!"

    "Ha! Are you kidding me?!" Trent called out mockingly.

    Albrecht listened to Larson's command, leading Deedle over to the reed-choked pond that sat in the corner of the greenhouse. He jumped over to the other side and turned around, roaring at Deedle to dare step closer. As Deedle inched closer and closer to the pond, setting foot in it, Larson fixed his attention on Trent.

    "Big mistake. What doesn't play well with water, Trent?" he asked.

    "Deedle, no! Get out!"

    Deedle's pace quickened as it swam through the water, but it was too late. A massive bolt of lightning arced off of Albrecht, electrifying the water and wilting the reeds that were growing out of it. Deedle floated to the surface, completely motionless.

    "D'oooooh..." Trent said.

    Audrey stepped up from the bench she was seated on, motioning over towards Larson's side of the arena. "Deedle is unable to battle. The point goes to our challenger, Larson!"

    "Impressive, I will admit. I had thought that Deedle's natural resistances to electricity would help him out, but I overestimated your knowledge." Trent said, recalling Deedle. "Now I know your little trick. Brute won't disappoint in that regard." He reached down towards his belt which was lined with five Pokéballs, grabbing a peculiar lime green one with a leaf on it and tossed it out into the arena.

    As the Pokéball opened up, it exploded into a storm of ethereal leaves that faded after a few seconds. Sat on the ground was Brute, a rugged dinosaur like Pokémon, his teal skin covered in even darker teal spots. Atop his back was a large, pink flowering plant that rested on four fern leaves that radiated outward.

    "Ivysaur... This should be interesting." Larson said.

    "Don't even give him time, Brute. Use your vines to your advantage!"

    Without a moment to lose, Brute stood firm as thick, grassy vines emerged from his back. They shot out across the arena and over the pond towards Albrecht, quickly constricting him. Albrecht tried to break free with a blast of electricity, but it seemed to have little affect on either Brute or his vines. Brute yanked Albrecht closer, dragging him through the pond and across the dry, sandy floor. With his prey close, Brute screamed and whipped Albrecht around effortlessly like a toy, tossing him to the side into the bleachers, sending the crowd running for cover. Albrecht tried to stand up, but was too weak to stand. He tumbled down the bleachers and landed face first into the grass, defeated.

    Audrey stepped into the middle of the arena. "Brute has quickly and easily eliminated Albrecht! The challenger is down to two Pokémon!"

    Larson grumbled has he recalled the motionless Albrecht. He reached into his pocket and pulled out another Pokéball. "You can do it, Blade!" he shouted as he whipped the Pokéball out into the arena. The ball exploded into a cloud of glowing spores that faded after a few seconds, revealing Blade the Parasect. Blade was hunkered down, silently and motionlessly analyzing his target. "Do your usual, Blade. Play defensively." he said.

    "Ah, a very smart trainer... experienced." Trent said. "But I am even more experienced! Brute, show that overgrown bug who's boss!"

    Brute nodded and did the same as before; Thick grassy vines began to extend out of the plant attached to his back, shooting quickly towards Blade. Blade stood motionless until the vines approached, quickly reacting as they reached him. With deadly speed, he raised his massive claws, slashing through the vines as they attempted to coil around him. The vines kept extending almost endlessly as Blade cut them apart, but eventually Brute could extend them no further.

    "Brute! Try your razor sharp leaves!" Trent commanded.

    A storm of green leaves erupted off of Brute's back, floating around him delicately like a shield. The edges of the leaves shined in the sunlight like sharpened knives. Without moving himself, Brute shot the leaves towards Blade in a wild spraying motion, creating an unavoidable wall of pain and misery. Blade stood his ground, raising his claws once more to shred and deflect the leaves he could reach. A few were out of his reach, cutting deeply into the mushroom sitting atop him, something that seemed to have no effect on his statue-like appearance.

    "What is this..." Trent muttered to himself. "Any ideas, Brute?"

    Brute turned around and looked at Trent imploringly, as if to say that he was clueless about what to do as well.

    "Go on, Blade. Show him those sharp claws of yours! Give him a hug!" Larson said.

    Like a robot that just received a command, Blade sprung to life, lifting off of the ground and stepping towards Brute with a quick pace.

    "Keep your distance!" Trent shouted.

    Brute backed up, then turned around to run when he realized he wasn't fast enough to escape. In a futile effort, Brute led Blade in a circle around the arena before being pounced upon by the insect. Blade latched into the flower atop Brute's back, digging his point feet into his back and raising his claws. His claws began to frost over and emit clouds of water vapor. He thrust his claws downward onto Brute's head, slashing away in a vicious barrage of careless melee. After his bloodlust was sated, Blade hopped off of Brute triumphantly.

    Trent had years of experience under his belt, certainly enough to see that the injuries his Ivysaur had sustained were too critical to allow it to fight back, and so he recalled him.

    Audrey stepped forward again, motioning towards Trent. "It appears Brute is unable to battle! Trent is down to his final Pokémon! Can he turn things around?"

    "Just you watch, Audrey," he said. He patted on his leg and the Leafeon that he used earlier to battle Kyle walked over. "Alright, Leaf. Make me proud. Show me your new power." he said as he pointed out towards the center of the arena. "Your little bug is in for a world of hurt that it can't defend against, Larson!" he taunted.

    "We'll see about that. Same strategy, Blade. Keep your guard up."

    "Show him the power of the sun, Leaf," Trent said.

    Leaf bounded out towards the arena, taking a seat opposite from Blade. She closed her eyes and lifted her head towards the sky. A slight, barely noticeable glow began to form around Leaf.

    "Huh?" Larson said, looking up at the sun. "Sunny Day? Why?"

    Leaf absorbed more and more of the sun's rays and the glow became more and more noticeable.

    "That's not... uh oh." Larson said. "Blade, get out of there!"

    Before he could react, Blade was showered in a ray of intense, golden light. An instant later, the entire greenhouse was covered in a blinding surge of light and a deafening explosion. The glass panes of the greenhouse above Blade shattered into a million pieces, raining down onto him. As the blinding light subsided, a crater had formed where Blade was standing, covered in freshly grown grass that wasn't there before. Sitting at the bottom of the crater was the smoking, motionless body of Blade.

    "Holy shit..." Larson and Trent said in unison.

    The crowd erupted into a frenzied cheer at the awesome display of power. Andrea was still catching her breath after the unexpected explosion.

    Larson recalled his charred and smoked Parasect. "Time to put this one in the bag. But how..." he said, thinking which Pokémon he would use next. Would he use Charizard, which would give him a clear offensive advantage? Or would he use Steelix with his superior defense? Would Steelix even fit inside the greenhouse? In the end, he reached into his pocket and pulled out Drake's Nest Ball. He tossed it out into the arena, causing an explosive fireball to erupt over the crater.

    With a Charizard stood before him, Trent carefully weighed his options. "I may have to concede defeat... I'm certainly at a disadvantage here." he said, adjusting his now sweat-covered bandana. "But I like a challenge."

    "Bring it on!" Larson said.

    Andrea was sitting on the sidelines, getting swept up in the spirit of the crowd, truly enjoying herself and the battle unfolding before her. For the first time in her life, she was enthused about the intricacies of Pokémon training. "You can do it, Larson!" she shouted. The crowd joined in her cheering, some chanting "LARSON!" while others chanted "TRENT!"

    Drake growled with anticipation as Larson chose his first attack carefully. He realized that every final match-up in a gym battle has the highest stakes, not just for him, but for the defending gym leader as well. Even though he was at an advantage, Larson knew that his lack of experience in contrast to Trent's wealth of experience certainly wouldn't help him. The pressure was on. "Drake... We're going to have to be careful with this one." he said. "Let's start off with some basic fire breath."

    As Drake charged at Leaf, the leaf atop her head twitched and separated into nearly four dozen leaves. The leaves circled around her like a flimsy, hole-ridden shield. She stood in front of him defiantly as he lifted his head up and took a deep breath. Drake exhaled, sparking a flame at the back of his mouth that sprayed out like an explosion. The flames enveloped Leaf and travelled down the arena towards Trent. He jumped out of the way, tumbling into the dirt.

    "That must have done it..." Andrea said, sure that nothing could survive a blast of fire quite like that. To her amazement, however, Leaf was unharmed and the swirl of leaves around her not weren't even singed as Drake stopped his attack. In fact, it appeared as if Drake only stopped his attack because the flames were reflecting back towards him as well.

    "Good start, Leaf!" Trent said. "Now hit 'em hard with a counter attack!"

    Leaf quickly bounded around the sluggish and lumbering dragon, reaching his backside before he could react. She aimed for his tail, kicking up a choking cloud of dirt that smothered the flame on his tail.

    Andrea studied the technique, puzzled. She raised her R-Kit once more and tapped on it. As it locked onto Drake, it beeped and displayed information about his species. "Charizard, the Flame Pokémon! Revered as the most popular evolved form of the Kanto Trio's Charmander, Charizard's power is said to come from the flame on its tail."

    Compared to Leaf's quick pace, Drake became even more sluggish and appeared distracted as the flame on his tail began to flicker and falter. He responded to her circling motions by lunging towards her with a flap of his wings, but was unsuccessful in catching her.

    "You'll never catch her, big guy!" Larson said. "C'mon, fire breath!"

    Drake locked eyes with Leaf, keeping her in his sight. He lurched upward, taking in a deep breath and breathed out in a massive burst. The searing flames swept over the dirt arena, charring it and burning it. Leaf was too quick, however, narrowly avoiding the flames that would most certainly spell the end of the gym battle. She led him in circles, confusing and dazing him.

    "Alright, think we can finish it, Leaf?" Trent asked.

    Leaf broke off from her circling motion, kicking one last batch of dirty sand at Drake. She dashed a sizable distance, turning around and sitting down. She raised her head and closed her eyes. The sun began to shine slightly brighter, the band of clouds stretching over the sky dissipating.

    "Don't fall in the same trap, Drake!" Larson shouted.

    "It's not the same trap..." Trent pointed out into the arena triumphantly and shouted, "Starfire!"

    Leaf stood up and ran over to Trent's side. As she turned around and sat down, the air in the greenhouse began to feel warmer. A beam of light surged down through the shattered glass roof, shrouding Drake in bright light. As he tried to evade the beam, the area around him flashed into a blast of white fire, consuming him and the entire arena. As the fire subsided, Drake was laying on the ground with his wings flapped over him. He opened his eyes and struggled to lift his head, but fell in defeat.

    "Woah..." Larson said. "What was that?"

    "A technique my father worked on with his own Leafeon... he called it Starfire." he said, patting Leaf on the head. "I've been trying to train her to do that for years... I guess all it took was an evolution."

    Audrey stood up to address the awe-struck crowd. "That certainly was amazing! It appears that Charizard is no longer able to battle! With all three of his Pokémon knocked out, Larson is defeated!"

    Larson and Trent approached the center of the destroyed arena and shook hands, pulling each other into a brotherly hug. "Good fight!" Larson said.

    "Hell yeah! It's been weeks since we've had this kind of reaction from the crowd!" Trent said. "You really know your stuff. Some rookie mistakes here and there, but I can tell that you'll be a big name in the future if you keep at it."

    "Thank you, sir." he said.

    "Come back any time. Both of us will grow in experience from it."

    "When I'm done with Kanto and Johto, you'll be first on my list!"

    Trent chuckled, then turned to the crowd. "Let's hear it again for our challenger!" The crowd continued cheering, having not stopped from before. The two bowed before the crowd and waved. As Larson returned to the crowd, he said, "Alright, uh... Sorry folks, but I think we're done today. We're going to have to fix the damage that's been caused before any new challengers can step forward."

    "That was amazing!" Andrea said excitedly as Larson stepped up the bleachers to join her. "It's a shame you didn't win, though..."

    "Nah, I've learned a lot. That's what matters." he replied. "How about you? Did you learn anything?"

    "I think I did."

    "Good!" he said with enthusiasm. "Let's go to the Pokécenter, I need to get my little warriors patched up."

    - - - - -


    The Pokécenter was oddly empty for an area as populated as Silvermist City. Only a few tourists and locals were seen waiting on benches as their Pokémon were tended to and healed from their injuries. Andrea was sitting on one of those benches, twiddling her thumbs and waiting, counting the number of tiles that made up the floor. She lost count at around 150. Larson was standing at the front desk with his five Pokéballs resting atop it. The nurse behind the counter took them one by one, placing them into a machine that scanned them.

    "Oof, what did you do these guys?" the nurse asked.

    "I challenged the Gym Leader here... Well, he challenged me." he replied.

    "Ah, I see..." she said as she read the information that began to appear on the screen. "This could be awhile, maybe a few hours."

    "Thanks. I'll find something to do in the meantime." he said. He turned around and began to walk towards Andrea, then took a seat next to her. "It'll be a few hours."

    Andrea nodded. "So what's the plan for tomorrow?"

    "I'm heading back to Azure Ridge... My dad said it'd probably be a good idea for you to come, too."

    "Umm... home?" Andrea stuttered. "No. I'm not going back yet."

    "I understand that you don't want to get into a little disagreement with your mom again, but my dad warned me that those two suspicious people we met the other day might be out looking for revenge." Larson said. "Besides, you don't have anything the Professor wants done, so--"

    "Ah! I should probably tell her that I made the delivery. Maybe she'll have something new for me to do..." Andrea reached into her purse to find her phone, then searched through the numbers for the Professor's number.

    After three rings, a voice on the other end picked up. "Hello, you've reached the Blueleaf Research Institute. How may I help you?"

    "Hi! It's Andrea."

    "Andrea! Good to hear from you, what's up?"

    "I've made the delivery you asked me to."

    "Already? Wow, you're a quick worker!" Professor Ansen said. "So how's the old coot doing?"

    "He's quite a character... But I think he's thankful for the notes you've given him."

    "Good, good. It takes a lot to make that miserable old man happy."

    There was a short pause as Andrea tried to think of how to respond. She thought about bringing up what she had seen in the Silverridge Caverns. "Uhh... Have you heard anything about the Silverridge Caverns recently?"

    There was another short pause on the line. "No, I don't think I have. What about it?"

    "You'd have to see it to believe it. Hold on." she said as she tried to figure out how to access the photos on her phone. "Umm, how do I send you some of the photos I took?"

    "Most Pokécenters have communication hubs in them. You'll have a far easier time with that than figuring out your phone."

    Andrea stood up and looked around. She saw a large booth with a screen and several cables attached to it in the corner. "Gimme a moment." She briskly walked over to the booth and saw a silver scanner on the table with 'Place phone here' written above it. "I think I found it." she said, placing the phone on the scanner. The large screen in front of her lit up and the scanner began to hum as it read the data on the phone.

    After a moment, Professor Ansen appeared on the screen and waved. "Looks like you found it. Brilliant, eh?" she asked. She began typing away at the computer on her desk. "I'm getting your pictures right now..." The expression on her face changed to bewildered as she flipped through them. "What... What is this?" she asked. "You found this in the Silverridge Caverns?"

    "Yes. I thought it was supposed to be some old, abandoned mine..."

    "I thought so too... What did you find?" she asked, looking through more of the pictures. "Crystals, vines, mushrooms... Is this why they shut the place down last month? We never did get an explanation of why."

    "The crystals--"

    "Are... alive? Am I reading this physical data set correctly?" the Professor asked. "I'm going to have a lot to go over tomorrow, it seems. Good work!"

    "Thank you."

    "Where were these last pictures taken? Outside of the cavern system?"

    "Yes... At a place called Jadestone Point."

    "Never heard of it," she replied. "This stone formation looks familiar, though..." she said. "Did you find anything else?"

    Andrea dug around in her backpack for the strange gemstone that she found near the pillar. "This thing." she said, holding the stone up to the screen.

    "Looks like a Leaf Stone. They're radioactive stones that cause genetic instability in certain species' of Pokémon. I have enough of those laying around in my storage room, you can keep it."

    "Uhh... radioactive?" Andrea asked, placing the stone onto the table and sliding it away from her.

    Professor Ansen laughed. "If it were a dangerous dose of radiation, you'd be feeling it by now. It's no more radioactive than a banana."

    "Oh... good." Andrea said. She reached into her pocket and retrieved the Pokéball that held the Tangrowth she captured, presenting it before her. "I think I found something you'd be interested in studying as well... I'll drop it off the next time I'm at the lab."

    "You can actually send it now, if you want. Do you see a round hole in the table to your left?"

    Andrea slipped the Pokéball into the hole, then pressed the button next to it. The Pokéball began to fade in a blue shower of sparkles, disappearing from view.

    On the other end, Professor Ansen picked up the Pokéball and showed it on the screen. "Got it!"

    "No way..." Andrea said in disbelief.

    "Believe it. Teleportation technology isn't science fiction anymore... well, kinda. It's a long story for another time." She took the Pokéball and held it out in front of her. The Tangrowth inside popped out and began to wiggle back and forth. In a panic, she flew out of her chair and out of sight, screaming. Shortly after, the Tangrowth turned into a red blob of energy, being sucked back into the Pokéball. The professor took her seat again. "Wow, I was not expecting that! Interesting find, I'll get to work on him right away."

    "That's everything I've found these past few days."

    "Good! Ready for your next assignment?"

    Andrea's eyes lit up and she nodded eagerly.

    "Have you ever heard of a place called Cinder Hill?"

    "I've heard of it, but I don't know anything about it."

    "It's a city on the western shores of the island, built under the shadow of a dormant volcano. I have a few seismograph instruments set up on the slopes out there that have stopped sending me some information that I need. I want you to head out there an see what the problem is, and if possible, fix whatever problems have come up. I've got a two week deadline to meet, but I'm sure you'll be out there far before then if you're as fast a worker as you've shown yourself to be."

    "I'm on it, Professor."

    "Great," she replied. "I'll be hard at work figuring out what you found out there in that cave. If you need anything, feel free to give me a call. Over and out!" The screen faded to black as she hung up.

    Andrea picked up her phone as Larson walked over. "I've got a new assignment."

    "I heard!" he replied. "Hey, let's grab some dinner, I'm starving!"

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  5. #20
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,592
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 9: A Dark Place


    "...We go live to our weather center here on Storm Central. Tell us, Georgia, what do we have coming for us over the next few days?"

    The TV switched to show Georgia in front of a large radar map of Storm Island and the surrounding ocean. To the southeast of Storm Island was a massive tropical cyclone labeled Hurricane Adele, large enough to engulf the entire island and then some. "Thanks, Mary-Anne. We've got quite the storm coming for us." Georgia said. "We've got a bit of luck on our side, though. Our current forecast shows that Hurricane Adele will not be making landfall on Storm Island." she said as she traced the route of the storm. "The outer wall of the eye of the storm will reach as close as twelves miles off the eastern coast of the island."

    "Certainly sounds lucky, Georgia."

    "It is, but this storm will still be a dangerous one. We're already seeing torrential rain over Aldrysse and Ambervale, and as the storm moves closer, we'll see even more rain hitting some of the major cities across the island. I want to stress to those who will be doing any travelling across the island that this is listed by the International Weather Bureau as a category four hurricane."

    "So folks should still stay inside starting tonight?" the host asked.

    "That would be wise."

    Andrea's attention was fixed on the television as she enjoyed her pancake breakfast. "Oh no... I guess I'll be stuck here for a week..." she said to herself as she studied the storm's path on the map. "What am I going to do for an entire week? I'm gonna be late with my next task..."

    "You'll figure it out..." Larson replied. "Well, I guess should get going if I'm gonna get home before the storm hits."

    "Yeah... It was great seeing you again. You've changed a lot since we last met... for the better." Andrea reached into her purse and grabbed a few silver coins, placing them on the table. Both her and Larson stood up and pushed their chairs in, heading for the doorway that led outside.

    The temperature had cooled off considerably compared to the previous week, lingering in the mid 70s according to Andrea's R-Kit. The rain had just started to fall, lightly coating the road in front of the restaurant with a silky sheen. The wind had kicked up enough to be an annoyance, blowing Andrea's hair all over her face.

    "Hold on, let me tie my hair down..." she said as she unwrapped her bandana.

    "Don't worry about a few extra moments with me. I'd get along if I were you," Larson said. "You wouldn't want to be late for that assignment Professor Ansen gave you, would you?"

    "Huh?" Andrea asked. She pointed to the ominous clouds stretching across the sky. "Perhaps you've forgotten, but Hurricane Adele is going to be here tomorrow. There's no way I'm being caught outside."

    "Blackwood Forest is only about three hours away. I don't think you've ever been, but you can trust me when I say you'll be safe from any weather while you're there."

    "What? How?" Andrea asked inquisitively. She wondered what he meant, having never experienced Blackwood Forest for herself. She'd heard stories of how dark it is in the deepest reaches of it, but how would that protect her from the weather?

    "I went through the Blackwood when I left for Kanto... It's unreal, the forest is so thick that neither rain nor sunshine reaches the forest floor. It's like a whole 'nother world." he said, reaching into his pocket. "Speaking of... here." He grabbed her hand and opened it, dropping three golden coins into her hand. "Buy yourself a lantern before you go. Consider it a late birthday gift. You'll need it."

    Andrea studied the coins and took his advice to heart, feeling a newfound dread about her trip to Cinder Hill. The darkness was one of her biggest fears, and she questioned whether she'd ever be able to make it through even a mile of the forest. "Uhh... Thanks." She looked up at the sky. "I think an umbrella would be a better idea."

    "You won't need one where you're going," he replied. "Before you go into the forest, please, please find a travel partner. The forest can be quite dangerous at times... probably not something you want to hear, but I won't sugarcoat it."

    "I will."

    The two stared at each other for a brief moment, thinking of what else to say before they parted ways. Larson offered his hand out and then pulled her in closer for a hug. "Be careful out there, Andrea. I'm proud of you for finally stepping up and doing what you want with your life." he said.

    "You too."

    Larson watched as a couple hurried down the street with their arms filled with groceries. "Now go on, get going if you want to beat the storm." he said as he let her go and turned around, heading for Route 302.

    As Andrea watched her friend walk down the street towards the eastern end of Silvermist City, a nagging feeling started biting at the back of her mind. "C'mon, this is your chance, do it!" she thought. She thought about how much she wanted to tell him about her feelings towards him, and how she's missed so many chances over the past few years. Her hopefulness gave her a sudden boost in confidence. "Hey, Larson!" she called out.

    Larson turned around. "Yeah?"

    "Uhh..." she said, her sudden burst of confidence wavering in the wind. "Uhh... Just be very careful on your way home. I know how careless you can be sometimes..."

    Larson laughed. "Okay, then." he said, turning around again.

    Andrea sighed. "I wish I had the courage..." she muttered, watching Larson disappear into the windswept wilderness. "Maybe some other time I can tell you." She turned around and began walking in the opposite direction. Beyond her stood a short walk through Route 304, stretching towards the ominous looking forest that sat on the horizon. She took one deep breath to steel her shaky nerves and began her walk towards the woods.

    - - - - -


    Nearly three hours exactly had passed uneventfully as Andrea fought her way through the wind and the rain towards Blackwood Forest. The various paths and trails leading up to the edge of the forest had been mostly abandoned, a fact that made Andrea question whether braving the wild during this weather was a wise choice. Nevertheless, she felt she had come too far to turn back now as she approached a lone building that stood before the towering, thick trees of Blackwood Forest. The building was a combination of a Pokécenter and a general shop, a welcome sight to her.

    Andrea entered the building, taking a right turn into the store half. She didn't spend much time searching before she found the lantern that Larson had suggested for her. It was old and rustic looking, but the thousand hour battery life label on the side proved that it would be an ally towards any traveller. She brought the lantern to the front desk, placing the three coins that Larson had given to her on it as well.

    "Ah, someone going through the forest. You're a brave woman to be doing that now." the shopkeeper said.

    "Yeah..." Andrea said shyly, not interested in talking to the man. Instead, she was looking for someone who might be willing to travel through the forest with her, but the building seemed empty besides her and the employees. "Do you know if there's anyone else here?" she asked.

    "I haven't seen anyone come out this way since the hurricane was upgraded to category three, ma'am."

    Andrea sighed. "Right, thanks." she said, grabbing the lantern and walking over to the Pokécenter half of the building. She looked around the room, but found no one. "Great. Just great."

    She returned to the door, pushing it open slightly and looking outside. The rain was coming down a bit harder now, turning the dirt road that led into the forest into a muddy mess. She took one last look inside, thinking about whether she really needed to reach Cinder Hill as fast as possible. "I hope I don't regret this..." she thought to herself before stepping outside into the rain.

    It was a short journey through the rain towards the edge of the forest. The giant, sable toned trees stretched upwards and outwards, shielding the ground from much of the rain. As she made her way into the forest, she noticed that the deeper she went in, the drier it became. Larson wasn't lying when he said that the rain didn't reach the forest floor, yet at the same time, the dirt path was still soft and moist under her feet.

    She had arrived in the forest just in time. She looked behind her to see the road into the forest disappear into the mist as the rain began to fall heavily. She looked up at the dimly lit branches of the trees, amazed at how much they protected her from the no-doubt dangerous weather. Unfortunately, the very canopy that protected her from the weather also blocked the light from reaching the forest floor, leading to perhaps the greatest of her fears, a fear of the darkness. Before she ventured any further into the impossibly thick forest, she retrieved the lantern and lit it.

    The lantern produced a welcoming golden glow as it flickered on. The brightness of the lantern lit up the surrounding area almost as bright as a sunny summer day, soothing her fears and making her feel much safer. "This isn't that bad..." she said to herself as she waved the lantern around, illuminating the nearby trees.

    She pressed onward, slowly and quietly marching westward, keeping a vigilant eye on the eerily silent and foreboding forest. She'd heard rumors about the forest before, about how it was cursed by one of the false kings during the island's bloody and war-filled history, rumors that on the darkest nights, the dead walked the land. However, being a woman of logic and reason, she decided not to believe any of that. What mattered to her is what she saw, and she saw nothing of the sort; just a quiet, dark forest.

    Before long, she found herself in pitch darkness. What little light that poked through the trees along the horizon had faded. As she walked ahead, she studied the trees. The flickering shadows created by the light from her lantern danced oddly along the backdrop, unnerving her. Perhaps it was the branches or her own imagination playing tricks on her, but the shadows seemed to project images of unspeakable monsters onto the trees.

    Her pace slowed as she looked around at the shadows her lantern was creating. "You're not real... You're not real..." she muttered to herself. "Just shadows caused by oddly placed leaves and branches..." Trying to reassure herself seemed to be a fruitless task, so she decided instead to bury her attention in her R-Kit, navigating to the encyclopedia section. She decided now was a good time to learn what the forest really was about.

    Blackwood Forest apparently had a rich history. Some of the first human settlements on the island were started in the forest, nearly a thousand years ago. In fact, the forest hadn't always been so dark and foreboding, it had only earned its reputation in the past two hundred years. Some sources state that the forest was cursed by a mad wizard, while other sources pointed towards more scientific explanations, such as climate shifts. Whatever the reason, the once highly populated forest that boasted seven villages now only had one major inhabited settlement, Blackwood Grove.

    Andrea studied the history of Blackwood Grove, likely her next stop on her journey. Blackwood Grove is a small village about an hour away from Storm Island's only active lumber mill. There isn't much to see or do in Blackwood Grove, but it is home to a Pokémon League Gym, led by the mysterious Raven Duskwillow, a migrant from the far away lands of Unova. She questioned why such an establishment would be in the middle of nowhere, in the darkest depths of a dangerous and scary forest. Besides the gym, the only other notable fact available from the encyclopedia is that it was once a spiritual center during an age long forgotten.

    Before long, she had become lost in learning about the history of the island. She had briefly touched on it during her school years, but never really paid attention to it. It almost seemed unbelievable to her, like it was inspired by works of fantasy fiction. The history before modern day Storm Island was filled with bloody wars, traitor kings, ambitious heroes and powerful families and clans. She wondered why all of that history seemed to have faded to the ages; perhaps during the industrialization and modernization of the island, the people stopped caring about petty arguments over a chair in a dusty castle, she thought.

    Not paying attention to where she was going, she walked straight into a rock hard branch that hung low over the path, falling over into the soft earth. As she lifted herself off of the ground and dusted herself off, she noticed the branch twitch, then bend back towards the tree it was attached to. She picked the lantern up and shined it at the tree to see that the tree had a face on it. The eyes peered down at her, shocking her.

    "What the hell?!" she shouted, backing away from the tree-like being as it started to slowly change its position.

    The creature stood up, revealing a pair of stumpy legs. It creaked and grumbled as it began to approach her and the eyes begun to glow a wispy blue.

    "Oh shit!" Andrea yelled, running down the path beyond it. She looked back to see the creature following her, shaking the earth with every monstrous step it made. "What is that thing?!" she thought to herself, too busy running in terror to analyze it with her R-Kit. The creature was gaining on her slowly, lumbering through the darkness without care.

    She ran through the forest, placing trees and bushes between her and her pursuer. The creature didn't care what obstacles were in its path, bulldozing the bushes and deftly dodging the trees. The creature roared as it gained on her, uprooting a large tree as it pushed it aside.

    Her heart was racing as she thought of how to escape the creature. She looked at her surroundings, noticing a large rock ahead of her. It was a massive risk, but she felt that hiding behind that rock would be her only hope. As she closed in on the rock, she shut off the lantern, covering the area in complete darkness. She dived over the rock, not even thinking that a cliff might be behind it until she was already in the air.

    The creature's rampage through the forest was unhindered by the darkness. The stomping came closer and closer to the rock she was hiding behind, but then passed by. She felt the wind blow against her as the creature put its massive foot down about a dozen feet in front of her, continuing straight into the distance. She waited until the rumbling and the shaking stopped, taking a moment to reassemble her sanity.

    She turned her lantern on again and peaked above the rock she had taken cover behind. She appeared to have lost the creature among the trees. She breathed a deep sigh of relief and turned around, ready to find the path through the forest again. As the lantern illuminated the forest in front of her, a shadowy figure stood before her. Petrified, she backed up against the rock as the figure stood there like a statue. The figure was in a tattered looking black robe with golden trim along the sides of the robe that shined brightly as the lantern illuminated them.

    "Yes..." the figure said. "Fear is a good thing. A lovely thing."

    Upon hearing the voice of a fellow human, her sense of dread began to fade. "I need help, please." she said.

    The figure stepped closer, pulling the hood that was over its head back. There was a handsome face behind the hood, yet one that was oddly unsettling at the same time. A crooked grin stretched across the man's face. "My, my, what a pretty young lady..."

    "Where'd that thing go?"

    The man ignored her question. "A gift from the heavens..." he said.

    "What are you talking about?" she asked.

    "Come with me, traveller. Your destination and safety is mine to ensure."

    Andrea was unwilling to trust the strange man. "No... I'd rather travel alone..."

    "You are sure? Safety in numbers, traveller. You have witnessed the beasts of the forest, yes?"

    Andrea didn't want to admit it, but the strange man was right, it was safer to travel with someone else. Larson had warned her about the forest and she ignored his advice, though she didn't have much choice at the time. Still, the man's strange demeanor puzzled him. Why was he dressed in such bizarre robes? Why did he have a strange way of speaking? Why was he in the middle of the absolute darkness, unafraid, seemingly waiting for her?

    She decided that she had little option and followed him. The two quickly returned to the path, resuming her original journey westward. He seemed to know the forest intimately, leading her fearlessly through the dark and foreboding forest. She tried to engage him in conversation to get a feeling for who he really was, but each time she asked a question, he responded only with, "All will become clear in time."

    The two had been walking for nearly half an hour in silence when they came across a fork in the road. One path led north, the other led south. The sign that had guided travellers through the forest had fallen over and shattered. She decided to check her R-Kit for a map, but was unable to receive a signal on her whereabouts. The complexity of the trail system throughout the forest made it impossible to determine where she was.

    "Which way leads to Blackwood Grove?" she asked.

    The man silently took the road to the left, prompting her to follow him.

    More time passed. As she studied the man, she began to worry that he might not be as friendly as he initially seemed to be. Thoughts crossed through her mind about the strange way he spoke, remembering her history classes in school. Was the way he was talking Clanspeak? Who talked like that in this day and age? Someone unwilling to let go of the past? Someone unwilling to accept the changes that have occurred over time? As she pondered the questions, she noticed a faint glow in the distance. As they got closer, she could see structures between the trees. She felt safer, knowing that she had reached some form of civilization.

    The man led Andrea into the little village, up the main road. To each side were crudely fashioned houses constructed of uncut lumber and jagged stones, held together by dirt and mud. Rustic torches lined the street, illuminating the area. Ahead of her was a massive bonfire in the center of a clearing with people gathered around it. Oddly shaped woolen and burlap dolls hung from the trees and bizarre shapes were carved into the bark of the trees. A tattered banner with a golden mountain embroidered onto it hung between two branches over the bonfire.

    "Arrival is at hand..." the man said. "Come, the mayor will speak with us."

    Andrea studied the individuals that passed by. They all stared at her intently, with the same strange and crooked grin that was stuck to the man's face. They all wore similar robes. She tried to justify their strange behavior; Maybe since they were so deep in the forest, they had developed a different social structure than the rest of the island. Maybe they were so interested in her because she was an outsider. Maybe they just lived a simpler life. Or maybe there was something more sinister going on.

    She stopped following the man as he continued down the road, taking a moment to analyze her surroundings. The strange folk continued to stare at her, muttering to each other and pointing. What little sense of safety she felt when she initially entered the village had faded. All she wanted to do was turn around and leave, no matter how dangerous the forest might be.

    "Come, come!" the man called out without turning around. "The mayor will speak with us."

    "You've made a big mistake, Andrea..." she thought to herself. She turned to walk out of the village, coming face to face with a robed young woman with the same crooked grin on her face that she saw on everyone else.

    "Going somewhere?" she asked. "Like you, I was once lost... Go. The mayor will speak with you."

    Andrea tried to step around her but was blocked. "Outta my way!" she shouted, pushing the woman aside. She started to run towards the edge of the village, hearing the villagers start to shout and yell behind her. She looked back to see several of them pursuing her. "Oh shit..."

    One of the men caught up to her, grabbing the collar of her shirt. "The mayor will speak with you!"

    "Hands off me, asshole!" she shouted, jamming her elbow into his chest and stunning him. She continued on the path out of town, but didn't make it far before she was restrained again by three others. She screamed at the top of her lungs in an attempt to catch the attention of anyone who might be around, but her voice faded after she realized that it was most likely hopeless. She struggled against her attackers as they dragged her back into the village, but she couldn't break free. She was pulled all the way back to the bonfire and tossed to the ground.

    An elderly man with his hood pulled down was waiting for her. "Yes..." he said. "Do not be afraid." He stood up and addressed the group. "Our lord presents us with a virgin sacrifice for the true king..."

    "The true king will rise..." the crowd said in a monotone, almost emotionless drawl.

    "A heart of purity..." the old man said.

    The man opened his robe and pulled out a tarnished silver dagger. "We must not delay. The true king begs for a return. To the altar with her."

    The words sent a chill down Andrea's spine as two of the men grabbed her by her arms. It was now or never; Fight or become a sacrifice in some bizarre ritual led by even more bizarre people. With a burst of energy, she pulled herself away from her captors. She put up her fists, backing away. She had never defended herself before, but she didn't care. She would try her best, even if her inexperience led to her demise.

    "This is not purity!" the old man shouted as Andrea let loose her right fist, landing in the center of one of the men's faces. "But transgressions must not go unpunished!"

    Andrea turned to face another one of the robed men, swinging her fist at him. The adrenaline that was pumping through her gave her an unparalleled amount of focus that she had never experienced before. While her aim could use work, her wild style of fighting caused the people around her to maintain their distance. "Let me go and I won't hurt anyone else!" she shouted.

    "Bring her to me!" the old man said. "A penance must be exacted!"

    Two more of the robed folk approached her slowly from opposite sides. As they neared her, a deep roar could be heard coming from the forest. The roar was distant but loud. The strange individuals began to look at each other in panic. Most of them began to flee, rushing to the crudely built cabins.

    "Run!" several of them shouted.

    Andrea wasn't sure where the roaring and howling was coming from, or what was causing it, but she decided to take advantage of the confusion that it caused. She pushed her way through the stampeding men and women, rushing out of the village again on the same path she took before. She knelt down to pick up the lantern that she dropped, continuing as fast as her legs would take her. As she made her way back down the road that led her to the village, she heard the screams of the villagers continue in the distance. Despite what she had just experienced, her mind was blank except for one thing; escaping and surviving.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  6. #21
    Registered User Beth Pavell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England
    Posts
    851
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn No, no, I'm being silly. Wow, ok! So a compete whiplash in the plot there. I have no idea what to make of it, frankly. I kind of liked seeing Andrea by herself for a while, though. The Gym Battle was easier to read than I expected it would be. One thing I will say though, is that it looks like you call Trent "Foxworth" for a moment there ... not sure if that's an artefact from editing

  7. #22

    Default Re: Storm Island

    The gym leader name is my fault. I did a large portion of the writing of that chapter and I'm still used to the first name we came up for him, one that didn't include his first name.

    And I myself am a little bit surprised about the twist here. I knew it was coming, but not in this way. Should make the next chapter interesting to write. :D

  8. #23
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,592
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 10: Ruins of Murk Row


    Andrea's labored footsteps carried her away from the village and out into the dark wilderness. Deep, feral growling echoed through the thick forest. She looked around as she ran, but saw nothing. She figured that the creature that was making these howls was far off in the distance, but whatever it was was large and certainly angry.

    The screams of the panicking villagers faded in the distance as she tried to retrace her steps back to where she originally found the suspicious man that brought her to the village. The growling and roaring continued, sounding as if it was getting closer. Despite her best efforts, she didn't seem to be getting any further from the horrible noises in the distance.

    After a few moments, she found herself at the fork in the road, not even taking a moment to guess where the other direction might take her. She ignored the thoughts that she might be going in a large circle just as she ignored the stabbing pains that were coursing through her exhausted legs. All that mattered to her was finding safety and shelter from the creature that continued to make those horrible noises as it stalked through the wilderness. She continued onward, following the road as quickly as she could.

    The light from the lantern soon illuminated what looked like several houses. Could she have finally reached Blackwood Grove? Her pace slowed down to inspect the surroundings. The village before her was quite large, but also ruined, shattering her hopes. Nearly every house in it had fallen apart over what appeared to be centuries of time. Most of them were unrecognizable piles of rubble, but a few still stood.

    She picked a stable looking house away from the main road, hoping that she might be able to hide until both the sounds of the creature in the forest disappeared and the villagers she met gave up their search for her. The door on it was locked, but a closer inspection revealed a large hole in the wall on the northern side of the house which she climbed through.

    The house had seen better days. Some of the walls had crumbled and much of the furniture had fallen apart into piles of wood, covered in moss and dirt. Most of the windows were long destroyed. The chimney in the main room had fallen apart, spilling onto the floor. It wasn't pretty, but it was shelter at least.

    The sound of the growling grew closer, then suddenly stopped. Whatever had appeared to send the suspicious villagers into a panic had disappeared into the darkness as quickly as it appeared. Regardless, she wasn't going to take any risks. She pushed an old, broken armoire in front of the hole in the wall, sealing herself inside the ruined cabin and hopefully keeping whatever was in the forest out.

    "My dad should know what to do..." she muttered to herself as she continued to inspect the wreckage. She reached into her purse and grabbed her phone, rolling through the numbers and dialing her father. The phone beeped three times. "No... Not now!" she said, starting to panic. "Come on, come on!" she said, waving her phone around in a futile attempt to connect to the regional network. Unfortunately, the thickness of the forest blocked her phone's ability to maintain a stable connection. As soon as she'd connect, her phone would lose connection again. "Damn it!"

    She had escaped both the strange villagers and the mysterious beast in the distance, but she felt that her luck was running out. She lamented at the fact that she listened to Larson, choosing to brave the stormy wilderness to beat the storm, but she also lamented that she ignored his advice to find a travel partner. Would it be her undoing? Would anyone ever find her if the worst happened?

    On top of all of that, her fears of the darkness were starting to get the best of her. It was as if the very atmosphere of the forest was clawing at her sanity. Was this the darkness of the forest she had heard rumors about? Not a literal darkness, but a symbolic darkness, something that can tear down even the most confident person.

    But she vowed to beat the odds and make it through the forest alive, all alone. Curses? She didn't believe in them. She was a woman of science, of logic. Curses are illogical, she thought, so surely they couldn't exist. The only reason she was feeling down on her luck was because of a lot of superstitious rumors she had heard from other people and a few bad choices on her part, nothing more.

    Her sudden burst of confidence was poorly timed, however, as she was exhausted. Her many bad experiences and nearly half an hour of running as fast as she could had taken all of the energy out of her. She was afraid to camp for the night, but what choice did she have? She didn't want to risk making a wrong turn, or finding out that the road ahead of her was longer than she thought it would be.

    She rummaged through the wreckage of the cabin, looking for anything she might be able to use. Most of the furniture was destroyed beyond use and several of the rooms had caved in over the decades. Nearly every room was exposed to the outside world except for one, which she decided was where she'd try to sleep for the night. In the corner of the room was an old table that she figured would be the best shelter she had available to her. The table was old and covered in dirt, moss and fungal growth, but was surprisingly stable considering the rest of the furniture had withered away.

    As she was unrolling her sleeping bag under the table, she heard voices from outside the cabin. She immediately reached over to the lantern to shut it off. A dim light poured in through the hole where the window used to be. She looked outside and saw that the strange villagers were back. "You've gotta be kidding me..." she whispered to herself.

    She continued to watch the villagers as they slowly strolled through the town, stopping by many of the ruined cabins on the main road and shining their torches into the broken windows. They passed by the old, crumbled well, continuing their search. Before long, they had passed through the town completely, having failed to search every house.

    She was relieved at that fact. She reached down for the lantern again and turned it on so that she could see what she was doing. After she finished unrolling her sleeping bag, she climbed inside of it and closed her eyes, wishing that the darkness would go away. She didn't want to admit it, but she was homesick. She wasn't the best of friends with her oppressive mother, but at the same time, she had stability, safety and a comfortable bed every night.

    She swallowed her fear of the dark and shut off the lantern, hoping that the marauding villagers wouldn't return for a second time. However, all of those thoughts quickly faded and became as silent as the forest as she easily fell asleep.

    - - - - -


    Andrea yawned and opened her eyes. The sight the greeted her wasn't what she was expecting; she could see the sky and the hundreds of stars that dotted it. She sat up and looked around to find herself in a familiar field of exotic flowers of every color. The smells of the forest had disappeared, being replaced by heavenly scents of honey and flowers. She looked around and stood up, brushing her windblown hair away from her face. In front of her was the same pristine pool of water that she had seen before. She knew this time that she was dreaming.

    But she didn't know where she really was. Where was this mysterious mountain top? Was it just a figment of her imagination, or was it a real place? Why did she keep returning to this area in her dreams?

    She approached the spring with confidence and with a purpose. She knelt down before the water, looking into it as a small orb of light began to glow in the bottom of it. The orb rose out of the water, leaving the glass-like surface undisturbed. The orb morphed in shape, creating a faint outline similar to the one she'd been seeing previously, an enigmatic shape that she couldn't identify.

    "Where am I? What is this place?" she asked. "I want an answer."

    "A place of true happiness, my child..." echoed the wispy voice.

    "What does that mean?"

    "You will know in time," the voice replied. "You are on the correct path, but many hardships stand between you and your happiness."

    Andrea looked down, trying to think of what it all meant.

    "Gaze into the Spring of Eternity, my child."

    She did as she was asked. Like before, all she saw was a pool of water, but shapes and images began to form within it. She saw herself in tattered and waterlogged clothing, walking along the shore of a tropical island. The images in the water were not clear of what she saw, but a look of grief and sadness overcame her face before she started to run towards the wreckage of a small boat. Before she reached it, however, the images faded from the pool.

    "Now what does this one mean?" she asked. She didn't receive an answer. Instead, the ghostly faint figure began to recede into the water. As her vision began to fade to white, she shouted, "Hey! Get back here and answer me!"

    - - - - -


    Andrea woke up again, this time back in the forest she remembered falling asleep in. She reached over for the lantern, finding the button on the side and turned it on. The table she took refuge under was still above her and the decaying ruins of the house around her seemed to be undisturbed. If the villagers had returned overnight, they hadn't searched the location where she had taken refuge. She looked at her R-Kit to see what the time was. 3:42 AM. Despite the time and the experiences she had the previous day, she was oddly refreshed.

    She reached into her backpack, grabbing one of the granola bars that she had brought from home. It was one of the last ones she had, something that worried her. Her navigation skills weren't the greatest and she wasn't sure of just how large the forest was and how long it would be before she reached Blackwood Grove. Rather than be pessimistic about it, she looked on the bright side of things. She had faced certain doom and escaped it, not once, but twice. Her luck and determination would carry her through to the town where she could think about her next moves and possibly find someone to travel with.

    She grabbed Furball's Pokéball from her pocket, pressing the button on it and holding it out in front of her. A bright flash of light occurred and Furball appeared before her. "I probably should have had you out with me the other day... you might have scared off that crazy guy."

    Furball eyed his master's granola bar greedily, licking his lips with anticipation.

    "I suppose you're hungry, too..." she said, handing the granola bar to him. She grabbed the final granola bar from her backpack and opened it. "Keep an eye out for anything while I try to figure out where we are."

    Furball nodded, taking a large bite from the granola bar.

    She sighed as she opened up the map on her R-Kit. She wasn't able to pinpoint her exact location, so she had to use her experiences and her foggy memory to find where she might be. The map listed several historical sites, from Murk Row in the east to Wolftree Cemetery to the north. She figured she'd start with Murk Row, clicking on it on the map to bring up information about it.

    Murk Row, now abandoned and ruined, was a major center of commerce before the modernization of Storm Island. Once the home of the prestigious Murkov family, a group of nobles allied with the royal family, Murk Row was famous for its exports of apple cider and lumber. It was historically important, as the civil war that lead to the modernization of Storm Island began here when the two rival kings of the Storm Clan met with each other. The meeting ended with the first bloodshed of the war and the founding of the Ambervale Clan, those who were exiled to the eastern portion of the island.

    The encyclopedia also stated that Murk Row was also where the jet black raven Murkrow was first discovered, also serving as the inspiration for its name. Murkrow, now common worldwide, was introduced to other regions of the world by travellers and traders from this area. Every member of this species of bird can trace its ancestry to this little town.

    Now that she thought about it, she noticed that the sound of ravens was heavy in the air, their grim songs echoing throughout the forest. They had an oddly calming effect on her, as the sounds they made were a welcome change from the dreadfully quiet forest she had experienced the previous day. If birds could make a living in such a spooky and odd forest, then perhaps normal people could, too.

    Taking all of these facts into consideration and Murk Row's location on the map, she determined that's where she was. Blackwood Grove was only about an hour's walk away according to the map. "Ok, Furball, I think I found out where we are... It won't be long until we've found civilization."

    Furball wasn't listening, instead happily devouring the granola bar she had given to him.

    "We should get going, hopefully those crazy psychopaths are asleep," she said as she gathered up her belongings. She motioned for Furball to follow her out of the wreckage of the house. As the two made their way back to the main road of the town, the sound of ravens in the distance began to quiet down. She wondered why, and was worried that some other horrific event that would involve her running away again was about to unfold. She put it out of mind, focusing only on leaving the ruins and arriving at Blackwood Grove.

    Before she reached the edge of the ruins, however, a black bird swooped out of the trees down towards her. She didn't even see it until it was right in front of her. The bird easily latched onto the granola bar in her hand, snatching it and flying off. It landed in front of her, pecking at the bar with its frighteningly sharp beak.

    "You bastard, that's mine!" she said.

    The bird looked up at her and tilted its head to the side mockingly, cawing at her.

    "Furball, go get my granola bar back, please."

    The bird studied Furball as he bravely approached the large bird. As he reached the bird, it cawed with glee at him before saying, "Mine! Mine!"

    "Woah, it can talk?" she asked in amazement. She had heard from her father and Larson that most Pokémon are unable to speak. She raised her R-Kit to gather information on the bird.

    "Murkrow, the Darkness Pokémon!" the R-Kit said. "Commonly regarded by superstitious folk as an omen of bad things to come, especially if seen at night, Murkrow often displays an aggressive fondness for shiny objects such as coins and metal buttons. They are fiercely territorial, often forming into large flocks under the leadership of a Honchkrow. Some members of the species display the ability to learn and say words that it hears."

    "Maybe I should catch one of these things... it might be useful for defending myself here in the forest." she thought. She felt that she was ready to put what she had learned from Larson at the Silvermist Arboretum to the test. "Furball, what do you say we capture this guy and bring along with us?"

    The Murkrow raised its head upon hearing this. "Brawwwwk! Capture, capture!" it echoed back in a mocking tone. It left the granola bar behind as it stomped towards Furball, ready to defend itself and keep its prize.

    Andrea analyzed the situation. "You're at a disadvantage, Furball. Just keep your eyes on him and be careful." she said. "Remember that Spearow a few days ago? I think this is going to be similar."

    The Murkrow jumped upward, flapping its jet black wings and taking flight. "Disadvantage, disadvantage!" it crowed. The Murkrow remained within the lantern's distance, still visible to Andrea and Furball. It fluttered around in a circle, taunting the two with words it had learned from her.

    "It can't stay up there forever..." she said.

    The Murkrow hovered above them and its beak began to glow a soft purple. It squawked, letting out a shockwave of fuzzy purple air that radiated outward and downward, slamming into Furball, knocking him backward. The shockwave also knocked Andrea over when it reached her. The Murkrow flew off to the side, ready to strike again. With its beak aglow, it unleashed another pulse of dark energy at the two.

    "Uh oh..." Andrea said. "It's just gonna keep doing that, Furball, but I have another plan. C'mere." Furball approached her as she knelt down, listening to her quietly inform him of her strategy. Furball nodded, then returned to his previous position, taunting the Murkrow.

    The Murkrow charged up another shadowy pulse, unleashing it in Furball's direction, but missed. Furball ran in circles below the Murkrow, then took up a position behind it.

    With the Murkrow distracted by Furball, Andrea was free to attempt a capture. She remembered her days in school when she was on the softball team, hoping that the skills she had learned there would come in useful here as well, and hoping that she even still had them. She grabbed one of the empty Pokéballs from her pocket, cupping it in her hand and analyzing the Murkrow's movements. Like a fine-tuned machine, she calculated the Murkrow's position, direction of travel and speed, took aim, then rocketed the Pokéball towards it with all of her might.

    The Pokéball sailed through the air in a curving motion towards the Murkrow, striking it in the back. "Gotcha!" she said with excitement as the Pokéball opened up and sucked the Murkrow inside, surprised she even managed to hit it. The Pokéball fell into the soft mud and wobbled for a bit, before the button on it stopped glowing and it emitted a soft beep. The capture was successful!

    She walked over to the Pokéball and picked it up. "I've still got it!"

    Furball clapped with glee at his master's excitement, happy to see her attitude change from the sense of grim dread she was feeling previously.

    She motioned for Furball to follow. "Come on, let's get going. I want to get to this town before something else happens out here." She picked up the lantern and led Furball westward, putting the ruins of Murk Row behind her as she continued her journey towards Blackwood Grove. Now cautiously vigilant, she kept an eye on as much of the forest as she could, suspicious of what else might be lurking in the darkness.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  9. #24

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 11: The Outsider


    Andrea and Furball had been following the dark and misty path through the forest for nearly an hour. Much to her relief, this trip was much less eventful than her initial journey through the forest. Even better, a dim aura of light could be seen poking through the trees.

    Soon enough, the ambient light was bright enough to the point where she didn't need her lantern anymore. She shut it off and breathed a sigh of relief, confident that she had at last found safety. The presence of a sign that read 'Welcome to Blackwood Grove' brought her to her knees.

    "If there's some greater power out there looking out for me, thank you," she said, almost tempted to kiss the ground before her.

    Furball sniffed her curiously, worried if his master had finally suffered a mental breakdown.

    With her moment of gratitude over, she returned to her feet and continued onward into the town. As she walked along the dimly lit road, she noticed the people staring at her. Most just stood in silence, watching her as she passed by, but others sent their kids indoors or hid themselves. Their accusatory glares brought her great discomfort. Had she done something wrong? Did she find herself in another village of the psychopaths she had met the day before?

    Her journey took her across town to the Pokécenter. She hoped she'd find a place to relax after her hike through the woods, but the strange gazes of the townsfolk began to make her think she wouldn't. She determined that she'd see if the place was safe; if not, she'd bypass the town as quickly as possible, even if it meant camping out on the northern fringe of the forest for a few days to wait out the remnants of Hurricane Adele.

    Despite the rustic appearance of the exterior, the inside of the Pokécenter sported the same sleek, high-tech look of the one she'd seen in Silvermist City, which alone was a welcome sight. The waiting area was empty except for a young man with dark hair, his attention buried in the old looking book that he was holding. She sat down on the opposite side of the room from him.

    "Alright, buddy... I don't think you're too injured, but it wouldn't hurt to get you patched up here," she said, grabbing Furball's Pokéball and recalling him. She began stretching and rubbing her sore legs, but before she had any time to relax, the sound of her phone shocked her so much that she almost fell out of her chair. She reached for her phone and opened it, seeing the call was from her father. "Hello?" she said.

    "Andrea, there you are!" he said. "I've been trying to reach you for about a day now!"

    "Yeah, sorry... didn't think my phone would lose reception so easily out here."

    "Where are you?"

    "Blackwood Grove, why?"

    Her father was silent for a brief moment. His voice was quieter when he continued. "Good. I need you to lay low for awhile. Stay off of the main roads until I get in touch with you."

    "Why, what's up?"

    "You're not gonna believe this, but... I just got word that there's a warrant out for your arrest."

    She was shocked. "Uhh, what? Excuse me? I'm sorry?"

    "Remember that restaurant you worked at a few weeks ago? Burned to the ground. Total loss. Chaz thinks you did it."

    "But... b..."

    "Look, I know you didn't do it. You were over in Silvermist when it happened. I've tried to tell the investigators that, but someone seems to be going out of their way to blame you."

    "Who? Who would do that? What did I do?"

    "I dunno, baby. I'm going to get to the bottom of it, though, and I've got an idea of where to start." he paused for a moment. "Look, I gotta go. Stay safe." He hung up before she had a chance to respond.

    She closed her phone, slumping into the chair with a blank stare on her face. The Crimson Crawdaunt, gone? All of those memories, all that hard work, gone with it... Who would do such a thing? Who would try to frame her for it?

    The young man seated across the room from her looked up in silence at her, sensing the distress she was going through. "Hey, lady. You don't look too good, everything alright?"

    "Huh?" she asked, looking up at him. His soft face was welcoming, but she felt she couldn't trust him. It wasn't often that strangers showed concern for her, and in the past it usually never ended well. Her cynical attitude made her question why this time should be any different. "Everything's fine."

    He looked back down at the magazine he was holding and continued to read it. "Certainly doesn't sound like it. But hey, not my problem I guess."

    "I've gotta get out of here..." she whispered to herself, standing up and stretching. She had only just arrived in Blackwood Grove, but was she truly safe? What if word got out to the townsfolk that she was wanted by the police? She didn't feel any more at ease than she did just ten minutes ago before reaching town.

    She decided that leaving town would be the best course of action and made her way to the door. Before she reached it, however, she saw a face peering in through the window at her. "What is with these people?" she asked. She opened the door to see that a small crowd had gathered, waiting for her.

    "There she is!" someone called out.

    "Is she really the one?" another asked. "She doesn't look like one of them."

    "She must be! Don't let her get away!"

    Andrea backed away from the door slowly as several from the crowd tried to squeeze in through the door at the same time. She realized that she was cornered, however, as the only way out was through that door. She wasn't going to back down without a fight, however, and grabbed Furball's and Murkrow's Pokéballs from her pocket. She tossed them to the ground in front of her, summoning her protectors. "Stay back!" she shouted.

    "Get her!"

    The young man in the waiting room looked up when he heard the commotion. "Not again..." he said. "Hey, hey! What's going on?" he said as he approached the group. His question was ignored as one of the men from the group made a diving grab at Andrea, but missed. He stepped between Andrea, Furball, Murkrow and the group. "Stay behind me, friend." He addressed the angry crowd. "What is the matter with you?"

    "She's with them!" one of the people in the crowd said.

    "With who?" he asked as he studied her, puzzled.

    "The Cult of the Lost!" the angry man replied. "Her kind aren't welcome here!"

    "Not again..." he grumbled to himself. He continued to study her. "You must be mistaken. Unless I'm blind, I don't see it. Look at her clothes, look at the way she puts herself out there... she's not some crazy kook, she's a normal girl."

    One of the men stepped forward. "Why would she be here now, then? Only two types of people wander the forest at this time of the night, fools and crooks."

    The young man raised his voice. "Alright, no. That's enough. We're not doing this again. Not everyone who visits the town is a witch, and I'm sick and tired of this being a problem." he said, pointing towards the door. "Go home. I'll watch over her if it makes any of you feel better... if she even wants to stay in town, that is." He turned to Andrea. "Look, if you want to leave... I don't blame you."

    The crowd surprisingly began to disperse.

    "What is with this forest?" Andrea asked as she recalled Furball and Murkrow. "Why is everyone so crazy?"

    The young man laughed. "I hear that a lot." He offered his hand out towards her. "I'm Kamin, by the way."

    "Andrea," she said. She looked him deep in the eyes, trying to judge his character. He seemed like a nice guy, but was he?

    "Are you going to stay awhile?" he asked.

    It was a difficult choice. She didn't know anyone in the town, or whether it was truly safe to stay. What would happen if the villagers decided to confront her again when she was alone? On the other hand, she knew first hand the dangers of the forest, and figured that Blackwood Grove offered a reasonable amount of safety from those dangers. She thought long about whether she'd stay or go, causing Kamin to tilt his head and wave in front of her face to see if she was still conscious. "I don't think I have a choice. I've been out there in the forest and I don't like it."

    "Alright then. I'll keep you out of trouble if you want. I don't want to leave you alone."

    She took the offer. "Yeah, I don't want any trouble."

    He nodded. "Just a moment." He walked over to the counter and rang the bell.

    A nurse poked her head out through the doorway. "Is it safe?" she asked.

    "Yeah," he said, motioning for her to approach the desk. "Leslie, I'll pick up my Nuzleaf and Heracross later, okay? I'm going to show our guest around town."

    "Keep her safe, I'm not the best with treating human injuries..." the nurse said. "Be very careful, I'm afraid the townsfolk are about to snap any day now."

    He returned to Andrea. "Alright, follow me and stick close. There's no telling who we'll run into out there."

    - - - - -


    Nearly half an hour had passed since the two began their tour of the town, a half hour that passed by quickly and uneventfully. While the villagers continued to stare at Andrea as if she had done something wrong, none of them made any threats against her as Kamin led her through the town. His presence seemed to scare them into obedience. Perhaps he was a violent man with a soft face, or maybe he was just well respected among the townsfolk. It was something Andrea was determined to find out if she was going to stay in Blackwood Grove for more than a few hours, especially if she was going to be in his presence.

    Blackwood Grove was a different, bizarre place to Andrea. Having grown up in a modern, big city, she never experienced the different way of life the people in Blackwood enjoy. It was a simple existence, but one respectable in its own right. The people were hard at work, gathering water from the well in the center of the town, refining fallen logs and branches for the new barn that was being built and creating jewelry out of small polished bones.

    Their tour of the town took them to the northern reaches, towards a small house that stood next to the Blackwood Pokémon Gym. Andrea was suspicious of following a stranger into his home, but their short time together had already built a small level of trust.

    "Wait here," Kamin said, tapping on a table that was pushed against the side of the house. "I'm going to see if my father is home. If the townsfolk will listen to anyone about you, it'll be him."

    Andrea sat down at the table, patiently waiting for him to return. She tried to relax, but being in Blackwood Grove didn't help her do so as much as she thought it would. She tried not to concern herself with it, thinking on the bright side for once. Kamin seemed nice and genuinely concerned about her. That couldn't be said for anyone else in the town, nor most of the people she knew back in Azure Ridge.

    Kamin returned after a few minutes, carrying a plate with him. "He's not here right now, unfortunately." he said. "I don't know if you're hungry, but I am."

    Andrea inspected the plate that he put on the table to find it piled high with button-like mushrooms. "I'm not a big fan of mushrooms..." she said, grabbing a few.

    "That's all that grows here," he said. "Unless you like dead leaves. I don't."

    Andrea giggled.

    "So what brings you out this way, Andrea?" he asked.

    "I'm on my way to Cinder Hill to look at some geological equipment for my boss," she answered. "If I knew the forest was going to be this ridiculous, though, I would have happily gone around the rest of the island just to avoid this place."

    "Yeah, it can be pretty bad for someone who doesn't know what to expect. You seemed pretty distressed when you walked into the Pokémon Center, mind me asking what happened out there?"

    "A lot of strange stuff that I wasn't expecting to see... I mean, come on, it's a forest. I shouldn't have seen anything like what I saw."

    He laughed. "Forests can be spooky. What did you see?"

    "When I first entered the forest, I noticed the light from my lantern casting strange shadows on the trees around me... Like weird demons from those stories I read when I was a child."

    "Sounds about right."

    "What do you mean?" she asked.

    I'm sure you've heard the rumors that this forest is cursed. Well, the people around here don't believe it's just a rumor, myself included." he said. "I'm sure you felt it... that growing sense of despair from the darkness."

    "I did! What is that?"

    "The curse. The darkness we experience around here isn't just literal, it's symbolic. It's like a strange shadow that lurks behind you, slowly eating away at your sanity. My father and I have spent years trying to figure out the source of it, but we never did."

    "And people live here?"

    "Yeah. It's not ideal, but it's the place we've chosen to call our home. Some of us stay here out of necessity, others have no option."

    "That explains the crazy people..."

    He laughed. "I wouldn't really call anyone here in town crazy. Untrustworthy, but not crazy."

    "I didn't mean the people here. I ran into these strange people while I was out there, creeps in robes. Their faces... were something else, almost cartoonish. Crooked grins that stretched far too wide for any sane human."

    Andrea's description of the people she met caught Kamin's full attention as he pushed the plate in front of him forward a bit. "These people... did they speak in a strange manner?"

    "Yeah! I could barely understand them. They kept talking about a true king or something." she paused. "...Who were they?"

    "The Cult of the Lost, those slimy bastards. They're a bunch of kooks who live in the forest seeking to bring back the days of the old civil war that happened hundreds of years ago. They're bad people..."

    "Cult of the Lost? What is this, some Dungeons and Dragons nerd fest?"

    "Ha! No, it's just a name we've come up with. They were once like us, but the darkness proved to be too much for them. Thus, they are 'lost'." He cast a glare of suspicion on her. "Now, how exactly did you meet them?"

    "One of them appeared out of nowhere and led me to their village. I had no idea about them, so I walked right in without realizing just how stupid I was being." she said. "I am so incredibly lucky that I got out of there, they were going to sacrifice me in some ritual it sounded like."

    "No... are they..? Have..." Kamin said, stuttering as he tried to piece his words together properly.

    "What's wrong?" she asked.

    "If they're kidnapping people who travel the forest and sacrificing them... Is that why we've had less visitors lately? Is that why the darkness has become more profound?" he asked. "This isn't good... We're definitely going to have to talk to my father about this when he gets back."

    There was a moment of awkward silence between the two. The sound of wolves howling in the distance could be heard, as could the eerie wind that was blowing.

    "So, umm... what about you? Tell me a little bit about yourself." Andrea inquired, breaking the silence.

    "Me?" he asked, shaking his head. "No, there's nothing really interesting about me. What little there is... I keep to myself for a variety of reasons. Consider it a trust issue."

    Andrea stared at him blankly. "So you want to know about me, but you won't tell me anything besides your name. That's what you call trust?"

    "It's not my fault you're an open book," he replied. "Don't get me wrong, I am thankful that you've shared your experiences you've had in the forest. It's been awhile since I've left this place... I had no idea it was so bad out there."

    Another moment of awkward silence started, this one longer than the last. Andrea sighed and continued to stare at him, her shaky opinion of him degrading with every passing moment. "What a piece of work this guy is..." she thought to herself. "Remember, Andrea, just because someone is easy on the eyes doesn't mean they're a nice guy." She tried to speak up, but the feelings of offense she felt regarding Kamin's jagged and strange personality succeeded in quieting her down.

    Before long, however, Kamin broke the silence when he saw a large man approaching the two. "Father, you're home!"

    "Hello, son," the man said in an unrecognizable accent. "I see we have visitor."

    Andrea stared up at the man. He was the tallest man she'd ever seen, standing at around 7 feet tall, and he wasn't big in just that regard. He wore a strange, tribal looking vest that showed his massively muscled biceps and chest. He was a monster of a man, looking as if he could lift even a car. His long and frizzy black hair was braided and the tips were tied with ribbons and beads. A single white stripe, much like a skunk's stripe, ran through the side of his hair, starting from his forehead and running all the way down to the end.

    "We do. She had the same exact experience as the last person that came to town... only she hasn't run off yet." Kamin said. "Andrea, this is my father, Raven Duskwillow."

    "Sorry for the way people treat you, ma'am. It is tense time here in Blackwood."

    "Thank you," she replied.

    "Kamin, we have important task to take care of. I have received word from Blackwood Lumber Yard that the beast has been spotted."

    Kamin sat up straight, listening intently. "How long ago?"

    "I last heard ten minutes ago. If we leave now, we can find it this time."

    He pounded his fist on the table in excitement. "Alright! Let's go. Come on, Andrea."

    "Excuse me? What?" she asked. "Beast? I don't think so."

    "Unless you want to deal with the people of this town alone, I suggest you come along. It's your call, though."

    Andrea quickly made her decision. "I'm not staying here alone..."

    "Good," he said as he stood up. "What do we need to bring, father?"

    "Bravery. Patience. Quick wits." He looked down at Andrea. "Apologies if I offend, but I see only one of qualities in you, ma'am. I hope just one quality enough to balance lack of others."

    "I'll try my best," she said, standing up to join her acquaintances. While Kamin had done very little to make her feel safe, she already felt safe in the presence of Raven. Despite his rough appearance, she could tell that he was generous in the way he spoke.

    She followed the two through the town. Unlike before, however, the townsfolk for the most part ignored her, perhaps due to Raven's presence. She had only just met him, but she could tell that he was a well respected figure in the town, even though he was very different from the rest of them. She was put at even more ease knowing this and hoped one day that she could command the same kind of respect.

    The group reached the edge of the town, passing under an elaborate wooden gateway, decorated with the crest of the Storm Clan. Various lights could be seen along the trail northward, fading into the foggy distance, but they weren't bright enough to properly travel through, prompting Andrea to reach for her lantern.

    "Most important rule of forest is protection," Raven said. He reached into the leather pouch that rested on his leather sash. The Pokéball that he pulled out was unlike any Andrea had ever seen, being green and brown, sporting tribal markings that she couldn't identify. He held it out in front of him and pressed the button on it. A glowing white blob of energy poured out of it, forming into the shape of a bipedal crocodilian creature.

    "Woah..." Andrea said as she studied the strange creature. Despite her lack of experience with Pokémon, she was familiar with the appearance of a majority of the species that were native to Storm Island. However, this one she could not identify, so she raised her R-Kit up to scan it. The R-Kit scanned the tan-skinned reptile, identifying it as a Krokorok.

    "Krokorok, the Desert Croc Pokémon!" the R-Kit's robotic voice said. "While feral members of the species are incredibly territorial and dangerous to be around, domesticated Krokoroks are like loyal dogs. Their specialized eyes allow them to see in the dark as well as detect infrared energy and ionized gasses, attracting police and investigative agencies across the world."

    Kamin reached into his pocket next, pulling out a standard red Pokéball. He tossed it in front of him, releasing a shockwave of fiery energy that began to form into a black dog-like creature. Bony plates surrounded its ankles and protruded from its back. A spooky looking skull covered its forehead, with fiery red eyes poking out from under it.

    The sight of the creature sent shivers down her spine. She scanned it with her R-Kit to learn more about it.

    "Houndour, the Dark Pokémon!" the R-Kit started. "Originally reviled as a terrible beast incapable of morals or even basic thought, Houndour has inspired hunters throughout the ages with its abilities and pack instincts. Its howl usually signifies the beginning of the hunt, and travellers are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings if one is heard."

    "Nice bit of technology you've got there," Kamin said. "It's not often we get to see things like that around here. You said you're a scientist, right? It must be filled with a lot of information."

    "It seems like invaluable survival tool, but it is up to user to utilize information correctly," Raven added.

    "Alright, let's get going. Stay close, Andrea." Kamin said, leading the group forward. "Oh, I'm sure you've already noticed, but your lantern probably isn't the best light source out here."

    Andrea was confused. "I don't know what you're talking about, it works just fine."

    Kamin chuckled. "You'll see, then." he made a peculiar clicking noise, followed by a whistle. The Houndour instantly perked up, looking at him intently. "Give us some light, will ya, boy?"

    The Houndour stopped in its tracks, taking in a deep breath. The fire around its eyes began to burn more intensely, before a sheet of flickering, bright flames erupted from the bony ridges along its back.

    "We can probably handle anything the forest throws at us, but I'd recommend bringing out your own Pokémon, just in case," Kamin said.

    Andrea agreed, reaching into her pocket. She pulled out one of her Pokéballs, gently tossing it ahead of her. The Pokéball exploded into a shower of jet black feathers, revealing the Murkrow she had captured earlier.

    "Murkrow, eh? What's its name?" Kamin asked.

    "I don't know, I haven't thought of one yet," she said. "Maybe I should go with a cliché and name her based on what I know... like Sorrow."

    "Not bad name," Raven said.

    "You know, it's odd. Just before I found her, I had a strange dream, one that told me I was going to suffer many hardships on my path to happiness. And there's that superstition about them..."

    "When did you find it?" Raven asked.

    "Around 4 AM this morning..."

    "That not good,"

    "What? Why?"

    "Murkrow earn reputation for a reason, ma'am. Legends across world say that Murkrow encountered at night seals fate of individual."

    Always skeptical of anything that couldn't be explained by science, Andrea wanted to laugh, but held it in so she wouldn't appear rude. "I don't believe that, personally. I think the dream I had was just the forest getting to me, nothing more."

    "Perhaps when we return to town, you and I discuss dream? I am specialist in spirituality, I may have answers."

    "Maybe," she said. The more she learned about him, the more curious she was of his origins. It was obvious that he was a foreigner of some sort, but unlike any she had ever talked to before. She wasn't aware of many people who still clung to old traditions of spirituality. Even more intriguing was the Krokorok he commanded, as well as the tribal emblems and tattoos that adorned his body and Pokéball. Her curiosity got the better of her. "By the way, that's a strange accent you have, Mr. Duskwillow. Where are you from?"

    "I come from far away land of Unova, from tribe of nomads who live near Providence Bluffs, far west of big cities. I was once outsider here in Blackwood Grove like you, but I arrived at different time. Forest not so dark, the people not so untrusting."

    "Wow, you're a loooooong way from home, then... must be rough sometimes."

    "At times," he said. "But this is home now. I like it here, I have purpose here." He patted Kamin on the head with his massive hand. "We have purpose. And that is to protect town."

    "He's been welcome here for as long as I can remember," Kamin added.

    "I hope to always be welcome in town," he said. "And you. You are welcome in Blackwood Grove, too. I will speak with townspeople when we get back. They will not trouble you."

    "Thank you," Andrea said. "So what should I expect out of this beast you mentioned? Have you guys seen it?"

    "I have," Kamin said. "It's unreal... it's a giant Mightyena, probably as tall as you are. Rumor has it that it killed Paul, one of our villagers... he's been missing for a week, and he was last seen around the logging camp. The night he went missing, people said they saw it stalking around."

    "I have not seen it myself," Raven added. "But I do not doubt reports. This forest is capable of strange things."

    "And you want to go after this thing? Are you guys nuts?" she asked.

    "Nobody else has. We have to before more people get hurt." Kamin said. "It's going to be dangerous, yes. That much I can guarantee you. I can't promise your safety if you help us out, but what I can say is that the people of Blackwood will very likely extend their hospitality if you do."

    Andrea didn't particularly care about the opinions of those in Blackwood Grove, intending on leaving town as soon as possible. She even hoped to ditch the two at the lumber camp and head further north on her own. She had enough of the forest and all it had to offer, and her only objective was to escape as soon as possible. But until she knew it was safe, she knew she couldn't leave them.


    Storm Island
    :: Twitter :: DeviantArt

    A Lannister always pays her debts.

  10. #25

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 11.5: Arson Investigation


    The rain was heavily pouring down onto the streets of Azure Ridge, blanketing the roads in a small layer of swiftly moving water. Tidal surges were crashing onto the beach, but were kept at bay by a wall of sandbags. The sky was black as night as lightning skipped between the thick storm clouds, painting a grim and depressing scene.

    Inside the relative safety of her home, Meredith Dennison was seated at the kitchen table, entranced by the harsh weather she was witnessing. She hadn't seen anything like it since she was a child, nearly thirty years ago. "Marv... do you think Andrea's alright?"

    Marvin was studying a case file related to the 'Dark Angel', a criminal that he and his partner had been investigating. "I'm sure she's fine. She's in the Blackwood, weather doesn't exist in there."

    "But she has no idea what she's doing... she has no survival skills and she's never been really good at taking care of herself. I'm worr-"

    "She's fine, I talked to her yesterday," he said. "She's a smart girl, she's probably found someone to help her along, make up for her inexperience."

    Meredith looked at her husband, breaking her attention from the storm. "Come on, Marv. You know just as well as I do that she's probably hiding from everyone and everything, especially since she burned the restaurant down."

    Marvin looked up from his notes and stared at the table before he slowly put them down and looked at her. "I'm sorry, did I hear that right? You don't think she actually did it, do you?"

    "How do we know she didn't?"

    "I can't believe I'm hearing this," he said. "Andrea is our daughter, we've known her all nineteen years of her life. She's always been kind and gentle, always willing to make a sacrifice if it meant helping others. Not once can I think of a time where she's been a true troublemaker."

    "What about the past few weeks?" she asked. "She's been rude, she's been secretive, she's been miserable... I really think the way that Chaz tore her hopes and dreams up changed her."

    "She has been a bit touchy, lately, yes. But... Why am I even arguing this? I know for a damned fact that she was in Silvermist City when that restaurant went up in flames."

    "Please, prove me wrong. I want to believe that she's innocent, but how often have your fellow detectives been wrong?"

    Marvin grumbled and returned to his work, trying to ignore everything his wife had said. Tensions had been high between them since Andrea left, and he wanted it all to just go away so that they could get back to their happy marriage. He tried to drown it out by burying himself back into his work.

    His investigation into the Dark Angel had gone nowhere in the past two weeks. Every time he thought he was closer to finding information about her, it turned out to be false. From questioning Fat Paulie about her connections with Team Rocket, to investigating rumors that the group was raising funds by selling illegally poached pearls, and factoring in what Andrea and Larson saw a few nights ago in Crystal Bay, he thought he would have found some useful information about her, but nothing seemed to bridge together. This had been his first truly difficult case since joining the force, and it was starting to wear into him.

    Not all was lost, however. Many people within the city said that they had seen someone matching her description slinking around town. That was encouragement to continue searching for her, but he knew he needed to step up his game. Even then, just finding her would be half of the battle; What was her motive? What is she doing? Who is she working with or for, and what are their goals?

    His concentration was broken by a banging at the door. He chose to ignore it, thinking that it might have been a windswept piece of debris crashing against the house, but the knocking continued. He got up and cautiously approached the door, opening it slightly to see Jack Reiserben standing there.

    "Afternoon," Jack said, tipping his rain soaked hat.

    Seeing his partner there shocked him. "Goodness, Jack! It's a hurricane out there, are you mad!? Get in here!"

    "It's only a little water and wind," Jack said. "You do what you have to when important things are on the line."

    "And what's so important that you'd be walking around in this kind of weather?"

    "Your daughter, for a start."

    "She's not on the line right now, she's somewhere safe."

    "Is she? You know first hand the long arm of the law." Jack said. "Even if she does manage to avoid our fellow officers, we have to do what we can to clear her name before they find her."

    "And I will as soon as this weather lets up."

    "That's not good enough! We have a duty to protect the innocent. Crime doesn't take a day off for the weather, and neither will we."

    Meredith closed the curtains and turned to look at the two. "I never knew you were so serious about your work, Jack."

    "I'm serious because I don't want to see anyone else lost at the hands of Team Rocket," he said, turning back to Marvin. "I know you don't have any reason to suspect it, Marvin, but I'm convinced that Andrea's supposed involvement in that arson is being propped up by someone inside our own office. Call it a hunch."

    "That's what I'm worried about... that you have a hunch. I've learned to stop arguing against them."

    "Look, we've got some new evidence that's come in. Come on down to the Police HQ and help me go over it."

    "Marv, no! Look at the weather outside!" Meredith exclaimed in protest.

    "It's only down the street. We'll be fine."

    "Even if it is just down the street, that's not our case, it'd go against--"

    Jack took an aggressive step towards his partner. "Marvin, we have to act now if we're going to protect your daughter from any harm. She's been named a suspect in something she couldn't possibly have done, doesn't that sound like she's being targeted by someone from inside? I don't give a damn about what our superiors say, I am going to do what's right. She needs our help."

    Marvin was surprised at how aggressively enthusiastic Jack was, but knew he was right. He looked back at his wife, hoping to see some sign of approval. "Well... if you put it that way, let's do what we can."

    "Good. Let's go." he said, opening the door and stepping outside.

    Marvin looked at his wife again in disbelief.

    She shook her head. "You need to keep a leash on that man... he scares me sometimes."

    - - - - -


    Marvin was sitting at his desk in his office, sipping from some coffee as he watched Jack go through the filing cabinet in the other room. The two were the only ones in the building, offering a silenced and relaxing atmosphere for the two to work in. The only sound that could be heard was the storm raging outside.

    "So what do we know so far? I haven't even looked into this yet." Marvin said as Jack stepped into his office.

    "I don't know much myself, but when I looked into it yesterday, all we had was an eyewitness report."

    "Doesn't sound like much to go on."

    "No. But I did manage to... uhh... convince Chaz to hand over some footage from the restaurant's security system."

    "Convince?"

    Jack ignored his partner's inquiry. "The eyewitness report is shaky at best. The restaurant went up in flames at about 2 AM, so it was pretty dark. And it was raining, too. However, the witness described the suspect as a young woman, maybe in her early twenties, about five feet tall. Brown hair, sporting a black bandana with a pink circle on it. Now who does that sound like?"

    "That does fit Andrea pretty well..."

    "But remember, it was dark, rainy, and she only saw the suspect briefly before the flames coming out of the back window of the restaurant caught her attention."

    "How reliable is this witness?"

    "I couldn't say, I haven't spoken with her," he said. "She identified herself as a regular customer, saying that she was usually serviced by Andrea, and that the two had become friends."

    "Huh," Marvin said. "Andrea told me she never got close to any of the customers, even the ones she saw regularly."

    "Yeah. No offense to your daughter, but she doesn't seem like the friendly type."

    "No, that's... yeah, she's a bit of a loner." he said. "What about this surveillance video? I think that'd be the proof we need to clear her name, regardless of what an eyewitness says."

    Jack dropped a compact disc onto the desk. "Let's find out."

    Marvin grabbed the disc and put it into his computer. The disc quickly loaded up, presenting him with all of the restaurant's security footage from the past month. He chose the final video on the disc, labeled as the night the restaurant burned.

    The camera in the main room recorded a young woman standing at the front door, appearing to struggle with the lock on the door before she finally managed to open it. As she stepped inside, she was on the phone, wildly gesturing as she spoke, indicating that she was yelling, but about what?

    "Come on, get closer to the camera..." Marvin said. "Show us who you are."

    The woman walked behind the front counter, again struggling with the lock on the office door. This time, she started kicking at the door before throwing the full force of her body against it, smashing it open. Marvin clicked on the view of the office, causing it to enlarge. The woman approached the desk, searching the top of it for something as she pushed the papers on it around. As she approached the other side of it to go through the drawers, her face was clearly caught by the camera.

    "That's not her... I knew Andrea wasn't involved." Marvin said.

    "But who is she? She looks familiar..."

    The video footage continued, showing the woman ransack the desk, picking up a small key from the floor. She walked over to the bookshelf that sat on the back wall, pushing it over and revealing a safe. She inserted the key into the safe, input a password onto the security pad, then twisted the key. The safe opened, revealing a large collection of golden and silver coins, which she greedily sweeped into her backpack. She grabbed the bandana that was on her head, untied it and tossed it into the empty safe, closing it.

    "Wait... What did she just do?" Jack asked.

    Marvin rewound the footage to show it again.

    "The bandana, she took it off, probably in an effort to frame your daughter. How did the witness know she had one if they only saw her after the fire was started?"

    "Good eye," Marvin said, taking notes.

    "Looks like she's heading to the kitchen..." Jack said.

    The woman walked across the main room where all the tables were towards the kitchen. She went straight from the kitchen to the storage room, entering from outside of the camera's visual range, still talking on her phone. She appeared to be studying the contents of each cabinet and freezer, pulling everything out and tossing it all onto the floor. Eventually, she stopped her destructive search after finding a large, plastic container. She brought it back towards the kitchen, resting it on top of the stove. After a few more minutes of talking on her phone, she uncapped the container and poured the contents all over the stove and the floor. She turned the stove on and ignited the oil, which spread like a wildfire across the whole restaurant.

    "Cooking oil... It should have been so obvious." Marvin said.

    The camera in the main room showed the young woman recklessly knocking chairs and tables over as she rushed towards the door. Before she left, she looked directly up at the camera and taunted towards it, sticking her tongue out and making a devil horn sign with both of her hands before she left.

    "Did she... She knew we'd find it..."

    "You weren't wrong when you said criminals often display that they think they're in control," Jack said.

    "Yeah. It never fails, even in the most meticulously planned cases..." he said. "I'm going to to keep looking at this footage, and all of the noteworthy stuff from the past few weeks. See who she really is."

    He started with footage of the previous day, fast forwarding through it to find anything useful or interesting. The previous day seemed useless, as she wasn't seen anywhere. The same could be said for the previous two days, prompting Marvin to question whether she was even an employee of the restaurant as he suspected. However, she appeared in the restaurant the day before, taking and delivering orders. He had found a lead to work on.

    Continuing to watch the security video, he opened a copy of the Crimson Crawdaunt's employee records. He flipped through them, starting from when the restaurant opened nearly ten years ago. Nobody from the early years matched the woman in the security video.

    Eventually, he came across his daughter's employment record. She had been employed as a waitress for nearly two years with a fairly spotless record until the weeks prior to her termination. She was cited as a key team player in managing the restaurant while the owner was in the hospital for nearly a month. In the end, she was fired for 'refusing to cooperate with the owner's requests', something that still didn't make sense to him.

    On the following page was the newest employee to be hired, Angelique Corrente. She had been hired the week before Andrea was fired, and from what he remembered hearing about her, the two had an adversarial relationship from the day they met. He read her record, noting that she was named employee of the month only a week after being hired, and that she was promoted from waitress to assistant manager a few days later.

    "That's just shady right there," he said.

    Jack looked up from his computer screen. "What? Got something?"

    "Not exactly, I'm just going over employee records at the Crimson Crawdaunt... Apparently my daughter and a new employee were caught arguing a lot... Then suddenly my daughter is fired, this new girl is named employee of the month and then she's promoted to the position that Andrea had been working towards for the past year? Just what in the hell was Chaz thinking? What was so special about her?"

    "C'mon, stay focused."

    Marvin grumbled, then studied Angelique's photo. "Wait..." he said quietly, looking closer, then back at the screen of the security footage. "Hair is the same length... looks to be the same color..."

    "Hey, come over here," Jack said.

    "What is it?" he asked as he walked over.

    "Look familiar?" Jack asked as he pointed at the screen in front of him.

    Marvin looked at the screen to see a still image of Angelique Gardetta next to the file for Angela Corrente, the woman they had been investigating for the past two weeks. The similarities between the two were too similar to be a mere coincidence. "I'll be a son of a bitch..."

    - - - - -


    SUSPECT'S NAME: Angela Corrente

    GENDER: Female

    EYE COLOR: Blue

    HAIR COLOR: Pink, natural color unknown

    HEIGHT: 5'4"

    WEIGHT: 107 lbs

    REGION OF ORIGIN: Kanto, believed to have been born in Celadon City

    KNOWN ALIASES: Dark Angel, Pink Sparkle, Bright Eyes

    KNOWN RELATIVES: N/A

    CRIMINAL RECORD:
    Aggravated assault, Saffron City, Kanto (victim: Roger Silph, nephew of Silph Co. CEO Chris Silph)
    Aggravated assault, Vermilion City, Kanto (victim: Nurse Camilla, employee at the Vermilion Pokémon Center)
    Grand larceny, Vermilion City, Kanto (item stolen: Rapidash belonging to Pokémon Fan Club Chairman Gregory Hayik, item still missing)
    Outstanding warrant for attempted murder, Blackthorn City, Johto (victim: Scott Johannesson, a traveling tourist from Olivine City)
    Outstanding warrant for conspiracy to commit murder, Blackthorn City, Johto (related to attempted murder charge)
    Outstanding warrant for petty larceny, Canalave City, Sinnoh (items stolen: briefcase full of the personal belongings of Angela Huygens, including three tickets to ride the S.S. Galaxy to Storm Island, later confirmed used by the cruise company)

    SUSPECT IS ARMED AND DANGEROUS. HER WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN, BUT SHE IS BELIEVED TO BE HIDING SOMEWHERE ON STORM ISLAND. DO NOT APPROACH ALONE.


    Storm Island
    :: Twitter :: DeviantArt

    A Lannister always pays her debts.

  11. #26
    Lost Time Memory Flaze's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Why do you care
    Posts
    60,502
    Blog Entries
    153
    Add Flaze on Facebook
    Follow Flaze on Tumblr Visit Flaze's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Keep in mind I'm pasting this exactly how I originally wrote it for the awards xD

    Storm Island


    All right first of all, I’m gonna say that because I was able to finish my judging with Electric I had a lot of time remaining for this, so I actually read all the chapters up to chapter 10 which is the last chapter posted prior to the start of the awards nomination period. There are two reasons why I did it, reasons that I will bring up during my judging.

    Plot 8/10: Storm Island is a fic that starts off with a very simple plot, I do have to give credit to Caitlin and AC-Prescott for creating such a great setting, but I will go into that later. As of now the plot of Storm Island is very basic which consists of the main character Andrea traveling around the island and helping one of the local professors with her research. This plot is not a bad one, it’s certainly and interesting one and with the sense of adventure that the fic gives off it probably should be enough.

    This is where the first reason as to why I read more than what was recommended (though making sure on the dates of the chapter) basically after I finished chapter 8 I went on to read some of the comments on chapter 9 to see if I should read it to and I noticed Pavell mentioning a twist. I read chapter 9 and that in turn made me want to keep reading chapter 10 just cause of how it gripped me.

    These two chapters show how much potential there is left for the plot of this fic, at the moment it’s not exactly sure what the plot will be about, but there’s a lot of potential in regards to what could happen and it’s certainly interesting.

    Setting 9/10: While I do have to wonder how big this island actually is since it seems to have a lot of towns and landmarks spread out that you would expect of a proper region. That aside, I think that this is a very unique and interesting setting. There’s many different types of cities and town that each have a different feeling to them. This translates to the landmarks too with each one of them proving to be unique in their own right ranging from beautiful rivers to unexplored abandoned caves to dark forests thick enough to shut away civilization.

    The setting is one of the things that keeps this story rolling and adds to the sense of exploration and adventure that this story has as well as all the background that the island has going for it. This is something that I really enjoyed in reading this.

    Style 9/10: The concept of how the style works and how it helps the story varies from person to person. For me I think that the style in this fic is very fitting, it has a very flowing and adaptable style that changes depending on the situation. It can be calm, upbeat, serious or gripping when it needs to be without falling behind, and at least for me I feel that it always manages to grip me and make me keep reading.

    One thing I have to note is that despite having two writers that work on the story together the style doesn’t falter. Both AC and Caitlin manage to keep the same style of the story going regardless of the fact that they’re different people and I think this is very important in works like this, so for me I think they deserve that respect.

    Characterization 7.8/10: The characters aren’t perfect but they’re likable enough. One thing I have to note is that it’s two main characters Larson and Andrea are pretty realistic, their personalities can’t be defined easily and they have many aspects to them. The supporting characters aren’t bad with some of my favorites being professor Anser and another professor that the group meets later on. Aside from that most of the characters tend to have pretty basic personalities.

    The character of Andrea as well as her past and personality is something that interested me actually. She has a more complex past than what you would usually see from the first chapter which shows her as having a pretty normal life, only for later chapters to reveal that she actually has a troublesome relationship with her overprotective mother. I think her character does grow a bit as she’s suddenly thrown into this unknown world that she had always feared since she was little.

    This is the second reason why I read past the recommended chapters, and that’s cause seeing Andrea by herself was a welcome change of pace. It allowed me to see her in a different setting where she had to deal with things on her own without having to rely on anyone to support her when she got scared like she did with Larson in prior chapters.

    Technical 10/10: There aren’t any grammatical mistakes, at least from what I noticed it’s actually perfect. The description is good enough for me to get invested in it and make my own scenery without it getting overrun by detail and becoming boring. The flow is good and goes in tune with the pacing which can range depending on what’s going on with the story. I have to say that twice because I think that the flow is one of the best things about this fic and something I have to recognize.

    Overall 87/100: I’ve pretty much said what I need to say. Again the fic’s plot is still pretty much at its start but there’s a lot of potential for what could happen backed up by the background of the island. The characters do need some work but I think that the characters that are important are good enough to hold the story up.

    With that said, if I have to go up against this fic in the next awards then I’ll have to step it up a notch because it’s going to be tough.

    Lastly I wanna say that you've made a reader out of me and I'll be checking this story out whenever it's updated.

  12. #27
    Registered User Beth Pavell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England
    Posts
    851
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default Re: Storm Island

    We have found a witch, may we burn her? Ok, first comment - Raven Duskwillow? You know, if it weren't for the general weirdness of the forest there's no way you'd have got away with that name. Still, I suppose it is consistent with the tone of Blackwood, so ... the story is clipping along at a good pace. It certainly keeps me guessing and guessing, and the contrast between the (relative) normality of the police investigation and the kookiness of the forest is good fun to read.
    The Long Walk | A Da Vinci Smile
    For Joshua Cook, it's a long walk away from his dull life to the Pokémon League. But does he really want to be the very best? A coming-of-age story of adventure, friendship and growing up in the world of Pokémon.


  13. #28

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Storm Island
    Chapter 12: Big Bad Wolf


    "How big is this forest?" Andrea asked. "You know, from Blackwood Grove all the way to the northern end."

    "About day and a half walk," Raven said. "It is very dangerous to travel road alone."

    "I think she already learned that before she got here," Kamin said. "You didn't have anyone to travel with, did you?"

    "No..." she said, awaiting the criticism.

    "You're either brave or stupid," Raven said. "But you are scientist. I not believe you are stupid."

    "I wouldn't worry about finding your way out of the forest, anyways. That hurricane is probably doing a number on the surrounding wilderness. I remember last year we had reports of rock slides up at Slate Valley. It took about a month to clean that up." Kamin said. "I'd stay here where you're at least safe from the weather for now."

    "Safe from the weather, maybe, but everything else seems to be trying to kill me."

    He laughed.

    "I'm serious! The trees, the shadows, crazy cultists, even the 'normal' people! What next, some giant wolf?"

    "We will keep you safe from beast."

    She trusted his promise. He was a large, wise, and most certainly capable man. He had to be if he was as respected as he appeared to be. Yet at the back of her mind, she began to doubt if following them on their goose chase for a large, wild creature was truly a smart thing to do.

    - - - - -


    The three had been walking through the quiet and dark forest for about half an hour when they had finally arrived at the Blackwood Lumber Yard. The area was set in a clearing that could see the sky, but alas, it was covered in dark storm clouds. Despite that, it was dimly lit, offering the first natural light Andrea had seen in over a day, and likely the first her two friends had seen in months. Rain was pouring down onto the buildings, which appeared to have been abandoned in a hurry, likely due to the incoming hurricane.

    The lumber yard was larger than Andrea had anticipated; Large barns held dozens of logs that were over a hundred feet long. Rusted and beaten up trailers littered the area, serving as homes and rest areas for the workers. A large stack of dull, rusted saw blades nearly five feet across leaned up against the thickest tree that marked the center of the camp. Large, industrial vehicles used to chop down and process the logs lay abandoned in a line, half of them looking as if they hadn't be operable in years.

    "So what are we looking for? A wolf?" Andrea asked.

    "You ever see a Mightyena?" Kamin asked.

    She shook her head.

    "Does that thing on your wrist have any information about it? It'd probably be a good idea to know what you're up against."

    Andrea tapped on her R-Kit, searching for information about the creature Kamin named. Soon enough, she had found an entry about it, displaying a large silver and black wolf-like creature.

    "Mightyena, the Forest Prowler!" it said. "Mightyena is known for its ferocity, often operating with a small pack to track and take down prey significantly larger than it. Often signaling the beginning of an attack with low, deep growling, it is also known to strike from the shadows with little or no warning."

    Andrea let out a laugh which bordered between psychotic and mindless fear.

    "She's lost it," Kamin joked. "Come on, let's look for it. We might not even find it."

    "We stick together. Strength in numbers."

    The three began their search, looking for any obvious signs of the beast. There appeared to be very little signs of anything. The camp was entirely empty and quiet, despite the lights in the buildings flickering with activity. There weren't any footprints, human or otherwise, on the well travelled paths between the buildings. It looked as if the tip that Raven had received was either false, or they had come to the wrong place.

    As they looked around the camp, Andrea noticed a patch of fur stuck to a tree, glistening in her lantern's light. She walked over to inspect it. There were obvious canine footprints around the base of the tree, almost as large as her own feet. The fur was coarse and prickly, like a brush, and brown in color. "Hey, guys." she said. "Come look at this."

    "Find something?" Kamin asked, walking over. He knelt down and inspected the fur, then took a closer look at the footprints in the mud. "That looks right. The size, I mean."

    "So the reports are true. We must find it." Raven said.

    Kamin grabbed the clump of fur and offered it to his Houndour. "Here, Hellhound. Let's see if we can't track it."

    Hellhound sniffed at the patch of fur, then started sniffing around the air and the base of the tree. He took off towards the center of the lumber yard, his nose pressed against the dirt.

    "That's a start. We should have no trouble finding it now."

    "Finding beast only half of task. Remember that." Raven said.

    "I know. There's three of us, I'm sure we'll be fine... Assuming you know what you're doing, Andrea."

    "And what if I don't know what I'm doing?" she asked, a palpable sense of fear presiding over her voice.

    "We'll worry about that later," he said, jogging off to catch up to Hellhound.

    "If you do not know what you are doing, we are here to protect you." Raven reassured her. "It has been my duty to protect people of this forest for almost two decades. You are included."

    "I hope so..." she said.

    "May I ask why you have come to forest if you lack confidence?" he asked.

    "Because I'm stupid. There, I said it."

    "I do not believe that. Scientists are not stupid. Uninformed about their surroundings, maybe." he replied. "Andrea, confidence key to being an adult. I do not know your history, but I doubt was enough to break confidence so badly. Look at accomplishments and trust yourself."

    She sighed. "I'll think about it when we're done here."

    Hellhound led the group in a complex, twisting path around the lumber yard, following the scent of the Mightyena like his hunter ancestors. Every now and then, they'd find more evidence of its presence, from claw marks on objects to footprints in the mud, but no signs that it was still in the area. They were almost ready to give up on their search when they heard a peculiar sound coming from one of the buildings which sounded like a rusty nail scratching along a chalkboard. As they walked over to investigate, they spotted a furry tail sweeping past the window inside the building they heard the noise come from.

    "Is that it?" Raven asked, extending his massive arm out to stop the other two from approaching.

    "It must be," Kamin said. "Andrea, shine that light in that window."

    Andrea did as she was asked, guiding her lantern towards the window. The brown, furry tail sunk from view as soon as the light hit it. The creature's head poked upward to look at them, snarling wildly like a vicious animal. Its pointed, brown ears lowered as it glared at them.

    "There's our big bad wolf... Get ready." Kamin said as the Mightyena's head lowered from view.

    The Mightyena pushed the door to the building open, lowering its head as it growled at the three. Its approach was slow but attentive, watching them as it slowly stalked forward.

    Raven motioned for Andrea and Kamin to stick close to him. "Stay close. We stand together."

    "Got it," Kamin said.

    "I need distraction, son," he said. "Catahessa, use training we received in homeland, display earth's fury!"

    Upon hearing his master's command, Catahessa appeared to begin a deep meditation, sitting on the dirt road with his eyes closed.

    Without even a single word from his master, Hellhound leapt to action, challenging the Mightyena with a savage roar. The two circled around each other, snarling and waiting for the other to make the first move. Hellhound acted first by charging headlong at the Mightyena, the flames on his back flickering with violent brightness. As he jumped into the air, flames erupted from his claws and mouth. The Mightyena dodged the attack, taking a swipe at Hellhound with its own claws. The two were evenly matched, attacking and dodging each other with perfect synchronization, until eventually the Mightyena seized the upper hand. With its massive jaws, it crunched down into Hellhound's torso and picked him up, shaking him viciously then threw him aside like a discarded meal.

    "Shit!" Kamin said as he reached into his pocket for another one of his Pokémon. "Your turn, Andrea. I hope you know what you're doing." He tossed another Pokéball forward, revealing a small, brown creature that stood on its hind legs. A leaf sprouted from the top of its circular head, which was covered in a pointed, tribal-looking mask. It looked around and identified its target, raising its arms towards the sky and shouting triumphantly.

    "Umm," Andrea started. "I don't know what to do..." she thought to herself. "Do you know anything about curses, Sorrow? Like, paralysis, or mental stuff?"

    "Brawwwk! Curse, curse!" Sorrow replied, lifting off into the air. She flew high above the battlefield, hovering over the Mightyena. Her eyes began to glow a bright red as burning sparks of orange fire began to coalesce under her talons. The sparks formed a peculiar shape, much like an ancient rune, then quickly shot downward and implanted themselves onto the Mightyena's back. With an explosion of fire, the rune etched into its skin, burning it quite badly.

    "Good work!" she said.

    The Mightyena roared in pain, fixing its attention on Sorrow. Sorrow appeared to be well out of its range, circling about thirty feet off of the ground. However, the Mightyena was determined to punish her for her attack. Rushing to a nearby tree and with a forceful leap, it jumped to an astonishing height, bounding off of the tree with another jump and soared towards Sorrow. It latched onto Sorrow's wing with its massive jaws, bringing her down to the muddy ground with a loud splash.

    "No, no, no!" Andrea shouted, reaching for Sorrow's Pokéball. Quickly and effectively, she recalled Sorrow, saving her from the beast's powerful fangs.

    As she reached for Furball's Pokéball, the Mightyena climbed to its feet and charged at Andrea. Distracted, she barely had any time to react. She tried her best to dodge the Mightyena's leap, falling into the mud. The Mightyena continued through the air, landing quite a distance behind the group.

    "Locke, I need you now more than ever!" Kamin said. "Slow that thing down!"

    Locke the Nuzleaf sprang to action, shielding Andrea as best as his tiny body could. As the Mightyena charged at her again, he raised his arms towards the sky with a howl. Thick vegetation began to form in front of Mightyena, grasping at its feet. The Mightyena tripped over the roots and vines, becoming ensnared by them.

    Kamin rushed over to Andrea to help her up. "You alright?" he asked.

    Andrea pressed her right hand against her face, lowering it to see it covered in blood. She groaned in pain but stood up, focused on subduing the beast. Without a word, she tossed Furball's Pokéball out into the field in front of her.

    Furball appeared in a bright flash of light, lowering down to all fours as he examined his surroundings. Upon seeing the Mightyena, he lurched up in fear, rushing to Andrea's side and hiding behind her.

    "Come on, this is serious," she said. She lowered her hand again and wiped the blood off on her pants, revealing a large gash running down the right side of her face, starting above her eye and ending just below her ear.

    Upon seeing that his master was injured, Furball puffed out his fur and growled as menacingly as he could in an attempt at intimidation, something that would be unlikely to frighten even a child.

    "Do your best. Use your speed and size to your advantage. Distract him for us, okay?" As she watched Furball valiantly charge into battle, she began to feel light headed, but she still remained focused. She didn't realize the extent of her injury, nor did she care.

    Locke assisted Furball in distracting the Mightyena, grasping him with entangling roots every time it would get close to him. The strategy was working, but did little more than anger the Mightyena.

    Meanwhile, Catahessa had finished her meditation. On Raven's order, she took aim at the Mightyena, raising her arms slowly as the ground began to tremble. The trembling intensified, knocking Andrea to the ground and catching the Mightyena's attention. It was too late, however; the ground beneath the Mightyena cracked into dozens of sections, falling apart into a crater. Large boulders began to surge from the crater, ravaging the Mightyena with earth's fury. The boulders began to fall back down to the earth and a thick cloud of dust shrouded their view.

    "Is that it?!" Kamin asked, watching closely for any signs of movement.

    As the dust settled, the Mightyena was visibly weakened, barely able to stand. It growled loudly as it wobbled forward, but was in no condition to further defend itself.

    Andrea struggled her way to her feet, grabbing a Pokéball from her pocket. She locked onto the weakened Mightyena and threw it forward. The Pokéball sailed through the air in a curving motion, striking the Mightyena on the head. It began to deform into a red blob of energy as the Pokéball opened.

    "She's crazy, there's no way..." Kamin muttered to himself.

    The Pokéball rocked back and forth gently, coming to a stop as it beeped softly.

    She let out a deep breath of relief. "Is everyone alright?" she weakly asked.

    "I am," Kamin said.

    "What about you?" Raven asked.

    Andrea stumbled forward to reclaim the Pokéball, breathing heavily. She took one final look at her blood-caked hand, then lost her balance and collapsed into the mud.

    Kamin rushed over and knelt down to inspect her wound. "We need to get you some help, fast!"

    She didn't respond.

    "Shit!" he said, starting to panic. "This is my fault, I had a feeling I shouldn't have brought her out here."

    "Be calm, son. If we return to town, we save her." Raven said with certainty.

    Kamin reached his arms under Andrea's legs and torso, struggling to pick her up. "You sure we can get there in time?"

    "I am never sure. But hopeful."

    Kamin stood up and turned around, looking at Furball. "Come on, buddy, follow us. Andrea will be fine."

    Furball picked up the blood-covered Pokéball, then did as he was told, following close behind as Kamin, Raven, Locke and Catahessa returned south towards Blackwood Grove. The road ahead would be as dangerous as before, but the two could spare no time if they intended to ensure Andrea's wellbeing.


    Storm Island
    :: Twitter :: DeviantArt

    A Lannister always pays her debts.

  14. #29
    Registered User Beth Pavell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England
    Posts
    851
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default Re: Storm Island

    Hurrah, more Storm Island! It was ok, this chapter, I won't say it grabbed me but it was a good read. I'm impressed at how well the battle scenes pan out with these more vague instructions. I didn't really expect it to hold up but it seems that I was wrong. Andrea's injury seems to be treated a little inconsistently. She's collapsing, so it's serious, but "intended to ensure Andrea's wellbeing" ... I don't know, the language there seems less intense.

    You might want to double check after editing. I had to double take at Krokorok's name - I don't think you mentioned it in the last chapter and it broke the story flow a little
    The Long Walk | A Da Vinci Smile
    For Joshua Cook, it's a long walk away from his dull life to the Pokémon League. But does he really want to be the very best? A coming-of-age story of adventure, friendship and growing up in the world of Pokémon.


  15. #30
    Lost Time Memory Flaze's Avatar Moderator
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Why do you care
    Posts
    60,502
    Blog Entries
    153
    Add Flaze on Facebook
    Follow Flaze on Tumblr Visit Flaze's Youtube Channel

    Default Re: Storm Island

    It was oddly short actually, I expected it to be longer but I guess it's a good spot to end it, plus shorter chapters means more releases or maybe it just came out shorter than you planned. Either way I still liked it, not much happened aside from the battle which I think was done pretty well. Like Pavell said I think there are some inconsistencies in regards to Andrea' s woud, exactly how deep was her wound?

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •