Chapter Nineteen: Rolling Rocks
A few hours after they were awoken by the light turning on again, Sage Bronius and a grunt entered the room. It was the first time they had seen Bronius since they had become his captives, and he seemed to be inspecting them.
“Decent specimens, I suppose,” he said, “I think they'll put in some good work. But if- Dummkopf!” he suddenly shouted at the grunt, “You put the Servine in a normal cage? It has vines, you idiot! Get it a closed off, plastic cage!”
Realising it was his last chance, Octa immediately extended his vines to Bronius and ran them through his pockets. Bronius, however, grabbed the vines with both hands and gave them a hard pull, thus smashing Octa into the cage's bars. “Next time your vines are out of your cage I'll tear them off.”
Octa retracted his vines and rubbed his bruised face. Suddenly a different grunt from the one that had just left entered the room. “Sage Bronius! The ship has arrived!”
“Ah, gut! See to it that these seven are brought there as soon as the Servine is put in a plastic cage.”
“I will, sage. There was a bit of trouble, by the way.”
“N-nothing to worry about, sage. Just some stupid tourist with a Sinnoh accent who wanted to get on board and have us give him a tour of the city.”
“You told him to go away?”
“Yeah, but he tried to sneak on board anyway, so we knocked him out and threw him off the ship.”
“Yeah, but he was carrying something you will find interesting: some strange rock!”
The grunt presented a piece of light grey rock to Bronius, who recoiled a bit as he took it. “That's odd... Ja, this will be interesting to research when I have some time.”
After examining the rock for a moment, Bronius put it in a pocket in his brown mantle and walked over to inspect Boreas. “I don't think we need to bother with taking this one to the castle, it can't work.” The door opened, and Boreas could hardly believe his eyes when he saw whom entered.
Still looking at Boreas, Bronius pointed at the person whom had just entered. “You, have this Eevee put out of its misery.”
“Get away from my pokémon,” said Black. Bronius turned around in surprise and Black punched him in the face. Bronius stumbled back, hit his head on Boreas' cage, and fell to the ground.
All the pokémon cheered for Black as a brown-haired human female wearing a white shirt and blue shorts entered the room. “White!” Febby cheered.
Black cheerfully greeted all his pokémon and stole the keys, as well as the odd bit of rock, from the unconscious Bronius. He released them one by one, and Toxica and Octa immediately jumped into his arms, while Capella maintained a more respectable distance and Lucius just walked out of his cage without paying Black any attention. Boreas, finally, had to be carefully carried out of his cage by Black, who gladly hugged him.
“I'm so glad you guys are here!” he said, “Don't worry, Nurse War can heal you all, I'm sure.”
Boreas saw a lithe, feminine Eevee with a bushy tail in White's arms and suddenly felt oddly dizzy and nervous. “You're an Eevee!” he exclaimed.
Febby looked around and saw him. “Oh! And s-so are you.”
A bit of an odd silence fell between them as they both cuddled with their trainers.
“Blimey, it's nice tha' choo got reunited wiff your trainers, but shouldn't we scarper? I ffink this dental flosser 'ere's wakin' up!”
Boreas turned to talk to Thomas, but when he actually saw him, he suddenly felt very cold and a veil of crimson hatred clouded his mind.
He was back in the forest, seeing his father's corpse and his mother about to die fighting the vicious monsters. He saw his brother collapse, his throat cut, and expected to die as the beast lifted its sharpened claw up to execute him.
“Someffink wrong, guv?” the Zangoose asked as he stared at it with the sort of stare that usually only those who have died and returned as some form of vengeful ghost to avenge their murderers manage to pull off.
“You...” Boreas hissed, his voice drenched with pure hate like a garment soaked with poison to assassinate a king, “You're a monster, you killed them...”
“What'choo talkin' 'bout, guv? I ain't killed nobody, it' chore china Thomas, remember?”
“You killed them! I'll kill you! I'LL KILL YOU!!!!” Boreas screamed, and he tried to launch himself at the Zangoose, but a severe pain shot through him as his legs immediately gave way and he plummeted from Black's arms. Octa managed to catch him just before he hit the ground and returned him to Black's arms.
“I'LL GET YOU!!!!” Boreas screamed like a madman, “MURDERER!!!!”
“Blimey, i' wasn' me, wha'e'er i' was! Wha' 'appened to us bein' mates?”
“Calm down, my dear fellow, please!” Octa commanded, “Thomas did not kill your parents, he's our friend!”
Boreas came a bit closer to calmness, like Pluto coming a bit closer to the Sun during one part of its orbit. “It.” Boreas seethed between clenched teeth, “Is. Not. My. Friend! It's a Zangoose, a murderer!”
“Arceus luv a Ducklett, I didn' make chore paren's kark it, guv, i' was a differen' Zangoose!”
“You're all the same!” Boreas hatefully seethed, “Your kind murdered them!”
“Please,” Octa apologised, still holding Boreas, “accept my humblest apologies for this behaviour.”
“No problem, guv'nor. I unnerstan' chore anger, but i' wasn' me what kill 'chore parents, mate. An' I'm sorry for wha' other Zangeese did to choo. Just lissen to me voice, an' remember tha' I'm chore china.”
His logic managed to calm Boreas down a bit more. “I don't care, your kind murdered my family! You can't be my friend, you're my enemy!”
“Look guv, can I help i' that I look like the Aris wha' kille' chore parents?”
Then this little argument was interrupted as Bronius had awoken and was sending out his pokémon. “I was merciful to you, boy, and let you live, and this is how you repay me? Fine, then it's your own fault! Kill them!”
Black, White, their pokémon, and Thomas ran for their lives out of the room into a long white corridor as the six mighty rock types started pursuit. Boreas and Octa were still in Black's arms.
“My dear fellow,” Octa said, “I thought you were over it.”
“Yes, so did I!” Boreas snapped, “But I guess we were wrong, hmm?!”
“Look, you have to realise that this is highly illogical. Thomas didn't-”
“Logic be damned! That thing is a Zangoose, and I hate it!”
Gigalith and Omastar followed them through the door, while Rhypherior and Aggron didn't bother with that formality and just bashed through the wall with a single stroke. White threw five pokéballs to unleash a Vullaby, a Rufflet, a Darumaka, a Panpour, and an Audino. They all ran in a fighting retreat, except Boreas whom was still being carried by Black as he was unable to walk for himself. The other eleven battled as they ran off, only fighting to block the enemy's attacks or slow them down.
Octa launched a Leaf Tornado at the Omastar which was shooting its sharp spikes at them, Lucius spit fire at Aggron in an attempt to slow it down, Vullaby, Rufflet, and Capella launched themselves into the air to intercept Archeops attempting to fly over the others to attack Black and White. Rhypherior fired a massive rock at Thomas, who dodged it with unbelievable agility. Boreas caught himself hoping that the Zangoose's Detect would fail.
Don't be like that, he thought, even if his species turned out to be a bit of a nasty surprise, it's Thomas, I don't actually want him to die.
Yes, I do. It's a Zangoose, how could I not want it to die? They killed my family!
He didn't, and I'll feel very bad if his Detect actually fails.
No, I won't, I'll feel very good, because there will be one less of those bastards around.
They turned a corner into another long white corridor, and Aggron saved itself some time by cutting the corner through the walls and the room on the corner. It was now running in front of the other rock types, trying to kill Panpour and Octa with a single Iron Head. But Panpour was only scraped by the attack and Octa dodged it with a bizarre pirouette, launched himself into the air with his vines, and landed in Aggron's neck. In an excellent position to do so, he began draining Aggron's energy with a Mega Drain. The others overtook Aggron as it slowed down trying to get Octa off it.
The rock types were a bit too large for the small corridor together, and actually destroyed quite a bit of the corridor's walls as they pursued Black and White, leaving a trail of destruction behind. A storm of sharp gemstones wounded everyone when Gigalith used its Power Gem attack. Capella tangled with Omastar as she fled, returning its water attacks and paralysing it with electric pulses at the same time.
They tried to make obstacles for their pursuers by pulling down lamps, throwing over drinks machines and cupboards, and opening doors in passing, but there was just nothing that could even slow down the powerful rocky creatures pursuing them, as they casually smashed through any obstacle as if it was a cardboard prop in a poorly budgeted sixties sci-fi show. Occasionally grunts would show up ahead to block the way, but Black and White shoved them aside without slowing their running.
Gigalith took a break from shooting gemstones at them and instead fired a barrage of sharp stones the size of a fist that missed all of them. However, it seems they were not even aimed at them, as they floated around further down the corridor, waiting.
“Stealth Rock!” White shouted, “Go left!”
They entered a door instead of continuing down the trapped corridor and entered some kind of large mess hall. It mainly contained cheap plastic tables, and quite a lot of them too. A few out of uniform grunts who were eating dinner looked very surprised at the group of humans and pokémon running for their lives, and then looked even more surprised when the wall collapsed and five powerful rocky creatures bashed through, destroying the entire hall. Cheap plastic tables were splintered en masse as rocks were shot into them and they were brushed aside in large groups by Rhypherior's powerful rock arms. Seeing the sharp plastic splinters flying about, Boreas had an idea. “The shards!” he shouted, “use them as ammunitions, aim for their eyes!”
Vullaby made a Gust, which immediately sucked up a lot of shards, turning into a whirlwind of sharp plastic. She caught Omastar, by far the most vulnerable enemy, in it, and it came out with several of the sharp plastic spikes sticking out of its body. Archeops flew over, but was suddenly caught by vines coming from somewhere in the charging horde of rock types, and before it could respond Octa launched himself into the air by pulling on the vines, flew barely over the charging Rhypherior's horn, and landed just behind Black. He retracted his vines, whipped up a Leaf Tornado which gathered some splinters, and fired it at Omastar. In severe pain, with a lot of deep cuts and sharp spikes sticking from its soft body, the cephalopod retracted into its shell. There was no time to cheer, though, as the other four were still after them. They crossed the last part of the mess hall, jumping over a fallen table and ducking under a ray of sharp gems and entered a door leading to another corridor.
They dashed through the corridor, and by now Boreas was really starting to wish that he could walk for himself so he could make some meaningful contribution instead of just lying in Black's arms. Archeops was the first to catch up as the others started demolishing another corridor in an attempt to kill them, and it swooped over the battling pokémon, ready to grab Black in its claws, when Lucius made a large jump, landed on its back, and dug his jaws into its neck. With a screech the Archeops missed Black and struggled to get Lucius off it. Lucius suddenly shone with a blinding white light, and they left Boreas' view behind White. When he saw them again a moment later, Lucius had evolved to Houndoom and Archeops collapsed to the ground, unable to fly a creature heavier than itself around, especially with Lucius' terrifying jaws around its neck. Lucius was about to kill it by biting its throat, but changed his mind when Rhypherior came very close to crushing him and ran away instead, very fast now that his size had increased.
They were nearing the end of the corridor where a door blocked the way. Black and White kicked the door down together, and they entered what seemed like the reception room of an office building. The other side of the reception was a wall of thick glass with an unmoving revolving door in it. They ran for the revolving door immediately, but found it was closed and the glass of the walls and door was more than a decimetre thick. However, through the glass the Gym on the other side of the street was clearly visible.
“What the...” Black exclaimed, “This is Gym Street!”
“They made a hideout right in front of the Gym?” White said.
At that moment Aggron, Gigalith, and Rhypherior burst through the wall, covering the entire reception in rubble. As there was no way out, their only hope was to defeat their enemies. Rhypherior suddenly shot off a massive rock that exploded just before Black and White's feet, and the humans were knocked away, Boreas launched from Black's arms. He thankfully hit the ground with his right side, and immediately tried to see if Black was alright. He seemed hurt, but alive and busy trying to get away from the huge Rhypherior trying to crush him. The pokémon were mostly fighting Aggron and Gigalith in groups.
Boreas saw Thomas rush forward at Aggron, slashing and kicking it in powerful Close Combat, and wounded his enemy pretty badly by dislodging the armour on its underbelly and cutting into its soft flesh underneath. The Aggron screamed in pain, but in Close Combat Thomas had neglected his defence, and the Aggron smashed into him with a calamitous Head Smash. Thomas was launched through the hall, and hit the glass outer wall above Boreas head-first. He fell down on the ground before Boreas, his neck twisted in an impossible angle, and Boreas heard him exhale his final breath and saw the light leave his eyes.
“N-no.” Boreas stammered.
It's a Zangoose. He thought, don't feel sorry for it, it got what it deserved.
That's rubbish! It's Thomas, and he didn't deserve this at all!
A tear ran from Boreas' eye as he looked into his dead friend's eyes. Realising that this was hardly the time or place, he turned his thoughts to the battle, and saw how Rhypherior crushed Panpour into the ground.
“Hey, Aggron!” he shouted, bringing himself as close to a standing position as he could manage, “you killed my friend! I'll get you for that!”
Aggron looked up from his battle with Toxica, Darumaka, and Audino to give Boreas a mocking look.
“Come on here, then, and I'll kill you myself!” Boreas shouted, “Just you and me, one on one! I'll get you!”
The Aggron ran at him, ignoring his current opponents, and charged at him with a Head Smash. Boreas grinned as his plan was working, until he realised he couldn't walk properly and thus couldn't get out of the charging behemoth's way. Black ran by, just before the Aggron, picked him up by the scruff of his neck in passing, and dived out of Aggron's way. It kept going and crashed right through the thick glass wall, immediately collapsing it into a million shards.
Now that they could get out, the surviving combatants rushed outside, into the street full of shocked people, but they were quickly followed by their enemies. Then Burgh, Bianca, and a long-haired human girl rushed out of the Gym and joined the battle.
Now that they had such a massive majority, the battle seemed to be going the other way. The enemies just weren't powerful enough to battle almost thirty pokémon at once. Then Bronius and his three pokémon that had fallen behind showed up in the ravaged reception.
“Arceus in Halle des Beginns!” he cursed, getting his Xtranceiver, “Plasma, our hideout has been discovered! Initiate Operation And The Bandit!”
The building itself exhausted thick black smoke, plunging the entire Gym Street, as well as most of the rest of the city, in smoky darkness that persisted for more than an hour and allowed Team Plasma to escape them, as well as caused quite a lot of accidents.
A few days later Boreas found himself alone at a simple grave on a grassy knoll. He wasn't sure what you were supposed to do at a grave and just sort of looked around nervously. That didn't really make him feel better, though. For some reason he felt as if he had to say something.
“I'm sorry I hated you for being a Zangoose,” Great, now I'm talking to a grave. “I... Shouldn't have acted like that. Your species shouldn't have mattered, and yet it did. I know you can't really hear this because you're dead,” So why am I saying it in the first place? “but I'm sorry I acted like that in our last conversation, my friend.” He looked around, “I hope you won't mind- I guess you won't, 'cause you're dead- But I hope you won't mind if I just pretend for now that my family is buried here too... They never had a grave, you see...”
He visualised their names on the grave. “Dad, Mum, I miss you... I remember the day you took me outside of the burrow for the very first time... I was so fascinated with finding out that there was so much more than just our burrow, and wanted to see it all that day, and you had to disappoint me by telling me it would take a bit longer than that...” the tears were streaming now, though he felt oddly happy at the same time, “...And then you caught me sneaking outside that night, Dad, and got very angry... But the next day, everything was good between us again...
And Eurus, remember that time when you told us all you had found a monster, and then I wanted to see it, and we ended up running through the forest all day looking for it?
Notus, remember that time when we were at the brook and you wanted to swim like the Duckletts, and the water made me all wet and miserable and we ended up being chased off by the Swanna? Odd how that seems like such a good time now, looking back.
And Zeph, remember when we scared all those Pidoves together and we felt incredibly cool for doing it? And that time when we found Nuvema and spied on the humans there and thought they would eat us?” he chuckled, “If only you could see me now. Humans are really pretty friendly... Well, most of them, that is.
I must be nuts talking to you like this, but it really made me feel better, you know. Farewell.”