The Minty Five-Star Adventure
Part Twelve: Escaping
At first, all I could do was just sit there, gaping at the Master Ball resting on the floor before me. I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't. I… I caught Mewtwo.
I didn't know whether to scream for joy or cry in relief. This was… unbelievable. For all the challenge, all the danger, all the risks, I had won. And now… I owned a powerful Pokémon as a token of my intense battle.
"Joey, we did it…" I whispered, turning to my faithful Pikachu sitting a few feet away, looking just as stunned as I did. At my voice, Joey smiled weakly, and bounded over to me. I caught him as he leaped into my arms, and hugged him for what seemed like an eternity. I was overjoyed that Joey had won, that he was ok…
…That he was my friend.
After a while, I let go of Joey and held him back from me. "We won. We did exactly what we set out to do. Thank you so much… Thank you for winning for me!"
"Pi ka chu pik pika-chu cha pika chu. (It's just what we've been doing for each other ever since we met.)" he replied, as if it really wasn't a big deal. "Pika chu pik pikachu? (Were you expecting otherwise?)"
I laughed at his words. "I guess not. We always win, right?" I replied. "So… you ready to get out of this place?"
"Pika! (You bet!)"
"Right. Well… before we go anywhere…" I paused to grab my bag, and take a look at the amount of supplies we had left. Hmm… not as many as I had thought. Only a couple of Hyper Potions and Revives left. I suppose I could use all my Revives to bring my entire team back, but Revives wouldn't be able to rejuvenate the energy used up battling Mewtwo. No… I didn't want to push my Pokémon too far. I would only use the Pokémon I needed to get out of this cave.
"First, I'll use this on you," I said, taking out a Hyper Potion and spraying it on Joey. He shook his fur as the potion soaked him and restored all his energy. Then I used a Full Heal and Hyper Potion to bring my frozen Bluewave back up to full strength as well. Not only did I need Bluewave to Surf over the underground rivers in the cave, but his Water and Ice-type attacks could handle nearly every type of wild Pokémon we encountered. "That should do it. Let's go."
"Pika." Joey shook his head, and pointed to the Master Ball.
I nodded, and slowly walked over to it. I wasn't about to forget Mewtwo, whom I had worked so hard to capture. I picked it up and quickly applied a Hyper Potion and Full Heal to it. I don't think that would recover all his strength, but at least he would feel a little better, physically speaking. I placed the Master Ball in my bag, and then slung the bag over my back again. The torches that Mewtwo had lit when I first had entered were starting to dim without his psychic abilities present to keep them lit, and I knew I'd better leave fast. But still…
I stopped to look back up at the many stone carvings. Were every species of Pokémon in the world really on these walls? The thought was almost mind-boggling. Instead of trying to crane my neck up to see every single one, I instead turned around to the Legendary Pokémon pictures behind me. I looked at each one, wondering if I'd ever get the chance to meet them. I had hoped to meet one today, but… it hadn't quite been a Legendary.
Two of the pictures kept pulling my gaze back to them: the one of Mew, the adorable Legendary Mewtwo was to have been cloned from, and the picture of a phoenix-like Pokémon, with many-colored wings spread wide and its eyes full of angry fury. Was there really such a Legendary? I hoped so, and I also hoped I could see it one day. Phoenixes are the namesake and the symbol of my family; it seemed almost right I should meet one someday.
"Pika-pik," Joey insisted, tugging on my pant leg. He wanted to leave now.
"Ok, we're going now," I assured him, extending my arm for him to leap up on my shoulder. With one last look at the carvings, I left the room. The torches went out as soon as I exited, and I took a deep breath. If I closed my eyes and concentrated, I could still feel Mewtwo's presence at my back, within my backpack.
Such an eerie thought did little to ease my fears.
"No regrets," I whispered, before taking Bluewave's Pokéball off my belt and approaching the water's edge.
I couldn't imagine that this was still only the beginning…
As soon as I touched down with Dragonite in Cerulean City, I instantly went to the Pokémon Center and began questioning everyone, asking if they had seen Sam. Most of them vaguely remembered seeing her leave, but other than that, nothing. I went to the Poké Mart as well, and the clerk's relating of Sam buying up a slew of supplies only served to worry me even more.
I was not a very happy Dragon Master.
"If she's in the Unknown Dungeon…" I began, but found I couldn't complete my thought. I didn't want to complete it. I… If anything happened to her…
I turned at the sound of a little kid's voice, and forced a smile at the sight of a little boy sitting on a fence behind his house, a ball clutched in his hands. He smiled back, and asked, "Are you the Pokémon League Champion? Lance Scott, the Dragon Master?"
"Yes I am," I replied.
"My name's Justin," he said. "Um… I have a question to ask…"
I really wasn't in the mood to answer questions right now. I had more important things to worry about, like Sam! But I didn't have the heart to refuse. "Sure, what is it?"
"Do you… know what Mews are?"
I was surprised that he knew about them. "Yes… they're Legendary Pokémon. Few have ever seen them, but they are said to be one of the most powerful of all," I replied. Involuntarily, my thoughts went to Team Rocket's Mewtwo projects recently resolved by Pokémon League. I wondered exactly what Mews themselves thought of such a thing…
"They're pink and little, aren't they?"
Justin nodded. "Ok… thanks…"
"Hey, now I have a question for you," I told him. "Have you seen Samantha McPhoenix around here?"
"The Pokémon Master?"
He thought. "She's… got a Pikachu, right? And she has brown hair and pink glasses, right?"
I nodded. "Yes. Did you see where she went?"
"Um… earlier today I did. She was nice, she waved at me. Then she went across the bridge that way…" He pointed to what trainers called "Nugget Bridge" north of town. "And then… I think I saw her over there." He pointed across the lake to the west of town, to the Unknown Dungeon's entrance.
My heart sank. "Oh… ok. Thank you," I told him, trying to hide the worry I felt inside.
"You're welcome…" Justin frowned a little bit. "Um… before you go… Lance… Do you think… I could have a Mew as a friend?"
"You mean, as your Pokémon?"
I smiled a little at his innocent question. "Well, it all depends if you're destined to become a partner of one. Only those chosen by destiny can own Legendary Pokémon. But… I would think that anyone could be a friend of one, if the Pokémon wanted you to be its friend."
"Sure. Why not?" I cast another glance over at the Unknown Dungeon, and then shook my head. "Well, sorry if I seem rude, but I really must go now. I'm… afraid Sam may be in trouble if I don't help her soon."
Justin cocked his head. "Even though she's a Pokémon Master, she could be in trouble?" he asked.
"Even though she's a Pokémon Master… she's still a kid," I said softly.
"Ok… Hope she'll be all right…"
I nodded. "I do too. Thank you." With that, I turned around and released Dragonite from his Pokéball, hopping upon his back in one smooth move. "To the Unknown Dungeon," I commanded. With a cry of affirmation, Dragonite instantly took off, and we were over at the cave's entrance in mere moments. I leaped off of his back before he even landed, and recalled him just as quickly.
"Sam?" I called, as I slowly entered the dark, menacing blackness. My voice echoed eerily, and I could hear something moving about in response. Perhaps wild Pokémon. I hated to disturb them, but… "Sam! Are you in here?"
No response. Apparently she was further down in the cave. With a sigh, I released one of my Dragonairs, and leaped upon her back as she floated down the underground stream deeper inside. I also instructed her to use Thunder Wave to light up the inside of the cave as well, which worked better than any flashlight could have.
"I hope she's ok," I said, more to myself than to Dragonair. "Even I don't know what's down here… Please be safe…"
"Dra…" Dragonair turned her head around to nuzzle my face, and I smiled at her gesture.
"Thank you, Dragonair…" I whispered, petting her head. But despite the reassurance, I was no less tense than I had been before.
Only having Sam safe and sound with me would end my worrying.
Not more than ten minutes after I had left the chamber where Mewtwo and I battled, I was suddenly aware of the sound of wings… lots of flapping, rustling wings. The sound was unnoticeable at first, but after several minutes of walking back through the maze-like caverns, it started to become louder and louder. It creeped me out.
"Joey… what in the name of Moltres is that sound?" I finally asked, stopping in my tracks to look around.
Joey looked up, and pointed. "Pika!" he indicated.
I looked up also. "What…? Are those… Golbats?" I asked, getting a faceless screech in reply.
"Pi," Joey affirmed. "Pika-pi chu pik pika pikachu? (Want me to Thunderbolt them?)"
I shook my head, and continued onward. "Better not," I said. "We don't know how many of them are up there, and there's no need to attack them, anyway. Let's not waste our time or energy."
But the more I traveled through the cave, the more I began to realize that the sounds only continued to get louder as I went on. Were they following me? The thought of getting all the blood sucked out of me by a flock of four-foot tall bat Pokémon with two-inch fangs was not very appealing to me. Every so often, I was distracted from this disturbing thought by an attack by a Rhyhorn, or a Graveler, or even a Gloom or two… But as soon as Bluewave knocked out the opponent, there those Golbats were again, flapping their wings and screeching at me.
I tried ignoring them for the greatest while, but they wouldn't leave. One or two even tried swooping over me, which unnerved me to no end. After about twenty minutes of wandering through the cave, getting more and more frustrated at each dead end I came to, I finally lost it. Something I quickly came to regret.
"Listen up, you Golbats!" I suddenly shouted, startling both Joey and Bluewave walking alongside me. The Poison/Flying-types all went silent. "I'm trying my very best to get out of your cave as fast as possible! Quit harassing me, and leave us alone! If you've got a point you want to make, then you can come down here and take it up in a battle! But stop following me!"
The cave echoed with my angry shouts, and the Golbats seemed to be squeaking quietly among themselves, deciding exactly what they ought to do. After a while, I heard a fluttering of wings, as most of the Golbat flock flew off. At the time, I thought all of the Golbats had left. So, satisfied with myself, I turned around and kept walking.
And that's when everything fell apart.
I heard an angry series of screeches, and, whirling around, I looked to see about five Golbats swooping down to take up my offer on a battle. Unfortunately, their idea of battle wasn't with my Pokémon…
It was with me.
"Eeeeeeek!" I screamed, as the lead Golbat flew upon me, teeth bared and ready to bite me. I fell backwards to the ground, and squeezed my eyes shut in total, petrified fear.
"Pika-chu!" A crackling, bright light filled the air, and I opened my eyes to see the Golbat fall screeching to the ground from Joey's Thunderbolt attack. Joey himself leapt over the Golbat and in front of me, ready to defend me from the other Golbats that might follow. Further back, I saw Bluewave bravely trying to attack the others with his Ice Beam attack, but while Bluewave succeeded in knocking out one of the Golbats, the others proved too fast for him to hit.
"Uh oh…" I muttered. "Joey, get ready for one more Thunderbolt, then we'll run. These Golbats have an advantage over us, since they can see in the dark a lot better. Ready?"
"Pika!" he nodded.
"Bluewave, return!" I cried, quickly recalling my Blastoise into his Pokéball before our opponents could rain more blows on him with their teeth and wings. "Now, Joey! Thunderbolt!"
"Pika…chu!" With a great electrical surge, the Poison/Flying-types were sent screeching to the cave floor; two knocked out, the other struggling against the paralyzing effects of the Electric-attack.
"Let's go!" I commanded, quickly turning on my heel and running as fast as I could through the cave, trusting in my gut instincts to guide us the right way. Joey ran as fast as he could alongside me, using his sense of smell to try and detect the way as well.
Twisting and turning, hitting a dead end or two… but at long last, we found another staircase… a staircase that I recognized! We were getting to the beginning of the cave! My heart lifted at the realization of this, and, as one, our footsteps grew more hurried. I nearly stumbled on the stairs as I climbed them to the first basement floor in my excitement.
"We're almost there," I breathed. "Let's keep going."
As Joey and I rounded another corner… I nearly ran smack into a Rhyhorn, digging up rocks with its horn to eat. We both froze as the Rock/Ground-type turned to regard us with a lazy eye, wondering exactly just what our problem was. I gulped and backed away slowly so as not to agitate it. "Oops… s-sorry…" I stammered. "Don't mind me…"
A swoosh of air, and I suddenly felt a searing pain across the back of my right leg, as something struck me from behind. I staggered and fell to the floor with a scream, instantly clutching at where I had been injured. It was a clean cut on my leg, trickling blood down into my sock and stinging unmercifully.
"Pika! Pika-pik pik! (Sam! Look out!)" Joey yelled, and I instantly looked up to see the two Golbats from before swooping around, screeching at me tauntingly. One of them must have sliced at me with its teeth… Talk about territorial Golbats…
"Give 'em a Thunderbolt!" I commanded.
Joey shook his head, urgently pointing behind me. "Pi! Pika pika! (No! Not them!)"
I turned around, and my blood ran cold at the sight of the Rhyhorn pawing the ground angrily, getting ready for a charge at me. Apparently I had frightened it by screaming, and now it was getting ready to attack. I forced myself up to my feet with a whimper, and backed away from it. "Easy there, big boy…" I tried to soothe, although my voice was trembling with fear at the exact same time.
"Pika-chu!" Another of Joey's Thunderbolts lit up the cave, knocking out another Golbat. The last one, however, was still unwilling to give up. It swooped down with amazing speed, its wings smashing into Joey hard and sending him flying backwards towards me. "Pika!" he cried in pain, looking badly hurt.
"Joey! Are you ok?" I quickly pulled out Bluewave's Pokéball with one hand, at the same time bending down to scoop up my little Pikachu.
"Rrrrhhhaa!" snorted the Rhyhorn, rearing up on its two hind legs for a moment before beginning its charge, one that made the entire cavern rumble with each and every step.
Sweat trickled down my forehead, but I quickly turned my head to see another turn in the maze of this cave. If I recalled, Rhyhorn could only charge in a straight line… My heart leaping into my throat, I blindly flung myself into the turn and out of the way of the Rhyhorn. The armored Pokémon blazed by me by a hair's breadth as it continued on, running head-on into the wall.
I breathed a sigh of relief. "Gotta… get out of here…" I gasped, trying to walk as fast as I could on my leg, which throbbed agonizingly with every step I took. "Are… you ok?"
"Pi…" Joey looked hurt from the Wing Attack Golbat had used on him… I had to get out of here, and back to the Pokémon Center where all my Pokémon would be healed up… Had to…
"Screee!" I screamed again at the sound of Golbat diving at me once again, and I threw myself to the wall as it flew by. I gritted my teeth, holding Joey close and forcing myself to keep on running through the rest of the winding cave. I could hear Golbat's wings beating, as it stalked me… I felt like crying, but my fear was making me continue onward, instead of curling up in a corner and sobbing.
"Pi… ka…" In my arms, Joey was trying his best to try and move, so he could defend me. But no good… he was out of it. And I couldn't send out Bluewave in such a narrowed passage as the one we were in right now… I had to wait until there was more space. I came out into a more open area, one I vaguely remembered, but all I could think of was turning around and sending Bluewave out to defend me. I turned, lifting my arm back to throw the Pokéball…
… And screamed in pain, as the Golbat itself hit me full-force.
I was thrown backwards from the impact, hitting the ground with a sick sob as my left arm burned in pain. The Golbat's mouth had been wide-open, and the two lower fangs had raked two deep slices into my upper arm. Blood ran freely from the serious injuries, and my arm suddenly felt completely useless. I couldn't move it, only clutch at it with my free hand and whimper. Joey and Bluewave's Pokéball had been thrown in two entirely different directions, and I couldn't see a trace of them other than the dim flickering light of Joey's Flash. I was utterly defenseless.
The Golbat fluttered into view over me, looking quite keen on biting me and sucking my blood. I don't want to die! I thought, staring up at it fearfully. I closed my eyes, and braced myself for whatever would happen…
"Dragonite, Hyper Beam!"
A familiar voice made me open my eyes, in time to see Golbat struck full-force with a bright and powerful Hyper Beam. The Poison/Flying-type was knocked out instantly as it hit the far wall with a thud. I rolled over painfully and looked up to see…
"Lance!" I cried, tears spilling down my face at the sight of the Dragon Master. He ran towards me immediately and threw his arms around me.
"Sam! Are you ok?" he gasped, sounding relieved and strained at the same time. "Don't you ever do that to me again… You scared me to death!"
"Lance, I'm sorry…" I whispered, snuggling into his chest and crying freely. I was so embarrassed, so happy, so terrified, all in the same breath. "I-I didn't mean to worry you… I'm so sorry…"
Lance shook his head, a weak smile upon his lips. "Don't you worry any more. I've got you…" He tried to help me sit up, but I cried out in pain as he accidentally grabbed my arm where the Golbat had slashed me. "Sam! You're hurt! Did… did that Golbat get you?"
I nodded, as he lifted me up carefully in his arms. "Lance… don't forget Joey… and Bluewave's Pokéball… They're on the floor somewhere…" I said, suddenly growing dizzy and sleepy.
"I won't forget them," he assured. "Dragonite! Find them!" The Dragon/Flying-type nodded and began to search carefully for my Pokémon. As it did, Lance began to carry me back towards the stairs that led up to the ground floor, all the while whispering soothing words in my ear. But… I couldn't hear him anymore.
My eyes slowly closed, and I felt myself drifting… far, far away…