Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon, be it the idea, the creatures, or the world. Some of the characters in this story are my own while others can also be creditted back to the original owners. I take no credit for anything not mine, and thank the creators of Pokemon for giving me inspiration. Author's Note: And back on track, with our little detour. If you didn't figure out what it was before now, well then clearly you need to go back and read a few of Sye's chapters.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon, be it the idea, the creatures, or the world. Some of the characters in this story are my own while others can also be creditted back to the original owners. I take no credit for anything not mine, and thank the creators of Pokemon for giving me inspiration.
Author's Note: And back on track, with our little detour. If you didn't figure out what it was before now, well then clearly you need to go back and read a few of Sye's chapters.
Chapter LI: I'm Not Food!
"Looks dark." I commented, staring into the great opening, seemingly carved straight into the hillside, that sat before me, "And everyone keeps saying you get lost easily in there."
Riolu merely nodded his furry head and looked on ahead, I could tell he was uncomfortable with the idea of venturing forth any further, but at the same time, he was a long way away from how he used to be with dealing with dark areas. A small smirk crossed over my features, "Feel like trying our luck?" I asked him with some confidence, "Might be some interesting Pokemon in there, after all."
I knew Riolu still wasn't a fan of the dark, so it surprised me all the more when he nodded and took the lead, his furry little mitts wrapped tightly around the flashlight in his paws. He aimed it every which way and, for the first few steps, fumbled with it quite miserably… But it was still cute to watch. Shaking my head, I followed after him, "Lead on then, Riolu, lead on."
Wayward cave was one of hotspots in Eterna city – Though by all rights, it wasn't even IN the city limits! One could, supposedly, get lost for hours in here after just stepping inside, for it was incredibly dark and, at the same time, near every passage looked exactly the same. 'That's what the locals all say, anyway.' I thought to myself, plucking Riolu from the ground and holding him up to work the flashlight, 'Even Nurse Joy, after commenting on the place, suggested we just skip it by… But I think this is just what we need; a nice little distraction.'
And I believed it too. Ever since Jubilife city, we'd dealt with Team Galactic at every turn. Floaroma, the Windworks, Eterna Forest and even the city itself! They were positively everywhere, and it drove me crazy just to think about – I tried instead for focus on my surroundings, giving at least a half hearted attempt to memorize the path we were taking. Even a stroll through a dank, dark cave seemed pleasurable after all the crap my Pokemon and I had gone through lately… 'Wish I had someone to talk to though…' I thought to myself, my gaze slipping to Riolu for a moment, 'Someone who can talk back, I mean.'
Kirlia, of course, remained an option in that regard, but I still hadn't quite figured her out yet. She could talk but… She couldn't. I didn't get it! It hurt my head to think about so that, too, was pushed to the side. The light darted from one side of the cavern to the other; Riolu left nothing in the dark for long. "Relax buddy." I told him in a quiet voice, giving his head a gentle pat, "It's not like something's going to spring out of nowhere and attack us."
Unlike Eterna forest – The encounter with Growlithe had been a close – Too close – Call. The puppy still puzzled me, how he could use all those powerful – And draining – Attacks, like flamethrower and fire blast, but lacked all the fundamentals and essentials. Not even an ember attack to be heard of! That this was both a good and bad thing did not mix well with the fact that Growlithe already burned through his energy far too quickly; 'It's something I'll have to work on with him.' I mentally decided, 'Maybe sometime before our next gym match, I'll give Rowan a call for some pointers on how to DO that.'
Eesh, now THERE was an unattractive thought. A phone call to that grouch seemed like anything but pleasant.
Truly, out of the trio of my Pokemon, Riolu seemed like the one farthest from needing any extra training. When it came to battling alongside him, everything just came easier to me; more fluently, more naturally. A small smile crossed over my features, 'But we're a team, of course it's like that.' Riolu was my first Pokemon – My savior from the dismal town of Twinleaf - There was little that could compare to THAT. The bond the two of us had… I glanced down at the furry fighter.
The bond was a strong one.
Riolu's ears flattened tight against his head, the flashlight in his paws beginning to quiver even more then it had been only moments ago. He'd heard something… But what? "Shh…" I whispered, shutting my eyes and trying to search out the sound… But to no avail; whatever he heard, I could only guess.
With a small shrug, I continued on, but every time Riolu's shaking grew, I stopped to listen again. Try as I might, I couldn't hear whatever it was that was spooking the poor creature. "Buddy, what is it?" I asked him in a hushed voice, but his eyes conveyed only the same confusion I was sure my own held.
Reluctantly, we pressed on. I rested my free hand against one of the cavern walls, running it along the side as we walked – In the event whatever the fighter was hearing leapt out at us, I'd at least have a hand hold and be able to stop my fall, and for a klutz like me, that was always a good thing. Trying to distract myself from whatever it was that I WASN'T hearing, I thought about the road ahead; Veilstone city was my next destination. Both Cynthia and my map had marked it as such – It was the next city with a Pokemon gym, and thus, very much appealing to me. I smiled; it felt nice to have some kind of purpose now. Before I was just challenging the gyms because… Well, they were there! Now, it wasn't the prize that drew me, but the experience itself – Every battle we fought brought my Pokemon and I closer together, and gym battles were so intense… Well, they just strengthened that all the more.
"Wonder what the next gym leader'll throw at us…" I wondered aloud idly, glancing down at Riolu, "What do you think? Maybe fire types?" Riolu stuck up his nose at me and shook his head, drawing a small giggle from yours truly, "Or Poison types perhaps?"
A similar reaction, only the pup made a face this time; clearly the idea didn't appeal much to him. I thought of listing off the remaining types – Practically all of them, come to think of it – When a scream pierced the air. It pervaded the cavern and, echoes bouncing off each wall, sounded as though it came from every direction at once. Instantly alert, I took hold of the flashlight, which Riolu readily let go, preferring instead to latch onto my chest, and aimed the light ahead of me, where I assumed the source lay. It could have very well come from behind us, for we had made quite a few turns already, but… Something just told me whoever had shouted was ahead of us.
I started to run, though truly, I knew not why. I hadn't the foggiest who had cried out, why they'd done so or, really, if I should even be getting involved. 'What kind of attitude is that?' I asked myself, 'What if it's the Galactics again?'
Oh THAT didn't help… Such a thought only caused my blood to boil, and my pace to quicken; if that was indeed the case, then it was a lucky thing we were where we were – Fewer witnesses, and I had some payback to dish out. Despite my racing speed, I risked a look down at Riolu; his eyes were wide open, scanning every which way in search of the sound. The reaction was… Odd, if only slightly. Even as the scream died out, and was replaced by a soft, almost intelligible weeping, my curiosity began to grow. This wasn't at all like how Riolu had reacted earlier – Was this the same sound he'd heard then, or was that something else entirely..?
I didn't have to wait long for an answer to hit me… The answer had teeth, which my leg, sorely, discovered.
Sharp teeth accompanied by powerful jaws clamped down around my right leg, causing me to cry out and stumble forward. A faint, yet consistent hissing emanated from whatever it was that had attacked me. Riolu righted himself first and whirled the flashlight around, aiming it at the source; my eyes widened. It was a Pokemon, but one I'd never seen before!
The creature resembled one of those step-switch garbage cans… With teeth, and a great, shark-like fin atop its head. Great, wide eyes stared up at me as the large jaw opened and shut in a chittering sort of motion; the Pokemon was quite pleased with itself, I sensed. Tiny claws waggled back and forth on either side of its ball-like body as the scaly little bugger hopped up and down on short, stubby little legs, waggling its fin-like point of a tail back and forth.
"Gible." My Pokedex chimed as I aimed the device at the creature; I rose to my feet slowly, and rather painfully… Those were some teeth! "Classification; Land Shark Pokemon."
'I'd believe it… Ouch…'
"Though small in stature, these dragon-type Pokemon can be quite ferocious if underestimated by others – Their sharp teeth and claws make quick work of enemies. They nest in small, horizontal caves inside caverns and mountains, and often pounce on unwary prey that draws to close. It is said they once dwelled primarily in more tropical areas and, to avoid any cold, they hole themselves up in caves and crevices."
That was quite a bit of information – And what's more, now I knew why it attacked me… Apparently, I was trespassing. I glanced over my shoulder, back down the way we'd been heading; part of me wanted to just rush on, and find whoever it was that had screamed, but… My wide-eyed gaze settled upon the chomping Pokemon before me. 'A dragon!' I thought, almost in a daze, 'An actual dragon-type Pokemon! This is EPIC!'
There was no talking myself out of it; I was going to catch this little leg-chomping bastard! My hand reached for a Pokeball, but hesitated at my belt; Growlithe, or Kirlia? Who would do better in a match against this Gible? Neither held a distinct type advantage, what with dragon types being resistant to nearly everything under the sun, and probably even THAT, but I knew it had to be one or the other. Riolu couldn't battle in the dark…
… Or could he?
The fighter dropped the flashlight to one side, leaving me to retrieve it as he stared down the scaly creature, who only chattered on in return. Riolu's paws became tiny fists as he glanced back at me, and suddenly, I understood. He didn't want to fight here, in this pitch black cavern, but this was little different then back in Eterna forest; someone had attacked his friends, and Riolu was going to stop them. Be it Ketrick or a Pokemon, Riolu would fight it if it harmed me or the others… I had to admire that. "Alright buddy – You've got this one."
If the Gible minded, it didn't show it in the least. Rather the dragon paid Riolu almost no mind, instead staring rather intently, and unnervingly, straight in my direction. Its eyes were big enough that even I could read them, even in this lack of light… I shuddered; Gible was hungry. From the intensity of its stare, and the drool leaking off to one side of its face, I knew I couldn't be wrong… But man oh man, THIS was wrong…
"I'm not food!" I found myself shouting at the creature, gaining myself one very confused look from my Pokemon. Sheepishly, I looked away, "Well, I'm not…"
Gible wasted no more time and rushed forward, diving towards Riolu; the sole obstacle preventing him from… Erm, lunch. The creature's tiny feet propelled it with surprising intensity, and he gained ground on Riolu shockingly fast. Quicker then the fighter could react, the tiny dragon – Shorter, even then Riolu I noted – Skidded to a halt in front of him and whirled about, flailing it's round body in every directing, kicking up enough dust, sand and dirt to blind the poor fighter. Riolu squealed out a protest and shielded his eyes from the onslaught. Even I was blinded by the attack.
When my vision returned, Gible was gone. My mouth hung agape – Did it get away? "No way! Where'd it go!?" I cried, casting glances left and right; Riolu spotted the answer before I did… There was a hole where Gible had been.
And no sooner did I realize this then the dragon burst out of the dirt at my feet and lunge at me once again – Damn that was some fierce determination! I barely managed to avoid those razor-like teeth again when Riolu dove at the scaly bugger and struck out with his fist, sending Gible rolling along the cavern floor. When it righted itself, the dragon hopped up and down, hissing in protest before its mouth opened wide. From the maw burst out a wave of bluish-black energy that slammed hard into Riolu's soft body, sending the fighter spiraling backwards into my legs, bowling me over as well. I groaned, "Dragon rage." The Pokedex piped up, ever so helpful.
Riolu whimpered, but managed to stand again – But I really couldn't take much more punishment! 'This battle is gonna kill me!' I thought with a groan as I sat up upon my knees, 'Gotta focus – Got to strike back!'
"Bullet punch!" I called to my Pokemon, who took off without a second thought. His fist shone with silver energy as he slammed it, hard, into Gible's rounded gut. The dragon rolled backwards, but shook off the attack quick enough, and hissed angrily at my Pokemon – Clearly, he didn't like to have his meal interrupted, or postponed.
"Follow it up Riolu – Force palm!" The fighter nodded his approval and zipped to the side, before darting before Gible and, paw crackling with energy struck the dragon – But this time, Gible was ready. Much like Riolu's bullet fist, Gible's head shimmered with metallic energies as the tiny dragon slammed it into Riolu's open palm – Both Pokemon felt the sting of the attacks now.
Riolu staggered back, holding his hurt paw as his foe rubbed furiously at the blow to it's skull with both claws. My fighter panted, his energy clearly waning, but Gible didn't look much better – The fight seemed rather even, if I had to wager a guess. At last, I managed to stand, albeit painfully, and look down at my Pokedex; how could I wrap this up before my Pokemon took to many more hits? Though wild, the Gible seemed quite adept at countering nearly everything I threw at him. Reversal would probably do clinch the match, but Riolu would probably black out if he used it… And I still had that scream to investigate; our options grew even more limited.
Gible reared its head back and blasted Riolu with more of the strange shock waves. "Use protect!"
My Pokemon shimmered as the attack bounced harmlessly off him, split, and faded as it struck the cavern walls on either side; the dragon heaved, it's energy low, but it still managed to stand. I grit my teeth, it wasn't the most accurate attack, especially from this angle, but it was the best we had without resorting to focus punch; "Get up close and use sky uppercut!"
Riolu risked a glance back at me for a moment, before rushing forward. Gible opened it's mouth wide again, looking as though it'd blast the fighter again, when my Pokemon suddenly dropped to all fours in front of the dragon and, before it could react, pushed off with all four paws, slamming his fist into Gible's jaw, dragging it upwards until both nearly hit the cavern roof. At last, each Pokemon struck the floor, Riolu on his feet, with Gible being not so lucky. I pumped my fist into the air, "Yes! Way to go Riolu!" I cried to him, readying my Pokeball – One of the last I had, compliments of Dawn – And staring down at the unconscious dragon.
'Toughest lunch you ever had, eh Gible?' I thought with a smirk, tossing the ball and watching, with much satisfaction, as the dragon vanished inside. The ball wobbled back and forth for a moment, Gible still somehow managing to put up a fight despite everything, before at last the sphere stilled; the ping echoed throughout the cavern.
Grinning ear to ear, I limped over towards the object and plucked it from the dirt, kneeling to show it to Riolu, who looked rather wobbly himself, "Check it out buddy." I told him, my voice full of pride on happiness, "Looks like our little band just got even bigger!"
Riolu grinned that toothy grin, before falling flat on his bottom, panting heavily. With a smile, I tucked the ball away and picked up the furry fighter, handing over the flashlight he so loved to hold while I applied a potion to his wounds. We still had some walking ahead of us – And that scream we'd heard could very well lead to another battle. I only had a few potions left, but with the others being able to rest and recover in their Pokeballs, this was the best use of them I could think of. … What a shame they didn't work on humans; my poor leg…
"Let's keep going." I told the Pokemon, nodding off down the path ahead, "I think that scream came from up ahead."
A part of me was excited; what if it was some beautiful damsel in distress, one that needed saving? How cool would that be? 'Come to think of it…' I thought as I walked, 'Hasn't that already happened to me?'
Actually, it had happened a few times now. Weird.
But if it was Team Galactic again… I smiled; maybe it was a good thing I'd captured such a hungry Pokemon. My pace quickened, despite the pain in my leg, and I rounded the next corner without a second though, and the one after that, and after that as well. It wasn't long before I'd lost all track of what path I had taken, or where I was even going.
"Man, why isn't there a map to this place..?" I wondered with some irritation, my excitement at the prospect of what we pursued already beginning to fade, "Wayward cave or not, this is unacceptable!" Of course, my complaints fell upon empty ears; there was no one else around but Riolu.
… Or so I thought.
I rounded the next corner, muttering intelligibly under my breath, when suddenly, Riolu growled and leapt from my arms, taking a few steps forward. I tried to follow when an unseen force pushed – Nay, THREW – Me backwards, pinning me to the cavern wall. The wind escaped from me, and my back felt the sting of the various rocks and cracks in the hard, earthen wall as my arms moved of their own accord, stretching out to either side of me, far from both my belt and, more importantly, the Pokeballs it kept. Riolu looked up at me and whirled about, aiming the flashlight up ahead; there was a Pokemon thrusting a single, bent spoon in our direction, and behind it, a little girl with tears in her eyes. "Get away from me!" she cried, "Just get away!"
Yes, another character makes an appearance! Once again, standard review ettiqute applies; if you know who it is, DON'T SAY IT (And please, I mean it this time :\) And also, I'd like to note; Ventus has made his first capture of a Pokemon that is ACTUALLY where it's supposed to be! (Well, sort of. There's a small side-cavern in Wayward cave where you can actually find Gible, but... Meh, this is as close as you all get :P But, there's something that was bugging me this whole chapter; how is it that Gible/Gabite/Garchomp doesn't have BITE, of all attacks? Crunch too, of course, but -BITE-!? WTF Nintendo? I mean, that one is OBVIOUS. ... Le sigh, whatever.