Last Time, on Explorers of Prehistory...
The team inside of the Cave of Dreams was forced to split up when they came across a fork in the road. However, Team Rose, along with Ace, met a deadly threat soon after finding the brainwashed Team Vampire: Hula, smallest and meekest member of Team Rose, who softened served as an errand girl, betrayed the team, intending to murder Rose and Dracia for their shoddy treatment of her. Despite her small size, Hula was a fully evolved Pokemon, with a dangerous array of attacks, including the deadly Hyper Beam, which allowed her to defeat both Ace and Rose with ease. However, the Bellossom's sweet revenge was soured when Dracia hit her with a Fire Blast sneak attack, badly wounding her and forcing her to make a dangerous decision: she used Hyper Beam on the ceiling of the cave and caused a massive cave in, intent on killing them all!
What will happen next? Find out now!
Ace's swelled eye slowly opened, causing him to moan in pain as it did. He slowly pushed himself off of the ground, regretting it at once as white hot pain coursed through his scaly arms. His hands slipped, and he fell face first to the ground, half-dead.
A voice, hazy and undefined, caught his ears. Something, an appendage of some sort, pulled his head up and shoved something into his mouth. The healing properties of the oran berry instantly rushed through his body, healing some of his wounds and easing the pain. Ace nearly choked as he swallowed it, and slowly opened his eyes again. It was pitch black, without an ounce of light to be shed. All he knew was that a pile of several heavy somethings was currently sitting on his lower body.
"Let me help." A torch went off, and Ace found himself looking up at the face of Vlad the Crobat. The Flying/Poison-type's face was bruised and bloodied, and concern was written on it - meaning he was no longer delusional. "What the devil happened?" Vlad asked, confused. "I thought... my parents..."
Ace groaned. "We'll figure it out later. For now, could you get this load off of me?"
Vlad nodded. "Right. Hold still. Steel Wing!" The Crobat's free wing was covered with a steely aura and he smashed it against the rocks, shattering them into rubble and freeing Ace from his prison. "Are you alright?" he asked.
Ace grunted as he stood up and dusted himself off. "I'm fine, don't worry," he grunted.
Vlad's ears pricked in recognition. "Dram!" he exclaimed, flapping back to another pile of rubble. Sure enough, there was his brother, half-buried in a pile of stone. "Steel Wing!" the Crobat cried, smashing the pile away and freeing his wounded brother. "Dram, are you alright?!"
"W-who, me?" Dram coughed, wiping blood and frost off of his mouth. "Didn't feel a thing. What happened? I mean... I saw mom and pop..."
Ace shook his head. "No idea," he admitted. "When we found you, you were talking to your parents, but no one was there."
"You mean..." Dram started.
Ace nodded. "They're not here. I'm sorry."
Both Vampires bowed their heads in sorrow. "I... It's alright," Vlad said finally. "We'll manage, somehow. Now, on to business," he said, putting on his brave face. "Why are you here? Are you here to rescue us?"
"That's part of the reason," Ace admitted. "You see..."
Ace's eyes widened, as did Vlad and Dram's. "Rose?" they asked in unison.
They turned their torches to pile of rocks that had buried the center of the tunnel. A small, blue rose was poking out from the pile, purplish blood oozing weakly through the rock cracks of the avalanche.
Ace quickly leaped up the rock pile, aiming for the rock that was crushing the Roserade. "Brick Break!" he declared, smashing the rock to smithereens.
There laid Rose, badly wounded by the brunt of the rock slide. The Roserade weakly looked up at Ace through swollen topaz eyes. "C-can't move..." she gasped, raising her blue rose up weakly.
"She needs help!" Ace shouted down to the Vampires.
Dram didn't make a single move to help the Roserade but Vlad quickly flew up, surprising Rose when he landed on the ground and pulled out another oran berry, shoving it into her mouth. "Now chew," he ordered.
Rose nearly choked on the berry in surprise but did as she was told. When she finally swallowed the fruit and regained her breath, she said, "You saved me."
"Of course I did," Vlad replied plainly. "I'm a nice guy."
Dram snorted. "Little brat didn't deserve it," he growled under his breath.
Rose slowly picked herself out of the gravel. "T-thank you... Eh, Officer," she muttered. "W-where's Dracia and Hula?"
"Oh, great, the whole gang it here!" Dram grunted angrily.
"Hush you," Vlad ordered.
"They're probably buried..." Ace muttered unhappily, "or they're on the other side of this pile. We'll have to break it apart."
"Y-you do that..." Rose gasped, stumbling off. "Please excuse me while I sit down for a moment."
"Oh, no you don't!" Dram growled, glaring at Rose. "These are your team mates that need saving, not ours'!"
"Dram, calm down!" Vlad ordered.
Dram whirled to face his brother, enraged. "How can you want to help her?!" he demanded, gesturing a wing at the injured Roserade. "After everything she's pulled on us... after all he times she left us to dig out way out of trouble... She's not worth it!"
Ace cast a suspicious gaze at Rose. "You want to try and explain any of that?" he asked.
Rose shrugged. "Incredible exaggerations of the truth, I assure you. Besides, it's not as if they have any proof into the matter..."
"Well," Ace said, complete not-convinced, "I'll tell you what proof we do have. Hula snapped because you and Dracia kept bullying her, and as soon as I bring her in I'm going to open an investigation."
Rose's eyes went wide as saucers. "O-Officer, you wouldn't..."
"Bullying is against the law in the Dragonite Empire," Ace confirmed with a harsh glare. "Now, sit tight and stay calm. We'll dig your friends out."
Rose whimpered unhappily and buried her face into her rosy hands, while Ace turned back to Vlad and Dram. "Not the best of friends, are you?" the Sceptile asked the duo.
Dram snorted. "I'd rather be friends with Giratina," he said honestly.
"We don't have the most healthy relationship with Team Rose," Vlad admitted. "I'm afraid our line of work has put us into direct competition with them several times."
"So, they're your rivals?" Ace asked.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Rose managed to chuckle. "'Rivals'? Frankly, Officer, calling them our rivals would imply that they could actually compete with a team like Team Rose."
Vlad shook off his annoyed twitch and continued. "Well, she makes a good point," he admitted. "Team Vampire has yet to defeat them in an exploration or rescue mission. We were sort of hoping that this would be the first time. To be honest, I'm a touch miffed that they showed up."
"I assure you, the feeling is mutual," Rose retorted.
Dram scowled and began to charge at the injured Roserade, but Vlad stopped him in his tracks. "No," he said, shaking his head. "It's not worth it, Dram. Let it go."
"...Fine..." Dram grunted, folding his wings up and glaring at his wounded rival.
"I'm sorry that you and Team Rose haven't had a spectacular relationship," Ace apologized. "However, be that as it may, it's my duty as an officer and your duty as an explorer of the Gardevoir Guild to help those in need."
"I'm well aware of that, Officer," Vlad confirmed with a nod. "We'll help."
Dram, oddly enough, was also on board. "If it means an official investigation of those jerks, then I'm in, too!"
Ace nodded. "Great. All together now! One, two..."
"Three!" the Vampires shouted together. "Steel Wing!"
"Brick Break!" Ace added, raising his fist into the air and bringing it down.
Three powerful attacks struck the massive wall of rocks and smashed a sizable crack into it. "Perfect," Ace said with a grin. "Alright, let me handle this... Dig!" The Sceptile began to spin his body around like a top, leaping at the weakened spot on the wall and digging into it with speed that would make a Diglett blush. He quickly tore through the rock pile, leaping a perfectly round hole that led to the other side.
The sight that awaited him on said other side was terrifying, but not entirely unexpected.
"Shut up, you traitor! Fire Blast!"
Hula, even worse off than she had been before, was being chased by an enraged, cursing Dracia, who was spewing both venomous words and massive plumes of flame and smoke as she chased after the Bellossom, intent to kill. The homicidal bravado that Hula had had before was now gone, replaced with terror and fear as she ran with surprising speed for someone with such tiny legs, eyes wide as her team mate tried once more to burn her to death.
Ace quickly took action; Hula might have been evil, but she deserved a fair trial, just like everyone else. "That's enough!" he ordered Dracia.
"Not until I toast this runt!" Dracia shot back, still chasing Hula.
"H-h-help me!" Hula begged Ace pitifully. "I can't run much longer!"
Ace groaned, knowing full well that Hula probably didn't deserve this - then again, neither did Dracia. It was part of being a cop. With a grunt, he leaped into the din, shouting "Leaf Blade!" and slicing both Roses with the sharpened leafs on his arms. Neither took too much damage, but it was enough to fling them both back and stun them.
Ace landed in front of the two, glaring down at both of them. "Alright, enough is enough," he growled. "Dracia, from this point on, you do what I say, or you leave the cave. Got it?"
Dracia was taken aback at the harshness of Ace's voice, but nodded all the same.
Hula gave a sigh of relief. Safe...
"And you, Hula Bellossom," Ace said, reaching into his bag and pulling out a thick rope, "are under arrest."
Hula gaped. "W-w-what...? Why?! W-what did I do?!"
Ace wasted no time in tying the Bellossom up. "Attempted murder on at least three accounts, along with reckless endangerment of others. And don't look too smug, Dracia, the moment we get back to the mainland and Hula gets interrogated, I'm opening an official investigation on your little team. Quite frankly, I'm seeing a different side to you when you're actually out on the job - a side I don't care for."
Dracia scowled. "Oh, yeah!?" she threatened. "We'll see about..."
"Dracia, shut up."
Rose slowly limped through the hole in the wall, glaring at the Dratini as she clutched her injured arm. "We're in enough trouble as it is without you opening your big mouth," she snapped.
"We could take him!" Dracia snarled.
Rose actually laughed. "Oh, no, we couldn't. Not with my arm like this and you being a plain awful fighter we can't. Do as the officer says - or else."
Dracia pouted and slithered off.
"W-what about me?" Hula whimpered, her arms completely tied up by Ace.
"What about you?" Rose asked with a glare. "Did you honestly think you'd just get away with it?"
"Get away with what?" Hula asked pathetically.
"Trying to kill us, stupid!" Dracia shouted.
Vlad and Dram had chosen this moment to enter the room, and both of them were surprised. "Hula tried to kill someone?" Vlad asked, shocked.
Dracia rolled her eyes. "Oh, great, they're finally conscious," she groaned. "Now we have to listen to them talk."
"Dracia, I do believe I told you to shut your mouth," Rose reminded her disobedient friend.
"I... I couldn't have killed anyone..." Hula whimpered pathetically. "I mean... I couldn't..."
"It's always the quiet ones," Dram muttered out of earshot.
"You were just raving like a lunatic," Ace said suspiciously, "trying to kill Rose and Dracia for abusing you."
Hula turned pale. "I... I mean..."
"You said it was your dream," Ace added, causing Vlad's ears to prick. "You remember it now, don't you?"
"Hula, attempted murder is illegal - it gives you five years in Lava Ridge Prison," Ace lectured.
Hula was shaking like a leaf now. "I can't go to Lava Ridge..." she shivered. "I'd never last..."
"Officer," Vlad interrupted. "Over here, if you'd please."
The Crobat was hovering next to a small hole, almost invisible even in the light of his torch. "Look here," he said.
Ace and Rose peered into the tunnel, Ace making sure to keep a firm grip on Hula's rope. Inside the small pit they could see a faint purplish mist brewing inside, slowly beginning to leak out.
Vlad scowled and batted his wings harder, pushing the fog back inside of the pit. "I remember now," he muttered. "Dram and I were being chased by some sort of beast, and we got trapped in that hole. That's when we started to see our parents again..."
Hula spoke up. "Um... I looked inside that hole while everyone else was arguing about what to do with the Vampires, and I breathed some in... I remember attacking Rose and Dracia..."
"Yeah, right," Dracia snorted. "So, the cave is filled with magical mist that makes bats dumber than usual and drives little girls insane."
"Don't you understand?" Vlad whirled to face the others. "This is the Cave of Dreams, is it not? It's said to make dreams come true - and it did! Dram and I wanted to be with our parents again, and the cave gave us an illusion of our parents!"
Ace's eyes went wide, putting two and two together. "You're right," he exclaimed. "Hula was tired of being bullied but was too afraid to confront Rose and Dracia, so the cave gave her the illusion of courage that she needed to face them - except the courage it gave her drove her mad. Meaning that, if this is to be believed, that Hula is technically innocent on grounds of mind control."
"I am...?" Hula asked hopefully.
"She is!?" Rose and Dracia exclaimed in unison.
"T-that's good..." Hula said, thankfully, knowing full well that she probably wouldn't survive in the harshest prison in the Dragonite Empire.
"How wonderful for you," Rose sniffed. "Keep in mind that you are still a member of Team Rose and therefore are going to take orders until this whole ordeal is over."
Hula swallowed as Ace cut the ropes that bound her. "Y-yes, Rose," she said meekly.
"Oh, lay off of her!" Dram grunted.
"I agree," Vlad said with a nod. "There's no need for conflict right now. Now, Officer, could you kindly explain what happened during our brief delusional spell?"
Ace nodded grimly. "I can - but you won't like it."
"What?! Akasha's here?!"
Vlad and Dram were both dumbfounded at the revelation that their sister, tiny and frail Akasha, was in this cave. At first, they didn't want to believe it, but then memories of their time in the illusion world of their dream came back, and they faintly remembered their little sister crying - crying for them to snap out of it. It was then they realized the horrible truth: Akasha was in danger.
"No..." Vlad whispered quietly. "She came all this way to save us?"
Ace nodded. "She did. We came in to help you."
Dram cast a suspicious eye at Rose and Dracia. "And you agreed to help them save us," he said, not bothering to believe it.
"Naturally," Rose answered. "It's in Gardevoir Guild Protocol, after all."
You've never bothered to follow it before... Vlad thought angrily.
"Vlad..." Dram muttered. "We've got to find Akasha! Remember that monster?"
"Monster?" Ace asked. "What monster?"
Vlad shivered. "Before we were exposed to that mist we were being chased by a monster of some sort - an immensely powerful Pokemon with fierce Ice-type attacks. If it attack us..." The Crobat quickly took off. "Then it will surely go after Akasha and the others! This way!"
"Right!" the others chorused. With no reason to stick around, they took off into the hole again, badly wounded by eager to get this whole mess over with.
Well, looks like Team Vampire and Team Rose are safe for now... but what of Team Survivors and Team Blizzard? And what is the source of this mysterious mist?
You'll just have to tune in again to see...
Well, be sure to read and review! And afterwards go and check out the Pokemon fan fiction Destiny Plaza by Limitless Horizon. The writer's taking pairings requests and I just got mine published! :D Be sure to check it out!