The agents were already at the river when I got there. They wrapped and bound Lance's body in a garbage bag and then weighed it down by tying a large boulder to his ankles. Thunder rolled on in the distance as the rain pelted down on us, drenching everyone unlucky enough to be caught in it. I pressed my body up against a tree, making myself scarce as I watched them throw the bag over the side.
Their jobs done, the agents moved along, eager to get out of the rain.
I pressed my head up against the tree, there was nothing I could do to fight back the tears. There was a pain in my chest… an agony that gripped at my heart and forced me to drop to my knees.
This couldn't be it! Once again, my father had proven the hold he had over me.
I clutched Lance's Pokéballs into my chest. I had to be sure…I needed to reach Dragonite, but which ball was she in? If I released the wrong dragon – one that didn't know me - it would surely make short work of me in no time at all.
I concentrated my mind on the balls, calling for her. Begging her to come out; her master needed her.
The beam of red erupted from my hands and I released the ball, letting it drop to the ground at my feet. Dragonite formed in front of me, her wings stretching and her eyes blinking in the darkness. She searched the grounds for her master only to find it was just me there.
"Dragonite," I didn't give her a chance to react to the fact. "I need your help. Its Lance, he is in trouble… I didn't know who else I could turn to."
She watched me intently now, and that was when I heard it, the voice that echoed in my mind. "Where is he, Dragonchild?"
I was immediately taken aback, how was she able to talk to me like this? I didn't have the time to dwell on it.
"The river. They threw him into the river," I pointed.
The Dragon took to the sky and searched the water for her master. "I see him but the currents are too strong! You must call on the Water Guardian."
I was on it, searching and calling for Gyrados before pitching its ball into the river.
The giant serpent formed in the water, its roar sounding aloud. Dragonite buzzed about over its head, showing it where their master was.
The brilliant red Gyrados obliged and dove into the river only to burst from the waters with Lance's body in its mouth. Dragonite grabbed him from its jaws flying him back over to where I stood and gently placed him on the ground.
"Lance!" I dropped to my knees, tearing the bag away from his face and body. The water hadn't gotten through yet, he wasn't wet.
I felt around his neck for a pulse. There was a heartbeat… weak but still auditable.
"Lance, don't go!" I pumped at his chest and heaved breath into his lungs.
But he wasn't responding…
"Don't!" my yell was one of pure desperation. I stopped the pumping and pressed my head on his forehead, digging into his mind… searching him for something… anything.
I saw pictures… static and random. Pictures of flying, dragons, battles… and then… something else. A memory from his mind played like an old television. He stood in a place with towering stone dragons. A woman entered through double doors, tall and lean.
"I request a gym battle," she spoke, her voice calm and collected. Lance was taken aback by her. He sensed in her an untamed spirit. An air about her seemed to emanate through the gym they stood in, like she belonged there but didn't yet know it.
I realised right then, that woman was me. This was a memory from the first time we'd met at the Blackthorn City Gym. I'd fought Clair that day which had resulted in a tie. Much to her alarm, I'd pitched my Charizard up against her Gyrados. But she found herself up for an intense battle as I'd used the tactic of playing on Gyrados' Dragon characteristics and ordered Charizard to use Dragon type moves against it. Making what was weak against the water type, strong.
That was when it hit me. "Dragonite!" I burst to my feet suddenly. "Stay here. I need to go and get something. Don't let him fade!"
I bolted from the scene, staggering onto the street and over to the nearest building which just so happened to be a Pokémart. Grabbing a bin, I hurled it at the window and smashed it into a million pieces.
REEOOREEEOOO! An alarm blared but ignoring it, I leaped into the store and tore through the shelves, desperately searching. I skidded to a halt in front of the TM cabinet just behind the main counter and used a stapler to smash the glass. There I filed my way through the countless TM cds, looking for the one I needed. New TMs were being developed all the time and this was like finding a needle in a haystack!
"Arhh!" I let out a frustrated growl, finally stumbling upon the one I was looking for and slammed it into a portable DVD player.
The player came on, immediately flashing the contents of the TM before me at high speed - my brain absorbing every element on the screen. And within the blink of an eye, I'd learnt a new attack.
I could hear sirens in the distance now. The police were on their way! I cursed, dashing for the broken window and quickly made my escape. I bolted back over to the park, my heart racing and my lungs screaming in my chest and skidded to a halt before Dragonite and Lance.
"Dragonite," I gasped through my panting. "I need you to do something for me. I have an ability that I can use to help him but first I need to be injured for it to work."
The Dragonite's look on me was one of confusion.
"I can't explain right now, just hit me. Give me a Wing Attack or a Dragon Claw or something… anything!"
"I cannot attack a living being, not unless my master asks me to."
"Not helping!" I growled at her. "What about self defence?"
I couldn't believe I was just about to do this. I started to draw in the force into my mind, the wave of energy starting to form that I directed into my hands… into a Psywave. This I released onto the Dragonite, sending her reeling for a tree.
"Hurrr!" she cried, dazed at the sudden and unexpected attack.
"Come on!" I yelled at her, taunting her. "Hit me you oversized salamander!"
I started to form another attack, but she burst to her feet, throwing me a defensive Wing Attack that sent me flying.
"Oof!" I hit the grass, my face landing in a puddle of mud. I coughed up a wheeze and pulled myself to my feet, going her again. She beat me off with a swift Dragon Claw and I tumbled backwards, feeling something in my ribcage crack and let out a loud bellow. "Again!"
"Hurrrrhh!" She was angry now, hissing at me, fangs beared. The antennas on her head sparking to life.
Her Thunderwave tore right through my body, its force only intensifying due to the fact that I was wet from the rain.
"Ahhhhh!" I screamed, feeling the full force of Lance's most powerful Pokémon. My body involuntarily jolted and twitched, the heat of electricity scorching me from the inside out.
The attack ceased and I hit the ground, unable to move. The stupid Dragon had paralysed me!
I forced myself to move, the pain of my joints locking up so intense that I could hardly bear it. I dragged myself over to Lance's fallen form, dropping to my knees and I placed my hands on his head. I concentrated on his mind, forcing my way in. As was to be expected, his Dark ability came up, struggling to block my advances and that was when I employed my latest move. A Psychic one called Miracle Eye. Suddenly I could see into the chaos, I could make something of this darkness that enveloped him. I focused my mind on two more things now… drawing in every last ounce of energy I had left in me, I urged my body into a Recover then using my Synchronise I attempted to force it into Lance. It was an insane move, one that I was sure no Pokémon had attempted before.
Would it work?
I went back to pumping his chest and blowing into his mouth. That was when I noticed his wounds were starting to close. Not heal completely, but at least start to. The bleeding in his shoulder began to subside and his heartbeat rose. I listened for his thoughts and a dialogue slowly began to form in his mind… an awareness… and then suddenly a darkness as his ability became stronger and the effects of the Miracle Eye began to wear thin. Eyes blinked open in the darkness and he partook of his first gasp of air.
"Lance!" I heaved a sigh of relief, stopping short of pulling him into a tight embrace.
"Kair?" he seemed dazed as he watched me, his head then turning to gaze up at his Dragonite who stood over the both of us.
He smiled, "man am I happy to see you two."
The expression on my face turned serious. "Lance, that was too close. We almost lost you."
He had to agree. His hand came up to my cheek but I pulled it away, pressing it back into his chest.
"I can't see you anymore, Lance. It's too dangerous. You need to get away from me and stay away."
"You can't let your father dictate your life, Kair," he fought.
"The next time my father tries to kill you Lance, he will succeed. I can't let there be a next time. I'm sorry."
I got to my feet, glimpsing Dragonite in the eye. "Take him to the hospital."
Author's Note: Hey all! Thanks for all of your awesome reviews :)! Now you didn't think I would actually KILL Lance now, eh eh eh ;)!
Anyways, this concludes Volume 3 but the good news is that the story still has PLENTY more to go! (including lots of twists and turns and more Marfia/Pokémon G-Men/Shadow Dragon Arts… and other stuff!)
Firstly though… we're taking a step back in time for Volume 4 which is simply called 'Beginnings'. It's based about 15 years before the events of Volume 3 and it's taking up Delia's point of view. (basically the story of how she came to be involved in Team Rocket and with Giovanni).
If Delia doesn't interest you, then fear not because in conjunction with that story, I've already started and posted several chapters of Volume 5: 'Shades of Gray' which is back in Kair's point of view and picks up two months after this story (Volume 3).
I very obviously have too much time on my hands! ;)!
Hope to see you all there!