The Path of Destiny
Chapter Twenty One-The Hope of Escape
Cyclone was lost.
All the vaporeon could see was sand. In every direction, there was nothing more, simply miles upon miles of sand and dunes. Where was his trainer when he needed him? Gone. Long gone. Miles away by now. He would never find him again, and truthfully, he didnt care. That boy was a traitor.
And because of him, Cyclone was lost.
The vaporeon wearily stumbled across the shifting sand, ignoring the pain that seared across his scorched paw pads. He was far too dehydrated to manage even the simplest water attack, even now, when he needed it most. He regretted the day hed made the decision to travel with the boy instead of being released back to his forest home. But the water stone had been far too tempting.
And because of it, Cyclone was lost.
As the weary pokémon carried on, his paw slipped, and he was sent crashing into the burning sand. Why had his trainer been foolish enough to think he could travel all the way through this desert? He was probably just as lost
The vaporeon was glad he had left the boy; left before he lost the strength to perform water attacks. He had needed the water more than that stupid human and his other worthless pokémon.
And yet, Cyclone was still lost.
Realizing that he needed to keep going, or else perish, the vaporeon staggered to his feet, only to fall again. He tried yet again; once, twice, and a third time. All attempts failed.
Cyclone was hopelessly lost
Yet he would not let himself die. No, his trainer didnt deserve that satisfaction.
Wearily, his paws scrabbled in the sand as he slowly dragged himself forward, when a glimmer of sunlight reflecting off something nearby caught his eye.
There were rocks close by him, and it looked as if they had once been deeply covered in sand. Another bright flash of light made him blink. He crawled closer. His eyes widened as he reached the burning-hot stones, noticing what looked like a deep green emerald placed firmly into a crack between three different rocks. He stared, perplexed, at the stone. It looked far too tightly jammed between the rocks to be pried loose, but out of curiosity, he reached out with his paw and touched its shiny surface. What felt like raw energy surged through his body, and his eyes widened in shock, his mouth open in a silent scream.
Then it all went dark.
Rosies cage now seemed very, very small. After evolving, she was quite a bit bigger than she had been before, and although still small by a ninetaless standards, she wasnt small enough for the cage. The ceiling was far too low to allow her to stand, and she found it hard to turn around in the narrow space.
Irritably, she clawed at the cages door, but more out of frustration than actually trying to escape. Nightcloud was nowhere to be seen, and the guards were being switched out often. For a while now, the humans had ignored her. She was no longer being trained for battle, and probably wouldnt ever be, she thought; now she was just a rare pokémon to be sold for a high price.
However, since her evolution, she had not been feeling afraid. Angry and aggravated, but no longer afraid, not even when the humans had brutally stopped her from escaping. She was done being scared of these humans
she was a ninetales now, and a ninetales didnt need to be afraid of anything. Glaring angrily through the bars of the cage and looking around the room, Rosie figured it was about time she escaped.
The problem was
she didnt know how.
Sighing, she glanced down at where the bars met the cage floor; a few of them were scorched black, a result of her previous attempts at trying to use ember to help her break the bars. Looking back up at a few of the other caged pokémon, Rosie wondered how long they had been trapped in there. Hm
she mumbled, realizing something, Wonder if any of them know how long they keep the pokémon here before they sell them
Reaching her paw out, she tapped her claws against the cage of another pokémon, a linoone. You, she muttered quickly, How long are we gonna be stuck here?
The linoone stirred and looked at her drowsily; he must have been asleep. Er
what? he muttered.
Rosie rolled her eyes. Never mind, youre hopeless. Uh...you. Idiot guard
how long do I have to wait before Im sold to some stupid trainer?
The tropius standing as guard gave her a rather un-amused look, then shook his head and looked away. Fine! Rosie growled in annoyance, Dont answer!
Why does it matter? the linoone in the cage next to her suddenly mumbled, Youll probably just end up being treated the same way whatever trainer youre sold to. I suppose well be living in cages the rest of our lives. He sighed. Thats a long time
You think its bad for you? Rosie replied, Thats a thousand years for me, and I dont plan on spending it all belonging to some worthless human! Turning away from him, Rosie started to think to herself about escape. She had found a slightly loose bar at the side of her cage, but no amount of moving it had made it any looser, and she had abandoned that plan a while ago. She could nothing to open the cage door, and the only way the cage would ever be opened was when the humans came to feed her. And if she attacked them, she would get electrocuted. Yet it wouldnt be enough to kill her. Maybe I can be stronger now
she whispered quietly to herself, Maybe Ill be able to stand it long enough to get out and run
If someone like Thunder can do it, I can
A noise from the room beyond interrupted her thoughts. One of the humans was shouting at another, and Rosie tried to peer through the doorway, hoping to be able to see what was going on.
To her annoyance, she couldnt see anything, though she could hear what sounded like fighting, and it wasnt a normal battle considering that both humans and pokémon were screaming.
Whats going on? someone cried, equally confused.
Rosie listened carefully, hearing sounds of battle and cries of pokémon and humans alike coming from another room further on. Could it be that some of the pokémon were actually managing to fight back?
Thunder awoke slowly, dazed and confused. She realized she was still outside, but in a much grassier and less rocky place than she remembered. Confused, she opened her eyes, instantly closing them again at the brightness of the sun.
Thunder opened her eyes again. Last time she remembered, it was barely reaching dawn, but now, it looked like midday.
Confused, Thunder stood up, looking around for any signs of humans. But all she could see were several trees and many strange-looking plants, but not far away from where she was standing, something else startled her. Through the leaves of the plants and trees, she could see the bars to some sort of gate. Confused, she walked closer, and as she did, the glint of metal from another direction caught her eye. Turning, she could see bars on the opposite side of the area.
As she ran towards those bars, she noticed something strange. Looking down at her arm, she realized with surprise that the chain was gone. The shackle was still there, however, though the chain itself had been severed. Reaching up with her arm to the collar around her neck, she could feel that it was still there; maybe if the humans whod put the gate there had wanted to remove it they hadnt found a way how to yet.
Looking down at her other arm, she noticed it had been bandaged, as had many of her other wounds. Both confused and annoyed, she quickly tore each bandage off, before hastily running alongside the barred gate, realizing that it completely encircled the small area she was enclosed in. There was a similar set of bars above the enclosure, meaning she couldnt fly out. Carefully, Thunder peered at some of the bars that stuck up from the ground to form one side of the gate. They didnt look very strong
Mustering all her strength, she swiped both of her scythes at the nearest two bars, though despite them being rather thin, they were incredibly strong, and seemed barely scratched despite her efforts. She kept trying, and finally stopped when a small piece of one of her battered scythes chipped off.
Frustrated and confused, Thunder thought with a hint of panic, Im in a CAGE
a very large cage
Thunder? A voice startled Thunder into turning around. Another pokémon had approached the bars from the other side. Thunder quickly recognized Redclaw, and though many of the arcanines wounds were bandaged, he looked much healthier than he had before. Thunder peered further through the bars and noticed more a ways away, and realized that Redclaw wasnt outside-he was in another large cage just like hers, which was also grassy and had several plants and trees within it as well as grass. However, if the humans thought they were replicating an arcanines natural habitat, they were doing a poor job; Thunder didnt recognize most of the plants and she doubted if some of them were even real. However, Redclaw seemed calm. Relax, he told her, The humans have been gone for a while. And theres food here-it isnt poisoned. There should be some-
Where are we? Thunder snapped, glaring at him. She could only begin to wonder why Redclaw was so calm when they were clearly once again in the possession of humans.
I dont know, Redclaw admitted, Theres a large building near all these pokémon enclosures, but there are nicer humans there. Youve been knocked out all morning so you wouldnt have seen but they gave me medicine that made me feel less pain. Theyre trying to help us, I think
If they were trying to help us then why are we in a cage? Thunder spat.
I think its more to keep other pokémon out, Redclaw stammered, Theres many other pokémon here, though I think they bring the larger or wilder pokémon to these areas outside. Just be glad they didnt keep you in that building-its kind of frightening, theres strange smells and lots of injured pokémon. I wonder whats happened to all of them
I think they put us out here because there were too many pokémon in there already, or maybe its because they thought wed be more comfortable outside, and the barred gates might be to keep us from running off into the wild before our wounds have healed
But why didnt they give us a choice? Thunder growled, Im not dependent on humans, and if theyre going to force me to stay here I wont believe theyre trying to help. And by the way, what do you think theyre going to do with us once weve recovered enough, huh?
Redclaw stiffened, and Thunder could tell he was uncertain, but he replied, Theres nothing we can do now. I suppose we should wait until were stronger and then we can find a way to-
I feel stronger already, Thunder remarked, knowing that, if anything, the humans had treated her wounds-not even the bullet wounds hurt as much anymore, Im ready to leave. Now. I wont stick around to find out what these humans have in store for us. I say we find a way out and-and
where the heck is Stormblade?
Stormblade? Redclaw repeated, puzzled, before realizing who Thunder meant, The other scyther? Hes one of the ones they kept inside
he was one of the worst injured of all the other pokémon I saw
and there were many with really horrific injuries
Well thats just great! Thunder muttered sarcastically, looking down at where the end of the gate bars were stuck into the ground. Redclaw! she said suddenly, looking up, Do you think you could dig underneath the bars?
Redclaw began hesitantly, They must have made it so that pokémon cant dig under them
Just try! Thunder told him, I cant dig well, and if you can dig an opening big enough for me to fit through, you could dig another way out of your cage and we can both get out.
Redclaw said nothing and only nodded, starting to scrape his claws against the damp earth, and surprisingly quickly, he had dug deep enough to see the end of the bars. I can dig under them, he told her, They dont go very far underground, but theyre really sharp at the ends. Careful to avoid the pointed ends of the metal bars, Redclaw swiftly scraped out more earth, soon creating a large pile of dirt behind him. Thunder stood by and waited, though she could see that Redclaw was quickly tiring. He was still weak, she realized, from the electric shock.
After a minute of digging deeper, Redclaw realized the earth had become much harder to dig through, and more rocky. Thunder tried to help dig from the other side, and eventually they made a hole to crawl through, though it was very shallow, thanks to the fact that it was very tiring and difficult to dig any deeper. Are you sure its big enough? Redclaw asked her uncertainly.
Its fine! Thunder replied, annoyed, and began to crawl through the small opening. Redclaw knew that it wasnt big enough for any scyther who wasnt as thin as Thunder to fit through, but despite the fact that the sharp ends of the metal bars made long cuts across her back, Thunder managed to make it through and into Redclaws enclosure rather quickly. Come on, she muttered, ignoring the cuts, Lets find a way out of here
Redclaw told her, still sounding a bit uncertain about all this, I think we should wait a little while first. Im far too tired to dig any more right now, but well both be stronger if we rest for a little bit. I dont think well have any trouble from the humans for a while; theyre all too busy inside the building, and it will be easier to get away from here during the night. They left food and water here, so I dont think theyre planning on coming back soon.
Thunder looked about ready to argue, but simply muttered, Fine
and turned away. She didnt seem at all pleased with the idea, and Redclaw noticed her staring through the bars, yet not at the other outdoor pokémon enclosures, but beyond them. He was quite clear about how she felt about being trapped in this place, though he couldnt help but wonder if she was really mistaken.
Both Justin and Katie had been shocked to discover the amount of injured pokémon whod been taken to the Pokémon Center. Katies pokémon couldnt even be checked on, as everyone working there was far too busy caring for pokémon with worse injuries. Katie was a bit confused as to why so many pokémon had gotten injured, though she knew that some of them had been caught in traps meant for bigger pokémon; shed seen someone bringing in a poochyena that had gotten its leg severed by one such trap. She shuddered as she walked away from the Pokémon Center with her shinx and Justin walking beside her.
Justin had returned, and had gone to the pokémon center to wait for her to bring her pokémon there. Luckily, he had been right, and Katie had gone to the Pokémon Center, bringing three injured pokémon with her with the help of Nurse Joy and a pokémon ranger. When asked, she had said that the three were wild; not mentioning that one of the scyther had once belonged to Justin. Katie had not said anything to Justin about what had happened the previous night when theyd found the hurt scyther, and he was very glad of it.
Katie had grown a bit tired of Justin constantly pestering her to search after the white growlithe again, no matter how many times she told him that it would be nearly impossible for any of their pokémon to track it. However, she had eventually relented, and thought that maybe her shinx would be able to find a clue as to where the growlithe had gone. It seemed pointless, but she figured it was worth a try, and the best place to start would be the rocks in the forest where shed found Justins scyther. She couldnt think of a better place to look, and the rocky area had been where their earlier searches had taken them. Sighing as Justin suddenly raced ahead, she ran after him toward the outskirts of the city, her shinx following closely behind.
Snowcrystal and Spark were exhausted; Wildflame had insisted they travel as quickly as possible, and even though Snowcrystal was used to running long distances, she felt weak and tired now. At last, however, they stopped to take a break. During this time, no one said a word. Snowcrystal was still too shocked, but yet at the same time she realized that Wildflame was right about needing to keep moving on.
After the little break, that was all too short, Wildflame told the others that it was time to move again, and they carried on.
Will ya slow down? Spark grumbled after a short while, far behind the other two, I cant run for THIS long! I
hey wait! Whats that?
Snowcrystal and Wildflame stopped. Spark was sniffing the air, and Snowcrystal did as well, soon noticing an enticing scent. Theres food nearby! Spark shouted to the others as he ran off through the bushes. Snowcrystal watched him in confusion.
Then a thought struck her. Spark! Wait, dont-
Her words were cut off by a scream.
To Be Continued...