Why howdy there good sirs and ma'ams! Its been months since I have posted anything here. This one-shot is a brief dramaish kinda story that i had half written from years ago so I decided to go ahead and finish it at post it here. Of course, constructive criticism is always welcomed. Please enjoy reading it =) Oh the PG-13 is for mild violence...possibly language?
There is a forest deep in the heart of Johto. Hidden in the valley of two rugged mountains, few humans were able to see, let alone enter, its bushy depths. The trees in the forest were not lush and green, but rather fading and gray. The majestic trees were as old as the lofty mountains surrounding them and had the rotting, black skin to prove it. Green was banished from this forest; the leaves had become withered and brown, for the trees were too feeble to embrace the sunlight once more. No new trees had grown in many years; any sprouts were quickly devoured by the starving, deranged pokemon within the forest’s depths.
A demonic grass pokemon marched silently through a small path clear of the many trees, searching aimlessly for his mischievous son. Bones of dead insect pokemon and twigs cracked beneath his feet as he strolled peacefully. His son tended to hang from the largest tree in the forest, attempting to absorb the remnants of its wasted nutrients. Nourishment was difficult for the youngest grass pokemon since sunlight rarely came in contact with the forest and nutrients were in scarcity. Most of the infant grass pokemon died before they could evolve and eat insects.
After marching alone for nearly a mile, the demonic pokemon came across a small puddle of filthy water, causing his heart to nearly skip a beat. Water on days without rain was a rare luxury; his fan-like leaves were brown and withering, he needed the dirty water more than anything. Pouncing in a paranoid fashion, as if there were millions of other pokemon wanting the water as well, the demonic pokemon lapped up all the water with his tiny tongue and partially submerged his dying leafs into the blessed liquid. It was certainly not a pleasurable experience; he swallowed more dirt than water, yet he still felt somehow slightly uplifted.
After every precious drop of water had disappeared (including the moisture in the grimy soil), the beast trekked onward, a bad taste in his mouth and his brown leaves slumping once again. He was a Shiftry, the most respected of all grass pokemon, except for the legendary Forest Guardian. He was highly cherished for having lived a full ten years whereas the average pokemon in the forest died within three years. Thousands of years ago there were many pokemon in the forest, but only thirty remained today, many being forced to breed with their sisters. Five Seedot, four Scyther, three Nuzleaf, two Murkrow and Paras, and a single Shiftry had banded together to survive against the conditions of the evil forest. They looked to the Shiftry as a leader because he was the most powerful and aged.
Why they envied his age, the Shiftry could never discover. Living in utter hell for ten, prolonged horrible years of suffering was no Nirvana. He felt the pangs of old age setting into his joints and wrinkled face, but the demon of the forest was still a formidable opponent to those who crossed his path. After nearly an hour of marching aimlessly, he finally arrived at the very center of the forest, where the enormous graying tree stood lofty, a round, brown seed pokemon swaying by one its branches.
“Eryllus! Come down, now!” he hissed vehemently, eyes transfixed upon his son. His brown shell had gained many more cracks since the Shiftry last saw him. He was approaching death unless he had a proper meal.
“Yes Father…” the Seedot mumbled from a good twenty feet in the air. He slowly loosened his grip on the tree and fell with a small thud onto the soil, a new crack appearing above his left foot.
“Silly boy, dropping down that far… Let us go home; the tribe will be waiting for me. Sadly enough, I did not find any new sources of food in the past few days,” the Shiftry said sagely before scooping his son in his arms.
“They all left home when the Sun rose, they told me to tell you that,” Eryllus responded indifferently.
No sooner than when the Shiftry started responding, a large cawing boomed from overhead. Several tiny gray feathers fluttered down from a small patch of sky as the Shiftry looked up into the sky to find the source of the infernal cawing.
“KROW! KROW! MASTER BAZAROV! MASTER BAZAROV!”
The demonic pokemon’s great bellow made even the roots of the trees quiver in fright. Immediately afterward, a filthy ball of graying feathers swooped down in front of the grass pokemon, flapping its wings madly, squawking incoherently in its failed attempt to convey a message. Annoyed by its lunacy, Bazarov struck the tiny bird with one of his leaves. Knocked to the ground temporarily, the Murkrow soon hovered up to the Shiftry’s face, gasping for breath.
“T-the Forbidden Grotto… The one that you warn us to never step into! One of the beasts wandered from it into our home, frightened and injured last night. Naturally, Arcady slaughtered it immediately and as we went to feast upon its flesh, we noticed great punctures in its flesh prior to Arcadys’ attack. No creature in the forest could have done that…”
The Murkrow paused momentarily to regain her breath. Bazarov paid close attention; the Forbidden Grotto was the most dangerous area in the entire forest. Nearly seven years ago, strange creatures entered the forest and destroyed a small expanse of trees, erecting a small white building in its place. His elder brother Salazar had gone to investigate and was somehow slain by the one of the strange creatures with a mysterious metallic staff. Later that year, a foreboding electric fence was placed around the building, killing any overcurious pokemon that wandered too close.
Bazarov desired to break into the grotto and face the beings that murdered his brother—and return the favor. Fortunately, he was considerably more levelheaded than Salazar and knew with the strange forces possessed by the aliens he could never overcome them. This did not mean he totally ignored the problem—he regularly had the Murkrow patrol the area. But what happened in the white building apparently stayed within its walls—they never saw any indication of any thing living in it—apart from strange bursts of light every once in a while.
“Where is the rest of the tribe?” Bazarov asked calmly.
“They retreated about a mile further from the grotto. They fear the monster within. Arcady and Keziah went to the grotto to investigate. Magali followed them—she…”
Tired of his overzealous squawking, the Shiftry cut the messenger off. “That’s quite enough. Lead Eryllus back to the rest of the tribe. Tell them I am going,” he said briskly before immediately marching in the direction of the grotto. He paused and turned back to look at his son whose eyes beamed in admiration.
“Bring back the monster’s head for me, Father!”
Bazarov chuckled for the first time in a long while. “Oh I shall, son.” He averted his eyes quickly, some part of him craved to endure the love of his son for as long as possible—but the Shiftry refused to act in a manner that indicated fear. If his son thought him a brave hero, let him always think that way.
“CAW! CAW! MASTER BAZAROV!”
No sooner than fifteen minutes into his solemn march, the Shiftry was disrupted by yet another infernal hurricane of black feathers swooping into his face.
“What?” Bazarov demanded rather irritably.
“Have you heard—“
“The thunder barrier has fallen! Several of the white robed beings—dead! They were attacked and we found in their attempt to escape—some were missing limbs!” Magali’s protruding eyes were threatening to burst from their sockets. A fear quavered in her voice that the Shiftry had never heard before.
“And Arcady and Keziah?”
“They are waiting…there’s a monster in that building, sir. Don’t let it escape into the forest, Master!” she shrieked in desperation, tears welling up in her eyes.
“I have protected your family for over ten years—I will not fail today. Are you willing to stand lookout when the three of us enter the building, Magali?” Bazarov asked firmly.
Magali’s eyes became strangely small. Her tiny beak uttered a tiny squeak before it closed half-way—trembling with horror. The Shiftry didn’t know it was possible for birds to sweat, but perspiration slowly began to creep to the surface of the horrified bird’s face.
“Don’t be ridiculous, if it escapes you can very well fly away!” the Shiftry cried exasperated by the cowardice.
“That beast may very well be able to fly too…”
Bazarov marched onwards.
Ah, the grotto was in sight once more. The whited fortress stood proudly in its dominion which its soldiers had so forcefully and bloodily claimed their own. Tufts of sullen grass had sprouted in the land which was slashed bare for its construction. It simply stood there elegantly—gleaming in the few rays of sunlight that pierced the emerald bramble overhead. Twenty feet tall, windowless, a blank space radiating with foreboding. Bazarov stood from afar surveying it carefully—seeing it properly now the barrier had dissipated. Penetrating it would be no great feat…
The edges of the Shiftry’s mouth curled in interest. Quite impressive, but not enough to warrant the bloodcurling scream by a female pokemon not too far away from him. Was it Keziah? He never anything close to a feminine scream in her hoarse tones…
“Lord Bazarov! Did you hear that?”
A flash of green darted over several bushes and in front of Bazarov. He sighed—the next thing that dared to jump in front of him was going to get a good Giga Drain. It was Arcady—Keziah’s husband (he could see her bony shoulders in the distance). He had associated the Scyther for his profound arrogance and—to use the best euphemism possible—bone headed nature, but the mantis had a certain unfamiliar air of caution about him.
“Yes, yes I did. Is this the first time you heard such a roar?” the Shiftry asked trying to mask his smirk at the servile, ordered manner of the pokemon. “Lord Bazarov”…honestly!
“No sir…it has boomed irregularly for the past several hours,” the Scyther reported softly his dull blades hanging stiffly at his side. “We saw one of the pale creatures escape…blood was everywhere…he didn’t make it more than a few feet…over there!”
As they stepped closer to the building, the corpses became more visible. One had patches of white hair along its scalp and sprawled over in a pile of mangled limbs, blood pouring profusely from its chest. Bazarov coolly observed a perfectly round puncture wound that sunk from the creature’s back and provided a clear view into the bloody mud below. There were two others as well. One lay among the shattered glass of a broken window, riddled with the puncture wounds. The other had several chunks of flesh seeming to be ripped off its face.
Keziah was mumbling incoherently at an increasingly fast speed as they approached the open door of the building. Shiftry found not a drop of fear in his blood as his heart pounded. The emotion he felt rather was…eagerness. He had never had a truly challenging battle in his life. To be able to defeat this monstrous beast, what an exciting accomplishment! He looked at the frightened mantis pokemon at his sides. Part of him was tempted to send them away, but he knew he could not risk letting the beast escape into the forest.
“When we enter the building, form a triangle behind me and keep your eyes, ears, and nostrils open,” Bazarov ordered the Scyther. They nodded and as they moved into position another roar bellowed from the depths of the building. It knew they were coming. Keziah shut her eyes as she attempted to catch her breath. “Try and attack from long distance at first; get an idea of what this beast can do. Without further ado…”
The building was veiled in darkness lit only by the flashes of the random electric discharge of broken instruments. The air was heavy with a myriad of unknown stale odors and the all too familiar lingering stench of blood. The trio slowly advanced into the depths, carefully surveying every inch for a sign of the beast. The floor was littered in papers—hundreds and hundreds of papers—covered in strange characters unfamiliar to the pokemon. Half collapsed shelves, tall cabinets with the doors torn off and contents in pieces.
Soon the door was out of sight, and the destruction was more widespread. The air had a certain seared quality to it. They entered an area with gigantic tubes filled with strange liquids. Some of these tubes were cracked and the spilled mysterious liquids bubbled fresh on the floor. They shuddered at the sight of one of the pale creatures—apparently thrown into a tube, robes dissolved and flesh melted off revealing the burned bones within. They were careful to not go anywhere near one of the tubes.
They approached a wall plastered in black and white papers and photographs.
“CINNABAR ERUPTION LINKED TO GENETICALLY ALTERED POKEMON”
“FUNDING FOR POKEMON GENETIC RESEARCH SUSPENDED”
“ERUPTION OUTRAGE LEADS TO REGULATION OF ALL RESEARCH”
“RESURRECTION PROJECT ENDED. SCIENTISTS REBEL”
The strange characters meant nothing to Bazarov; however, the first picture struck him. It was a picture of an island totally destroyed; buildings scorched, all plant life, dead.
The first blow hit Keziah in the head, killing her instantly. With a simple “ohh” she collapsed to the ground. Arcady and Bazarov swiftly turned to face the source of the attack—still shocked by Keziah’s unexpected death. A large boulder, half the size of Shiftry’s body had crushed her skull in. She looked strangely peaceful as she laid there, only a small trickle of blood seeping from her bruised head. Arcady’s eyes were wide in horror—unable to comprehend how in a split second his wife was taken from him.
Bazarov was serious now, the Beast was close and he was ready to purge his forest of it.
“Listen Arcady, when I tell you—“
It happened as quickly as it did with Keziah. The rock came hurtling from the dark corners of the room and struck Arcady squarely in the chest whose body promptly crumpled onto his mate’s. It was just Bazarov and the monster now.
“Show yourself and stop attacking from the shadows, you coward,” he spat bitterly.
On cue, the entire building lit up and pulled itself out of the dredges of darkness. More tubes were aligned along the side of the wall, many more destroyed with their liquid contents seeping to the floor. But in the middle of the wide open space stood the much feared beast, growling at a low yet vicious sound.
Its helmet grazing the ceiling, it stood nearly twice the size of the Shiftry. It had the face of a repugnant grub found under an old rock, yet its body was covered in sturdy stone plates. Its eyes were outside of its head, beetle-like and narrowed in a calm rage. The boom of hundreds of pounds of rocky muscle rippled across the ground as one of its gigantic feet stepped forward. Bazarov noticed his pincers, hanging loosely at his side, soaked in the scarlet horror of his earlier massacre. It was they that delivered the terrifying blows to the pale creatures. “Armalllldo,” it hissed silently.
Bazarov could not interpret the sound of his voice. He spoke a primitive pokemon dialect with the mere remnants of current pokemon communication. What sort of ancient monster was this….
“Well, this ought to be fun.”
“GYARRRRGGGGHHHHH!” The beast began to smash its feet into the ground repeatedly sending tremors throughout the floor as it roared maniacally. It threw its pincers up in the air as it began to materialize more boulders from thin air to quickly bring down his target. But Bazarov was prepared.
In a dark flash, the Shiftry evaporated into a cloud of wispy black smoke that the rocks simply passed through, crashing into the building walls. The monster was taken back by the sudden disappearance of his enemy and continued firing boulders aimlessly. Bazarov rematerialized behind him blazing in an aura of dark energy. Before the beast could notice, an eerily dark glowing leaf struck him in the small of his back.
“Armaldo!” it cried as it whipped its body around to meet its attacker. Though the Shiftry had done damage, it wasn’t without recoil.
“Damn, that shell is harder than I thought,” Bazarov muttered caressing his sore leafy limb with the unscathed one before the beast abruptly raised his pincers and pounced. “Uh-oh.”
He leaped high into the air and barely made it over the tall beast’s pouncing figure. The beast’s large blue tail swung back and forth almost lazily, without any sort of rock covering. The Shiftry dove downwards driving his unhurt leaf into the completely exposed tail. Giving another cry of pain, the Armaldo lost its balance and toppled face down into the floor. With smug satisfaction, Bazarov leaped off the tail and took refuge several yards behind the fallen beast as he struggled to catch his breath.
“Old age can be a bitch,” he thought as he raised his leaves once more ready to strike. “But two blows in a row….I still got it!”
Again that horrifying roar bellowed throughout the building, louder and more menacing than any of his prior roars. He was enraged; there was no doubt about that. Yet there was a very faint sense of eagerness in his roar. Bazarov was his first real challenger; everyone else just dropped like pebbles in a pond.
“Bring it on, you filthy vermin,” Shiftry hissed as he waited for the beast to lunge at him again.
It lifted itself from the floor with what appeared to be triumphant effort and slowly turned its fuming face to its opponent. Its beady eyes were blood red and bulging and thick foam was frothing at his mouth. A disturbing scratching sound from the points of his pincers rubbing one another was the only sound that hung in the air of this building, the calm before the storm.
Bazarov couldn’t help but flinch in horror at what followed. The monster erupted into an uncontrollable frenzy as it shrieked in brief, deafening booms stamping its feet maniacally and pumped its pincers into the air. It was thrashing about swinging its head wildly around and losing control of his flailing limbs. “What the hell is it doing!” the Shiftry thought, frightened for the first time in the whole battle. He noticed there was another shaking in the ground—separate from the choppy booms of the monster’s stamping. A constant, steadily worsening tremor coming from under the building, miles below the earth and rising at a lightning speed. There was no leaping to avoid this attack, Bazarov dropped to the floor and covered his head with his leaves as he braced himself.
In a seemingly anatomically impossible feat, the beast somehow managed to jump into the air about ten feet, his head breaking through the ceiling. As he crashed down with a resounding force that caused several of the tubes in the building to crash onto the floor and shatter, the earthquake hit home. Cold, burning rocks from deep in the Earth’s surface came hurtling out of the floor, breaking through the solid concrete and steel of the building. Shiftry gasped in horror as one broke through the floor directly below him, giving him a rather painful bruise on his side. Armaldo—his vocal cords somehow still unscathed—gave a considerably lower bellow as he pointed his pincers at the demonic pokemon. The ancient rocks changed direction and began to rain down upon the pokemon, some hitting, others missing.
Bruised and covered in burning welts, the Shiftry brought his face up as he dared to stare into the beast’s cold face after the vicious assault. “Rocks weren’t that bad. Was that the best he could do?”
Something was different about the monster. He was blazing in sheer power. There was no visible physical change to suggest this, but somehow, Bazarov just knew. It had become considerably stronger; it was as if everything before his crazed dance had never happened. Kicking its feet back one at a time, the Armaldo proceeded to charge at the fallen pokemon, pincers outstretched, ready to deliver to the fatal blow. Reaching into his most primal survival instincts, the Shiftry opened his mouth firing a stream of small seeds came hurtling out indiscriminately towards the attacker’s head.
Luckily, one or more had struck the beast’s eyes causing him to stop dead in his tracks as he cried in pain. Ignoring the cries of his battered body, Shiftry rose to his feet and concentrated very briefly as he mustered up his exhausted energy for his next move. When the beast’s bloody eyes regained sight, the first thing they saw was a hurtling mass of grass, blazing black blades of grass ready to strike the face again.
The beast was paralyzed in his pain for a brief moment—but a brief moment was all Bazarov needed. He continued to hack and slash indiscriminately at any unprotected inches of flesh for several seconds before the beast jabbed one of his pincers, narrowly missing.
The Shiftry leaped back, preferring to have his vital organs intact. The two opposing forces of the forest met eyes once again. Shiftry’s blazing with a passion to go beyond any physical and mental limits he had to protect his tribe—his forest—his son from the scourge that existed in this building. The beast’s burning with a cold fury caused by a wanton lust for indiscriminate destruction of any and all things that stood in his path. It was Bazarov’s mistake to focus too much on his enemy’s eyes as powerful energy crackled into a large orange sphere between his pincers. He didn’t notice until it was too late the beam of power that burned through the air in a flash.
It only grazed his side, yet the Hyper Beam was so powerful that even a graze knocked Bazarov out instantly. The rest blew one of the walls, revealing the forest to the horror that lied within the white building. It was a serene sight outside. Though the trees were dying and grass parched, it was still strangely peaceful. The sunlight shined down there—in the Forbidden grotto. It was sunrise; the sun was beginning to seep through the shattered wall and into the room. When it reached Bazarov, his eyes fluttered open. Still greatly weakened, he managed a smile. It had been ages since he had been in the sun.
The Armaldo approached the Shiftry very slowly, eyes drawn towards the hole in the wall, curious by the world it never knew until now. But his curiosity waned almost instantly when he realized his opponent was still alive. Bazarov’s eyes looked upwards disgusted by the smug look in the beast’s face. He knew what it thought, that he wouldn’t be alive for very long. The monster rose its pincers high into the air, ready to deliver its fatal blow once and for all.
The Armaldo gave out its greatest cry of pain to date, wailing horribly. Bazarov was deeply confused in his pained delirium. “That voice…it’s…Arcady…”
Arcady was alive, panting heavily and mildly injured but still alive and driven by a passion for revenge. His right scythe was absolutely soaked in blood that had sprayed onto the rest of his body as well. He licked his bloody mouth eagerly, with a fire in his eyes Arcady had never seen before. He was going to avenge Keziah.
The beast whipped himself around and Bazarov felt a fresh load of blood splash onto his face. Where there was once a tail was nothing but a bloody stump madly gushing all over Bazarov’s collapsed figure. The beast was put on the defensive as Arcady madly attacked it with his scythes in a fearful madness. The clash of scythe and pincer boomed for the next minutes while dangerous amounts of blood continued to spill throughout the entire room.
Bazarov began to feel rejuvenated by the power of the suns rays. He felt energy stirring in his limbs once again; he turned to watch Arcady have his go at the beast. He would be forever indebted, but he knew Arcady would only be able to hold off the monster for so long. Arcady was blinded by his intense rage and sorrow after Keziah’s death. He was reckless; he would make a mistake and pay dearly. Bazarov continued to soak in the solar power until he was well past fully restored and the excess power began to glow in his leaves.
“Have some of that! And that! And—“ Arcady stopped suddenly. His scythe had failed to block the pincer by just a few inches, but those few inches were fatally critical. The beast’s pincer had sunk into the Scyther’s forehead and the point pierced through the other side. Arcady’s eyes had grown wide and his jaw dropped slightly. “Keziah…”
The beast pulled the bloody pincer out and its new enemy crumpled to the ground. Very groggy from heavy blood loss, the Armaldo turned to face the other enemy who to its shock was standing, angry features lit up brightly in the sunlight. Bazarov threw his blinding white light leaves into the air and sent a solar beam hurtling through the air, twice the intensity of the beast’s hyper beam.
It struck the beast squarely in the chest. His eyes rolled backwards as he was sent hurtling backwards straight into one of the tubes containing of the most sinister looking fluids in the room. The massive weight of the beast crushed the glass of the tube, the shining black and purple fluid within came bursting forth spilling onto its chest and soaking its legs, seeping through the rock shell and into its skin. It gave no cry of horror, its head simply slumped to the side. Bazarov watched eagerly, wanting to watch it melt like the pale creature from deeper inside the building.
But it didn’t melt. The beast was passed out for a moment, sprawled in the shattered remains of the destroyed tube and its mysterious contents. But its eyes opened seconds laterand it lifted itself from the rubble, shaking off the debris as if nothing had happened. It laughed maniacally as it approached the horrified Shiftry. The stump of his severed tail had bled no more. Whatever was inside of the tube….it healed the beast.
Bazarov collapsed on his four limbs, his body no longer able to withstand his continual overexertion. He needed water so desperately…his body couldn’t take another second without water. The dirt from earlier was simply not enough. It was back to the beginning, the beast was totally healed while he still had all the wounds of the battle. He almost forgot about the beast as the demands of his own failing body became unbearable. The beast pierced Bazarov’s back with both pincers, but they felt like nothing more than pinpricks as Bazarov sobbed in agony for water.
He failed to protect his forest. The beast had won.
Ah, the Shiftry was blissfully indifferent to the gaping wounds in his back. He had no blood to bleed, he just simply began to rot. There was no pain though. With his remaining energy, he feebly dragged his arms across the building floor and turned himself to watch the beast march through the destroyed wall and into the forest. The rocky monster took two very careful steps into the cold grass of the new world, blinded by the sunlight. It turned out the forest needed no protecting.
The ground began to shake madly as it had earlier when the beast summoned the ancient rocks. The Armaldo frantically looked around and tried to run back into the building before a gigantic vine hurtled out of the earth and wrapped around the beast’s neck, controlled by an unknown force. Bazarov was mesmerized by the sight as more and more emerald vines burst forth from the soil and coiled themselves onto the beast as it brought it down, albeit not without a fight. The beast screamed in fear for its life horribly until many tendrils grew out of the vines wrapping its neck and proceeded to seal the mouth shut. The monster writhed and trashed madly, desperately trying to escape the vines but their stranglehold was too powerful.
The beast was securely positioned on the ground wrapped tightly in vines as the new plants had emerged from the soil. They were great pulsating globules, emerald tinged with purple, with monstrous flailing tentacles at their ends. They were covered in purple tinged stingers and saturated in a thick scarlet venom. As if they had intelligence of their own, they began to latch themselves onto the beast and began to absorb his life force. On his eyes, in his stump, through the rock plates, everywhere. Hundreds upon hundreds of these plants slowly began to take this beast.
Bazarov had smiled wearily and dragged himself with what little power he had left outside the building. After several minutes he had brought himself next to the beast and began to speak.
“You are an abomination. I do not know from what unnatural womb you are born, but you do not belong in this forest,” he paused to regain his energy. The beast was still alive, he could sense it. “It was my own ego that drove me to believe that only I could purge this forest of you—but there are higher powers—higher than myself.”
Another tendril grew from the vine and wrapped itself around Bazarov and gently moved him aside. The monster was drained fully of his life, whatever chunks of flesh Bazarov could see unexposed by the vines were withered and gray. “Just like the rest of this forest.” The godly plants began to descend back into the Earth and brought the monster down with it. The soil was soft as mud as it let the monster slip back to the depths of the earth where it belonged.
Bazarov looked to the expanse of blue sky above him. Somewhere the forest protector watched over these lands. But even he had never known how terrible its powers were. He turned his body over and gazed into the edge of the forest. Perhaps it was just a hallucination induced by a fast approaching death, but he swore he saw a tint of green in the trees leaves.