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Thread: Friends of Draco

  1. #26
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    Still, I don't quite understand the egg. How would he know it's there? Unless it's something metaphysical like Arceus's egg, it just doesn't make sense that he'd know about it.
    3DS FC: 0748-3041-6462

    Fictionpress / Buy My Book! / Hero's Path

  2. #27
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    Chapter Eight: Aftermath

    Nothing. That’s what I remember. Nothing. No, I remember everything, but that’s just it: there wasn’t anything. Nothing. Draco and I stared at the great dead dragon at our feet in silent horror. Gyara’s stare held nothing. The sound of the filter working faded into white noise. Nothing. Draco’s sightless eyes reflected his comrade’s sightless gaze. Nothing. Gyara had fought valiantly in countless fights, viciously facing countless intimidating opponents. If he had died in those battles, there would be something. If he had died in the Omega war, brought down by the possessed legendary monsters, or the hoards of lesser beasts biting at his throat, there would be something. If he had been torn to shreds by the deadly rapids in the waterfalls he scaled, there would be something. But a seizure? Not even a cool seizure, but one caused by a disease, an infection that had originated with the flu? That was nothing. Gyara had been killed by nothing. Nothing. And there was so much in so little, so much something in such nothingness that it filled Dracoburn and I, the sole witnesses to his end, with nothing. Nothing.

    Eventually the paramedics arrived, saw what had occurred, and they got just a taste of the nothing. They were something. Too much of something, not enough nothing. There was a strange, unnerving comfort in the nothing. A peace after the storm. Draco and I wanted nothing. Needed nothing. We had had nothing for minutes, hours, centuries.. And now we had something. We weren’t ready for something. They seemed to misunderstand, and reacted by making more something. More something, and less nothing. I ignored the something, as did the Charizard at my side. We trained our eyes on the dulled sapphire scales of our lost friend. We counted every dot of Gyara’s newly acquired rash. The blind dragon that had been my friend for so many years simply remained silent, but I noticed Draco’s claws brushing over the lesions as if he were reading a form of Braille that could somehow explain this nothing to him, that could somehow make this ok, that could somehow grant him a something that could bring him real peace, not this empty, lifeless nothing.

    After forever and no time at all, the man and woman, or maybe man and man, or even woman and woman, got a clue. I think they left. Or they didn’t. But they finally seemed to understand that I would not answer their questions. They were late. They took too long. If they had braved the winter storm outside, Gyara would be alive. We would have something, a good something, a safe and LIVING something. But all we had now, with them coming late, was the advanced first aid kit they left behind out of their condolences and a great dead water dragon. One of my oldest friends no longer existed, and that brought nothing.

    I don’t know how long we stayed there. Eventually the others woke up. Tyson, my Feraligatr, naturally found us first, as his room was connected to the pool. He noticed us kneeled by his fellow water-type, who remained in the same position, half in the water, half out. But all gone.

    The rest of the day went about the same. Tyson informed everyone of the tragedy, so the room was soon filled with a buzz of my Pokemon all remarking in their own ways. Like a wake, but louder. Some cried, others growled at the unfairness of the situation. The buzz was too much something. Draco and I left to go sit in the snow.

    Though our telepathic link still connected us, Draco and I hadn’t even shared thoughts since Gyara died. Finally, in the silence of the cold, we discussed the funeral preparation methodically, as if we were discussing the outcome of someone else’s gym battle. After all was said, we retreated to the safety of our rooms. Whether any of us slept well, I’ll probably never know.

    We waited until everyone had overcome the flu of their respective species, which was longer than expected due to the addition of crippling grief, before we finally held the ceremony. Until then, Gyara’s body was simply covered by a tarp. We would drain and refill the pool later, but nobody could even look at him, let alone touch him.

    The ceremony took place on a Friday, around noon. It took a full team of my strongest Pokemon, both physically and emotionally, to carry the nearly twenty-two foot-long beast to the clearing in front of the cabin. Fortunately, most of the snow had melted by then, so the sandy clearing was perfect for the body, as hard a concept as it is to accept Gyara as “the body”. After everyone gathered, and a few words were said, or growled, from myself and the rest of my dragon team, the other dragons gathered around his body making a five-point star pattern. The rest of the Pokemon left as the dragons used their intensely hot fire breath to cremate Gyara. Draco had used his INCREDIBLY hot fire to prepare a blown glass sculpture to hold the ashes in. It was breathtaking that a blind dragon could craft with such grace. The urn had spirals of all the elements surrounding it all around, and I noticed that there were prints from every member of the dragon team at the base. I had helped Draco spell out the words “Always intimidating; always loved” in the center of the urn over where the ashes showed through the glass, warping the appearance of the ash, making it look almost as if it were meant to be there. Almost. I would never believe that Gyara were meant to be dead.
    "Trainer: We would like to invite you to try your hand at a new kind of challenge. The League of Heroes is a league of world-class battlers, with its own set of leaders and elite four members. If you are interested, please mail your invitation to the location listed below with your RSVP and we will send you a map with the locations of our gyms.
    Yours truly, the Elite Four of the NCTH
    Tower of the Ancients, Unova"



    If you challenge our league and are lucky enough to get to me, you have a shot at winning the Mountain Heights Symbol. Credit to Northern Lights for the badge.

    Name- Becca
    Diamond friend code-
    4554-1150-2912
    Black friend code-
    0175-5378-5095

  3. #28
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    Mary Sues.

    Mary Sues everywhere.

  4. #29
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    I apologize for the several month hiatus, guys. My grandmother died around the time of writing my last chapter, and that was making it very difficult to continue. But now I'm back. This chapter will be my last of this story, but I have plans for a sequel in due time. Enjoy.

    Chapter Nine: A Climax, of Sorts

    It was cold. Always. The sun shined on occasion, but it was always cold. With the low temperatures, morale matched. Now, the babies didn’t change much; Ferocity and Scarr were expecting their second child, and only Oliver, the male Eevee kit seemed to notice any sort of difference in the emotional atmosphere.

    As Analyt recovered from the last traces of Wyrm Flu, he began to blame himself more and more. It began with him simply busying himself, preparing enough food to feed the entire Sevii Archipelago for a month. The cabin had never been cleaner, and he would bark at anyone who tried to help. There was always a clear path to the lake and to the take-off areas for aerial hunting. I suspect, but have not confirmed, that rather than using a fire-type move to clear the snow, he was actually shoveling it old-school style.

    But by Yule, the checks that I received from being a member of the LoH weren't enough to cover all of the food we were wasting, and I had to pick up shifts at Skyla’s gym to cover Solstice presents.

    One day after an especially long shift, Skyla pulled me aside. “Becca, your dragons just hit too hard; you’re making me look bad. I haven’t had a challenger reach me since you started!”

    I winced. “I’m sorry, Skyla.. I sent my birds back to Johto to keep them safe.. They aren’t used to Unova winters, you know.”

    “Oh, I know. No judgment.” She covered quickly, knowing that her words had come out wrong. “So, have you had any challengers yet yourself?”

    I sighed. “No.. The whole league is on standby. Since Cole left, we’ve been completely suspended. I’m surprised Raj can afford to keep paying us.. Then again, I guess that’s been passed off to the financial board by now.” After the Omega War, our close-knit gang of trainers had become funded by a non-profit agency. Good news was that we could lower the charge for admission into our league, though that hardly made much of a difference; the League of Heroes could only be entered by those that had already defeated at least one national league to compete in our international one. Bad news was that the league was becoming decreasingly personal. In fact, with Cole gone, we were reaching a point where it seemed shutdown was imminent. Nobody had defeated the Flare Gym yet, and with Cole gone, both new and old challengers were stuck and unable to progress. Word of mouth was spreading, and less and less new challengers were joining.

    Skyla pondered for a moment, and finally began, sifting through her words as if she were trying to phrase a difficult response. “You guys.. Could use a serious restructuring..” She seemed almost nervous. Was my temper really that vicious? Behind me, I could hear Draco sigh, in obviously malcontented response to my thought, but kept his own to himself.

    “I know, Skyla, but it’s beyond my control. Hopefully Cole will come home soon…” I tried to keep my own wishful thinking and wistful logic from staining my tone.

    She seemed to understand that there was more to it, but didn’t press. I couldn’t blame her; Solstice was close, and I had no right to dump my problems on her.

    Draco touched down around nine-thirty. We went inside to hear muffled snores, even from the rooms of the kids, who used to beg to stay up past bedtime; now, they were ready for bed before their parents’ orders. It wasn’t a matter of increased obedience as much as a desire to save their parents from more grief.

    I sipped a cup of hot tea and waited for the Xanax to kick in. Skyla had dragged me to a psychiatrist after I finally let her know about Gyara, and the quack had forced me onto whatever medication he could milk my insurance for. While the league offered great benefits, I didn’t even feel that I deserved the pills that were supposed to keep me from feeling like I didn’t deserve them. Draco munched his late dinner across from me, trying to seduce me into joining him. I had lost the better half of thirty pounds since Gyara’s death, despite all of the extra food around the house. With the fast-approaching holiday, I was feeling even more down, and my appetite suffered.

    “Draco, does this ever improve..?” I mumbled.

    He didn’t respond. Though Draco was younger than I was by almost ten years, he had been in an intimate relationship with a female Charizard who was killed by one of Omega’s fleet during the storm of the Flare Gym. He still had her(possibly their, he prefers not to mention it) son, but the fact remained that he had dealt with more death than I had.

    “I’m.. sorry Draco.”

    Don’t be.. He thought, echoing the nonverbal words with a verbally audible sigh. There’s no reason to be. We all know that you’re suffering. We do. We understand that there’s more to it with you than just grief. We lost a brother, but you, in a sense, lost a child.

    “I’ve just felt so empty. I mean, I was supposed to protect him! But I have no right to whine about it like this; I was one of the only people who didn’t lose a Pokemon in the war..”

    With that, Draco cuffed me on the arm, his sightless blue eyes angry. Stop thinking like that. Any death is a tragedy, regardless of who it is or who it happens to. Stop telling yourself that you shouldn’t be grieving.

    “Draco, I just look at what happened to Cole, and just.. Feel like I don’t deserve to be so miserable.”

    Well, if you aren’t miserable, then Gyara meant nothing to you.

    I knew that the line came for sake of satire, but it still broke my heart. I let out a long, shaky sigh, and Draco recognized that I was ready to end the conversation.

    I’m sorry. That was rather callous. Well, I’m going to sleep. Goodnight. He let out a huff, and a wisp of smoke hung in the air. I nodded to him, and we stood and went our separate ways.

    ***

    The night was akin to most. I slept fitfully, haunted by dreams of bright, flashing colors, mostly green, like a forest, and the feeling that I was both uncomfortably close and unnecessarily far away from what I was after. I was never quite sure what it was, just that it was somehow familiar.

    The morning, however, was different. I woke up, exhausted as always, too early, as always. Forced myself back to sleep to rise again an hour later, just as tired, but with more light in the sky and more buzz in the halls. I stretched, tugged on a pair of loose jeans and a t-shirt, both used, but not overly dirty, and plodded out into the hall to join the fray.

    But what I thought had been the stirring of my Pokemon had actually been something entirely different. The halls were empty, but the sounds intensified, and I followed them like the star of a preschooler’s TV show follows painfully obvious clues. They led me outside, where I saw something.. unexpected. Upon slipping through the door, my mind was barraged by angry thoughts in the mindvoice of Dracoburn. There were snarls to match, along with a higher-pitched shrieking in another draconic tongue. Concerned, I chased the soundtrack of a feud to find something even more startling.

    Draco was facing off with another dragon. I assumed, at first, that it was an intruder, but the fact that Draco hadn’t made an effort to rouse me made me think twice. Also, Analyt should have been awake by now, as he always was, and should have sounded the alarm. But as Draco shifted out of my line of sight, it all came together in a way that made even less sense; Draco and Analyt were the two fighting dragons. And it certainly did not look like a practice match.

    The two barked at each other in vicious tones, and I attempted to reach into the mind of my enraged Charizard to determine the root of the conflict. He had yet to notice me, so I assumed that I could find some information before he covered it up. But upon doing so, I could only hear expletives and only see red. The fury was that intense. I pulled back, and assessed the situation with my normal, human senses. Analyt was hissing as if angry, but his aquamarine eyes glistened with tears, and the rising pitch of his voice showed obvious desperation. Draco, on the other hand, was all rage. I still couldn’t decipher his thoughts, so I slid closer.

    The fight escalated further, and I finally caught a single phrase from Draco: YOU COWARD!!

    With that, Analyt spun on his toes and arched his back, preparing himself for aerial takeoff. But in the moment it took him to do so, I saw something that I could not believe; upon the first beat of the Dragonite’s golden wings, my infuriated best friend surged forward and tore his fangs through the tender flesh of the other dragon’s majestic escape route. With a pained screech, Analyt was grounded, and I was on my feet, moving towards them at a pace that shattered the instinctive terror that filled my pathetic human fight-or-flight reflex. I wanted to shriek at the writhing brothers, but there were no words. It mattered not; as soon as they sensed my approach, the two separated, Draco springing backwards and Analyt hunching over into a submissive pose.

    “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!?!?” I managed to pant. “Are you two out of your minds???”

    But they both simply looked away.

    “Draco. Go. Fly three laps around Twist Mountain. If you’re still angry by the time you return, fly another. I don’t know what you were thinking, but I do know that you need to clear your head.” He curled his lip back in bitterness, but recognized that it was not negotiable and took off. I felt that was hardly a punishment enough for what I had just seen, but the miniscule whisper of reason beyond my bewilderment told me that I needed to learn the full story before I could dish out full penalty.

    “Now, Analyt. Come with me. We need to treat that wing.”

    He winced, and managed to return to his feet. Analyt refused to meet my eye as we returned to the cabin. I sneaked inside and retrieved my medical supplies, knowing that there was a slim chance of him running away in the time that it would take me to return. The digits on the oven’s clock glowed “6:37”, which explained the absence of my other Pokemon. I nabbed the trauma kit that we were left upon Gyara’s final morn and tiptoed back outside. I wanted to keep the event as discrete as possible so that I could get the full story without as much bias as I could possibly avoid.

    Analyt was exactly where I had left him, still watching his toes. I decided not to press, merely to treat him and see where it went from there.

    The wing itself was in a pitiful state of affairs. It certainly looked salvageable, but it was coated in blood, and shreds of leathery skin hung in tatters, and that was only how it looked before it was cleaned. Upon wiping the gore away, I discovered the real problem; as Draco had torn while Analyt was trying to fly, the damage went beyond the flesh. The internal bone structure, strong, but slender, was ideal for flight. Unfortunately, the design left the wings frail, and very easily damaged. And Analyt provided a textbook example of that flaw. Bone shards jutted out at odd angles, and it was painfully obvious that professional repair would be necessary to ensure Analyt’s future flight capability.

    I cleaned him up, and splinted it, then returned him to his Pokeball. It pained me to do so, as I preferred to allow them free range, but I knew that the less he moved, the safer he would be. I took my bike down to Icurris city, knowing better than to include any of my Pokemon for transportation. I had left a note saying that I was running an errand in the town and to call my Pokegear should there be a problem. I rounded the corner to the Pokemon Center.

    An hour of waiting and Analyt finally made it through the shuffle of medical personnel to get x-rays. It was easily determined that he would need surgery, and that bought me another five hours to kill. I used it as an opportunity to do.. nothing. Until about noon, at least, when the footsteps of a dragon woke me from the nap that I had fallen into.

    Becca.. Came the voice of my partner, his rage clearly dissipated. I know that my actions were despicable, and I wish that this morning had never occurred. But you need to know that there’s a reason behind them.

    I sat up from the too-small couch that I had been curled on. “I’m listening.”

    Analyt was trying to leave. I had to stop him.

    “Draco, I recognize that he was trying to leave. You were really chewing him out! Anyone in their right mind would have left.”

    You misunderstand me. He was trying to leave us. Leave forever. He wouldn’t listen to reason, and when he tried to take off, and I knew it was for good.. I would rather injure him than lose another brother.

    I understood. Not why Analyt would leave, but why Draco had done what he did. But then there was the issue at hand: why would Analyt try to leave us?

    Draco caught my thoughts before I could share them verbally.

    He said he blamed himself for Gyara’s death, and that he couldn’t risk being in that situation again. That you should find someone more competent to fill his slot.

    “But Analyt is invaluable! The way he handles our home..”

    I know, and I told him. But he was inconsolable. I imagine you walked in at the worst possible moment. My plan was to get him to stay until you had talked to him, and in a way, it worked.

    “I.. I can’t believe this.. I.. I’ve gotta go.”

    And with that, I pushed past him and hit the streets on my bike.

    The roads were glowing with bright, shiny lights, and Solstice shoppers littered the sidewalks. All of the different colors blended together as I sped past, pumping my legs and pounding the elderly cycle with the highest degree of geriatric abuse imaginable. I could almost imagine Rad Rickshaw calling me up on my Pokegear to thank me for all of the free advertisement, but the painful nostalgia of that individual fragment only infuriated my further. My vision went fuzzy with hot tears burning their way down my frozen face, and it was all I could do to keep my balance. It was difficult enough to see that I almost didn’t notice a Lillipup bounce into the street in pursuit of an unseen ball. I swerved to the left, and my churning feet immediately found no traction as my bike shot off of the path, onto the ice. Terrified, I instinctively put a death grip on each handbrake, and spun out.

    I was so caught up in the flurry of colors surrounding me in that one moment that I didn’t realize that I was no longer only spinning horizontally. By the time I understood what was happening, I was disconnected from my bike and flew in a different direction entirely.

    A crash came from the direction of my bike and a crack came from underneath me. But before I could consider the onomatopoeias, fire shot through my right arm and forced my body involuntarily into the fetal position. I spent the next minute, hour, week, decade, I don’t know, curled in a ball, unable to scream, only able to whimper. But the initial wave passed, and I managed to get in a glace at the cause of my pain. At first, I thought nothing of it, I had just hit a few rocks. But then I noticed the blood, and the bone jutting from my upper arm, and felt my head spin.

    Before I really understood what was happening, I was back in the building that I had been fleeing from, if in the human half of the hospital rather than the Pokemon. I kept hearing phrases like “compound fracture”, “lost a lot of blood” and “IV drip”, but oddly, all I could think of was my bike and whether or not it had survived the crash. I watched the florescent lights blink above my head and pondered simple, stupid things like whether or not the Lillipup found his toy. A man with a badge told me not to move, reminding me that I had that ability to begin with, but I didn’t know that I could. A machine flashed a few times, and again, I was in physical transit. Before long, I was surrounded by men and women wearing green and masks, and then I was floating into nothing at all..

    ***

    In an unpredictable amount of time, I finally returned to the planet. My eyes flickered open, and I searched for answers, finally meeting the eyes of my lifelong companion. I knew Draco couldn’t see me, but he recognized that I was awake.

    About time. The folks back home won’t leave me alone. I almost wish you’d broken your Pokegear, too.

    “Draco? What.. What happened?”

    You decided to teach yourself how to fly. Turns out you aren’t nearly as good at it as I am.

    “Very funny. But seriously, what’s going on?”

    We’re in the hospital. You went off a cliff on your bike and shattered your arm. Honestly, if I hadn’t been fed a rubber hospital steak for dinner, I would have found it humerus.

    I couldn’t help but smirk at Draco’s pun. Of course, it brought attention to the IV in my left arm and the bandaging around my right.

    You know, he continued in his dry, satirical mindvoice, it’s funny. You and Analyt have had very similar days.

    “Because we both spent half of them unconscious?”

    Because you were both injured in a sense that grounded you and kept you from escaping, which was exactly what you were both trying to do. The irony is precious.

    And in that moment, I realized what needed to be done. “I need to talk to him.”

    You do, but not now. It’s after midnight, and you both need to sleep.

    ***

    The next day, after each undergoing more poking and prodding than necessary, my Dragonite and I finally found our chance to reconcile. The orderlies had insisted on me being wheeled into his room, if at all, so I ended up by his bedside in a chair that was two sizes too big, picking at an imperfection in my cast and trying to find the right words.

    “Analyt… I didn’t understand. But now I do.. You can’t.. You can’t leave us. I did the same thing, tried to run from my problem. But.. We have got to tough this out. If anything is a testament to that, it’s this.”

    He looked away.

    “Listen to me! Please! Analyt, we need you. I need you!”

    He spun around and his eyes linked into mine. I got the same feeling that I got when I was talking to Draco, and something unprecedented occurred.

    I just can’t handle the pressure! came a choked voice, in a high tenor, urging in my head. What if this happens again? It’s my fault he’s dead! I lost my brother! We lost Gyara and it’s my fault!

    As the newfound connection registered in my head, Analyt began weeping with a profound frustration.

    “Analyt, listen to me! I feel like it’s my fault, too. But we need to work together. You have no idea how much I need you. We all need you.”

    You feel responsible, too?

    “Of course! Analyt, I’m a Pokemon trainer. I took the same oath everyone else does. I take full responsibility for my Pokemon at all cost. Please don’t make me lose you, too.”

    I.. didn’t know. Alright. I’ll stay. I’m just.. So sorry…

    “What’s done is done, with or without fault.” Suddenly, the dreams, the nagging feeling in my heart, everything clicked. “Analyt..”

    What? Came his anxious mindvoice, his ocean eyes lit up in the painful fluorescent lighting.

    “I.. I need to go on a journey.”
    "Trainer: We would like to invite you to try your hand at a new kind of challenge. The League of Heroes is a league of world-class battlers, with its own set of leaders and elite four members. If you are interested, please mail your invitation to the location listed below with your RSVP and we will send you a map with the locations of our gyms.
    Yours truly, the Elite Four of the NCTH
    Tower of the Ancients, Unova"



    If you challenge our league and are lucky enough to get to me, you have a shot at winning the Mountain Heights Symbol. Credit to Northern Lights for the badge.

    Name- Becca
    Diamond friend code-
    4554-1150-2912
    Black friend code-
    0175-5378-5095

  5. #30
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    Aww, finished and I just found it. Surpriseing for me, I caught a few sections of missing punctuation, and a few points where the [i] tags for Draco run too far over into the narration, I'm not usually that good at the grammar side of things. They're months old though, but if you'd like for me to dredge them out I'll be happy to do so. Wonderful story though, especially for it's length. I look forward to the sequel.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  6. #31
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    Thanks, man. Keep in mind that I usually post these when I'm sick and unable to do much else, so that's probably behind the iffy punctuation in spots.

    Also, your character will have a (very brief) mention in the first chapter of the sequel, so keep an eye out for that. Like I said, it's brief, but ever-present.
    "Trainer: We would like to invite you to try your hand at a new kind of challenge. The League of Heroes is a league of world-class battlers, with its own set of leaders and elite four members. If you are interested, please mail your invitation to the location listed below with your RSVP and we will send you a map with the locations of our gyms.
    Yours truly, the Elite Four of the NCTH
    Tower of the Ancients, Unova"



    If you challenge our league and are lucky enough to get to me, you have a shot at winning the Mountain Heights Symbol. Credit to Northern Lights for the badge.

    Name- Becca
    Diamond friend code-
    4554-1150-2912
    Black friend code-
    0175-5378-5095

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Gateon area, Orre
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    499

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    Quote Originally Posted by dracoburn View Post
    Thanks, man. Keep in mind that I usually post these when I'm sick and unable to do much else, so that's probably behind the iffy punctuation in spots.

    Also, your character will have a (very brief) mention in the first chapter of the sequel, so keep an eye out for that. Like I said, it's brief, but ever-present.
    Awe. and Some.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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