Thanks to everyone who keeps reviewing. I really appreciate all the feedback, as it goes a long way towards helping me become a better writer. This chapter is probably my favorite so far, and I had alot of fun writing it. People who have been following my story are certainly in for some fun. For anyone reading my Fic for the first time, leave me some opinions, as I always want to improve. Thanks!
Nuzleaf was running as fast as his body would allow, calling on reserves of energy in his belly to pump his legs faster. He had seen the wall collapse on his friends, Golduck trying to hold it back before he was overcome. What Nuzleaf noticed as Machop was pulled under the rampaging rock however, was that some of the rocks were moving and changing direction on their own. Five Graveler were rolling across the rock, stomping and pounding to pack the pile as hard as possible, burying Machop under an unimaginable amount of weight.
“Nuz!” he yelled as he reached the slope of the pile.
Three of the closest Graveler jumped into the air towards Nuzleaf to intercept, each grabbing handfuls of rock as their feet left the ground. Nuzleaf followed suit, using both legs to launch himself into the air. The Graveler threw the rocks they were holding, each handful tripling in size as they raced towards their target. Nuzleaf destroyed the first few with a bullet seed, twisting through the air to avoid the other harmful missiles.
“Grav!” the rock Pokemon yelled, taken aback by Nuzleaf’s graceful agility.
As Nuzleaf came back to the ground, he ran up the pile, meeting the Graveler as they touched back down. The first two took a thick wooden knee to the face, making them stumble backwards; while the third took a handful of brightly colored pellets to the forehead, the ricochets breaking off a piece of its rocky shoulder. Nuzleaf scaled a large boulder behind the third, flipping backwards as he got to the top. The single leaf on its head began to glow, a golden halo of energy building around the single stalk. As the three that had been pummeled by Nuzleaf realized what was happening, they quickly grabbed more rocks and chucked them towards him.
With a growl, Nuzleaf released the stored energy. By far not the most impressive solarbeam he had ever conjured, as he barely had enough time to even charge it; but the effect was exactly what he wanted. As a fiery inferno of solar light raced downwards towards the rocks where Machop was buried, the Graveler scattered. A deafening boom rang out as the solarbeam cut through the pile of rock, punching a twenty foot hole straight down. The rocks that were chunked at him by the Graveler’s were vaporized right before he ended the stream, allowing him to stop the attack and fall down into the newly made hole.
Diving headfirst, Nuzleaf rolled himself forward as he struck the ground, a small splinter of wood spiraling away from his foot as he landed. Gritting his teeth to get through the pain, he reached down with his right hand and pulled Machop out from under the last two feet of rock. His friend’s face was bruised and bloody, the consequence of the tons of rock that had buried him. Hand still attached to Machop’s arm, he pulled back and flung the fighting Pokemon out of the hole, just as the rock Pokemon he had injured crashed into him, slamming him to the ground and knocking him out.
Dorian’s mind was racing. The wall had collapsed right where Machop and Golduck had been walking. From his angle he couldn’t see what had happened, but Shelton had screamed and bolted, forcing his mind to race to the worst possibility. As he went to yell to Nuzleaf for help, his grass Pokemon flashed past him, already on the way. He saw a flicker of blue tumble off the side of the cliff, followed by the green shape of his Vibrava darting over the edge to follow.
As his eyes went back to Shelton, he saw her trip and fall, a puff of dirt rising from where her head had struck. He felt a terrible tug in his gut as it happened and he released his pack to run. It was just then that Shuppet wailed, the noise resonating in his eardrums like a nearby foghorn. He swiveled his head in the direction of her screeching just in time to see Growlithe loose a jet of fire from his maw, targeting a television sized rock that was falling towards him. The rock was shoved backwards in the air, its surface scorched and smoking. Growlithe roared his approval; the sound overlapping with the noise of Shuppet’s panicked yelling.
“Dammit!” he yelled aloud as a large shadow suddenly darkened his vision. Just as the shadow connected, he brought his hands together, activating his Pokeflect. The Graveler’s attack caught him in the stomach, the force sending him to his back. While the Pokeflect repelled actual damage from the attack, the motion of the two of them smacking together sent him sprawling.
As Dorian rolled to a stop, he shouted, “Growlithe, use flamethrower! Shuppet, shadow ball!” The attacks merged together as they hit their target, Growlithe’s flames turning a sickly shade of black and grey. The torrent of flames sent the Graveler back several yards, where it lay in a heap, body smoking steadily.
An explosion behind him lit up the surrounding area in golden light, heat rolling across Dorian’s back. As his hand went to his head to protect himself, he saw parts of the cliff face begin to fall, betraying the secret of Graveler and Geodude alike. Two of the creatures slammed into Growlithe, forcing him to the ground and immobilizing his legs. Another four tried in vain to wrap their arms around Shuppet, only to have the ghost Pokemon phase through their outstretched arms, leaving her unscathed.
Dorian jumped to his feet, his mind racing to think of a suitable attack plan. Just as he got up however, two sets of arms snaked their way around his body, pulling him into a bear hug. The arms made no effort to be gentle, squeezing his body roughly, leaving Dorian gasping for air. A constant growl vibrated against Dorian’s back, an obvious display of menace.
“What are you doing?!” Dorian yelled, struggling to break free of the creature’s grasp.
“Gravav!” the Pokemon accused, not squeezing tighter, but not loosening his grip either.
Shuppet meanwhile was firing balls of ghostly energy at random, safe high above from the reaching arms of the Pokemon below. The attacks were hitting the ground as often as the Pokemon she was aiming for. When one of her attacks would hit their aggressors a shout of pain could be heard, followed by scores of rocks thrown at her by the crowd below. She kept on unhindered though, phasing through the rock like it was air.
“Shup!” she screeched, halting her attack, her eyes riveted behind Dorian.
Dorian spun his head to the right to see Machop’s unconscious body flip out of the smoking crater further down the path. The fighting type roughly hit the ground, arms flailing wildly as he skipped across the ground. He laid there, eyes closed, his breathing coming in series of long gurgling gasps. As Dorian struggled to examine his injuries from afar, he spied three Graveler falling from higher up the cliff, disappearing from sight as they passed below the lip of the new crater.
“GRAVELER!” a new voice shouted.
Dorian turned his head towards the new voice and gasped. An overly large Graveler was holding Shelton’s unconscious body above its head, clapping its lower hands together for attention. From what Dorian could tell, the only injury she had sustained was a large cut across her scalp that was slowly seeping blood. The sight of the Pokemon holding her made Dorian struggle with newfound vigor, carelessly lacerating his skin on the sharp rock of Graveler’s body.
“Stop!” he shouted. “Let go of her and we’ll leave!”
The Graveler paid Dorian no attention. Swinging its rocky head upwards, it pointed at Shuppet, then back at Shelton.
“Shuppet,” the ghost Pokemon said, drifting towards the ground.
Satisfied, the Graveler holding Shelton motioned towards two nearby Geodude, gesturing towards a spot in the road about ten feet ahead. Nodding, both Pokemon began to beat the ground furiously, digging a hole about three feet wide. Once they were finished, the Graveler stood Shelton up in the hole, and proceeded to shove dirt in as well; effectively burying her up to her neck.
Dorian watched the scene unfold in horror, unable to understand what the rocky Pokemon was doing. Frantic, he started looking around, searching for one of their Pokemon to help.
Growlithe was being held down by two Geodude, his face scraping across the dirt as he tried to free himself. Machop was barely alive, holding on by sheer will alone. Golduck and Vibrava had not reappeared from the side of the cliff yet, filling his head with even more worry. Nuzleaf was nowhere to be found and Shuppet was hovering nearby, seemingly catatonic by the threat made to her by the Graveler who was obviously in charge.
Dorian couldn’t understand why this was happening. Obviously this was the same gang of Pokemon Shelton was referring to earlier, but before they had only attacked the machines building the road. There had been no violence against any humans or their Pokemon at all. He had always been very good at reasoning with people and Pokemon alike. He had been told on more than one occasion that he would make a good salesman from his talent with wordplay. It was clear however, that there was no way to talk them out of this predicament.
“Grav!” the leader shouted again.
As Dorian watched, the Graveler held up two of its fingers with one hand and pointed to a pile of rock off to the left with another. Keeping its hands in place, it bent down and scooped up two basketball size boulders at its feet, balancing each out on an outstretched appendage. The hand he was pointing with slowly came around and he pointed toward each boulder, stopping to make the symbol for two again. Then its last hand came back around and pointed at Shelton’s buried body.
“I don’t understand what you’re saying. Please, we’ll go. We won’t come back, I promise,” Dorian pleaded. “Please.”
Growing angry, the Graveler pointed towards the same small pile of rock again, then repeating the gesture of making the number two and making the same motions towards Shelton.
Dorian stared at the pile of rock, trying to understand the significance. As he studied the rocks, six blackened hands became distinguishable, along with a shattered leg, and a few broken ivory teeth.
“Bodies?” Dorian asked himself. Then, the realization of what was about to happen crashed down on his mind harder than the rockslide that had pummeled Machop’s body. The bodies were Graveler. Judging from their shattered flesh they had died from the demolition charges that the road crew had planted. “Two of you, for two of us.” That’s what the Graveler was telling him.
As he watched, the Graveler walked to his deceased brethren and stroked each of their bodies with one long crooked finger. Shaking noticeably, the rock Pokemon took a deep breath, composing itself. Turning around, with dark mud streaming from its eyes, the Graveler took aim at Shelton’s head.
“Gravgrav,” the Pokemon lamented, and threw the stones.
Before the stones reached their target, however, they halted in the air.
Suddenly, they reversed course, racing back towards the Graveler with increased velocity. One struck the rock Pokemon in the head, sending it stumbling backwards, while the other raced around to strike the Pokemon from behind, sending it face first to the ground. The assembled Geodude and Graveler stared at their leader in disbelief, not understanding, not able to process what had just happened.
Dorian however, knew the answer before they did. Looking up, he saw Golduck let go of Vibrava’s legs and fall to the ground below. He watched as Golduck lightly landed, one foot resting on either side of Shelton’s head. Golduck’s pupils glowed lilac, signaling the rage that was close to being released.
“DUCK!” Golduck yelled at Dorian, raising both of his webbed hands above his head.
Knowing he only had a moment, Dorian raised his arms as high as he could, struggling against the strength of the Graveler that was holding him hostage. As his hands went upwards, a multicolored beam of energy shot from the jewel in Golduck’s forehead. The beam hit Dorian’s right hand with uncanny accuracy, rebounding off his Pokeflect and striking his captor in the stomach. The arms holding him hostage loosened, allowing Dorian to wriggle free. As soon as his feet touched the ground, Dorian jumped up and spun, kicking the dazed Graveler backwards. The rock Pokemon stumbled, crying out in pain from the lingering effects of Golduck’s psybeam. Its feet carried it backwards, over the edge of the cliff and to the roaring waves below.
As Dorian turned back around, the rock Pokemon broke their stare and attacked, sending chunks of stone streaming towards Vibrava hovering above and Golduck below. Vibrava tucked his wings and spiraled downwards, catching slight nicks from the thrown rocks as he dived. None of the missiles even got close to Golduck though, as the psychic Pokemon stopped them in mid-air as they approached, leaving them hanging to serve as shields for other incoming rocks.
“Vibrava, use gust on the rocks!” Dorian commanded.
Coming to a stop in front of Golduck, the dragon Pokemon flapped his wings furiously, kicking up sand and gravel as a vortex was generated. The psychic force holding the wall of thrown rocks suddenly dropped its hold, allowing Vibrava to send the stones back towards their attackers. Five of the rock Pokemon were immediately out of the fight, either immobilized by the heavy rock, or the impact of the stones sending them off the nearby cliff.
Shuppet meanwhile, had snapped her mind back into the fight and was currently flying from Geodude to Geodude, latching onto their backs and using hypnosis to put them to sleep. The Pokemon that experienced this sensation cried out in fear as the ghost Pokemon reached into their minds and ignited their worst fears, causing them to flee to sleep like it was their own idea.
“Vibrava, don’t stop! Golduck, get her out!” Dorian yelled.
Vibrava began to gyrate, dragging the vortex of howling wind in a circle, creating a barrier their attackers were unable to penetrate. Golduck focused his mental power below his feet, feeling the earth below with his mind and slowly raising Shelton out of her temporary prison. He worked slowly, trying his best to keep the sharp rock underneath from cutting her as she rose.
Dorian ran, the wind from Vibrava’s sustained gust attack almost knocking him off his feet as he struggled to get further down the path where Growlithe was pinned down. The same two Geodude were still holding him down, reaching down to strike the struggling dog when he managed to gain some leverage. Dorian ducked to avoid a rock thrown at him from a nearby Graveler, forgetting again that the Pokeflect would have stopped the stone from harming him.
“Shup!” Shuppet screeched, materializing beside Dorian as he ran.
As the ghost Pokemon’s voice reached the two Geodude, they looked up in surprise, catching twin shadow balls launched from Shuppet in the process. The Geodude were blown backwards into the wall behind them as the attack hit, releasing Growlithe from their painful embrace. Growlithe turned and bathed his assailants with fire for good measure, making sure they were out of the fight.
“You good?” Dorian called to Growlithe, spinning on his heel and running back towards Shelton.
“Growlithe!” his Pokemon roared.
“Find Nuzleaf!” Dorian commanded. “Shuppet, help Vibrava and Golduck!”
Dorian followed Growlithe as he ran further down the path, following the scent of Nuzleaf. He hunched down as they passed the whirlwind of air around his Vibrava, taking note of the fact that Golduck had completely freed Shelton from the ground below and was holding her in his arms, shielding her from the occasional rock that made it through Vibrava’s barrier. Shuppet had taken place in front of the twirling dragon Pokemon, adding ghostly balls of energy to the whirlwind, hoping to injure any of the rock Pokemon that got too close.
“Nuzleaf!” Dorian called, hoping to somehow get his Pokemon’s attention.
He kept following Growlithe as the fire Pokemon led them to the edge of a large crater; one that Dorian was sure was the result of the explosion that had happened earlier. As Dorian and Growlithe began to climb the slope of the crater, Nuzleaf’s unconscious form was violently thrown from the confines of the hole. Nuzleaf’s body was traveling so fast that it hit Dorian directly in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him and sending him to the ground.
“GRAV!” a chorus of voices yelled. As Dorian got up and slung Nuzleaf over his shoulder, five Graveler jumped up from the inside of the crater, glaring menacingly at the trio below.
“Grooo!” Growlithe growled, puffing up his chest.
“Don’t be thick,” Dorian said. “You can’t take on five of them. Let’s go!”
Huffing regrettably, Growlithe followed his master, hearing the sounds of the Graveler stomping behind them in pursuit. As he ran, he saw more Geodude and Graveler closing in on them from all sides, the ones ahead of them stopping short of the deadly barrier of wind and spinning rock created by Vibrava.
“Golduck!” Dorian yelled. “We’re coming in!”
The duck Pokemon heard them and nodded, using his power of telekinesis to open a hole in the vortex to let them pass. The rocks and spheres of energy parted for the trio as they ran through, closing behind them with a loud clap. Dorian laid Nuzleaf down by Golduck’s feet, checking his Pokemon up and down for injury. His Pokemon was breathing steadily, the only tell-tale sign of injury being the small chunks of wood missing from his foot, arm, and shoulder.
They were all in Vibrava’s protective circle now, even the unconscious form of Machop, whose condition was rapidly declining. As Dorian watched, scores of Graveler and Geodude poured out from over the top of the rock face, joining the fray of over thirty rock Pokemon that were trying to penetrate the protective circle around them. Vibrava couldn’t keep this up forever; and as powerful as his and Shelton’s Pokemon were, they couldn’t take on that many at one time. His mind raced, desperate for a plan to end the madness, to keep them safe. He wasn’t strong enough to overcome the odds though; he wasn’t powerful enough to fight off his aggressors. For the first time in his life, he didn’t know what to do.
“Vibravaaa,” his dragon Pokemon moaned.
As Dorian watched Vibrava, he noticed that the hurricane of wind keeping them safe was starting to die down, the rocks being carried by it being lowered closer to the ground. Just then, one of the shadow balls that Shuppet had conjured leapt off course and smacked into Dorian’s chest. He felt nothing as it glanced off of the protective shield of his Pokeflect, but yelled when it ricocheted off of him and struck Shuppet. The ghost Pokemon wailed as the orb struck her, sending her crashing against the ground.
“Ava,” Vibrava whispered, dropping roughly to the ground and falling into unconsciousness.
Dorian should have known that the strain of sustaining an attack for that long was too much for the newly evolved Pokemon. He felt a momentary flash of pride in his Pokemon that quickly evaporated as the rocks caught up in the vortex fell and revealed the outside of their circle.
Over fifty rock Pokemon surrounded them, the ones nearest to the front gasping for the air that had been sucked away from them by Vibrava’s attack. Most of them were growling, making their intentions clear. They would not stop, and they had the numbers to back it up.
“I’m sorry,” Dorian said to the crowd. “We had nothing to do with it.”
Gathering his emotions, he walked forward and stood in front of Shelton. Raising his fists, he waited. It would come in a moment. The inevitable tide of anger would wash across them and leave nothing behind. Dorian thought that at a moment like this, things would become simple. Clarity would chime in and he would know exactly what to do. Nothing came however, nothing to give him hope. He was with their Pokemon, and his mind was blank.
“Duduck,” Golduck stated, tapping him on the shoulder.
Dorian turned, vaguely aware that the rock type Pokemon around them were rushing forward. He watched Golduck gently stroke Shelton’s cheek, a peculiar milky glow beginning to take shape around his head. He placed Shelton in Dorian’s arms, pushing her against him to make sure he had a strong grip.
Faster than Dorian could think, he, Shelton, and their Pokemon were yanked upwards and shoved to the right, high above the incoming stampede of rock Pokemon. They flew through the air, being guided by Golduck’s formidable mind. Dorian saw everything, he felt all of it. His group was guided into the crater the earlier explosion had made, being pushed tenderly out of harm’s way.
Just before they passed below the lip of the crater, Dorian saw the rock Pokemon race towards Golduck, he saw the mauve energy around Golduck flare brightly as they reached him, and as the first attack connected, he saw the sapphire Pokemon explode.