"Ughh..." I moaned in pain. Conciousness returned to me at the speed of a dead Shellos. I opened my eyes blearily and saw a log. I inferred it was the one that hit me. But it wasn't a log. More like a branch. In fact, I wasn't even on the construction site anymore. I was laying in soft grass. I rose unsteadily to my feet and looked at my surroundings. There was a huge field of nothing but grass, skirted around the edges by trees and forestry. I was on the border, underneath a particularly large tree. I assumed the branch had fallen from it.
"But I thought I was hit by a Timburr log...?" I muttered to no one in particular. I still got a response.
"Oh my gosh! Did the branch fall on a Pokemon?! Voltichu, go check!" cried a young voice. I looked over to the side and saw an Ampharos
"Hey, did that branch hit you? I'm sorry, miss! Are you okay?" he said with concern. A little Mareep
trotted around the tree trunk and joined the Ampharos, who I assumed was Voltichu.
"Oh. I--I'm fine. I'm a little lost, though. I'm Elizaveta."
"I'm Baaba! This is my big bruder, Voltichu!" Said the Mareep exuberantly.
"You said you were lost?" Voltichu asked. "Where are you headed?"
I scratched the back of my head. "I, ah... I don't really know. I was in a marathon for Pokemon Universe when a log hit me on the head. Then I woke up here. Have you seen a big group of Pokemon or a hot air balloon come by?"
Voltichu shook his head sorrowfully. "No, I'm sorry. No one's come through. It's been as sleepy here as ever. Baaba and I were just doing some training to pass the time when one of her Thundershocks knocked down a branch."
"Oh," I said distractedly. I needed to get back to the race. "Where is this, anyway?"
"This is--" But he was cut off by a loud intercom.
"The third course," Declared Otis. "The Mareep Fields!"
"The race! Here they come!" I gripped Voltichu's shoulders and shook them violently. "I CAN STILL WIN THIS!"
"Ah, th-that's gre-ea-eat, Eli-i-izavet-ta," Voltichu stammered his reply while I shook him. I ceased the shaking and said a quick apology and thanks as I dashed off before Golet and Braze arrived. Much to both my relief and dismay, it was neither of them in the lead. It was Troph.
"You!" I shouted accusingly. "You didn't beat Golet and Braze here; you cheated, didn't you?!"
?" He replied coolly. The two of us ran side by side, never letting our skeptical eyes leave each other. "How else did you get to the construction site and the fields so easily?"
I cringed. I didn't know. "I... that's none of your business! I'll beat you!"
"Not if I have anything to say about it!" He announced, speeding up.
"Then keep your mouth shut!" I retaliated, matching his speed. The two of us ran through the bare fields as dark storm clouds rolled in. This must be the Mareeps' work. Thunder rolled loudly and I saw a lightning flash nearby as a thick rain began to fall. Definitely the Mareeps' work. Troph caught on to my uneasiness and sped ahead while I lagged behind.
The hot air balloon.
What if lightning were to hit it? Milo and Otis and-- dear Roderich! None of them would be safe. I slowed down, practically to a stop, as the other Pokemon raced past me. Through the rain, I managed to spot the balloon, drifting around in the winds, unable to steer. I had to do something! I saw a two Mareep hanging out in the thunderstorm like it was the best weather. To them, it probably was.
"Hey, Mareep!" I called to the two. "Can you guys stop this storm somehow? My husband and some friends are up in that balloon and if lightning were to strike it--"
I was interrupted by a loud cracking sound. I was too late. The balloon had been clipped by a lightning bolt and, balloon flaming, hurtled towards the ground.
"OH, THE HUMANITY!!" cried a random Flaaffy
I swore loudly and ran for the balloon. I had to do something. Something! But what? Run towards the balloon and get killed, too? Something! Get a Pokemon who can use Protect? No time. Something!
The balloon hit the ground as I reached it's impact spot. Smoke and ash flew everywhere, and heat shimmers dominated the air with the sound of crackling fire. The rain created steam, and an ash grey fog floated around like a miasma, with a pervading air of death.Too late...
I was too late...