"Skaro gazed into the dark blue abyss, searching the murky water for a sign of light, but it was fast retreating, and darkness was swarming around him. He gasped for air and was treated to a mouthful of salt water, Now choking for air he tried to swim up to the surface but he was tied, chained to the oceans depths, a lone sableye holding the chain keeping him tied to the ocean floor, drowning him."
Skaro snapped up to attention, he had fallen asleep at his desk, a lone candle burnt in his tent almost down to the brass holster in the tents frame, the Crocanaw stood a concerned look on his face.
"Permission to enter, Sir...."
Skaro looked up at him, his eyes bloodshot and groggy he rubbed his face and began to lean back in his chair before responding.
"It's late recruit, make it quick..."
The Crocanaw burst into the tent holding a small chart and a compas.
"The effects you ordered, Sir and if I may speak freely-"
The Crocanaw lowered his posture and lost his seriousness, pulling a chair up next to skaro at his desk.
"Then you look like ****,"
They both laughed, evens skaro let out a sickly and exhausted grunt of amusement. He was glad that the Crocanaw had become a messenger between the voice of the camp and Skaro and reminded him oddly of an old friend. One he couldn't remember. What followed was a dark silence, Skaro knew the Crocanaw had noticed no supply ships had come through, but he had yet to tell anyone of there true situation. He had however been working the entire camp to the bone, lucky for him the Runark raids had been almost non-existent for the past 6 days since the letter had arrived.
"They say she's abandoned us, the empress and there's talk among the other soldiers, that even Arceus has left us to die here."
Skaro winced. She had left them to die here, and deity or not if he didn't think of something quick, they would.
"Sir, why are we still waiting fo-"
Skaro looked up and grimaced at the Crocanaw who stood quickly and stumbled back towards the door.
"Enough, Leave me. If I had information you needed to know, you would be the first to know it."
And with that the crocanaw fled the tent, as if Skaro would scald him if he stayed a moment longer. Skaro sunk his head into his hands and ran his fingers through his blood red feather like hair, he had still come up with nothing and he was set to run out of supplies soon, even he like most of the other soldiers were skipping meals. Moral was still however high considering the situation, the camp had been filled with a renewed sense of commitment after the incident with Skaro and the Croagunk and the lack of raids had meant the men had been able to train and refortify the camp to a fairly satisfactory position. For now, Skaro's mind was too weak to function, he limped himself over to his bedroll and fell asleep.
Skaro awoke to the sound of cannon fire and storms, he grabbed his rapier and rush to the upper deck where it was silent, a ship floating in an ocean of blackness, a lone figure loomed on the ships helm, but Skaro knew who he was, his diamond eyes glittering in the moonlight. In an instant he was in front of Skaro, uncomfortably close and burning him with his stare.
"They're going to die here Skaro, You're going to kill them..."
Skaro cringed, the words felt like poison, coursing through his blood and setting every cell of fire.
"THEY DIE LIKE I DO, BETRAYED BY THE ONE THEY FOLLOW!"
As the Sableye spoke the ship broke apart and Skaro plunged into a harrowing black void.
When Skaro finally awoke from his nightmare the sky was dark if not for the sun peaking over the horizon. He put his sholderpads and greaves on and slung his sword of his body and forced his way outside into the crisp morning air. The Runark desert was always hot, but not now. There was a brief gap before freezing cold nights and blistering hot days that left the desert sand cool to the touch. The air felt fresh and clean and didn't burn as he breathed it in. For this reason, most of the camp liked to awake at this time, or at least Skaro liked to wake them up. He pulled out his sword and clanged it on a makeshift bell, a metal drum that had been sat upside down and suspended by a stick on the inside. The bell made a fantastic dull "CLANK" that rang through the entire camp. It didn't take long for the camp to burst into activity. From his tent he saw a few pokemon scramble to the makeshift battlements at the front of the camp and begin to keep a look out. Another a Quagsire shifted himself over to a grindstone and began sharpening steel and cutting down bolts.
"EVERYONE UP, I'M NOT ASKING AGAIN!"
Skaro shouted from his tent, before promptly returning to sit at desk and pour over his charts. He did this for some few hours listening to the sound of the Croagunk he had so recently demoralized of the whole camp sound off attack orders to the group he was currently in charge of. The map Skaro was so focused on was a map of the Runark surface, one of the only ones that the Quartzirian military had thought to bring. He was looking for something, anything that might tell them where the raiders were hiding. He knew that there were far enough from any of the tunnels that the Runark needed a surface base of operations to keep up sustained raids, and where there were soliders, there were supplies. Unfortunately the rocky outcropping of the desert had left about 8 different locations that Skaro did not have the manpower or supply to scout out. He let his head fall to the desk, as if gravity had demand he bow it out of sheer disappointment.
"Sir, We need you on site Sir."
An unfamilier voice sounded from outside.
"Right. I'll be right out."
The sun brunt skaro's skin as he walked out, the day was particularly hot, hotter than most out here in the desert. Luckily the camp was nessled inbetween rocky outcrops and the ocean, making it hard for enemy forces to assult the camp by surprise, unfortunately the little supplies they had been given to fortify the camp were dilapidated and worn making the base completely defenseless at the front, bar a single watch tower made from crude scrap metal and wood. Skaro was lead by a Lombre to the watchtower where the Wartortle threw down a rope ladder. Apon reaching the top Skaro could already see why he was needed.
The words feel from Skaro's mouth as if weighed down by fear. The Runark were famous for this strategy. Whipping up a sandstorm to conceal there numbers making it impossible for the enemy to see what they're dealing with, but until the point they had no need too. Skaro's camp was always being raided by groups of about 30-40 and these soldiers had no trouble, bashing the door down and taking what ever they could before the men beat them off. The sandstorm was new, and this was very worrying. It had finally dawned on Skaro why the Runark hadn't attacked since the camp was cut off. With no more commitment to Sepres, the Runark could destroy the camp with no risk of Quartzirian retaliation. It wasn't a raid.... It was an extermination.
Skaro lept from the tower and ran toward his tent, where he had foolishly left his sword, all the time running.
"BATTLE STATIONS, NOW EVERYONE GET READY!"
The Camp flew into a seemingly organised panic, skaro grabbed drew his sword and left the sheath in his tent, for he had no intention of putting it away anytime soon. He sprinted back to the tower and raced up as soon as he could and turned to face the crowd.
"This is our moment ladies and gentlemen... If a few minutes the Runark horde is going to bare down on us, and I'll tell you what we're going to do."
He paused and looked at the men, they showed no fear and no lack of commitment to the camp. He looked down at broken men and saw that they understood where they were and what was going to happen. They did not fear death, and they did not fear battle. These men were his. Skaro's men.
"We are going to wash them away! We are going to bury them beneath the waves of the Quartzirian might! They are going to knock on our door and demand our blood, and they will watch us answer with only steel and strength! We my brothers, are dead men...."
He turned to face the sandstorm that sped towards the camp, only seconds away from reaching the camp, and then looked back at his men.
"SO, LET THEM FIGHT WITH THE HAND OF DEATH!"
The crowd erputed in cheer and chat,
"WE ARE DEATH'S HAND!"
Skaro lead and they crowd followed,
"WE ARE DEATH'S HAND!"
And then a silence fell as the whirling sand reached the gates. Skaro lept from the tower he once stood and waited in the grim silence. Three large clangs broke the silence. The scrap metal barricade was not going to keep the hordes out for long, but again the three clangs as they attempted to push through.
"GO MY BROTHERS, ANSWER THERE CALL WITH DEATH!"
And then, It was hell.
The first wave of Runark burst through easily out numbering the camps members 3 to 1, but they were undetered and entered into all out war. Blasts of both water and fire streamed across the camp only helping to color the sandstorm that raged, obscuring the vision for more that a few feet. Skaro charged in and felt his blade met by the claw of a Sandslash, he quickly lunged back and used his feint attack to draw the Sandslash off foot before he drove his blade into his chest before moving back to assist the others. Lemonson had no issues taking on more soldiers than the others, dispatching a Golbat that flew in for a wing attack and crippling a Golem with a sharp jab to the neck, who Skaro stole the honor of finishing off. The sand made it impossible to fight smaller combatants who were using it to hide and duck and weave between conflicts, it also made any wounds received by Skaro's men burn as sand was caught in there cuts and blasted agains there bruses. There had to be away to clear the sandstorm, skaro raced around the battle, helping in anyway he could but ultimately looking for the source of the sustained storm, most likely a Pokemon with sandstream. The fighting was a pseudo-Stalemate favoring the Runark horde, Skaro's men fought with a Fervor comparable to the night in which he first met The Captain, none of them willing to go down with out taking someone with them. Then Skaro saw what he was after, a Hippowdon spewing sand out of his gysers and laughing a terrible cackle has he blasted away the Crocanaw that attempted to engage him.
Skaro had to be quick, he darted at the Hippowdon, sliding under the blast of air and sand that was shot at him, using his agility to close the cam faster and quick attack to lunge at the bohemoth, that was at least four times his own size. The beast lunged at him, attempting to crush him under its emensce size, but Skaro was too quick, rolling under him and slashing his Right eye with his sword. The beast stagged back, the wound bleed out on the sand, but he did not relent, he charged at skaro again who was knocked down and pinned under the beasts great weight. He laughed as blood from his cut dropped down onto Skaro's chest, when there was a flash of light from above him. He hadn't noticed the sky before now but it had grown dark, darker than was possible before, and then he felt it. The soft drop that had hit his chest was not blood, something amazing, beyond his wildest dreams. Rain.
The Sandstorm dropped rapidly as the rain pelted down, The hippowden was taken aback by the rain lost its grip on Skaro, who proceeded too slash the other eye and run off leaving the blind Hippowdon to ramage both his own and Skaro's men. The rain had been a turning point. The Runark were not used to rain, even on the surface it was not expected nor was it ever as fierce as this. As the storm raged the bulk of the Runark horde began to retreat, stragler staying behind to fight on. Skaro turned to see the Lombre laughing as he used his rain dish to heal is wounds and watch as his enemies couldn't land a hit. The Wartortle blasted a torrent of water at a now fleeing skarmory who was hit and plummited to the ground. Skaro began to laugh aswell, the battle, the extermination had been a failure, The camp was going to live to fight another day. When the Rain finally stopped. The fighting was long done. Skaro and the others had began to start repairing the baracades incase of a counter attack, but he knew they wouldn't dare it. Not now and not for a while and then his heart sank.
He saw the body of the Crocanaw pushed against a crate covered in a large gash across his chest. Lemonson walked up beside him and placed his hand on Skaro's sholder.
"As far as we know, he and 6 others are the only reported casualties...You were fantastic sir, I just want you to know we're all honored to have fought with y-"
Skaro stopped him and knelt down to inspect the wound.
"He fought with honor... and untill the end... I want him buried..."
Skaro trailed off, a lost look in his eyes,
"Burried, do you hear me? All of them!"
The Croagunk stood upright,
"Right away sir, as soon as we can; also sir, we've found a captive. A Skarmory that was trying to fly away. We shot him down and clamped his wings, any instructions?"
Skaro grimanced, and turned to face the skarmory, his leg and wings clamped and chained to a makeshift metal post.
"Gather the camp, I wish to make an example out of him."
Skaro walked up to the Skarmory, his body covered in new tiny scars from the fighting. He was obviously not a hardened warrior most likely a new recruit from another island who was transferred to Runark. The camp quickly assembled and waited for Skaro to start talking. The Skarmory didn't show any emotion, he was resilient Skaro gave him that.
"Well, this is a bit awkward isn't it..."
Skaro paced around the Skarmory rattling his wings for he knew that he couldn't fight back.
"Must of been very exited, to take part in a mission as big as this one, Probably weren't expecting us to react so well?"
Skaro picked up his sword and put it to the Skarmory's neck and pulled his head back.
"Probably weren't expecting us to Win? Huh! Now those people, they want me to kill you, to take your head and mount it on a pike and display it to the rest of the world, a sign that we, Deaths Hand are not to be ****ed with!"
The Skarmory shook and became tense,
"Fear" Skaro thought,
"But I'm not going to kill you, yet... You're going to run back to your leader, walk a walk of shame back to your little hole in the ground and tell your leader this..."
Skaro let go of the Skarmory, turned to face the crowed and raised his sword into the air.
"Tell them that we are not going to sit idle and be wiped out. Tell them that if they wish to try and raze our home to the ground that we shall do the same, Tell them that Skaro and the Deaths hand are not accepting an olive branch of peace anymore, Tell them that we bring the tides of war and they best be ready.... because we will not rest until we see your pathetic excuse for an island DROWN!"
The men went wild, screaming and shouting the chant,
Skaro walked over the the Skarmory chains and cut the bind on his leg, pointing towards the entrance, leaving his wing clamps on. The Skarmory stood still as if he was waiting for Skaro to free him of his wing clamps.
"They don't call it the "Fly" of shame, RUN DOG!"
And with that the Skarmory fled into the desert followed by the heckling laughter of the camp.
Skaro ordered two men to stand guard and ring the bell in case of a counter attack, but he was confident in the hiding they had given them, they were safe at least for another night. Skaro again sat at his desk and poured over his maps, when he heard someone at his door.
"Permission to enter, Sir!"
It was Lemonson, he was waiting patiently for a response.
"Granted, how's moral soldier?"
The croagunk laughed, and smiled
"Half the camp believes we're the most skilled camp on the planet and the other half thinks that we're in favor with Arceus,"
Skaro laughed, he could hear the celebrations from his tent,
"So what do you believe Lemonson?"
The Croagunk smiled,
"I prefer to think of it as an act of god, a warning to the heretics to Arceus,"
"I too believe it was an act of god, but there's an entirely different one for storms...."
The Croagunk gave him a sideways glace and excused himself. Skaro looked through the crack in his tent at the ocean for a while before falling alseep.
A calm sleep, the first in years.