Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pokémon: The Golden Apocalypse, Chapter Eleven

Red opened his eyes, felt a spear of pain skewer his mind, and closed them again. It was bright. The sun was high in the sky, and nothing blocked the rays from Red's exposed position. He began the long task of opening his eyes slowly, trying to keep the stabbing light from penetrating into his aching head. He managed to rise to his hands and knees, but a wave of dizziness hit him. Something wasn't right, but he couldn't figure out what. His head ached to much to think, and his legs protested every movement. His skin had begun to burn dully, and the sun still beat relentlessly down. He lifted his head slightly, wincing at the pain, and saw Nyoromo sitting under a small protrusion from the rock face.
The pokémon was still asleep. It struck Red how small it looked. The poor thing seemed to have wilted overnight. Where bubbles had occasionally issued from its mouth, there was now only a translucent filmy substance. A thought entered Red's sluggish brain. He barely caught a wisp of it before it evaporated in the heat. Why was it so hot? He felt like he would simply cease to be if the heat continued.
Water. The thought materialized again. He realized his throat was parched, and though hot his skin was without sweat. He was suffering from dehydration, and his poliwag must be as well. He crawled to the edge of his platform, gritting his teeth against the pain, and saw that a small pond was nearby, at the old city's entrance, a few hundred yards away. He picked up Nyoromo, who shifted slightly but didn't wake, and placed him in his pack. Red then began to climb down.
Looking back, he could never remember how he made it. Only one instance stood out in his mind. He could clearly recall clinging to a small handhold with a single hand, swinging like a pendulum, terrified.
Somehow, though, he had made it, and as he crawled to the edge of the water to drink, he decided he didn't want to know how he did it. Nyoromo rolled out of the unzipped pack as Red drank, still asleep, and landed at the ponds edge. The water revived him enough to take a little waddle forward and sink to the bottom, in his element once more.
Red, having taken in more water than was probably wise, sat back to wait for Nyoromo. The water was clear, and he could see through it well enough to make out the pokémon's round form darting about at the bottom. Content that he wouldn't be eaten by anything, Red turned to survey the city.
The buildings still stood, and only the creeping vines on their sides and chipped paint hinted at their abandonment. What was between the buildings told more of the tale, though. The once-paved streets were cracked and weeds grew there. A fair bit away, Red could just make out a fountain, no longer running, that seemed to have sprouted a sapling. It was a calm place, not at all like the nest of death he had imagined the Fallen Viridian as. But that was its danger, he supposed. Nowhere in the forest was safe, no matter how tranquil.
Having taken a few steps towards the ruins, he turned to return to the water, and almost collided with an old man standing there.

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