Categories > Games > Pokemon > The Spirit of Alola - Book 2 - A Hurting Heart

Chapter 19 - This Isn’t Like Her

by CJWorthington 0 reviews

Chapter 19 of Spirit of Alola - Book Two

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2023-08-12 - 3456 words - Complete

Chapter Nineteen

This Isn’t Like Her

Too many things were happening all at once. Mel was still releasing wave after wave of psychic energy, causing the air in the forest to pulsate as her fury seemed to increase. The blackened, cloudy sky was beginning to emit low rumbles of thunder and dim flashes of lightning and though it was still mid morning the world seemed like night. I’d just found an item of Sashi’s in a clump of grass by a tree. Ōpūnui was nearly bouncing on the balls of his feet as he gleefully proclaimed that the boys had finally woken up. And Boreas, a Pokémon of Kabir's, was just now leaping off the dead grass near Mel and onto the surface of the lake.

Wait, what? My racing mind skidded to a halted at this.

I had to drag my eyes away from all the events vying for attention to watch the large, blue, and white Pokémon as it moved across the lake. It wasn’t jumping into the water, but rather leaping across the top as if it were made of a solid surface, even though I could see the liquid moving in waves underfoot.

“Is that a Suicune?” Ōpūnui asked as we all drew into a tight ball once more, nearly shouting over the noises of wind and energy, the branches overhead clattering wildly.

“It is, but whose is it?” Burnet questioned, drawing my attention to her with a tap on my shoulder, an expression of excitement at the beast on her face.

“It’s Boreas, one of Kabir’s. I don’t understand why you are all so shocked by this, it’s just another Pokémon.”

“Just another -,” Ōpūnui spluttered out. “Doctor Māhoe, your refusal to know anything about these creatures that outnumber humans by the millions will never cease to amaze me.” He chastised. “Those are incredibly rare to find in the wild, let alone as a Trainer-owned one.”

As we were talking, the beast had continued its trek over the lake, bounding around it like it was dense ground. Circles of light shot out beneath each step, quickly spreading across the water and connecting with the other created points of light. A few more hops and the whole lake was glowing brightly.

I pulled my gaze away once more to respond, “Sashi and Kabir found it last year while living in Johto. Apparently, it’s pretty old and was pushed out of its territory by a younger one of its species. It was half dead when they found it, but Kabir was able to coax it into allowing them to catch it.”

“I guess it does look rather gray around the muzzle. It’s trying to heal the lake right now.” Opūnui agreed, nodding his head while squinting his eyes to get a better look and adding the last bit in helpfully. Another wave of psychic energy blasted past us and he commented, “She’s going to seriously injure herself letting out so much power so quickly.” The older man looked worried but didn’t take any action to stop her either.

“Anya, what did you find?” Hala queried, pointing at my hand that had remained by my chest.

My mind immediately snapped to the new subject. I pushed my fist towards his face and opened my hand to show him the item clutched inside. “It’s Sashi’s hair tie. It was by this tree.” I began backing up to show him, then grabbed onto his wrist to try and pull him along when he didn’t immediately move with me.

His feet shuffled more slowly over the dried tussocks, broken twigs and scattered pebbles strewn over the forest floor. The Melemele Kahuna pulled a flashlight out of his pocket and shined it across the area in question. Instead of seeming surprised by my discovery, he sighed heavily. “She was here at one point, yes.” He finally said.

“If I’ve only just found this, then she can’t be too far off now.” I blurted out, interrupting him.

“If she had just been here, we would have found her. In fact, we knew she’d already been in this area. You must not have looked at the photos the police took, because there were images of that very tree.” He moved the beam of light to a bit of ground near where I found the object of our discussion.

I gazed to where he was pointing and gasped at the sight. There were dried streaks of blood that my eyes hadn’t been able to see in the darkness. He placed a hand on my back and gently pushed me toward the group once more, mumbling a soft condolence at my crestfallen expression. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the black hair tie, and with trembling fingers, I pushed it onto my left wrist so it wouldn’t get blown away, feeling the soft fabric and cold, shiny bead against my skin.

Hala spoke once more as we reached Opūnui and Burnet, raising his voice so they could hear as well. “Sashi has been here, but it must have been for a very short while. The police arrived not too long after her disappearance, but even they didn’t find her. Most of the blood didn’t come from her though.” He tried to add encouragingly.

“Then what about Sam?” I asked, remembering the tall teen who’d been delivering mail to my sister and her husband.

“Yes,” He nodded his head solemnly, “A fair amount of it belonged to them. The rest of the blood was from a Pokèmon we’ve never seen before, or at least, we don’t have the species’ blood in our database, but we did compare samples from all over the world.”

“So we aren’t any closer to finding those two than we were before this Arceus-forsaken jaunt,” I muttered.

“Anya. We aren’t going to stop -“ Burnet tried to respond, but a furious snarl followed by a rumbling growl pulled our attention back to the location of Boreas the Suicune and Mel.

The Pokèmon had since ended its run across the lake and now stood in front of the Psychic. Its teeth were bared, the head was lowered, and it was crouched offensively on the ground as if it were ready to attack the woman.

“What’s happening?” Burnet asked, making to move off towards the sight, but stopping when Opūnui placed a hand on her shoulder.

“I’m no psychic myself, but I believe Mel must be saying some rather unkind words to the Suicune because it wasn’t able to fully heal the lake.” The old doctor commented.

He was right. The water moved more freely now as if the sludge and sediment had been mostly cleared, but debris still stuck up at odd angles, and green and black algae continued to wash along the shoreline. The smell of rot and decay that had before overtaken the air, also lightened, but did not clear up entirely.

Burnet ran a hand through her white hair, further ruffling its wind-blown appearance. “That’s not like her at all. I can’t imagine Mel would ever act so harshly toward someone who was only trying to help. She’s more than proved that she has a gentle spirit. Besides, that Pokémon is old, so it isn’t as strong anymore. She would be understanding of this.” The Professor responded, shaking her head in distress and confusion.

Boreas took a step back from the infuriating woman with a loud bellow of outrage and opened its mouth. A blue-white light began to form inside as it raised its head. I didn’t need any knowledge of Pokémon to know it was actually preparing to attack her now.

“That’s enough,” Hala shouted out, pulling the attention of the beast and woman to him. Suicune stopped building up the charge and slowly closed its mouth while glaring at the Kahuna. Then, without another sound, it recalled itself back into its Pokèball.

Burnet is right. Something is wrong with Mel, and it's not just her anger. I thought. Steeling myself and trying to pull up my fury to match her own. I began striding towards the woman, ignoring the surprised calls from the others. “I don’t know what’s going on with you, but you need to stop this right now.”

“Māhoe, stop!” Opūnui hollered, suddenly by my side. He grabbed onto my shoulder and gave me a hard shove to the ground just as a pulse of energy came shooting out from before us. Dead branches, rocks, and water slammed against the ground and trees a few meters behind us, but I didn’t get a chance to look at the damage the attack had caused as strong hands yanked my old mentor and me to our feet and dragged us away.

Mel’s six Psychic Type Pokemon and Opūnui’s Meganium rushed to take a stand against this new development and formed a protective semi-circle around us, using their own powers to stop any more flying debris. The pulses of energy had now grown, scattering objects wildly through the air in increasing succession.

“Something is very wrong. I have never known Mel to attack anyone, ever.” I tried to defend her, but my words fell short as I saw Opūnui fall to the ground and clutch at his side. Burnet and I leaned down next to him. I moved the hand away from his stomach to find a gash along his side, blood already gushing out across his torn shirt.

“I’m fine,” he grimaced through clenched teeth, “It’s not very deep.”

I carefully pushed the injured flesh apart to look at the damage and disagreed quietly. It was deep. This would need medical attention in a hospital soon. The wound was jagged and messy and any infection would set in quickly. I cursed under my breath as I looked around for a moment to find something to use to staunch the bleeding.

“Take this,” Hala said, untying the jacket from his waist and pushing it into my hand.

“I’m sorry Ori, this is going to hurt,” I spoke gently, hating myself for causing the old doctor more agony. I heavily pressed the cloth into his side, ignoring his gasp. Burnet had helped him onto his rump, but he refused to lay on his back even as his body tensed at the pain.

I noticed that the Raichu that had been by my side this whole time had moved away. With surprise, I watched as Squall valiantly took a stance in front of us, preparing to defend the group with the other Pokémon, though it looked so small and weak when compared to all the highly trained creatures.

“Hariyama, I need you,” the Kahuna called from in front of us, he threw out the Pokeball that had been clutched in his hand since leaving the house and released a large beige Pokémon. It had massive orange hands and feet, and a yellow ruffle sitting above its belt line over blue legs. I knew this one was also powerful, having seen it in battle before.

“Hala, wait, don’t hurt her. Something’s wrong. She’s not in her right mind.” I called out fruitlessly, still wanting to defend the woman whom I’d known since childhood.

“I know, but she needs to be stopped before she does more than just injure someone.” Even with his words, he hesitated, Mel hadn’t done anything else to attack, though she had turned to face us, her eyes glowing with a white-hot anger.

She brought her left arm in front of herself, still bandaged up in a thick cast from having been broken the night before and I knew she was getting ready to strike again. The others seemed to realize this too as her six Pokémon, Meganium and Squall hunkered down, throwing up walls and barricades to ward it off. Hariyama and Hala stood in front of us also, bringing their arms across themselves and taking on a defensive stance.

I made ready to withstand it as well, trying hard to block my injured companion and cursing my small stature when I knew it would fail. Something made me pause though. The ground took on a yellow glow, and the air felt heavily charged with electricity. Burnet caught on to the sight just as quickly and she looked anxiously around the forest.

“It’s Tapu Koko!” She cried out, pointing to a Pokemon floating into view.

This yellow and black creature was bipedal but had large mask-looking braces on its arms. It landed on the ground in front of us all and cried out loudly, preparing itself for a battle, bouncing back and forth like a fighter on the orange spikes of its leg appendages.

With speed like lightning, it shot forward without warning, bringing back an arm to throw a punch, it slammed into a place in front of Mel, but the attack bounced harmlessly off a hastily thrown-up shield.

“Koko,” it growled, taking a moment to glance around the battlefield and acknowledging the other Pokémon that were present. My years in the martial arts told me it was testing the opponent, but that’s where my understanding stopped.

“Fox,” Mel’s Delphox said, nodding its fluffy orange head at the rest of them and stepping towards the new beast. “Del del,” it pointed the stick in its paw forward, towards the lake, but not at Mel.

The Guardian bobbed up and down a few times silently, but pointed to a different place.

“What are they saying?” I asked, trying to make sense of the swishing tail of the Delphox, the movements of the others, and the erratic dancing of the Tapu.

“They’re formulating a plan,” Kahuna Hala responded, stepping away from the Pokémon to crouch next to us. “We should probably brace ourselves for what might happen next.”

As if on cue to his words, the line of creatures before us exploded with movement. They all shot forward, Mel’s six, Hala’s Hariyama, Opūnui’s Meganium and even the Alolan Raichu. They surrounded the Psychic, those able to fly or float taking up a position over the lake behind her. The group opened mouths, pulled back arms, and charged up attacks, then began their assault as a unit, releasing powerful, stored energy, punches or kicks, and elemental surges.

It was impossible to see the older woman amid the calamity, but the moment they all made synchronized contact, a release of psychic energy, more powerful than the ones we had experienced before, was let loose. Pokémon and humans alike were launched back. Trees were uprooted. Stones and branches zipped through the air. Water splashed against our skin with a sting at the force of the throw.

We skidded and rolled dangerously against hard-packed earth, gashes opening up along flesh and bruises forming swiftly over our skin. Something large landed atop me, and it took my jumbled mind a few moments to realize it was the Slowking. It rolled swiftly off of me, but neither of us attempted to rise to our feet.

I looked towards Tapu Koko, knowing that the Guardian Deities were powerful, but worried it may have been injured and left unable to battle after Mel’s terrifying show of strength. To my shock, it had landed on the ground in front of us and brought its arms forward, the mask on its braces taking on a larger shape and forming a strong barrier. Though the force of will Mel had thrown out had caused such a strong reaction, there was a clear difference in the areas unguarded by the Pokémon.

The forest surrounding us, outside of the Tapu’s protection, was flattened and unrecognizable. Rotten trees lay on their sides many meters from the holes they left behind, their tangle of branches no longer blowing high in the air, leaving the sky above fully open. Boulders were forced back, gouges of earth where they had rolled to a stop indicating the path they took. Grass and long-dead plants were ripped from the ground, leaving only muddy patches of earth. Showers slowly fizzled out as lake water rained down on us.

I had no idea Mel was this powerful. I have seen other human Psychics demonstrate their strength. I have even treated wounds from those injured by enraged mystic beings or seen the destruction they could cause on television. She had never shown any sign that her own powers could reach such a level, and had even made it a known attempt to only allow her Pokémon to partake in any physical battling despite others of like-abilities actively fighting alongside their partners. Besides her capacity to read minds, I’d only ever seen her throw up barriers to deflect attacks or learned more recently, that she could control the body of another.

Tapu Koko extracted itself from its protective stance and moved off once more, now alone but looking uninjured, to continue battling the woman before us. They clashed with bright flashes of light, more surges of power hurtling through the air, but none reaching the sheer might of the previous one.

Slowly, a few other Pokémon joined the altercation as well. Hala’s Hariyama, the Delphox, and Gallade, all returned to assist, providing backup. The Claydol, and Slowking stayed behind to throw up barriers, protecting everyone else from the battling effects. The Raichu, Girafarig, Xatu and Meganium lay in unmoving or exhausted heaps on the ground.

Hala was still on his feet, having landed upright even through the turmoil of the tumbling bodies and debris. He called out, “Is everyone alright?”

“I’m fine,” Burnet and I responded in unison.

The silence of our last companion made my heart sink until a low moan and cough sounded behind me. The noise was emitted from underneath a pile of branches, and it didn’t take long for a flurry of people and Pokémon to rush to the scene. The branches were light from rot, and it was with relief we found Ōpūnui underneath it, already moving to sit up as the last object was removed.

“Nothing’s broken but my pride,” he wheezed out the joke. “I did knock my noggin pretty hard against the ground though.” I checked his head and saw a small cut and swollen area where the injury had happened, but couldn’t do much more than set a bit of cloth against it to stop the bleeding. I pressed my fingers along contusions and checked his gashes for depth, but none seemed more serious than the previous slice on his side. That one had been reopened during the event, causing another surge of blood. He had noticed this and was already applying pressure. “I’ve got this. Check on the others.”

I paused for a moment, but then nodded my head silently.

Burnet’s injuries were just as many, and her pallor was worrisome, though she insisted she would be alright. Hala refused to allow me to examine him, so I gave myself a once over and found that, though I was just as bruised and battered as the others, there was nothing severe either. I knew it was Tapu Koko that had worked hard to keep us from suffering worse damage.

“She’s tiring,” the Professor said, her voice quiet over the din of battle, wind, and thunder. Flashes of light were beginning to shine just as brightly in the sky as on the ground while the storm overhead threatened to break.

Tapu Koko pulled back from an attack without warning and skidded to a halt, calling out to the others to cease as well. We all sat on bated breaths as we watched Mel waver. She took a couple of unsteady steps back, then collapsed to the ground. We waited a few heartbeats longer to find she did not stir anymore.

Still, it was with great caution that the Kahuna approached the prone form of Mel. He checked on her for a moment, then turned back to us, nodding his head. She was alive.

Just as suddenly as it had begun, it seemed to end. The Guardian Deity of Melemele called out once in triumph. The yellow glow along the ground faded, and the Pokémon zipped off into the sky, seeming unconcerned by the destruction it was flying away from.
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