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Old 12-13-2003, 08:47 PM   #1
Lady Vulpix
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What happened inside the temple in Templa Taure

<Sylvan's POV>

Sindel and I had been walking along the labyrinthical temple for a while... Every now and then conversation would pop up. We didn't discuss anything transcendent, but it was nice to talk to her and be in her company. I looked around as we walked and began to get dizzy: all the rooms we'd visited in the last few minutes were so similar to each other! I began to fear that we might be moving in circles. Tired and confused, I decided to talk to Sindel to either boost my confidence or confirm my doubts.
"We haven't been here before, have we? All these rooms are starting to look almost the same."
"I don't think so," Sindel told me, "but to be honest even I'm getting confused. There's so mcuh evil around here that it's hard to use my powers."
"Oh," I sighed, shaking off some nasty thoughts. "I'll stop myself from asking more rethorical questions along the lines of whether evil is ever going to stop haunting us." Then I noticed the oxymoron within my stated and added with a giggle: "though it seems I'm not too good at that."
"Unfortunately we put ourselves in the firing line somewhat," my friend replied. Then she suddenly changed the subject, snarlyng with anger. "Great. There goes the last psychic tracker I had on our friends. It's impossible to do anything in here!"
"I guess we do. Don't worry, we'll get out of here somehow," I tried to confort her. "At least I know Amber would say that, and in the end she would be right."
Thinking of Amber always made me feel better.
"I know, I know," Sindel grinned sheepishly. "It just bugs me not knowing what everyone else is up to, so don't mind me, I don't mean to be irritable."
"Don't worry, you're one of the best partners I could have ended up with for this search," I assured. "Do you have anyone you can turn to when things aren't going well?"
"Pearl, I suppose, but she seems to shoulder everyone's troubles..."
"Poor Pearl. Yes, she looked troubled today."
"I know. I have an idea of what's going on, although she hasn't said anything to me it's not exactly hard to guess her problem."
"Maybe for you. You're a Psychic type and you've been living with her for a while. I haven't had much of a chance to talk to her, but I did notice she was in pain and trying to get others to forget about it."
"Yes. She's not being very sensible about this, she should just come out with her problems." At that point Sindel let out a shigh. "I don't think she'd do anything if she wasn't sure she'd be okay, though, or at least I hope that's the case."
"I hope she's fine. I have a friend who also hides his problems and pretends they don't exist. And the scariest thing is it seems to work for him most of the time. But sometimes they just get too big to shrug them off. No one's immune to problems and worries."
"I know what you mean, that sounds a lot like how Milliardo deals with things as well."
"Hmm... But in his case it shows."
Sylvan thought for a moment before speaking.
"I suppose so... it is very easy to tell when he's got something bothering him. Mainly because everyone else suffers when he's in a bad mood."
"Yes, I've noticed."
"Still, I suppose I can't blame him for being bitter sometimes. For the little he's told me he hasn't had an easy life."
"Oh. Sorry to hear that."

At that moment, Sindel stopped in her tracks.
"Wait..." she told me. "Hmm, now that's curious."
"What is it?," I asked.
"It's weird. I can sense other creatures nearby. I think they're further up this corridor. Want to check it out?"
"Sure."
We both edge forwards until we reached the end of the corridor. A large oak door stood in front of us. It had some carvings on it, and its overall look was quite impressive. I would have admired its beauty had the circumstances been better. But the way things were, other thoughts occupied my mind.
"Just behind here," Sindel revealed. "I can get snatches of their thoughts. Whatever they are, they're angry."
"We should be careful," I advised her. "Maybe I should go in first, in case they attack us."
"Even better, let's just take a peek then decide what to do," she suggested. "If this is the right place, it'd be much better if we summoned everyone else before going in."
"How can we take a pick without opening the door or teleporting in?"
"Well, it stands to reason that they can't break through the door, right? Otherwise it'd already have been smashed in. So what say we just open it slightly?"
"Alright," I accepted.
I stretched out a vine and wrapped it around the doorknob. Then I turned to look at Sindel and, receiving no signal to stop, I pulled down and back, slowly. Luckily for us, the door made no loud noises as it began to move.

I looked through the small opening and was stunned by what I saw. Behind the door lay an enormous pool, and a large group of Gyarados were floating inside it. There seemed to be around twenty, and most of them looked angry or frustrated.
"Looks like we've found what we were looking for," I whispered to Sindel. "What shall we do now? Call the others?"
"What else is there to do? Leave it to me."
I nodded and watched Sindel concentrate and reached for everyone else's minds.
"Okay," she finally said. "That's almost all of them. I'm sending out enough psychic energy for those who know us to be able to find us. But it's weird. I can't get hold of Kirei or Ventura at all."
"Strange. Out of all pokemon, they should be the ones most receptive to a psychic signal. You don't think something's happened to them, do you?"
"I certainly hope not. They're the least likely to be caught out by something as well, though, I can only guess that something's blocking me at the moment."
"I hope they're alright."
"Me too..."
"I guess Ventura would laugh if she saw me worrying about her. Are the others far away?"
"Well obviously terrible things have happened to them, Kirei's just a magnet for disaster, after all," a creepy voice responded from the shadows. I was startled, but soon recovered as I recognized the owner of that voice.
"Don't scare me like that!," I scolded him. "How long have you been there?"
"About ten seconds," answered the Umbreon resuming his normal form. "And Tsunami should be with us riiight... abouuut..."

I looked around, expecting to see Tsunami pop out of nowhere at any time. It was dark and the floor was quite wet, so I didn't know where he would come from. However, the Vaporeon left us waiting.
"Did you two agree on the timing?," I giggled. "Either something slowed him down or he's not cooperating."
"Quite the contrary," said Tsunami's voice right behind me at that moment.
I turned around, angry at myself for having fallen into the trap of these two eeveelutions.
"Have you two arranged to give me a heart attack or something?," I complained.
"Oh, come on. It's not like a couple of friends popping up would scare you to death," Tsunami tried to soften the situation.
"You really should have seen the look on your face, though. It was almost enough to make this entire thing worthwile," Milliardo laughed.
"Excuse me, but can we please get our minds on the job?," Sindel got our attention. Mine, at least.
"Right. It's not the time for practical jokes," I agreed.
At that moment, Pandora and Lagi came walking up.
"So we're finally here, huh? Time to all get massacred, I suppose," commented Pandora ever so negative.
"Uhh... are you okay?," Milliardo asked her.
"Sorry, I guess she's better with you than with me," Lagi apologised to the Umbreon.
"I'm impressed you made it this far," came the reply. It was so strange to see Milliardo make a compliment! "I don't think this place is doing her any good at all."
"Same can be said for the rest of us," I sympathized.
"So what's the plan? Open the doors, confront the angry Gyarados..." the Umbreon began, but at that moment Tsuyoi and Kasumi blinked into the corridor and led him to add sudden patches to his idea: "...all hide behind Tsuyoi?"
"You know I won't become involved unless there's no possible alternative. Nice try, though," Tsuyoi replied.

Barely a second later, more voices started coming our way.
"Now, there they are! If you guys didn't keep slowing us down we wouldn't have come almost last," this was Hero speaking, of course.
"Yeah! Man, why did we have ta run into such a bunch of Slowpokes?," his current companion supported him.
"Excuse me if we don't all see this as some sort of race!"
That had been Lucky's voice. I was surprised to notice they were together. That had to mean Pidgeot and Water Angel were with them as well. The group's appearance into my range of sight soon confirmed my thoughts.
"Plus if you two kept your voices low we might stand a chance of not getting attacked right away," Pidgeot added to Lucky's remark.
"Well. That was... an experience."
That comment had come from a smiling face that was new to me: a thin female Eevee. There seemed to be something unusual about her, but I couldn't pinpoint what it was.
"Hold on tight. You're probably about to have another," Pidgeot warned her.
"New friend?," I asked the newcomers.
"Yes, we ran into her on our travels, she was under possession," Lucky explained. His eyes shifted for a moment to where Milliardo was standing.
"Well, I'm glad you managed to help her," I said. "I wonder where Amber and her mother are."
"Yeah, and what's that Gabi woman done with my foster son, come to think of it?," wondered Milliardo.
"I wonder where the burger bar is. We had no luck finding it," Caledor suddenly jumped into sight.
"Guess we'll have to face facts, buddy, temples just don't come with decent catering these days," came Beckham's answer, right after him.
"You're STILL going on about that?," Pandora faced them, unbelieving.
"Remember what I said about pretending life is a game?," I commented to Sindel.
"Yeah," she nodded. "Shame nobody bar Becks seems to get the game."
"Oh, it seems we've crashed into a grumpy crew. I'll have to use the best of my cheering up powers."
That was, obviously, Caledor. The only being I knew who could ever claim to have powers of that sort. And what he did was quite... embarassing would be a way to put it. He just began to glow in different colors, switching from blue to purple, to red and then to golden.
"Oh my God. So that's your best, is it?," came Milliardo's inevitable retort.
"Just wondering, but... What are you doing?," Hero raised an eyebrow.
"If you guys don't help... Well, at least I can make a fool of myself and give you something to laugh about," Caledor explained. I must admit that, at least in that, he was succeeding.
"Sure you don't have problems doing that. Then you'll say it was intentional," Tsunami replied.

At that point Bolovayr came floating in, with Scratchy and Estel behind him.
"Hey, what's with the flashing lights? Are we missing the cilmatic finale?," the Gastly asked.
"Only of Caledor's comedy," Tsunami couldn't miss a chance to strike at one of his best friends. I began to fear Milliardo's influence could make his own habits get worse.
"I do hate to repeat myself, but can we get our minds back on the job, please?," Sindel hopelessly tried to get the group to focus.
"I have the feeling that will get harder the more of us gather here," I admitted.
"Maybe, but we should still wait until we know everyone could make it here," suggested Lagi.
Then Ade and his group made their way through the corridor.
"I guess this is where we're all meeting, huh?"
"No, Ade. You're thinking of somewhere else," said Milliardo.
"Probably," Ade followed. "So do we have any kind of plan?"
"Apparently it goes 'ignore Sindel'..." replied my frustrated friend.
"Who said that?," asked the Umbreon.
"You're not being ignored, we're just waiting for the rest of the group," Lagi told her.
"Oh, here you are!," Amber finally caught up. "Sorry, we bumped into many dead ends."
"It's ok," I said, happy to see ger again, "how have you two done?"
"On the search, terrible. We found absolutely nothing. But we did have some good talk," Amber directed a look at her mother.
"I'm glad you had some good mother and daughter time. Even under these circumstances," I told her, and then turned over to Plum. "Will you be staying with us for a while after this is over?"
"I haven't given it much thought. Let me answer later. But I'll do my best not to lose contact again," the Charizard assured. "So, are the Gyarados in there?" "Yes, there's about twenty of them. I'm not really sure what our best bet is," Sindel answered.
"Are they possessed?"
"I can't tell that well, I don't think so judging by the snatches of thoughts I've been getting, though."
"I didn't see any pendants when I looked," I informed Plum.
"Then I should go in," she decided. "They may or may not be happy to see me, but they know me, so they won't attack me."
"And you're planning to spring into action without us?," Gabi finally caught up, with Marius by her side.
"Finally!," exclaimed Pandora, rushing to Marius. "What kept you guys? I've been worried sick!"
"Sorry, we heard noises and were going to investigate when we got the message, and it turns out we were on the other end of the temple," Gabi apologized to the preoccupied mother.
"Apologies if we've caused any unnecessary worry, but it was sheer misfortune on out part," Marius followed.
"So then. Is this the extent of your party?," asked the Eevee, who hadn't given us her name yet.
"I wouldn't call it a party, regardless of what Becks and Caledor would have us believe."
Caledor laughed at Milliardo's remark.
"Not quite," I sentenced. "Where are Pearl and Iael?"
"Good question! Shall I try contacting them again?," asked Sindel.
"Please do so," Gabi urged her.
"Hmm..." Sindel said after a few moments, "I don't think they're going to be coming. Pearl's having difficulties from what I can gather."
"Oh. Do they need help?," Gabi asked.
"No. Pearl's not feeling well and apparently Iael's refusing to let them go any further."
"Why am I not surprised?," Gabi chuckled.
"Well then. We need to get to the root of the problem, and quickly, correct?," suggested the Eevee.
"And you are...?," queried Amber.
"My name is Rhiannon," she finally revealed. "I've been trying to find the source of the problems much like yourselves, only I fell victim to their possession. Fortunately your friends helped to free me."
"So suppose we find the problem and fix it. What do you do then?," Milliardo confronted her.
"I suppose I continue my wanderings," she replied.
The Umbreon gave a snort of disgust.
"Oh, why would I care? I didn't realise you existed before, it won't make a blind bit of difference to me."
I got the feeling I was missing something important. Apparently I was not the only one.
"Hold on, what's going on?," inquired Lagi.
"Now isn't the time to get into that," Rhiannon evaded her. "But... for what it's worth, I'm sorry."
"Whatever, Rhi," Milliardo accepted unwillingly. "So do we actually have a plan other than use Scratchy as bait and take them by surprise?"
"First you want to hide behind Tsuyoi, now you're suggesting we use Scratchy as bait... Is that how you fight all your battles?," Hero confronted the Umbreon.
"Well I'm a Dark type, do you expect me to not be underhand?," Milliardo stuck out his tongue. "Sadly I don't usually have a mug to hand most of the time."
"This is beside the point!," roared Sindel. Having been standing by her side all that time, I could almost feel steam coming out of her.
"Ok, let's go in," Gabi decided, much to Sindel's relief. "And I think Plum is right, maybe she should go first."

That was Plum's cue to push the door a bit more and walk through it. She moved carefully inside the pool room, but it didn't take a long tme for the Gyarados to spot her. One of them spoke out, facing her.
"You? What are you doing here?!"
"Just trying to help. Unless you're all comfortable here," replied Plum, immune to his angry tone and threatening look.
"Help?," the Gyarados laughed loudly, almost roaring. "That's funny. What could you possibly do to help us?"
"We can try to get you out of here. I've brought some friends..."
She was interrupted in the middle of the sentence by another Gyarados.
"Friends! Weaklings like you... There's nothing you can do to help. You're lucky you could hide away last time. Do the same and get out while you still can!"
"Wait, maybe she can help. We won't be better off on our own, as you must have already noticed," pointed out a third Gyarados, who looked a lot more treatable than the rest. "Please, tell your friends to come in. We won't hurt them."
"You won't, that much is obvious," stressed the first Gyarados who had spoken. "Don't speak for the rest of us, I'm getting angry and if things get worst I'll blast the first one who comes my way."
The Gyarados who was willing to give us a chance shook his head, his eyes half closed. Plum walked back to the door and open it to its full width. The rest of us went into the room, the strongest ones first and none too comfortable with the threat we'd just heard. Still, I was almost sure that at least one of the Gyarados would listen. And so was Amber, who eagerly walked to the border of the pool, looking for that one Gyarados.
"He's there, Cherry," Plum pointed at the one who had invited us in. No wonder.
"Father?"
The look on Amber's eyes was priceless. For a moment I forgot about the pressing circumstances and wished that instant would never end.
"Little Cherry? I can't believe this!," exclaimed the Charizard's father, nostalgically.
At that same time I could hear the comments the rest of the Gyarados made to each other, and they made me feel more sympathy for Amber, if that was even possible. One of them stood out particularly: "impossible! That little thing actually managed to evolve?!" I admired Amber for her strength she'd always had at dealing with those awful comments. Right then she ignored them completely, as she hugged her father, laughing with joy.
"I'm so glad you're ok! I was so worried!," she told him, ignoring the disapproving gestures of the Gyarados who had issued the threat.
"I'm fine, sweetie," her father said before realizing his mistake. "Oh! Sorry. I mean... I didn't expect to see you again I guess we have a lot of catching up to do once we get out of here."
"Definitely," Amber nodded.
Apparently she didn't mind being called sweetie when there was no aggression behind the word. Especially if it was her father talking to her. The rest of the Gyarados, however, didn't look so pleased with the tone of the reunion.
"Is everyone over there a softie?," complained one of them. "Honestly, I can't think of how any of you could make it out of here, let alone take us with you."
"Very well, if you'd rather we can just leave you to be toyed with by those who have ruined this place, it matters not to me," said Tsuyoi in a cold voice.
"Who are you?," asked the complaining Gyarados, just noticing him.
"Think of me as a detatched observer... or at least as somebody who tries to be, as hard as that may be at times."
"This isn't the time for this," Rhiannon rushed them. Why was she always in such a hurry? "Now if you don't mind me speaking plainly I don't think tyou can get out of here by yourselves, otherwise you would have already done so. So what harm can be done by accepting a little assistance? Isn't it preferrable to the alternatives?"
"And you're going to assist us?," blared the Gyarados Tsuyoi had been talking to.
"You'd be surprised at how little appearences matter," Rhiannon replied.
"Personally I wouldn't," said Amber's father. "You've come across one of the most stubborn groups you'll ever find, but even they must know that we have nothing to lose accepting your help, and everything to lose if we stay motionless."
The Gyarados by his side growled lowly, failing to find an answer.
"Good. Once more you've found a perfect excuse to hide your weakness," another Gyarados dared the friendly one.
"Sure, because thrashing on walls works so much better!," came the sarcastic reply.
"Don't start a fight, please," I urged the two Gyarados. "How did they bring you here in the first place?"
That earned me the laughs of most of the waterborne group.
"Oh, sorry. I almost forgot fighting is what you like best," I corrected myself. "But you could save it for the Black Dragon and the spirits who're causing this."
That got them to freeze in their place.
"You know who's causing this?," one Gyarados asked me.
"I thought you knew," I said, surprised.
"Not really. We just heard that a great power was awaking here."
"A great power who would enslave you easily if you keep fighting amongst yourselves. Is that what you really want?," Rhiannon lashed at him.
"Hey, don't bash us!," he defended himself. "We didn't know what was going on. We followed the river and suddenly the currents changed and we were trapped. No matter how hard we pushed the current was stronger, and we were sucked in here. Then the water stopped flowing. So go ahead, laugh at us. But you won't be laughing so much when we get you... Or when they do."
"No one's laughing at you," I told him.
I didn't like their ways, but I understood weakness was possibly the most terrible feeling they could experience.
"Hey, you!," one of the Gyarados faced me. "You said you almost forgot we liked to fight? What did you mean?"
"I grew up in your valley," I explained. "But I can't expect you to remember me, I was just a little Bulbasaur then, and wasn't strong enough to get your attention."
"A female Bulbasaur?," Amber's father recalled. "Yes, I remember now! You used to play with a group of Oddish and Dittos by the river when we came down in the spring, didn't you? You all hid away when we came by, but I could see you looking at us from the bushes."
I nodded. "Yes, that's me. Though I've changed a lot since then. You won't see me hiding in the bushes anymore."
"It's confirmed. You're all softies," sentenced the Gyarados who had been bashing us since the beginning. "We must be stupid for relying on you, but what choice do we have?"
"Precious little, I would think," Tsuyoi confirmed.
The Gyarados who had spoken second and been silent ever since, finally decided to break his silence.
"So, what's the plan?"

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