Book Two: Vengeance, Chapter Thirteen-
Cold, granite wings unfolded as they carried out a massive, tooth-filled jaw. The huge creature strive in escape from its wretched confinement, bearing itself into the heavens. The prehistoric animal circled high in the night sky, crying out its dominance over the land, letting all of the earth know that it had returned. After its regal proclamation, it cast its piercing eyes downward, scanning the terrain for any intruders foolish enough to make themselves its rival or prey. It spotted the group of five, instinctively unfamiliar to it, but soon they were to be divulged. Throwing back its wings, the carnivore dropped like a rock towards the group. Everyone managed to dodge the grasping talons as they struck the ground, but none could avoid the shockwave that followed, felling all. Freeing its claws from the dirt, its closest target was the Flareon. In its short swoop on towards the fallen Cinder, he blasted the relic with his searing breath but to no effect. The stony hide curved each flame, leaving no trace of scorch or ash. Left with little time before encountered, he raised a protective dome around himself that was savagely assaulted.
"I told you this wasn't a good idea," Serenity shouted as she lied face down, utilizing her uniform to blend herself into the surroundings. "The lab boys couldn't stress how aggressive these things can get. It almost had us."
"Almost," Frenzy repeated to her, mimicking her actions. "That's just what we need of it. As long as they keep it busy, we'll be fine." The two slowly crawled back as not to catch its attention but to insure that they would not be in it any time soon. As the Aerodactyl breached the bubble, the crimson beast leapt upon its back. In a blur of strikes and bites, not a scratch was notched on the petrified skin. Flipping over, the fossil slammed the flame type beneath his heavy back. Rising back up, the Flareon was cradled in an impression in the dirt. Before the rock could drop upon him again, Rei seized him away into his vessel. Angered by the removal of quarry, the artifact went to take its fury out on the girl. Beating its wings fiercely, she readied her lance, prepared to take it on. As it gathered momentum, speeding straight towards her, the foolishness of her stand befell her. Set on pulling through, she closed her eyes tight was she heaved her spear forward. After a clunk, a clamorous bellow, and the realization that she was not dead, her eyes parted to reveal Shade, pulling his thick blade from the earth, who greeted her with a sharp smile as her eyes passed over him, and, far off to the side, the squirming coprolite with a large gash in its craggy armor.
"Try to refrain from doing things like that," Shade insisted, freeing his scimitar. "I won't be able to do that every time." Resituating its bearings, the Aerodactyl locked its sight on Rei. "You've fought the hard fight today, Rei," he commented her, sliding between the two, "so rest now. I'll take care of this monstrosity." With his sword poised to strike, he shrilly whistled, commanding down once more his poison bat. She descended spiraling from the clouds, trailing bits of mist from the tips of her wings. Not so much as a flutter heard in the elegant feat, Yasha rounded behind the unsuspecting relic, clobbering it with each appendage. Although not damaged, carnivore was infuriated by the conduct and immediately took off after the Crobat, ignoring its previous agitators. Once followed, she came about and encompassed the raging predator in a mystifying beam. Lost in another world, its chase soon turned to crash. Grounded for some time, it unwittingly still flapped, burying its face further into the soil. The duration of the spell coming to an ending, the ancient beast exploded from the earth in a violent uproar, shortly continuing its heated pursuit of its game.
The stone flyer closing fast, Yasha sacrificed a fraction of her essence to construct a clone. Less than half her size, lacking all color, poor in both shape and definition, the double reversed course as the true bat vanished into the night. With no desire to play little games, upon confronting the duplicate, in a single swipe of its wing, the copy fractured to pieces against the rigid surface. Unknown to be a diversion, the real Crobat plunged onto its hind and siphoned back some energy that she needed. The Aerodactyl shook brutally to loose the unwanted passenger from its back, and, with no real limbs to grip firmly with, she was knocked off. The hunted plummeting fast, the hunter looped around and dove after. The fossil nearing, the nocturne flung up her wings in defense. As the two clashed and the latter was hurled earthward, a metallic ring sounded throughout the air. Spreading her wing, returning aloft, the extremities shone of steel. Soaring on past the dinosaur, the razor edges carved freely through the obdurate pelt. Growing tired of the battle, the ancient one roared, a roar so loud that the earth itself split open. Unearthed in the crevice, an artifact from its era climbed skyward at incredible speeds. Unable to dodge, the elder stone shattered against Yasha, her iron plating proving worthless against its power. As she fell back to earth, the bits did not fall with her but united with their summoner, empowering it.
"Well, that sure didn't work," frankly spoke Rei, attentive till battle's end. She watched as, before a ray snatched the dropping Crobat from the sky, she corrected her flight.
"Who ever said she didn't do her job?" questioned Shade. "She kept it occupied for a moment, tired it out. It'll be a while before it gets back here, and that bought us time. How do you know that wasn't just what I wanted her to do?" Normally, she would take him as jesting, but there was a solemn tone in his words. Her attention was then grabbed by a sudden outpour of somber music. Confounded, Rei cast a inquiring eye at Shade, finding that he no longer sported his giant blade, which now peacefully hung at his side, but an olden pipe. A heavy object crashed from above, assisted by two shadowy figures. They were the same two that she had seen before, only now she could distinguish them. Their faces hung like figments of a nightmare long ago, for that is exactly where she had seen them last. Ate and Wrath, the insect warriors of her lost father, aged and worn with a freight chained to them, hunched before him.
"For too long have I fled my demon," Shade whispered to himself, drawing the flute to his lips. "It is time that I brave my shadows." Closing his eyes, with the prehistoric threat last seen approaching from the distance, he began the soul stirring melody. The tune pierced through the night air with its haunting rhythm. None who heard it were left untouched. Rei, above all, was entranced as she paired a word to each note struck. The lyrics were none other than those taught to her by her father. Shutting her eyes, her voice began to rise with the familiar chorus, causing the burden to tremor. Of itself, it shed many the layers of its constraint. The further the song proceeded, the more rabid its movements became. Near the carol's end, a single massive orb bound in chains, light emitting from a slim gap around direly trying to grow, laid about a pile of discarded and broken restraints. Snow had already began accumulating, sparsely covering the ground. On the last verse, Rei drew her spear straight into the air upon speaking it as the divine prison hovered feet from the earth.
"... Come now to fulfill your plight, As I call you forth my foes to smite." Screaming the last words as roaring winds near drowned out her voice, the spear dropped, chopping through the broad chains. The top blew off as the now freezing gusts turned skyward. From the blinding fountain of light outflowed majestic glass wings, climbing high, followed by her sweeping, sparkling tail. Upon her emergence, frost crept out over from the point of her entry. With lunar light glistening on her blue plumage, her shrill call shook the land a thousand fold to what the Aerodactyl had achieved. The night sky had turned to white as a furious blizzard raged abound. The fossil closing rapidly, the ice god drew back and smashed her wings together, sending out a gale that slowed the speeding rock to a halt, inches from the tips of her feathers, before flinging it away. Beating her wings fiercely, she brewed up a storm, trapping it in the eye of a hurricane, in walls of wind. Higher and higher, the tornado carried the two. Through its greatest endeavors, the blustering barrier could not be violated. With no way out, the petrified flyer brought something in.
Deeply concentrating, the predator disentombed another fragment of its past, escalating it fleetly. Already sensing the boulder's approach, although far out of sight, a spherical shell wrapped around her just long enough for the antique to crash and be reduced to dust. Enraged by its defiance, the mythical bird chimed a song, slow and sad. Her head tossed back and her wings no longer beating, she hung motionless in the heavens. The forces that imprisoned the prehistoric menace dissipated as they turned the bleached sky a coal black with storm clouds. Immediately diving towards the legend, a distant flash caught its attention. Barely moving back in time, an enormous frozen spike sailed past the carnivore. Attempting to strike again, a second skewer of ice fell directly from above. These were only the first of many as frigid stakes rained from all direction, filling its body with a multitude of icy points. When the storm had exhausted its supply of ammunition, no trace of the body could be seen through the thicket of arctic thorns. No present forces keeping it overhead, the glacial mass plummeted earthward. Falling at a frightening velocity, it swerved, with aid from the heavens, away from Rei and Shade. Serenity and Frenzy, just before glacier struck, looked up from their hiding place to see the last thing either of them ever would.
Tears rolling from her eyes, Rei held all of her long departed friends in a group hug, kissing each one periodically, that was very disturbing to Shade, who stood off some length away, eyeing the situation quaintly. Feeling the odd gaze upon her, she faced him, still with the Beedrill and Venomoth in he hands.
"What's wrong, Shade?" she questioned, standing next to a creature that most deny the existence of.
"Isn't that thing," he choked out, "dangerous?" Puzzled, she turned and stared into the Mountain Lord's cold, unforgiving eyes.
"What makes you think that?" she replied with a smile before snuggling in a fluffy tuft. "Freezer's a real doll. Aren't you, girl? Yeah..."
"You named it?" he said in surprise? Her stern eyes still locked onto him, making him begin to sweat. Rei removed her head from the feathery cluster so that she could speak as the bird nuzzled in her bosom.
"So where did you find these guys, Shade?" Eager for something to take his mind off of anything right now, he gladly responded.
"They arrived back at Kaghane shortly after your father's victory over me," he explained with a tinge of dread in his voice. "They just laid in storage for years until you came. With all of your questioning, I was able to piece the puzzle together and, since then, have been on the road, tracking you down."
"You've been following me for two years? I didn't know I was that good," she said with a grin as she stroked the legend's head.
"I did other things!" he complained. "Your struggle against Rocket truly inspired me. I realized that I could do nothing against the nefarious villains of this world from behind castle walls. I wanted to become more like you. I wanted to make a difference." She completely froze at his words, losing herself in thought. "... Rei?"
"Oh, sorry. I was just thinking," she explained, "of something I was told long ago." She turned towards the giant crater. "Something he told me. I remember the words exactly, for they still haunt me today. 'Are you proud, little girl? Do you think you've won? This is nothing to Rocket,' he told me. 'You're puny victory is a mere speck to the thousands of battles we win each day.' I made a promise that day. I pledged, 'I will be noticed. One by one, I will crush you until nothing else remains. Rockets have destroyed my life. I have nothing else to live for, so it's time I return the favor.' He didn't believe me." She paused for a moment. "But, then again, neither did I." As if awakened from a dream, she suddenly began to gather her things. "Will you do me a favor? Watch over Wrath and Ate for me." Squeezing them one last time, she handed them over to Shade. "I've learned from the past that it is best to let venerable warriors retire. I don't want to endanger anyone else."
"Wait, stop!" Shade begged. "What are you planning on doing?" Rei, climbing upon the arctic sovereign's back, took in a deep breath before responding.
"Whatever it takes." Wrapping her arms around the bird's neck, they ascended into the sky.