Yes! Yes! Heeeere we go! Finally, part 8 of Kayla's Journey has arrived! May my fans rejoice! ;)
Part 8: Wyverns and Scythers and Bastet, oh my!
Kayla sweatdropped, staring at Dragon Town the next morning. "If this isn't a whole lot, I'd hate to see what *is* a whole lot."
"I guess my map's outdated," Taralon said, also sweatdropping. Dragon Town wasn't a little town any more, it was a sprawling metropolis!
Kayla snapped out of it. "Well, they've got a Gym, and I wanna battle. Let's go!" With that, she ran towards the city. Taralon, carrying Cubone, followed. Meowth started to, but tripped over something. Swearing profoundly in his native language, he turned to see what he'd tripped over.
It was a TM. Intrigued, he pulled it out of the dirt and wiped it off, reading the label. He stiffened, paled, and trembled. This wasn't just any TM - it was the most powerful attack known! Badly shaken, he tucked the TM under his arm and ran to join Kayla.
He tripped again. The TM flew from his grasp and fell on the ground in front of him. He landed, his koban hitting the TM. The TM glowed and crackled with power, a power which surged into Meowth's body.
He had learned the TM.
Desperately hoping it was a dream, Meowth stared at the TM, hoping that he was seeing things or something, and hoping that the label didn't actually say "TM 51: Rage of Bastet".
Kayla practically drooled over the selection of element stones in the Dragon City Mall. They had every kind imaginable! Fire, Leaf, Water, Thunder, Wind, Cave, and Venom Stones were plentiful, and there were even a few Snow Stones. Kayla was pressed so hard against the display case, she was fogging the glass.
"I take it you're a trainer?" the clerk asked amiably. Kayla took her face away from the stones enough to nod. She looked up at the clerk and jerked back, startled by the man's eyes. They were reptilian!
The clerk held up a hand, grinning. "Don't worry, I don't bite. I'm a native to Dragon City. A lot of natives have at least a little bit of dragon blood in them. And I mean real dragons, not dragon-type Pokemon."
Kayla sat down on the floor, simply because she couldn't stand up any more. Those slitted green eyes were getting to her. "Wow."
"Yeah, it's weird, ne? Anyway, I believe I was asking if you were a trainer?"
Kayla nodded. "Yeah. My name's Kayla. Hey, how much are the Thunderstones?"
"100 credits," the clerk answered.
"Great!" Kayla pulled out her Pokedex and pushed some buttons, exchanging Pikachu for Dugtrio. She then let Pikachu out of its Pokeball.
"Pikapika!" Pikachu cheered, stretching. It hadn't been out of its ball in a long time.
"Pikachu, would you like to evolve?"
Pikachu clasped its front paws together as its eyes went starry. "PIKAPIKACHU!!"
Kayla grinned and got some money out of her backpack, handing it to the clerk. "I'll take a Thunderstone."
The clerk smiled and handed the stone to Kayla, who knelt by Pikachu again. She pointed her Pokedex at Pikachu.
"Pikachu has two remaining attacks to learn," Pokedex chimed. "Agility and Thunder."
"I guess I really should let you learn those attacks first," Kayla said, putting Pokedex away.
"PIKA!" Pikachu stamped its foot. "PIKA PIKA CHU PIPIPIPIKACHUU!!"
There are few things in this world cuter than a Pikachu throwing a temper tantrum.
"All right, all right! I'll evolve you now," Kayla relented, touching the stone to Pikachu. It began to glow, its form growing and changing. In a few moments, the glow faded.
"Rai raichu raai!" the new Raichu said happily, hugging Kayla. Kayla giggled and hugged it back.
The clerk grinned. "You might want a TM to go with that Raichu. Care for a Thunderbolt TM?"
"Sure! How much do they cost?"
"This one's free. We've got kind of a surplus anyway, might as well give some out." The clerk handed the TM to Kayla, who put it to Raichu's forehead. The little box crackled with power. Pokedex pinged from Kayla's pocket.
"Which attack do you want to replace with Thunderbolt?"
"Quick Attack," Kayla decided. Another ping, and the TM stopped crackling.
"Raichu has forgotten Quick Attack and learned Thunderbolt," Pokedex informed her.
"Okay, Raichu," Kayla grinned. "C'mon back in. Now I'm gonna go face the Gym Leader!"
Taralon had been lounging outside the mall, polishing Cubone's skull helmet while he waited for Kayla to leave the store. He was surprised when she left so early.
"Have you seen Meowth?" he asked her. "I don't think he came to Dragon City with us."
Kayla stopped dead in her tracks, eyes going wide. "MEOWTH!" she screamed. "Shame on me, I forgot all about him! MEOOWWWWTH, WHERE ARE YOOOUU??"
"Y'know, you really shouldn't yell so much," Meowth's voice remarked, somewhat subduedly. "It'll wear out your throat."
"MEOWTH!" Kayla cheered, scooping the little cat into her arms. She didn't notice the empty TM he dropped. Cubone did, and brought it to Taralon. Taralon paled.
"Oh, god," he whispered. "This TM has been learned..."
Cubone glanced at the TM and its eyes bugged out. "CUBONEBONEBONEBONE!"
"What's up?" Kayla put Meowth down and peered at the TM. Her eyes widened, and she slumped to the ground. "Oh god... oh god..."
"No," Meowth said quietly, sighing. "Oh goddess. Listen, Kayla, I'm not in a good mood. Can we just challenge the Gym Leader?"
Kayla nodded slowly. Battle. Battle would be good.
That was the first impression Kayla got as she stepped into the gym.
Statues of dragons supported the roof, and where there weren't statues, there were paintings and tapestries. A huge Dragonite statue was near the back, over the Gym Leader's chair. Kayla found her voice.
"I, Kayla Ketchum, challenge the Dragon Ci--"
"No need for such dramatics," a voice said. Mostly human, but with a strange rasping, reptilian quality. Oddly, the voice was really rather sweet and not at all unpleasant. The Gym Leader rose from his chair and moved into the light. Kayla faltered.
The Gym Leader was scary. His eyes were a reptilian, slitted yellow. His long black hair cascaded around his shoulders. Backswept horns stuck out from the raven threads. A scaled green tail lashed from side to side, and huge, emerald wings were folded behind him.
"Surprised by my appearance?" he spoke again, smiling almost apologetically. "I am half dragon. Don't worry, dragons are not evil creatures." He bowed respectfully.
Kayla managed to drag her voice out of hiding. "What's your name, what Badge do you protect, and what are your terms of battle?"
"Drake Ryuu," the halfbreed Leader said. "I use two dragon-type Pokemon, and protect the Dragon Badge. I will battle two-on-two, no time limit. Either Pokemon may be withdrawn during battle, and it is allowed to keep one Pokemon in."
Kayla nodded. "You choose first."
Drake smiled a bit, then his expression went serious. He took a Pokeball from his belt. "Dragonair, I summon you!"
Kayla smirked. "Frosteon, I choose you!"
Drake looked worried. The ice evolution and the snake dragon stared at each other.
"Dragonair, Hyper Beam!"
Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad BAD news.
Dragonair released Hyper Beam at the same time Frosteon spat out the huge blizzard. When the dust cleared, both Pokemon lay fainted on the floor. Their trainers sweatdropped.
"That was pointless," Kayla said, calling back Frosteon. Drake nodded his agreement, calling back Dragonair.
"For my second Pokemon," Drake said, "Hime-ki, I summon you!"
"Hime-ki?" Kayla asked, puzzled. A small and very cute Pokemon was released. And I do mean small: about the size of a Mankey. It looked like a small, sky-blue wyvern with white marking on its scales resembling cirrus clouds. It had finlike ears and odd writhing tendrils behind the ears. Its large blue eyes were sweet and innocent. Its wings had strange spikes along the front strut, which lay flat against the wing.
Pokedex took this as its cue. "Hime-ki. A wyvern Pokemon. This tiny dragon/flying Pokemon is very friendly and loyal. It will also fight viciously to defend its pride and honor. The strange spikes on its wings stand up when in battle, making its Wing Attack more dangerous."
Kayla grinned. "Nooooo problem. Lapras, let's go!"
The huge sea creature was released, and looked down at Hime-ki. The tiny wyvern trembled, but found its courage and stepped forward, wing spikes raising.
"Lapras, Ice Beam!"
"Hime-ki, Wing Attack!"
Hime-ki was much faster than Lapras, and pummeled the water/ice Pokemon mercilessly. It cried out as the spikes pierced its skin, leaving bleeding cuts. It did, however, pull off Ice Beam, hitting Hime-ki squarely. Amazingly, Hime-ki only faltered, and then shrugged off the attack. Kayla gritted her teeth. "Lapras, Blizzard!"
"Hime-ki, Sky Attack!"
The tiny dragon closed its eyes, raised its wings to the ceiling, and began glowing. Lapras opened its mouth, and a flurry of sharp little ice crystals surrounded Hime-ki, encasing it. The little wyvern broke out of the ice, hitting Lapras with Sky Attack.
Kayla looked like she was going to faint too.
"I lost," Kayla whispered, numbly calling back Lapras. This was unbelievable. She'd had an advantage! She'd had an advantage and the opponent had beaten her. Now THIS was bad for her Ketchum pride.
Hime-ki started glowing. Its form was totally encased in a white glow, and began to grow and change. Kayla's brown eyes widened. The glow faded...
"Jo'o-ki!" Drake cried, yellow eyes wide. "Hime-ki's evolved form!"
Jo'o-ki was about the size of a Dragonite. Its scales were mottled sky-blue and storm grey. The spikes had disappeared, and the ear fins were now bigger, and the eyes more mature, but no less gentle. Kayla stared in awe for a moment, but then hung her head, depressed.
"I apologize for hurting your Pokemon so," Drake rasped quietly, forgetting for the moment about Jo'o-ki. "But as a Gym Leader, I must protect my Badge."
Kayla nodded dimly. "I understand," she choked. Drake bowed his head apologetically. Kayla turned and moved slowly towards the exit. Taralon placed a hand gently on her shoulder, a compassionate look on his face. She looked at him weakly, then hung her head again and left, a thoroughly depressed Ketchum with an equally depressed Meowth at her side. Taralon sighed and followed.
Kayla was shocked out of her depression when she left the Gym and saw the city in pure chaos. People were grabbing supplies from their houses, some were screaming, and all were running from... oh, *yikes*.
It was the biggest Scyther any of them had ever seen. It was at least twice the height of a normal Scyther, and looked much more vicious. Its blood red eyes had a crazed look in them. It glanced in Kayla-tachi's direction.
"SCYYYYYYYYYYYTTHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRR!!!!!!!" it screeched, and started sharpening its blades to attack. When Drake had left the Gym, Kayla didn't know, but the half-dragon was beside her now, looking at the enormous Scyther in fear.
"It's come back," he hissed.
"WHAT??" Kayla shrieked.
"When I was a child, there was a lab near Dragon City," he said quietly. "A Scyther was being experimented on, but it went mad and escaped into a cave. It barely survived there, and its altered genetics caused it to grow to an unnaturally large size. I suppose its madness slowly degenerated into pure bloodlust..."
"Either that," Taralon contributed, "or the energy from Hime-ki's evolution into Jo'o-ki caused it to go crazy and attack the city. Or both."
"Enough of this!!" Kayla squeaked. "What can we do??"
"Nothing," Drake said painfully. "Another thing the Scyther was engineered for was unbreakable armor... no weapon or Pokemon attack can pierce it."
"No Pokemon attack but one."
The quiet statement from Meowth drew everyone's attention to him. The small cat's blue eyes were sad, his face resigned. "I know that attack."
Kayla's eyes widened. "Meowth, no!"
Meowth ignored her, stepping forward to face the Scyther. It finished sharpening its blades and glared hungrily down at Meowth. Meowth was calm. He raised his front paws to the sky, closing his eyes.
"Goddess whose spirit sings in my blood," he chanted. A ghostly white flame-like substance rose around him, with flickers of ethereal blue and green in it. His koban glowed, sparking with something that looked like electricity, but was far more powerful.
"YOUR MEOWTH KNOWS THE LEGENDARY RAGE OF BASTET??"
"Don't distract him!" Taralon hissed. "He has Bastet's power inside him now. If he loses concentration, he'll die!"
Kayla gulped, and was silent.
"Lady of Cats, divine mother, lend me your power..."
The flame now encased Meowth, like an aura. His koban, glowing with unearthly light and now sparking in a rainbow of colors, was still clearly visible.
Kayla bit her lip.
"Rage... of... BASTET!!!" Meowth finished the chant, opening his eyes. They too glowed. The cat Pokemon put his front paws out in front of him, and the white energy blasted out towards the oversized bug. The world seemed to go white, as Bastet's power lit up the city.
The smoke cleared, but the Scyther still stood. It almost seemed to laugh at the now trembling and weak cat, before slashing Meowth's stomach open.
Kayla screamed loud enough for everybody in the city to hear.
Meowth fell to the ground. He trembled violently for a few moments, but then stood, drawing himself up to his full height. The Scyther blinked and sweatdropped, its corrupted brain going through gyrations as it tried to figure out why the Pokemon it had just killed was staring serenely up at it. It seemed ages before Meowth spoke.
The voice was echoing, resonant, beautiful, and... female. Taralon's eyes widened.
"That's not Meowth's voice," he whispered. "Bastet.... The goddess is speaking through Meowth!!!"
Meowth-Bastet turned to smile benevolently at Taralon. "You speak truth, son of Gaia," he said in that unnerving female voice. His face went serious again, and he turned to the Scyther. "Pitiful beast. My child went easy on you. Do not expect me to do the same."
Kayla, Taralon, and Drake could only stare as Meowth-Bastet raised one paw, which began to glow with the same power they had witnessed earlier.
"Please consider this an act of mercy," were the goddess's final words to the Scyther before blasting it out of existence. The world went white once more. The light cleared long before the dust did, revealing that nothing remained of the Scyther. A tiny, pale figure wobbled on his feet before falling. Kayla ran to her first Pokemon, worry oozing out of every pore. She gasped when she saw what had become of him.
He was sleeping peacefully, and not even the faintest of scars remained of the deep gash. And the little cat Pokemon... wasn't so little anymore...
Blue eyes opened. Meowth looked around, bewildered, and came to the conclusion that he was floating in a void. He panicked.
"MEEEEOWWWWWWTH! Where am I??"
"With me, my child."
Meowth's ears pricked, and he looked at the source of the voice. She looked like a tall, immeasurably beautiful Persian, yet stood upright like a Meowth. She had hair rather like a human's, but pure white. She was smiling benignly at the little Pokemon, who managed to bow deeply in the void.
"Bastet-sama," he murmured reverently.
"Hai. And there is no need to bow before me, child."
Meowth looked up, trembling. "What happened to me? Am I..."
Bastet shook her head. "No. You live, and you are quite healthy at that. I would not allow my power to kill you."
"Why? No Meowth or Persian has ever survived your attack before! Why am I so special?"
"I have chosen you to be my warrior, Meowth. You have learned the last remaining copy of my attack."
Meowth shook. "Yuh-your warrior??"
Bastet nodded. "You may still continue on with your life. You will know when your power is needed."
Meowth sighed in relief. "Thank you. Can I go back now?"
"Not yet, I have a gift to give you. You will be stronger than any other Pokemon of your kind, and you will be able to assume either of your forms, Meowth or Persian, at will. And you will not be at risk while using my attack, for I will protect you."
Meowth bowed his head. "Thank you."
Bastet smiled. "You're welcome. Now, you may return."
The world faded around Meowth.
Kayla gulped as her Pokemon woke up. "H-how're you doing?" she asked him.
The cat got up and stretched. "Pretty good, really." He turned shining, eager eyes on Kayla. "Kayla... I'm Bastet's warrior! She chose me! She talked to me while I was unconscious!"
"I guess that explains why you evolved," Taralon said calmly.
"I *what*??" Kayla's first Pokemon looked over his sleek, elegant new body. "Oh, wow. I'm a Persian!"
"That you are," Kayla grinned, hugging her Pokemon. Then she looked at Drake.
"I challenge you again," she said. Taralon and Drake both fell over.
"Why do you want to challenge me *now*?" Drake asked, recovering.
Kayla grinned. "Because I feel like battling?" she offered
Drake sighed and headed back to the Gym, Kayla following.
"One-on-one," Kayla said. "Lapras vs. Jo'o-ki again. I know I can do this if I try harder."
Drake sighed. "You are stubborn."
"Persistant is a better word," Kayla corrected. She already had Lapras' Pokeball in hand.
Drake nodded once. "Very well. I summon Jo'o-ki!"
"Lapras, I choose you!"
The freshly-healed Pokemon stared at each other, neither really comprehending why their trainers were battling them again.
"Jo'o-ki, Razor Wind!" Drake ordered.
"Joooo!" Jo'o-ki began concentrating, wings poised.
Lapras began its soft, sweet lullubay. Try as it might, Jo'o-ki couldn't stay awake and soon slumped to the floor, asleep. Kayla grinned, knowing she had an advantage now.
"Lapras, Ice Beam! Your strongest!"
Lapras concentrated, little beads of sweat appearing on its head. Its eyes flew open and it opened its mouth, from which a blue beam appeared and struck Jo'o-ki. The dragon roared, waking up.
"Jo'o-ki, Wing Attack!"
Kayla winced, remembering what Wing Attack had done before. "Lapras, Blizzard!"
As Jo'o-ki beat at Lapras with its spiked wings, Lapras spit the blizzard of ice onto the wyvern. It stopped and fell to the floor, hurt and frozen into immobility. Kayla smiled grimly.
"Finish it, Lapras. Body Slam!"
And that was the end of the match.
Kayla smiled as she walked away from Dragon City, admiring her newest badge. It resembled a green dragon curled around a Pokeball, biting its own tail. She pinned it to the inside of her jacket and sighed happily. Persian was walking beside her as always, and Taralon was on her other side, carrying Cubone.
"THAT was a fulfilling trip," she smiled.
Taralon nodded, smiling for once. "I'd say so. So, on to Saffron City?"
"Need you even ask?" Kayla grinned. "C'mon, let's go!"