"Blasted heat, no wonder there aren't that many trainers out here," I sighed in expiration. Glancing over to my current companions, I noted their similar expressions of fatigue and mild frustration. Only Bean, my Darumaka, seemed okay, but then again he is a fire-type. I was starting to regret bringing them here to train, I thought that the higher leveled Krokoroks and Yamasks down here would be good training fodder, but maybe not during the summer.
I looked over my team; Dodge, recently evolved into a Gurdurr, Bean, Empress Purrloin, Quikk, who also recently evolved into a Unfezant. My poor little Ann, still just a Sewaddle, had had enough for the day, and my failsafe Chandelure, Celeste, had fainted thanks to a Cofagrigus' lucky Shadow Ball.
"Alright, guys-" A sharp hiss stopped me, and I nodded and corrected myself, "and girl-" A purr this time, good, "let's get the heck out of here." A cheer answered me, all of them ready to get out of this sandy, overheated hell. "However, we've got to walk all the way out" I smiled grimly at the groan they made. "Sorry, I didn't bring Evan with us, his Dig move would've helped..but he was busy today.." Busy trying to win a certain Ambipoms heart. I thought wryly.
We began to make our way towards the stairs that would take us back to the top, Bean bouncing along annoying the others with his cheerfulness despite the heat. Nearly at the stairs, Empress snapped and swiped at the red fool. Squealing, Bean zipped away, his voice echoing loudly in the underground tunnel.
"Bean! Get back here!" I shouted, but I knew it was too late as the ground underneath us started to rumble. Bean had felt it too, and had enough sense to come back to us. Dodge hefted his iron bar up, his eyes sweeping the ground around us. Empress and Bean had clambered up onto my shoulders, and Quikk was looking around in panic. "Empress, Bean, return." I whispered, recalling the two smaller pokemon to their pokeballs. I climbed onto Quikk as quietly as I could, and I fished out Dodge's pokeball.
"Dodge, re-" I was cut off by a terrible snarl, and a massive mountain of sand rose up in front of us. A Krookodile...correction: a Gigantic Krookodile. I determined it was a he, and he was terrifying. I had thought Melano was scary when he was angry, but I had always known that he was mine, that he wouldn't hurt me, his teammates, or really hurt the foe he was facing. This one...there was a look in his eyes.
"Dodge, you need to get back in your ball. Now." I said, trying to put as much force in my voice even though I wasn't speaking in anything more than a whisper. The Gurdurr looked at me, and slowly, deliberately shook his head no. "Dodge, please. It's not just a battle, look." Dodge looked, but he had already seen that horrible look of hunger in the Krookodile's eyes.
"Fine, your way then. Use Rock Throw!" I shouted just as the Krookodile let out a roar and charged. Dodge leapt up as rocks materialized around his hands. He aimed at the charging 'gator and threw with apt precision. The rocks struck home, but they didn't seem to do anything. The snarling Ground and Dark type opened his massive maw, dark energy whirling around his teeth. He launched himself at my Gurdurr, who couldn't get out of the way of the Crunch in time.
"No!" I screamed as the beast struck, the form of the fighting pokemon flying limply through the air to slam into the far wall. "Quikk, use Air Slash!" The bird obliged, slashing at the reptile with his wings. The Krookodile screeched in pain, and staggered away holding his oversized cranium. Quikk didn't need orders to rush over to the fallen form of Dodge, who was slumped against the wall, his bar at his side.
I leapt from Quikk's back, and kneeled by my pokemons side. "Dodge, can you hear me? Come on bud, I know you can pull out of this." I urged. The Gurdurr groaned, but opened his eyes. He pushed himself of the ground before I could protest, and grabbing his bar he started back towards where the 'dile was starting to recover from Quikk's attack.
"Dodge, you can't-" I stopped as he placed his paw gently over my mouth, the look he gave me conflicted. I would've said more, but the Krook was back. He arose in front of us, but he only had eyes for Dodge. His look read plainly: You're mine.
"Gurrr-Durr!" Dodge shouted, launching himself at the beast. My eyes were stinging as I climbed back onto Quikk, but I couldn't lose my bearings now.
"Dodge!" I cried out once more, and upon landing from his attack he turned and looked at me. He was growing weary, but I knew he wouldn't give up.
"Gur, Gur-Dur-Dur!" He barked at us, pointing towards the stairs. He winked at me, and I noted the tear that fell from his eye. I feel my own tears slide hotly down my face.
"Quikk, let's get the hell out of here!" I snapped at the bird, who obeyed instantly. We fled up the stairs, the snarls of the Krookodile and shouts of my Gurdurr following us up and out. We didn't stop until we were out of the ruins and into the sandstorm where Quikk could fly us to Nimbasa City.
I notified the authorities that the lower floors of the ruins were dangerous, and from then on out no trainer has gone in there. Including myself...I'm afraid of what I'd find. I erected a tombstone for Dodge at the Celestial Tower, to honour his sacrifice he made for me and the rest of his team.