After the Storm - Part 30 [End of the Line]

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32 of After the Storm Here you go guys, have a poorly prepared, unchecked and poorly written chapter because screw the space between my last upload... ugh... I hate how busy I am/how uncreative I am whenever I get home even if I do have a lot of free time...

Also, since I'm feeling a bit unimaginative (very much evident in the last paragraph...), I'd appreciate it if you guys left suggestions in the comments about how I can improve my work so that the next chapter would look even better. Also, that Q&A journal I opened up is still open and it'll be open forever. If you have any questions in mind, feel free to ask, it lightens my mood whenever I get a chance to interact with you guys.NOTE: I'll just say it right now, the next chapter is actually progressing well since I'm writing it in my phone and in between classes. Mainly because I'm at my most creative when I'm in class... So I can at least guarantee that the next chapter would be written somewhat better than this one.WARNING: This chapter is rated PG (blood, violence, strong language). Parental guidance is advised for children under the age of thirteen years old

"Oh my gods..." The Grovyle gasped in horror as he watched the explosion from the jumbo screen followed by nothing but blank static.

Charlie grit his teeth and clenched his fist, a low growl reverberating in his throat as he tried keeping his rage in check. He just stood there and watched as his father and his allies were trapped in a room and caught in an explosion. If anything, he was just grateful that the explosive force wasn't strong enough to severely damage the building's integrity. It was still possible that they might've survived the ordeal.

"Well, will we be going in now?" the Ninetails asked the Grovyle, her uneasiness well hidden in her voice.

Just when the Charmeleon thought that he'd calmed down enough to actually listen to the Grovyle, just as the Grovyle was about to say what their next move should be, movement from the Academy's gates caught his attention. Emerging from the slightly opened door was the badly bruised and bleeding Hypno, his right arm held against his chest as he limped forward. The Hypno was clearly in a great amount of pain, but that just angered the Charmeleon even more.

'He should've died back there!' his mind roared out in fury as his breathing began to hasten, jets of flames shooting out of his nostrils with every exhale. His rage immediately overcame him as he dashed forward faster than the Groyle could stop him. His powerful legs kicked him off the ground putting him to a run with large strides. In moments, the enraged Charmeleon was upon the Hypno, prepared to end it with his crush claw.

Fear spread across the Hypno's face as he sensed the approaching threat. He was in no condition to engage anyone in combat, that much was certain, but his broken bones and damaged organs wouldn't keep him from using his psychic powers. With a glow from his eyes, the Charmeleon was held in place midair before being flung back.

The Charmeleon would've crashed painfully to the floor had it not been for the Grovyle's vines. Just as the Charmeleon was thrown in the air, the Grovyle spat at the ground with his bullet seed, planting several seeds into the earth that immediately grew into large vines under his control. Those vines rose high and cushioned the Charmeleon's fall.

Once the Charmeleon was safe, Veronica raised his right arm forward towards the Hypno, her nine tails spreading behind hear with wisps of purple flames appeared at the tips. With a snap of her fingers, those flame wisps surged forward towards the sides leaving behind a trail of searing hot flames, trapping them in a large right of fire.

"If you surrender now, you just may get away with a merciful punishment." The Grovyle said coldly as he readied his leaf blades.

The Hypno surveyed his surrounding and calculated the odds. In front of him were three rookie soldiers of Avalon; one is the son of the most powerful man in this city, the other is, one way or another, related to one of the most talented agents in terms of espionage, while the third's specie is mystic in some way. Around them was a ring of blazing flame rising high up in the air, and beyond that wasn't visible anymore. He was already having trouble staying conscious and using his psychic powers to hold his body together, now he had to deal with these persistent children. 'Damn that Lucario and her aura... this mission would've gone so much easier if she hadn't put me in the brink of death...'

"RRRRAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!" the Charmeleon roared as a powerful blast of flames surged from his mouth towards the Hypno.

The Hypno grunted as his psychic energy shifted causing his midsection to shiver and pulse with sharp waves of agonizing pain. But that did not stop the powerful psychic type as he was able to conjure up a light screen to shield himself from the flamethrower. As the flames dissipated, the Hypno showed off a cocky grin; he refused to reveal his pain and weakness. "The three of you... though young and inexperienced... are quite impressive." He commended with a raspy voice and with blood dripping down the side of his lips. He may have been able to keep his organs and bones together using his psychic powers, but that didn't patch up the wound and he was still bleeding internally. "Keeping this fight centered in your ring of fire... you've managed to make teleporting towards the Riolu difficult."

"Hmph, like you have the physical ability to teleport in your current state." The Grovyle glared at the Hypno as he raised his arm and sent his vines after the Hypno who used his psychic powers to force the vines to strike the ground by his right instead.

The Ninetails immediately chained the Grovyle's unsuccessful attack with a combo of her own, her tail brushing against the Grovyle vines sending her fire running along the length of the vine towards the Hypno. The Hypno grunted in irritation as he let go of his control over the vines to raise a light screen to shield him from the raging inferno. The Ninetails' combo may have left the Grovyle's vines a burning pile of ashes, but Leaf could easily plant a new batch if needed later.

The Hypno may have been tested to his limits, but he still let out a cocky grin once the flames died down. "You're correct in saying that I'm not physically fit enough for teleportation..." Not physically fit is putting it lightly. "And in my current condition... even you rookies might be able to subdue me. With your sharp mind," he referred to the Grovyle. "and your natural mystic affinity," he referred to the Ninetails. "Hypnotizing the two of you would take too much of my time and power in my current state."

"I hope you're saying that you'll give up." The Ninetails said as she readied another volley of fireballs at the tips of her tails.

The Hypno chuckled amidst coughs of blood. "Far from that, my dear. You see, your friend has been eyeing me rather sinisterly for quite some time now."

The Grovyle's eyes widened with surprise and anger, mainly towards himself, that he'd completely forgotten that Charlie was right beside them, completely unattended. The Grovyle had just a fraction of a second to dodge the Charmeleon's attack as he lashed out against his own allies. The Grovyle lept to the side, avoiding the Charmeleon's dragon claw by mere inches, and spat out another volley of bullet seeds to the ground. He readied to raise another batch of vines but stopped when the Ninetails engaged the Charmeleon in combat.

"Vex, stop, you're not strong enough to fight him!" The Grovyle exclaimed as the Ninetails' tails caught fire and began lashing at the Charmeleon.

"Hmph, don't underestimate me." The Ninetails cooed proudly as she gracefully twisted and turned her slender body, expertly avoiding the Charmeleon's slashes. "He may trump me in brute strength, but one must possess more than strength to overpower one with elegance and grace."

The Grovyle couldn't help but snicker at the Ninetails' confidence. As much as he worried for her safety, she wasn't wrong in saying that her elegance and grace could get her out of most tight situations. She had the talent of agility and flexibility to skilfully dodge the Charmeleon's rather feral strikes. But Leaf shouldn't let himself get distracted a second time. His negligence of the Charmeleon allowed the Hypno to control him. Now, he mustn't forget that the Hypno is still present among them and, even with his fatal wounds, is still very dangerous. Calling on the seeds buried underground, they spread thick roots traveling underground, spreading across the entire battlefield. "It's time to end this." The Grovyle said as he readied his leaf blades ones more.

"I'm going to help them! You stay right here!" the Riolu exclaimed as he rushed towards the door, not even bothering to put on his bullet proof vest or his utility belt. Fear in anger welled up inside him as he watched the explosion from the TV screen as well as the window of his home.

As the Riolu held the doorknob and was about to leave, the Kirlia quickly followed, leaping across the room to catch up to the Riolu. "You're wrong if you think I'll just sit here praying that my family is alright!" she said sternly as she walked right in front of the Riolu. The Riolu was about to open his mouth to speak up but the Kirlia cut him short. "No, don't give tell me that it's too dangerous. I. AM. GOING."

The Riolu stopped in his tracks with conflicted emotions. A part of him wanted to urge the Kirlia to stay for her protection, another wanted to stay here and keep her safe, but the bigger part of him was dead set on rushing towards his parents' (and the others') aid. He sighed and groaned in annoyance, shaking his head and ruffling the fur on his head. "Fine, alright but we have to hurry!" he said in defeat as he and the Kirlia ran down the hill

"Leaf, look out!" the Ninetails cried out as she landed semi-gracefully landed on the ground after the hypnotized Charmeleon had grabbed her and threw her away, giving him a clear window to breath out a powerful flamethrower towards the Grovyle.

The Grovyle was covered and cuts and bruises from being thrown to the ground several times during the fight but he was still agile enough to dodge a simple, though powerful, flamethrower. SUPPOSED to be agile enough anyway. As his legs kicked him off the ground, jumping backwards to gain distance from the Hypno as well as dodge the flamethrower, he was held in place mid-air by the grip of Hypno's psychic power, held in place in the line of fire. "GAAAAHHHH!!!" the Grovyle howled in pain as the searing hot flames found their mark, agonizingly burning his body.

"No!" the Ninetails dashed towards the Charmeleon and landed a swift and powerful roundhouse kick up the Charmeleon's jaw, forcing the Charmeleon to shut his mouth and stop the flamethrower. Immediately after, her tail caught fire and whipped it towards the Hypno sending nine jets of flames surging towards the Hypno. The Hypno grunted as he shifted his psychic energy, his brain already aching a bit, from holding the Grovyle towards blocking the Ninetails' attack.

The Grovyle dropped to the floor with a pained grunt. The flamethrower left the edges of his leaves -the ones on his wrists, head, and tail-- singed and brown and his body suffering third degree burns. Lying on his back, the very feel of the earth sent sharp waves of pain coursing through his body. His eyes fluttered open weakly, gazing up to the sun above him. With what little strength he had left, he breathed in deeply and closed his eyes, focusing all his energy onto the sun's warm rays. His body began glowing in a soft, golden light as his grass type skill synthesisactivated. His cells began working overtime as they began repairing the damaged tissues of the body, his severe burns slowly getting better but they're sure to leave a permanent mark on his body.

The Ninetails grit her teeth in annoyance. Her partner was down and is currently in no condition to fight. The glow would indicate that he was slowly patching himself up but it'd still take time before he could get up on his feet and join the fray. Her mind frantically juggled the odds and tried predicting the outcome of her predicament. She was faced in a two again one scenario; on the left was her hypnotized lover seemingly unable to fight the Hypno's on over him, on his right was the Hypno who always had one hand held against his midsection. The Lucario clearly did a number on him and the Hypno is focusing a significant amount of his energy just holding his insides together. As much as she could probably hold her own just fine against the two, it was unlikely that she would be able to tip this battle to her favour. There was also the fact that she had a helpless partner lying on the floor, she can't protect Leaf against from the both of them.

The sounds of grunting signalled that the Charmeleon was getting up from his momentary daze. Veronica had to admit, the hypnosis really softened the Charmeleon that a kick like that was enough to stun him. The Charmeleon got up, still clearly held under the Hypno's control by the glaze in his eyes. 'Damn...' the Ninetails cursed to herself. 'I had hoped that my kick was enough to snap him out of it.' But she had to set her thoughts aside. She had to protect Leaf while he heals himself as well as herself from both the Charmeleon's assaults and the Hypno's psychic abilities.

"Hey hey heeeyyy~!"

A cheerful voice resounded around the area catching all three of them off guard. The Hypno may have found the voice alien and was looking around in fear, but the Ninetails knew who owned the voice. She wasn't friends with him, but they were allies nonetheless.

Poisonous gas began oozing out of the ground from beneath the Charmeleon. The purple gas cloud quickly enveloped the Charmeleon, forcing the hypnotized fire type to hold his breath. The Ninetails' heart skipped a beat as a thought suddenly occurred to her: the Hypno could order Charlie to inhale that gas cloud and kill him then and there. As much as losing Charlie would be disadvantageous for the Hypno in combat, Veronica wasn't prepared to lose the man she loves. Time seemed to slow down as her tail readied for another attack, but she was still too slow. From the corner of her eye she could see the Charmeleon opening his mouth and breathe in deeply. "NO!"

'What was Jonathan thinking covering Charlie in that poison cloud!?' the Ninetails cursed in her mind as her focus shifted from the Hypno towards the Charmeleon. She stood there paralyzed in fear and indecision, torn between saving the man she loves and taking down the man responsible. Still, she wanted to believe that that idiot Gengar was smarter than this. That ugly fat mass of... poison gas.

As the last of the gas cloud, guided by the Hypno's psychic power, entered the Charmeleon's mouth and nostrils, there was a surprising moment of stillness within the battle field. With the Grovyle recovering, the Ninetails' crossing her fingers and the Hypno grinning victoriously. The Charmeleon stood wobbly as small puffs of purple gas leaked from his nostrils. And then, to the Ninetails' relief, the Charmeleon straightened his posture with a grin on his face looking as alive as ever. The gas stopped leaking from his body as he began moving his arms, stretching them from side to side.

"Ah... it's been a while since I was last in this body..." the Charmeleon's voice spoke from his mouth but the Ninetails' knew that those thoughts weren't his.

"Took you long enough to get here." the Grovyle spoke weakly amidst coughs and wheezes.

"Do you have any idea how bad it would've been for a ghost-poison type to go against a psychic type?" the Gengar chuckled, speaking through the Charmeleon's body. "Besides, Rebecca and I worked on convincing the other soldiers to focus their efforts locking down the district as well as reinforcing the Academy. Also, looks like the Hypno's run out of options."

The Gengar was right, the Hypno looked like he's been defeated, which in fact, he was. The strain of being confined in that prison for four months with that infernal suit that supressed his power, the insipid probing of that Lucario and then her force palms that forces him to literally work to keep himself together. He was running low on power, and now the odds were severely against him. He could feel his hold on his internals weakening. The metallic taste of his blood started coating his tongue as it started dripping from the side of his mouth. He wasn't going to last long at this rate... But... if he was going down, he'll be sure to take one of them with him.

"So, you ready to give up?" the Gengar cockily asked as he made the Charmeleon do a silly little dance, taunting the Hypno and eliciting a face-palm from the embarrassed Ninetails.

The Hypno's vision began to blur and sway as his consciousness slowly began to fade. If he let go of his organs and amassed all his remaining psychic energy, he had maybe a second before he dies but he would be able to release a psychic explosion powerful enough to take out the rookies before him. He had to act fast though, too late and they might kill him first. He took a deep breath, perhaps his last, as he readied himself. 'Three... two... oNE!?'

The Hypno was caught completely off of his guard as thick roots burst out of the ground and wrapped around his body, rising high in the air and lifting him off of his feet. He focused on keeping his insides in check once more, his death would've been meaningless if he couldn't take out at least one of his enemies. If anything, he hoped that they still intend to keep him as a prisoner rather than killing him straight away. From bellow, he could see the two fire types looking up with worry in their eyes. A few feet from them lay the Grovyle who looked rather ticked off. The now brown-ish Grovyle had his left arm raised, clearly in command of the roots that held up the Hypno.

"Guh..." the Hypno gasped as his vision began to blur. 'No... I can't hold myself together... this is bad...' Blood began pouring out of his mouth and his nostrils as his former wounds began opening once more. Even if they were to take him prisoner now, he wouldn't live long enough to deal significant damage. No... he had to at least take out the Grovyle. The Grovyle is smart, cunning and a complete danger to their cause. If only the Grovyle would lower him, if he could get close enough...

"So, are we gonna lock him up again?" a female voice asked. From above and through blurred vision, the Hypno could barely make out the figure of a purple pokemon.

"Oh, hey Rebecca." The Gengar possessing the Charmeleon spoke. "That's the plan anyway--"

"No..." the Grovyle said coldly.

Fear and anger rose within the Hypno as the words reached him like rusted daggers. He tried not to show his fear and desperation, but it would've changed nothing. The Grovyl slowly began clenching his fist and the roots began constricting, tightening its grip around the Hypno's already broken body.

"Leaf, what are you doing?" the Ninetails asked.

"Keeping him alive would do us more harm than good..." the Grovyle said. "Besides, I hear that all we need from him is his sick... twisted... head."

"Ggrrraaaaahhhh!" the Hypno roared defiantly and tried wiggling out of the roots' hold. He hated this, he hated this with every fiber of his being. He had planned this out from his capture to his release. The only complication was that Jason's and Natalie's aura seemed to be able to resist his power. From his view above, he could see the District outside the ring of fire... and seeing the Riolu and Kirlia running free into the Academy was adding insult to injury. He had failed.

"Go to hell..." the Grovyle clenched his fist and the roots completely enveloped the Hypno, leaving his body hidden from view. If anything, they were glad they didn't have to see what it looked like inside. Even as the roots decended down into the ground, all that could be seen from the Hypno was the blood that trickled down from between the roots than had crushed him. Leaf let out a long sigh as his eyes slowly closed and drifted into unconsciousness.

Coughing noises caught the attention of the two females present, both the Ninetails and the Mismagius turned around to see purple gas oozing out of the Charmeleon's mouth and slowly forming the shape of the Gengar that it was. "Welp, that's a job well done for everyone." The Gengar jovially announced as he "pulled" his foot out of the Charmeleon's mouth.

The Charmeleon gasped loudly, breathing in as much air as his lungs can take. He felt like he couldn't breathe for the longest time even though it was only for seconds, and with his breath came the weird aftertaste of having a ghost-poison Pokemon leaving his body incorrectly. "Guh... dude... what the heck? You taste like ass!" he said as he spit on the ground repeatedly, occasionally breathing out fire to try and burn away the taste.

"And how would you know what ass tastes like?" the Gengar grinned and flicked his tail at the Charmeleon, whose face flushed red with embarrassment.

Back at the girls' end, the Ninetails blushed slightly and eyed the Gengar with annoyance. She and Charlie may not have done anything adult yet, but she didn't want to have the Gengar assuming anything. "Anyway, I'll go ahead and lower the fire spin... maintaining it like this is draining..."

Slowly, the fire began dying out and the cold outside breeze brushed against them. From out here, turned away from the Academy, you wouldn't have known the chaos that was going on. Now that the evacuation was finished and all the people had gone back to their homes, the streets were quiet and eerily deserted. Then Veronica turned her attention towards the Academy, focused mainly on the shattered window and the cracked walls of the war room where the explosion happened. She wondered just how far down the rabbit hole were all these questions going to be answered... especially about Jason. She could still here the guys arguing from the back and she let out a sigh, this was going to be a long afternoon...