The Valley Between
Chapter 11"So how did that happen," asked Frostbite to Flare. They were back in the mountain range traveling to Gulch Park after the trainer scare. "Well," started Flare, "There was a riot in our neighborhood, and the protesters got the wonderful idea to literally smoke out the High Peak. Our neighborhood consisted of all High Peak members so the Fire types of the riot set fire to the houses." Aayana nodded and said, "That's what happened to our house, although it was unexpected because we live in a mixed community." Flare clicked his tongue in annoyance and continued, "We escaped the flames from the front and, of course, the mob was there waiting for us. Lumin and I threw Kisterash over the mob and told her to go to the High Peak Mountain. Once we caught up to her, that blasted trainer came and captured us with her Charizard." Frostbite nodded with a steely look, then froze in place. Over the crest of the hill was chaos, fire, and destruction. They made it back to what was left of Gulch Park.
Chapter 12"What in all the stars," breathed Kisterash. "It got worse," growled Winter. "How did it get this bad?" "Fear," said Lumin. "The rioters are trying to take control using fear." "Now they're trying to take power?" "Of course," chirped Flare. "That's what you told them to do, Winter." Winter whirled around to face her mother and yelled, "I didn't ask for fire and revolution! All I asked for was political tolerance! From the High Peak! Not them, not anyone!" She clenched her talons deep in the dirt as ice crept from her claws. Kisterash leaned supportively on Winter and mumbled in her ear, "This isn't your doing. They're the ones who took it a step further." Winter nodded, then coldly said, "Well then, let's go teach them a lesson."
~*~*~Navy blue claws clicked menacingly down the darkened hallway of the Main Hall. The president, a Mega Fluxray, sat confined to a chair by a Gardevoir and a Gallade. An Absol glared down at the hybrid president, then slashed his snout, taking the gag he had in his mouth off as well as inflicting damage. Pressing his claws on his neck, the Absol hissed, "Where are the Stones?" The Fluxray only spat on the ground and said, "Your rebellion will end with your downfall, Alpen." Alpen growled and tightened his grip, saying softly, "As will your empire. Where. Are. The. Stones?" Coughing and gasping for breath, the president softly wheezed, "It... only opens... for me..." Alpen clicked his tongue in annoyance, then said, "Any tricks, and I personally end your existance. And while we're at it..." He slid his claws down the president's neck and toyed a chain looped around it, then ripped the chain off. "Thank you in advance," Alpen hissed.
Chapter 13Slinking down in the grassland outside Gulch Park, Winter and the group approached the smoldering town. "What's the plan," Kisterash whispered in her ear. Frostbite sidled up next to her and said, "You two sneak in the Main Hall and make sure the president is safe, as well as the Cabinet members as well. Aayana, Flare, Lumin and I will cause a diversion to draw the revolution away from the Main Hall. Good luck, my snowflake." He rubbed Winter's talon, then the adults quickly started towards the other side of the Park. Laying tense in the grass, Winter held her ears strained forwards. Soon enough, a faint explosion was heard and pokemon were heard scrambling over to investigate. Staying low to the ground, Winter started forwards, Kisterash not far behind. They snuck through the city, Kisterash having the shadows hide them when a pokemon was too close. Soon enough, they arrived at the eerily quiet Main Hall. "Something's definitely up," whispered Kisterash. "The dark magic is everywhere here." Easing the door carefully open, the two pokemon slinked inside and bolted upwards to the President's Office. No Fluxray to be seen. Winter almost went back outside the office, but Kisterash stopped her and pointed to slash marks with a gap in them on the wall. "The president was attacked," she whispered. "It was a Dark attack. Night Slash to be specific." "Who was it? How can you tell," asked Winter. "I'm part Dark, Win. I know things dark." Winter nodded, feeling dumb for not connecting the pieces. "I'm gonna see if I can follow the energy's trail," chirped Kisterash. She sniffed at the marks on the wall, then started following some invisible trail outside the office. With Winter on her tail, Kisterash led them down into the Main Hall, ducking into a side hallway, deep into a lower level, and faced with an open vault. A sign was plastered above that read: Mega Stone Vault. Winter sucked in a breath and whispered, "They're gonna rob the Vault!" Suddenly, a large white figure catapulted out of the vault, tackling them both with incredible speed. Alpen maliciously smiled down at them and said, "I already did."
Chapter 14Winter stared up at the Absol she used to love. "Wha... why?" she stuttered. Alpen shook his head sarcastically and said, "You haven't noticed? My parents and I were forced out of our homes, Winter. Wanna know by who? The High Peak. Wanna know why? Because we were dirt poor and couldn't pay their ridiculous taxes. When I met you, you were the only High Peak pokemon with the guts to stand for what's right. All I needed to do was get the blabbermouth going. I told Lotus to make you present first because Current was there. Did you even notice that he was called out of class right after you presented?" Winter in fact did remember that happening. "Lucas came and picked him up," she confirmed. "But how did you know that?" "You know how bad he is at keeping secrets. The whole week he was chatting up a storm about his 'precious daddy' showing him the Main Hall. Once you presented, he began telling everyone he knew that Winter wants the Regional Peaks to take power. One thing led to another, and here we are now." Kisterash vigorously shook her head and yelled, "But what are you doing? Attacking the president? Why?" He laughed and growled, "Winter said it explicitly in her speech: 'An Absol as president, instead of a Fluxray.' It's ironic that the Fluxray gets swept off his feet by the Absol." With a roar of outrage, Kisterash surged upwards, flames erupting across her fur and onto Alpen. He screamed quite horribly as the fire marched along his fur, giving him a burn no cream would fix immediately. Winter snatched Kisterash's smoldering paw and dragged her out of the Main Hall and right into the throng of the rebellion.
Chapter 15Winter stood paralyzed with fear at the snarling mass of angry pokemon in front of the Main Hall. She scanned the crowd and saw her parents lashed to the ground with brambles, as well as Lumin and Flare. Alpen staggered outside the Main Hall doors, a seething ball of singed fur and rage. "You best be surrendering," he roared. "I'm the leader here! There's nothing you can do, Winter." A shock of realization flashed across Winter's face, then she turned to Kisterash. She read her expression and whispered, "No. Don't do it, Winter." Staring straight into Alpen's eyes, Winter said loudly for everyone to hear, "Alpen the Absol, resident of the Hoenn peak, I challenge you for the seat of Presidency." A rippling murmur rose from the crowd as Alpen sputtered his shock. "That's... That can't be allowed," he yelled. A Lucario pushed up front and said, "It is! According to Article 2 in the Park's Constitution, any challenger fit to beat a president that is acting in a tyrannical way can take the seat for themselves." The Lucario winked at Winter, and she realized it was the Riolu who sat behind her in Professor Lotus's class. "Thank you..." She trailed off, unfamiliar with his name. "Loki," he whispered. Winter nodded and locked eyes with Alpen, saying, "Loki is right. You are unfit to be President, and it is not just me. These pokemon here have uprooted their dignity, destroyed their homes and their bonds of friendship of those you forced out." Sweeping her wing to display the croud, she continued, "You may be angry, but having these good citizens maul and destroy for your gain isn't right." A murmer of shock rippled through the crowd. Whispers of "She's got a point" and "That's right" were heard as Alpen growled at them. "Now," Winter said, "We politely ask that you stand down, Alpen." He roared, "Never!" and leaped at Winter. She yelled, "Now!" and her and the Fire types in the crowd let loose a whirlwind of flame. Attack after attack landed on Alpen as he screeched his pain. His claws shielded his face as the flames danced in the air around him, and the stolen necklace melted and slid off. Inside the now-warped gold pendant was a small, rainbow colored Key Stone. As the fires died down, Alpen's fur was completely covered in soot and ash and his front paws that blocked the worst of the fire were misshapen and deformed. His Mega Stone lie in a melted heap beside him as he painstakingly reverted back to normal. "Is anyone a doctor," Winter yelled. "We gotta help him, even if he did try to overthrow our system of government." A Froslass and two Lurantis came from the crowd and took Alpen, coating him in a thin layer of ice to start healing his burns. The crowd soon lost their vengeful spirit as the pokemon returned to their broken homes to repair. As peace returned to the city, the High Peak emerged from the exile out of Gulch Park.
One Year LaterWinter glided in the warm summer air, playfully trying to tackle her Bunbori friend, Glitter. She glanced at the cleaned-up Main Hall; the new president, a Mega Dragonite, had the soot and ash scrubbed away so the marble could glitter pristinely again. The old president resigned after being traumatized by Alpen's attack and retreated to the Regional Mountain. Glitter pounced on Winter and sent both pokemon tumbling, pulling up when the ground was uncomfortably close. She waved goodbye to the Bunbori and flew by Kisterash's new house. Alpen was on the roof, assigned to help rebuild by the Warden, a stern Yveltal that made sure her prisoners were kept in line. He waved at Winter, his cybernetic paws a painful reminder of how his plan failed, then scratched around the shock collar on his neck. Arriving at her own, her parents stood outside with a box in their talons. They presented her with a Korokunite necklace with two Ghost gems flanking it on either side as an early birthday gift. She let it fall around her neck and settle into her chest fur, then went inside to have her sweet sixteen party.
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