Chapter 23: Water

They say water is life. That it can heal even the deepest of wounds. No one talks much about how it is death too. They don’t talk about the unknown oceans. The relentless tides. The freezing rains. That it is dark and dangerous and shows no mercy. It can be as light and deadly as a dagger, or as a heavy and suffocating as a flood. Most times there is no in-between.2

Bambi knew the second Pokémon that stood in their midst, arriving the same way the first one did. It was another evolved starter, and the third form of the Piplup chain. Aunt Audria had a Piplup, but not this big beast. Bambi found it hard to believe something so small and cute could become something so terrifying.

“It’s possessed, Bambi,” Yumin would tell her. “It’s not what they usually look like. Not the Blaziken and not this Empoleon.”

When the Emperor penguin took the stage that was their hideout and also possibly their final place of rest, Zakana pulled out his Pokedex.

“Empoleon. The Emperor Pokémon. The three horns that extend from its beak attest to its power. The leader has the biggest horns.”

Bambi stared at the three horns extending from the beak, watched how they extended upward, like a golden trident. This Pokémon would certainly dominate in the sea.

Farore and Yumin began ordering commands. Apparently, in some way, this thing was more dangerous than Blaziken. Even though Bambi had nearly lost her head of hair from the fire, this one was more vicious.

“Don’t do anything to challenge its pride!” Yumin said.

“Avoid its wings! They can slice any one of us in half!” Farore warned.

The large penguin eyed each of them in turn, before turning its dark red eyes skyward in a mysterious way. It seemed to be looking for something.

“We need an electric Pokémon!” Yumin said. He and Farore circled Empoleon.1

Farore had one. An electric-bug type called Galvantula. A cross between a tarantula and something with electrical powers. It began to scurry around the warehouse setting up electric barriers.1

Bambi returned her half fire-type Houndour. She released her grass type Bayleef.

Empoleon did nothing for some time. This gave Zakana and Makua enough time to use their Pokémon. Slowpoke and Feebas were both water types so they could at least hang with Empoleon, the water-steel type.

Yumin said to Farore: “Your Galvantula is our best chance here. If this thing fights like that Blaziken then mere strength won’t help us. We need to immobilize Empoleon before it takes down our entire team!”

For a moment there was quiet. Then rains came at the roof, pounded on the open glass above. It sounded like nails, hammers behind every point of impact. This seemed to be what Empoleon was waiting for. Slowly, its eyes lowered and its red gaze settled on the scene before it. Truly, it appeared to be a king with its shiny golden trident and the way it stood before them. Bambi stood by her Bayleef and for the first time in a while, felt afraid.

First, there was a tiny gurgling sound. Like water slowly falling to the bottom of a drain. And then all at once, from someplace Bambi did not see or understand, the flood emerged. It came from within Empoleon it seemed, rushed out all around it, and wrapped it up in a cyclone of power. The water moved out and caught everyone off guard.

First, Yumin grabbed Bambi tightly and pulled her to his midsection. Then only water. The entire warehouse became flooded with water. Not just waves of it, but pools, tiny oceans, geysers. It was impossible to create so much water, but yet here it was. What sort of Pokémon was this?

And that was just the water. The Pokémon itself, once it began swimming through its creation, was like a shark without a home, lashing out at anything that seemed like food or a threat.

Bambi couldn’t see. She couldn’t breath. Bayleef couldn’t do anything to help so Bambi returned it to its Pokeball. Up was down. Boxes were helpful only so far as they could float. Metal machines were dangerous once you banged against them. Small electrical currents sent Bambi into a daze. They couldn’t help not using them. They needed to slow down this Pokémon that swam as fast as a jet boat and Galvantula was the only one that could do that. It was painful being knocked around everywhere and Bambi felt her ends—her elbows, knees and shoulders bleeding. If there really were a shark there, she would be dead by now. But Yumin was always there. He used his own body as protection and took the hits and the slams as the water made of them what it wanted.

Bambi scrambled to higher ground. She caught her breath and tried to locate everyone else. The water continued to rise and the royal blue penguin continued to hunt and decimate underneath.

Now that they were above water again, Bambi tried using Bayleef. Grass was effective against water. But Empoleon was too fast. It brought only death and destruction. These Pokémon were minions. Machines. Bambi saw the difference. Soon, the ice came. The warehouse grew cold. Makua and Zakana were somewhere together on the other end of the warehouse. Farore did the battling and Bambi had no idea if she was winning. One moment she was above water, the next minute underneath. Yumin slowly returned his Pokémon to their Pokeballs.

There was shouting and screaming as lights flickered and the storm raged on inside. Who was winning? It was anybody’s guess. Bambi vowed to always have more Pokémon and to be ready for any type of situation in the future. Now, she wanted the future more than ever. In her quickly fading space of mind that could only see the end result, she knew. She knew that water was life just as much as it was death. Every drop is a poison. If it fills the space it needs to, it will control you and suck you down, lower and lower. It can only lead to one place.

It can only lead to one place+