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Thread: Life's a Beach [WWC] [x4] [WIP]

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    evanfardreamer's Avatar
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    Default Life's a Beach

    Did not finish in time for the contest - will try to wrap it up before the x4 changes.

    The gentle surf against the beach and calm breeze through the palm fronds was no comfort as Lapras realized her eggs were missing. She and her mate had carefully nestled a pair into a sandy dune before he swam north with the Cloyster for Summermeet. She knew this was the place; bits of seaweed that had shrouded the new eggs were scattered around the depression they’d used.
    She had heard of other eggs being taken, but hadn’t believed it could happen to hers. She herself had hatched from an egg on the same island’s beaches many moons ago. Her mate would not return soon and she had to find what happened to her eggs.
    Dragging herself along the shore, she saw many small impressions in the sand. She had seen humans leaving them when the tide was out – they showed where the people had been and lasted until the waves returned. She had to follow them, find the people who had taken her eggs!
    Her flippers pushed her forwards, up the dunes. The sand here was drier and it scraped against her skin as she moved. Clumps of stringy grasses or large rocks topped the dunes and the ground kept sloping upward. More tracks were here, where the water rarely surged. The impressions that she had followed like a ship’s wake were harder to see, but she pressed on.
    Finally she crested a dune and saw a flat, black ribbon at the edge of the beach. It was wide across, larger than she was, with strange colored lines on it. As she approached it she saw that the tracks she followed came to its edge but stopped!
    Despite the pain in her scratched flippers, she pushed to the ribbon’s edge. She touched it carefully and discovered it was as hard as rocks, and so hot that it seared her already sore limb. She realized that the ones who took her eggs would leave no tracks on that. Her eggs were gone, and her cry of sorrow was loud enough to scare away the few Wingull nearby.

    She did not know how long she cried, but was interrupted by a sharp jab into her chafed abdomen. Looking around she saw a tiny red Krabby was trying to get her attention, with several others clustered nearby. The one who’d poked her waved a claw around as it spoke.
    [Eggs taken?] it asked.
    She simply nodded. The rest of the Krabby muttered to themselves but she wasn’t able to hear them well enough to make out their words.
    [Many taken,] the Krabby said. [Men come here, get in land shell. Land shell goes. Then come back other night.]
    [Where do they go?] she asked it. Her heart clung to this sliver of hope, delivered by an unlikely helper.
    [Too fast.] the Krabby replied. [They come back. Maybe this night. Maybe next night. We watch, tell you.]
    [I must find my eggs!] she said. [Is there no other way?]
    The group muttered again. [Not come in day. Come at night. Take our eggs also. You big, can stop them.] Her ally waved a claw at her belly. [You hurt. Go to water. Help stop this night.]
    The crab was right, she was hurt. Her skin was nearly as dry as the sand, and without her mucus it would soon crack and peel. Sorrow filled her heart as she turned and made her painful way back to the ocean. The journey seemed much longer, but finally the sting of saltwater and the cool waves marked her return. She wept again until she dozed while the tide ebbed.

    She dreamt of her mate, gliding through the still water. The moon shone off his slick skin as his strong flippers propelled him northward, a dozen rough-shelled bivalves in his wake.
    The Cloyster did not understand the stars, and could not cross the ocean deeps without guidance. It fell to a Lapras to guide them to their spawning grounds, and the Cloyster repaid them by keeping Huntail away from newly hatched Lapras until they could defend themselves.
    She imagined herself swimming beside him and matching his pace. He turned his head to regard her, bright brown eyes showing amusement. [I have not been gone so long, and yet you miss me already?] he said.
    [No, my mate, it is sorrow that brings me out. Our eggs have been taken.]
    His rhythmic swimming stopped, and the calm sea was broken with splashes as the Cloyster slowed to match him. They peered about in confusion, seeing no land.
    [By who?] he asked. [Can they be saved?]
    She bowed her head. [I do not know who, but ours are not the only ones taken. I am to try and find them when night falls, along with others from the beach.]
    He turned his head back the direction they had come. [I could return in two moons’ time. We can find another to lead their journey.]
    She looked again at the shelled Pokemon around him. They would be much delayed, and their young would have a harder time finding food after spawning. [No, my mate,] she said sadly. [You must finish the journey. More than two will depend on that, and I have found allies who have also known loss.]
    He turned again to regard her. [I wish it were otherwise, but it seems we must trust the current.] Stretching his neck towards her, he gently nuzzled her horn. [I know you can do it. We drift together.]
    She smiled but said nothing. He glanced upward at the stars and began paddling again, slowly at first and building to a faster rhythm. The Cloyster began moving again, eventually falling in line behind him as they sailed north.
    She watched them go, and was startled when a large bubble popped in her face. Blinking, she realized she was awake again; the moon overhead was barely over the horizon, and a tiny figure on the beach was blowing a stream of bubbles in her direction.
    It stopped when she began moving towards the shore, waving a claw until she was close enough to hear over the waves. [They come again. Further down beach.]
    [Then we must waste no time. Climb on my back.] She sidled up to the shore and the crab scuttled sideways onto her shell. He weighed so little she wouldn’t have noticed him there if she hadn’t watched.
    [By threerocks, four men, take eggs.] He pointed a claw, but she already knew where he was referring to – a few lonely boulders were all that remained of a small stone spur, worn down by the ocean. Pushing into the surf, she swam towards it as fast as she could go.
    The place was not far, and as they approached she could see four human figures digging at the sand. A canvas bag lay nearby, and her heart surged as she recognized the oval shape of eggs– but the pattern on the shell was unfamiliar. These were not hers.
    One of the four saw her surging forward and yelled to his companions. In moments they had abandoned their task and grabbed the nearest eggs, then began running away from the shore further inland.
    [Stop!] she shouted, but they either did not hear her or did not understand. None looked back as she reached the beach, and her progress was slowed by the sand, scraping against already sore skin. They were too fast, and she couldn’t catch them. In desperation, she drew from deep inside herself, calling the cold forth. The frigid energy blasted forth but her aim was poor, and rather than striking them it hit a palm tree near them.
    The trunk exploded as it froze, with parts of it hurling through the air. One hit a running figure who nearly lost their balance; throwing an arm out to catch themselves, the egg they were carrying sailed free. It did not fly far but impacted hard on a dune.
    The man scrambled over the dune, sparing no more than a glance at the dropped egg. He slipped on a patch of ice on the far side where her ice beam had continued, and she realized the race was not over yet. Calling forth more cold, she aimed at the sand before her and froze a crust of ice over the sand.
    She pushed forward, onto the path of ice she had frozen, and surged forwards. It was much faster to move on the ice than the sand, and she gained on the people she was chasing. Past them she saw the dark ribbon again, with a strange vessel on it – it looked like a boxy ship supported on small vertical discs.
    The side of it opened as the men drew near, and she was still too far away. They leapt inside and the vessel began to move – the discs beneath it were turning as it accelerated away from her. By the time she reached the ribbon, the vessel had gone past a thicket of palm trees and had vanished.
    Despair and anger warred inside her. She had been so close to the ones that had taken her eggs! Striking the ice with a flipper, she turned around and headed back towards the beach. She saw the egg and noticed the Krabby as she approached it, realizing he had come off her back at some point in the chase.
    [Egg hurt. Not broken, not taken,] it said to her. [Some taken. This one must be safe.]
    She helped the Krabby roll the egg onto its back, noticing the jagged crack along the side. While the egg might still hatch, it would need much more care to reach that point. She was angry with herself for attacking the egg takers, and angrier for risking the safety of the eggs they carried.
    Last edited by evanfardreamer; 03-10-18 at 02:21 PM. Reason: removed wwc as will not make it in time
    Resurrected stats (still under renovation!):
    http://forums.petalburgwoods.com/sho...3-Evan-s-Stats

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