A small wave bumped the boat as it sped towards the island, causing Touya and the Pokémon on deck to wobble. "Whoa!" the boy exclaimed, grasping the railing before he fell onto the floor. Tepig let out a squeal as he slid a few feet towards the edge, the human's hat still resting on the Fire Pig Pokémon's head. Axew steadied himself, shooting a glare in the direction the waves came from. -Stupid boat!- he growled, looking at a larger motorboat off into the distance, going in the opposite direction they were.
Oshawott and Snivy both followed Axew's gaze at the same time, spotting the ship. A white and black shield-shaped symbol flashed itself at the two Pokémon, its bright blue 'P' glinting in the sunlight. Snivy stiffened at the sight of it although she had never seen it before, it gave her chills simply looking at it. Oshawott had quickly torn his gaze away from the Plasma boat, looking instead at the deck of it. He expected to see some of the men that had taken Touko but instead, saw the brunette girl herself. "OSHA!" he exclaimed in astonishment, eyes growing wide. None of the people on the boat seemed to have noticed but him. So, turning to Snivy, he said, -Get on my back, Snivy!- At first, the Grass Snake looked at him like he'd gone insane. But then he grabbed her face and turned her head so she could see Touko on the quickly vanishing boat. Gasping, Snivy wrenched her head free; -How will we get to her?-
Without pausing, Oshawott grabbed onto Snivy and charged towards the sides of their ship. Their rapid pitter-pattering footsteps made Touya look up in surprise. Axew blanched at the pair as they sped past him, and cried out, -Are you two MENTAL?!-
Tepig flinched as the two other starters jumped off the edge, scrambling over to the railing in time to see the ripples on the choppy waves. "TEPI!" he called out in worry, not wanting to stray any closer to the water. Soon, Axew and Woobat joined the Pokémon's side. Suddenly, several feet away from the boat, Oshawott and Snivy emerged, gasping for air. The Grass Snake Pokémon clutched onto Oshawott's back for dear life, while the water-type bobbed up and down in the waves. -What are you two DOING?!- Axew called, eyes wide with anger at the two foolish Pokémon. Touya darted over to the group, sharply inhaling at the sight of two of his friends overboard. "Oshawott! Snivy!" he yelled, hands squeezing tightly onto the railing.
Oshawott spared on look back towards the rest of the group, a small smile on his face. -Hopefully, we'll see you dudes soon!- Then, he spun towards the swiftly departing yacht and swam off, the grass-type riding on his back.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
The motorboat slowed to a stop, the steady purr of its engine abruptly dying. It had halted beside a concrete dock, one of many, that already moored at least five other boats. Each one had the same identical Plasma symbol on their sides. Liberty Island was vacant, save for the stray Team Plasma Grunt that sometimes wandered into view. It was obvious who controlled this island. The only structure on this tiny plot of land rising above the ocean was a humongous and clearly abandoned lighthouse. Its large light at the top of its tower appeared to be cracked, either having been broken or damaged long ago.
Touko and N cautiously peeked their heads over the rails of the ship they had arrived on. They had hidden themselves behind a large cluster of wooden crates, hoping to conceal their small bodies from the Grunts. After a few minutes of observing the area, they both ducked back down, concluding that there was no immediate threat to them yet. Carrying the Emolga in her arms, Touko gazed intently at N from her position in the wake of the crates. She asked in a whisper, "What do we do now?" The prince said nothing. He pulled the Darumaka and Zorua closer to his side anxiously, having no idea what to do. The girl, growing impatient, whispered again sharply, "Well?" Her cerulean eyes locked with his, intensely staring at him. Finally, N was forced to reply reluctantly, "I don't know what we should do! I've never even gone outside of the castle before!" His voice grew higher in pitch near the end, giving away his anxiety. Touko's forehead wrinkled as she frowned. "Hmm
" she hummed to herself, looking away from her green-haired companion and at the other boats. "Maybe one of those will take us to the mainland," Touko mused aloud. N shook his head weakly; "No, they're probably set to leave at a specific time, like this one," he jerked his head towards the cabin of the boat, "So we'd have to wait until its passengers got on board." They both knew that that fact was extremely important and risky if they decided to try sneaking onto another ship. Touko's shoulders sagged slightly and her pretty eyes clouded with hopelessness. Then what do we do? She turned her head away from N, her thick brown strands of hair brushing her cheeks. The two children sat in silence.
Suddenly, Emolga's ears twitched. "Emol?" Scrambling out of the brunette girl's arms, the Sky Squirrel Pokémon landed swiftly on the ship deck and darted towards the exit of the boat. "Emolga!" Touko cried out in alarm, stumbling to her feet and running after her Pokémon friend. N and his two friends quickly followed suit. Emolga reached the break in the side railing where a docking plank should have been place, had N not kicked it into the water when they departed the castle island and leapt for the large concrete dock. Her arms spread wide at her sides, allowing the white flaps of skin to stretch out and catch the air. The small Electric-type glided safely onto the man-made surface. Touko staggered to a halt at the very edge of the boat. She glanced down at churning waves below and gulped noisily. There was at least a three-foot gap between the yacht and the dock. After a fierce moment of consideration, Touko gripped her hands into tight fists and backed up several steps. N, who showed up next to her with his Pokémon companions in tow, stared at her in confusion as she retreated backwards. "Touko?" he inquired curiously, blinking his aqua-hued orbs at her. Clamping her teeth down tensely on her tongue, Touko leaned forward a bit, putting the weight of her body on her right leg as she did so. A flicker of hesitation shone in her eyes, but then her muscles tensed up and she took off in a sprint! "Touko, what are you doing?!" shouted N in shock, as his eyes widened in alarm while his female companion charged at the side of the boat. The brunette reached the lip of the gap and shrieked out: "YAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAGH!!" as she flew through the air. With a loud thud and an exaggerated grunt, the girl landed on the dock. She was sprawled out on her stomach, having caught herself with her hands before slipping her sneakers on a conveniently placed puddle. A pause followed the stunt; N stared in stunned admiration at Touko, who had her face pressed flat onto the concrete.
Touko?" N said after a moment, peering nervously at the still girl. Another long minute passed, and then
SPRING! The girl leapt up to her feet and spun on her heels, gazing brightly at her shocked green-haired friend. "Come on, N! You need to get off that boat!" Nervous sweat gathered above N's brow. "I dunno
" he murmured, strolling over to the railing and looking down at the water below. Rolling her eyes, the brunette jumped up and down, cheering, "You can do it, N!" The boy winced at her volume and at last agreed, rather reluctantly. Soon, he was backed away from the edge of the boat and was getting ready to run. Zorua and Darumaka were tightly being clung to in his arms. He swallowed loudly as more perspiration beaded on his forehead. Then, he bolted towards the gap, shouting piercingly as he neared the side. He jumped extravagantly, legs pumping through the air uselessly, and face-planted on the concrete.
Darumaka and Zorua were smooshed beneath him, letting out muffled yelps from underneath N. The young girl was doubled over in laughter, unable to hide her shocked glee at his clumsy landing. Lifting his head, the prince squinted in pain and grumbled, "It's not that funny
" "Yes it is!" Touko replied between giggles, but she managed to calm herself down enough to help the boy to his feet. Now displaying a scuffed up chin and nose, N brushed his pants and shirt free of some of the grit and dirt squished onto it. Darumaka lay dazed on the dock, whereas Zorua was shaking his fur agitatedly. Emolga was smiling apologetically at the two other Pokémon even though she had nothing to do with the human boy's ungraceful landing. Still smiling a bit, Touko lightly touched N's chin and said, "We should find a first-aid kit for these," Her Emolga hopped onto Touko's shoulder while the young trainer examined the prince's wounds. N's face tinted red at her touch and he replied hastily, "I-I'll be fine. They're just tiny scratches." Touko blinked at him and laughed lightly again; "You remind me of my brother he can be so stubborn at times, just like you can be." The aqua eyes blinked at the smiling brunette. Even when Touko turned away from him to gaze around, N didn't stop watching her.
Zorua looked up at his friend N and tilted his head to the side. -Whatcha thinking about, N?- he asked through his Pokémon language. The words snapped N out of his trance and he smiled a bit down at the Fox Pokémon. "Stuff," he answered simply. Zorua frowned and shared a look with Darumaka. Then they both chuckled faintly.
Meanwhile, on Touko's shoulder, Emolga was cocking her ears to catch far off sounds. She heard garbled human chatter from deep within the lighthouse and sighed a bit out of boredom. Then, abruptly, her ears caught a panicked sound. Freezing, the Sky Squirrel twitched an ear back in the direction of the lighthouse. At first, there was only the sound of humans mingling about
Emolga nearly fell off of Touko's shoulder. That was a clear call of help! "Emol!" Emolga cried out, jumping onto the ground to catch the two kids' attention. It worked, making the duo stare down in surprise at the Electric-type. "Emol! Emol mol! Molga!" she frantically waved her arms up and down, trying to explain what she just heard. N frowned, understanding the Poké-language. He turned to look at Touko and said, "There's trouble in the lighthouse."
Suddenly, there came a cry ringing through the air that the entire group could hear.