DISCLAIMER: This work is fiction. The work has no relationship with any person existing at any time anywhere whether real, imaginary,or copywrited. Everything in this work is mea culpa.
You should not read this work if you are under the age of legal consent wherever you reside. This work may or may not contain any and/or all of the following: death, cannibalism, dismemberment, violent acts, implied sex, explicit sex, violent sex, rape, blasphemy (depending on your religion), BDSM, torture, mimes (just thought I'd reiterate the torture part), necrophilia, and just about anything unwholesome that you could consider.
Pokegirls is owned by everyone with a love of the genre.
By Platinum Otter
Chapter 14 - Good Thing It Wasn't a 4-10 Split
I stared, dumbfounded, as I watched the last of Seren vanish. My brain just completely froze up. The widow had no such compunctions and started loping towards us across the rooftops. It was halfway to us when it suddenly stopped and spun with a hop toward the side of the building. It hissed again and seemed to gather itself to pounce. Just then Alice flew over the lip of the building. The widow leapt at her but passed through her phased form, landing near the edge and spinning quickly to face her again. It crouched to leap a second time but was bowled over from behind and beneath as the widow Alice had been distracting boiled over the ledge and the two began to fight, spraying hypervenom left and right and going at it claw and fang.
One wild spray missed me by only two feet and the roof tiles began to smoke and disintegrate. The acrid smoke brought me back to myself and I grabbed Friday and yelled, "Get us out of here! Straight up high!" Leaving it to her I triggered pokeball recalls for everyone else except Alice.
As Friday lifted me with telekinesis my adrenalin kicked into overdrive. I could see the third widow coming over the side of the building behind us. Some shreds of sticky darkness still clung to her but they weren't even slowing her down as she looked toward the two other widows rolling across the rooftops as they grappled, then at Alice even farther away, before her gaze settled on me. I could swear I saw her smile just like one of those xenomorphs from the Alien movies when it's upper lip curls back before the inner jaws shoot out.
It seemed like I was watching one of those movies in slow motion as she crouched, gathering her strength, and then sprang straight up at us. I've always been good at judging spacial relationships. I could see the widow was going to plow right through Friday so I grabbed Friday's hand and yanked, pulling her toward and past me causing her to momentarily bobble her telekinesis. With her momentary loss of concentration our rise slowed and we briefly attained free fall as the widow approached, but I'd positioned myself to take the blow. If I died there was at least a chance for Friday to escape and if I lived there was always hope. If she died I'd fall to my death anyway. The widow's claws reached toward me as she came and while I mentally screamed defiance of what was to come and wished with all my heart I could stop her I closed my eyes, waiting for the blow.
...and nothing happened. To quote Marvin the Martian, where was the Earth-shattering kaboom? I opened my eyes. The widow was hanging, suspended at the height of her leap, less than 6 feet away. I don't mean she was snarling and swinging at us either. She was frozen in midair. I stared, agog, and looked to Friday. She looked just as surprised as me. Alice flew past with a, "Fly now, gawk later."
Friday snapped out of it and got us moving again. I continued watching the strange spectacle of a giant woman-spider frozen in midair until the terrain finally removed her from my sight. I was REALLY going to have to have a chat with Alice about what kind of spells she'd cooked up since her transformation. I had no idea she could even do something like that.
As the city began to fall away behind us I felt the adrenalin start fading from my system and I felt tired. My mind drifted back to that image of Seren being eaten and I almost cried. I mastered the urge because there would be time for tears later. We were still well within enemy territory here. Slapping myself a couple times, I started taking in more of my surroundings.
Friday was following Alice who had us on a westerly heading. I yelled over the sounds of the wind, "Take us higher up!"
Friday looked at me and then complied. She took us up until the air started to get just a little thin and then leveled off while mentally signaling Alice to do the same.
"Hey Friday, could you set up a mental link for us?" I asked.
Alice immediately asked what was up. 'Are either of you two injured?' I replied with a question. Both said no. 'How long can you two keep flying like this?'
' As long as I can keep concentrating,' Friday thought.
'I can create something for us to land on if we need to rest,' Alice added.
'Alright,' I thought. 'Let's stay up until nightfall. We're heading more or less in the right direction for now, but I don't want anything following us home so we need to stay a bit off course. I'll wait until we stop to check the pokedex for a heading. Wouldn't want to drop it right now. Alice, how hard would it be to make us look like a cloud or something?'
'You mean one that's zipping across the sky at suspiciously high speeds?' she retorted.
'Ah...' I replied. 'Good point...' With nothing much left to say for the moment we lapsed into a brooding silence. It seemed none of us wanted to talk about what happened just yet. Before I knew it the lack of activity and adrenalin drawdown had my eyes drifting closed.
My sleep was filled with a nightmare. I was forced to watch as the widow stalked up behind Seren in absolute silence while she played in a meadow. It towered above her and she didn't even notice. I banged my fist on an invisible window between myself and the scene and screamed for Seren to turn around but she just kept playing. Then the widow stabbed two spear-like arms right through Seren's body and she began to scream. It lifted her high above it's head before ripping her body in half, yet she didn't die. She continued screaming as the spider began eating her but no sound came out. As the spider continued chewing and swallowing her it seemed to stare right at me.
I sat up with my heart pounding, a scream boiling in my chest though I managed to choke it off before it came out my mouth.
"Are you alright?" Friday asked as she knelt down and lifted me up to hug me.
"Yeah, sure," I lied. I took a moment to gather my scattered thoughts as I realized I was on solid ground, ground being a relative term as it turned out. I was lying on a 3x3 meter platform with short sidewalls made out of clouds. It looked like I would fall through at any moment but it felt completely solid. Alice was resting nearby but looking in my direction. I could see we were still in the air and assumed Alice made this.
Once my heart rate settled I reached for my belt but paused before turning to Alice. "Is it safe to release everyone here?" I asked.
She motioned me to wait a moment and then cast another spell causing the platform to expand to 5x5 meters before waving me on. I aimed their balls toward the middle of the platform and released each of the others in turn. Harley immediately came over to hug me followed by Scarlet while Ellie and Jane looked on concerned. They hadn't known Seren long but her cheerfulness had still affected them.
"Alice, how long will this cloud last?" I asked.
"I gave the spell enough juice to last an hour or so but I can charge it up more if we stay longer."
I nodded. "If it won't take too much out of you I think we should stay here tonight. In the morning we'll have a short service for Seren before we leave."
She nodded without comment. We had a light supper and settled in for the night. Noone felt like talking much. I woke to the brilliance of dawn streaming into my eyes. The others weren't up yet so I carefully extricated myself from the pile and moved over to take a leak off the side of the cloud. It was strange to pee but never hear the sound of it striking anything. As I zipped myself up I looked back toward where I thought Cunnilingenberg lay. I knew going into a town was risky, but it was necessary to our survival. Besides, how could I have known there'd be a nest of widows there. I'd never even HEARD of a nest of widows before. I guess this was truly a new world.
As my thoughts turned back to poor Seren I gazed off into the distance. While I stood in melancholy thought Scarlet came up behind me and wrapped her arms around me. I knew it was either her, Harley, or Friday without even looking. Lately I'd begun to be able to sense the three who'd been with me the longest. I wasn't getting thoughts or even full emotions yet but I had a feeling this was the bonds deepening into Deltas. Those three had been with me the longest but I had thought Seren would soon follow. We stood in silence taking in the morning stillness until the others began to stir.
I figured moving would be better for us than standing around after so I waited until everyone had eaten before I stood to give a short eulogy for Seren. I had given some thought to what I would say last night and while it was at times halting it was also from the heart. As I spoke I kept feeling like something was nagging at the back of my mind. I started to feel a small amount of pain and slowly stopped talking. Something drew my gaze back toward Cunnilingenberg.
Below us and to the East I saw what looked like some bird types fighting over something. It was hard to make out with the sun still low in the sky but as I watched the pain I was feeling started to increase along with a sense of panic.
"Ellie, Jane, Alice, Friday, go," I said while pointing toward the aerial dogfight.
Alice immediately rose and shot off towards them with the others hot on her heels.
"What is it?" Scarlet asked.
I just shook my head. I couldn't quite bring myself to answer. What if I was wrong?
The quartet of girls hit the flock like they were bowling pins sending avians flying in all directions and a few crashing to the ground. Friday grabbed one of them and turned to fly back while the others covered her retreat. As she drew closer and closer we could finally see what she had and Harley gasped. Scarlet started crying while I readied the PPHU. As soon as she was in range I activated the recall and popped Seren's ball into the machine. I had no idea how she'd survived but even at a distance I could see she was short two wings. She must have been using her telekinesis to fly.
The others returned just in time for the PPHU to pop open with a ding. I pulled the ball out and released her. She materialized out of the red light and I immediately had to catch her. She was exhausted beyond the telling and I quickly got her laid out and covered with a blanket. She begged for water and after drinking her fill she fell into an exhausted sleep.
"Alice..." I started and she nodded without my even asking. She would keep the cloud up for now. I could have balled Seren so we could move, but I knew that resting in a ball didn't provide real sleep and she desperately needed some rest right now. We had a relatively safe position and plenty of supplies so we could afford to wait a day or two if needed.
Scarlet sat with Seren while the others broke out some cards and proceeded to quietly chat to while the time away. I got Alice to build some opaque cloud cover over our little hideout both to prevent sunburn and to make the area dimmer so Seren could sleep. She awoke late in the evening and I held her while she cried and I think I cried a little too. I know Scarlet did and surprisingly so did Alice. When we'd all settled down I heated some cans of soup on a camp stove while Seren related her story.
The widow had gotten the drop on her while she was waiting for us at the boat. The great creature had come at her obliquely and apparently thought her wings, which were larger than the rest of her by quite a bit, were her main body. (Nobody ever said widows were smart, just crazy, insanely powerful, and hungry.) The beast had wrapped two arms around her wings and bitten down near the point where they seemed to join her body on her upper back, probably thinking it was her neck. She had been knocked forward into the boat and hit her head on the side causing her to pass out.
She came to just a few minutes later to see one widow feasting on the remains of another. (As best I could figure she had rolled partway under the raised edge of the boat and the widow, with a face full of giant wing, hadn't realized she was only eating part of her meal. Fortunately we came along to distract it before it could finish the hors devours and look around for the entree. Again, noone ever said widows were smart.) She didn't notice the third widow suspended in midair right away owing to the distracting pain of her amputation. She quietly levitated herself over the side of the roof, keeping the boat between herself and the cannibal.
From there she'd moved as stealthily as she could to put a few blocks' distance between herself and the widows. She'd concealed herself in an upper floor apartment to wait for nightfall and, using two mirrors and her own telekinesis, managed to tie tourniquets around her wing stumps. Then, under cover of darkness, she made her way out of the city. She got a little hazy toward the end due to dehydration, blood loss, and probably fever from infection but for some reason she had felt drawn towards something. (More someone I figured and was never more glad for the person who first thought up the bonds or for the abilities I had gained since I was sure I shouldn't be developing delta bonds this fast.)
After another night's rest and with a few meals under her belt Seren was declared fit by Jane and we departed our cumulus refuge heading west. Without our ride we had to resort to personal flight to get where we were going so I set a rotation to allow one of the girls with telekinesis or levitation to rest in her ball at all times. This way if something happened to knock us out of the sky I had a parachute ready and waiting for those of us who couldn't recover on our own.
Seren was exempted from that list. While she was capable and physically recovered I knew the combined pain and mental stress of what she went through would likely take more time to heal and I didn't think leaving her alone in her ball would help that. Scarlet couldn't fly and Harley hadn't learned levitate from Alice yet so they both would be riding out the trip balled.
It took us 9 days to make the trip back sleeping on cloud platforms each night. It would have been a couple days shorter but at one point we noticed we were gathering a large horde behind us so we took the time to lead them well and truly off track before giving them the slip. I had never been so happy to see a rock road and concrete buildings as I was when that camp hove back into view.
In total we'd been gone the better part of a month so I dampened my enthusiasm and told the girls we'd have to sweep the place for ferals like we were entering it for the first time. I did not want anyone getting surprised by some feral who was sleeping in the basement but eating and pooping somewhere else so that there weren't any obvious signs she was here.
This turned out to be good practice as Friday actually rumbled a kitsune who'd broken into one of the cabins. She was so surprised that she zapped the girl before considering her own new strength. She came running back with the fox-girl in her arms screaming for me to ball her before she died. Still, it was good to be home or at least the closest thing I had in this dimension.
Friday - something new
Scarlet - Wolf Spider
Harley - Gun Bunny
Serendipity - Psifey
Alice - Archmage+
Jane - NightAngel
Ellie - Lady Luck