Forests near Johto's Power Plant | Early Morning | 1
Tentative location of Johto's Power Plant is beyond the Lake of Rage; location may change
The cracking thunder shrieks across the sky, a bolt of lightning piercing through the clouds not a second later. Heavy, dark clouds hang themselves from the atmosphere, wind blowing leaves around in swirling dances. The woods are silent, almost forbidding; amidst the trees bare of leaves, two figures stand out sharply against the browns and greys of the lifeless forest. A shock of red-brown hair beneath an orange hard hat and the piercing blues of the dinosaur at his side would have attracted more attention if there'd been attention to attract. For hours now all had been quiet, and Roark could feel his heart rate jerk forward a little further with each passing minute. It's quiet; it's so quiet.
It was quiet until that fucking thunder; it sounds like doom approaching. Roark almost misses the complete silence.
"Looks like rain." The Rampardos's heavy footfalls come to a stop, staring up with distaste at the sky above. "That... that was fast..."
The dull-eyed human bobs his head in a nod, stopping next to the dinosaur as his eyes darted around the trees. Is this Rain Dance's work? No, Rain Dance doesn't summon thunder...
The redhead's stomach clenches. Fear claws at his heart. For a storm to gather in just a few minutes--it has only been just a few minutes, right?--that's not a natural occurrence. Roark's mind rips through memories at a breakneck pace, searching for anything that could create vicious looking storms within such a short time span, and his breathing hitches and speeds up as he come up with nothing. God. If something nasty is hiding nearby, he has no idea what it could be.
A multicolored feather blur lands in front of them, Roark nearly shrieking; only biting down on his own knuckles stops him. "It's already way too windy up there for me to be flying."
Already? But he'd only been up there for two minutes!
Archae shakes himself, eyes glued to the grey heavens above. "We should find shelter."
"He's right; we don't need to get anything nasty from rain." No answer from the human. Pach nudges him; Roark blinks and swallows.
Yes, shelter. Shelter should save them from the storm and whatever made it.
"I uh... I saw a building from the air..." The bird glances nervously at Roark, the human's face contorting into a grimace of pain.
"P-please, no." He stares at his Rampardos, eyes wild. "N-not again. I-it never e-ends w-well."
"It's... it's just a building, Ro..."
"Y-yeah, u-until something b-bad h-happens; th-then it'll be another b-building we r-remember as a pl-place where we lost s-someone." Where had they lost Tectur? In the Hearthome contest hall. The happy bug friend who'd loved to nip at his heels? Castlith perished at an office building in Eterna. The Veilstone City game corner had also been "just a building." So had its department store. And yet, one of them had brought the beloved baby of the family to his death; something in one of those buildings had killed him with that stupid virus.
Ptero... Already his eyes were watering. Each death was a knife to the heart, but having to kill Ptero himself...
No. Never again.
"If we wait out here, not only do we get soaked, but we're also out in the open where whatever started this storm can see us." Pach's words pour on fresh terror. Shit. He hadn't thought of that. Oh gods. Are they being watched this very moment?
"Can we at least see the place? We don't have to go in if you don't like."
Roark nods, eyes darting around again as Archae walks on ahead to lead them. Nothing appears to be watching, nothing at all. They'll be fine; nothing is going to leap out and try to kill them. Nothing nothing nothing. He doesn't have to go in the building; just look at it. And he will not need to go in because in the end, nothing will have been stalking them.
The gym leader's grip tightens on his pickaxe, hefting it over his shoulder as he glances around one last time before following his faithful rock bird.
(Nothing is following them, and the storm is Zapdos's doing since I imagine him seeing the Power Plant in its state will piss him off enough to involuntarily summon a storm. Roark's just super paranoid. The Golem's name was Tectur and the Crustle's Castlith.)