#ANewChapter(2): Silver Mine Mystery
#1
Chapter 2: Encounter
Rank: Simple
Aiming for cash in part 2 here
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Axion & Excadrill continued down the pitch black cavern, Axion looking as they went for any sign that an exit might be near. He was already regretting this entire trip; a mysterious inheritance had quickly turned into the potential last trip he would ever take. He didn’t even know the relative that had left the mine to him. His mother had at least recognized the name, or else he may have ignored the letter altogether. He had perhaps hoped for a few scattered nuggets, or even just one vein of some precious metal. As it stood, he had lost or ruined his gloves, been accosted by a spinarak horde, and was now likely entombed in a tunnel untold kilometers underground, with his only potential escape being a pokemon that could dig through stone. And while he was keeping it as a last option, he was not sure if even Excadrill could break free to the surface with his trainer in tow.


They progressed down the dark tunnel, occasionally seeing signs of past ore deposits that had been mined out. Strange pockmarked holes in the cave walls that, despite Axion’s deepest inspections, offered no worthwhile loot to make this expedition worthwhile. After the first dozen or so inspections he stopped looking, resigning himself to this mine being completely depleted of any ore worth his time. This was the last time he ever trusted mysterious inheritances from random family members, he mused as they turned a corner in the underground labyrinth. 


From up ahead, new noises began making their way to Axion’s ears. The low level growls still punctuated the air, however they became less noticeable as the sounds of movement grew. The rhythmic chinks of pickaxes floated down the hall like a drum cadence, and Axion felt himself naturally fall into step with it. An intersection ahead leaked light from its rightmost arch, betraying the existence of civilization. The pair eagerly moved towards the telltale signs of potential escape, but instantly stopped in their tracks as their eyes adjusted to the burst of light that came from the cavern ahead.


As they shook the temporary blindness off, Axion crouched down behind a rock. Peeking around the side closest to the cave wall, his eyes were met with multiple artificial light sources. People in black uniforms moved about, picking up debris produced by fighting type pokemon going at the rocks with pickaxes. Axion recognized multiple machamp, with the occasional primeape mixed in. They were rapidly expanding the cavern, though Axion noted one strange exception: A silver-colored obelisk that stood in the center of the room on what appeared to be a natural dais. He mused that it looked vaguely cactus like from a distance, but the color was fairly noticeable. And while It looked like the muscle had attempted to pick it away, the metallic statue seemed more or less solid apart from scratches obviously caused by the pickaxes that were broken around its base. 


As Axion focused more on the people, he felt as if he recognized their outfits. Perhaps from the news? He saw a letter emblazoned on their shirts, however the light from the flood lamps made it difficult to make out clearly. Regardless, he was incensed that they were obviously trespassing on private property, no matter how remote. But he held off the impulse to challenge them directly. Despite them obviously being suspicious, they could lead them out of this underground hellhole.
He watched for a while as they continued their work, apparently unaware of the intruders mere meters away.


Axion observed a new figure emerging from a tunnel on the far side of the cavern, distinct from their peers by the striking white uniform they wore. As the rest of the members shied away from them, they made their way purposefully to the central pillar that had thus far eluded their attempts to reduce it to rubble. Pulling out a tablet, they waited as peons rolled ominous machines vaguely resembling speakers around the totem. The leader then used their device to activate the sound generators, and a low level hum permeated the room. It drowned out the groans that had previously been the primary noise, and Axion realized that the silver obelisk was the source of the noises.


The soundwaves reverberated around the room for close to half an hour, Axion getting stiff as he watched them conduct their test. The amplitude was shifted during the test, slowly going higher until it was almost an imperceptible whine. Axion was wishing for some earplugs as the noise finally shut down, a look of disgust on the admin’s face. “You fools! We ran out of power, get this fixed immediately. All of you!” The congregation nearly leapt from their stationary positions, people and pokemon alike scrambling down the halls to discover the issue with the strange machinery. A scowl plastering their boss’ face, she followed them down the hall.


As the sounds of footsteps and chatter slowly died off, Axion crept towards the obelisk, which was again moaning as if in pain. It was approximately as tall as him, and bright silver for the most part.its shape was fairly octagonal, and cracks were running down two of its sides. The top seemed to have smaller protrusions, and the whole formation was tapered as it rose. Two other protrusions stuck out at awkward angles, looking as if they had been broken off at some point to create what almost looked like arms. He stepped up to it, removing his glove as he did so. When his hand came into contact, he was surprised to find it resonating and warm. It hardly felt like metal should, in fact he had felt this texture before. It was similar to the plating on his steel type’s harder sections. As he pondered what material the strange object was made of his hand found an indent likely made by the workers in their attempt to crush the statue. Suddenly the everpresent sound stopped, it stirred, then the obelisk grew a pair of yellow slits. A gaping maw suddenly appeared below, and it let out a bellow that echoed throughout the chamber.


Axion flew backwards, a mix of fear and surprise, landing hard on his posterior. Rolling away, he kneeled in a defensive position, ready to move at the first sign of trouble, and watched as the formerly inert statue ponderously moved, as if it had been asleep for a long time. A stretch rose the pokemon to its full height, now towering over Axion as it looked down on him, roaring at his face as it looked menacingly at its latest threat. It took a step forward, arms pointed towards Axion. It reminded him vaguely like a zombie in its slow, stiff movements and outstretched arms. He stood up slowly and backed up, holding his arms out to his sides. As it proceeded its slow progress forward, Axion found his back against the nearest cavern wall. He was only saved by the amin & her cadre of lackeys returning through the far tunnel. Looks of surprise graced everyone’s face save the boss; hers was one of evil success. “Get that pokemon, you imbeciles! And grab the intruder too!”


The fighting types swarmed towards the mysterious metallic ogre, spurred on by their trainers. The machokes and machamps began launching punches towards it, creating dull rings with each impact. It yelled in protest, striking back with its head & tail, momentarily sweeping its opponents away. But every time the buff pokemon came back, their drive to succeed increased with each return.


Axion, on the other hand, had a small group of mankey & primeape surrounding him and excadrill, closing the circle around him to remove any possibility of escape. Drawing out two pokeballs, he sucked excadrill into one as the other was tossed in the air, materializing an enormous steel spider in front of him. The primate pokemon retreated briefly at the sight of the gigantic metagross, before going in for the attack. “Metagross, psychic these dastardly apes to the other side of the room, then use gravity to lock them in place!” Metagross nodded, releasing a wave of psychic energy towards its opponents. Instantly the froze, floating in the air, idly rolling about until a blast from the pokemon’s considerable brain launched the posse next to their owners. Planting its four feet firmly in the mined stone floor, it then released a low hum throughout the room, and Axion felt himself grow heavy, barely able to remain upright. Watching with his head feeling like it was going to separate from his spine at any moment, he watched as the grunts felt the same force upon them, dropping most to their knees. A new scowl appeared on the boss’ face as she looked at Axion, her rage palpable as she crawled towards her tablet which lay mere meters away. 


Meanwhile, the machamp, while initially succumbing to the effects of the gravitational surge, were taking advantage of their superior muscles to continue pummeling their target. Unable to move due to the gravitational power, it was slowly submitting to its beating, almost returning to its semi inert state from minutes ago. Axion, unsure exactly what it was, felt empathy for it; he used what was left of his strength to remove another pokeball before crumbling to the ground and merely flicking the pokeball open. Aegislash erupted, its semi ghastly nature allowing it some amount of free movement against the overwhelming gravity. “Aegislash, use autotomize and go protect that pokemon.” His finger weakly pointed in the direction of the machamp and their subdued target. Aegislash began spinning towards the assembled mass, looking like a top as it did so. Coming upon the first of its fighting foes, it morphed itself from shield into blade forme, lancing the closest machamp’s back. It doubled back in pain, falling backwards and temporarily out of the fight. Aegislash weaved through the enemies, slicing or poking at them as they attempted to punch the whirling dervish. 


As Axion felt a hint of success, his thoughts were shattered by the high pitched whines of the soundwave machines. The admin grinned as their thought-jarring waves took hold of metagross, causing it to lose focus and crumple into a heap of twitching arms on the floor as the gravity effects ceased. Aegislash, not expecting the sudden shift, launched itself forward, embedding itself in the wall. “Well, you tried. A pity really that we have to kill you for finding ust” the executive sneered as she stood up, tweaking the pitch of the sound so that she could be better heard over the now imperceptible whine. The fighting arm, slowly recovering, began making their way back to surround their respective targets. Axion quickly returned Aegislash, the red beam momentarily illuminating the carn in crimson light. Stowing it, he looked around at his situation: Himself surrounded with a barely functioning metagross, who was just now standing back up from its temporary seizure, the pokemon they tried to protect a lifeless-looking lump on the ground. Axion, sighing as he developed a plan, which was becoming a theme today. “Metagross, use earthquake…” As the metal spider began violently stomping the ground, the cave itself rumbled and began to destabilize, a layer of dust falling on all those assembled in the cave. “Run away!” cried the enemies, as they launched themselves down their main access tunnel. Their leader was momentarily frozen, stunned by the actions of some random trainer and how it was ruining the entire operation. As the first pebbles started to fall, she herself turned and ran, ignoring the expensive equipment scattered throughout the room. Axion, attempting to dodge the rocks falling from the ceiling, made his way over to the beaten & bruised steel pokemon. It was alive,m but barely; it would likely not survive a collapse of stone that was likely to occur. Metagross came over to its trainer as the tremors began to dislodge larger boulders from the roof. As the entire room collapsed in on itself, a shining sphere briefly flashed out in the center of the room.
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