I know, I didn't update for around 3 years or so and you want to throw stuff at me for not updating.
I almost gave up on this at some point, although tonight I suddenly decided to do a chapter. Hooray.

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Breathe Again

Breathe.

The Manetric ran, her sharp claws skittering on the tiled floor. Fire licked the air hungrily behind her, spreading quickly because of the lack of humidity.

How could there be humidity in the residence of such a number of Electric Pokemon? How could there be humidity when the great Thunderbird Zapdos, May He Thunder Forever, once resided in this very building, looking over the Pokemon with its piercing gaze and protecting the Pokemon with its jagged wings?

Breathe.

Someone shouted from somewhere in front of her, but she didn't have time to think; all it mattered was getting out of the Power Plant and to the allocated safe spot.

But soon it was to matter. A human stepped out, blocking her way. A Pokeball in his meaty hands, an ugly smile on his greasy Grumpig face.

Breathe.

The human demanded something. The Manetric gritted her teeth, her front paws tapping impatiently on the floor. Didn't the human know that they couldn't understand each other? She born and raised in the wild. She wasn't skilled in the interpretation of human speech.

"I can't understand you!" she growled.

The human scowled, throwing out a Pokeball.

A flower-toad appeared, shifting nervously into a battle stance upon catching sight of her.

"Um…I think my human wants you to tell you where Zapdos is…" the flower-toad muttered, the pink bud of a flower on its back quivering slightly. "Or he might try to catch you."

I have no time for this!

Breathe, calm down…

The Manetric knew about the red-and-white trap-spheres the flower-toad was talking about. Red-and-white trap spheres were classified by the wilds as easy-capture spheres. A human would not waste a colorful trap-sphere on a Pokemon he/she wasn't fully interested in, the wild Pokemon reckoned. Only the weak humans take the Pokemon captured in red-and-whites seriously. The more competent humans stuck with black, blue or even purple ones, going for rare and powerful creatures like those from the Dragon family.

The human was fingering a blue trap-sphere. He was serious.

"Ivysaur! Vine Whip!"

"I'm sorry…" The flower-toad muttered, vines growing from the base of its bud. Like whips they lashed at her paws, threatening to tie up and immobilize her.

Breathe. Let's get this over with…

She growled, focused on the whips. They crawled closer, closer to her, writhing like snakes….

Suddenly she jumped onto the vines and bit down hard. Flower-toad cried out in pain, the vines retreating. The human was not amused. Flower-toad whimpered and complied with the command to attack again, the vines even more shy than before. A sweet scent wafted from its bud towards her. Sweet Scent? She felt her mind clouding.

Breathe. In. Out. In. Out.

Focus on the enemy. Find its weakness. The Manetric stared hard, taking deep breaths. Her muscles tensed and charging up electricity already. Again the vines crept, closer…

Take out the root cause. Manetric sped off in a Quick Attack, light fanning out in her wake. She nimbly hopped past the vines, aiming for the Flower-toad's head.

"Razor Leaf!" With a cry flower-toad angled its bud at her. Leaves shot out from the bud's base, catching her in the belly. She was thrown back with a strangled cry of pain. She landed on her back, and it ached. She felt fatigue begin to catch up to her. She felt the heat from the nearby flames start to make her head swim.

Breathe. Breathe! You have to focus! To concentrate! Remember to breathe!

"Take Down!" Flower-toad sighed and lowered its head, starting to charge blindly towards the Manetric. She bit her lower jaw hard, so hard that it drew blood. She had no time for this. She needed to get out, to check with the others if Zapdos had succeeded in its escape. And to check something else…

The taste of blood sparked something off. Manetric lowered her head and opened her jaws wide, bracing herself for the impact.

And at the last second, her fangs were engulfed in flames…

"IVVYYY!"

And she was off, leaving a smouldering flower-toad and an enraged human behind. A trap-sphere was thrown at her. She swerved to the right slightly so it missed. Her paws were starting to protest against the running, but she clamped her maw shut and refused to cry out from exhaustion.

Breathe. In. Out. In. Out. You're not tired. Tired isn't in your vocabulary.

Fresh air hit her as she emerged from the Power Plant. She was the last, the others had already left. Ignoring the screams of protest from her paws, she made her way across the rubble and into the forest around.

"My pups, my pups! Are they alright?" She cried, nearly bowling the Kangaskhan over.

"Yes Storm, they're fine." The brown Pokemon nodded gently, leading the Manetric through crowds of Electric-types refugees from the raided Power Plant. Many of them were tending to the injured or inquiring the health of a comrade. She wondered how many lives had been lost. Was the great Thunderbird, Zapdos, one of those lives? Did the humans succeed in their quest to capture the legend?

"Kanga, is Zapdos, May He Thunder Forever, alright?"

"May He Thunder Forever indeed. I saw Zapdos spiral up and out of the place. Beautiful display he created with the sky too! Dropped lightning bolts on a good portion of the humans, pity you were still inside and missed it…" Kanga replied with a fond smile. "For now, I hope this will suffice to lift your spirits."

She looked. She smiled and trotted over, nuzzling the two Electrike pups on their heads.

"Mommy!" They echoed excitedly, milling around her paws and pouncing on her back in hyper attempts at a hug.

Memories flooded back to her. The Electrike pups being born, mere mewling bundles of fur.

Their father was one of the luckier wilds to be caught. His human was kind, and they would return once in a while. Storm missed him, and smiled fondly at the times they spent together.

Seeing the great Zapdos, May He Thunder Forever, watching her pups and the pups of many others play together in harmony, knowing that He would watch over them as long as he could…

The pups are safe. I can breathe again…