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Mask Of Power

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                               ~ Yam... Yamask... ~


Mask Of Power Edit

Yamask floated through the pyramid. His mask was clutched in his tail, and his wings were stretched out to their full length. This Yamask was different than others. His eyes were yellow, his mask was silver, and his skin was more like blue than black. Today he was even sadder than ever before. As he turned the corner, following the routine he had gone through so many times a day, Yamask began to feel it. Ya ya yammmm… ya ya yammmm… ya ya yammmm… Yamask trembled with emotion. He refused to look down at his mask before he reached the cavern of the remains. When Yamask entered the cavern, his eyes teared up slightly. The other Yamasks were all floating over the coffins. The lids of the coffins were open. Yamask was late. His coffin was the only one without another floating above it. Sadly, Yamask went to his coffin and hovered over it. He stared down at the loosely bandage-wrapped face in the casket. Anxious to let his emotions free, Yamask looked around at his relations, waiting for the symbol. Confagrigus, the leader of the Yamask Tribe, waved his bottom two shadow-hands, waiting for the soft moaning to stop. Yamask's tail drooped as he turned to his leader. The large Confagrigus glanced his way and his ferocious gaze softened slightly. The red eyes flickered across the faces of the spirits in the room, stopping to rest on Yamask's face again. One tear threatened to fall from Yamask's eye. Confagrigus made his left top shadow-hand stick up two fingers and curl the others, and his right one held up three fingers. This was the signal to begin. Yamask bent and, with one of his wings, he began to unwrap the bandages from the mummy's face. The other Yamasks in the room did the same. Confagrigus drifted from casket to casket, watching the Yamasks unwrap. Yamask's yellow eyes watered. As he pulled back the final wrapping, the corpse's face was revealed. It was grotesque. A sunken grey-green nose was the center of the face. Dust-coated strands of hair stabbed out from the top of the head. The eyes were black caverns. The mouth was partly open, with sunken yellowish teeth jutting out in a few places. But the shape of the face was different than the other faces. Yamask looked down at his mask. The skillfully-made silver mask gleamed back up at him, haunting him. Yamask was the first in the room to start to cry. His eyes welled up with tears, and they streamed down his face and dripped onto his mask. The teardrops fell below the mask's eyes, making it appear to cry. "Ya yam! Mask mask Yamask!" sobbed the others. Not Yamask. He didn't ever mourn aloud. His tears were always silent, and he bore his suffering without a sound. Now Confagrigus reached his casket. As he stared down at the mummy's rotting face, a single tear ran down his face and dropped onto the corpse. The leader reached down and ran his shadow-fingers along the sides of the corpse's face. Then he drifted over to the closed casket next to Yamask's. All the Yamasks in the room were shocked. Their leader had never before given any sign of owning a coffin himself. Yet it was possible. He had evolved from a Yamask, so he must have had a body once. Actually, many of the Yamasks in the room had grudges against Confagrigus. The reason for this was that he often ate grave robbers – or any humans, in fact, that wandered into the pyramids. He would turn them into mummies and place them in caskets. Then, a month or so later, a new Yamask would appear. This Yamask would sob over one of the new mummies. Yamask knew that Confagrigus had his own casket. He had been there a lifetime before Yamask. Exactly one lifetime, Yamask was certain. For he still had memories of himself as a human and he remembered that Confagrigus had been his beloved father. Confagrigus heaved the lid off his coffin and looked down at the mummy inside. He made no movement to remove the bandages on its face, but instead just looked down at it. Yamask refused to let himself feel upset by his father's misery. He had his own body to cry over. Teary-eyed, Yamask bowed before his old child's body and gently kissed it. The ritual of the mourning nearly done, he began to rewrap his face. Thump thump thump thump thump… Footsteps in the pyramid! They were growing louder, and now accompanied by heavy panting sounds, like a human was running towards the burial room. This was proved to be the case when a human boy stepped into the room. His eyes were bright, even in the darkness, and the eager look on his face made Yamask's heart ache with memories of his own boyhood. "Cool!" he murmured, staring around the room. Then his eyes settled on Yamask, and a grin lit up his face. "Whoa! A shiny Yamask! I've got to catch this." Yamask wondered what he meant by "shiny." He threw a bright red and white sphere into the air. It split in two, and an Axew materialized. It let out a joyful cry, which was quickly silenced when it realized where it was. "Axew, use Dual Chop!" the boy cried, pointing at Yamask. The small ghost type was alarmed. Was this human going to try and kill him? The Axew lunged at Yamask, ready to attack, but Confagrigus leaped in the way. Rather than attacking him, the Axew bounced off of him and landed on the floor. The ferocious ghost type leader seemed to grow larger, until all anything in the room could see was his leering face. Yamask looked eagerly at his father, his tears drying with excitement. He loved watching their leader battle. "Eep!" the boy squeaked, obviously afraid of the evil face before him. "Um… uh… Axew, use Slash!" The Axew jumped at Confagrigus courageously, horns sharp and ready. Its attack was fierce, slamming into Confagrigus and knocking him backwards. Furiously, Confagrigus waved his shadow-hands in a confusing pattern, calling up an Ominous Wind to injure the Axew. It squealed in pain as the wind blew through it. Confagrigus was clearly hurt, but he was making an effort to conceal it. Yamask looked at his father fearfully. He didn't want him to be hurt, though he was glad his father was protecting him. "Cooooooooonfag!" snarled Confagrigus as the he saw that the Axew was still standing. "Axew, use your Giga Impact!" cried the boy, pointing at Confagrigus now. He seemed to have taken his attention off of Yamask. Most of the others fled, but Yamask stayed behind to make sure his father was okay. The Axew lunged at Confagrigus, his body glowing with power. Yamask watched with horror as the tiny dragon type slammed into his father, knocking him against the far wall. Even then, badly hurt, Confagrigus struggled to stay up, protecting Yamask. "Now we've got him, Axew… Use Incinerate!" The boy's shout was like a pharaoh announcing that a group of slaves was to be killed. It had the same tone of entertainment, but at the same time it conveyed that the order wasn't worth the boy's time. Yamask couldn't look away as the Axew blew a huge burst of flame at Confagrigus. His father leaped out of the way, somehow summoning a last burst of strength. However, Axew's fire didn't change course to follow him. Instead, it hit Confagrigus's casket… and it was turned to ashes. The mummy went up in flames. With no liquid in its body, it was flammable and dry. Yamask couldn't tear his gaze away from Confagrigus. The elderly pokemon dropped to the ground, no energy left to float. He knelt in front of his burning coffin, now a torch that lit the room. He managed to use the last of his energy to keep the fire from the other caskets, but when it went out, he was very weak. Tears streaming down his face, Yamask went to his father. Confagrigus sat before his casket, now just a pile of charred ashes. His red eyes were no longer full of fear-inducing power. Instead they looked like wounds. His shadow hands were blobs, for he had no strength left to keep their shape. Yamask sobbed silently as his father looked up at him miserably. "Con con grigus," Confagrigus said softly. Yamask bowed his head in misery. Just then, something hit Yamask in the back of the head. For the first time in centuries, Yamask let out a loud cry of pain and alarm. A red light enveloped his body, and he was yanked away from his father. "Yam yam! Yamask! Ya yam!" he shrieked, reaching for Confagrigus. His father looked up at him bleakly and turned away, no energy even to save him. Yamask's tears left a puddle on the floor of the tomb, but it did nothing to save him. He was pulled backwards into the pokeball – a prison worse even than death. As he lay slumped in the pokeball, Yamask slipped into the darkness.

Much later, Yamask awoke to see spherical red and white walls. He was still trapped in the prison. Yamask's misery gave him strength, and he began to smash into the walls of his prison over and over. No dents appeared. This cage was stronger than he had expected. Then Yamask had an idea. The cage he had seen in the tomb had split in half along the line between the red and white half. With an idea half-formed, Yamask flitted towards the front of the cage, where a big yellow circle was in the wall, probably some sort of door locked from the outside. Now Yamask placed his wings together in the tiny crack between the red and white half and began to pull them in opposite directions. He grunted and strained, but to no avail. He was truly trapped in this prison. Maybe forever.

Yamask awoke from a depressed sleep to see that he was no longer in his cell. Instead he was on a field covered in some sort of bright green dirt. The walls of the room he was now in had green blobs lining the edges and the roof and top parts of the walls were bright blue with white splotches. A white-yellow circle hung above him. It was so bright that Yamask was blinded by it. He squinted in pain. When his enormous eyes adjusted to the light, Yamask saw a Sandile crouched before him. Its eyes seemed to be accustomed to the brightness, and it didn't look at all as though the unnatural heat bothered it. A girl was standing behind the Sandile. Yamask turned around and confirmed his worst fears: the boy who had imprisoned him was behind him, and he was smirking. "Yamask," he cried, pointing at the Sandile, "use Will-O-Wisp!" Confused, Yamask decided to go with a random move he knew. He was very lucky, for he used Will-O-Wisp. The Sandile was burned, but it appeared not to care. Then, suddenly, it lunged at Yamask with huge fangs. When Sandile bit down on Yamask, it was physical pain like he had never known. Searing agony coursed through his body, and he faltered in his floating. "Use Hex now!" the boy shouted. Yamask obeyed this time on purpose, and the battle continued for quite a while. Then eventually, Yamask took one hit that completely wiped him out. He couldn't move to lift himself from the ground, and he felt himself being pulled back into his prison. Yamask was too tired to resist.

For nearly a year, this continued to carry on and on. Yamask was completely miserable. He couldn't forget his father's expression, or his burned casket. The worst thing, though, was that he had forgotten the way his body looked. His mask didn't look anything like it, and it was a horrible loss to him. Every day, in his pokeball, he stared down at his mask and cried. It was the closest thing he had to the ritual of mourning. One day, Yamask found himself in a pyramid. The boy who had captured him so long ago had let him out so he could look around – and maybe protect him. Yamask found it funny that the child thought of him as a friend. As Yamask looked around at the hieroglyphics, his eyes watered involuntarily. He wiped his tears away, shooting a glance at the boy in case he should have seen. But the boy was looking straight ahead. Suddenly, without any warning, the boy turned down a corridor into a room. Yamask nearly dropped his mask. The room was full of Yamasks. Yamask stared around, suddenly recognizing where he was. This was his own tomb! This was where his body lay! This was home… But one sight astonished Yamask the most. Standing above a casket that had no Yamasks, a casket that seemed frighteningly familiar, was Confagrigus. Yamask raced forward to see his father, eyes brimming with tears. But before he could see his father's face again, he chanced to look down. Below him was his body. There was no doubt about it. It poured into his memory like ice water. He remembered every detail. The small bluish scar on the left cheek. The right eye socket that was stretched a tad bit wider open than the left. This was him! Yamask looked up to his father. The Confagrigus stared at him without any sign of recognition. And then realization raced through Yamask like lightning. This was not his father. This wasn't his father. This was another Yamask that had evolved some other time. Yamask looked around, hoping to see another Confagrigus. He did, but not in the way he hoped. In the corner of the tomb, a pile of black boards and charred scraps of fabric was heaped up. And leaned against the pile was a Confagrigus body. But unlike an inactive Confagrigus, this body's face was open and visible. The eyes were wide and unseeing. The mouth hung limply open. There were no shadow-hands. This was Yamask's father. But he was dead. Yamask threw back his head and let out a howl, the third time he had ever made a sound in his life. The other Yamasks cringed in pain, eyes actually tearing with blood from the mind-shattering screech. The Confagrigus collapses, arms flapping in pain. The boy screamed in horror and passed out, ears leaking blood. Only when he had no energy left to scream did Yamask stop. His eyes were filled with tears and his face was covered in tear-water. And then… And then… And then… Slowly, slowly, sounds began to fill the room. Not the sounds of Yamasks coming out of their states of agony. Not the sounds of the boy awakening. No, these were the sounds of the dead coming to life. Creaking joints and bones made of dust, bones that snapped as they moved for the first time in millennia. It took but a few moments before the entire tomb was full of mummies and corpses, the walking dead, roused by Yamask's scream. Yamask's golden eyes glittered with fury. His father was dead, he had been enslaved, and his own body had been stolen by his father's usurper. This was unacceptable! Yamask floated out of the pyramid, following the path that he had known forever but never taken. And behind him, the undead staggered behind him, dried flesh cracking with movement. When he left the pyramid, Yamask turned and waited for his army to come out after him, waited for them to help him murder the evil creatures that had invaded his world and killed his father. As the leering eye sockets and shriveled corpses began to shuffle into view, Yamask grinned wickedly. Now was the time that he could kill the humans and take the world for the pokemon again! But as the first mummy touched the sunlight, something strange happened. Its arm was the first thing to appear, but it seemed as though the mummy was pulling it back as it moved forward. Yamask tried to look closer at it, and drew back in horror. The mummy was dissolving. The ancient bones were so incredibly old that when they reached the light, they simply turned to dust. Yamask looked up at the sky, at the blindingly bright sun, and looked back at his army. The undead creatures were still stumbling towards him, and when they reached the sun, they dissolved. Yamask looked down at his mask, the mask that had given him support for so long. Now he lifted his tail and hurled the mask to the ground. It shattered. Then, crying, Yamask landed on the ground in front of the shards. He used a wing to pick up the sharpest piece. Closing his eyes and turning his face away, Yamask plunged the shard into his body, just below his eyes. He tilted his head back and screamed in pain. There was warmth There was red There was pain But slowly it changed to coldness Darkness Nothing… My father… I come to you…

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