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A Conversation With Igneot

by birdinggal


The brown Wocky picked her way across the floor of the cave, carefully avoiding the magma that occasionally bubbled up through the cracked pathway, and thanking the fates she'd actually remembered to wear her heat-resistant boots. Upon passing the most dangerous stretch, she fixed her eyes upon the structure in front of her.

      It was a giant rock. The inside had long since been mined away, and it was now the home of a mystical Gnorbu – one she hoped would be able to answer her questions.

      She nervously clutched the straps of her Explorer Backpack tighter as she approached. She eyed the flickering torches that sat in their holders on either side of the door, watching as they flickered and swayed in the dim light.

      She hesitated. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. Maybe she should turn back. Maybe she should--


      She was going to do this.

      She had to do this.

      Squaring her shoulders, she took a deep breath and – after pushing aside the curtain - hesitantly crept into the cavernous structure.

      Upon hearing her enter, the moltenous Gnorbu with the flaming mane looked up.

      "Ah... I see you have a question for Igneot," he said. "What is it that you wish to ask?"

      Swallowing nervously, she adjusted her glasses, then asked her question.

      "Where is Parlax?"

      "The coals become colder," Igneot murmured, placing a hand on his chin, "but there is a chance..."

      The Wocky's eyes widened as she shrugged off her backpack and set it at her feet. "A chance of what?"

      "The fire has gone out, the answer is no," he replied abruptly, closing his eyes and shaking his head.

      The Wocky's brow wrinkled. "'No'?" she questioned. "'No' what?"

      "The fire has gone out, the answer is no."

      Something clicked in the Wocky's mind. "Y-you mean... I'm never gonna see him again?" she said, voice beginning to tremble. "Ever?"

      "The ashes blow away like your chances," Igneot said sadly.

      "NO!" she wailed, bursting into tears.

      "The fires say it will be so." came the sad response.

      "NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!" the Wocky shouted, stomping her feet. "THIS CANNOT BE SO!"

      "The fires say it will be so."

      "THE FIRES ARE LYING!" she screamed.

      Igneot's eyes grew distant. "The darkness is here and will not be overcome," he murmured faintly.

      The Wocky sniffled, wiping her nose on the sleeve of her shirt. "Did this Darkness steal my precious Parlax?" she asked, glaring at Igneot.

      "The coals burn brightly in favour of this."

      The Wocky's expression darkened. "The Darkness must DIE," she hissed, yanking a small sword out of her backpack.

      "Like the darkness this can be overcome," Igneot replied knowingly.

      "...What, now you're telling me not to avenge my precious Parlax?" the Wocky asked, confused.

      "The fire is dimming and so is the chance of this."

      "Okay, so I should avenge my precious Parlax, then," she said, grinning. The firelight dancing on her face gave her a downright eerie appearance.

      "The ashes blow away like your chances," Igneot replied, looking at the Wocky with raised eyebrows.

      "...So if I try and avenge my precious Parlax, I'll fail miserably," the Wocky said, her face starting to fall. "That's what you're saying?"

      Igneot placed a hand on the Wocky's shoulder. "Like the darkness this can be overcome."

      "...So I have to find another way to avenge him. Got it," she said, putting the sword away. "What do you suggest, O wise one?" she added (with the slightest traces of sarcasm in her voice).

      "The fires say it will be so," Igneot said wisely.

      "Yeah, yeah. I've gotta find another way to avenge Parlax. I know that. But how shall I do it?" she pressed.

      "This is hard to read," Igneot murmured, "however it seems unlikely."

      "So you have no plan," The Wocky sighed.

      Igneot nodded wisely. "It has been foreseen."

      "Great," she muttered. "So here I am, sitting in this boiling-hot cavern, talking to a Gnorbu made out of molten lava, and aforementioned Gnorbu won't even give me a straight answer about whether or not I should go avenge Parlax. Great. Just great." She crossed her arms over her chest and glared moodily into the fire.

      "The coals burn brightly in favour of this."

      She turned her head towards Igneot. "So you're agreeing your 'wisdom' is really useless?"

      "The mists pervade everything," he said mysteriously.

      "Stupid evasive Gnorbu..." she muttered, picking a piece of lint off her trousers as her gaze returned to the fire.

      "The darkness is settling in, but the light still burns..." Igneot said distantly.

      "So gimmie the light so I can go save Parlax!" she cried, throwing her arms up in exasperation.

      "This is hard to read, however it seems unlikely."

      "Sooo in other words, you're not going to help me," she said, giving the Gnorbu a dry, unamused look.

      "The darkness is here and will not be overcome," Igneot's eyes were once again distant.

      "But what is this Darkness?" the Wocky pressed.

      "The coals become colder, but there is a chance..." he murmured, gazing at the coals.

      "A chance of what? That I'll find Parlax?"

      Igneot nodded. "The fires say it will be so."

      "Yes!" the Wocky cried joyfully, leaping to her feet. "Thank-you, Igneot! So where should I start my search?" It was taking all her self-restraint not to tackle the Gnorbu in a hug.

      "The fires say it will be so."

      "Yeah, yeah; I got that part," she said, waving her hand dismissively. "The search. Where do I start?"

      "The fire has gone out, the answer is no," he said abruptly.

      "...So I'm not going to find Parlax..." she said, her joyful mood falling flatter than a Squashed Salisbury Steak.

      "The darkness is settling in," Igneot said, "but the light still burns."

      "Ooookay, so there's hope I'll find Parlax?"

      Igneot looked into the Wocky's eyes. "The solution lies in your hands."

      "So in other words, I'm going to have to take matters into my own hands if I want to find Parlax," she replied, looking over at Igneot. "Right?"

      "The darkness is settling in, but the light still burns."

      "'kay. Light shining in darkness. Light equals Hope. I hope I'll find Parlax, therefore I will?" she replied (how else?) hopefully.

      "The answer is before you."

      "Before me..." she mused. "...Yes?"

      "This is hard to read, however it seems unlikely," Igneot sighed.

      "So I'm not going to find Parlax," she said dryly, giving Igneot an unamused look.

      "This is hard to read, however it seems unlikely."

      "So I will find Parlax?"

      "Like the darkness this can be overcome."

      The Wocky was silent, then something dawned on her.

      "ARE YOU TELLING ME TO GIVE UP MY OBSESSION WITH PARLAX?!" she shrieked, leaping to her feet and on the verge of hyperventilating.

      "This is hard to read, however it seems unlikely," Igneot replied, seeming unaffected by the Wocky's outburst.

      "... Oh," she said, blinking. "Okay, then." she said, her demeanour promptly changing back to content as she put the Meteor Bombs she'd pulled out of her backpack away.

      "The coals burn brightly in favour of this," Igneot murmured, wiping his brow with a handkerchief.

      A moment of silence passed, and then the Wocky spoke again.

      "So will I ever find Parlax?" she asked, looking at Igneot with wide, wondering eyes.

      Igneot coughed and waved his hand in front of his face. "The cave is too smoky. I cannot see the answer."

      The Wocky sighed. "Okay," she said. "I guess this is just one of those things I'll have to accept. That I may, or may not, someday find my precious Parlax." She reached into her backpack and pulled out a well-loved Parlax Plushie, and stared at it sadly.

      "This is hard to read," Igneot said, breaking her out of her thoughts, "however it seems unlikely."

      "What's unlikely?" she said, looking up. "That I'll find him? Or not find him?"

      "The fire is dimming and so is the chance of this."

      "So you have no idea whether or not I'll ever find Parlax," she said, rolling her eyes and putting away her plushie. "Got it."

      "The darkness is here and will not be overcome..." he murmured, his head drooping.

      "Why do you keep going on about the darkness?" she groaned. "I'm trying to find out about Parlax!"

      There was no response from Igneot for some time, until finally, a snore broke the silence, and he awoke with a start.

      "Eh... I am too sleepy," he mumbled, wiping his eyes.

      "Okay, then," the Wocky sighed. "Good night, Igneot. Sleep well, and pleasant dreams." She stood up and shouldered her backpack as she prepared to leave. It was getting late, after all.

      "The fire is dimming and so is the chance of this."

      "So you want me to stay?" she asked, pausing and hesitating by the door.

      "This is hard to read, however it seems unlikely," he replied.

      "Okay, then," she said with a bob of her head. "I guess I'll leave. Good bye, Igneot." She waved and walked out of the cavern.

      However, if she had lingered just a moment longer, she would've her Igneot's relived sigh, and the words that followed it.

      "The coals burn brightly in favour of this."

The End

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