Chapter 17 - Volcanic fury
Crunch and Py-ro were at the top of the hill, Crunch was excited about finally learning to use a powerful Element... "So Py-ro, I hear you say you're the 'strongest' element?" Crunch asked the mask "Hah yeah of course! Everyone knows fire is the best element of all! Well I really hope you can learn it properly this time...." told Py-ro, he seemed rather serious "Yeah I'll try my best..." Crunch stood there, ready to use Py-ros powers... Py-ro flew around Crunch several times, then went onto Crunch's face and soon Crunch was starting to transform into the Py-ro form! But Something was happening... Crunch wasn't really thinking right, and he soon noticed his shirt was slowly burning away, he didn't think much of it until he discovered that... ALL his clothes had burned away! Crunch quickly lost focus and Py-ro disappeared from his body "ARGH!" Crunch yelled, the fire powers soon disappeared, and Crunch got embarrassed and jumped into a nearby bush! Py-ro quickly flew back to the scene "What the heck are you doing' you coward!" Py-ro yelled, Crunch didn't come out... "You just tricked me into this dumb situation to make fun of me!" Crunch yelled, he sounded really annoyed, Py-ro wasn't sure what he had done wrong "Uhh what are you talking about? I was making you transform!" "Yeah transform so I can just burn off all my clothing!!! What kind of dumb elemental would do THAT!" yelled Crunch, Py-ro then realized what happened "...OH! Oh I suppose I should be saying SORRY then? Wait, what's so bad about that anyway? You're an animal! Stop making a fuss about it and get out of there!" Py-ro yelled back in return "Yeah but... I'm different!" Py-ro sighed, and then remembered something "OH wait, I know... you just need to learn to control what you burn! heh sorry, I should have remembered that!" "Well I'm not going to resume my training until I get a new outfit... I'm sure there's some shops around this city, I can break into" Crunch said, and he thought "Yeah whatever... just be quick, the sun is going to rise in a few hours! hah you better hurry up while you can!" Py-ro told Crunch, Crunch poked his head out of the bush, he saw it was still rather dark... even though there was virtually no one in the city anyway, he still felt embarrassed "Oh hurry up, I don't care about seeing you! You're just an animal! I don't have all day" Py-ro nagged Crunch, Crunch then sighed and got out of the bush, he quickly ran towards the city centre with Py-ro flying nearby behind "Well let's hope you haven't burnt all the shops!" "Nah I mostly went for the skyscrapers, my powers look cooler up in the skies!" Crunch just carried on searching around, he saw various shops, a hair dressing place, a candy store, an antique shop, and other various stores... "Man where is the clothing stores! This is so humiliating!" moaned Crunch "Oh quit the whining, be glad all those humans aren't here!" "Hmm you do have a point but still... wait" Crunch then pointed out a clothing store, with the title 'Outdoors clothing and equipment' Crunch quickly headed over to it "Hmm looks perfect!" He smashed the glass door open, but the alarm was sent off "Hey Py-ro, can you blast that alarm... if you don't mind" Py-ro simply shot it with a fire beam, everything was silenced... "that was starting to irritate me so no need to ask either way!" Crunch looked around in the dark room, and searched through the clothes on the racks, "Hey these clothes are quite good!" Crunch then tried on some, he looked around a bit more... and Py-ro was getting restless "Come on... we don't have all day" "yeah yeah wait, I'm just gonna get a shirt or something..." Crunch looked through more clothes, and then noticed a vest, he quite liked it and put it on "well, it's a bit small but I like it! Wait, I'll see what kind of shoes they have too" Py-ro sighed "Please hurry up...." Crunch tried looking through them, but not much luck at all "I should have known. None of these would fit, stupid human paws!" he tossed them away, and stood up near Py-ro "Well I'm ready. I really hope these clothes wont burn again... if it keeps happening, I'm going to have to think twice about using your powers in public....." Py-ro gave off a laugh "Hah don't worry, I'll teach ya how to not burn things you don't intend to burn!" the mask and bandicoot left the store, they were standing outside but Crunch had caught the scent of something "hmm..." He followed it, "OH what now!?" Py-ro complained, he followed Crunch anyway, he ran inside the butcher "Oh great!" Py-ro said with sarcasm, Crunch saw various types of meats, "Good thing Tiny isn't here to go psycho and claim everything as his!" "And you think you're not psycho right now...?" Py-ro said annoyingly, Crunch quickly ate some and, Py-ro got more and more less patient, "Hey come on, I'm not a god like you so I've got to eat, but I'm done anyway so... let's go, hopefully this next lesson will be a bit more successful too!" "Well yes, it will be. If you follow my rules!".
Crunch and Py-ro had now headed back to the 'training area' Crunch stood there in front of Py-ro "So what do I need to do now?" "Well once I power you up, just think 'Don't burn the clothes' and then it wont happen" Py-ro told Crunch "what? that's it? Is it really that simple?" asked Crunch, "Yeah it is" "Why didn't you just tell me before then!" Crunch yelled at Py-ro, Py-ro leaned forward, "Well soooorry! I haven't let anyone else use the fire element in centuries! But anyhow, it's time to try powering you up again..." Py-ro then attempted powering up Crunch again, he slowly spun around Crunch... it got quicker and then he disappeared into nowhere, Crunch had his eyes closed... ready to feel the use of the fire element again... he immediately noticed feeling really powerful, and noticed that none of the clothing was even burning a bit! He opened his eyes and Py-ro quickly came back to light in front of Crunch, Crunch looked almost the same but appeared to have flames all over his body, "Wow.... this feels great, I must say!" Crunch said "Heh that is only the beginning.. you're not even in the real Py-ro form yet!" told Py-ro "Really? Well that's a good start then! So what else are you going to show me?" "Hmm... I'll teach ya how to burn things to crisp just by looking at them, and smash hard objects with ease, and shoot stuff with fire!" Py-ro said, Crunch seemed rather interested in getting to learn these tricks, "Alright let's get started!" Py-ro hovered over to a wooden seat and floated above it "You see this seat here? I want to see you set it up in flames! All you have to do, is just focus on it... try to imagine it as an enemy and kaboom! it's fried!" Crunch walked a bit closer towards Py-ro and the seat, "ok let's see if it's really as 'easy' as you say it is..." Crunch had his eyes focused on to the seat. he tried seeing it as a target or enemy and soon enough, it brightened up and was set alight with flames! Crunch was amazed "Man, I have to say that's a pretty cool trick! It'll sure come in handy sometime...!" "Heh. Good to see you like it so far, Now I was to show you how tough the fire element can be!" Py-ro now had hovered over to a random statue, Crunch followed "You see this statue? Well I'm sure your natural abilities can bash it up but with MY powers, you can do it much more easily... see for yourself!" Py-ro moved several metres from the statue, allowing Crunch to step in "Ok then, let's try this out" Crunch said, he quickly leapt forward and used his single fist and slammed it down hard on the statue, and it was smashed to bits! Crunch stood back, and was yet again... surprised with his efforts "That was like... trying to crush a statue made of... err, crisp potato chips! So easy..." "See I told you so, well time for the shooting test though... it's a little bit more tricky but not that hard" said Py-ro "Bring it!".
Py-ro led Crunch over to one of the tall skyscrapers, and flew up about Twenty or so metres "Right now I'm going to try and teach you to fire at things... start by shooting your flames at these windows in a row and try not to miss!" "Well what can I do to shoot fire?" asked Crunch "Oh yeah well.. I think you just blast it from your hands, yeah try that, I'm just remembering all these moves...!" Crunch took a look at his hand, though wasn't too sure what to do... he went ahead and attempted to to shoot fire, by holding his hand steady... he fired three shots, one hit a window but the other two went the wrong way "Ahh you furry idiot! Shoot the windows in a row, not all over the place!" "Hey no need to yell! I'm just trying to get the hang of this!" Crunch shouted in return, once again tried to aim for the windows, he raised his hand and fired again! This time, doing it right by shooting five windows in a row, Crunch sighed in relief with his efforts "Hmm that takes a bit of focusing but with a bit more practice I'll get the hang of it more!" "Oh that's much better this time... but right now, it's time for the real test of fire... I hope you can handle it though, cause it aint for wimps!" Py-ro told Crunch, he sounded rather serious too "You're referring to me as a wimp? Of course I'll be fine, no need to act moronic now!" Py-ro just smiled deviously, the two went back to the hill, Crunch was fairly excited about getting into the full Py-ro form, he had liked using the powers so far... Py-ro, however had some other thoughts in mind, and was plotting something else after the ordeal too... both were standing before each others eyes, "Well are you ready to transform?" Py-ro asked him, "Yeah... what do I have to do now?" "As for this... you're going to have to think really hard, think about what you hate more than anything... I know you're got a lot of fury, which most is hidden..." Crunch felt rather... uncomfortable about this, he thought "ugh... how did Py-ro know that..." Crunch didn't like idea of sharing his personal thoughts, and felt rather invaded by Py-ro "Why are you so worried? This is the only way to transform you know! The anger is what makes my powers strong!" Crunch thought again, he knew he had to do it and he realize Py-ro doesn't even know his exact thoughts, but could see how much hate there was...
Crunch closed his eyes and tried to think hard about the things he hates the most, he thought about the past when he was first evolved and remembered how Cortex was cruel to him right from the start, without a reason too, Crunch quickly snarled and Py-ro watched "yes... it's going to happen!" Py-ro thought, and gave off with an evil grin, Crunch was still thinking more... rage was building up as he thought, he remembered the incident when Kris roo was killed, that pushed the anger furtherer! Also when Tropy had smashed him down, and he couldn't stand a chance... then he was quickly reminded of Derick, and his ignorance... Crunch was starting to lose it, he started to bare his teeth ferociously, but then another thought of failing to get his revenge on Cortex... made his eyes open in fury, but things didn't look normal from his point of view. Everything was blood red, and he saw Neo Cortex in a distance saying "You'll never get your own way!!!" Crunch jumped up and roared "I'LL BLOODY KILL YOU!", he quickly grasped for the metal ring around his left arm and tried hard to break it off and he tore it off with ease! Py-ro was frightened and he was pushed back, but now Crunch had finally transformed into the real Py-ro form, he looked different from the form he was in back in year 2001, he appeared to look a bit like Py-ro and his normal self, but with a more demonic look, and fiery colours. He was slightly larger than normal also. Crunch had now gone on an uncontrollable rage and headed for what he thought was Cortex, he done a slash attack in front of a building, and a large lava like attack swiped right through the building, shattering it to pieces, Crunch ran through the city and blasted various attacks of flames and fury "WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE ALL THIS PAIN FROM CORTEX?! I NEVER DID ANYTHING TO HIM!" He yelled, and slammed down hard on the ground, the earth started to shake violently too...
Py-ro was watching, he was amazed with the power he saw "Wow... this is better than expected! Soon my favorite volcano shall come to life once again!" Py-ro said as he watched Crunch rampage through the city, he smashed through glass, concrete and all, as if they were enemies "WHY DIDN'T I JUST KILL DERICK BACK WHEN I HAD THE BLOODY CHANCE!" he shouted again, and slammed again through the ground, "DAMN CRASH, HE'S TOO SOFT! HE NEEDS TO HARDEN UP!" the ground started to raise, from a centre... many buildings were starting to crumble down and one was even about to smash down on Crunch! He just blasted a lava like attack upwards and made a hole, big enough to escape through, he climbed up through the wreckage and overlooked the city for a moment, the rage was messing with his mind though, so he wasn't sure what was going on... "SO THAT BASTARD CORTEX IS TRYING TO ATTACK ME BY COMING UP THROUGH HELL! I'LL SEND HIM RIGHT BACK DOWN THERE WHERE HE BELONGS!!" Crunch headed over to where the volcano was taking form, Py-ro followed behind him and thought "wow, I didn't realize Crunch can even get this psycho!" Crunch landed near the crater, he was still ferocious and growled often for no reason, he looked into the crater from the edge... but he realized the reality for a slight moment, "A crater and... lava....... grrrr!!!" Crunch seemed puzzled with rage still, Py-ro was behind him "Ah dammit, he's starting to loose his temper! Come on! Get more angrier! The volcano still hasn't come up right!" Py-ro said... though strangely, Crunch had heard what Py-ro had said, he struggled to think straight but then spoke "wait... wait... this isn't hell... it's a.... VOLCANO! PY-RO YOU DIRTY BASTARD!!! TRYING TO USE ME AND SOME KIND OF TRIGGER FOR YOU LAME PLANS!" Crunch had managed to see through the rage and see what Py-ro was trying to do, Py-ro was completely shocked "Ahh no of course not.. this is just a coincidence!" But it was too late, Crunch had gone out of control again and done a high pounce and managed to knock Py-ro from the sky, down to the ground! Lava busted through some of the cracks around the crater, even around Crunch but it did not harm him, "I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS YOU VILE SCUM!" Crunch roared at Py-ro, he punched hard down on Py-ros face, even though fire attacks did nothing.. the physical impact was enough to hurt even Py-ro "ARGH!" he yelled, Crunch then stood up straight, and attempted to stomp on the mask "DIE!!!!!!!!" all these attacks Py-ro got from Crunch started to faze him out, but from a distance... a familiar stone face watched "oh...my.....goodness! What has happened to Crunch!" Rok-ko said as he watched Crunch, Crunch had now gotten bored of stomping on Py-ro, as Py-ro was too fazed to even reply anymore, his fury was still wild and he tried to look around for more to destroy, Rok-ko quickly thought of an idea... "Oh man how can I stop this! It's bad really bad! Hmm wait, fire is weak against.... water! Yes that's it! I'll try and lead Crunch over to the river just a bit out of he city and that should help him!" Rok-ko quickly dared to head near Crunch, Rok-ko wasn't sure how to do this, but asked the wild bandicoot anyway, "Hey... Crunch...!" Rok-ko said nervously, he turned to see Py-ro in the sky "...PISS OFF JACKASS!" Crunch yelled then turned his back again, Rok-ko was a bit offended but then thought ".. Ah hah! I can taunt him and maybe he'll go nuts and then run straight into the river! this better work..." Rok-ko then attempted to talk again "Hey you, you... dumb bandicoot!" the insult quickly caught Crunch's attention "What did you JUST SAY?" he snarled, "I said... You're a dumb bandicoot! ha-ha can't catch me!" Rok-ko yelled, he was truthfully scared and flew off for his life "COME BACK HERE COWARD!" Crunch started to chase him, and also blasted fire into the sky towards Rok-ko, Rok-ko gasped "Catch me if you can, you DOOFUS!" Crunch got more vicious, and was frustrated for not being able to get up there near Rok-ko to bash his face into the ground! They were almost at the river, and Rok-ko carried on taunting the bandicoot "Come on SLOW POKE catch me if you can HEHE!" Crunch was still running after the mask, and fired fire now and then and suddenly, Rok-ko was stricken by a shot! "Ouchies!!!" he yelled, he also lost focused and fell but steadily got back up high and flew over to the other side of the river, "Come and get me! You win! Me lose ok!?" Rok-ko said, but was fairly nervous and worried the plan may not work, Crunch in his furious fire form did a long leap from the riverbank, but the river was too wide, and he fell into the water... it was kind of shallow, around less than half a metre but soon, it was taking effect.... Rok-ko watched closely, and saw Crunch's expression change from vicious to exhausted... the Py-ro form had faded from Crunch's body, Crunch fell to his knees and struggled to hold himself up, and then finally... turned back into his normal self.
The volcano had slowly started to stop rumbling the Earth, and the lava started to ease back down into the earth, the clouds quickly came and started to rain showers of water, all over the place... putting out many of the fires, all over the heavily damaged city and various trees that had suffered a blow to the elemental power, Rok-ko looked over at Crunch, Crunch crawled himself back up the riverbank, and finally collapsed, "Hey Crunch are you... ok?" Rok-ko asked him, he flew over "Oh man, that was much tougher than I thought... and now I'm exhausted" Crunch said, "Urgh! This is all Py-ros fault! I knew he'd make you evil! I knew it!" "Hey you shouldn't worry so much, and besides... you're the one that made me jump into that river, thanks a lot for that. I don't know what else I would have done while in that Fire form..." Crunch told Rok-ko "Oh you're welcome! I had to find some way to stop it!" Crunch struggled to get up, but did and crawled over to a tree, to rest against and soon, the other mask came to the scene, Py-ro looked rather... 'beaten up' Crunch looked at him, with a disappointed look, Py-ro sighed "I'm... really sorry for using you, it's just that, I wanted to bring back one of my favorite volcanoes from the dead! But now I realize that wasn't such a smart idea after all... you've obviously got a much stronger mind than I thought, I underestimated you, and I apologize for that" said Py-ro, Crunch looked at him "Hmm I accept your apology... I also need to learn to not get my rage out of control too, it came as a big surprise to even myself. But it's good that I managed to somehow tear this metal ring off my left arm though, feels great to have it gone." Crunch said, "I have to admit, I was shocked too. But right now, I think it's best that you rest cause yes. My power uses up your energy quite a lot. So I advise you only transform into that form when it's very necessary alright?" "Yeah sure, point taken but right now, I seriously need to rest... We'll find the other elementals later on." Crunch told both masks, he soon fell asleep under the tree as the light rain carried on, and the sun starting to rise and let light upon the horizon, fires were soon completely gone from such a dramatic event.