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View Full Version : ¤Game¤ Dragon Tamers Battle Range v.24



Lady Vulpix
16th July 2012, 10:08 PM
Version 24 is finally here! Link to version 23. (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?p=213532#post213532)

Here are the rules. Please read them in order to avoid posting invalid battles and/or asking questions which are already answered here. Have fun!

GENERAL RULES

¤ Everyone will describe the battles (or whatever is required), stating the levels of their pokemon before and after the event.

¤ Unless the scenario states otherwise, each trainer can battle 2 pokemon per scenario, and may use 1 or 2 pokemon per battle.

¤ All pokemon must battle opponents that are in the same level range as they are. If two pokemon battle together, they must both be in the same level range.

¤ You can use pokemon from the Dragon Tamers Adoption Center, PokeZoo Adoption Center, Pocket Monsters Breeding Center, adopted pokemon tournaments and old adoption centers.

¤ All trainers who use pokemon from Adoption Centers other than Dragon Tamers must tell us where they got their pokemon (on the pokemon's first battle). That's to make sure you're not making them up.

¤ Unevolved pokemon learn the level-up same moves as in the games (learnt at whatever level they learn them first among all the GameBoy/GBC/GBA/DS games; in other words, moves are learnt as soon as the Pokemon reach the right level to learn them in any of the games).

¤ Pokemon evolve just like in the games, except for trading/happiness-evolving pokemon, who can evolve with a Genetic Accelerator.

¤ Evolved pokemon learn the same moves as their unevolved versions, plus the new ones. Example, Metapod can't learn Confusion, but Butterfree can. For moves only unevolved pokemon can learn, evolved pokemon will learn them at the same levels as their pre-evolutions.

¤ A pokemon can learn a free TM, HM or Move Tutor move every 10 levels (that is, every multiple of 10).

¤ Bred-On moves are allowed (1 per pokemon), but you must choose them before your pokemon battle for the first time. Once your pokemon has battled, their bred-on move can't be changed (nor added if you hadn't chosen one).

¤ Hidden Power is allowed just like other TMs. But at the moment your pokemon learns it, you must say what type it will be and not change it.

¤ If you use 2 pokemon in a battle (or more, in the case of random battles), the experience (levels) will be split evenly among them.

¤ Stamps can be earned for writing interesting and descriptive battles. You can exchange them for Stones, Genetic Accelerators and other items at the Dragon Tamers Reward Center.

¤ If your battle goes unrated for over 7 days, you will get an additional stamp for each extra day (from the 8th on) until the battle is rated.

¤ Remember: no killing your opponents (human or pokemon).

RANDOM BATTLE RULES

¤ You can use the Random Battle Generator once a week, and it costs 7 stamps to use it. You can request a random pokemon from any of the following sections: Caledor's Nature Protection Agency, Antarctic Survivor Recovery Agency, Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency, Professional Sports Breeding System, Electric Shutdown Retirement System, Free Range Corral, Universal Adoption Center. Your opponent will be the same level as your pokemon, and each random opponent defeated gives 1 level.

You need to choose a section to get your opponent from. Sections determine the possible types of the opponents.

Caledor's Nature Protection Agency: 80% Fire, 15% Dragon, 5% Ground.
Antarctic Survivor Recovery Agency: 60% Water, 40% Ice.
Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency: 35% Grass, 25% Bug, 25% Poison, 15% Flying.
Professional Sports Breeding System: 85% Fighting, 15% Rock.
Electric Shutdown Retirement System: 95% Electric, 5% Steel.
Free Range Corral: 85% Normal, 15% Fairy.
Universal Adoption Center: 20% Psychic, 20% Ghost, 15% Rock, 15% Ground, 15% Steel, 15% Dark.

Dual types have a higher chance of turning up, as they can be selected by either of their types.

¤ You can also request a random battle with 2 or 3 opponents (for 2 or 3 Pokemon respectively). In that case, it will cost 7 stamps per opponent, and you will have to wait 2 or 3 weeks respectively before requesting another random battle.

CURRENT SCENARIO POINTER: * (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?t=25450&p=613947&viewfull=1#post613947).

Lady Vulpix
16th July 2012, 10:08 PM
The time has finally come. We took too long to track down the Black Dragon and decide on a course of action, and the consequences of our delay are already being felt. We have reports of strange happenings around the area of the Forbidden Mountains; not only of Pokemon and farm animals going missing, but also of people falling sick with unusual ailments, crops sprouting oddly-shaped vegetables, rocks changing colors and other weird events. After our latest recon mission, we have located the final piece in the puzzle, and - during a meeting that involved most of the current Dragon Tamer authorities and some members of the Dragon Guild's Pokemon Research and Training Department - we have laid out a plan. It is risky, but it is our best hope.

To all new members, I apologize if what I've just said has confused you. You may have heard of the Black Dragon: he escaped from his prison in Templa Taure around 10 years ago, and has since been seeking ways to become more powerful. He has killed at least 3 humans and several Pokemon in the process, has ravaged Templa Taure and the Tower of Fire, and has once tried to release the equally dangerous dragon known as Yssera in an attempt to settle an old score with her. He is also suspected of being responsible for the disappearance of the old Dragon Master, Scott McHenry, who went missing around the same time as the Black Dragon escaped from Templa Taure. We have found that he is currently trying to break through the magical barrier at the Forbidden Mountains. If he manages to release all the chaos magic trapped within the barrier, there is the risk of a second Sundering - most of the population of Ulthuan may be wiped out again -, and it will be beyond our power to stop it. Therefore it is vital that we stop him before the barrier is completely broken, and that we find a way to restore it.

I know this sounds like a lot. It is, but we have a plan. A small group of trainers and Pokemon will try to make their way to the location we have pinpointed and will try to restore the seal to imprison the Black Dragon, while others will work on diverting his attention away from this group. The rest of us will do our best to ensure their safety, fighting off the Black Dragon's demons who may get in the way. Yes, you heard right, demons. As far as we know, these demons are powerless on their own, and can only manifest themselves as clouds of black smoke. However, they have the ability to possess Pokemon and force them to do their bidding. In the past, they used to do this with the help of special pendants, but the Black Dragon has since found ways to help them possess a host even without them. We suspect that corrupted evolution stones are involved, but reports say that not all possessed Pokemon are stone-evolved; from previous reports, it seems that crossing the barrier may also make Pokemon liable to being possessed. This risk is low since very few Pokemon and even fewer humans are able to cross the barrier, but in case there is some other means of possession, please be careful.

We will meet at the southern border of Sector Alpha and make our way to the mountains from there. Once we have reached the base of the mountains, we will split up to cover as much terrain as possible and defeat the demons. Please try to cause minimum damage to the possessed Pokemon, as they are not responsible for their actions. We will gather back at our starting point at the base of the mountains when each of us runs out of opponents.

Some things to take into account:
-The demons have spotted several members of our group during the last recon mission, so do not count on the surprise factor. It is our hope that the Black Dragon hasn't figured out what our scouts were looking for, but they will be expecting an attack.
-Watch out for any magic that may filter out of the breach in the barrier.
-Avoid facing the Black Dragon directly at all costs.
-If you find an opponent that's too much for you, please avoid it and call for help: other trainers will be around, so if you make a visible signal, someone will come to your aid.
-The Black Dragon can hide within the shadows, so stick to well-lit areas to minimize your chances of encountering him. We should be able to finish our mission before dusk but if that is not the case, then by all means retreat to Sector Alpha or any safe place from where you can contact the rest of us.
-If you already have an assigned task, please do your best to complete it and, if you need any help, make a signal immediately.

OOC: since this is a big showdown scenario, you may battle up to 3 opponents rather than 2. All your Pokemon can help, but there's a limit to the number of full battles you can have. That is, you can have 2 or 3 Pokemon battle against one opponent and share the experience among them, you can have 1-on-1, 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 battles, you can have some Pokemon offering a little help without attacking directly, you can have any number of your Pokemon faint and that will not count towards the limit, and/or you can find creative ways to get rid of some enemies without fully engaging them in battle. A 15 vs. 3 battle would be impractical in any case, since the 15 Pokemon would likely be getting in each other's way.
Additionally, this scenario takes place during January, in case you would like to make any references to the season or time of year. The reason for this is that... well, we really did take too long to wrap this up. >_<
All the possessed Pokemon on the list below are stone-evolved, that doesn't mean our reports are wrong, it only means other cases are very rare.
Here is the trusty map of Ulthuan (http://forboards.tripod.com/Ulthuan.html), for all your geographical needs. ;)

And here are the opponents you can find:

(up to level 15)
Clefable LV8 +1 level
Musharna LV8 +1 level
Raichu LV15 +2 levels
Starmie LV15 +2 levels

(level 15.5-25)
Chansey LV19 +1 level
Cinccino LV19 +1 level
Vaporeon LV25 +2 levels
Jolteon LV25 +2 levels

(level 25.5-35)
Exeggutor LV28 +1 level
Sunflora LV28 +1 level
Blissey LV35 +2 levels
Shiftry LV35 +2 levels

(level 35.5-45)
Whimsicott LV38 +1 level
Ludicolo LV38 +1 level
Froslass LV45 +2 levels
Togekiss LV45 +2 levels

(level 45.5-55)
Bellossom LV49 +1 level
Lilligant LV49 +1 level
Nidoqueen LV55 +2 levels
Nidoking LV55 +2 levels

(level 55.5-70)
Vileplume LV62 +1 level
Arcanine LV62 +1 level
Gallade LV70 +2 levels
Honchkrow LV70 +2 levels

(level 70.5-85)
Flareon LV76 +1 level
Ninetales LV76 +1 level
Chandelure LV85 +2 levels
Eelektross LV85 +2 levels

classy_cat18
16th July 2012, 11:31 PM
Asking for an extension for the last scenario.

Lady Vulpix
17th July 2012, 09:16 AM
This must be the first time someone asks after the new scenario has been posted, but I'm pretty sure you had one already.

DarkestLight
18th July 2012, 08:12 AM
First of all, you know how to build suspense.
The end of the first battle was a bit confusing... who was invisible and who was visible, and what did Zent do to end it? And how did her burn heal?
I was glad to see the word 'who' appear in the story, but all those 'whom' should have been 'who' as well (when in doubt, try replacing the word by a pronoun: he or she => who; him or her => whom).
The concept of a team of two being named Mary and Sue was funny, as was the way May commented on Sue's "gown". Back to her normal self when a moment of peace comes, right? :)
Zent's reaction to Sue's telepathy was interesting to see.
And I chuckled a bit at the "pairs of 2". What other kind of pair is there? ;)
Camerupt Chamomile... do I want to know what that's made of?
The inflatable pies were very original.
I can imagine how frustrating it must have been to listen to a long story which provided no useful information, while Mossy was likely to be in trouble.
And the skeleton puzzle reminded me of MSPA.

Ok. In review of your comments.
At the end of the first battle, Zent and the Jellicent were invisible from Mossy, May and Wyrm because of the strength of the Sandstorm.

I had to re-read the rules on something here in AC/CC, so I had to modify the ending of that battle a bit. Zent just threw that fishie fishie back in the water for AC/CC liability. But you'll notice a slight....change in her habits which will crop up moreso.

Pairs of 2...its really funny because SO many people say it around here, and I say the same thing every time.

"Cause pairs of 9 is just too radical." LOL

MSPA? I know not what this is.

Book 2 and then this scenario coming in the next week...

The Blue Avenger
18th July 2012, 10:18 AM
MSPA? I know not what this is.


This must be rectified.

MSPA is MS Paint Adventures, a series of webcomics. The one Gabi is referring to is, I think, Problem Sleuth (http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=000219), a parody of oldschool adventure games, while the most well-known one is Homestuck (http://www.mspaintadventures.com/index.php?s=6&p=001901), which is completely awesome and you should read it.

Lady Vulpix
18th July 2012, 02:55 PM
I was afraid she might have tried to eat it. >.> I did noticed she's switched to eating actual food recently.

And both Problem Sleuth and Homestuck have skeleton puzzles, although they featured more prominently in Problem Sleuth, where the main characters had to open a lock using their own skulls from lost lives as keys.

Here's a story explaining a few things about the recon mission. Apologies in advance for Sol's ramblings, she would do it herself if she knew you were reading this. I'm not reporting the levels gained by the twins or Sol, because they're not in my team. And the one who is doesn't gain any levels because he's about the same level as his opponent in a 4-on-1 battle and it was the other 3 who did most of the work, he served more as a distraction than anything else. And also because this is neither a scenario battle nor an RBG. ;)

ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø

Astronomical rescue

<Sol's POV>

I can't say I trusted the day to remain quiet, because unexpected things tended to happen on quiet days. To myself, I called them "days when I don't know what to expect". Still, there had been days when the most unexpected thing to happen had been some strange creature approaching me and attempting conversation. I tried to be positive - something which didn't come easy to me - and kept telling myself that someday I'd get the hang of socializing. As a part of my campaign to get a new outlook on life, and following the trainer Eshree's recommendation, I had shortened my name to Sol - the name of the star around which my home world orbited - because my old name was stigmatizing (you could always count on the old Scorch and Flame to come up with terrible names, unless you were their child or were amazingly lucky and talented like Tracker). But I was still no good at making friends, and as a result I was still lonely. No matter how far you travel, your flaws will follow you.

There was always Harims, the strange woman in the cottage, who seemed to understand me better than most. The problem was that I had trouble understanding her. Talking to her was like having a prolonged vision, minus the visuals. I always made an effort to memorize her words, because anything I missed was bound to come back to bite me; and I had even understood a few phrases on the spot, but some others I was still trying to figure out.

The sky became filled with colors as the sun known as Shir began to hide behind the hills on the west, and suddenly the hills turned into mountains and a new sun began its ascent while the other was still setting. That was impossible, even in Bei; but my mind's eyes had seen two suns together before, over a decade earlier. It had been a confusing night back then, but also the eve of the greatest day in my life: the day when I'd found and rescued two little orphan Vulpixes, who had since brought more joy to my life than I had ever thought possible. The meaning was clear now: Sunrise and Sunset, it couldn't be more obvious. I felt a tear of nostalgia slide down my cheek... But then, the vision took a turn for the worse.

There was a Fire Stone, but there was something wrong about it... again. No, not again, this one was far worse than the one I'd been warned about before. Hero should count his blessings for having found that one and not this one: there was an evil presence inside it.

The stone somehow launched itself at the rising sun and penetrated its core. The sun grew bigger and brighter, but a black spot appeared on its center and began to spread through the light, drowning it... leaving nothing but darkness in its wake. Soon, the rising sun was a large mass of blackness. It stopped its ascent and instead hurled itself at the setting sun. The two suns began to struggle...

...And I screamed. I couldn't take it anymore. Whatever the vision meant, I couldn't let it happen. It might sound hypocritical considering how long we'd been apart, but the twins meant more to me than my own life. They were the only ones who had ever made me feel needed and - now I realized it - even loved. I wouldn't let any harm come to them.

As the echoes of my scream faded away, I realized my eyes were closed. I opened them and saw the mountains again, but there was only one sun and it looked normal. In fact, I had to look away from it because it was hurting my eyes - a reliable sign that it was a real sun rather than a vision. The earth beneath my paws felt real as well, and there was some sort of... crackling in the air. I realized I had suddenly made another very long journey, and I felt I was starting to understand what Harims had meant by "you are where your mind is". I wondered if I would learn to teleport at will someday, and made a mental note to thank her for the tip, but I still didn't know were exactly I was, nor where the twins were... until the wind brought me the sound of their very familiar voices... shouting at each other: not a wise thing to do at a place that screams 'danger' on every corner, but in this case it just might have saved them... provided there was a way. And then the old question came back to haunt me: was the future set in stone, or was there a way to change it? Was I a pawn of fate, entitled to occasional spoilers but condemned to play my part in a script that was already written? Or did I have a say in the outcome? I didn't think I could take it if I had to watch the girls die helplessly. It would shatter me completely. But if there was any chance that I could save them, then I'd take it no matter what.

All this, of course, I thought while running in the direction of their voices, sliding down a few times but quickly regaining balance and getting back up in order to reach them as fast as I could. By the time I caught up with them, they were still bickering like little kits. I suppose that's what sisters do.

"Rise, pleeease!" Sunset cried.
"Please what?" her sister responded. "We've already taken so many breaks that I've lost count. You can't possibly be tired again. Why don't you tell me what's really bugging you?"
"It's... it's..."
"Go ahead, tell me."
"It's Solitude!"
"What?! OK, now you've lost your mind. What does Solitude have to do with any of this?"
"No, I mean she's here! Look!"
"Huh?"

Sunrise turned to look at me and her eyes opened wide in amazement and... yes, joy. It looked like joy. Both twins hurled themselves at me, nearly making me fall again.

"Oh, come on, girls, you're adults now, you should know better than to assault me like that!" I complained, however I was glad to have found them safe and sound.
"You had it coming for leaving like you did!" Sunrise countered. "But never mind that, I'm so glad to see you! Where have you been all this time? We have so many stories to tell you, but I'm sure yours must be even more interesting!"
"If it's stories you want, I do have plenty, but I will only tell them once we've reached a safe place, far away from here and, if possible, on flat ground."
"Why? What's wrong with this place?" asked Sunrise.
"You mean... you can't feel it?" I asked.
"We've been feeling something," Sunset admitted. "The thing is, we can't agree on what it is. Rise says it's a good thing, and I feel like it's a bad thing, but she says we can't know unless we see for ourselves."
"Believe me, some things are better left unseen," I warned them. "Sunset's right this time, it's definitely a bad thing. We must get away from here soon before anything bad happens."
"But... this thing I've been feeling..." said Sunrise. "Would it be right to leave and never know what it is? It feels like something I have to do... to find out the truth about ourselves. What if it's like one of your visions? What if it's the only way to find out where we come from?"
"Have you ever had any visions before?" I asked her.
"Not really, but..."
"But nothing," I interrupted her. "Unless you've recently had some strange and enlightening experience, we can safely assume that this is nothing like one of my visions. And trust me, you don't want to have one of those. You two were born in Caledor Forest. Your mother was a Vulpix. I never got to meet her, but I know that much from the scent Tracker picked up when we found you. Now, I've heard some stories about these mountains and what you're telling me leads me to believe that some of your ancestors may have fought in a war centuries ago, which doesn't really say anything about who you are. You already know who you are. This place has nothing to offer you. Let's please leave before things get bad because, trust me on this one, they will if we stay."
"You mean you had a vision?" asked Sunset.
"Yes," I replied. "A really nasty one. So let's get moving now. Don't get close to the barrier, and don't touch anything that glows. I mean it!"
"OK, I get it!" said Sunrise. "We'll go down and talk. Now please calm down, I'd never seen you like this before!"
"I've never been this scared before," I said as I began my descent, glad that the girls had listened to reason.
"That must have been one heck of a vision!" Sunrise remarked. "What did you see?"

I thought for a moment, unsure of what to say.

"It's hard to explain," I told her. "But I knew you were in danger, and... you could be forced to hurt each other."
"What?!" came the reply, in unison.
"There's something very wrong with this place. And... what's that noise?" I asked as I heard the sound of stones rolling down above us.
"Huh?" asked Sunrise as we all turned to look.

I didn't like what I saw: a large Houndoom was looking down at us, menacingly.

"Was that in your vision?" asked Sunset.
"Not exactly, but close enough. Come on, girls, we still have a chance of outrunning him... or her."

We all did our best to escape, but the Houndoom was both well trained and familiar with the territory. She - I could now see it was a she - caught up with us in no time. She sank her teeth into my right hind leg and it hurt like hell... but I was still glad she hadn't gone for one of the girls instead: at least I'd had a trainer for a while... two if I counted that day I spent with Jeff of the Dragon's Guild. I knew I needed to act fast, but I wasn't sure of what to do. Fire type moves were unlikely to be of any help, and Extrasensory was out of the question. I could try Dig, but that would leave the girls open to attack. There was nothing I could do that wasn't risky, so I decided to at least make it harder for the Houndoom to hurt us. I hit her square in the face with a Confuse Ray. I'd always heard others say I was confusing even when I wasn't trying to be, so I hoped I could do it well when I needed it.

I saw the twins try to do their part... Sunrise whipped the Houndoom with her tails while Sunset called out to her and sealed her with a paw on her forehead. Imprison, I realized. Not a bad idea, but how many non-fire-type moves did Sunset know?... At least Quick Attack, which became evident when both girls hit our attacker at a high speed. It didn't seem to do much harm, however: the Houndoom was much stronger than they were.

The Dark Pokemon raised her head to look at the sky and howled. Her voice echoed throughout the whole mountain range. I could feel myself shaking, knowing that I wouldn't be able to resist another attack. Luckily, a most unexpected sight came to our rescue. It made its way to us through the mountains, floating weightless in the air. Its shape was roughly that of a Ninetales, but it was dark purple in color, and quite clearly ethereal. The Houndoom, still confused, gave the figure a puzzled look, and I took my chance to go underground, knowing that help was on the way.

I didn't see what happened while I was under the earth, but I was able to make out the girls' voices above me.

"What's that?"
"I don't know. Is it with her?"
"No, look, she's attacking it!"
"Wait, does that mean it's on our side?"
"Oh, no! It... It blew up?! Where is it now?"

Still hoping that the owner of that projection would show up soon, but not holding my breath in the meantime, I dug my way upwards and hit the Houndoom with all my strength and all the earth I could bring with me. That, at least, seemed to hurt her, as she let out a sort of shriek. The twins seemed to be consulting each other.

"Whip her again, then use Quick Attack!" I told them. "We need to buy some time."
"Time for what?" ask Sunset.
"For this!" the long-awaited voice was finally heard, as the Houndoom was hit by a fierce... Quick Attack?
"Thanks for coming to help," I told my old friend. "But for someone so proud of his speed, you took a while to get here."
"Forgive me, I was far away and using Spooky to scout the area. I sent him here as soon as I heard the Howl, and then came right away when I could make out was going on. Umm... confused Houndoom? Wha? Wait a second, that's Selene!"
"You know her?" I asked, even though it was obvious that he did.
"Do I know her?! She's been missing for months! She's a member of the MTU, her trainer's name is Ian. Have you seen a Flareon nearby?"
"No. Only her. She came out of nowhere and attacked us. And I haven't found the corrupted Fire Stone yet."
"What?! There's yet another corrupted Fi-ow! Watch where you put those teeth!"

Hero was clearly hurt by the Crunch, even though he tried to hide it. Luckily, the Tail Whips and Quick Attacks from the girls were enough to finish the job, and Selene collapsed.

"Now what's that about finishing a battle with a Quick Attack?" Hero complained. "That's my signature."
"Well, sorry if we needed to save our lives!" Sunrise retorted. "We're not the only ones to do that anyway. Our friend Speedy did it all the time."
"Ahem... he is Speedy," I revealed.
"Wha? Really?!" Sunrise exclaimed.

Both twins examined him critically, while he made a point of saying that his name was Hero now.

"Which is a good thing," he added, "not only because it's an infinitely better name, but also because otherwise everyone here would have a name beginning with an S. Hey, you, look me in the eyes, please! Nice to see you too, by the way."
"Oh, sorry," Sunset apologized. "It's just..."
"I know," Hero said. "Yes, I have seven tails. Been like this ever since I evolved, but I'm still super fast and fierce in battle, and you probably wouldn't be able to stare at anything now if I hadn't shown up."
"Yep, it's him alright," said Sunrise.
"We're all grateful for your help," I told him. "It means more than you think."
"OK, I'm not going to ask you what you mean by that because I'm sure the answer would be even more confusing. What I am going to ask is: what are you all doing here? This place is dangerous!"
"I came here to help the girls," I explained. "They were about to get in serious trouble. There's a corrupted Fire Stone somewhere... one far worse than the one you found."
"The two I found, you mean. There was also the one with the illusion trap near the Tower of Hoeth. If I find this one, I'm sure I'll set a new world record for the most corrupted Fire Stones found!"
"I think it's best to leave it alone," I warned him. "We shouldn't go anywhere near it, I've seen how terrible it can be and I'm not taking the chance of letting it come true. You can teleport... Please get us all out of here. Her too... whatever's in the stone is also in her. She needs help."
"That makes no sense," said Hero. "Houndoom are not stone-evolved."
I sighed. "I never said she evolved with a stone. I said what's in the stone is in her too. It makes perfect sense. Sometimes I feel you don't even try to understand what I say."
"OK, OK, don't get mad at me. You know what? I'll take you all to the meeting point we have set. We'll meet other Pokemon there, including your friends Glyph and Maza, and some friends of mine whose trainer may have the means to help Selene. After that, you can all do whatever you want. Is that OK?"
I looked at the twins, who didn't seem to have anything against that idea. "OK, I guess. I'd rather be as far away from here as possible, but there are some things I'd like to discuss with Glyph. We'll take your offer. Thank you."
"That's what friends are for," said Hero.
"Right... friends. Interesting, it doesn't hurt so much now."
"What doesn't hurt so much?" Hero asked.

Only then did I realize that I had said that out loud. I couldn't be more embarrassed! Luckily, I could count on Hero being as oblivious as ever.

"My leg," I said. "Your friend Selene gave it a nasty Crunch. It hurt a lot at first, but I don't feel it so much now."
"I'll make sure you get to a Pokemon Center and have that leg looked at," Hero promised. "As soon as we're all accounted for. Wouldn't want anyone to get lost in these mountains."
"So... you're here on some kind of mission?" Sunrise asked.
"Yeah... I'm not telling you the details here in case anyone hears me, but yes, we're here on a mission. But as it turns out, I've stumbled into someone else's mission this time. I'm sure Ian and his team will appreciate getting Selene back. Too bad we couldn't find Helios too."
"Helios?" I asked.
"Selene's teammate, who is also missing. He's a Flareon. Their trainer specializes in Fire Pokemon and they're all named after Greek Gods. But only Helios, Selene and Ian himself have the ability to walk through the barrier. We have speculated that's the reason why Selene and Helios were possessed and their teammates weren't."
"You mean..." Sunrise began.
"I think he means we'd be screwed whether we'd found the stone or walked through the barrier," Sunset concluded.
"I don't think you'd be able to walk through the barrier," Hero told her. "The only Pokemon who can do it are the descendants of those who fought in the war that led to the Sundering."
"And I suppose you know all about the girls' ancestry?" I pointed out.
"Huh? No, not really, but... We found them in the forest. The same forest were we and so many other Vulpixes were born. What are the odds that they descend from one of those Pokemon?"
"Considering it's been hundreds of years," I pointed out, "I'd say the chances of any of their descendants having a fling that went unrecorded are pretty high. There could be many of them in the forest and we wouldn't know it."
"If that is the case, we need to make sure that none of them starts searching for their roots at this time," Hero decided.
"We could start by going back to the forest and telling everyone not to get close to this place," Sunrise suggested.
"We should tell Lake everything," added Sunset. "Pokemon from all over the forest often visit her to listen to her stories. She'll make sure everyone knows."
"Good idea," said Hero. "And while you're at it, make sure to let her know she's a grandmother, if she doesn't know yet."
"She is? Wait, have you seen Kid?" asked Sunset.
"I have. He's living in a place called the Pridelands. As far as I know he and Blessing are still together. They're calling themselves Ray and Firestar now. They've both evolved, and they have at least one son, named Swift. He's still a bit naughty, though. The father, I mean. Haven't met the son."
Sunrise chuckled. "I couldn't expect any less of him. Do you remember the time when he stole the pearl from that Murkrow's nest?"
"Yes, he won the contest with that one!" Sunset reminisced. "I wonder where the Murkrow got a pearl in the first place."
"It could have been anywhere," said Sunrise. "They have an eye for shiny things. I'm glad we never played against them, they would have had a big advantage."
"Like Tracker didn't," Hero chuckled. "But it was fun to try to think of ways to beat her."
"Are you two still together?" I asked him.
"Yes, we are," he replied. "That doesn't mean we can't have a little competition every now and then."
"She's starting to stir," Sunset warned us, pointing at the Houndoom.
"Oh! Right," said Hero. "Let's finish catching up later. Now everyone hold on to me, we're going on a little trip."

Hero wrapped his mouth around Selene's leg, while the rest of us grabbed whatever parts of his body were closest to us. A moment later, we were standing on flat ground, the mountains still visible in the distance. Glyph was already there. He looked quite worn out. Next to him was an Arcanine I was sure I'd seen before, but whose name I couldn't remember. Glyph claimed to be happy to see me: a feeling I'd love to get used to. I let Hero deal with everything related to his mission, and sat next to Glyph and away from the crowd.

"I've been to your homeland," I told him. "Beautiful place, but it had the same problem as this one."
"What problem?" he asked.
"Me."
"Oh... Sol, please! When will you stop being so hard on yourself? You're a kind soul, and from what I've just heard you've saved those two Vulpixes twice. Give yourself a break."
"I tried. But... I can't even have a conversation without the other party giving me an odd look."
"Am I giving you an odd look now?"

I looked at his face. He was smiling. I wished I could smile like that.

"You're not," I sighed. "And that's really comforting. But you're even weirder than I am... no offense meant."
"None taken. There's nothing wrong with being weird."
"So you said before. But I used to live with a pack where almost everyone was weird one way or another... and I was still too weird for them. Look at Hero... Everyone notices his tails when they first see him, but after knowing him for a while they seem to forget about them or they just don't care. I, on the other paw, spent years with the old pack and no one could ever treat me like an equal. I think Tracker tried to understand me, but... there were things I just couldn't share with her."
"It sounds to me like you were shutting yourself away from everyone. Give yourself a chance: I promise your friends won't judge you as severely as you do."
"I don't know..."
"I can show you. I have an idea, why don't you come back with us? Be a part of the team."
"Shouldn't your trainer be the one to make that offer?"
"He's always agreed with my choices before. That's how we work: I find new members for our family, and he helps them realize their potential and find a direction in life."
"Family?"
"That's how I see us. We're a really weird family, admittedly, but what makes a family isn't blood ties: it's being there for each other and doing our best to make the others' lives better. It's helping each other grow and overcome our obstacles. And... I'm ranting, sorry."
"It's OK, I do it all the time," I admitted.
"I think you'd fit in perfectly," Glyph insisted. "You were a great guide for us when we arrived, and I understand that you needed to go and find your own path. But it looks like your path has led you back here. Perhaps this is where you should be after all."
"I'm starting to stop believing in destiny," I told him, still relieved that my vision hadn't come true.
"I never said anything about destiny."
"What, then? What's this path you were talking about?"
"Your path... The trail you blaze with your actions and decisions. You can choose where to go... and you chose to come back here. Why?"
"The girls needed me."
"Oh, I see now," Glyph said as he looked at Sunrise and Sunset, who were listening to the other Pokemon but turned to look my way every now and then. "There's only one thing I can't understand."
"What is it?" I asked him.
"How could you ever believe that you were alone?"

I looked at him, puzzled. His words sounded simple, but they were even more confusing that Harims's riddles. I decided not to insult him by asking what he meant. I watched him as he kept looking at the girls. Was she talking about them? It sounded too obvious when I thought about it. Yes, they had always been there for me, but they'd been little kits... little orphans... they had needed me more than I'd needed them. Or was that not so? And they were all grown up now. Still a bit childish in their manners, but I could see they had matured a lot. And they had fought side by side with me.

As I thought about the battle and the inner strength the girls had shown, Sunrise came trotting my way.

"Are you OK?" she asked me. "How's your leg?"
"It's been better, but I'll be fine. I'm sure it will stop hurting soon."
"We're almost ready to leave," she told me. "Many of them had to battle today, so we'll be going to a Pokemon Center, and Circe - the Ralts - will take Selene to see if her team can help her. I think you two should come with us. And then you can come with me and Set back to the forest to see Lake."

I looked at Glyph, then back at Sunrise, then Glyph again.

"It looks like you have two offers now," Glyph said. "You've become popular. You can decide where you want to go."
"I'm not popular," I shook my head. "You're all just too nice. I'll consider your offer, Glyph. I really will. But now I realize that I do have a family, and it's not my biological parents who thought I was crazy and must still be glad I left. I have some catching up to do with these girls... and I suppose seeing Lake could be nice too; we never talked much, but at least she was never rude to me. We're all going to the Pokemon Center first, of course, but then I'm going back to the forest for a while. Say... Sunrise... Are Scorch and Flame still leading the pack?"
"Well, it hasn't been much of a pack since you all left, some Vulpixes have come and gone, and a few were born, but the numbers are never stable. Lake is the only Beta and she ignores Scorch and Flame most of the time. Dash acts like a Beta sometimes, but he's a Golduck, so I'm not sure he counts. Anyway, yes, they're still leading the 'pack' or whatever that can be called."
"OK, then... I'll go back to the forest for a while and then go back to Sector Alpha. Don't leave this world without me."
"I wasn't going to," Glyph assured.

Sunrise laughed, although I'm sure she didn't know what we were talking about.

"They're not really that bad," she said. "But I can see why you wouldn't like them. They never did try to understand you. And they named you Solitude. That's..."
"A horrible name," I completed the sentence. "Yes, I'm going by Sol now."
"Sol? Yes, that sounds much better. But wait, doesn't that mean 'sun'?"
"It means 'sun' or the name of this planet's sun," said Glyph. "Yes, you're a nice solar family."
"I... kind of like how that sounds," I said. "I can't promise I won't mess everything up, but I'll do my best. It feels good to have a say in my future for a change."
"You've always had a say in it," Glyph assured.
I shook my head. "Some things had to happen the way they did. It's probably for the best, but it was hard. It took me years to stop missing the things I left behind... and I never stopped missing..." I turned to look at Sunrise. "I never stopped missing you two."
"We missed you too, Sol. But you found us today, even though we were far from the forest. I have the feeling that whenever you want to find us again, you'll know where we are."
"I'm not quite sure about that, but that would be a nice use for my abilities. I might even stop complaining about them if they had that benefit."
"Have you ever tried training them?" Glyph asked me.
"I've been training myself to understand them," I answered. "I don't think I could ever control them."
"You can't know unless you try. If and when you do come with us, GG can try to help you with that."

At that moment Sunset came to fetch us.

"We're all going to the Pokemon Center now," she announced. "You're all coming, right?"
Glyph stood up and nodded. "We are."
I stood up after him, and expressed my gratitude. "Thanks for everything, Glyph."
"Anytime," he said as we rejoined the group, and we all teleported away.

Skye
18th July 2012, 06:58 PM
omg, I hit writer's block for the first time today xD I hope my writing didn't suffer too much. Swapped in the correct E for Pokemon, not going to bold speech text in this one... Hope it's creative enough.




A Heart of Fire...


A couple of days of rest later and Shadow felt better. Much better, in fact. Though his leg would remain in a cast for a while longer yet, he felt as if he would be able to fight sooner rather than later. Skye had come into his room and told him about another Pokémon she had encountered in the Lava Room, a Ponyta that hadn't fit in, but due to the raw size of a Ponyta, he hadn't been able to meet her, yet. It was a bit disappointing, and he couldn't imagine what the young horse must be thinking after having spent time with Skye without a proper Pokémon's introduction.

At long last, however, his trainer was there to pick him up and bring him back out into the wonderful outdoors. Quite happy to be set down upon the grass, some distance from the towers, he stretched out while enjoying the feeling of sunlight against his dark coat, the fresh breeze and all of the wonderful and not so wonderful scents it carried. Still, it beat being cooped up in the intensive care at the Pokémon Center. Since serious injuries like breaks weren't as common in Pokémon as they were in humans, he had been treated quite well, and knew his body would heal rapidly, but it still felt good to be outside again.

"Better?" Skye asked the obvious, as she usually seemed to do.

"Much," Shadow answered with a wide smile.

"Alright, then. Let me introduce you to Eclipse," carefully, Skye selected the Ponyta's Pokéball, though Shadow tensed even with the obvious care that was being taken. The wrong choice would let that psycho fish out. Thankfully, Skye seemed to have it together more than usual, and the strangest mare the feline had seen in his years of travel with Skye appeared.

"Hello there. And a belated welcome to the team," Shadow's ears perked as he observed her strange coloring, not unlike his own. Eclipse seemed downright baffled after she came fully to her senses and caught sight of Shadow.

"Skye never said you were... different..." the Ponyta spoke slowly, almost nervous, though she stepped forward with a curious gleam in her eyes.

"She doesn't exactly care that much about what we look like, despite the stupid grin she gets on her face whenever people comment on my appearance. Collector's pride, I suppose, but I was born this way..." the Ponyta turned her head slightly once she was closer, keeping one eye specifically on the Meowth as they spoke.

"In any event, I'm sorry about Skye. I'm certain you've had a rough time with her..." he laughed at that, knowing his trainer wasn't the most intuitive when it came to Pokémon. "She sees the big picture, but very little else."

"I... suppose I can see that..." Eclipse spoke softly, her hesitation reminding Shadow far too much about Shandar and the path that had lead down. Almost as if sensing Shadow's thoughts, Eclipse spoke up again in a hurried tone, "Not that there's anything wrong with it! I suppose I can get used to being called Eclipse, though my name was Ashes..."

"Mine was Sir Twinkletoes..." Shadow wrinkled his nose as Eclipse began to giggle. "Shadow is much more plain and I'm grateful for that... Shandar only has a strange name because that's what people were calling him when Skye took him in. And I suppose she thought that Shadow and Shandar were a cute set of names...."

"Shandar..." all mirth drained quickly from her at the mention of the Gyarados. "He scares me."

"I've always had my eye on that damn fish..." Shadow sighed. "What's done is done. Hopefully Skye gets rid of him before something else happens..."

"Did he...?" her gaze dropped to the cast on his foreleg.

"Yeah..."

"Why the somber tone?" Skye had to be dying to know what they were talking about, but Shadow only gave a smile to her. Eclipse shook her mane out in answer, probably trying to figure out how to communicate with the woman, still. "Alright, then. We're heading to the Blizzard Room today. Shadow, you just stay with me and relax, it'll be a few more days before your cast can even come off. Eclipse, I thought you'd like something..."

"Hm?" the Ponyta turned to face the human. A TM box was produced, its contents sprinkled onto the fire horse, giving her the knowledge of a new technique. Shadow tilted his head curiously, wondering what strange technique was being given to the young mare. Soon enough, Skye had produced a second box, this one for Shadow. Though the contents, once given to the feline, were beyond strange, something he had never fathomed before.

"Of course I wouldn't forget my Shadow," Skye smiled to him. "For you, Amnesia. It will bolster your defense in battle, help you forget. You should practice it over the next couple of days for your upcoming battle. Just one, no pushing yourself," she took on a warning tone. "But, you should be ready just before the training grounds close. You're lucky that Pokémon recover extremely fast. And for Eclipse, have you figured out what it is?"

"Ember!" the Ponyta exhaled a small dose of flame into the air, thrilled to be given a simple technique. Though, if she hadn't been given a fire-based attack yet, it was probably best that she was starting off small. Or, at least that's what Shadow figured.

"Mhm. Now, then. I'm going to bring you both into the Blizzard Room, see if we can't hurry and get some battles underway."

"Wait," Shadow began as a thought occurred. "Just how many TMs do you have in your bag?"

He wouldn't get an answer as Eclipse was recalled and Skye proceeded to pick the Meowth up and carry him.


***

It wasn't long before Shadow began to wonder if he was no more than a cloak for the woman. Though she had done her best to dress warm and held Shadow under her thick coat, it was still freezing nonetheless. Though, he soon found that the Amnesia technique was helping, allowing him to forget the bite of the cold, even as his body continued to instinctively shiver. It was better than nothing, and he found it quite good practice for maintaining the technique.

A shadowy figure began to approach them, perhaps the first to spot the trembling pair, drawing closer out of curiosity. A black creature which captivated Skye's interest, eyeing uneven ears and wicked curved blades, one on either hand. The Sneasel looked curiously at the trainer, only to grin wickedly at the sight of the shivering Meowth whose head only just poked out of her coat.

"Looking for a battle?" Skye's words almost seemed to be swallowed within the raging conditions created within this room, freezing lips and cheeks numbed to the point where her question nearly came out as indiscernible babbling.

"Always. Are you going to send that pathetic Meowth at me?" the Pokémon's question was ignored, however, as Skye pulled a familiar scratch of paper from her coat pocket to see what would do well against an Ice type. Noticing that a good fighting-based attack would have struck well, she clicked her tongue with annoyance. Shadow could only speculate it was because his Hidden Power would have been the ace in the hole in here, not that he wanted to be out in the freezing temperatures. The eager Meowth had already had his share of cold and ice for the week.

"Eclipse!" Skye selected the proper Pokéball once again, sending it forward. From its depths, the dark Ponyta emerged with an eager cheer, rearing up to paw the air. Startled, the Sneasel drew back, raising her claws defensively.


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.8 vs. Sneasel Lv.15

"Start out with Toxic to wear it down!" Skye commanded, shouting with quite a bit of vigor, trying to get her point across. Though the effort was probably appreciated on the Ponyta's part, Shadow sank a bit lower, ears flattening as he tried to ignore the ringing in his skull her shout had caused.

Eclipse settled down, her body starting to shiver before she enhanced the heat of her flames, causing them to blaze even brighter. Shadow wondered how the creature, who looked so fierce and impure, could create such a noxious concoction. Perhaps Skye was wrong with the mare's attacks? But, no. As if to prove him wrong, the Ponyta charged forward, hooves digging into snow as she closed the gap to spew a sickeningly thick chunk of poison in Sneasel's face, causing her to open her mouth and screech in response.

Reeling in pain from the sharp sound, Eclipse backed away quickly, staggering through heaps of snow not meant for hooves. Seeing her chance, Sneasel launched forward, slashing rapidly at Eclipse, leaving more than one mark. Eclipse cried out in pain, even as Skye tried to shout for the next strike. Even Shadow couldn't hear what she was trying to say, however, ears ringing from the terrible sound that the Sneasel had uttered. Another sound escaped, then, a lower sound escaping the Ponyta at full force, enough to make her enemy back off her strikes and leave her some breathing space.

"Ember!" Skye finally managed to get her command through. Any thoughts of hesitation were gone from Eclipse as her lavender flames blazed hotly, the Ponyta launching a small fireball at the Sneasel. Already shrinking back from the effects of Eclipse's growling, the ball of fire hit hard and true. She let out her own cry of pain before moving forward to attack again, teeth grit as if she could already feel the effects of the poison taking hold of her.

"Again, don't stop! Fight against the cold and your opponent!" Skye's words seemed to make little sense to Shadow, but he wasn't the one battling. If he had been, though, he could just imagine how the blizzard would be knocking him this way and that. Eclipse seemed to grasp the concept of fighting against the storm, however, as her blaze grew brighter in response, like a beacon within the blinding white as she shot a close range fireball at Sneasel, pushing the creature back.

"Once more, keep it at bay! If it can't get close, it can't strike!" Skye pushed the Ponyta onward quite viciously, which surprised Shadow. Usually, she was the one pulling the Pokémon out of their instinctual desires and making certain they stayed focused and didn't lose sight of the fight. All voice of reason seemed to be lost as flame and toxin took Sneasel down, leaving her to recover as her system shut down. Not that Shadow would know, gazing at the seemingly lifeless body, but he had once heard tails that a Pokémon's fainting was like a reset for their entire system. Toxins, burns, damages to the nervous system in the form of paralysis would be diminished, if not completely cured by the time a Pokémon came too.


Eclipse won and grew to level 10!
She learned Iron Tail! (Free level 10 attack)

Much to Shadow's surprise, Skye recalled Eclipse shortly after the battle and turned away, leaving the Sneasel to recover. She seemed to be in some type of hurry, staggering quickly through the snow without once offering congratulations to Eclipse on her battle, or savoring the feeling of victory. Her course seemed pre-determined, feet dragging as she approached a distant cabin in the room before nudging it open and slipping inside. Thankfully, someone else seemed to have been there recently, that or the door was greased to prevent it from freezing shut.

"Ow… ow…" Skye moved to take a seat in the spacious cabin, finding a warm spot to settle before trying to force her shoes and socks off. Shadow then realized exactly why Skye had hurried the end of the battle, the obvious early signs of frostbite having set in. It would be a while before Skye could get up and walk again. Not long after she had settled, she pulled out Eclipse's Pokéball and let the victorious Pokémon free. Shadow was in for another surprise as he noticed the young mare shivering, the snow having melted on her body to create an uncomfortable steam.

"Good work out there… Another round and you'll be set for your return to the Lava Room, actually…" Skye unzipped her coat and forced herself to stand, wincing openly with pain as she shrugged out of the extra layers and set them on the chair, then set Shadow down on top of them. "There's nowhere else to train that would help get your flames this strong this fast…" she slid her feet against the ground as she moved to find some towels before returning to the injured Ponyta and started drying her off.

"So… cold…" Eclipse stammered, her flames not seeming to burn as brightly as they had before. A white towel was soon placed on slick black fur as Skye began to tend to the shaken mare. Shadow curled up on the clothes, finding them too warm to leave behind. Soaking in the silence to follow, a nice, relaxing break was to be had among the group as Eclipse settled down and soon dried herself. Between the low burning hearth kept behind a metal fence to prevent stray coals from setting fire and the Ponyta, the cabin was soon almost unbearably warm, a harsh contrast to the cold outside.

"Do you think she's right?" Shadow spoke up after a good, long silence. Eclipse flicked lavender eyes towards him. "Will the cold make your fire stronger?"

"I don't know… I feel weak out there. My legs get cold quickly. When I try to warm myself, it just gets worse. The heat of my flames makes the snow melt against my fur, which freezes over again and again. And the wind just feels like it's piercing straight through me…" Eclipse answered in a soft tone, sounding weary and uncertain.

"At least you're taking your opponents down quickly, even if Skye did rush that battle a bit…"

"I'm glad she did… I think I'd freeze out there if I didn't keep attacking…" her eyes closed, her head lowering as she tried to rest.

Shadow began to wonder, then, just how much the Amnesia made him oblivious. He felt just fine, though he had been in Skye's coat the entire time. Both trainer and Ponyta seemed to have felt and suffered in a similar way, and that made him uncomfortable that he was so blind to what was happening. He realized the drawback to this technique and began to clean his fur, only to find that his nose was far more numb than he had thought it would be, the tips of his ears too cool when pressed back to his head as he groomed.

Not long after Eclipse and Skye had stopped to rest, there was a sharp series of knocks on the cabin door. Shadow glanced to trainer and Pokémon, both appearing to need quite a bit more rest before they could go on. Eclipse's cuts bled slowly, but wrapped with cloth, it seemed that the wounds were shallow and wouldn't cause a problem. Skye was still nursing hands and feet, so the Meowth leapt up and made his way with a wobbling limp to the door.

"Who is it?"

"It's me…" spoke a rather angry Sneasel, the same who Eclipse had bested earlier. Though she didn't sound as if she had recovered at all, either. Skye stepped forward, then, to open the door and frown at the Sneasel.

"What?" the human asked.

"I want… a rematch. I came here to show my strength… not to get tossed around by a Fire type…" she spat at Skye's feet. "I'll beat her…"

"The hell…?" Skye wondered, taking a step back. "It hasn't even been a few hours. Go away…"


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.10 vs. Sneasel Lv.15

Eclipse came barreling by, then, hooves thundering against the floor until she knocked the Sneasel out of the doorframe while shoving Shadow and Skye aside. The cloth clinging to the cuts on her chest fell to the floor as both Pokémon, dark beacons in the eternal storm, rushed recklessly into battle. Shadow glanced at the ruined towels, then back out to the two figures as they stared each other down, wondering how such a soft spoken Ponyta could be so careless and eager when it came to fighting. Truly, it made no sense.

"It's still weak from the earlier battle. Ember!" Skye called out before running back into the cabin to force coat and shoes on, socks abandoned in her haste. Shadow was already creeping outside, dragging his leg in the snow. Only now could he appreciate the toll the environment took on his body, something he was quick to discard once again with his Amnesia technique. Even as Skye hurried, the fight was underway as Eclipse gathered and shot a ball of fire from deep within herself. But it only hit snow as Sneasel seemed to vanish.

With a startled outcry, Eclipse was struck hard, the Sneasel using the familiar terrain to her advantage as she successfully moved with startling speed through snow and ice. Desperate, Eclipse shot another Ember, only to have it fail once again as the Quick Attack was repeated. Staggering, Eclipse came down onto her knees in the snow, hooves sinking through snow as the strikes began to build up. But, surely, if she was still so weak after the last fight, Sneasel should go down with a good hit. At least, that was what Shadow suspected. Shivering in the snow, he looked up to his trainer when Skye returned.

"Shoot the Ember up and into the wind," Skye shouted for Eclipse to hear. The Ponyta forced herself up before glancing back at Skye with a very open 'what the fuck?' expression. This was truly the oddest thing to escape the woman's mouth in a long while, leaving Shadow to wonder what the human saw, what she thought was possible and what could happen. The Sneasel began to laugh before fading away into the darkness and snow once again, taking advantage of the terrain once again, preparing to land a finishing blow.

Eclipse turned away, facing into the wind before lifting her head slightly, as had been instructed before shooting that Ember off. It flew upright, spun chaotically in the wind, before dying out. Skye called for a repeat, and it was given. The ball of fire was given more strength this time, the strength to survive the storm, and it was brought back down to earth with a crashing thud, just missing Sneasel. Startled by being revealed by the fire striking like a meteor, the creature vanished into the storm as quickly as she could. Perhaps Skye sought to create a barrage and keep the Sneasel moving? Shadow thought it clever, but the Embers looked weaker when they weren't directly striking a target. Even with Eclipse giving it her all, the wind and ice took a lot of heat out of the blaze.

That was when it happened. Perhaps Skye thought it would happen this way. Perhaps it was raw luck, but one of those Embers shot into the wind came crashing back into Eclipse and was swallowed by her flames. With such a fire proof coat, it was apparent that the Ponyta was merely startled by what happened, not injured, though her flames began to burn with increasing vigor and strength. At least, until Sneasel struck from the darkness, having finally been given a direct opening. That opening cost her, however, as the flames burned brighter and hotter than ever before, she took a good bit of pain for her efforts, and escaped, just as shaken by the impact as Eclipse was.

Sneasel then rose her claws, crossing them before herself as an ominous glow surrounded her. The storm began to grow in power and strength as the creature apparently sought to burry trainer and Pokémon alike in the snow. Skye closed the door, then and gathered Shadow up into her coat. Trembling, Skye tried to issue her command, a shout to fire, but Eclipse didn't even budge. The already furious weather advanced to the next level as Sneasel took direct control of it and began turning it against the Pokémon, making certain that she could no longer use the wind. Eclipse didn't need it, however, her flames grander than ever before. With the flecks of snow whipping past her enlarged mane and tail, Shadow could have sworn they were more like stars in the night sky.

Rearing up in defiance, Eclipse charged a new Ember, this one far greater than the last ones. Even at full strength, this one nearly seemed double the size in comparison. Fed by air and flame, it swelled threateningly before the mare's gaping jaws and when she released it, it flew true. Sneasel, who had to focus to control the Blizzard, was unable to escape her state of focus in time, and was struck, hard, by the enhanced Ember. She fell back, the glow fading as she was brought down a second time, Eclipse the victor once again. Yet, the battle took its toll on her health, her blaze fading as she sank into the snow, but not before screaming her defiance to all challengers into the wind.


Eclipse won and grew to level 12! Barely…

... Cannot be Cooled by the Wind

Lady Vulpix
18th July 2012, 09:39 PM
Nice story, Skye! I liked the conversation between Eclise and Shadow, and it was nice to see Skye's attempts at figuring things out. She seems to be on the right track, but still a long way away from her goals. I like Eclipse's personality too. I'm sorry that she had such a hard time at the Blizzard Room. Maybe someday her flames will be strong enough to keep the cold at bay. But the way she managed it this time was great! Interesting use of Amnesia, too!

That Sneasel was just too stubborn. :rolleyes:

Just a little detail: I'm sure Shadow must have heard tales, not tails. ;) (If you find any typos in any of my stories and it's not too much trouble, please let me know too, I'd like to fix them in the archive).

Take 21 stamps! :yes:¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Skye
19th July 2012, 10:07 AM
.//. At least my boyfriend caught my typo of clever. Apparently Shadow was thinking about cleavers in my first take. But yes, tales indeed. And thank you :3 I have a lot of fun writing about them. I do need to take some notes on them for a quick character sheet sometime, but I should have my next battle up today or tomorrow, if writer's block doesn't come attack me. But, will do, I'll let you know if I see any typos!

I'd also like an RGB for Shadow my level 8 Meowth from the Universal Adoption Center, please. *pays 7 Stamps*

classy_cat18
19th July 2012, 10:13 AM
Your Meowth will battle a Cyndaquil. Good luck!

Gabi, take eight stamps for your story. I kinda liked the name Solitude but Sol is cool too.

Lady Vulpix
19th July 2012, 02:00 PM
Thanks. I've just fixed some typos.

Solitude used to be a suitable name for her, but she felt it as a punishment, so it was only natural that she would change it as soon as she realized she didn't deserve to be punished. Now she has kept a part of the name but changed the meaning, which is what bothered her the most.

I'm glad you remember her, though. It's been so long since she last showed up that I was wondering if anyone would.

DarkestLight
19th July 2012, 09:25 PM
That's a BAD VB! Not posting my post!

Here's part 1 of Book 2


Today

The emergence of the sun over the horizon was never a sight to be missed by the habitual photosynthesizer. With a fragrant aroma wafting from its cup, and its body squarely planted against a wall facing the outside world; Mossy seemed to be at peace with the world. The suns' rays peeled across the horizon, causing the ocean to glisten. The sounds of early morning feeders were overhead, their cries animating the mornings' silent arrival. The swiveling dais of light swept across the ocean, possibly on one of its last revolutions. Fish swam in a scattered school as Wingulls dove from above to scoop up a meal. Hissing in the distance, Mossy watched as a slithering creature shot across the rocky coast, possibly woken up from the tide's chilling touch. He leaned over a bit, to get a better look at the ground below, to spy that helpful fellow Jake leaving the lighthouse, and heading toward the open sea.

The morning was invigorating to his body, as he stretched out during his walk. Wiggling his fingers as he kept his hands above his head, Jake quietly scaled a few of the rocky outcrops proliferating the coast of the lighthouse. Once he found a perch he was content with, he sat there, one knee pulled up to his chest so his chin could rest upon it. His thoughts were not as quiet, as he began to review everything that happened in the last week. It all started when those Pokemon came to the door of the lighthouse. In no time at all, he remembered finding that boy, having him brought into the lighthouse and putting him in a bed to rest.

Then that little lizard, she found a pie. Of all things, this started because he wanted to know where a pie came from! He audibly laughed about that fact, before staring out at the sea blankly. His thoughts scattered though the fragments of memory he still held onto about the hours that followed. The exploration and utter decimation of his body by the powers of a beast he had never laid eyes on before. The Pokemon that came from somewhere across the sea; they tried their best, and were almost overwhelmed until they started acting like a team. Then bearing witness to that secret passageway, it opened up into a massive catacomb with a relic inside that was claimed by a sea creature of sorts! It was just too surreal!

He rotated his shoulder, still feeling how sore it was after those hits he received. Relaxing again, the man lazily looked around, feeling that his presence was not the sole one around. His instincts were right, as footsteps came up behind him. He didn't recognize them, and that left him with one answer.

"Back from training with the lady, are ya?" he coyly stated, as the birchwood vested fellow slowly climbed up on an adjacent rock. Perching at the precipice of the stone, Rapp stared out over the water, visibly exhausted.

"Yes. That was good though. I'm glad to have taken the time to finally sit with them and actually help in their fighting abilities. With me down and incapacitated, they should not be so limited. Its more so my fault, we've been running through the world so fast, and they're still so young..."

"I told you before, earlier today. You could not have known, so stop beating yourself over it. Your group is glad you are back. Heck, they're more excited to be around you than I've seen anyone about anything in a long time. You been gone with each one for a whole day-sans the grass one who doesn't seem to have much to say."

Rapp lowered his gaze at the mention of Mossy. Things were moving at such an uneven pace that he never really had the chance to talk with Mossy since he woke up 5 days ago...

5 Days ago.

Breathing was a pained labor, and at times, Rapp wanted to quit. He continually rubbed his chest as he lied in the bed, quietly drinking water that was hand fed to him by Mary. Resting his body on the bed, he shook his head in disbelief.

"As I stated before. I woke up here in this strange bed, and aside from yesterday, I do not recall much of what occurred the days before. I--I honestly do no have any recollection of any dais. I've never seen one. Nor do I know any other languages. Unless you call the accent of some of the elders in my village another language, it sure sounds like it." Rapp stopped his speech, and continued to stare up at the ceiling, Johnson looking down at him.

"Well. Your vitals are fine. You don't seem to be hyperaware, I'd say the Awakening is over."

"What "Awakening?"" Rapp inquired, leaning his body up against the back of the bed in order to position himself better. Mary looked to the elder as well, while the Pokemon edged closer, eager to learn more about what the old man was saying.

"Well, when I was but a boy-I was fortunate enough to read much literature on the theories of Ulthuan's existence, about the magic inherent in this land and how it affects the world. It fueled me to learn the health sciences-so I could find a way to meld those realms together. I read of the races that live or lived here on Ulthuan, from dwarves to man. Of course, there was many a section on elven culture, but I bypassed it because-well, how many of you have seen an elf?"

Everyone shook their head in answer in the inquiry.

"They were all wiped out, right?" Mary asked, as Jake now peered into the room from the doorway.

"That is how the story goes. But that would not explain why there is still magic in this world. And if magic does exist in this land, than we must also accept that there are elves. I'm not saying that the cause of the elves is magic, but the two are symbiotic, for with one will appear the other." As he took a break from his own speech, Rapp quickly spoke.

"I don't know about any of this. I think that-before I go any farther, that some education into the past of Ulthuan is necessary." Rapp nodded, while crossing his arms, pleased with his choice of action. "I don't know what I am supposed to be doing anymore. I was first looking for my mom, and now I'm here ready to learn about elves! All In know is that I don't feel like I've been making the smartest choices when it comes to this journey. Maybe-in order to find the answers I seek, taking a detour is necessary."

"Well, I'd like it if someone else was here for a while." Mary chimed. Everyone turned to her, confused as to her intentions. "I realize he needs to recuperate, and these 4 are more than helpful when it comes down to it. Maybe we can help them as much as they could help us. I for one, am curious as to what happened to Mossy that led him to that passageway."

All eyes shifted to the plant, whom was preoccupied; stuffing one of his vines into a small space. Unnoticed, the stares faded into their own paths, and Rapp sighed. "We'll figure that out soon enough. I don't think I'm up for moving much."

"I wouldn't recommend it." At the sound of Jake's voice, the humans in the room turned their heads to the door frame where he stood. Hands were still wrapped around his sides, as he spoke softly.

"Look. We all took a beating down there. The truth of the matter is that something is STILL down there. We knocked it out, and took out the water, but what's stopping it from sliding its way up here and causing damage? I shut the door, but that thing could blast through it if it wanted. We got lucky with numbers, but that may not happen again."

"We can also ask that thing why its there and why did it attack us?"

Mary looked up, as the others scanned the room for the location of the voice.

"Nope, she's not in here everyone. Sue-that's a great idea, but what makes you think it would talk to us?"

There was silence in the air, and everyone pondered the possibility. If it didn't cooperate, they could escape, but sealing it away could only work for so long. Not to mention how long it must have lived down there.

"Not to mention the "woman" that you saw, Jake. This might be a whole different cat in the box."

"Well, the whole thing stinks to high heaven, if you ask me." Jake stated, before storming out. As he stomped down the stairs, the rest could hear him muttering about bad luck and omens of the sea.

"I'm sorry you had to endure that, Rapp. He's usually not like that. It's just been a long few days for us." Rapp shook his head, and looked to Mossy as he spoke. "It's not your fault. For as long as Mossy and I have started this journey, we never tried to take anyone's help for granted, or put anyone in a precarious situation. This goes for you three as well. I tried my best to shield you all from the pressures and dangers of the world-and now I see that's not right. We're going to stay here, as I said. We're going to learn from our mistakes, and we're going to leave a better group than before...that is of course... if you'll have us."

Mary and Johnson nodded, as Rapp slid back down to rest. He kept his eyes closed, a signal for Johnson to start shuffling people out of the room. As the door closed, and the light turned off, Rapp rolled over to his left side, back to the bedroom door. He bit his lower lip and clenched the covers tight, feeling the emotion start to overwhelm him. He buried his head in the pillow, and he stifled the sobs that began to echo from his heart. In one day, he felt his world go from supremely small and manageable, to supremely large and overwhelming-and he did not know how to react to it. His body began to shake, and his sobs grew in volume.

"Grandma, why did you send me on this journey? I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to learn any of this. I'm not an elf, so why does this matter? What does this all mean? I'm scared...and I'm lost and I'm confused and..." The questions stopped, replaced only by deep sounds too hard to distinguish from yells or cries.

Outside the bedroom near to the staircase, Mossy stood silently. He had stepped aside when ushered out and was passed by everyone except Johnson. The others made their way downstairs, obviously tired from their escape. Mossy and Johnson stared at each other, then to the shut door down the hall from them.

"Don't worry about him too much, Mossy." Johnson said, as he knelt down. "This is going to be a trying time for you and him. Give him time, and he will serve you better, as you have come to serve him." The planimal stared at him, unsure whether to run past and push the door open and snuggle with Rapp, or to stay his ground and let his friend deal with these demons alone. In the end, Mossy turned and headed down the stairs. Hearing Rapp's cries made it too hard for even him to be around. Johnson kept a solemn face as he closed the hallway door, sealing Rapp from the world just for a little while longer.

"I'll be heading to the Tower of Hoeth tomorrow. It will be a work's week before I return. If you and your party are here by the time I return, I shall have knowledge about Ulthuan that I'm sure you will find interesting and useful." Mossy nodded, keeping his pace as he made his way down the stairs. He had to meet with the others to make the best use of their time. Something Rapp had said made sense...and he had an idea on how to help.

3 days ago

Blurred vision was the start to his mornings. A silent yawn came out of his mouth, as his blearyness tried to fade away. Slow motions were always key to him not bumping his round nose into anything painful or cold. Mary made him a bed on the lower level, and he was plenty thankful for receiving his own small slice of comfort. However, this morning, there was nothing but a strange haze of bluish green in front of him. Not to mention a strange rubbing along his backside. He turned, to spy more bluish green haze around him, and he lashed out his tail, curious to see if this was his mind, or if it was real.

The counter strike to his face was real enough, and Wyrm hissed in retaliation. His vision began to sharpen, and the colors melded to that of a greenish hue, the blurs tightening into vines. He leaned back to get a better look at Mossy, whom was sitting no more than 4 inches from his own face.

"Mornin'. Why the vested interest in me?" the serpent noted, slithering backwards so as to reclaim some personal space.

"Because...we have training to accomplish."

Wyrm whipped his head around, to spy Sue floating overhead. She descended to the floor and knelt to be on more of an even keel with the shorter Pokemon. "Mossy and Rapp share a link that is stronger than most bonds between a standard Trainer and Pokemon. They both seem to share the same goals and pursuits. Right now, Rapp wants to train you all so you all will be better equipped for the world, should something befall him and you all are left to your own devices. But, in his own weakened state, he is not ready to do so. So Mossjito has decided to lead the charge, going out with everyone for a set of training exercises."

"He said all that?" Wyrm asked, looking at the plant.

"Haha, no. His expression was all I needed to see in order to make that out."

Wyrm stared at Sue, and then to Mossy again, perplexed. "What kind of expression gave you all of that information?"

"It's not so much the face, as the intensity and emotion that I can sense, being attuned to energy realms within the mind."

Wyrm gave up on understanding Sue, and turned toward Mossy. "So, am I the first?" he asked, curious as to if he was an afterthought or a frontrunner. Mossy nodded, and pointed with one appendage to the door that led outside the lighthouse. Wyrm nodded back, and headed for it. Upon reaching the entrance way, Wyrm coiled up and waited patiently as Mossy and Sue headed to May's sanctuary.

The pair covered the distance to the living area readily, making a beeline for a small set of pillows underneath the windows on the northwest side of the room. There, draped in a baby blue comforter was the female diva, snoring soundly. Mossy relentlessly whipped at her face, startling her out of sleep and forcing her to groggily push her self out of bed. Her face beamed with sleep deprivation, muscles apparently not willing to give a smile. Sue looked to Mossy, but he shook his head. She had to wake up now.

May yawned, and dragged her feet over to where Wyrm was coiled up. She leaned against him and stretched again, Wyrm having to brace his muscles to deal with the added weight. "Well, you aren't a morning person."

May gave him no response. It was possible she had not even heard him, as she teetered and tottered back and forth. Wyrm huffed and looked as Sue floated toward them, reaching the door handle.

"I believe Mossy will meet us there with Zent, since she will be a handful." May groggily followed as Sue opened the door-immediately straightening up as the cool air of the sea slapped her in the face. She stomped her foot and grumbled some incoherent words, before marching into the world. Wyrm followed, shivering a tad as the chill ran through his spine. It was nothing extreme, and within moments he was feeling pretty good about being up right now.

The trio began their march, heading over to a rocky outcropping where Sue pointed toward as they started their trip. It was in full view of the lighthouse, so anyone at the top of the lighthouse could watch their backs if something or someone was to sneak up from the higher caves that existed in the area. May scanned the skyline, spying nothing suspicious. She lolled her head back down and kept marching, still refusing to believe that plant woke her up this early. And for what? The more she thought about it, the more infuriated she got. There was no explanation, and again, he was not around to explain himself. As if he would explain himself, he couldn't even talk!

"UUGH! NO! I'm going back to sleep! There's no reason to--" May's sentence was cut off by a sharp pain to her backside. She fell flat on her face, tongue sprawled out in front of her.

Coughing, she pushed herself up and wiped the sand out of her eyes and mouth. As she turned, Wyrm made sure to get out of the way so she could see the true culprit for that hit.

Mossy stood there, vines spinning. Behind him was the smallest member of their troupe, idly eating sand clumps. Seeing that he had her full attention, Mossy once again swung his whiplike vines, knocking May flat on her back. May rocked back up, and stared at Mossy.

"Why are you hitting me!" she yelled, stamping her foot a third time. Sue backed away and elevated herself onto a rock to watch, as Mossy responded with a third Vine whip that left the girl spinning on her feet. She barely steadied herself, and Wyrm spoke up for her.

"Mossy, what are you getting at? We're here because of you, no need to take out your temperament on her." Mossy looked over to Wyrm, and lightly tapped Zent with his back foot. Zent looked up from her eating, and looked back at Mossy. He nodded, and pointed to Wyrm. All at once, Zent's focus turned from gleeful to adamant, and she roared. Wyrm slithered back a bit, unsure what the heck was going on.

With Wyrm preoccupied, Mossy charged May. Unsure what to think, May raised both hands up and pleaded.

"Mossy! Stop hitting me and te--" Her words were lost in a sea of powder as Mossy propelled a plume of poisonous spores onto her. May coughed and fell to her knees, feeling her muscles tighten up. Instinctively, May curled up and defended herself from the next set of vines that lashed against her back. Mossy felt the musculature change and hid a smirk, she was finally getting serious. He learned how serious, when one of his vines was grabbed by that fabulous tongue. She yanked it back, Mossy hard pressed to wrap another vine around it. She pulled with all her might, but Mossy's strength over the past few weeks had grown to a level she did not take into account. Their tug of war was brief as her body weight did nothing to alleviate the pull that Mossy achieved. She found herself flying toward Mossy, and the plant jumped up as she flew at him. May stared blankly as Mossy slammed down on her chest, standing atop her as if she was one of these rocks on the beach. Coughing, May struggled to get her bearings. This rush of activity had warmed her up, and she was no longer taking this silent approach. If he wanted a fight, he'd get it. She felt a bit under the weather, but that was probably the cold. Her tongue doubled back over Mossy, catching the plant off guard. She made sure to slap him in the face with it as she licked him off. Moss rolled back, and felt his body shiver. Impressed with that move, he made his next move. May rolled over and decided to meet Mossy head on. The two Pokemon met-a collision of energies crackling in the morning air. Sand flew up from their collision, and Mossy landed on his feet, vines raised to his sides. May lied on the ground, patting her head as she forced her self to get up.

"Geez, how strong ARE you?" May asked, as she stood up, flexing again. Mossy knew that her flexing was causing her to deal with the damage he was dealing, but that only allowed him to work harder with her. Finished with her for the moment, he turned to Wyrm, whom was in his own dilemma. As he marched over to Wyrm, May charged at him.

"Oh this is not over between us! Get back here and finish this fight!" She whipped her hand back and slapped him across the top, actually causing him to trip over his feet. As Mossy regained his footing, Wyrm zipped around him and shot himself at Zent. The little girl clapped and stepped sideways a few times, doing that strange dance that seemed to help her movements. But he landed that blow, knocking Zent back. The little girl got back up though, not phased as much as Wyrm would have liked. He growled, unsure why she was not taking as much as she should. That would change, as he watched her dance around again.

"I don't know why you and Mossy are double teaming May and I, but I really have no reason to NOT fight you. You are quite annoying, and you both can't speak." Zent hissed at that remark, standing her ground.

"Pwant beat May! I beat YOU! BEAT BEAT BEAT STINKY SNAKE!"

He cared not for her tantrum, and fired off a thin pulse of electricity. Zent grinned and idly opened her mouth, actually EATING the bolt as it reached her. It worked though her body, seemingly having its effect like it always did, as she stayed still and looked at her body. Wyrm smirked, and slithered closer.

"Can't eat everything Zent. Specially not something that paralyzes you."

Wyrm suddenly found himself in her grasp, and her canines protruded from her mouth in a maniacal manner. She bit down on his side, and did not let go. The pain shot through his body and he squirmed for dear life as she pulled and shook her head. He freaked and cried out, before he was thrown to the side by the little monster. He slithered back from her and looked at his side, now imbued with the indentations of her complete jawline!

"What in the world, why didn't that hur--." His mind swiftly put together exactly what this whole charade was, and he sucked up the pain.

"I get it now. May he--" Before the realization made it to May, the Dratini found himself bound and gagged in vines. Mossy held him up and began to spin in place, dragging Wyrm with him. May was still hot on his heels, but did not see the plan Mossy had in mind until it was too late and there was a blue battering ram in her face. Letting Wyrm go at the right moment made for a collision of pink and blue and sand. The pair stayed down-and Mossy looked to Sue, vines whipping left and right. The Psychic merely pointed behind him and he nodded. Vines slammed into the sand and Mossy floated upward, but felt that he could not get as high as he needed. It worked for now, as Wyrm shot right under him, upset that his speed tackle missed. May however, threw her tongue at the plant in the sky. The pink mass fell short as a pain shot through her back. She winced and saw that Zent had jumped in, biting her tail fervently. Energies turned to the little one, and she swung her fist over her head. Zent looked up, and barely had enough time to back away as the fist pounded hard into the sand-creating a deep indentation of her fingers. May growled, knowing that thing could hurt a lot more if she wasn't ready for external attacks of that sort.

Zent snarled, and lunged again, but May was ready this time. As Zent tried to bite her midsection, her arms rose up and came down atop Zent in a double fisted strike. The sound of fist hitting rock was unmistakeable, but her positioning helped to enhance the power. Zent's face went straight into sand, her body inverted from the norm. With the little girl incapacitated, May turned to her first focus. She coughed again, and pushed away the feelings of sickness.

As she watched, Mossy was making a fool of Wyrm. The snake was fast, as he zipped left and right, but Mossy seemed to know where the snake was going to strike from all the time. It didn't help that Wyrm used the same atta--

"Wyrm, change it up!" She shouted as she ran for Mossy's backside. Wyrm skidded to a stop; breathing hard. He HAD been zipping around way too much, and his foe for the moment wasn't even winded. Why hadn't he thought of that? He turned and instead of using that speed he was known for, he switched gears. Mossy turned and backed up a step so he could see both May and Wyrm at the edges of his vision. May came in first, and he used one vine to wrap around her as she charged in. Her fist slammed into the ground, and tossed up a bevy of sand in front of Mossy. He let her go, making sure to leave a small present on the tip of her tail, as he staggered backward, partially blinded from that hammering miss.

The next hit did not miss. As he was distracted, Wyrm quit playing nice. He opened his mouth and flung out a bevy of flames that scoured the sand it flew across and alighted the viney leader. Mossy jumped up in pain and dashed for the ocean. May and Wyrm gave chase, knowing this was possibly their best chance to take him down. Mossy wasn't faster than Wyrm, and he was counting on it. The Dratini zipped across the sands, eager to put the Tangela down.

May however, slowed up, realizing she would not catch them.

“Even Mossy is faster than me. But I don't know anything that can hit from from way back here.” She realized then her need for something long range, everything she knew was up close. But she also knew Mossy's knack for having tricks up his sleeve. As she watched, the plant stopped and whirled around, as Wyrm slithered past him, aiming to strike from an angle that Mossy could not compensate for.

The ocean put that plan on hold. Wyrm shot out a swift set of flames, only to have them and Mossy be doused by the waves. Wyrm shook off the water, seeing Mossy standing there, grinning? Wyrm didn't understand, as he readied himself to fire off a new set of fire-when suddenly Mossy began to glisten. As May slowly caught up to them, she also witnessed Mossy's near instantaneous healing. She also began to feel light headed, this sickness ripping her energy out of her.\

"What? You can HEAL TOO? How is that fair? How are we supposed to beat something like that?" Wyrm said, before flinging fire at Mossy. This time, Mossy dove and rolled out of the way, before firing off a set of electricity that honed in on May. May saw the incoming blast, and tried to dive out of the way, but the electricity bent and slammed into her midsection. She fell down and wheezed for air, but there was so little left in her.

"No...that's what you did. You poisoned me. You poisoned ME!" She got back up, and heaved, throwing her tongue as far as she could. It flew out to almost three times her body length, barely missing the plant. As she stood there, feeling so slow and bulky from all those strong arm attacks, the pins and needles in her tail came back. She whirled around, to see that Zent was back to biting. She raised her hand again, and then paused. Something else was the culprit, because Zent's bites actually hurt. This was a different feeling, like a..suction! She managed to shake Zent off with a foot instead-and stood on her back to keep her pinned for a moment. May examined her tail again, now noticing something wriggling on it. Sure enough, there was a small vine wrapped on her tail, with a tiny seed on it. She leered at it, before pulling it off and crushing it. The decimation of the link between his seed caused Mossy to pause for a split second. He smirked again, as Wyrm missed a rattail slap with his tail.

"You know far too many moves-I understand the need for this...but I can't say I feel this is anywhere near fair." Wyrm bobbed his head left and right, as Mossy whipped at the snake in retaliation, not giving any quarter. After a minutes of colliding whips and tails, both Pokemon stopped, breathing faster than usual. Just then, May came flying in, pinning Mossy under her weight.

"Now you are going to stay RIGHT UNDER ME until you explain why you are fighting us!" Mossy, caught off guard, fell flat on his face. He used his vines to swipe some sand away so he could see and breathe. Wyrm was moving closer to him, and his mouth was full of fire-nasty, hot, unrelenting, forestkilling fire.

One last gambit. As May lied on him, he watched, and true to his instincts, Zent came roaring up. The little girl managed to spy Wyrm about to set Mossy on fire, and she made a beeline for the snake.

"NO FIRE ON MOTHY!"

"Oh don't worry Zent, this won't hurt you a bit. Can't say the same for Ol' Grassy here!" Wyrm stated, as he raised his head back--and felt a rocky hand shove his head upward and to the left.

The shove caused the Flamethrower to fly wide, Sue watching it shoot off target. Zent grabbed Wyrm's midsection, and laid in for a bite again, but Wyrm wriggled free and Slammed her backwards before slithering behind May.

"She's faster! Is it that weird dance she does?"

"I think so! I never thought about it before, but every time she does it, she can keep up." May replied, as she squirmed to keep Mossy under. With Wyrm preoccupied for the moment, Mossy decided to test out his new move. He kept calm and took the time to remember what the folks in that room told him. To calm down and think of the element, and then let it grow in your body, and the move would come naturally.

Wyrm turned back to Mossy, seeing the plant not struggling anymore. May was visibly sweating, her arms buckling. "Hurry Wyrm! Burn him so we can figure out what is going on!" Obviously, as Wyrm readied a Flamethrower-May did not get what was going on.

"Hrm. Beauty before brains...proven again."

"What? What did you say?" May shouted, loosening her grip on Mossy-exactly what he needed. He shoved himself up, tossing May on her back and swung around to face Wyrm. The Dratini smirked, and just opened his mouth, letting loose a slew of flames. His flamethrower reached Mossy, but the plant began to steam instead of alight! All of a sudden, everything around Wyrm faded to white, and he felt his body freeze over so fast that it felt like it was burned! The cold was excruciating and the Dratini immediately shriveled up into a tight set of coils, to try and endure the strike.

May winced as she barely sat up, spying Mossy's use of his prize for making it to second place in the Tournament. She had heard earlier that he knew a new Ice Move, but she had never saw it. She DID know it tired Mossy out, and true to her knowledge, the plant did seem to breathe heavier from using it. But she also saw that he backed away from Wyrm, telling her that despite his efforts, he wasn't trying to overpower them all.

"You're holding back....this isn't real?! THIS IS YOUR IDEA OF A JOKE?" May was furious. "This your way of showing off? How dare you!" But before she could yell anymore, a final surge of energy left her body, and she fell over, barely able to stand. Zent ran over, eager to sink her teeth into May one last time. However, she received a severe whip to the back from Mossy, and that left her pretty stunted. Wyrm barely raised his head as Mossy kept one vine up, and looked to Sue.

"So. You are the strongest of them-and they managed this long without the little one's Sandstorm-creation. I see." Sue slowly lowered off of the rock and floated over to Wyrm, resting her hands on him. Using her uncanny powers, she was able to restore Wyrm a good size portion of health. The Dratini unfurled, still shivering.

"I--Im--Impressive." was all he managed, before recoiling around himself. Mossy's eyes diverted to May and Zent, as Sue slowly went over and healed each of them of their ills. May stayed lying down for a moment, as Zent hopped up and walked slowly to Mossy. She didn't know what to think for the moment, he hit her once and it hurt...alot.

"Zent do bad? Why Mothy hit her?"

Mossy looked to Sue, and Sue nodded, taking over. "No Zent. You did very well, as far as I can tell. Mossy held back, but I believe that was the point he was trying to make. You three are just as important to Rapp as he is, and he wants any one of you three to be able to take him on. Wyrm and May, I observed this battle to see how well you two could work together, and for the most part, I believe you both saw your shortcomings."

Wyrm nodded, as May still had a look of confusion on her face. "So...this was training? But when are we ever going to have to fight some super strong creatu--oh. Yeah. The thing under the lighthouse. But Mossy we--oh. You were gone. OHHH! To help us!"

Wyrm shook his head, amazed at how long it took her to put that together. "Caught up Blondie? Good."

His face received a comet speed slap, and he went rolling aways down the beach. "Knock it off, Icicle-tini!" she shouted, hand still raised across her chest. "I was asleep! No one has to fight when they're asleep unless they---OH! Oh god Mossy, why couldn't you just say all this. Its too EARLY to train for the unexpected."

Zent looked to May, perplexed. May's lack of finishing sentences left the girl confused as to what she was realizing. Not only that, but no one was fighting anymore. She looked to Sue and Mossy one more time, before turning away and stumbling down the beach toward where Wyrm laid. The glistening rocks-wet from the ocean waves seemed to be her target, unless an unsuspecting mollusk poked its shell out of the sand. It turned to be a seafood smorgasbord for the little lizard.

Wyrm recovered, and slithered past Zent to get back within earshot of the others. Mossy welcomed his return, stepping aside so Wyrm could fit right back into the makeshift circle. Attention turned to Sue, who took a moment to look back at the lighthouse. "We should get back. But I wanted to tell you all that for the moment, your survival is dependant on Mossy more often than not. I can tell he hates having that pressure on him as well. As we learned last night, we need more than to rely on your strongest member."

"No. Not true. We have had our own battles as well. We don't rely on Mossy for everything! We just knew he could help a lot last night."

"Not what she means; May."

May sucked her teeth, and looked to Wyrm. "Alright. What does he mean, since he can't even talk to explain himself."

"I understand what Mossy wants from us. He wants us to be able to expect the unexpected. I think that's why he doesn't talk. He watches. He studies. He investigates before making a move. And he never lets anyone know how well he can battle. Mossy knows more than I thought Tangelas could know. While we can do well with evasive maneuvers, fighting Mossy today showed just how bad we can't defend ourselves against even him! That monster prolly knew alot more moves, and we have to go back down there again! We don't know what to expect! All he wants is for us is not necessarily to be as strong as him, but to know what we each can do so we can work together better."

May retracted her tongue, realizing she had spoken too soon. What the Dratini said made perfect sense, and it did help to know what each other could do. She turned to the plant and raised her hand again. Mossy watched her arm as it tensed up, aiming to backhand him. He kept his eyes on her hand, until it lowered.

"Don't ever attack me in the morning again. I'm going back inside to take my beauty rest." She marched past them all, and headed toward the lighthouse, yawning and holding her tail. "Oh and Zent! You bite too hard!"

Zent roared in reply, as she crunched on a shell. Watching her munch away carefree, Sue and Wyrm both felt hunger pains onset. "Well shall we? I'm now hungry after that workout. I think this afternoon, I'll take you on, one on one Mossy?" Wyrm asked. Mossy nodded, and then crossed a pair of vines in front of him as they headed back.

"X? "X" to what?" Wyrm inquired. Mossy wriggled one of his head curls, showing it was crumpled and black. Wyrm smirked. "Sure. No fire. But no Ice from you then!" Mossy nodded, and turned back to see if Zent was following. Sure enough, she was, but she stopped to pick up a shell and toss it in her mouth.

"She eats them like they're potato chips." Sue stared, as Mossy shrugged. Wyrm chuckled, amused at how fast this morning moved compared to the last few weeks. "Come on Zent, let's go."

She replied with a muffled roar, spewing bits of shell and shards of rock and began plodding back, catching up after a few moments of shellchip harvesting. Once she reached the group, the four of them headed back into the lighthouse, eager to get the rest of the day started.

As they vanished out of view into the lighthouse, a pair of tired wayward eyes leaned back into seclusion. His room was now fully lit with the sun bearing into his room. A good thing, as he was able to watch it all from his bedroom. A smile was on his face as he slowly sat on the bed, fingers resting on his knees.

"They're starting to work as a team, for me. I can't sit here and let them go at it alone. I have to get better at this Pokemon business. But...I don't even know half of their attacks, let alone what Zent is! Maybe Jake and Mary can help..."

Rapp pondered his next course of action as he lumbered toward the small door to the west of the bed, where a small bathroom was.

"Yeah, I need to learn more about myself and about them, before we move on together."

***

As Mossy and Sue went inside to refuel, Wyrm thought it better to gear himself for the upcoming match he had just asked for. The plant may have had a plethora of moves to utilize, but he was faster, and he knew that could work in his favor. That-and he did not have to worry about the ice move that nearly wiped him off the map not a half hour before. Knowing Mossy had a move of that magnitude gave Wyrm a true reason to excel himself now. He turned around and slithered inside, knowing he needed to eat.

As the trio ate, May stayed asleep, determined to reclaim the missing beauty she lost. As she wrapped up under the covers, the trio made sure to quietly gather some food and head back outside. When everything silenced, May huffed and rolled over, only to hear a new set of footsteps shuffling into the main living area. She turned over and popped her head out of the covers, determined to tongue lash whomever was making noise. That elastic like muscle flew out, but was paused in mid flight by her once she focused on the individual leaning against the counter.

Rapp had managed to make it downstairs, but his head was still throbbing. Rubbing his forehead where a gauze bandage was wrapped, he winced. The cut was still pretty pained there, and there was going to be a pretty nice scar there for a little bit. He turned and noticed May and her tongue, prompting a laugh.

"What, you never seen me groggy before?"

May gleefully rolled out of the makeshift bed and ran over, hugging his leg. Rapp knelt down and reciprocated the hug, before looking down at her. "Hey there beautiful."

"Hey there yourself!" came another voice from behind Rapp. Both May and Rapp swiveled to see Mary standing by the base of the stairs, a fresh gauze on her left arm, ready to be wrapped. "You almost gave me a heart attack. Come sit down here so I can redress that nasty harpoon hit."

Rapp nodded and held May's hand as he sat down in a chair. Mary grabbed a bowl and went over to the sink to fill it with some fresh water. Putting everything on the table next to the chair, she slowly cut off the old gauze, making sure to pick it up just in case Zent was around. While she took care in doing this, May spoke-infinitely glad that Sue was able to translate the speech patterns so they all could communicate-even when she was not in the immediate vicinity.

"How do you feel? Better yet? I hope so. I need you to yell at Wyrm, he's so snippish..."

"No. Not better. In fact, as I said, we'll have to stay for a while. We have to go back downstairs at some point, and that won't be safe until I know that you all can handle yourselves. But that also goes for me. I can't just have you do what you think its right, I have to be better at knowing what you all are capable of. That's where you come in, Mary,"

"Me?" Mary asked, as she rinsed her hands. She grabbed a sponge and tilted Rapp's head back, to get a better idea of how to wipe the caked up blood off of his forehead. "Why me? Jake's much better at battling-if that's what you mean."

"Not necessarily. I was wondering if there was some way for me to learn more about them. I've merely been letting them do their own thing, and recalling what I've seen them do. But I also know they have moves I never seen before-because they never attempted them."

Mary nodded and looked outside the window. From her position, she could not see where the others were, and she turned back to May. "Ok May. I need you to go to the bookcase in the small bedroom. Jake might still be asleep. I don't know. But in there, there will be a book labeled Pokemon arrivals-432 AD. It'll have a list of all the Pokemon documented in Ulthuan so far. We have a resource like that here because of all the ones that come on ships and then hang around the lighthouse. Its not complete, its just a list of the ones most common around this area of Eataine."

Rapp quietly waited as he felt the new gauze wrapped around his head. It was pulled taut, and then her hands left his scalp. Feeling his head, the gauze didn't shift annoyingly, nor hung over his vision. Perfect.

"Thank you Mary, for both taking care of this wound and for this literature. This will help alot." Mary nodded and grabbed all the soiled materials. "I'll go throw this out, and then find Jake. Maybe he'll know of a better source of information."

As she left the room, Rapp's eyes lingered on her. He had no way to thank these people-and that was unacceptable in his mind. Attention was broken by May's tug on his leg. Looking down, she held up the book for Rapp to take.

"Huh? Oh you found it. Ok." He grabbed it and kept it low so May could peruse it as well. The book itself was thin and pointed out attacks for a large group of water based Pokemon. As they perused it, Rapp shook his head. "This doesn’t help. This area would need to know the types of water dwellers, but I need information on you all. Maybe we should find Jake."

Rapp got up and slowly headed toward the door. He barely opened the door before it flew open. Instinct kicked in, and Rapp knelt down to block May as well as look for the fastest route to dodge whatever might be outside. He peeked outside, to see Sue standing there, with a look of shock on her face. Mossy was yards away, running up to the lighthouse. Rapp unfurled over May and went to take a step. His foot tapped something below him, and he looked down. To his surprise, Wyrm lied there, twitching. The Dratini was obviously beaten, and Rapp picked him up, petting his back.

"Egad, what happened?"

"Perhaps I should explain. Mossy and Wyrm were training. But the disparity between Mossy and Wyrm was far too much for the little one to take, and he found himself flying toward the door at a speed he did not anticipate for." Rapp looked over to Sue, who placed her gaze on the little grasser as he stopped in front of Rapp.

"You've been training, and I am happy that you've taken the initiative." Rapp said calmly, as Mossy raised his vines in happiness to see Rapp on his feet. Rapp looked to Wyrm, and noted that the poor guy was knocked out cold. "But, you willingly went all out on him? That's irresponsible, Mossy! We need to train to deal with attacks, not just take whatever comes at us!" Slightly disappointed with his friends' judgment, Rapp sauntered back inside, carrying Wyrm. May and Mossy looked to each other, before they looked back in the lighthouse, watching Rapp lie Wyrm on the table.

"Is...he mad at you?" May asked, looking back at Mossy. Mossy shrugged, unsure what that outburst was about. He didn't seem to let it bother him, as Sue floated in the house. What the rest of the Pokemon could not tell was what Sue was now intrigued about.

"You worry you are not going to be able to train with them, that they'll get hurt as bad as you?"

"Stop reading my mind please."

"I did not. Your emotions told me."

Rapp turned to look at her, as Wyrm 's breathing was labored. He took a moment to think and then looked at the door, where May and Mossy stood just out of earshot. "You might be right. I would never forgive myself. But to see this occur just now, I don't even know what they're truly capable of."

"This is why Mossy started today. He knew this, and he wanted them to know what they could do together. There is nothing to be mad about. In fact, I believe that I can help you in your current dilemma."

"Oh?" Rapp asked, curious as to what she was referring to.

"I am a Psychic Pokemon, a Gardevoir. I can tell you their species, as well as the attacks that they are utilizing-including new ones they learn. I know that the little rock one knows at least one attack that she has not done because she has not tried."

Rapp turned and looked around. In the midst of the morning hecticness, he had not heard Zent at all. The others realized she was not somewhere snacking and immediately looked to the hallway. The door fortunately was still shut, heavy metal plates that were replacements for the sides of the light fixture upstairs now piled atop it. May calmly walked over to where she remembered Zent was sleeping the night before and peered under the staircase.

"Yeap. She's asleep." May affirmed, relieving Rapp for the time being. Rapp looked over the table to where May stood and nodded, remembering that location.

"Fine. I'll work with her later today. You two, I want to get rest. Sue, would you help me with them all?"

Sue nodded and then vanished, apparently called to a different part of the lighthouse. Mossy meanwhile, plodded toward the stairs. With Rapp up and acting funny, he had a feeling that he was acting out of some place that was never apparent before. Before he could get far, Rapp called for him.
"Hey Moss. Let me get those two TM's we were gonna give May and Zent. Or, better yet. I'll take the one for Zent. You bestow the one on May when you feel she can use it. I know Zent could use hers almost immediately..." Moss nodded and fished out the two boxes, flicking them over to Rapp. He caught both of them in turn and stuffed the thin boxes into his inside pocket.

"May, when she wakes up, tell me? I'm going...to go for a walk."

May nodded and went back to her own bed to lay down. Wyrm lied still on the table, still sleeping shallowly. Mary and Sue were entering the lighthouse from a side door, and immediately Mary sauntered over to Rapp, resting a hand on his shoulder before he left. "Hey you. Go easy on your buddy up there. He's just as worried as you."

"Its not him I'm worried about." Rapp stated, as he turned to face the red haired, freckle faced green eyed mistress of the tower. "It's myself."

Rapp left her with those words and headed out to take in the day on the sands.

The rest of the day passed without incident. Wyrm woke up after a few hours, fully energized. May noted Zent's awakening and gave a raspberry that alerted Rapp. Rapp quickly went back in the house and was greeted by an overeager lizard. Smirking at her exuberance, he then told her his plan, and she idly went along, glad to play with Rapp for a little. Sue followed, leaving the others to wonder just what this one on one would yield.

Sue, Zent and Rapp headed east, away from the water. The little dinosaur began to skip-or at least a version of it, and a song came out of her jaws. As she sang, Rapp and Sue began to chat, Rapp learning that her species was only the base for a much more powerful species. Sadly, Sue told Rapp that not many Larvitars make it to the final stage, and their Trainers leave them to stay in their vulnerable second stage.
"While just as varied in attack prowess as their larva stage, Pupitars-as they are called-lack the ability to move readily. This make them very hard to train. You have to make sure you can move her when she reaches that point. Its also why she's eating so much, she'll one day gestate and transform into her pupa stage."

"Wow. I never would have guessed." Rapp stated, looking down as Zent continued to sing. Sue smiled at her innocence, and stopped after a moment. "Well, I believe this is far enough. I can Teleport us back to the lighthouse when you are done."

"Alright. Sue, whatever happens now, do not interfere until I say we're done."
Sue obliged, backing away, as Zent smelt the mood change in the air. She turned to look at Rapp, unsure what was happening.

"Ok Zent. Here's the game. You have to hit me. Once. Using any move you can-except the sandy one. If you don't hit me in a few minutes, I'm going to hit you." Zent looked at him oddly, and then to Sue. Knowing she was helping him understand her, she spoke slowly.

"Why...hit..Zent? Zent do bad?"

"You aren't being disciplined, no. I'm training you. I want you to hit me, so we can make you stronger, like Mossy, May and Wyrm."

"ZENT STWONGA THAN STINKYSNAKE!" She emphasized, and ran at Rapp. Rapp quickly backpedaled, leaving Zent to stop and rethink her charge. The boy was not running until she got close. She sneered and roared, causing her body to release a deluge of sands. Rapp crossed his arms over his face and knelt down as the Sandstorm engulfed him.

"Good! Good Zent! Now try to hit me!" Rapp yelled through the storm. He knew this move at least, and it was the best move she had at her disposal for helping her lack of motion. The lack of motion that was notably lessened as Zent ran in from the left. Rapp cartwheeled away from her small grasp, and watched barely as Zent disappeared into the sands again.

Rapp listened through the winds, and was able to pick out a different set of sounds, which he assumed to be her moving around. Her feet were pounding the ground, leading him to believe that she was dancing. "Sue-what is it that makes her faster after she dances?"

"It's called a Dragon Dance. It allows the user to move quicker and attack stronger."

"Really?" Rapp replied, jumping over her as she dashed in again, trying to bite him. He heard her fall on her face and grunt.

"Come on, I know you can do it. You already made it hard for me to see you!" He switched back to talking to Sue as he backpedaled to avoid her incoming footsteps. "So she gets faster each time she dances. That's why she does it twice. It puts her on an even playing field."

"Zent, where are you? Can't always bite your opponent, we're gonna get you something new soon, I promise." he called out as he began to walk around a small area again. Zent didn't answer, but instead leered onto the position of where his voice came from. She knew he was faster than her still, much like that worm, and dancing all the time would just make her tired after a while. But with his location guessed, maybe she could do that other thing. After that fight with the slimewhipper, she felt a strange surge of energy come up from her belleh. It ruptured from her before, and knocked it back into the sea. Since then, she had been thinking about how to do it, and right now, she nodded to herself, coaxing herself to do it.

She stayed put and opened her mouth. Instead of a roar, her mouth began to gather sand. The sand then began to swirl on its own, and then blast away as a new form of energy appeared. Zent clenched her fists and closed her eyes, focusing only the bevy of energy in her body.

Rapp stopped moving, noting that his ears did not pick up Zent. Rather, he felt a deep pit of earthern energy coming from the east. He couldn't see Sue, and as such, was unsure of its source. As he walked closer, something clicked in his head and and he instinctively ducked. As he crouched, he noted the winds began to die down. Still bleary eyed from all the sands, he dared not try to see what was creating this feeling in his stomach. That all changed when his body was blasted with a massive ball of energy that threw him across the area. He crashed on the ground and rolled a few times before his body gained lift once more. He landed on his feet and coughed, shocked from the power of that energy!

"Sue, what was that? And where's Zent?" he shouted, as the sands finally fell. Sue waited until Rapp stopped wheezing for air, before pointing over to the east where the energy source originated. To his surprise, the energy signature that he felt came from the little beast! He stared in amazement, and realized that was the power Sue had mentioned earlier. He nodded and stayed kneeling, laughing. "Alright. You got me. You win."

The Larvitar grunted, rearing her head back once more. Rapp noted her demeanor and raised one hand. "No Zent. Don't fire it. Save that energy. You've just learned this attack, don't go wasting it--" But it was too late. The opening up of this type of power had a drawback-her young body was not used to it and as such, she did not know how to shut if off. A second blast ripped out of her, and Rapp heaved himself to the east to avoid it. Zent waved her arms around rapidly, trying to cover her own mouth. As she did so, she inadvertently fired another blast to the sky. She looked down at her feet, and released another blast, throwing her skyward. Rapp and Sue both watched that occur, and Rapp dashed to catch her. But that was a bad idea. As she rotated in the air, Rapp dashed right under her. He jumped up to intercept her flight, but wound up right in the crosshairs of a lizard with another blast ready to fire. He barely crossed his arms before the blast slammed into his forearms and knocked him to the ground. Sue stepped in, using her powers to slow Zent's landing. As Zent fell to the ground, she buried her head into the harder ground and forced herself to bite down. She crunched through a few rocks, and then looked back up.

No blast! She clapped and then made her way back over to Rapp. The boy was on his back, staring at the sky. As she walked into his vision, Rapp looked over to her, and weakly raised a hand to pet her. "You--you did good. We're good for right now. Sue...what was that?"

"That is a Earthern Power. I think the name speaks for itself." she replied, floating over to see if he needed assistance. Rapp nodded and closed his eyes, one hand lightly resting on his now bleeding scar. "Mary's gonna be mad, hehehe." Zent giggled and patted Rapp on the head twice, causing the boy to wince in pain. Sue smirked, shocked that he would even attempt such a endeavor as taking an Earth Power head on.

As Rapp lied there, Sue was quick to notice that the blast left not a mark on his body. She quickly scanned him, and -aside from knocking the wind out of him from its force-and agitating his already open wound, there were no other lacerations from any of it. She pondered the explanation of that, as Rapp finally sat up. Zent had found interest in some dirt and began to eat it, as Rapp staggered to his feet."

"K...Sue...we're done. Need to get back...feel light headed." Sue nodded and floated over to Zent. The little girl noted her arrival, and looked back to Rapp. Seeing his wobbling stance made the little girl worry for his safety and she ran right over obediently. Holding onto his leg, Rapp weakly smiled and peered down as Sue wrapped them in a warm light. In a moment's passing they all stood in the upstairs bedroom-where Mary was busy fixing up the bed.

"Oh! You are back! That wa--what did you do!?!?"

"Oh uhh..Zent used Sandstorm! It was super effective.." he joked as he pointed to the gauze, now a nice brownish red color. Mary didn't find it funny at all, as she shoved Rapp onto the bed and attacked his gauze, tearing it off. The scar was heavily slashed by the sand grains, and needed immediate attention.

"You can't go infecting yourself or it'll never heal!" she stated, as she ran to fetch gauze from the small bathroom. "Sue, Zent, can you excuse me?" Mary asked as she pulled out scissors and alcohol and all sorts of ointments that Rapp was altogether leery about once he saw their quantities. Sue nodded and began to walk out, calling to Zent's overeating nature. "How about some late lunch, hrm?"

"Sure! Wait! What Wapp give Zent?" she cried out before leaving.

"Once I come back down, I'll give you a new move! It'll help you against Wyrm." Rapp replied, before Mary clasped her hand over his mouth. In her free hand was a bottle of alcohol, the lid conveniently removed. "Hold still. This will be Super Effective as well!" Rapp 's eyes opened wide, and he tried vehemently to sit up. His tired state and Mary's purposeful sitting on his stomach made for a very pinned situation. As Zent closed the door, the screams that came from closed doors sounded unnatural. Though muffled, Sue could hear them arguing over the validity of her nurse methods-and then more screaming from Rapp.

"Wapp ok?" Zent asked, as Sue mentally lifted Zent and herself, floating down to the lower level of the lighthouse in seconds. Sue nodded, reassuring her. "They're fine, they have their own issues to sort out. Now, about that lunch..."


2 days ago

Waking up early was easy for Wyrm. He found that the morning was the best time to accomplish a few introspective things about himself. For one-he could slither around and find his way into a box of food, eat his fill and leave before anyone noticed. The planimal was always up earlier than him, and that was fine, there was really no clashing of ideals between them. Today was different.

Wyrm yawned, unfurling a little in order to look around. He was still in the lighthouse, comfortable under those covers. But, instead of the possible sound of steam from that teapot, or the scent of some sort of exotic tea-there was only the sharp breeze of the ocean. He shivered and turned toward the front door. It was wide open, blowing in the wake of the sea's gusts. Slithering to the opening, he looked outside, and witnessed a strange sight.

The ocean was vast and with its vastness came many a mysterious event. Today was one of those days. Sometime during the night, a boat had docked on the rocks near the lighthouse, obviously seeking shelter. It was a sailboat, but the sails were down. Wyrm slithered over to the boat's hull, and poked it with his tail. Nothing. He slithered up the side and peered in the boat. All he could see was a box. Feeling a bad sensation about the box, Wyrm backed out of the boat, and slithered to a rock, just in case something was watching. Turning to look at the lighthouse, he spied Rapp looking over the edge of the balcony. The boy had not spied the boat, as he was looking the wrong way. Wyrm groaned and hung his head, amazed at how oblivious to the world he could be. Instead of simply shouting his name, he did the theoretical smart thing, and raised up as high as he could. Pointing his mouth straight up, he released a small but powerful set of flames.

The scent of the fire turned Rapp's gaze and he immediately focused on the firestream. Knowing that Wyrm didn't use attacks arbitrarily, he noted it as something wrong. The boat caught his attention next, and that was enough for Rapp to take action. He ran out the room holding his head as he still felt woosy. He took the steps two at a time, and reached the bottom of the stairs. He looked in the living area, and saw May still snoozing under her blanket. Turning around, he saw the green shading of Zent in her hidey hole. Jake's door was slightly ajar, so he still did not return from wherever it was he disappeared to. Running back to the stairwell, he looked up to the swiveling light. He couldn't tell if Mary and Sue were up there-and he had not seen Mossy around either. Unsure where they were, Rapp dashed outside, and waved his hand. Wyrm ceased fire, and slithered to meet him halfway. Rapp knelt down, rubbing his arms to warm up. "When did that ship get here?"

"Don't know. I just got up. I figured you or Mossy would know."

"Don't know. Haven't seen Mossy since yesterday." Rapp replied, looking around the area. Something about the ship bothered him, since it was docked perfectly, and no one was in it waiting for assistance.

"Yeah. The lighthouse door was open." Wyrm pointed out, pointing to the lighthouse. Rapp turned back to look at the Dratini, whom shook his head-anticipating the next question before it was even asked. Rapp stood up, and looked to the lighthouse, and around it. Something near the lighthouse caught his eye, and he began to trot over. "Come on Wyrm. I think we have a problem."

The pair dashed over to a spot a ways west from the lighthouse entrance. On the spot lied a cloth strip, pinned down by a stone. Rapp and Wyrm curiously spied the spot and then each other. It was evident someone had been digging there, and Wyrm now turned to look at the ship.

"There was a box in the boat..." Wyrm murmured. Rapp caught his train of thought, and looked around. "..but where is the owner of the ship?"

"Right here, matey!" a voice called out. Rapp and Wyrm turned around to see a lone figure standing next to the lighthouse. He leaned on it ever so casually-as the wind blew his long tattered locks in the breeze. The white tunic hung loosely on his arms as he half walked-half sauntered over, boots kicking sand in Wyrm's face as he reached them. His breath smelt of rum and sour fruit, and his mouth gleaned of gold and silver caps where teeth should have gone.

"Are you the proprietors of said beacon of hope and perpetual sailing under safe conditions?" he asked, looking up at the lighthouse.

"Wha-um no. Who are you?" Rapp asked, confused. The man turned around, and looked Rapp up and down, before looking at the big nosed Dratini. Wyrm moved a little closer to the man, and the man backed up a step. Wyrm wriggled a little closer still, and the man backed up with two prancing steps

"Err, what is that, bloody worm of worms?"

"He's a Dratini." Rapp stated, puzzled at the man's demeanor. He seemed calm, aloof even, but for what reason? And why was he snooping around the lighthouse? The man walked past the pair of them, and pointed to the caves aways down the coast. "Boy-have you seen anyone come out of those caves?"

"No. Who are you and why are you here?"

"That doesn't matter yet. I only need to know what I now know and so now you know that you don't need to know what I know, savvy?"

Rapp barely followed the man's speech and gesticulations, as he fixed his awkwardly three pointed hat and made his way back to the boat. Rapp and Wyrm followed briskly after, overtaking him in a few strides.

"Whoa wait. Why are you here, and what did you dig up?"

"Dig? I did nothing of the sort. Jack Jack did."

"Who's Jack Jack?" Rapp asked, looking around. Wyrm sniffed the air, but picked up no scent. The man stared at Rapp, and pointed at him, his ringed finger swirling -as if it had difficulty pointing at him.

"Boy, Jack Jack is the most unscrupulous, erratically annoying Mankey you have ever met."

"Mankey? Rapp asked. His answer would be confirmed as Wyrm suddenly went whipping past them, evidently thrown. Rapp looked down, and was welcomed with angry red eyes-deepset in a roundish body. Long appendages and tail-all tan complected-completed the ensemble of this figure, and it stomped around Rapp, before jumping in place.

"That...is Jack Jack I presume?"

"The one and only. Well then, I think he wants to stay, so I will bequeath possession of him to you." the fellow stated, and made off toward the boat.

"Oh hey no WAIT!" Rapp countered, and gave chase. As the two figures chased each other down the beach, Wyrm recovered from his sneak attack. He turned to see the two humans running, and following them was a strange shape Pokemon. Wyrm's eyes slitted, and he blazed after, determined to beat the snot of something this morning. No one sneak attacks him and escapes!

[Wyrm Lv 10 vs Mankey Lv 10]

"You do not have a reason to engage me in this chase sir!" cried the wily fellow as he ran left and right. Rapp skidded around a rock and sped up; cutting the fellow off before he got any closer to the boat.

"Look. I don't know why you are here, but you being here means you needed something. Why are you here?" Rapp asked.

Before the man could speak, Jack Jack landed on his back next to them. Both men looked down and then to Wyrm, who was glaring daggers at the Mankey. Jack Jack sprung up,and immediately began throwing a tantrum-the flamboyant fellow backing up a step or two.

"Oh. your Worm has done it now. Now Jack's going to be aggravated. Terrible sight, seen him beat a one armed man with his own arm."

"So he just hits hard?" Rapp asked

"No. The fellow has no arms now." the man replied, before turning to see Jack Jack approach Wyrm. "Beat 'im up so I can set sail, JackJack!"

"Hey Hey whoa! Wyrm, Thunder Wave it! No need to take anymore hits!"

Wyrm nodded in response to the tip and watched as the apeish Pokemon ran at him; ready to lay hands on him again. The worm quickly shivered, releasing a thin wave of energy across his body to the immediate area. Jack Jack ran in, and punched Wyrm a few times, making the Dratini kink up in response. Backing away, Jack Jack felt his body itch all over, and he seemed ticked off about it. Rapp spied the onset of the paralysis and issued new orders.

"Oh, do that speed tackle thing twice--hey get BACK here!" He called out as he turned to see the fellow stepping into the boat. Upon being spotted, the man quickly pulled the rope that anchored the boat to the mainland up, causing the rope to conduct a ripple. Somehow, Rapp noted the rope wrapped around his left ankle, and that caused him to trip and fall on his back. As he rolled over, the man called out. "Jack Jack. Low Kick it again! We're done here-no elf evidence here."

Rapp rolled over, confused. Did he say "elf"? As he kipped up, Wyrm shot across the sands, ramming his body into Jack. Jack raised his hands and held his ground, but it was evident the pigmonkey was hurting. Wyrm however, did not have a chance to unfurl from his ball like state before he felt his form kicked HARD. He went rolling backwards and slammed into a rock. Unfurling from the impact, Wyrm groaned and watched as Jack Jack twitched and ticked in anguish. That was why Rapp said to do it twice-to amount for the possible onset of paralysis. This time, Wyrm knocked Jack Jack right to the head of the ship. Rapp meanwhile, had managed to hold onto the ship, stopping the man from sailing away.

"What do you know about elves!" Rapp asked, breathing heavily. The man seemingly didn't hear him, and went back to searching for something in his boat. Rapp stepped in the boat and asked again, as Jack Jack pushed off the hull. "What...do you know...about elves?"

The man turned around, noting Rapp's voice had attained a gutteral component. Swiftly, the man reached for his belt, picking up a small box. Opening the box revealed to Rapp a compass. Looking at it, Rapp noted the arrow turning toward his general direction. The man seemed surprised at that heading and looked to Rapp. He shook the compass and looked at it again.

"Excuse me. Could you stand over there? I want to make sure you aren't some sort of elf."

Rapp stepped to the right as instructed-though he did not know why, shouting blindly. "Wyrm. Wrap it! I know you can do that. Then set it on fire!" The man looked back to the battle, surprised about hearing fire.

"JackJack, if you get set on fire, don't come near my ship!"

Wyrm nodded, and swiftly slithered around the Mankey. The apemon had a nasty temper and showed it with a set of scratches to Wyrm's body as he wrapped around his midsection tighter. The ape pushed on Wyrm, trying to get him off, but it seemed to be of no use.

Wyrm smirked,and opened his mouth, ready to scorch the ape into the next century. But Jack Jack was just as odd as its master. In one motion, both Wyrm and ape were tossed into the brink. The flames were washed out with the salt water, and Wyrm uncoiled. The seawater got down his throat and he surfaced, coughing heavily.

"Hey! I thought you didn't LIKE water!" the man shouted at Jack. A angry screech was his reply, and the fellow looked to Rapp. "Damn cretin. Drives me mad. Are you sure you don't want 'im. He's a lively party guest, or an even better hat!"

A second glance at the compass, and the arrow pointed to Rapp. Looking at Rapp again, the man asked a single question.

"Boy, you sure you not an elf?"

"I'm not. Why do you ask?"

"Because. You have pointy ears. See my ears?" He lifted up his braids, revealing an ear. "Its small, miniature even, compared to yours. Yours even move. I can barely move mine." He tried to wiggle his ear, but only managed to smile really hard before his ear even minorly shifted. Rapp shook his head, confused. "Wait, you're saying that because I have pointy ears, I'm an elf?"

"No, I'm saying that because of your pointy ears, you're an elf. Anyone can have pointy ears. I knew a gal with large ears. Lovely lady. May have to pay her a visit..." The man trailed off and went back to rummaging in the boat, looking back at the water. "Are you done yet?"

Rapp turned back to the battle, to see Wyrm reattached to Jack Jack, and Jack Jack scratching and dunking himself underwater so Wyrm was unable to use his flamethrower. It didn't help that paralysis didn't seem to help too much, other than piss it off. Rapp quickly looked around, and decided it was better to end this.

"Wyrm, you can swim. Do a swimming speed tackle and get him in this boat!" Wyrm nodded and unfurled from the Mankey. The animal bobbed back up, seeing the worm swim underwater. Thinking it was fleeing, the Mankey slapped the water and seemingly cheered its victory. It celebrated too soon as the blue bullet shot up at a incredible speed, and slammed the ape hard. Both went skyward,and the Dratini whipped Jack Jack again as they sailed, knocking the beast with speed into the boat. That impact disloged the boat and the man turned to see that he was slowly drifting in the water. Rapp quickly hopped out the boat, and kicked off the top to make sure the boat began sailing away.

"Thank ya mate...and thank ya for knocking him out!" he yelled, waving his hat in appreciation. "Kind elves such as you are a blessing. Be seeing you again!"

[Wyrm wins. Wyrm reaches lvl 11]

"I'M NOT AN ELF!" Rapp yelled back as Wyrm slithered to the beach, tired from that surprise battle. Rapp kneeled to check Wyrm. The Dratini gave him a half smirk, glad that was over. It was pretty sunny now-they had managed to waste the early morning. As the fellow sailed away over the horizon, Rapp pondered the man's statements. Could he really be an elf? That would not make sense. No one told him. Why would no one tell him this? And if there were no more elves left, then how could he be one? It was evident that man knew more than he let on.

"I have a feeling we're going to meet that odd sailor again...but I don't even know his name!"

Wyrm spat out salt water as a reply, disgusted with its taste. "This...has to be the strangest morning." Wyrm replied, breathing at a slower rate due to his lungs not being filled with the rancid seawater anymore. Rapp looked down, nodding.

"Let's get cleaned up and then start your real stuff today. Unlike the others, I know most of your attacks. Its just fine tuning them that I need to work on with you."

Wyrm nodded and slowly slithered toward the lighthouse. Rapp followed suit, but stopped at the lighthouse door. He looked over to that cloth with a rock on it-where something was dug up. But he remembered the man was standing by the lighthouse, and the area where they were standing was in the vicinity of that door. Knowing that was going to take investigating, Rapp headed inside-and to the kitchen area to get some food. He had to hurry and learn all he could, before that fellow came back and wanted more than to know if he was an elf.

The rest of the day went as Rapp planned, with Wyrm's skills being honed to a degree, and his knowledge of Dratini as a species expanded upon by Sue. As the day wound down to mere slivers of light across an ever expansive sea and sky, the weary battlers made their way home. Mary had cooked up a elaborate dinner of seafood and rice-and Jake had finally returned sometime throughout the day. After ensuring Zent had a plentiful amount of food scraps and seashells after her main meal, Rapp quickly joined the others in eating.

As the table discussion revolved around Jake and Sue, Rapp was intent on learning where Jake went, as well as what happened to Johnson. But the answers never came. As he listened, he found it became increasingly hard for him to focus on their voices. The room was slowly becoming more and more muffled, and he could not understand why. He turned from the table for a moment-and allowed his ears to pick up the sounds that he could hear. It first sounded like water splashing-but it was very far away.

Turning back to the table, Rapp politely excused himself-making up some excuse about early training session tomorrow. He quickly walked toward the stairwell, but his ears continued to shut everyone's voice out aside from the sounds of water splashing nearby. It wasn't the ocean, this sounded like as if May found a puddle and was stamping all around it. "Maybe there is water still in my ear?" he told himself, but he knew that could not be the case, because he barely heard himself.

"Its gotta be exhaustion." he convincingly stated, and began to march up the stairs. "I better get rest, I need to learn with May tomorrow, and she's not an early riser." He quickly dashed up the remaining stairs and flung himself in the spare bedroom, going to sleep almost immediately after hitting the sheets.

TBC

Lady Vulpix
19th July 2012, 09:42 PM
Here's Book 2. Don't worry, I'll reach the scenario soon enough :D
Where is it?

Anyway, Amy, sorry I missed your battle before. Thanks for pointing it out. It was funny how the Sandile caught herself. She reminds me of a few cats I know. I wonder what will happen when she's found out.

And poor Kovu, that was a nasty Gligar.

Take 11 stamps! :yes:¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Knight of Time
21st July 2012, 12:40 PM
Hi, uh, can I get an extension to this scenario please? Also, is it too late to ask for an extension for the previous scenario, or can I have an extension for that one too?

I'm feeling some intense training is in the cards for a couple of my Fire types.

Lady Vulpix
21st July 2012, 06:35 PM
You can have an extension for this scenario, although it's bound to be up for months.

We don't normally give extensions for previous scenarios, but... we need more activity. I suppose we can do it this time.

Skye
23rd July 2012, 12:47 PM
While going through my old items, I found a TM that I never used. A nice useful Double Kick TM. I also have a Blast Burn TM from the old tournament, but I still don't know who I'm going to give that one to... anyway, after trying to get this out for about 4 days, here's the next part...




Revenge...

Skye always made certain that the Pokémon could rest well between each venture into the rooms. Particularly with Eclipse's scrapes and Shadow having gotten his cast wet from standing in the snow, quite a bit of rest had been required. That was why she had insisted so many days ago that the training grounds would soon close, for even with planned breaks between them, they would end up in one room on the very last day that it was open. Thankfully, both rooms left were within one tower, so Skye wouldn't have to run back and forth at this point.

Still, coming into the Lava Room again was a suffocating ordeal. The heat rose from the waves of lava beneath, trying to suffocate the woman and the Meowth she kept by her side. Soon enough, however, Shadow leapt from her arms and hit the ground with his one leg raised. Pokémon didn't seem to stay wounded for that long, though she didn't want to let him have a battle right away. But, what she wanted and what might happen could become two very different things. Shaking her head, she simply let Shadow try to waddle around on the proper feet.

"You're lucky you're a Pokémon. It takes humans months to recover from that kind of damage…" she shot at Shadow, only to earn a sour look. It wasn't as if Skye needed to be reminded that without him, she would be Gyarados chow. Smiling in response, she knelt down to kiss the top of his head. "Thank you," she whispered softly for him before standing and letting Eclipse free of her Pokéball.

A delighted whiney escaped the dark Pokémon as she erupted into an enthusiastic little dance, her head tossing as she gazed about the familiar room. Skye couldn't help at laugh as the mare's obvious eagerness to prove herself a much stronger opponent. Of course, fighting against Pokémon she had the advantage against probably didn't seem like much of an advantage, but considering the trails Eclipse had gone through (or put herself through), it was clear enough that the Ponyta had something to prove to someone in here.

"So, shall we? Or are they going to come to us?" Skye hadn't a clue, honestly. Though they had sought out opponents in the other rooms, Eclipse had come to her for some reason. Maybe Fire types were just attracted to trouble. The question earned her an 'are you kidding me?' glance from both Pokémon, however, causing her to let out a sheepish little laugh. "And to think that I like Pokémon more than people because they aren't supposed to judge you… lead on, then…"

The heat was soon getting to her, however. Walking mere feet away from a deathly plunge was enough to make her heart pound, even as the heat and fumes made her head spin. Glancing up and around, she spotted what appeared to be distant vents, perhaps to keep people from inhaling a deadly amount of the stuff. Noticing Shadow cough a bit, she realized that it was the same for any Pokémon who wasn't of a fiery or poisonous nature. Growing dizzy herself, Skye pulled the collar of her shirt up to cover her nose and mouth, but when she reached to grab Shadow, the Meowth shied away from her touch. Apparently he wanted to go through this on his own.

They didn't have to walk far, however, before Eclipse stopped and looked down at the ground. Lowering her own gaze, Skye saw a small pile of obsidian, gathered from somewhere else and brought here specifically. The ground looked worn through, as if the pathway had been used good and hard. Soon enough, the sound of hooves echoed within the air, and glancing up, Skye finally knew why her Ponyta had been soaked through with stained fur when they had first met. A small group of other Ponyta were racing there way, and closing in fast. Nostrils flaring, she could hear them breathing, could hear their desperate racing, and wondered if Eclipse had been head of the herd or was one of those who always got caught in the middle.

Glancing towards Eclipse, she noticed the mare's head remained lowered as they came threateningly close to knocking them off, but the pathway split and she seemed to know that they were safe. They raced past the rocks and onto a different route, leaving Shadow clawing at the ground lightly as Skye leaned back instinctively, not wanting to get hit by a stray fleck of rock that those diamond hard hooves cut into. Soon enough, the group dropped into a trot, their breathing still heavy as the leaders of the group whirled about and started back up the path, pushing through the racing group to approach the strange trio.

Soft sounds escaped them, nickering which soon turned to bickering as Eclipse's ears flattened. Whatever they were 'talking' about didn't sit well with the mare. Even Shadow threw in his two cents, hissing and spitting at the naturally colored Ponyta. Teeth snapped in the air as Eclipse began to paw angrily into the ground, but before she could rush headlong into this fight as she did every fight, Skye pulled out another box of her endless bag of tricks. When, in reality, she was getting low on her TM supplies. Really, she had brought half of these here for trading and haggling, but since she had acquired a Ponyta, they fit her team now.

"Hey, now. Why don't we settle this in a fight. A fair one on one battle, hm?" she doused the Double Kick attack over Eclipse's back, letting the powder within do its magic. The other Ponyta backed off at a human's approach, and Shadow settled, seeming somewhat satisfied with it. Even Eclipse looked sheepishly delighted at the intervention. "Nothing in the Pokémon world can't be solved with a good physical clash."

One of the Ponyta to the side stepped forward, then. The way that the opponent moved, Skye could only guess that the mare in the middle, the one who had been doing the most bickering and snapping, had declined to fight personally. The groups sorted themselves out on the pathway, giving Eclipse and the lower ranking mare plenty of room to move on the already narrow stone pathway. Shadow leapt up to perch on Skye's shoulder, grumbling to himself. Skye got the faint impression that he didn't quite like the other Ponyta, and so grinned quite confidently as she turned to whisper into his ear, "She'll win. She has us on her side…"


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.12 vs. Ponyta Lv.15

"Toxic, Eclipse. Wear it down!" Skye called out. Fire against fire, their attack arsenal would be limited to begin with. Thankfully, for Eclipse, they had fought a good mix of battles with and without flames, giving her the edge. Or, at least that's what Skye would have hoped would be the case. Catching her words, Eclipse drew upon the toxins quite rapidly this time, perhaps because of the fumes. The nasty spew wouldn't be escaped, even if the other Ponyta tried to hastily back away from the battle. The pathway was too narrow to hide. It would be a full on battle.

Still, the opponent continued to back away. She kept shaking her head, as if trying to escape the nasty effects, but the poison had set in and wouldn't be leaving her system anytime soon. Still, once some space had been given, she began to paw the ground, striking sparks. Each shower grew more prominent until the electricity seemed to catch over the Ponyta. Bewildered, Skye could only watch as the electricity swelled and enveloped the Ponyta before she reared and crashed forward into an equally bewildered Eclipse.

Sparks flew everywhere, striking along the path and into the lava below as Eclipse's hooves dragged against the stone. Still, the Ponyta was quite stubborn as she locked against the other Ponyta defiantly. Legs were straining, locked, as Eclipse attempted to push the other Ponyta back, yet didn't possess the strength to do so, and was steadily being pressed back. Despite all of the battles, her physical prowess wasn't enough yet to give her the power to openly match her opponent.

"Don't give up…" Skye seemed almost at a loss, watching the obvious overpowering of one of her Pokémon. But it was inevitable that Eclipse's luck would run out sooner or later. And, for a moment, it looked as of Eclipse caught on to the sense of desperation in Skye's tone, for she slid back a few more inches before twisting away and beginning to make an escape, abandoning all hope. Feeding on this fear, the opponent began to bite at her shoulder when she turned, snapping at side, flank, and haunches as Eclipse situated herself before launching hooves outward in open defiance. Each strike landed powerfully and with a lot more pressure than simple forward pushing could have given.

Startled, the opponent staggered backwards before rearing up, readying herself to bring full weight down upon Eclipse, though the Ponyta followed her strike with yet another new technique, one unveiled quite recently with her increasing power. Violet and blue flames seemed to freeze into liquid metal, which quickly solidified. Tail moved, then, lashing like a whip combined with a long flail, striking true and hard. Though it wasn't effective in itself, it was enough to knock the opponent from her feet in her unbalanced state and bring her down. The toxins, as they usually did, managed to seal the deal, though Eclipse's fur was quite the mess from suffering such a Wild Charge.


Eclipse won and grew to level 14!

"A natural fighter…" Skye laughed in open disbelief as Eclipse had acted faster than the human tongue could follow. For a moment, it seemed as if Eclipse was basking in her victory, breathing heavily as the room seemed to grow even more heated. It didn't take her long to realize that the Ponyta was recycling the use of her healing technique, just like before, to keep up with the fighting. That could only mean one thing… she was going to fight again, and quite quickly. Skye reached out to grab Eclipse's Pokéball, fingers wrapping around the sphere. One easy gesture and it would stop and Eclipse could rest. And yet, the woman hesitated.

Her eyes lifted to gaze at the Ponyta, her head lowered as she breathed heavily, her strange light purple eyes fixated upon the Ponyta who milled nervously, pawing at the ground and nickering to their fainted companion. There was no hesitation to be seen in her body, she seemed certain and quite set on her ways, a dangerous and destructive nature brewing as Skye continued to try to calm her passions and help her fight with a level head. So, why not recall the Pokémon before she ruined herself before she even reached her prime?

Skye's fingers fell away from the Pokéball, her gaze drifting down to the Meowth who had taken to sitting on her feet as Eclipse recovered. He wasn't focusing on her, simply on what was happening between the Ponyta. Envy struck Skye, then, as she realized just how locked out of the Pokémon's world she was. She couldn't hear them, couldn't understand them, couldn't communicate more than they were willing to listen. It was a lonely feeling as she realized that she could only speculate why Shadow supported Eclipse so much, and yet always seemed to have hated Shandar. Shandar, who wanted to attack her at every chance, and yet she didn't understand why he and Eclipse had taken on a trainer's touch so willingly. And Eclipse who was facing something important, but Skye couldn't understand why she was so reckless in her pursuit of power.

"Bring out your strongest or walk away!" Skye crowed suddenly. Shadow began to call loudly from her feet, backing up her words, even as Eclipse finished catching her breath and screamed her challenges along with the original human and Pokémon team. It was a unifying moment, one which left a good feeling in Skye's heart and mind, even if her stomach was all in knots from the previous battle and the one yet to come. The trainer worried for her Pokémon, but truly believed that Eclipse wanted this fight, felt justified to have her battles and her revenge. And, believing this, truly felt that the best way to help Eclipse now was not to stop her, but to support her.


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.14 vs. Ponyta Lv.15

With a body blocking the current path, the Ponyta who stood in the middle stepped forward and leapt onto an adjacent pathway. Eclipse was quick to follow suit, leaping over with an amazing power that Skye hadn't believed the small horse had possessed. Upon landing, she was first to launch her attack, charging headlong into the opponent, tackling her down. Inspiration at taking down one opponent seemed to be fueling the young mare as she took charge, and yet… the opponent reared up, bringing herself down, hooves scraping flesh and fur as Eclipse retreated.

"Double Kick!" Skye wondered if such would be possible on the narrow pathways, but she was quite pleasantly surprised as Eclipse turned on a dime, back legs kicking, lashing out with powerful strikes. The opponent could only retreat in response as Eclipse twisted to face her once again, soft sounds escaping each Ponyta. Perhaps they were talking, or simply breathing strangely, Skye couldn't tell from her vantage. Whatever was going on, Eclipse seemed to lose heart as she began to back away, her head lowering in submission. Shadow began to hiss once again, obviously displeased with whatever was going on between the two of them.

"Eclipse," Skye called her name out. That alone seemed to shake the Ponyta out of whatever spell the other mare had put her under. She charged and spun herself, pivoting cleanly on her fore-hooves as she brought her hind quarters around once again. The other Ponyta openly flinched, retreating ever so slightly to avoid being struck with a metallic tail, yet the only thing which would brush against her would be a flaming tail which did no damage. Skye couldn't help at laugh at the shock tactic that was Tail Whip, but it did its job. With the older mare obviously shaken up from what could have been a strike, Eclipse lashed out with her hooves once again.

"Now attack once again, push her back!" Skye was beyond delighted at this turn of events. Taking charge of the battle, Eclipse struck once again, back legs lashing out in another two-point strike. Apparently the other Ponyta had taken Eclipse for granted, at least that's all Skye could figure. A psychological warfare which might have once held sway over Eclipse no longer kept its spell over the Ponyta who had fought without flames and had burned her way through a blizzard. Shadow began to call out encouragingly as Eclipse spun and rammed aggressively into the opponent once again, though the enemy rose to challenge the strike and began to push back.

Once again, Eclipse was locked in a head on head confrontation, though it didn't last for long before the other mare retreated, backing away quickly. Though she soon returned, ramming forward with her own strike, this one landing with far more power, though the way in which she rammed her shoulder into Eclipse directly must have been damaging to her as well, as she let out a pained sound at the strike. It still wasn't enough to stop Eclipse, however, even as the mare staggered back in pain. Once again, she summoned the healing effects of the artificial lights which were set up to replicate the sunlight to recover, though with the way that her legs were shaking. Skye knew that she was coming close to her limit.

"One last attack, don't stop now, don't back away…" Skye frowned. Even though she was happy that Eclipse was growing enough to mix her own attacks with following Skye's commands, the trainer knew that stopping now could result in unfavorable outcomes. Her health would be restored, but her endurance wasn't guaranteed to be boosted. Thankfully, Eclipse seemed to snap out of it quite quickly, having gained enough of a recovery to keep pushing herself, she rammed into the opponent hard enough to send the female down and take her out without the help of Toxic.


Eclipse won and grew to level 16!

Finally. Skye let out a heavy breath, though she couldn't help at laugh as Eclipse declared her victory in her normal, loud fashion. The other Ponyta seemed to mill nervously before retreating. The first one she had battled rose and walked away, the group leaving their fallen leader to recover on her own. Shadow also seemed to let out a heavy breath before he got up and began to walk back to the entrance. Skye glanced between the two oddly colored Pokémon before turning and following. Soon enough, the pathways merged, though standing by the door was a lone Cyndaquil.

The mouse Pokémon stepped forward, then, and began to squeak demandingly at the trio, leaving Skye quite confused. Though, soon enough, Eclipse began to paw angrily at the ground, setting her sights on the Pokémon, only to stop when Skye reached out and placed a hand on her side. The wear and tear of the battles was showing once again, it would be a while before they advanced to the final battling grounds and took on the Desert Room.

"Could we pass, please? We're done here…" Skye began, but the Pokémon shook his head rapidly, openly refusing their exit. He began to chatter once again, now pointing at Shadow demandingly. "I'm not going to let him…" she began, only to have Shadow step forward, placing weight carefully on his recently mended leg. Though Skye had let Eclipse battle to settle whatever score she had with her past, this was just asking too much. Though when she reached out for Shadow, he let out a warning growl.

"You guys don't even need a trainer, do you? You'll just do whatever you want…" she shook her head, giving up.


http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/7271/meowthb.png
Shadow Lv.8 vs. Cyndaquil Lv.8

"Use Amnesia to bolster your defenses," Skye began, not that she thought it would protect him completely from damage. Shadow seemed to stop moving for a moment, leaving him fully open to the Ember attack coming his way, though when it landed, he hardly even flinched. Cyndaquil looked rather surprised by this, leaving Skye to imagine that he was quite fresh when it came to training. Perhaps someone who was participating in the battle grounds owned this Pokémon who had wandered off to get some training of his own in?

"Hidden Power," was her next command. Unlike Eclipse who filled the gaps in, Shadow and Skye were in sync and the combat style was more fluid for the two of them without any gaps to be filled. Shadow's fur gave off a faint glow before the orbs appeared once again, circling as the energies within struggled for release. Cyndaquil attempted to rush forward, a poor choice on its part as Skye winced, feeling that this was more like bullying than battling. Pity came as the three orbs launched in rapid succession, striking at close range with little chance of escape even possible.

"Use Scratch," Skye began, only to pause as the fire Pokémon spewed a mouthful of smoke into the air, causing it to become quite hard to see. Shadow, who had just moved to strike, paused, hesitating as the opponent faded into the smoke. Though, Shadow faded away into the darkness as well. With a coat black as night and the smoke thick enough to cut down on the glare given by eyes and coin, the Cyndaquil would soon find that while he had helped himself, he wouldn't be able to find Shadow quite so easily.

"Strike when he strikes," Skye spoke calmly as she watched as either Shadow began to stalk silently through the smoke, paw pads stifling any sound he could have made, or a wisp of smoke looking like Shadow began to move patiently. And, it was a good thing that he had, for the smoke spun and swirled as a ball of fire shot forward once again. Cyndaquil, who had begun with an ignited flame, was only giving his position away without an ambush technique to back the Smokescreen up. A pained squeak soon sounded as Shadow struck, clawing the opponent up as he had been instructed.

"Hold onto it so it can't escape and finish it with Hidden Power," Skye called out in an even tone. Another pained sound escaped, though Skye could envision Shadow digging his claws in. A faint glow escaped through the smoke as it began to clear, the ventilation system working perfectly, though just enough to see that Shadow had grabbed the wrong end in the heat of the battle. Claws on either side of the Cyndaquil's shoulders, the fire creature realized that he could perfectly fire off an Ember, doing quite a bit of damage with the close proximity, though Shadow hardly reacted. Instead, he fired off his own strikes, claws ripping through fur as Cyndaquil was blasted away quite forcefully. Skye winced once again as Cyndaquil hit the wall beside the door.


Shadow won grew to level 9! He learned Fake Out!

"That collar gives you quite the nasty boost…" Skye looked at the Cyndaquil sadly. If his trainer had been here, the battle would have been quite a bit better. She only then realized just how well the training room Pokémon held up on their own without someone to command them. A new respect grew in her, not only for the work of those who had set up this event, but for the Pokémon they had selected and the trainers who had raised such Pokémon.

Stepping forward, then, she checked Shadow over first, worried that the battle had stressed his body, but the Meowth looked just fine, if a little singed. The Amnesia was a good technique. Almost too good. She shook her head at him before approaching the Cyndaquil and giving him a light pat on the head. He flinched and looked up at the woman, almost seeming confused.

"You'll get there. Don't rush too much… you too, Shadow. No more battles until you're fully healed. Next time, I'll just put you in your Pokéball and walk away, no matter who's challenging you…" her tone went from reassuring to stern as she heard Shadow let out a low purr, far too pleased with himself. Shaking her head at the hopelessness of her situation, she recalled her Pokémon and left the room, wondering who they thought was the one to get yelled at when they were close to collapsing when she handed them to whoever was working there at the time. Skye was. How selfish could these creatures be?


... Is a Universal Language

Skye
26th July 2012, 08:48 PM
Sorry for the double post, but I'd like to request my week's RBG. I'd like it for Darker my level 5 Houndour please. *pays 7 Stamps* Universal Adoption Center please :3

DarkestLight
27th July 2012, 12:01 AM
End of Book II.

Yesterday

The beams of sunlight that broke through the horizon first never seemed to reach the bedside of the pink femme fatale. She made sure of this with a layer of obscuring fabric. This way, she could sleep undisturbed.

Today was not that day. For the second time in a week, May's world was flipped upside down as the covers were torn off of her. She mumbled something about being a dangerous tongue lasher, but did not stir. She then felt the sting of icy morning air, and opened her eyes, irritated. But, instead of seeing a mass of green staring begrudgingly at her, it was a brown face with slightly pronounced canines.

"R--rapp? W-wha*yawn* why so early..." She barely managed to sputter out, half between bliss and regret.

"Up. It's your day." he replied, holding one ear as he stepped outside the lighthouse. May rolled over, mumbling before half crawling, half walking outside. When she reached the chilling world, she looked up, to see Sue and Jake sitting outside. Apparently she was the last one. Yawning again, she pointed at Sue, confused.

"Wha- wait what's happening now?"

"She sleeps hard, doesn't she?" Jake commented, as he stood up and began to head east. Sue followed alongside Rapp, leaving May confused and disoriented. She willingly followed, thinking that maybe they just wanted to take a walk.

It turned out to be a long walk. May slowly began to realize this was no ordinary outing, as the group trudged on, making their way up the coast a fair ways. As they marched, May noted that there were small patches of grass here, along with a few trees. The trees were nice and have dense canopy cover, and probably tolerable to sleep under.

"Hey!" She finally yelled out, tired of this silent treatment.

Everyone stopped to look at her. She was surprised at the immediate attention she received and stepped back. Sue stepped forward, and raised her arms, striking a strange pose. In the top of her left hand, a ball of energy began to form.

"Are you ready?" she asked, lowering her arms until the glowing ball was pointed directly at May. May looked to Rapp, whom merely nodded his head.

"It's time I learned what you can really do. Instead of me actually being the target, like I did with Zent, you're going to battle Sue. This way, we can figure out what we need to work on with you."

May groaned, displeased with how this day seemed to be turning out. She placed her hands on her hips and scowled at Sue. "I'm not fighting her. We're ladies. We don not engage in fighting! She's not going to actually atta--"

May's words were cut off as she felt a shot of energy strike her in the midsection. She doubled over, confused by the smell of grass all around. The elegant Gardevoir was floating toward her; her intentions now loud and clear. May tried to suck up her pain but even as she righted herself, she felt pains all over her body from that single strike. Jake yelled out something about a Psychic move, and then she heard Rapp almost immediately.

"Get in close May, and Lick her."

Having no real choice, May halfheartedly trudged forward two steps, before flinging her tongue out. The massive muscle slapped against a mental wall of power, and was deftly deflected. She reeled her head back and used her hands to help swing that extended muscle around, trying again. Sue raised her hand once more and use some sort of invisible blast to throw that tongue back at May. May got a faceful of her own weapon and fell flat on her back. Sucking her tongue back in, she got up and complained.

"You hit me with my own tongue. Disrespectful!"

"Stop complaining May." Rapp stared as he began thinking about how to hit Sue. Sue was not stopping, as per Jake's orders, and Rapp saw that he needed to keep up with the bevy of moves that would be coming at him.

"Sue, Hit her with a Thunderbolt, then move to a Confusion." Jake commanded, smiling a little too much for May's taste.

"Oh, May! Do that one move. Umm the yelling one!"

Sue was unsure what he meant by that, but she had her orders. She kept that one arm extended and now pure electricity poured from her arm. May ran to the side, avoiding the first blast of that-and recalled what Rapp was speaking off. She curled her tongue and blew into it, creating a high pitched squeak that seemed to attack Sue's mind. Sue shook her head in discomfort, arms lowering from offensive positions.

"Now, while she's open! Lick and Wrap her up!" Rapp shouted, seeing this as a prime opportunity.

"Huh. Didn't think she knew Supersonic. Jake, what should I do?" Sue asked, shaking her head.

"Hrm, that's a pretty nice trick. Focus up and Calm yourself, she won't get too far." Jake replied.

Sue nodded, but found that her body was not listening to her mind. She tried to overpower her desire to just throw a powerful bolt at May, but that was now compounded by the fact that there was a tongue slathering her face. Sue pushed off the muscle, only to have it rewrap around her tighter. Sue winced in anguish, as May held her up of the ground...only to realize she didn't know what to do with her.

"Ok May, we got her. Try that heavy..Hammer thing you do." May looked back at Rapp, confused. What was he talking about? Sue wriggled a bit as May tried to think of what Rapp meant, and Jake quickly took advantage.

"Calm down Sue, and then we'll hit her with a Disable."

Sue nodded and closed her eyes. Utilizing her mental powers, she broke the confusion state she was in with an act of sheer will. The Gardevoir then began to reclaim her naturally serene state, achieving a simple peace within herself. While all this occurred, May raised her arms up in frustration, still confused as to what Rapp was talking about. What Hammer attack could be thinking of? When she lowered her right arm to her side, the motion instantly clicked.

"THO! THE PHAMA!" She replied and balled her left fist up. With that arm still poised and flexed, May let it fall with all the power she could muster without letting go of Sue.

Sue's eyes opened from her zen life trance, only to watch as the bludgeon came down upon her. May slammed her arm down onto Sue's chest, using her body weight to enforce the blow. It stung, but for some reason, Sue seemed partially unphased by it, and used that invisible skill set to pull at May's tongue and unravel it from her body. May found that her whole body was stunted by some sort of Disabling maneuver, and she looked to Rapp for help.

"Did you just hit Sue with a Hammer Arm?” Jake asked, laughing a bit. Rapp nodded, not quite sure what was so funny.

"I don't follow." Rapp said, as May was tossed aside. May recovered from the throw, as Jake explained.

"Sue, end this charade with a second Calm Mind, followed with a true Psychic attack. As for you Rapp, its time you learned your type advantages and disadvantages."

"May, Body Slam her! I know you can do that. And type advantages? Like how fire hurts Mossy alot? I know...some of them..." Rapp admitted as he turned toward the battle at hand.


May gave in on trying to simply endure this match. Sue was hitting harder and harder with every blow, and she was barely getting any damage in. She didn't understand, were they actually that weak? They won battles in the past, but maybe their opponents were not that great after all. May began to doubt her effectiveness, when she saw Sue had finished her stance and was now raising both hands. Knowing something was coming, she charged and heaved her rotund mass at the Gardevoir. All at once, Sue released a powerful force, one that stopped May in mid-air and threw her back with a resounding speed. May rolled on the sands, coming to a stop meters away from the battle.


"May!" Rapp shouted, as he dashed over to try and help her. He reached her side, only to hear a comment that made him freeze. "


Hey! You can't always be near them! They gotta get up on their own too! Besides, Sue can teleport. No matter how fast you are, she cold have been over there and ended this battle before you reached the halfway point. Speaking of. Sue, Teleport, grab May-and bring her here, then Energy Ball her. That should do it."


"What? May-don't let her grab you!"



May was a bit sunk in the ground when she felt the arrival of Sue. Before she could muster up the strength to fight back, she was gone from Rapp's side and now back to where she was before. Sue knelt down, and showed May what looked to be her final move, a glowing sphere starting to materialize from nothing at all. May did the one thing she could think of.


A speeding backhand streaked across Sue's face and sent the Gardevoir on a half spin. May quickly followed up with a second backhand, and Sue pirouetted back to deal with the blow. May ran in and tried to deliver a third backhand, but Sue vanished, leaving May to trip over her own momentum. Before May could recover, a blast struck her from the back-and left her horizontal. May stayed down as Sue walked over, rubbing her cheek. Rapp ran over, slowing down as he knew May had lost.


"What was that last attack called? It seemed to bother Sue." Rapp noted, as he knelt down to help May stand. May quickly wrapped her arms around Rapp's neck-and he patted her head.



Jake sighed and nodded to Sue. "Good work there Sue. As for your question. That attack, I believe is called Knock Off.



"It's a nasty attack that I don't approve of." Sue stated, which earned another hearty laugh from Jake.



"Hey now, just because you're weak against Dark attacks doesn't make it any less useful. That was a wicked backhand delivery there May, I like that!"



May sheepishly looked up at Jake, before Rapp hoisted her up. "She'll pass out any moment. You were saying something about type effectiveness before?"


Sue and Jake nodded, as they began to walk back. Sue offered to teleport, but Rapp and Jake shook their heads-the walk would give them time to talk. Sue shrugged and floated beside them, as Jake began.



"When I first received Sue, she was a small little thing. Called a Ralts. Didn't know much of anything. When I learned she was a Psychic type, I quickly went to figure out what she was weak to, and strong against. Pokemon have this sort of internal checks and balances, so no one type is stronger than others. I could rattle off all the type weaknesses and strengths, but I'll focus on what you have, so you can have a starting point..."


Rapp nodded, but stopped walking and raised his hand as Jake trailed off. Both Jake and Sue stopped and looked behind him. Rapp's ears twitched, and he looked toward the brush a few meters away. Shifting May to the left shoulder, he turned and pointed with his right arm.


"Something's watching us. Its in there." he said, calmly taking a step aside as Sue floated forth. Jake looked at the brush, and then to Sue. "What do you think?"



"I think its something I don't like." she stated, backing up a tad herself. Jake smiled and looked to Rapp. "Hey, you think May could take on whatever is in that brush?" Rapp looked back to Jake and shook his head.



"No! She's tuckered out!"


"Not NOW! I mean, later. That thing's been in there for years, never comes out. Sue says its a bug, but I never seen bug tracks here on the beach."



Rapp nodded, and turned back to Jake.



"I know. I'll come back here with Mossy tomorrow. He'll flush it out."



Jake looked to Sue, who put her hands up to the whole idea.



"I don't care. I just don't like bugs."


"Heh. Which brings me back to the whole type thing. Let's see..." Jake turned and began heading to the lighthouse, ignoring the rustling. Rapp and Sue stared at the bush, hoping to catch a glimpse of the invisible quarry, but none was revealed to them.



As they left, the brush parted, and out skittered a small insect. It watched the 4 figures leave its area. However, the one figure carrying the pretty pink mass...she was sure she was looking at her! All at once, the strange bug felt a rage all over her. Something about that pink...monstrosity...it just really rubbed her the wrong way. She dove in the bush and scampered off, keeping up with them from a distance.


***


"Ok. So May is a Normal type. That means that if she is hit with a Fighting type move, then she's really going to feel the hurt." Jake explained, as they crossed a small ridge on the way back to the lighthouse. The towering building was in full view-as the sun shone overhead. "But she can learn alot of moves, so she can put the hurt on many types."


"I see. So, Mossy-being grass-is weak to fire and ...possibly Ice. Which is why he probably wanted to learn that Ice move-which does not make sense...he would have been better off learning a...Fire move." Rapp stated, when Jake slowed him down.


"Whoa whoa whoa. Ice move? Grass Pokemon in general don't learn Ice Moves. Explain that."


"Well....we happened to win a Tournament. The Dragon Games. We took second place and they allowed us to learn a mov-"


"You won second at the Dragon Games? Seriously? And you're asking ME for advice?" Jake stated, completely shocked.



"It really wasn't easy. I think I lucked out with having Mossy, he's pretty versatile." Rapp countered as they continued on "Anyway, as a prize, you got to teach your Pokemon a move from some select moves. Mossy picked Ice Burn."


"Why in the heck did it pick an Ice move? Oh, maybe for flying types."


"Oh yeah. He is weak to flying. Poison too, now that I think about it. He never liked going near angry Tentacools..."


"Grass has alot of weaknesses, but you know this. Flying, Fire, Ice, Poison....oh and Bug. That's the other one."


"Oh yeah. Alot of bugs at home. But they don't seem to bother Mossy much. Maybe because they were still little and not dishing out powerful moves." Rapp started, reflecting on his quiet little treehut back in a land far far away. Jake nodded and continued with explaining, looking to Sue for this one.


"Wyrm is it? Dragon type. Only weak to two things. Resists the base elements pretty well. Gander to take a guess?"


"Ok. Umm...well I know he does not like the cold...so I'm going to suspect Ice. As for the other....I haven't the faintest." Rapp shrugged as he stopped to shift May again. When she was situated, Jake replied.


"Themselves. Dragon type moves hurt dragons. Same goes for Ghosts. Ghost type move hurt Ghosts. " Rapp looked at Jake, puzzled. "Well now that's weird. I would have never thought that. Wonder why they balance out that way."


"Haven't the faintest. But that's the way it is. Now, your little trash compactor...Zent? She's what we called a two for one."


"Two for one?"


"Yeah. She's a dual type. I'm sure you've encountered a bunch of them-alot of the flying Pokemon are dual types. But obviously she's not flying."


"That's for sure!" Rapp laughed as they reached the lighthouse finally. Jake opened the door for him and he quickly strode in, setting May down on her bed and then running to the sink to get her some water. " Thank you for holding the door. Now as for Zent. She's...part Rock because that girl is heavy! But, as for being a second type...I'm not sure."


"Think ground." Jake said, as he leaned against the wall, Sue departing to another area of the lighthouse. "She's Rock/Ground, which compounds a few weaknesses. Especially water and grass. Pretty sure one or two of those types of hits will knock her out cold. So be careful, we have Jellicents along the coast that love to snag their prey and drag them into the ocean."
"If they could drag her, I'd be amazed." Rapp retorted, which Jake nodded at. He did have a point.



"So ok. Zent is really weak to Grass and Water. I can understand that. I watched her take a few strikes of poison though with little to no effect."


"Yeah. Ground resists poison. So she would be ok from anything throwing a poisonous attack at her. Just as long as she doesn't get poisoned." Rapp nodded, understanding the difference in the two.



"Well, I think that'll do it for now. I'm sure there's more, but for now, I think I'm pooped."


"Yeah, no prob. I got some things to do for the lighthouse anyway. But umm, are you serious about going back down there? I talked to Mary about it, and she said you are gun ho. I just don't want any ill will to befall this place, its truly needed by the fishermen and sailors of Ulthuan."


"This place was built with positive intentions. I intent to simply find out what attacked you all and what's down there so I can also move on with my journey. As well as answer some questions about myself."


"If ya want my opinion-you are who you are." Jake said confidently. He patted Rapp on the shoulder and headed to his quarters. "Let me know when we're going bug hunting, I wanna see the thing that's been bugging Sue for years."


Rapp nodded and turned back to the now sleeping May as Jake began rummaging in his room for something. The day was only halfway over, and Rapp stood up, feeling as if he accomplished a great deal. So why not some fun in the sun? Rapp made sure to grab a bottle of water before heading out, just in case his feet got him moving to a far place.


***


The caves that littered the interior of the area seemed to be a closed network. His curiosity peaked, Rapp took the time to fix his head gauze before stepping into the nearest one. He had not seen any wild Pokemon on the land here aside from the wayward crab. Still, he erred on the side of caution. With no Pokemon to help him, he made sure to keep an eye on all his turns, so he could make a perfect escape.


The cave was small, and it was windy, and before long, Rapp found himself exiting the tunnels and ending up on a second tier. From this vantage point, he could look with ease into the upper levels of the lighthouse. There was nothing of interest, just Mary fixing the bed. Turning away, Rapp's view now swept to the ocean. Today there were no ships heading this way. No sparkling over the sea, just plain ocean waves sweeping onto the shore.


The breeze blew then, giving Rapp a strong whiff of lands far away. The air smelt superfresh, as if it was breathed out by the green fields he used to tend. Sitting down on the small patch of grass outside this exit, Rapp calmly took a moment to just reflect on himself. The boy began to meditate, taking his thoughts and internalizing them until he could safely let them go.
It was in this state that his ears began to fog up again. He first began to lose the sound of the ocean...then the winds that blew by. All at once, it left him on the brink of total deafness, and he hastily opened his eyes. His ears twitched all over the place, but he hardly heard anything! Standing up, he tried to speak, but found his voice sounded far away, as if he had left his body. Fearing that he might lose control of his body, the boy turned and began to run back into the tunnels. His turns were erratic, but he was able to make his way out of a different exit, throwing him right into the ocean. He turned to the left and saw the lighthouse, a bit farther away than he would have liked.


He wasted no time in trying to run through the ocean water. It made for a moment of clarity, him fighting to get somewhere. As he highstepped and breathed, his hearing began to return. Once he reached the door of the lighthouse, his hearing was just about back fully. He could not understand the reasoning for his inherent deafness, but he hoped it was temporary.


"Take a nap. Its this injury. It hurt your head Rapp..." he told himself, as he stumbled upstairs, feeling exhausted once again. As he climbed the stairs, the small lizard watched him ascend, a bit irritated that something wet dripped on her. As she watched, she began to growl, as the water that dripped off of Rapp hit the ground in front of her...and then began to wriggle away...down the hallway. It made a conscious effort to keep itself together before reaching the now covered and locked doorway. Zent righted herself and watched as the water seeped into the space below the door, where she couldn't follow. So she did the next best thing. She lied down right there, and placed her ear to the ground. At first, nothing came through the door. Then, softly, a song serenaded its way up. Zent backed away from the door, startled. That thing was up and moving! She turned around, unsure whom to tell...




Rapp woke up with a start. He stood up and looked out at the darkened sky, feeling a nasty chill down his back. He looked around and closed his eyes, trying to lose the feeling of loneliness out of his system. But these feelings were way too sharp, too clear. It was all he could feel, it was all that consumed him. Knowing this was something more than just a coincidence, he ran downstairs and called for help.


Within moments, May, Wyrm, Mary and Jake were in the living room at his behest. Rapp took center stage as Zent found a bag of potato chips to start eating.



"Ok. I can't explain it, but I am having these weird feelings. I can't hear very well, my voice hurts and I swear my eyes are attaining this strange haze around them." Jake and Mary stood up and looked at his eyes, not able to tell him anything. Sue reappeared, eager to see what the hubbub was about.


"Can't see huh? Is the gauze too tight?" She asked, gentle fingers reaching up to touch his head. He quickly grabbed her hand and shook his head, indicating his wrappings were ok. "It's not the gauze. I went for a hike earlier today...it was invigorating until the symptoms took over and almost left me lying on the hill over there."


"Hrm. It seems that you still are under some sort of trance like affect? You think it has anything to do with what Johnson was calling the Awakening? Like some sort of residual effect?" Jake inquired.



Rapp shrugged, looking at the small worm as it rocked back and forth. "No clue. I still don't know the first thing about what that means or anything." He casually looked around, before staring at a blank spot on the windowsill. A second point flooded to the forefront, and he quickly turned around to face everyone.


"Also-I haven't seen Mossy for days. Have any of you?" At the realization that the plant was missing again, everyone looked to Zent. The chomping beast continued her chips, until the eerie feeling of eyes on her every move caught up to her. She rolled her head backwards to look at everyone, and gave them a critical glare.



"Zent. Mossy. You smell him?" Rapp asked.


The Pokemon quietly set the bag of chips down and took a deep breath. She exhaled, and looked around, obviously confused. She did it again, and then looked to Rapp.



"Mothy far 'way. Wapp smell Mossy bedda than Zent."


"Say wha?" Jake said. May and Wyrm stifled a giggle, thinking Zent had made a funny. Rapp looked around himself, taking a whiff of his own scent. There seemed to be no noticeable odor coming from him that smelt remotely like a plant. "Um, you have a better nose than I, Zent. I don't understand what you mean."


The small rocklizard stood up and waddled over to the boy. She tugged on his leg once and then waddled toward the doorway. Her eyes were glaring at the doorknob, obviously not happy it was so far from her reach. Rapp trotted over and opened the door to let her out. As the door swung open, Rapp immediately began to feel woozy. He instinctively grabbed the door frame and leaned against it to avoid falling.


The cool air that blew over the ocean at night seemed to invigorate Jake, whom stood up to spy what was being watched by the pair. He reached the doorway, to see Zent and Rapp looking east. Zent was happily pointing toward some low-lying bushes and making gnashing sounds with her mouth, as Rapp stared off into the vastness of the open land ahead of him.



"Hey man. You alright?" Jake reached out one hand to place on Rapp's shoulder, bringing Rapp back to focus on where he was.


"No...I'm not alright. There's something out there...and Mossy's by himself out there. I just felt this chilling feeling of desertion, and I think...I think it's coming from Mossy." Rapp held his words as he spoke, taking their full meaning in. His mind rewound the memories he still had-and recalled when he shouted at Mossy only a few days before. "I wonder if, as with I, he was experiencing something-and my rash actions made him feel insecure..."


"Naa, can't be that bad, He's a Tangela, they're pretty patient creatures.." Jake chimed in, walking outside so he could shut the door. Zent and Rapp moved forward, walking around the entranceway to the left side of the lighthouse. Before Jake could shut the door immediately, May sauntered out, curious as to what the baby was doing.


"Ah, the lady's up and about now. Good to see." Jake retorted, only to receive a raspberry. May walked over to Zent, whom gave her a once over before allowing May to pat her. Finished with making sure Zent was ok, May now directed her attention to Rapp, Hopefully he would be able to find Mossy soon, the team needed him. He was the founding member, and he made it easy for her to integrate in their team.



She plodded over to Rapp and Jake, whom seemed to be having a conversation that was meant to be out of earshot. She didn't intrude-rather her path took her through their lines of vision, toward the coast to the east of the lighthouse. There were some small patches of grass there, close to where the waves were striking the rocky beach. She barely reached the water when she heard a strange sound behind her.


Turning around, she could see Jake and Rapp, both within earshot. But they were sitting next to the lighthouse, so it wasn't them. She looked to the small rocky area up from their location...but saw nothing watching her. She shook off the shivers and focused on having an enjoyable night with a little seawatching. She sat down, inches from the water, and just stared at the sea as it seemed to roll on into the sky.


When the sound of skittering flooded her ear once more, May only gave a halfhearted look around, thinking it to be the effect of the wind blowing by. Her gaze mainly just checked for Rapp and Jake. They were still there, still talking about something, and now looking for something around that part of the lighthouse. All that was there were rocks. She turned back toward the sea, and leaned against a rock, completely relaxed. Her hands rested against her belly as she examined the coastline...and all its wonderfully dark colored rocks.



So, imagine her surprise when a pink worm wriggled itself atop of one of those purple rocks!


She blinked casually, thinking it was nothing. But after a few moments, she was positive that the pink worm was moving the rock! She sat up from her half slouched position, and stared at this strange worm. It stayed put on the rock it was on. She watched it for the better part of a minute before turning away. The worm stayed put still, hanging off of the rock as if it was a leaf of some sort. Her attention was broken by the skittering sound, and she whipped around.
She stood up and looked to Rapp and Jake.



Of course, their backs were to her, and they were shifting large rocks around the base of the lighthouse. She huffed and looked to the rocky grove...and then slid her gaze down to the few grassy patches not that far from her. None seemed to move. Her eyes glanced up to the sky, and there was not a cloud in it. She was seeing fairly well for it being night, and so she couldn't understand why in the world she couldn't see what was skittering around. Swallowing any emergence of fear in herself, she strode forward and stopped at the grass patch. She parted the tall dry stalks aside...and saw nothing. She pulled back, and turned to head toward her spot on the beach, but stopped.


In front of her, where she was sitting, there was something moving. She was positive of it. It looked small, and it was wriggling. She couldn't tell what it was, but it looked blue. Growling under her breath, she instantly put the whole charade together. "Wyrm...I'm gonna hurt you! Making me think they're monsters out here. You gotta learn how to coil you ta--"


May's explanation fell apart as she reached out with one hand to grab the "blue"object. The light reflecting off of its wet surface masked its true color, which was probably brown. Its form lunged forward and tackled May to the ground, using one brown luring pincer to hold her mouth shut. She waved her arms and tried to flick her tongue, but that beast had her pinned.


The creature flapped its membranic wings and then smirked. May looked over to where it was staring, and spied only rocks..and that pink worm. Only now, there were 5 of those worms, and they were moving closer. Her eyes grew wide as the rope like worms wrapped around her arms and mouth, effectively creating a binding trap and gag. As she lied there incapacitated, the smaller creature began to skitter back to the place where these worms were growing from. The worms began to retract, and May slowly felt herself be tugged by the worms. She wriggled in place, determined not to be taken away by no strange annnelid group and what looked to be a bug.


"Nowmakesureyoudonthurther,wehavetogetherbacktothec liffsinorderfortheMoongoddesstoshineherblessingupo nus!" The creature skittered back and forth, obviously hyperexcited about this. It then pointed to the bluffs and ran a few feet ahead, eager to get to its hiding spot.


"DFGJ?" was all May could muster while muffled as the worms began to lift her up over the rock. In one swift motion, she felt her body fly forward and her face speed right into the very rock she leaned on to enjoy the night.


***


The consistent sound of dripping was the first indication to her that she was still alive. She tilted her head sideways, noting the darkness everywhere. It was cold and damp here, as she moved her feet slowly. She lolled her head again, but the sharp pain that ran through her body jolted her up.


Her breathing sped up and she looked around hastily, unsure what that agonizing pain was. There was something poking her neck, and she could not turn around to see what it was.


The darkness of the area slowly began to recede, as a moonbeam stretched into what was possibly an opening to the area. May tried to move, but found that she was strapped with new bonds, and her mouth was still tied shut. She shook her head and tried to pull on her bonds, only to have them stay put. Her ears heard labored breathing very close, and she tried to turn her head to see whom was doing this.


She didn't have to look very far, as she noticed a puddle of water in the area. The puddle was surrounded by rocks. They all seemed to be bluish purple. The rock she was tied to wasn't-and that reason was revealed when a new moonbeam poured light into the cave.


The "rocks" began to twitch and move, and from their tops sprung many of those pink worms. Her eyes expanded at this sight, and she began to struggle to free herself. 1 to 5 worms, fine. Not hundreds! She was officially grossed out as all these creatures seemed to reach for the light. May quit her pulling after a moment, glaring as the creatures seemed not to move toward her. They were more interested in the light. She watched as their strange rocky bodies rose up on thin stalks! Now, with their thin stem like bodies holding up the rocky looking portion with the worms hanging out, they looked like some sort of..rocky plant? She was completely confused.


The ancient cave that May inadvertently was stuck in had many a mural on its wall. These murals however, were not made by paint. Rather, they were the fossilized bodies of Lileep that stayed dormant for who knows how long. However, when the moonlight struck the interior of the cave, a strange occurrence happened-where rock became flesh, pictures came alive. The creatures once knew a life of seawater-and now were docked in a bluff overlooking their precious water. They didn't seem too taken by it, as May watched them stretch their worm like feelers out. They grabbed onto a rock, and then pulled themselves to that rock from their feelers, covering a good distance using this method. May once again felt that strange pain on her back, and sat straight up as much as possible. The pain subsided, and she huffed. She was stuck, with no way to call for help.


Unfortunately, things seemed to have a way of compounding. As May struggled, the small creature that tackled her skittered into the cave, making its way past some of the exiting Lileep. The moonlight seemed to invigorate them, as some literally cartwheeled toward the water by scaling the side of the cliff and letting their massive bottoms fly over their heads with every pull. Some of the plant like rocks stayed in the caves, and the creature that seemed to walk amongst them stopped in front of May. There was a strange look in its eyes, and May leaned her head back to keep from that creature from breathing in her face. It seemed to examine her and then smiled with glee, before speaking.


"OhI'msohappyforthisday. Its...its as if the moon herself let you walk these sands...andIwasabletosnagyouupbeforeyouflewbackint othesky.Youarethelinktothepuzzleathand,yes!"


..."MAHHHH" was all she could say under muffled anguish, and the creature raised a pincer in a taunting manner. "NononoNoobjectinguntilafterwehavefinishedoursoiree together. I've seen what that tongue can do..." It jumped in place rapidly three times, before skittering over to the left, looking around slowly. May watched as this...awkward...bug run around, seemingly waiting on something. She knew she couldn't stay here much longer. But she had no way of fighting her way out, especially with all of the strange resurrected monsters crawling all over the place. She tilted her back and looked up at the ceiling of the cave. Oddly enough, the top of the cave here was flat. If she didn't know better, this place had a carved ceiling. Looking back down, her attention went straight to the skittering bug, whom was by her feet, checking her bonds. Pleased, the creature skittered backwards and looked to its left. May looked over to spy one of those strange creatures just hanging out, keeping watch over her.


"Makesuresheortheotherdoesnotleave. I doubt they could break those bonds, but you never know." The creature gave no visible sign of comprehending the bug, but it stayed put as the bug skittered over a plethora of the moving rocks and dashed into the open world. May tried once more to pull herself free, and groaned as she knew it was futile. She had nothing right now. Nothing she knew could cut herself free. As she looked to the plants that were returning, they seemed less interested in her and more about just making it back from the water. As they returned, they seemed to sift water out of their tentacles and add to that puddle. She watched as they returned by the tens, each squeezing water out of their bodies. But for what purpose?
As she watched the creatures, the small bug skittered back in on the ceiling. It calmly walked over to the center of the ceiling and looked down at the now very large puddle. Nodding at its growth, the bug let go and used its small wings to barely flutter over to a safe spot away from the water. It landed on a rock a few spots behind May-eyes on the water. As the moonbeam swept over the water, a strange bubbling occurred.



May's eyes opened wide as she watched the water. In the wake of the bubbles, the liquid began to form and stretch, rising up until it reached an adequate level. The creatures kept coming and going in droves, keeping the water funneling into this large puddle, that was now touching her toes. She tried to move, but those bonds truly had her pinned to this rock-and her hurt back and neck didn't help. She was stuck watching as this uprising of water began to form and twist, until she could make out the upper half of a woman. The form scanned the room, as the Lileeps all leaned toward her, half canted as if they were bowing to her presence. The solitary bug watched from its perch, as the head and shoulders swiveled around.


"Thank you for waiting, children of the ancients. I fear that my end may soon be coming. This is not to fear, as you all will remember my contribution to the world. But it seems we have a pair of guests in the vicinity that will assist us in our final mission."



Her form then turned and stared directly at May. "Let's begin with this female that has our little spy..agitated. I haven't seen this level of agitation from another female in a very long time, you must have a very good grip on your femininity, you pink pimple."



May blinked, realizing they were referring to her. But she said "spy." Whom was she referring to? It all clicked when the small bug landed in front of her, and raised its pincers. May's eyes went from shock to desperation...this darned elegance of hers was ALWAYS getting her into sticky situations. Her eyes dropped, and she stared at the water below the water nymph's form. She watched it bubble as it reached her feet, reflecting images all around. As the nymph talked, May swept her gaze left and right, disillusioned. She never thought she could bring harm to anyone with her being attractive. Maybe she should be like the rest of her species...


She began to spiral in a deep pit of depression about her latent ability, as the bug walked up to her. The sadness on her face put the bug in a fit of glee, and she skittered over to the water nymph's form. The bug waited until she finished speaking before talking.


"Ohpleasedon'tspareher. I do think she likes this type of attention." The creature looked up as the piercing yellow eyes of the being stared it down. The area grew silent, Lileeps standing straight up to widen the area. May looked over to spy the bug that was now trying to swiftly execute her.
The yellow eyed form looked May up and down, before turning to the small bug, and started to rise in height in stature. What was once head and shoulders was now the size of a full grown woman. She walked atop the water, barely causing ripples with her feet as she knelt to pet the bug. In one motion, she grabbed the bug in both hands and squeezed, causing the insect intense pain.



"Now you listen to me. You puny insignificant spastic insect! You WILL not listen to your own delusional schizophrenic whims! You will follow my orders to the letter. You've done so well in paying attention to their fighters that we have their strongest fighter incapacitated, and we have their heart. We will lay siege to their small resistance so we can once again remain unnoticed. But I don't think you care about our grand mission, like your father used to. You need to follow in his footsteps in order to prove yourself to me. But...to show you what losing truly feels like, I'll hold you here while you watch your beloved lose his good friend completely. This way, he'll only have you to blame for it."


She turned her gaze to the Lileep that was standing guard, and the plantrock shifted to life. Pink vines shot and grappled the rock May was affixed to. May's eyes opened wide, knowing what was going to happen, and she tried to move. The bug squirmed as she was forced to watch, the woman smiling with a sinister sneer.


The Lileep pulled until its vines were taut, before relieving the tension. Its body flew forward and crashed into the Lickitung, causing her a large amount of pain. She didn't faint, her mouth slightly drooling from the impact. Panting, May knew she couldn't take anything else like that. She flexed and tried to pull those cords as much as possible, but she was stuck in place. Fearing what might happen if she was struck once more, she pulled as hard as possible, and fell limp. The sounds of cords becoming taut caught her ears, and she saw the Lileep-as slow as it was, was almost ready for another slam to her front. She looked to the bug, whom now canted its eyes away, powerless to do anything.


The plant shifted backwards a few more inches, feeling its feelers grow tighter. When the tautness was achieved, the Lileep flung its body up and the feelers did the rest! The tension reeled the massive creature into May once more, and May screamed, a muffled sound that seemed to hurt the bug's heart. The nymph smirked, and petted the bug.



"It's alright. I went through this many a time. You'll become stronger because of this. Once more, that should do it for her. Teach you to willingly try and consume the hearts of others."


"Pleasesgetitoverquicklythen, Icantstandtowatchthis--"



"You still hold on to your false attraction for him? Then you really have not been paying attention. Keep still and watch, you'll feel for yourself the freedom of detachment."



The bug, seeing its pleas were unnoticed, solemnly looked to her, as the Lileep cords began to tighten. May barely seemed able to focus, let alone take another one of those impacts...


The nymph sniffed, and looked around. There was a strong scent emanating from the entrance of the cave, but she could not make it out. Holding that bug, she whirled around and walked atop the water up until the edge of the pool that was created for her. From her vantage point, she saw nothing at the sea's edge, now climbing the path that led to this cave. She turned around, and lifted the bug up her eye level.


"Where is the plant?"


"R-R-R-R-ightwhereyoutoldmetotieitup, outofrangeofthepsychicinthebackofthecave! Tieditupwithvinesjustlikeyousaid"


"With...vines? You tied a GRASS pokemon up with vines, and not the leather straps I provided?"


She quickly pointed toward the back of the area, and within seconds, the mass of Lileeps began to lurch forth, passing May. May barely lolled her head up, but she managed to hear their conversation. She had a split second of clarity in thinking it might be their lost compatriot; a positive confirmation of that though was realized when a few Lileeps came flying backwards, followed by a mass of green that landed right atop the rock she was affixed too. Two vines shot down and sliced through the leather binds that pinned her. At the appearance of the green fighter, the Lileep that was bashing May released the tension in its feelers and flung itself. May finally ducked, though it was more of a fainting action.



The beast slammed into the stone. Mossy jumped, allowing the beast to crash solely into the rock and go tumbling through it. May and Mossy landed together a meter away, May on her chest. Mossy looked to her back, and noticed the nasty set of grooves on her back, possibly from being slammed into rocks as she was dragged here by the Lileep.


Assessing the situation, the battered Tangela looked around. The waterwoman was once again blocking his way, and there was a moonbeam right behind her. He looked to May, and then to the incoming Lileeps. The water nymph raised one hand, tightly gripping the struggling bug in the other hand. "You are so resilient, and so aggravating at the same time. But you have nothing that can sweep through all of these ancient denizens!"


Mossy took a step back as the plants slid closer, starting to surround them. He grabbed May, and held her up, using her as a shield. May wheezed for breath, feeling that Mossy's vines were moving around hastily.



"What are you doing, Mossy!" May pleaded, fearing for her safety.



All at once, Mossy flicked a vine past her, holding an object. He slapped the object on her head and held her still as the disc began to glow. In only a few seconds, May felt her hands tighten and she instantly was released from Mossy's grasp. Falling to her knees, May coughed, unsure what just happened. All she knew was that something was different about her.



"Oh, so you also give your friends boosts?" The waternymph said, angered by his ingenuity. She looked to the bug and released her crushing grip on her. As the bug landed on the ground, the Nymph shriveled down and stared right into its eyes. "We need to incapacitate them before they can reach them. Take care of them. I'll need to strike now..."



Mossy, panting and kneeling, barely watched as the water nymph vanished into the pool. The pool began to drain, seeping somewhere.


"Yougottagetupsuperplant! You have to get back to the lighthouse..." said the bug as the water receded. It skittered through the mass of Lileeps and stood aside both Mossy and May. Mossy's eyes were glazed over, and it seemed he was at the end of his rope. May forced herself onto her butt, staring as the Lileeps stood watch over them, inching closer still. She looked over to Mossy, who was now just about face down. Her eyes darted over to the bug and she closed her eyes, knowing this was going to be a field day for Wyrm.


"Darling. Please help my friend."


At the utterance of the affectionate term, the bug whirled around, its eyes unmistakably blotted over with anger. She grinned and turned to the plant, and then looked to the Lileeps.



"Dontevercallmedarlingagain, but forhissakeI'llhelpyou. What do you suggest?"


May realized that she didn't know how to help Mossy. He had been gone for days, so the best that she could think was that he had no sunlight. She turned to look at the entrance to the cave, and nodded.



"It's night, but maybe he can do that healing thing with the moonlight! Get him to the moonlight, I'll clear a path."


[Lv 14 May vs Lv 14 Lileep]


May immediately curled up into a ball, feeling her muscles finally tense up in the right ways. Her back was still rubbed raw, and she winced. But they didn't need to know that. With no fear showing, she unfurled and clenched both fists. She felt a chill run though her body as she looked to the east, where there was the least amount of Lileeps to charge though. She took a deep breath and Slammed her way through the first few ones. The rest of the grove mobilized, starting to fling themselves in her general direction. May moved in an erratic manner, slamming her way through in a zig zag pattern, throwing the plants off. As Lileeps crashed all around her, the small bug grabbed one of Mossy's vines and began to drag him through the path, over the crumpled bodies of post launched Lileeps.


May got up, coughing loud as she held her side. That one defensive measure probably saved her, but her eyes looked for that specific collider. She spied it as it rose up, and she nodded That was the same one that was slamming her before. Now it was the only one stopping her from getting Mossy to the sunlight. That was unacceptable. She stepped forward, and turned her walk into a run, hands up. The plant Pokemon was not sure about the encroaching Pokemon, and took a defensive measure. It covered her in a glow as she collided her hands into its base. The plant fell forward, that force almost hammering its base into the ground! The slight offset was completely washed out as May slammed it down again, furious about those strikes that it affected her with earlier.



May fell to her knees after the second Hammer Arm, winded from moving so much so fast after those types of hits. The Lileep however, seemed determined to follow orders and rose back up. Vines wrapped around her, and in retaliation, May flung her tongue out to wrap that Lileep right back. They both began to Constrict each other, and for a moment, it seemed that they were at a even matchup for coils. May turned to see the bug barely climbing over a few Lileep bodies, Mossy in tow. But the Lileeps were targetting the plant, and as much as the bug tried to fight, it didn't seem to know anything that could really help Mossy. The plantcreatures, meanwhile, kept throwing everything they had at the Nincada.



May grunted and tried to lift the Lileep with her tongue, in order to toss it aside. The constriction around her midsection made it so that was a no no. They both fought for supremacy, and the Lileep seemed to be winning. The hits from before were taking their toll on May and she succumbed, falling to her knees. She curled into a ball as the Lileep retracted its vines and now sent those vines into the ground. Rocks began to be unearthed and raised up, as May unfurled. She looked under herself to see that Mossy was still, face down in the ground inches from the light. The bug was pinned under a few Lileeps which now made a web of tentacles to solidify their place atop of it.


Grunting, the Lickitung shook her head. How were they ever going to get out of this, not to mention they had to get back and warn the others? Remembering Zent and Wyrm, May forced herself back up, to the Lileep's apparent expressionless face. The stones in the air fell down atop her, and May curled up once again to cope. As the Rock Slide finished, the Lileep flipped itself to a different position, and watched. There seemed to be no movement, as the dust billowed away in even flows.



The plants seemed to have everything under control, until a fist burst out from the rocks. Before any retaliatory measure could be taken, May burst out of the rocks, bruised beyond compare. But she was still conscious. She had to be, that was no longer just about Mossy. This was about their whole reason for being here! This was about finding their purpose here and now. What Rapp had said earlier began to finally resonate in her, and she felt a second chill around her body. She focused that chill into her arms and yelled. Recklessly, she flung her fist at the plant, its sheer volume now coated in a thick layer of ice. The plant was struck head on and bounced back and forth on its stalk like a speed bag. The ice's effect staggered the plant, and allowed May to roll toward Mossy. With a half hearted kick, she punted Mossy face side up into the moonbeam.


"Hurry up Mossy! I need that Ice power of yours right now! Thanks for the new attack!"



She whipped around, and looked to the pile of Lileeps that were now gearing up for her attack. Underneath them was that poor bug that really helped her out. May felt horrible that it came to this, and she was determined to at least cure that bug of its issues with her.


"Get off of it!" She demanded, clenching both fists.



The plants barely moved, and she took a step forward. A thud right next to her made her jump to the west, and she looked to see that Lileep back to battle. She felt the halo around her body again, and she quickly dove at it. A hefty punch set the Lileep back more than it wished, as it wilted over. With that plant seemingly not fighting for the moment, she could focus on freeing the bug.



[May wins. May reaches lv 15]


She looked at her odds, and realized that no matter what, it was an impossible battle, at least 100 to 1. She took a deep breath, feeling exhaustion take over her. The Lileeps were perched all over, tentacles taut to use as launching cords. They were waiting for her to finish her battle with that one, a martyr of sorts. Relinquishing any signs of offense, she let her hands fall to her sides. She smirked and looked to the bug under the web of Lileep, and smiled.


"It's ok. I hope you like cold, if not, I apologize."


"I'lllikeanythingyoudo!" May was a bit weirded out by the fact that it responded with that in this near death scenario, but she wasn't too worried. The next statement made the Nincada nervous.


"Wait...why did you ask if I like cold?"


"Because, its about to get chilly...really chilly."



May curled up once more as green vines flung out from behind her. They hooked themselves into the rocks and allowed the Icy winds to build around their nexus. Acting as the focal point for the ice, Mossy struggled with the imbalance of elemental forces he was dealing with. He still didn't have complete control of the force this power could emit, but with himself grounded he would have a better shot of focusing it. The Lileeps all released their tension and flew at the green mass, just as the room turned a heightened shade of white. May shielded her eyes and waited it out, feeling chilling winds whip around, following a thunderous series of rocks falling from the sky.




It took a few minutes before the massive tongue dug her way out of the ice that built up in the cave. She looked around, to see crippled Lileep lying everywhere. Ice was formed where water used to stand, and the moonbeam was gone. Standing where he released the energy was the creator himself, still stuck to the ground. May ran over to him and gave him a great big hug, which was reciprocated.



"Mossy, we didn't know if you left or what? You just vanished! We gotta get back so we can have Sue tell us what happened!" Mossy nodded, and then pointed to a large pile of frozen Lileep.



May turned, unsure what he was referring too, until the small bug poked her head out. May and Mossy turned to watch as the bug pulled itself free, and then stare at them both. May looked to Mossy, and gave her a smile.


"I hate bugs, but this one seems to like you alot. I'll tolerate her as long as she doesn't do weird buggy things like...look at me."


Mossy looked to her, not expecting that answer. But the moment of ease was drowned out by the sounds that were carried over the wind. The first was a blood-curdling scream, followed by a matched roar.


"That was Zent! Oh no, that water beast attacked!" May cried. The bug skittered forward, visibly shivering. She kept her gaze on May, shrinking back from Mossy.



"ImsorryimsorryimsorryIdidntwanttokidnapyoutwosheto ldmeto! But your friends are in grave danger, Shimmer is not the nicest customer."


"Shimmer?" May stated. Mossy shared her gaze, and then looked to the cave window. He was exhausted, but they had to make it back. That moonbeam healing was adequate, but he needed more energy. Maybe on the way back, he would be able to gather some. But for the moment, any extra help would be great. He began to march back, and May turned to see that his vines were slowly retracting from their anchor points in the rock.


"Hey you. Thanks alot for your help. If you want to come, we won't stop you. You might know a way to help that we don't, so any help is appreciated."


"I'llgladlyhelphim." she stated in her erratically fast heartfelt manner, before stating another line in her lowered speech "We should follow the plant, he's taking the direct route."



May let the bug take the lead, before limping after. After that battle, she didn't think she could help much either, but she had to try. Not to mention she owed the bug at least a tongue slap, since she wasn't the nicest female...

DarkestLight
27th July 2012, 12:01 AM
***

The night seemed to pass without incident at the lighthouse. When May, Rapp and Jake exited and shut the door, Mary slid off the couch and patted Wyrm. "Well now. What should we do to pass the time?"

"Wawa go in hoole." Zent stated, remembering her urgent message after emptying the bag of chips on the floor and chomping through them like some sort of shark.

"Yes Zent, Water goes in a hole." Wyrm replied.

He looked to her and noted she was giving him a glare. He hissed back, unsure what that was for, and then looked to Mary. Mary was focused on her statement, and looked to Wyrm. "Hey. I'm not double teaming on you Wyrm, but ...its hard to disregard her. Every time she's said something we didn't understand, bad things happened. Maybe we should pay attention."

"I'll concede to that. But should we worry about water in general? I don't know what she could mean."

"Wait, remember Jake said they saw a water nymph? You think she saw it? Up here?"

Wyrm turned toward Zent, whom nodded at their conversation. At the affirmation, both Mary and Wyrm looked toward the hallway, and dashed over. Zent finished eating the chips as the pair walked back to the living area, with concerned looks on their faces.

"It's dry over there" Mary stated, Wyrm nodding in agreement. Zent looked at them both, and growled. She had been used to Wyrm not listening to her, but the girl was trying. She then turned toward the door, and just stared at it.

"Wapp?"

"Oh yeah. Let's ask those two. What are they doing outside anyway?" The three of them hustled over to the door, quickly shuttling outside. "Hey Jake? Rapp? You around?" Mary shouted.

"Yeah, over here. Why the shouting?" Jake said, causing the three of them to turn to the right. Jake raised his hand to reveal their position, and Mary walked around the entranceway to hike on the rocks around the base of the lighthouse. "What are you two doing down here?"

"Well, Rapp said that we had a visitor that was snooping around here, and talking about elves. We're trying to see if he left anything behind." Jake said as he pointed to Rapp over his shoulder.

Zent had managed to climb across the rocks, eating any interesting ones as she made her way to Rapp. He was quietly looking at the rocks, flicking pebbles aside. At her approach, he reached over and patted her head. The little girl roared softly and lifted a rock to help Rapp.

"Heh, just a worker aren't you?" he chuckled, as he leaned against the lighthouse. "Hey Jake. I'm positive he was around here. But I can't for the life of me figure out why?"

"Well, maybe he wasn't digging here? Maybe he took something from here?" Jake said. You said there was a hole over there?" He pointed, over to where Wyrm and Rapp spotted that tarp from a few days ago. Wyrm nodded and slithered over, reaching the exact spot where the hole used to be. From this point, Wyrm looked down the slight slope to where Rapp and Zent stood. An idea emerged in his head, and he stuck his head in the ground. His body whipped around back and forth, slithering into the sand. It took a few moments for the worm to reach down, and then reemerge with something. Rapp and Jake had taken the time to note the worms sudden interest in the hole and watched as it came back up.

"You should come this way...because I think I found something."

The group walked over to the hole, Wyrm slithering out of the sands. The sands meanwhile, began to slide backwards. Zent walked forward a bit to identify the motion, and found herself losing traction against the ever increasing flow rate. Rapp picked her up as the sand finally fell away to reveal a small hole. The hole was bordered by wood, and resembled..

"A crawlspace?" Jake asked, crouching down to see the wooden beams that made the structure still hold some form. The curiosity got the best of him, and he jumped down into the structure. He slowly sank into the sandy pit until his feet hit stone. Jake tested this with a few hard stomps. He nodded at its sturdiness and curled on his hands and knees. Wiping away some sand, he stuck his hands around to feel which way was actually the passageway. Pushing each wall, his hand finally went through one that was all sand. Plunging his hands into the wall, he began to shovel out handful after handful of sand.

"Hey, I could use some help down here!"

Wyrm shot down the hole as Rapp and Mary crouched over the sides, watching the pair of them work. Being of a more slender form of creature, Wyrm began to wriggle himself through the sands faster than Jake could dig. Jake slowed and watched as the Dratini blindly shuffled through the sand. Zent roared and jumped into the hole right after, eagerly chomping on piles and clumps of sand. Jake turned to look at Rapp, whom shrugged.

"I don't know. She eats anything."

Meanwhile, Wyrm continued into the crevasse, and his body came across something. Unable to tell what it was in this dark setting, he wrapped himself around it a bit, and moved backwards, until his tail poked out the sand hill. Jake reached in, calling out to Wyrm. "Hey, I'm going to pull you out, ok!"

Jake grabbed ahold of the blue tail wriggling in front of him and pulled slowly, aiding Wyrm in his endeavor to bring whatever it was that he found to light. Wyrm quit pulling the object when he was almost fully free of the darkness, and unraveled from it. Jake pulled the serpent out, and then looked back at the space, noting there was something there. He reached back down after setting Wyrm down, and stuffed his hands into the sands. His fingers ran across the object Wyrm was dragging and he made sure to get a good grip on it before pulling it.

"Hey, what do you feel?" Rapp asked, as Wyrm and Zent watched. Rapp looked around, noticing May was nowhere in sight. Thinking she went back inside, he turned his gaze to Jake. Jake grunted as his fingers pulled on the strange object, feeling it give ever so slightly. It took a few hard yanks before Jake's yield was released from its prison. He held it high, and in the gaze of the passing light, the others looked on at the object reaching its own digits into the sky.
Jake's eyes widened and he hurriedly threw the item down as he jumped out of the hole. The others also backed away, shocked at the bleached skeletal remains that fell in the hole. Jake wiped his hand on his chest in a fervent manner, trying to remain calm. "Sue! Need you out here. Now!"

In a flash the Gardevoir appeared. Jake turned to her and pointed to the skeletal hand, now being waved around by Zent.

"Put that down Zent. Don't play with dead bodies." Rapp asked in a most nonchalant manner. Zent nodded and set the hand down, still fascinated by it. Jake turned to Mary and Sue, already thinking up a plan.

"Ok. As I see it, there's a skeleton down there in that crawlspace. Meaning that there might be more. In any event, I think we may need to go back down into the basement tonight. I want you and her to stay up here, just in case things go sour."

"No. We had originally came out here to tell you that Zent said she saw water go down into the basement maybe a few hours ago."

Jake turned to Rapp and the two Pokemon that were next to him. "This is getting real serious real fast. Skeletons, water nymphs, and just the who...the whole situation stinks!" Rapp nodded, holding his head slightly as he looked to the crawlspace. He stared at the hole, wondering where the tunnel led. He looked to Wyrm, and the Dratini felt the eyes on his back. He turned to look at Rapp, whom flicked his chin forward. Wyrm turned to look at the hole, and then shot his glare back to Rapp.

"No."

"Come on! You're the thinnest one! You can get down there, and we'll go down the other entrance. That way we can have the element of surprise."

"No! What if I get stuck? I don't want to!"

Rapp sighed. It was a big risk, and if they were split up, he'd only have Zent at his side, since May was still not around for some reason. He nodded and pointed back to the lighthouse. "Well, if we are going back down, we should get it done fast. If there is something down there that can help us, I would really like the chance to talk to this creature."

"You can talk. But I'm sure I'm going to be ready to move once that thing sees us again. Let's go get moving. I want this mystery solved." Jake nodded as he headed back. The others followed in suit, steeling themselves for what was to come. As he opened the door to enter the lighthouse, he turned back to look at Rapp. A solemn gaze met Jake's eyes, and for the first time, Jake finally saw the woodland boy that Rapp claimed to be. A person out of place in the world, thrust into its strange mechanics with some strange semblance of fate guiding his heartstrings. Jake eased his temperament and held the door open for them. As Rapp passed him, the man extended his hand. Rapp stopped, and looked at him.

"Look. Whatever happens, I still think you're you. If it gets hairy, we get out of there and leave, ok?"

"But you-this is your prospective livelihood! I can't let this evict you!"

"It was never about being evicted. That's just Jake and his foolish pride."

Both men turned their gaze back to spy Mary approaching them, sliding between them and making a left. Her path took her into the den, where she stopped and turned to face. "Jake loves his job, but its not worth risking his life. Not to mention we need help anyway, this may be bigger than us. So I'm staying outside of this place, just in case you need to get help. I'll have a head start on anything."

Jake nodded and turned to Rapp, looking at him with a new confidence. "I don't know where your Lickitung is, but do you want to go there now, or wait?"

Rapp considered the benefits versus the cons and shrugged. "No. We can go. Mary might see her and tell her what's going on. Besides. I'm sure these two and I can think up a way to get through this without fighting. I just wish..." he sighed and looked to the ground.

"Wish what?

"I just wish Mossy was here too. I really could use his silent reassurance as well. But just like you all, I can't rely on him for everything. Let's go."

Jake nodded, as Mary hoisted her belongings on their wheels, and began to push them out of the lighthouse. The quartet made their way to the back where that hidden door lay. It took a few moments for Jake and Rapp to move the metal plates off of the door, but they finally got it off and let it clang to the side. The olden door beckoned to Rapp as he reached for its side, helping Jake hoist it up and prop it open.

Wyrm noticed the mood change almost instantly. As the stale air floated up into the lighthouse, no one spoke. Wyrm looked to each of them, and noticed their vision was focused, almost as if they wore blinders. One by one, they headed down the stairs. Even Zent seemed transfixed, her adamant mood now transfixed over her eyes. As even she disappeared into the darkness, he looked around once more. The lighthouse seemed to lose its warmth, and to escape the oncoming chill, Wyrm sped into the darkness as well.

Thee darkness would have been overwhelming if Jake had not thought ahead of time. This time he held up a thick branch, its free end coiled with a cloth. Jake quietly pulled a match from his pocket, and struck it against the rocky ceiling, causing the flint to spark and attain a flame. He lit the cloth, watching as the matrix caught fire, staying lit upon the torch. With light now illuminating their way, Jake led the charge.

By now, they knew the way. Zent and Jake stayed up front, with Rapp right behind. Wyrm moved backwards, watching their rear, just in case. Nothing seemed to be different, but Wyrm just had a bad feeling. With no one talking, he did not want to be the one to break the silence. Fortunately, he would not have to endure it much longer. As he kept up, the soft song of a serenade wafted into the vicinity. Although the melody was intrinsically peaceful, Rapp seemed to undergo an adverse effect of the music on his inner peace. His teeth bared and he leaned forward, placing his hand on Jake's back to support his weight.

"No. I won't leave. You will give me an answer."

The song began again and Jake continued forward, Zent stopping to let Rapp past. The boy took the time to slowly remove his gauze off of his head. The scarred forehead was safe for the moment, as he kept one hand hovering around it. Blinking, Rapp adjusted his eyes to the lessened weight and blood flow in his head, as the song reached a new pitch. Wyrm slithered up and looked to Jake, whom stopped and looked at Rapp.

"Can you understand it?"

"Yeah. Can't you?"

"No. Sue's gone with Mary. The speech link is gone for now. Is it a Pokemon?"

"I can't tell. I just know its telling us to leave, that this world is not for me to know. I'm getting tired of people telling me what I should and should not know!" Rapp snarled as he released his last sentence, an audible warning that resounded greatly against the walls of this underwater tunnel.

The song seemed to fade off, and Jake made that eventful left turn, breaking into a sprint. Wyrm blazed right after, with Rapp following in third place. Zent kept her steady pace, stopping only a few feet away.

Jake skidded to a stop, catching the eyes of the beast, as it stared at the arrival of the four figures. The darker of the two humans stepped forward, while the blue worms' mouth seemed to crackle with electricity. Then there was that green rock that seemed to have some sort of semblance of battling. The beast slid back, and started to attain a hue reminiscent of a icy wind, only to pause as the darker figure raised his hand.

"Hold still you! No attacking until I know what you know! Why are you here?"

The beast turned to Rapp, and stared him down. It did not seem to be put off by its song-maybe there was the problem of misunderstanding. It tried again, singing a warning that Wyrm and Zent acknowledged, but Rapp seemed turned off by the statement.

"I'm not running away. Not anymore. Something happened to me, and now I'm here!" Rapp's emotion started to heighten, and Zent noticed a scent change from Rapp...a thick grass like smell.

"In the last week, I get injured, I start hearing and feeling and seeing strange things; I can't keep track of two of my friends; the only clue to my past is hidden in a hidden catacomb under the basement of a lighthouse on the other side of the world from me; guarded by a maniacal water dragon and some strange sort of living water?! I'm sure of it now, its your fault I went through what I went though while I was unconscious. So I'm only going to ask this once! Where is my mother?"

---

Mary and Sue sat at the edge of the hole, diligently looking around for any signs of life approaching them. It did not take long for them to be greeted, as a surge of water splashed onto Sue. Sue immediately teleported and reappeared high above Mary, whom stepped back from the hole so she didn't accidentally stumble into it. Sue pointed to the ground, and yelled.

"Mary move! That's not natural water!"

Mary looked around, and saw water falling from all sides of her. No, it was...rising? She broke out into a run, heading north from the lighthouse, but found herself on the receiving end of a ball of water at a high speed. She fell backwards as the water reformed and attained that familiar structure. Sue flashed in front of May and raised her hands to her sides, prohibiting anything from attacking them both. The water creature stared at them both and then splashed into the sand, vanishing. Sue tried to use her mental prowess to try and congeal the water drops, but it proved to be too powerful for her. She screamed, a psychic resonance that ran through everyone's mind she was in range with. The water sped away, seeping into the ground and into the crevasse that was just unearthed.

Mary looked to the lighthouse, and pointed. "Sue, we gotta warm them. Sue?" Mary turned to note Sue struggling to get up. Mary knelt next to her and petted her. "No, rest. Take a few minutes to relax. Break communication with everyone if you already haven't." The Psychic quit struggling, but kept her eyes open. Mary looked around, slightly worried about her safety right now.

The soft thuds in the sands ahead were a cause of concern. With Sue still not up, Mary knew she had to be able to fend off any would be assailants. What she didn't expect, was the surge of rocks that came ...walking toward her. She stood up on her knees, noting the rocks tumbling down the side of the cliff and heading for the lighthouse. She freaked out a bit, but then noted a pink blob running ahead of them, followed by a green ball. She hopped up and waved at them, hoping they could see her.

"May! Mossy! Over here! Quick!"

The pair of Pokemon noted the jumping figure and made a sharp right, as the stones tumbled and turned in their chase. May turned, noting Mossy was falling behind, his body still not recuperated from the earlier fight.

"Mossy, we have to stop, or you're going to drop. We need help!"

"IwishIcouldhelpbutIdon'tknowhowtostoptheserockplan tswhentheygetrolling! They don't really listen to any other orders, they just flee when they're hurt."

"That really does not help us!" May said as she stops, halfway to Mary. May waved back as Mossy flopped next to her, breathing hard. The stones were getting closer to them, and there seemed to be nothing they could do except fight.

"I guess I'm gonna have to punch them all out."

"That won't be necessary!" A voice said over them. All three Pokemon looked up to see a familiar green haired form hanging over them. In a flash, they vanished from sight, reappearing in front of Mary. It was a start for Mary, having the sudden appearance of not only Sue, but of the two missing Pokemon, and a third! Sue did not notice the little creature tethered to Mossy, as she was focused on the incoming swarm of rolling rocks.

"Any plans would be welcome."

Mossy, glad to have been picked up and dropped near the lighthouse, began heading toward the ocean coast. May and Sue looked at him, and Sue quickly linked her mind just to him. Reading his train of though, she blinked.

"It CAN'T be that simple, can it?" Sue inquired. May and Mary followed hastily, eager to know what was just shared.

"Hey! It would be nice to share with the group!" May shouted as the thundering grew in volume. May however, gave her faith to the little plant, and looked to Sue. "Sue. Try it. It might give us some cover."

Sue turned and then began to float up, as Mossy then pulled May to his side. The little bug seemed offput by that, but held her feelings in for the moment. She bared her small claws, and Mossy whipped out his vines-as the rock barrage came rolling right for them. Sue shouted and raised her arms up, a wave of energy flowing behind her, before surging forth.

"Hold on! It's gonna get real wet and wild!"

---

The quartet waited for an answer from the singing beast. When it seemed that there would be no choice but to attack, a strong sensation ran though the four of them. Everyone fell to the ground, holding their heads in agony. It felt like pins and needles scarring their brains, and Zent bellowed, a terrifying sound in close quarters

As the pain flushed out of Rapp's brain, a gushing of water sprang into the previously drained area. It flooded from the mural itself, as if that back area had been flooded. In no time at all, the mural began to crack, and more water pushed out, filling the emptied resevior once more. With both distractions, the water beast pushed itself backwards, ready to cripple the weakened group even more. Its first target was that worm. Wyrm barely looked up to spy the beast, and the wave of ice heading right for him! The dragon was quick, slithering forward to travel under it. As the beam froze the ground instantly, Jake began waving his torch and running closer to the sea beast. Zent roared and stomped her feet, before Rapp noted the sands starting to pick up.

"Zent! No, hold on. You! Stop attacking us!" Rapp held his head, which began to bleed again. The creature spied this, and tried to sing once more, but Rapp would have no more of it.

"NO! You remove yourself from my presence! I am here because I am told to be." The singing beast switched gears, moving forward to try and slam into Rapp. The boy moved backward, as Zent raised her arms and stepped in front of Rapp. Wyrm immediately switched to a fire tactic to join Jake, and both added their flames together as Wyrm blew it forward. The fire caught the beasts' attention and it turned its head. As its attention was turned, a new surge of water flew over its shell and collided with Rapp, knocking him backwards.

As Rapp fell, he could feel the water transforming. What was water now turned into fingernails-natural force into form. His back hit the ground and atop of him was a woman, her eyes yellow and soulless in the midst of her being made of only water. The woman glared at him and softly struck his cheek. Rapp stared carefully at her, and it seemed for a moment that there was a understanding between the two.

"Rapp! I'm coming!" Jake cried as a bolt flew over his head. He dove for cover, crawling toward Rapp. Upon the name entering the airwaves, the woman turned to look at him, and then back to Rapp. She stood up, keeping her foot on his chest as she assessed the situation. The water beast was still tangling with the small snake, and the green rock lizard was standing alongside Rapp. The incoming male, well that was a nuisance she could not deal with. With one hand, she flexed her ability.

Jake rolled and got back on his feet, only to feel the ground shake. All of a sudden, water began to seep in from the underground. It began to flood the lagoon, giving the beast more maneuverability. Wyrm was fine, swimming in ease, but Zent was backing up from the onset of the water. Rapp sat up and pushed her foot off, growling.

"What are you, and why do you torment my Pokemon and I so much?"

"I...torment you? It's you that seek ME!" the water form stated, before raising her right hand to join her left. With that motion, a massive wave crashed onto the land behind her, slamming into Jake. His scream was muffled by sounds of gurgling water, and in a flash he was gone from sight. Rapp screamed in disapproval, and dashed forward, tackling the water controller. The pair fell into the water, where she quickly dispersed. Rapp spun in the water, and resurfaced, deadly serious.

"Zent! Sandstorm! I'm gonna look for Jake!" At least that was the plan, until a beam of Ice struck Rapp and encased his body in freezing temperatures. With Wyrm otherwise preoccupied, the creature had time to set its sights of Rapp and pin him down. Rapp barely crawled to shore, before he realized this beast was going to freeze him solid! The small pieces of sands scratching against his idea were the only things saving him from not feeling anything at all. In the midst of these two attacks however, Rapp was able to cancel out both sounds, and heard something else. His body seeped into a strange state where he could hear his heartbeat, and that of one other. He knew the pattern, he knew the smell-but most of all, he could hear its proximity. He took a deep breath, and shouted a command that seemed very abstract.

"I need a Hammer ARM RIGHT NOW!"

Zent, whom stood right in front of Rapp, did not understand. She looked up as the beast lurched within bodyslamming range. Suddenly there was a thud in front of her, followed by a grunting sound and a splash of water. The beast lurched forward in response, and knocked something in front of Zent out of the way. But that left its underbelly exposed. Zent ran in and landed her teeth into soft flesh. The beast bellowed, but that was suddenly muffled.

Rapp crawled forward, and barely rolled over before noting the Sandstorm was ending. Zent's body went rolling east, as a shot of water continually pressed into her. Rapp got up and charged for the water, hoping to give Zent some relief for a moment. Before he dove in the way, the gushing geyser changed course and slammed into him, pausing his motion. He stood his ground, grounding his feet and looking over the water pump. As he thought, the watery female was using both hands, tossing water at him continuously. But to the right was the large sea beast, entangled in a sea of vines. All of a sudden, something tackled him down. As Rapp looked up, the water pump suddenly turned white, as it froze over. The massive ice sledgehammer slammed into the backwall, shattering upon impact. Both Rapp and his tackler look toward the water nymph, whom now slid over to them, hands wielding small spheres of water.

"Leave here! You who would desecrate a holy burial ruin of the elves! So says my master, Veronica Laster!"

Rapp's eyes opened wide, before a wave of electricity flew over him, splicing the nymph in half. The scream she released tore through Rapp's soul as she fell over. Rapp rolled out of the grasp of his apparent savior-whom he realized was Jake.

Jake nodded and coughed, apparently still recovering from his disappearance. Looking for the beast of the water, Rapp spied that green mass of vines and the pink puff holding their own. There was also some small bug atop of Mossy, jumping and scratching at the beast. Before the water nymph could recover fully, Rapp slid to its side and tried to pin her down. That was a failed notion as she pinned him down by his back. Rapp quickly pushed up and screamed out the only words that would come to mind.

"Explain your conection to my mom! Now before I end that beast!" Rapp pointed behind him, and the nymph looked up. Unlike last time, the beast did not have the element of surprise. The green plant, the pink mass and that strange bug were working together. The bug was religiously tossing sand in its face, while the green rock was tossing large blasts of brown energy atop it. The viney one used its vines to latch its mouth shut and the pink one was hittng it over and over with heavy handed attacks. All to culminate in a sea of flames as a blue worm shout out of the water and unleashed a Flamethrower atop the back of the beast. The beast mumbled a groan and fell over, visibly exhausted, and still hampered by Mossy.

"Your...mother? I know not this term."

"Veronica Laster. My mom. Explain!" Rapp was losing his paitence and his grip on the situation. The more he thought about it, the more absurd it got! Things attacking him, fine. But water nymphs. Magic beings? Him being called an elf? It was almost too much to handle again. He closed his fist, and the nymph felt the wave of anger that Rapp seemed to exude.

"She lives to relive the high days of the elves. She wishes to rejoin her heritage-a link that you have just begun to share."

"Is she an elf?"

"I do not know. I only know we are here to guard the talisman of the low winds. Your appearance beseeches me-as she will be notified that you dare call yourself her son." The nymph shot backward, and slammed its watery mass onto Mossy. The plant, to the nymph's surprise, held its ground. The look given to the nymph was mirrored by both man and plant.



"This fighting needlesly ends now! What is this place?" Rapp shouted, as he raised back up on his feet.

"A shrine to worship the dying land. Those that feared the ancient spells hid here, only to pass away in a horrible side effect of their own brilliance. Nature overturning the land."

"Nature overturning the land?" Jake asked as he stood up, glad to see they were actually getting answers. The nymph reformed, moving to the pinned creatures side. It struggled and she petted its neck.

"Shimmer, do not struggle. We are outwitted, and we are here until we can be removed. The same reason we can't leave is the reason why they were stuck here-the land shifted and rocks littered the top of this temple. It sealed them away. The underground passages were accessible, but there was no surface. That was aeons ago."

"So...Elves died here?" Rapp asked, spitting out water as May walked back to his side. The strange bug skittered to the left, before shaking its head and skittering over to his left side. May glared at the encroaching bug, but the bug seemed to ignore her looks and stared at him.

"To find your mother is to converse with the spirits of the past. Once you find a guide to that realm, then we will meet again. Until then, head east." With that, Mossy's vines found that their grip was weakened, and the beast slithered backwards. Wyrm swam ashore in a rapid manner as the beast whirled around and sunk into the still refilling lagoon. Rapp stood there, watching as the nymph walked into the water as if she was descending a flight of stairs.

"Am I an elf?" Rapp shouted, stomping his foot in frustration.

"Are you? I cannot answer. But I see you have been Awakened, a trait most ethereal users share. Whether you are elven or have elven blood, that is a question only you can answer. Head east. Only when you can answer-will we tolerate your presence down here again." With that, the soulless eyes vanished. Her disappearance left the group with a moment of silence. They looked around at each other, Zent particularly interested in the newcomer. Jake also noted the new bug and pointed.

"Hey! Where'd the Nincada come from?"

"What's a Nincada?" Rapp said coldly. He turned away from them all and stomped over to the wall, holding his forehead. "I can't make heads or tails of this..."

Jake watched as the bug walked like a crab for a minute, before heading in a straight line. It stopped aside Rapp again, and Jake made its presence known. "Hey, Rapp. I think the bug is trying to tell you something."

"What?" Rapp looked back at Jake, and then down to the small form by his feet. She backed up as Rapp kneeled down to take a better look at her. Instinctively, he looked to May and Mossy.

"No, she's actually helpful. We would have never got there this fast if not for her." May said, rubbing her temple. Upon hearing her words, Jake pressed his fingers against his temple.

"Hey Sue, what was that earlier!"

"Sue?" Mary asked, listening as well for a response.

"We might need to get topside, I don't trust that water nymph." Wyrm noted, looking to Rapp. Rapp was still focused on what it seemed to learn. That this was a burial chamber. But it looked nothing like a burial chamber. It didn't make sense...

"Yes, we have to get upstairs now. I'd like to ask Sue something as well."

"Zent eat bug?" Her statement snapped Rapp into the present, and he looked as Zent reached for the bug. The bug skittered away, waving its pincers menacingly.

"Uhhh..no. No Zent. I'm usure abou its reasoning for being here, but if it wants to come with me, I don't have a problem with it. It seems May and Mossy seem fine with it. I think that I might need another Pokemon-one that that helped me understand what the ...ethereal realm is."

Jake nodded and limped over to Rapp. He pointed to Wyrm and gave the dragon a thumbs up. "Man, I'm glad your dragon saw me get sucked under. I thought I was going to drown, but he swam down and got me. I didn't know what to do-but I'm sorry you didn't get any answers."

"On the contrary. I got 2 answers. I know that my mom can be communicated with - as that water beast was following her orders. Meaning that was a Pokemon."

"Yeah. Looked like a Lapras, but it was so...skinny and serpentine. Probably malnourished down here." Jake stated, as he headed toward the entrance down the catacombs. "Which we will be if we don't get out of here and seal off this door again." Rapp nodded and the Pokemon followed eagerly. That strange bug skittered into a rock and hit its head against it a few times, before following the group naturally. Rapp noted the strange behavior, realizing something was wrong with that bug...but as to what...he wasn't sure.

However, watching Mossy and May walk away, Rapp smiled. They found their way back to him, and Mossy seemed more than eager to aid him. Maybe they both just needed time apart. He took a deep breath and felt his fingers tingle. Rubbing his fingers, he noticed a strange precipitation on the tips of his fingers. He shook his hands dry, thinking it was the water from the attacks.

Looking across the lagoon once more, he spotted a pair of yellow lights near the back wall where the mural was painted. He nodded and spoke softly.

"When I commune with the ethereal realm, I'll know all about you, and what you reasoning for being here is. If I find out I'm an elf, I'll make sure to remove you from this world-because its creatures like you that keep me from knowing the truth about who I am."

End Book 2.

Lady Vulpix
27th July 2012, 12:45 PM
Sorry, DL, I've only just noticed you edited your previous post. I will read and archive your Book II, but if anyone wants to rate any part of it, they're more than welcome.

Edit: archived in one page for the reader's convenience (http://dragonsguild.com.ar/Archives/will/battles/10.html).

Umm... Today comes before yesterday?

Skye gets 29 stamps for her battles! :yes:¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

"Nothing in the Pokémon world can't be solved with a good physical clash." <- Interesting form of sarcasm.

I especially liked the last 2 paragraphs before Eclipse's 2nd battle. Skye's efforts to understand what was going on during the battle were also interesting to read about.

And yes many of the MTU Pokemon are quite commendable, as are their trainers. :)

And Darker will battle a Yamask.

DarkestLight
27th July 2012, 07:27 PM
When you read it straight through (stupid text limits) it will make sense, as its a "recap" of the previous week prior to the intro. onward to Book three and getting him back to Caledor...

Lady Vulpix
29th July 2012, 05:40 PM
Umm... Did Wyrm use Thunder Wave on Zent? That shouldn't affect her, since she's a ground-type.

DarkestLight
29th July 2012, 10:14 PM
It didn't. She ate it lol. It kinda took her by surprise

Skye
2nd August 2012, 04:23 PM
Ah. I can have multiple RBGs out at once, right? xD I would like one for Shadow, my level 10 Meowth at the Universal Adoption Center please. *pays 7 Stamps*

Lady Vulpix
2nd August 2012, 04:35 PM
Shadow will battle a Bronzor.

I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can even attempt to eat electricity... and trying to read the story while also doing too many other things. >_<

DarkestLight
2nd August 2012, 08:29 PM
The same way carnivorous balls of fluff can eat anything and hold it internally, lol.

To be clear. She was hit by the attack. It crackled around her for a moment, and she bit at it. It disappeared when she bit at it. So it was funnier to say she ate it, to accentuate her hunger knowing no bounds, and that she wasn't affected by the waste of energy.

Also need a few battles. How many can I buy in advance?

Also..could I buy some to cover previous weeks that passed...Think I need about ...9..lol.

Lady Vulpix
3rd August 2012, 12:07 PM
You can buy up to 3 at a time, and to be honest reading more than that in one post isn't fun.

Your Book 2 is very interesting, by the way, but things keep coming up and I've only just finished reading part 1. :(

I'll rate that part now:

-The raspberry was a funny way for May to alert Rapp.
-The details about the Larvitar line were interesting.
-I liked the description of Earth Power.
-I laughed at Mary's "this will be super effective as well", and I could also argue on the validity of her nurse methods.
-The box on the empty sailboat reminded me of the D&D game I'm playing.
-"Beacon of hope and perpetual sailing under safe conditions" is an interesting definition for a lighthouse.
-It's also nice to see Rapp begin to learn more about elves.
-No wonder the man and Jack Jack don't get along, that guy has no regard for the Mankey at all.
-Who asked "Are you done yet?" Dialogues are hard to follow when you write 2 different characters' speeches on the same line.

Take 47 stamps for part 1, plus another 8 for the delayed rating, for a total of 55 stamps! :yes:¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢ ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

DarkestLight
3rd August 2012, 03:46 PM
Take your time :o. It'll be there. Also, thats why I broke it up, because that one wall of text is daunting.

As for who said that line, that was still the pirate shouting at the Mankey! I tried to keep all the speech lines for one char within their own block. Sorry for the confusion.

Lady Vulpix
4th August 2012, 11:05 AM
Thanks. Umm... What's a gun ho?

And why do you always use "whom" inatead of "who", "alot" instead of "a lot" and "its" instead of "it's"? I always have to read those words twice.

DarkestLight
4th August 2012, 01:36 PM
Alot and its are typos most of the time, I never really remember to separate it. When people speak, I never hear alot as two words, its always one, and that's how I remember it. Same with It's. I forget it has an apostrophe, and I think its possessive some of the time so my mind adds it in arbitrarily.

Whom though, I tend to use because I think of it as the past tense of who. I know its objective, but I tend to think most of my sentences in this story that use whom aren't relating to a person, but to an objective statement. But then I read it over and lot of those could probably be better suited for who....

and Gun ho? Its a typo, should be gung ho.

Lady Vulpix
4th August 2012, 02:40 PM
Only verbs have past tenses. :rolleyes:

On the bright side, when you said "unsure whom to tell", that one was right. ;)

There's another thing that confused me. May saw Rapp and Jake, then concluded it couldn't be them, and decided to relax?

Skye
7th August 2012, 01:18 PM
Finally. The last of the training room battles. Sorry for dragging my feet over the last two rooms, but... I've been having serious writer's block. The ending and the lead up is just blah, but I managed to turn out decent battles in comparison, mostly due to writing the segments at different points in time. But with this, we're halfway to a Rapidash!



The Hardest Lesson of All...

The final day. Everyone was starting to pack up. The busses and trucks carting trainers between towers and the train station were far more plentiful today than they had been before, though that wasn't of concern to Skye. Her own bus would be here soon enough, but until then, she had plenty of training to get done with Eclipse and Shadow. With her Meowth recently out of recovery, he could practice more techniques than just Amnesia, though he would have to settle for simple beginning practices. She wouldn't let him take part in full on trainer battles quiet yet, but his time would soon come. In the meanwhile, she had met quite a few trainers who were happy enough to talk about the places they had been to and would go next.

As for Skye, she had only a few plans. Being an immigrant of a trainer, she wasn't quite aware of the current situation, though the Dragon Tamers and the Guild would be happy to know that some of their exploits reached the far corners of the world. Just how useful a trainer who preferred to roam would be to the group, she hadn't a clue, but if summons were sent out, she wouldn't run from the conflict. It would be nice to make a difference in the world, and feeling that she was a decent trainer, and perhaps a fresh perspective could be useful to them. Perhaps not. She wasn't certain, but the desire to do more was strong within her. She just didn't want to voice it.

Watching the busses and people shuffle about soon wore on the woman, though she knew that they had a while yet before they were even close to being pressed for time. It seemed too early to do anything, but there was little else to be done. Shadow had found a comfortable perch on Eclipse's haunches and was set to grooming himself, as if he hadn't a care in the world. Eclipse was looking just as placid, her eyes half-closed. A fly drifted a bit too close to the mare and was singed out of the air. Silently, Skye wondered if she ought to be worried about flies this early in the year, only to remember that this place wasn't like the other lands, where snow and ice and blizzards could happen in the winter months. No, it was quite pleasant out.

"I forgot it's winter…" she tugged at her clothing which suited the nice weather. "Almost spring…" though it seemed as if it was going on summer and just coming out of spring. Luckily, they hadn't come across much rain, or it would be hard to let Eclipse and Shadow enjoy the good weather. Her hand drifted to the third Pokéball, scarcely opened except on midnight walks to a local stream. Shandar wouldn't fit in a fish tank in the Pokémon Center, not that Skye dared to let him lose. Even alone, he was terrifying, though the later at night she let him free, the calmer he seemed. Sleepy to be more accurate, leaving Skye to come to the conclusion that time still passed within Pokéballs and still affected a Pokémon.

Shadow added his input, breaking into her thoughts and earning a glance from his trainer. Skye grinned slightly as he talked in his own language, though the grin was short lived as those comments earned a nicker of laughter from the mare he sat upon. It was good that they were close, a sign that she could expand the team and not be left to worry over what might come of it. As long as she got some Pokémon which were more sane than a Gyarados, everything would be alright. Though, all things considered, she should have seen it coming.

"You know what? I feel like knocking this last room out of the way. Shall we?" she gestured towards the remaining tower. Perhaps she would get a bite to eat as well before leaving. Shadow leapt down to the ground gingerly, leaving both Pokémon to gaze up at her, expecting her to lead the way. Her jealousy eased at that moment as the woman recalled the fact that she was their trainer. Even if she couldn't understand them, she was there to help make them stronger. Raising Eclipse's Pokéball, her lingering uncertainties faded, for now.


***

Not long after Skye's words about heading inside, Eclipse found herself within an incredibly dry room. Sand was everywhere, though she didn't exactly mind it. Glancing back to the woman, she saw that beads of sweat were already forming on her skin. Shadow didn't look as if he was doing any better, though he stubbornly insisted on walking, as if worried he would lose all that he had been working for if he took a day off. Rolling her eyes towards the ceiling at the sight of the Meowth glaring angrily up at the ceiling, she quietly began to muse.

"I wonder if the heat will make my fire stronger…"

"It won't do you any good if you sweat your own flames out…" the poor Meowth grumbled.

"That… doesn't happen…" she turned her head slightly to eye him, somewhat confused as to why he thought that was even possible.

"Come on guys… I'm going to cook in here if we stand around all day," Skye called, dragging her feet through the sand as she searched for a challenger.

"You don't even have black fur!" Shadow leapt back onto Eclipse's back, not that the mare minded offering him a ride. If Skye wanted, she might get a lift as well. Eclipse could have handled both of their weights just fine, seeing as Shadow didn't weigh that much to begin with, and Skye was a tiny specimen as far as human females went. But their trainer kept walking, and the mare kept her comments to herself.

"You know… You guys sleep pretty well at night…" Skye began, though she sounded a bit out of breath, her speech soft and weary.

"Do we…?" Eclipse wondered.

"That, or I've gotten fairly good at sneaking away without disturbing either of you. Not that it… does me any good…" she stopped soon, glancing back the way they had come. Eclipse and Shadow both turned their heads to glance back to the door, which didn't seem that far away. Still, Shadow began to grumble to himself, and Eclipse soon learned why as Skye continued, "I can't even begin to figure out why Shandar is so… crazy."

"Because he's a psycho," Shadow shook his head slowly. "You could see it in his eyes before he even evolved…"

"Do you guys mind that I keep trying, though?" Skye asked suddenly. Eclipse turned her head slightly to fix the woman in her sight before looking away, feeling that she wasn't even capable of commenting. Shadow grumbled a bit more, though there was no outright 'no' on his part.

"Eclipse?" the Ponyta who had once been named Ashes looked back to Skye, though she had no way to indicate her thoughts on the matter. So, she simply sighed and looked away once again, looking for an opponent. Skye's restlessness to keep moving had caught on, and Eclipse now found herself wanting to see why their trainer was so anxious to get home… wherever that was.

"Well, if you guys don't care, I will keep trying. I mean… There's no reason not to, right?"

"He could only eat us all."

"Plus, I'll be working with both of you to make sure that you have an Electric-based attack soon. So…"

Shadow let out a thoughtful sound at that. Skye had been reading over her cheat sheet once again, something that didn't inspire much confidence in Eclipse. If the woman needed a type chart, how could she begin to make certain that she was doing the right thing with their battles? And, if that type chart was correct, how come her trainer hadn't given her Double Kick when Eclipse had been fighting against those two Sneasel? The mare snorted.

"What? I'm not going to be teaching him any new attacks. Just you two. Actually, that brings me to another point. I think that we'll only take a ride part of the way there and walk the rest of the way. Some… quality time?" Skye tried to make it sound appealing, though as they continued to stand there, Eclipse wondered why this hadn't been brought up when they weren't waiting around for a fight to happen. "Finish polishing up some techniques, learn new ones, sleep under the stars."

"Could be good," Shadow spoke, his earlier agitation about Shandar fading as he sounded somewhat optimistic.

"Reminds me a bit much about being a wild Pokémon…" Eclipse finally spoke up.

"That's the point, actually," the Meowth purred out. "It's much better than always being in your Pokéball. No buildings, no rules to abide by. Just getting food, traveling, and doing whatever comes to mind."

"It sounds… interesting…" Eclipse let out a soft sigh, unimpressed. She had always thought that belonging to someone would feel different. She thought that she would become different. And yet, at moments such as then, when they stood there patiently waiting for a fight to come to them, she felt as if progress was going backwards.

"I've seen some Pokémon with broken spirits. They're brought out to fight, they're brought out to be healed, they're brought out to be fed, they're brought out to fight…" Shadow's claws dug in a bit as he let his words trail off, his optimistic tone darkening. A shudder traveled along the mare's skin, partially due to the prickling claws, and partially due to the thought of only seeing the light of day for those few reasons. "I don't suspect that you thought a lot into being someone's Pokémon, but Skye and I have traveled for years. We've met people. We've seen things. Don't regret having someone as strange as her, it could be worse."

Eclipse returned her attention to the horizon once again, her doubts and partial regrets silenced easily by the golden-eyed Meowth. Even though he ran his mouth as often as he thought, he had been given a long time to think. He knew this woman, and it could be seen in their fighting style. He listened when Skye instructed, and it turned out amazingly well for them. Even though Eclipse had grown to trust in Skye's judgment in battle, she still preferred her own fighting style.

"Oh hey. Hey! Rhyhorn!" Skye began to jump a little, waving a hand, though that behavior was soon stopped as she sank down to sit on the ground. The Rhyhorn, a pair by the looks of it, turned their giant heads to face the small group before approaching. Shadow leapt down as they made their approach in a steady, incredibly slow pace.

"Looking for a fight?" one of them, a male asked. Eclipse nodded slowly.

"I'm… Looking for a fight," she forced herself to speak, even as she felt her heart begin to race. Her mind began to race as she pawed at the ground, ready to rush into the battle the moment it started.

"Would you two mind giving Eclipse a work out? She's already rearing to go… almost literally," Skye laughed at that from her spot on the ground, reminding the Ponyta that the woman was present. Turning her head slightly, she eyed the woman, waiting for her to reach into her bag of infinite goodies, but the human stayed on the ground, making no effort to raise, much less teach Eclipse a last minute attack.

"One at a time, if you don't mind. No offense, but I don't think she can take two opponents on at once," a simple suggestion, which the Rhyhorn politely abided by. It amazed Eclipse, who had been used to the Lava Room being a battle of fiery temperaments. The residents of this room seemed fairly calm, almost orderly as the male stepped up first, leaving his partner, a female, to wait patiently, though she looked fairly disinterested.

"You're not going to watch?" Eclipse wondered, her head lowering.

"There's no need. You're a low level of a Fire type. This will be over quickly," the Rhyhorn reasoned.


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.16 Vs. Rhyhorn Lv.25

"So why does your trainer even think you have a chance?" he asked in a casual enough of a tone, his head lowering before launching himself from standing to a rapid charge within only a few steps. Eclipse let out a startled sound as she twisted about in the dirt and proceeded to run just ahead of her opponent. Though he was fast, she was faster, at least for now. Glancing back at him, her tail lost its brilliant coloration as the flames turned to solid metal before swiping the Rhyhorn's head. The first strike fell just high as he lowered his head, but the first hit home when he tried to bring it back up. A jolt of victory shot through the mare as she thought that if she kept just a few steps ahead of him, she could wear him down easily.

"Eclipse, you're getting too far away!" her ears faintly heard Skye's call and, looking up, noticed that they were leaving the group behind. Turning quickly, she shot past the Rhyhorn, though in one grand movement, he caught her in passing with the side of his head, throwing her delicate balance and causing her to first stumble, then fall. Coming down hurt, though her shoulder was what smarted most of all. Dazed and startled, she pulled herself upright, her head glancing about for her opponent, who had severely overshot his turn.

"Double Kick!" but why? She shook her head, gathering her wits before pursuing the Rhyhorn who had just come to a stop as he tried to turn to face her. Upon completing his basic maneuver, he would find himself being pounded be the mare's hind hooves. Whereas his hide was a thousand time stronger than human bone, her hooves were vastly superior when compared to diamonds. It still smarted to kick something as hard and as well armored as he was, however, but she didn't stick around to complain, darting away once again. Her speed advantage was something that she was relishing in, and it showed.

"Get ahead of him and use a Tail Whip this time!" Skye called out. That was easier said than done, however, as the Rhyhorn reared up before bringing stubby forelegs down into the ground. Apparently he wasn't up to playing a game of chase any longer, leaving Eclipse to turn about and waste energy returning to him.

"Stop!" Skye seemed to change her mind within a matter of seconds, though Eclipse questioned just why she was supposed to halt. That answer soon became apparent as she watched the earth seem to part, sand sinking into the hole. Sliding to a stop, she held her breath, waiting for the floor to give way to the ground below, waiting to fall through. And yet, it didn't. Though it was obviously an Earthquake attack, it didn't seem powerful enough to reach down more than a layer or two of dirt, destroying the fake ground, but not disturbing the Pokémon Center resting just below her hooves.

"Swift little brat, now you can't run freely or the sand will sink you," the Rhyhorn, a creature who was renowned to be slow in the head, gave a nasty grin. A battle worthy opponent, Eclipse realized that this fight was far above her head.

"I can't believe it…" even Skye sounded as if she was about to give in. "A Pokémon strong enough to control the depth of its Earthquake… That is so… cool!" her trainer was laughing. Was she an idiot? Eclipse pawed nervously at the ground, digging at the sand as it finally settled. "Ember and jump, Eclipse!"

Jump over it? Eclipse threw her head once again before realizing that it was foolish to keep questioning the insanity of this battle. She reared up, gathering internal heat rapidly within her before shooting it forward in a condensed ball of flame, an Ember attack aimed at the Rhyhorn. He shrugged it off for the most part, though he had to close his eyes. In that time, Eclipse gathered the space she needed to complete the leap, her other physical strength when it came to combat.

Though she wasn't quite certain where the ground was weak, she managed to land close to the Rhyhorn, who had just shaken the fireball off completely. Her tail smacked into his face, causing him to flinch once again. Then, recalling the attack she had not been able to follow through yet, the mare twisted away from him, hind legs smacking into the side of his head and causing the Rhyhorn to topple.


Eclipse won and grew to level 18!

"Don't even think you're getting away with that!" came a distant cry. Panting softly, Eclipse realized that she had completely forgotten about the next opponent.


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.18 Vs. Rhyhorn Lv.25

Eclipse turned to glance at the Rhyhorn who had shouted at her, but found her face meeting flying stone as a few other shards struck along her shoulder and side, causing her to stagger and nearly fall onto her knees. Each pelt stung painfully, though she now gave the female Rhyhorn her complete attention. A few stones buried within the ground had risen to encircle the creature, dancing about her as she fired the last of them at Eclipse. Wiser now to the pains of the rock-based attack, she found it within her best interest to evade the incoming barrage, which was done with ease due to the vast distance between the two of them.

"Retreat!" despite what the Rhyhorn wanted, Skye seemed to desire Eclipse to make certain that she was ready for the next fight. And, without hesitation, the mare whirled away to put even more distance between herself and the Rhyhorn. With such a large gap between them in the ground, she didn't have to retreat very far before the Rhyhorn was completely out of range. Her head lowering the mare drew in each breath heavily, watching as the opponent dug at the ground with one short foreleg before she began to charge after the Ponyta.

Watching her, Eclipse noticed the heavy creature began to run around the sunken in portion of the ground, turning slowly so that it seemed to take quite some time to close the gap. But this gave her quite the opportunity as she spun and began to run once again. This time, the Rhyhorn seemed faster, or perhaps Eclipse had gotten slower. Either way, her legs were beginning to burn as she found the opponent was preparing to ram her just as the other had done. Though Eclipse had managed to escape being jabbed by the horn the first time, the power of the attack alone had toppled her. A successful attack could lead to her falling and being trampled. Instinctively, she lashed her tail out at her, trying to blind her with each strike of her flaming tail.

To her relief, the Rhyhorn slowed down, and so did she, each Pokémon coming to a standstill before facing each other for a proper battle. Skye and Shadow had taken that time during the chase to close the gap between them so that the human could lend her voice to the battle. For the time being Eclipse waited patiently to hear the woman's call, but none came. Was Skye waiting for Eclipse to strike out? The mare shook her head once again, staring down the opponent, even as the Rhyhorn stared right back, waiting for an opening.

"Double Kick!" finally, Skye's words came through. Eclipse rushed forward so that she could pivot quickly just before her opponent and strike at her with both hooves. In retaliation, after absorbing the shock of the blow, the Rhyhorn bellowed in her rage and slammed into Eclipse, her horn finding her mark this time. Letting out a sound of pain, the mare staggered away, shivering as she wondered how to strike her opponent without taking another powerful hit like that.

"Iron Tail, spin, and Double Kick while facing it!" of all the things, Skye had to say something crazy again. But, it made sense to the mare. She backed away, her tail flicking to and fro as she readied it for the strike. The Rhyhorn wouldn't let her get the distance needed to build up a good speed, however, and rushed forward once again. Eclipse stood still this time, waiting, watching her opponent before spinning to swipe her head with a metallic tail, hard enough to stun the creature momentarily as Eclipse's entire weight had been behind this strike. Continuing to spin as Skye had ordered, the mare rose up onto hind legs as she finished the circle and brought her forelegs down onto her opponent's head, hard enough to drop her, forcing her head into the ground.


Eclipse won and grew to level 20! She learned:
Stomp (Level 19)
Wild Charge (Free level 20 attack)

Eclipse let out a heated snort before turning away from the fallen Pokémon. Already, the first had begun to raise, coming around. His partner would be following him soon enough. Skye looked overly delighted, and Shadow wore a silly grin on his face. The trio made their way out of the room, though upon reaching the stairs, Skye recalled her once again. Perhaps a trip would be nice, after all. It was tiresome to be recalled to her Pokéball over and over just to bypass the problem of hooves and stairs.


... Is Learning to Trust

DarkestLight
8th August 2012, 06:50 PM
Only verbs have past tenses. :rolleyes:

On the bright side, when you said "unsure whom to tell", that one was right. ;)

There's another thing that confused me. May saw Rapp and Jake, then concluded it couldn't be them, and decided to relax?

Yeah. She looked around. She saw Rapp and Jake away from her. They couldn't have been the cause of the sound. But with them in the vicinity, she was sure they would have heard it too. Since they didn't hear it, she thought that a)it was her imagination or b) it wasn't something to worry about. So she just relaxed.

Skye
8th August 2012, 07:50 PM
Ask…

The best part about the province of Caledor was the quiet of the lands where little development had taken place. An entire forest was free for a girl, her Ponyta, and her Meowth to explore and take their time on their way back to Sector Alpha, the city where the Dragon Tamers and the Dragon's Guild could be found. As far as Skye knew, there was no real hurry to get back. Nothing new was going on, no one was getting killed, no mischief, no insanity. So now was a good place to develop her team through training and expansion.

Where she had come from, the general rule of six Pokémon at a time was in place, with a lot of trading out through storage, letting one's Pokémon take a vacation while being cycled out for others who would be trained for specific tasks and purposes. In the land of Ulthuan, however, fifteen was the maximum limit for Pokémon who were both owned and the maximum limit of Pokémon that could be on one's person. Just trying to imagine having all of those Pokéballs on her made her head spin, but she imagined most people only brought a few Pokémon with them and kept the others out somewhere.

"Let's see…" Skye paused in thought. "I think we should try to catch some Pokémon. Maybe three or four more to make an even six active Pokémon. That, or just keep training the two of you until the end of time, or at least until you both evolve… but…" she gave pause at that, looking to her Ponyta and Meowth. According to her estimations, it would take a good chunk of time to evolve either, and who knew what would happen if either of them suffered a serious injury, or worse, both were hurt. If they had to rely on Shandar as their back up, Skye would probably get deported for using a dangerous and untrained Pokémon. Or worse, have her license revoked completely.

Shadow let out a soft mumbling in response. Walking evenly on all fours, Skye was pleased to see that he wasn't favoring his leg anymore. Ah, the wonders of being a Pokémon. Eclipse let out a snort which Skye interpreted as a sign of disinterest in the topic. Over the past few days that they had been wandering, the woman felt she was getting closer to unlocking the barrier between herself and her Pokémon.

"You know, what happens to the team impacts you too, Eclipse. So go ahead and give your opinion, even if you're just going to be as snarky as Shadow is about newcomers," the pair of oddly colored Pokémon looked at each other, then to her with blank looks. Okay, perhaps she was wrong about being able to understand them better, but eventually she would get it. Looking away from them sheepishly, she felt her face coloring at their stares, her own gaze traveling along the land.

Just then, she heard loud, snarling barks echoing throughout the woods, causing her heart to leap into her throat. Glancing around, she wondered exactly what was going on, though the only clue was a sudden explosion of electric energy. Did she know any Electric-type dog Pokémon? Frowning, she hurried forward, followed closely by Shadow and Eclipse, only to come across the sight of a trainer facing off against a pair of wild Pokémon. At least, Skye could only assume they were wild, seeing as the trainer had the strangest little creature floating before him and a fallen Pidgey and battered Houndour as his opponents.

"Hey, are you making a catch?" Skye called out to the other trainer.

"Naw, just some training," he replied vaguely. The ghostly creature before him, sporting a mask beneath the majority of its body, didn't even shift its red gaze away from its opponents as it observed its next opponent, a rather angry looking Houndour. "Yamask needs some experience, though that Pidgey was too weak to give my Bronzor many levels. This Houndour should be around its level and give Yamask some experience," he rationalized. Though, in Skye's opinion, the Houndour didn't look as if she was going to go down without a fight.


http://sprites.pokecheck.org/i/228.gif
Darker Lv.5 vs. Yamask Lv.5

"Yamask, go for an Astonish!" he called out. The strange floating creature seemed to fade nearly out of existence, save for its bronze mask, which hovered and began to move in a hypnotic circle. Entranced, the Houndour hesitated to attack, her eyes following the mask as her ears perked, listening for sounds of an attack. The strike came as the Yamask appeared in a swirl of black and red energies before smacking into the Houndour. The strike didn't seem to do a whole lot of damage in itself, as could be seen as the Houndour lowered her head to let Yamask ram into the dome of her skull armor.

Next came the Houndour's turn as her eyes closed, almost as if she was going to ignore the opponent and all that came her way. Her eyes opened once again soon enough, a strange, pale blue glow radiating from her eyes as multiple balls of blue fire materialized in a circle around her. Baring fangs, she let each orb fly at the opponent, one after another, each chasing down the poor Yamask who attempted to float away in sheer terror of the spiritual attack. Perhaps he, being a ghost, could recognize a Will-O-Wisp on sight and knew what a pain it was. The first few orbs were successfully dodged and flicked out of existence, but his luck soon ran out as one of the orbs managed to make contact, leaving behind a rather nasty looking burn.

"Shake it off and lock it down with a Disable. Then follow up with a Nasty Plot," the trainer commanded. Despite suffering in his wound, the Yamask focused intense red eyes upon the Houndour, forcing the intensity of her gaze to fade, her body locking up as faint pulses of energy escaped the ghost type and fed into the wild Pokémon. This certainly stopped the opponent as Yamask began to take on a new, dark red aura into itself, apparently planning something nasty, though the stronger that glow became, the more the Houndour regained control of her own body. And, much to Skye's surprise, the young canine bolted the moment that she could with an astonishing speed.

"Don't let it get away! Use a Shadow Ball!" he commanded. Drawing in the darkness of the surrounding forests, Yamask let out a low groan as he charged up his attack, mouth open as his focal point for the assault. The Houndour kept running, closing the distance as she opened her own maw, releasing a beam of purple and black energy herself, a pulsing wave of dark circles bound within each other in a stunning display, enough to knock the Yamask down, his Shadow Ball failing as he flinched terribly from the potent attack.

"She's quick," Skye commented to Shadow and Eclipse quietly, not wanting to interrupt an interesting battle. Both Pokémon uttered their agreement.

"Go for another Shadow Ball!" the trainer was being backed into a corner by a wild Pokémon. The dark canine seemed to be keeping and maintaining the advantage as she lifted her head, drawing on her fire element once again. Even as the Yamask attempted to gather his shadows, it was obvious that he was severely pained by the burns received earlier, something which lead to the canine's advantage as she launched her Ember, scoring a direct hit from close range. The Yamask had taken enough damage as the poor thing drifted to the ground, down and out.


Darker won and grew to level 6!

"Shoddy luck," Skye offered as the trainer recalled his Pokémon.

"Yeah, I should have figured that the Houndour would have good attacks. The Pidgey wasn't half bad, just not much of a match for my main Pokémon. Bronzor, finish this one off with a Heavy Slam too," he sent out his next Pokémon, a floating disk the color of bronze which had spent too much time in the open air. Though Skye doubted that the power difference of the two Pokémon wouldn't be enough to take the fiery canine down, she was soon proven wrong. One Ember was all that was offered before the small disk crashed painfully into the poor thing, taking her down without much of a fight at all.

"Ouch…" she stepped forward to look at the two collapsed Pokémon. Sometimes sheer brute strength was enough to handle such things, and though she felt sorry for the Pidgey and Houndour, it was a sight she had grown accustomed to in her time as a trainer. The Bronzor began to float around, looking rather emotionless all the while. "Do you train here often?"

"Naw, just passing through, honestly. How about you? Perhaps you'd be interested in a battle?" he eyed her two Pokémon. "They look like they could use some work."

"We've been working," she wrinkled her nose. "You'd be surprised just how much. I'm pretty sure Eclipse would just ruin your Bronzor, and don't get me started on the Gyarados… Perhaps Shadow would be a better match?" though she doubted he had meant anything by his words, they still surfaced the haunting reminder that she hadn't been having the easiest time as a Pokémon trainer.

"Hah! Confident, are we? Alright, I suppose that would be your Meowth?" the feline padded forward at his words, confirming that he was quite ready for battle, his tail raised high in the air as yellow eyes fixated on the trainer. His Bronzor soon drifted between them, however, wide, emotionless eyes setting upon the pair, focused and ready to battle.


http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/7271/meowthb.png
Shadow Lv.10 vs. Bronzor Lv.10

"Heavy Slam!" the opposing trainer called, and the Bronzor began to drift upward, raising before dropping itself rapidly towards the waiting feline.

"Evade with Faint Attack!" a new technique, and a useful one, Shadow seemed to vanish just as Bronzor was close to impact, leaping straight up into the air as the creature narrowly missed, only to land upon it. Claws tried to dig at the creature's body, but its steely skin was far too thick to damage with such attacks. It wasn't possible to even hold on, apparently, as Shadow soon slipped away and fell back to the ground, letting out a frustrated hiss.

"Give it a Shockwave, Shadow!"

"Go for a Signal Beam!"

Perhaps this attack would hit a bit better. Shadow's fur, already standing on end, began to glow and crackle with quickly building electricity, leading one to wonder exactly how many exciting new techniques the Meowth had been given. At the same time, the Bronzor began to gather a new energy, starting at the bump between its eyes. The orb formed as a ball of multi-colored energy, much like an Aurora Beam, before shooting out towards Shadow. The Meowth, in the meanwhile, had released his own attack, a jagged bolt of electricity which struck the metallic Bronzor quite nicely, though he took the Signal Beam in return, letting out a sound of surprise at just how strong of an attack it was.

"Try another Heavy Slam, Bronzor!"

"Icy Wind to slow it up, then give it one last Shockwave!"

Shadow began to inhale slowly, though his exhale came quickly enough, just as the Bronzor began to rush towards him once again. A misty wind escaped with his breath sprinkled with flecks of ice and snow which glittered brilliantly in the hints of sunlight shining through the canopy. Just as Skye had hoped, the Heavy Slam attack began to slow down as the metal Pokémon began to freeze up slowly. Ending the exhale, Shadow's fur began to illuminate once again with a neon light, a Shockwave escaping him soon enough and jolting through the temporarily halted Bronzor, finishing the battle.


Shadow won and grew to level 11! He learned Bite!

While their battles didn't last too long, it was obvious enough that Shadow was worn out, sitting down as he panted for breath. It was still quite impressive, and Skye was quite pleased at the Meowth's mastery of his new attacks, though he had displayed only a handful during that brief encounter. The Bronzor was recalled as its trainer let out a soft laugh.

"I guess I was wrong about that Meowth needing any work. Mastering all of those techniques… and here I thought I had the upper hand the whole time," he shook his head. "Anyway, I'm heading back to Sector Alpha. See you around, uhm…" he gave pause, realizing that neither trainer had introduced themselves to the other. Names were exchanged before the other trainer departed. About then, Skye noticed that the Houndour and Pidgey were coming around.

Approaching them, she offered a faint smile, though the Houndour only let out a warning growl in response, as if uninterested in anything Skye had to say. The Pidgey, though he had collapsed first, was only just now coming around. His wing looked a bit off, causing Skye to wonder if he had been injured severely during that fight. Unlike with Eclipse, when she had spoken kind words to Eclipse to gain her trust, she hadn't a clue what to say to the pair of Pokémon at first. So, she instead pulled out a pair of Pokéballs and set them in front of the pair.

"I'll help you two get healed up, get that wing looked a-aah!" she fell back, only just missing taking a fireball to the face. The Houndour continued to growl, even as the Pidgey clambered tiredly onto delicate, bird-like legs. Shadow began to hiss angrily, and even Eclipse had a word or two to say, if tossing her head and pawing eagerly at the ground could be counted as speech. The Pidgey tilted awkwardly to one side before settling on the ground as the Houndour ceased her aggressive displays. The pair looked at each other and, seeming to be persuaded by whatever Shadow and Eclipse had to say, allowed themselves to be captured. For now.


Darker and Duo joined the team!
Would you like to give your Pokémon a new nickname?
Yes >No

Wisely, Skye decided to put off giving either Pokémon names, instead opting to follow the other trainer to get everyone a checkup.


… And You Shall Receive

Skye
9th August 2012, 06:04 PM
And. I'm sorry to double post again -.- But I'd like to buy an RGB for my level 20 Ponyta from the Professional Sports Breeding System. If you don't mind. *pays 7 Stamps*

Lady Vulpix
9th August 2012, 08:05 PM
Eclipse will battle a Scraggy.

OK, I'm overwhelmed now, so I'm begging for help. Perhaps I shouldn't, I'm not the only worker here, but it seems that I end up rating all the battles by default and... I just can't. I have too much work to do outside TPM, and I can't do this alone. Can someone please rate Skye's battles?

DL, I'm still reading your story. Some parts are quite confusing, especially the part where Jake seemed to talk about himself and his pride in 3rd person and told Rapp that he would stay while he also led the way?

Something similar happened earlier with the Nincada (who sounds surprisingly similar to CrystalMaster Mike's Nincada). At first it seemed to be a male Nincada who was in love with May, then a female in love with Mossy? Were there two Nincadas all along? It was all hard to follow.

The moment when Jake looked at Rapp and thought about him was touching for some reason, but was that Jake or... whoever stayed behind when Jake headed on with Rapp?

This line didn't make much sense: "Hey! It would be nice to share with the group!" May shouted as the thundering grew in volume. May however, gave her faith to the little plant, and looked to Sue. "Sue. Try it. It might give us some cover." I imagine that the 2nd one was not May, but who was it?

And Sue hates bugs? That's weird considering how calm and caring she normally is. And later May said she hated bugs too... Although I'd say it fits her character.

In any case, Jake did make a good point about Rapp asking him for advice after his performance in the Dragon Games.

I liked the image of the air being breathed out by green fields.

The dripping water scene and the 'worms' scene were both creepy, but in a good way.

And the battle between Sue and the water was very well described.

I only have the last part left to read now... I'll do my best to finish it soon. Sorry again for the delay, it's been a complicated... year.

Edit: With one hand, she flexed her ability. How can an ability be flexed?
Same with: The small pieces of sands scratching against his idea.

Edit again: at long last, I've managed to finish reading it! And rating it! It was hard, but - despite the multiple causes of confusion - it was a really enjoyable story. I'm still left wondering what Jake is... and how he can apparently perform elemental attacks and be in 2 places at the same time. And also what the mystery man was looking for and who's the pointy-eared lady he knows, but I suppose that will all be told in due time. Take 50 stamps for your story, plus 7 more for the delay, totalling 57 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢ ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

DarkestLight
11th August 2012, 12:37 PM
o.O oooooh :D IT WORKED!

Now I'll give you some help. Before I acquired Skitzo, I was writing up the tale and I quickly glanced at the Pokemon available for me to adopt. I liked the prospect of Nincada, it helped with the nature of the story. So I wrote it up and made it male.

Lo and behold, when I finally get to adopting it, and its female. So I had to go back, erase a huge chunk of text and rewrite it. But I didn't really, I just went line by line and tried to remove the crush focus from May to Mossy. So I'm sure I missed specific lines that made it seem ambiguous. Hence, the obvious excuse I'm going to use is the schizophrenia makes Skitzo have, well, different personalities at different times. As we go on they'll boil down to a general two...

I'm gonna look up the parts that you've mentioned here-mainly because I want to fix them so other people won't be confused if they ever read my story.

I can't locate the pride part, do you recall where it takes place?--EDIT: OH NO! That 's Mary talking. I believe you mean this part.

"Look. Whatever happens, I still think you're you. If it gets hairy, we get out of there and leave, ok?" <--Jake

"But you-this is your prospective livelihood! I can't let this evict you!" <--Rapp

"It was never about being evicted. That's just Jake and his foolish pride." Both men turned their gaze back to spy Mary approaching them, sliding between them and making a left. Her path took her into the den, where she stopped and turned to face them. "Jake loves his job, but its not worth risking his life. Not to mention we need help anyway, this may be bigger than us. So I'm staying outside of this place, just in case you need to get help. I'll have a head start on anything."

Mary states the dialogue at the beginning and the end of the short paragraph here. I see why that could be misleading. I wrote it like that as a cut in. Maybe I should have put something in like "Mary interjected-as she slid between them to enter the enter the lighthouse."

That was Jake thinking about Rapp when they exchanged glances before heading back into the lighthouse to enter the cellar

Jake didn't throw the electricity. He tackled Rapp becasue he saw the water being frozen and got him out of the way of it. I ...am 80% sure that was Mossy that used Shock Wave at the nymph. I see where that part makes NO sense. LOL.

As for the two lines used, they're metaphors. Flexing ones ability in this case was the nymph using her control over water-hence her ability.

The other line...I hate autocorrect. That should be skin. NO idea where "idea" came from. In fact, "skin and wound" are the words that goes there.

As for the mystery man and his connection to all of this, well, Book III will answer that-and also bring up a slew of questions as we head back to the Forbidden Mountains.

And yay, now I'll add them to my bank!

Lady Vulpix
11th August 2012, 03:05 PM
Umm... What worked?

Nice battles, Skye! I have just read them, not rated them because I've also been working on many other things. But I liked the whole "new in Ulthuan" perspective, and how Skye learnedfrom experience and decided to wait before naming the newcomers. The dialog box was funny too.

As for what trainers in Caledor usually do with their Pokemon... here's some information (http://dragonsguild.com.ar/guild/training.html).

Edit: I've just edited that page because I remembered a part about pokeballs which used to be in the old version (the one that got lost) and hadn't made it to the new one. It's fixed now.

DarkestLight
11th August 2012, 03:11 PM
Ok. Need RBG's.

I'll try to buy them ever Sunday.

I need one for Wyrm [Lvl 10] to start, from the Nature Protection Agency. Yeap yeap. ::Tosses 7 their way::

Lady Vulpix
11th August 2012, 03:21 PM
OK, now I am scared. And not precisely of the Numel who will face Wyrm in battle.

Skye
11th August 2012, 03:34 PM
Thanks :3 I'll read over it again later and see what it has to say.

DarkestLight
11th August 2012, 03:50 PM
Numel. That's different. And no worries. After I catch up and get back to Sector Alpha, the stories will be much shorter.

<.<..>.> Maybe. Teeheehee Numel

lvl100mewtwo
11th August 2012, 07:34 PM
Finally finished ranking Skye's battles. Great work to all your pokemon and congratulations on the additions to your team. For the battles, you will receive a total of 27 stamps ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢.

"In the meanwhile," Pardon me for being French, but isn't it supposed to be "In the meantime"? I'm pretty sure it is, but I am not 100% sure.

Great battles all around, quite gutsy taking on 2 Rhyhorn of that level. I did like the touch on the Earthquake move, quite interesting idea.

That's also quite a powerful attack on a Bronzong for that level, haha, but not illegitimate.

Keep up the great work!

Skye
11th August 2012, 07:39 PM
Could be xD I'm still fixing my writing. And yeah. I figured if we can get our hands on any technique in the game, why can't the local NPC trainers? ;3

Lady Vulpix
11th August 2012, 07:45 PM
They usually do, in my stories.

classy_cat18
15th August 2012, 06:52 PM
FINALLY FINISHED! *cackles hysterically*

Destai’s POV

I sometimes judge my trainer’s choice in Pokemon. No, make that frequently. I have this thought four or five times a day. Every day I deal with bickering and general silliness, as well as Shonta’s inability to effectively correct their behavior. But I guess a human can do little when it comes to calming creatures more powerful than her, especially when they’re so adamant in arguing.

After the group left, some of the Pokemon heading downstairs to one room and others heading to the highest room, I decided to go practice myself. The “Blizzard Room” didn’t sound appealing to me. The cold wind would go right through my short coat of fur.

When Shonta asked me if I wanted to go to the Blizzard Room, I shook my head. “The Jungle Room is the only one left,” Shonta told me. “If you want to go up there, you won’t be able to use your Fire attacks.”

I suppose I could go up to the Blizzard Room. I’ll be running around, not standing still and shivering. I left her and went up the stairs to the Blizzard Room. The Ninetales was supposed to be up there to find a battle for herself.

The first familiar face wasn’t Trinity. Circe the Ralts was shivering but still managed to keep a smile. Katana the Zangoose was with her, barely showing signs of being cold, her face in the usual scowl. “Destai! How’s it hanging, dude?” Circe asked me cheerfully.

Although she couldn’t understand my language, her psychic nature allowed her to “read” me. “Oh, you want another battle,” she correctly predicted. “I found a Chinchou a few minutes ago but I think she’s hiding somewhere in here.”

A Chinchou would’ve been a good challenge since I’d be at a disadvantage. “Sorry, that one’s all mine,” Circe continued. I let out a growl, irritated that she wasn’t battling it already. “Chill, I’ll get her in a sec.”

“You should hurry up,” Katana finally spoke. Her stare was somewhere else, scanning the room. Her ears twitched to a sound that I could also pick up. “Destai isn’t one for patience.”

I ignored the cat ferret and watched Circe scoop up a pile of snow and shape it into a ball. “She’s been hopping around,” she told me before psychically lifting the snowball in the air and hurling it into the distance. A cry of surprise told us that she had hit her target. “Bullseye!”

The Chinchou hopped into view, shaking off the snow. “Nice shot! I was sure I was being quiet enough to avoid being spotted!”

“Dude, you kinda stand out.” I nodded in agreement. “Anyway, wanna battle or something?”

‘Or something’?

“I’m all for that! Loser gets made into a snowman!”


L10 Female Ralts (Circe) vs. L10 Female Chinchou

“I gotta warn you that my attacks are limited!” Circe told her opponent before glowing a light blue. However, her target wasn’t the Chinchou. Some of the snow on the ground rose and shaped themselves into little balls.

Snowballs? She was continuing her silly snowball fight?

“Let’s see you dodge!” She let them fly at Chinchou, who destroyed most of them with a single Thunderbolt. Circe jumped to the side to avoid the lightning and swung her arms. The remaining three snowballs swung around, sped up, and hit Chinchou in the back.

“Owwww!” Chinchou howled when the last one hit. “I think that one had a rock!”

Circe flinched and rubbed her hair. “Sorry dude, I honestly didn’t know. Really.”

Chinchou pouted and retaliated with a blast of water that hit Circe in the face, which made the Ralts cry out louder than I expected. “It’s hot! Darn it, that’s hot!”

“Hot?” I noticed that the snow was starting to melt where the water splashed onto it. “Hot water?”

“It’s Scald,” Katana explained. “I’ve read about it but this is my first time seeing it. A Water type attack that can burn.”

Circe uncovered her red face and moaned. “Now I’m burned. And soaked. Great.”

Chinchou laughed and blasted her with more water, making Circe cry out again. “Now it’s too cold!” I heard her say. This time she was knocked on her butt from the force. “Now everything’s spinning…”

“Take it easy!” Katana coached from beside me. “If you rush things, you’ll be more likely to have attacks backfire on you!”

Her opponent laughed even louder as Circe wobbled on her legs. “Ugh, gotta stay focused.” She spun to face Chinchou but it was too fast, and she ended up back on her butt.

She’s confused AND burned. I covered my face with a paw. Maybe I didn’t want to know the outcome of this battle.

“Okay, I got this,” Circe assured us. She got back to her feet and held out her arms. Both she and Chinchou were surrounded by a white aura. “Pain Split!”

Chinchou whimpered while Circe gave out a sigh of relief. “That should keep me in the battle for a little longer,” Circe said with a grin.

Chinchou pouted again, her antennae sparking furiously. Circe didn’t notice her look as she was back to wobbling around. “Thunderbolt!” she shouted as she shot Circe in the back. Circe squeaked in surprise…

…but didn’t appear to be in pain.

“No way! You should be KO’ed by now!” Chinchou said in protest.

Circe dusted herself off and turned to her. “Your ability is Volt Absorb, isn’t it?” She asked her.

“Why are you…ohhhhh.” She gulped.

“Yeah, you got it.” She glowed blue for another Psychic attack. A glowing orb formed in her hand and grew.

BOOM!

It exploded in Circe’s face! She yelped and shook her head.

“Confusion’s too much for you?” Chinchou joked. She swelled in size.

“Do-over!” She tried again and shot the orb of psychic energy at Chinchou. Chinchou tried to counter with another Scald, but the orb curved out of the way and slammed into Chinchou’s side. The Pokemon twitched, then got still.


Circe wins! She grew to level 11 and learned Double Team!

Circe sat next to the Chinchou and patted it. “It’s not good for a non-Ice type like you to faint in this cold room.”

A weak moan came from Chinchou. “Think you can help me downstairs? I just need to warm up a little.”

“Sure, dude.” She picked her up with psychic powers and carried her out the Blizzard Room. She winced with every step she took. I trotted after her. “Destai? No, I don’t need help. I can make it down a few stairs.”

I remained in the room with Katana, who probably didn’t even know the battle was over. She had been switching her attention from the battle to some spot in the distance. I barked to get her attention but she ignored me. What are you looking for?

“No need to use that language,” she finally said. “I can understand you just fine.”

I was still mildly surprised by her understanding. When it comes to my species, simpler sounds such as barks and growls are enough for communication among pack members most of the time. It’s easy in the case of simple commands during hunting, or for threatening or greeting. Putting more complex things in the language takes a while for us to learn. This was why it is hard for other Pokemon to understand me. “Why are you just staring off into the distance?” I asked her.

“You don’t see her, do you?”

My eyes obviously weren’t as sharp as hers. “No,” I admitted.

“Sorry, I forget that your eyesight isn’t as sharp as mine.” She started walking slowly in the direction where she was staring, then stopped and looked over her shoulder at me. “Come on.”

I followed her until she put up her paw. “Stop right there.” She pointed to a point in the snow. “See that spot? That mound? Watch it carefully.”

The bright snow made it hard for me to focus on it, but as soon as my eyes adjusted, the mound grew…and shrank. Then it did it again. It was like it was…

“Sleeping good-for-nothing,” Katana grumbled. “So much potential and she’s been wasting it.”

It only took me a second to realize what had happened. The good-for-nothing must be Trinity. She came up here and decided to hide in the snow while she took a nap.

Katana’s fur bristled with electricity. “It must be so nice to have all that warm fur, huh!” she yelled before giving the mound a Thundershock. The mound exploded as the big Pokemon burst out of it. “I swear, you are the laziest Pokemon on our team! And we have a freaking SLAKOTH!”

“It’s not my fault!” Trinity whined. “I was looking for a battle, I swear! But then something got the jump on me! Next thing I know, I’m asleep and buried in the snow!”

Katana’s scowl softened to a slight frown. “I can’t believe this. How can you let something get—“

“GET DOWN!” she interrupted before tackling her with the speed of a Quick Attack. Her tails slammed into me and knocked me back as well.

What was… I sat up and met the eyes of a Sneasel for a second before he turned to Katana and Trinity. He had landed on the same spot the two were a second ago.

Katana recovered and looked up at Trinity. “Th-thanks. How did you--?”

“He was coming up from behind you,” Trinity answered. “He tried to stay invisible with Faint Attack but I could hear the snow crunching from his footsteps.”

“Is that the guy who got the jump on you?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Ahem,” the Sneasel voiced. “I do not like being ignored, Katana.”

“You know him?” Trinity and I said together.

Katana stood and stared at him for a long moment, the tension breaking when a smirk appeared on the Sneasel’s lips. “Dagger!?” she exclaimed.

“Dagger?” Trinity echoed.

Dagger chuckled. “Yes,” he confirmed.

“Dagger was one of the Demons, on the same rank as me,” Katana explained. “So this is where you ended up after we split, huh?”

“Not the best place, but I get to battle until I drop.” He glanced at me again, then at Trinity. “Don’t tell me these two softies are your new teammates.”

She snarled at him. “Nothing has changed. You’re still an idiot.”

“And you’re defending them! Mushiness must be contagious!” He chuckled and waved a clawed paw at her. “Or maybe you were a cream puff from the very beginning.”

“Why you—“

“DAG!” a squeaky voice rang out. Over the snowbank next to us ran a Smoochum. She tripped and rolled to Dagger’s feet, lying there while panting heavily. “Dag…our position has been…con…com…com-prome…”

Even though his face was covered with short fur, he still seemed to go pale. He froze and slowly looked up from the Smoochum to Katana, whose face slowly gained Dagger’s smug look. “Friend of yours?” the Zangoose asked him with a smirk.

“Dag…” the Smoochum kept panting. “What’s…the word?”

A long silence followed before Dagger answered squeakily, “Compromised.”

“Yeah…compromised.” She got to her feet. “We must retreat and re…um…what’s the word?”

“Regroup.”

“Yes! Back to the chalkboard, Dag!” She tugged at his paw. Dagger hung his head, not correcting her this time.

“I’m the cream puff, huh?” Katana teased. She tapped her paw on her cheek. “Now that I think about it, you were always easier on the rookies than I was. Especially the young ones.”

“Not one more word!” Dagger snapped.

“Hey! You stop picking on Dag!” the Smoochum yelled at Katana. “We were on a special mission to spy on the enemy!”

Trinity sniggered before she jolted and yelped. “YOU! You were the one who jumped me!” she accused while poking the Smoochum with her paw.

Her cheeks puffed out. “You were a ‘spicious person! I had to deal with you swiftly and quietly!”

“You picked me at random, put me to sleep and ran like a chicken!”

“I’m no chicken! You’re the chicken! You’re a Torchic! Ain’t that right, Dag!”

“Not right now, Princess,” Dagger muttered while patting her head.

“You call her Princess?” Trinity questioned, sounding close to laughing again.

“That’s the name her trainer gave her.” Now he was blushing.

“Stop teasing him,” Katana scolded.

It was surprising that her tone would shift when she herself was teasing him in the beginning. Then again, she took care of two young Pokemon, so she probably just found it amusing that they ended up in similar situations. “You finally got to do something you like without having to be embarrassed,” she told Dagger.

The Sneasel let out a small growl that died down to a dull groan. “Speak for yourself. You found it funny.”

“Only because you tried to act like a jerk when Princess wasn’t around.” She put her hands on her hips. “So what are you teaching this kid? Your favorite way of getting battles?”

He let out a heavy sigh. “She thought that just going around and asking for battles was boring, so I started a little game.”

“I know you had good intentions in mind, but that’s not really a good strategy to teach her. She might get a Flamethower to the face from an irritated Pokemon.”

“Heeeeeeey! Was that supposed to be a jab at me?” Trinity whined.

“I’m still new to this,” Dagger grumbled.

Princess, who had tried her best to keep quiet and let the adults talked, couldn’t stay quiet anymore. “Who are these people!?” she demanded while hopping up and down. “Do you know them, Dag?”

“The Zangoose is an old friend.”

She narrowed her eyes at Katana. “Is she friends with the ‘spicious Ninetales?”

“She’s an ally.”

“An alley?”

“A…good guy.”

“I must test her wood!”

Another long silence before Dagger hung his head again. “Test her metal, Princess.”

“Oh! Yeah! I will test you, um…”

“Katana,” the challenged helped. “I don’t think you’ll be able to handle me, kid. Destai has been looking for a battle though. Try him.”

She pouted. “He looks too weak.”

I growled in response. It already stung to be insulted, but to be called weak by a child…

“I will not be overdecimated!” Princess cried out.

“Underestimated,” Dagger corrected.

“Yeah, that! You, the Ninetales! You will battle me!”

“Fine, fine,” Trinity groaned.

“You sure she’s fine battling an evolved Fire-type Pokemon?” Katana asked Dagger as the two Pokemon walked off.

“She’ll be okay. Hey, while we’re challenging others,” Dagger said, “How about the two of us battle?”

This will be interesting. I’d rather watch this battle than Trinity’s.


L12 Female Zangoose (Katana) vs. L15 Male Sneasel (Dagger)

The two Pokemon started circling each other slowly, then picking up speed until they were running at top speed, Katana on four legs and Dagger on two. “Come on, Katana! Is that the fastest you can run?” Dagger crowed.

“Of course not!” Katana panted.

“Good! So let’s knock it up a notch!” He charged for her at an even greater speed. Katana gasped and stood up on two legs a second before he slashed at her. She rolled in the snow and stopped face down. “You should know that I’d be faster than you!”

“Stop with the taunts,” Katana groaned as she pulled herself to her feet. “You threw off my strategy.”

“You actually thought I would take it easy on you?”

“Yes. You went with Slash. You could’ve finished me off with one Ice Punch.”

“Hm. Good point. Okay, I won’t make that mistake again!”

The two of them stood still before they charged each other. Katana caught Dagger’s next swipe with a sparking paw and gave him a weak Thundershock. Dagger winced and jumped back from her. “If I can’t dodge, I’ll just block!” Katana said with a smirk.

It was a match of two close-range pros. Either of them could do special attacks from a distance but that wasn’t their specialty. Plus, judging by their friendly mid-battle banter, neither of them was taking this very seriously anyway.

Katana interrupted my thoughts when she charged a glowing ball of brownish-red light. Dagger glared at her and shot an Ice Beam as she threw her Hidden Power, the orb of light colliding with the beam, the two attacks cancelling each other and kicking up a wall of snow. I was caught in the crossfire, my eyes blinded by a spray of snow.

How could that Hidden Power be as powerful as that Ice Beam?

There was a battle cry, and I cleared my eyes to see the two combatants inches away from each other. Dagger with his claws outstretched while in mid-pounce. Katana leaning back and her paws raised, another Hidden Power charged and ready to be released.

It caught Dagger right in the face! Point-blank! He was blasted back into a snow drift! My short fur bristled with excitement. I felt glad that I chose to watch the battle. The Zangoose was a fierce battler.

Katana immediately prepared for her next attack with a raised paw. A breeze started to flow across the room. It was strangely quiet, even with other Pokemon around us.

Then Dagger burst out of the snow bank, just like Trinity did before the battle. As little more than a blur, he slammed into Katana. The surprised opponent stumbled back but stayed on her hind legs. Silently, Dagger surrounded his paw in blue mist and punched Katana in the jaw.

Ice Punch! She’s done for! But the wind was still blowing.

She fell back from the punch. At the same time she hit the snow, the wind turned into a quick gust. Dagger gasped and attempted to shield himself from the scythes of wind that barraged him. His fur and skin was cut shallowly.

I stood and felt a whine rise in my throat. Katana wasn’t moving. Was she unconscious? My anxiety turned into relief when she stirred and finally sat up. “Owwww,” she groaned.

Dagger mirrored her actions. “Owwww,” he echoed.

Both Pokemon got to their feet. They wobbled and swayed as they struggled to stay standing. Dagger got stable and licked the scratches that Katana’s Razor Wind had created. “I’m up for more dancing. What about you?” he teased.

I narrowed his eyes. He wasn’t as damaged as I thought. But Katana will only be able to last one or two attacks. She was still wobbling. Her breath was coming out in steady puffs of smoke.

“Yeah,” she said breathlessly. “But unfortunately we’re close to the end.”

He grinned and charged with her with another incredible burst of speed. Katana’s eyes gleamed before she smoothly sidestepped Dagger’s attack.

Detect! His back was now exposed to her!

Dagger tried to stop and turn to defend but Katana was quicker, raising both arms and bringing her claws down on him in an X shape. He grunted and fell face first into the snow. After a long moment of tense silence, Katana sighed. “Guess he’s had enough.”


Katana grew to level 14! She learned Fury Cutter!

Katana pulled the unconscious Sneasel to a sitting position and lightly slapped his cheek. “Come on, get up. I am not carrying you.” I could hear a weak moan come from Dagger but he still didn’t wake up. “Great, and I needed to ask you some questions.”

I walked up to her. “Do you need help taking him to the Pokemon Center?”

She smiled a little. “I guess it can’t be helped. I wish it wasn’t at the other tower though. Let’s get the Smoochum and that insufferable Ninetales while we’re at it.”

Trinity’s POV

Why did I have to get stuck with the little kid? The so-called battle was a complete waste of my time.

Minutes ago…


L10 Female Ninetales (Trinity) vs. L8 Female Smoochum (Princess)

“Maybe a little Ember will get her to back off,” I muttered to myself while Princess was still standing still like her brain was turned off. It’d be too much of a bother to have everyone yelling at me for torching a little kid…

“PSYCHIC!” Princess screamed as she caught me off guard with a fast blast of psychic energy. It was powerful enough to make me see spots.

“You…little…” I shook my head to clear my vision. My body temperature was skyrocketing. I could no longer keep my patience.

“Another—“

I teleported behind her before she could prepare another attack. “FLAMETHROWER!” I roared. My hot flames engulfed the pint-sized brat. The only thing that came out of her mouth after that was a tiny squeak before she fell. And that was it. End of battle.


Trinity won and grew to level 11!

Such an annoying kid! I thought about just leaving her there and going somewhere else but then I had a terrifying thought. “What if Katana sees? She’ll go off on me. It’ll be worse than what she does with Bandit!”

I glanced at the knocked-out Smoochum. I couldn’t let Katana find out. “I could take you to the Pokemon Center, but then I might bump into someone else from the team. Bandit or Ali would definitely squeal on me.”

My fabulous ears picked up a dreaded voice. “Destai, can you find that Ninetales? I didn’t expect her to blend in so well.”

Ohhhh, my kingdom for a White Juice. Or better yet, a Transparent juice. I was dead, I was soooooo dead! “The body! I have to hide the body!” I told myself, already digging a hole in the snow I didn’t melt with my Flamethrower.

Princess was well-buried. No one would be able to find her. And she was an Ice-type; she wouldn’t freeze in the snow like other Pokemon. I was safe.

“Trinity?” I still stiffened at the sound of Katana’s voice even though there was no edge to it like usual. “We’re going. Where’s Princess?”

Calm down, she’s not accusing you of anything. Just smile and lie through your fangs.

“She wobbled on down to the Pokemon Center,” I lied with a smile.

She glared at me with her trademark glare. “And you didn’t help her? Who knows how bad you beat her.”

Just keep on lying!

“I tried to but she kept saying how she wouldn’t be underdecimated or some crap like that.”

“Underestimated,” I heard the Sneasel groan while he was slumped over Destai’s back. Geez, even when the kid wasn’t around he was correcting her!

Katana raised an eyebrow but didn’t seem to be questioning my white lies. “We should catch up to…Destai, what’s going on?”

The Houndour had his nose pointed up while he sniffed for something. Then he pointed his paw right…where…I had buried…Princess. My blood instantly froze. “Princess,” he barked.

Katana very slowly turned her head to where he was pointing, then to me, her glare getting even deadlier. “Trinity? Could you enlighten me as to why Dagger’s teammate is buried in the snow when you said she went to the Pokemon Center?” she questioned as if she was clueless.

She was onto me! KEEP LYING!

“She…must have…come back for Dagger,” I lied shakily. “While my back was turned.”

The Zangoose nodded twice. Good, she fell for it again. “Trinity, you have ten seconds to dig up that child and take her to the Pokemon Center.”

CRAP, SHE DIDN’T FALL FOR IT!

“Wait, ten seconds? I can’t run that fast!”

“Then I suggest you make good use of that Teleport before your seven seconds are over.”

“WAIT, SEVEN!?” I didn’t waste any more time digging out the brat. “I can’t teleport under pressure!”

“FOUR SECONDS!” she roared.

“EEP!” The next thing I saw was the Pokemon Center. Apparently, I actually could teleport under pressure. I tossed the Smoochum to the frightened nurse and curled up in the nearest corner.

Wolfsong
15th August 2012, 11:19 PM
Shonta, take 27 stamps. Princess was cute. I found myself chuckling at her mispronunciation of words. I liked seeing things from Destai's POV. I enjoyed reading Circe's battle as well as Katana's. Trinity's was a little short but i found her response after the battle amusing as well as her beign able to teleport under pressure after all.

Wolfsong
16th August 2012, 01:22 PM
I'd like a 2-2 rbg please from Caledor's Nature Protection Agency for Rick (glaceon) and Ebony (ponyta) please. *hands over 14 stamps*

Lady Vulpix
16th August 2012, 01:25 PM
Are their levels 5 and 20 like your page says? Will they be able to battle together?

If so, they're going to battle a level 5 Deino and a level 20 Larvesta. Let's hope Rick can handle them.

Wolfsong
16th August 2012, 03:20 PM
Thanks. Although actually rick is L.9 now although if ebony's level changes fromt eh bt battle i'll go from there but we'll see.. I've been updating more the database on the board here than my actual site... This should be interesting though. *goes to get started*.

Skye
16th August 2012, 04:04 PM
I'm... going to ask for two more battles. A 2 on 2 for Shadow (11) and Darker (6), both from the Caledor's Nature Protection Agency. *pays 14 Stamps*

Wolfsong
16th August 2012, 04:40 PM
*takes stamps* They will be battling a L.11 Darumaka and a L.6 Cyndaquil.

DarkestLight
20th August 2012, 06:10 PM
7 more for ya. Need a RBG from the Jungle for May

classy_cat18
20th August 2012, 06:45 PM
*looks up May's level* She'll be battling a Paras.

DarkestLight
20th August 2012, 09:17 PM
Whoops. My fault, I know I forgot something. Ok Paras. Where can I fit you in...

DarkestLight
22nd August 2012, 09:08 PM
OK.

Book III: The truth is out there

Ch 1: Turnabout is fair play.

The group of 7 finally re-emerged out of the lighthouse basement. Rapp brought up the rear, eagerly jumping out to help Jake shut the door and set the metal plates on the top of it to keep anything from coming out. The 5 Pokemon all headed down the hallway in order to make space for each other. Once in the den, they were greeted by a trio of faces.

"Oh, you all are ok!" Mary stated as she knelt down to hug May. Sue walked over to May and nodded in approval of their success.

"What about the rockplants that were following us?" May asked.

"Nothing a few waves of water didn't stop. It was very weird. They seemed reluctant to come any closer when struck with water." Sue stated, floating over to Jake and Rapp. Both forms backed away to give her space, as the Pokemon all found their seats somewhere in the immediate area.

"I guess we need an explanation. Rockplants?" Rapp asked, positively curious.

May looked to Mossy, whom shrugged. It was not like he was going to tell it. May groaned and rubbed her head in frustration. "You REALLY need to learn how to talk. Anyway, to make a long story short, I was kidnapped and strapped to a rock. That water creature was controlling both the rockplants and that weird bug over here."

Everyone turned to look back at the bug, whom seemed to be paying dire attention to Mossy's backside. Mossy didn't move, and the bug seemed oblivious to the mass of eyes on her. Rapp nodded and turned to May, piecing the rest of the story together.

"You then found Mossy, and escaped, You were chased by them, and Sue held them off while you reached me. Pretty intense."

" 'Intense' is not exactly the word I would use, but a good descriptor, nonetheless." The voice that rang out forced everyone to turn to the door in elated excitement. In their view was Johnson, eagerly returned from his pilgrimage to the Tower of Hoeth. Without a moment's waste, Rapp moved aside so the older man could come over and sit down on the couch.

Johnson obliged the offer, and looked to each of them before rummaging in his bag. Zent licked her lips in anticipation, and the bug continued to stare at Mossy. “It seems you've confronted whatever was below this lighthouse. The mere fact that you all still live and breathe and this lighthouse still stands is a testament to how well you fared. For that I am grateful. But I fear I bring grave tidings.”

“Everything ok Johnson?” Jake asked, taking a deep series of breaths. His side was pretty sore and he was sure that after he went to sleep, he would feel it even more in the morning. Johnson shook his head and continued rummaging in his bag while speaking. “Well. As you know, I took off to reach the Tower. I was fortunate to be picked up by a traveler on a flier and we managed to cover the distance in a matter of hours. This greatly increased the amount of time I could spend researching you and your condition. We landed in that excellent city, and I bid my adieu to the person who gave me a lift. I made haste to the nearest inn in Saphery and rented a room for 4 days, just to ensure I had a place to sleep.”

“That's all well and good, but I don't see how this is bad for us.” Jake asked, wincing slightly. Mary got up and made a beeline for the bathroom.

“No objections Jake, I'm wrapping that torso of yours.”

“Patience.” Johnson warned, as he continued. “When I reached the room however, there was a message attached to my door. It stated that anyone that knows anything about any sightings of elves or strange happenings to commune in the courtyard the next afternoon. At first, I thought this was a benefit, I would be able to gather a plethora of information just from the commonfolk. But the second half of the note disturbed me. In short-there seems to be someone after you Rapp. Someone that went though great lengths to reach Saphery, try to flush you out of hiding, and possibly even follow me back here.”

Everyone turned to look at Rapp, but all Rapp could do was cross his arms and hang his head in thought. He had been-for the better part-off the grid for a while now. Who could possibly want him now? As he mused over those words, Johnson pulled an immense lollypop of out of his bag. He lowered it to Zent, and she instantly tried to snatch it. He grabbed those stubby arms, and helped her to hold the lolly's stick correctly so she didn't drop it. Zent roared in glee and began waddling in a circle, eating the lollypop. Glad she was satiated, Johnson turned to the others.

“Now listen carefully, as we have little time to act. The person whom is seeking you Rapp, wishes to see you use magic for their deeds. They have astounding reason to believe that you are an elf.”

“Well, it's not going to happen. I can't make it rain, or cause lightning to fall.” he said, looking toward the windowsill. “I can barely keep up with these 4, possibly 5 now. And now you say someone is out there waiting to see me? Can this get any better? Probably not.”

Johnson nodded and placed one hand on Rapp's back. “I'm sure that whomever has followed us is already making camp on the outskirts of the lighthouse. So I'll tell you what we're going to do.” Rapp huddled with everyone in a circle, and for the next 20 minutes, an indecipherable plan was concocted. Everyone threw in their two cents, and by the end of the meeting, everyone seemed satisfied by this account.

As Zent crunched on the last of the lollypop, Johnson stood away from the group, noting the progress made so far. “Well I guess we should rest. It's been a long night, and I'm sure we each have things to review with everyone." Johnson noted, already picking up his bag and heading for the stairwell. “I have much to tell, but it seems this week has been a trying time.”

Everyone agreed, and slowly but surely, the group began to disband for the night. Each began their own rituals for preparing to sleep, but it was evident that they were silently reviewing the last battle they just endured. Rapp watched them all before heading to the stairs. As everyone cleared out, Rapp called out for Mossy and Zent. Weary-eyed, the two Pokemon came back to him. He walked to the hallway where the cellar door was-still covered by those massive plates. Mossy and Zent didn't understand what was going on, until Sue materialized in swift fashion.

“As you asked, I cut off communication with everyone except you three and Jake. Jake's being bandaged up, but I don't understand the reasoning for secrecy.” Sue asked, concerned with what was happening. Mossy and Zent turned toward the hallway, making sure they weren’t being watched.

Rapp sneered and talked in hushed tones.“That's not Johnson.”

“What?” Sue replied, confused. “I-I'm sorry, but his mental imprint matches Johnson's.”

“I am not saying this lightly Sue. I know what I'm implying, but I'm telling you, that is not Johnson. I knew it from the moment Mossy and Zent laid eyes on him. The lollypop was used to deter Zent off of his scent, but Mossy wasn't fooled. Nor was I, I sensed he was different. I don't know how its working, but that person is not Johnson.”

Sue nodded, and looked behind her. “I don't want to say I don't believe you. So, I will observe his actions tomorrow. We are all tired and I'm sure I am missing some key nuances of his. I will have an answer for you tomorrow. I will keep the mental communications segmented as you asked.”

Sue floated away, down the hallway, before vanishing down a corridor. With their meeting adjourned, Mossy and Zent freely walked away, eager for rest. Rapp watched them walk away-noting Mossy stop and pilfer something from the floor. He didn't stop him this time, they were going to need all the help they could get.

The next morning could not come fast enough. As soon as the sun broke through the windows, Rapp's eyes sprang open. In one bound, he was out of the bed, and looked around the room. Mossy was nowhere to be found, but the scent of an herbal assortment invaded his nose. That was all he needed to know. Yawning, the woodland lad headed out of the room and down the stairs two at a time. Before he reached the ground floor, he could already see everyone else gathered in the den.

“You're right. That is not Johnson.” were the first words he heard in his head. Rapp stopped and sat on the steps, making sure no one could see that he was up yet. Keeping the conversation mental, he replied.
“What clued you in?”

“His morning routine. Johnson takes a walk every morning after checking the light. Today, he went up to check the light, but did not come down and talk his walk. His time up at the lamp also took a hour.”

“I...don't understand.” Rapp asked.

“Checking the light takes 3-5 minutes. All you do is make sure its still rotating, and then switch it off. If there was a problem, a tone would be emitted. No tone, no problem. No reason to be up there an hour, and definitely no reason to talk to yourself. I'm sure there is someone up top as well, but they haven't come down yet. Possibly waiting until the lighthouse is less occupied.”

“Thanks Sue. We'll keep the charade going until we figure out just who we are dealing with.” Rapp stated, before standing back up. He finished descending the stairwell, and stopped at the frame of the entrance-way into the den.

Sauntering into the room, he took the time to listen to the conversation before making his presence known. At the sink sat Mossy, quietly enjoying his tea. Next to him was that strange bug, quietly admiring him? Then there was May, whom was lying on the ground half awake, but determined to be a part of this gathering. Next to the couch, which was occupied by Jake and May was Wyrm, idly listening to Johnson, who was sitting in the armchair. Sue was sitting on the ground as well, her dress splayed in a perfect circle. Johnson seemed to be speaking about his journey, but Rapp's hidden perch was noted by the one little Pokemon he overlooked.

“Wapp up!”

Rapp turned, as did everyone else, to spy Zent stomping into the room, hands full of seashells. Eyes shifted to Rapp, whom quietly waved and turned back to Johnson. “Sorry for interrupting. Please continue!”

Johnson smirked and waved for him to come closer. He cleared his throat as Zent and Rapp came in and sat on the floor as well. He pulled Zent close and Zent quietly rolled on her back. Rapp made sure she was ok with it, before placing a hand on her belly. She growled a bit, but it was subdued, content even. Once they were situated, Johnson continued.

“As I was saying-the Tower of Hoeth would not just let me in. One does not just walk into the doors of the White Tower and find what they are looking for, not without the right keys. But I was able to acquire some literature on what is knows as the Awakening. It would seem that there was a time when young elves would come into their own, and fully understand the magic inherent in and around them. It would not be a toy anymore. But, as for you young man-that seems to be a problem. There is hardly any magic left in this world. So your awakening is ripe with inconsistencies. You went though a type of...connection with the world as it is now, and of the elements represented by Pokemon. However, it would seem that there are still small pockets of magic in the world, dark areas that are hidden from most of civilization. I believe you unearthed one of those things here over the week as well as communed a link to the scraps of magic left around this world. How this will affect you, I do not know.”

Everyone looked to Rapp, who nodded. “Well, maybe there is some truth to this. I think I can sense what Mossy senses. Over the past few days, I've noticed Zent being able to pick up Mossy's scent on me. I've noticed and seen things differently and I'm beginning to wonder...”

“Wonder what?” Mary asked, as Jake slid forward on the couch, looking around the room as he listened.

“I'm beginning to wonder if I am actually an elf? Nothing made sense when Mossy and I first started. We were almost forced out of the village-and throughout this journey, there has been more than my share of circumstances that could be classified as unexplainable. Especially in the mountains.”

“Well.” May asked, to help push the conversation in a more positive direction “Do you think that maybe we should head back? I understand we were told to head east, but we seem well, outclassed.”

Wyrm spoke up next, agreeing. “We did well last night, but it looks like this journey we are on gets greater and greater...and aside from Mossy-I don't think we quite are up to snuff with taking on what might be waiting for us later on this trip.”

“You both are right.” Rapp said, before Johnson stepped in.

“Yes, I can tell that your trip will push your limits of both physical and spiritual balance. I would daresay that you need training of an elevated kind. Or at least a home base that you can visit. But I note that your team lacks a Flying Pokemon that can easily help you traverse the distance that you may need to cover.”

Rapp looked around, and nodded. None of them could fly, or run very fast with Wyrm being the exception. Though the small bug that seemed to be part of the merry group had small wings, traveling via the bug was impractical and just downright silly. Looking toward it, Rapp snapped his fingers to try and garnish its attention.

Mossy looked up at the sound, and then turned to spy the bug, still staring at him. Mossy wriggled one vine and shot it forward, the bug turning to spy its path. She then squeaked when she saw everyone looking at her. Johnson took a heightened interest in the bug and leaned forward in his chair.

“Well, as I live and breathe. Never thought I'd see another one here.” Johnson exclaimed, as he stood up. The bug stepped back partially, and raised her pincers. Sue raised one arm and formed a small bubble of energy around the tip of her finger, ready to flick it offensively should she have a reason to. “I was wondering when we were going to note its presence...I would prefer if it were to stay outside.”

“Now Sue, stop being rude. We don't even know what its doing here. It just seems to follow Mossy around.” Mary stated, looking back at the Nincada, who was now being held by Johnson. In the hands of the elderly fellow, the Nincada seemed very nervous. But unlike the icy cold grip of the water nymph, this was a much warmer feeling. There was no malice in his intention. Johnson turned to Jake and Sue and headed back to his seat, speaking again.

“Do you remember when you both first told me about there being a bug around the area that Sue could not psychically grasp?” Jake and Sue nodded, and Sue kept pointing that energy ball at the bug. “Yes, but that's not it. I can pin that down immediately.”

“Ohyeah?Tryityou!” she replied in her hyperactive voice.

“Oh man, that's as annoying as Zent, only its 6 times as fast.” Wyrm replied, lowering his head. His head picked back up at the bug's reply.

“What's as annoying as Zent?”

“Whoa, you slowed down?” Wyrm noted, confused by the change in tone and speed. Rapp was too, and listened carefully as the bug began to speak.

“I didn't slow down-thisishowIalwaystalk. It just sounds strange because you listen slow.” Wyrm shook his head, confused by that analogy, and turned back to Rapp.

“Well, what are we going to do?”

“I suggest heading back to Caledor. I'm sure that from there you can find someone with the means to help you on your personal journey.” Johnson stated, heading outside with the Nincada. As he walked, everyone got up and followed, realizing something was on Johnson' s mind. Rapp followed first, curious as to two things that sprung into his head.

“Wait, Johnson. Why did you ask Sue and Jake about the bug they couldn't catch?” Jake and Sue nodded and walked to the right of Johnson, eager for an answer.

“Because, I'm pretty sure that this bug is related to that bug. A long time ago, there was a colony of Nincada here. They breeded awfully fast, creating a bit of a bug problem here. Then, all of a sudden, they began to vanish, until there were a few sole eggs left and a few Nincada to guard them. But the land around here did not seem to recover. The vegetation here showed no signs of recovery from the amount of food they would eat. It was as if they would just vanish into thin air. There was also a humming that grew with every day. But I could never spy the culprits. No roosting spots. No tracks. No sign of them at all. So, imagine my surprise when one day, I noticed a Nincada, just like this one, sitting on the edge of a rock. I didn't approach it, because I was not sure about its intention. But sure enough, I watched...and the little bug jumped off the rock and into the sand without a hitch. This is probably why Sue was never able to see them. They were excellent burrowers. But something about them still eludes me to this day.”

“What's that?” Jake stated, confused as to where this tale was going.

“The Nincada would all screech really fast, and then slow down, like this one's manner of speech. But the ones that dove underground-they wouldn't talk anymore. As if they buried themselves. However, when I would go and visit the spots where they were buried, I would see mounds, as if they dug themselves out! There would be no signs of them though-as if they vanished into thin air! To this day, I can't figure it out. But I'm hoping that with your care Rapp, she doesn't just bury herself away.”

“Underground?” Sue stated looking down at her feet with an air of disgust. “I now may resolve to only float.”

“At least you have that option, I'm still stuck down here! Eww, what if one pops up!” May stated, now nervous about where she stepped. But Jake and May turned to Rapp, who now carefully removed the Nincada from Johnson's grip. Rapp lifted the bug up, and looked at her, even taking a moment to smell her.

“I smell dirt. Earth even. Kind of like Zent. So...does that make her a Ground/Bug type?” he asked? Jake nodded, thinking back a bit. “Y-yeah. But how did you garnish that from merely smelling the creature?”

“I don't know! But I did. And I think that's what Zent was referring to a few nights ago. That I can garnish some information from smelling a Pokemon, and also exude a fragrance like a specific Pokemon when I think about them. I do not see the use for such an ...ability if you would call it as such.”

“On the contrary Rapp. That should help you in battling. Mind if we put your hypothesis, as well as mine, to the test?” Johnson stated. He slowly reached in his pocket, and revealed a small sphere of sorts. It was red and white- a familiar pairing of colors to Jake. At that moment, Rapp and Johnson seemed to share a glance. Both figures kept their poses, but looked up toward the sky. A swift shadow passed overhead, almost unnoticeable.

“He's here.”

“Then let's get on with it.” Rapp nodded and looked around for a moment. Feeling that the area was good enough, he set the Nincada down and looked toward her. She had been quiet the whole time, but she did seem more comfortable with everyone so far.

“Well, this is the time where I would tell you to get ready for battle, but I'm not even sure of your name, let alone what you can accomplish. But...if you want, as I said before, you can join us in this journey. I have a funny feeling about you, and yet I cannot place it.”

The Nincada took a moment to think this over. Sure, she'd be near that hunk of viney love Mossy-but she'd have to deal with that pink mass of ugly as well. The small dinosaur and the worm were of no concern to her. So the pros's did outweigh the cons, and she would also be glad to get off of this sandtrap. She squealed in excitement and replied in kind.
“Well,IremembermyfatherusedtocallmeSkitzo, and I really like that name.”

“Really now, I wonder why?” Wyrm added, slithering over so he could have an unrestricted view of the battle about to take place. As all parties in attendance watched, the older fellow dropped the sphere, and watched it open in a flash of light. In its place rose up a sharp point, draped in brown. Zent immediately snarled at it and went toward the shaking beast, but Rapp was quick to walk over and scoop her up, with a larger effort than usual.

“Whoa! You need to lay off the snacks little lady, and no, this is Skitzo's fight.” As he pulled Zent back, he made sure to watch Jake's face. The expression of confusion was all the confirmation Rapp needed, and Sue nodded in kind.

[Skitzo lv 9 vs Snorunt lv 9]

“Well now Henry. We got another bug. Start with a Powder Snow.” Johnson said, as a wry smile crept on his face. The bug skittered like a crab back and forth, ready for the inevitable blast coming its way, when suddenly Rapp spoke.

“I have a funny feeling. Kick some sand in its eyes.” Rapp noted, barely remembering that tactic from the previous night. In eager fashion, Skitzo began to scurry around the area. The sand that flew up cascaded over the Snorunt, just as a light dusting of chilling snow covered the bug. Instantly, Skitzo skittered backwards and shivered. Rapp noted the reaction, and glared. This wasn't going to be easy. Not to mention the strange feeling he was getting from above. He looked up again, and this time Mossy caught the glance. Mossy took a few steps back and kept his eyes open. There was nothing for a moment, and then over to the east. Miniscule in shape for now, but definitively stationary. Something watching. Mossy turned back to Rapp and Johnson. He knew they both knew....but they both were willing to have a Pokemon battle instead of enacting the plan they talked about last night?

Rapp was right. Mossy kept his eyes peeled-watching for Sue to make a move.

“I got a bit of an Ice weakness here. Never mind that. Skitzo, can you run over and Scratch it?” Rapp asked as he continued the battle. Skitzo sighed. Going closer to that chilling beast was the last thing she wanted to do. But she was now listening to this fellow, and he had come all this way with the others, so he had to know what he was doing...right? She ran over and slashed the Snorunt, whom stood there, and glared at her. Unsure if it had froze itself or what, Skitzo went for another scratch. Henry then jumped to life and slammed the bug with a series of water Pulses.

Skitzo squeaked and dashed backwards, shaking off the water as fast as possible.
“Waaaaaaaa!IThurts!!!Itfeelslikeevillady!” she noted as she half collapsed on the sand. Johnson nodded and looked to Rapp. “Instead of just trying to see what they can do, look inside yourself, Rapp.”

Rapp looked to Johnson and then back to Skitzo. There was no reason to NOT try it, so against all rational thought he did so. The others watched as Rapp took in five deep breaths and exhaled each one silently. On his sixth breath, a strange wind began to blow. Zent looked around, and started to snarl, but ceased when she noted the wind billow around Rapp and head back out to sea. The lad opened his eyes, and instead of the carefree gaze of a lost wanderer, there was a new sense of purpose filling his gaze.

“We don't have much to work with here Skitzo, but we'll change that. Start with a Leech life. Start gaining that health back.” Skitzo looked back and then to the ice creature, which was shaking its hands in triumph prematurely. The icy foe then let go of its small project, a sphere of light that suddenly ignited in flame! The ball-seemingly ignited by the sunny weather of Eataine's coast at this time-seared down toward Skitzo. Rapp spied the ball and quickly pointed to its maker.

“Quickly now, or this match ends. Get over there and Leech it while you still have the chance and get behind it!”

Skitzo noted the urgency in his voice, and took off-her legs causing her to run sideways for a moment before attacking. She knocked the icy foe down and managed to grab some health from it, before kicking off it and pushing it back up. The Snorunt was confused, and whirled around, ready to give Skitzo another present. But the Weather Ball came swooping in from the east, and Snorunt was directly in its path. Unrelenting flame took over the Snorunt's back and it began to steam and cry in anguish. Skitzo backed away, surprised at the power of that hit.

“Brilliant. But now you need to finish the battle Rapp. No more second guessing yourself.” Johnson noted as the others watched with bated breath. Although still smoking, the Snorunt stood back up and gave Skitzo an evil glare. In one spin, a new wind blew by, and rechilled the hyperactive bug. But Skitzo charged through the chill and went for a second Leech life. It was meager but it was more than she had before.

“Ok, now make the loudest sound you can make.” Rapp stated, looking over to Johnson. “I can ...see the move in my head, but I don't know what it's called.”

“The fact that you can see what moves the beast possesses is already a great step toward understanding just what it is you can actually do. Henry, Shadowball.”

The Snorunt, hurt from its own fiery attack, now switched up spheres. The sphere it created was purple in nature, a color that seemed to entrance Mossy and Zent equally. The pair watched the ball streaked across the sand, and swept left. Skitzo watched as the blast missed her form by mere inches, and she raised her tiny pincers in excitement. That Sand was actually working. In response to her order, she began to flap her wings as fast as possible. This allowed her a few sparse moments of lift and as a secondary effect, a strange set of soundwaves began to emanate from their irregular beating pattern. The sound was stronger than the Snorunt was expecting, and he fell over, dazed. Before Skitzo landed though, Johnson raised his hand-ending the match.

“There is no need for a finishing blow here. You have proven both our hypothesis right. It's no longer a burden, as far as I see. Now, as per what we discussed last night?”

“I'm ready when you are. Zent, Mossy-front and center!”

[Skitzo reached lvl 10!]

Rapp knelt down as Skitzo came over in excitement. She manged to win a battle! In front of Mossy no less. But as she climbed on Rapp's shoulder, she noted everyone slowly walking to surround Rapp. May and Jake also stepped back, as a strong wind began to blow. It picked up in intensity, becoming a gale force that started to take shape. Zent roared to the sky as Johnson stepped back from the gusty forces with Henry in tow.

“What is this, Johnson?” Jake yelled as Sue floated over to the forefront and began to erect a barrier. At the same time, Zent stepped up and tugged at Rapp's feet. Rapp knelt down, and saw Zent pointing at Sue.
“Oh that's right. Yes Zent. Use it now.”

The girl smiled and ran up aside Sue. The Gardevoir seemed a bit vexed at the current windstorm that suddenly began around them, and it was taking her toll to keep focusing energy in all these directions. But Zent raised her arms in a similar fashion, and forced an energy all her own to materialize. It flickered in intensity, but the shield she created stretched high enough that everyone could crouch behind it and be protected from the winds. Sue let her own shielding down-and pointed to the sky.

High above-the whirlwind's creator could be seen. It was a mere dot at first, but over time it began to descend. Winged beats could be heard, and instantly, Wyrm began to crackle with electricity. Rapp held his hand out, his eyes once again emitting that trance like gaze of attuned focus.

“I knew we would meet again, young Laster.” shouted the rider of the avian that now landed, ending the tumultuous storm with a single wingbeat. In one hop, the figure dismounted and took a few steps to the side, kicking sand around with each cocky step.“Did you REALLY think you were going to just leave me behind? I had no idea you made it this far, but this charade ends now.”

“What do you want from me?” Rapp asked as May and Mossy stood defensively. Mary and Jake were puzzled, unsure just what was going on. Rapp stepped forward to tap Zent. The little girl was more than eager to stop raising her shield, as she found out that it was incredibly draining. As she caught her breath, Rapp rubbed her horn and waited for the mercenary to speak.

“Rapp Laster. Dragon Games winner. A nobody from a small little boondock town in the middle of nowhere. No family history as far as one can tell. No skills in Pokemon, yet makes a grand entrance and exit. Takes me down in-of all place, the Forbidden Mountains! Crosses the sea during one of its more treacherous times with a potluck variety of Pokemon! Reaches the shores of Eataine, and is able to survive the onset of a magical being? No, not only that, but defeat it? Yes, that warrants my attention very much, as well as the attention of my...superiors. Johnson here tells me that you yourself might be the key we need to enter those blasted mountains.”

“Johnson...told you?” Rapp asked, acting confused. He turned to look at the old man. Johnson nodded and approached Melfice, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“Yes. I told him about our “dilemma” here at the Lighthouse, and your appearance. He was very interested in your condition, so I told him to come back with me once I was done acquiring some knowledge.” Johnson winked, and Mary seemed to finally understand there was something off about how Johnson was acting.

“What mounta-” Rapp stopped midsentence, already sensing where this was going. He shook his head and scoffed. “No. It was those mountains that started this whole set of problems in the first place! I'm not going back there until I have everything I need in order to learn all I need to know.”

“You must not know me. I don't take “no” for an answer, whelp!” Melfice sneered and strode toward the boy, only to have a warning whip stop his walk. He looked and saw that the plant had stepped up, and was spinning one vine an a high speed. Melfice chuckled and stood his ground, one hand on his hip. “Listen to me now boy. The Mercenaries Union needs a person with your...special abilities. You might be able to assist in what Caledor will call a turning point in history. I especially don't like the concept of helping out a potential enemy, but when its about having my name carved in history, I will not back down from a challenge. This means more to me than you, but its not like you weren't wanting to search those blasted cliffs.”

“It doesn't matter why I was there. Why are you hunting me down? What do you know about me?” Rapp shouted. It was then that Sue spoke, but only to Rapp's mind.

“He knows about your mother. He's hunting your mother, and he thinks you are acting as her agent outside the mountains. As for Johnson, I think there's another Psychic here controlling him. I can't read him-its as if he's not really there, even though we see him.”

Rapp looked at Johnson, garnishing an idea-and then back to Melfice, replying in kind. “Mossy, Zent and I assumed as much. But there's still something wrong. Johnson winked at me, as if he still knows something I don't.”

Rapp balled his hands up into fists and flared his nostrils. He could not run away, as his crew was now too large to carry. This mercenary had sought him out, halfway across the dang continent, and now he was faced with a choice. Stay and continue on his journey-or help this man and his cause.
A sly smile wrapped across his face, and he relaxed his hands. Sue turned, and glared daggers through Rapp. Mossy seemed to sense the same, but he was rather fine with the outcome.

“Fine. I'll come back with you. We'll both get what we want, that being the location of my mother. I'm sure she'd appreciate you bringing me back to her.”

May and Wyrm seemed shocked-not to mention disturbed by Rapp's choice. Melfice nodded and turned to Johnson, a smile on his face. Talking in a hushed tone, Melfice sneered and made sure no one could hear him aside from Johnson. “See. The boy is not as dense as he looks. I knew he knew.”

“Either that, or he's thought this out leagues ahead of you. I told you once-never trust an elf.”

“I know where you are going with that. Leave it alone, old man. You did your job. Once he gets on that boat, he'll be out of my hair forever.” Melfice stated, before turning around to face Rapp and the others.

“Obviously, I can't carry you all. But I do know of a boat that will be coming this way in the coming night. Board it and sail back to Caledor. I'll be seeing you in the coming days then?” Melfice smirked, and hopped back on his steed. In a few massive flaps, the Pidgeot was skybound, and heading back west. As he flew away, Rapp looked to Johnson. The old man had a smirk on his face, and Rapp shared the smirk.

“He did not know about Sue.” Johnson stated, as he walked back toward Rapp.”Nor the fact that his thoughts were transferred to everyone's mind in the area. Now that you know his agenda, what will you do?”

Rapp looked to Jake and Mary and then to his crew. “Well, I haven't traveled the world fully yet, but I will come back here and re assume my trek. But if I can fully check those mountains and find my mother, then that would make my task a lot easier. I can't thank you enough for your traitorous talk though.”

“Wait wait wait. Are you telling me you KNEW this was going to happen?” May asked. Mary nodded as well, confused at the recent string of events.

“Not necessarily.” Johnson stated, as he gathered around everyone. “You see, I never got to finish my tale about the Tower. We made this plan last night to lure that fellow in, and get him to reveal what he needed Rapp for. What Rapp and I did not share were how we were going to coax it out of him. When I was leaving to head back, I ran into that man and he was walking around the town, asking if anyone saw Rapp. At first, I was eager to help this fellow, but it dawned on me that you did not say if anyone was searching for you. I didn't think you to have anyone seeking you, so I played it carefully, and learned that he was in effect, hunting you to exact his plan to find your mother-as per his assignment. He guised it as you being the villain in this case, but I was able to discern that as a lie. He then began to tell me about the strange happenings he was also tracking, and how it was connected with the Forbidden Mountains.”

“So, you led that man here Johnson? To take Rapp away? I thought he was just some bandit or something!” Mary shouted, irate.

“No. I didn't lead him here. I told him that there was a strange series of happenings here at the lighthouse as well, and he said that in the coming days he would come back here to see if he could help. I figured by now that you would have at least discovered the cause of your ills and at least done something about it. We staged that battle to lure him out of hiding, as he had been following me ever since I left. Before I came in yesterday, I made sure to tell Sue to close off his mind from knowing anything he didn't need to know-since he was in range of her telepathic blanket. That's why Sue's shield earlier was weakened, she was expending energy to ensure he was not in the know, so to speak. It also gave her time to read his mind and ascertain his orders, which are to kill a woman named Veronica Laster.”

“I do not get this!” Rapp shouted, crouching down and stuffing his face in his hands. “Who wants my mother dead? Why does my mother come up in the mouths of water nymphs, I feel like everyone but me knows what is going on!”

“My dear boy” Johnson calmly stated, kneeling to join Rapp “Go back to Sector Alpha. Go and help with their problem. I feel if you go there, you will be able to gain more answers and stop Melfice from finishing his job. You can always return here and regroup once you figure it all out, Rapp Laster.”

Rapp nodded, but stayed crouched as he looked to Mary and Jake. Jake walked away for a moment, thinking about what he learned today. Mary however, knelt down beside him and wrapped her arms around him.
“I already know what you are thinking. I'm sure you will find a way back here, and we'll be more than eager to hear about your adventures!”

Rapp smirked and patted her arms before she slinked off of him, and he stood up. His eyes landed on Jake, whom looked to Sue. Rapp, puzzled by the exchange, kept his gaze fixed on the both of them. Sue then nodded and pointed to Mossy. “If you give me just two hours, I can gather enough energy to Teleport everyone to Sector Alpha and then return myself. So, if you have any unfinished business here, or would like to rest up yourself, please do so. That is of course, if you are willing to go.”

“Anything else I should know, Rapp? You got anyone else that might look for you?” Jake responded, keeping his tone elevated to convey his mockery of the situation. Mossy didn't seem to take kindly to the tone, but Rapp extended his hand.

“Well, there are a few people here and there that are thorns in my side, but I'm sure that now I can take them with little difficulty.” Rapp nodded and watched as Skitzo skittered left and right, peering into the sand as if something was buried there. Rather than call her out, he beckoned everyone to turn and watch. Johnson crept up and the others turned to spy Skitzo still poking and stabbing at the ground. All at once, the stabbing motion became a scooping motion, and she almost instinctively began to dig herself a hole! She poked her head out and squeaked in surprise!

“IdiditIdidtiright! I always watched my family Dig around, but I never got it right, and now I just did! Awesomeyoureallyareagoodguyyouhelpedmelearnit!”

[Skitzo learned Dig!]

“I...guess I did?” Rapp stated, slightly confused as to how he helped. But it didn't matter. She had a new move at her disposal. Turning to Johnson, he continued his train of thought. “So, this ship that's coming here. If I'm not here when they show up, who knows what they'll do to you all.”

“Excellent point, Rapp. Excellent point. We have ourselves a bit of a conundrum here.” Johnson stated as he looked back to the tower behind him. “Our safety is still paramount to you, and I thank you for it, but maybe it is time for a vacation. Besides, there's barely anything here of value, and burning it down brings only ill will for everyone and they definitely don't want that. Plus, that being locked below would break free-and they would possibly have their hands full.”

“Yes. They would. But I don't think there will be a problem, correct Sue?”
Johnson turned around, as he felt something creeping up around his body. Before he could protest, his whole body was locked up, Disabled from movement by a invisible force. Sue had both her arms out in front of her, focused solely on him.

“Mary, May, Wyrm. This person is not Johnson. I'm sorry for not cluing you in earlier, but we had to be sure. I'm not sure if its someone in disguise, or if he's being mind controlled or both. In any event-we're going to do something a friend of mine taught me.” Rapp stated as Mossy took his place in front of Rapp.

Mary and May stood there, astounded. The man looked remarkably like Johnson. But Jake nodded, agreeing. “No. I'm for this. Johnson never had a Snorunt. I found that to be weird. Especially here. But if it's not Johnson, where is he?”

Mossy took the lead now, waving his vines at Sue. Sue looked warily at Mossy, but reluctantly let go of the imposter. Before the man could get his legs and make a break for it, Mossy hit him with a vine across the chest. The strike was more than enough. In a rippling of light the Illusion was broken, and in the space where Johnson stood was a small black hound with red tipped ears. It was stunned from the blow, and Sue hissed.
“I can't! It's a Dark Type. I can't mind control it!”

“You won't have to Sue. All you have to do is deceive it into thinking you’re Melfice.” Jake stated, looking to Rapp. “Since you are facing it, you have its Ability now. All you need to do is think, and you can fool anyone into thinking you are a specific person.”

“A most well laid out plan Rapp.” Sue nodded, forgetting about her own ability for a moment there. “So I'm to turn into Melfice, and tell it to create an illusion of you?”

“Precisely. I'll hide, so when it comes back to consciousness, it won't know what happened. You tell it to be me and for it to lay low til the boat comes. Then, when that boat comes, we can give them their own trickster and I'll be on my way back-because I'm positive they want me out of the way rather than have my help.”

May, Mary and Wyrm stood there, as the plan was formulated and played out. The illusionist came to, eager to please 'Melfice' once more. Sue's disguise worked perfectly and she gave a specific set of orders. In no time the Zorua was now a spitting image of Rapp, leading to a Dungrae comment from Wyrm. The imposter was then given its instructions by “Melfice”. Until the boat came, the Imposter kept its form and stayed in the Lighthouse.

The night came and during that time, the imposter was bound and gagged and helped outside. The sounds of motors could be heard in the distance, and in no time at all, a small boat beached itself. “Rapp” was loaded onto the boat and a bag was put over his head. In no time at all, the boat and its riders then set sail, headed back to who knows where. Jake and “Melfice” waved good bye, and then made sure to creep back into the lighthouse, just in case they had eyes still lurking around the shoreline. Once in the clear, Sue finally removed her disguise, returning to her pleasant form. May clapped. “Good. I was tired of seeing that hideous man.” she stated as she lied on her makeshift bed.

“I must say, that was quite a plan.” Wyrm followed, slithering over to Mossy. “You all have really good eyes. I could never tell the difference.”

Rapp nodded, and looked to Sue. “It was really Zent, Mossy and Sue. Without all of them, this would not have gone off so smoothly. But now we have to get out of here. So, if you have the energy to do so-I think a Teleport is in order. But we'll sleep first, and head out in the morning.” Sue nodded, agreeing with the plan. The others all quietly made their way to bed, and Rapp sat on the couch, visibly exhausted. Mary sat next to him, and Jake next to her.

“What about Johnson?” Mary asked, concerned. “Where is he?”

“Saphery still. I have a feeling he doesn't even know this transpired. That, or he's been kidnapped. Would make sense, since that script that Pokemon was given seemed to be partially based off of knowledge that Johnson would have.” Rapp replied, looking to Jake. “But, when I'm done over in the Forbidden Mountains, I'll come right back. If he's not back by then, then I'll search for him.”

“No need. Sue, Mary and I will head out and look for him once she gets back. I'm sure we'll find him. Probably would be good to get out for a while as well.” Jake replied, leaning back carefully to not upset his torso.

The three stayed up a few moments longer, discussing possible future plans, before they all went their separate ways to sleep.

Next day

Rapp sat silently on the edge of the bed, quietly looking at the floor. Between his feet was Mossy, sleeping soundly. With the threat of Melfice gone for the moment, Rapp took the following hours to think about his reappearance, and the actions he needed to take. As he sat on the bed, he turned to look around the room. The small bag of belongings he had with him before he set sail was on the dresser, untouched. Standing up, he leaned forward and grabbed the drawstring strap, pulling the bag to him.
Sitting back on the bed, he opened the bag, dumping the belongings.
“Let's see. Tent for camping out under the stars, tarp, a knife, few cans of food and a notepad. Funny, most people would have so much more.” He sighed, and ran his fingers through his muss of hair. The notion of lying down for one more moment ran through his mind, but a knock on the door disrupted that thought.

“I'm up. Enter” Rapp called out. The door opened, and Mary walked in. She was holding a box in front of her. Her eyes were as bright as stars on a moonlit night, and she seemed nervous. He looked over to Mossy, then back to her. “With all that's happened, I'm just happy that you have a heading again. We won't see each other for a while-and I wanted you to have this. Its a dress that I had made a long time ago. I want you to give it to May sometime. Not now-you've got a lot on your plate.”

Rapp smiled, and Mossy grabbed the box with a vine. Somehow-as they both watched, that box vanished in that grove of vines...and he didn't change shape!

“I forget. That's why my bag is so empty. Everything is in those vines.” he chuckled. Mary stared, astonished. But she then shifted her train of thought. "Rapp. I hate to bring this up, but this was bothering me. When you were sick you said something about not touching a dais. When you were first going through that Awakening seizure. Was that you?”

“I...don't recall.” Rapp said, as he looked down to Mossy. Mossy looked back up to him, and for the first time, Mossy slit his eyes at him-as if to cover up something. Rapp kept his features locked with Mossy, but he turned away after a moment to reply to Mary. “It may have been my interpretation of events, I may have been seeing what was going on through the eyes of everyone down there...”

“What a strange way to see things. Must have been a powerful feeling.” Mary continued, as she sauntered back to the door. Rapp nodded and looked at Mossy, who seemed ready to go. Rapp sat up and closed the bag. “Well. This is goodbye for now. I'll head out with you and we'll say our goodbyes as a group.”

Mary agreed as the three of them left the room. They descended the stairs and met up with everyone else downstairs. Goodbyes were exchanged and promises were made. When all was said and done, Rapp knelt down and picked up May. Mossy wrapped one vine around Zent, the other on Rapp's leg. Wyrm wrapped himself around Rapp's right leg, leaving Skitzo to scuttle up and rest on Rapp's head. Mary and Jake stepped back as Sue grabbed Rapp's hand and began to focus. In a brilliant show of power, the Gardevoir created a massive field of light that enveloped everyone. Slowly, they began to fade out of view, and then in a split second, they were gone. As the energy used spiraled off in all directions, Mary and Jake headed for the door. They exited the lighthouse and locked the door.

“Well, we better get our own adventure started. Can't let Rapp have all the fun!” Jake said. Mary smiled and wiped a tendril of hair from her face, and then pointed ahead. Jake turned around, and noted the pink sphere of light start to reform. In no time at all, Sue had returned. Mary and Jake walked over to her, and quickly gave her a concoction to keep her energy up after such a taxing effort.

“Thank you. It was not as tiring as I thought. But, I suppose we are leaving now?”

“You got it. Let's go, Johnson needs us.”

Materializing into Sector Alpha was-for lack of better words- a trip. Sue had did well in getting the group there. They reappeared in a side area, loosely populated. No one was too startled, as the Pokemon all spread off of Rapp and took a moment to look at their surroundings. It was how they remembered it. Cobblestone streets. No fair this time, but still a city.

“Well, maybe we should take the time to find that lady?” May said.

“What lady?” Wyrm asked.

“The lady from the mountains! With the fat dragon?”

“Hey, shouldn't you NOT throw that word around?” Wyrm retorted.

“I'm not fat, I'm pleasantly plump!” May sneered, raspberrying Wyrm.

“Zent hungwy.” shouted the little girl, stomping her feet. She apparently was trying to pull up a cobblestone, but it was not coming out of the ground.

“Easy girl. We'll get food. As for you two, you're referring to Gabi. Yes, that did cross my mind. She might be able to help up if we can acquire a phone. Mossy, you still have her number?”

Mossy nodded, pulling out his own notepad. Rapp grabbed it and opened it, noting the number scribbled in there in a handwriting he did not immediately recognize. “Good. This is a start. Now, where does one buy a phone?”

4 hours later

“I still can't believe this tiny electronic device can do so much! Cost quite a lot as well.” Rapp noted as he closed the door of the shop. After finding a cellphone store and being taught the in's and outs of cellphone usage and etiquette (a world he was sure he would never fully understand) he now brandished a brown fliphone. Opening it up with a flick of his wrist, he eagerly looked through the contact list, and saw the sole number he had been able to input. He closed it again and glared at Zent.

“And I can't believe you ate a smartphone! Whole!” he exclaimed. Zent giggled and burped in response, eliciting responses from everyone.

“I wonder if we'll see it again?” Wyrm asked.

“How in t—eww Wrym. That's so disgusting. Only a boy would think about that.” May commented, holding her head up and turning her back to the slithering serpent. Skitzo chimed in as well.

“Wellatleastwewillknowthey are durable-if it makes it through that body.”

Slinging his bag over his shoulder so it did not slide around too much on his back, Rapp turned to the other 4 Pokemon. “Mossy, did you get the number of that phone from the salesman? On the off chance she regurgitates it?” The plant nodded in agreement, and held up his book as proof. The book found itself shoved into the black hole of vines as Rapp turned to May. “And you. Did yo--”

Rapp stopped midsentence, realizing something phenomenal. His demeanor changed from slightly upset to ecstatic. In one bound, he grabbed May and hugged her immensely. Wyrm instantly received the same treatment, and Skitzo backed behind Mossy, terrified.

“What's wrong with him?” she asked, nervous about being squeezed too hard. Rapp however, answered her with a reply that everyone seemed to forget.

“I can understand you all! Without SUE!” The implication of such a fact shot through everyone's mind, and a collective group hug ensued. Skitzo wasn't sure why that was such a big deal, but she joined in the merryment because no one wants to be left out of a group hug session. The odd behavior and mini-celebration did garnish strange looks from passerbys, and Rapp was quick to recover from his gleeful state.

“This is great. But now, we should probably call that lady and see what they need me for.”

TBC

:D...

Lady Vulpix
23rd August 2012, 01:34 PM
Interesting developments! So... all Nincadas in that area speak that way? That's a bit strange, but it may explain the similarities between Skitzo and CMM's Nincada. I wonder if that changes after they evolve, but apparently no one at the Lighthouse knows the answer to that question. I chuckled when she said everyone else was listening slow. :D

I agree with Wyrm, the Zorua reminded me of Dungrae too. But Dungrae was smarter. :)

Sue's abilities are really impressive, and she could compete with Maza for the title of the most powerful teleporter. That was quite a distance she covered!

I wonder if there's any connection between the Mercenaries Union and the Mercenary Trainers Union, or whether it's just a coincidence that their names are so similar.

Zent should learn not to eat expensive things. >.> That habit may cause the whole group a lot of trouble.

I may as well stop mentioning the 'its' and the 'whom's, because it feels like talking to a wall.

I have a question, though: when exactly did Rapp and Gabi meet? You never mentioned it in your stories, and now you've brought it up as something that happened in the past... but when?

I may have to edit my old story to fit your continuity.

Take 19 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

lvl100mewtwo
23rd August 2012, 02:30 PM
Feels good to finally be able to get a battle done and over with. I know its the desert room, but I asked for an extension I believe on the tagboard (much to Gabi's dismay, haha). Onto the next scenario for me I believe!


Reflection

I emerged from my tent, looking around at the wooded area that I had made camp in. Steam vapours emerged from my mouth as I exhaled. The cold air breeze was now hitting me, snow and frost was still visible on this bright and sunny morning. I looked back at the tent and saw Macedon and Rex were still quietly asleep. Macedon’s body heat proved to be a very effective warmer at night with temperatures like this, yet sometimes, one would say that it may even be too effective.

I looked at both my pokemon with a contempt smile across my face. We had taken a year off since our last battles, the Dragon Games and training grounds. Macedon had needed the rest and relaxation. His injuries took some time to heal and it seemed that it was time was well spent on letting him get back to 100% full health.
Rex, who was out cold at this moment, was still as lively. He, luckily enough, seemed to have gotten a lot more mature in the year that had passed. Rex had become really dedicated to his craft, his battling aura and skills one would say. You could see that the heart of a warrior was starting to come out from him. He had become a much more reliable pokemon in the last 365 days.

I took in one more breath of cold winter air and snuck back into the tent to lie down next to my companions. Although it had been a good year since our last competitive battle, I felt that I had grown closer to both of them, through rigorous one on one training. There was still a bit of animosity between Rex and Macedon, yet a mutual respect underlined their little rivalry. Both were vying to be the strongest combatant possible, which would lead to some head-butting at times.

Looking back at it, the last time I had even come around to some competitive battling for both was during the times of the last Dragon Games. Back in those days, I wasn’t as strong enough a trainer that I thought I was. This had lead me on what I would consider a spiritual quest. This quest had a goal to find myself, to find the trainer that I had once been, back in my earlier battling days. Over the last year, I had been able to bond with my pokemon to a new level, something I had barely been able to acheive with my old team.

I gazed at the reflection of myself in my metal water canister. A visible beard had over taken my face, due to the little grooming I had done on this journey. A definite haircut was also needed at this point, yet I didn’t feel that I was ready to head back into civilization just yet for this. My food rations were still good at this point, that I could survive out in the wilderness for some time still.

I gave Rex another quick look, his giant body enjoying the heat of the much smaller Macedon helping on keeping him warm with the cold morning air. I had no idea that Luracio’s could grow so big in over a year. Granted, I had no idea that Magby’s could also take on so much size as well. I kept thinking that at this point, he must have been getting closer to evolving.

This serene moment brought back the memories of the last few days we had at the Dragon Games, where I was able to get one last training session with Rex in. It was there that everything changed, with the chocolate, the battling and the Genetic Accelerator Gene. Now all I could think about was the last few days at the training grounds.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eliminated. Those were the words that kept flashing over my photograph on the jumbotron in the middle of the Dragon Games square.

Devastation. This was the only feeling that had taken over me. All I could think about was how I had failed my pokemon, Macedon.

Butterflies. Those were all that was swirling around in my stomach, with Macedon in the Pokemon Centre, dealing with the injuries of his last match. He had been taken in by the attending nurse and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t even go see him while he was recovering. Recovering from a severe concussion meant that he had to be in a dark room with little to no noise until the headaches subsided.

I decided that it was time for me to get my mind off things, as I looked down at Rex. He seemed to be worried as I was at this point and we both needed to get out of the Center.

“How you feel about doing a little bit of training bud?”

Rex shot a look at me; a faint smile crept on his face. He jumped on my shoulder and sat down, as we both exited the center and made our way to the transportation district. Rex and I looked at each other and both non-verbally agreed to stay away from the Teleportation booth this time and opt for the longer, yet easier on the stomach, flight to the training grounds.

Hopping onto the back of a Pidgeot, Rex and I held on tight to the saddle as the bird took flight. The initial dive took us to amazing speeds, as the pokemon started to reach its cruising altitude. Somehow, I was starting to regret not using the teleportation pokemon to get to the training grounds. After achieving Mach 1, it seemed like the Pidgeot was honing in on landmarks to make its way to our destination. Within an hour, we had arrived to our destination.

We waved our transportation goodbye and parted ways. Rex and I slowly made our way towards the East Tower, as it contained the only room that we had not explored yet, the Desert Room. Walking into the twin doors, we bolted straight for the room in question. It seemed like the training grounds were less occupied at this point, probably due to the competition still on its way.

Once we arrived at the giant doors to the Desert Room, I noticed that it was currently occupied. I scanned in Rex and waited patiently for the current trainer to exit. In this brief moment of waiting, Rex and I started to go over possible strategies we could use to aid us against whatever would be launched our way.

During our time of conversation, I could notice that people around us were talking. Although not many, I could hear the whispers coming from all directions.

”Did you see the match he just lost?”

”They say his Magby is in critical condition, what’s he doing here?”

”Shouldn’t he be next to his own Pokemon right now?”

The whispers and murmurs kept going on and on. This trainer was taking too much his time. I started to think. This was beginning to be very aggravating!

Finally, the light atop the door lit up, indicating that the trainer and his pokemon were finally ready to emerge and let the next in. As the doors opened, I raced in with Rex, grabbing complimentary bottle of ice cold water. I zoomed past the exiting woman who was walking out with her Sandslash and raced onto the sandy confines of the Desert Room.

Immediately, the heat hit me like a ton of bricks. I started to sweat profusely from the sudden impact of the dry, warm air. I didn’t understand how I couldn’t manage this, when I clearly managed the Lava Room with Macedon. I chugged back one of the bottles I had grabbed on my way in, and gave a portion of another to my Riolu, who seemed to be affected in the same manner as I with this heat.

A lone pedestal stood in the middle of the room with a big red button. Rex looked at it with anticipation, slowly walking towards it. While he was fixated on the shiny button, I looked around to see the terrain, with rocks and sand all over the place. I could see that we could gain some ground advantage if Rex could get on one of the taller rocks and perch himself there until his opponent came out. The sand would clearly be a disadvantage for Rex, as he would not be able to get good grip for fast running in this terrain. My strategies had to be tweeked a bit.

I took one more swig of my bottle of water and saw that Rex had finally approached the pedestal. He slapped the big red button and took a few steps back.

“Rex, get on top of that rock over there, make sure you have the high ground against whoever is gonna come out!” I yelled.

Rex acknowledged and raced to the top of the highest rock. Taking a defesnsive stance, he scanned the surrounding areas to see what could be coming his way. A small tremor was felt, confusing the aura pokemon, as he could not pinpoint where it originated from.

Slowly, rocks started to rise behind Rex. “Rex! Behind you! It’s an Onix!” I bellowed from the top of my lungs, just in time as the giant rock snake burst right through the rock that my Riolu was standing on, shattering it to pieces.

Rex was sent flying in the air, trying to find his bearings. He soon found the ground, debris falling all around him. The sand helped with breaking the fall, as Rex found himself on his feet, looking around frantically.

“Rex! Try to avoid the rocks and use your Bullet Punch!”

The tiny Aura Pokemon raced through the falling debris, narrowly being missed by the giant rocks falling down. Using a stationary rock on the ground, Rex spring shot himself towards the Onix, fist leading and glowing a silver hue. The little Riolu connected with a couple of body shots. The large rock snake groaned in pain loudly.

The load groan turned to a rather loud screech, as Rex grabbed his ears in pain. I too found myself blocking the auditory hell from reaching my ear drums.

In the moment of exposure, the Onix took this chance to circle around Rex, binding himself to Rex, squeezing tightly. A quick yelp could be heard from my pokemon, as he tried to wiggle himself out of the tight situation.

“Rex, concentrate, use Swords Dance!”

A sudden calm came over the dog like Pokemon. It seemed a moment of intense meditation came over him, as the Onix tried to tighten his grip.

“Now release that power, Ice Punch!”

You could see the Onix start to wince in pain, slightly loosening his grip. This slack was enough for Rex to free his arm and start flailing at the body of the giant pokemon. More pain groans could be heard, as Rex completely freed his body and started to run down the long of the Onix’s back, his freezing hands running along the rock like skin.

The aura pokemon made its back back onto the sand, finding some distance between himself and his opponent. He darted a look across the battle field and started to charge towards the rock type, fists cocked back. The rock snake pokemon saw his opportunity and slammed it’s tails end into the ground. Tombs of gigantic rocks popped in front of Rex, then on his side, and finally behind him. The rocks suddenly collapsed on the fighting type.

A small faint cry could be heard from the rocks. Cracks started to form within the rock tomb. One of the sides suddenly blew up as Rex raced out of the enclosed area, panting slightly.

“Rex, let’s end this right now, Force Palm!”

The fighting type stopped and closed his eyes, a blue aura starting to engulf his body. His eyes opened wide, with conviction in them. He started to race towards the Onix, his little legs churning as fast as they could. His opponent decided to counter by slamming his tail into the ground, giving off a violent shaking that could be felt throughout the training area. A small fault line could be seen forming.

Rex raced forward, leaping above the now opening field. He jumped onto the tail of the rock snake, racing up, this time, the body of his opponent. The Onix could only turn his head in time to see the little Riolu make his way to the top, fist clenched and behind his body. With a loud crack, the fish found itself underneath the jaw of the giant Pokemon, delivered with such force and severity that it sent the rock type’s head backwards.

Rex back flipped off his opponent, landing on his 2 feet, one hand grabbing the ground to stabilize himself. Ahead, the Onix slammed backwards, knocked out from the cheer force of the attack. My Aura Pokemon turned around and walked slowly and calmly towards me, pointing to the water bottle. I unscrewed the lid and gave him as much as he needed.

“That was a great fight bud, you wanna give another one a shot?” I asked

“Ri… Rio!” He said, shaking his head that he felt ready enough to get into the fight once more.

“Alright, well go press the button when you are ready. Start up on the rock again. If it’s another Onix, at least we will know what to expect!” I instructed

Rex slowly walked up to the pedestal and pressed the button. He quickly raced to another large rock where he perched himself and observed the training grounds.

We waited for a minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes… Nothing was coming out at this point. My pokemon was becoming restless; he seemed to want to get this fight going right away. His eyes kept scanning the grounds, yet nothing seemed to be moving, not even a grain of sand.

“Rex, use your Swords Dance, maybe that’ll calm you down a bit.”

The fighting type slowly sat himself down, closed his eyes and started to concentrate. While in meditation to harness his power, a small head popped out of the ground. A small Sandshrew could be seen breaking through the sand and coming out, both feet now firmly on the sand. Rex’s eyes shot open as he looked at his opponent. With one swift movement, he lunged himself full speed at the small mouse pokemon, hand firmly behind his body.

The small shrew curled himself quickly into a ball, getting ready for the impact of the shot that was coming towards him. A force field surrounded the small mouse, as it protected itself from the oncoming attack. The force of the blow sent the ground type flying backwards, still in his ball form, crashing into one of the rocks. It uncurled itself and shook itself off, as if there was little to no damage done on it.

Its focus immediately changed to Rex, as its small hand started to have a dark purple aura engulfing it. The Sandshrew dug its back leg deep into the sand and thrust himself in the direction of my pokemon, hand still glowing. Without warning, it stopped a few meters away from Rex, and lunged its fist forward. The dark purple energy came off its hand, forming a large claw that followed the ground. Rex braced himself, both arms crossed in front of his body, attempting to block the attack. The attack passed underneath the Riolu, popped up into the air and slashed at its back. Not expecting this maneuver, Rex was sent flying face first into the sand.

Spitting out some of the grains of sand, Rex stood up once more to look at the Sandshrew. It seemed to be conveying a look of innocence on his face, yet Rex knew better than to fall for such a trick. He raced in once more, arm behind his back, ready and looking to whale on his opponent once more. The small mouse once again curled up into a ball and protected itself from the impeding attack, sent backwards again yet sustaining little to no damage. This little mouse was getting quite tiresome with its Protect attack.

As the ground type stood up once more, it let go an array of small dark needles in Rex’s general direction. Rex tried as best as he could to avoid the onslaught of needles but was unfortunately hit with a few. Rex started to sway back and forth, seemingly under, from what I could deduce as, poisonous effects.

Angered, he launched himself once more towards the small rodent.

“Rex, that isn’t working, you gotta stop doing that attack!” I bellowed.

Like clockwork, the Sandshrew curled itself in a ball and protected itself from the oncoming attack. Rex closed in on his target, this time, his hand glowing an odd white. The punch connected with the protective barrier around the Sandshrew and shattered it. I was taken aback by the whole situation. It seemed as though the small mouse Pokemon as well could not understand what had just happened. It flew in the air, uncurled and slammed hard into the rocks behind.

It was visible now that the hit had taken its toll on the small ground type as Rex raced in once more, this time, with his hand having a light blue aura. The hit connected and slammed the Sandshrew once again into the rock behind it, this time though, freezing him to the rock itself. The giant chunk of ice started to melt rapidly and the small shrew fell to the ground, unconscious from the last attack.

Rex spun around, looked at me with the biggest grin. I had not seen that look in a long time, and it brought a smile to my face.

I really needed this match. We both really needed this match. I thought to myself

I grabbed Rex off the ground and I carried him out of the training room on my shoulders. He was as giddy as a kid in a candy store. Once out of the infernal heat of the Desert Room, I proceeded to give him as much water as he could take and let him rest for a bit.


----------------------------------------------

Rex battled an Onix (lvl15) and Sandshrew (lvl19) and won!

Rex grew 3 levels to level 17, learned the move Feint.

----------------------------------------------

<Rex>

That felt great to be out fighting again against such weak opponents! I knew I wasn’t going to be stopped!

My stomach started to growl and I couldn’t hold out much longer. Alex was sitting down on a bench, his backpack open, and I needed some food! While he wasn’t looking, I slipped my hand into the bag, trying to find some of that delicious chocalat. The first thing I found was a small yet incredibly warm red box. After that, I found a small yellow box that seemed to have a little electricity on it. The hair on my arm was rising up, it was kinda cool!

Finally I brought out a small package with some writing on it. I gave it a quick look and I knew right off the bat that it was gonna be chocalat. I had to make sure that Alex did not see me eating this, so I had to be fast.

I opened the package as fast as I could and found what seemed to be a small brown eatable cube in the middle of the box. CHOCALAT! I placed it in my mouth as Alex turned around. He took a quick glance at the box and tried to stop me from eating my precious precious chocalat!

“REX! What are you doing! That’s not something you want to eat right now!” he screamed at me.

I didn’t care! I swallowed the chocalat as fast as I could. It did taste kind of funny though, almost like it wasn’t chocalat.

“Rex! That was for later, not right now! That was the Gene Accelerator!” He was looking at me funny now.

My stomach started to rumble and this time, it wasn’t because I was hungry. I doubled over. I could feel energy going throughout my body at this point, something wasn’t right. Alex picked me up and took me outside into the sunlight. I could feel the sun’s rays hitting my body, I liked the warmth all of a sudden.

“Here you go bud, have some chocolate. You are gonna need that, you’re gonna grow real fast, real big in little time.” He said with a smile.

He gently put me down and I could feel myself getting bigger. We decided to take a stroll into the forest not too far from the training grounds. He said that my growth spurt, although quick, would probably take a day or 2 to fully finish.

And he was right. After eating what I would think is about 4 times my body weight in the span of a day, my body seemed to have stopped growing.

I felt stronger! I felt faster! I felt smarter!

Alex seemed to be happy that this event had occurred. He looked at me and said:

“Well, I guess you have finally evolved into a Lucario there bud! Congrats Rex!”

And with that, he gave me a big chocolate bar, for me to gorge on.


----------------------------------------------

At lvl17, Rex has evolved from Riolu to Lucario

DarkestLight
23rd August 2012, 02:44 PM
LV:
Heh, Mary and Sue needed to pull something overpowered lol

Umm how many whom's and it's? I went through that story like 5 times and rewrote most all the past/present mixed tenses. I seriously dedicated a day to removing whom and either putting who or rewriting it to not have to use it. So there's something Im obviously missing.

As for when they met..well they met via the RP, then at the end of the RP, IT was written that she gave rapp her number, and that they would meet at the fountain. This story puts Rapp en route to the fountain. Which means I need to rp with you again, to get rapp up to speed with the whole black dragon stuff!

classy_cat18
23rd August 2012, 06:07 PM
Alex, take eleven Stamps. I think there's a bit of a continuity problem, since we've shortened the gap between this scenario and the previous one. Only a few months at most should've passed. It's a bit troublesome given that some of us also stopped mid-training.

Someone could correct me if I'm wrong.

lvl100mewtwo
23rd August 2012, 06:38 PM
Thanks Shonta, only reason I went with a year was cause it actually has been a little over a year that I have written a story. I was going more for real time, but I guess yes, that it has been only a few months in between the games and this new scenario.

classy_cat18
23rd August 2012, 08:00 PM
Trust me, you're not the only one having problem with the time skip. I did like the battle, as Riolu is one of my favorite Pokemon (along with its evolution). It's interesting to read a battle between two Pokemon of totally different sizes. Kinda like a David-Goliath sort of thing.

Lady Vulpix
24th August 2012, 01:00 PM
LV:
Heh, Mary and Sue needed to pull something overpowered lol

Umm how many whom's and it's? I went through that story like 5 times and rewrote most all the past/present mixed tenses. I seriously dedicated a day to removing whom and either putting who or rewriting it to not have to use it. So there's something Im obviously missing.

As for when they met..well they met via the RP, then at the end of the RP, IT was written that she gave rapp her number, and that they would meet at the fountain. This story puts Rapp en route to the fountain. Which means I need to rp with you again, to get rapp up to speed with the whole black dragon stuff!And yet, as overpowered as Sue is, she's afraid of a little Nincada? That doesn't make much sense.

I was asking at which point in your story our characters had met, since the whole story went on as if it had never happened, until it suddenly had. My story said both groups met back in Sector Alpha on that same day (Spark didn't stop surveying the area until he saw Rapp's group return), Rapp got a cellphone and numbers were exchanged. Yours says Rapp decided to leave the mountains - for his own reasons, related to his encounters and completely unrelated to my group since there was no mention of them - and went on a journey that took several days before returning to Sector Alpha, buying a cellphone and registering the umber Gabi had given him at some unknown point in history. How shall we make the story consistent? What exactly happened? I'm willing to edit my story as long as we agree on something that makes sense. Note that if Rapp did promise to meet Gabi at the park on that same day and didn't, then I'll have a lot more to edit since Gabi and her team will have got worried and organized a rescue mission, and all the subsequent Guild/DT meetings will have involved making plans to search for him.

And I believe I replaced 9 instances of "whom", and at least 3 of "its".

Edit: I have fixed my story in the archive.

Wolfsong
25th August 2012, 09:43 PM
Before story notes: The baby vulpix went to charlesthough it'll be my next story or the one after before she officially leaves.. Now for the moves, which are being given out off screen... First of all, Kiara is getting the emt Superpower move. Sand Tomb, which is one of the moves that hannah gave me is going to Tierra. Meditate and crunch, another pair of moves that came from Hannah is going to Darin. Sky Uppercut is going to Talut. Yawn, which was an emt move, is going to darin. Psyshock, also emt, is going to Sinopa. Stone edge (Emt) is going to tierra. Ice shard (Emt) is going to rick. A while back, I made a huge purchase from the reward center. I got something for eveyone and recently I also bought some moves for Ziva and Tierra, but ziva’s are on hold until she is properly introduced (as are the moves I have holding for flame). Here are those moves: Mimic for blazer, odor slueth for kiara, odor sleuth for Kovu, rain dance for Sugar, air cutter for Talut, rain dance for Jasmine, slash for Yana, Flame wheel for sinopa, signal beam for Darin, signal beam for Colby, charm for Ebony, powder snow for Rick, odor sleuth tm (for rick[was originally for vixey]), as well as focus energy tm and Hidden power ice for Tierra. Speaking of, Ziva came from the pocket monsters breeding center and is the daughter of Mikachu’s mienfoo and Skye’s espeon fade who was an eevee at the tim of the breeding. Ziva is a L.5 female mienfoo that knows Pound, Meditate, and Hidden Power (Ice). Her ability is inner focus. Anyways, here is darin’s rbgs and setting up for blazer’s. Having a case of writer’s block so tryign to get over it by writing….


(Amy’s POV)

We took our time getting home after finishing up at the training grounds, since we didn’t have to hurry. We set a nice, lesiurly pace and we took our time getting home. Jasmine and Talut were fully rested as we made our way back and Kovu was resting in his pokeball.


(Darin’s POV)

I was resting with Sinopa and our daughter, while Blazer and Yana made the rounds. The others were resting inside. I was spending as much time with my family because I knew our little girl was going to a new home soon. I nuzzled her before stiffening.

”Darin? What is it?”

“I heard something.”

Sinopa crouched over our little girl as I stood up and looked around. I took a couple steps forward before coming to a dead stop and narrowly missing a gunk shot.

“Way to go birdbrain. You can’t hit the broad side of a barn.”

As I watched a delibird landed, ignoring the jabs from the wooper.

“What do you two want?” I snarled.

“You.”

”What for?”

”None of your business.”

”And none of us is going with you.”

“We’ll get you one way of the other.”


Darin L.20 Male Espeon Vs. L.20 Male Delibird and L.20 Male Wooper.

Taking a deep breath, I took a running leap and disappeared into a shadow. As I hid there, I avoided an ice punch from the bird and a mud bomb from the wooper. I smirked and listed to the confused whispers of the delibird and the wooper asking where I went after their attacks missed.

Letting out the breath I was holding, I leapt from the shadows bringing their force to my attack asi slammed into the Wooper from directly underneath him. He was sent flying through the air. When he landed, I could tell that he was weakened. However, it didn’t deter him from his next attack. Inhaling deeply, the wooper exhaled a powerful stream of water that slammed into me that was extremly hot. I thanked my lucky stars that the Scald didn’t burn me. The next thing that I knew, the delibird reached into his sack and pulled out a trash back that he threw at me. When it hit, it busted open and gunk splashed all over me. I wrinkled my nose because it smelled hidieous.

“Stop ganging up on me,” I growled as I used my psychic powers to hurl the wooper as hard as I could into the far side of the house where he slid to the ground. I breathed a sigh of releif. One of my opponents was knocked out cold.

I didn’t get to enjoy my victory for very long. The next thing that I knew, I felt bugs crawling all over, and it felt like they were all biting me. However, when I looked I didn’t see anything but a faint yellow-greenish glow. I closed my eyes and wished hard on the star’s that I knew were up there even though I couldn’t see them right now. Although I did know deep down that my wish would come true. It was just a matter of surviving until it did.

Taking a deep breath, I turned around and faced my remaining opponent. Then, with a narrowing of my eyes, I sent him hurtlign thorugh the air where he landed on top of the wooper. Unfortuantely, he wasn’t kncoked out by the attack. Instead, he opened his bag and out flew a yellow greenish beam of bug typed enery. I bit my jaw to keep from crying out in pain, as I struggled to keep from blacking out.

Thankfully, I felt my wish come true as my health was restored a little. I had just enough energy to launch my strongest attack. I knew it was going to wipe me out but it had to be done. I began to channel all my psychic energys. As I did so, I could feel the power building insdie until I could no longer hold it back. The Psycho Boost knocked him back so hard that the ice bird left a small dent in the side of the house as I collapsed to the ground completley exhaused.


I won!
I grew to L.22.
I learned Quick Attack

”What happened here?”

I looked up to see Talut and Jasmine landing with Amy on Talut’s back. “We were attacked I said warily.” Before Amy could go over and look at my attackers, munna appeared and teleported them away.

”By who?”

The new voice, coming from Amy’s pack, caused all of us to startle. I watches as she slowly slid the bag from off of her back and cautiously open it to reveal a young sandile.

”Hi!”

”Where did you come from?” Amy asked her.

“The Desert Room. I watched your battle, and was impressed so I cuaght myself. I wanted to be trained by you and that’s why I caught myself. The umbreon was amazing to watch in battle. My name is Tierra.”

”Amy?” I asked, because I could tell that she was caught completely off guard.

”are you sure?”

The little gator just nodded her head.

”Is this the whole team?”She asked?

I shook my head, still nto used to this new member. Amy was watching her curiously. “Most of them are in the house. Blazer and Yana are patrolling and…” Taking a deep breath, I looked up at Amy. “And tehre is still no word from Flame.

“Okay, Darin, call everyone back. We’ll make the introductions and go from there.”

I nodded. “Okay,” I agreed as I set to work.”

Amy smiled and I followed her line of sight and I stood up proudly. “Congratulations. She’s beautiful. And since I know that you were wondering about it, I did find her a good home for when she’s old enough to leave.”

My eyes widened briefly before I cleared my throat. She doesn’t have t0 leave yet does she?

“Not for a few more weeks, but she’ll like her new trainer.” I watches as Amy gently petted her and Sinopa nuzzled her.

One by one the rest of the team appeared. Blazer and Yana were the last to arrive, and Blazer looked as worn out as I didn.

lvl100mewtwo
26th August 2012, 01:26 AM
Great little battle Wolfsong, really enjoyed it. A few small grammar errors here and there, but all in all, it was very easy to follow. Congrats on the new addition to your team as well! Take these 12 Stamps to commemorate you recent battle! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Skye
26th August 2012, 06:03 PM
Remember to Ask…

"Things are going on, you know," Skye commented casually to the dark Meowth at her side. Shadow sighed at that, thinking it was quite an obvious statement, considering that, only a couple of hours ago, they had caught wind of whispers and rumors. Something about dragons and darkness and magic. It was all over Skye's head, of course, imagining such things and anything related to magic. To her, elves and witchcraft were as real as legendary Pokémon. They were just legends. And Shadow, naturally, shared this view point. But the fact that people seemed so riled up about it didn't sit well with him. Perhaps there was someone pulling the strings on this smoke and mirrors case, he wasn't certain.

"It's not any of our business," Shadow purred confidently. Either way, it wasn't as if they would be more than pawns in the hands of the Dragon Tamers. If they got involved at all. But, from what he had been listening to, the Dragon Tamers might be on the frontlines of any counter attack involving this mystical nonsense. His tail swayed behind himself casually with each step, golden eyes glancing to his trainer's belt where multiple Pokéballs latched magnetically to her belt. She had a complete team. Well, almost. Five out of six wasn't bad, even if the latest pair were only temporary.

"You're right. We should try to help out in any way we can!" once again, Skye didn't seem to understand a single thing about the Pokémon she had been traveling with for some time, leading him to sigh heavily and look away from his trainer to observe the streets. Pokémon walked or were carried by their trainers, wandering this way and that. Probably heading to lunch, though that was something Shadow and Skye didn't have to worry about. As his trainer was a great believer in living in the moment, lunch was spoiled and full bellies were felt just as others were beginning to realize their hunger pangs. Still, he seemed to attract some attention, his fur black like night and eyes nearly as golden as the charm on his head.

"Oh!" one such passer by seemed to catch sight of Shadow, stepping in the Meowth's way and crouching down. "What a pretty kitty!" It was as if someone had delivered a second Skye into his life for a moment, horrifying the Meowth as he was given a few eager pets. Still, gentle fingers coaxed a purr or two before he righted himself, trying to look indifferent as the stranger and Skye began to talk like old friends over how odd Shadow's coloring was, for a Meowth. The usual questions came about as well. A naturally black coat? Why was his charm still golden, wouldn't that get affected too? Of course not, don't be silly. Meowth only wear charms for luck, they have nothing to do with fur coloration.

A conspiracy theory was soon weaved between too very eccentric personalities, though Shadow hardly listened, considering he had heard all of this once before. In fact, the exact same questions being asked had been asked by Skye long ago. For all his trainer had known, Shadow had been born with a black coin, but had lost it long ago. Or perhaps he, like many of his breed, enjoyed shiny things more, and so replaced it at the first opportunity. Still, the compliments and being the center of attention did wonders for his ego, as he soon began to groom his attractive coat and rubbed a paw over his shiny charm to make it glow.

His fur soon stood on end, however, as the subject of breeding came up. As well as a certain, soft-spoken Ponyta who was just as strange in coloring. And oh, what would the children look like? He huffed at that, shooting the women an impatient glance, if indignant. But the woman had no interest in fire types, and Skye had no interest in raising two Ponyta, so the discussion ended there. Good. Honestly, trainers these days. Not even giving a Pokémon some privacy and getting involved with things like breeding and eggs. Silly people.

At long last, the other woman bid her farewells to Skye, and the trainer and Pokémon were on their way to find some battles. They weren't hard to find, and in fact, Shadow and Eclipse were often used in practice battles with other trainers of late. If nothing else, the Meowth was pleased to be brought into battle, and often. They didn't win all of the time, but often enough that progress was being made. Hopefully today would be one of those days.

"Now, where were we…" Skye began her casual wandering once again, her ever faithful Shadow in tow, despite feeling somewhat objectified by the conversation.

His optimism would be short lived when they took a path out of town and headed back into the forest. And in that forest, they would find water. A nice deep lake off of the trail. At least, she had the intelligence to not release the monster known as Shandar. Not at first. The Houndour and Pidgey who had been staying in the Pokémon Center over the past few days were let out, as well as Eclipse.

"There we go!" Skye looked rather pleased. "Back home and good as new."

"Ah!" the Pidgey stretched his wings to the sky before tucking them neatly back against himself. His head tilted as he glanced among the group. "Thank you, thank you very much!"

"You're not going to use us as training fodder now, are you?" the Houndour eyed Skye's duo up, and the Meowth couldn't help at wonder if Eclipse was so far more experienced that she couldn't trounce the three of them without any problem. Eclipse might have been wondering this, too, as she turned her head to eye them before looking away and deciding to not speak at all.

"I don't believe so," Shadow couldn't say that his words were very reassuring, but it wasn't as if he could predict Skye's whims at every turn.

"That's reassuring," the Pidgey spoke up first, his delighted tone dropping a few octaves to fully express his sarcasm. Shadow let out a soft, disinterested snort at his comment before noticing Skye dropping down to the ground to pull out a few more… TMs. Of course she had those. And collars. One of them was thin, and once set on Eclipse, looked more like a dark necklace around the mare's neck.

"Now. That is fire proof, completely! It took a while to find one pretty enough for you," the silver buckle did seem to shine and catch the occasional reflection of her violet flames, complimenting her coloration well. Eclipse let out a sound of delight, or what one could assume was delight. On occasion, the mare simply made horse-like sounds that the Meowth could only assume upon.

"Thank you," she uttered properly, not that Skye could differentiate between the sounds, but at least Shadow could understand now, satisfying his momentary curiosity. Another collar, which looked more like a slender band, was brought out. But who could that be for? It might fit Shandar… if she put it on one of his teeth.

"Here you go, a gift!" she reached out to the Pidgey, who tried to flutter away.

"Hey, get off! Let go of me! Stop it!" his Houndour companion seemed torn, both amused and disturbed as a few feathers were ruffled during his capture and collaring. But a deep, natural brown coloring, a thin make which looked soft as could be, and a golden buckle made the fluttering and indignant Pidgey look quite sharp.

"Ow…" the talons and beak of a small bird weren't to be underestimated, and Skye was left with a few scrapes for her troubles. Though Shadow might have once tried to eat the Pidgey for being so ungrateful, his years had dulled overprotective instincts. Eclipse didn't seem so settled, however, and pawed the ground uncertainly.

"Okay, I deserved that," Skye's laughter was soon to follow, causing the dark mare to settle and, seeming to decide she was no longer necessary to the progression of things to come, began grazing lightly on the grass. How she could keep eating, Shadow couldn't begin to fathom. They had just had an early lunch, after all.

"That's a collar. It's not just for looking pretty, they give your physical attack a nice boost in combat. I don't have anything quite yet for you," she offered the Houndour a smile, but was met with only a harsh stare. "Mostly because I've only otherwise acquired a few little attacks…" of course she did. Where Skye came up with the money or luck to get these attacks from, Shadow was left clueless. But, judging from her bag remaining full even with collars and TMs produced and soon put into use, she had other things on her mind as well.

"What… What in the… What is this?" the Houndour seemed more than upset over the process of having her mind automatically recognize, analyze, and alter her muscle memory and nervous system to adapt to the physical demands of a brand new attack. The Pidgey started laughing about the entire process, however, now that he had come to realize that Skye's inane manner was harmless, and somewhat humorous.

"So, what's the point of all of this, anyway?" the Pidgey asked, finally, his ruffled feathers having settled.

"You'll see," Shadow promised.

"Alright! So… Uhm. I don't really know how to word it, but… would you two be willing to join our team? I mean, I said I was just trying to help, but… I just couldn't help at think about it," Skye managed to get her words out.

"Both of us?" she wondered as the pair looked at each other.

"I'll warn you now. Skye's a bit… special sometimes. And there is a Gyarados. But we manage to get by, somehow," Shadow kept an even, nearly uninterested tone.

"In other words, she can't talk to Pokémon like some people can," Eclipse lifted her head from the grass. "But she means what she says. I'm stronger than I've ever been thanks to her. And…" she looked over to Skye. "Sometimes… it feels like she understands. At least… the important things…" her courage failed her, however, and she went back to browsing over the ground, as if nothing had happened.

Skye looked as if she was on pins and needles as her Pokémon threw out their opinions. The good and the bad were in the air, not that she knew that much. The pair began to speak to each other in soft tones, trying to work things over. Until, quite quickly, they came to a conclusion. Heads bobbed in an obvious okay, though Shadow couldn't help at wonder what aspect of Skye they were drawn to, or what mixed messages the woman had sent out. At that moment, Shadow began to wonder if she had been bribing the pair, or was simply giving them more tools to survive in the world, with or without her help. In the end, it probably didn't matter, for Skye was truly delighted and wouldn't have forced them to stay against their will.

"Good! Great! Now… Let's see… Shandar, let's try…" Shadow hissed at where Skye was going with this. "Let's try at least!" she spoke over the feline's displeasured hissing. Unable to voice his reasons for disliking this, he simply settled down, fur bristling and crackling with static.

"Shandar?" the Houndour asked.

"The psycho Gyarados. It's always the same thing, it has been ever since he evolved. She lets him out…" a large splash was heard as Shandar's Pokéball erupted, setting the blue serpent free. "He tries to eat her…" screams were heard, slightly drowned out by Shandar swearing his revenge. "She manages to recall him… After some of the surrounding area gets destroyed…" loud crashing was heard as he put his Iron Head technique to good practice on a tree. Mildly stunned, Skye found an opportunity to recall Shandar, having only narrowly escaped death once again. "… I think she's an adrenaline junky, or very slow to catch on that he wants nothing to do with her or us now that he's achieved his goal."

"Why does he hate her so much?" the Pidgey wondered.

"Haven't a clue. Something about Pokéballs and vengeance. But, considering the alternative was to have him be dragged around outside of water most of the time, and she put him in aquariums often or let him free into ponds or streams, I just think he's… off in the head…"

"She's letting him back out," the Houndour sank onto her haunches, looking rather bemused by the entire ordeal.

"They're a perfect match," Shadow let the static in his fur fade as he relaxed, though he kept a careful eye on things, just in case he was needed. "I never introduced myself properly. My name's Shadow. Eclipse is over there, being shy," he flicked the tip of his tail towards the mare who seemed overly interested in the fallen stump, though Shandar's tantrums caused her to flinch occasionally. Even though he hadn't displayed a knack for Water-based techniques yet, he could still cause some damage with all of his flailing.

"Hello…" she glanced to the pair before returning to her own little world.

"I'm Darker," the Houndour speed demon introduced herself, sitting up a little as she spoke her own name.

"Duo," the Pidgey lifted a wing in a mocking salute. "Lighter than Darker."

"I think the question should be what Darker is darker than, instead," Shadow wondered over that, causing the Houndour to sniff in disdain at the pair making fun of her name.

"My full name is Darker Than the Dancing Midnight Shadows, I'll have you know," she looked away at that. "Pack names are just shortened in common Poke-tongue because it takes too long to say them when not coordinating with one's own kind."

"Hah!" Duo chirped in amusement. "I always wondered."

"And what're the meanings behind your names?" she lifted her nose, almost seeming to stare down at the pair.

"Duo because I was part of a clutch. A simple name for a simple bird," Duo didn't seem all that interested in talking about his own name, and something in Darker's eyes told Shadow that there was more to this bird than he let on. Simple wasn't the right word for him, though now that things had settled down, he seemed relaxed enough about things, if not quite as sadistic as his friend.

"Skye named me, and she named Eclipse. Shandar… I don't know why she gave him that kind of name. I think she was off in her own little world and thought he didn't look like a Raindancer or Leviathan sort," he flicked his tail in dismissal. "So, if you're going to stay, I think you shouldn't remain too attached to your names."

"Never was," Duo commented in a carefree manner before observing Skye and the Gyarados. For a few seconds, or so Shadow thought, it looked as if the woman was getting through to the beast. Though they were too far away for him to catch their words, he seemed to have settled, his tail lashing slowly behind himself in the water as he hovered. Deep, vibrating growls rolled from him, however, tones which made his fur stand on end. That and the fact that with his constant trashing, the 'deep' lake seemed tinier, the shores washed over and the water muddy. Really, the monstrosity was a huge beast, but it would take someone as thick headed as Skye to out-stubborn a Gyarados, it seemed.

"Pack names are pack names. They always stay with us. Whatever I am called in the common language doesn't change that," Darker finally threw in her two coins after a silence of watching a human attempting to manage the large beast. Those enchanted moments weren't to last, however, for he was soon back to trying to eat her. And, once again, Skye was forced to remove him from the ruined lake.

"I wonder when she's going to give up," Shadow mumbled to himself.

"Think she should?" Duo wondered, causing Shadow and Darker to glance at him as if he was crazy. "What! Maybe he's had a dark past that even he doesn’t want to talk about it and required a patient, kind person who will stick through it until he lowers his defenses and finally lets someone into his world."

There was a long silence at that thought, causing Shadow to feel a moment of guilt for disliking the creature for so long, mistrusting his intentions and being blinded by instinctive unease. Only to remember exactly how Shandar had become overrun with his newly found power and had to be subdued by other Pokémon just to save his life, as well as Skye's. His fur crackled with pent up electricity once again at the memory.

"That," Duo added, his tone changing to a light-hearted chirping, "Or he's just here to kill all of us."

"And here I thought you had actually said something intelligent," Darker barked a laugh at Duo's easy going attitude towards the entire thing. Either way didn't seem to matter to the pair, who didn't seem to see any real threat when it came to Shandar. Though, they had only seen him up close. Shadow decided against pointing out that neither of them seemed battle ready to face the Pokémon if it came to a life or death struggle and simply forced himself to relax once again.

"So, what about Eclipse? Quiet girls can be crazy girls too," Duo wondered, seeming to shrug off Darker's comment about his thoughtless speech.

"Somewhat of both, I suppose," Shadow mused. "She prefers to listen and act instead of talk, I think. Sometimes she'll say quite a bit, but often makes up for it with a long silence afterward. She'll warm up to you two soon enough, I'm sure," golden yellow eyes glanced towards the mare who seemed quite interested in the ground, though one of her ears was turned to face the group of Pokémon, the other cocked towards Skye, who was just wandering back while looking at the ruined water with a sorrowful little sigh. At least that lake didn't seem to be home to any local Water-types.

"Hmph," the mare shook her mane out slightly, scattering flecks of lavender and blue flame as she went about her own business, turning around with her head lowered until she came face to face with something that startled her into jumping back. And when a Ponyta jumps, it flies. Even Skye, who had been some distance away at the lake, could see the mare take off and land rather suddenly, though the trainer ended up laughing at what was standing there. A small yellow bi-pedal creature that was baring its teeth while holding the skin of its lower body up like a pair of baggy jeans. Its tail also seemed to be encased with the same substance which stretched as he pulled at it while glaring at everyone in the surrounding area.

"Wh… What's going on here!? Where's the water?" he leaned to the side to looked at the flooded bank. What was left was so murky that he finally realized it wasn't mud, but water. "What happened to the water?"

"Skye's Gyarados kind of swam in it. And by kind of, I mean half swam, half thrashed, half tried to eat her," Duo offered. "It was quite a sight to see."

"But you ruined the water!" the creature, a Scraggy, complained quite loudly.

"The water will settle again soon," Shadow offered, but the Scraggy would have none of it. Obviously upset, and with reason. His focus settled upon the trainer who had made the mistake of letting her Gyarados out in someone else's watering hole and, head lowered, he began to rush her.


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv.21 vs. Scraggy Lv.21

Darker barked a warning, Duo's wings flapped as he prepared to move, and even Shadow tensed, but it was Eclipse who shot after the Scraggy, nearly trampling him in a blaze of fire. Spinning about, the quiet girl lowered her head before turning it this way and that, examining the opponent quite carefully. With her constant training, the idea that she needed to stall an opponent to stand a chance didn't seem like something she would have to do anymore, but without warning, she lifted her head, opened her mouth, and…

"Ew…" Duo settled down, beak agape as he mistook Eclipse's Toxic attack as something it most certainly wasn't. Darker snickered to herself, the pair relaxing as they watched Eclipse in an attempt to understand her, just as Shadow once did. Now he observed her combat with curiosity and a sense of wonder as she moved from a Flame Charge to a Toxic without thought or direction. The combination certainly caught the Scraggy off guard, as he had been cut off from his intended target and forced to retreat a few steps as he tried to rub the volatile sludge from his face and chest, causing the loose skin of his torso to slack to its natural state.

"Keep him moving with Stomp!" Skye called as she approached the battle field, closing the distance so she could keep an eye on the conflict. Just as she had called, Eclipse moved, rearing up before bringing her hooves down onto the Scraggy, knocking him onto his back. He didn't flinch from the sudden strike, however, instead lifting his lower body rather than attempting to stand, one leg outstretched as he stole Eclipse's balance by sweeping her front legs in a Low Kick. Falling down onto her knees, the mare came down fully. The Scraggy then demonstrated his level of experience by following the strike up by pressing up off of the ground with his arms to land on his feet, a short distance from the downed Ponyta, only to rush up and smash his head into her own.

"Use a Growl, then try a Double Kick," came their trainer's commands. Stunned, Eclipse's concentration lapsed for a moment as the Scraggy drew one fist up, his hand gleaming with raw energy before being brought down painfully against her forehead, causing her head to hit the ground. A terrible sound escaped the mare at that point, not unlike her usual battle roars, though this one was mixed with her own pain to create a terrible wailing sound. Even Shadow had to flatten his ears, grimacing even though it was the Scraggy who got the full blast, and thus, backed away from her head quickly. This gave Eclipse enough time to pull herself to her feet before spinning quickly and nailing her opponent squarely with powerful leg in a single, fluid strike.

The opponent flew back quite dramatically and went down once again, only to let out a pained groan from the extremely effective attack. Eclipse flicked her tail to and fro, her breathing a bit heavy from having been beaten into submission by a creature so much smaller than herself, no remorse to be seen in her as she watched the fighter struggling to his feet from the recent combination of her attacks and the toxins in his system which grew increasingly potent with each strike he made against her. Eclipse turned her head ever so slightly to the side to fix the opponent in her vision, leaving Shadow to wonder what exactly would come of this long pause. Finally, the creature seemed to turn away, deciding against fighting against a Ponyta who could attack with such effective moves, but the world didn't work that way.

"Ember," Skye gave the command without hesitation. And, without hesitation, the mare shot a blazing ball of fire at the Scraggy's back, sending him tumbling forward until he came to a rather pathetic stop up against a tree. Too tired to go on, he didn't even bother to get up, which Shadow found wise. Nothing about the battle surprised him, not even the ending. Darker and Duo had gone silent, however, observing the victorious trainer and Pokémon who seemed to have no problem attacking someone who had given up the fight.


Eclipse won and grew to level 22!

"Hm," Duo glanced at Darker, who had long since stopped snickering.

"Hm?" Shadow glanced back to the pair who looked rather taken aback by the show of brutality. "What did you expect? It was a battle."

"It was a bit violent for a battle," the Pidgey spoke slowly, though his attention shifted to the trainer who was now checking up on the Ponyta who had taken quite a few blows. "At the end."

"It's the same as in the wild, though. And when a trainer encounters a Pokémon, it's also the same. He would have fought until she had collapsed. Just because he wanted to stop doesn't mean that the battle stops."

"That's a bit cruel," Darker mused.

"Welcome to the Pokémon World," Shadow let out a soft sigh. "It's not always a nice world out there, and people who have seen it would appreciate that she only pushes to make the opponent faint under any circumstance. Eclipse is the same way, honestly… she's quiet and doesn't speak up for herself, but she fights and puts her heart into winning. Of course, I'm certain that you saw that for yourself."

Shadow looked at the two, who were weighing their options. Already, they had agreed to join the group, so what more could they do? It wasn't as if they could simply up and leave. The contract between a trainer and her Pokémon was something that the Meowth didn't take lightly and merely believed that these two would come to accept Skye's training style sooner or later. For now, it was time to head back into town to give Eclipse a quick check up and try to find a better lake on a map for Shandar.


… All of the Right Questions

Wolfsong
28th August 2012, 12:21 AM
Skye, take 19 stamps. I really enjoyed reading your story. Duo seams intersting and i like Darker's personality. I chuckled after she introduced herself and Duo's reaction. Blinks at Shandar. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Wolfsong
28th August 2012, 12:23 AM
Sorry for the double post but i finished blazer's rbgs. Still dealing with writer's blcok but not as bad as it was...

Before story notes: I gave Tierra the Earthquake TM that I won from the Goldenrod Tower. Here are Blazer’s two rbgs and they occur just about the same time as darin’s two battles. Again, still trying to get over writer’s block.


(Blazer’s POV)

With the increased occurance of missing pokemon, we had decided that we’d go out in pairs. When Amy took Talut, Jasmine, Colby and Kovu to finish up in the training rooms, those of us that remained behind decided to take a morning and evening patrol around the property. At least, until Amy got back. The we’d see if she wanted us to continue the daily patrols or hold off on them until things returned to normal.

So far, the patrols had proven unnecessary and that was a good thing. I looked over at Yana and smiled. She leaned agaisnt me and I nuzzled her. She smiled and nuzzled me back.

“Isn’t that sweet?”

“Actually, I find it sickening Thor. And I’m going to put a stop to it right now.”

I looked up and saw a smeargle and a raichu. However, before I could do anything, the smeargle sketched a garden hose with his tail and aimed it at Yana before blasting her with his hidden power water. He was so much stronger than she was, and the attack knocked her out.

I roared as loud as I could and leapt forward.


Blazer L.78.5 Male Black Arcanine with Silver Stripes Vs. L.78.5 Male Smeargle and Thor L.78.5 Male Raichu

The Raichu, Thor, just smirked. I watched him warily until I felt the vines wrapping themselves around my paws. Hmm, Hidden power grass, I thought to myself. I needed to make sure the smeargle was put out of comission as quick as he could. Not just because he had the hidden power water but also because he knocked Yana out. I snarled at them as I secreted a vile tasting, goo in my mouth before spitting it all over the smeargle who was busy tryign to paint a transparent shield in the air in front of them. The gold key around my neck glowed and the toxic sludge sailed through the transparent barier leaivng a shocked smeargle.

Thor’s electrical sacs began to crackle with electircity and I barely had enough time to throw up a safeguard of my own before the thunderbolt hit. The smeargle was busy sketching a powerful looking tornado that blasted towards me but luckily, his aim was off as I snapped the vines that were holding me in place.

The electric mouse growled loudly at that as I launched a flame at the smeargle that burst into several tiny ones upon contack and hit the raichu as well. The smeargle picked up the garden hose that he had sketched earlier and launched a stream of water at me.

Giving myself a full body shake, I rid myself of the water in my coat as I snarled at them. Thor split into three raichus. I smirked, glancing over at the Smeargle who was showing signs that the posion was taking its toll. Taking a deep breath, I exhaled a wave of flame that engulfed both the smeargle and all of the raichus. When the flames died down, the smeargle was sketchign a large, brown colored gemstone that glowed before slammign into me. I grunted as the breath was knocked out of me. Then, the painting beagle collapsed and I threw my head abck and howled.

Thor began dartign abck in forth in an erratic dance as I started tunneling my way underground. I felt the rain start to fall as I disappeared underground.

I could hear Thor cursing above me and I figured he was plotting out how he could extract his revenge. Howver when I erupted from the ground underneath him, I realized I was wrong as he staggered to his feet severally weakened but hanging on. The raichu had used endure and I snarled at that.

Darting forward with an impressive show of extreme speed, I slammed into the raichu finally knocking him out.


I won.
I grew to L.80.5.
I learned Outrage as my free TM.

I padded over to Yana and nuzzled her until she woke up. Before I could ask her if she was okay we were called back to the house. Taking a deep breath, I teleported us back.

lvl100mewtwo
30th August 2012, 09:06 AM
Good job Amy, congrats to Blazer for reaching such a high level. Please take these 11 Stamps for the great battle that he has had!

DarkestLight
30th August 2012, 08:41 PM
O.o Crap, forgot to buy my battle for Zent. Lvl 10 :O From the Free Range Corral. Labe dah ::Tosses 7::

lvl100mewtwo
30th August 2012, 09:30 PM
Well things just got interesting. Zent will be battling a Ditto! Enjoy ;)

Skye
30th August 2012, 10:56 PM
Amagad. xD I forgot to buy my battles too. I'd like a battle for Eclipse my level 22 Ponyta from Electric Shutdown Retirement System. *pays 7 Stamps*

Wolfsong
30th August 2012, 11:45 PM
*takes stamps* Eclipse will be battling a Voltorb

DarkestLight
1st September 2012, 12:41 PM
Heyyooo! Ditto what what!

Skye
7th September 2012, 11:15 PM
Ahh Dx Forgot again. Totally. Completely this time. *pays 7 Stamps* I'll take one for... I can ask for another one for Eclipse, right? Still a level 22 Ponyta xD Caledor's Nature Protection Agency.

lvl100mewtwo
8th September 2012, 08:41 AM
Aaaand Skye, we have a nice little Growlithe Pup that is aching for battle against Eclispe!

Lady Vulpix
8th September 2012, 12:01 PM
You don't have to buy a battle every week, you know. Especially if you have not yet posted the ones you've bought before.

Skye
8th September 2012, 12:04 PM
Yeah, but still xD It's wasted experience otherwise :x I've just had a really, really rough time irl so I haven't had time to crank out stories.

Charles Legend
13th September 2012, 12:07 AM
Uh just letting you know I'm working on the current scenario, I just need to finish writing up Bruno's battle then I'll post it but fist Amy were did you want Charles to meet your charter at at her place or his place also I just realized my Venonat dose not have any bug type moves which sucks because I was planing on having him battle a Musharna in the sewers well Sector Alpha.

Gabi glares at me what Sector Alpha most likely has a sewer system, given that it's a big city and big cities need a big sewer system, besides that can you blame me I'm itching to explore Castelia Sewers, and if you call I did mention in one of the Club Eevee houses that shortly after I adopted some pokémon I disappeared in which I said that Charles ended up in the basement of the club and that it was was a labyrinth full of Rattata, so it's likely that Charles found himself in the sewer system... ;)

~Charles Legend

Lady Vulpix
14th September 2012, 02:29 PM
1. Who are you expecting to meet? If it's anyone from my team, you won't find us in the sewers.
2. I would ask you why your character would want to go there, but...
3. I don't really care, as long as I don't have to rate that story. Please let me not have to rate that story!

DarkestLight
14th September 2012, 03:14 PM
Is it wrong I cracked up. It is. I figure I'm just as bad but damn, shut down instantly.

Lady Vulpix
14th September 2012, 03:24 PM
No, DL, you have some grammar issues but I really enjoy reading your stories. They're interesting, creative and leave me wondering what will happen next. However, I dread what Charles Legend may post. And I'm not afraid to say it in public because I've seen his previous posts and IM conversations and believe me, I wouldn't say this of anyone else, but... There's easy to read, there's a wide range of grays, there's hard to read... and then there's Charles Legend's posts. I really don't want to rate his stories. If you don't understand why, ask anyone from the Fanfic forum.

DarkestLight
22nd September 2012, 08:50 PM
From the UAC. Skitzo Lvl 10 Nincada needs a battle.

And I'll be posting stories tomorrow :D At least now they'll be shorter, since I am keeping up with the scenario now lol. In theory.

Lady Vulpix
23rd September 2012, 09:44 AM
Yay!

Skitzo will battle an... Omanyte.

DarkestLight
23rd September 2012, 02:26 PM
o.O Damnit, water! XD Fine :;Pays 7::

Wolfsong
23rd September 2012, 04:43 PM
*pays 7 stamps* I'd like an rbg for Tierra L.9 sandile from the Free Range Corral please

classy_cat18
23rd September 2012, 08:48 PM
Tierra will battle a Teddiursa.

Wolfsong
10th October 2012, 05:20 PM
I'd like an extension for the current scenario please. *pays 7 stamps* I would also like an rbg for Darin L.23 Espeon from the Universal Adoption Center please

lvl100mewtwo
10th October 2012, 09:55 PM
Well things just got interesting... Darin will be fitting a Scraggy! How will they manage?

Charles Legend
23rd October 2012, 06:06 PM
Book One: the Warrior and the Snake

Please note that Gabi that your charter dose not Like Charles for many of the same reasons you don't like me, however this is mostly do to the fact he rather sell Comic books rather then do very much training. that and she like you thinks his stories are insane...

Also it should be noted that Charles is from the Marshiso Region were his stater was indeed a Charmander... Mayor Ryu also gave him a Riolu who became his best friend and later acts as his butler, Think of Sirius as being Charles Legend's version of Alfred Pennyworth.

also for this scenario I"ll be using Bruno my Level Six Mankey and Chimlord my Level 5 Chimchar, I also plan to use my Venonat as well...

Prologue: Introduction

Log Date: December 29th 2002

A nineteen year old young man was currently on a schooner he was given by his Sensei, as well as the scrolls of the teachings of a powerful form of Martial Arts…. He was wearing a black sleeveless shirt and a par of black shorts with red two red lines going down the sides and around the leg opening which wrapped around to a white triangle. He also ware glasses and a watch.

~~~~~flash back~~~~~

Charles along with an elderly man were walked down a tunnel, dust was falling from the ceiling, their home the Gekitou Monastery was under siege by a evil tyrant and his army of evil minions who already had laid waste to the rest of Tortuga Island.

They reached an underground harbor were a schooner named the Vineyard was waiting for them.

“Charles I’m afraid I cant go with you, my time on this world is nearing it’s end, Charles when I am gone you will be the new master of are sacred teaching, I have given you even scroll even those that under normal conditions only the true chosen one is allowed to read.” his Sensei said. “ I also give you this Charmander, my the two of you be come grate warriors some day.” he said then his body faded way…

~~~~~~~~end of flashback~~~~~~

Ten years have passed since he has fled his homeland, he had traveled the seven seas, and visited many lands, he had acquired a massive crew…

He looked up the crows nest at a blue humanoid dog looking threw a telescope.

“See anything yet Sirius? Charles asked his trusty sidekick.

“Yeah a storm is brewing captain…” Sirius said.

Charles looked on his sea chart and sure enough they were entering Devils Triangle. He said as he rub his chin.

As they entered the fog a UFO suddenly appeared out of the water and shot a beam of light at Charles and an instant he found himself on board it looking down at his ship and saw Sirius roaring with anger and saw the rest of his crew firing off attacks at the UFO then suddenly Charles saw that they took him to a different ship and beamed him on it and erased his memories of how he got there.

He found himself in a storage room full of corpse and saw that the door was open so he fled the ship and looked around he did not recognize the land at all…

He looked around then out to sea not far from him he saw the UFO firing a Laser beam at a herd of Lapras, Charles was getting angry now.

“You will pay for that Elgyem!” Charles snarled. “Gekitou Scarred Teachings number eight bulk Up!" Charles said then flexed his mussels not only did they increase in size but the power level of his inner Chi increased as well, his hair dark brown hair had also became spiky.

“Now the you alien slime balls prepare yourselves for a world of hurt!” Charles snarled holding up his right hand clinched into a fist, then he cupped both his hands together and drew them back on his right side and focusing a large amount of power into it. “Gekitou Sacred Teachings number fifty-two Focuses Blast!” Charles said and moved his arms forward sending a beam of energy out of his cupped hands and it pouched a hole right threw the UFO engines causing it to lose control and head for a mountain rang south of Sector Alpha.

Suddenly no less then twelve Elgyem appeared before him all were badly injured a few of which were missing a limb or two…

“Severs you right for abducting me, I have a family looking for me some were in the Devils Triangle!” Charles snarled.

“Calm yourself Charles we did not abduct you we merely created a clone of you and enabled you and the original to share experiences, said one of the Elgyem the only one that was not missing any limbs.

“Ok say for a moment I’m not completely crazy, who are you?” Charles asked.

“We are the watchers we guard this land, are memory goes back to the ancient days before the sounding in a time when you humans were closes to the gods. In a time when humans possessed the same kinds of abilities that Pokémon have, Charles you were chosen to help save both worlds, since you are one of the few humans left that are able to unlock those powers hidden deep within.” said the Elgyem “my name is Alpha Five and my brethren here are all named Alpha to the number twelve.” Alpha Five said.

“Ok so you’re the Majestic Twelve, so why were you attacking that herd of Lapras?” Charles asked

“We were actually tying to save them from a swarm of Jellicent, thanks to your incompetents we only managed to save one the rest were taken to Davy Jones’s Locker, here take this Pokéball. “Alpha Five said then he and the rest teleported away.

“And that is how I met Nessie my female Lapras.” Charles said to a group of kids…

“That was the coolest story ever mister can we have your autograph please?” a boy asked.

“Sure kid who should I make it out to?” Charles asked who was obvious to the sarcasm in the boys voice.

About an hour later after singing a half dozen or so of his comic books he as was counting his money his phone rang…

“Hello, oh hi Amy, yeah I’ll be more then happy to adopt the Vulpix from you, hum are you sure, ok I’ll cheek with Sirius, but yeah when your ready just swing by my place, its the last shop o before to reach the gate to the forbidden Mountains it's located on to of a small hill. I‘ll be waiting.” Charles said then he looked at the money and gowned as he realized it was fake.

He sighed and put it down then went to his door and locked it and flipped the sign to read sorry we are closed, then he went over to a statue of a Farfetch’d and pulled the leek down to open a secret door and walked down to the quack cave.

“Sirius what’s the satiation?” Charles asked

“Well you missed the Dragon Games, but you just received an email from Lady V something about the Black Dragon and she also told you to stop making comics that stretch the truth on how you acquired your team members.” A blue humanoid dog said in an a fake British accent and was dressed as a butler he was also keeping taps on everything from a bunch of computer screens one of which showed a rough map of the forbidden mountains and showed the point of the disturbance.

“She also questions why you gave yourself Saiyan like abilities in the stories, even thought you do have a power level of 5,000,000 and surpass even that of a normal human.

“Well yes but that’s only in the comic books, it’s not like I can really use bulk up the same way Goku uses the Kaio-ken or Focus Blast the same way he uses the Kamehameha.” Charles said to his long time friend and butler then spotted

Suddenly the warning siren signaled

“Its morphing time!" Charles shouted and two devices appeared on his rests called the Aura charger (http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110128065342/powerrangers/images/thumb/3/3d/Dai-ar-aurachanger.jpg/180px-Dai-ar-aurachanger.jpg). “Red dragon Thunderstorm Power!” and a red suit made of spandex (http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120122134036/powerrangers/images/f/fd/Dai-red.jpg) appeared over his body. He stuck a pose as a Charizard Mecha appeared behind him.

“Uh Charles you realize you did not really morph right besides Gabi would have your head on a platter if you had.” Sirius pointed out. “Besides she already thinks your ideas are insane as it is, but you should head out to stop the scout the black dragon sent, it most likely got to the gate by now I suggest taking your Mankey and Chimchar.”

“Oh crap Gabi really would have my head if that scout got into the city!” Charles said slapping his forehead “Bruno, Chimlord lets go!”

“Playing Monkey theme song now” beeped a female voice come from Charles Pokédex.

Super Monkey Team Hyper Force Go!
Unlocking the hearts closed by darkness

beep, beep.

“Incoming call.”

“Charles stop thinking you’re a super hero or I’ll fire you!” Gabi barked and cut the connection before he could reply…

“Right let’s get a move on” Charles said then walked out of the cave and with his Mankey and Chimchar riding his shoulders they were arguing about a battle.

Charles sighed as he looked at the trail leading up to the Forbidden Mountains….

~~~~~~ Bruno’s POV ~~~~~~~

“ I don’t care if your father is the King of the planet of the Infernapes, I still say my dad could kick his butt.” I snarled.

“Dude you don’t even remember your father all you recall is shortly after Charles adopted you guys got lost in Sector Apha’s sewers until you guys found your way back to the Eevee Club House.” Chimlord said.

“Well we were not exactly lost Charles had hid his ship the Phantom Galleon which was the how he came to Ulthuan, in an underground cave that connected to the sea by a sea cave in the side of some treacherous cliffs.” I said.

Suddenly Charles stop deed in his tracks and saw a Cleafable It was glared us down with red glowing eyes.

“Odd I detect the same evil aura around it as Charles did a with Musharna while we were exploring the sewers of Sector Alpha, he used Koga who was Level seven Venonat that he adopted from the Pokezoo Adoption Center Version 2 {M.A.: Nala98 /LadyVulpix} (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showpost.php?p=56005&postcount=327) fought it .” I said

“Tell me about it later Bruno, go kick that evil Clefable's butt!” Chimlord hissed.

Charles pulled out his Pokédex and pointed at the Clefable.

“Clefable the Fairy Pokémon its the advanced form of Clefairy. These unique creatures are among the rarest Pokémon in the world, said to be a timid Pokémon that is rarely seen by people. It will run and hide the moment it senses people, however they appear to be very protective of their own world. Its ears are very sensitive, so it does not like loud noises or busy places, its said to be drawn by the full moon to play at deserted lakes at quiet remote mountains were it's said to live.” Decca beeped.

The Clefable pointed at me so I jumped off Charles’ right shoulder.

suddenly I herd Decca play the wild Pokémon encounter music, and most likely the upper the screen went black then created a checkered board pattern before showing sprites of me and Clefable to show Charles how much heath points and any status we may be inflicted by as well as are levels also the type of habit we are battling in, the bottom screen shows him my moves as well as the time of day as well as the weather.

Regardless I shrugged it off and delivered a Low Kick right between Clefable’s eyes she fell on her butt. I did a back flip and landed it on my feet and tuned around and looked at Chimlord “Supper effective that was bound to knock her out with one hit, I believe you owe me a banana sundae Chimlord!” I bragged.

Charles looked at Decca’s Screen and saw that the stats were like this

Wild Clefable Lv.8 female Timid

HP 35 Atk 16 Def 19 Spec Atk 21 Spec Def 21 Spd 18

Bruno Male Mankey Level 6 Brave

HP 22 Atk 17 Def 11 Spec Atk 9 Spec Def 12 Spd 15

“Bruno delivered a Low kick….. Looking up information now….

Low Kick - A powerful low kick that makes the target fall over. It inflicts greater damage.

calculating the weigh of wild Clefable now… 88.2lbs…..calculating Base damage now, 60 points of damage… calculating type match up now …. Super effective 60 times 2 =120 damage… calculating Same-type attack bonus now…. Mankey a fighting type Pokémon plus Low Kick a Fighting type move means a damage bonus of 30 …. sub total 150 damage calculating damage cap… Bruno inflicted a total 15 points of damage.” Deca beeped.

“Sorry to bust your bubble Bruno, but your no King Kong who can defeat his opponents just by steeping on them.” Chimlord mocked Bruno.

“Don’t you mean a Grate Ape? I said to him, but then Clefable had wicked me upside the head needless to say I fell face fist in the dirt road. “Ow!”

“Wild Clefable Inflicted a Pound….. Looking up information now….

Pound - The target is physically pounded with a long tail or a foreleg, etc.

Calculating Base damage now, 40 points of damage… calculating type match up now …. Normal damage, 40 points of damage… calculating Same-type attack bonus now… Clefable a normal type Pokémon plus Pound a normal type move means a damage bonus of 30 sub total 70 damage calculating damage cap… Wild Clefable inflicted a total 7 points of damage.” Deca beeped.

Wild Clefable 20/35 HP
Bruno 15/22 HP

“Serves you right for not only bragging about your power level but also turning your back on your foe.” Chimlord snorted with a fit of laughter.

“Darn you Chimlord!” I grumbled as I got to my feet then hit my fists on my chest while saying my species name in a Tarzan like yell while focusing my inner chi and then flexed my muscles which grow larger as field of red energy surrounded my body… then I and did an aerial back flip to jump over the wild Clefable and then land on hands were I did a brake dance move were i spun around my body and delivered a kick to her right ankle then did a back flip and landed on my feet.

“Take that you witch!” I growled as I jumped up and down then banged my chest again and did another Tarzan like yell…

she hopped around for a bit before crashing on the ground.

“Bruno used Focus Energy….. Looking up information now….

Focus Energy - The user takes a deep breath and focuses so that critical hits land more easily.

calculating base attack 17 Power level increased by one percent, attack razed to 18, damage dealt will be increased by one percent.

Bruno delivered a Low kick….. Looking up information now….

Low Kick - A powerful low kick that makes the target fall over. It inflicts greater damage.

calculating the weigh of wild Clefable now… 88.2lbs…..calculating Base damage now, 60 points of damage… calculating type match up now …. Super effective 60 times 2 =120 damage… calculating Same-type attack bonus now…. Mankey a fighting type Pokémon plus Low Kick a Fighting type move means a damage bonus of 30 …. sub total 150 damage calculating damage cap… 15 points of damage base damage increased by one percent Bruno inflicted a total 16 points of damage.

Wild Clefable 4/35 HP
Bruno 15/22 HP

She got to here feet and glared at me and then wiggled her finger…

“Wild Clefable used Metronome….. Looking up information now….

Metronome Att. -- Acc. -- PP 10
The user waggles a finger and stimulates its brain into randomly using nearly any move.

Splash was chosen, it has no effect!” Deca beeped.

She started to hop on her foot again so I laughed before I walked over to her and scratched her in the face, she crashed to the ground with swirls in here eyes.

“Bruno used Scratch ….. Looking up information now….

Scratch - Att. 40 Acc. 100 PP 35
Hard, pointed, and sharp claws rake the target to inflict damage.

"Bruno inflicted 4 points of damage, Wild Clefable fainted Bruno grew to Level 7.” Decca beeped.

Suddenly a dark mist escaped the Wild Clefable body and formed the head of a dragon…

“I should have known it was you Legend” hissed the demon.

“You can tell your boss Yssera that he has no chance against the Dragon Tamers as long as they have my help.” Charles said.

“Good point I should kill you now boy…” the Demon hissed evilly…

“I don’t think so..” Charles said holding a torch then breathed out a blast of air from his mouth and he directed his makeshift flamethrower at the demon who hissed before vanishing into the darkness of the Forbidden Mountains.

“Hun were am I?” said a sweet voice.

Charles stuck the torch back on to the wall of the cave entrance then looked at the Clefable said now almost completely purified from the influence of the demon.

Charles looked at her “Please follow me and I’ll explain everything over a nice spot of tea miss.”

***Back inside***

"So I was passed by a demon who serves the black dragon called Yssera.” the Clefable named Luna said with a shiver up her spine.

“Yes Luna now here is a gift from me to you.” Charles said giving her a crystal pendent.

“Oh wow thank you it’s so pretty.” Luna said.

"One thing thought would you mind standing in this chamber and using the move Heal Bell to help me test a theory on how to unlock the final lock to the hearts of Pokémon…” Charles asked and pointed to a chamber.

“Sure I’ll help.” Luna said...

After Luna left…

Charles and Sirius were busy writing up a new app to add to Decca one that would allow Charles to unlock the final lock while out on the field.

“I’m surprised that the city has not evicted us.” Sirius said.

“Believe me they have tried, however they can't over look the fact that we accidentally uncovered the plot of the black dragon a couple years ago when we were exploring the sewers under the city…." Charles said then there was a knock on the door up stairs...

to be continued...

Uh yeah I was just trying to explain why dispute Gabi thinking Charles is a loon that she still allowed him into the Dragon Tamers in the fist place, part two will have the full expiation for what really happened down in the sewers...

However knowing you guys I most likely wont get very many stamps for this if any at all.... -_-

~Charles Legend :peek:

Lady Vulpix
26th October 2012, 08:14 AM
Alex said he would handle this. I'll just let you know something about my character: she wouldn't tell anyone to stop making comics, unless they were seriously offensive or incurred in plagiarism. Your character is free to stretch reality in his comics as much as he likes, as long as his comics don't do things like slander other people, show children having sex, or include other people's creations when the original author has told him not to use them.

That said, I don't trust you to be able to keep any of my characters in character, so please do not include them in your future stories unless we have roleplayed those scenes first. It would be a good idea to do the same with other people too. Any occurrences of other people's characters doing things they really wouldn't do will be considered non-canon.

And know that there's a difference between stretching reality in an in-story comic (a fiction within the fiction) and doing it in the story itself. The former is OK, since it doesn't affect anyone. The latter can cause the story to be inconsistent.

Charles Legend
26th October 2012, 03:43 PM
Who's Alex? Right well I'll accept you don't trust me to keep any of your or any one else charters in charter, but yeah I'll try my best not to have Gabi or any other user's charters future stories although I should note however that Charles meets up with Amy in the next story who drops off Din.

but yeah I'll try to keep that in mind....

~Charles Legend

lvl100mewtwo
27th October 2012, 10:00 PM
Hi Charles, I am Alex. After reading your story, I will be awarding you 4 Stamps for it. The reasoning being that it was a little difficult to follow and many many issues with your spelling and verb tenses. I guess I haven't seen any of your past battles, but this is what I am awarding you.

¢¢¢¢

Enjoy

Charles Legend
28th October 2012, 02:11 PM
Right sorry about that Alex, I most hand out in the ASB you see. Hum well I expected as much well actually I expected only one stamp actually. I get that a lot but then again I respect your reasoning for the score you gave it. actually the reason why you have not see any of my past battles is there is none this was to introduce my charter...

~Charles Legend

DarkestLight
11th November 2012, 03:04 PM
::Drops and runs off:: Teehehee

“Well, ok. I guess I just input the numbers into this device, and then it will send a signal over to her phone? That's literally mind-blowing!" Rapp stated as he began inputting the digits from Mossy's notebook into the phone. Once it was completed, he pressed the strange symbol the salesman told him to, and raised the device to his ear. He heard silence and then a series of clicks, before a soft melody began to resonate from the device. Then the device switched over to a standard ring.

"I hear a ringing...but nothing else."

Three rings passed before a voice finally was heard. “Hello?” was all he heard. He stammered out a reply, fearful the small device might somehow lose the voice that was somehow reverberating through it. “Whoa! That worked, Uhh hi! Hi Ye-

”Draaaaaaaa.” "Wyrm NO! I don't even know if she knows if it is us yet!” Rapp exclaimed. He quickly pushed Wyrm's body up on his head in a more visually accommodating pose, and then looked around to make sure everyone was still in visual range.

“Er, sorry, who is this?” came out of the phone. Attention snapped back to it, and he quickly replied. “Oh Hi. Hey this is Rapp Laster! We met briefly at the Forbidden Mountains. I was kinda going insane?”

“Oh Hi. Uh I don't think...I wouldn’t put it that way. I was wondering if you would ever call. Are you Ok? What happened after we left.” she responded.

“Um, I'm calling be*Draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa* WYRM! What is with you today-off the head! Off! Uhh I'm sorry. Uhh I've been in Eataine, exploring. But I've recently returned and as of now I'm in Sector Alpha. I was wondering if it was possible to meet up with you. I don't really know my way around this place..."

"Oh... sure! Where are you now?"

Rapp quickly glanced around, making sure to sidestep another pedestrian as he tried to get a bearing on his surroundings. "I'm walking down a street...past a hotel. Zent's headed toward a butcher shop that she shouldn't be WALKING INTO...thank you." The Larvitar huffed, and trotted back to his side. He listened to the phone, to hear chuckling.

“Zent is the Larvitar, right? The one who likes eating rocks and confetti?”

Yes, among other things. She's a handful by herself. But umm, are there any landmarks or places I could meet you at?"

“Well, I still have a few things to do in here, if you want you can find me at the Dragon Tamers HQ... or if you prefer a quieter place, there's a big park nearby. Or you can wait there and I can try to find you, but I'd need a more specific address.”

"I think the park would be safer. I think my group needs some time to burn off this excess energy. I'm sure you would be able to find us from the roaring going on. Anything in the park that might be a good meeting point? A swing set or a water fountain or something?"

”I really don't think the roaring would be enough to give you away. There are usually a few trainers around in the park, and there's always some roaring going on. But I can recognize you and your group. We could meet by the lake, there's a place which has some large white stones lined up around the water. I think that'll be the best place for us to find each other."

“Lake with white stones. Got it. I'll meet you there then."

”K, just...make sure to get the right park. What was it called...? People usually just called it “the park”, it's just a few streets away from the Dragon's Guild headquarters. And the Dragon Tamers too.”

“I vaguely remember the HQ of the Dragon Tamers from my visit here last time. I'll be sure to call if I am not at the right place."

“OK. You can ask around if you're not sure how to get there. Or you can call me again. I'll be there as soon as I'm done here.”

“OOk. No proble *DRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA* WYRM! Off my face! Ugh ok Park! ALL of you. We're going now!"

“I'm afraid I can't understand Pokemon speech over the phone, but maybe he's trying to tell you something?”

“He's waking up and drooping. I let him coil on my head to sleep and he's not fully awake yet, so he keeps yawning and drooping over my eyes."

“Ouch. I hope you two can sort out that problem on your way to the park.”

“Yeah, I got it. See ya there!” He pulled himself away from the phone in order to dole out an instruction. “Mossy, lead please. You have the map.” He affixed the phone back to his ear, and spoke one last time. “We'll be there soon.”

“Ok, see you!” He listened for a second longer, but heard a click which meant the phone ended. He then looked at his own phone and noticed the red light flash, before the screen turned back to the main screen. He closed the device and stuck it in his pocket. Mossy had already started walking east, Skitzo right by his side. May followed after and Zent was enamored with the smells of food wafting left and right about her. Reaching up, he grabbed Wyrm and set him down on the chilly ground. This gave the serpent a shock and he immediately coiled up and around Rapp's waist.

“Oh, NOW you're awake.”

“Sorry. But that was cold and cruel!” Wyrm replied, moving up to drape himself around Rapp's shoulders. Rapp whipped his tail around his neck to act as a makeshift shivering scarf.

“I'm glad I took that parka from that Ice Room. Otherwise this would be far too cold. But now, this park. Mossy, what do you see?”

The plant looked up to them both, before raising the map to their eye level. A vine poked at a large green spot with what seemed to be a big blue spot in its center. The vine then dragged down the map to a small portion of grey.

“Oh, so that's where we are? Oh not that far of a walk at all! Great! Let's get a move on, we don't want to be late.”

And so, the group began their short pilgrimage to the park. Zent eagerly took point, while Mossy and Skitzo followed close behind. May trudged through the snow and Rapp brung up the rear. It took them 15 minutes before they reached the entrance. The party paused in their approach as they noticed a figure approach them from the left. Rapp turned as the girl ran up to them and stopped. Her hair was matted in front of her eyes, and she was dressed in a sweatsuit.

“'Hoy there! Lovely day to work out huh? Brisk air, makes the lungs strong!”

“I...guess? Hey, does this park in front of us have white stones in the interior?”

“Uhh, yes! A whole bunch of them, and a fountain as well.” The girl looked down to examine the small Pokemon below her line of sight. Upon seeing Mossy and Skitzo, her eyes flew back up to Rapp. “You let them walk around in this cold? That's no good.”

“I don't truly appreciate it either, but I'd rather not leave them behind. Besides, some of them like it. “ A finger extended, and the girl turned her gaze to see a small greenish rock half burrowing around in a small snow drift. A giggle escaped her, and she turned to look at Rapp. “Well, since you seem to be in desperate need of a warm up, how about a battle?”

Rapp looked over to her, and gave her a perplexed look. Was it natural to fight everyone you meet? Nonetheless, he nodded and took a step back. “S-sure. One on one though, I don't think we should be out here too long if we don't need to.”

“Alright. I'll make this quick. Lucky, GO!”

[May lv 15 vs Paras lv 15]

In a flash, the woman threw out a Pokeball from her sleeve. It opened, and out landed a strange shaped creature. It seemed to scuttle atop the snow, even though it seemed more than heavy enough to sink down. Upon spying it, May screamed and jumped backwards. Rapp looked to her, and thought about speaking, but instead gave her an evil smirk.

“May. You're up.”

“WHAT?” She yelled, as the bug scuttled over to look at her. Its beady eyes staring at her. Before May could even recover, the bug received its orders.

“Ok Lucky. Go for the eyes. The pink one can't do anything if it can't move. Stun spore!”

“May, you better get your head in the game fast. Scream at it.”

Rapp moved to the side to give May some room as a strange powder fell over her. May struggled to move away, but found that her body was now as stiff as a board. She fell over, plopping in the snow. She could feel its little legs poking her as it climbed on her back, and screeched its immediate achievement.

“Good job! Now let's just end this battle quick. Poison Powder, and then Bug Bite.”

“May, there's a bug on you. You gonna let it stay on you? I thought you didn't like bugs?” Wyrm countered. Meanwhile Rapp continued to look down at her with a concerned air. He realized that she needed to get through this fear of her, and maybe this wasn't the best way, but sometimes things have to be harder than they need to in order to learn from them. May was learning this lesson now, as the bug slathered a new layer of powder over her. May, still suffering paralysis, twitched in place and felt the powder begin to itch and burrow into her skin, giving her something else to worry about. At least, it seemed that way. But the powder didn't seem to have any lasting effect.

But it was the prick of a pincer in her side that finally drove her past her current limitation of movement, and she bounced up with the rage and fear of a true entomophobe. Her tongue whipped around her body in a extremely fast motion, and punched the Paras off her back. Whipping her head in the other direction, she flung her tongue like a boxer would a left jab, swinging it wide and slamming it into the bug while it was still on the ground. Paras barely had time to recover before it went flying across the snow, into the park.

The distance May had to cover was of large consequence. She marched with a renewed purpose. That bug covered her in all sorts of nastiness, and it was bothering her at every moment. Even as she walked, she felt her muscles burn and each step was a struggle. Paras knew this and quickly recovered. May once again found her legs crippled, and the bug now came in close.

“Go nuts Lucky! Fury Cut!”

The bug raised its pointy appendages in glee, and began a taxing endeavor on May. The first slash seemed to be a test, as it only stung a little to May. She grunted, still trying to move from the kneeling position she was in. The second swipe hurt a little more, but the third laid May down on her side. She winced, shocked at how fast the pain escalated. But it was that shock to her brain that forced her muscles to free themselves once more. As the bug came in for a fourth strike, May raised both her hands and grabbed his arm! The point of that claw began to drop closer and closer to her chest, and as much as she tried, she could not hold it up. She winced and put all she had into pushing that arm in another direction, but this bug was stronger than she was ready for. She hissed and closed her eyes, trying to think of any way to just...Disable this ugly bug!

“Whatever you're doing May, keep it up, and get a Knock off to get you back on your feet!”

May suddenly felt the resistance lessen up and she threw the bug's arm to the side. “Ha! Stop USING that!” she yelled before smacking the bug across the face with her heavy handed self. The Paras winced and scuttled back, unsure why its power was suddenly drained.

“Lucky! Try that last Fury Cut! It's gotta be powerful enough to wipe her out!”

But Lucky looked rather perplexed. That was the problem. He couldn't do it. Something happened-and all of a sudden that move just didn't work when he though about it. It only turned worse when May-empowered by what seemed to be a new attack, followed up with a Headbutt that seemed to knock all the Zen out of Lucky.

The bug rolled over, and May felt the paralysis course through her muscles. She didn't have much left, but neither did that small bug. So when the bug stood back up, she did the one thing she could do. Scream.

Lucky scuttled in close to try and bite her-but found that the waves he traveled though were far too erratic. He stopped to shake his head, and tried to focus on the once again stuck May.

“Hahhaa! May's getting beat by a bug!” Wyrm cried out, only to have his mouth held shut by Rapp. But Skitzo chimed in right after.

“Heycutitout!Start fighting or you will lose!”

Mentally, May had a choice reply for that foolish worm, but the other bug in the area was right. The paralysis kept giving the bug free hits. She knew she needed one more good attack, but that bug also needed one more attack. And unlike her, she was not paralyzed. Just confused. She watched as he burrowed in the soil, to the chagrin of his trainer.

“Oh no fair, She confused you. Fight through it Lucky, and then end her with a Seed Bomb!” Upon hearing Seed Bomb, Mossy's interest in the battle peaked. He stopped looking at the burrowing Zent, and whipped out both vines.

May felt the slight tremor Mossy made, and managed a nod. Rapp looked to Mossy, unsure just what was the exchange traded between them. He looked to May, and noticed that the shivering stopped being erratic, and became sectional. In a flash, it made sense, and he followed with his orders.

“May, when you get loose, punch it! I know you can do it.”

Lucky finally resurfaced, and raised its pincers high up. In no time at all, spheres of a sporelike nature flew skyward in a high arc. Their trajectory put their landing spot right on May. May just stood there and watched as the Bombs came heading toward her; whistling in the wind with their potent concoction. Before the bombs reached her-May's legs wobbled and she used them almost instantly. Her body flew forward, the bombs hitting the snow and ground right behind her. The blasts that they released flashed her body with a quick warmth, enough for her to feel slightly soothed by, and more than enough for her to drag her right fist through the snow, and land a nasty Ice-laden punch to Lucky's underside. Lucky flew backwards and bounced next to his trainer. In the following moment, the bug swung its pincer once, before falling over. May fell down on her knees once more, coughing heavily. That paralysis was really causing pain, but she smiled through it.

Not because she figured out a new move.

Not because she figured out how to overcome paralysis.

It was because she beat a bug.

[May grows to lv16!]

Rapp and Skitzo cheered for May, while the jogger picked up her Paras. “I must say, I thought I had your number. That's a resilient Lickitung you have there.”

“She's full of surprises, I will say that. Especially that Disabling move she pulled out of nowhere. That was unexpected.” Rapp replied as he knelt down and braced to lift her up. May looked over to Wyrm, whom moved to recoil atop Rapp's head. Though glad she made it through the fight, he still gave her a raspberry. May jut cut her eyes at him, too tired to start anything.

“Well, I better go get her patched up.” Rapp stated, as the jogger quickly fished in her pocket for something. She looked at him and shook her head. “No. Don't go to the healing center now. Right now there are a bunch of idiot punk bikers there, and they're rude and impertinent and just downright disgusting pigs. I managed to grab a bunch of healing items from them. I'll gladly share!”

She pulled out three bottles and handed them to Rapp. “The green one is a Full Restore, and the yellow one is a Full heal. I'm sure she could use that right now. The red one is, well...I'm not sure what the red one is. Maybe a Burn Heal. I don't need those three since I have a Pokemon that can heal my others and herself.”

Rapp nodded, thankful for the show of generosity. He swing his hand back, and felt the viney one snag the two bottles he did not need. Swinging his hand back up, he pointed the full Heal on May's back and sprayed the aeresol all over her.

May squirmed, a signal to be let down, and Rapp gladly obliged. “Getting thicker there, M-” that statement was cut off by a tongue to his face. He nodded, realizing that may not have been the best time for that joke. He put the aerosol bottle away, and May took a few deep breaths. She was still sore from the strikes, but her body didn't feel encumbered by sickness of paralysis. The jogger nodded at her recovery, giving her a thumbs up. “Great job May. I hope to see you all again.”

Lucky, feeling better from his quick treatment also cheered for May, waving his pincers in adulation. May was puzzled that her opponent was happy...for her, but she nodded and smiled back. Rapp nodded and replied as Mossy already began walking again, following a green shaped fan that was still burrowing around.

“I hope we do meet again. Take care.” Turning back to the others, Rapp quickly caught up to the burrow and the plant, curious as to where and why they were heading this way. Before he could ask, Mossy raised two vines and began to make them wave, Rapp understood immediately, and turned to wait for May and Skitzo who were waving back to Lucky as they Jogger took off on her own path.

“Hewascute, but not like Mossy cute.”

“Ugh, bugs are bugs. All icky. Even you, even though you're not AS icky.”

“I'll take that asacompliment?”

“Hehe. May, you'll never change. But I will congratulate you on a great battle. You're doing so well with crippling Pokemon with that scream of yours. We just need to work on getting you a long range attack. But, and I'm sure I am not the only to notice, but how did you stop that attack?”

“I don't know!” May replied as she began heading with the others. “I was trying really hard not to get hit by that Cutting move, because each one almost doubled in power. That fourth one would have done me in. I just thought really hard about just disabling it, and suddenly it happened!”

“Disable huh? You think you could do it again if you had to?” Rapp asked. She nodded while rubbing her right arm.

“We'll have an opportunity to test it, I know it. That move will come in handy real soon. Meanwhile, let's keep up with Mossy and Zent. He says Zent is rooting for water, so when she finds water, we'll find the fountain.”

“Or you could, you know, look east and see those white rocks.” Wyrm replied lazily. Rapp looked up and then followed his instruction. Sure enough there were a slew of large boulders to the east. Approaching them were Mossy and that burrow, but the burrow seemed to be zigzagging, as if there was something new that caught the little one's interest.

The rest of the party trotted a bit to catch up to Mossy, and they all reached the lake together. Its surface was frozen-making for an interesting moment of reduced friction for Wyrm as he tried to slither across it. As Wyrm made his way back to the group, May still seemed to be recovering from her battle, rubbing her arms.

"It's a bit chilly out here. The lake is frozen, but why are BUGS STILL RUNNING ABOUT?"

"It was as nervous of you as you were of it, May."

"It's cold yes, but I'm sure she'll show up. Besides, Zent's not even phased. She's even rooting under the snow for ...what are you looking for?" Rapp asked, unsure what the answer could be. Mossy stopped looking at the map to see what she would come up with. In a fluff of snow and dirt, the Larvitar popped up and held up her empty hands.

"NOMS!"

“Ahh, to be so young and hungry.” Wyrm replied, slithering atop a rock, but still hissing at the lack of warmth provided.

“Cynical Dratini day?” May retorted, looking at Wyrm. Wyrm wriggled in a weird manner, his version of a shoulder shrug. But his attention shifted, as did Mossy's. Rapp turned, hearing an erratic set of sounds. His vision revealed a plethora of Pokemon heading his way, led by a woman. He fixed the parka on his shoulders a bit and the group all edged a bit closer to each other-except Zent.

She waved to everyone and broke the silence. “Hi! Sorry I took so long, I hope you had no trouble getting here.”

“Oh no. Mossy is pretty good at reading maps. Had a battle to keep us warm, well, least May did. “

"Bugs are ICKY!" she immediately replied.

"Hey now.Wearen'tickyatall!" Skitzo retorted. May still gave her a raspberry, but Skitzo smiled. “Diva.”

Gabi spied the Nincada, and nodded. “I see your team has a new member?”

“Oh yes. Skitzo. She joined us not too long ago. May is still trying to get used to her. And how is your team doing? “

“Skitzo? Interesting name. She reminds me of another Nincada I met before. My team is fine, though I must admit we're all getting anxious over the situation with the Black Dragon.” As she finished, one of her Pokemon spoke up. All eyes went to the purple-hued forked tail foxlike creature.

“I'm not getting anxious! We'll stop him before he knows what hit him. “

“OK, we're all getting anxious but Caledor is pretending not to.“ Gabi retorted.

“Hey! Don't make my job harder!“ he replied. Gabi's gaze turned back to Rap and his group to see a string of confused faces.

“Black....Dragon” Rapp asked? Just then Gabi's feet were covered in the upheaval of snow and earth, as Zent raised up both hands. In their grasp was a plethora of small creatures, wriggling around for freedom.

“Soupy Noms?!”

Whaa..Zent NO! She doesn't want a worm!” He quickly strode forward and regained his footing in order to attempt lifting her. As he held her up, he turned to Caledor. “Black Dragon? Job harder?” Gabi blinked, genuinely surprised at his nonchalant answering to Caledor's comments.

You can understand him?” As soon as her statement finished, the Ninetales strode forward, snaking his neck so he could line his sight with Gabi's. “Considering he's an Espeon, he should be able to make it so that anyone could understand him. If he weren't...you know....the world's worst psychic.”

“Understand who? The purple one that just said “Hey! Don't make my job harder?” Yeah, I just started being able to hear them in human speech. It's amazing, really.

“I can use telepathy.” Caledor interjected, leering at Hero. “And...oh, really? Cool! Wait, human speech? I wonder what I'd sound like if I spoke Human.”

“It's called English, you know.” Tsunami interjected, stretching out slightly. “Humans use many different languages.”

Caledor shook his head, and slighted his eyes. “I know that, I was just being silly. You should learn how to have some fun.” Caledor replied. “You're too tense.”

Gabi raised her fingers to her forehead, rubbing her temples slightly. “Please don't start it now, you three.” An audible exhale was heard, before all attention focused on her. “Sorry. They're quite hard to keep in check. I've told you about the Black Dragon before, when we met at the mountains. But you weren't feeling very well, maybe you don't remember.”

“No, no. I recall parts. Something about it trying to break through some sort of barrier. Also remember a hiker telling me about it. But I am vague on specifics. How do you know its there again?” Rapp asked, pondering his own journey and how these might intersect.

“It took us years to track him down, but we've gathered bits of information in different ways, and during our last recon mission almost everyone encountered his demons, so that's a dead giveaway. We also found something that can help us stop him, but we still need to find a way to keep him away from it while we set up the trap. Oh, and to make things worse, there have been reports of chaos magic leaking out of the barrier recently, so it seems like his efforts are succeeding.”

“Magic you say? What can this...magic do?” He inquired, curious and wary.

“As far as we know? Just about anything. Or, rather, we don't really know what it may do. The big problem is that it's chaotic, it behaves in different ways all the time.“

“Funny.” was Rapp's initial reply. Gabi looked at him with a concerned gaze. For a slight second, there was a hint of a smile on his face, and his tone slightly deepened. “In a strange way, I'd like to see it.”

“But...we don't know what it might do to you again?” Wyrm replied, coiling a bit tighter. Rapp looked up, losing the smirk and shrugged. “Still. Might be a deeper way in.”

“I know a member of the MTU who can make it through the barrier and has been on the other side several times. He has confirmed the popular knowledge that it's very dangerous, which is also what Scott used to say. Scott being Scott McHenry, the Dragon Master who went missing years ago.”

“MTU... I'm assuming you mean the Mercenary Trainers Union?”

“Yes, exactly.” Gabi stated. “And it seems to be even more dangerous now that some of the Black Dragon's demons are inside, or at least that's what a friend of mine said. They seem to be channeling that magic to possess Pokemon. But having someone inside might be the only way to keep the Black Dragon occupied while the trap is being set.”

“Well then, you all need someone who is inside. Where's the guy you've had on the inside before?”

“He's still around... I believe he's tending to his Houndoom, whom he recently recovered from a demon's grasp. We do have a way to reverse the possession, which is an advantage on our side, but the demons are still a problem we have to deal with. I'll work on holding them at bay when we launch our attack. Anyway, this guy... Ian is his name... He's still looking for his missing Flareon, but his father, who's the second among the Soldiers of the Griffin, has ordered him to stay away from the mountains. I have no idea what they may be up to, nor the Order of the Dragon for that matter, but in any case it's clear that they haven't managed to stop the Black Dragon yet.”

“Well then. It is fortunate that I am headed back to the Forbidden mountains, for...personal reasons. I guess I'll keep my eyes out for anything.” Rapp crossed his arms, realizing the magnitude of the situation he was now partially involved in.

“Really? Wow, this is too good to be a coincidence. I mean... a few days ago I would have warned you to wait until this was all over, but the situation has become too dire. I can only warn you to be careful, and to get out and call for help if anything goes wrong. Oh, and I should talk to Amy about this. Her Dragonite Talut is a direct descendant of the original Indraugnir, who fought in the big war that led to the Sundering. He can get through the barrier too, so he may be able to help you. Amy works with me at the Dragon Tamers... Whenever her back allows her to work.”

Rapp nodded, and looked over his crew once more. They all seemed a little less than thrilled about it all, but that was par for the course. “I see. Well, we will be heading out within the next day or so-taking the train again.”

“I don't see WHY I have to go hike those mountains again, and now since its even colder than last time, my skin is going to get so flaky and dry!”

“Same old story...”

”We go bak to big pwace wif good noms? Yes pleez!”

“Be careful, little one. It's a dangerous place, you can't afford to get distracted.” Zent turned to spy Hero, who seemed awfully cautious at that moment.

Dis-twact-ded?

“Just be careful and keep away from danger.” He stated, before falling silent.

Rapp heeded the warning better than Zent and took a moment to recall anything else he might need to know. In a flash, a pressing thought revealed itself and he blurted it out as fast as he could. “Wait. Sundering? Wait Wait Wait. What do you know of that?”

“Not a lot... As you may have noticed from my accent I'm not from around here, but I've heard some stories over the last 11 years, especially when Scott was around. There was a huge war during which magic was badly abused, and in the end it turned against everyone. Some wizards managed to contain what was left of it within the Forbidden Mountains, but not before most elves were wiped off the face of Earth.”

“There goes those words again. "Elves" and "wiped off the face of Earth." Always together too."

"Maybe it is not worth the risk. You may be one of the on-""-MAY!"

"If you want to know more, you can try asking Teclis at the White Tower of Hoeth. I believe he was around when that happened. He was one of the few survivors. Lord Absol too, but I wouldn't advise anyone to go to him for information. Getting to Teclis may be tricky, but once you've passed whatever test he sets up for you, he's usually willing to help."

Gabi took a short breath after that statement and rubbed her hands together to warm them up.

“Teclis. I'll do good to remember that. We met someone that gathered a few things about that event for us a few weeks ago. I'll need to make a trip myself, there's too many pieces of this puzzle for me to put together. Got to start from the edges. I'll take note of what happens while I'm there.”

“Sounds like a good idea. And don't worry... Wyrm, right? Talking to me about elves won't cause you any trouble.”

Rapp and co. took a moment to process what she was saying.

”You know more about them?”

“I have met both Teclis and Lord Absol, and also at least 2 humans with elven blood. When I first saw your trainer, I thought he might be an elf, but I wasn't sure so I didn't bring up the subject directly. I'm far from an expert, though.”

She explained this calmly, so to allow the group to relax.

"Well...we are going to the mountains to find out."

"Yeah...we have a feeling that Rapp will be able to figure it out there. But you mentioned something about the barrier being entered by that dragon...would that mean I could enter?”

“I don't know. It's more a matter of heritage than species. Lagi is a Dragonite and she can't go through. I suppose you'll have to find out once you get there.”

"Can...elves go through?"

Yes, as far as I know.

“Hrm.”

Side glances were exchanged between Mossy and Rapp, before May took over the conversation again. “Wow, so we might actually get somewhere.”

“Maybe May. Maybe. We have work cut out for us, but this is invaluable information. Thanks for everything.”

“No problem. I must thank you for offering to help. If there's anything I can do for you, don't hesitate to let me know. “

"Sure. Come on guys. Let's go find a place to eat and then we'll head out!"

"OK, I'll let you know as soon as I've talked to the others, so that we all head for the mountains around the same time, and also to see if Talut can go with you. Let's stay in touch."

Alright then. I'll be in town for a few days. Thinking I might just stick around and battle a few more folks, just to get better at it.

She nodded.

“You and Mossjito did a great job at the Games, but training always helps.”

"Yeah. We've recently realized a great disparity in Mossy versus everyone else in terms of abilities, and I feel they kinda need to catch up. Or at least have more versatility."

“I see. Yes, that definitely makes sense.”

“Well, I have your number...and I'm sure I better feed this brood. I'll be around, so whenever you all decide to head out, let me know.”

“I will, thanks!”

With the meeting over, the two parties headed toward their different paths. Rapp trudged on out the park, as eager as everyone to quickly find some warmth and shelter. In the back of his mind, all the new information he received began to eat at him. Could he really enter this mythical barrier? Could Wynd enter it? Most importantly of all, would they be ready and able to deal with a dragon attack if it came down to it? The menagerie of Pokemon he had by his side were diverse, but they were all young. Inexperienced. Just like himself.

But they were all willing to run through this with him. So why not try! He smirked to himself and allowed his thoughts to clear as they all went to find some noms.

End of Ch 1

Skye
20th November 2012, 01:46 PM
Short Stories…

"So, in essence," Skye was crouched down, talking to Darker who was sporting a new blue coat. "Sunny Day, despite being a day attack, will make Moonlight even more powerful. Because the moonlight is just reflected sunlight. And the moon's always up somewhere, and so is the sun, so it works. Somehow… I'm really not sure."

"That's reassuring," Darker sighed, "I just love to operate on theories…"

"That's the theory, anyway," the trainer perked up. "And Solar Beam fits in there somehow too. Maybe it should be called a Lunar Beam if it's at night… And Sunny Night? Cloudless Night? Moon Power…" Skye was obviously lost, trying to figure out what she should call Sunny Day. Duo couldn't stop laughing as the poor woman got lost and confused.

"Don't make up names," Darker growled.

"We'll figure something out," Skye offered the canine a pat on the head, as if to reassure her that everything would be alright. Darker honestly didn't believe for a moment that it would be, but everything seemed to simply fall into place for the human. Luck, skill, or karma, the last few days with the human had been interesting. Shandar's constant outbursts were as terrible as ever, but Skye had pulled through and loaded the team up with various attacks which would give any of them a feather, hoof, or paw up over the beast if worse came to worse.

Still, Eclipse was the only one who seemed capable of really putting a dent in the creature, not that Darker had personally seen the Ponyta show much backbone outside of a fight. From what she had heard, however, the two oldest (and sanest) members of the team worked decently well with Skye in combat. And yet, no one could speak to the human. It was really annoying.

"Anyway! It's time to head out. I heard about a gathering outside of town, a quick rally for fights. It's really impromptu, but Eclipse could use some more training and the rest of you can come watch!"

"I think Eclipse is the one who least requires more training, personally," Darker murmured.

"Doesn't she deserve it more? We're still the rookies," Duo chirped innocently.

"It's the way things are," Shadow's tail dangled from a branch he was lounging out against. "We'll each get training until we evolve. It's simply rather fortunate, or unfortunate, that Ponyta are slow to change."

"And for what?" Darker barked in response. "A horn?"

Eclipse pretended she wasn't there, browsing over the grass in the open area. She could pretend all she wanted, however, Darker could still see one of the mare's ears cocked towards them, listening.

"And you'll get a tail and two more horns," Shadow yawned. "I won't be able to stick a coin on my forehead anymore and I'll get a gem. Duo will get more feathers. Evolution is a goal, not the end game."

"It's about the strength and wisdom. And the fact that this team is highly unbalanced. The "strongest members" are a filly who can't speak up for herself and a lunatic serpent who bashes everything with his head."

"Door's that-a-way," Shadow flicked his tail towards the distant forest. "No one needs someone who can't learn patience."

"Guys?" Skye looked concerned, glancing between the snarling Houndour and a very unhappy Meowth. "Cats and dogs, I get it, but can we go? I don't want to miss out."

"Right…" Darker let her hackles relax. Despite her complaints, Skye had expanded her and Duo's knowledge far beyond what it once had been. Though she suspected that the girl had a bit of a gambling problem, luck continued to swing in her way and she came out with new TMs, Stamps, and anything else she could get her hands on. That, or they were swimming in debt and didn't know it. Perhaps even Skye didn't know it.

The trip was a short one, with Duo perched on Darker's skull dome and Shadow atop of Eclipse's haunches, they must have been a sight to behold. But so many other trainers had their own Pokémon out that the only odd glances received were by those who weren't used to a shiny Houndour, a black Meowth, and a strange mix of black and pastel colors that Eclipse was. Only Duo looked normal, but he was the one who found everything amusing, and was probably the most mentally gone from the group, sans Shandar.

"Looking for a fight!" Skye called and the first challenger and his Voltorb met her call. Shadow slid from the mare's back and landed effortlessly at Skye's feet to observe the battle. Not to be outdone, the hound followed to sit on the trainer's other side once the challengers had taken their stances.


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv. 22 vs. Voltorb Lv.22

"A Voltorb! That's uh… uh…" Skye was apparently quite lost as to the exact typing of a Voltorb.

"Charge!" the opposing trainer said, and the explosive ball began to glow heatedly with electric energy, crackling as it prepared itself.

"Toxic!" Skye countered. While situating its own electric powers for the next strike, Eclipse had ample time to cough up a disgusting ball of ooze which sank into the creatures pores, assuming that it had any. It certainly wasn't resistant to the sludge, even cringing at the nasty feeling.

"Charge Beam!" the trainer instructed, not seeming all that disturbed by what had just happened.

"Flame Charge!" Skye countered.

Eclipse began to pound her hooves into the dirt, stimulating her legs and heating up muscles as a fiery blaze swept over her very being. Once fully powered, she lunged towards the opponent to ram it, and it in turn waited until she was just close enough to zap her with a ray of power overflowing with electrical energy. Eclipse yelped in pain from the shock, dancing back with an angry shake of her head as the Voltorb spun out of control momentarily from the impact. Again she pawed at the ground, seeming rather off put by the entire thing.

"Flamethrower!" Skye called.

"Charge!" the other trainer simply grinned.

With the advantage this time, Eclipse reared back, drawing from deep within to summon a powerful stream of flames, unleashed from a focal point just within her mouth. The Voltorb, instead of attacking, simply glowed with its electrical energy, hardly seeming to flinch from the onslaught of flames. Darker narrowed her eyes, wondering why it had seemed more affected by being struck with a Flame Charge as opposed to the much more potent Flamethrower.

"Sunny Day!" their trainer was obviously thrown off by this entire mess of a battle.

"Charge Beam!" he all but laughed, as if he could see that he would win this battle.

As could be expected, Eclipse turned her attention skyward, rather than paying heed to her opponent. A bright ball of energy formed as her mouth opened once again, but instead of releasing it at the opponent, she shot the orb towards the sun. If the orb ever touched the sun, Darker would never know, but seeing a Sunny Day in action made her shiver with excitement as the ball of energy amplified the sun's intensity within quite the range, bathing the battlefield in a piercing light. Voltorb hardly seemed to notice, though it was obviously in increasing amounts of pain as it shot another beam of eclectic energy towards Eclipse, causing her to wince again as she did her best to endure the heavy hit.

"Charge again!" the man chuckled. "Even a Sunny Day won't pierce through now!"

"Now I get it," Darker murmured, causing Shadow and Duo to glance at the Houndour.

"Hm?" the Meowth flicked his tail.

"What's there to get?" Duo tilted his head, leaning forward to peer down at the Houndour.

"Charge doesn't just make the attacks stronger. It increases their defenses as well. And Charge Beam increases the power of the attacks…"

"Good," Shadow purred.

"How is that good? Skye obviously hasn't got a clue and Eclipse isn't thinking for herself!" Darker growled. "This is bad."

"Morning Sun!" Skye called out, oblivious to her Pokémon's conversation.

Eclipse ignored how the Voltorb took to glowing once again, her eyes closing as a peaceful aura enveloped the Ponyta. Dark fur and pastel violet and blue flames faded in the glory of her healing technique, bolstered by the sunlight, she stood strong and tall, her tail whipping back and forth casually. The other trainer let out a whistle at this combination, nearly opposite of what Skye had given to Darker quite recently. In theory, Moonlight and Morning Sun would work in much the same way as it did now, and the Houndour also knew that the Ponyta could use Solarbeam on a whim now that the sun's light shone radiantly.

"Because Eclipse is the best endurance fighter on the team right now," Shadow grinned, showing fangs. "And she has always been, even before she ever listened to Skye. She might be a bit slow for a human, but she learns."

"Flame Wheel!"

"Try to stop it with Sonicboom!" the trainer looked a bit less certain now that Skye was pushing the physical attacks.

Darker had failed to notice how strained and tired the Voltorb looked. Usually, bolstering one's defenses was a good thing, but it didn't have a healing move to make up for the increasing amounts of damage it had been taking. It still rattled, spinning quickly on the ground to generate the power needed to unleash a shockwave just as Eclipse closed the gap between them once again. A Flame Charge was enough to speed her up, but not to keep her from being able to strike before the opponent could generate its own attack. The blazing fire which had surrounded her during her charge didn't even flicker as the shockwave struck, though she came to stagger after her blow had landed, red and orange flames fading as she panted. Voltorb had rolled to its side as the poisonous spew which had been sent at it before the fight took its toll and ended the battle.


Eclipse won and grew to level 23!

"Ah, good fight!" the man recalled his Voltorb. "We'll have to get Rain Dance to keep that from happening again."

"It's a new combination," Skye scratched the back of her head with a light laugh before she made her way to Eclipse and offered the spent mare a tidbit from her pocket. Darker still pondered over the victory

"Damn it!" someone else called from nearby. Most of the gathering, including Skye and Voltorb's trainer, glanced towards the direction of the shout. A man had just recalled his defeated Pokémon, and a Growlithe stood with his tail held high, wagging it like a flag of victory.

"Too bad all of these battle areas are so close together," the Growlithe's trainer commented. "Not that you would have won even if we hadn't used Sunny Day to our advantage. Whose attack was that, by the way?"

Skye blushed and looked at Eclipse, who looked just as baffled by the entire thing.

"That would be us," she decided to finally fess up, earning a few scathing glances. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb anyone else's battle!"

"Shit happens. At least you didn't flood the area with a Surf or froze everyone with a Blizzard!" the other woman laughed.

"Bah," the defeated man decided to take his leave.

"You've got Fire types too! They're my favorite, especially in the sun. Care to have a go?" inquired the other trainer.

"I suppose. Are you feeling up to round two, Eclipse?" Skye looked at the mare, who simply nodded eagerly.

"Sure, then!"

"Quickly, before the Sunny Day fades!"


http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2984/ponytaa.png
Eclipse Lv. 23 vs. Growlithe Lv.23

"Growlithe, use Crunch!"

"Double Kick, Eclipse!" Skye countered.

The canine leapt up, fangs gleaming wickedly as he sought his mark on Eclipse. The mare spun quickly, still heated from her last battle, and struck the canine hard with her hind hooves, each impacting in his chest powerfully enough to send him flying back, effectively ending the attack before it could even begin.

"Hah, not bad! Leer, Growlithe!"

"Give it a Stomp!"

Growlithe, still a bit behind Eclipse in terms of speed, stood his ground as the Ponyta dashed towards him. His eyes shone red in that moment, a sinister glow which caused obvious hesitation in Eclipse, though she was far too wild of a battler to give up that easily, and reared up to bring her hooves down on Growlithe. He yelped in pain, the attacks already starting to take their toll.

"Now Crunch, don't let her get away!"

Jaws snapped fast, and Darker winced as Eclipse let out a pained sound, glowing fangs sinking into the upper portion of her foreleg deep. She reared, bucked, and threw herself this way and that in an attempt to dislodge the Pokémon who had taken his previous blow just to get in close. Skye openly winced, hesitating a moment before calling out her next attack.

"Solarbeam!" Darker balked at the notion.

Eclipse began to form a focal point for her next attack, aimed point blank at the Growlithe's face. Before his trainer could call him off, the beam exploded outward, ripping him free and sending him flying. The attack itself, despite not being very effective, held quite the punch, and Skye took advantage of this.

"Hidden Power!" she called out an attack which Eclipse hadn't practiced much. Darker wondered what the element could be. It could very well change the tide of the battle, for a Growlithe had many weaknesses.

What came next was far from expectation. Eclipse appeared as though she was charging again, not forming orbs like Shadow would. The Ponyta seemed to split into two, then, a more transparent form of herself dashing forward. Eclipse drew up short at that, watching as her phantom form, dark in color as she was, began to spiral into a sphere, losing its form just before impacting Growlithe, disabling him and winning the battle.

"What element was that?" Darker wondered.

"What attack was that?" Shadow sounded rather disturbed.

"What's for dinner?" Duo sighed. Darker shook her head.


Eclipes won and grew to level 24! She learned Fire Spin!

"The best part about this is," Skye grinned. "We'll be here for a while. So will the other trainers. So we can come back to the gathering until something new comes up."

"How convenient," Darker murmured as Eclipse returned to the group. "Good battling."

"Oh… Thank you…" the mare turned her head away as if shy, though she was truly setting Darker in her sights politely. The hound couldn't even begin to understand a Pokémon who had her eyes set on either side of her head, but despite the oddity, she offered a light wag of her tail before Skye realized that it was time to eat and began rushing them home in a hurry, least they miss anything.


… Are Short!

I'd like to buy two more battles for Eclipse my level 24 Ponyta from the Universal Adoption Center, please. *pays 14 Stamps*

classy_cat18
20th November 2012, 04:14 PM
I think the limit is still one a week, Skye. For now, Eclipse will battle a Kabuto.

Skye
20th November 2012, 05:28 PM
Oh yeah, my bad xD I'm having a terrible week. Thanks.

Lady Vulpix
22nd November 2012, 11:00 AM
DL, I'm rating your battle (sorry for the delay, I'm too busy these days).

I haven't finished it yet, but I must point out that Poisonpowder doesn't work on paralyzed Pokemon. You may want to fix that part.

By the way, did Rapp steal a parka from the Training Grounds?

DarkestLight
22nd November 2012, 07:04 PM
O.o we following the one status rule here? I can fix that.

And as for the parka......no...........he wouldn't dare.

Lady Vulpix
24th November 2012, 08:40 PM
Ah, good. OK, please let me know when you've edited it so I can rate the final version.

DarkestLight
26th November 2012, 09:14 PM
Done.

Lady Vulpix
27th November 2012, 05:25 AM
Thanks, DL!

That was an interesting battle. The part where you and I interacted was hard to rate, but I ignored my own parts and did what I could with the rest.

OK, a few more questions.

What's a green shaped fan? It sounds like a green fan that has been given a shape, but that doesn't make much sense.

And what's the black dot after "might be a deeper way in"?

When you say "Could Wynd enter it?", is that Wyndryde?

Take 21 stamps for your story, plus 6 for the wait! (I'm not counting the days I waited for you to edit, because it would be unfair since I was the one who was on hold and couldn't finish rating in the meantime). That's a total of 27 stamps!
:yes:¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Skye, I haven't forgotten you, I'm just very busy these days. And apparently so is everyone else. :rolleyes: Your story will be rated by one of us within the next few days.

DarkestLight
27th November 2012, 08:02 PM
1) Yeah I was referencing Zent's tail. When it splays out, it looks like a green fan. That looks like a rough edit idea that never made it out of the main story (I get images in my head, and just jot them down randomly, then when I come across them, I write them in the story.)

2) http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/images/editor/menupop.gif <--That's what it is. No idea how or why it got there.

3) Yes, Wynd is Wyndryde, that mysterious Absol. Who knows if we'll see him again?

27 stamps, and yeah I wasn't banking on the edit days. Sweet, almost time for a shopping spree.

classy_cat18
3rd December 2012, 05:24 PM
Sorry for the wait, Skye. Take 19 Stamps for your story, plus 6 for the wait. Duo's cute.

Lady Vulpix
16th January 2013, 04:45 PM
I got here first and I'm struggling with a doctoral thesis! What's going on with everyone? http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=983&stc=1&d=1321447981

Anyway, story time! This is my introduction for the current scenario. The next part, which will be written when I can find the time, should contain the actual battles.

ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø

<Glice's POV>

It was a cold, snowy morning; the kind that reminded me of my old home on the Icy Mountains in Bei. It's weird, I thought. I used to be in a rush to leave my homeland and see what else was out there, and now I can't wait to get back. Turns out that 'out there' isn't all it's cracked up to be, and being stuck here for so long is just... I couldn't find the words to finish that sentence. I looked out the window. It was still snowing. I wanted to play in the snow, but how? I'm trapped, I thought to myself. One way or another, I'm always trapped. And what is worse, my own body's my prison now.

I turned to look at my pinniped friend, who was still snoozing peacefully and - judging by the look on his face - having an interesting dream which might or might not be his own.

"You're the luckiest one of us all," I said in a hushed voice. "No prison can ever hold you."
"Did you just say something?" a voice from behind startled me.

I turned around to find Sol, the Vulpix whose eyes made me think of storm clouds.

"Where did you come from?" I asked her.
"Caledor Forest," she replied, "both originally and most recently. I walked in about an hour ago; Glyph opened the door for me."
"Glyph is such an early bird..." Orknye spoke out, stirring. "Light sleeper too. That really helped when we were standing guard at White Mountain. Me, on the other fin... it takes at least a lively conversation by my side to wake me up. Like the one you guys have just provided. Not that I mind, chatting with friends is always fun."
"Could it be that you're so hard to wake because you have so much fun dreaming you just don't want to stop?" I asked him.
"Hmm... Maybe," he admitted. "But I can still have fun while I'm awake. Just... before I forget, does anyone know what 'I cannot explain, but that by itself may serve as an explanation' means?"
"What?" I asked.
"That sounds like something Harims would say," Sol commented.
"That's right," Orknye nodded, while I wondered what fun he could possibly find in talking to Harims.
"I'm afraid I would need to know the context in order to understand that," Sol told him. "What did you ask her?"
"We were having a casual talk about angels in different cultures..."
"You can't have a casual talk with Harims," I remarked. "Getting water from a stone would be easier."
"It is really hard," Sol agreed. "But I think she enjoys having someone to talk to, as hard as it may be. I'm sure she appreciates the effort." Then she mumbled something which sounded like "I know I would".
"Like I would appreciate not being interrupted when I'm talking," Orknye pointed out.
"Oh! Sorry," Sol lowered her head an tails, ending up in a position that made her look almost like a ball.
"It wasn't you, it was Glice who interrupted me."
"Oh," I said. "Sorry, do go on."
"Anyway, you both know how much Glyph loves mythology, right? Well, he often talks to me about the things he has read or heard, and he once read that angels have no free will according to some major Earth religions, so I asked her about it."
"About angels in Earth's religions or... no, you asked about Harims herself, didn't you?" Sol ventured.
"Yes, I did," said Orknye. "How did you know?"
"It was the only question that would make her answer make sense. What you quoted about explanations... That was her answer, right?"
"Not exactly. She said she first said the theory was partially right and partially wrong, and something about there being both freedom and constraints. Then I asked her what her constraints were, and that's when she said she could not explain but that by itself could be considered an explanation."
"Well, of course," said Sol.
"Am I missing something really obvious?" asked Orknye.
"She just told you what we already knew. She can't speak freely, whatever the reason may be. But it's good to know that she at least has some choices and isn't just a pawn of some higher power."
"You seem to give a lot of thought to the idea of being controlled by outside forces," I commented. "I've heard you mention it before."
"It's just that it would be horrible... to know that your choices aren't really yours... that everything you do - everything you will ever do - has been laid out for you by someone else! It's the worst torture I can imagine!"
"Then stop imagining it," said Orknye. "Why hurt yourself with thoughts of some horror that isn't real?"
"Because, for the longest time..." Sol sighed. "Never mind, forget I said anything."
"Come on, Sol, you're among friends here," Orknye encouraged her. "If anything is troubling you, we're here to help."
"Thanks, I appreciate that," said Sol. "I really do. But you're right, I should try to stop thinking about it. Going over it again to explain it won't do me any good."
"OK... Just know that if you ever want to talk, I will listen."
"Thank you," Sol smiled. It looked like a shy, almost sad smile, but it was good coming from someone who rarely made that gesture.
"So... Are you joining our team for good this time?" asked Orknye.
"I don't know," Sol replied. "I prefer not to make any long-term plans because either I don't know what's going to happen in the long run, or worse, I do."
"How is knowing worse?" asked Orknye. "Even if it's a bad thing, knowing can help you be better prepared for it."
"Unless there's only so much you can do to prepare yourself, and the anticipation only hurts you. Besides... Never mind, you wouldn't understand."
"Try me."
"Were you shunned by your own family for being a freak?"
"Er... Yes, sort of," Orknye revealed.
Sol gasped. "I'm sorry... I had no idea."
"It's OK... It was like a lifetime ago. I have a better family now, and we're all freaks here."
"I see... Is there room in your family for a freak who can't even get along with herself?"
"I wish you'd learn to treat yourself better," replied Orknye. "But as far as I'm concerned, you're more than welcome to stay here with us. You'll have to ask Eshree, but I'm sure he'll be OK with it. You were a great guide for us when we first got here."
"Which was ages ago..." I stated.
"Is there a problem?" asked Sol.
"Not with you, no. I was just wondering if we're going to stay here for ever, or if we'll return home at some point. Orknye here doesn't have a problem because he can go wherever he wants in his dreams, but I'm a lot more limited."
"Anyone can go anywhere in their dreams," Orknye pointed out. "It's not the same as being physically there, and I must admit there are a few things I miss... but if we went back there would be a lot of things I'd miss about here too. I'm fine as long as we're all together."
"What if we can't all be together?" I asked him.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean... I haven't made a decision yet, but I've been thinking about leaving. I have nothing against you guys, you're all great. But traveling hasn't turned out to be what I expected, and most of the time we're stuck in Sector Alpha, and I'm... I'm a hard ball with horns, there's no better way to put it. There isn't much I can do to have fun. I can't even go out on short exploration trips like I used to do in Bei."
"Have you tried the MTU computer?" Orknye suggested.
"A computer is not my idea of fun," I told him. "I miss having legs."
"Yes, legs are quite useful," he agreed. "I miss my old land form too. But my water form wasn't so different from this one, so I can still have fun swimming."
"Well, I can't," I remarked. "I'd like to go back home and tell the tales of the things I've seen, even if no one would believe me. It would be great if we could all go together, but I'll understand if the rest of you would rather stay here. I'm not going to leave you guys while the Black Dragon's still a threat... I'd feel guilty if anything happened to one of you while there's any chance I could have done something to help it. But once this is over... I think I'll be leaving."
"You seem to have made up your mind," Orknye said.
"Not completely, but... I think I will. I've already stayed here long enough. I'll miss you guys a lot, but I want to go back."
"OK... I wasn't really expecting this after all this time, but if it's what you want... We can still stay in touch you know. You and me, at least."

There was silence for a while. I didn't know what to say. I felt like I was tearing our group apart... our 'family', like Orknye called it. But I had tried to make the current arrangement work for years and it really wasn't working for me. It wasn't long before Glyph came trotting into the room.

"Good morning everyone," he greeted us. "Good to see you're all awake. We... is there something wrong?"
"Glice wants to go home," Orknye blurted out. I didn't think I was ready to tell Glyph just yet.
"Oh..." Glyph said, looking at me. He was quiet fora while and then added: "I can't say it's completely unexpected. Things have taken some really weird turns since you joined us, and I couldn't... You didn't get what you wanted. I tried to make it up to you, but it turns out I'm not really good at that."
"It's not your fault," I told him.
"It is. Partly, at least. When I first met you, I thought you were just what we needed. I even thought we were what you needed, but I was wrong about that. I offered you something and then I couldn't hold up my end of the deal."
"Can you see the future?" I asked him.
"A little bit," he answered. "About 2 seconds at a time, and only the immediate future."
"Then there's no way you could have foreseen any of this. We didn't come here until over a year after I joined you. And it was a great year; I don't regret any of it. And we've done some great things here too, and the things you said Eshree could do for me... he really did. I have learnt a lot and become much stronger: strong enough to go traveling on my own once I get back home, and I owe that to you. All of you. You did hold up your end of the deal, and I must thank you for that. If time somehow went back to the day we met, I'd join you again. But right now... the situation has changed. My needs have changed. If you guys ever decide to go back home, I'll be glad to join you again. Even if you come for a short visit, it will be great. I just don't feel comfortable staying here much longer."
"I understand," Glyph nodded. "I can help you get back after we've told the others. And I'll try to pay you a visit someday soon."
"I don't want to go right away," I told him. "I'll help you guys deal with the Black Dragon. It's the least I can do. After that, if we all make it out of that one alive, then I'd like to go home."
"OK," Glyph smiled. "We can do that. Thank you."
"No... thanks to you."
"I hate to crush your emotional moment," said Sol. "But isn't there a Guild meeting this morning? I wouldn't want to miss it. And... does it smell like French toast?"
"You have a good nose," said Glyph.
"Not the best, but it does help sometimes," she replied.
"Eshree's just finished making breakfast," Glyph said. "That's what I was coming to tell you. We can eat and then go to the Guild meeting. I've already talked to him and he said you can come with us. But... did I tell you about the meeting? I intended to wait until I got a confirmation from Eshree."
Sol took a deep breath and lower her head. "I'm sorry, I did it again. Sometimes I don't even realize when I'm doing it."
"You have nothing to apologize for," Glyph told her. "Come on, breakfast is ready."

------------------------------

<Amber's POV>

"Is this some kind of punishment?" Gabi complained, facing the computer.
"What is it?" I asked, turning to look. She was checking her e-mails.
"Lady Ninetales wants us... well, me... to research Pokemon with more than one brain. She suspects that the separate brains interact in different ways on different Pokemon. How am I even supposed to research that? We rarely get to see one of those, let alone enough to get any significant data. And I'm supposed to see how their brains interact? How?!"
"Well, if it helps..." said Spark, who was perching on the back of the couch "I know one case where two brains are less useful than one. But he used to have just one brain before he evolved and it wasn't any good either. Or do Weezings have just one brain? They have two faces, but I don't know what's on the inside."
"I must admit it's an interesting question," I said.
"I'm not going to cut open a Weezing's head to find out," Gabi remarked. "Not even that one, sorry, Spark."
"I didn't expect you would," he said.
"Of course we're not going to cut a living Pokemon's head... or heads," I agreed. "But someone must have studied some corpses before. Maybe you can search the Internet for some information? At least to find out what Pokemon have two brains and which ones have two faces but only one brain."
"Because the Internet is so reliable," Gabi rolled her eyes.
"Some websites are," I insisted. "Come on, you've searched for scientific papers online before. You can do it again."
"Have I mentioned I find this subject disgusting?" Gabi admitted. "Not to mention I tend to get grossed out when watching sliced organs. Blood I have no problem with, but exposed guts and brains make me nauseous."
"You should tell her, then," I suggested. "I'm sure she can find a different subject for you to research."
"I'm a Universal Scholar. I won't be worthy of my title if I give up so easily."
"So it's a matter of pride?" I questioned her.
"It's more a matter of what she will think about me. I know you're going to say I've been doing this for years and she already knows me well enough, but... even though I've written some successful papers - with your help in most cases - and some not so good ones, I've never turned one down before I even tried. I'm sure she'll be disappointed if I do."
"Lately all I've done to help you is sit by your side, brainstorm a bit and make tea," I pointed out.
"Best kind of help I could use," Gabi smiled.
"So what are you going to do?" asked Spark.
"First, we'll go to the Guild meeting. I'll have to wake up Hero to ask him if he wants to come, I'm not looking forward to that but he'll get even angrier if we leave while he's sleeping. Then, after the meeting, I'll think about what to do with the paper. If we're lucky we'll manage to stop the Black Dragon before too long and I'll have plenty of time and energy to think of something. And if we're unlucky, the paper will be the least of our concerns. So... first things first."

It turns out Hero wasn't as cranky as we expected. He was quite excited that we were finally getting organized to do something useful. Still, when I asked him about his recent visit to the old forest, he seemed quite evasive, only saying things along the lines of "it was nice, everything went well, I should visit again sometime". It wasn't like him to avoid going into detail about anything regarding his own life, unless you asked him about something he found embarrassing. It made me wonder if something had made him embarrassed while he was in the forest.

"So... how are Scorch and Flame doing?" I asked him on our way to the Guild's HQ. "Are they still together?"
"Yes. They're still together and happy to know they have a grandson, although they wish he would visit them someday. He does live far away, but it's not like he can't find a way to come. His parents already have. And Scorch and Flame were mad that they didn't visit. Then again, that was probably Solitude's fault - I mean Sol's. She was the one who told them to go back home without taking any detours."
"OK, I get the idea," I told him. "What about the others?"
"Lake is doing great. She's become not only the leaders' right paw, but also a renowned storyteller. And we've given her plenty of new stories to tell. Strawberry's taken to agriculture, which sounded as weird to everyone else as it must sound to you now, but she seems to have a talent for it. Now the pack can enjoy plenty of berries at any time of the year. Ruby wasn't there at the time because she'd just found a mate and they were spending some time alone together. They're supposed to return, though. There were two young Vulpix girls I'd never met before, Lake and Dash's daughters and therefore Ray's sisters. They loved hearing about my adventures. And the twins' adventures too. Sol was the only one who didn't say much about the places she's been, and it's a pity because she's the one who's traveled the furthest, but you can't push her or she may break or something."
"She's very sensitive, but saying she could 'break' is offensive. Anyway, what else happened when you were there."
"We talked! What else did you expect?"
"I don't know... a little detail perhaps? Like... how did your old friends react when they saw you after all these years?"
"How did they react?... Well! I mean, they were surprised, of course. Curious... We're all adults, what did you expect?"
"I don't know what I expected, why do you keep asking me that?"
"Because you keep asking questions."
"That's what you normally do when you want to know about something. You're my friend, I'm interested in knowing about your life. Is there anything wrong with that?"
"Wrong?... No, of course there's nothing wrong with that. It's just... I thought I'd have to deal with Tsunami pestering me for information, not you."
"I'm not pestering you!"

At that moment I felt a light scratch on my back. I turned round to look and saw Tsunami gesturing to get my attention. I lowered my head to his level to listen.

"Don't worry," he whispered. "I have a better plan. A number of plans, really, in case one of them fails."
"I can hear you whispering," said Hero. "You must know I don't like my teammates plotting against me."
"No one's plotting against you," the Vaporeon assured.
"Then why are you whispering behind my back?"
"You don't want to tell us what happened in the forest, I don't have to tell you why I was whispering."
"Ah, so it's that kind of game! I've already told you what happened. We had a long conversation. You can't expect me to remember every word, right?"
"No, but at least the general idea," I told him.
"OK, let's drop it," Tsunami proposed. "He's not going to tell us what he doesn't want us to know."
"Why do you assume there's something I don't want you to know?" asked Hero.
"Because I know you," said Tsunami. "But it's OK. I won't push you."

We made it to the building before the argument could get any worse. We were the first ones to arrive, but everyone else who was expected showed up before too long. That was quite a relief: I was afraid we might not be ready for this, and our preparations had already taken way too long.

During the meeting, everyone got an assignment. We were heading for the mountain the next morning. Gabi's task was to summon as many trainers as possible - like in the old times - and to organize a huge diversion to keep the Black Dragon's demons occupied. I for one was glad not to be on the front lines this time, but I was worried about those who would have to get closer to the Black Dragon. Not that we could predict the Dragon's actions, for all we knew he could grow tired of us and decide to try and wipe us out himself. But it was much more likely that he'd focus on his main goal, which was to penetrate the barrier and obtain the power locked within it for himself; a really crazy goal considering that chaos magic - both by definition and historical data - cannot be controlled. Gabi was also left in charge of contacting Rapp - whom we had recently talked to and informed of our plan - to let him know when and where we would be, to give Talut the directions to find him and, once on site, to protect everyone else from harm and help anyone who did get hurt. Not an easy task, but we were sort of used to it by now. At least we had a good plan and we were all likely to make it back alive.

One the general talking was done and everyone had stood up, Gabi approached Alex and started talking to him. I still didn't feel very comfortable around him, so I followed Tsunami instead. He headed over to where Eshree's team was, and only then did I realize Sol was with them! She'd been sitting quietly under the table during the meeting.

"Hi there!" Tsunami greeted her. "Nice to see you."
"Really?" she asked. "Oh, sorry, I mean... It's nice to see you too."
"Thanks. And since they let you into this room, does it mean you're finally registered as a trained Pokemon? Or did they make a special exception in your case?"
"They... didn't really check," she replied. "They see Guild trainers walking in with a group of Pokemon and don't stop to check if there's an extra one. But I'm considering joining the team. I've already tried just about everything else I could do... Having a trainer could be interesting."
"I'm sure there's a lot you and Eshree can do for each other," Tsunami said. "And it would be cool to see you more often."
"You're only saying that to be nice, but thanks."
"Hey, you insult me!" Tsunami protested. "I never say things just to be nice. If you knew me better, you'd know I usually get complaints about how honest I am!"
"It's more a matter of bluntness than honesty," I corrected him.
"Oh... I'm sorry," Sol apologized. "I didn't mean to offend you."
"Hey, it's OK!" Tsunami told her. "I get worse insults from my friends everyday."
"Oh, right, you're like Ray's replacement, right? Oh, no, wait, that came out horribly wrong. I mean..."
"I know what you mean. Hero still does call me Kid sometimes. Not a lot these days, but sometimes. That used to be the only name he called me when I first joined the team. At first I thought he did it because I was younger than him. It took me years to find out the real reason. So... yeah, he missed his old friend and tried to do the same things with me as he did with him. It's a good thing I liked them too. But I'm pretty sure he likes me for who I am now."
"Of course he does," I assured.
"Speaking of Hero..." Tsunami continued. "He held a grudge with Scorch for many years. He was never too specific about the reasons, but I believe the main one was the name Scorch gave him. And now he's found the courage to go back to Caledor Forest and see him again, so... would you be so kind as to let us know what their encounter was like from a 3rd Pokemon perspective?"
"Huh? Oh! Sure," said Solitude. "It wasn't nearly as climactic as you make it sound. Scorched was surprised to see him, of course. Then they bickered for a while and finally made up like brothers usually do."
"Brothers?" I asked, puzzled. "Hero never said anything about Scorch being his brother."
"They're not biological brothers," Sol explained. "But Scorch was raised by Hero's parents and the two grew up together, so they're brothers for all practical purposes. That's what their relationship is like. And the two took way too long to realize it. They would have avoided so much trouble if things had been clear between them from the start... But who am I to judge?"
"Hero failing to realize something obvious regarding social interactions?" Tsunami chuckled. "Impossible!"
"Hey, are you making fun of me?!" Hero shouted out, reaching us within two leaps. "You should know better than to talk about me behind my back. And failing that, you have to be stupid to do it while you're within my hearing range."
"Oh, but I wasn't talking about you behind your back!" Tsunami defended himself. "I knew you were close by. I'd never say something about you that I wouldn't want you to hear."
"Then what were you saying?"
"I'm saying you have trouble seeing the obvious when it comes to relationships. Can you deny that?"
"Yes, I can! Obvious is a very subjective concept. What's obvious for someone isn't always obvious for others."
"OK, OK, you fail to see what most others would consider obvious. Is that better?"
"If you're trying to burn me, remember my burns can be more literal."
"Threatening to use physical violence means you've lost the argument. Besides, if it comes to that, I believe my Hydro Pump is already strong enough to bring you down in one hit."
"You'd have to actually hit me if you wanted to test that. There's no chance you can do it. I'm a lot faster than you."
"And the first thing you'd do is use Double Team, but I could still bring you down. You know I don't mind long battles. You may be faster than me, but I have more stamina."
"Guys, please stop it!" I interrupted them. "I don't think Sol here is interested in listening to a verbal Pokemon battle."
"Actually, it was pretty interesting," Sol remarked. "It was like the time I saw two men play a card game without cards."
"See? We could start a new trend!" Hero suggested. "Hypothetical battles! Could be fun. Except that after having a hypothetical battle I'd probably feel like having a real one."
"I'd rather play board games, or even computer games," I said.
"Why?" asked Hero. "I thought you of all Pokemon would like it! It has all the strategy of battling, but no one gets hurt."
"Right, but you can't know what would actually happen. There are a lot of variables you can't account for when you're just imagining a battle. How can you tell who would actually win?"
"Good point," said Hero. "I suppose we could include that into the game. Anything that's left ambiguous can be determined by the players within their turn. That way the first one to notice something the other hasn't thought of can seize the opportunity and use it to his advantage."
"I imagine that would lead to everyone making more and more assumptions to counter their opponent's," I said.
"Wow, Amber, do you see what you're doing?!" Tsunami got my attention.
"What am I doing?" I asked.
"You're picturing a hypothetical hypothetical battle! That's two levels of abstraction!"
"Hey, that sounds like something I would say!" Caledor trotted over our way. "You guys are having fun without me? Shame on you!"
"I thought you were too busy snuggling Kiara," said Hero. "And we were serious at first. The fun part came spontaneously."
"Oh, I love it when that happens!" Caledor beamed.

I noticed that Solitude was slowly stepping back.

"Are you OK?" I asked her.
"Yes..." she replied. "It's just that this corner is getting a bit too crowded. And I'm still worried about tomorrow. Maybe we can talk again when this is over? I'm sure it will be nice... to be able to just relax... if we do get the chance."
"Oh, we will!" Caledor assured. "Magic Espeon's word."
"In which way are you magic?" Sol asked him.
"Do not question the magic Espeon, lest a course fall upon you!"
"A course?" asked Sol.
"It's better than a curse," Caledor grinned.
"Don't mind him, making ridiculous threats is one of his hobbies," Tsunami told her. "That and being as silly as possible. The more worried we all are, the sillier he gets."
"I'm the group's fuse," Caledor claimed. "I save them from blowing up."
"I seriously doubt we were ever at risk of blowing up," said Tsunami "but I must admit it would feel odd to spend a day without hearing your silly remarks."
"I provide a valuable service," Caledor stated, still grinning.

Before the usefulness of Caledor's service could be discussed any further, Gabi came to pick us up.

"It looks like I've missed something interesting," she commented. "I'm sorry, we have to go now. We need to get ready for tomorrow. There's too much to do and too little time."
"Sounds like the story of your life," Tsunami told her.
"Sad, but true," Gabi agreed. "But we need to get this over with. We can't let the Black Dragon destroy the barrier. Whether or not he can actually wield the magic trapped inside doesn't really matter, just letting it out would be a disaster."
"Relax, we're already on the right track," Caledor said. "And I'm not just saying it because I'm me. It took us a long time, yes, but it's taken him just as long and he still hasn't got what he wanted! He won't manage to break the barrier by tomorrow. We'll trap him before he can do anything nasty."
"I seriously hope so," Gabi sighed.
"See? That's your problem. You're too serious! You should hope so in a less serious way."

Gabi chuckled, and Caledor grinned again.

"My work here is done," he said. "We can go now. And to those who aren't coming with us, see you tomorrow!"

Skye
19th January 2013, 04:39 PM
I'd like to buy another battle for my level 24 (25?) Ponyta from the Universal Adoption Center, please. xD Working on that story, now. @.@ Getting closer. *pays 7 STamps*

lvl100mewtwo
19th January 2013, 09:10 PM
Hey Gabi, great work on the introduction, let me be the one to give you 7 stamps for that, well done and cant wait to see where things go from there! Also, I guess the joke could be made... Battle-ception or Battle Inception, lol.

As for you Skye, Ponyta will be battling a Gastly!

Lady Vulpix
23rd January 2013, 10:52 AM
Thanks, Alex! I'm glad you liked it, and I hope you don't mind Amber's reaction.

I'm looking forward to reading your battle too. Just make sure you don't take unnecessary risks, and call for help if you need it. We're working together. We'll all be there to help each other.

Oh, and if you would like to roleplay some part, please let me know. Same goes for anyone who would like to include some interaction with any of my characters.

lvl100mewtwo
23rd January 2013, 11:51 AM
Haha, no, of course not, it was a perfect reaction, made sense. Hopefully one day I'll be able to bring back everyone, haha. And no worries, not taking any unnecesary risks, hopefully I can get the intro done to my story today so that I can focus on the battle and then build from that. I'll see about Role Playing, that might be able to give me the boost to get the intro to my intro going.

lvl100mewtwo
31st January 2013, 12:06 AM
Been a while, sorry about the double post, but no one else posted after my last one.... Let's hope I still have it....


Demons

I stood in the middle of the room. Mixtures of trainers from all ages were all around, just waiting for someone to give them a clear order. Gabi, as per always, walked in at the proper time from the back room and everyone stopped their talking and turned their attention to her. She made her address simple and to the point. The threat was real and it was mounting. None of us could take this assignment lightly. I looked down to Rex and Macedon, both seemed ready and eager to help out in this cause, which made me reassured.

We hadn’t been assigned a location yet, so I waited for the meeting to be over with. This way I could talk with Gabi alone and figure out what could be done on my part.

Once all had been said and done, Gabi, slowly made her way over to me. I noticed that Amber seemed a bit uneasy and wandered to another group instead of following her trainer. I could only imagine that she was still feeling a bit awkward around me without Volvagia by my side. If only he could have been here.

Gabi and I discussed for a good amount of time, figuring tactical locations where we could position troops. She had become such a strong tactician over the years; I figured that listening to her would only improve our chances of taking this beast down once and for all. We came to the conclusion that it would be best if I was part of the scouting group, getting a good idea of what we would be up against and reporting back to the rest of the troops.

The only vital information that I had to remember was the smoke signals. They would be able to help everyone figure out which paths to take so to get less resistance from possessed Pokémon and also ask for help from other trainers.

Once the discussions concluded, I turned to my team and decided that we needed a head start. We should probably set up camp just outside the zone of the base of the mountain. This way I could be one of the earlier scouting parties and be a guiding beacon for the othes. We walked out of the meeting hall and I started to pack up our essentials. The goal was to get there before dusk.

It wasn’t a particularly eventful trek. We found the perfect clearing where we could easily set up shop to help out those in the morning. Our tent was pitched and we started to set up the rest of our camp.

“Mace, you wanna start up a fire for me please?” I said, giving him a look. I pointed to the firewood I had placed neatly in teepee form. He gingerly walked up to the branches, touched a few and fire caught on immediately. “Thanks bud, I’ll get dinner going for us in a few and we’ll be eating in the next hour or so.”

Macedon and Rex just found themselves a nice quiet spot on the side of a tree and started to rest up. You could hear the sounds of the wildlife come to life as the sun started to make its way down on the horizon. A light cool breeze rustled through the foliage. The forest seemed to be in a stand-still, it was quite relaxing.

You could hear Pidgey’s chirping in the distance. This instantaneously made Rex’s ears perk up. He stood up in a flash, searching around for where the Pokemon’s cries were coming from. You could hear a low growl come from the bellows of his stomach. With one last chirp, Rex bolted towards a tree and raced upwards into it, jumping from branch to branch, trying to find the flying type. A flock of the birds dissipated out of the tree, flying southward. In an attempt to follow them, the young Lucario raced from tree to tree, attempting to catch up.

“Mace, this doesn’t look good! We gotta follow him!” I left the fire that I had just started unattended while my fire type and I raced after the pup. Rex had already gotten a good lead on us, so it was difficult to catch up. “Macedon, use Mach Punch, maybe the speed boost may help out a bit?” In a flash, the fire type took the lead and went on ahead, trying to see if we could find our friend.

We could still hear Rex in the distance, but the noises were getting fewer and softer. This didn’t bode well for finding him. In no time, the noises subsided. All that was left was the sounds of the breeze going through the tree branches once more. Macedon had made its way clear ahead of me, yet his red-ish hue could be seen from afar.

“Mace!” I screamed “Let’s leave him be, he’ll be back, he’ll get hungry and find his way to the camp again.” As I turned around, walking back towards camp. “That Pokemon won’t last longer than an hour without food. He’ll be rushing back in no time.”

Thus, I made my way back, Macedon gingerly following me on my side. Rex’s stomach wouldn’t keep it too far for very long…


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rex

“Pidgey Pidgey Pidgey Pidgey Pidgey Pidgey Pidgey!!!” That bird wasn’t getting away from me. I was going to prove to myself that I could catch these flying things and bring one back to Alex. Humans love fainted birds, I know they do!

The brown bird was starting to gain height on me. If I didn’t do anything soon, it would fly away from me and I would lose out on my chance. Using the branch I was jumping onto as a springboard, I launched myself as high as possible, arms stretched out wide, tongue out. The Pidgey spun around quickly and noticed me coming his way. He started to flap its wings rapidly, creating a gust of wind. All forward momentum I had going for me seemed to be gone and next thing I knew, I was heading back towards the ground, at an even faster pace.

I slammed through leaves, tree branches and other foliages. I slammed into the ground at high speeds.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I woke up to a massive headache. I looked groggily around to see that the sun was almost set. Darkness was slowly creeping throughout the forest.

I could feel a small tug at my feet. I looked and saw a little brown fox Pokémon pulling at my foot, as if he was attempting to wake me up. Then another joined in, and another, and a few more. I was counting 5 or 6 at this point, but it could have also been that I was seeing double at the same time. 3 figures popped out from behind the bushes, having some similarities with the smaller brown pups, yet not of the same color.

“What are you doing here?” The blue one spoke in a commanding voice
“We don’t like outsiders who come into our territory” The red one affirmed.
“You need to leave. Now!” The yellow one barked, electricity sparking off its back.
“Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come here, it was an accident.” I tried to explain myself “I was just chasing Pidgeys and next thing I knew, I woke up here, with these little guys tugging at my legs”
“Kids, back off from him! Stop gnawing on his legs please!” The red fox said, in a soft tone to the young pups.
“Aaaaw” A collective groan could be heard from all the pups.
“Thanks! That was starting to tickle a bit.” I said, giving a look at the 3 parents.

The blue fox approached me. Its fur seemed to be slicked back, almost non-existent. Its tail was in an odd shape, something similar to some fish I had seen before. The blue ridge that ran along it’s back also made it seem somewhat odd to me. He seemed to be the leader of this little pack, with the yellow and red fox being it’s second and third in command, respectively.

“Look, we’ve been living here on our own for a while now and we would prefer not to be disturbed. Especially with all the odd occurrences that have been happening here lately.” He kept pointing with its paw towards the forest, probably hinting for me to go in that direction.
“Again, I really didn’t mean to disturb you all. I was with my human…” I turned around to see that Alex wasn’t anywhere in view. “…Well I was with my human, don’t know where he is now”
“Oh…” The blue one said with concern “Did your human leave you in the woods alone?”
“No! No! Nothing like that! Alex wouldn’t do that, he likes me too much and feeds me well enough! He would never leave me here alone and not return…” This was starting to scare me a bit. “I was just chasing that Pidgey and… well… I guess he’s looking for me right now? I don’t see why he wouldn’t be.”
“That’s what we all thought as well when our trainers left us out here.” The red one said, her face looking down. “We were little Eevees back then, naïve, hoping that they would come back.”
“And they never came back…” The yellow one chipped in. “So we’ve been making our home around here ever since.”
“That’s terrible! I don’t see how any humans could ever do that to anyone…” My stomach started to turn on itself… maybe I was hungry, maybe I was worried…
“Well we moved on. We made our own life here, started our own little group. A few of these little guys joined in with us and 2 are my sons.” The blue fox pointed to 2 of the brown ones, as they stood there proudly. “We take great pride in our little group.”
“Well you guys seem like a great group together! But now I’m starting to think that I should probably head back though. Maybe I can find my way back to my camp…”
“I don’t think that that’s a great idea right now.” The yellow one advised “The night is falling on us as we speak. We tend to stick around each other when that happens. I guess we can let you stick with us tonight…”
“That’s really kind of you, but I can’t… I’m hungry and I really should head back to the camp.”
“No! No! Stay with us, you can help in the festivities of the night!” The fiery red one chirped up “It’s Danny’s evolution celebration. He’ll be choosing tonight how he would like to evolve!”
“Well that would be interesting to see. I guess I could stay for a bit and help out!” This would be interesting. I hadn’t been around an evolution since my own.
“Great! Jolteon, go get the berries, we will feast before the festivities.”

The yellow fox ran off into the bushes and came back with several berries that it laid out on a few leaves that had been left on the ground. The small foxes gathered around, each salivating at the berries laying before them.

“Now that I think about it… we haven’t done introductions yet have we?” The blue fox started off. “Well to make it easy, I’m Vaporeon. You already know Jolteon here, the quick tempered one.“ As he pointed to the yellow spiked fox. “And then there is Flareon over there, she is pretty much the mother of the group.”
“The little ones are Danny, Johnny, Jimmy, Kimmy, Kailey and Aiden” Flareon named them all off, as they all stood in attention, in front of the berries. “It’s the only way we can tell them apart right now”
“Well it’s a pleasure to meet you all at this point; I am Rex as my master has come to call me.” I said “Now don’t let me stop you from starting your festivities.”
“All right then, let us dig in!” Vaporeon exclaimed, as everyone jumped into the food.

The dinner portion came and went, as the feast on berries seemed to fill everyone to the point they needed. The small Eevees were now sitting down, yet the young Danny seemed to be very impatient, as he paced back and forth at this point.

“Danny, do you want to tell us your choice that you have made?” Vaporeon asked away.
“Ummmm… Well after thinking hard, REALLY hard… I think I want to be just like you pop!” The young one chirped up. A giant smile came across Vaporeon’s face. A small cheer came from the rest of the group, as they started to congratulate the little ones decision.
“I’m happy with your choice son. You have made me a very happy father!” Vaporeon approached his little one, giving him a nice little headbutt. “Rex, would you like to accompany me? I have to go get little Danny’s evolution present. I would prefer not to go alone and I think Jolteon and Flareon can handle the rest of these little runts by themselves. Haha.”
“Sure, it would be my pleasure Vaporeon!” I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity to help out these new friends of mine.

As Jolteon and Flareon managed to keep the young ones busy, Vaporeon and I made our way deep into the forest.

“We have to keep these far away from the kids, so that they don’t go looking for them.”
“Yeah, I can understand that. I can imagine that some of those little ones might want to evolve a little prematurely.” I replied.
“Pretty much! That’s why they are hidden deep in the forest, far away from it all.”

After a few minutes of walking in the bushes, we arrived to a little open area with branches and bushes that weren’t organized organically.

“They’re hidden in there, give me a minute so I can find them” Vaporeon said, as he walked towards the arrangement of shrubs.

Vaporeon moved the branches to reveal a few blue, red and yellow stones, well hidden underneath. As they were revealed, something seemed off to me. I took a quick look at the stones and I could feel an odd energy coming off them.

“Vaporeon, I got a bad feeling about this. Something just doesn’t seem right to me.” I had to let him know what I felt.
“Don’t be crazy Rex! No one knows about these stones, I don’t see what you are all up in knots for…”

Vaporeon slowly reached down and grabbed one of the blue stones. A black aura surrounded him almost instantaneously. The blue fox suddenly let out a scream in a lower tone, not that of his normal voice. He fell to the ground and I rushed over to help him out. As I got near, I could sense the black aura on the rest of the stones as well as on Vaporeon now. I looked down to see that he was still breathing, though very lightly now.

“You okay?” I said, as I started to poke him. No response.

The energy started to grow bigger and bigger around him. I could see some movement from him: A twitch here, a twitch there. Then his paw started to move, followed by a second. Finally he stood up, slowly, shaking his head. I decided to take a few steps back.

“Bud, you’re scaring me, what the hell happened?”

Vaporeon slowly turned to look at me, a slight grin on his face. He wouldn’t answer me at this point.

“Vaporeon?” I slowly approached him once more.
“I’m sorry, he’s not here right now, can I take a message?” This wasn’t Vaporeon’s voice. This was a much deeper voice. “So it seems that there are plenty more subjects that could use some enlightenment. Maybe I should go pay them a visit.”

Vaporeon’s eyes were a deep shade of black, like looking into the emptiness of the night sky. He started to walk towards the general direction of the camp. I started to follow suit, not knowing what was going on at this point.

It then dawned on me! What Alex talked about before we left, when he has talking to that lady in the large building. This must have been the work of the evil dragon that they were all talking about, or aliens, it can always be aliens. I then also remembered that if it was this evil dragon, that it would do anything to get more Pokemon for his cause. This made me realize why Vaporeon was now headed back to the camp: To bring back everyone so that they could all be possessed by this dark energy.

“Vaporeon, I think you’re mistaken, there is no one back that way.” I blurted out.
“Ah, but I see that you are lying young one and seeing you are fibbing must also imply that you know what is going on.” As he finished his sentence, Vaporeon burst out into an all-out sprint, his next destination: The base camp with the rest of his group.

I couldn’t let him get to the camp. If he converted any of the little pup, it would spell major trouble for everyone. I ran as fast as I could. I could see that he was a bit ahead of me and I seemed to be catching up, yet we were nearing the group.

He stopped as he reached a clearing. My heart skipped a beat as I knew exactly what that meant. I sped up and closed in on him. I could see Flareon and Jolteon with the Eevees in the distance.

“Excellent, you are all here…”
“Yay! You’re back! Now where is the…” The young Eevee’s question was interrupted as I rushed in, clenched fist meeting Vaporeon’s ribs.

The water type was sent hurling into the bushes. A loud “smack” could be heard, as Vaporeon’s body met tree bark. The tree shook as residing Hoothoots flew away in fear. All I could think of at this point was going after those Hoothoots. I had to stay focused; the task at hand was to stop Vaporeon from harming or converting any of the Eevees or other animals here.

“Rex!! What are you doing?!” One of the little Eevees shouted.
“Vaporeon isn’t himself right now, you have to back off!” I screamed at them all.
“You’re crazy! We don’t even know you and you are attacking Vaporeon! What is wrong with you? We gave you our food, we helped you out!” Flareon was now screaming at me. The Eevees were backing off near Jolteon and Flareon. Both of them were primed to attack, sparks flying off of Jolteon’s back and flames building up in Flareon’s mouth.

“Leave this to me, both of you!” A voice came from the bushes.

Vaporeon emerged, his coat of fur glistening in the moonlight, seemingly wet at this point. Small watery rings seemed to be surrounding the areas of most damage. Slowly, the wounds and scratches from the tree bark impact were diminishing on his body.

I had to react fast. I couldn’t let him heal himself up. I sprung into action, racing towards him, mouth wide opened. He was not expecting me to come at him so quickly, as I caught him off guard and pinned him to the ground. My teeth sank into his front shoulder, closing on it with excessive force. I looked at Vaporeon to see his expression remained unchanged.

“Is that really all you have to offer Rex? Quite pitiful. You won’t be able to save these young ones after all.” Vaporeon said, with little to no expression on his face.

I released my grasp on his shoulder and backed off. He limped up onto his legs and looked at me with a look of disgust. He opened his mouth and revealed a small white orb forming in it. Light’s started to flicker of every which color. The air became cooler around the battle field. A white beam of light was shot out, sent directly at myself. I jumped to the side, nearly avoiding the attack. I noticed that a trail of ice formed wherever the beam hit. With the ice attack still coming out of Vaporeon’s mouth, he started to direct it towards me, making the beam follow me as I tried to escape its trajectory. Unbeknownst to myself, I was leading the attack right towards the group.

Vaporeon’s focus switched from me to the group, as he changed the course of his attack, now going directly towards them. I had to make a quick decision, as I made a mid-run stop and turn. The beam neared the Eevees and none of them were the wiser to realize that it was coming straight for them. As it was about to hit the first one, I dove to protect them. I got clipped, freezing a portion or my upper arm and shoulder, damaging myself in the process.

I stood up after the attack, shook off the ice build-up from the attack and growled at Vaporeon.

“This battle is between us, don’t bring them into this you coward!”

A small snicker came from the possessed Pokémon. I steadied my stance into the ground, crouched and launched myself into the trees. I jumped from branch to branch, tree to tree, in an attempt to confuse my opponent on my whereabouts. With his head looking in one direction and making sure that I made as little noise as possible, I launched myself at him, knee bent. I connected with my knee to the back of his head. He was reeling and rolling deep into the forest.

In the blink of an eye, Vaporeon re-appeared in front of me and then disappeared. I felt a swift kick into the back of my leg, as I was forced to take a knee. He was appearing and disappearing faster than I could find him. I got back up onto my feet and ran off to try and catch him. He seemed to be using a Quick Attack at this point, thus, I countered with my own. We exchanged a few blows, yet it seemed that mine were proving less effective than his. Every time I would hit him, his wounds would slowly start to heal up.

Without hesitating, Vaporeon grabbed a bunch of dirt and launched it in my direction, catching me in my eyes.

“Son of a Houndoom!” I yelped out.

My vision became blurry. I could hear the footsteps of Vaporeon as he tried to scurry around, trying to confuse me. I stopped for a moment rubbing my eyes and started to concentrate on the negative energy that the demon inside him was giving off. I could start to sense his aura. As soon as I got a fix on his location, it was too late as I was met with a lively tackle to my ribs. I stumbled onto the ground and braced myself for another impact. I could still sense his presence around me. His aura was unmistakeable. I could feel him get ready for another attack at this point.

I heard his paws dig into the ground and launch himself once more at myself. I channelled my energy into my right hand. I sensed him getting closer and closer. I heard the jump from the ground as I stuck out my left arm, grabbing Vaporeon by the neck. I could hear him grasping for air. I put my right hand on his chest, released the energy and unleashed the full force of a Force Palm. He was knocked back several feet, rolling in the dirt and grass.

“This can’t be! I shouldn’t be having any issues with you!” He yelled out. You could sense that my attacks were finally getting to him. His breathing was getting heavier. His healing rings weren’t as effective as before.
“Rex! Stop this now! We aren’t your enemy!” said one of the little Eevee pups.

I rubbed the last of the sand and dirt from my eyes only to notice a giant grin on Vaporeon’s face. He turned his attention to the Eevees and their protectors. Vaporeon summoned up his next attack. He knew I couldn’t let them get hurt. Vaporeon launched his full out attack. A giant stream of water left his mouth, directed right at Flareon. In a blink of an eye, I reacted. To protect them from the attack, I jumped in front of the water, enduring the hit, protecting the now cringing fire type. I was sent hurling into a tree trunk as the water kept coming, applying more and more pressure on my body. There was only so much of this attack that I could take.

The attack subsided and I dropped from the tree trunk. My reserves on energy were at their critical lows. Vaporeon took this moment of weakness to prepare another onslaught. A dark purple orb started to form in his mouth, growing rapidly in size. Without any hesitation, he launched it in my direction. The attack skimmed the forest floor, dust flew behind it as it flew by me. I had little time to react, as I forced myself up from the ground and jumped out of the way, the attack missing me by merely centimeters. The orb connected into a tree a few meters behind and exploded, sending hundreds of pieces of bark in every which direction.

The dust from the explosion settled and I could see that Vaporeon was looking onwards to me. He disappeared one again, in the blink of an eye. I braced myself for the inevitable blow as I locked both my legs into the ground and crossed my arms in front of my body. He suddenly appeared in front of me, attempting to hit me with a quick tackle.I blocked the attack and he took a step back, preparing his next attack. He then released a quick stream of water as I blocked the attack as well. I couldn’t endure much more of this. I had to act quickly. I had to finish this now.

In his hubris, Vaporeon had neglected to realize that he had put himself into a rather close quarter with me. I moved slightly to the right, evading the onslaught of the jet of water and with my left hand, grabbed his muzzle, shutting it close. I pressed my right hand to his chest once more, summoned whatever energy I had left in me and unloaded with all my might.

Vaporeon was sent hurling into the air and I followed him. I jumped with what I had left and came crashing down on the mid-air floating water type with my knee. We both went hurling down into the forest floor, his body cushioning my decent. A crater formed by the impact.

I rolled off of him and crawled out of the hole we had just formed. I could see Flareon and Jolteon looking in astonishment. Their looks suddenly shifted to hostile as they started to growl at me. Sparks were flying off of Jolteon’s back, crackling all over the forest like mini lightning bolts. A few hit close to my feet.

“You need to leave, NOW!” He said as he released some of his pent up energy into the sky.
“Jolteon, you don’t get it, he’s possessed! I can’t believe you are so blind to see that he was attacking you all as well as me!”
“You are just crazy. You attacked him first! Now he’s out cold!” Flareon started to make her way down in the crater to look after Vaporeon.
“I… I swear… He started this… I…” I was at lost for words, I didn’t know what to say at this point that could appease everyone.
“Look at these injuries… Danny, Aiden, bring a few Sitrus Berries, now!” Flareon barked at the little ones “Leave now before you hurt anyone else!” She said. She launched a Flamethrower in my general direction.
“I’m so sorry…” I backed away from the situation, more confused and frightened by the situation.

This wasn’t my problem anymore. If they wanted to live with that psychopath who was possessed, I would let them. I ran as fast as I could through the forest, going in whichever direction. All that I could think about were those poor little Eevees that would be easily influenced by Vaporeon once he would awaken. The thoughts were clouding my mind. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t run straight. I would miss hitting a tree because all I could think of was the horrible fate that would come to those little pups.

I gave one quick glance up ahead and all I could see was tree bark…


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Rex, you okay bud?”

The voice sounded familiar to me. I slowly opened my eyes and noticed that Alex was standing on top of me, while Macedon was Pokémon at the various injuries that I had across my body.

“Will you quit doing that?!? It hurts enough already as it is without you poking me with your burning hands!”
“Just making sure you’re alive. Seems like you disappeared, where did you go?”

It then dawned on me… I had to go back…


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rex battled a Vaporeon (lvl 25) and won!

Rex grew to level 19 and learned Me First

Fushigidane001
7th February 2013, 04:36 PM
Hey guys, this is the first time I'm posting and I hope I'm doing this right.


Starting from Scratch


I could hear the sounds of a strange hum and a quiet beeping. My eyes began to flicker and struggled to open to a room filled with unfamiliar people and bright lights. “Where… where am I?” The face of a nurse started to come in focus “You’re ok.” she said in a gentle voice. “You’ve been here for a few days now. A couple of trainers found you out in Calador Forest and you’re lucky they found you when they did.” I stared blankly at her for a minute while she began to fill out the charts that lay at the foot of my bed.

Slowly my eyes started to wander around the room. White walls, white linens on the beds, white curtains on the windows, and the strong smell of sanitizer, there was no doubt about it that I was in a hospital. The quiet beeping started to grow louder and faster as I tried to sit up. Every ounce of my body was stiff and ached most likely from lying in this bed for the past few days.

I looked down at myself and could see the name of the hospital upside down on the gown I was wearing, though my eyes weren’t strong enough yet to focus and make out what it said. Then something caught my eye. I looked up from the lettering and saw a small brown furry ball curled near my feet at the end of the bed. Curiously, I began to wiggle my toes to see what it was and the ball began to move.

A thick, full, tan tipped tail unfurled itself and two long pointed ears popped up. I moved my feet yet again to confirm what I thought the creature was. It began to stand and stretched itself out from the nap it was taking before turning and starting to walk towards me. Its eyes seemed to light up when they met with mine almost as if it was saying ‘I’m glad you’re awake ‘. The little creature hopped into my lap before taking a seat and letting out a quiet chirp.

The nurse looked up from her paperwork “Well it looks like someone is happy to finally to get to meet you.” She smiled as she turned back to penning out notes. “Is it mine?” I inquired. She looked up once again from her work confused “Why would you say that?” a long pause seemed to hang in the air until she asked “I forgot to say this, but…what’s your name?”

What was my name…such a simple question and yet I had no answer for her. I just laid there in the bed hoping that I didn’t hear her correctly or that it would pop into my mind and I would be able to tell her. The few minutes that passed seemed to drag on as the worry in my mind set in. “You don’t know your name do you? Do you remember anything? Where you came from? Or maybe any friends and family that we could contact?” I could feel my chest starting to tighten up as I realized I couldn’t answer a single question. What was my name? Did I have a family and where were they? The tears started to well up in my eyes and a look of panic washed over my face.
“Nothing huh? We were worried that this might happen…” She placed down the clipboard and walked around to the side of the bed. “Let’s do a simple test to see how bad your memory loss is. What kind of pokemon is he?” she asked while pointing to the creature that was now curled up by my arm. I looked down, the brown and tan fur, large eyes, and long ears gave it away instantly “He’s an Eevee.” I replied. She smiled “See, you’re not as bad as you thought. I guess I should introduce myself as well. My name is Bridgette and this is our resident Eevee who seems to have taken quite the liking to you.”

“Nice to meet you” I mumbled. Honestly, I didn’t care what her name was right now, I cared more about what mine was and why I didn’t know it. “Why can’t I remember anything? How come you don’t know it? Hasn’t anyone come to see if I’m ok?” I forced myself to sit up not caring how much it hurt. The little Eevee sat up and hopped up onto my lap he could see me struggling and bit down onto my shirt. I could feel a gentle tug of encouragement as I struggled. “Thanks for your help Eevee.” My attention quickly turned back to Bridgette “You can tell me what’s wrong with me right?”

“I might be able to shed some light on your condition.” I heard a deep voice and turned to see a doctor walk into the room. He was a taller older man with silver hair and a pale complexion. He seemed weathered and tough on the outside but his green eyes gave away how gentle and kind he was. “My name is Dr. Pyne, I’m one of the heads of the neurology department at this hospital. I was hoping that you’d be awake and we could talk.” He walked over to the side of my bed and pulled out the chair. “You don’t mind if we chat for a while do you?” I shook my head no as he took a seat. “So you were out wandering in Calador Forest and don’t remember anything huh? Well don’t worry; you’re not the first person that has found their way into the hospital with the same problem.” He laughed. “My guess is that you startled Uxie pretty badly out there and it looked at you.”

Uxie…that name was familiar to me. I closed my eyes for a moment to try and recall what I had learned about that pokemon. “Known as ‘The Being of Knowledge.’ It is said that it can wipe out the memory of those who see its eyes” I said aloud. He nodded in agreement “And most likely that’s exactly what happened to you. Your case isn’t something that is common since it’s not often that people even see Uxie in that forest but it looks like you just happened to and it saw you as well. Because of that it seems that you got a fairly strong case of amnesia. You should consider yourself lucky, your memory loss could have been much worse. Like in one case…”

I cut him off before he could continue. “So, when you say loss do you mean lost as in permanently or temporarily?” He adjusted his glasses “Well that really depends. Some people who have had amnesia caused by Uxie will get their memories back but normally it’s after they find something that will trigger it. For example one man couldn’t remember anything for over a week until he saw a red balloon and remembered that his son’s birthday was later that month. Then over the course of the next few days he regained almost all of his memories.” He smiled to reassure me but I just couldn’t hold back the urge ask. “What about the others? Not everyone has gotten their memories back have they?”

His smile faded and a much more serious look came onto his face. “Well yes, some people’s memories have never returned to them. 7 years is the longest case on record and she still doesn’t remember a thing. They still have great lives though, 2 of them even live here in this city. They have families and have made their own great new memories. Even if your memories don’t come back it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.”

I know that he was trying his best to lift my spirits but I just felt so lost. A cold nose nudged at my hand as if to comfort me. I placed my hand on the Eevee’s head and gently pat it as I tried to collect my thoughts. “So then these things that can trigger memories what are they exactly?” I asked. “We’re not entirely sure. Sometimes it can be an item, or a place, or even a person and then it just happens. As I said cases like yours aren’t very common and we’re still trying to learn more about them. I know this isn’t easy to hear but you need to just try and have patience, hopefully something will trigger it.” He stood up from his seat and started to head towards the door. “I would love to stay and chat with you more but I have another patient to see in a few minutes. If you have any questions for me just write them down for me or ask Bridgette and she’ll pass it along to me. You get some rest and feel better.” I tried my best to smile at him as he left “Ok, I will. Thanks.” I called out.

This wasn’t really helping me feel better but maybe there was something I came here with that could cause me to remember something. I looked to the nurse “Did I have a backpack or anything when I came here?” I was desperate to find something with my name on it, or what city I was from anything at this point that would be helpful.

“We do have your belongings here, though there’s not much you had on you.” she walked over with a box and placed it on my table. “Your clothes are in there and there are these as well.” A long white envelope was placed in my hands. It was fairly light but there seemed to be something with a bit of weight in the bottom. “I have some things that I need to take care of. I’ll be back in a bit but if you need anything feel free to ring the nurse.” “Yeah, I will thanks.” I replied as I opened the envelope, tipping it slightly. A vial with a thick grey liquid rolled out and into my hand. On it was white label with ‘#3720’ handwritten in black ink. I focused on it for a minute hoping that it would have sparked something in my mind since it seemed so unique…but nothing happened.


I was a little let down but I still tried to remain positive as I reached inside the envelope and pulled out two pieces of paper. One was a card with a crest on the front of it; the other was a folded piece of lined paper. ‘Maybe this is a note I wrote myself’ I thought as I began to unfold the paper. I opened it and started to read the message scribbled out in blue ink…
‘Hey, I left early because I had a couple things to take care of. I’m sorry that I can’t make it to the lecture tonight but you should still go because I know you’ll really enjoy it. Anyway, enjoy your trip and I’ll see you at the Dragon Games.
-A
PS: Don’t forget to send in your registration card!’

Who wrote this? Was it my sister or maybe my brother? That would be of course assuming that I did have a family. A classmate? A neighbour? Whoever it was I was supposed to meet them at the Dragon Games. I knew about the games but couldn’t seem to remember when they took place or where they were this year. Maybe the card was the registration card and it held some clue to who I was. I grabbed the card and hoped that something helpful would be in it. My name, a phone number, anything would be helpful right now. I flipped it open and began to read.

‘Dear Trainer,
Please fill and complete the following information. Deadline for completion is….’

I skipped over the rules to see if I had filled anything out. Trainer name, city, name(s) and number of pokemon, phone number…not a single thing was filled in. It was complete blank with the exception of a few doodles on the side of the page. I really wished that I had listened to whoever this ‘A’ was and filled out my registration card.
I let out a long sigh. “I am I ever going to figure out who I am Eevee?” I said to the creature now sound asleep on my lap. I put all the items back into the envelope and laid it on top of the box.
A flock of Starlies flew by the window to my left and I curiously looked outside. Everything was blanketed with a layer of clean white snow. Looking out of the window, I saw others going on their daily lives, oblivious to the fact that a girl was watching them, wishing she could remember something – anything, to make her feel normal again. The purring of the Eevee on my lap brought me back to reality – the sun had set, and tears were on my cheeks. “How long was I doing that?” I quietly whisper to Eevee, snuggling with his warm body. “Why can’t I just remember?”

“Hey, I just came by to see how you were doing before my shift ended.” I snapped out of my comatose state to see Bridgette walking into the room. “Feeling any better than earlier?” “Not really, I still can’t seem to remember anything.” “Don’t worry, it takes time for things to heal and get better. Right now it might not seem like it will but trust me it always does.” She scooped up the still sleeping Eevee off my lap and held it in her arms. “If you don’t believe me, just ask this guy right here. He’s not had an easy life but look how happy he is today.” Eevee yawned and then continued on with his nap.

“Is that so? And how would he know that it will get better, it’s not like he lost his memories.” “No, but he lost his trainer.” She could see I became interested in her story and continued. “He was brought in by a young man who had just lost badly in a battle. You could tell he was really angry about losing because the whole time he kept saying about how Eevee didn’t try hard enough. We took Eevee in to assess the situation and asked him to take a seat in the waiting room. He said he was going out to get some fresh air and we never saw him again. We didn’t know what to do with Eevee after he recovered. We waited to see if his trainer would return but that never happened. So we tried adopting him out but he didn’t seem to like anyone. It took months for him to let any of the staff even get close to him let alone touch him. I’ve only been able to get close to him like this in the past few weeks. But now he’s happy and starting to move on, he knows how much everyone here cares about him and he’s trying to start a new life.” His long ears started to twitch, he must have known we were talking about him because he woke from his nap and hopped back onto the bed.

“So you guys take in the lost and forgotten like me and him huh?” “We try our best to help those in need. And if you’re going to be staying here can you at least think of a name you’d like to go by? I’d like to be able to call you something other than ‘patient # 763’.” She teased. “Alright, I guess you can call me…” I was no good at thinking things up on the spot let alone what to call myself. I looked around the room for some inspiration when I noticed the bouquet of flowers sitting in the corner. There were many different kinds but one in particular stood out for me. The tall white flower with a yellow center, the Calla lily was a favourite flower of mine. “…I guess you can call me Cali.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Cali. Now, I’m going to head down to Dr. Pyne and see if we can’t get you discharged tonight. Hopefully he’ll let you and we can get you set up in one of the spare rooms at the hospital staff residence. It’s a lot more comfortable than sleeping in the hospital, no ‘beeps or boops’ to keep you up at night. I’ll be back in a bit to let you know what he says.” Her warm smile put me at ease.

“Hey Bridgette….thanks for taking me in.” She smiled back at me.
“And what are you called…?” I looked down at the little Eevee on my lap. “Does he have a name?” I asked Bridgette. “No, he’s never been named – he’s never responded to another person before.” “Well we can’t have that – we should both have names now.” The little Eevee purred in my lap. “How about...Renard?” Eevee gave me a brief headshake, signalling no. “Alrighty then, not that one. How about Kit?” Another headshake. “Okay…how about Fenix then, my little friend?” The nods and purrs I got in response confirmed my choice. “Fenix it is then! It’s settled, now we are both named” I cradled him, and he snuggled deeper into my arms. I knew we would be the best of friends.




A month had passed since I woke up in that bed. I had slowly starting making friends with many of the nurses and doctors on the campus but from time to time I could still hear whispers of ‘Oh, that’s the Uxie girl.’ I really didn’t want to be reminded of my situation or gossiped about but I guess that is bound to happen considering what had happened to me.
Living on the campus wasn’t too bad, I had a small room, with space to sit by myself but I was also close enough to hustle and bustle of the hospital to never feel completely alone . I worked alongside the new nurses in the pokemon care unit helping bandaging up simple wounds and cleaning scrapes. They were easy tasks but it helped keep my mind off everything that had happened to me. I was trying to convince myself that things would get better soon even if I didn’t remember anything.

“Alright, ready to get some fresh air buddy?” He looked up at me and nodded. This was his favourite part of the day as well as mine. I laced up my shoes and started to walk down the long corridor with Fenix eagerly walking by my side. “Hey Cali!” Bridgette called out to me from her dorm room “Remember tonight we’re all getting together for dinner at my place. 7pm don’t be late!” “Alright I won’t!” I shouted back.

This was the third time today she had told me but I wasn’t sure why she was making a big deal out of it Thursday was always the usual board games and dinner night. ‘Maybe she got her new game in the mail today?’ I thought to myself as I reached the glass door. I lifted the latch and slid the door open. Fenix bolted out ahead of me “Hey you, wait up!” I shouted to him but he was already off running down the trail towards the swings.

The gravel path crunched below my feet as I made my way out to the swing set in the courtyard. During the day it was overrun with the children from the hospital but at dusk it was deserted. This was where I went to collect my thoughts every day and watch the sun set. I grasped hold of the cold metal chain and sat down on the sea. I looked down at Fenix who was patiently waiting for me. “Ready?” He eagerly hopped on my lap and I placed him in the hood of my jacket. “All set? Here we go!” I pushed my feet off the ground and began to swing higher and higher. The breeze started to play through my hair, and my normal routine began to make me feel some semblance of “normal”.

I took a deep breath of the cool air. You could feel that spring had arrived but winter was trying it’s best to linger on for a little longer. The snow was gone, the grass was starting to turn green again, and small buds were appearing on the trees.

This routine I had settled into to calm myself wasn’t satisfying anymore. I couldn’t fight the feeling that I was late for something – missing out on something important that my old self would be doing. I realized I needed to get out of here, that I need to find out what it is I was doing, and I need to get back to the way I once was. I leaned back on the swings to see the stars peeking out of the now-dusky sky. “Are these the same stars I saw in the sky before, and who was I when I saw them.” I wish I knew.

I glanced at my watch ‘7:38pm. Great, she’s not going to let me off the hook for being this late.’ I thought to myself. “Hey, hold on tight back there! It might be a bit of a rough landing.” I felt him brace himself as I leapt off the swing and started running back to the dorms.
I tried to catch my breath as the door slid open. “What part of don’t be late did you not get?” a cold glare was shot my way. “Sorry, I lost track of time! It’s not like I purposely tried to be late.” “Yeah, yeah yeah…” her voice trailed off as she started walking back to her room. I took Fenix out of my hood and hurried to catch up to her as she disappeared into the room.

“Well look who it is? We figured you wouldn’t be joining us tonight.” “Ha, aren’t you guys funny. You know I wouldn’t pass up the chance to beat you at a game.” I snidely replied and took a seat at the table. “Which one should I beat you guys at first?” A large backpack was placed on the table in front of me “Well before we start tonight, we wanted to give you this first. It’s not much but it’s a little something from all of us.” I turned to Bridgette with a puzzled look on my face and started to un-zip the pack. Peering inside I saw an assortment of things: A notebook, sleeping bag, a dish set, some maps, and so much more. “What’s this all about? Do I have to leave?” “Oh no, no, no it’s nothing like that.” She laughed “You can stay here as long as you want. But we all know that as much as you like living here you want to find where you’re from. We thought we’d help you out a bit and get you started on your journey.”

I couldn’t find any words to express my gratitude as my eyes filled with tears. These are the best people I had met so far, that I knew of anyways, and yet I knew I had to leave them. They had seen me through my first stages of memory loss, and yet were good enough to me to know when I needed to move on.

However tonight is a night to have fun, not cry over a brief departure from my new friends. This was a night to celebrate my newfound friendships, laugh, and enjoy the little bit of happiness I had been granted through the loss of my memories. “Let the games begin!” I jokingly announced.

***

At the crack of dawn I snuck out to the swingset with Fenix. “Goodbye little buddy, I’m going to miss you…” “What do you think you’re doing?” Bridgette’s voice rang out over the yard. “I thought you would be leaving early like this, avoiding a goodbye I see?” “I just…” I stammered – it was too early in the morning for thinking. “Oh I know Cali, you just need to go, But remember, Fenix has bonded with you. He needs you as much as you need him. You cannot leave him behind. Now take him with you, and get moving.” I looked down at Fenix’s little face and realized, there was no way I would have been able to leave him. Whether to keep him safe, or to avoid being tied down, these were silly reasons – this little creature and I belonged together, and the determined look on his face said as much as well. There was no way he was going to let me leave him – we were in this together from now on.
I gave Bridgette a brief hug, put Eevee back in my hood, and turned towards the road. Today was the first step on my journey. Though it would be safe and comfortable to stay, I knew I needed to move on – it was time.

Skye
8th February 2013, 07:02 PM
Alright. It just occurred to me I really can't even write a battle for Eclipse til her battle tower thing is done. So. Could I get 3 more battles?

I'd like one for Shadow (Meowth, level 12), queue up another for Eclipse (Ponyta, level 24), and one for Darker (Houndour, level 6) each from the Universal Adoption Center if you would. :D *pays 21 Stamps*

Lady Vulpix
11th February 2013, 09:57 AM
Sorry for the delay, Alex. First I was in Salta and then TPM was down. But it's working now! And I can give you 16 stamps for your battle, plus 4 for the wait, totalling 20 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Rex wasn't acting very smart at first, but he did a smart thing in the end. And I/Gabi wasn't exactly laying out orders during the meeting, we were all coming to an agreement on what to do. I wonder what will happen to that Eevee family now. :\ I also wonder where they got all those evolution stones they've been keeping. And how come they can't tell their own children apart? Or was that a joke? The description of the possession scene was interesting.

Fushigidane001, welcome to the Battle Range! Your story will be rated as soon as possible (I've only just seen it because TPM was down until minutes ago). Would you like your stories to be included in the archive (http://dragonsguild.com.ar/Archives/index.html)? If so, I will need a name under which to file them (it can be your first name or a nickname).

Skye, your Pokemon will battle a level 12 Gliscor, a level 24 Sableye and a level 6 Mawile. Please remember you'll have to wait 3 weeks before requesting another RBG.

Edit: Fushigidane001, I have read your story now. Great start! Including Uxie was a bit of a stretch, since legendary Pokemon don't normally show up in Caledor - or Ulthuan as a whole for that matter -, but as long as you don't make a habit out of including them in your stories, we can assume that one of them paid a short visit, caused some chaos and then left. After all one of us did encounter Mewtwo once, back in 2000.

I think your story would have been easier to read if you had used a few more commas, and inserted line breaks to separate different characters' lines. Other than that, it was very well written. :) I especially liked the way Cali discussed possible names with Fenix, and the character development in general. Take 9 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

lvl100mewtwo
11th February 2013, 04:09 PM
Hey, no worries about the wait, I understand, how was the mini trip? Haha, well there is still some growing up for Rex to do, A LOT actually, lol. My bad on that, I thought you were taking a more authoritative role at the meeting, guess I misinterpreted that, my bad. Plenty of your questions will be answered in the second part of the story, which I am currently working on. May take a bit, trying to find inspiration, lol, but the story board is pretty much done.

Lady Vulpix
11th February 2013, 07:29 PM
The trip was lovely, thanks! You can see my photos on Facebook if you're interested.

I'm looking forward to your next story post. :)

Wolfsong
24th March 2013, 11:03 PM
I'd like to get a random battle for Ziva my level 5 Female Mienfoo from the Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency please. *pays 7 stamps.

classy_cat18
24th March 2013, 11:11 PM
Ziva will battle a Ledyba.

classy_cat18
14th April 2013, 01:03 AM
Sorry to double post but...

Lily’s POV

While walking into the Jungle Room, I couldn’t help but wonder why this place wasn’t on the top floor. They could even make the ceiling out of glass so they could let sunshine through! The Pokemon that hang out in there would like it better that way.

When I told Athena my idea, she nodded in agreement but added, “This place should be open during nighttime too, right? That would make the room darker. At least with this artificial light, the Jungle Room would stay bright.”

“Plus a glass ceiling sounds a little terrifying,” Beacon added. “No glass is completely unbreakable. Great, now I can’t stop thinking of giant glass shards falling on us!”

Rose shivered and slowed down for a moment. Is she imagining a glass ceiling breaking?

The Fighting types were having their own discussion. I hopped closer to them to find out what they were talking about. “Why do you suddenly not want to be on the team anymore?” Moriko demanded.

Athena turned her gaze away from the Heracross. “I don’t want to leave the team. I just don’t want to fight. Shonta already said that I can just get ‘dropped from the roster’ and continue living at the house. We’d still technically be a trio.”

“But you won’t be able to get stronger with us!” Moriko told her. She grabbed Ali’s arm. “Help me out, Ali!”

“Why are you spazzing?” Ali asked with a weirded-out look. “I’m upset too, but it’s obvious that she’s lost her spark! She won’t be able to battle if her heart’s not in it!”

Both Athena and I flinched. It sounded harsh but Ali had a point. Still, she could’ve found a better way to put it. “Come on, we’re supposed to be here for fun training. Let’s not ruin it, okay?” I said to them.

The trio slowly nodded and went back to walking. Athena split from the group and scrambled up a nearby tree, escaping my sight. Despite still feeling worried about her, I didn’t say anything about it. Besides, I got worried about something else. “Has anyone seen Nama?” I asked my teammates.

The other two Fighting types shrugged. Beacon looked back in the direction of the door. Rose shook her head. “Don’t worry, Lily!” Moriko told me cheerfully. “Nama is a grown Slakoth; she can take care of herself!”

I’d still want to know if she gets challenged while roaming around. The trees were so thick in some places I couldn’t even see the ceiling. There was no way I’d be able to track them while I was on the ground.

We all jumped at the sound of a sharp shriek, and turned around to see Rose covering her mouth. “Sorry,” she whispered. “Something was rustling in those bushes over there.”

“Rose, this is a training room,” Ali explained. “We’re not the only ones in here.”

“Umm…” a voice squeaked from the bushes. A Turtwig slowly walked out and bowed his big head. “I apologize for scaring her. I was going to ask her for a battle.”

Rose looked back at us, her eyes slightly watery. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” I told her.

But she turned back to the Turtwig and nodded. “Good! Everyone should give us some space, because I’m not one for using the open spaces here!” the Turtwig said to us.

“Crap! It’s going to be hard to watch the battle with this much…green!” Ali complained.

Moriko gasped and pouted. “You’re right! Man, even if I flew overhead I wouldn’t be able to see anything!”

Rose took a deep breath. “I’m ready.”

The Turtwig grinned. “Me too! Oh, I forgot! My name’s Twig!”


L9 Female Roserade (Rose) vs. L8 Turtwig (Twig)

Rose’s POV

My first battle alone. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this alone but I had to, sooner or later. Lily said that I had a lot of potential. She’s a good judge of these kinds of things.

“Aah!” I squeaked as I ducked to avoid Twig’s Razor Leaf at the last second. Because of the difference in our heights and the tall underbrush, I couldn’t see him but he could probably see me! I could see why he didn’t want to fight in the open.

Mental note: keep focused! I turned around and fired a Magical Leaf while still running, knowing that I couldn’t miss even if I couldn’t see Twig. I heard a small grunt. I doubt that really hurt him but it’ll still slow him down. But where is he? Magical Leaf won’t do much damage so I can’t keep relying on that.

“Aah!”

I was so busy trying to track him that I didn’t notice that he had run ahead of me! I tried to stop but my foot snagged on something, making me trip and crash into him at high speed. We both tumbled until we hit more greenery, a bush to be more exact.

I opened my eyes, wincing when some dust got in my eye. No, it’s pollen. I raised an arm to dust it off only to find it refusing to move. “Paralysis?”

Twig wobbled from side to side, covered in the same stuff. But the speed of his movements weren’t slowed in the least. “That kinda hurt,” he groaned.

I tried to stand before he could fully recover but my limbs were still too stubborn, and he noticed me while I was only half-up. “You’re being too slow!” he shouted before knocking me back down with a Tackle.

How did I become paralyzed? There was no way Twig could do that while we were tumbling into that plant…that plant! I had trouble moving right after I fell into that mysterious plant! I wobbled around and faced Twig, who was still moving freely. But he breathed in that pollen too!

“I shouldn’t concentrate on that and just get rid of it,” I told myself.

“I’m not sure I should be waiting for you to get back up every time I knock you down,” Twig told me.

You’re not, but it’s good that you are. I waved an arm in the air and released a unique scent. “Aromatherapy.”

“Crap, I shouldn’t have let you do that!” He swung his head and let a flurry of razor-sharp leaves fly. I tried to run fast enough to dodge the attack but still felt a little pain. My limbs quickly regained the freedom to move.

It’s hard to be in a battle where we’re resistant to each other’s attacks, but I’m prepared for that! I pointed an arm at Twig and fired. “Pin Missle.”

Twig yelped and turned to run, hundreds of needles hitting his hindquarters. He still kept running, however, and I ran after him. He zigzagged so I couldn’t hit him as easily. “I need to slow him down,” I muttered to myself.

What would my teammates do? Moriko would probably knock a tree in his path…no, I probably shouldn’t do that. Maybe a little draining would do it. I focused on his energy, on drawing it to me to be exact. The Mega Drain took a while to do any damage, but he slowed down enough for me to pass him.

“Weather Ball,” I said as I turned around and shot him with a white ball of energy. One was all it took to knock him out.


Rose grows to Level 10 and gets Venoshock as her free TM!

“Twig?” I poked the fallen Turtwig with an arm. He groaned and shivered but didn’t wake up. “I guess you’ll be down for a while.”

“Rose!” I heard Moriko shout from above. The Heracross landed in front of me. “Oh good, you won! That’s one battle down!”

Something had been bugging me ever since the Fighting types started arguing in the Jungle Room. In fact, it had been bugging me for months. When Ali came into view, I forced myself to tell them. “Hey…” I spoke up. “This may be just me but…”

“What?” the two Pokemon said together.

“Well…this may sound weird but…it feels like the two of you have…”

“Have what?” Moriko demanded.

I jumped at her tone. “Switched personalities!” I squeaked.

They were quiet for a long time before breaking out in laughter. “You think we’re acting like each other? Come on, we’ve always been like this!” Moriko said.

“But…but you have!” They kept laughing until Nama jumped down from the trees above us. “Nama, haven’t you noticed?”

Nama yawned loudly. “Noticed what?”

“That they’ve been acting like each other!”

She blinked slowly, looked from one to the other. “Actually, yeah. Kinda.”

“What?” Moriko and Ali said together.

“I’ve noticed it since the Pokemon Spotlight when they were interviewing Moriko,” I told Nama. “By the way, how did your battle go? You found one, right?”

She frowned. “Butterfree gave me a dose of Sleep Powder and left while I was sleeping. I think I’ve had enough of this place.”

“That sucks!” Moriko exclaimed.

“We need to come up with a strategy,” Ali muttered.

“See? Shouldn’t it be Ali saying that it sucks?” I said.

“You think Jewel and Circe have noticed this too?” Nama asked me.

We met up with the others and joined with the rest of the team at the Pokemon Center. I talked with Jewel about my thoughts about Ali and Moriko. <I wouldn’t say they have switched personalities,> the Starmie answered. <But the two seem to have switched certain traits. Moriko has picked up Ali’s rudeness.>

“Yeah, and Ali’s a lot more mellow in general,” Circe added.

“What? Ali still calls me fat!” Trinity whined.

“Yeah, but Moriko has started agreeing out loud,” Beacon commented.

<With the amount of time the three spend together, it’s possible that they have simply rubbed off on each other.>

Moriko came walking up, having been sitting with Lily and quietly listening to us. “No, I’ve just changed a little. I guess not for the better. Sorry about worrying you guys.”

“We’ve all had those days,” Circe said coolly. “We’ve all been down because of this Black Dragon business.”

“No time for that! Our trainer is counting on our support!” Moriko said with a grin. “Let’s focus on getting first place in the Dragon Games first!”

Trinity snorted. “So now you’re all sunny? Just like that?”

“I’ve snapped out of it!” She patted her head with a laugh. “Hey, where’s Katana?”

The fox Pokemon stiffened like a petrified tree. She muttered something through tightly-clenched teeth too low for me to hear. “She’s talking to someone?” Beacon guessed.

Shonta walked in the Center a while later, sipping from a paper cup. “I guess the training’s over. Let’s head to the site of the next round.”

Edit: I didn't want to triple post, so I hope this edit gets noticed. Can I get a 2vs2 battle for my L13 Slakoth (Nama) and my L11 Ralts (Circe) from the Universal Adoption Center? *pays 14 Stamps*

Lady Vulpix
17th April 2013, 11:49 AM
Shonta, I'll read your story as soon as I can. I don't mind if someone else rates it in the meantime, though. :rolleyes:

Nama and Circe will battle a level 13 Lileep and a level 11 Aron.

Lady Vulpix
2nd May 2013, 10:33 AM
Sorry for the delay. Where is everyone else?!

Shonta, I enjoyed your story. Twig was quite a kind opponent. And I chuckled at the way Moriko just "snapped out of it". Take 13 stamps for your story, plus another 11 stamps for the delay, totalling 24 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

classy_cat18
24th August 2013, 01:38 AM
Beacon’s POV

For the tenth time today, I was staring at the closed door to my trainer’s room. It’s noon, and she hasn’t gotten up yet? What’s going on with her? I passed by our bedroom again and saw Nama curled up in the corner. Nama too. It’s like we have two Slakoth in the house.

“Beacon, we’re trying to decide what we want for dinner,” Athena said from the end of the hallway. “Would you like to suggest something?”

Circe stood next to her. “I think we should try making that spicy curry,” she offered.

“I’ll just go along with everyone else,” I muttered, my eyes wandering back to Shonta’s room.

Athena quietly came up to stand beside me, Circe following. “She’s been like that for a while, hasn’t she? I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“But what if she’s still depressed?”

Circe shook her head. “I know what her depression feels like and it’s not that. The vibes I’m sensing are when she’s in her ‘hyper concentration’ mode. When she’s like that, the world doesn’t matter.”

“But—“

“AAH!”

We jumped together in alarm. The yell had come from Shonta’s room. Seconds later Shonta burst out the door and ran to the bathroom. My tail orb was blinking as I shook. Was she hurt? Sick? I ran to her room and looked inside. No one was there, but there was paper scattered on her bed and in the floor.

Athena was knocking on the bathroom door. “Shonta! Are you okay?” she yelled.

“Why didn’t anyone tell me it was noon!?” I heard Shonta yell back.

I finally relaxed. She had probably just slept in late. “Wait, I thought you had an alarm clock!” I yelled through the door.

“I forget to set it, okay?” She came out with messed up hair. “I have this huge cache of TMs so I thought I would spend the night figuring out which went to who, but I fell asleep at some point and here we are.”

“You were sleeping?” Circe questioned. “But your mind was active.”

“I was dreaming.”

“That was some intense dreaming.”

“You know what? I was planning so hard that I was even planning in my sleep. No wonder I still feel tired.” She laughed nervously. “Nothing like spending a busy day feeling like crap.”

“I’ll make you some tea,” Athena offered.

“I can do that myself. Just relax with the team for now.”

The team was scattered in a few parts of the house. Destai and Bo were with Nama in our bedroom, having their usual midday nap. Trinity was watching TV in the living room with Rose, and Ken was helping Athena and Ali in the kitchen. The rest of the team was in the backyard. “You’re finally up! I was close to kicking your door down!” Ali exclaimed when Shonta went into the kitchen to make her tea.

“Sorry. I’m awake now,” Shonta muttered.

“Miss Shonta’s got spiky hair,” Ken giggled.

“Half the day away. Gabi’s gonna kill me for not working on the Black Dragon situation.” She sipped her hot tea and sighed, a little life returning to her face. “Is the gang all here? We got a few things to do.”

“Like what?” I asked her.

“Like strategy,” was all she said in response before getting up and gathering the Pokemon together in the living room. She was still sipping her tea when we were all there and she plopped down on the couch with her backpack.

“Once again our trainer competes with Trinity to be the laziest one living here,” Katana groaned.

“Hey!” Trinity shouted.

“Come on, Katana, I needed a break,” Shonta moaned. “Or maybe you don’t want new moves.”

“Like that’s supposed to make me change my tune,” Katana said.

The argument stopped there, Shonta getting quiet as she passed out the TMs. The biggest stack went to Circe who stared at it with an open mouth (eyes being hidden from her bangs). “All these for me?” Circe questioned.

“And you threatened me only to not give me anything anyway,” Katana grumbled.

“You’re not the only one,” Ali assured her.

“OH! Before I forget…” Shonta started as she set down her tea mug. “I sorted the TMs depending on who needed them. Katana has the potential to have a wide movepool, and Ali is doing well too. Both of you are good as solo powerhouses. Circe, on the other hand, has the disadvantage of a shallow movepool. Hardly any offensive moves. On top of that, she has low stats.”

“Thanks for the pep talk,” Circe said with no hurt at all in her voice.

“But it came to me while I was falling asleep. I was trying to train her like the other two Psychic types in the team which doesn’t fit her at all. Ali is a good physical attacker, and Jewel is a good special attacker, but they both do well by themselves. All the things I used to describe Circe means that she’s not meant to be an offensive battler, or a solo battler for that matter.”

<You’re going to put her in 2 vs. 2 battles?> Jewel guessed.

Shonta grinned widely. “Not only that, but she’s the perfect partner for another Pokemon that’s not suitable for solo battling.” She pointed to Nama. “Your Truant ability is one big weak spot, so you need someone to keep you covered on those turns you can’t attack!”

“Shouldn’t that be one of us powerhouses?” Ali asked.

Shonta shook her head. “With Nama and Circe working together, it can work like a symbiotic relationship. Nama needs Circe’s abilities as a buffer, debuffer, healer and special attacker. Circe needs Nama’s offensive physical power. Once Nama evolves, they’ll also have speed on their side!”

Katana smirked. “Should’ve known better than to think you did nothing all this time. But won’t they grow slower this way?”

“Yeah, that’s the downside. But once they evolve, they might have the strength to battle solo sometimes. For now, their stats are pretty low.”

“Nice exposition and all but didn’t we already try this with Nama and Rose?” Trinity commented.

“Yes, but this time it’ll work much better. I just need to test it.”

Circe chuckled and nudged the sleepy Nama. “You pumped up?” she asked.

“I guess so,” Nama replied with a shrug.

“Come on, Nama! Have a little more pep!” Moriko said cheerfully. “Think about it; your evolution to Vigoroth is just around the corner!”

She smiled slowly and nodded. “I’ll do my best.”

Most of the went down to the MTU building, but Athena, Trinity and I decided to get the stuff for dinner instead. Athena said she could use the help.

Shonta’s POV

I signed up for a battle against a MTU trainer by the name of Ashley and met her in one of the training rooms. “I gotta warn you that I tend to be a little bitchy during battles,” Ashley said to me as we took our places.

I blinked rapidly. “Ooookay. Thanks for telling me that in advance.”


L11 Ralts (Circe) and L13 Slakoth (Nama) vs. L11 Aron and L13 Lileep

Lileep’s vines shot across the field and wrapped around Nama before Circe could defend her. Nama dug her claws in the dirt but a hard tug freed her.

“Nama!” Circe and I cried out together.

“This is gonna suck,” Circe said calmly as she faced the Aron. “You’re not going to let me rescue my buddy, are ya?” Aron said something in reply. “Thought so. Then I’ll just go through you.” Aron snorted at this and charged her, stopping when she split into five using Double Team and surrounded him.

I looked up at Nama as she limply hung high from the vine wrapped around her. My strategy was already crumbling to dust. “Try to get free!” I told her. She raised a claw only for another vine to wrap around both front paws. “Use Yawn instead!”

“Ditch it before you get put to sleep!” Ashley ordered.

Lileep quickly tossed Nama away. The five Circe became one again and caught her using psychic powers, only to be tackled by Aron. Nama fell to the ground with a thump.

I need to find a way for the two to work together but that can’t happen with them separated. Not to mention we’re at a type disadvantage. Good strategy.

“We won’t need to do much to defeat you,” the girl on the other end said smugly.

I narrowed my eyes. “You better take this seriously before you slip up,” I grumbled.

“You’re right. Lileep, use Seed Bomb on the Slakoth!”

“Crap! Nama, use Shadow Ball to protect yourself!” Lileep launched his attack as I was saying that. Nama barely had enough time to launch the dark orb on the seeds that rained on her. She still got pelted by a few, and grunted with each impact.

Ashley put her hands on her hips. “Doesn’t your Ralts know Reflect?” She smirked when I flinched. “Guess not. She just can’t cover for her partner and now your Slakoth’s wasted a turn. Another Seed Bomb on her! Aron, double team her and use Take Down!”

I opened my mouth to tell Circe to cover her somehow but stopped when the attack didn’t come. Lileep twitched and twisted his tentacles. “Lil…Lileep!”

Aron skidded to a stop. Ashley’s eyes widened. “What do you mean you can’t?”

“Your Seed Bomb got disabled, dude!” Circe laughed. “You gotta keep your eyes on the psychic!”

“Guess Circe is focusing more on the battle than both of us are,” I commented, feeling just a little embarrassed.

Ashley glared at Aron. “Aron, you can still use Take Down!”

“Too slow!” Circe said as she raised her hands and fired a Charge Beam at Aron’s back. The Pokemon cried out and tumbled on his back. “Still think I can’t cover for my partner?”

Ashley gasped. “Aron, please get up!”

Circe and Nama looked at each other for a long moment, Circe making gestures with her hands. Probably planning something via telepathy. I smiled. It was time for us to recover. “Circe, use Light Screen and make sure Aron doesn’t get to Nama!” Circe nodded and traced a box shape with her hands, a square light shape forming in front of her and Nama. I turned my attention to Nama. “Back up and use Curse to prepare your counterattack!”

Ashley gritted her teeth and pointed to Lileep. “Use Earth Power on Nama!”

Nama, who had yet to curse herself, slowly looked at the ground while it seemed to open up under her. Her expression only changed slightly into dull surprise.

“Nama!” Circe shouted. Aron charged her while she was distracted, knocking her down.

Nama shook her head and took the hit. Circe turned her head to Lileep, and this time I could catch her body glowing white for a brief second. Disable again?

“Nama?” I finally spoke.

The sloth slowly sat up and stumbled around a little. “I’m o-okay,” she groaned.

“Do it again!” Ashley commanded.

“HOLE!” I shouted.

Nama rolled into the hole that the first Earth Power hit, avoiding the second one. At the same time, Circe turned to Aron and slammed the ground as hard as she could. Another Earth Power opened up under the Steel-type Pokemon and blasted him. She had used Mimic!

“One more,” Circe mumbled and shot a Charge Beam while he was still airborne.

“Oh no!” Ashley exclaimed. Aron landed, making a little crater. He didn’t get up this time. She sighed and returned him.

“Now that Aron’s out of the picture, we can focus on Lileep!” I told Circe. She started running toward the hole that Nama was still in, stopped midway and used Disable on Lileep again. “Good. Now Earth Power is disabled.”

“By now Lileep can go back to using Seed Bomb,” Ashley pointed out.

“Circe!” Nama called out from the hole. “I got a plan but you’ll have to keep Lileep busy for a few turns!”

“Gotcha!” Circe returned. She stood between Lileep and Nama’s hole, glowing a calming blue.

“Snatch Circe from there with your tentacles!” Ashley told Lileep.

“Use Will O’ Wisp to keep those tentacles away from you!” I told Circe.

Lileep whipped out his tentacles. Blue flames shot out of Circe’s hand and singed any tentacles that came close to her. Lileep immediately withdrew them and said something in a pained voice.

“You’re burned?” Ashley said in surprise.

“Give me a boost!” I heard Nama say.

“Having trouble getting out of the hole?” Circe said.

“No…well yes, but not that kind of boost!”

“Ohhhhh, I gotcha.” She clapped.

“Thanks!” A faint glow came from the hole.

“Lileep, try getting to that Slakoth before they can finish whatever they’re planning!” Ashley said.

Lileep shot another barrage of Seed Bomb at Circe, who in turn fired another Charge Beam to stop the attack. Lileep quickly followed that with a sweep of his tentacle, knocking Circe’s feet from under her.

“Don’t give up!” I said to Circe. “Get out of range again!”

“No duh,” she replied.

Nama slowly crawled out of the whole, her short fur standing on end and crackling with electricity. Her whole body was also covered in…frost? “I’m almost ready, Circe,” she said.

“Dude, did you fall in a freezer?” Circe asked while shivering.

“This attack takes me a while to charge. Just make sure I have a clear shot.”

Ashley stared at Nama with wide eyes and an open mouth. “What are you…Lileep, ready your Solarbeam!”

I yelped and clenched my fists. If those two got hit by that beam that was it! “Circe, keep blasting Lileep with Earth Power!”

Circe raised her arms to slam them only for her whole body to hit the dirt. Something had wrapped around her legs. “Grass Knot,” I hissed.

Nama was now forming a ball of electricity and freezing energy in her hands…

Lileep was charging her Solarbeam…

“Let’s even the odds a little,” Circe said while making a cutting motion with her hands. Both she and Lileep grunted. “How did that Pain Split feel?”

“Ready!” Nama shouted.

“Lileep!” Lileep shouted.

“Hang tight!” Circe shouted.

Nama feet suddenly left the ground, and she shot four feet up just as the Solarbeam was fired! She let out a squeak in surprise. Circe’s levitating her!

“Hate to hurry you but I’m about to drop you, dude!” Circe grunted.

Nama let loose the Freeze Shock, the attack taking the form of electrically-charged icicles that pelted Lileep until he couldn’t take it anymore. And the only thing I could think at that moment was when the hell they practiced this attack.

When Lileep’s tentacles drooped, the referee raised our flag. “The match is over! Circe and Nama are the winners!”


Circe won and grew to level 12! Nama won and grew to level 14!

I ran to my Pokemon just in time to catch the dropped Nama. “You two did pretty good together,” I said with a grin.

“She’s my speed. I like that,” Circe said as she sat up, the vine around her leg having withered. “We should hang out more, Nama.”

Nama grinned. “Yeah, I’d like that.”

“You can rest in your pokeballs for now,” I suggested. They nodded and let me return them.

Ashley was still standing on her end of the field. “How…how d-did your Slakoth know that attack?”

“The Dragon Games tournament,” I replied bluntly.

Her face lit up. “Ohhhhh. I remember you now. You were the winner of the Consolation Round. No wonder you were tough. Good battle.”

I gave her a thumbs-up and left the training room. The team met me at the door, Moriko pouting for some reason. “I can’t believe they made the windows in the observation room soundproof!” she complained.

“And Bullet Seed-proof,” Lily said brightly. “The trainers and their Pokemon must be free of distraction.”

“But what if they’re in a real battle? Outside during a war with the Black Dragon or in a tournament? They won’t have the convenience of soundproof windows then!”

“She’s got a point,” Ali commented.

I looked around at my team. There were a few members missing. “Where are the kids, Katana and Bandit?”

“Those four went to the Reward Center for a little window shopping,” Moriko answered. “Bo got a little weird and Ken wanted to calm him down, and you know their auntie and uncle have to watch them.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Got a little weird?”

“Anxious,” Rose whispered to clarify.

I bit my lip. Bo’s still not feeling well? I shouldn’t have let him go wandering around. The feeling of dread got even worse when Katana came sprinting at top speed. “What’s wrong?” Even though I had a vague idea.

“Something’s wrong with Bo! Bandit and Ken are managing things right now but—“

“Just take me there,” I interrupted.

By the time we got to the Reward Center, they were already rolling Bo out on a gurney. I felt my innards drop and freeze at the sight. The poor Umbreon was out cold. “Excuse me…” I whispered to one of the nurses.

“Are you the trainer?” she asked. I nodded. “He attacked a customer. We had to sedate him for the moment.”

The person who was attacked stormed out and stuck a finger in my face. “What the hell is wrong with that Pokemon!?” he demanded.

I was caught speechless. All I could do was stare at the man’s torn pants leg and bite marks. Jewel spoke for me. <He’s been under tremendous stress recently. It would be wise for you to not cause any more by harassing his trainer.>

Ken was the next one who came out, sobbing loudly and clinging to my leg. Bandit came up and rubbed his head, his own eyes misty. The man gulped and stomped away. Moriko held my hand. “Come on. He’s gonna be looking for us when he wakes up.”

“Wait!” I turned around as the shopkeeper ran out. She handed me a plastic bag with a Fire Stone in it. “The customer was about to buy this when your Umbreon…went out of control.”

Ken wiped his eyes. “He kept telling the man to not buy that. He said there was something wrong with it.”

I looked it over. It seemed like an ordinary Fire Stone but I wasn’t a dealer or anything. And Pokemon did have better senses than humans. “If you can, take all your evolutionary stones off the shelves,” I told the shopkeeper.

I’ll have to get Bo to explain when he gains consciousness.

EDIT: Can I get a RGB for Nama (L14) and Circe (L12) from the Free Range Corral? *pays 14 Stamps*

Lady Vulpix
28th August 2013, 03:51 PM
Nice work, Shonta! Take 20 stamps!

I hope we can get done with the current scenario soon.

As for the RBG, they will battle a level 14 Spinda and a level 12 Dunsparce. O_o

classy_cat18
6th September 2013, 06:49 PM
No battles this time. Next time!

Shonta’s POV

They had taken Bo somewhere behind double doors. After managing to calm Katana down, I gave another nurse Circe’s and Nama’s pokeballs so they could be healed. Then I sat in the waiting room with my Pokemon and called my house number. Athena picked up the phone, and I took a deep breath before explaining what had happened at the MTU, anticipating her reaction.

“Bo did what!? And he’s where!?”

I held the cell phone away from my ear to keep from going deaf. “Athena, calm down. Things tend to get broken when you’re high-strung.”

Like bones, I said in my head.

“How can you expect me to calm down when that child is sedated and tied down to a bed!?” There was a loud crash following that, and Beacon’s voice could be heard in the background. “No, I don’t need your help chopping vegetables!”

“Then stop waving that knife around before you hurt yourself!” Trinity yelped. “Or me!”

“I don’t know when I’ll be home,” I told Athena. “I hope you haven’t started cooking yet.”

“No, just preparing. I’ll put everything on hold and wait with you. I can make sandwiches for everyone if you’re hungry.”

“You guys hungry?” I asked the teammates. I got different responses, all meaning “yes”. “Yeah, the usual.”

Her voice got brighter. “Okay! I’ll be there as soon as possible! Bye!” She hung up.

Katana was clawing at the floor and mumbling to herself. “I can’t do anything,” I was able to make out.

“I don’t believe that!” Bandit snapped. “The sooner we get rid of that Black Dragon, the sooner Bo can relax!”

“You…you don’t think he was possessed again, do you?” Rose asked me softly.

“Uhhh…” I started.

<I doubt that,> Jewel said. <The information that Ken, Katana and Bandit gave us suggested that something just triggered a panic attack.>

I looked down at the plastic bag containing the Fire Stone and then patted my pocket. Lately I’ve made it a habit of never leaving the house without the Aurora Mirror. It had been getting even more necessary by the day. “I’m going to take a walk,” I told the team.

Destai stood and followed me out of the waiting room. We still didn’t communicate like I did with the other Pokemon on the team, but he had silently taken the role of my bodyguard sometimes when I was alone. He’d walk by my side, glaring and sniffing anyone or anything that was remotely suspicious. “Dou!” he barked as he stopped in the middle of the hallway.

“Hou!” a similar bark answered from around the corner.

A Pokemon trotted into view and stared at us. Another Houndour?

“Do you sense something, Noah?” a familiar voice asked.

“Eli?” I asked out loud.

The pale, stoic boy stepped out and waved. “Shonta. It’s nice to see you again,” he greeted.

Your usual expression says otherwise.

“You said that we’d bump into each other again,” I said out loud. “You look well.”

“But you look distraught. Is there something troubling you?”

I would’ve been touched if he had sounded like he meant it. But I couldn’t judge based on just that. “You know my Umbreon, right?”

The way his eyes lit up caught me off guard for a moment. “Bo, correct?”

“Y-Yeah…he hasn’t been feeling well, and he attacked a trainer.”

The expression on his face intensified. “Why did he attack?”

“Not too sure but we think it has to do with this.” I pulled the Fire Stone out of my pocket. “The trainer was about to buy it when Bo stopped him.”

Eli’s eyes were fixated on the stone, looking more interested in it than he had anything else before it. His hand slowly reached toward it. Noah’s bark snapped him out of it. “Oh. Hm. It would be helpful to know where this stone was mined.”

“Why?”

“If we are to investigate this stone, we should go to the source.”

“I guess it couldn’t…wait a minute, what do you mean by ‘we’?”

“You do not want my assistance?” I could’ve sworn he sounded disappointed but I just couldn’t tell with this guy!

“Well, uh, I’m sure you already have stuff to do.”

“I don’t. I am also concerned about the Umbreon.”

“But what if the problem isn’t with the stone?”

“So you’re saying that Bo was just being paranoid and you don’t believe him?”

I flinched at the accusation. “Not really—“

His look hardened to something more intense than his usual gaze. “Either your Umbreon’s wrong and he’ll need to be kept in the hospital even further or there’s something wrong with the stone. Your choice.”

I bit my lip and nodded. “You’re right. That was wrong of me. I just don’t like where this is going.”

Bo’s POV

I don’t like sleeping anymore. Every time I go to sleep, I see things like shadows and glowing eyes, and they whisper to me. But it didn’t happen this time. It was just black. It made the lights too bright at first. The first thing I wanted to do was find the man I bit and apologize, but I couldn’t move. I was on my stomach, and there was something across my back keeping me from getting up. “I’m...strapped down?”

Where was I? How long have I been here? Where’s everyone else?

“Miss Shonta?” I tried to say but my mouth was too dry. Then I thought something scary.

Does she know where I am?

“Can anybody *cough* hear me?”

“Shh,” I heard someone say. I tried to lift my head to see around the bed but there were gates or something on both sides, making it hard to look. But I did see a red zigzag stripe through the bars.

“Uncle Bandit!” I called out.

“SHH!” he said louder. The rest of him appeared. “If the nurse comes in and sees me, she’ll kick me out!”

“Sorry,” I said. “Can you get me outta here?”

“Shonta’s working on it.”

“Why can’t I just go?”

“You kinda bit someone.”

“I didn’t mean to bite him. I just wanted to warn him, but he couldn’t understand me! But I…but I…”

“Snapped?”

I flinched, not wanting to think that I had actually gone crazy. I wasn’t crazy! I wasn’t dangerous! “You think I’m crazy.”

He climbed into the bed. “You’re stressed out, not crazy. And you did manage to keep the stone away from the guy. The shopkeeper gave it to Shonta—“

“You let Miss Shonta touch it!?”

He quickly wrapped a hand around my muzzle. “In a plastic bag. She hasn’t touched it yet. And she told the shopkeeper to take all the stones off the shelves.”

I quickly felt better. They still trusted me.

“You gotta tell us what’s wrong with the stone,” Bandit told me.

“I…I don’t know.” It was hard to explain.

“Try to remember what happened when you saw the stone in the display case.”

I looked away from him. “I, uh, heard something. A whisper in my head, like how Miss Jewel talks to me. And then I saw something in the stone. Like a shadow, or a black cloud.”

He looked scared at what I told him but smiled and stroked my ears. “You’re really tough, kid. I would’ve peed myself if I had seen that.”

I laughed, feeling better than I had all day. My dry mouth was still bothering me though. “Could you get me some water?”

Uncle Bandit’s smile disappeared as he looked around the room. “Tying you down, not giving you water…” he grumbled as he climbed out of the bed. “Your auntie will have someone’s head for this.”

I heard a door behind me open, and from it came Miss Shonta’s angry voice. “You did what to my Umbreon!?”

“W-We had to make sure he wasn’t a danger to everyone! We would’ve taken the restraints off once he was calm again!” a female human said.

“He was calm! You sedated him, remember?”

“We didn’t know what would’ve happened once he recovered!”

“He’s up,” I heard Uncle Bandit say. “I think he’s dehydrated.”

“No one is allowed—“ the unknown lady said.

“I am a member of the Dragon’s Guild! I order you to let me release my Pokemon!”

“O-Okay!”

“Wow,” I whispered to myself.

I heard stomping and then whatever was tying me down taken away. “I’m so sorry, champ,” Miss Shonta said to me. “Can you stand?”

I managed to stand but everything was stiff. “I hurt a little bit,” I told her.

“Try using Moonlight and see if that makes things better.”

I did what she said and felt some of the stiffness go away. “Better.”

She led me out of the room, stopping in front of the nurse she was arguing with. “I don’t know who told you to treat Bo that way, but people employed by the MTU should know better.” The nurse didn’t try to say anything back.

“I didn’t know you had that much clout being a member of the Dragon’s Guild,” Uncle Bandit commented as I walked with them.

“Honestly, I don’t think I do. After all, the MTU is a branch of the Dragon’s Guild. And if I don’t have any pull here, then I’ll be in big trouble,” Miss Shonta said casually. “But Bo’s back with us and I’m just fine with that.”

I smiled up at her and nuzzled the back of her leg. “I’m glad to be back,” I said.

“Where did Eli go off to? I thought he was going to help us with our investigation,” Bandit groaned.

My ears perked. “Mister Eli was here?”

“Please Bo, he’s too young to be a ‘Mister’.”

“He was here,” Shonta said to me. “But he said that he had things to do for now, and told me to tell you that he hopes you feel better soon.”

That made my tail wag a little. Eli seemed a little weird but Uncle Bandit told me once that there were humans who couldn’t connect with other humans. It didn’t mean they were bad people.

“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Uh oh! I braced myself about what was coming next. The blue blur crashed into me and sent us both tumbling back. “K…en…”

Ken got off me and hugged my neck as soon as I got up, eyes watery and nose snotty. “I told them it wasn’t your fault! I told them not to hurt you!” he sobbed.

My ears drooped. He had probably been crying since they knocked me out. “Thanks for telling them,” I said while rubbing his head. I felt something sticky on my fur. “Ewww! Wipe your nose!”

He wiped it with his arm and lunged for another hug. I jumped over him and ran down the hall to avoid getting slimed again. The rest of the team were on the other side of the double doors at the end. I pushed them open and was yanked into Auntie Katana’s arms. “You’re okay. Thank goodness you’re okay,” she muttered as she squeezed me.

Getting harder to breathe…

“She wanted to get you herself,” Uncle Bandit explained. “But we were afraid she’d cause a bigger panic than your little bite.”

She let me go after I started to squirm. “How long was I in that room?” I asked her.

One of her ears drooped. “A few hours. We’ve been here the whole time.”

I sat in the waiting room with the team and ate one of Miss Athena’s sandwiches with a bottle of milk. Miss Circe and Miss Nama had to get healed after their battle but they were okay when I got back to the team. Miss Shonta had gotten quiet and really serious. I nuzzled her hand to get her attention. “What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“Thinking about that stone. If you’re the only one who sees something wrong with it, it’s probably tied to the Black Dragon.”

My blood felt like it was freezing. “You think it has something to do with Bo’s possession?” Auntie Katana asked.

<That would make sense. He’d be the one most familiar with the demon’s energy,> Jewel said.

Miss Shonta stood up and stretched. “I don’t like the way this is going. Who knows how many more stones are waiting to be bought?”

“And who, what, when and how did they get infected with demons?” Miss Ali added.

“And we need to find all the corrupted stones. All across Ulthuan,” Miss Trinity added.

“Excuse me,” a new voice cut in. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

I looked around Miss Shonta’s leg. Eli was there, and his Houndour was by his side again. I waved to the two, and Noah barked in response. Eli looked down at me, and his stare got a little creepy.

“You’re done doing what you left to do?” Miss Shonta asked him, ignoring how Eli was looking at me.

It must be because I have red rings. Yep. I’d stare too. I’m as weird as a transparent Dratini.

He finally took his eyes off of me. “Yes, I went to send an email to Lord Articuno.”

“Lord Articuno?” Miss Shonta had a hard time remembering people from the guild.

<Lord Articuno is the head of the Traders and Merchants Association,> Miss Jewel explained for Miss Shonta, who nodded in understanding.

“You contacted him in regards to the stones.”

Eli nodded. “Yes, and requested to put a freeze on the distribution and sale of them until we can find, collect and destroy all of them.”

“How long will that even take?” She bit her lip. “There has to be a quicker way.”

“Maybe defeating the Black Dragon?” I suggested.

“I’ll be checking the Guild news,” Eli said. “I suggest you do the same, and tell me if you find anything interesting.”

He and Miss Shonta shook hands and exchanged email addresses. Then I finally got back home with the team. Miss Circe and Miss Nama told me about their battle. We watched TV, Miss Shonta worked on her computer, and most of us went to bed.

I didn’t. I had slept enough. Right now I just wanted peace but I couldn’t get it. Because if evolution stones are really causing Pokemon to get possessed… I looked over my own body, and my red rings. Is that how the demon got in me? But I’ve been an Umbreon for a long time! How could none of us not sense it!?

I shivered and curled up in my bed. How many Pokemon are in trouble?

lvl100mewtwo
17th September 2013, 10:14 PM
Good job Shonta! Here, take these 9 stamps for the nice little story you had going on there, can't wait to see where this is going!

Lady Vulpix
18th September 2013, 08:23 AM
Interesting story indeed. I'm looking forward to seeing where things go from here. I like the scene with Eli. The only thing I'm wondering is how Athena was able to talk on the phone.

zap the electric master
3rd July 2015, 02:21 AM
Ok Lily we are landing on the shadowlands near the eagle gate. Ok zap. Looks like we have a welcoming comity.
Oh boy and me with only a level 8 Oshawaht that I got from the other adoption center heh oshawaht use water gun on that bolder and that is that. We land and are setting up camp but we are attacked by a level 15 Raichu. Oshawaht use water gun on the bolder Raichu is ko'd oshawaht leveled up to level 10 and Learned Razer shell. we finish setting up camp and fall asleep.

Well Lily we landed on the wrong side of the island. Oh no zap we knead to get to the tower of flame. Hmm I got it I'll just use teleport and get US to the tower. I use teleport and pop were there. Ok I'll be back I teleport to the dark Dragon well the pillar behind it and draw my sword use it to cut the pillar and it falls on the Dragon and I cut the Dragon's head off.

Lady Vulpix
3rd July 2015, 11:28 AM
Uh... Sorry, but there's no way a level 8 Oshawott can beat a level 15 Raichu with a single Water Gun. And the Dark Dragon is nowhere near as easy to kill. That, and you might want to work on your narration a bit more. A more detailed, feasible story, with better spelling and punctuation, could get you a stamp or two.

zap the electric master
3rd July 2015, 03:43 PM
Well oshawaht used water gun on a bolder to throw it at raichu and my sword is able to cut through anything and I can use pokemon moves and I'm what's known as a dream walker so I can bend reality to my will.

Lady Vulpix
6th July 2015, 10:30 AM
OK, you're just trolling us. Either that or you have some severe mental illness. Either way, I'm not going to try to rate that kind of writing again.

Lady Vulpix
23rd September 2015, 03:37 PM
Yes! After all this time, I finally have a new story to post! It may look a bit rushed, but most of the action was going on elsewhere (I hope Jeff and Will get to post their sides of the story).

Whenever I get the chance to write again, I will post a few (weird) snapshots of the 3 lost years, and then get things flowing again with a new scenario. :)

ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø

<Gabi's POV>

It's hard to recount what happened such a long time ago. It's been over 3 years, and honestly it feels like these events took place in a previous life. Perhaps they did, in a way, considering what happened later, but I don't want to jump forward now, lest my narration make even less sense than it will if I tell things in order. Still... order is so hard to achieve these days... Never mind, I need to forget about bills, paperwork and refurbishing for a while and try to make sense of that day when one big mess was stopped and an even bigger one started.

I remember meeting with a rather large group of trainers at the outskirts of Sector Alpha and laying out the general strategy, warning everyone to be extremely careful, to avoid the Black Dragon at all costs and to signal for help if they needed it. I wished Jeff and Rapp the best, as they had the toughest and most dangerous jobs ahead of them. I was worried about them, but at the same time somewhat glad to be watching others' backs rather than sticking my head into the lion's mouth. I also wished Shonta and her team good luck with their rescue mission, since they were in charge of liberating as many possessed Pokemon as possible. Then, we all started our trek.

We headed towards the Forbidden Mountains, watching our every step. I wished we'd had the surprise factor with us, but sadly that ship had sailed, so we had to watch out for the welcoming committee. We spread out, as soon as we were in the general vicinity of the mountains, hoping to divide the enemy forces. I think I saw Alex wave before he left my sight. Eshree held Glenda's hand and told her to be careful and she replied "you too" before they, too, walked off in different directions.

My team and I tried to get as close to the barrier as possible. The plan was to make ourselves look like a threat and attract the attention of the stronger demons. It was a risky plan, but Hero and Lagi were confident in their ability to at least put up a good fight and buy Jeff and Rapp the time they needed to finish their jobs. Sadly, things don't always go as expected, and a second after Ventura told us the demons were getting closer, three of them blocked our way before we could get as close as we desired. They were possessing a Gallade and two Honchkrows. I tried to look at the bright side. At least any demon we fought was a demon they wouldn't have to deal with.

<Caledor's POV>

Can I retell the battle, please? After all, I was in it and I want to narrate the events that led to my ascension. Yes, I can see those rolling eyes, but I did ascend! I ascended to the... OK, OK, just the battle for now, got it.


Group C vs. three Demons possessing level 70 Pokemon

The Gallade looked ready to attack Sylvan, but Amber was faster thanks to her matches, and hit the possessed Pokemon with an Aeroblast! The Gallade managed not to lose balance, but he was stuck battling Amber rather than Sylvan. I went for one of the Honchkrows, which is sort of funny since he happened to be going for me. I bet he was not expecting me to hit him with a Thunderbolt. He took my attack head on! Then I think the Gallade hit Amber, because I heard her make a sound, but I couldn't afford to get distracted.

<Hero's POV>

And therefore you don't know what happened to the others and are thus unable to report it. Since I was watching the battle from the sidelines, I did get to see the Gallade hit Amber with a Psycho Cut, and also what happened later, so please let me finish the recount of the battle. No objections? I thought so.

So, while the Gallade was attacking Amber and one of the Honchkrows was occupied with Caledor, the other Honchkrow - a female, I may add - went for the target who looked most vulnerable to her, and that was Ventura. She hit the Venomoth with a Wing Attack and brought her down with a single blow which, knowing Ventura, must have been quite embarrassing for her, but she was at a disadvantage in both power and type, so there's nothing to be ashamed of. I believed the other Honchkrow could have defeated Caledor easily too, if he had been thinking clearly, but he was baffled by the glowing Espeon who could wield lightning, which just goes to prove that old tricks can still work if you try them on a new audience. As it was, the demon got scared and used Double Team.

As soon as Sylvan saw Ventura fall, she ran to her side and showered her attacker with Sleep Powder. The Honchkrow fell asleep before she could launch another attack.

Amber tried a second Aeroblast, but the Gallade endured the hit. Caledor's opponent wasn't so lucky, since my friend had finally become good at aiming after years of practice, and a second Thunderbolt was enough to bring him down.

Caledor grew to level 60 and learned an awful lot of moves!

<Caledor's POV>

Hey, if you want to narrate, then do it properly! I learned Growl, Helping Hand, Sand Attack, Baby-Doll Eyes, Swift, Quick Attack, Refresh, Covet, Take Down, Baton Pass, Baton Pass, Double-Edge, Last Resort, Trump Card, Aurora Beam, Acid Armor, Haze, Double Kick, Pin Missile, Agility, Scary Face, Smog, Psych Up, Confuse Ray, Screech, Moonlight, Mean Look, Guard Swap and Dazzling Gleam, and I also learned to glow in even more colors!

Anyway, I got to see what happened next with Sylvan and Amber, so I think I can tell the rest of the battle. The other Honchkrow was sleeping, right? And so Sylvan hit her with... what was it?

<Hero's POV>

Please, allow me to finish, since you clearly weren't paying enough attention to remember it 3 years later. What Sylvan did was used Sludge Bomb, which was her most effective attack against a Flying type. Her attack didn't do that much damage, but her opponent was still asleep, so she could keep trying. If I'd been her, I would have used Sunny Day and Growth, but she seemed to be holding her own anyway and I didn't want to distract her.

Then Amber hit the Gallade with a Fire Fang and the possessed Pokemon fainted. Sylvan used another Sludge Bomb, this time with more success since she was lucky enough to hit a weak spot and deal a Critical Hit! However, the Honchkrow woke up. Amber and Caledor tried to assist Sylvan, but Lagi told them she didn't need help right now, while Ventura did, so they both went to help reanimate their fallen teammate. I might have argued, but Lagi could feel Sylvan's emotions and perhaps even the demon's, so I trusted she knew what she was doing.

The possessed Honchkrow hit Sylvan with a Wing Attack but, unlike Ventura, Sylvan was protected by her 4-leaf Clover and withstood the blow. Sylvan countered with yet another Sludge Bomb, which seemed a bit boring but did the trick.

Oh, and Sylvan and Amber both grew to level 60! Sylvan learned Swords Dance and Amber learned Roost!

Ventura still wouldn't react, so Gabi called her into her Pokeball. There wasn't much we could do for the possessed Pokemon either, so we kept going. We all stopped when we saw the silhouette of the Black Dragon in the sky, but luckily for us he was headed in a different direction and either didn't see us or didn't care, so we waited until he was gone and then kept moving.

We were getting close to the barrier when we saw what looked like an Aurora Beam rising into the sky and reckoned it had to be a signal, so we went to check it out. When we got close, we saw that Eshree's team was surrounded. A Flareon had defeated Glice, Orknye and Lavy were trying to stop a Nidoqueen and Nidoking from attacking Arim, who was in turn holding Linyi, and Sol had managed to defeat a Vileplume, but was now having some trouble with an Arcanine and a Ninetales. I shivered when I thought the Ninetales could have been someone I knew, but luckily she wasn't, though she was probably someone others knew.

I rushed to help my friends and hit the Ninetales with Imprison before she could see me coming. The others slowly caught up and some of them joined the battle, but the confrontation was cut short. A cracking sound came from the distance - the same direction in which the Black Dragon had gone - followed by a loud roar which echoed all through the mountains. I really hoped that meant Jeff had succeeded in trapping him, but I didn't get the chance to check at that time, for a bright light came out of the barrier and engulfed us all.

Next thing I knew, I was in a strange place with Eshree and seven strange creatures. One of them was a large silver Dragon who - I must admit - scared me for a moment, but then I realized she was as confused as I was; so much, in fact, that she emanated confusion. But then she looked around, then saw me and smiled as gently as a dragon can.

"Well, Hero, welcome to the club!" she said. "Now you can no longer complain that you never make it here."

classy_cat18
23rd September 2015, 10:10 PM
Gahhhhh, we're really about to skip ahead three years? I can't even remember what my role was in the mission. We had chats about it, and I had it saved somewhere, but I don't know if I saved all of it, and I lost track of my RGBs...*headdesks while still muttering*

*raises head up for a second* Fifteen stamps. Like you said, it was rushed. But we gotta move the plot, huh?

Lady Vulpix
24th September 2015, 07:25 AM
Indeed. Thanks, Shonta!

And yes, I thought skipping 3 years was better than being stuck in the past and writing all our future stories like it was still 2012. The good thing is you get to choose what happened to you and your team during those 3 years. And it could be just about anything thanks to the chaos magic that escaped the barrier.

Oh, and this (http://dragonsguild.com.ar/Archives/) may help refresh your memory about the mission and your role in it.

classy_cat18
24th September 2015, 12:44 PM
It does...a bit. I guess I'll have to change my story plans to keep up, like skip the recon mission.

Lady Vulpix
27th September 2015, 05:24 PM
No, you can include the recon mission, there's no rush. And you can keep writing about everything that happened during the lost years. It'll take some time before I post the next scenario, and even then stories for the previous one can still be posted.

Anyway, I've spent all of my scarce free time these last few days writing, and here's my first story about the missing years. The others will have to wait because I have way too many things to do, but I'm glad I got to write this one. And I hope it's not too weird for the rest of you to enjoy it.

ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø


Warning: weird
The Mysterious Duck

<Dash's POV>

As the new leader of the largest flock of Psyducks and Golducks in Caledor Forest, I pride myself in knowing most Pokemon in the area rather well, especially my own flock's members. Which is why I was so baffled when I suddenly found my sister talking to a Psyduck I'd never seen before. I slowly approached the two, trying to figure out what was going on, but they were mostly looking at each other with confused expressions and not making any sense. I realized I had to do something if I wanted to know who the stranger was.

"Hey, Dot," I called out to my sister, who gave me a startled look in return. "Found a new friend?"
"I guess?" she replied. "I found him lying with his back on that rock and helped him stand up. He hasn't answered any of my questions, all he says is 'uh', 'huh' and 'er'."
"Do you mind if I try?" I offered.
Dot shrugged.
"Hello," I approached the stranger. "What's your name?"
The Psyduck remained silent with his gaze lost.
"Can you hear me?" I insisted "What's your name?"
"Forest," he finally replied. "Sorry, I was distracted."
"I see... it seems like he may become your friend after all, Dot," I teased my sister before turning my attention back to him. "So, your name is Forest?"
"Um... yes," he said, not sounding too convinced. "Why not?"
That really wasn't the kind of answer I had expected. "Are you OK?" I asked him.
"No... Nothing makes any sense. I think I hit my head." He looked back at the rock behind him. "Yes, I must have. That would explain the headache. But not... everything else."
"Everything else?"
"Yes, like... how did I end up here? And how... why..."
He looked down at his hands, lost for words.
"I think you need some rest," I suggested. "That blow to your head must have been pretty bad. I know a cozy spot surrounded by cattails where the water is nice and quiet."
"I'd rather rest on the grass, if that's OK," he replied.
"Are you sure? Your wounds will heal better in the water."
"I'm sorry, I don't think I can sleep on the water," he insisted. He was the weirdest Psyduck I'd ever met, but I wasn't going to tell him that.
"Suit yourself," I told him.
"Thanks. Uh... What's your name?"
"Dash," I replied. He looked surprised.
"Of course!" he said. "You're Dash... and she's your sister Dot, right? This is Caledor Forest!"
"You know us?!"
"Mostly by reputation... I only saw you once when I was little. You... wouldn't recognize me. But I heard you're a great Pokemon who likes to help others."
"If you don't mind me asking... Where did you come from?"
"I was at the base of the Forbidden Mountains. There was a bright flash and the next think I know I was here and... and your sister found me."

He looked troubled as well as confused, so I decided to stop bothering him and let him sleep on the grass like he wanted. Watching him try to sleep was another unusual experience. He first tried to lie belly down with his head upright and his arms bent, and I would have been really surprised if he had found that position comfortable, but apparently he didn't, and started trying different poses until he settled for lying on his side. I watched him until he fell asleep, wondering what exactly was wrong with him. As we walked away, Dot told me she thought he was crazy. That could have been a simple explanation, but he didn't sound like someone who was out of his mind. I decided to wait until the next day to talk to him again.

That night, when Lake came over, I told her I'd found a Psyduck who was weirder than me. She was curious, so I told her everything.

"You sleep on the grass too," she pointed out.
"Only when I'm with you," I told her, scratching the back of her right ear. "He said he couldn't sleep on the water."
"OK, maybe that's a little bit weirder, but to each their own," she said. "You and I are not going to single someone out for a little quirk, are we? What does bug me is the way he got here. You said he was at the Forbidden Mountains and somehow appeared here? I heard what the twins said about those mountains. Bad things have been going on there. They said Pokemon were being possessed by demons! And magic has been coming out from the mountains and changing things randomly."

That was a bit too much to take in at once.

"Watch him carefully, Dash," she urged me. "Make sure he's OK."
"I will," I promised.

When I found Forest the next morning, he was already up and trying to walk, but he kept tumbling and falling.

"I'm not sure you should be up in that condition," I advised him.
"I won't get better unless I keep trying," he answered.
"Trying what? To walk?"
"I know I must look like my brain isn't working," he said. "But the problem's my body. I was able to use Calm Mind without a problem, and I think I'd be able to use Psychic too if I had a target. But as you can see, I can't walk properly."
"At least you're forming coherent sentences now," I noted.
"Yeah, sorry about yesterday. I was lost and confused. In a way I still am... I keep hoping this is all a dream or a hallucination."
"You don't think you could be... possessed, do you?"
"What? No! I mean... I've talked to Pokemon who had recovered from possession. What they felt was nothing like this. I don't feel something inside me struggling for control over my body nor giving me unusual nightmares. If anything, I'm the one who's struggling for control, but I'm certainly not a demon and there's no one else inside my head."
"In any case, I think we should have you checked. We have a healer in our flock. Her name is Leda, and she's very good at treating wounds and other health problems. Would you like to see her?"
"If you think she can help me, then sure. At least she should be able to tell if I'm crazy or not."
"You don't sound crazy, but that blow you took may have hurt something in your brain. Let's see what she can do for you," I suggested, and then added as an afterthought: "Can you really use Calm Mind and Psychic?"
"Yes," Forest replied. "I'm a trained Pokemon... or at least I used to be. I live in Sector Alpha... I need to find the rest of my team and see if they're OK, but I can't go like this."
"OK, we'll see what we can do to help you," I told him.

I took Forest by the hand and led him to Leda's place. She was busy treating a Pidgey with a broken wing, so we waited until she was done before approaching her.

"Oh, hi, Dash!" she said when she noticed us. "And who's your companion?"
"That's a mystery," I told her. "He says his name is Forest. Apparently he was at the Forbidden Mountains when he suddenly appeared here, lying with his head on a rock."
"The Forbidden Mountains?" asked Leda, and then turned to Forest. "How did you get there?"
"I walked there from Sector Alpha with my team... We were only at the base, of course, none of us could get past the barrier."
"You're in a team? Where are they now?"
"I wish I knew. I hope they're OK, but if I was sent here, who knows what happened to the rest of them? I want to find out, but I'm not... in the right condition."
"He hit his head hard on the rock where we found him," I explained. "He wasn't making much sense yesterday, and now he's having trouble walking."
"Let me take a look," Leda said.

The healer examined him carefully, lifting every feather on his head to look below and poking gently on different parts of it. I could see a puzzled look on her face when she was done.

"Did you find out what's wrong?" I asked her.
"No..." she said. "Your description doesn't match what I see. All he has is a small bump which should be gone by tomorrow. There's no blood, no bruise and he feels no pain when I poke him. The blow wasn't strong enough to cause a concussion or any kind of brain damage."
"Then maybe I'm crazy?" asked Forest.
"I doubt it. If you were disconnected from reality, you wouldn't be asking that question. I wish I could help you, but this is beyond my knowledge. All I can think of is it may be a side-effect of whatever brought you here."
"Of course it is," Forest sighed. "I was hoping you'd say I'm crazy. That would mean none of this is real."
"You said something like that before," I recalled. "What's bothering you so much?"
"What's bothering me? Being stuck like this and away from my friends, not knowing where they are or even if they're still alive... There's nothing I can do, I'm helpless. How could it not bother me?"
"I'll help you find your friends," I promised. "You just focus on getting better, we'll go to Sector Alpha as soon as you're ready to make the trek."

I'd never been to the city before, but I'd seen many Pokemon come and go and I trusted I could do it with the right directions. There's a first time for everything, they say, and what better reason to try something new than to help someone in need?

It turns out I only had to wait until the next morning. Forest came looking for me, saying he was ready to go and find out what had happened to his friends. His steps were steady now, but I still had to ask if he was sure.

"I need to know," he told me. "They could be hurt or worse. I can't stay here not knowing if they made it back home."
"OK, we're going. But first I need to talk to my mate so she can watch the flock for me while I'm gone. Have you heard about her?"
"Lake? Yes, I heard she's a great storyteller, and she's Scorch and Flame's second in command."

I stopped in my tracks. I'd been expecting him to have heard that I had mated a Vulpix - rumors had flown all over the forest and beyond - but this was much more than I had expected.

"How do you know so much?!" I asked him.
He seemed to become smaller for a moment. "I've just heard things from Pokemon who used to live here," he said. "Many of them live in Sector Alpha or have stopped for a visit."
"I see... Have you heard of our son too?"
"Ray? Yes, he's..." he stopped to think for a moment. "He's a good Ninetales. Loved by many... I got to see him and Firestar when they visited. But I didn't talk to them much, I'm not sure if they remember me by now."

I must admit the situation was making me uncomfortable. This Psyduck knew about me, my mate and my son, and I still had no idea who he was. I hoped our visit to the city would shed some light on that mystery.

Sadly, either the city was further away than Forest remembered or he was not as ready as he had believed. After an hour's walk he was panting heavily and I had to hold him and provide support for him to keep going. When we finally reached the first human constructions, he realized he wouldn't be able to reach his home.

"I can't walk that far," he said. "And we can't take a bus on our own. And what if they're not home? They could be at the Dragon Tamers HQ, or the Guild's, or even somewhere else entirely. This was a bad idea."
"Don't despair," I told him. "If we can find anyone who can give us information, we'll be fine. And I know exactly who to ask. Just wait a moment, I'll get us some transportation."
"Be careful! The cars on the streets go fast!"

I had heard some stories of cars and streets. I hadn't actually seen them before, but I wouldn't let anything run over me. I walked around for a couple of minutes, carefully watching my surroundings and avoiding any strange contraptions that came my way, until I heard a series of loud thumps getting closer. I turned to look and realized it was a Rhyhorn. I got closer to him and signaled for him to stop. The Rhyhorn skidded to a halt as soon as he saw me.

"Please don't hurt me!" he begged. "I was just looking for my friends, I didn't mean to break anything!"
"Huh? I wasn't going to hurt you, I just need some help," I said. "I don't know what you broke, but I'm sure it was an accident."
"Of course it was! Up until two days ago it wouldn't matter if I brushed past something when I walked, but now things keep breaking like they're made of glass! It started when I was at the mountains with my friends. Everyone else disappeared, and I started searching for them, and rocks would shatter when I touched them! It was scary, but not as much as not knowing where the others are. I couldn't find them around the mountains, so I came back to the city to see if they'd made it back somehow, but I can't find them here either!"
"I'm really sorry," I told him. "Were you at the Forbidden Mountains? I've heard some awful things have been happening there recently. In fact, I'm trying to help someone whose situation is similar to yours. With any luck, I may be able to help both of you."
"Oh, right! You said you needed help! What kind of help do you need?"
"First of all, I have a question. Do you break everything you touch?"
"Oh, no, not everything! Only when I hit something. I think I'm stronger than before."
"In that case, could you please help me and one more Pokemon get to the police station?"
"Oh, sure! Where's your friend?"
"He's around the corner. Please follow me... uh... What's your name?"
"Barrel. And yours?"
"I'm Dash."
"Nice to meet you, Dash."
"Likewise."

Barrel followed me to where Forest was patiently waiting and, after the proper introductions, knelt down so we could climb onto his back. I helped Forest up and then climbed up myself and sat behind him. The world seemed to shake around us as barrel stood up, but thing went much more smoothly from there.

"Where are we going?" asked Forest.
"To the police station," I replied.
"The police station?! Why?!"
"I have a friend there who knows everything that happens in the city. She can help us find your friends, and Barrel's too."
"But... but..."
"Please don't tell me you're in trouble with the police."
"Of course not!"
"Then what's the problem?" I asked.
"I... I don't want to talk to her. If she sees me like this, she'll feel sorry for me. I don't want her pity."

I wished we were sitting face to face so we could see each other's eyes. How could he know who I was talking about?

"You know who my friend is?" I inquired.
"Er... You're talking about Tracker, aren't you?"
"OK, how did you know that?"
"Well... She's the best police Pokemon in town, and she came from your mate's pack, so I figured you'd be talking about her."
"You... You know a lot about the forest, don't you?"
"I know a lot of Pokemon from the forest," he answered. "One of them talks a lot, and I like listening. Anyway... I'm not ready to face Tracker right now."
"OK, I'll talk to her while you wait outside. Is that OK?"
"I... suppose that could work."

I still didn't get him, but I thought Tracker might help. She'd always been quite insightful. Just as we were arriving, Forest said she might not be there.

"She's often doing rounds around the city," he explained.
"We'll wait for her if that's the case," I replied.

The door was open. I helped Forest down and he waited outside with Barrel, who didn't want to risk breaking the police station wall by forcing his way through the door. I walked in to be tackle-hugged by a mass of creamy fur.

"Tracker?" I said, my beak full of hairs.
The Ninetales stepped back to give me some space. "Dash, I'm so glad to see you! Everything's been crazy, seeing a friendly face is right what I needed. Although now I'm beginning to worry... Has the chaos spread over to the forest? Is that why you're here?"
"Calm down, please," I told her. "I'd never seen you this excited before. What's going on?"
"Everything! To the point that the station's chimney sprouting mushrooms is the least of our problems. Large rocks have been falling on the streets or even emerging from them, a large building's walls were suddenly coated with ice, and this morning someone came complaining that a restroom had suddenly appeared inside his wardrobe... like there was anything we could do about that. But all of that pales in comparison to the reports of missing people and Pokemon we've been getting. And pets too. I can't get a break! And I'm still coming to terms with the idea that my mate has just come back from another world! This is just too much!"
"Hero? What happened to him? What do you mean by 'another world'?"
"I still don't quite get it, but apparently the Black Dragon made a large crack in the barrier which held the chaos magic left over from the Great War. The magic's been leaking out and affecting things randomly. We feared a second Sundering, which I'm still hoping doesn't happen, but many have disappeared. Hero was one of them, and somehow he and his teammate Lagi ended up in a world named Bei. But - and this is the weirdest part - they already knew the way back. Apparently Lagi and some of their teammates had been there before, and she knew someone who could help them get back home. However the rest of their team is still missing, including their trainer. They came to see me yesterday and then went back to the mountains to search for them, or for anyone else who may be lost in the area."
"They were sent to another world and one of them had been there before? That sounds a little hard to believe."
"It does, but I know Hero. He may be prone to exaggerating, but he's not a liar. He wouldn't make that up."
"Sounds like you have a lot to deal with."
"Indeed. I wish I could be out there helping with the search, but someone has to stay and listen to all the Pokemon that keep coming without their trainers. Speaking of which, isn't that Sam's Rhyhorn standing at the door?"
"Who? Oh, you mean Barrel? He's the one who brought me here. His team is missing too."
"Oh, no, not them too! OK, I'll get him in through the garage and take his statement. Who's the Psyduck standing next to him?"
"You can smell him from here? I don't know, I was hoping you would. He appeared out of nowhere two days ago. He says he was at the Forbidden Mountains when he saw a bright flash and then found himself in the forest. He also said his name is Forest, but I'm not sure that's true."
"Why not?"
"Exactly."
"Pardon?"
"He took some time to answer when I asked him his name, and then when he said Forest and I asked if that was his name, he said 'why not?'"
"I see... OK, that does sound suspicious."
"That's only the beginning. He knows a whole lot about the forest. He knew about me and my sister - says he saw me once when he was small - and also about Lake, Scorch and Flame. He claims to have met my son, and he knew not only who you were, but also that you and Lake were from the same pack. He said he didn't want to see you because he didn't want your pity. And his behaviour has been pretty inconsistent too. One moment he's determined to find his friends, the next he's afraid to talk to you. Not to mention he can hardly walk but he can form complex sentences and says he can use Calm Mind and Psychic."
"OK, that sounds like a mystery. Especially since I don't recognize his smell. He could be psychic... more so than most Psyducks, I mean. Back in the old days, I couldn't get Solitude's behaviour until I learned about her precognitive abilities. Sol, I mean, but she was called Solitude back then."
"Yes, I remember her. She did act very strangely. So do you think that's it?"
"It's a possibility. He could also know some Pokemon from the forest who told him all those things. Maybe he did meet Ray and he had a long talk with him."
"That would match his story."
"Yes, but none of those theories explain why I can't recognize his smell. Sector Alpha is rather big, so maybe we haven't crossed paths many times, but if he said he didn't want my pity, that means he doesn't think of me as a random stranger. I should be able to remember him. Unless..."
"Unless what?"
"Unless the magic that sent him to the forest also changed his smell. We're dealing with chaos magic, anything is possible."
"Maybe. Barrel did say he became stronger around the time his friends disappeared. Or at least things became more fragile around him."
"I guess we'll have to wait and see. Please let me know if you learn anything new, and I'll let you know if I do. But now I need to get Barrel in, a line is forming behind him."

Tracker went to meet Barrel and led him to a much larger door, casting a quick glance at Forest as she passed by him. She listened to Barrel's story and promised she'd do everything she could to help him find his friends. She then me know she couldn't recognize Forest by his looks either. She said she might have seen him briefly at some point, but he wasn't anyone she remembered talking to or watching before.

"That's odd," I said. "But so is everything about him. Just let me know if anyone reports a missing Psyduck, or if you find any of the missing trainers or Pokemon, will you?"
"I will," she promised.

We parted ways and I returned to Forest's side. He was standing alone next to the door, as the three Pokemon who had been standing behind Barrel had now walked in.

"She didn't know who you were," I told him. "And I don't know who your trainer is, but she told me she'd let me know if she finds anything."
Forest seemed to sink a little. "I see... Did she tell you anything else?"
"She said some really weird things have been happening recently. Many Pokemon and humans have gone missing. My friend Hero and one of his teammates are looking for them."

I dropped the name to see if he knew about him too, and by the look on his face he clearly did, but I couldn't tell if his eyes showed relief or shock, or perhaps just more confusion.

"Only one of his teammates?" he asked.
"The rest of his team has gone missing. Including his trainer."
"Oh," Forest looked down at his feet. "I hope... I hope everyone returns home safely."
"So do I. At least she knew who Barrel's trainer was. Someone named Sam."
Forest seemed to recognize that name too, but when I asked him if he did, he said "Sam is a very common name. It could be either a guy or a girl."
"Then why did you react like you knew who I was talking about?" I questioned.
"The name just reminded me of a little boy I met many years ago. He must be a young adult by now. I stayed behind to look after him while the older trainers went on a dangerous mission. Whether or not he's Barrel's trainer, I hope he's OK."
"Wait... How old are you?"
"10," he said. "I'll be turning 11 in May."
"10 years old and still a Psyduck?"
"I guess," Forest tilted his head.

I felt like he was shrugging off my question, except he didn't actually shrug. At that point, Barrel came back from the police station and asked us if we wanted to go anywhere else.

"You tell us, Forest," I said. "Shall we check your home? Or some of the other places you mentioned?"
"There's no point," he sighed. "I talked to a Pokemon on the street who said my trainer is missing."
"And you trust the words of a random Pokemon on the street?"
"It wasn't a random Pokemon. We have some common friends. I trust him."
"You're well connected, aren't you?"
"Am I?... I guess you're right. I'd never realized how many Pokemon I knew. And trainers too. But none of that matters now, does it? I'm alone again!"

I realized he was trying to hold back his tears. It looked like an old wound had just reopened.

"You're not alone," I told him. "You can stay with us for as long as you want to."
He looked up at me. "Really?"
"Of course. And you too, Barrel. If you have nowhere to stay, you can come to the forest with us."
"Thanks, but all those trees make me uncomfortable," said Barrel. "I'd rather stay at home and look for my trainer, or wait for him to return. But I can take you back to the forest if you want."
"Sure, your help is appreciated," I accepted the offer.

Days went by and Forest was still as shy as ever. My attention started slowly drifting away from him when other issues took up more of my time. After all, a leader has to tend to his flock. Not only that, but sometimes Scorch and Flame were away and I had to help Lake look after the Vulpixes too. I still watched forest from time to time and got to see his first attempt at swimming: he could obviously float, but he wasted a lot of energy with useless movements and I had to teach him the basics like I would a duckling. Something was definitely wrong with that Psyduck; I wondered what exactly the magic had done to him.

Then one day Forest said he wanted to see the other side of the lake.

"You shouldn't go alone," I told him. "Your swimming has improved, but I'm not sure you're ready to face the currents. You might get stuck in the middle of the lake."
"Will you go with me?" he asked.
"I'm busy right now, why don't you ask Dot? She's usually free."

I didn't see him again until the evening. When he came back, I wished I had gone with him. Not because anything bad happened, but I would have liked to see him ask all the questions Dot said he asked, and done the things she said he did.

According to Dot, once they reached the shore on the other side, the first thing that caught Forest's attention was the number of young trees in the area and how "everything looked so different". Then he noticed the Stantler herd, and asked why there were so many fair-coated Stantlers. Dot explained that an abandoned Stantler who had come from abroad had shown up a few years earlier and settled down, and that all her progeny had fair coats like hers. Forest had seemed saddened by the news. Dot said he worried that the chocolate-coated Stantlers would one day go extinct. Of course she had no way to know if that would happen and, with little tact, she told him that Stantlers were Stantlers, no matter their color. Which is true, but chocolate Stantlers used to be a hallmark of Caledor Forest, and apparently that meant a lot to him.

He then saw two chocolate Stantlers and started asking questions about them. The only question Dot remembered was whether they were a couple, to which she said yes, and he remarked that they looked happy together. He then approached them and started asking them about their lives, but he wouldn't say anything about his own. He saw some of the younger chocolates too, but he simply smiled at them with his eyes and let them go without a word. Finally, he spent some time watching Murkrows before he decided he was ready to come back.

One evening a few days later, the southeast side of the forest became unusually agitated. I went to check what was going on and it wasn't long before I could hear two male human voices. It was unusual for humans to enter this part of the forest, since it was a protected area - which means some humans had to set rules to prevent other humans from hurting the forest Pokemon or destroying their homes. I got closer to listen to their conversation and caught something about there being no one to watch who got in or out because they were all busy with the crisis in the city. I didn't like the sound of that and decided to follow them closely.

I followed the humans into Scyther territory, hoping none of the Scythers would wake up in a bad mood and start a fight with me. It turns up it was the humans who started a fight with the first sleeping Scyther they could find. An unfair fight, I must add. First, one of them took out a Pokeball and released a Houndoom. Then the lantern the other human was holding floated away from him and stood behind the Scyther. Only then did I notice it was not a lantern, but a Pokemon; probably one who had come from overseas. Then the two Pokemon shot fire to trap the Scyther in a cage of flames. At that point the Scyther woke up and started screaming. I couldn't take it any longer. I ran towards them and shot a Water Pulse at the Houndoom. The dog Pokemon was caught off-guard and took some time to react, so I used that time to put out the flames, but as I was doing this I felt the Houndoom's sharp teeth on my back. Luckily, once the flames were out the Scyther was able to join the fight, and his Pursuit was quite effective on the lamp Pokemon. We kept fighting for a while until more Scythers woke up and chased the intruders away. They were about to start chasing me as well, when the Scyther I had rescued stopped them and thanked me for saving him.

"Don't mention it," I said. "Forest Pokemon must protect each other. We must be careful, they or others like them may return, and apparently the humans who would stop them before are too busy dealing with problems of their own to do it now."

A general murmur spread among the Scythers as they tried to deal with the news and discuss their options. At one point many of their faces turned to look at something on my left. I turned to see what it was, and saw Forest standing there, a couple of steps behind me.

"What are you doing here?" I asked him.
"I heard fighting noises and thought something bad was going on. Then I smelled smoke and there was no doubt. What happened?"
"A couple of humans were attacking a Scyther."
"Oh, no! And where are the rangers?"
"From what I heard, they're all busy dealing with the crisis in the city."
"Oh, no, and all the Dragon Tamers were in the mountains! Who knows how many of them are left and how long it will take them to get organized? We need to do something!"
"We?"
"I know I'm a stranger to you, and I know I don't look like I can be of much use, but I can't let more Pokemon get hurt by intruders. I will do everything I can to get back in shape and help stop them."

Forest's resolve burnt like a flame inside him. He didn't seem to be the shy and absentminded Psyduck I had met around two weeks before. I wondered if I was beginning to see the real Forest, or whatever his true name was.

"OK, I'll help you train," I told him. "Right after I've got everyone else organized."

Getting a flock of Psyducks and Golducks organized was like getting every drop of water in the lake to move in the same direction. I spent all of the next day talking to the others and trying to come up with a plan, and ended up with nothing but frustration. The following day didn't promise to be much better, but the discussion was cut short when the visitors were announced. The names of Hero and Tracker echoed from tree to tree, and all the Vulpixes gathered to greet them. I joined them. After all, they were my friends too, and Hero had once saved my son's life.

"Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone!" Hero told us. "It's good to see you too."
"Have you found any of your friends yet?" I asked.
"Actually, we found a few of them," Hero said. "But only two of my teammates, so we're up to 4 out of 11, counting our trainer who's still missing."
"It was really them who found us," Tracker clarified. "We hadn't even thought of going all the way to Saphery. If they were transported there, others may be further still. We need to broaden our search, but that won't be easy."
"I was sent much further than Saphery," Hero reminded him. "Luckily, I was with others who knew the way back. Glice is still in Bei, so if he finds anyone else out there he'll send them our way. But what if the others are in worlds we've never heard of?"
"I still don't understand how traveling between worlds works, so let's hope that's not the case," said Tracker. "It's already hard enough with cases like Water Angel's. I'm afraid we'll have to rely on them finding us rather than the other way around."
"Why?" I asked. "What happened to Water Angel?"
"Let's just say the lovebirds honor their nickname much better now," Hero said.

I wasn't familiar enough with his team to get the joke. Tracker saw the confusion on my face and explained.

"It looks like the magic can not only affect a Pokemon's abilities, but also change its species. Water Angel's the only case we've seen so far, she used to be a Kingdra and now she's an Altaria."
"That's... That's not something I had ever expected to hear. If the magic can do that, how can we deal with it?"
"I don't know," Tracker admitted. "But apparently only the mountains and surrounding areas have been affected. Sector Alpha is close to the mountains and took a relatively minor blow: so far the extra bathroom's been the weirdest thing reported to have happened inside the city. And luckily most of the missing pets have returned home: it seems they were all scared from the noises coming from the mountains and ran away."
"At least that's some good news, I guess," I said. "But how can you find the missing Pokemon if you don't know what you're looking for? And..." I thought for a moment and realized something. "And what if they're afraid to go back home for some reason?"
"Then we're in trouble," said Hero.
"Hopefully the Order of the Dragon will manage to fix everything," Tracker said. "They're doing their best to close the crack and get all the chaos magic back in." She sighed. "I don't want to think of what would have happened if the Black Dragon had managed to completely destroy the barrier."
"There's no risk of that happening anymore, is there?" I queried.
"He's been contained," Tracker said. "He's still alive, but he'll be heavily watched from now on. He may escape again in the future, but probably not in our lifetimes."
"How long does a dragon live anyway?" asked Hero.
"I don't know," said Tracker. "I didn't even know they still existed until Yssera showed up. I thought they'd all died during the Sundering, but apparently they're made of sterner stuff than we thought. At least some of them."
"Yeah, we still have dragons, elves and mages," Hero noted. "Just not many. I wonder what life in Ulthuan was like before the Sundering."
"Not very nice from what I've heard," said Tracker. "There were wars all the time. We're now getting a taste of the side-effects of those wars. I wouldn't want to be caught in the middle of such a dangerous conflict."
"Good point," Hero conceded. "But I would have liked to see some of the nicer dragons. I mean, I did sort of get to see one, but it turned out to be Lagi. She looks like a dragon when she's in Bei."
"One of these days you'll have to explain Bei to me slowly and in detail," Tracker told him. "I can't make much sense of your remarks."
"That used to happen to me when my friends talked about it," Hero said. "Remind me again when this is over and we have some quiet time to talk."
Tracker sighed. "I hope we live to see that day."

They spent some more time catching up with everyone, and then Tracker asked me about Forest.

"I haven't seen him all day," I told her. "And I'm afraid I didn't get to spend much time with him yesterday either. Two poachers came into the forest the night before last, and there's been a big commotion since then. He did seem very determined to help deal with anyone who tries to hurt forest Pokemon again. I don't know how he plans to do it, but he's been walking normally for a while and he's been getting better at swimming. Come to think of it, I think it's possible that he was a different kind of Pokemon before he showed up here. That would explain all the weird things about him."
"In that case I feel sorry for him," Tracker said. "It must be hard to be trapped in a body that's nothing like the one you used to have. It took me some time to get used to my new shape and size after evolving, and a Ninetales isn't that different from a Vulpix. If I became an Altaria or a Psyduck... I have no idea what I'd do. I'd have to learn the basics all over again!"
"I suppose that's the pity he didn't want from you," I remarked.
"Oh! I'm sorry. But does that mean... he knows me? He must be one of the missing Pokemon! We need to find him."

It didn't take long for Tracker to pick up Forest's scent and follow it to the lake. However, she lost his track there.

"He must be on the other side," I said. "I knew he was getting better at swimming, but I didn't know he was that good yet. He's quite unpredictable, even if you consider he's probably some other kind of Pokemon trapped in a Psyduck's body. We could go around, but it would take some time. Otherwise, I can go and look for him."
"Will you be able to find him on the other side?" asked Tracker.
"Someone's bound to have seen him," I said. "I'll ask around."

Tracker nodded, and I jumped into the lake. Forest could have gone in any direction, but I believed he was likely to have returned to the place Dot had taken him a few days earlier, so I decided to look for him there. I was not far off. A few Stantlers had seen him come out of the water and head for the Murkrows' area. I asked a couple of Murkrows once I got there, and soon found him throwing a Water Gun at a young Murkrow.

"What are you doing?" I asked.
"Oh, hi, Dash!" he said as if nothing was out of the ordinary. "You were too busy to help me train, so I came here looking for a training partner, and Flip here agreed to help."
"Hi there," the Murkrow lifted a wing. "This guy's amazing! He didn't seem like he could do much at first, but he's a really fast learner. He got Disable right from the first try, and didn't take too long to master the physical moves. His Psychic's pretty strong too, so I'm glad it doesn't hurt me! Now we were getting down to Water moves, but I don't know much about those so if you'd like to help, I'm sure you'll do a better job than I can."
"You've been training here all day?"
"Most of the day, yes," said Forest. "We took a short lunch break."
"Wow, you must be really determined!"
"I can be focused when it matters," he replied.
"And why does this matter so much to you?"
"How could it not?! You did a great job last time and no one got hurt, but they were just two unarmed humans and two Pokemon. Things may be worse next time. We can't let Pokemon suffer because of some heartless invaders."
"You're right, we can't. And we won't. But don't get desperate. A few more may come, but they'll still be a bunch of rogue humans with Pokemon whose hearts are not quite into it. It won't be like the attacks we had 10 years ago."

Forest froze.

"I guess I got one thing right after all," I said. "You're turning 11 in May, right? So you were less than a year old when the attacks happened. You saw me when you were little, and I clearly wouldn't recognize you now. But you survived the attacks and were left alone and scared, am I right?"
"As if you'd read my mind," Forest said. "I'm sorry, I didn't want to talk about that."
"I'm sorry I brought it up, but I want to help you. And for that I need to understand you better."
"I'm sorry I'm not making things easy for you," he said. "But now you understand why I can't stand being helpless. I need to keep training."
"So I take it you don't want to come back with me and see Hero and Tracker?"
"Hero and Tracker are here?!"

Forest stepped back and thought for a moment.

"I'm not ready to see them yet," he finally said. "Maybe next time, when I can fend for myself. Tell them... No, don't tell them anything. I'll see them some other time."

Forest shot a Water Gun at a tree and I took that as a sign that we were done talking. I still didn't know much more about him than before, but at least now I understood his motives a bit better. I wished I could help him find peace. I told Hero and Tracker he wasn't ready to talk to them yet. Tracker seemed disappointed and asked me to take good care of him. Then they both left.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. Forest still wouldn't tell me his real name, and when I summoned the courage to ask if he had always been a Psyduck, he sighed and said "That doesn't matter now, does it?" which kind of suggested that he hadn't, but did not reveal anything else.

"Why are you so stubborn?" I asked him. "You know I'm trying to help you."
"I've always been stubborn," he replied. "Let me hold on to that, at least."

That was the first time I saw him smile, so I let him be.

Then one night, the poachers came back with reinforcements. They seemed to have used those months to organize a small squad and gather some strong Pokemon. This time they came from the southwest and walked right into the Vulpix area, but the foxes already had a plan to deal with them. The most experienced ones engaged the intruders while the younger ones set up smoke signals to call for help. Soon the poachers were facing Psyducks, Golducks, Pidgeys, Pidgeottos, Pidgeots and, of course, all the Vulpixes. It didn't take long before a few Scythers and even a few Murkrows joined us. The poachers' Pokemon were strong and numerous, but we were ready to put up a good fight.

Once the battles had started, it seemed like we had the upper hand. Some of them managed to defeat a few Pokemon, but we did not let them capture them. I noticed one of them was trying to pick up a fallen Pidgey when Forest hit him from behind with what looked like an attempt at a Headbutt. The poacher wasn't hurt, but he did lose balance and thus lost his prey, who was rescued by Leda. Forest was then open to attack by a large purple blob - it was probably a Muk but I could hardly distinguish it from the surrounded mud in the darkness of the night. At that time he proved his Psychic really did pack a mean punch. I ran to his aid and finished putting the Muk out of combat, but then some kind of green tentacle got hold of me and started pressing my ribs. This time it was Forest who helped me. I couldn't tell exactly what he was doing, since he went around what was holding to attack it from behind, but I heard the sound of wind hitting my captor. The serpent - for that's what it was - release its hold on me enough for me to turn around and face it. I hit it with Confusion and did my best to remain conscious as the snake kept draining me, while Forest kept attacking from behind until I was finally free, and then I ended the battle with a Zen Headbutt.

"Thanks," I told him as the poacher recalled his fallen Pokemon.
"You helped me earlier," he said. "We're even."
"What was that move you were using?" I asked.
"Hidden Power. I use it mostly when I'm alone to feel the wind and help clear my thoughts, but sometimes it's useful in battle too."
"Cool. And do you know what that Pokemon was?"
"A Serperior. They're pretty rare around here, I wonder how the poacher got it. I also wonder why any of these Pokemon are fighting us."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean poachers attack Pokemon and force them to battle. They can't be happy about that, can they? And now they're helping their abusers make more Pokemon like them suffer? Why?! Can't we all join forces and bring the poachers down once and for all?!"

Some of the poachers' Pokemon must have been listening, because they stopped attacking and looked at us. That left their opponents free to deal with the ones who were still battling.

"Can you hear me?" Forest asked the ones who had stopped fighting. "Some of you may have come from this same forest, or from some other place which was attacked like those who call themselves your trainers are attacking us now. This is your chance to break free from them! We can help you go back home."

Some of the Pokemon took longer than the others, but before a minute had passed they had all turned against their trainers. It looked like Forest had been right about them. The poachers managed to recall a couple of them into their pokeballs, but the rest evaded the beams and kept attacking, and soon the humans had no choice but to run.

"I'm sure they'll think twice before coming again," I said. "Which is good, 'cause I could really use a break right now."
"Me too," said Forest. "Huh?"
"What's wrong?" I asked him, but he didn't need to reply.

I could see his body glow and change its shape. When the glow subsided, a Golduck stood in front of me. But only for a moment. Then he dropped to the ground, tail first.

"Did I just... evolve?" he said.
"It seems pretty obvious," I told him.
"What does this even mean? I mean... I always knew Psyducks could evolve into Golducks, but..."
"It means you've done a good job," I said. "You're really fierce in battle! Yet so quiet the rest of the time. How is that possible?"
"Different attitudes for different situations," Forest said. "I told you I'm focused when the situation calls for it. I call it the 'battle mode' because I use it mostly for battles, but it's really just being determined and focused at the right time."
"So you're finally letting me know more about yourself?"
"Why not? I told you I'd speak when I could fend for myself, and it seems like I can do it now. But maybe we can talk more when we're alone and not so tired? And also when we've helped all these Pokemon get back home or find new homes in the forest."
"Right. Speaking of them, how did you know they'd turn on their trainers?"
"Trained Pokemon aren't mindless slaves. They don't have to follow orders they don't like unless they think there's no choice. Tracker herself has disobeyed her trainer more than a few times, when she felt she had a better idea. And I have a friend who was caught and abused by a group of evil humans, but he would never hurt others for them, no matter what they did to him. In the end they considered him useless and let him go. He was born in this forest, so maybe you knew him as a chick? His name is Spark. His father is a Honchkrow named Grey."
"I remember a Murkrow named Grey who lived north of the lake a long time ago," I said. "I didn't get to see him much, but I heard he mated a Pidgeotto named Candy, and that kind of made me like him, if anything because I know what you have to face around here when you mate outside your species. That didn't end well for them, though. Poor Candy was killed by that group of humans who kept attacking back then, the ones who called themselves Team Rocket. Then Grey left and was never seen again."
"That's him! He's now a Honchkrow and is living in Saphery. He and Candy had a son named Spark, who was captured by Team Rocket but helped defeat them as soon as he got the chance. Spark and Grey met again many years later. And Spark has also mated outside his species. Although that's not so rare in the city, but they're an unusual couple even by city standards."
"Really? Who's his mate?"
"A Kingdra named Water Angel."

The name sounded oddly familiar. Then I remembered what Hero had said during his visit and started laughing. "Oh! Now I get it!"
"Get what?" Forest asked.
"You'll be surprised. But now it's my turn to keep the suspense. You'll have to talk to Hero and Tracker next time they come here. Or, since they're taking so long to come back, we could go and find them instead."
"OK, you win, I'll talk to them. There's no point in delaying it any longer."

Our talk was delayed a little longer, as we needed to rest and recover from the battle, and then find the rescued Pokemon a place to stay. Most of them ended up in the northern region of the forest, and a couple of them went back to Reborn Forest which was their original home. We were ready to go back to the city and look for Tracker, but then she and Hero came back.

"Welcome!" I told them. "Long time no see!"
"Yeah, I know, I know, things got out of control in Sector Alpha for a while," Hero defended himself. "But hey, magic's finally stopped leaking out! So now we just have to wait until the mages find a way to undo all the crazy stuff and everything will go back to normal."
"Does that mean the effects of the chaos magic are not permanent?" asked Forest, who had finally decided to show himself.
"It's nice to finally meet you!" said Tracker. "It seems a lot has happened here as well. You were a Psyduck last time I was here."
"But my smell is still similar enough for you to recognize me?"
"Pretty much. Besides I know everyone else in Dash's flock. And even if I hadn't, your question gave you away. Yes, it may take some time but the mages are quite confident they will reverse all the effects eventually."
Forest sighed. "That's a relief."
"So..." I began. "Are you going to tell us your real name, or do I have to tell them all I've found out about you and let them figure it out?"
"Do the latter!" Hero requested. "I like a challenge. Let's see which one of us gets it first."
"Do we really have to do this?" Forest covered his eyes in shame, or at least embarrassment.
"You've dragged this out long enough by saying you weren't ready to face them, now this is what you get. OK, let's start. He's pretty much confessed that he wasn't born a Psyduck. He's 11 years old, born in Caledor Forest. He lost his family in one of the big attacks we had when he was little, but he doesn't like to talk about it. He's shy and quiet most of the time, but he's really focused and determined in battle. He calls that..."
"Battle mode," Hero interrupted. "I win, and you, Iael, are an idiot. You should have come to us!"
"Hero got it first?" I was surprised. "I could have bet Tracker would win."
"It wasn't really fair," said Tracker. "He's one of Hero's teammates. Of course he knows him better than I do!"
"A victory is a victory, and this one's mine," Hero gloated. "But really, Iael, why did you take so long to show your face? We were worried sick about you! Now we're just worried sick about our 6 missing friends. And everyone else who's still missing, of course."
"Who else have you found?" asked Forest... I mean Iael.
"Lagi, the lovebirds, and now you," Hero said. "Now will you please tell me why you said you were 'not ready to face us'? I mean, I get not wanting Tracker's pity, like she said you said, but her pity is always short-lived and quickly turns into help. As for me... Why could you possibly not want to face me?"
"I... I was... embarrassed."
"Embarrassed?! Embarrassed to show yourself to a seven-tailed Ninetales? You really are an idiot. But you're the same kind of idiot I used to be, so I can't really blame you. Except you should have learnt from my experience, and also that we're talking about me, not Scorch."
"Your opinion matters more to me, but Scorch is here too, for that matter."
"I'm glad someone noticed!" Scorch remarked. "Yeah, Hero did a really stupid thing by running away to hide from me. Not that I wouldn't have laughed at him, but we laughed at each other all the time and that shouldn't have bothered him. Who really cares about his looks? Or yours, for that matter? What matters is who you are and what you do."
"It's not about my looks," Iael said. "It's about being in a situation I couldn't handle... having no control over what happened to me... over my own body!"
"Yeah, that's pretty bad, but not your fault," Hero said. "I'd never look down on you for that. And look at the bright side: you're probably the only one of your kind who got to experience evolution."
"Thanks," said Iael. "I guess I did overreact."
"You certainly did," said Hero. "You need to start copying me so much."
"Hero's being humble?" said Tracker, and then turned to him. "Did the magic affect you too?"
"What?! No! It's just that he'll never be as awesome as I am, so he should stop trying to imitate me."
"Now that's the Hero we know and love," Iael laughed.
"So, are you coming with us?" asked Hero. "Or maybe you'd like to stay with Lagi and the weirdness club, or with Zack and the lovebirds."
"You're not all together?" Iael asked him.
"We can't stay at home without Gabi, and we wouldn't ask one trainer to put up with us all. Jenny, Zack and... Lord Growlithe all offered their help, so we've split ourselves among their teams. But we're all working together to restore the order in Sector Alpha and try to find our missing friends."
"Who's Lord Growlithe?"
"You used to know him as Golden Growlithe and a couple of other names," Hero explained. "He got promoted when it became obvious that he was staying and the missing members of the Pokemon Research and Training Department weren't going to show up any time soon."
"Wow!" exclaimed Iael. "After all this time I thought he'd never get promoted. I didn't think he'd be staying this long anyway."
"Well, he found a reason to stay," said Tracker.
"Wait, does that mean you know what I'm talking about?"
"Yes, Iael, I know what you're talking about. Hero told me months ago. And yes, it's weird, but weird seems to be the default state of things these days. At least he's on our side, and Sol seems happy being in his team, which really says a lot."
"So what's his reason to stay?" asked Iael.
"Glenda," said Tracker.
"Wait," said Hero. "You mean Lady Bellsprout?"
"Don't tell me you didn't notice," said Tracker. "No, wait, I can easily believe that you didn't."
"That is also the Hero we know and love," said Iael.
"Ha ha ha, keep laughing at me," Hero complained. "Perhaps I should withdraw my offer to take you back."
"You did call me an idiot," Iael pointed out. "But you also forgave me for handling things poorly and don't seem to mind that I'm currently a Golduck rather than a Stantler..."
"So that's what you were!" I exclaimed. "Of course! A chocolate Stantler, right?"
"Er... yes."
"Of course. Now everything makes sense. Don't worry, I doubt your kind will become extinct any time soon. They're in the most sheltered area of the forest, and anyone who tries to hurt them will have to go through the rest of us first. The Stantler herd will grow and thrive."
"And Scorch was right about one thing," said Hero.
"Just one?" Scorch rolled his eyes. Hero ignored him.
"What matters is who you are and what you do. So what will you do?"
"Well..." Iael paused to think. "I think the city needs more help than the forest right now... and I did miss you all a lot. So if you don't mind..."
He turned to look at me. I nodded. "Go ahead. We'll be fine. Just come visit someday."
"I will," Iael promised. "OK, let's go back... I can't wait to see Spark and Lagi and Water Angel."
"Oh, you're going to be surprised when you see Water Angel."
"Surprised? Dash said I'd be surprised when I mentioned her. What are you guys hiding?"
"You'll have to wait and see," Hero laughed.

classy_cat18
5th October 2015, 05:05 PM
Sorry for the delay. Eight stamps, plus two more as a late fee, makes ten in all. Nice use of the chaos magic. It sounds like something that doesn't follow any kind of rules, so why couldn't it change a Pokemon's genetic makeup?

Lady Vulpix
6th October 2015, 07:48 AM
Thanks, Shonta! I'm really glad to hear that. :)

Lady Vulpix
12th October 2015, 03:40 PM
This is my second story about the lost years. I had my doubts about posting it, but we're all adults here and I've seen far more graphic things (which I really didn't want to see) on Facebook pages. I must warn, however, that there this story contains descriptions of violence and some implied (as in not described in detail) sexual content. And weirdness, of course.

Chinese dictionary (http://ce.linedict.com) for reference if you want to look up the few Chinese words in this text. Otherwise they should be clear by context.

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Yunqi's diary

2013-01-24

I have decided to start writing this diary in English so that mama won't be able to read it again. I still can't believe she did that. I suppose I could just stop writing, but I need to learn to express myself and not just... get some things out ofoff my chest.
We've been here for a year today. I still remember how I felt when I got off the plane. My whole body was in pain. It was the worst flight ever, and also the longest. I had very little sleep during the flight, and I had a nightmare. I've been having a lot of those. That one was about a big black bird wrapping me in its wings and taking me away... I never knew where it was taking me, but since I was on a plane... maybe it tookbrought me here? Maybe the bird was the plane? I don't know... I just know it was painful and scary, but not nearly as scary as my OTHER nightmares... The ones about the demons, and the blood, and... no, I still can't put them in words. It hurts just to think about them. I wish I knew why I keep having them. What is wrong with me?


2013-01-25

Sorry, I was in a bad mood yesterday because I'd just had another of those nightmares, but I feel a bit better now. I had a better dream last night. I don't remember much of it, but I do remember one important thing: I had a friend. She said she wanted to help me... she even told me some things about how to talk to others, and how to put my feelings into words. Can you really learn things in a dream? If you do, does that mean you've known a part of you has known those things all along? I wish I remembered what my friend looked like, or even her name. Or better yet, I wish I had some real friends. But it's hard to make friends when you're a diplomat's daughter who has to move to a different country every 5 years and goes to a school where everyone else keeps going away too. It would be hard even if I weren't... you know... me. It's almost funny... I learned English so fast that I surprised even myself... Spanish wasn't that hard either... and all so that now I can fail at conversation in three different languages. Never mind, I guess that's just my life. I have to go to school now. Maybe today will be a better day?


2013-02-13

I open my diary and see I haven't written in a while. That's because nothing important has happened in all this time. I guess today is not an exception, but it IS my birthday, and that is important to people around here. When I was in Spain, they said that, in old times, girls would become women at 15. If I were in old Spain, I would be seen as an adult now. But I would also be seen as baba’s property, so I guess I'm better off this way. The only thing that really bothers me is that they still won't let me become a trainer. I know they're my parents and I respect them, but I don't understand why. Everyone else in my class has at least one Pokemon, and I know more about Pokemon battles than most of them do. I can't wait to be 18 so I can get a trainer's license without parental permission. In the meantime, I'll keep learning about Pokemon from books and watching others battle. When I'm a trainer, I'll be the best. Yes, I know that's what everyone says, but at least I'll have a head start. I wonder what my first Pokemon will be... I'd like one that's not too flashy... one that people will underestimate until it's too late. I'll have to think about that carefully... and also see what's available when the time comes.


2013-02-16

I dreamed about my friend again and words have been flowing into my mind since I woke up. Flowing like... I remember her name now! She said she was 水使... which meant no sense to me when she said it, but now I think it does. She makes things flow like water, and she comes to help me when I need her, like a 天使. I can't picture her face yet... I remember seeing a dragon, but that couldn't have been her, could it? Dragons normally represent masculinity, but wasn't there a Goddess who could turn into a dragon? I think I should brush up on my mythology, but if I ask my parents they'll be mad at me for forgetting. Anyway... 水使 didn't feel like a Goddess, she felt like a... peer. A friend. I think I need some real friends, I'm too old for my only friend to be an imaginary one.


2013-03-03

Today I saw a large crowd gathered around a man with a Dragonite who could do some cool tricks... or so they said, I couldn't really see much among the crowd and almost everyone was taller than me. It doesn't matter. Some day I will be a trainer, and when that day comes I won't make my Pokemon do tricks on the street. I will win battles, sport games, tournaments... I'll be respected for what I can do, and so will my Pokemon. I know I'm not being humble here, but this is my diary. If I can't express my feelingshopes in here, then where else?


2013-03-22

Yesterday was not a good day. I tried to talk to some girls at school, but they only wanted to talk about boys... and their idols who are simply guys who will never know they exist. Then I left them and the new guy came to me and asked me what was wrong. When I told him, he said I was weird and left. I got angry... I wanted to say something back to him, but I couldn't think of what to say. All I could think was "turn back and face me, you..." and then he did. He turned back, gave me a puzzled look, and walked away. Then last night I had the nightmare again. The bad one. I felt drained, but then I heard a voice as I was waking up. It said "you can stop this... leave it behind...". "How?" I asked, still half-dreaming. "Find where it all begins," was the answer. So... I guess I now have dream homework in addition to my school homework. Awesome.


2013-03-31

I faced him yesterday. That guy... his name is Fabrizio. I gathered my strength and faced him. I told him: "yes, I'm weird. But you know what? I'm fine with that. At least I'm true to myself and not pretending to be someone I'm not in order to fit in. Do you even know who YOU are? Or have you forgotten that in your efforts to be just like all the other boys?" He gave me that same puzzled look and asked "where did this all come from?" "From me," I said. And he said "you should have yourself checked". I really hate that guy. And I stand by my words.


2013-04-14

A promoter from an insurance company came to my door today. I told him my parent's weren't home, and he asked me if I wanted to try my luck with a scratchcard. Since it was free, I decided to try and won a set of color pencils with the company's logo. "Wow, you're a lucky girl," he said. Yes, lucky, right. Too bad I can't draw to save my life. But that's just me, isn't it? Luck can go either way... sometimes both ways at once. Which brings me back to the question I have asked myself so many times: why did my parents name me 运气? When Chinese parents pick a name for their child, they usually choose a name related to the life they want their child to have. They say your name defines your destiny. So what does that mean for me? Does that mean my destiny should go whichever way the wind blows? Did they care so little about me that they decided to leave my fate to luck? Not that I really believe in those things, but I'd really like to know what they meant by that.


2013-05-03

We had an oral exam today. I had studied hard, but I was still nervous. Every time the teacher chose someone else to answer a question, I wished I would be next so I could finally put the anxiety behind. I did my best to calm myself down while at the same time wondering what my question would be and thinking of all the answers the answer to each possible question, until I felt like I was about to explode. At that precise moment, the teacher looked at me and asked me if I was OK. I think I said yes, or something like that. She then asked if I was ready to answer the next question, and since I was as ready as I'd ever be, I said yes. The question was as simple as "what is the name of the mountain range that forms a natural border between Spain and France?", so I guess all my anxiety was for nothing. I got an A. And that wasn't my only victory of the day. During school break, I helped Emilia win a Pokemon battle. She had a beautiful Vivillon with a pattern that looked like sun rays on a clear sky, but she got scared when Jacques, her opponent, released a Torkoal. She didn't know what to do. I asked Jacques if I could talk to her for a moment. He said "sure, I have this battle won anyway". I talked to Emi and told her she had the advantage. She didn't believe me until pointed out that her Vivillon was much faster than Jacques's Torkoal, and that his type advantage would be void if she used Powder. I also told her that her Vivillon could use Sleep Powder to gain even more time, and then use her best non-bug-type damaging moves. Torkoals have a high Defense, but their Special Defense is not so great and Vivillon has some good special attacks. So it should be no surprise that Emi and her Vivillon won the battle easily after taking my advice. Jacques then protested that it was two against one, but he HAD said I could talk to her, and it was still a one-on-one battle as far as the Pokemon were concerned. Besides, I was not a trainer yet, so that was as close as I could get to taking part in a Pokemon battle.


2013-05-07

Our history teacher was sick yesterday, so we had a free period. Everyone else spent it chatting or - in the case of Maurice and Valerie - making out and grossing me out. I spent most of the time thinking about life and trying to rememberrecall all the good moments I'd experienced. Then I remembered something interesting about Friday's Geography test. The teacher had looked at me right when I was most desperate for her attention. And I remembered Fabrizio had also looked at me when I had called out to him with my mind, even though he had no reason to. I wondered if that was a coincidence, or if I had caused it somehow. So I did what any sensible person would do: I ran some tests. I started silently calling out to everyone around me, and almost everyone turned to look. Val and Maurice didn't, but they were too focused on their own... thing. That, and I couldn't really focus on calling them when half my mind was telling the other half to look away. So, in conclusion, I guess Fabrizio got one thing right about me: I am weird. And you know what? I like it. To make things better, Emi talked to me and thanked me for my help on Friday. It was a good day.


2013-05-19

Some days are good, some days are bad. Such is life, such is luck: 运气. I saw the Dragonite guy again today, only this time he wasn't showing off his Dragonite's abiliskills: he was telling stories. Stories of travels to other worlds, and of battles against demons on a pile of bones. I wish I hadn't heard that. The story triggered the memory of my nightmares - in broad daylight! If only it were just bones and demons... I saw killing... slashing throats and guts, tearing life away from people and Pokemon alike. And what is worse, I saw it in first person, even though the hands doing the killing were clearly not my own: they were large and black, with long, sharp claws. It was awful. I wanted to look away, but I couldn't. How can you look away from something that's inside your own mind? At least I was able to put it in words today, but I still shake from the thought. Why me? What does any of that have to do with me?!


2013-05-20

I feared I would have the nightmare again last night, but I didn't. Instead, 水使 came to my rescue once more. She said "that's not you". She said "those memories do not belong to you. Find out what caused them, and leave it behind." Now I have a slightly better idea of what to do, but now that I think of it there's something really strange about this whole thing. Aside from the nightmares themselves and me getting advice from someone who doesn't even exist, I mean. She didn't say "nightmares", she said "memories". Am I seeingexperiencing someone else's memories through my nightmares? It sounds impossible, but if I can call out to people with my mind, maybe other strange things are possible too. At least if the origin of the nightmares is not me, then I'm not as messed up as I thought I was.


2013-05-25

Summer vacation is coming up. We used to call them holidays, but words are just words. The meaning is no school for three months. And right when I thought I was starting to make a real friend. I hope she still remembers me when classes resume in late August. I hope she's still there when I go back to school! What if this was her last year here? Anyway, I'm talking about Emilia. She seems nice. She's been asking me for more training advice, and the last time I called her with my mind she looked at me and asked me "what is it?", which means she KNEW I was calling her! I asked her how she knew, and she said she'd felt something... like a tickle or a slight poke coming from my direction. And she had noticed me doing that to other people in class. And she was OK with it! She said she thought it was cool! We then started talking a bit more... I still fail at picking up subjects to talk about, but she was better at it than me, so she asked some questions and I answered as best as I could. At one point she asked me what my name meant, and that led to me telling her about my issue with my name and how I wished I knew why my parents had chosen it, and she said "why don't you ask them?"... And I realized I had no answer to that. So I guess I'll have to ask. It's not easy to talk to my parents, normally they do the talking - if anyone talks at all. But I have to try. What do I have to lose? It should be a simple question, right? "WhyHow did you choose my name?" It's not like I'm asking them about their deepest secrets, or asking if they're OK with my lack of interest in dating or the psychic abilities I seem to have. I may have to deal with all of that someday, but for now, just that simple question is an important step.


2013-05-26

I did it. I approached baba and asked him why he and mama had chosen that name for me. He seemed surprised that I asked, but he didn't mind answering. The answer was not what I had expected. He said they did not want to define my fate from the day I was born. He said they wanted me to shape my own future. They didn't leave my destiny to the whims of luck; to them, I was luck, and I could blow whichever way I wanted. Then I asked "but then why can't I choose to be a Pokemon trainer?", and he said I wasn't ready yet. "You need to finish your studies first," he said "and you need to learn patience. That is the only way you can be good at what you choose to do." He may have a point... but sometimes I wish I'd been born to a Western family. Then I'd be able to make my own mistakes and learn from them, rather than have to avoid making mistakes at all costs. But some of my Western classmates don't seem to learn from their mistakes at all, so... I don't know, maybe we're all screwed one way or another, no matter where we come from.


2013-06-24

I can't believe I left my diary at home when we went to Florida. Anyway, I doubt I would have had much to write. I had some fun, but I was also lonely. Also realized I hate shopping so that's another way in which I'm different from most girls. Mama, on the other hand, couldn't stop herself. We couldn't get her away from the malls before she'd spent all our vacation money on clothes and jewelery, so all we could do for the rest of the time was go to the beach and eat meager meals. But the beach was fun. And now I'm back home, studying next year's books because my parents say I should have a head start and not let my brain rust from not studying. Fun times. Not. Still, it's not like I have any friends to see, so I might as well spend my time studying. Maybe when I'm done I can watch movies or something.


2013-07-15

I went to see Iron Man 3 yesterday. It wasn't as bad as I had expected, but that's not why I'm writing. After the movie, I went to have some tea and then I went to the restroom... where the door got stuck as I was trying to leave. I hate to admit it, but I got scared. I knew someone would have to come eventually, but I felt helpless and I hated it. I called for help, but the door was thick and the cafe was quite noisy, so no one heard me. I wished I knew what was going on outside. And then I saw it. Or, rather, felt it. The whole cafe, with every wall and every table and every person sitting or standing, and even the foods and drinks. There was a waiter tending to the nearest table. I called out to him with my mind, and he turned to look for a moment, but then turned away. As he stood up to leave, I called him again and started knocking on the door as hard as I could. He heard me this time, and opened the door for me. I was relieved. I thanked him, asked him for the bill, paid and left. I felt exhausted, but also happy. I had found a new power, and somehow it felt as if I had remembered something I had known all along. As I walked back home, I could feel everything around me, even behind locked doors. "This kind of power would be easy to abuse," I thought. "But that's not who I am. I make my own destiny, and I'll make sure it's a good one."


2013-08-26

Back to school, and Emi's gone. I wish her a good life, but it doesn't look like I'm going to have one myself. There's a new Asian student, but she's from Japan. And she's great at drawing, I saw her draw on her sketchbook during break. I doubt we have much in common.


2013-09-15

I saw the Dragonite guy again today. There are many rumors about him. Some say he's a space traveler, some say he's a wizard (or witch, even though he's clearly a guy), some say he has a girlfriend who used to be a Pokemon and some say he's gay. The rumors can't all be true, and perhaps none of them are, but I wonder what he does to attract so much attention. I was able to approach him and ask his name. "Patrick," he said. A regular, anti-climactic name. I knew I'd met some people named Patrick before, but I couldn't remember when or where. I asked him if he knew about the rumors, and if any of them were true, and he said yes, but he left it to me to guess which ones. I figured the one about him being gay was the most likely to be true, but who knows? Some of the weird ones might be real. I asked him if he'd ever heard of someanyone having someone else's memories, and he said everything was possible. Which didn't really help. In the end, I realized he wasn't going to say anything helpful, so I said goodbye and left.


2013-09-16

I had the nightmare again last night. I wonder if it was because I thought about it yesterday. It was as awful as ever, but this time I must have paid more attention, because now I remember how it started. How it's always started. There was a sphere. A large pearl-like globe sitting on an altar in a large room whose walls were covered in runes. The place looked like some kind of temple. I touched the sphere, and then the visions started. 水使 was right, the visions weren't mine, it was the sphere that caused them. And it wasn't just a dream... I feel like I've seen that sphere in real life. I wish I knew where... or when. Anyway, now that I know what caused the visions, I may have a way to stop them.


2013-09-26

I think I may have abused my powers a little, but they deserved it. I wanted to use the toilet at school yesterday, but I couldn't open the door. I checked to see what was going on inside, and I saw the door was stuck on a guy's pants, and also blocked by Maurice's half-naked body, whose bare lower half was being... serviced by Valerie. I felt I needed brain bleach. I sent them both a psychic pulse which made their heads hurt. They had to stop. When they did, I shouted: "Maurice, this is the ladies room, get out right now!" He rushed to put his pants and shoes back on, and as he and Val left I gave them both a disgusted look. They were so embarrassed they didn't even think of asking how I knew they were there. I just hope I won't start having nightmares about THAT now.


2013-09-27

I did it. I stopped the nightmare. I saw the sphere in the temple, but I didn't touch it. Instead, I turned around and saw the room shake, and in it was an Espeon who looked oddly familiar. She looked at me in a way that told me she was turning to me for help. "The pearl won't help," I told her. "It will only make things worse." Then the ceiling gave in, and a strange, canid-like creature came down from the newly created hole. He looked scary, yet somehow familiar. After him came an Umbreon, and a Dragonite carrying a female human who looked extremely familiar, and then more and more Pokemon. I knew they had come to help us. And suddenly, I felt safe. I knew I was not alone. I had friends who would always stand up for me. If only it weren't just a dream... But at least it's not a nightmare anymore.


2013-10-12

I may not have any real friends in this world, but at least I'm finding it easier to talk to others. I helped some of my classmates study for the test we had yesterday, and I think we all passed. One of them even said thanks to me. We've also been having some Pokemon training classes, and the school provides Pokemon for students who don't have one so, while I can't always train the same Pokemon, I'm starting to get along with a few of them. The teacher says I push them too hard sometimes and that I need to learn to understand how the feel and take that into account before I give them any commands. I didn't like being scolded, but I do want the Pokemon to like me and trust me, so now I'm trying to understand them better, which is not easy when you have to switch Pokemon every week. Yesterday we played Pokemon Soccer and the Eevee I was given scored the most goals, so I believe I'm doing something right. I gave him a signal whenever another Pokemon was approaching him from behind, so he was never caught off-guard. And since I'd been training him for a while before the match, he was already used to my signals. I think I'll be a good trainer someday.


2013-10-22

Funny. What used to be my worst nightmare has turned into the dream I recall whenever I feel lonely. There's going to be a dance at school and I know I won't be going. No one would ask me to go with them, and to be honest I wouldn't ask anyone either. What's the point of a school dance anyway? They're just popularity contests, and I'm not into that. But sometimes... just sometimes... I wish I could be a part of a group. I wish there were more people like me, or maybe not like me but people who accepted me for who I am... or even liked me. I once thought Emilia might be one such person. I wonder where she is now. I wish the friends from my dreams were real.


2013-10-23

I felt someone call to me in my dreams last night. But he wasn't calling my name, it was something else. Yet I felt it was me he was calling. But then the alarm clock started buzzing and I woke up. I hope I can finish that dream tomorrow, I'm really intrigued.


2013-10-24

This is the last entry I'll be writing on this diary. I'm only doing this for completeness, to give this whole thing some closure. Maybe there's another 胡运气 somewhere who will come back and pick up from where I left. If that is the case, I hope I have not messed up her life too much. I also hope she does better than I did. Or maybe this whole world will fade away when I'm gone... Perhaps it was all a really long dream. The only thing I regret is knowing that I won't become a Pokemon trainer, but at least I can help my own. I'm going back home tonight. Orknye has given me today to put my things in order, and he says Harims will help him take me back. He was the one who was calling to me in my dream. I didn’t recognize him at first... It didn't help that he looked like a human with webbed hands rather than a Dewgong, but I didn't look like a Venomoth and he still recognized me. I asked him how he had found me, and he said he felt someone in a distant world was calling for friends while dreaming of the world were he was living. Others were missing too, and he had been looking for us for a long time, so I guess my finally conquering my nightmare helped him find me. I know exactly what it was now. The dreaded pearl of Templa Taure, which I should have never touched. But I had been with Kirei and doing stupid things had seemed to be the thing to do. It all worked out in the end, however, and now I'm ready to go back home with my friends.

The Blue Avenger
31st October 2015, 03:53 PM
Just popping in to say I read it, enjoyed it, didn't expect the twist, well done.

Five stamps plus two for being two weeks late, seven total. Cheers!

Lady Vulpix
31st October 2015, 05:24 PM
It's one stamp per day after the first week, so that would be 5 stamps plus 1 for the first week, plus 6 more for the subsequent days, so 12 in total.

Thanks for taking the time to read and rate my story, Jeff. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

The Blue Avenger
31st October 2015, 05:36 PM
Yup, my bad. 12, then.

Lady Vulpix
1st November 2015, 07:10 PM
Thanks, Jeff. :)

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is my next next Missing Years story, exploring the width and depth of the emotional spectrum of the uncommon Espeon (and recalling a whole lot of old stuff). I hope you enjoy it.

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Caledor's story

<Caledor's POV>

My name is Caledor. That's important to me, because it's my name. It doesn't matter that there have been at least two others with the same name. Names aren't normally unique, but they are important. They're a part of our identities.

Anyway, I could go on rambling about names, or about individuality and friendship, or about the colors of the leaves in the fall and how I love seeing Ulthuan's trees again, or anything else for that matter, but I should explain what happened while I was gone.

So... that day. I remember a loud roar coming from the mountains, then a bright flash, and then the scenery changed. There was still a lot of earth and rocks, so I thought I might be on some other part of the mountain range, but the sky looked weird. It was almost black, but an eerie light illuminated the ground. And the moon was wrong. It looked... well, for starters it was blue. And a bit too big, and not quite round enough, and with a different pattern. So my next thought was that I'd been transported to another world. I checked myself and soon realized I was still an Espeon, so I couldn't be in Bei. I also felt unusually light, which probably meant the gravity was lower. A new one, then. I thought exploring a new world could be interesting... as long as I could find a way back home.

So I started walking in a random direction until I found the first sign of life... which was none other than a green Azumarill who was tending to some plants... which were also life signs, I suppose. I'm not sure what I had expected to find, but a green Azumarill was probably not it. I wondered if there were other Pokemon in that world, and if they could understand me. I had to put the latter to a test.

"Hey!" I called out.
"Huh?" the Azumarill looked up and saw me. "Are you new?"

Surprisingly, the language was not a problem. Unexpected, but practical.

"Some would say I'm pretty old," I replied, "but they'd be wrong, of course. I'm the second youngest in my team, after all, and strong and healthy as ever. But I'm new around here if that's what you're asking. Speaking of which... Where exactly is here?"
"We're in the Twilight Zone."
"Whoa, really?! Cool! I thought that was just an old TV show... One I keep saying I need to watch and keep forgetting, but two of my friends said it was good, so it must be a good thing."
"I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. What's a Teevee?"
"You mean there's no TV here? That's sad... Unless you have some other cool forms of entertainment. What do you do for fun around here?"
"I tend to the vegetables... sometimes we have battles, and some Pokemon play games."
"Games! I like the sound of that. Uh... What's your name by the way?"
"My name?"
"Come on! I understand if you don't know what TV is, but you must have names!"
"I'm an Azumarill, is that what you're asking?"
"No, that's your species. Isn't there a word that refers to you and you alone?"
"Oh, you mean my designated number! It's 3286. What's yours?"

I only remember her number because it reminded me of an animated movie Tsunami made me watch once.

"Ouch! No, please, not numbers! Pokemon can't be numbers."
"What's wrong with having numbers? Don't you have one?"
"I used to have one, but I don't like being called by a number. I have a name. I'm Caledor."
"But your number says something about you... about your origin. Please, can you tell me yours?"
I sighed. "OK, if you insist... I doubt it will tell you anything, but... I was labeled as 251, but please don't call me that."
"251? Really?!"
"I doubt it has anything to do with the numbers you're using here," I told her. "Just because I was given a number..."
"Were you one of the Unicorn Gate Pokemon who were left on Earth?!" she interrupted me.

OK, that I hadn't expected. Especially since it had taken me years to find out where the old lab was.

"How can you possibly know that?!" I asked her.
"Easy," she said. "We started from 500 when we settled here. Numbers 400 to 499 came from our old lab back on Earth. Everything below that was Dragon's Guild Pokemon, and they only made about a dozen before they set up the lab at Unicorn Gate. And since you're not one of the few who came here with the founders, you must have stayed on Earth. Which raises the question... How did you get here?"
"Umm... I don't know... magic? I think it was magic. How did you get here?"
"Oh, I was made here," the Azumarill said. "But the founders came here using magic too. Did Teclis send you here?"
"Wha?! Teclis?!"
"I take that as a 'no'?"
"No, I got here by chance. Did Teclis bring your founders here? How many secrets is the old elf hiding?"
"Your guess is as good as mine. But he's an old, powerful wizard, so I'd say... probably lots. Anyway, are you staying with us? Would you like to see the rest of the base?"
"I'd like to find a way back home, but I guess taking a little tour won't hurt."
"Great, I'll show you around! What would you like to see first, the common area in the Day Zone or the sleeping quarters in the Night Zone?"
"Wait... There's a Day Zone and a Night Zone? And this is the Twilight Zone because it's in between those two?"
"Exactly!"
"I see... So this isn't the Twilight Zone I was thinking of. Where exactly are we? I mean... What's the name of this world? It has a name, doesn't it?"
The Azumarill chuckled. "Yes, it does. Names are for places, not Pokemon. This world's called Luna."
"Luna? Like the Moon?... Wait... Are we on the Moon?"
"We're on a moon. Every natural satellite which orbits around a planet is called a moon."
"Is that Earth up there?" I asked.
The Azumarill nodded. "Up in the sky and safely away from us. Now come! I think I'll show you the Day Zone first, then we can get some rest when we reach the Night Zone."

Only when we reached the door that led to the huge glass tube that would take us to the Day Zone did I realize we were under a great dome. That explained why we had no trouble breathing. I assumed there was also some artificial gravity at work, since I felt lighter than at home but not that much lighter. Since the walls of the dome were transparent, you could see the sky through them. We walked through a series of tubes as my guide pointed at the passages which led to the different gardens, and we finally reached a dome which looked MUCH larger than the one where we'd been before. The place was brightly lit, but I couldn't see the light source as my attempt to look up through the glass hurt my eyes.

"Welcome to the Day Zone!" beamed the Azumarill. "This is the common area, where we do most of our daily activities."
"What does 'daily' mean in a place where it's always day?"
"It means what we do while we're here, of course. Then, when we get too tired, we go back to the Night Zone to sleep. Or we go to the Twilight Zone when it's our turn to tend to the gardens."
"So what do you do here? I see some Pokemon talking, and some who seem to be eating... Is that a Tauros with antlers?"
"Ah, yes, old 662. He was an experiment to see if a Tauros's horns could be replaced by a Stantler's antlers, and if that could grant him some Stantler-like abilities."
"They cut off his horns and replaced them by a Stantler's antlers?!"
"Oh, no, of course not! That would be so cruel! It was all done via genetic manipulation of a Tauros egg. He was born that way."
"Ah... I was worried for a moment there. Still... it doesn't feel right."
"How is he any less 'right' than you are?"
"I'm not saying he is wrong, if anyone was wrong it was whoever did that to him."
"What are you saying?! He wouldn't even exist if the experiment hadn't been made. Are you saying it was wrong to create him?"
"No, that's not what I'm saying. It's... It's complicated. Can we talk about something else instead? What's that building over there?"
"Oh... That's the Science Building. It's where all the research is conducted, and also where new Pokemon are made."
"Who does that? I mean, who conducts the research and makes the Pokemon?"
"Huh? I'm not sure I get your question. It's the Pokemon who like those things and are good at them. I doubt you've met any of them before."
"So... Pokemon create Pokemon?"
"Is that not how it works on Earth?"
"No... I mean, yes, but not that way. It's usually done in a more natural way."
"Natural? Oh, you mean like they did before genetics were developed?"
"Exactly."
"So they let their genes get mixed at random? That's so messy! There's no way to predict the results that way, nor ensure that the new Pokemon are strong and healthy. Let alone make any improvements."
"I've lived there all my life, and believe me, nature does a good job. And even the Pokemon who aren't strong or healthy have something to contribute. Why shouldn't they be allowed to live?"
"We're not talking about killing Pokemon, we're talking about making them right from the beginning. What's your problem? Do you resent being who you are or something?"
"OK, stop. First of all, my origin does not define me, so if there's anything I resent it's not who I am. Second, I don't want to fight. You do things your way, I... I just don't, I guess. Never mind. I need to find a way home. Do you think you could help me?"
"I don't know of any way to travel to Earth. No one's ever wanted to do that before."
"What, no one's even curious to know what it's like down there? Or up there, or whatever."
"We have the stories the founders tell us. It doesn't sound like a place where I'd like to go. And we used to get messages from our old contact on Earth sometimes, but the radio's been silent since before I was born."
"Born? I would have thought you'd say created."
"Huh? I don't get what you mean. I don't know if it went silent before or after I was created. I just know it was before I was born, so I've never seen it at work."
"Excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference?"
"Between creation and birth? Pokemon are first created, then incubated, then born. I thought everybody knew that."
"Sorry, I come from a strange place, I guess. So... Do you know what the last message from Earth was?"
"I don't know, but if you're curious about that you can ask 427 and 439, they're the ones in charge of watching the radio tower."

Of course I was curious! Curious and eager to find a way back. Oddly enough, in this place where apparently everyone was just like me, I felt more out of place than ever before. That, and I needed to see if my friends were OK and let them know I was fine. And Kiara too! And on top of things, there was this growing discomfort at the back of my head which I kept trying to push away but I couldn't. It had begun when we started talking about reproductive methods. A question kept nagging me and I couldn't keep it quiet, but I dared not ask it either. So I settled for asking something rather more vague as we walked towards the Radio Tower.

"So... Was everyone here created in a lab?"
"Of course," said my guide. "Most of us were created right there in the Science Building. The older ones came from Earth like you did, but only a few were from your lab, the others were from... you know, our lab's predecessor."

No, I didn't 'know', but at least now I got to wonder what it was that she wasn't telling me. It might help keep the other question at bay. Because I couldn't ask "how can you be so sure?" and risk opening the most rotten can of worms I'd ever seen.

From that moment, the question stayed in my mind, and a part of me kept wanting to ask it while the rest of me kept yelling "don't you dare!" because I was afraid of what the answer might be, and what it might mean for me... No, I didn't want to think about it. This wasn't the Unicorn Gate lab, so whatever these Pokemon did with their lives and their bodies did not necessarily have anything to do with me, but still... No, no way. I didn't want to allow myself the thought that the Guild's scientists - or even Dragon Master Scott McHenry himself - might have hurt me on purpose. As secretive as he had always been, I needed to trust that there were lines he would not cross. After all, he was the closest thing I had to a father. So instead I chose to focus on how creepy the whole thing was, on how could Pokemon even build all those things and have a secret mad scientist society on the Moon, on where the previous lab might have been, how everything could have started, who had come here from my old lab and in which way the Dragon's Guild was involved - because there was absolutely no way it could not be.

There was only one Pokemon at the Radio Tower when we arrived: a Furret. He introduced himself as 427 and I of course introduced myself as Caledor, but the Azumarill had to tell him I was 251, and then the Furret looked at me with shock.

"Please," I told the Azumarill. "I'm not 251, I'm Caledor. Like the province, if you know anything about Ulthuanian geography. I sometimes go by The Living Light Bulb or The Magic Espeon, although the latter has been disputed before."

The Furret looked confused, which in my opinion was better than the shocked look. Once he overcame his confusion - or decided to ignore it - he asked if more Pokemon were coming from Earth.

"I don't think so," I said. "I ended up here by accident and I'm looking for a way back."
"Good luck with that," said the Furret. "I have no idea how to get to Earth from here, but then again I have no idea how you made it here in the first place, so there may be a way to undo whatever it is you did."
"But the thing is... I didn't do anything! A sudden burst of magic brought me here from the mountains. If no one here has the magic and/or the technology to get me back, then maybe we can use the radio to send a message and have someone fetch me."
"The radio's been silent for years," said the Furret. "No one's checking it on the other side. 439 and I take turns to keep the place clean and welcome anyone who wants to see the tower, but this place is now more a museum than anything else."
"Can we at least try?" I asked.
"Suit yourself. The keyboard's over there. Type your message and I'll encode it and send it."

I approached the large console with a massive keyboard - each key was the size of one of my paws - and did what he said. The message was something along the lines of "This is Caledor the Espeon from Lady Vulpix's team. I'm stranded on the Moon. Please help me return home." The Furret reviewed my message and shrugged. He then pressed a few buttons and a buzzing sound came out of the console where I had typed my message. He then pressed one more button and, after a few seconds, the sound stopped.

"Your message has been sent," said the Furret. "I'll let you know if we get a response, but don't keep your hopes up."
"I always keep my hopes up," I told him. "Hope and smiles are my fuel. And if this doesn't work, something else will. I'm not staying here forever."

I was right about that after all, but "not forever" can still be a very long time. I was offered a room to stay in the Night Zone, which I shared with four other Pokemon. They were nice, and happy to have a new roommate who could tell them tales of the distant and mysterious old world. They were a Ditto, a Raichu, a Persian and a Kecleon. They were, of course, unusual in their own ways. The Ditto could assume any shape it had taken before, and it took me a while to get to know them all. The Raichu could use Psychic and levitate objects... she reminded me a great deal of Thunderblast, minus the sunglasses. The Kecleon did not change colors or type when hit by an attack, but whenever he wanted. As for the Persian, she could manipulate the temperature around her, so she could warm up the room or cool it down, freeze water or turn it into steam, and all such things. She was the oldest in the group, with number 514... one of the first Pokemon born on the Moon. The Ditto was 556, the Kecleon was 830 and the Raichu was 1269. I got used to calling them by their numbers because that was what everyone else did, but I did not let anyone do that to me. I was the only one around who had an actual name, and probably the only one who cared, but my name was important to me.

It may be hard to believe, but it took me about a week to realize the floor was moving. The movement was very, very slow, which may explain why it took me so long to notice. When I asked 514 why, she said the base had been set up on a moving platform in order to keep the Day Zone in the light and the Night Zone in the dark. I asked why, since that sounded completely ridiculous to me. This was her answer:

"Pokemon originated in a world with short day and night cycles, and our bodies are accustomed to those cycles. Here, however, the cycles are much longer. If we were to set the platform to move westward and rotate us so that our days lasted the same as Earth's days, it would have to move too fast and it would be uncomfortable in addition to wasting a lot of energy. So instead we keep one area in the light and one in the dark, and create our own cycles by moving from one area to the other. This also makes it easier for some Pokemon to work while others sleep. We can have different schedules without altering our light cycles, and keep both areas evenly populated at all times."

The logic was so alien to me that I had to think about it for a while, but in the end I concluded it was fine, since it seemed to work. It also had the side-effect of day and night lasting as long as anyone wanted, so I was fine with that. By then, I had already finished my tour of the base and had started doing odd jobs during my daytime. Sometimes I ran errands and sometimes I helped tend to the crops, but once I was allowed to help look after the babies I started spending most of my time with them. Being designed on a desk and conceived in a lab doesn't make baby Pokemon any less adorable, and if I could help a few of them have a happier childhood than I'd had, I wouldn't miss the chance.

I also played games, especially with my roommates. We played different variants of tag and hide-and-seek, and we had occasional shooting contests. I even won with a Hydro Pump once, but I still don't know how I hit the mark. I generally did better with Thunderbolts, but a Thunderbolt didn't score nearly as high as a Hydro Pump in their tables. I was surprised when I learned that they hadn't heard of football. I had to teach them, of course. I knew I wasn't a professional, but I'd played a couple of games in the past and remembered the rules well enough to explain them. We had some fun with our first few games, and it didn't take long before a makeshift stadium was set up, with the lines painted on the floor by a Smeargle and two poles delimiting each goal. We played many games with changing teams, and those who didn't play often stayed to watch. I won some games and lost some, and I had fun in all of them, but I missed playing with my friends at home, and I missed Kiara more than I'd thought I could.

As time went by, I found myself talking more and more about my friends. I never allowed myself the thought that I might not see them again, but I couldn't stop worrying about them. And about Kiara, though I didn't speak of her because no one else ever mentioned having a romantic partner. I was thinking about them all the first time 427 found me at the common dining room, so I was startled when I suddenly heard my name being called out. I turned to look and saw the Furret running towards me with a full tray on his back. It was quite an impressive feat: I later learned that his great balance was a practised skill.

"Oh, hey there!" I greeted him.
"So you do eat!" was his very unexpected response.
"Of course I do! What made you think otherwise?"
"You did say hopes and smiles were your fuel."
I thought for a moment and then laughed. "Oh, that! OK, yes, hopes and smiles are my soul's fuel. My body needs a more material form of sustenance to keep going. Not that I mind, I really enjoy a good meal. I can't believe all this stuff was grown on the Moon. Where do you even get the water?"
"We brought some with us from Earth and there's a space probe which occasionally finds ice on an asteroid and brings it here, but mostly we recycle."
"That sounds quite complicated... and somewhat gross. Who made the probe?"
"I don't know who built it. It was a gift from the Dragon Master."
"Oh!... I was right, then. I was waiting for someone to drop his name. What was his role in this whole thing? And where is he now?"
"I wish I knew where he is. He helped us get here and provided everything we needed to survive, then he stayed in contact with us for the next few years via the radio, but it's been years since we last heard of him. The satellite's still working, but no one has contacted us since then. Most believe he's dead and no one else on Earth knows about us. Which would make sense since he promised not to tell anyone. By the way, did you know he had a Jolteon named Caledor? I found out looking in the archives the other day."
"Whatever 'the other day' means here. Yes, I know, I've met him. I came first and Scott knew it, so either he liked me enough to name an Eevee after me or he forgot about me and gave him the same name by chance. I guess I'll never know."
"I'm sorry," said the Furret.
"Nah, that's OK. Names can be shared. Having one is what's important."
"Why is it so important?"
I thought for a moment before answering. "It's something personal... something that represents you. When others call you by your name, you know you matter to them."
"Can't numbers serve the same purpose?"
"They're not nearly as personal. They make it too easy to bulk you up and turn you into statistics. Not to mention how much harder they are to remember. When I look at the Pokemon here, I can remember the first time we met and some things we did together, but I keep mixing up their numbers. Names remind me of their owners. Numbers don't."
"I remember your number," he said.
"Good for you, but I'd much rather be called by my name."
"And what would you call me?"
Again an unexpected response. I was starting to like that guy. "Right now I think of you as Radio Furret," I told him.
"Radio Furret..." he moved his tongue as if tasting the words. "Simple, but not bad. It's accurate. You can call me that."
I chuckled. "I wasn't trying to name you."
"And yet you have."

...And that was the first time a Moon-dweller got a name. The second time came much later, so I'd rather mention some other things first.

One thing I noticed shortly after my arrival was that, while there were many Pokemon in the base, there were relatively few species. In fact, almost every species I could find was native to Ulthuan, the exceptions being a few Kecleons and one Sylveon who didn't even know what his species was - to be honest, back then I didn't know either. That one was rather pedantic: he considered himself the ultimate Eevee evolution because he was the only one of his kind and he could use Metronome, so he could potentially use just about every move - he just couldn't choose them at will, which in my opinion made his versatility less than practical. I could have ignored him, but listening to him reminded me of Hero... except that Hero knew how to be funny when he bragged. But enough about nostalgia. I also noticed there were an awful lot of Raichus. When I asked my Raichu roommate about it, this was her reply:

"Thunder Stones are easy to synthesize."
"Really?" I said. "That's cool, but why make so many Pichus in the first place?"
"Pichu genes are easy to modify and mix with others. I heard they're very susceptible to mutations even if left to chance. I heard stories of Pichus who were born with oddly shaped ears or tails and Pikachus who could change their types. I heard a particularly moving story about a Pikachu who was captured by criminals and locked in a frozen cage, and then somehow managed to change her type from pure Electric to Electric/Ice."
"I heard that story too... Her trainer's name was Charlie, right? They were reunited in the end, but the rest of their team didn't make it. It was a very sad story."
"Indeed, but at least she made it home safely. The Dragon's Guild was interested in replicating the effect without having to torture a Pikachu, and they eventually managed to create a Pichu who was born with both types. He's a Raichu now, and still dual type. He's one of the few Unicorn Gate Pokemon who joined us."
"So he's here?"
"Yes... You may have seen him. He has white stripes on his back. His number is 302. He works at the DNA bank."
"I'd like to see that place someday," I said. "Have you been there before?"
"No... I've only met him in the common area. I haven't gone back to the Science Building since I finished my psychic training. It was... harsh. I don't want to remember those days."
"Sorry to hear that. I hate it when Pokemon are mistreated in the name of training. I was hoping that kind of thing didn't happen here."
"I suppose bad things happen everywhere. I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt me, it's just his way... He's never been good at dealing with other Pokemon. That's why he's always alone."
"Who's always alone?"
"Sorry, you didn't know, did you? I'm talking about 2, of course."
"2? That's a really low number."
The Raichu chuckled. "It is, isn't it? He's the oldest one among us. Our patron and protector, and also the creator of most of the founders. I wouldn't exist if it weren't for him, so for that I'm grateful. I just prefer to be a safe distance away from him."
"Have I ever mentioned you remind me of an old friend?"
"No, you haven't. Really?"
"Yes. Not your attitude nor the way you speak, but the way you look and some of your gestures. You could be her little sister. If the word 'sister' means anything among genetically engineered Pokemon. And she also received some harsh Psychic training in her youth."
"Really? What was your friend like?"
"Crazy, but in a good way. Fun. Energetic. Her name was Thunderblast. I really admired her. I never got to tell her this, but she helped me reach my first big revelation."
"What was it?"
"That my origin does not define me."
"That's... interesting. And I guess it's right. You were created in the same lab as 302 and you're nothing like him. You're nothing like any of us. Have you had any other big revelations?"
"Oh, yes. The second one was that I really like trees."

The Raichu burst into laughter. I had a warm feeling of accomplishment I hadn't felt in a while.

Looking back, I feel stupid that I didn't connect the dots back then. If the conversation had taken a different course I might have, but in my defense I believed what Scott had told everyone was true, and that made the conclusion that eluded me impossible to reach. Especially since I wanted to believe that Scott had been honest with his allies - the word "friends" doesn't quite fit him - and that Iael's parents had been avenged. It's easy to fall for a lie when it's what you want to hear. But I'm skipping forward again and there are a few other anecdotes I want to share.

I went to see the Evolution Stone factory one day. It was amazing. I couldn't understand the process completely, but I was marveled at the fact that ordinary rocks could be turned into different kinds of evolution stones by first heating them and then applying the right kinds of radiation. And the first steps were exciting too: before applying heat, the stones were cut and polished, and as a by-product they got lots of little shiny white stones. The little stones were then collected and put through a different process to become construction materials, but I was allowed to keep a tiny one, which stayed in my room for as long as I was there. I was told it was a zircon, and that made the stone even more appealing. Why? Because zircons are among the oldest stones on Earth - and apparently the Moon too - and they've been able to withstand everything nature has thrown at them so far. That's pretty impressive in my book, and I would really admire them if not for the fact that they're not alive. But I have a Rock type Hidden Power, so maybe the essence of those stones is a part of me. I like to think it is.

Then one day the probe came back. Radio Furret was the first to notice it was coming, and set the radio to broadcast an announcement for the whole base to hear. Everyone cheered as the robotic claw carrying a large block of ice touched the entry tube and was sucked into the tunnel that led to the main dome. The cheers had not yet died out when Radio Furret joined us and a Noctowl - I believe her number was 439 - went to take his place at the Radio Tower.

"Impressive, isn't it?" the Furret spoke to me.
"Indeed," I said. "I was thinking... If the probe can go into space to search for ice and then come back here, could it also go to Earth?"
"I suppose it could, if anyone knew how to program it. But even then you'd never survive the journey if that's what you're thinking."
"No, I suppose not. There's no air out there. But that doesn't mean we can't use the probe to send a message."
"A message to whom? We can already do that with the radio, but there's no one on the other side to pick up our messages. No one on Earth knows we're here."
"That's not true. There's someone who does. I forgot about him the first time you said Scott hadn't told anyone, but there was someone who didn't need telling. You came from Earth, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did... And I think I know who you're referring to, but how did you know?"
"The Azumarill I met on my first day here asked me if Teclis had brought me here. Why did you come here anyway?"
"We weren't accepted on Earth. Everyone feared us. They wanted to shut down our old lab from the start. Some even wanted to kill us. The least hostile humans wanted to find trainers for us once they had tested us to make sure we wouldn't hurt them. But that wasn't the kind of life we wanted to live. We wanted to be free and create our own community. We tried to settle in Caledor Forest at first, but once the attacks began, we realized we couldn't build our community on Earth. The Dragon Master saw that too, so he offered us the Moon as an alternative."
"Your old lab was in Caledor Forest? How come no one found it?"
"It was cloaked, just like our base is now. But some humans did find it and destroy it. The forest Pokemon got angry at us too, so things got nasty."
"How nasty?"
"Lots of battles. Many wounded on both sides. No deaths, fortunately, but the situation was unsustainable. We then escaped to Saphery, hoping to find help at the Tower of Hoeth. Which, in the end, we did."
"When did all this happen?"
"We're on year 12 now, so about 11 years ago."
"11 years... That was after the Griffon Games, so I should have heard of it. Why didn't I - wait a minute! I did hear about attacks on Caledor Forest. But I thought that was just Team Rocket and Mewtwo, I didn't think... No, wait. Yes, I did hear about... But that's impossible. But it would explain what happened to all those Pokemon we never heard about again. Except that would mean... Scott lied to us. Or at least omitted a huge part of the truth. No, wait a second, he did lie to us. Psychic Raichus! Why didn't I notice?!"
"I'm afraid I have no idea what you're talking about," said the Furret. "You're not making any sense."
"Tell me one thing. Did you meet a psychic Pikachu when you were on Earth?"
"I met one briefly. She was one of us, but her training took a toll on her and she left. Why?"
"Do you remember anything particular about her?"
"I don't remember much, it was such a long time ago... I was just a little Sentret. I think I recall her complaining about being unable to hit a target a few meters away."
"Yeah, she was nearsighted. That's why she got the glasses."
"You knew her?"
"She was a good friend. Until she and her team got a chance to explore other worlds and haven't been heard of since. But now I have another question, and this is the most serious question I've ever asked, so please tell me the truth. Is Mewtwo here? Is he the one you call 2?"

At that moment, a deep voice echoed in my head.

<Come to the Science Building,> it said. <Meet me on the 10th Floor. You'll get your answers there.>

I was scared and there's no shame in admitting that. That voice in my head had to be Mewtwo's. What was he going to do? Would he kill me? For a moment I thought of escaping, but I had nowhere to run: I was trapped inside his base on the Moon. And if he could get inside my head from the distance, then there was no way I could hide from him.

"Are you OK?" asked Radio Furret.
"No, I'm not! Why did no one tell me Mewtwo was here?"
"He knew you had a bad image of him and he didn't want to scare you, so he told us not to mention him."
"One of my roommates did, but she called him 2."
"That's his number. He was the 2nd Pokemon created by the Dragon's Guild. The first one was flawed and didn't live long."
"He was created by the Dragon's Guild?!"
"Yes. They wanted to replicate a previous experiment made by another research group and make an even more powerful Mewtwo. But 2 didn't like being a lab rat. He wanted to be free. So after learning all he could from the humans at the Dragon's Guild, he escaped and built his own lab. Now why don't you go with him to hear the rest of the story?"
"You're painting him like such a nice guy, but didn't he cause the attacks on Caledor Forest? Didn't he take over the Tower of Hoeth? I was there on that tower when Scott faced him and claimed to have killed him! I just didn't make it to the top floor, and look what I missed because of that! Anyway, all of that I could forgive, but not the Pokemon he killed in Caledor Forest. I have a friend who was orphaned because of him."
<I have not killed anyone, Pokemon or otherwise,> said the voice, and all of a sudden Mewtwo himself was towering in front of me.

Everyone around me stared in awe. Apparently it was true that he never spent time with the other Pokemon.

"You..." I began, unsure of what to say next.
"Yes. Me," he replied, now with his regular voice. "As I said before, I did not kill anyone, nor did any of my followers."
"Then who killed my friend's family and why did they have the 'M 2' marks on their eyelids?"
"Paint marks are easy to replicate. M 2 was the designation of our old lab, and we used to wear those marks as our emblem, but others could paint them on just as easily. Everyone saw us as a threat at the time, so if anyone wanted to get away with murder, framing us like that was an easy way to do it."
"So you're saying you don't know who did it?"
"I was busy trying to find a place where we could all live safely. I had no time to pay attention to fights which did not involve us. But I heard you moments ago when you began to panic. You mentioned someone else was attacking Caledor Forest at that time."
"Yes... Team Rocket. But could they...? Stupid question, of course they could. They captured Spark and killed his mother. They killed most of Charlie's team and nearly killed Gabi's brother and Ryan. They created the Ice Box, the Accelerated Evolution Program, the PWEs... Even the Crimson Blades were an offshoot of Team Rocket."
"Then there's your answer."
"This is bad... How can I tell Iael that whoever killed his parents may still be at large?"
"You are assuming you can go back to Earth and tell him."
"I can, and I will. And if you're not the monster they said you were, you'll help me."
"As strong as my psychic powers are, I do not have the power to send you back to Earth."
"Then at least send Teclis a message. You can't tell me you're stranded here with no way to ask for help if anything goes wrong. And believe me, a lot of things could go wrong."
"We are self-sufficient. We do not need to contact Teclis. In fact, if there is one thing we do not need is for Earthlings to come knocking at our door and destroy what we have built."
"I'm not planning to send anyone to destroy you, I just want to get back home!"
"I cannot help you with that. But there is another way in which I can help you."
"How?"
"If you let me into your mind, I can make you forget all that happened since you first left the lab until you got here. That will take away your suffering. You will be one of us, and will not miss anything or anyone on Earth."

At that moment I was overcome by a fury I'd never felt before. Only when I heard the gasps around me and saw everyone stepping back did I realize I was glowing bright red.

"What is the problem?" asked Mewtwo.
"Are you serious?! You really don't know anything about how to treat others, do you? For a psychic as powerful as you are, you seem to have no empathy at all. I may be the least psychic Espeon in the solar system, but I think I can understand other Pokemon much better than you can."
"I take that as a 'no'. But why?"
"Why?! WHY?! My memories make me who I am. You want to take away my life, my friends... everything! But I won't let you. I am the light that never stops shining... the ball that always bounces back. I am Caledor of Caledor, and you will not change who I am!!"

And then, the most unexpected thing happened. Mewtwo laughed. I looked around. Everyone else seemed to be as awestruck as I was.

"We will meet again, little 'ball of light'," he finally said. "Until then, do your best to enjoy your life here with those memories you so treasure."

And with those words, he disappeared.

I had mixed feelings about what had just happened. I realized I had made Mewtwo laugh, which was no small feat. Everyone else was impressed, too. But I didn't seem to be any closer to getting home than before. Soon, I was surrounded by my roommates and Radio Furret.

"That was amazing!" said the Kecleon. "I've never seen anyone stand up to Mewtwo like that!"
"I felt like a Lillipup barking at a tank," I admitted, and then clarified to the confused Pokemon around me. "Small dog Pokemon, big war machine. The thing is... I couldn't not do it. What he threatened to do was just..."
"It was not a threat," said the Persian. "He thought he was doing you a favor."
"Then he really needs to learn how to deal with others. But I won't be the one to teach him, I still need to find a way home. By the way, could anyone please explain what really happened at the Tower of Hoeth? Because the two versions don't match at all."
"What's the version you heard before?" asked Radio Furret. "What did they tell you?"
"They didn't just tell me things, I was there for a part of it, but... I never got to see all the angles. I'm part of a group of Pokemon and trainers called the Dragon Tamers. We don't really tame dragons, but we do stop troublemakers all over Ulthuan. When the attacks began, we were summoned to stop them. We went against both Team Rocket and your group, or so we thought."
"We did battle an organized group of Pokemon and trainers a couple of times, so that part may have been true. We weren't trying to cause trouble, though. It was a territorial conflict between us and the forest Pokemon."
"Oh! OK... So then one day we were called to the Tower of Hoeth which Mewtwo had supposedly taken over. We had some whacky adventures getting there, one of my friends evolved and then fainted, and her battling partner found a cursed Fire Stone which put him under a spell for a bit - come to think of it, he was really unlucky: what are the odds of coming across two bad Fire Stones in a lifetime? Anyway, we finally made it to the tower, which was full of traps, and made it to the 4th floor, but then we were attacked by... I think it was two Sneasels. My team won the battle, but we couldn't keep going any further. No, wait, we did go a little further, when we found Scott, but then he left us and we had to go back. Only Scott - the Dragon Master - and his team made it to the top floor, and then they came back and told us Mewtwo was dead."
"That's interesting," said the Furret. "Of course you now know the last bit wasn't true. And I had no idea getting to the tower had been so troublesome for you. I did help set up a few traps and stayed on watch to alert the others when someone was coming, so I'm afraid I was partly responsible for some of your problems and I'm sorry for that. Yes, we did take over the tower. After our first lab was destroyed, we thought only the Tower of Hoeth held the power we needed for our community to grow free without any interferences. Back then I thought we were earning our place in the world by ourselves, but with time I came to understand that was just not possible. We wouldn't have been able to even walk into the tower if Teclis hadn't allowed it. I believe he and the Dragon Master had planned to bring us here all along. Otherwise, how did they get all the equipment ready on such short notice? When the Dragon Master reached the top floor, he talked to Mewtwo and offered him a place where we could live and do our things without being bothered. He accepted, and we only had to wait until the next day to get everything we needed and be transported here."
"Wow! If that wasn't the Guild's biggest secret I doubt I'd like to know what is. I wish I were more surprised by what you're telling me, but that does sound just like the Scott I knew. I suppose he lied to us to make sure no one would interfere. But did he know you hadn't killed anyone? And if so, why didn't he tell us that, at least? It's like keeping secrets wasn't just something he had to do in his line of work, it was his way of life! No wonder no one knows if he's dead or alive now!"
"Caledor, please calm down," said the Persian.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to explode or anything. Of course exploding isn't something I can do, but you know what I mean... I'm fine, I just... I wish I could yell at him right now. He designed me, watched my development, then chose a trainer for me... and I never knew the reason for any of the things he did. I wonder if anyone ever got to know him."
"I'm sorry," said the Raichu.
I shrugged. "That's the life he chose. I have my own life to worry about. Speaking of which... Does Mewtwo know everything that goes on in the base? I mean... Does he know everything we do, say or even think?"
"Not really," laughed the Furret. "He may be the most powerful psychic around, but he has only one brain. He can't pay attention to everything at the same time. He may check what's going on every now and then, but he's only been known to intervene when someone's agitated enough to draw his attention."
"Ah... so he noticed I was upset. I won't let that happen again."
"You can't just decide not to get upset," said the Kecleon. "Can you?"
"If you smile hard enough, sooner or later you end up feeling better," I told him. "This place has managed to get to me like nothing else ever has, but being sad and worried isn't going to get me anywhere, let alone back home. I will find a way to go back, and I'll do it the same way I do everything that's worth doing."
"How?" asked the Raichu.
"Caledor style," I said with a smile and a bright golden glow.

After that, we continued with our regular activities, but something felt different. I got more smiles and even a few nods when I walked past other Pokemon, a few started jokingly calling me the 'ball of light', and the day after my encounter with Mewtwo, the Blissey who worked with me at the nursery asked me to give her a name.

"A name?" I asked. "Me? Wow, I'm honored, but... what brought this up all of a sudden?"
"I've been thinking about the things you said yesterday. You know... when you confronted Mewtwo. It seemed to me like you were drawing strength from your name. I'd like to know how that feels."
"Drawing strength from my name?... Wait, are you talking about my wonderfully ridiculous battle cry?"
"Only you would use the phrase 'wonderfully ridiculous'."
"If you prefer an alliteration, I can give you 'exquisitely extravagant'."
The Blissey smiled. "OK, that was sort of funny."
"Wow, you're a tough audience today!"
"Sorry, I didn't mean to be."
"That's OK."
"Are you really Caledor of Caledor?"
"Caledor's my name and Caledor's my home, so... yes."
She chuckled. "Suits you."
"Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
"It's good. In fact, I do like listening to you. And talking to you. Your conversation can be... delightfully delirious."
"Hey, that's a good one!"

We both laughed, but laughing together like that made me think of Kiara. It must have shown on my face, because the Blissey asked me what was wrong.

"There's a Flareon back home," I told her. "At least I hope she's still there. Her name is Kiara. I miss her."
"I'm sorry," said the Blissey. "I wish you could be happy here, but I know your home means a lot to you and I hope you can make it back there."
"Thanks... I hope so too. It's been well over a year and I still haven't found a way, but I'm not giving up. Anyway... There's something we need to do right now."
"Right now? What is it?"
"We have to give you a name, don't we?"
"Oh, right! Yes, please."
"So... what kind of name would you like?"
"What kinds are there?"

What followed was a review of all the different kinds of names I could think so: related to one's appearance, to one's personality, skills, things one liked, things one hoped to achieve, friends and family one wanted to honor - which obviously didn't apply here since there were no families and friends had no names... and in the end she chose Rosielocks, which was the first word that had crossed my mind when I first saw her. Then the little ones started asking for names, and we spent the rest of our working hours naming them all.

When I went back to the Night Zone, I told my roommates about the naming spree.

"Sounds like you had fun," said the Persian.
"Yes, I did!" I grinned.
"So many Pokemon with names..." the Ditto commented. "Unless it's just a passing fad, things are going to be different around here when they grow up."
"That's up to them, I guess," I said. "But you know... there's something that never made sense to me about the numbers. Besides everything else I've always been saying."
"What is it?" asked the Kecleon.
"From what I've heard, your numbering system allows you to know a Pokemon's age and birthplace, right?"
"Right," said the Kecleon.
"Well, the age is approximate," said the Persian. "Unless you've memorized the records. Pokemon aren't exactly born at regular intervals. You may get two on the same day and none the next."
"OK, but that would still work as an approximation," I continued. "Except... you - I mean we - come from two different labs. Or three, but from two different research groups. So how come the same system works for both? How can there be no overlap and why did the M 2 lab start at 400?"
"I see what you mean," said the Persian. "There is an explanation. The M 2 lab did not use numbers at first. It started with only one Pokemon of each species, so the species was enough to identify them. Then they started making pairs of identical Pokemon, and several Pichus after the first Pikachu left, but Mewtwo never saw the need to number them, he knew who was who."
"The first Pikachu?" asked the Raichu.
"That's what 403 said. Still, things started getting confusing for the rest of the founders who didn't know how to refer to each other, so when a few Pokemon from the Dragon's Guild lab found them and decided to join them, they suggested the numbering system. Their lab was in the late 300s by then, so the M 2 Pokemon numbered themselves starting at 400. And they had made it to 499 by the time they came here."
"But wait, that means... some of the 400s may be older than some of the 300s!" I realized.
"Yes," said the Persian. "In fact, the first ones are probably older than you."
"Then lower numbers don't necessarily mean older Pokemon! And what's more, there probably is some overlap, since the Unicorn Gate lab continued working for a while after you left."
"OK, I see your point," said the Persian. "The system isn't perfect, but it's worked for us so far."
"I wouldn't mind having a name," said the Raichu. "When Caledor talks about his friends, I can imagine them just by hearing their names. It wouldn't be the same with numbers. I keep mixing up the 5s and the 9s for some reason. Which is odd, since my number has a 9 in it, but that's how it is."
"I'd love to name you," I told her. "The problem is... I may have trouble coming up with a name for you. I can't help thinking of how much you remind me of Thunderblast, especially now that I know you're related."
"Related?" she asked.
"I mean... Thunderblast was created by Mewtwo, I bet she was that first Pikachu who left before your group moved here. So your looking so much like her can't be a coincidence. I bet you two have many genes in common. Aside from the ones which all Raichus have in common, that is. I once said you could be her little sister. Now, if we take into account your origin and your DNA, I'd say that you must be."
"Wow... Now I feel like I have a lot to live up to. What's a little sister supposed to do?"
"Nothing in particular," I said. "Just be yourself. And try to be nice to her if you ever meet her. Not all sisters do that, but the good ones do."
"1269 is always nice," interjected the Ditto.
"Good point," I conceded. "Then you're a good sister already."
"Thanks," the Raichu blushed. "So... Maybe I could have a name that's similar to hers? Something like... Thunder... bright?"
"Congratulations!" I told her. "You've just named yourself."
"Am I allowed to do that?" Thunderbright laughed.
"I don't see why not. A name is one of the most personal things you can have, so you should have one you like. If you like Thunderbright, then Thunderbright it is."
"Thanks," she said.
"Don't thank me, it was your idea. And I think it suits you. We'll be calling you Thunderbright from now on."

Thunderbright looked around to see everyone else's reactions. The Persian nodded, the Kecleon shrugged and the Ditto made an indefinite gesture, which may be the only kind of gesture a Ditto can make without transforming.

"Now that I have a sister," said Thunderbright, "I wish I could get to meet her someday."
"Maybe you can," I told her. "I ended up here by accident, and she and her group are exploring different worlds on purpose, so I wouldn't rule that out. Speaking of Thunderblast... I wonder if Weird Raichu Physics apply to you as well."
"Weird Raichu Physics? What's that?" asked Thunderbright.
"Something she made up," I explained. "She said she wasn't subject to regular physics. It was her one-size-fits-all answer for everything weird that happened around her."
"If we ever do meet, I'm sure it'll be an interesting experience."
"It should be fun. If you do meet her, please tell her to pay me and my team a visit, even if it's just a quick one."
"Assuming that happens," said the Persian, "are you sure you'll be back with your team by then?"
"I certainly hope so! Don't give me that look, you guys are great, but I need to get back!"
"Have you come up with a plan yet?" asked the Ditto. "How's that 'Caledor Way' working?"
"It's 'Caledor Style', but I suppose 'Caledor Way' works too. It's is working well in that I manage to stay positive most of the time, but I still haven't come up with any plausible ideas. I've been thinking about it a lot, and I believe Mewtwo must have a way to contact Teclis, but he won't do it unless he really needs to. And I can't think of a way to create that need without putting Pokemon at risk, which is something I'm not willing to do."
"Not to mention Mewtwo would be less than willing to help you if you put anyone at risk," noted the Kecleon.
"Oh, yes, that too," I agreed. "But that's not an issue because I wouldn't do that anyway."
"If there were a way to convince Mewtwo to help you," said the Persian, "you'd first have to convince him that you're not putting us at risk by going back to Earth. Our base is secret for a reason. If the secret gets out, nothing will stop Earthlings from destroying our base just like they destroyed our old lab."
"There's something that still doesn't make sense about that," I told her. "Was the old lab really destroyed because of a territorial conflict? Were the founders doing nothing to upset the forest Pokemon?"
"Not that I know of," said the Persian. "But then again, that was before my time. I do believe they did not kill anyone. The worst thing they could have done would be take some tissue samples out of the forest Pokemon in order to expand their DNA bank."
"I can see how some Pokemon might find that offensive," I told her.
"Anyway, we're only speculating," she said. "And this isn't going to help you get back to Earth."
"Speculation about tissue samples may not help me, but I think you gave me a good idea. Mewtwo made his threat after I said something about telling my friend Iael - which I have to do, because his parents were very important to him and he has a right to know - but if I can convince him that my going back to Earth won't cause him any trouble, then he may be willing to let me go."
"How can you know that going back won't cause us any trouble?" asked the Persian.
"My friends and I have always been working for peace in Ulthuan," I replied. "We won't start a war. And I'm not going to tell anyone who might. Anyway, you've been here for 11 years and haven't launched any kind of attacks, so I doubt anyone will consider you a threat. If I have to guess, I'd say at least a part of the Dragon's Guild must know about you, because Lord Absol has a way to find out about everything somehow, and we already know that Teclis knows, so if they're both letting you be, it means they want peace as much as you do."
"What about other humans?" asked the Kecleon. "The ones who are neither your friends nor Lord Absol and Teclis? Can you vouch for them? Because from what I've heard, they weren't exactly nice to the founders in the past."
"Strictly speaking, Lord Absol and Teclis aren't human. Anyway, humans and elves as a whole are unpredictable, I can only vouch for the ones who are close to me. But the others don't have to find out. I know I act silly most of the time, but I'm not stupid, I'm not going to let this go public."

We talked for a while longer, but we couldn't think of a way to convince Mewtwo that helping me return home would be safe for his community, so eventually we got too tired and went to sleep.

Days kept going by. There were some fun moments, but while I did all the usual and unusual things, a part of my mind kept trying to come up with ideas to get back home. The only time when I was completely focused on something else for a moment was when I met 302 and he made me an offer that was hard to refuse. I was just walking into the Day Zone when I found my Persian roommate talking to a Raichu with white stripes on his back. I greeted them with the first words that came to my mind.

"Good day of arbitrary length to both of you! I'd say you're up early, but the meaning of the word 'early' is a bit fuzzy here."
"Oh, hi! Sorry, I'm afraid I have to go now," said the Persian. "The eggs are waiting, I mustn't let them cool down."
I nodded. Keeping eggs warm was important for the babies to be born healthy.
"Go ahead," said the Raichu. "I'll see you later. And what have we here? You must be the famous Caledor,"
"In the flesh!" I replied. "And you must be the famous... Ice-type Raichu, right? What was your number?"
"302."
"Ah, yes, that was it, sorry. You came from Earth too, right?"
"Yes, I did. From Earth and from the Unicorn Gate lab, just like you."
"How did you end up here?"
"Back at the lab I became friends with an Abra. His number was 303, so he came right after me. He'd been engineered to give him a higher defense than regular Abras, but he was going through some tests that required him to take blows regularly and he was getting tired of it. He said he'd been to the outside world a few times, during the nights when the humans weren't watching him, and while he'd been told it was dangerous, it looked much better than the place we were in. I had trouble believing him at first, because the lab was all I'd ever known, but he kept telling me about the things he'd seen and I grew curious. One night, I accepted to go with him and he teleported us to the surface, outside Unicorn Gate. We walked around for a while and saw some views I'll never forget. I wondered why the humans didn't want us to go there. We went out a few more times. We only had an incident one time, when we came across a human who was walking alone at night and he tried to catch us, but 303 managed to teleport us back safely. Then one day the humans started talking about an event called the Pegasus Games, and there was talk of offering me as a prize, which sounded sort of scary. But then they said the games were canceled, and later that someone else was hosting the games and the prize would be some Pokemon from White Mountain... I didn't understand the details, but I didn't like the way my future was being decided like I was just an object."
"I've been there myself," I told him. "Except the Griffon Games went through as planned and I was given as a prize. Luckily, the home I was sent to was a good one - the one who replaced you as the Pegasus Games prize was not that lucky - but I must admit I was scared for a while. Until I saw the trees."
"What trees?"
"The trees on the outside. Anyway, please go on. You still haven't told me how you ended up here."
"Oh, of course. As I was saying, I was getting restless and my friend 303 was starting to seriously consider the idea of leaving the lab for good, but we didn't know where to go. That was until we heard the news about a group of genetically engineered Pokemon living in the wild in Caledor. We didn't even listen to the details, we didn't care if they were having trouble with their neighbours, all we cared about was that they were like us and they were living outside, on their own. We wanted to be like them, so we left the lab and started searching for them, hoping they would take us in. It took us a while to reach Caledor, find the forest and then the Pokemon in question, but finally our efforts were rewarded. We were able to join the group, and now here we are."
"That's an interesting story. Didn't the Dragon's Guild ever look for you?"
"If they did, we never knew. We were only in the forest for a few days before we moved to Saphery, and then we came here. We were at the Tower of Hoeth when the Dragon Master came in, so he must have known we were there and still let us go. So either he wanted us to get our chance at the life we yearned for, or he thought forcing us back into the lab was more trouble than it was worth."
"I've never been able to figure out what Scott really wanted," I said.
"I don't suppose you could read his mind, could you?"
"I didn't get my psychic powers until I was level 40, but even then I couldn't, and even now that I've gained all the abilities he had coded into my DNA, I don't think I could. Assuming he's alive, which I don't really know. Anyway, I'm not much of a mind reader, I only catch the occasional random thought. There's a Venomoth in my team who has more psychic powers than I do."
"Oh. Sorry, I didn't know that."
"That's OK, I can live with that. I try to improve my abilities whenever I can, but it's hard to hone all my skills when I have so many. But that's definitely not something to complain about. That would be like complaining about having too much food, too many toys or too many friends. I'm grateful for all the things I can do."
"In that case... perhaps you wouldn't mind sharing that gift?"
"What do you mean?" I asked, baffled.
"As you may have heard, I work at the DNA bank. The geneticists have been intrigued by your abilities ever since you got here and have been trying to replicate them, but it would be much easier to guarantee a good result if we had your DNA to work with."
"Are you asking me if you can take a sample of my DNA... and use it to create a new Pokemon?"
"Exactly."

My heart skipped a beat. Perhaps more than one. I took some time to process what I'd just heard. My conclusion was that I was being offered the one thing I'd thought I could never have. Families did not exist on the Moon, but having a Pokemon made by using my DNA meant that I would effectively become a father. I was about to shout 'YES!' but then I realized I couldn't. I was going back home someday, I was still resolute about that. And I couldn't leave my child behind. But I couldn't take him or her with me either, since the only reason they wanted my DNA was to have a Pokemon with my abilities among them.

"I'm sorry," I finally said. "I have to refuse. I know your ways work for you, but I just can't see the creation of new life the same way as you do. I'd grow attached to the baby... I couldn't bear to leave my child behind when I return to Earth."
"I'm sorry to hear you say that," said 302. "But if that's how you feel I will respect you."

I nodded and left as fast as I could. I hid on an empty hallway for a while until I felt ready to walk into the nursery. It's not that I'm embarrassed to cry in public, but I didn't want anyone to see how badly my 'Caledor style' had just failed.

Yes, that was a bad day. I eventually got over it, as I always do. After much reflection, I realized that being family is not the same as sharing genes. I already had a family: they were the ones I was trying to return to. I had no idea where my DNA had come from, but even if I found them somehow, I wouldn't feel as close to them as I was to my team. And there was still room in that family in case I wanted to raise a baby Pokemon someday.

Time kept going by, ever so slowly. Spending time with other Pokemon was nice, and the kids were great except for that one Houndour who kept trying to chew my ears and the tips of my tail, but the more time passed, the harder it was for me to relax and keep smiling. I had trouble sleeping, and felt tired most of the time. I really needed to go home.

Then one 'day', about three lunar months after 302 had made his offer, that same Raichu walked into the nursery carrying a baby Eevee.

"I thought I'd come here myself to show you the result of the research I told you about," he said. "It's a girl. She's not exactly like you because they couldn't figure out how your genes were coded without a sample, but she can already use Disarming Voice, and they say she will learn Water, Fire, Electric, Psychic, Dark and Fairy type moves as she grows up."
"Disarming Voice? Cool, I can't use that one. But what about other types of moves?"
"She already has Tackle, Sand Attack, Tail Whip, Growl and Helping Hand, and will learn the same moves as a regular Eevee, plus the ones I just mentioned."
"So no Morning Sun, Pin Missile and all the rest? Still not bad, though. I was only able to learn moves like Growl, Helping Hand, Sand Attack the moment before I was sent here."
"Really?" asked the Raichu. "But those are basic Eevee moves!"
"I guess the Dragon's Guild geneticists messed something up when they coded my genes," I said. "I was already an Espeon by the time I learned Tackle, and I took my sweet time to evolve. Anyway, I have all the basic moves down by now. I guess I won't be getting any Leafeon or Glaceon moves, nor whatever the funny one with the ribbons is, but I don't really need them."
"Huh? Leafeon and Glaceon? Are those more Eevee evolutions?"
"Yes, they're Grass and Ice type respectively. They were unknown in Ulthuan by the time you left, but I got to see a few during the last few years. If you were still in touch with Earth, you'd know about them too."
"Yes, I guess we do miss out on many things from being isolated. But we get to leave in peace, and I wouldn't change that for anything."
"I'm not saying you should give out peace! But there has to be a way to communicate with Earth without losing what you have."
"Are you always that optimistic?"
"Whenever I can. And when I can't, I work hard to get back on my feet and shine again. Literally, if I feel it can help."
"Ah, yes, I've heard about your glow. That's something our geneticists couldn't replicate."
"I heard I got it by accident, but that's cool. It means I'm beyond their expectations and their design. Plus, glowing is fun." I illustrated my point with a white glow, one of my latest discoveries.
"Er... Good for you," said the Raichu.
"So, what's the new baby's name going to be?" Rosielocks joined the conversation.
"Name?" asked the Raichu, confused.
"All our babies are getting names now," said Rosielocks. "They like them. And so do we, don't we, Caledor?"
"Absolutely!" I beamed.
"That's strange, but... if you think that will make her happy, I guess it won't hurt," said the Raichu.
"Go ahead, name her!" Rosielocks encouraged me.

I only needed a second to think of a name.

"Her name is Hope," I declared. "Because hope is the one thing you can't afford to lose, and since it's now her name, she never will."

Rosielocks smiled and nodded approvingly, before taking Hope in her arms. 302 still looked confused, but he seemed to accept it.

"Now if you'll excuse me," he said, "I have work to do. See you some other time."

As the Raichu left, all the little Pokemon stopped playing their games and gathered around us to see the newcomer. They wanted to touch her and play with her. It took some work to make sure they wouldn't hurt her accidentally, but in the end everyone had a good time, Hope included. And, of course, I introduced Hope to the other nursery aides when the next shift began, and then went back to the Night Zone feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

It had been a good idea to name the Eevee Hope, because that reminded me to keep my own hope strong and firm. I started searching all over the base for possible ways to communicate with Earth, assuming Mewtwo had to be hiding one somewhere. He must have noticed, because it didn't take long before I heard his call inside my head. This time, I did go to meet him.

I found Mewtwo on the top floor of the Science Building, in a large room filled with stacks of paper and old computers - which were probably new when they arrived back in 2002.

"Caledor of Caledor," he said.
"Yes, that's me," I confirmed even though I knew it wasn't necessary.
"I have been watching you, and I have made a decision."

If he was trying to sound scary, he had managed it perfectly. I could feel my heart racing. I swallowed and waited to hear what he had to say.

"I contacted Teclis minutes before I summoned you and informed him of your situation. I was surprised to hear he was searching for you."
"Teclis was searching for me?"
"Among others. It appears that the magic which sent you here was not meant to be released, and he is trying to undo the damage it caused."
"Does that mean... I can go home?!"
"Yes. You have 12 hours to get ready. Meet me here again before that time has passed, and you will be sent back to Earth. Do not be late, or you will miss your chance."
"I wouldn't miss it for anything! Thank you!!"
"You are welcome. Please do not make me regret my decision."
"Never! Just... I have a question. What made you decide to talk to Teclis?"
"It has been two years since you arrived. I was hoping you would have settled in by now and learned to call this base your home, but you have not. You were happy before you came here, and staying here was making you unhappy. Even with your... remarkable optimism, I could see that your main driver was your determination to return home. And you did not cause any trouble even when you knew you could, so I choose to trust you. I will not deny you your wish any longer."
"Thank you! Thank you to the other side of the galaxy and beyond! I could kiss you now except you don't look like someone who likes being kissed, so I guess I'll just get going and say goodbye to everyone."
"One more thing: if your return to Earth does bring about the end of our peaceful lives on this satellite, you will not be forgiven."
"Thank you for the friendly warning," I replied with irony. "Don't worry, I won't do anything that might cause you any trouble. The Pokemon here have treated me well, and if this place were within easy reach from my home I would come to visit many times, but the way things are... I just wish you all the best."
"Likewise."

"This guy likes long words even more than Water Angel," I thought as I left the building, and for the first time in two years the thought of one of my teammates warmed my heart. I was finally going to see them all again! And Kiara! And everyone!

It was a bit sad to say goodbye to all my new friends. I used my last chance to tell the Ditto that I knew another Ditto with the same ability he had, and he was mad that I hadn't told him before and started asking a lot of questions - he didn't believe me when I said my friend came from a place called Happy Happy Village. The Kecleon turned his back on me and became almost invisible, as if refusing to say goodbye would stop me from leaving, which was a bit sad, but I wished him well. The Persian and Thunderbright gave me big hugs, and Thunderbright said she hoped to see me again someday.

"I know it probably won't be soon, but if you got here once by accident, you may find a way to come here on purpose next time," she said. "Or maybe I can go to Earth for a visit. I'd love to see what it's like with my own eyes."
"Sure. Let's hope that will happen," I told her. "Stranger things have happened before."

I apologized to Rosielocks because she would have to do her shifts alone until they found a replacement for me, but she said she'd be fine and she was happy for me. The kids, however, were a different story. A lot of them started crying and others began to pull my fur. A young Growlithe named Fireball tried to block the door so I wouldn't leave, and Rosielocks had to push him aside. I told them I would miss them all, and that if I ever found a way to contact them, I would. It was a bittersweet goodbye, but I was as eager to get home again as a Pokemon can be.

Mewtwo lived up to his word. When the time came, I felt tickles all over my body and I suddenly found myself on the mountains again. For some reason I'd thought I'd end up at the Tower of Hoeth, but instead I was back at the same place where I had left. I was all alone, however. It was a quiet night, which also felt weird since I had been in the Day Zone the minute before. I felt heavy, but not too heavy to make the trek back home now that I was so close. I used the stars to find the direction of Sector Alpha and started walking with only the sound of the wind to keep me company. As I walked, I thought of everyone I was hoping to see, and what I would tell them.

I had not yet made it to the city when I felt a presence nearby. I listened carefully and I heard the sound of wings beating and reckoned a heavy Pokemon was flying low, somewhere ahead of me. When I looked up, I was greeted by a most welcome sight: it was Lagi! I ran towards her as she landed, and she gave me the warmest hug I'd received in the last two years.

"Lagi! Lagi!" I exclaimed. "It really is you! I'm so glad to see you!"
"I'm just as glad to see you," she told me. "Where have you been?"
"That's a really long story. Why don't you take me to the others so I can tell you all at once?"
"I'm afraid that won't be so easy," she said. "I can take you to some of the others... I can try to get us all together, but we'll have to stop at a few different places, and..."
"And...? What's going on?"
"Gabi, Sylvan and Amber are still missing."
"What?!"
"The magic that escaped through the barrier affected us all in different ways. Hero and I were sent to Bei and were able to return quickly thanks to Harims, but we couldn't find the others. It took weeks before Spark and Water Angel got home from Saphery with Zack's team, and it took us almost a year to find Iael... what's wrong?"
"Nothing, I just... have some difficult news to deliver to Iael."
"Perhaps I can help you with that," Lagi offered.
"Maybe, but please go on. What about the others?"
"The wizards were lucky enough to find the string of magic that had sent Tsunami away, so they were able to bring him back. He had a really odd story to tell about a flying island populated by plastic Omastars who seemed to worship him. Then Orknye found Ventura while dream-walking, and her story was just as weird. Turns out she was living a different life with many details in common with her own, in a world similar to ours but not quite the same. And she was a human there."
"Weird! So maybe Gabi and the Paradise Valleyers are in a different world too?"
"That's what we believe. We can only hope someone can find them, or they can find their way home like you did. How did you make it, by the way?"
"Short version? Teclis. I'll give you the long version when we're all together."
"OK. Then you'll find out about Iael and Water Angel when we're all together."
"What about them? You said they were here!"
"Oh, yes, they are."
"Then what?"
"If I have to wait, so do you. It's only fair."
"I get the better end of the deal and you know it. You'll have to deal with my eagerness to know as well as yours."
"I can deal with that."
"OK, then I won't complain. Let's get the others already. I can't wait to see them all!"

The Blue Avenger
1st November 2015, 08:47 PM
Okay, just gotta say, I was worried that the thing I'm about to post would be too out of left field, and then you post Caledor's Excellent Moon Adventure, haha. Take eight stamps - the three extra are for three scenes I especially liked: the confrontation where Caledor glows red at Mewtwo, the revelation of the Guild's big secret, and naming Hope. I also got a laugh of out Ditto and indefinite gestures.

Now for mine. Notes before I begin: I did a lot of research on Warhammer to try and stay true to a lot of the lore we’ve got in this setting. If I cross any lines, I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure I can justify anything anyone may be confused on. Also, for the purposes of this story, Kiva and Anzu get a Red and Blue Juice, respectively, and I also had an Aura Juice for Maza from way back when that I never actually used.

--Turning the Page--

The following is a reproduction of a letter left on the desk of [REDACTED].

To [REDACTED],

Boy. Chaos magic, right? One hell of a trip. But you knew that; you saw what it did. I want to get it down on paper, though. Let’s see. Where to start?

After I thought about it for a second, I realized that’s a pretty easy question to answer. It started with the mission to seal the barrier that the Black Dragon was trying to breach. I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure why I was given the role that I did. I mean, I’m not the most senior in my department by a long shot. My team isn’t the strongest, and on the whole they’ve demonstrated an ability to work together that’s roughly the same as fish and cats.

They don’t work together well, is my point. I don’t know how well you guys get metaphors. Or similes, or whatever that was. Anyway, it’s not important. I don’t know why I got that assignment. Maybe I volunteered. I don’t know why I would do something that suicidal, but then there’s a lot about that day (and the subsequent three years) that I don’t remember well.

I’m blaming the chaos magic, though, to be fair, it’s equally likely that my mind just couldn’t take what it saw and erased some of it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My mission was to place an idol on a pedestal. Sounds pretty easy, right? Like the reverse of some Indiana Jones movie or something. Funnily enough, I got the idol off of a pedestal in the first place, and it triggered this lame trap that looked like someone saw those movies but didn’t quite understand why that bit with the rock worked as well as it did. The trick here is that the idol and the pedestal were the keys to the lock on the seal we were trying to fix. My job was to put the key in the lock, paving the way for someone else to turn that key, so to speak. The only problem was that I had the idol, but I had no idea where the pedestal was. Apparently the Black Dragon had taken to moving it around, sort of like a prisoner resisting being put into a jail cell by carrying the cell door around with him.

I think that thought kind of went off the rails there a little bit. Sorry.

Anyway, I was starting off the mission handicapped. One member of my team, Kurtzwick, is very good at the whole ‘stealth’ thing. I’m not going to go into more detail here for various and sundry reasons. I’ll be more than happy to elaborate provided he’s promised amnesty for various acts he may or may not have committed. However, he’d gone missing not long before the mission. I tried my best to track him down before the mission started, but I didn’t have much luck. I figured out that he’d been seen in an abandoned warehouse downtown, but his trail went cold after that. And as much as it pains me to leave any member of my team behind, this mission took priority. Kurtzwick’s hardy, and I had to believe that he would find his way back on his own. Otherwise, I figured that I could work on finding him when everything was all said and done. I mean, I have some contacts with the police, and obviously some in the Guild and the Tamers, so I was pretty sure I could get to the bottom of the situation. As you know, for certain reasons, I ended up not being able to, but I’ll get to that later.

So things weren’t looking good from the beginning, which is never a good sign. My original plan – to have Kurtzwick use his supernaturally good ability to find literally anything to sniff out the pedestal – was a bust. Instead, I fell back on plan B. Another member of my team, Cam, is pretty good with the sleuthing. He’s no Kurtzwick – for one, he has a functioning moral compass – but he’s good at gathering intel. I sent him out to do his work.

Thankfully, that went off without a hitch. Cam came back a little later, saying that he’d heard through the grapevine that there was a weird pedestal in a cave not far from the foot of the Forbidden Mountains.

Nice name, by the way. I’m not sure who gave those mountains that identification, but it really helped amp up the constant feeling of ominous dread that’d been creeping up on me for the days leading up to the mission.

Cam helped me locate the cave on a map, and we charted out a plan of attack. My team at that point had seven members: Cam, Groviglio, Maza, Raini, Kiva, Anzu, and 99. Kurtzwick, as mentioned, was missing, and the remaining members of my team were in Chrace, helping a fellow member of the Guild establish good PR there.

I know, right? I sure do pick good times to send half of my team away on a trip halfway across the region.

The pedestal being in a cave was a problem in and of itself. The Dragon Tamers knew that the Black Dragon could hide in the shadows, so they’d cautioned everyone to stay in well-lit areas. Can’t get less well-lit than the interior of a cave. So I figured we’d get to the pedestal like this:

Groviglio, Cam, Raini, and 99 would guard the exterior of the cave, to make sure nobody would sneak up on us from outside. Maza, Kiva, and Anzu would come with me to the pedestal. Anzu could provide extra light, Maza could teleport us away if absolutely necessary, and, well, you try telling Kiva that she can’t go on a mission that Anzu’s going on. More importantly, I would not be bringing Groviglio or Raini into the cave with me, since they would almost certainly attract attention to us immediately. Once we got to the heart of the cave, I’d put the idol on the pedestal, and we’d get the hell out of there. Our job would be done, and we could go back home and relax, at least after the requisite post-mission debriefing-slash-haranguing.

So that was the plan. I tell you that so that you can draw your own conclusions about how the mission went, because I remember precisely zip about what happened inside that cave.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I have brief memories of the inside of the cave, which makes sense, a light so bright that I nearly got blinded with my eyes shut, which kind of makes sense given the magic we were dealing with, and then a darkness that I could feel through my skin, which was a bit weirder.

I’m guessing that since everything still seems to be in working order now that I managed to get the idol on the pedestal. Side note – idol and pedestal barely look like real words anymore, after how much I’ve had to use them so far.

After that, though, my memories are a bit more solid. Not that that helps, since it’s the parts after that that were the most confusing. While I still had my eyes close, I felt the atmosphere of the cave change. Originally, it was chilly, the air was still, you know, normal cave stuff. But the temperature dropped even further, and I could feel… openness. It was weird, but it was like the walls of the cave had suddenly disappeared, letting the air move just a bit more. I had that confirmed for me when I opened my eyes.

It was dark – but dark in the way the night sky is dark, not in the way that a room with no lights is dark. This was darkness with depth. It was also cold – the sort of cold that bypassed my skin and shot straight through my bones. I stood on some sort of platform that was impossible for me to see – either it was invisible, or it was as dark as my surroundings. I could, however, see myself, despite no obvious light source; I could also see Kiva, Anzu, and Maza around me. That was a bit of a relief there – I had no idea what was going on, but at least I had friends with me. A voice in the back of my head mentioned that the rest of my team was still unaccounted for, but, to be honest, if they were still outside that cave, then they might have actually been safer than I was at that point.

Now, I know I said that it was wicked dark wherever I was, so I want you to understand how bizarre it was that the next things I could see were several gigantic silhouettes floating in the distance. I’m going to stop here for a second to make sure you understand. I’m concerned that when I say ‘gigantic,’ you may not fully appreciate what I mean. When I say ‘gigantic,’ I want you to picture in your head the biggest thing you know, then I want you to shrink it to the size of a grain of sand. Your size, compared to that grain, is how big these silhouettes were. Granted, I didn’t have much else around me to judge distance or scale, but I could feel it. You might just have to trust me on that.

So this has all been pretty strange so far, but I’m guessing it sounds like just another day for you, right? I don’t know how far up the weird-o-meter (or should that be weirdometer? I guess that joke doesn’t work in text, huh.) your normal job gets. I’m thinking this next part might bump it up further, though.

One of the silhouettes approached. I felt its presence in my head. I don’t mean that I could sense it approaching, I mean that I could literally feel it rifling around through my thoughts and memories. It was saying something, but I have no idea what, not being well-versed in the chaos monster language. From the expressions on my teammates’ faces, I could tell that the same thing was happening to them. Maza let out a psychic yell completely unintentionally, which did nothing to help the situation, but given that I was about two seconds from screaming myself, I couldn’t really blame him.

The platform we stood on extended forward – again, you’re going to have to take my word on how I knew that – as the shadow backed off. A figure faded into view in front of us. It wasn’t any bigger than Kiva, and as the figure became visible, I understood why – it was another Vaporeon. The silhouette had made it, no doubt about that, and I was pretty certain that it had pulled whatever information we had on Vaporeon in our heads to do so. Did it want us to fight? That was the impression I was getting. That shadow could have crushed us from the inside out without a second thought, but for some reason, here it was, throwing a Pokémon at us.

I glanced towards Maza. He understood, and stepped forward.

FIGHT! Maza versus Vaporeon!
Maza – “Let’s rock and roll!”
??? – “???”

(You’re going to have to forgive me for that. I think it’s important for letters to be spiced up here and there.)

The Vaporeon went on the offensive immediately, summoning an enormous wave of what looked like water out of nowhere. It was like the darkness coalesced around the Vaporeon and flattened out, becoming a pool; then it rose up to alarming heights. Maza couldn’t get out of the way in time and it crashed down over him. By all rights, it should have washed over us too, but it disappeared before it could reach us.

Maza did, however, use the wave to his advantage. As the water disappeared, so too did he, reappearing behind the Vaporeon and raising a fist. As he slammed it down, I could hear the telltale sounds of electricity crackling – a Thunder Punch. The Vaporeon hissed and melted into the darkness. This would have alarmed me more if I didn’t know what Acid Armor was supposed to look like. Maza stayed alert, but the Vaporeon reappeared behind him, latching onto his arm with its teeth.

I distinctly remember Maza yelling something unfit for print at this point, but if you ask him, he will swear up and down that I just misheard him because of all the ‘chaos energy’ floating around. I’m pretty sure that excuse is bull, but that’s neither here nor there.

Maza teleported away immediately, leaving the Vaporeon to drop on the platform; when he reappeared, he fired a blast of mental energy forward. It lacked the style and finesse that he normally tried to shoot for, but given our circumstances, I think that was understandable. The Vaporeon met the attack with an Aurora Beam.

If you’ve never seen a Psychic and an Aurora Beam collide in mid-air, well, then you haven’t missed much. One’s a mental attack, one’s an ice attack. Aurora Beam’s pretty, but that’s about all it’s got going for it. Both attacks passed through each other and struck home, sending both Maza and the Vaporeon lurching backwards.

Now, I’m sure you know this about Alakazam, but they’re not much on the defensive front. In fact, from just the Surf, the Bite, and the Aurora Beam, I could tell that Maza was already flagging. My training style is very hands-off – I like to trust my team members to do their own strategy – but occasionally, I’ll step in to offer advice if I feel like I need to. That’s why I told Maza to make the last move count.

He immediately understood what I meant. An aura gathered around him with a high-pitched keening; without warning, the area immediately surrounding the Vaporeon lit up with an explosion of psychic power. Maza stepped backwards, panting, but the Psycho Boost had done its job. The Vaporeon collapsed, then dissolved into the same shadows that everything else seemed to be made of and disappeared. Oddly enough, the aura surrounding Maza didn’t disappear.

Maza grew to level 20! He learned Metronome as his level 20 move!

(Again, bear with me on that. If I don’t write this sort of thing down somewhere, I tend to forget.)

I looked up at the looming silhouette. Nothing about it changed, yet I could feel… something rolling off of it in waves. Was it anger? Amusement? I had no way of knowing. Regardless, the feeling quickly passed, and two more figures began to form in front of us. This time, Kiva and Anzu went to face them, without me having to say anything at all. The forms became clear – a Starmie and a Raichu faced us down.

Kiva and Anzu versus Starmie and Raichu!
Kiva – “You need to cool down.”
Anzu – “Let’s heat things up!”
??? – “???”
??? – “???”

Kiva and Anzu wasted no time in starting things off. Now, these two are quite possibly the closest two partners to each other on my team. I know I said earlier that my teammates don’t exactly have working together down to an art form – these two are the exception. They’re almost always perfectly in sync with each other. They knew that they were at a disadvantage against these foes, so they began the fight with a move intended to tip the scales their way. Kiva used Water Pledge simultaneously with Anzu using Fire Pledge; the end result was a blast of fire that knocked the Raichu backwards while also evaporating the water, causing – against all odds – a rainbow to appear above the battlefield.

Their foes didn’t take that sitting down, though. They broke out a combination attack of their own – Round. If you’ve never encountered that move – what am I saying? Of course you have – basically it strengthens if more than one Pokémon uses it at once. So when the two of them used it in tandem, despite the Starmie not really being built for singing, it packed a punch. They aimed at Kiva, who, despite its power, took the attack stoically.

Kiva and Anzu glanced at each other for just a moment, and apparently that was enough to come up with a plan. Anzu disappeared into the darkness, while Kiva charged up a Shadow Ball; both the Shadow Sneak and the Shadow Ball hit the Starmie at the same time. The Starmie, in pain, began changing color, eventually settling on a dark purplish-black that almost blended in with the color of the void behind it.

What was weird, though, is that as the Starmie cycled through colors, so too did the other Pokémon on the field. The Raichu also ended up purple, but Kiva and Anzu ended up red and blue, respectively. I recognized the move as Camouflage, and I don’t think it actually had anything more than a superficial effect on Anzu, Kiva, and the Raichu, but it set off alarm bells. Don’t get me wrong – this entire affair had been strange so far, but this was what tipped me off that chaos magic might be in play here too. Something about the way it happened put me in mind of a Zoroark and made me wonder if maybe this was all the work of an illusion. The Raichu didn’t bother itself with any such quandaries – instead, it just began charging up electrical power, doubtless preparing for a Thunderbolt or Thunder in the next round.

Time for an interesting note. Apparently when you use Camouflage in space, it turns you into the Dragon type. I don’t know if Kiva knew this or if she just decided to take a chance, but her next move was a Blizzard. The wind that picked up was colder than the air that surrounded us, and it got more and more intense on the battlefield until it was whipping furiously around the Starmie and the Raichu. The Raichu weathered it – haha, that wasn’t even intentional – but it was too much for the Starmie, who fell over and dissolved back into the shadows. Anzu began to follow up with a Fire Blast, but changed her mind when she saw the electricity crackling around the Raichu. Instead, she managed to find dirt somewhere and hurled it at the Raichu. With mud in its eyes, the Thunder it fired went wide, harmlessly fizzling off in the void. Kiva breathed a sigh of relief and smiled thankfully at Anzu.

The next round would prove to be decisive. All it took were a Hydro Pump and a Fire Blast one after the other to bring the Raichu down. It, like its comrades, dissolved.

Kiva and Anzu grew to level 10! They both learned Round as their level 10 move!

The giant silhouette moved closer. It was unmistakable now – it was certainly anger that I was feeling. If that weren’t bad enough, other shadows were lurching up behind it. I’m guessing that it had been playing cat and mouse with me, only it wasn’t expecting the mouse to actually defend itself.

I don’t know if you remember, but that’s where you came in. My teammates and I backed away as far as we could, at least until I got the sinking feeling that one more step backwards would result in a very long drop. A sudden motion from my right caught my attention – it was like a veil was being parted in space itself. I heard a voice from past the veil say “I have visuals on four Pokémon” before a person stepped through. I’m sure I don’t need to describe you to you, but the person was tall, wearing thick armor that covered them from head to toe. The person herded us all into the portal as the shadows let out a mind-shattering howl and lunged forward…

…and the next thing I knew I was standing in an abandoned warehouse. Might have even been the same one Kurtzwick disappeared from, but I wouldn’t know for sure. I didn’t even get a good explanation as to what happened – hint, hint – because all you did was tell me to go home and then ‘suggested’ that I write it all down. You then said that if I chose to do so (I think the phrase ‘completely voluntarily’ was thrown around) that I should deposit the report in the mailbox nearest Guild headquarters and that you’d handle it from there. That’s when you told me what codename to address it to – [REDACTED] at the TNU.

I have no idea how I got home – I have a gap in my memory from you telling me your codename to me standing outside my door. Nobody was there, and I didn’t have my keys on me for some reason, but thankfully there was still a key under the potted plant by the window.

The entire house was coated in dust, like nobody had been there in months. The only signs of life I found were three notes stuck to the fridge with a magnet. I’ve included the full text of the notes here:

“Lord Porygon,

Your team, save the three that disappeared with you, is safe. After it was all said and done, your Tangrowth went to the Guild to report your disappearance, and I volunteered to put them up until you were located. So they’re being taken care of.

Sincerely yours,
Lord Persian”

“Lord Porygon,

Just so you are aware, Lady Lapras’ mission so far has been successful. As such, she said that she could send your Pokémon back as soon as you liked. She emphasized that your Gastly was perfectly safe – why she emphasized that, I don’t know. I made sure she and your Pokémon were aware that you were missing, and she said she’d keep them until you showed back up.

Sincerely yours,
Lord Persian”

“Lord Porygon,

Your Dragonair showed up. I say this as prelude to saying that I found this out because suddenly an entire chest of drawers in my house went missing. (It has since showed back up.) He’s been mum on what happened, but he’s safe.

Sincerely yours,
Lord Persian”

The notes were dated within a few days of each other, but they were all from three years ago. That was a bit of a shock to find out – you might have warned me that so much time has passed.

Maza still has that aura and Kiva and Anzu are still the opposite colors. I know chaos magic can have terribly unpredictable effects – I’m lucky that more harm didn’t come to them. Come to think of it, I seem to have come through unscathed – I should count my blessings for that.

This concludes my report. Side note, I don’t know how your department operates – if you intend to wipe my memories of all this or something, I should warn you I have a copy of this letter saved in a location that I’m hoping you don’t know about.

Have a good day!
Lord Porygon

The letter ends here. Attached to the letter are several other notes. These attachments have been reproduced below.

Follow-up needed: where did Lord P. actually go?
Dungeon Dimensions Realm of Chaos
actually, research that last one

Follow-up needed: Lord P.
Lord P. doesn’t realize what the magic did to him
lost memory suppression
Appears to have become species 571, unconsciously projecting illusion of normal self

Follow-up needed: effects of chaos magic
Research victims of chaos magic
Consult with [REDACTED] for their contacts

Lady Vulpix
2nd November 2015, 11:12 AM
Wow, thanks a lot! I'm glad you liked it. :) I'd been trying to come up with a way to reveal the Guild's big secret ever since Scott made his deal with Mewtwo back in 2002, but it was particularly hard since none of my characters knew about it, so now the chaos magic gave me the chance to finally pick up that loose thread.

About your story...

I loved your description of the darkness in the cave. And the open part reminded me of a certain cave in Unova (in the games, of course).

The key/lock/door metaphor was funny (the door part was really weird, but that was a part of what made it funny, or maybe I'm still channeling Caledor from my lest story).

I also liked your description of the Psychic and Aurora Beam colliding, even if there wasn't much to see there.

Not remembering what happened inside seemed like an easy way out of a difficult task, but I can't complain because I didn't say anything about what happened either.

+ 1 for the well-thought-out plan given the circumstances.

About the gigantic figures... the biggest thing I know is the universe, so is the universe like a grain of sand compared to them? In any case, they were quite an original concept.

I laughed at how you apologized for spicing up the letter, and chuckled at the discussion about Maza's profanity.

And that was an interesting way to introduce the effects of the juices.

Kiva and Anzu work really well together. And it's interesting that, by winning the battle, they learned a move that was used against them.

You did a good job at making the shadows sound scary.

It was easy to tell who the writer of the letter was. The recipient, not so much. I was thinking it was Lady Ninetales at first, and even though some hints (especially the phrase "in your line of work") made me think of Lord Absol, I really wasn't expecting the "that's where you came in" part. So +1 for the subtlety (including the subtlety of the Zoroark thing). On the other hand, why was the sender's name redacted, yet the letters addressed to Lord Porygon were not, nor is the signature at the end?

It's interesting how emphasizing that nothing happened makes people feel that something actually did, isn't it?

Also, +1 for Lord Persian's missing drawers, but don't let Kurtzwick know that. :P

And the notes at the end were really intriguing... One of them vaguely reminds me of a part of the fic A Peaceful Land that I never got to write (I may, someday, if I continue that fic), but that did not affect the rating.

Take 26 stamps!

I missed reading your stories. I'm so glad the Battle Range is active again! :cheesy:

The Blue Avenger
2nd November 2015, 11:57 AM
Thanks for the comments. :D In order to clarify a few things:

The recipient of this letter is a member of the Tactical Neutralization Unit, but is not Lord Absol. I figure Lord Absol is known enough that his name wouldn't get excised from official communications, but the other members would keep their names secret outside of the TNU. Lord Porygon's name, as well as the other names that show up in the letter, aren't redacted because nobody's trying to keep those a secret.

The intended framing device here is that the letter is sitting on the desk of this TNU agent, and that they've written notes to themself and attached them to the letter, so as to remind themself of things they need to do. Specifically, that last note is [REDACTED] trying to remind themself that they need to talk to another agent, [REDACTED2] if you will, concerning their contacts on chaos magic.

Lady Vulpix
2nd November 2015, 04:46 PM
Yes, the part about the letter being on the agent's desk and the notes being written by the agent was clear. I guess I just misread the first line and thought that was the sender. Sorry about that.

By the way, I saw your post about RBGs at the tagboard. You do know it's been way more than a week since you requested one, right?

And yes, that being a different agent makes sense.

The Blue Avenger
2nd November 2015, 04:53 PM
Oh yes, like I said, I wasn't asking that question because I wanted to load up on RBGs. I was honestly curious.

Lady Vulpix
4th November 2015, 04:39 AM
I've fixed some typos in Caledor's story (the worst of them being the lack of the word 'memories' in the phrase "My memories make me who I am"). In the future, if you notice any typos while reading my stories, please let me know so I can fix them. Thanks in advance.

Lady Vulpix
8th November 2015, 08:46 AM
Just a short story to explain how the rest of my team got back. Sorry about the confusing weirdness that's been an irregular feature in my stories ever since my first Interlude (dragonsguild.com.ar/Archives/gabi/battles/Gabi2.html#21). I promise not to do that kind of thing often. Also sorry about the partial self-insert, but I felt that the real cause of my disappearance from the Battle Range for 3 years deserved some in-story recognition.

By the way, perhaps I should have said this in my first Interlude back in 2001, but the phrase "bou pel lí... yim bou" means "I need light... help me" in a language from another world. ;)

ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø


Gabi's Return

If anyone asks me what I did during my "missing years", the first thing that comes to my mind is my doctoral thesis. Yes, I finished a PhD in Computer Science and it was the most difficult thing I've ever done. I can still talk about the subjects of my thesis if anyone asks. The hard work I put into it was real. I remember missing lots of events because I had to balance two jobs while writing my thesis and I had no free time left. I remember all the obstacles that came up at every stage. I remember feeling mad, anxious, drained, scared, lost... but also excited and, when I finally made it, it was amazing! Curiously enough, my disappearance from Ulthuan matches the date when I started researching justification logics because 'my' first supervisor had resigned and 'my' research on treks had yielded no positive results. Other memories worthy of notice include speaking in conferences and being scheduled to give two different talks in two different places at the same time, including my Pokemon in my acknowledgments - credit where credit's due, they helped me stay sane and I wish Amber could get the credit she deserves for all the research she does here - and also being there at the clinic when my niece was born, and having a boyfriend who was so caring and dedicated that he came to my place to keep me company and serve me tea while I worked. I really miss him now, but I also miss living within walking distance of most of my family, and all the friends who came to the tea party I hosted to celebrate after my dissertation was done. It was like getting a really long glimpse at what my life could have been like if I had never come to Ulthuan, researched Pokemon nor had my life shattered by Team Rocket all those years ago - even though my parents on that other reality had got divorced anyway.

Did I find anything strange? Did I feel that anything was out of place? To be honest, I was so absorbed with my thesis that even if I did notice a few strange things - like English words coming out of running water - I attributed them to sleep deprivation. It's not that I hadn't always wished for something strange and marvelous to happen, but my main goal clouded everything else. It came to a point where I started a list of all the things I wanted to do once I'd finished my thesis, and whenever I felt like there was something else I really wanted, I just added it to the list. So yes, I can be that stubborn when I want to be.

There were times when I did think about my team, but in that other life they were only dreams and fantasies - most of them, anyway: two of them were with me, but even they had different lives and histories. I remember one dream in which Hero told Caledor that he owned him, and I woke up thinking that his logic was almost sound and I shouldn't tell him about my dream or else I might give him ideas, and only then did I 'remember' that they weren't 'real'. So yes, a part of me was calling me back and I ignored it, which is not something I'm proud of, but hey! I did finish my thesis, for what it's worth!

Then, a week after I'd handed in the last corrections to my thesis, once the Tea Party was over and I had enjoyed my first taste of freedom in a long time, I began to listen to the signals. First there was a voice in my head. It sounded a bit similar to my own voice, but sweeter and slightly deeper... and also very familiar. "Have you found out where your home is?" the voice asked, in English. I had the feeling I'd had that same question asked by that same voice before, but I couldn't tell when nor where... It felt like it had been in a different life. It still does, in fact, but that's another story. With my eyes half-closed, I tried to dig into my mind to find the source of the voice, and I had the vague feeling of having heard it somewhere else... in a very other place, if that makes any sense. But I couldn't dig deep enough. I started hearing an old song from my childhood inside my head, and that brought to my mind the memory of an old friend I hadn't seen in over 20 years... Her name was Analía, but I remembered calling her Arim... which now sounded like it was someone else's name, but whose? Now, I believe things would have been much easier if I'd been assaulted by memories of my team, my home in Sector Alpha or my work as a Dragon Tamer rather than such vague references to seemingly random bits of another life. But apparently there's something in my mind with pulls me towards that strange place whenever I'm really confused.

I couldn't finish getting there, though. My brother called asking if we could meet, so we met and watched some TV shows. We usually did that or played video-games when we were together. But the strange thoughts and feelings didn't stop there. Something similar happened the next day on the subway: at the moment I found an empty seat and sat down, I had the feeling that all I saw around me wasn't real, or at least wasn't right... that I did not belong there. I tried to open my eyes and then open them again, as I'd read on a book, but as hard as I tried the view in front of me didn't change. I reached my stop and got off, then walked to my car with the sensation that it didn't feel mine, but I had the key and I could drive it, so I drove it home wondering what the reason behind all that really was. Some would have said it was my neurons glitching, but if I'd believed that kind of thing, I would have never looked past a déjà vu and seen the future. I could still do that kind of thing, but my ability was as erratic and unreliable as ever.

Later that night, while I was trying to fall asleep, the old music played in my head again. I thought of my friend again, and the name Arim... Why had I given her that name? Because I liked fairies, I remembered. And because I'd become friends with her on the same day I'd seen a baby fairy named Arim resting on a flower... No, that made no sense, how could I have seen that? Fairies weren't real, it had to have been a dream... yet I remembered it so vividly! It had happened when I was 7 years old... at a camping site or an open field... the baby fairy had been only a year old, and she had been laughing and kicking, and a voice behind me had told me her name was Arim, and I had turned my head to look and seen... an angel? I remembered her as a kind woman with wings on her back. I did not remember if she had said anything else, but somehow my life had gone on more or less normally after that, except I'd sometimes spoken to my closest friends of another world with magical creatures and a castle... Arinim Castle! And I remembered being there, but I had no idea how I'd got there, nor how I had returned.

I fell asleep thinking of all those things. I don't remember what dreams I had that night, but the memory of that strange place stayed with me in the morning. Now I could recall it at will, and I could also remember other visits, much later. I thought about them all as I got dressed. That world was called Bei. I had been there as an adult. And the angel's name - if that's what she was - was Harims. She had been the one who had asked me that question on my second visit. "Have you found out where your home is?"... Had I?, I wondered. I tried to remember how that conversation had gone, and at that point a strange phrase crossed my mind, this time with my own inner voice: "Caledor knew the answer to Arim's question because he, too, remembers his first time in Bei". Then an even stranger, yet familiar phrase: "bou pel lí... yim bou". And then the world around me dissipated like a cloud, and I found myself on that open field again... I could see the castle in the distance.

"Arim!" I exclaimed. "I remember her, but... she's in Ulthuan now. She's a Clefairy. Is she the same Arim? How old did she say she was?... Am I in Bei again?!"

Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways.

I looked around, trying to find Harims, her hut or anyone who could point me to her. Then I realized something. Sylvan and Amber had been in that other world with me! They'd been an important part of that other life... I had even thanked them for their help in my thesis, but everything else about them was... wrong! And where were they now? I needed to find them.

"Yes!" I called out, wondering if anyone could hear me. "I have found out where my home is. My home is where I'm needed the most. Where I can make a difference. But Sylvan and Amber need me too, and I need them! Where are they?!"

I sat down on the grass and coughed. I'd been shouting too loudly, and it hadn't seemed to help. I thought about my options. I couldn't really see any. I'd been to Bei several times before, but I just couldn't understand how that kind of space travel worked, and even assuming I could find Harims, or find another way to make it back to Ulthuan, I had no idea how to get Amber and Sylvan back.

While I was trying to put my thoughts in order, I heard heavy footsteps behind me. I turned around and gasped as I saw a large semi-transparent figure walk towards me. It appeared to be made of ice, yet the sun did not melt it. It walked slowly, and I stood there, watching, ready to run if it got too close but curious to see what would happen. When it was close enough for me to see the pair of blue lights on its head, it opened someone that resembled a mouth and spoke in a deep, icy voice.

"Gabi?" it said.

The figure knew me?! I looked at it carefully, and then approached it slowly.

"It's OK if you don't recognize me," the figure said. "You haven't seen me like this before, and we didn't talk much while I was on Earth."

"OK," I thought. "That narrows down the possibilities. This is someone I met on Earth - one of the two Earths anyway - and who either came from Bei or has been to Bei before, and is clearly not human because humans don't change species when coming here, so... a Pokemon? But not any that I've seen in Bei before..."
"I'm Glice," he told me, ruining my deduction process.
"Oh!" I said, remembering the Glalie from Eshree's team. "Are you all back in Bei now?"
"Just me," he said. "The others chose to stay on Earth. I did not expect to see you here, I was told you were missing."
"I was... in some kind of alternate reality, I think. And either I just happened to adopt another female Charmander and Bulbasaur who were amazingly similar to my old friends and had the same types of Hidden Power, or it was really them. Do you know if they went missing too?"
"Yes. They haven't been found yet."
"Then it must be them. Is there any way to bring them here?"
"I don't know, I don't even know how you made it here."
"Neither do I... I think I asked for help. But if someone helped me and brought me here, then why did I show up alone?"
"Unless it was you who answered your own call for help."
"I'd find it scary to think I have the ability to travel to a different world by myself without even knowing I'm doing it."
"And yet here you are. And from what I've heard this isn't the first time you've been here. You must be connected to this world in some way."
"Then I should be connected to my own world too," I said. "How can I get back? And how can I get my friends back with me?"
"That, I don't know, but I can take you to Harims and see if she can give you some cryptic advice."
I laughed. "Of course, that's the only kind of advice anyone can get from her. I'll appreciate it if you take me to her."
"I could lift you up and take you there, but you would feel cold."
"I don't mind some cold. It's quite hot out here, I can take the cold better than the heat."
"In that case, please allow me."

Glice knelt down to pick me up and I placed my legs on his left arm, resting my back on his right. His body was cold, but not painfully so, and the air being as hot as it was, his cold touch was refreshing. I felt my stomach jump for a moment as Glice stood up, but after that the ride was quite enjoyable. It didn't take long before I could see Harims's hut in the distance.

"How long have I been missing?" I asked Glice as we approached the wooden house.
"Three years," he said.
"Three years... That's a long time. I remember what I did during the last three years, but what did I miss? What happened on my own world while I was gone?"
"From what I've heard, it has been quite chaotic. But don't worry, things are getting better, and they'll be even better once you're back. Some members of your team are staying with Eshree, and others are with two other trainers. They'll all be delighted to see you again."
"Is anyone else missing other than Sylvan and Amber?"
"Not from your team, at least not anymore, but other trainers and Pokemon have not shown up yet. OK, here we are."
"Thanks, Glice," I said as the ice giant put me down slowly.

Harims's door was open, like she was expecting visits or simply had nothing to fear. I said "hello" as I walked in.

"Hello, Lilirins," Harims came to greet me.
"That means Pretty Butterfly," I remembered.
"It's the name you gave yourself when you first came here. And you have used it more than once since then."
"Yes... it was. For a long time after my first visit here, I thought it had been a dream... It just didn't fit in with the rest of my life. But then I came here again. And again. And now once more. Do you even know how I do it?"
"Only you may find the answer to that question."
"Right, I should have expected that. But that's the same thing my acting teachers said and I never found those answers, so I guess some answers are just not easy to find."
"That depends on how you look at things... But I'll grant you that, finding the right way to look at things may not be easy. Still, is that the answer you're really looking for?"
"It's one thing I'd like to know... But right now what I want the most is to get back home and get Amber and Sylvan back with me."
"I can help with the former. The latter is not in my power, since your two friends do not have what you have. You may find a way to call them back, but not through me."
"Then how?"
"You hold the key. Find someone who can turn it. And please do not try to push any further, because that is as far as I can go."
"That's OK," I said. "I'll figure it out. At least I know you're trying to help."

Harims smiled.

"So if you can help me get back home... I'll go say goodbye to Glice and then come back, OK?"

Harims nodded. I walked back through the door and saw Glice still standing there.

"Thanks for bringing me here," I told him. "I'll be going back home now."
"You're welcome," he said.
"Are you OK here on your own?" I asked.
"I'm fine," he replied. "Thanks for asking. I like being home, and being able to walk and go anywhere I want to. I have some friends here, and Orknye visits me frequently, so... I'm good."
"I'm glad to hear that. If you ever go back to Earth, I'll be glad to help you with anything you need."
"Same to you, if you come here again."
"Thanks... See you sometime, maybe," I said with a smile before going back into the hut. "OK, Harims, I'm ready to go back."

I felt a bit dizzy, but at least now I knew the reason. My sight was clouded for a moment.. everything went white like it does when my blood pressure is really low. When the view cleared again, I was inside a dark room. Once my eyes had become used to the poor lighting conditions, I looked around and saw a chair and a computer... no, my chair and my computer. The place where I had lived 3 years earlier felt so strange now! Not to mention it reeked of humidity. I tried to turn on the light, but it wouldn't work, so I headed for the window tripping on a few things on the floor and opened both the curtain and the glass. Finally some light and fresh air!... Cold air! Really cold! I reckoned opening the window so wide hadn't been a good idea, so I closed most of it, leaving only a small space open in hopes of clearing the bad smell away.

"Looks like no one's been here in a while," I said to myself. "I should find the others."

Glice had mentioned some members of my team were staying with Eshree, so he was clearly the one to go to first. Talking to him and finding my friends was bound to help me sort out everything else but, above all, seeing everyone again was what I wanted the most at that time. I couldn't imagine how my team must have felt without me for three whole years, nor what their lives had been like. I trusted that they had all been taken care of, because they wouldn't have stayed with their surrogate trainers otherwise, but... I really needed to see them, and be with them again.

I couldn't remember Eshree's address, so I headed for the Dragon's Guild HQ, hoping to find him there. Halfway along the path, I realized I had my cellphone with me, and thought of using it to contact him, but when I took it out of my purse I noticed the battery was dead, so I sighed, shook my head and kept walking. I thought I ought to talk to Lady Ninetales too, explain the situation and make sure I still had my job, and hopefully get all the services reinstated at home.

As I walked up the steps that led to the main door, I saw a couple of surprised faces whose names I couldn't place. I smiled at them and kept walking, internally thinking of how I hated not knowing people who knew me, or at least knew who I was. I went to Lady Ninetales's office first because she was the only person I knew who seemed to always be in the same place. She did not disappoint me, and the look on her face when I walked in was priceless.

"Hello," I said. "Er... Long time no see?"
"Lady Vulpix, where have you been?!" was her response. "Everyone's been looking for you!"
"I know, I didn't mean to be gone for so long... Actually I didn't mean to leave at all. I was in some kind of alternate reality. I don't know how that works, so please don't ask me, but I came back as soon as I could."
"How did you come back?"
"I'm not sure... The moment I realized something was wrong with that other life I was living, the whole world seemed to change around me. Maybe my becoming aware of my situation broke the spell or something."

I was omitting information, but I couldn't tell her I might have some weird dimension-hopping ability I couldn't understand, which only worked when I was extremely confused and every time I used it, it took me to a world which happened to be the birthplace of another Guild member. Oh, and several Pokemon had been there too. Who knew what would happen if the heads of the Dragon's Guild found out? I wasn't even sure of what was there to for them find out in the first place. Nor how much they might already know. After all, Lord Absol had interrogated Eshree once. But in any case, if they never revealed the things they knew, then why should I?

"You'll need to undergo some tests to check for any residual magic," Lady Ninetales warned me.
"Sure," I said. I had no real reason to refuse, not to mention it would have sounded too suspicious. "To be honest, I hope they do find something, because Sylvan and Amber are still trapped in that other reality, and I need to bring them back. So if there's anything anyone can do to help..."
"If there's anything anyone can do to help, it will be done. Don't worry. Why don't you take a seat and wait while I inform everyone of your return?"
"I'd rather see the others first, if that's OK," I said. "You know... my friends. Anyone who may be around here."
"You may find Lord Growlithe and Lady Bellsprout in the library, but please don't leave the building until you're cleared."
"Thanks! Er... Lord Growlithe?"
"Your friend got a promotion while you were gone."
"Really? Wow! I mean... I'm glad to hear that. I'll congratulate him when I see him. I do still have my job, right?"
"Of course you do. Your seat and Lord Porygon's are both waiting to be occupied again."
"Lord Porygon? Did he go missing too?!"
"Yes. But I believe he should be back here soon, I heard most of the magic has been recaptured by now, and it is only a matter of time before everything goes back to normal. At least that's what I've been told."
"I really hope that's true. Oh, and... is my home still mine to use? I stopped there before I came here and the power was out. I didn't check the gas nor the water, but I fear they may be gone too."
"The services were suspended temporarily since we didn't know when you would be returning, but they should be back by tomorrow, if you let me make the calls."
"Of course! Thank you! I guess I'll be at the library then."

When I walked into the library, I found Glenda and Eshree discussing something over a sheet of paper. I walked slowly to see how long it would take them to notice my presence. Glenda was the first one to see me, and she stood up so fast that her chair fell over, causing Eshree to take his eyes off the paper and see me too. By the time he called out my name with his mouth as wide as his eyes, Glenda was already running to hug me. I returned the hug and Eshree soon joined us.

"I'm so glad to see you!" exclaimed Glenda. "Where have you been? What happened to you?"
"Alternate reality... I think I'll need to sit down to tell you the whole story."
"Oh! Of course!" she said, offering me a seat.
"By the way, congratulations on the promotion!" I said to Eshree.
"Oh, thanks!" he replied. "It's been two years now, but when it happened, it was quite a surprise. I really didn't see that coming."
"Right, because you'd only been working here for what? 10 years?" said Glenda.
"Not quite. Almost 9 at the time," Eshree replied. "But I get what you mean, most scholars were promoted much faster. Still, I can't blame them for having doubts about me. I still remember how you reacted when you found out where I came from."
"That... is an entirely different story," said Glenda.
"Is it? If you ran out of the building and wouldn't even believe that I was human, what can we expect from people who knew me far less than you did?"
"Can we please not talk about that again? It's embarrassing and I've already apologized for that. Many times."
"OK, OK," Eshree accepted.
"Speaking of where you came from," I said, "I saw Glice today."
"You were in Bei?" asked Eshree.
I nodded. "I don't really know how I ended up there. Probably like the other times, since I never knew what made it happen. But Glice took me to Harims, and thanks to her I was able to return here."
"I wish I could travel on my own like that," said Eshree.
"Do you really? I can't do it at will and I can't even predict when it will happen. I'm glad it only happens once every few years so I can spend most of my days without worrying about it, but it's like there's a part of my life I just can't understand and it bothers me."
"I'm sorry," he said. "I wish I could help you with that."
"Don't look at me," said Glenda. "I don't understand a thing about how that works."
"Apparently none of us do," Eshree concluded. "And the only one I know who does is not known for explaining things."
"I think she's not even capable of giving straight answers," I said. "Maybe she has rules to follow, or maybe she's under a spell, or... I don't know, she just can't do it for some reason."
"It would be awful to be under a spell that prevents you from speaking clearly," Glenda considered. "How would you even let others know what's wrong?"
"I'm sure I'd find a way, but it's not something I would like to experience," I told her, and then I chuckled at my own thought. "It would be like that Heroes episode where Hiro could only speak using pop culture references."
"Being under a spell like that would be awful, but maybe we could do it as a game someday," Eshree suggested. "Anyway, you said you needed to sit down to tell us about that alternate reality you were in, but you still haven't said anything about it."
"Oh, yes, that. I think I was living a different version of my life which branched off at the time when my brother got accidentally involved with Team Rocket. In this other life, that never happened, so he was never poisoned, I never took to Pokemon research as a way to escape the horror that was life at home, Scott never found me and offered me to join the Guild, and I never came to Ulthuan. And that would all make sense except I somehow ended up with Amber and Sylvan anyway, which makes no sense since they were both born in Paradise Valley, Caledor. So I believe the Amber and Sylvan from this reality were sent into that other one with me, but they couldn't make it to Bei and I still don't know how to bring them back."
"I think you're right," said Eshree. "They're the only ones in your team who are still missing. If there's anything I can do to help you get them back, I will."
"Same here," said Glenda. "Whatever that may be."
"Thanks," I told them. "Anyway, Eshree, Glice said some members of my team were living with you."
"That's right. Lagi, Iael and Caledor are staying with me. The last two are wandering around the building right now. Lagi's out searching the mountains area for anyone who may show up. She's gone there everyday since you disappeared, and sometimes at night too."
"I love her," was the first phrase that came out of my heart when I heard that.
"You may also want to know that Hero and Tsunami are staying with Jenny, and Spark, Water Angel and Ventura are staying with Zack," he added.
"Zack?" I asked.
"Spark's father's trainer," he clarified.
"Didn't he live in Saphery? Is he living here now?"
"He comes and goes," said Eshree. "He's been helping with the restoration of Sector Alpha."
"Things got really crazy after all that magic escaped from the mountains," Glenda explained. "To the point where your being sent to an alternate reality actually sounds believable."
"On the bright side, life's never boring," Eshree joked. "You get to see the most amazing stuff by living here."
"Yeah, like aliens and stuff like that," Glenda teased him.

I could see they'd become much closer than before, and wondered how many things I had missed. Then I remembered something.

"This may sound weird... I mean... yes, I guess it's one more weird thing to add to the pile... but I think I saw Arim as a baby when I was a child."
"That's possible," said Eshree. "She's six years younger than you, isn't she?"
"If you say so... I couldn't remember what her age was, but I seemed to recall she wasn't much younger than you. Still, it's strange to think I may have met her all those years ago."
"Right, if that's true then you met her even before I did."
"And there's something else... Did she have an important question she needed to answer?"
"What do you mean?" asked Eshree.
"I mean that, just before I went to Bei, a strange phrase crossed my mind. It said Caledor knew the answer to Arim's question."
"I don't know what that might be... Unless you're referring to the question of whether it was safe for her to evolve. Caledor did confirm that it was OK, so we went through with it shortly after he came back. She's a Clefable now."
"Came back? From where?"
"From the Moon!!" came from beyond the door the unexpected answer in a voice I had missed more than I'd thought.

Moments later, Caledor was pouncing on me.

"She's only just come back, don't break her!" came the voice of Glyph as he followed his fellow Espeon into the library.
"Nah, she can take more than that," said Caledor. "Gabi, I missed you so much!! We all did. No offense, Eshree, you're a good trainer and have treated us well, but I was so worried about you, Gabi! Are you OK? Where have you been?"
"You know what?" I said. "I think I'll wait until we're all together before I tell my story again, because otherwise I'll get tired of repeating it."
"Sounds fair, I did the same," Caledor agreed.
"Were you really on the Moon?"
"Yeah, in a secret Pokemon colony inside a complex complex."
"A complex complex?"
"Some kind of base which worked in a very complicated way. I think 'complex complex' is the funniest way to put it."
"And of course, that's the main reason to choose one description over the others, right?"
"Of course it is!" Caledor beamed. "Anyway, there's so much I need to tell you about that! But I'll do that later because some of that stuff is serious and I don't want to ruin the mood right now. I can't believe you're here!!"
"I'm glad to be back too," I said. "So... I heard you told Arim it was safe for her to evolve, but how did you know that?"
"Oh, that! I found the answer using the power of my mind."
"And what power would that be?"
"Memory and deduction," he answered. "Those are mental abilities and you can't deny it. The thing is... I remembered the first time I was in Bei. And the second time. I evolved here between those two visits, but I was still the same when I was there. So I realized evolving here doesn't affect your form when you're in Bei. Well, our form. Humans don't even evolve. Now the real question is why it took me so long to notice that."
"Maybe you were distracted," I suggested.
"Distracted? Me? How could you suggest... is that a book on Ghost Pokemon?"
I laughed.
"My job here is done," Caledor said. "Not really. I want to stay here with you, but I must go and tell the others! I wish they could all come to see you right now, but poor Water Angel is confined to the pool again now that she can't fly anymore."
"Water Angel could fly?!"
"She was an Altaria until a few days ago. It was weird at first, but she really enjoyed flying. I guess the chaos magic did a few good things among all the mess it caused. But it all needs to be reversed so that things can go back to normal and we can find everyone else who's gone missing. Oh, and Iael was a Golduck."
"Wow, I really missed out on a lot of things while I was away! Did any other weird things happen to any of you?"
"Ventura was sent to another world where she was a human named Who Yuin-Chee or something like that," said Caledor. "She says it may have been a dream, but that wouldn't explain how she came out of it knowing Chinese and Spanish."
"Really? I learned some Chinese while I was away. If that's a Chinese name... Could it be Yunqi? It doesn't sound much like a person's name, but it means Luck which is pretty close to the meaning of Ventura's name."
"Oooh! Maybe. Anyway, she said she might have seen Dragon_Clan in that other world."
"Dragon_Clan?! Wow, that's a name I hadn't heard in a long time! He's been away since 2002, hasn't he? The last thing I remember doing with him was walk up the stairs of the Tower of Hoeth to clear the path for Scott to defeat Mewtwo."
"Yeah, about that... Things were not exactly the way we thought they were. I guess I'll have to tell you now. Scott did not kill Mewtwo."
"What?!"
"He made him and his group an offer and sent them to the Moon with Teclis's help. I lived with them for two years while I was there. And no, they were not the ones who killed Iael's parents. That was Team Rocket. We learned some of the details when we met the invisible Flygon while trying to go to the Tower for answers. Yes, the same Flygon Tsunami battled once. Melody was her name. Anyway, the one who orchestrated the attack was DiAnnio, who's already dead, but the technology they used to make the Pokemon go berserk was developed by two research groups within Team Rocket, and some of them may still be at large. In fact, we know the one whose brainwaves they used as a base for the PWEs was never caught, but we have found no signs of her since we started searching."
"Her? Who are you talking about? Sorry, I've been out of the loop for a while."
"An old enemy of yours. And of everyone else she's ever met, really."
"Giana Constanzio."
"Right."
"Of course they'd use her brainwaves to make Pokemon go mad. But how did you find out? Did Melody know all that?"
"No, but she has ways to make you see what you need to see to be at peace with yourself. Iael touched her and saw the Rocket Grunts talk to each other as they painted their Pokemon and set up the PWE prototypes before the attack. We didn't make it to the tower this time, but there would have been no point in getting there. Melody said Teclis was not at the tower at that time. Anyway, we got the answers we needed. Oh, by the way, that information isn't public, so watch who you tell. We don't want to start a space war."
"How would we start a space war?"
"Some people might be scared by the idea of a colony of enhanced Pokemon living on the Moon and Mewtwo being among them. And scared people can be dangerous. We were sent to fight their group ourselves a few times, remember?"
"Ah, so that was really them?"
"Yes, they did cause some trouble in the forest and at the Tower of Hoeth. They just didn't kill anyone. I wonder why Scott never told us that."
I thought for a moment. "I think I can imagine why," I said.
"You can?!" asked Caledor.
"I can't be sure, but... He said he had killed Mewtwo, and we all accepted it because we thought Mewtwo was a murderer. If we'd known he wasn't, then we would have objected. What I don't get is why he didn't trust us with the whole truth."
"This is Scott we're talking about, when did he ever trust anyone but himself?"
"Good point..." I conceded. "Has anyone heard of him while I was gone?"

Caledor and Glenda shook their heads.

"I never even met him," said Eshree. "I've been here since 2004 and all I've ever heard about him were vague rumors."
"I think he's dead," I said.
"Many people do," said Glenda. "But do you have a reason to believe that?"
"I might be wrong but... I doubt it. He did fake his death once before, but he returned less than a year later. The last time he left, he said he was going on an important mission and never returned. That was shortly after the Black Dragon escaped from Templa Taure, so..."
"You think he tried to fight the Black Dragon by himself?" Eshree asked. "But that would be suicide!"
"Perhaps he thought he and his team had what it took to take him down. He was always so high and mighty, acting like he was Ulthuan's greatest hero... many believed him and his heritage supported him. But he was still just a man."
"But don't you think he knew that?" asked Eshree. "I don't think the Dragon Master would be so stupid as to believe he and a few Pokemon could defeat the Black Dragon on their own. Didn't he ask for help many times before?"
"Yes," I said. "Even if the help he wanted was for us to take care of the minions so he could go up against the main threat. But with a nudge in the wrong direction, he may have been convinced that he could do it."
"What do you mean?" asked Glenda.
"I mean we knew someone who wanted to fight the Black Dragon but used the wrong means to reach her goals. She targeted people and Pokemon who thought of themselves as heroes and wanted to become living legends."
"Yssera," said Eshree.
"Exactly. And Scott fit the description of her favorite targets like a glove. She must have gone for him, and he must have fallen into her trap like Ryan and Zack did... at least Zack was able to snap out of it in the end. I haven't heard from Ryan ever since he left Ulthuan, and Scott... you know."
"But then why haven't we heard of his death?" asked Glenda.
"Maybe the Guild authorities covered it up to avoid the panic the news would cause, or maybe they never found his body and don't want to risk making a mistake again. Scott was one of the few who could cross the barrier at the Forbidden Mountains, so maybe he died in there and the chaos magic made his remains unrecognizable. Or maybe the Black Dragon ate him or burned him beyond recognition. I don't know, I don't even want to imagine how he may have died because the mental images are awful. It's all just a hypothesis anyway, but it's the only one I can think of that fits everything that's happened so far."
"So we still don't really know if he's dead or alive," said Eshree.
"Perhaps we'll never know for sure," I said.

At that point, a man I'd never seen before stood at the door and called me by my title. He was wearing reflective glasses.

"Oh, I... guess I have to go," I said. "I guess I'll see you later."
"Can I go with you?" asked Caledor.

I asked the man if my Espeon could come with me. He looked at Caledor and seemed to think for a few seconds.

"He may come with you," he finally said. "But he will have to stay quiet and not touch anything. Can your Espeon do that?"

I gave Caledor a questioning look.

"That sounds boring, but I had to wait three years to see you again," Caledor said. "I'd rather be bored than let you out of my sight right now."
"He will behave," I promised.

The man led us out of the building, across the yard and into another building which belonged to the Guild but no one I knew seemed to know what it was for. Well, Lady Ninetales probably did, I just never asked her. We walked through a maze of corridors and finally entered a small room which, judging by all the machinery in it, was probably some kind of lab. I was asked to sit down and a woman around my age checked my pulse, my blood pressure and my reflexes, looked inside my mouth and then pointed a flashlight at my eyes, which made me close them instinctively.

"I thought you'd be scanning for magic," I said.
"We also need to make sure the magic that affected you had no negative effects on your health," the woman said. "You seem to be fine, but I would recommend a full blood test to be sure."
"I had my blood tested a few times while I was away," I told her. "Low levels of vitamin D and B12... I may need to get some supplements. Low cholesterol, both the good one and the bad one. Everything else was fine."
"If you choose to trust the results of a blood test from an alternate reality, that's up to you," she replied.

I noticed a man pointing at me with a triangular device with a handle on one end and a light on the other. He moved it up and down and all around me. He asked me to stand up and checked my legs, my arms and finally my chest. I felt like I was going through US airport security. When he pointed the machine at my chest, the light started blinking.

"Are you carrying any magical artifacts?" he asked.
"Magical artifacts?" I repeated the question, trying to figure out what he might be talking about.
"What's under your shirt? Please take it out."

Then I realized he was talking about my pendant. At that moment I thought I should have left it with Eshree and Glenda, but now it was too late. I took it out of my shirt and showed the man the glowing white stone.

"I found it in the Maze many years ago," I said. "I had it made into a collar and have been wearing it ever since. Perhaps it's magical, but it's never hurt me or anything."
"Do you know where it came from?"
"No," I said. It was true, I didn't. Sol had found it in the forest and left it in the Maze for me to find, but she didn't know where it had come from either.
"Do you know what it does?"
I figured lying could only make things worse. "It enhances psychic abilities. It helps me communicate with Pokemon even if I don't know them well."

The man said something to another man's ear. They whispered to each other for a few moments, before he turned to face me again.

"Please take it off," he said.
"It's mine," I told him. "Unless you can prove you're its original owner, you have no right to take it away."
"We're not going to take it away," the man said. "We need to scan you without interferences. Please put it in this tray and step inside the tube. You'll get it back when we're done."
"I'll watch it," Caledor promised.

I reluctantly took off my collar and put it on the tray, then walked into the large glass tube that spanned from floor to ceiling.

"Please stand still," the man said. "It will only take a few seconds."

It seemed like at least a minute to me, but in the end I was finally let go.

"Did you find anything?" I asked.
"We detected a little residual magic, but we were able to register its signature and it should be gone soon."
"Residual magic? What kind of magic was it?"
"We'll have to analyze it to know if it's still doing anything. It may be inactive. It usually happens when a spell is improperly undone, the effect seems to be gone but some of the magic that caused the spell to work remains in place and makes the target more vulnerable to similar spells. It is either that... or a part of the spell that sent you away is still at work."
"If it's the latter... could that be what's keeping two of my Pokemon in that other world?"
"Was it another world? We were told it was an alternate reality."
"Sorry, my bad. I'm pretty sure it was an alternate reality, it's just not a term I use that much."
"That's understandable. You're more familiar with travel to other worlds."
"Huh?"
"Have you ever used magic consciously and willingly?"
"I'm not sure I understand what you're asking... I used to pretend I could use magic when I was in school, but real magic? Not unless you count the stone." I put mu collar back around my neck as I spoke.
"And yet you found a way to undo the spell by yourself. Not properly, but enough to bring you here. Not bad at all for someone who's not a magic user."
"If I undid the spell, I have no idea how I did it," I said. "Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to use magic. I just never learned how. If it's something I can learn anyway."
"It's not something you can learn easily," said the man. "If you're looking for a career change, you may ask for Lord Kadabra. But it would take years of study and practice."

I took some time to consider what he had just said.

"I don't think I could handle another career change," I finally answered. "I just got a PhD in Computer Science in an alternate reality and now I'm back to doing Pokemon research for the Dragon's Guild, and hopefully running the Dragon Tamers as well. I don't think I could change the course of my life at this point. But thanks for the offer."
"No problem. Just try to avoid any kind of transportation spells until the residual magic is gone?"
"How will I know when it's gone?"
"Trust me, you'll know."

And with that, I was let go.

"You know..." I said to Caledor. "I actually expected something worse. I'm not sure what, exactly, but... something more invasive, perhaps. Or more questioning. Especially more questioning."
"And I expected you to jump at the opportunity of going to magic school," he replied.
"When I was 11, I would have," I told him. "Perhaps even at 18, or at 21, when I'd just moved here. But this is my life now; I can't leave everything behind and go back to school. I've just come out of the PhD program, and believe me, it drains you. If he had offered something like practising magic one or two hours a week and learning to cast a spell within a year, I would have accepted, but that's not what he said."
"At least we can have our trainer back now," Caledor grinned. "Glad to hear you wouldn't trade us for a chance to become a witch."
"Hey, I wouldn't trade you all for anything!" I protested. "I don't know how to use magic and I apparently cast a spell without knowing it just to get back to you. I still don't know how that's possible, but it should show you how much you all matter to me."
"I never doubted you. Hey, are you following me or am I following you?"
"I think we're following each other. Where are we going?"
Caledor laughed. "I don't know, back to the library? Or maybe the swimming pool. We should find all the others and let them know you're back!"
"Eshree and Glenda will be wondering what they're doing to me, so I should let them know I'm fine. Then we can go find the others."
"OK, sounds like a plan."
"By the way, why haven't you been staying with Hero and Tsunami?"
"I wouldn't want to inflict the three of us on Jenny. We tend to get carried away when we're together."
"Yes, I remember that well. I think that's the one thing I didn't miss about being with you all. And I suppose I can't trust you not to turn the house into a bigger mess than it already is when we get back?"
"If it makes you feel better, I can help you clean the place and then mess it up."
"I'd rather it be the other way around," I told him.
"I'll see what we can do about that," he laughed. "So, Syl and Cherry were with you? How have they been?"
"Syl and Cherry? Oh, right! Please don't confuse me, you heard the magic doctor. I really need to not be confused right now. They were fine, living rather quiet lives, keeping me company as I worked on my thesis and letting me know when I needed a break. Amber sometimes helped in the kitchen and helped me troubleshoot any machine that stopped working, and Sylvan looked after the garden. They didn't battle much, if at all."
"Sounds like a kind of life they wouldn't mind living," Caledor commented. "Maybe they don't want to come back?"
"No, that's not it. Harims said they didn't have something I had. You don't think it could be the stone, right? I don't recall having it in that other reality, but I did have a collar with a stone pendant and felt really attached to it, so maybe that was my stone in disguise."
"You talked to Harims?"
"Oh, sorry, I thought I'd told you..."
"That's OK. Maybe that was your stone, maybe not, but I don't think the stone would have helped them. Sylvan and Amber have many talents, but they have no psychic abilities. And they've never been able to go to Bei anyway."
"You're right, out of our team, only you, me, Lagi and Ventura have been able to go to Bei."
"And Hero," Caledor added.
"Hero too?"
"Yes. Right when the magic hit us and we were all sent away in different directions, Hero and Lagi ended up in Bei. They were the lucky ones, they got to find Harims and come back home quickly."
"Oh... I wonder what Hero would look like in Bei."
"Me too, but I'm not in a hurry to find out. And here we are, back at the library!"

I greeted Eshree and Glenda again and told them all about my examination.

"That sounds less scary than the time Lord Absol interrogated me," said Eshree.
"But slightly scarier than the check I got when my hair turned green," said Glenda.
"Your hair turned green?!" I reacted.
"I guess I had it easy," she said. "Among all the trainers and Pokemon who were on the mountains, I was one of the few who were least affected by the chaos magic. I'd much rather have green hair than be sent to the Moon or to a different time-line."
"What about you?" I asked Eshree.
"I was lucky too," he replied. "I was sent to Bei along with my whole team, plus Hero and Lagi; quite close to Harims's place, even."
"You all ended up together and in your home-world? That is lucky."
"Perhaps all the magic did was undo the spell which brought us here in the first place. And bring Hero and Lagi along for the ride somehow. Or maybe we were just lucky, I have no idea how magic works, let alone chaos magic."
"I think the thing with chaos magic is that it follows no rules," I said. "So I'd be surprised if anyone claimed to know how it works. And reluctant to believe it."
"What did Hero look like when he was in Bei?" Caledor asked.
"Like a fox with many tails," Eshree answered.
"Really? How many?"
"I don't know, I didn't count."
"Oh... I bet he did. Do you think I should ask him?"
"NO," I told him. "You should know better than to bug Hero with questions about his tails."
"It's just some friendly pestering," said Caledor. "He bugs me every time he gets the chance. He even claimed to own me once."
"Wait, that really happened?!" I exclaimed.
"What do you mean?" asked Caledor.
"I had a dream about that when I was in that other reality. He was saying he owned you because you were his prize for winning the Griffon Games."
"That happened a long time ago, long before we went to the Forbidden Mountains. I don't know how you ended up dreaming about it, maybe you were there when he said it? I'm not sure. In any case, I'm glad you kept us in your mind, even as a dream."
"I'm more glad to be seeing you in the flesh right now," I told him. "And I can't wait to see the others!"
"Then wait no more! I'll take you to them."

We all headed for the pool area and I was extremely excited to find Iael, Ventura, Spark and Water Angel there. And they seemed just as happy to see me. Most of Eshree's and Glenda's teams were with them. I had already heard that Arim was now a Clefable, but I was surprised to see Linyi as a Jynx. Then again, she had probably been the oldest Smoochum in the world until she evolved. We talked for a while and then I called Water Angel into her Pokeball and took her along with the rest of my team to Jenny's place. It was late afternoon by then, and she was coming back from work when we arrived. I realized that as I lay on the floor with Hero's paws on my back.

"Sorry about that," he apologized. "I had to get to you before Tracker did. Tsunami's not a problem, but she can run quite fast when she puts her mind to it. Not quite as fast as me, but close enough that I mustn't give her any handicap."

As I was getting up, I saw Tracker running in my direction, and Tsunami and Jenny following her from a distance. But none of them threw themselves on me like Hero had done. Tracker sighed as she arrived.

"I shouldn't have said anything," she told Hero.
"I would have found out anyway once we were close enough," he replied. "And this way I got to build enough momentum from a proper pouncing."
"You did that on purpose!!" I yelled at him.
"Come on, you've been gone for 3 years!" Hero said. "No other kind of greeting would have been appropriate."
"I did the same," Caledor revealed. "Just without the momentum."
"Am I the only one of us who wants our trainer to stay in one piece?" asked Tsunami as he arrived, running and panting.
"Tsunami! Are you OK?" I asked him.
"I'll be fine, I just need a moment to catch my breath. I'm not a runner like these two."

He stood still and took a deep breath, and when that didn't seem to do the trick, he used Aqua Ring and soon looked as good as new.

"There," he said. "It's great to have you back! Where have you been and how did you come back? I hope it wasn't as bad as the place where I was."
"Why? Where were you?"
"I don't really know what the world was called, if it had a name at all. I was on a strange island which floated in the sky... sometimes water fell off from the small sea that surrounded the island into the empty sky. It was so surreal! And all its inhabitants seemed to be made of living plastic! A tribe of plastic Omastars made me their king and brought me candy everyday... I don't think I'll want to eat candy for a while now, but back then it was either that or roots and leaves. There weren't even any fruits on that island!"
"How can you even survive on just candy?" I asked.
"I don't know, perhaps it was a very nutritious kind of candy. I got fed up with it quickly anyway."
"That does sound like an awful place to be. I'm glad you made it back. I was OK, really. I was trapped in an alternate reality, but it wasn't that bad. Except for the fact that none of you were there."
"Aww, that's so sweet! And not nauseatingly sweet like having only candy to eat for a year."
"Would you like to come in?" asked Jenny, who had finally caught up with the Pokemon. "I imagine you have a lot to talk about."
"Are you going to write a report on it?" I asked.
"I'll have to close the case of your disappearance," she said. "But I'm off-duty now, so anything you say will be off the records. Just a friendly conversation to catch up with each other."
"I can do that," I said with a smile.

I walked in, sat down on a chair and began to retell my story as Jenny made some tea. Then she called Zack to let him know I was back safely and we were all there. She explained that she, Zack and Ivan had exchanged phone numbers when they decided to take care of my team together. Apparently 'Ivan' hadn't told her what his real name was. Not that I had a problem with that, I'd have to be very careful with the information I shared if I decided to emigrate to another world. There were already many things I had only told a select few. For a moment, I was afraid I might be walking my first steps along Scott's path. But no, I was just being careful. I might have to choose who to trust with a few things, but I would always trust someone. Many, if possible. I wasn't the kind of person who could or would spend her life alone.

I could close my account of the events here - I'm saving the details of the meetings and the strange E-mail for later - but there's something else I must say, so I will recount the events that led to that. We headed back home that night only to find out we were still without electricity, gas or water. At least the foul smell was mostly gone, but there was nothing for us to eat, so we had to go out again to grab some food. Luckily I still had some money with me, and even if things had become slightly more expensive in the past 3 years, the inflation in Ulthuan was nowhere near as high as it was in Argentina. Lagi soon joined us. I don't recall her being so happy before. We ate pre-made food with a candle and Caledor's glow as our main light sources. Then Water Angel went back into her Pokeball because the pool was probably toxic by then, and the rest of us went to sleep with all the blankets we could find because it was cold and we had no way to heat the place without starting a fire. Even with all that, I really liked the feeling of my old bed. The weight of the blankets was making it hard for me to fall asleep, but then, all of a sudden, the weight was gone and was replaced by a chilly wind. The softness of the mattress was gone too. Instead, I was lying on the ground.

"Not a transportation spell!" I shouted out.
"Huh? What's going on?" I heard a voice behind me which was as unexpected as it was familiar. I turned to look. It was Sylvan! And Amber was with her!
"Sylvan! Amber! You're here!" I exclaimed.
"Yes, we're here," said Amber. "But where is 'here'?"

I looked around.

"We seem to be back on the mountains," I concluded.

I reckoned the last bit of the spell was finally gone, since the current situation fit the 'trust me, you'll know' scenario. I also noticed I was wearing day clothes, but not the ones I had worn that day. Maybe the ones I had worn three years before when we raided the mountains?

"Oh, right, the Forbidden Mountains!" said Amber. "I remember now. How long were we gone?"
"Three years," I told her. "Can we go back home now? I don't mind some cold, but this is a bit too much."
"Come here, I'll warm you up," Amber offered, taking me in her arms.
"Too bad I don't fit in your arms," said Sylvan.
"I have my Pokeballs with me, you can get in," I offered. "I wish I could do the same."
"And I wish I could carry you back home," said Amber. "I'll have to learn Fly someday so I can carry you safely while I fly."
"I'm sorry I didn't plan for this contingency," I apologized.
"That's OK," said Amber. "We can walk. We're not that far from Sector Alpha. We can take a bus once we get there."

I couldn't get any sleep that night, but I doubt I'd have been able to sleep even if I'd stayed at home. The services were back the next day and we were able to start working on getting things back to normal. Or what passed for normal among us anyway.

The Blue Avenger
13th November 2015, 08:55 AM
A quick note in between crises at work! A good way to wrap up the missing years for you. I enjoyed reading it. The self-insert was an interesting effect. I'm now wondering more about the leadership of the Guild; nobody seeming to know that is a little concerning. I liked the bit about Caledor having to be quiet and not touch anything; my first response was "that'll be the day." I'm glad everyone seems to be safe and sound. Eight stamps.

Lady Vulpix
13th November 2015, 09:22 AM
Thanks! I'm really glad you liked it.

I'm sure that was quite a challenge for Caledor, but he's capable of doing things he doesn't like when pushed hard enough. Such things include staying quiet and admitting that something is troubling him. Seeing Gabi for the first time after 3 years was enough of a reason for him to put up with that. Of course, he'll try to get done with those things as quickly as possible and go back to doing the things he does like.

As for how the Guild is being run now... Ade and I discussed that back in 2005 (yes, Scott's been missing for THAT long). Apparently the different branches are functioning more or less independently, and I assume the heads must talk to each other when a decision involving more than one branch has to be made. Since Scott's player is probably not going to return, I guess the Guild may continue functioning without him.

classy_cat18
14th November 2015, 09:39 PM
Okay, I've finally finished a story. I'm just so rusty that I struggled with deciding whether to rewrite it, and I've edited and undone countless times. So, here's the start of it.

Shonta's POV

Three years ago...

“I put the lime in the coconut, and drink 'em both up...”

“Shonta...”

“Put the lime in the coconut, and drink 'em both up...”

“Shonta...”

“And I say--”

“YO!”

“...That's not what I say.”

“I'm not sure that's how the song goes,” Ali muttered while tapping her foot on the kitchen floor.

I shrugged and went back to preparing something that had neither lime or coconut (although such a drink would've been awesome): a cup of Therma-Flu. A cold had been threatening to put me out of commission, and I was chasing it away as quickly as possible. “So what's up?”

“You got a notification on your computer. Could be plans about the big mission.”

I carried my trusty tea mug to my laptop and glanced at the “new email” icon on the bottom of the screen. Clicking on it took me to my inbox, where a slightly familiar email address showed up. Eli?

“How is your work going?” That's all it read. He wrote like he spoke. Such a short question could've been used for instant messaging.

“Slowly,” I sent back. While waiting for a response, I slowly sipped the cup of medicine and glanced at an older email from him that had an attachement. It was map of a section close to the Forbidden Mountains, where we did recon. “This is one of the few natural deposits of evolutionary stones in Ulthuan,” the older email read. “They stopped mining for a while when trade with other countries became more common, but in recent years they've restarted mining in small amounts to boost the economy in the surrounding area.”

“Locally farmed stones do hold a certain appeal, I guess,” I muttered.

The email continued, saying that Lord Articuno had shut down production and now had the place blocked from anyone who wasn't from the Dragon Guild or had Lord Articuno's written permission to step onto the grounds. Actually, we had tried checking the place out and it seemed that even being from the Dragon Guild wasn't enough. We had to have a “Lord” or “Lady” giving us permission, and I was unable to reach Gabi. However, Eli assured me there was no rush, as the stop of production meant that the stones weren't going anywhere and I was free to focus on the big picture. Eli was busy with his own work at the MTU, which was flooded with requests to find missing Pokemon.

Which was confirmed by his next email, which read, “Same here.”

Then I got another email, this time from Gabi. Sure enough, this one was about the big mission and where we were going to meet. “This is it. Let's get ready, guys!” I called out.

“We should've been getting ready at dawn!” Katana called out from the living room. “This is what you get for dragging your feet!”

“Not my fault I'm sick,” I whined with a cough. I felt a paw pat my back; it was Beacon who looked up at me with a sad smile. The poor thing had tried Heal Bell to make my cold go away but it only brought temporary relief from the body aches.

“Will you even be able to go with us?” Katana questioned as she poked her head into the room. “You'll...slow us down.”

I looked at her glare, only at half power in terms of effectiveness. She was more concerned than annoyed. “I'm supposed to be staying in the back anyway. This much I can do. You guys are the ones charging into battle.”

She snorted and walked away, barking orders at the others. Beacon took my tea mug away, leaving me to change clothes and pack my bag. The team discussed TM distribution but didn't get the chance to try out their new moves before moving out.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Bo sat next to me on the short bus ride to the outskirts of Sector Alpha. The Umbreon had been quiet since we had started getting ready to leave home, but he fidgeted like he used to when he was an Eevee pup needing to use the bathroom. Now he was muttering to himself. “Hey,” I spoke up. He ignored me. I tapped his shoulder.

He looked up at me with an annoyed expression I was used to seeing on Katana's face. Ken would've been better at this.

“Having second thoughts about this?” I asked him.

“I told everyone I wasn't staying out of...this...” He started boldly but quickly descended into an uncertain mutter, his eyes drifting to the floor.

We had kept him out of the recon mission out of fear that the Black Dragon's minions would find out about him and try to take him back. He was a little bitter over it. The nightmares hadn't stopped though, and this kept him from being confident. Ken wasn't as successful at cheering him up, probably why he was in his pokeball for the time being. His big brother wanted his peace right now.

“You're still doing guard duty, right?” I asked him with a smile. With being the weak human that I am, I was tasked with staying somewhere bright and (relatively) safe with the Aurora Mirror and wait for the possessed Pokemon to come to me. It was better than risking going into the dark areas.

“I guess,” he grumbled.

The bus came to a stop right outside the city. He got up before I could tap him again and jumped down the steps. I followed him out and shivered from the cold air. “Damn winters,” I whined. “Why couldn't this dragon wait until the weather was warm?”

Bo ignored me until I started coughing again. “Why didn't you stay home?”

“Because I'm the leader of this team, that's why!” I huffed while patting my coat pocket, feeling the hardness of the Aurora Mirror.

I almost didn't catch the giggle he let out.

The mission team was within sight of the bus stop. I jogged up to them and let out the rest of my Pokemon. I noticed the newcomer Rapp with the group and waved to him while fighting back the cough that rose in my throat long enough to get ahold of one of my cough drops. Gabi started her explanation of how the mission was going to go.

Meanwhile, I went through my part in my head. I'm supposed to free as many possessed Pokemon as possible, which is hard when I have only the one mirror. So one team of Pokemon will stay with me and defeat Pokemon, and I'll purify them. Meanwhile, the other two teams will split up in different directions and bring back possessed Pokemon they have defeated or incapacitated. This will give us the greatest range.

It was unknown just how many possessed Pokemon there were hiding in the Forbidden Mountains, but reports of missing Pokemon have grown over the past few days so it was more than I thought. And that wasn't counting wild Pokemon.

Team 1 consisted of Lily, Ali, Trinity, Katana and Bandit.

Team 2 was Beacon, Circe, Nama, Moriko and Destai.

Team 3 was Jewel, Rose, Athena, Ken and Bo.

We started towards the mountain range, and the other trainers started to split from me. Gabi wished us luck, and I returned the sentiment. That left my group alone, walking under a clear sky. I slowly walked up a hill, Moriko suddenly breaking away and running to the top. “Wait just a minute!” she cried out.

“Moriko, hush! We're in enemy territory!” Bandit hissed.

“Then why not let the enemies come to us? It'll be our war cry!”

The team got quiet, but Lily and Circe started to put on their widest grins. “Awesome, awesome!” Lily exclaimed.

“Awesome, awesome,” Circe mimicked although she was calmer about it.

“Circe! Have you worked on the translation?” Moriko asked excitedly.

The Ralts stiffened. “Translating it is one thing, dude. I dunno how well it'll sound.”

Moriko turned to me, and I stiffened like Circe. I was supposed to work on the translation with her. “Those guys on YouTube make it seem so easy,” I muttered.

“Give it your best shot!” Moriko encouraged. “We need that pep!”

“My voice is kinda crap.”

“Please!”

I groaned and gave it a shot.

As we walk down this seemingly endless road, sometimes we have to pull to the side
We sit down and we all let out a weary sigh

Our goals may seem almost too far out of our reach
But today I can honestly say I have nothing to fear

Moriko hopped up and down. “The chorus!”

The unbreakable bond that connects all our hearts
I will hold onto it 'till the very end
I've come all of this way, and I'm finally here
This very place and period

Everything got quiet again for a few moments, which I accidentally broke with my coughing.

“It was kinda sloppy,” Trinity commented.

“It was great!” Lily said cheefully.

“Let me guess, the song was your idea,” Katana told me.

“It was Circe's idea,” I corrected.

“And we know where she gets some of her taste from.”

“Can we get going now? Please?” I looked pleadingly at my teammates and found they all wore grins. The air around us felt lighter now.

<We should split up here,> Jewel suggested.

“Yeah. Alright, you know the game. Stay out of dark areas, keep away from the barrier. Every possessed Pokemon you knock out, you bring here. That's why Trinity's going with one group and Circe's going with the other. One knows Teleport, the other Mimics it. Each group has a way of incapacitating Pokemon without having to get into a drawn-out battle. And each group has one Psychic type in it, to allow communication.”

The Pokemon nodded in agreement. “One problem! You got two slowpokes on one team...no offense,” Ali said while glancing at Circe and Nama.

“There's no rush. As long as we do our part, we'll do our job blowing a hole in the demons' offense.”

“I can fly both slowpokes!” Moriko said cheerfully.

THUMP.

I felt it instead of hearing it, a pulse that went through my innards. I put a hand to my stomach, where the feeling entered me, and then rubbed my back, where it exited. Meanwhile my eyes were glued to the mountains in the distance. The cries of Pokemon rang out. A flock of them flew out of the trees.

“Did anyone else feel that?” Bandit whispered. The other Pokemon murmured, a few of them whimpering.

“Did the sky just get darker?” Ali asked shakingly. “Like, right over the forest part near the mountains.”

“Aw dude, that's some bad juju coming from over there,” Circe groaned while clutching the Eviolite hanging from her neck.

Bo's rings flickered as he edged towards Katana. Katana patted his head. “You gotta be strong and see this through,” she told him.

“But-” Bo started.

“Ken needs you!”

Ken tugged on Bo's ear. “I'm strong too!” he declared.

Bo's chest puffed out as he took a deep breath. “GOT IT!” he cried out.

Katana stepped back and grinned. “Yeah, you do.”

A small group of Pokemon emerged from the shadows of the trees, all of them evolved. They made no moves on us yet. I couldn't tell if they were hostile, but one look at Bo told me. He was trembling as he looked their way. My hold on the Aurora Mirror tightened. Not sure what the range on this thing is, but I probably shouldn't fire just yet.

They were too far away for me to see what kind of Pokemon they were, so I asked Katana. “A few Chansey and Blissey,” she answered.

“Well, the plan probably *cough cough* wouldn't have worked *cough* anyway,” I groaned. “If these guys come to us, there's no need for running around.”

Moriko boldly marched to the front of the group and cried out, “BRING IT ON!”

A second of rustling was all the warning we got before the first enemies moved, but they weren't the ones that we were staring down. A few blurs shot out of the underbrush, headed straight for us. I instinctively pulled out the mirror and closed my eyes as I tilted it towards the sun. A few several yells told me I should've warned my teammates first.

I thought I had them...then I felt a sharp pain in my calf. Then something slammed into my chest, knocking me on my butt. A low growl rumbled in front of me. I shielded my face to protect it. Our plans are already going south?

“GET OFF!” I heard Athena scream as the weight on my chest quickly left me. I uncovered my eyes. She had a Jolteon by the scruff of its neck. The lightning Pokemon gave her a weak shock and shook out of her hold. “H-Hey!”

The mirror didn't work? I tried it again, blinding everyone that was unprepared a second time. All that managed to do was distract everyone so that the Jolteon could attack me again. I jumped around frantically while trying to get it away from me. Why isn't it working!?

That wasn't the only thing that was wrong. A thick cloud of smoke was filling the air, lowering my visibility to only a few inches in front of me. I could hear some of my Pokemon, but I couldn't see them. The recon mission didn't go very smoothly so it was possible they were ready for the crystal. But it still didn't explain why the crystal wasn't working.

On top of all this, I ran around in circles wondering why this Jolteon was just playing around with me. If it wanted me out of the picture, why not electrocute me and be done with it? But the way it was moving was kinda...weird. Like it didn't have any control of it. I would've done something more effective, but my coughing was getting worse and it was now accompanied by a pounding headache.

Jolteon growled and jumped up at me again, this time aiming at the hand that held the mirror. I panicked and, in a profound moment of stupidity, threw the mirror in the air. “Crap!” I jumped up to catch it...

Only to have my hands scratched by something sharp. I didn't catch the mirror, or hear it hit the ground. “Dammit!” I resorted to stumbling my way through the smoke. After three steps I was almost knocked over with a gust of wind that cleared the smoke. I quickly looked around for my team, hoping no one was missing.

“GET BACK HERE!” I heard Katana roar. She was running away from the hill, on the heels of a Raichu. The rest of Team 1 sans Lily was right behind Katana. Lily was still on the hill, now facing down the Jolteon that was attacking me.

Team 2 was also busy. Moriko had been the one who blew away the smoke and was now looking around from the sky. The rest of Team 2 stood alongside a few incapacitated Pokemon. “Moriko, do you see the mirror?” I called out to the flying Heracross.

“HEY!” she shouted out, but not to me. She sped after a black shape that headed towards the mountains. “That jerk's got the mirror!”

Dammit! One job, Shonta! You had one job to do, easy as pie, and you still managed to screw it up! My insides were twisting into knots from the fear of what was happening. If that mirror got to the mountains, then it would really be “game over” for us!

But the Lord of Deus Ex Machina came, in a form of a thunderbolt that shot out from somewhere in the forest. Whatever that black shape was, it let out a loud squawk and dropped into the trees like a stone. Moriko charged into the forest with no loss of speed. “That's not good,” I murmured to myself although I felt relief that the thief had been stopped. We were warned not to go close to any dark places.

Team 3...alright but...

“Bo? Where's *cough* Bo?” I called out. The Umbreon was nowhere to be seen. For that matter, Ken was gone too. My question was heard by everyone still on the hill, and they took a second to look around. The Jolteon that Lily was busy with was ignored for the moment.

Nowhere. The two youngest Pokemon had disappeared. Did Bo run off after the enemy too? Or was he captured!?

“Shonta!” Lily's voice rang out. I jerked my head away just in time to see the Jolteon run past me. I stuttered as I struggled to decide where to go from there. Go after Moriko? Capture the Jolteon? Find the kids!?

“Stop that guy!” I finally commanded, pointing to the retreating Jolteon. We'll just have to wing it!

Lily did a slow twirl and released a pink mist that shot up and drifted down. Jolteon slowed down a bit and stumbled around, giving Lily time to cut off its escape. Jolteon quickly picked up speed again and tried running around her but she easily blocked it again.

“We'll have *cough* to knock it out *cough cough cough* for now,” I said. I looked away from them as Jewel approached me. “Jewel, please tell Katana and Bandit to *cough* question the Pokemon they're *cough* chasing about Bo and Ken.”

<Understood,> the Starmie answered. <But do you think it's wise to let Katana do the questioning?>

“Bandit's with her. She'll be fine.”

<I wasn't worried about her safety.>


L23 Bellossom (Lily) vs. L25 Jolteon

The Jolteon glanced at me and barked something with a sneer. “What did it say?” I asked her.

“She said that our plans have been ruined thanks to their plans,” Lily answered.

“So it was *cough* planned,” I grumbled. I probably made the theft of their mirror easier. “Ask her what they've done with our friends.”

But the Jolteon didn't need a translation. She barked some more. “She said you'll never find out from her,” Lily translated with a trembling voice.

My vision went blurry for a short time, but this wasn't the best time to panic. My best guess is that the Pokemon had been sent to the barrier to be hostages. “My report is not going to be good,” I complained as unwrapped a cough drop and popped it in my mouth.

Green flecks of light started to drift from Jolteon to Lily. Jolteon staggered a bit but stood up with even more determination than before. With just a twitch of muscle, her fur stiffened even more. “Move back!” Lily told me.

I stumbled back in time to avoid the needle-sharp hairs, but with Lily distracted with my safety, she had to take the hit. She whimpered in pain and pulled at the little hairs, quitting when they wouldn't budge. Jolteon readied another Pin Missile but Lily jumped to the side while twirling, razor-sharp leaves flying from her body and cutting her opponent. Jolteon let out a yelp of pain and then did more awkward stumbling around, her limbs jerking at odd angles that almost made her fall on her face.

“What's going on with it?” I asked out loud.

<If we're still going with the assumption that it is a demon-possessed Pokemon, then it's possible that the hold the demon has on its host is weakening,> Jewel offered.

Then it clicked. The mirror was working before! This batch was just tougher than the rest and needed multiple flashes! “Or just a couple of bruises,” I said with a smirk.

Jolteon's body finally got steady, the spiky hound letting out an angry growl at her attacker. Lily charged at her, only to jump before a Thunderbolt could strike her. Her leaves tinkled as she flipped gracefully and released a cloud of blue spores that covered Jolteon. Jolteon tackled her the second her body touched the ground, but the Sleep Powder had already started doing its job. Her eyes drooped and her body slumped, and she only struggled for a few seconds before dropping off to sleep.

“You think it's enough?” Lily whispered after wiggling out from under Jolteon.

“Better zap whatever health it has left,” I told her.

She nodded and collected more green flecks of energy from the sleeping Jolteon. While the opponent twitched at first, it got still soon after.


Lily won and grew to level 25! She learned Mega Drain!

“We need to get that mirror back before the Jolteon comes to,” I said before looking down at Lily as she stared in the direction of the forest.

“No need for that!” Lily shouted. “Here it comes!”

Sure enough, flashes of bright light were right at the edge of my vision. As I turned my head, I saw a blue-nosed Girafarig calmly approaching us, the Aurora Mirror in its mouth. “You think that's who shot the flying Pokemon with that Thunderbolt?” Lily asked me.

Moriko was walking by the Girafarig. “YO!” she yelled out to us.

I raised my hand in greeting. The Girafarig dropped the mirror at my feet and started...bleating, or something like that. “She said we need to take better care of precious stuff like this,” Moriko said with an embarrassed smile coupled with a scratch of her horn.

“Sorry,” I muttered as I picked up the mirror.

This Girafarig has to belong to someone on this mission. How else would she know about the mirror, unless she was our enemy? No, then she wouldn't have brought it back. No, the more important question is where our teammates are.

The Girafarig started to head back where she came from but I stopped her with another question. “Have you seen a red-ringed Umbreon while you were in there?”

She bleated something else. “She said that they'll look for him,” Moriko translated for me. “Just stay out here.”

She must be talking about her team.

She galloped back into the woods. Suddenly remembering that I had a job to do, I used the Aurora Mirror on Jolteon, then went to the Pokemon that Team 2 subdued. “Katana and Bandit aren't back yet,” Nama commented.

“They'll be alright,” I assured her.

I hope.

Lady Vulpix
15th November 2015, 06:09 AM
Yay, story! :keke:

Lime and coconut sounds like a combination worth trying. Too bad limes are so hard to find around here!

The series of short e-mails between Shonta and Eli made me chuckle. It was like a conversation in slow motion. So did the "Lord of Deus Ex Machina". Now I want to know more about that Girafarig (and about Eli too, of course).

And the details about the evolution stone mining site were interesting.

You were not tasked with releasing the possessed Pokemon because you were weak, but because you had the mirror. None of us would have been a match for the Black Dragon so the relative differences of power among us wouldn't have made much of a difference. And in any case, I never thought your job would be easy.

Where was the song from? It sounded particularly adequate for the situation.

The strategy your team devised to get as many possessed Pokemon as possible was interesting. Did the plans also include sweeping the area to look for Pokemon others had defeated?

Regardless of whether Circe and Nama should be offended by being called Slowpokes, I think Slowpokes could be offended by having their species used as an insult.

I really liked the description of the pulse, even though feeling it mustn't have been nice at all. And your descriptions in general were very good. You did a great job at showing how difficult the situation was.

I think Jewel had a point about Katana's communicative skills.

I had to read the sentence "I stumbled back in time to avoid the needle-sharp hairs" because the first time I read "I stumbled back in time" and my reaction was "...what?!". That has nothing to do with the story, but I thought it was funny.

I think there's something wrong with the phrase "Lily jumped to the side while twirling, razor-sharp leaves flying from her body and cutting her opponent." Shouldn't it be "while twirling, razor-sharp leaves flew from her body and cut her opponent"? I'm just pointing this out because the story's going to the archive and I'd like others to tell me about these things in my own stories, so I can fix them before archiving them.

Nice explanation of the mirror's requirements, by the way.

Take 14 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

And now, my next bit, introducing Pulse and the DT meeting.

ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸, ø¤º°`°º¤ø ,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø


'Normal' is just a Pokemon type

<Amber's POV>

Everything was such a mess when we got back that I briefly pondered whether it would have been better for us to stay in that other reality. But that was just a knee-jerk reaction, of course. Not only was this reality the one where I really belonged, but it was also the one where I felt the most useful, and that was a good feeling. Still, being useful sometimes means doing things you don't enjoy, and in this case making our old home inhabitable again was one of them. Things didn't look much better in the daylight than they had at night when we arrived. I'm not sure of what the worst problem was: the dirt, the humidity or the bugs - and no, I don't mean Pokemon, if only it had been Pokemon! - All the cereals, some of the noodles and half the teas were ruined, and even some of Gabi's clothes had holes in them; and of course the garden was a complete disaster and the water in the swimming pool was a dark shade of green with its own ecosystem inside, but I stayed clear of that place because Sylvan and Lagi were much more useful than me there. That first day was full of hard work for all of us, so we all stayed at home trying to fix things while Gabi went to the Guild's HQ to handle the phone calls and the paperwork required to get all our services back and some of our walls re-plastered. I'm not Lagi, but I could tell things weren't any easier for her than they were for us: she felt so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the mess that she didn't even think to take her charger with her to charge her cellphone in her office until Tsunami reminded her. On the bright side, sweeping the floors gave me time to think; something I'd been unable to do the much night before due to the shock and the cold. Now that I could, I tried to put my two sets of memories in order. It felt as if I'd been living two different lives, and sometimes it was hard to distinguish which memories belonged to each of them. I tried to remember as much as I could about my current life. I dug up all kinds of memories: some happy, some painful, some simply about what my old routines had been like. I thought of Volvagia for some reason and for a brief moment I felt a sharp pain in my chest, but then I let it go. "So this is my life," I told myself. "I think I can handle it."

The good thing was that, by the end of the day, we already had power, gas and water. We were able to refill the pool, warm up the house and stock up on edibles. The telephone and Internet connection took another day. Gabi was able to check her e-mail at the office in the meantime, although she had so many unread e-mails she didn't even try to read most of them. She tried to catch up with her family first of all, and, by the time we got a connection at home, she'd already received some replies. She laughed and then shed a tear when she read her brother's message saying that now they were even, since he had also been 'gone' for 3 years in the past. Her mother had sent her a message so touching that she said she wanted to fly back to Argentina and see her as soon as she got the chance. As for her father, he simply said "I always knew you'd come back" which, according to Gabi, meant a lot coming from him.

And then came the strange e-mail... the one with the long number as the sender and "Please help!" as the title. Gabi called me and asked me to take a look at it.

"I was about to mark it as SPAM, but that weird address seems familiar," she said. "What do yo think?"
"Yes, it does," I told her. "When did we see that before? Was it... Wait, wasn't that the same address that sent strange e-mails to just about everyone?"
"I think... Yes, I think that's it. What was that strange message about? Some kind of shady request, was it?"
"I don't know... But this one has an attachment."
"I'm not going to download whatever that is, but we never did find out what the deal was with those e-mails. Maybe we should take a look and see what it says?"
"I suppose reading it can't hurt... right?"
"No, just reading it won't hurt... Unless it's a screamer, but... OK, let's see what it says."

She opened it, and the content was something quite unexpected.

Hello. This is me again.

Forget about the Dubious Discs, I don't really need one. I've discovered that Eviolite is more effective for defense purposes. I'm sorry I tried to deceive you before, I shouldn't have expected anyone to respond to my request... but I was scared and didn't know what to do. I got a break during the last 3 years, but she's back now. I can put up with her like I always have, but... I have someone else to think of now, and I can't let her lay her hands on my child. So please... I know you have no reason to trust me, but please trust that I love Pulse as I will trust that you have the power and the will to train and protect a young Pokemon. Please take care of my child. This is the last thing I will ever ask you to do, and by far the most important.

Thank you in advance,
Terabyte

"Terabyte..." I said. "That name sounds familiar."
"It's the name of Giana Constanzio's lackey," Gabi reminded me. "A Porygon2... I remember now, the old e-mails said something about a batch of corrupted Dubious Discs, and the sender was requesting one for testing. Terabyte must have been trying to evolve. Was he so afraid of his own trainer? But what's that about a child? And what's with the impossibly huge attachment? No e-mail service would allow anyone to send such a large file. Hold on a moment, let me check something..."

Gabi opened the calculator program and began to click on the buttons until she reached the number on the sender address.

"Oh, I get it now! It was a code for Terabyte! How did I not get it sooner?"
"I'm afraid I still don't get it," I told her.
"1024 to the 4th power. That's a Terabyte, or at least it used to be. Now it's called a Tebibyte and a Terabyte is 1000 to the 4th power."
"Oh... OK, I can't blame you for not getting it... Hey, why are the lights on the modem blinking so fast?"
"I don't know... and the router too!"

At that moment, Lagi walked into the room.

"Is everything OK?" she asked. "What's going on?"
"I don't know..." Gabi said. "I got that strange e-mail and now... This looks like some kind of hack. I'll unplug the modem, see if they can hack that."
"No, wait!" Lagi warned me.
"Why?" Gabi and I asked in unison.
"Don't unplug the modem... There's someone in there!"
"Are you saying there's someone literally inside the modem?" Gabi tried to confirm.
Lagi nodded. "And moving through the cable into the router."
"Could it be the 'child' Terabyte mentioned?" I wondered. "Can Porygons do that kind of thing?"

We waited until some sort of cloud began to form between the router's antennae. It slowly began to take shape until, finally, a Porygon hovered over the router.

"I'll take that as a 'yes'," I said.

Gabi approached the Porygon carefully.

"Hello?" she said.
"Hello," the Porygon replied in a high-pitched voice that sounded almost synthetic, but with a more natural inflection. "My name is Pulse. Are you Lady Vulpix?"
"Yes," Gabi answered. "Are you Terabyte's child?"
"Yes," Pulse replied. "Sorry to drop in like this, but my parent said you were a kind and experienced trainer, and that I would be safe with you."
"How did you get here?" Gabi asked.
"I came in the e-mail. I was hoping you'd use POP3 and download me into your computer, but you used web-mail, so I had to improvise. I stayed in the server until I found the HTTP connection requesting my mail, and I followed it to your modem. Then things got a bit confusing because you had a router and none of the local IPs were responding to my requests, but luckily it was a wireless router, so I encoded myself into the right frequency and came out through the antennae."
"You're quite the hacker, aren't you?" I remarked.
"I'm not that good," said Pulse. "Those things are easy to do once you're inside a computer, but I don't know how decrypt data or bypass a firewall unless it has a known vulnerability. I could try to force my way in through the network cable, but I'd risk burning the computer with the electric surge: Ethernet cards are sensitive. Of course, now that I'm outside, I could get into the computer through the power socket or a free USB port."
"So you can basically convert yourself into electricity?" Gabi asked.
"Yes," said Pulse. "And electromagnetic waves in general, like what I just did, but that's a bit harder and takes longer."

That gave me an idea, but it wasn't the right time to suggest it. We needed to decide how to deal with the situation at hand.

"So... What are we going to do?" I asked Gabi.
"This could be a trap," Gabi pointed out. "It could be an easy way for Constanzio to spy on us or sabotage us."
"I swear it's not!" Pulse assured. "That woman is crazy, she doesn't even think of us as sentient beings even though she knows we are! My parent told me about her... about how she treated it. Please don't send me back with her!"
"Pulse is telling the truth," Lagi revealed. "The poor Porygon is really scared."
"How does the Dragonite know that?" asked Pulse.
"She's an empath," I explained.

Gabi thought for a while.

"Well..." she finally said. "It is our job to protect the innocent from the likes of her. And it's been ages since anyone has joined the team... Perhaps having a new member could be good for us."
"Thank you!" Pulse exclaimed.
"Wait," Gabi told the Porygon. "We need to talk to the rest of the team first. After all, we're all living together and this affects all of us."
"Oh... of course," Pulse accepted.
"I'll go get them," I offered.

Most of my teammates were asleep after the previous day's hard work. I might have stayed in bed too if I hadn't been so eager to see the computer at work again. Ventura and Tsunami were already awake and listening through the door. I woke up the others and led everyone into the sitting room which doubled as a computer room. There, we told them what had just happened and introduced Pulse. That's when all the questions began.

"Who's your mother?" asked Tsunami.
"If my 'mother' is the one who laid my egg, it was a Ditto, but it died when I was only a few days old. It's a long story."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Tsunami apologized.
"That's OK," said Pulse.
"So how old are you now?" asked Hero.
"I'll be turning 2 next month," Pulse replied.
"Wow, less than 2 years old and you already know so much about computers?!" exclaimed Gabi. "I'm impressed."
"Thanks, but I've been around computers all my life and my parent taught me everything I know," said Pulse. "I still have a lot to learn about the rest of the world."
"I have a question," said Ventura. "What pronouns should we use when we talk about you?"
"Pronouns?"
"Yes. I mean... 'he', 'she', 'it'... Which one makes you feel most comfortable?"
"Oh... It's the same," said Pulse. "Use whichever you like, as long as I know you're talking about me, that's fine."
"That's weird," said Tsunami. "Most genderless Pokemon tend to stick to one gender for their pronouns. At least the ones I know."
"Is that so?" asked Pulse. "But why should I choose a gender? I'm neither male nor female, I'm just me."
"You don't have to choose if you don't want to," Gabi said. "Since most people and Pokemon have one gender, it's normal to think of everyone that way, but 'normal' doesn't mean 'compulsory'. And I've always thought normality was overrated anyway. Just do what feels right to you."
"Thanks... I guess."
"In fact, Pulse is one of the few around here who are actually Normal," said Tsunami. "Along with Spark and Iael. I was Normal a long time ago, but then I got better."
Spark shook his head.
"You're talking about the type, aren't you?" Gabi shifted her eyes at the Vaporeon.
"Iael was a Water type and then he got better," Hero told Tsunami.
"Can we please focus?" asked Gabi.
"Right... So Pulse, if you'll be staying here, we need to find you a place to sleep," Caledor pointed out. "Porygons do sleep, right?"
"Yes," said Pulse. "I can sleep anywhere. If there's no room I can sleep inside the computer."
"I'd rather you didn't," Gabi said. "You can sleep next to it or under it if you like, but please don't get inside it unless it's absolutely necessary."
"I don't understand why, but OK."
"I have important files in there," Gabi said. "I don't want to risk anything bad happening to them."
"I wouldn't hurt your files, but I'll do what you say."
"By the way, what was that huge attachment in the e-mail you came with?" I asked.
"Oh, that was the e-mail server's attempt to identify me," Pulse said. "It wasn't programmed to recognize a Porygon, so it interpreted me as an attachment. You won't be able to download it."
"I wouldn't dream of it," Gabi said.
"Do you eat?" asked Caledor.
"Sometimes. I can live on electricity, but I like eating food when I get the chance. Can I ask you a question now?"
"Sure," said Caledor. "Fire away."
"Fire?"
"Go ahead, ask," Caledor clarified.
"Oh, OK. What are your names?"
"Ouch!" Caledor exclaimed. "That was really stupid of us, to start asking questions without introducing ourselves. My name is Caledor, like the province. You already know Gabi... her name is Gabriela, but we all call her Gabi. And Amber and Lagi..."
"I'm Amber, she's Lagi," I clarified.
"Oh, you hadn't introduced yourselves either? That's not nice."
"Who are you to judge?" said Tsunami. "None of us did."
"OK, but I'm trying to repair that mistake. The Vaporeon with the big mouth is Tsunami..."
"My mouth is normal-sized."
"Doesn't look like it by the way you use it."
"Guys, please stop," Gabi told them. "Sorry, they're always like that, you'll have to get used to them."
"And Hero too," Tsunami added.
"Ah, yes, Hero, the Ninetales," Gabi said. "The three of them are always like that."
"Hey, I haven't done anything this time!" Hero complained.

Pulse looked at the three of them, eyes wide open.

"Don't worry," I tried to comfort it. "They bicker a lot, but they don't bite."
"Not outside of battle anyway," Tsunami clarified. "Or when we eat."
"Shall we proceed with the introductions?" asked Water Angel, who was leaning on Spark. "I'm Water Angel."
"And I'm Spark," said the Pidgeot.
"You may also know them as the Lovebirds, though that nickname fit them better when Water Angel was an Altaria," said Tsunami.
"Tsunami, please stop," Lagi requested. "You're confusing poor Pulse."
"Sorry. And that leaves us with Sylvan the Venusaur, our supreme gardener... Ventura the Venomoth, not to be mistaken for the moths that raided our cupboard while we were away... and Iael the Stantler once again."
"Once again?" asked Pulse.
"He was a Golduck for a while," explained Hero. "Because of the chaos magic... You may have heard of it."
"I did hear something about chaos magic... My parent said that was what drove Giana away... But I couldn't understand what it was very well."
"We can't understand it well either," Gabi said. "All we know is that it came from the mountains and it had all sorts of effects. I heard that magic was a side-effect of a war that nearly wiped out the population of Ulthuan over 300 years ago. The surviving wizards managed to pull it into the Forbidden Mountains and lock it inside the barrier, but the barrier was cracked 3 years ago and some of the magic leaked out. We're still dealing with the consequences."
"That sounds scary," said Pulse. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
"You just rest and get comfortable for now," Gabi suggested. "We'll talk again later, right now I need to go to the DT HQ and see how things are going over there... and do whatever I can to help it run smoothly. Can you please look after Pulse until I get back?"
"Of course!" Caledor volunteered. "I haven't told you before, but I worked at a nursery when I was on the Moon and I really liked it! I can help take care of a young Pokemon anytime."
"I would like to help train Pulse if that's possible," Ventura requested.
"Excuse me", said Caledor, "but do you remember what happened when you tried to help me train?"
"I'm sorry," Ventura said. "But I have improved since then. I got some training experience in that other world, and I really... I always wished I could..."
"You can help with Pulse's training," Gabi accepted. "I trust that you have learnt from your experiences, and you won't be alone anyway, right Caledor?"
"What? Oh, of course! I'll be there, yes."
"Thank you," said Ventura.
"I suppose the rest of us can finish cleaning up today," I suggested. I didn't really feel like cleaning, but the place was in no condition to host a new Pokemon.
"We were stepping on each other's paws yesterday," Tsunami noted. "Or talons, hooves or whatever applies. We can't all clean up together. Why don't we take turns instead? Then some of us can go with Gabi now and come back to finish the job later."
"I guess that could work," I said. "But I'd rather get my work done first and rest later."
"Then you stay," Tsunami said. "I'll go with Gabi."
"I'd like to go too," said Lagi. "If anyone's in there, it will be nice to have a reunion. Otherwise, it will take much work to get things going, so I might as well help."
"I'm tired of being inside the house," said Hero. "I'm going too."
"I think my wings could use some stretching," said Spark.
"Is anyone staying?" I asked.
"I'm staying," said Sylvan. "There's still a lot of work to do on the garden, and it's best to do it while the sun still shines."
"Caledor and I are staying too," said Ventura. "We have a job to do."
"Of course," said Caledor. "We'll stay and help Pulse get comfortable."
"Do you always decide things like this?" asked Pulse.
"Like what?" Caledor asked back.
"Like... all of you. As a group. No one tells you what to do?"
"Most of the time, yes," said Caledor. "There are exceptions, like when something needs to be done really fast, or when someone doesn't know what to do, or... when Gabi tells us to stop whatever it is we're doing."
"That's mostly when the three of you get carried away and start getting too annoying or making too much of a mess," Gabi pointed out. "Anyway, I have to go. Whoever wants to come, come with me. Everyone else, I'll see you later."

In the end, Tsunami, Hero, Lagi, Spark and Iael followed Gabi to the DT HQ, while the rest of us stayed to try to put things in order and look after Pulse. It was a rather quiet day for us, probably because Hero and Tsunami weren't with us. I had many questions I wanted to ask Pulse, but I realized the poor Porygon had just landed into an unknown place full of strangers, and I didn't want to make it more nervous than it already was, so I decided to give it time to warm up to us and let Caledor do the talking for the time being. I think he did quite a good job.

<Tsunami's POV>

Gabi was very quiet on the way to our headquarters. After a while, I asked her what she was thinking.

"Where do I start?" she said. "I'm thinking of what we may find when we get there... what we may have missed... whether or not anyone's been working there while we were gone... the differences and similarities between my two lives... what to do about pulse... what to do about the report I never got to finish... whether or not to get a new cellphone... never mind, we all know that last one's a 'no', some may consider it obsolete but it does the job."
"Indeed. It's the best technology year 2000 had to offer," I joked.
"It probably is," Gabi said in a less humorous tone. "It's energy-efficient, it can make calls, send text messages, and it even comes with a Pokedex and a multiple-recipient voice messaging system. And I did upgrade the road map feature to a full GPS system a few years ago, so what more do I need?"
"I don't know, maybe an Internet connection? The ability to run apps? A camera?"
"I have a good camera, much better than the ones which come with cellphones. I can connect to the Internet from a computer and it's a lot more comfortable than doing it from a phone. And I don't really need the apps."
"Then why were you thinking of changing it?"
"Because a lot of people were using an app to communicate in that other reality and I was left out of a few things because I didn't have it. I didn't know why it bothered me so much, but now I do: it was the foundation of the Dragon Tamers all over again. But no, I'm not spending a small fortune in a modern cellphone just to make it easier for others to remember to tell me about important things. I just have to make sure they don't forget."
"OK, so... what about your two lives?"
"They were basically the same up until I turned 18... 17 maybe... no, I think they were still the same at 17. Then from 18 to 20 they became increasingly different, until they diverged completely at the point where my brother was shot. In that other life, his friend Julian never got involved with Team Rocket, and only started doing drugs instead."
"Sounds like quite the charming guy in both realities," I ironized.
"Yeah... Anyway, he did offer my brother drugs, but he did not accept, and since Team Rocket was out of the equation, they both continued living their lives more or less normally. So, even though my parents were still divorced, my family wasn't shattered and I had no reason to leave."
"So you stayed in Argentina?"
"Yes, I did. And yet somehow I ended up adopting Sylvan and Amber, only much later. I can't say our lives were easy, but they were peaceful."
"Then what made you want to return?"
"You did... All of you. I couldn't stay there when you were all here. Besides, I didn't feel like I really belonged in there."
"Wow... thanks!"
"Don't thank me, you're an important part of my life."
"And you of mine... ours, I mean. In any case, you were much luckier than I was."
"Yes, I know. I'm sorry you had to go through that. How can such a place even exist?"
"No idea. Must be a different universe or something."
"Are you going to register Pulse as a part of our team?" asked Spark, getting closer to us.
"I don't know," said Gabi. "Probably, but not today. I'd rather wait and see what happens first. I was thinking Pulse could help us find Constanzio and stop her once and for all, but I don't want to push it, we need to earn its trust first. Using 'it' to refer to a Pokemon feels so weird, I feel like it's meant to be used for inanimate objects which Pulse is clearly not. Anyway, I wonder what Terabyte really wants. And what does Pulse want? If we somehow manage to put Constanzio behind bars, will it want to stay with us or return with Terabyte? And anyway, what kind of needs does a Porygon have? I still don't understand how they can even exist. I mean, I heard they started out as computer simulations and then someone found a way to materialize them using Pokeball technology, but they kept developing on their own somehow... eventually becoming real Pokemon. They think and feel, they can eat, sleep, get sick and even be born from eggs like Pulse did, but they still have some of the characteristics of computer programs, like the ability to store themselves inside a computer and change their own code."
"Programs can change their own code?" I asked. I hadn't thought they could.
"Dynamic programs can. You don't see them everyday, but they're not hard to write if you use an appropriate language. I wrote some dynamic programs in Logo during my first three years of high school."
"Really?" I asked.
"Yes. I had a very good teacher. He was the reason why I've always liked writing computer programs, and also why I chose to major in computer science in that other reality, where I never followed the ad offering a reward to anyone who could figure out the possible cause of the reduction in the population of a pod of Lapras."
"Ah, yes, your first report! I remember," I said.
"You weren't there," Gabi reminded me.
"I know, but I remember you told me about it. That was the one for which they gave you the Water Stone, right?"
"The one you used to evolve, yes. Ever since I got it, I knew I wanted to train a Vaporeon someday. Wow, so many memories!"
"Yes, and I hope we can make even better ones now that we're back together, as sappy as that sounds. So... what else were you thinking of? I lost track."
"Why were you even keeping track?" Gabi laughed. "It doesn't matter right now, I suppose we’ll figure things out as time goes by."

At that point someone called out Gabi's name from across the street. I turned to look and saw a young man whose face looked quite familiar. Only when a Staryu climbed onto his shoulder did I recognize Eric from the MTU. We waited until he caught up with us.

"Oh, hi!" Gabi said. "How have you been?"
"Not bad, all things considered," said Eric. "What about you?"
"It's complicated. Are you ready to hear about weird stuff?"
"Weird stuff is pretty much all I've seen and heard for the last 3 years."
"OK, then... I was sent away to an alternate reality. I had a lot of hard work there, but no world-threatening crises, so I guess I can say I've been OK. Still, it's good to be back."
"Yeah... Things have been really hectic for us too. Alpha and I had our bodies switched for a while. It was the weirdest experience ever, but I think I may have become a better trainer because of it. Now I know more about how the 'stars' feel."
"OK, I really wasn't expecting that... I guess it's best to assume that anything may have happened while I was away."
"I wasn't expecting your story either, but yeah... Weirdness abounds these days."
"I wonder if things will ever go back to normal."
"Me too. They have been getting quieter lately, but even with all the effects of the magic being reverted and everyone working on putting things back in order and trying to resume their lives, it'll be hard for our lives to go back to the way they used to be. Which is why we've been discussing what to do about it at the MTU... now that we finally got it up and running again."
"Did you come up with any ideas?"
"We were thinking about organizing an event with battles for everyone to get back into the habit of training. That way we can get back in shape and go back to doing our jobs... and maybe the next time a crisis comes up we'll be ready to face it."
"I'm not sure a few battles will be enough for our lives to go back to normal," Gabi said, "but perhaps an event like that could at least help us get back together and start training again."
"So, is the PRTD interested? Or maybe the Dragon Tamers? You're still with both, right?"
"I'm still in the PRTD and hopefully the Dragon Tamers too, but I can't speak for either before I talk to the others."
"OK, I'll wait for your answer then. Just stop by the MTU building whenever you can."
"I will," Gabi said.

Eric thanked Gabi and said goodbye, and then we parted ways. After walking a bit longer, we made it to the building and were glad to see it was still open for business, even though many things did not seem to be in their usual places. We eventually found Shonta inside, and a happy reunion took place. I took the chance to look around while the girls caught up and, once I found the new storage room for the Reward Center, I noticed a few new items were in stock. I was about to call Gabi when I noticed she was already coming.

"Oh, hi again! Have you seen these?" I said.
"I'm just about to," Gabi replied. "I told Shonta I would help with the inventory today. I can't believe she's been doing everything on her own for the last 3 years! Everyone else is gone."
"Caledor's not going to like it when he hears that," I said. "He was hoping Kiara would have shown up by now."
"I'm sorry," Gabi said. "I wish everyone were back. Hey, is that Eviolite? I think it would be a good idea to get one of those for Pulse. Terabyte did say they were good for protection."
"Are you suddenly trusting what Terabyte says?"
"Not in general, but in this case there's proof that they do work. And I do believe that it does care for Pulse. It's its child, after all."

At that moment, Gabi's cellphone beeped.

"I think you just got a message," I said.
"Yes, I'm checking... Oh, it's from Lady Ninetales! I wonder what she... Oh, yes!! Now that's good news!"
"What is it?" I asked.
"Jeff is back. He reported to her today."
"You're right, that is good news."
"I'll let Shonta know, if she hasn't got the message too. We should arrange a meeting. The first DT meeting in 3 years!"

Gabi looked really excited. She called Jeff and asked him if they could meet at the DT headquarters that same day. Surprisingly, he said yes. So we finished the inventory and had lunch while we waited, and as soon as Jeff arrived the official catch-up DT meeting began. It was the most cheerful Dragon Tamers meeting I can remember. A bit confusing, maybe, since everyone kept talking at the same time, probably due to the excitement. I'll do my best to report what was said, or at least the parts I got to hear.

It all began when Jeff entered the meeting room and quietly sat at the table. Lagi was the first one to notice him.

"Hello, Jeff! Long time no see!" she exclaimed

I turned to look and saw him sitting there, half-hidden behind a stack of paper. I thought I saw something move behind him, but I couldn't be sure of what it was, since it soon disappeared either behind Jeff's back or behind the door, and the image had not been clear to begin with - or, rather, it had been too clear for a different interpretation of the word 'clear'.

"Oh, hi, you're here!" Gabi greeted him.
"Hey there," said Shonta. "Finally made it back, huh?"

Jeff rubbed the back of his head.

"Hey, everyone. Good to see you. It really doesn't feel like it's been that long... Might have to go back and read those case files. Guess I got off kinda lucky."
"If you ask me, I can't really tell how long it feels," Gabi revealed. "My perception of past time has been somewhat distorted by spending the last 3 years in an alternate reality."

I began to wonder how that might feel.

"I guess I'm the only who experienced the whole three years in real time," Shonta groaned.
"You're certainly not the only one," I told her. "Many of us did, and I had to spend one of those years in a freaky island surrounded by plastic Omastars and with candy as the only source of food."
"I don't know what I expected your story to be, but it absolutely wasn't that," Jeff replied.
"Just when I think this place couldn't get weirder..." Shonta commented.
"I'm glad I didn't have to go through that," Hero told me. "I must admit your endurance is admirable."

That meant a lot coming from him. I wasn't completely sure of how to respond.

"Thanks..." I finally said. "I've always been proud of it, but I really didn't want it to be tested like that."
"So where have you been, Jeff?" asked Gabi.
"That's a really good question. I think the best answer I can give is 'ominous shadow dimension'," Jeff replied.

At that point, the figure that had been hiding behind him finally showed itself. It turned out to be a transparent Dragonair. The only reasonable conclusion w