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*Murkrow
30th September 2004, 02:34 PM
I got the Pond Room done; struggled a bit with the battles, but oh well. Just two more to go :P Also couldn't think of a very good description of Air Cutter :-/

~Fizz~

“Will he be alright?”
“He should be, but they’ll be keeping him in for a couple of days to make sure.”
“Do you think it would be ok if I stayed with him for a little while?”
“No. We’re going to be here, that’ll be enough. And it’s not as if he’ll know that you’re there anyway.”
“But I…”
“Look, just go do something, take your mind off of it, and stop bugging me.”
“Oh.”

“You know, at times she can be so insensitive, it’s unbelievable. ‘It’s not as if he’ll know that you’re there anyway’…wow, doesn’t stop her staying, does it?”
“You’ve only just figured that out? Where’ve you been hiding?”
“No, I knew, just…not like that; not that much. I wanted to stay with my friend- who’s she to say I can’t?”
“Should have stayed anyway.”
“Excellent idea, she’d have ended up in intensive care right next to Archie.”
“Thought that was what she wanted?”
“Seriously, you think she meant it like that, you idiot?”
“Watch it…”
“You calling me an idiot?”
“Yes.”
“Why, you little…”

Sighing, I shook my head and shuffled away, leaving them to sort out their argument on their own; I just wasn’t in the mood for something as petty as that.
Flapping up onto a post overlooking the bustling grounds, I tried to focus on them, blocking out the flood of memories filtering through my mind…the dragging weight pulling me down…..the rasping breathing of my friend filling the silence….the desperate aching of my wings as I lurched over the luscious undergrowth.
Perhaps if I was stronger I’d have been able to get him out of there quicker and he wouldn’t have been in such a bad way when we got back here.
“Quit beating yourself up over it. You did the best you could. At least you got him out of there.”
“How do you know what it is I’m thinking? Or feeling, for that matter.”
“Believe me, it’s obvious.”
“Thanks. So you’re basically saying I look awful?”
“No. Just worried.”
Glancing away, not wanting him to see the look I could feel creeping across my face, I shrugged, hoping he’d realise that I just wanted to be alone.
“You know, you might want to try what Xol suggested; doing something. She’s right when she said it’d take your mind off all this.”
“Don’t mention her to me.”
“Fine then. But you do realise that you could get one over her at the same time?”
“Come again?”
“Think about it. She told you to go do something; what’s the best thing to do here?”
Catching on, I frowned, and looked back at him.
“She’d kill me. It’s bad enough that we’ve cleared two rooms without her, but a third? And look what happened last time I went off.”
“You’d only be doing what she said….and a battle would really help you to concentrate on something else. And if you want company, there’s at least two others on the team you could take with you, no matter which room you chose.”
“No. No company. Just me.”
“Ok. Go on your own. Just stop moping around.”
I kept quiet, watching him warily from the corner of my eye; I wasn’t stupid, I knew what he was like. Any chance of stirring up trouble and he’d be there in a flash.
Sensing my look, he laughed, jumping away from the post.
“Just consider it.”
Chuckling to himself, he dived down, dropping back to join the rest of the still bickering team.
Ruffling my feathers, slowly thinking over what he’d said, I paused as an idea flashed into my mind; smiling briefly to myself, I flipped off the perch, swooping over the crowds heads as I struck out for my intended location.

The water shimmered gently, catching the beams of light, reflecting it so that the surface glistened, stretching out beneath me.
Diving down to skim over the gently rippling surface, watching as the rush of air broke away into tiny waves, lolling and rocking away to break lazily over the bright water.
Looking down, I could see, through the crystal, sapphire coloured water, the faint shape and rough surface of the pond-bed, deep beneath the body of water.
Impulsively stalling, I dipped my claws down, splashing them through the cold water, feeling the refreshing droplets exploding in all directions splatter onto my feathers. Beating hard, I powered up, sending specks of light cascading down as the drops flicked off, seizing the light.
Reaching out to swoop beneath the rooms ceiling, watching the water; from so high up, the faint ripples were indiscernible, so the dim shadows flitting beneath the shimmering surface seemed to be hanging in the light, against the looming background of rock.
Gradually, I felt my mind relaxing, as the landscape and my movement combined soothed me.
It was a good idea, coming here.
Turning gently, letting the flow of thoughts fade away, replacing them with the knowledge of my flying, and the power it brought me.
Stalling again, I let my body drop, spinning forward to plummet, head first, towards the water. Focusing as the surface loomed, close enough to watch the shimmering blanket of light split into its individual specks; see the gentle ripples slipping across in the faint breeze; wrenching my wings out, I whipped round, brushing across the water, sending diamonds of light sparkling through the air.
Hurtling back up, looping on pure exhilaration, I twisted back round to stare at the water, my eyes instantly locking onto the two miniature shapes that had broken through the light, hanging motionlessly.
Trilling to myself, I tilted my wings and slowly spiralled down, pausing to hover above them.
“You like?”
They stared back silently, their black eyes glittering in the light. They had the same basic features; the orange, half-star shaped gills, the long head crest, the deep royal blue colouring, merging with the grey-blue underbelly. Except one had more exaggerated features; the crest, the gills, even his dark eyes all seemed disproportionate to his tiny size; smaller than the other one, who regarded me coolly.
“Well? What do you think?”
The larger one frowned, tilting her head to unleash a stream of rippling cries to her partner, cries that resonated strangely over the open expanse; chuckling, her companion answered, his replies pooling and gathering through the still air.
“O….k…. Are you ever going to speak English? Or shall I just leave you to it?”
The smaller Mudkip broke off at that, glaring up at me, before a smile slowly slipped across his face; nodding in response to the ongoing barrage from his companion, he nodded absent-mindedly, paddling forward.
“Er, no…. I didn’t come here for a battle, just to, you know, test my flying and all.”
Growling, the larger one thumped the water aggressively, as I began to pull myself back up.
“Speak English, please. Or at least something that I can understand.”
Ignoring me, the larger Mudkip delivered what looked like the last word, before slinking back slightly; giggling, the smaller one half reared out of the water, as the larger one cried out.
Well, it’s not as if I sought this out purposefully.

Fight
Fizz (Taillow F L8 )
Vs
Mudkip (M L15)

Instantly, he unleashed a jet of water, that whined up, sending shimmers of water vapour cascading down; cawing softly, I tucked my wings in, accelerating to the side, easily dodging the blast.
Whipping forward, I tore over his head, swinging round in a wide circle as another stream of water crashed past, plummeting to slam into the churning water.
Hasn’t he ever heard of strategy?
Darting up higher, watching as he inhaled, before unleashing another Water Gun, I rolled my eyes quickly to myself, spinning round and diving towards the water, feeling the tingling sprinkle as the falling vapour played over my feathers.
Catching my weight, skidding over the rocking water, I barrel-rolled, skidding over the horizontal blast as it rushed beneath me; gathering my energy, I rocketed forward, slamming into him head on as he splashed round for another attack.
Howling, he half-fell back, choking and spluttering as the water rushed into his mouth; spitting it out, he struggled round, yapping in the strange tongue he’d been using, trying to focus on me as I whistled back over his head.
Behind, the larger Mudkip shouted out, angrily pounding the water in her agitation, screaming something at him; taking my chance as he hesitated and looked back at her, I plummeted down, whipping round his body to smash into him with me wings, sending him spiralling up out of the water.
Wailing, his legs frantically scissoring the air, tumbled with a smash into the rocking waters, submerging; hovering above, I narrowed me eyes, tracking his faint shape as it lurched beneath the disturbed waters.
He didn’t even think to break his fall?
Shrugging to myself, I focused my mind, concentrating on the attack I had that could drive him back out; as the white orbs sparked into life, I eyed his location carefully, pointing down as the orbs burst out, whining to tear into the water.
Watching through the churning water as a mass of dark substance showed my attack had shattered into the rock bed, I smirked, as a sudden tremor sounded; low at first, then louder, as the bed began to shake and crack, sending the already rocking waters into a frenzy.
Yelping, the larger Mudkip flung me a glare, retreating to where the tiny platform intended for trainers lay perilously over the waters. As she splashed up onto it, I glanced back as her companion burst through the water surface, gasping as the massive waves now littering the surface grabbed him instantly.
Is this really worth the bother?
Slowly flapping up higher, humming softly as my body began to glow with a bright, white light, I picked out his tiny shape, scrabbling through the waters; feeling my power peaking, I dropped my wings and hurtled down towards him.
Watching closely as my target loomed, I tensed my body, when he suddenly flung back his head, screaming out in a massive roar, that tore into my mind as I dashed closer.
Shrieking, I felt my grip on my attack slacken; as the glow around my body diminished, I lurched to the side, and up again, frantic to get away from his terrible screaming.
Rising up to the ceiling, as far away as I could go, I shook my head hard, trying to rid my mind of his awful, echoing cries.
Uproar…..guess the only way to combat that is…
Circling above, I tensed again, whining down, before flinging back my head and answering his roar with a snarl of my own, fighting against his clinging creams with a billowing, resonating growl.
Partly working; his cry slackened off slightly, as my attack pounded his senses; splashing from side to side as he registered the sound, I accelerated again, sending him slamming back, flying out of the water briefly before hitting again.
Instantly, his roars cut out.
Skimming over the water, dodging the waves that still lurched over its surface, I fixed my eyes onto his shadow, focusing my skills.
His head broke through the surface..but oddly blank-his eyes were dim, his breathing slow, moving slowly as his body rocked from side to side.
Like I’d fall for that.
Hovering above him, I focused again, bringing my mind to the exact point needed, staying locked onto him all the time, waiting for the first signs of movement.
Nothing came.
Even though I knew it was useless, I focused my body again, my muscles trembling with anticipation as I watched him anxiously.
There.
A faint aura flashed round his body, before fading; the energy he would have been able to unleash against me had I been stupid enough to attack him directly.
As he blinked languidly and looked up and around, searching for me, I flipped forward, plunging down to smash into his face, feeling from the shudder that tore through his body that my focused body and mind had worked.
Dipping my wing under his chin, I smashed up, flinging him from the water; rushing through the air, he plummeted back into the water; submerging again, briefly surfacing, before he gasped and went limp.

I won.
I grew to L10.
I learnt Steel Wing as my free TM!

Hearing the angry squeal from behind me, I turned as the other Mudkip scampered forward on the tiny platform, screaming at me, her whole body quivering.
“Don’t take it out on me, you two were the ones who challenged me. He got what he deserved.”
Her reply came in another burst of angry, echoing calls; sighing as I recognised the inevitable, I dropped lower, shaking my head.

Fight
Fizz (Taillow F L10)
Vs
Mudkip (F L15)

Flinging herself away from the platform and into the finally stilling waters, cutting through them with ease, she let out a low tremor of sound, before wrenching her head back, imitating the attack I had used barely minutes before against her companion.
Scowling, as the sound reverberated through my head, I answered with my own growl, lashing her with waves of sound; struggling against each other mentally, I saw the spark flicker in her eye; cutting off abruptly, she dived down, vanishing beneath the surface.
Shaking my head to rid myself of the final vibrations of her cry, I warily kept an eye on her shadow as it darted beneath the light.
Tempted to use the same strategy as before, I stalled, muttering as the orbs began to spiral in their intricate patterns around my body, when the water beneath me exploded out, as a beam of crackling frozen energy hurtled up.
Abandoning my attempt at Hidden Power, I screeching in alarm, swinging away to the side, sensing the searing cold as the beam shot past, beating hard to power away from the point of cold.
Circling, flashing my sight over her body as it swung round effortlessly through the water, tracking my movements, I decided that now seemed about the right time to experiment with a new technique.
Letting my eyes slip closed, I trilled quietly to myself, feeling the sensation of my beating wings pounding the air; of the brush of cold still clinging to my feathers; felt it all slipping away.
Opening my eyes again, I blinked through the strange, distorted scene that now surrounded me; below, the bright sapphire waters had changed, the peaceful blue now a sickening, vivid pink, hovering over a dark, purple-blue rock bed, that seemed to pulse and twist even as I watched it. Above, around me, the invisible air now seemed to be charged with luminescence; a faint, flickering purple that writhed around my body.
Lowering my gaze, I easily picked out- black against the thick pink- the shape of my opponent, head swinging from side to side as she attempted to track me back down.
Spiralling down, feeling with surprise the ease at which I could burst through the strange, purple air around me, I extended my claws, stalled, then plummeted down to seize her head in my grip.
Instantly, with a rushing, grinding sound, the iridescent, pulsing colours flashed and spun round me, crackling through my body, rushing through my feathers, down through my claws and into her skin.
Howling as the dark energy tore through her, she bucked her head, dislodging my grip enough to give her room to lunge forward. Ducking her head and front legs down into the water, bring her back legs and tail lashing up….her shining white tail, that struck my side like a block of steel.
Knocked free, my claws clenching as they lost their grip on her skin, I crashed down into the water, floundering, spluttering, before she slammed into my back, sending my flying up.
Beating my sodden wings hard, I shivered, feeling the sudden rush of cold air billow over me, a split second before the crackling beam of ice stabbed into my back, the tentacles of the attack wrenching through my feathers, seizing them in its freezing grip.
Trembling, feeling the weight of my half-frozen, numb body beginning to pull me back down, I felt a shudder flash through me as my mind registered an identical situation.
Get out of my mind.
Screaming out loud to drag my thoughts away, I felt the sudden waves of warmth float through my body, as an artificial sun exploded into life above me, its streaming light soothing through my body, rippling out to glitter over the shifting waters, as my opponent snarled and backed off.
Feeling the soft caress melting through my ice-bound feathers, I rolled over slowly, letting the sun stab at every part of my body; relaxing, I drifted round again, turning back to attack.
Seeing her figure skimming through the water, heading back to the platform, I swooped lower, speeding up, watching as the surroundings beneath me blurred, my eyes playing over my targets form; timing my attack as she scrambled up onto the smooth metal.
As she turned to face me, I accelerated, blasting towards her, dodging to the right at the last second; hitting her on the side instead of full on….but with enough force to smack her back, tumbling off the platform into the water.
Circling away as my speed lessened, watching as she scrambled around in the water, struggling back up onto the platform, shouting out silently as the beam of ice burst from her jaws, showers of water tumbling down as it reached up, melting away from the ferocity of my sun.
Rolling triumphantly away, I ricocheted down, dragging my body back with a sweep of my wings, before snapping them together, sending an arrow shaped burst of energy scything down to slash through her body.
Shrieking, she responded with the jet of water I had seen so much of in my last match, evaporating even as it shot towards me. Skimming down as my vision sharpened, the white light beginning to pulse through my body again, I shot down, seeing her swing round, her tail visibly shaking as the steel weight seized it.
Darting to the side as she whipped round, I clattered onto the metal surface, springing forwards as she glanced at me, smashing into her as the light encasing me vanished in a flicker.
Her paws scrabbling over the slick surface, she slid back, before snapping her head up and seizing my tail as I attempted to flash past.
Rolling forward, she dragged me back, bouncing off the firm metal, before she slammed her tail across my front.
Shuddering as the force jolted through my body, I lashed out frantically with my wings, my claws gripping at the air; startled, she pulled back, giving me the chance to roll back onto my front, dragging my wings in, as we glared across at each other.
Exhaling, she let loose the stream of water; gasping as the rush covered my body, I felt for a second the brief release as she cut off her attack, before the ice cold gripped by body again.
Trembling, trying to wrench my body away, falling even as I flapped heavily upwards, I hear below the splash as she bounded back into the water.
Circling up to where my failing sun was pulsing out the last of its light and warmth, I glanced down, seeing her form flashing through the water, as a glinting film covered her body, as she spun up, forming a ball of ice that rattled across the water surface.
Extending my wings as my new attack shone through them, I fell, shooting down to lash against her increasing attack, smashing my Steel Wing against her ice shield; cracking, the ice shattered, icicles clattering into the water. Briefly, I saw her flash of colour, before she broke free of the remnants of her destroyed attack, diving back down into the water.
Shooting up, I peaked at the top of the room, swinging round and plummeting down, faster, clenching my wings in, accelerating even as I smashed into the water; feeling the grip at my feathers, I lashed out with my claws, feeling her body flash through my claws.
Tightening my grip, I beat through the water, breaking through the surface, twisting back so I sent her flinging up. As both my wings flashed with steel energy, I dove forwards, slamming them down on either side of her, holding her body for a second, before relaxing my grip and letting her limp body tumble down into the water.

I won.
I grew to L12.

Breathing hard, I hovered above as her motionless body floated up to the surface, eyes blank, as he chest rose in ragged breaths.
Hearing the shrill cries of her companion- forgotten during the battle, but obviously having had enough time to regain consciousness.
Circling away, letting them be, I sighed and flapped exhaustedly towards the room exit, suddenly desperate for a rest.
And trying not to think about everyone’s reactions when they found out I’d finished another room.

classy_cat18
1st October 2004, 05:59 PM
NOTE: I got Jewel a Cosmic Power TM from someone (forgot who). And feel free to penalize me since this opponent didn't really come from the Universal Adoption Center.


Jewel’s POV

The sky was full of stars circling the lone full moon. I looked up at them from the balcony of our hotel room, sighing to myself. I felt like I was among them, surrounded by them but, in reality, nowhere close to any of them. I felt alone even though I was with my teammates.

Hearing footsteps, I looked back and saw Lily approach me. She and the others decided to stay at a hotel while we practiced to get stronger. <What is it?> I asked her, annoyed with her interrupting my thoughts.

“Can I ask you a question?”

<What’s that?>

“How can you see?”

I sighed. The Oddish couldn’t understand my true means of sight, so I made it up for her. <My eye is located behind my jewel,> I lied.

She stared at my jewel in awe. “Ooh. Wait until I tell the others!” She dashed back in the hotel room.

I went back to the sky, somewhat being drawn by them. They say that Starmie come from outer space. Is that why I’m drawn to the night sky? Is that why I feel so lonely when I see the stars?

I was interrupted once again when I heard the rustling of the bushes down at the ground. Out of spite I prepared my Water Gun, ready to fire at the nuisance. Out floated a strange Pokemon that was shaped like a crescent moon. It turned around and looked at me with a red eye. I grew curious. My gem started to glow red. A star met a moon under the night sky. How ironic. I floated down and faced this Pokemon.

<What are you?> I asked the Pokemon.

<A Pokemon without gender, just like you. Although I prefer to be referred to as male. I am a Lunatone. My name is Lunar,> it answered in a deep male voice. <What name are you called, lovely star?>

My gem’s glow changed to pink. Am I…blushing? No one’s ever complemented on my looks before. I calmed down a little bit, my gem’s glow fading a bit. <I am called Jewel.>

Lunar chuckled. <I see that I surprised you on that complement. You are indeed a lovely star, genderless or not.> He circled me slowly. <Every bit of you is lovely. I am glad that I met you.>

I backed away from him. I sensed something wrong. <Did you know I was going to be here?> I asked him.

He nodded. <My comrades and I have been following you for quite some time. We are all interested in your trainer’s progress.> I whirled around, looking for others. <You are wasting energy. None of them are here.>

I took deep breaths through the hole in my back. <Why are you interested in my trainer? She is not much to the eye, just a simple trainer.>

He chuckled again. <I do not see why my trainer would have interest in yours. However, if you are that curious about my trainer…> He floated back a few feet. <You can try to beat some information out of me.>

I floated back as well. <Agreed. You are attractive, but it has been a while since I’ve defeated somebody.>


L11 Genderless Starmie (Jewel) vs. L11 Genderless Lunatone (Lunar)

I immediately fired a Water Gun at Lunar, guessing that it was Rock and therefore weak against water. Lunar’s eyes glowed red, making the Water Gun split into two and pass by him. <So you are also Psychic,> I said to him, amused.

<That I am. That makes us two of a kind, yes?> He closed his eyes and concentrated. He shone bright for a second. <Let’s turn this up.> He dashed forward in an attempt to tackle me. I used my Harden to brace myself. I felt pain, but it was enough to just shrug off. I unleashed my Psychic attack. The invisible force went straight for Lunar. He tried to dodge, but the attack caught him and sent him spinning. I immediately followed with another Water Gun while he was still in shock from the last attack.

<Are you ready to give up yet?> I asked him.

<Not yet.> He was looking weary. He stood still while an orb of dark energy concentrated at the tip of his nose and released it. I shifted to the right, but it swerved! It hit me right in the gem. I was knocked on my back.

My gem was blinking. That attack took a lot out of me. I got back up and faced Lunatone, who was already preparing another Shadow Ball. He released it as I released another Water Gun. The two attacks collided, Lunar’s Shadow Ball pushing against my Water Gun. The Shadow Ball was winning; it was slowly pushing its way through the stream of water. In a moment of last-second thinking, I stopped my Water Gun and quickly used my Camouflage. I turned the color of the freshly mown lawn. The Shadow Ball harmlessly passed through me.

<Let’s finish this,> I said darkly. My gem glowed ice blue as I summoned a Blizzard. First snow gently fell on the battlefield. Then it violently picked up and swirled around Lunar and me. Lunar shivered and slowly became encased in ice. I stopped when he was completely frozen.


I won and grew to level 12.


Trinity’s POV

I looked out of the window and gasped. Snow! Snow was falling from the sky and it was far from winter! “Shonta, come here!”

Shonta walked to the window and put on the same face as mine. “How can this be happening?” She walked out to the balcony and smiled. “Everybody relax. It’s just Jewel battling some Lunatone. He’s a popsicle now.”

“I’ll go get her. Open the door for me, Athena.” I dashed into the window and crashed into someone. We both fell to the floor. I saw that I had crashed into a boy about Shonta’s age that donned a long black ponytail and was wearing black from head to toe. He groaned and roughly pushed me off of him. I growled, annoyed that a guy wouldn’t want an elegant Pokemon such as myself in his lap.

I made my way outside and found Jewel staring at the block of ice that was Lunatone. “What was all that about?” I asked Jewel.

<Thaw him out with your Flamethrower,> she commanded coldly.

I growled again. “No respect.” I fired my Flamethrower on the ice and started to melt it. I stopped when he was halfway thawed out. “You get what you pay for,” I said smugly.

Jewel ignored me and turned to Lunatone. <Lunar, I want information on your trainer.>

He groaned and looked at Jewel with sad eyes. <Is that all that you battled me for?>

<Yes. Now spit it out.>

He sighed. <Iwata Daisuke. Also known as Raven Mane.>

I blinked. “Raven Mane? Are we supposed to know him?”

<No. Your trainer is.> He teleported suddenly, leaving his cast of ice with us.

We looked at each other. If Jewel had a face, I bet she would’ve been confused. “I’m thinking we should get back to Shonta,” I told Jewel.


Shonta’s POV

“I should’ve given Jewel that Cosmic Power TM tonight,” I grumbled as finished off the rest of my Ramen noodles.

Athena patted my arm. “Don’t beat yourself up about that. Jewel was just fine without that TM. If it makes you feel any better, you can give it to her when she gets back.”

There was a knock on the door. I opened it and got another surprise. In the doorway stood a familiar face. It was the guy I first faced as a Dragon Tamer. A long black ponytail. Dressed in black from head to toe. “You.”

He grinned. “Yeah?”

“What are you doing here? Trying to steal my Pokemon, you Grunt?” I growled.

Moriko slapped me on the back. “Shonta, you kidder! He’s no Rocket Grunt! There’s no red R on his clothes!” she laughed.

“Just because there’s no R on his clothes, you expect me to believe that he’s not a Grunt?” I asked her.

He casually strolled in the room and looked at me. “I never said that I was a Rocket Grunt. You assumed I was one.”

“But what was with the battle in the street and the whole anger-with-the-fact-that-I-was-a-Dragon-Tamer thing?”

“You truly don’t know who you’re fighting for, do you?” He approached me and put a hand on my shoulder. “Better keep your enemies close, but your allies closer.” He walked out of the room and waved. “Remember my advice!”

I huffed and slammed the door behind him. “Great! That jerk comes here and gives me advice I can’t even use!”

“But he said something about the Tamers. He said it like he doesn’t trust them,” Athena said, clutching her stuffed bear.

“Of course he doesn’t trust them! He’s a Rocket Grunt!” I heard a scratching at the door and opened it. Trinity bounced into the room and on the bed. Jewel floated in after her.

“Sorry it took me so long! The hotel had a buffet on the ground floor,” Trinity told us as if she didn’t know what I was going to say next.

“Get off of the bed. Jewel, what was with the Lunatone?”

<I battled him for information about his trainer. It turns out that he’s been following us.>

Athena gasped. “You don’t think he was the human that was in the room a minute ago, do you?” she asked me. “What did you find out, Jewel?”

<Just his name. Daisuke Iwata, also known as Raven Mane.>

She blinked. “That’s it?”

<That’s it.>

“Alright!” Moriko shouted. “We got us an investigation on our hands! Someone alert the rest of the team! Shonta, get whoever’s in charge of the Tamers a report! Finally, an adventure!”

AntiAsh Superstar
5th October 2004, 10:12 AM
Hehe, that took a shorter time that expected. You're right, Gabi, I never rest. :P

-----
"Uhh..." The Ninetales shifted uncomfortably amidst the plump cushions she usually used as a bed. For some reason it was incredibly difficult to get to sleep tonight. Normally she would just collapse at night and sleep right through, unless her daughter was having one of her increasingly common hyperactive moods. But tonight... tonight was different in some way. Tonight there was something in the air, something that she couldn't quite explain. But whatever it was, it was disturbing her usually peaceful sleep. "Anyone else awake?" The snores all around her in the darkened room were all the answer she needed. Evidently nobody in this particular room was able to sense whatever it was in the air that made her so restless. Sighing, she tried hard to return to her slumber, cuddling up to the furry body of her partner by her side for comfort. But even that didn't seem to help. As much as his scent and his touch helped, it was still not enough to quell the feeling of unease still burning within her psyche. In the end there was simply no other option other than to give in to this feeling and slink away from the darkened room, to head to the ground floor of the household. Where all of those of a more nocturnal persuasion than she were usually to be found.
"Hey Pearl," I had been busy competing with Marius at a random fighting game and was in the middle of losing my eighth battle due to his tendency to cheat by hacking into the game files and giving his character twice the strength. So I was rather glad to see my Ninetales slink gracefully down the stairs and enter the darkened lounge. It was a welcome excuse to stop playing. "How come you're still awake?"
"I could ask you the same question, Ade, although I'm afraid of the answers I'll get." Pearl smiled weakly, glad of the distraction from her worries herself. "Please don't tell me you've decided to sacrifice sleep again just because you list it under things you don't have enough hours in the day for."
"Right as usual, Pearl," I smiled sheepishly. "Relax, I'll catch up tomorrow."
"You won't though, will you?"
"Fine, I'll catch up the instant I feel tired when it's a normal time to go to bed. Happy now?"
"No, but it's a start. You really need to take better care of yourself, Ade." Pearl rolled her eyes. "We've been through so much together, can you blame me for taking more than a little interest in your general wellbeing?"
"Fair enough," I shrugged. I simply wasn't in any mood to have this conversation right now. There had been things preying upon my mind as well, things that simply wouldn't leave me alone. "So what's your excuse for staying up so late, anyway?"
"I couldn't sleep. Ade, I'm worried. I think we need to have a talk." Now this was a first! Pearl asking for my advice? Normally it was the other way around. I was usually the one to turn to her in a crisis! Curious, I followed her into the kitchen, where the pretty creature turned around to view me with her ruby-red eyes, her expression a curious mixture of fondness and anxiety. I couldn't help but wonder exactly what the matter was. "Ade, do you think anything's changed lately?" she asked matter-of-factly.
"Apart from the obvious things; you know, Milliardo being twice as much of an asshole because of winning the Unicorn Games, Rhiannon evolving, et cetera, then no. Why?" I gazed into the eyes of my Ninetales for the longest of times, noticing an emotion within them that I couldn't quite make out. "Pearl, what's wrong?"
"Oh... I don't know!" she finally sighed, too tired of hiding her concerns to keep it up any longer. "It's the same feeling that I had before the Dark Cloak attacked. And earlier than that, before we were besieged by the Black Battalion of Team Rocket. I can't explain it, Ade, but I just know that something's not quite right. I've felt it ever since we first heard of Team Rocket's reappearance. That we're on the verge of something huge. And... Ade, it worries me more than I'd like to admit, you know? Especially now. What kind of a world have I brought Celeste into, Ade?"
"Hush, Pearl, hush for a moment." It tore me up to see the creature that had been responsible for pulling me out a rut on so many occasions looking so vulnerable. Silently I bent down and hugged her, held her so tightly that she could feel just how concerned I was through this single embrace. "I know, Pearl, I know. Ever since we first ran into that Armand guy I've known we were at the start of something bad. I guess I've been trying to put it to the back of my mind what with the Unicorn Games and everything. Don't think I don't know what you mean, though. I've got those I care for that deeply to worry about, too."
"I know. It's unreasonable to expect everything to go perfectly," Pearl sighed. "I'd just feel a lot better if... well, if we were prepared beyond Milliardo's usual comment in times of stress." Seeing my lack of comprehension, the Ninetales went on to explain. "You know, all hide behind Tsuyoi or Rhiannon or whoever packs the hardest punch. Why do you think I asked Soo to try and teach Celeste some self defence? We can't just keep sweeping things under the carpet and hoping they'll go away, because they seldom do. I would have thought you of all people would have learnt that one by now."
"Ouch," I winced. "Point taken. So what do you suggest we do? Because if I sweep things under the carpet it's usually because I haven't a clue as to how to deal with them." I wandered over to the refrigerator and grabbed myself a can of cider. "You know, it's that element of the unknown I can't stand. I used to reckon I thrived on danger. But that was only really because at one stage I didn't give a ^&*% as to what happened to me. I'd throw myself into anything just for the sake of it. And now all of a sudden I actually have a life, I have a family of sorts and a house and a lifestyle that I actually enjoy rather than just tolerate, and I'd like to keep that for as long as possible thanks all the same." I downed about half of my can in one go and shuddered. "Sometimes I think I've lost my edge, Pearl. Wasn't I considered a rebel at one point? Now I'm just this goofy guy with responsibilities and hardly the energy to keep pretending to buck the system." I finished the other half of my can and tossed it disgustedly into the trash. "Sometimes I think being grown up sucks ass."
"We all change over time, Ade, and the worst thing you can do is to fight that," Pearl advised. "If it's rebelling you want then all I can say is that if you stay true to yourself you're more of an individual than most. Besides, you have an Umbreon to do all of that raising the middle finger stuff for you now." The Ninetales gave a small chuckle. "Just don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because you aren't as reckless as you used to be means you're less of a person. Because that isn't the case, okay? If anything you're twice the man you used to be."
"Thanks, Pearl. That means a lot." I petted my Ninetales affectionately, letting my fingers run through her silky fur. Funny how a life-changing event such as becoming a parent hadn't dampened her ability to know exactly the right thing to say to both cheer me up and address the root of my current issue. "Anyway, as we were discussing before we got hopelessly sidetracked by my stupid outburst..."
"Yes, and whilst we're having this heart-to-heart I'd also like to raise how annoying it is to watch your belittling of your own problems. If it's bad enough to bother you then it's worth raising no matter how daft you may thing the reason is. Okay?"
"Like Soo hasn't told me that enough. Okay, point taken. But as I was saying, back to the original problem, because if I recall correctly this was supposed to be about you raising your grievances with me, right? I really don't know what we can do to prepare for something we don't know about, but if it makes you feel any better how about we go out to the park for a training session? I'd say we'd go over to Gina and train with her, but I seem to recall she's on holiday at the minute. Besides which, I don't think she's ready to battle until she Marius-proofs her computer systems."
"An impossible task, I might add," commented the Dratini in question, worming his way into the kitchen.
"Wow, getting a little cocky there, aren't we?"
"Find me a system that completely flummoxes me and then maybe I'll have cause to learn a little humility," Marius smirked. "And besides which, you are talking about Gina. I sincerely doubt any measures that she will be able to take would be sufficient. Now would you be so kind as to pour me some water before I finally give in to the overwhelming urge to go to sleep?"
"Sure." I turned to the sink in order to get my Dratini his drink. "So not going to stay up all night on the Internet, hm?"
"I feel that would be a totally futile exercise, as overwhelming as the amount of information online is it really isn't worth losing any sleep over." Marius looked rather sheepish. "Besides which, the forums upon which I was arguing the case for the abolition of fox hunting due to the fact that if it happens to be in the nature of those who partake in it to gain some kind of entertainment from having a defenceless animal ripped to shreds by dogs specifically bred to kill, then they could most likely do with a long session with a psychotherapist are down for maintenance."
"Anti-hunt, hm?"
"Other than the fact that I know quite a few fox-like creatures and every single one of them has been a most charming companion, not a single person from the pro-hunt lobby has addressed an issue I feel most vital to the discussion. They trot out so much rhetoric about loss of jobs and their 'way of life' and controlling the fox population, but not a one has ever addressed the real issue most have with the 'sport' - what possible excuse does any rational, civil human being have for making such a spectacle out of the death of another living being?"
"Ahem," Pearl coughed, "Fox-like pokémon in the room, can we please talk about something a little less uncomfortable?"
"Actually, there's an idea. The whole concept of 'sport' involves competing against another, maybe if the fox stood a reasonable chance of winning -say, for instance, it could easily use Flamethrower..."
"Good night, Marius," I groaned, bustling the Dratini out of the door. He was certainly an asset to the team, but the little pokémon never seemed to switch off! And past midnight was also past the time I was capable of holding a topical discussion. I turned to Pearl with a sigh. "I've an idea. Let's not invite him to the training session." Pearl could help but chuckle, and a slow smile also flickered across my face. Somehow it felt just like old times again. And whilst my past had more than its fair share of dark days, times like these had always been moments that I cherished.

The morning passed with its fair share of incidents. To begin with, Soo had decided to sleep in until about midday, something that I didn't have the heart to disallow her seeing as the past five nights had been spent being woken up at six in the morning by Kassandra jumping on our bed. Then there was a small matter of Amy dropping by to return a video I had lent her. Something which would have been quite a run-of-the-mill occurrence now I had more of a social life, only for the fact that this visit seemed to go rather bizarrely. The upshot of it was that by the time Amy had left we ended up with another pokémon to house. Namely Sparky, who seemed to have opted to stay with us for a while to help Kaguya and Yuki learn how to battle. I just hoped he knew what he was letting himself in for. A little time with Kassandra as a teammate should have been enough to make the Raichu beg for Sugar's mischief back! And then there was the small matter of my fiancée almost forgetting she had booked a training room.
"This isn't work, Soo. Go and train and stop being so lazy!" I ended up telling her after she had suggested that she call the training grounds and say she was sick. After all, I fully intended on going out to try and do some training myself today, so it made sense for her to go out and do something with her time while I was out. There was simply no sense in just wasting the day away. At least not today.

"Dude, are ya ready or what?" Katnip whined for what had to be the billionth time that day. The instant he heard I was taking his girlfriend out for a training session the Raticate had promptly invited himself along as well. "C'mon, we're never gonna get any trainin' done at this rate!"
"Hey, I'm ready! I've been ready for ages, actually," I complained bitterly. For once I wasn't the one holding us up. "It's your lover we're waiting for."
"Oh." That seemed to shut him up! "Sorry dude, I'm just so used ta it bein' yer fault we're runnin' late an' all..." The Raticate shrugged apologetically. "Tell ya what, I'll go hurry her up, 'kay?" Without so much as waiting for an answer he zipped up the stairs as quickly as his legs could carry him. He had a fair idea of where Pearl would be. And sure enough, his guess happened to be spot on. He could already hear her lecturing Soo on how to take care of Celeste whilst she was gone. "Pearl, yer a sweetheart," he chuckled to himself as he eavesdropped on the conversation. It seemed to consist of a lot of instructions on Pearl's part and reassurances on Soo's. But eventually Soo seemed to placate Pearl enough for the Ninetales to leave and although she gave a start upon seeing Katnip waiting in the hallway for her she recovered her composure quickly enough.
"What are you doing out here?" Pearl asked.
"Waitin' fer ya ta finish givin' Soo her instructions. Did ya ferget we're supposed ta be trainin' today?"
"No, of course not!" came the indignant response. "But I had to make sure Soo would be okay taking Celeste along with her on her training session. She's your daughter too, aren't you just a little bit worried?"
"Why should I be?" Katnip shrugged. "She's gonna be fine with Soo lookin' after her."
"Yes, but... you know, I never told Soo about what she should feed Celeste if she gets hungry, I should just go back and..."
"Oh no ya don't." Katnip grabbed one of Pearl's tails as she turned around and gave it a yank, causing the Ninetales to turn back and glare at him.
"You could be cursed for a thousand years for that, buster," she said crossly.
"Ha! I laugh in the face of danger!" Katnip grinned broadly, a grin so cheerful that Pearl found herself nuzzling rather than yelling at him. "Look, Pearl, yer just gonna have ta accept that Celeste doesn't need ta have ya around all the time, okay? I know it's hard, but ya need ta understand that she needs a little time with others, she needs ta have a chance ta bond with her future teammates, an'..."
"...and you want to get on with the training, right?"
"...an' I wanna get on with the trainin'. C'mon, Pearl, ya know we need ta get in shape."
"No we don't."
"Okay, we don't. Goddamnit, girl, what will it take ta get ya ta just come along with us?" Katnip was starting to get decidedly frustrated. Pearl couldn't help but giggle. She knew better than most how he loved to battle, after all, plus how generally impatient a creature he could be when the mood struck him. Right at this moment the look on his face was absolutely priceless, a barely concealed expression of sheer exasperation. Silently she wished she could operate a camera.
"Well let's see..." she mused. "A kiss ought to do it." Katnip broke into a broad grin.
"Eh… I think I can manage that one," the Raticate chuckled, leaning over to his love and favouring her with a peck on the cheek. For a moment neither spoke, simply content to savour this delicious moment. Ever since Celeste had been born opportunities like this were few and far between. "So… as much as I hate ta have ta stop lookin’ at yer pretty face, Pearl, we’d better get on with our trainin', right?"
"I guess so..." Pearl sighed deeply. All of a sudden she found herself thinking of a thousand things that she would rather have been using her free time for, spending some quality time with Katnip being the very top of that list. Sadly it wasn't to be this time. She knew perfectly well that they needed to spend this time more productively, to prepare themselves for whatever evil she was sure lurked upon the horizon. Sadly she shook her head, her fine fur moving like silk as she did so. "I don't know how much time we'll have left to do anything like this again, Katnip. We ought to make the most of it, as annoying as that may be."
"Yer right, as usual," Katnip nodded in agreement. "So let's grab Ade an' get on with it, eh?"

It was later on that day that we found ourselves having a rather leisurely stroll through one of the many parks that littered Caledor's suburban regions. This particular one wasn't the most impressive of creations, it had to be said. Just a large expanse of grass littered with trees and shrubbery, its focal point being a modest lake of crystal-clear water. Nothing more, nothing less. And whilst it was possible to locate far more interesting environments than this, the park was the closest to home and hence the logical first port of call. Besides which, we weren't here to enjoy the scenery anyway.
"So," I mused, wondering to myself why I hadn't thought to bring a coat along with me now that autumn was starting to set in, "either of you see any likely opponents?"
"Ha, ya gotta be kiddin' me!" Katnip snorted, dangling by his tail from the thick branches of a nearby tree. "I can see loads of pokémon about, sure, but none of 'em look like they'd stand ten seconds with Ryo-Ohki, never mind me or Pearl."
"Oh come on, there has to be a good challenge around here somewhere!" Pearl commented, peering behind Katnip's tree as if half expecting to find their opponents behind it.
"I don't know, shall we just sit here for a while and hope that a fight comes to us?" I slumped at the base of the tree, propping myself up against its trunk. It was typical of my luck, really. To have gone to all the trouble of coming out here to train, only to find nobody else could be bothered to do the same thing. Absently I stroked Pearl's hair as the Ninetales trotted over to my side like the faithful friend she had always been. "I'm tired of just wandering aimlessly. It reminds me too much of the days before our demonic friend Tsuyoi went and bought us a house."
"They were... interesting times," Pearl reflected, putting her head in my lap for further attention. "Not necessarily times I'd like to go back to, but interesting times anyway. Remember all the fuss we had over at White Mountain?"
"Yeah," I smiled. "Tsuyoi had us running round in circles back then, didn't he? It was sort of hard to concentrate on the Pegasus Games with him causing chaos. I'm just glad he finally decided to calm down."
"He hasn't changed at all, Ade," my Ninetales noted. "He's still too fond of meddling for my liking, and he's still out for himself above all, no matter how much he'd like you to think otherwise. As useful as his intelligence is, we shouldn't rely totally on his knack for pulling us out of trouble, because it's bound to come at a price."
"Cynical little thing, aren't you?" I chuckled.
"Can you blame me?"
"Well, for a start I..." Before I could make any further comment as to Tsuyoi's true nature I was interrupted in the rudest way possible. By a small rock dropping on top of my head. "Ow!" I cried, rubbing my head in pain. "Katnip, that wasn't funny!"
"Wasn't me, dude!" my Raticate complained bitterly, looking genuinely offended that I would even think of blaming him. Come to think of it, such a childish prank simply wasn't Katnip's style.
"Then who..?"
"Call it a hunch, but I'm pretty sure it was them." Katnip gestured with his head to some point in the distance. I followed his indication until my eyes finally lighted upon a pair of bulky-looking pokémon with huge smirks upon their faces. I blanched slightly as I looked upon them. Neither was the sort of creature I particularly fancied messing with. First off, a Metang, its bizarre-looking body alone doing more to intimidate than any amount of fangs and claws could ever hope to do. And, just to make up for the lack of traditional ferocity in the image of the Metang, a Lairon. This pokémon was all about bulk, coated from head to toe in thick armour. Both creatures were sniggering to themselves, making no secret of the fact that they were trying to cause trouble. "Alright, dudes, yer've had yer fun, now bugger off if ya know what's good for ya." In an instant Katnip had jumped down from his position up the tree and now had placed himself smartly between the two Steel types. "We're not in the mood fer games."
"Did you understand a word of that?" the Metang asked its comrade.
"Not a word," came the bemused response. "Hey, buddy, can you actually talk properly? Wait, those big incisors are probably what's giving you such a dumb accent."
"Dude, I'm not listenin'," Katnip snorted, rolling his eyes. "Me best bud's the master of insults, I'm too used ta 'em ta care. 'Course, if yer lookin' fer a fight then just come out an' say so. That I might react ta."
"We could cream you, you know," the Lairon chuckled. "What chance does a Normal type like you have against us?"
"Oh, I know a few tricks," Katnip smirked, a decided glint in his eye. "Ya wouldn't be the first Steel types I took out."
"Guys, can we just calm down for a moment, please?" Pearl decided now was as good a time to interject as any. The last thing she needed was to enter into a battle where her opponents had already been riled! The Steel types backed off slightly as she came over, evidently a little more wary of her status as a Fire pokémon. "Look, if you guys are looking for a battle then fine, you'll get one. But do we really need all this tough-talking beforehand? Really, it's annoying the hell out of me."
"Ooh, it’s annoying the hell out of her, what ever shall we do?" the Lairon cackled. "I'm so scared."
"And another thing that bugs me is your schoolkid-like attitude. We're all well beyond that stage now." Pearl rolled her eyes at these potential opponents. It was true enough. She for one had matured far beyond the stage of playground taunts. "Look, do you want a battle or not? It's a simple enough question."
"I guess. Don't see why you have to be so to the point about it, though. Takes all the fun out of it," the Steel type muttered.
"Dude, delayin' it is what's takin' all the fun out of it!" Katnip chipped in. Suddenly he turned over to where I was still sat underneath the tree and waved cheerily. "Dude, we found ourselves some opponents, that okay with ya?"
"Sure, buddy," I called over by way of response. "And seeing as you two happen to rank up there amongst my best fighters, I'm sure you won't mind too much if I sit under this tree to cheer you on." I smiled slightly. "I've got a few things to think about."
"I don't remember the last time you saying that was a good thing, but whatever." Pearl shook her head, trying hard to clear her mind for the upcoming battle. This was going to be a tough one, that was for sure. Just to look at the two Steel types was enough to send shudders down her spine. They didn't seem like the sort of pokémon you wanted to have to spend too much time in the company of. "Katnip, are you ready to do this?"
"Pearl, sweetheart, this is a dream come true fer me. Me two favourite things at the same time – battlin' and ya. Just needs a good meal at the end of it all ta make it perfect."
"Well I'm sure Ade can arrange something to take care of that if you ask nicely. First, though, we need to deal with these two."
"I'm right with ya, Pearl," Katnip smiled. This was going to be interesting!

FIGHT!!! L34 Ninetales & L33 Raticate v L34 Lairon & L33 Metang!

"Right!" Katnip lost no time in getting straight to the point, as was his nature in battle. "Pearl, ya deal with the Metang, I'll take the Lairon. If we wanna stand a chance we hafta try an' take advantage of their weaknesses."
"Got you." Pearl nodded her assent, watching as Katnip darted forward with remarkable speed and engaged the Lairon in battle before it so much as had a chance to figure out what was going on. Well, that left her with a Metang to deal with. Which was perfectly fine by her. Quickly she turned to her opponent, who was looking more than a little disturbed by this sudden turn of events. "So then, shall we get on with it?"
"Well, I... uhh..." The Steel-type shifted uncomfortably. Like all bullies, now it had been confronted directly it had lost most of its earlier attitude. "Okay! I'll take you on any time!" All of a sudden the pokémon shot forward, propelled by some unseen force. It was as much as Pearl could do to sidestep the attack. Quickly she wheeled round to try and get a better shot at her opponent, but already it had done the exact same thing and was heading towards her in another attempt to smash into her. This time its efforts were rewarded. There was absolutely no way that the Ninetales could have dodged. Not from this short distance, at any rate. The two pokémon collided with a sickening crunch, the Metang smashing hard into Pearl's side with the full force of its weight, causing her to cry out in pain as she landed roughly on the floor, her body sore from the painful attack. "See? I've nothing to fear from you as long as I keep this up!"
"What makes you think you have to fear me?" Pearl grunted, getting back to an upright position and shaking the stray bits of dirt from her fur.
"You're a Fire type," came the response. "Last time I battled a Ninetales I... well, that's none of your business. Safe to say I'm not going to make the same mistakes I made back then!" With a roar of anger the Metang launched into its next attack without so much as giving Pearl the chance to pause for breath. However, the Ninetales had other plans. Quickly she began to tunnel into the ground until she had disappeared from sight entirely, leaving her opponent to sail completely over the hole where she had been standing just moments ago. "Curse you! Come up right this instant!" the Metang shrieked furiously. Nothing. "I want you to show your face now!"
"Well, since you asked so nicely..." Pearl muttered to herself as she lurked underneath the ground. All of a sudden she dug upwards, using her finely-honed senses to move herself to a point directly underneath her opponent. And then she shot upwards, bursting through the ground and sending the Metang flying with the sheer force of her attack. "If I were you I wouldn't get so worked up in battle," she advised her toppled opponent, spitting out a small amount of earth that had somehow managed to worm its way into her mouth. "You just end up making mistakes."
"I don't make mistakes!" roared the enraged pokémon. "Watch!" Suddenly the Steel-type's strange eyes began to grow an eerie colour, and Pearl found a terrible crushing pressure being put upon her mind. The attack known as Confusion was impossible to describe to anyone who hadn't felt it themselves, but to Pearl it was as if her very essence was being placed in a vice-like grip. She reeled back in agony. Which was exactly what the Metang had been hoping she would do. Once again it shot itself forwards, and once again Pearl was only just able to dodge in time. Only this time the Ninetales was wise to her opponent's tactics. And when it wheeled round for a second Take Down it found itself faced with a gigantic sphere of ghostly energy formed from all of the pain and doubts within Pearl's mind. And lately the Ninetales had been feeling both sensations rather a lot. Hence this Confuse Ray of hers was sufficiently powerful to knock the Metang back to the floor, bowled over by the sheer weight of the stress that Pearl had been under lately. "I... I... what is this!!!" The creature shook itself violently as if returned to an upright position, its eyes shot through with panic. "What have you done???"
"Not much. Just pointing out that you're not the only one who can resort to confusion." Pearl had no intention of letting this battle drag out any longer. She was already tired of this pokémon and its irrational yelling. Its lack of focus was making the fight no fun. Planting her four paws sturdily upon the ground, the Ninetales braced herself for the strongest attack she could muster, stoking up her body temperature until it felt as if a furnace was raging inside her. And then she expelled this heat in the only way she knew how, spitting out a huge torrent of flame towards her opponent. In its confused state the Metang had no chance of avoiding the fire. And no chance of surviving it, either. The Flamethrower struck with an almighty force that sent the pokémon hurtling across the glass with a shriek of pain, only to crash hard into the ground, motionless. Pearl breathed a sigh of relief. "That wasn't much fun," she noted. "I wonder how Katnip's... ah!" Before Pearl could so much as finish her sentence she was struck from behind with what felt like a sledgehammer, a crippling blow that instantly brought her to the floor. Weakly she glanced up to see the cruel face of a Lairon leering at her.
"You were strong. But not strong enough," it smirked.

"Uhh..." The last time Katnip remembered hurting this much, he had been fighting a particularly vicious Machamp in the Dragon Games finals. Yet that had been a long, grueling battle. This seemed to have been over in a matter of minutes. The Raticate got to his feet unsteadily, trying very hard to fir the pieces back together. He had been toying with the Lairon, he remembered that much. It had been very hard to find any techniques that wouldn't have made the battle either too easy or too hard. So he had just been sparring, trying hard to find any less obvious weaknesses on his opponent. That had been his mistake, in hindsight. He should have just given it his all. Instead he had left himself open, and as a result taken a particularly vicious Brick Break attack to the chest that left him spluttering on the floor. Well, he wasn't about to make that mistake again! "Dammit! That guy can sure pack a punch!"
"Katnip!" the Raticate suddenly heard a voice yelling. "They're over there! He's practically got Pearl!" Well that certainly snapped him back into a state of alertness! Hurriedly he dashed over to the far corner of the park and, sure enough, found the Lairon pummeling Pearl. There was no way that she could have fought back. It attacks were too strong, too frequent for her to put up much of a counterattack.
"Ya can stop that right now!" Without thinking, Katnip hurled himself between Pearl and her assailant, taking a particularly vicious blow that knocked him backwards a good few feet. Snarling, the Raticate picked himself and wiped the blood from his nose. For the first time in a long time, he was angry. Angry at this bully of a pokémon who had hurt the one he loved above all.
"Well, well," the Larion snorted. "I thought I'd put you out of action."
"Takes more than that ta get rid of me. Shame fer ya, really. If we'd have just carried on fightin' we might actually be havin' a fun battle righ about now. But no, ya have ta go an' be all stupid about it. Well I've had enough!" Without so much as a warning Katnip leaped forwards, landing on the Lairon's back paw first. The flying kick seemed to penetrate a weak spot in the bulky pokémon's armour, for it reared back and roared in pain. Which was just what Katnip wanted. For now something had clicked within his brain, some instinct that he had always taken for granted up until this point. But recently he had come to learn that it was no mere instinct. Much like many others on the team, Katnip had his own Hidden Power. Only his was the most subtle of all. He couldn't control machinery like Marius, or summon vines to do his bidding like Milliardo or Rhiannon. What he could do, however, was fight. Fight like nobody else could. Like now, for instance; not every pokémon could have whipped around a rearing Lairon quickly enough to land a fierce blow to its belly that knocked it backwards. But that was precisely what Katnip had just managed to do. "Ya okay?" he asked Pearl, puffing heavily from sheer exhaustion.
"I... I'm just glad you arrived when you did," Pearl replied, sounding suitably grateful for her partner's intervention. "That low down Lairon blindsided me."
"I can tell." Katnip returned his attention to his opponent, who was struggling to get to its paws once again. The last blow had been stronger than even Katnip had been expecting! Well, now it was time to finish the job. "Now.. as fer ya..."
"I won't be beaten!" the Lairon suddenly roared, making one last mad dash towards its foes.
"Can it, would ya?" With remarkable timing Katnip launced one final kick at his opponent, connecting just as the Lairon's head came into range. This was all it took to knock the Steel type to the floor for one final time, it now being nothing more than an unconscious mass in front of my two pokémon. "Well," Katnip smirked as he turned to Pearl, "Looks like that took care of that, eh?"
"I guess so," came the dubious response. For whilst the battle was most certainly over, the trials were only just beginning. Pearl could just feel it.

Pearl & Katnip win!
Pearl grew to L35!
Katnip grew to L34!

Kirei
5th October 2004, 01:04 PM
You're going to be busy, Gabi :D I finished my blizzard room part of the scenario. I hope you like it - I worked really hard on it and am pleased with how it turned out.

"Morning, sleepyhead!" Ade placed a gentle kiss on my forehead. My body didn't feel like moving.
"Hi... uh... what time is it?"
"It's 11 in the morning. You slept for ages," Ade said. It's true; I had slept about 12 hours in total. I think my body was grateful for the lie-in after weeks of being woken up by Kassandra at about five in the morning. This particular morning Kassandra had let me sleep. That didn't make me feel any more awake though.
"Amy's here," Ade told me, helping me sit up. "She's downstairs now with a cup of tea, and she's brought some of her pokémon round."
I pulled myself to my feet and got dressed. Amy was a nice trainer who I had met before. She was also an experienced battler.
When I was dressed I went downstairs with Ade where Amy was sitting. Her spotted Houndoom, Yana was standing protectively over a little Vulpix with a rainbow coloured topknot, and a Raichu I hadn't seen before was talking to Katnip further across the kitchen.
"Sorry to drop by without calling," said Amy, "but I was in the area and thought I'd return Ade's video of the Unicorn Games. It was great to see some of those battles again!"
"No problem, Amy," I said, taking a seat. "It's nice to see you."
At that moment, four of my pokémon, Chartreuse, Kassandra, Hokiri and Kyore, walked in. Kassandra was standing on Chatreuse's back, which the Ponyta did not look too pleased about. The four had been in the garden together. Immediately Kassandra jumped from Chartreuse's back, shouting "thanks for the ride, unicorn!" and landed in front of Sinopa, who looked a little shocked.
"Why do you insist on calling me that?" Chartreuse groaned. "Look at Hokiri. You don't call him unicorn!" Hokiri was my horned Ponyta who had been Ade's prize for winning the Unicorn games. Since living with us, he and Kyore, my Flareon, had become fast friends.
Kassandra ignored Chartreuse and stared at Sinopa. "Why have you got rainbow hair?" she asked, rather rudely to the Vulpix she had never spoken to before. "Are you a punk?" Amy giggled.
"Huh?" replied the Vulpix, confused. I picked Kassandra up.
"I'm sorry, Amy," I said. "Kassandra can be a bit strange sometimes. You'll just have to forgive her."
"Oh, it's quite alright," replied Amy. "Sinopa doesn't seem to mind her." Amy took another sip of her tea. "Oh," she gestured at the Raichu who was still deep in conversation with Katnip. "That's Sparky, by the way."
"He looks pretty strong," I said. "I've got some electric pokémon of my own that I bet he'd like to meet."
I went into the living room where Yuki and Celeste were playing a game that seemed to involve running around Kaguya in circles. The Minun didn’t look like she was enjoying the game as much as the other two. "Sorry to interrupt," I said, "but another trainer's here, Amy. Would you like to meet her?"
"Yeah!" Kaguya said. "Has she got any strong pokémon?"
"She's got loads", I replied, picking up all three and carrying them into the kitchen. "Here, Amy. Meet Kaguya, Yuki and Celeste."
I put the pokémon down on the large kitchen table.
"How cute!" Amy exclaimed. "Ade told me about your Minun and Plusle. Nice to meet you. Have any of them battled yet?"
"Well," I said, "Celeste doesn't really want to battle at the moment, but I'm going to train her soon, and Yuki's only just recovered from some nasty injuries, so they haven't had chance yet, but I'm thinking of letting them train at the training grounds. I thought if they battled each other it might help them practice. They don't know any offensive moves, you see."
Sparky the Raichu, hearing this approached and said something to Amy. "That makes sense," Amy replied before turning to me. "It's really hard for an electric pokémon to learn its first moves and learn how to control its electricity. It could be dangerous letting them battle each other, especially if they haven't got anyone around to teach them the basics."
"That's true," I said. "That's why Kassandra tried to help them learn to use electricity last week. She knows hidden power electric, you see. Unfortunately she isn't a very good teacher though and ended up trying to teach them Sing instead."
"I am a good teacher," retorted Kassandra. "I taught them Night Shade as well. It's not my fault if they’re not strong enough to use it!" Kassandra then jumped back onto Chartreuse shouting something about unicorns while Chartreuse tried unsuccessfully to shake the Charmander off her back.
"I feel like a bad trainer," Amy went on, "but I don't think I'm doing the best for Sparky any more." She turned to the Raichu. "Sparky, I know you're unhappy on my team. You don't really get much of a look in any more, do you?" Turning back to me she continued "I wonder if you'd like to take Sparky. He's a really great battler, and he told me he'd be willing to help you train Kaguya and Yuki. I think that would make him really happy."
I asked Kaguya and Yuki how they would like to have Sparky for a mentor. "I think it will be great, Soo," replied Kaguya. "I really need to learn some attacks, and I just can't do it on my own. I have tried, believe me."
"That's settled then," I told Amy. "Sure that's all right with you, Sparky?" Sparky nodded and started talking to Kaguya.
"I'm sad to leave him," said Amy, "but also happy because I know you'll do a better job of taking care of him than I have. I can come and visit him though, can't I?"
"Of course you can," said Ade. "Come any time you like."
Amy, Yana and Sinopa left after saying goodbye to us and Sparky. I hoped that Sparky would be able to help Yuki and Kaguya learn some attacks, and I hoped that training them wasn't going to end up hurting them. I voiced these concerns to Ade.
"If you go around worrying about everything, you'll never do anything, Soo. Kaguya really wants to battle, and I think Yuki will enjoy it too," he replied. "You should let them try." I knew Ade was right.

Adding Sparky to my team was not the only surprise I would receive that day. "We've got to leave soon, Soo," Ade told me.
"What?" I exclaimed, shocked. "Where are we going?"
"I told you, you silly girl," said Ade. "Pearl, Katnip and I are going training. I thought you were going to train as well. You booked that Blizzard room for four this afternoon in case you've forgotten."
"Oh yeah, I had forgotten that was today. Maybe I'll just call and say I'm sick."
"This isn't work, Soo," Ade scolded. "Go and train and stop being so lazy." Again Ade was right so I decided to get my things together and get ready.
Just then my second surprise of the day occurred. Pearl approached me in the bedroom as I was shoving some warm clothes into a bag for the blizzard room. "Soo," the Ninetales nuzzled my leg as she spoke softly, giving me the impression she was about to ask for a favour. "Would you mind taking Celeste with you today? I'm going training with Katnip and I really need to concentrate. I trust you with her, and she really likes you. I think it would do her good to watch Yuki and Kaguya training; it might even encourage her to get started with her training."
"Sure, Pearl. I can do that", I replied, flattered that the Ninetales trusted me to take care of her daughter.
"Just make sure you watch her all the time," added the protective mother, "and make sure she stays out of trouble."
I patted the Ninetales' head reassuringly. "Don't worry Pearl. I'll take care of her. Kirei's going to be with me, you know!"
"That's a great comfort to me", Pearl said, sarcastically.
"Hey! Kirei's really responsible, you know", I said defensively. "We'll be able to look after Celeste just fine."
"I know," sighed Pearl. "I'm just sad to be leaving her."
"You're only going for one afternoon!"
"That's true. I've got to go now," said Pearl. "Good luck with your training session, and take care of Celeste."
"I will. See you tonight," I said, before taking my things downstairs and announcing to Ade that I was ready to leave.
"Are you sure you know the way?" asked Ade.
"Doesn't anyone have any faith in me?" I asked, a little annoyed.
"I do," Pearl reminded me.
"I do too," added Ade. "Anyway, we have to go too. Who are you taking with you?"
"Yuki and Kaguya, and Sparky; he's outside with them now, trying to teach them the basics of electric attacks", I said. "Also Kirei, Celeste, Chartreuse and Hokiri."
"Wow," commented Ade. "That's quite a little party you've got going there. No Kass?"
"I hate to say it," I told Ade, "but Kass really likes to hog the spotlight. I think having her there would put Yuki and Kaguya off too much. She's already tried to teach them Night Shade."
"I bet she was annoyed that you told her to stay home though," said Ade.
"Not really," I replied. "Kyore offered to train with her, so she's going to try to teach him Night Shade. Skyla is staying home as well. Kassandra's so bossy to that poor Butterfree."
"That's a point," said Ade. "Where is Skyla anyway?" Skyla, my Butterfree who was awarded to me after Kassandra won the consolation rounds at the Unicorn games, had been pretty quiet since she had come to live with us. She had gotten on well with Yuki and could sometimes be seen carrying the Plusle around outside. Skyla's main problem, though, was the misguided belief of a certain Charmander that, because Kassandra had been the one to win the consolation rounds, Skyla was her slave. I had often had to drag the Charmander away and tell her to stop ordering the poor Butterfree around. Slowly, though, Skyla had been learning to cope with Kass and her outbursts. Right now she was outside, playing with Celeste and Kassandra seemed to be instructing Kyore about something or other some distance behind them. I gestured into the garden to show Ade where the Butterfree was.
"She's staying too," I said. "Skyla asked if she could stay because she wanted to spend some quiet time thinking about her training strategy. She practically begged me to let her train in the jungle room and of course I agreed. That can wait until a few days later though. Today is Yuki and Kaguya's turn. Anyway, I can't take all my pokémon everywhere I go, can I? And Chartreuse and Hokiri are going to carry us there."
Milly walked into the room as I was telling Ade about my plans. "Doesn't that silly Ponyta know how to teleport? I thought he was supposed to know the move," said the Umbreon.
"He does, Milly," I said. "But he needs to be more comfortable with us before he can do something like that. Give him time."
"Sounds like he's just lazy to me", grumbled Milly. I ignored him.
"Anyway," Ade said, changing the subject. "You guys should get going; and so should we."

Ade and I said our goodbyes and I gathered my companions together. Hokiri carried me, Yuki, Kaguya and Celeste, while Chartreuse carried Sparky and Kirei. The journey did not take long; my two Ponytas were a very effective means of transport.
When we arrived at the training grounds I was immediately struck by how enormous the structure was. Undaunted we walked through the large double doors and along the corridor leading to what I presumed was the main reception. Expecting at any moment Kassandra to spring onto the desk I quickly readied myself for her retrieval before remembering she wasn't with us today. I gave my name to the assistant behind the desk. "I'm here for the blizzard room", I said. "I've got it at two."
The assistant looked at her appointment book, then at me, with an apologetic expression on her face. "I don't know how to say this but it appears we've double booked the blizzard room", she explained. "When the other trainer who has booked the room turns up perhaps you can come to some kind of arrangement, to take turns or something. I'm sorry but that's all I can suggest. We're very busy."
"I've come a long way to get here," I lied, "and I don't think it's fair that I should only get the room for half the time I booked."
"I understand," said the assistant, "but there's simply nothing I can do. The other trainer will have come a long way too; there are no other slots available today, so if you share it, then if you need more time I suggest making another appointment for a later date." I decided to drop the argument; it was futile and I believed the assistant when she said there was nothing she could do. Half an hour's training would be better than none at all. "Of course," the assistant added, "if the other trainer doesn't turn up within the next five minutes, the room's all yours."
I waited patiently for four minutes, looking at the clock often before asking the assistant whether she could tell me who the other trainer was. "Unfortunately I can't disclose that to you. We have strict confidentiality rules here."
"Who needs confidentiality with a smile as beautiful as yours?" From behind me I heard a silky, masculine voice. It couldn't be. I turned around to see Alan Davenport, my opponent in the Unicorn Games consolation rounds, standing behind me. A velvet shirt of deep purple with extra large collars and flared sleeves adorned him. The shirt would have been quite nice if it hadn't been ruined by a bright green floral design on the front. His auburn hair was immaculate as usual and when he saw me he gave it the slightest flick and his face was filled with an expression of mock surprise. "Two beautiful smiles in one day. But this one," he looked into my eyes, "this one could melt the sun."
"Oh, get over yourself, Alan," I said, not falling for his charms, unlike another member of my team. Chartreuse made a strange grunting kind of sound and Alan placed his hand on her face gently.
"The beautiful Ponyta. Chartreuse, wasn't it?" he said, before continuing. "I remember you, my lovely."
I pulled Chartreuse back to my side, thoroughly sickened by Alan's staring at me. "Anyway, what are you doing here? Please don't tell me you're here for the blizzard room."
"I'm here for the blizzard room", Alan said, triumphantly. "And you could look a little more pleased to see me." He then turned to the assistant. "Lanette, your beautiful smile could win awards." Alan reached across to shake the woman's hand. I could see him transfer a bundle of notes to her through the handshake and became enraged.
"Don't tell me you planned all this!?!" I shouted at Alan as the smile on his face grew even more smarmy causing Chartreuse to sigh. "And you!" I screamed at the assistant. "What about your confidentiality?"
"Don't take this out on Lanette," Alan said. "Women can't help but fall at my feet. Shall we go to the blizzard room?" Alan offered me his hand. I didn't take it.
"I should have you reported," I told the receptionist. What choice did I have now but to share the room with Alan? "Hang on, we'll take turns. You can go first."
"Why not battle together?" Alan asked, tossing his hair.
"No way," I said, just wanting to get on with my training instead of talking to this buffoon. "For a start my pokémon are only babies. They haven't learned any attacks yet, so today they're going to try. They aren't ready for a real battle."
"I promise", said Alan "that my pokémon will go easy on them."
"Look I don't have time to waste, Alan," I said. "I just want to train them and the answer is still no."
Just then, Sparky tapped me. It was the first time I had understood him speak to me and was surprised how easily I could understand him. "They're ready," he said. "I know their attacks haven't worked so far but I think that's because they're trying to use them on each other. Maybe a real battle would bring them the confidence they need to attack."
"You see?" said Alan in his deep, egotistical voice, "even your Raichu thinks we should battle. It's destiny, don't you think, Soo?"
"It's nothing of the sort", I grumbled. Sparky had a point; maybe a real battle would do Yuki and Kaguya good. But were they ready? And could I trust Alan to be fair? "What pokémon do you have?" I asked Alan. "I want this battle to be fair. My pokémon are only beginners."
"Relax, beautiful dream," Alan said as I rolled my eyes. "I have Slowpoke, two twins called Alexa and Alexia. They're truly beautiful. You will see."
After some thought I decided to accept Alan's suggestion; if I'd kept refusing he would have only insisted more, which was, I noticed, eating into the hour slot somewhat. Already there was only 45 minutes to share between us before the next trainers arrived. I put on my thick jumper and insulated coat. Together Alan and I walked towards the blizzard room, my team following behind me. Several times down the long corridor Alan tried to hold my hand and several time I walked on the other side of Hokiri, who defended me valiantly. Chartreuse trailed sheepishly alongside Alan, who occasionally stroked my Ponyta's ears, sending visible shivers through her body. I still held Yuki, Kaguya and Celeste.
The door to the blizzard room was labelled:


BLIZZARD ROOM
DANGER: BLIZZARD

This caused me to laugh for a good few minutes, Alan giving a hearty chuckle also, while attempting to put his arm around me but being pushed away by Hokiri. When we opened the double doors I was immediately hit by the sheer harshness of the temperature. The floor was white with snow and the wind blew icy cold powder across the room that pricked my face when it touched me. Celeste burrowed deep into my coat as I did my best to protect her, Yuki and Kaguya from the cold. The others followed, also feeling the rush of the blizzard hitting them. Alan was thoroughly unprepared. When I had asked him if he had brought any warm clothes he had responded that he didn't need them as he wouldn't feel the cold. I looked over at him and could see that he was feeling it; quite harshly in fact and he shivered, barely able to walk. The trainer's cabins were just ahead. There were two cabins, next to each other. I hurried along as fast as I could in the conditions and put Yuki, Kaguya and Celeste into the first cabin. Hokiri and Kirei entered next, with Sparky following and heading over to Yuki and Kaguya to give them further encouragement. He had already spent a considerable time with them and felt that they were ready to battle; I had no choice but to trust his judgment. By now the cabin was almost full, although there would just be room for Chartreuse and I to fit in. I hurried Chartreuse along but she remained as if rooted to the spot. "What's wrong?" I said, panicked. "Chartreuse, please talk to me."
"I'm... ok... cold but ok," replied Chartreuse. "There isn't room for me in that cabin, I'll share with Alan. He won't mind I'm sure."
"Chartreuse, stop being so..."
"... Alan!" Chartreuse exclaimed, turning to look behind me. Alan Davenport was not moving at all, he appeared almost frozen.
Chartreuse and I approached him. I shook him but he did not respond. Hurriedly, with Chartreuse's help I did my best to get Alan onto my Ponyta's back. With me supporting him Chartreuse carried Alan to the far cabin, laid him down and let her flames warm the cabin once we were inside and had closed the door.
Alan began to move, and then to speak. "You saved me, vision of loveliness!" I was surprised to find he was not looking at me, but at Chartreuse.
"Are... are you all right?" I asked. Alan looked incredibly pale and his lips were still bluish.
"Who are you?" he asked me.
Dumbfounded I replied, telling him who I was. "No - that's Soo!" he said, indicating Chartreuse again.
"Whatever, Alan. Please just let your Slowpoke out. We'll talk about this later," I told him and left the cabin.
When I was back inside my cabin, I heard the noise of the neighbouring cabin opening and then shutting and could just make out through the blizzard the shapes of two Slowpoke approaching the battlefield, talking to each other about something. The Slowpoke had unusually large noses, making them look particularly ugly for Slowpoke, and they both walked in a slow, swaying manner, as if having trouble walking through the harsh weather. "Your turn, Yuki and Kaguya," I said to my Plusle and Minun.
"It's so cold out there," said Yuki, shivering slightly. "And I don't think I'm ready to use my electricity."
"Of course you're ready," said Sparky. "Just remember everything I told you. Remember to feel the electricity within your body and concentrate strongly on releasing it towards the opponent. Just remember to concentrate, and don't be frightened because it feels strange when you first start using electric attacks."
"Got it," said Kaguya. "Anyway Yuki, we may as well give this a go. If we can't use the attacks we'll have to forfeit, we won't get hurt so don't worry."

FIGHT!!! L5 Minun & L5 Plusle v L15 Slowpoke & L15 Slowpoke!

I let Yuki and Kaguya out into the snow. They huddled together as they walked to bravely face the Slowpoke. I heard no more sounds from Alan's cabin and hoped Chartreuse was ok. Kirei seemed to read my mind. "Of course she's ok, Soo," my Espeon told me. "She's in her element."
I decided that the best thing to do was to concentrate on the battle at hand. Since neither of my pokémon had psychic abilities I would not be able to give them instructions or communicate with them directly during the battle. Kirei offered to pass on messages from Sparky or I to them, although they had never communicated psychically and Kirei doubted they would be able to talk back to her, at least not very clearly. Yuki and Kaguya were pretty much on their own out there, but at least I could see what was happenning through the snow.
Kaguya moved first, using her speed advantage to attack one of the Slowpoke (I could not tell them apart). She ran towards either Alexa or Alexia and stood still in front of her, looking as if she was trying very hard to concentrate. Please work I thought to myself, but alas no electric attack came from my Minun. The Slowpoke had been opening her mouth and now issued from it a jet of water. Yuki clutched her face. The water must have been icy cold. "Kirei, tell her not to panic next time, but to really concentrate," said Sparky. Kirei passed on the message but we received no indication of whether it had been received and understood by Kaguya or not. Like Kirei had said, it was very unlikely Kaguya and Yuki would be able to reply to her psychic communications, but we had to trust that they understood them, because it was all we could do.
Kaguya dropped back, out of the line of fire. The Slowpoke that had attacked her followed her, slowly but surely and tried another attack which my Minun managed to dodge. While this was going on the other Slowpoke had been using the fact that the attention was off her for the moment to sneak around the side of the battle towards Yuki, who was shivering at the back, apparently too afraid to battle. I began to wonder whether I should go out and end the battle. Maybe Sparky was wrong; maybe they weren't ready yet.
"Yuki!" I screamed, trying to warn my Plusle before remembering she couldn't hear me.
Kirei turned to me. "I tried to warn her, but I don't think she can hear me. It seems like she's trying to do something else with her mind and I can't get through to her at the moment, although I don't think she really knows what she's doing," the Espeon told me.
I watched as Kaguya continued to dodge the first Slowpoke's attacks while the other one approached Yuki, who was watching her sister and not paying attention. The Slowpoke sent a great jet of water towards Yuki, hitting her full in the face. Some of the droplets of water froze in the air and also hit Yuki. Kaguya fell backwards in obvious pain which gave the Slowpoke who had been attacking her the opportunity to hit her with another water gun, this time sending Yuki falling to the floor in agony.
Kaguya immediately turned, knowing that getting hit by the attack had caused her sister to feel the pain of it and ran towards the Slowpoke, enraged. Her cheeks and then her whole body began to spark as she ran. "This is it," said Sparky and we all watched in astonished silence as Kaguya managed to produce a massive bolt of electric energy, surging straight at the Slowpoke and causing a direct hit. "I was expecting a weaker attack, but that was an amazing Thunderbolt," said Sparky, in obvious awe of the little Minun's power. "Now if only Yuki could learn to do the same." Yuki was still being pursued by the other Slowpoke and dodged the attacks valiantly, being unable to produce any electricity of her own for the moment.
The Slowpoke Kaguya had hit seemed to be down and out, but upon closer inspection was still moving, very slightly. She fixated its gaze upon Kaguya as Kaguya still stood over her, looking impressed at her achievement. I could not see what the Slowpoke was doing, but there was something in that gaze that affected Kaguya. Instead of running to help her sister she began running in circles around the fallen Slowpoke, who was still moving very slightly, not quite out for the count.
"Soo, help me!" I heard a strange voice inside my head, which I immediately recognised as Yuki, although she sounded very far away.
"How come we can hear her from in here?!" I asked the other occupants of my cabin. Apparently none of them had heard anything, and there was no way it should have been possible for me to have heard Yuki's voice from in there.
Kirei had a surprised expression on her face. "I don't know how she's done it but Yuki seems to have opened up some sort of psychic channel between herself and you. I can't tap into it, but you should be able to talk to each other now. I have no idea how she's done it though."
Wasting no time I told Yuki to stay as calm as she could. "But what's wrong with Kaguya?" she asked me. After consultation with Kirei I told Yuki the Slowpoke must have used confusion and to try to concentrate on the other one for now. I reminded her of Sparky's instructions to focus her energy on the electricity inside her and concentrate on forming it into an attack. "But I don't know how!" was the feeble reply.
"Yuki," I told my Plusle. "I believe in you."
As the Slowpoke opened her mouth to attack again I saw Yuki's body begin to spark, just as Kaguya's had done before. The sparks left her body, less impressively than Kaguya's attack but still powerfully, and hit the Slowpoke right in the mouth, just as it was about to use its water attack again. "Great!" I shouted out loud, impressed with Yuki's attack. The Slowpoke's whole body began to shudder. The electricity had travelled right through the body of the Slowpoke and it fell to the floor, completely unable to move. By now Kaguya had managed to come back to her senses and ran to her sister, just as the fallen Slowpoke began to gaze at Yuki in the same way the first one had to Kaguya. Wasting no time the Minun stopped, concentrated and waves of electric current issued from her body towards the Slowpoke. Instead of confusing Yuki the Slowpoke froze, unable to attack and straight away Yuki took the opportunity to send more sparks of electricity to the fallen Slowpoke, finishing it off completely this time.
My Minun and Plusle turned together and seemed to be talking to each other before facing the first Slowpoke who was still trying to get back to her feet. Yuki's body sparked again but this time she sent the electricity into Kaguya, who sparked more than ever before, then sent the most gigantic Thunderbolt I had ever seen, rushing right at the Slowpoke. This time there was no question - the Slowpokes were defeated in a decisive victory.

Yuki and Kaguya win!
Yuki and Kaguya grew to L7!

Running out, practically ignoring the cold I ran to pick up my Minun and Plusle and give them a big hug. I was so impressed with their team work and bravery. "I knew you could do it. You two were amazing," I told them.
Walking back with Yuki and Kaguya my eye fell upon Alan's cabin. I decided to go and check on Chartreuse, and drag her away from the crazy Alan. When I opened the door it was all I could do not to drop Yuki and Kaguya in shock as I saw Alan and Chartreuse kissing. "I love you, Soo," I heard Alan mutter into the Ponyta's face."
"Chartreuse!" I shouted. The Ponyta immediately turned, looking somewhat embarrassed at being interrupted. I looked at Yuki and Kaguya in my arms then put Yuki down into Alan's lap, who was sitting gawking at Chartreuse, still apparently under the impression that she was me. "Do you think you've got any of that electricity left in you?" I asked my Minun.
Yuki nodded, produced a mass of electrical sparks on Alan's lap, sending him shuddering with the shock of the current. "Soo?" Alan looked at me this time, completely dazed as Chartreuse sighed behind me. "What happened?"
"That, Alan," I said to him, "is a long story."

Lady Vulpix
5th October 2004, 01:15 PM
*Sighs.* I have to hand in a project tomorrow, and then participate in 2 assistant teacher contests, correct 2 projects from my students, read a 23 pages long paper and answer a set of questions on it, all this week. Not to mention all the things I'm supposed to do on TPM. I'll do my best, but can someone else (Karin or Amy) please rate some stories? Thanks.

Kirei
5th October 2004, 03:54 PM
Wow, you have a lot on, Gabi. No offence to Amy or Karin, but I'd prefer to wait (no rush) and have you rate my story. You know all the background parts to my characters, and that's kind of required to read this one. I think you'd get the most out of it, so I don't mind the wait, take as long as you need, but I'd prefer it if you can rate mine please. :196:

Charizard04621
5th October 2004, 04:11 PM
Yeah, that makes a lot more sense. I wasn't going to rate Ade's or Kirei's anyway; if I picked some to rate I'd do one or both of the top two. I never really understand you guys' stories... >_<; You have all this background information implied in it that I've never seen before, and unless I dig up the massive archives of all your stuff and cram it into my brain, I find it impossible to follow your stories. I know a few more people who have the same problem, no offense to you guys, but could you maybe please work some explanations into your stories next time? That might be a lot to ask, but I dunno... it might make it easier for us.

Kirei
5th October 2004, 04:35 PM
That's ok, Karin. I'm not offended by that. I know there's a lot of background things, and it's all interwoven within Ade's stories and mine, since I was a character in his for a long time before I got my own team, so it must be confusing for people who haven't followed our stories for that long. I will remember what you said though, and you know we sometimes post ideas and character developments in the dragon tamers discussion in the forums linked in my sig, so it might be a good way we can all understand everyone's stories better. I try to put little parts in reminding things about the characters, but I do appreciate that it's not easy to understand for everyone who hasn't read them all! It would just make my (and especially Ade's) stories way too long to put all the background stuff in with every story! I appreciate your honesty though, and I'm not offended so don't worry! :196:

AntiAsh Superstar
5th October 2004, 05:42 PM
Actually Karin, I'm really glad you mentioned that coz, golly, it's been about three years of me playing at the Batte Range and not ONCE have I been courteous enough to sit down and write a proper 'the story so far' paragraph or two every once in a while, given that combined with my love for digging up links to campaigns that are God-knows how old it's no wonder some of you find it all a little hard to follow. (we won't get into the whole 'but Ade, oh owner of the magic Jolteon with split personalities, your characters are confusing enough at the best of times!' debate here...) Anyways, I'd like to have a shot at rectifying this a little with my next RBG, so... a Free Range Corral battle for Lucky, if you'd be so kind. *pays 7 stamps*

Lady Vulpix
6th October 2004, 11:46 AM
Alright, Lucky will be battling a Chansey, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait for the rating.

The_Missing_Link
6th October 2004, 05:18 PM
Since I don't have the time to write out another battle room story, I'd like a RBG for Cassio, my female Eevee (Universal Adoption Center, please)

Wolfsong
6th October 2004, 05:40 PM
All right. *takes stamps* She will be battling an absol

Charizard04621
6th October 2004, 05:52 PM
Hannah - 14 Stamps. The language was beautiful, but go back and read your battles over... Almost every single line has the exact same sentence structure. My favorite sentence structure, but there is always too much of a good thing; eventually my mind just went numb seeing the same thing over and over again. Oh, and you might want to identify speakers for us... Sure, the colors shift, but I couldn't tell if yellow means a Weedle or a Raikou, know what I mean?

If Amy gets to Shonta's before I do, that would be good... Otherwise I'll rate it when I have the time. (7 essays to write due at their respective colleges by November the 1st).

Wolfsong
11th October 2004, 04:05 PM
Shonta: That was an interesting read. It was nice to see some of Jewel's personality. Will we get a chance to see more of it in the future? Take 8 stamps.

AntiAsh Superstar
12th October 2004, 10:50 AM
Hehe, featuring the best recap of past events I could manage - if you don't get a lot of my references to history I suggest you give this one a read. ;)

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One more night where I simply couldn’t sleep, one more night where the thoughts swimming round inside my head simply refused to stop. That summed tonight up perfectly for me. It wasn’t unheard of for me to put Soo to bed and then sneak downstairs, of course, in fact the difference in time between the points where we became tired was a positive boon for me, for it meant that I could indulge in more solitary pursuits such as writing and video games while she was asleep. But tonight was more than simply not feeling tired. Tonight was all about my mind racing, the events that had brought me to this point whirling around and around in my head until it felt as if my mind was about to explode from overuse. And when I was in one of these states there was precious little sense in fighting it. Groggily I swung my legs over the side of the bed, being careful not to disturb the slumbering form of Soo next to me as I did so, and fumbled around in the dark for my dressing gown. Eventually I found its thick cloth within my grasp. Hence was able to stumble out of the room and downstairs where, for once, nobody else seemed to be up. In a way that was disturbing, and a cursory glance at the elegant clock sat upon the mantelpiece, its copper gears clicking away oblivious, confirmed my worst suspicions; it was three in the morning. Had I really just been lay in bed for four whole hours, unable to sleep? I shook my head in disbelief. There was only one of two options available to me to kill insomnia such as this. Either drink it out of my system, which was increasingly becoming an unattractive option the better my life became, or write it out. Well, I decided, writing had yet to fail in its therapeutic qualities. So I dragged myself over to my computer, pulled up a chair, and began to type.

Sometimes I wonder exactly how I got here. You know, being a reasonably successful pokémon trainer with a large house, a loyal team and a wonderful fiancée. Sometimes it almost feels like too much, too soon. Wasn’t I a lost cause this time last year? And yet here I am, actually enjoying life for once. How times change.

It wasn’t always like this, of course. I can still remember the very beginnings of my time in Ulthuan, even if my diaries of those times seem to have been lost. Back then we didn’t even have a fixed place to call home. I’d basically just turned up in Ulthuan, headed to the nearest adoption centre, picked up a cute Meowth and a tough-looking Paras, and set out without so much as a clue as to what I was doing. Oh, how we struggled to make it from day to day back then. I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, so I just steamed on ahead with only a faux arrogance to see me through. And to be fair, most of the time it worked. Maybe Milliardo is on to something with his usual ways of getting through life.
But I digress. Very soon I had a pretty little Vulpix and the world’s most talkative Squirtle to add to my team. And it was about that time that destiny began to kick in. We kept running into wild pokémon with a common goal. Every time there was trouble, it would usually be down to one of these strange creatures, linked only by the silver pendants that they wore and their desire to overthrow humans. I even managed to get my hands on one of the pendants. They were strange little pieces of jewelery, really, silver circles engraved with a design of what – at the time – I considered to be some sort of pokémon demon, an obscenely fanged and clawed Ninetales with six limbs. I thought they were the pokémon equivalent of Satanists. I didn’t realized that they truly served a real, tangible master. Not until I reached White Mountain and met the creature for myself.

White Mountain… now that was a place! The setting for the Pegasus Games, my first ever tournament. A huge complex set upon a cliff so ivory-like in its colouration that it was obvious how the peak had earned its name. I can still remember little trivial details of our time there. How we had to hire a Pidgeot to fly us up to the summit. How my entrant, Pearl, narrowly missed out on winning the tournament’s consolation rounds, pipped at the post by a trainer whom everyone referred to as Bronzie; ironically enough he still bugs me over instant messenger to this very day even though he has all but given up on pokémon training these days. But the tournament was overshadowed to say the least when… he started communicating with me. I still don’t know quite why he picked me out of all the trainers in Ulthuan. Maybe he knew that I was the least likely to pass judgement. Maybe he thought I would understand his motives. Whatever the reason, he chose me. And I spent a good deal of my time on White Mountain trying to reason with him. Not that it’s ever easy to do that. I’ve had nearly three years of his company now, on and off, and if anything he grows more obstinate with every passing day.
Anyway, it all came to a head in the consolation rounds of the Unicorn Games. It seemed as if he had decided to make the cavern we were going to use to house those battles as his base of operations. So that was the first time I ever met Tsuyoi. I can assure you that he makes a quite unforgettable first impression! I still remember that first time we met, even now when the sight of a blue and white, six limbed creature with the most terrifying claws and fangs you will ever see on a pokémon hybrid seems an everyday occurrence. Back then he was trying, seriously trying, to cause revolution. Of course, as with any leader, he had his own hidden motives. Any coup he staged would have placed him in power. And power, of course, is something Tsuyoi has always been a glutton for. If it’s not physical power it’s financial power, and when he had both of those he added knowledge to his considerable resources. Sometimes it’s very easy to forget that he’s actually quite young, such is his domineering nature and remarkable intelligence. But anyway. Back then we clashed mightily, but right at the last moment Tsuyoi seemed to have a change of heart. Suddenly he gave up totally on conquest. I still can’t say I understand fully his reasons. I like to think the whole thing had been a meticulously planned cry for attention, and once he had that attention there was no point in carrying on. And so the Pegasus Games carried on; and although Pearl came fifth we suddenly found ourselves with a most unusual new friend. Tsuyoi, it seemed, had far from finished with us.

It was about that time that I had a little setback to my career. I grew sick. Violently so. For about a month I was totally incapacitated, kept alive only by the ministrations of Tsuyoi’s strange family. They are a rather odd bunch, all similar to Tsuyoi in appearance (although not colouration) only slightly more… peaceful. Kushikoi, a chirpy creature who gives mad scientists a bad name. Komaru, the most hyperactive, childish creature this side of Kassandra. And Amai, a sorrowful creature who throws her whole heart into nature. I think Lucky developed quite a crush on her, come to think about it. Anyway, they took care of me while I recovered, and my team would venture out of their little house to train themselves in my absence. It was during this time that we added Sindel to the team, having picked up the Abra from a local adoption centre. And then Katnip… well, he sort of invited himself. He had a long history with Beckham, it seemed, and the two were anxious to renew old friendships. And train, of course, if there’s one thing Katnip loves to do it’s train. And compete in any sense. Even over the affections of others. At the time Pearl was going out with Beckham, but that didn’t stop Katnip from trying to flirt with her every given chance. Then again, his persistence seems to have paid off seeing as they are now a couple with a daughter.

After that I kind of lay low for quite a while. I was in no state to train, and my mind was on other things. Too many things, in fact. In fact, when I finally made my return to active service I had become quite convinced that I was losing my mind. It was only Pearl’s constant assistance that kept my fears from being realized. So maybe it wasn’t the best of times to run into yet another major threat to our very existence. With remarkable timing I had chosen to coincide my return to training with a sudden outbreak of Team Rocket activity. And it was at that point that I made the most foolish decision of my life, the decision that I still beat myself up over to this very day. At the time the Dragon Tamers were storming a Rocket base hidden deep within a forest in central Caledor. Although not officially a part of the group at the time, I decided to follow along at a distance anyway, hoping to do my bit as an outsider. It was s stupid thing to do, especially given how reckless my attitude was at the time. I remember caring less and less for my personal safety, to the point where I was openly inviting danger. Back then I had totally forgotten about the fact that I was dragging my team into everything, even though they were the ones who paid the price eventually. You see, although I managed my objectives, I was captured by the Rocket in the process. And my pokémon were taken from me as a result. I remember how dark those times were. They held me for three days in total, beating me in both mind and sprit until I was a mere shadow of my former self. And that wasn’t the end of it, either. Most of my pokémon had been taken. In fact by the time I escaped I only had Katnip and Pearl left, the others already having been shipped off to unknown destinations. After that, there was only one place I could go. I turned to the Dragon Tamers for help, finally reaching the conclusion that I couldn’t have my vengeance without help. They welcomed me with open arms.
It was just as well that I had enlisted the help of those I would eventually come to consider staunch allies. Team Rocket seemed determined to wipe us out. This, you have to understand, wasn’t the same Team Rocket we deal with today. If only it was. The show of force given by their elite squadrons, the Black Battalion, was a lot easier to deal with than the cruel terrorist plots devised under Armand DiAnnio’s guidance. It was tough, certainly, but a show of solidarity turned away the evil Rockets for, what we had thought at the time, the last time.

I should probably give a mention at this point to the changes in my team around this time. Beckham we found once again playing up for one of the Black Battalion, and it was little problem to get him back into the fold again. Sindel returned to us through a stroke of pure luck, being involved in a car accident during transportation that I happened to chance upon. However, it was her companion in this ride that really turned our team upside down. A small and petulant Eevee with a sharp tongue and endless issues. An Eevee that would eventually grow and blossom into the smartass Umbreon we all know as Milliardo. It turned out that he had been practically given to Team Rocket by his old trainer, a violent and abusive brute of a man who cared little for his pokémon’s welfare. And although he had reservations about joining a team again, he soon settled down even if his cruel wit and defensive attitude has caused many an argument since.

Life was reasonably quiet for a while after that. We still had yet to locate Lucky and Scratchy, and I lost many a night’s sleep worrying about them, but on the whole our team got about their business rather well. Until bizarre things started to happen all over Ulthuan. The ground started collapsing in places all over Sector Alpha. The skies darkened into a permenant night. And even though I was distracted by the sudden reappearance of Scratchy, who seemed to have totally forgotten about any horrors he may have seen in the hands of the Rockets, even I could tell there was something seriously amiss.

It didn’t take long to find out what that was.

For what I eventually learned had been a matter of years, a dark force had been brewing in the lands to the north, the ominous province of Ulthuan known as Nagarythe. Humans from all over had flocked to the area to group under the banner of the Dark Cloak, an evil cult that worshipped a bizarre deity named Resomegnis, a hybrid monster developed for pure destruction. Unnoticed they had raised a considerable army of zombie-like cultists, both human and pokémon, and had been biding their time, awaiting the chance to strike. All of sudden that day arrived. Sector Alpha was attacked, its walls torn down by the ferocious beast Resomegnis himself. The battles raged long and hard, and the repercussions of the Dark Cloak’s actions are still being felt as their last few dark secrets are unearthed, but in the end good managed to triumph. At least for a while. We ended up driving the Dark Cloak back into Nagarythe, where a long and brutal military campaign finished the cult off completely. It was around that time we ran into Kasumi. Back then she was just a bubbly Growlithe rather than the bizarre combination of chirpiness and perversion she is now, but she was a great asset at the time, and eventually accompanied our team back to Caledor after the conclusion of a successful campaign. Back to the final missing member of my original team, Lucky, who had been having his own adventure during his attempts to return to his rightful place within our team. He had befriended Kirei and Adreena during this time, a pair of Eeveelution sisters who had ably assisted his return to Caledor. Kirei would later join my team for short while, eventually settling down with Soo as her owner. Adreena is still around somewhere, the Vaporeon having left to settle down with a wild Umbreon named Tamotsu. But that’s as maybe. The most important thing was the team was now back in one piece, and for once I was happy.

It was then that the start of the Dragon Games was announced. My choice for that particular tournament was obvious. Katnip, the best fighter I had. And he did us proud, getting all the way to the finals where he came a respectable third. Even if the prize I won from the Games – Bolovayr the bizarre Gastly – happened to have originally been won by Gabi, who scored second. Yet again, however, the tournament was overshadowed slightly, partly because of the sudden disappearance of Scott McHenry, one of the founding members of the Dragon Tamers and judge of the Dragon Games, and partly down to my discovery of Pandora, a troubled Houndour used by the evil Dark Cloak. Pandora has been hard work. Her manic-depressive tendencies and self-hatred have caused many problems, and I have to admit that there have been times when I’ve been loath to leave her alone for fear of her hurting herself during one of her melancholy spells. But there would have been no sense in that. Keeping her under constant surveillance would have only made her feel even worse. So I set about giving her the chance of a normal life instead. And, with a great deal of help from Milliardo, who fell for Pandora in a big way, that is what she now has. If indeed a life in our household can ever be considered normal.
So the Dragon Games came and went, with the battles and evolutions that went with them. And we went back to our usual lives. Occasionally trouble would rear its head, but for the longest time I had known the lands remained untroubled. During this time I ran into Soo, a girl I can only describe as my total soulmate. She made me feel good about myself. And yes, we may occasionally fight, but that is not always a bad thing. Look at how happy Milliardo and Pandora usually are! For a while life was good. We even had a birth in the team, that of Marius. He’s a rather scary creature, far too intellectual than is healthy and possessed of a tendency to mess with my computer behind my back. But aside from that, he was a welcome addition to the team. Made us feel almost like a proper family. Then we heard news of trouble in the area of Templa Taure, a normally sacred forest possessed by evil spirits. Of course, we went to try and help. And of course, we got more than we bargained for. We were assaulted by a creature called Abbadon, a psychotic Charizard with a love of destroying all in his path. Although for some reason he didn’t seem like such a bad sort at the time. In fact he even gave is his daughter to look after, evidently worried that his psychosis would in some way harm her. And whilst Kassandra is an amusing creature, sometimes I wish he hadn’t bothered. One too many mornings having our bedroom door knocked down so she can jump on us has seen to any goodwill I may have towards her. But we didn’t know what we were letting ourselves in for, so we accepted, and Kass joined our team. In Templa Taure we met Gabi and her team, and we agreed to search the area together. What sights we encountered there! It was altogether too much to recount in a single paragraph. Possessed Gyarados, dark temples that radiated terrible power, we even gazed upon a demon so strong that it was capable of holding its own against Tsuyoi. And then there was Rhiannon, of course. Rhiannon is possibly the most confusing creature I’ve ever met. One moment she’s a perfectly loveable creature, a chirpy, bouncy soul whose only flaw is a slightly cheeky streak (which I’ll forgive her on account of her being Milliardo’s sister), the next she’s this… weird, detached creature with little concept of remorse or compassion. I really can’t say I know enough about her to be able to judge properly, but I suspect she may the key to something huge.

So, after that we then arrive at our next major threat to world peace, and the one man who I’d gladly disembowel without a moment’s hesitation. Team Rocket is back with us. With a new man at the helm. One Armand DiAnnio, the most heartless, sadistic man you could ever hope to meet. He makes Giovanni look positively nice. At least with Giovanni you knew he was just in it for the money. Armand… with Armand you can just tell he’s having the time of his life inflicting all this pain and misery. He wants to move Team Rocket away from pokémon altogether, from what I gathered from my few encounters with him. He wants to turn them into a proper terrorist organization, with him and his Salamence at the helm. And he doesn’t care who he kills in order to get what he wants. Look at what happened to the old trainer of Megan and Ryo-Ohki. Armand took him and another trainer hostage, purely for the sick satisfaction of killing them in front of an audience. That’s the kind of man he is. And his Salamence, Reaper… she’s just as bad, if not worse. Brand lost her family because of her. And from what I’ve gathered from Rhiannon, who seems to have dealt with Reaper in the past, she has done far worse than that. I can’t help but feel… well, a little apprehensive. With psychos like that loose in the world, are any of us truly safe? I can only hope that we put an end to this particular loose end before it envelops us all.

Anyway, so we now come to the present day. I've got friends, I've got fifteen (or is that sixteen? Am I allowed to count Rhiannon twice?) loyal pokémon and a lover who will aid me in every way she can. So why do I still feel so edgy? Maybe it’s because things aren't quite settled. Maybe it’s because I know they never will be.

I sighed, re-reading the paragraphs I had just written. Not a bad little summary of my life for an hour’s work. They just needed a satisfactory conclusion.

Whatever happens, though, I swear to protect those I love with every fibre of my being. We will get through this, and we will become stronger for it. This I promise.

Yes, I thought to myself. That satisfies me nicely. Wearily I saved my work, shut down the computer and headed wearily back to the bedroom. Maybe I could get a few hours sleep before having to face the morning once again…

"So," I yawned later on that day, struggling hard to keep the tiredness from showing in my voice, "seems like we've been invited for another training session. Anyone up for it?"
"Well you sure as hell aren't," Milliardo commented, shaking his head in what could have either been bemusement or pity. "What's wrong, Ade, anyone would think you didn't sleep at all last night."
"Ha ha, very funny." I rolled my eyes. A conversation with my Umbreon was hardly the best way to start the day, especially seeing as he seemed to have woken up in a particularly sneering mood. "Seriously, guys, is anybody up for a battle?" I cast my eyes hopefully around the room, but saw only faces that were either tired or apprehensive. Even the normally chirpy Kasumi seemed unusually sullen today. It was a bad omen.
"I guess I wouldn't mind giving it a shot," Lucky shrugged eventually. "If nobody else is going to, that is." Anxiously the Meowth looked around at his companions, as if secretly hoping that one of them might step in at this point. But there was no chance of that happening, not today at least. "Well… if nobody else minds, that is."
"Dude, just admit ya want a battle, it ain't a sin," Katnip chucked, busy finishing off whatever everyone else had left of their breakfasts. "I'd say 'sure, I'd go' but I know it ain't fair ta anyone else if I had as many trainin' sessions as I wanted ta. It's someone else's turn this time, an' I don't see why it shouldn't be ya. After all, when was the last time ya actually battled?"
"Uhh…"
"I remember!" Rhiannon jumped up and down excitedly, nearly knocking half of her teammates over in the process. Adjusting to her larger form, it had to be said, had been a real problem for the recently evolved Jolteon. For whilst the properly-trained part of her psyche had little trouble in compensating for the extra size, strength and speed, the part of her currently in control seemed to still be under the impression she was a little Eevee pup. "I remember, that last battle he had was against me, wasn't it?"
"Technically speaking…" Milliardo began, only to find himself being smacked violently over the head by an increasingly hyper sister.
"Technically speaking my paw! It was, it was against me!"
"Will somebody please do me a big favour and sedate her?" Milliardo asked irritably, glaring at Rhiannon. "Evolving's just made her go even more ridiculous. And that takes one hell of a lot to do."
"Umm… I have a great idea guys, let's get back to the original topic of conversation, hm?" Pearl interjected quickly before the siblings ended up fighting. Sometimes it was like having to deal with a pair of pups! "Lucky, if you want to train then you go for it, don't feel like you have to wait patiently for everyone else to have their turn first."
"I guess…" The Meowth still seemed uncertain, so I took the opportunity to put in a few words myself.
"Come on, Lucky, you're itching to battle, I can tell. As gentle as you are by nature, it doesn't stop you from having got into the habit of having the odd fight every now and then. Besides, we're all pretty much agreed that something's not been right lately, and it'd probably be a good idea if we were all in the best shape we can be." I sighed deeply. There it was again. The cloud that had been hanging over us for the past few weeks. It just wouldn't go away, no matter how hard we tried to put it to the backs of our minds. "What do you say?"
"Go on, Lucky, you know you want to!" This was Kirei, pushing her way to the front of the assembled group and beaming brightly into her boyfriend's face in a fashion that most would have found decidedly discomforting. Soo's Espeon was generally considered the undisputed queen of the over the top smile. "When you want something that badly you just have to go do it, right?" The Espeon rubbed up against Lucky, causing him to turn bright red under his fur.
"You love making me squirm, don't you?" he muttered.
"Well…" Kirei pouted, her breathing heavy, "it's just all about the passion, and the action, and doing what you really, truly desire…"
"I can't listen to any more of this," grumbled Kasumi. "I'm going upstairs." The Growlithe stormed off irritably.
"What did I say?" Kirei asked, genuinely confused.
"Leave her be," Pearl sighed. "She's not been the same since Dan and his team disappeared. You know, in her own stupid little way I think she really did love Thunderblast."
"I doubt she knows the meaning of the word," Milliardo commented. "She's just annoyed because she's had her favourite source of stress relief taken away from her."
"So, anyway, it's alright if I have the battle, then?" Lucky asked quickly, trying very hard to steer the conversation back of course. The subject at hand was starting to get a little too… intimate for his liking.
"Of course it is, Lucky," I replied, petting my Meowth with the deep fondness that could only be gained from many years of training with a pokémon. "It's time you and me fought side by side again. It's been far too long for my liking."
"Yeah," Lucky smiled. "I know exactly what you mean."

And so it was that I found myself once again stood in front of the large office block that called itself the home to the Mercenary Trainers Union, the base of practically every trainer in Caledor who wished to hire themselves out for whatever purposes their patrons required. There were a few freelance trainers still out there, of course, but for the most part they seemed to flock together. Here life was far more regulated, and they were almost guaranteed a steady income. Especially when they were ranked as highly as my friend Gina, who seemed to manage training, organizing pokémon displays, her own personal life AND still be able to find the time for the occasional sparring session with my team. And sure, she often came across as being more than a little crazy, but given her hectic lifestyle who could blame her?
"Ade!" she beamed as we walked up to the big glass front doors. Evidently she had been waiting fro me, judging from the fact that she had all her things with her. Giant glasses, combat trousers, belt filled with pokéballs and all. "Nice to see you again! You haven't been by in a while. Nothing wrong, I hope?"
"No, just busy," I shrugged, shaking the woman's hand warmly. "So how are things with you?"
"Oh, you know…" she sighed, tilting her head to one side as she recalled the events of the past few weeks. "Had a few events to attend, a few training sessions for my own pokémon, a few tons of paperwork to get through. Stayed past midnight trying to get through it all, drank a bottle of wine, ended up shoving most of it behind the drawers and pretending it was lost just to put it off. You know, the usual." Gina sighed deeply. "It's weird, though. Lately all the pokémon around here seem to be acting oddly. You know, like… all skittish and stuff. Like there's something wrong with the world that we don't know about. You been getting that with your team?"
"Unfortunately I know exactly what you mean." I had to admit, that was exactly what had been happening with my pokémon over the past week or two. There had been decided signs of unrest amongst even the calmest members of my team, as if there was something imperceptible upon the horizon that only pokémon were aware of. "And they've tried – God knows they've tried – to explain to me what it is that's wrong, but the more I hear the more confused I become. All I know is that something pretty big is on the horizon." I shook my head, trying very hard to remove the increasingly bleak thoughts from my mind. There was no point in worrying about all of that now. I had to keep my thoughts fixed firmly upon the present. For both past and future were worrying times for me. "Anyway, that's as maybe. We were here to do a little sparring, weren't we? Not worry about what the future might hold."
"Right!" Gina agreed readily. "I thought it might be fun to have our battle outside for once. I'm so, so sick of my office right now. In fact I'm bloody sick of the entire building. It'd do me good to have an excuse for stepping outside for a while." She looked over at me eagerly, as if hoping for my assent to this plan. I wasn't about to disappoint.
"Sure, that sounds like a plan to me. Just one question, though. Where, exactly, did you plan on holding this sparring session?"
"Well right here sounds like a good plan to me, in this courtyard we're standing in now!" I took a look around at my surroundings. It wasn't perfect, certainly, just a large expanse of concrete with a single fountain as its only focal point, but it would have served well enough for our purposes. There was just one minor flaw with the entire plan as far as I could tell.
"Umm… sure. Won't we be getting in everyone's way, though?"
"Oh no, you'd be really surprised at how few people come in and out. Battles aren't exactly long, anyway, we'll be finished in about ten minutes, I'd say. What do you say?"
"Oh… alright, you've sold me." I rolled my eyes. There was simply no arguing with Gina when she got a crazy idea like this! "I'll be using Lucky, my Meowth." As I mentioned his name Lucky stepped cautiously forward. He was somewhat wary of Gina. She gave off an air of the sort of person who stupid things happened to. And my Meowth had enough experience of those to last him a lifetime.
"Hmm… okay, let's take a look…" Gina whipped out her Pokédex and scanned Lucky, who looked as if he fully expected the device to blow up at any given moment, cowering back as the mercenary completed her pre-match scan. "Okay… mid- second class pokémon, good shape but nothing irregular about him… ah!" Here Gina snapped her fingers as if coming up with the best idea ever. "Okay, I got it."
"You got what?" I asked.
"Your opponent, silly!" she beamed. "I'll be using our current rental Chansey. Should make for an interesting match. Come out, Helena!" Right on cue a large Chansey skipped out of the front doors, its eyes trained on Gina all the while. There was no mistaking the look in its gaze. It was the look of pure admiration a pokémon would bestow upon a worthy trainer. Or, rather, it was how I would imagine that would have looked. I didn't recall the last time any of my pokémon had viewed me in such a way. Which, in a way, was a rather depressing thought given I was the Unicorn Games champion and hence supposed to elicit that kind of response off my team. "Meet Helena. She's one of our best healers. Aren't you, sweetie?" Gina fawned over the Chansey, evidently taken with the pokémon.
"Chan! Chansey!" the pink pokémon squealed happily.
"You sure she's just a rental one?" I asked.
"Unfortunately. Me and Helena have always got on really well though." Gina gave a sad sort of smile, the first time I had ever seen her show anything other than a bemused, albeit extremely noisy and hyper, kind of detachment. "Anyway, you guys ready?"
"Are we?" I asked Lucky. He was going to be the one doing the fighting, after all! My Meowth turned to me with a simple nod.
"I'm ready, if that's what you mean," he commented. "It should be interesting." Here Lucky turned his attentions to the Chansey. "Okay. Let's do this!"

FIGHT!!! L20 Meowth v L20 Chansey!

"So, you're ready to fight, huh?" The Chansey smiled at Lucky with a smile so unassuming that it made the Meowth highly reluctant to attack at all. He swallowed hard. There was something decidedly… odd about this pokémon, and he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was.
"Y… yeah, I'm ready to fight," came the swallowed response. There was simply no time to get nervous now! "Of course I am!" The Meowth struck as good a fighting pose as he could possible manage, indicating to his opponent that the battle was underway. The Chansey, however, didn't seem too bothered by this.
"Are you sure you're ready?" it asked. The pokémon was trying to get at something, that much was certain, but as to what the hidden meaning behind the question was Lucky could only guess.
"Of course I am!" he shouted over, more confidently this time. Evidently this was enough to satisfy the Chansey, for it sighed deeply and smiled inperceptively.
"Very well then. Let's go!" The pokémon concentrated hard, a sphere of white energy forming at its left paw. Lucky had no idea what it was trying to do, but he had intention of hanging around to find out! His reactions working just a split second before his opponent's he threw himself to the right just a fraction of a second before his opponent hurled a huge beam of frosty energy at the spot where he had been stood just moments before, the attack freezing the ground upon impact. Well, there was no doubt as to what that was! Thinking quickly, Lucky tossed a handful of coins into the face of the Chansey, the objects just seeming to appear as if out of nowhere. It wasn't likely to do much in the way of damage, but that really didn't matter. As long as it distracted his opponent for long enough, it would have served its purpose. And in this the attack didn't disappoint, the Chansey too busy trying to avoid the incoming missiles to pay much attention to what Lucky was doing.
"Well, I sure as hell hope this works…" Lucky swallowed hard. It had been so long since he had last battled! He wasn't even sure if he could remember half of his techniques any longer. But eventually it came back to him, how to build up the charge within his body to such a degree that it simply couldn't be contained. How to shoot at his opponent with the strongest Thunderbolt that he could possibly muster.
"What the…?" The Chansey's eyes widened as the electricity came coursing towards it. And for a moment it appeared as if Lucky might have landed a serious blow. However, that simply wasn't to be. Split seconds before the attack struck home, the egg-shaped pokémon seemed to glow for a moment, a pale luminescence suddenly coating every inch of its body. And as the Thunderbolt struck Lucky became all too aware of what had just happened. The vast majority of his attack seemed to be absorbed by the protective coating his opponent had just summoned. At least, it must have done. For when the Chansey turned to smile at him with an almost pitying expression within its eyes it appeared as if the pokémon had hardly sustained any damage at all. "I'm sorry. I know Light Screen, you see. Using any attacks like Thunderbolt is a waste of time against me."
"Gee, thanks for telling me!" Now he was in the thick of battle Lucky had lost his earlier hesitation. Now that it counted his form had miraculously returned. But what good was that? Up until now he had always relied on his Thunderbolt to pull him out of a tight spot. It was the strongest move he knew. But… if that wasn't going to be of any use…
"You'd best prepare yourself!" All of a sudden Lucky found himself right in the path of a huge stream of electricity, so similar to his previous attack that it might as well have been his own move deflected back at him. Evidently he wasn't the only one who could use Thunderbolt! Quickly he rolled to one side again, but this attack proved to be harder to escape than the earlier Ice Beam. He simply wasn't quick enough to dodge, and the electricity struck him hard in the side. He cried out in pain, the intense agony of the attack simply too much for him to be able to stay quiet about. "It's a shame," commented the Chansey as my Meowth coughed and spluttered on the floor, trying to force his body to work again. "Battles aren't really the most wonderful of way to spend time."
"So why do you do it, then?"
"It's a job, isn't it? Like most humans can readily attest, jobs tend not to be things you'd want to spend time on. You do it because you have to." The pokémon sighed deeply, looking almost glum for a moment. But then its attitude shifted once again. "Anyway, enough chat. If you don't mind I'd like to get this out of the way." Lucky could see his opponent start to build up the charge within it body, just as he had done so many times before. He could tell what was coming before the Chansey had even so much as commenced the attack. And he was determined. Determined not to allow himself to be struck again. Concentrating hard, the Meowth put all of his energy into blocking the attack that he knew was coming. After all, he knew full well that it would be next to impossible to avoid it. So he would have to stop himself from being hit some other way.
"Just you try it…" Lucky snarled, his eyes narrowing as the Thunderbolt attack that was now coming from his opponent snaked nearer and nearer. Before he knew it, it had struck in a blinding flash of light.

It was impossible to say exactly what happened at that point. The Chansey's attack seemed to flash even brighter than normal as it struck, so brightly that it temporarily blinded all watching the battle. For a moment it was impossible to tell what had just happened. But as the light finally dies down it was clear to see that Lucky had somehow managed to survive the attack. In fact, all it seemed to have done was mess up his fur, which now stood in a rather spiky manner, charged with too much static electricity. A strange, lopsided grin sat upon his face.
"S… seems like you're not the only one who can take an electrical attack, huh?" he smirked, his voice slightly unsteady.
"Curious. You must know a good defensive move, then."
"How does Protect grab you?" There was something working within Lucky. He could feel it. Some barely recognizable strength deep within him. And he knew that, if he could just tap into that strength, he could win the battle. He just knew it. It was simply a matter of finding out how to pull that off. "It's time we finished this!" The Meowth charged at his opponent at full speed, claws bared in anticipation of pulling off a strong attack. It never happened. So anxious to finish the battle was he that he grew careless. He didn't pay attention to what his opponent was doing. Which was a fatal mistake that saw him being thrown backwards by an Ice Beam that he hadn't even noticed the Chansey forming. The pain of the impact was nothing compared to the sheer humiliation he felt as he toppled backwards. How had he not seen that one coming? He was furious; with himself, with his opponent, with the whole situation. And, with the final insult, the fact that he landed with such force that it send shudders throughout the ground. "Uhh…" The Meowth shook his head to try and clear away the cobwebs. Something didn't quite fit with regards to recent events. He took a tentative step forwards. And it happened again. The ground shook.
"I have to say, you do a very good job of staying upright!" his opponent beamed, before noticing the odd expression my Meowth was sporting as the penny finally dropped. "What's up with you?" it asked, not entirely sure it was going to like the answer.
"I can beat you," came the simple reply.
"Really? How?"
"Like THIS!" Lucky focused all of his energy upon the ground beneath his opponent, hoping against hope that his suspicions were correct. Sure enough, the earth began to quake directly underneath the Chansey, who recoiled in surprise. Just as Lucky had hoped it would. For at that very point the ground suddenly spiked upwards, striking the pink pokémon hard from underneath. It didn't know what had hit it; the impact threw it forward with such force that it was knocked out the instant its head collided with the floor.
"Well, so much for that!" Gina grinned broadly, recalling the fallen pokémon. "I was sort of concerned to begin with. Those initial nerves were a bad sign. But he fell really well into the swing of things. And nice use of Hidden Power there!"
"Yeah, he's a star alright." Lucky found himself being picked up and stroked affectionately. A contented smile crossed his face. No matter how old he grew, no matter how strong he became, he would always cherish these moments of intimacy. Battles were all very well and good, after all, but to Lucky friendship was the most important thing in the world.

Lucky wins!
Lucky grew to L21!

Linc
12th October 2004, 03:29 PM
I got my Lava Room battles done, sorry if it seems kinda short, but I was tired when I was writing, aat least it's better than the last time I wrote. *Winces* I hope I've improved -_-;

-=Linc=-

I whistled as I sat on the couch, thinking of which room to go in next. The newly evolved Ex sat at my feet, the massive Arcanine snoring as he slept. “Hey Cynda, ever think of entering a place like the bowls of a volcano?” I said to my Cyndaquil, the scars on his body dark as all the blood had dried.
“Oh yeah, it’s my greatest dream.” He said sarcastically.
“Oh, okay then, just thought I’d ask. Ex, you’re gonna battle, because we’re going to the Lava Room.”

Cynda froze, but he began moving after his flames began to shoot up. A frown crossed over his face. “Blitz will be battling there also, won’t you Blitz?” I said to my massive Aerodactyl. He nodded, and happily sprayed a Flamethrower towards the ceiling. “Good, but let’s rest a bit before we head over there.” I said and smiled. He nodded and folded his wings.

I got up. “Anybody want anything to eat?” I said. The team instantly shot up, jumping and shouting their orders. I walked off to get some food, and I heard Legend and Spirit begin arguing again. In a couple of minutes, I came back, carrying tons of food in my arms. I tossed a burger to Blitz, and he caught it in his mouth, gulping it down after crushing it with his huge teeth. I threw Spirit a bottle of water, and I handed Ex a steak. He gobbled it up, and smiled, his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

After passing out all the food, I headed towards the door of the Lava Room and looked back. The team was so occupied with their meals, they forgot to follow. “Hey guys! This means you’re supposed to come also!” I shouted. They looked around, and they raced over to me, Arrowhead tripping and sliding across the floor. I smiled at my clumsy Snorunt, and he quickly shot up as I disappeared inside of the doors.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Ex watched in wonder as lava exploded around us, molten rock spewing into the air. I rode happily on his back, and Blitz flew above, looking for an opponent. The rest of the team was inside of their Poke Balls, but I could sense that they were excited about the upcoming battles, as their Poke Balls rocked every once in a while.

Ex suddenly bolted forwards, his legs becoming a blur as he ran across the bridges of rock. “EX! SLOW DOWN!” I shouted, as the scenery of lava became a red blur. Behind us I could see a trail of thick dust coming from the back of Ex’s feet, along with small stones. Ex suddenly skidded to a spinning halt, and I hopped off his back. We were standing on a large platform of rock. I looked around, and saw a young girl. “Sorry if we startled you. Ex here is just a big goof.” I said and scratched Ex on the head. She walked over and smiled. “It’s okay, my dad owns an Arcanine, I know what it’s like.” She said.
“So, you wanna battle?” I asked and smiled as Blitz dove from above.
“Sure. How about 2-on-2, except our Pokemon can only attack one Pokemon, none else?” She answered.
“Sure, and by the way, I’m Linc.”
“Jenna, it’s a pleasure to meet ya. Okay, Flamedancer, Muka, go!”
“Go, Blitz, Ex!” We shouted as our Pokemon hopped onto the battlefield of rock.

Battle! Ex, Level 6 Male Arcanine and Blitz, Level 10 Male Aerodactyl VS Flamedancer, Level 15 Female Torchic and Muka, Level 8 Male Magby!

“Ex, Bite!” I shouted. Ex jumped to the side, avoiding an Ember attack by Muka, and then jumping at him from the side, sinking his teeth into the Magby’s chest. Muka screamed, and blasted some Embers into Ex’s head, not doing much damage but enough to knock him off of Muka’s body.

Blitz attacked on his own, dodging all attempts of attacks from Flamedancer. He suddenly flapped and a massive gust of wind flew out of his wings, propelling him higher, and then from high up in the room, his wings began to shine, and they took on an almost metallic appearance. “Blitz, do it now! Meteor Steel Wing!” I shouted. Meteor Steel Wing was something that Blitz made up, by creating his Steel Wing attack from high above, he could do a lot more damage by diving with his wings in front of him.

The red color of the lava reflected off of Blitz’s wings, giving him the appearance of a real meteor as he fell. He closed his eyes as he came closer to the ground, crashing into Flamedancer, plowing her into the ground and pushing her backwards, leaving a gash in the rock floor. Blitz then flipped backwards off of her, and then dashing with his wings, performing a wing attack and knocking Flamedancer backwards, sending her flipping into the air.

Meanwhile, Ex was struggling with Muka, being a young Arcanine and not knowing too many good moves. A Cross Chop knocking him onto his side on the ground caught him in the side. ”Whoa, powerful egg move you got there.” I said to Muka. Muka chuckled and flipped backwards, until I noticed something about Jenna’s Pokemon. They both had chains wrapped around their appendages. “Ex, get up and use Bite on Muka’s chain, and then fling him!” I shouted. Ex stumbled as he got up, but he raced over to Muka, biting on his chains and managing to pull a part away.

With his jaws clenched on the chain, he swung his head around, swinging Muka in the air, and then he let go, throwing Muka into the air. Muka flipped over the lava and hit the wall on the other side, sliding down and landing on a rock platform jutting out of the wall. “Now, Ex, run over and use Flamethrower on the place where the chains connect to Muka’s body, that should singe him!” I shouted.

Ex leapt from rock to rock across the lava, and landed in front of Muka. He then smiled and shot the stream of flames, the chains around Muka’s arms and legs becoming red-hot, literally, and they burnt into his skin, and he danced around in circles, screaming from the pain. Ex launched another stream of flames, this one big enough to envelop Muka, and he stopped. Muka fell to the ground, KO’d.

Ex won! He grew to level 7!

I leapt with joy and Jenna recalled Muka, but she then turned her head towards the other battle going on. Ex jumped over and watched also.

Blitz wove through the air, dodging an Ember attack, and then making a sharp turn, slamming into Flamedancer’s back with another Steel Wing. Flamedancer suddenly turned around, blasting a large flurry of Embers onto Blitz’s still-metallic wings. He screamed in pain, and his wings turned to normal, but massive burn marks were left on his wings. Flamedancer then jumped at him, raking his stomach horizontally, leaving a large cut. Blitz roared angrily, and then he launched a Flamethrower at Flamedancer’s chains, making them red-hot. He then dashed forwards, scooping up part of the chain in his mouth, wincing as the metal singed his tongue, and flinging Flamedancer upwards, and then he quickly became a blur, appearing as he slammed into Flame dancer with a Wing Attack, and he dove back towards the ground.

Jenna could tell that Flamedancer was knocked out, and she pulled out a Poke Ball and recalled her, frowning.

Blitz won! He grew to Level 11!

I examined the gash on Blitz’s chest, frowning. “I think you’re gonna have a scar.” I said and looked at his face. He was smiling. “A battle scar to add to my collection of wounds. Great.” He said happily. “You did great battling!” Jenna said and she shook my hand.
“Thanks. Well, Ex, Blitz, how about we get out of here?” I said. Ex ran over and I hopped on, and we raced out of the Lava Room, Blitz following behind

AntiAsh Superstar
14th October 2004, 05:35 AM
I knwo this is gonna really make you scream seeing as my past two battles are still in the 'stuff to be read' pile but... seeing as I've seriously nothing better to do at work I'd like to request an RBG for Brandy at the Universal Adoption Centre, please. *pays 7 stamps* :D

Lady Vulpix
14th October 2004, 09:10 AM
Ok, I won't complain because I already had the RBG open for another purpose. You know how busy I am, so if you want to excercise your patience, it's your choice.
Brandy will battle a Sneasel. x.x Good luck to her!

AntiAsh Superstar
14th October 2004, 09:57 AM
Ok, I won't complain because I already had the RBG open for another purpose. You know how busy I am, so if you want to excercise your patience, it's your choice.
Brandy will battle a Sneasel. x.x Good luck to her!

Crikey, now that's one hell of a first battle! :O Hehe, don't worry, I don't mind waiting at all. The reason I'm taking all these RBGs lately is more to keep me entertained writing than anything else, so as long as I get to submit stuff I can wait for everything else. I know you'll read 'em eventually and I'm in no dire need of stamps so there's no problem on my part. :D

Lady Vulpix
15th October 2004, 11:44 AM
Better late than never, I suppose.

Ade, take 19 stamps for Pearl's and Katnip's double battle. Nice way to introduce Katnip's Hidden Power! It really suits him. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Soo, take 21 stamps for your Blizzard Room battles. BTW, the sign on the entrance was funny. What I don't get is why Yuki zapped Alan when you asked Kaguya to do it. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
I also liked the way you two described the same events from different perspectives. It reminds me of the time when most of us used to do that.

Skye
16th October 2004, 08:02 PM
Okay. So could I have an extension for the Battle Rooms thing, or is it too late? I can't really tell, but I think it's alright... is it? :heh:

The_Missing_Link
16th October 2004, 10:28 PM
<My POV>

I nervously entered the house with Aries and Nightshade, a small Pokeball tucked tightly in my pants pocket reminding me of what I had to do. The others heard the door creak open and ran up to us, excited to hear the news.
“So, how’d you do?” Orion demanded.
“Third place,” Nightshade slightly smiled, still a bit crestfallen after learning the results hours ago.
“That’s not bad. I bet the others had to put up a hell of a fight to beat yours,” Lyra consoled him.
“She’s right. If you think you did well, then we’re proud of you,” Shade nodded, the others nodding with him.
“So, what did you get?” Orion asked.
“Well, we won some money and I learned a new move –”
“Metronome,” the others finished for him.
“How did you know?”
“You’ve been talking about learning it for ages,” Lee rolled his eyes. “We know it’s a cool move, you don’t need to tell us a hundred times over.”
Nightshade grinned in embarrassment. “Ok, ok, fine. Sorry.”
“Anything else aside from the money and the move?” Lyra questioned.
I started to speak, but Aries cut me off but I could tell the news.
“Well, we had a chance to gain another member of the team, but they only offered an Aipom, Ponyta and Eevee. Rebecca got stuck with the Aipom and it didn’t look like it would fit in with the team so she let it go.”
“Better to leave it alone than force it to join us,” Lee agreed. “Good choice.”
“She also said she didn’t want another member so I guess that’s also why she released it.”
“That’s not true,” I spoke up.
They looked up at me, surprised.
“I never said I didn’t want another Pokemon, although I didn’t say I wanted one also. There was one there that I was quite interested in but it was taken before I could take it myself.”
I fished out the Pokeball from my pocket and enlarged it, holding it in my palm.
“The one I wanted was taken by Karin, but after I expressed my desire to have it, she gave it to me. I was surprised at her willingness to give it up but I promised her I would take good care of it.”
Nightshade and Aries opened their eyes wide, aware of which Pokemon I was talking about since they were the only ones there at the prize ceremony.
“I want you to meet your new teammate, Tarin.”
I let the ball drop to the ground and watched as the red light spilled from it, taking shape in a small, furry form. The others gasped once the light died down, wondering if they should smile, or continue staring.
“It’s not nice to stare, you know,” she said with a slight Boston accent, her right ear twitching.
“Sorry, we’ve just never seen an Eevee like you before,” Lyra said, her eyes still transfixed on Tarin.
“Oh, you mean my green fur? Yeah, my mom, a Vaporeon, mated with my dad, a green Ampharos (whose mother was an Ampharos and dad a Meganium). His green genes and ability to use Synthesis was passed down to me and this is how I look today. The green doesn’t suit me well but it’s a nice reminder of my family.”
“Lucky you,” Drake said. “You’re the only one who knows something about their background.”
“None of you know your life before you met her?” she titled her head in my direction. “No parents, family members?”
“None of us do,” Lee said. “Only Drake and Aries are lucky enough to have families now; Drake has a Dratini daughter named Elwing and Aries has two Eevee sons, Eclipse and Darin.”
“I’d prefer to think of it as one now,” Aries growled. “I haven’t seen Eclipse in over a year.”
“It’s ok, Aries,” I said. “Many Pokemon don’t see their children again for a long time. Stuff like this has happened before. Besides, I think Eclipse is doing fine.”
An awkward silence soon ensued afterwards but it had to be broken up.
“So Tarin, what made you leave your family and come here?”
“Well, I was quite young when my brother unexpectedly disappeared. This was a few years ago and we were just weaned but one morning, we woke up to find him gone. We were all hysterical, especially mom and she and dad tried to track him down but we couldn’t find him. In the end, they were resigned to believe that some predator Pokemon took him away but I’m sure he’s still alive. I wanted to leave right then and there to go look for him but they refused to let me go until a year ago, when I able to prove to them that I could survive on my own. Unfortunately, I spent months of tracking with no success so the rest of the year was basically spent in travel, seeing other species of Pokemon I’ve never seen before. The oddest one was a Cacturne trying to hug any male Pokemon she could.”
I smirked as I saw Nightshade blanch but Tarin was oblivious to his reaction and went on.
“A month ago, some humans caught me with a Pokeball without trying to weaken me. Truthfully, I didn’t mind as going somewhere was good enough although it would’ve been nice to have a battle. Anyway, after a month of boredom spent with a hyperactive Aipom and a snotty Ponyta, a human recalled me into a Pokeball and now here I am today.”
She’s that old and hasn’t evolved yet? I thought. You would think that she would’ve evolved into an Espeon or Umbreon by now, considering the evolution stones are hard to come by in the wild. Apparently, it was on the minds of the others as well.
“So you’re saying that you’re as old as me and you haven’t evolved at all? Do you want to or are you just fine with staying as an Eevee?” Blade asked.
“I’m probably not as old as the Hitmonlee or the Venusaur but yeah, you could say I’m about as old as you. And I do want to evolve, but I don’t know what kind yet. If I’m to battle, being an Eevee would be kinda useless since I don’t know many attacks. If I was a Flareon though, I would be more powerful. Or if I evolved into a Jolteon, I would be a lot faster. Each of my evolutions has its own pros and cons, so when I figure out what I want to be, I’ll work hard for it.”
“Well, now that you mention it, I have a surprise for you. Two, in fact.”
I took out a small packet of shining sand from my other pocket and bent down.
“This,” I held the bag up, “is a TM known as Mimic. If an opponent uses a special move that you think would benefit you, you use the attack to steal the know-how from your opponent and then learn the attack automatically. It only lasts throughout the battle but it’s a great hidden strategy if you’re in a bind.”
She looked at it curiously and even sniffed it but nodded sagely.
“Thank you.”
Opening the bag, I slowly tipped the contents onto her back, the pieces of grit refusing to slide off of her back or blow away. Her whole body was enveloped briefly in a white light but it died down again, the sand gone.
“What’s the second surprise?”
“I signed you up for a random battle.”
She grinned. “You’re lucky that I like battling. That’s another thing I got from my dad. So did my brother. My mom was the pacifist though; don’t know how she survived us all.”
“Don’t worry, you’re amongst the battlers now,” Lyra said. “And while we walk to where we have to go, I’ll introduce you to your new teammates.”
“Sounds good,” I nodded. “All I know is that it’s by the lake we went to a couple of years ago. I’m sure you know it well, Drake.”
I narrowed my eyes as he grinned sheepishly and waved a claw.
“All in the past, I assure you.”
“Good. Don’t ask me why, but I scheduled the battle for today, in a couple of hours in fact. We’ll walk there this time but Drake and Blade can fly ahead if they want. Nightshade, Aries, I’m assuming both of you want to rest for a while? You're probably exhausted by now.”
Both of them nodded and disappeared inside of their balls. The rest of us headed out of the door, with one new member in tow for her first battle.

<Lyra’s POV>

As soon as she spoke, I had already taken a liking to Tarin. She was bold, unafraid to speak her mind without being too annoying. She also had the battle gleam in her eye, despite her inexperience.
“So, you were going to tell me about our teammates?” Tarin interrupted.
“Oh, right. Well, I’m Lyra and I was the only female member until you arrived.”
“It’s not that bad,” I assured her after giving me a strange look, “the guys are all sweethearts at heart. I guess I’ll start off with Shade. He comes off as intimidating, but he probably has the biggest heart on the team. He’s a battler though so he can use the intimidation to his advantage if he wants. And then there’s Blade and Drake. Those two are the most powerful on the team so we consider them the leaders. They’re also the best of friends and like to spar with each other all the time. When Drake’s daughter, Elwing, was born, Blade immediately took up the role as uncle and it couldn’t have worked out better. I do have to warn you that Blade had a pretty rough past when he was a Scyther. I won’t get into the specifics but it involved a female Skarmory and a male Aerodactyl and now Blade can’t look into the eyes of a flying or steel female Pokemon.”
“I can probably tell you what happened,” Tarin said.
“Yeah, it’s kind of predictable but even as a teammate, it was hard to watch. Probably the most heart wrenching thing I’ve ever witnessed.”
I looked up at Blade, who was flying contentedly up ahead and shook my thoughts clear of it.
“Anyway, on to the others. Nightshade and Aries are pretty much like Blade and Drake, best of friends and sparring partners. Nightshade used to be a practical jokester but has calmed down considerably in the past year and Aries has always been calm and collected, a yang to Nightshade’s yin. As you could already assume, Nightshade considers himself to be the uncle of Aries’ son, Darin.”
“It seems like some of the members have their own little cliques.”
“Not really. Some are closer to others, like Drake and Blade, but the bond is not much deeper than what they have with the rest of the team. Most of us have grown up together so our bonds run deep.”
“Who hasn’t been with the team from the beginning?”
“Only Lee and Orion. Some time after she adopted us, Rebecca took Lee in after his former owner couldn’t care for him anymore. No one can really share a bond with him since he secludes himself from us as much as possible but he can strike up a conversation if he’s in the mood. As for Orion, he was adopted out of the center like the rest of us. He can be annoying sometimes and can ask stupid questions but he has a good heart. He has bonded more with Shade than anyone else so as long as he doesn’t feel left out, it’s fine by us. And that’s pretty much our team. We’re just a bunch of battlers trying to be the best we can be and doing our best is all Rebecca can ask for.”
“Best scenario I could ask for,” Tarin grinned.

<Lee’s POV>

While the rest walked off in their usual pairs, I strolled with Rebecca, who oddly enough, I had most in common with.
“Thinking about something, Lee?”
“Yeah, I was thinking about what said about her family. She mentioned she had a brother but didn’t say what his name was or what type of Pokemon he wanted to evolve into. If he was determined to be a great battler, he would’ve mentioned what he wanted to be. And there are few Pokemon that could get to a baby Eevee without having to face the mother and father first so there’s reason to assume that a human captured him and kept him or put him up in an adoption center to attract customers since Eevees are hard to come by in the wild.”
“So you’re saying there’s a good chance that Aries could be her brother.”
“Basically, yes.”
“Lee, that’s just inconceivable. There are tons of wild Eevee that are captured for their fur, to be bred or to be placed in adoption centers. Her brother could very well be either dead, off with another trainer somewhere, living on the streets or traveling to find his family again. There’s a less than 1% chance that Aries is her brother so I say give up before you give yourself a headache.”
“Fine,” I threw my hands up. “You’re right, there is a slim to none chance that Aries is her brother and even if I asked him, he would say it’s crazy also.”
Normally, it sucked not being able to smile or grin but at a time like this, I was glad I didn’t have one.

<Blade’s POV>

It was a slow and boring trip, as usual. I didn’t know what Rebecca saw in walking all the way here but it wasn’t fair to Drake and I. The two of us were only meant for flying and all of our dodging included using our wings. Unless they were ripped off of our backs, it was useless making us wait for them to arrive.
“Looks like nothing has changed the last time we came here,” Drake said. “Lake looks the same, same with the grass. It’s like we never left.”
“Lyra had a good battle that day,” I mused. “Forgot who she battled but it was a good win for her.”
I looked around the perimeter of the lake, looking to see if any trainers or Pokemon were around. It was a rather stupid question, as it was too perfect of a day to not have a picnic or train by the lake. They were all scattered about, doing their own thing, but an Absol coming towards us caught my eye. Absol were rare around these parts but one walking towards us like we were friends was even weirder.
“Nice day, isn’t it?” she called out.
She had a hint of a Spanish accent in her voice and didn’t look half-bad either. A bit on the young side but would probably drive the men wild in a few years.
“Where’s your trainer?” I asked. “You seem too calm to be a wild Pokemon.”
“Same goes for you.”
“We’re just waiting for our trainer. She insisted that everyone walk to the pond but she allowed us to fly ahead.”
“I’m not waiting for mine. She knows what I have to do and knows that I won’t run off on her. I would’ve done so already if I wasn’t happy.”
“Good point,” Drake said. “So, what are you doing here?”
“Hey Blade, Drake, we’re finally here,” Orion called out to us, ruining our conversation.
“Our team,” I sighed, feeling a bit embarrassed.
“What are you doing talking to Tarin’s opponent?” Rebecca asked.
“She’s her opponent?” I drew back.
“Unless there’s some other Absol I’m supposed to be battling,” Tarin grinned. “I’m Tarin, by the way.”
“Nice fur,” the Absol replied. “My name is Carmen – short for Carmen Sandiego. Only your trainer would understand the reference.”
“That’s a good one,” Rebecca snickered but caught herself and quieted down. “No offense though. Carmen is a good name.”
“None taken. I like it also. But I do wish we could get on with the battle now.”
“Agreed,” Tarin said. “Let’s cut the talk and fight.”


Tarin (Lv. 10 Female Eevee) vs. Carmen (Lv. 10 Female Absol)

<Tarin’s POV>

Perhaps a bit too eagerly, I rushed towards her, heart pounding and muscles churning as I lowered my head for a tackle. As I expected, she nimbly sidestepped my attack and swiped at my face with her sharp claws, dealing stinging but shallow cuts to my face.
Well, at least I know now she has more experience than me.
I steadied myself and waited for her to come and strike. Interestingly enough though, all she did was close her eyes and quietly hum. A blue outline started to form around her and a peculiar energy radiated from her. It ended in mere seconds but it was still a strange sight to behold.
“What did you just do?” I asked.
“I sacrificed my speed for a better attack and defense,” she simply replied and rushed at me again with her claws.
She did look noticeably slower and I managed to dodge the first swipe but the second wasn’t so lucky, actually knocking me to the ground this time. It felt like being punched to the ground, but having scratch marks instead of bruises. I could feel a wound open above my eye, making it sting a little bit. I had to get past it though and tried to tackle her down. It pretty much felt like pushing a train slightly to the left, almost impossible. All I managed to do was make her lift a front paw but it didn’t even stay up that long. Pathetic.
“I knew you didn’t have any good moves,” she purred. “Too bad the battle has to end so soon.”
I raised an eyebrow, unsure of what she meant. I learned soon enough as she opened her mouth, an orange glow coming from within. I had no clue as to what it was until it struck. I screeched in pain as fire scorched my fur, making me cringe and wanting the pain to end. It seemed like hours upon hours of torture, but in all, it lasted only a minute. Even still, I was scorched and smoking from head to toe but still standing.
“What?! Why are you still conscious?” she demanded.
“Sorry, I forgot to mention that along with my green fur, my health is slightly higher than other Pokemon and I can use a healing move," I coughed.
Looking up at the clear blue sky, I concentrated on sucking in particles of light energy. My body lit up in the style of that of an evolution, but instead of evolving, I gained back precious health and healed some of my burns and cuts. It was a little energy draining, yes, but it was a big improvement from before.
“Ah, the power of Synthesis,” I smiled. “Gotta thank my family for that one.”
Growling, Carmen came charging, tail glowing a whitish color. Swinging it around, I jumped back but was unable to escape the tip of the tail, which knocked me back.
“Time to retaliate,” I huffed.
Opening my mouth, a greenish ball of energy began to grow, the color almost matching my fur. Releasing it almost at its full potential, it flew straight into Carmen and knocked her down to the ground, my first real hit in the battle. And you know what? It felt good. I wanted to jump, but I underestimated the strength of Carmen and was knocked down by her bulky mass before I could.
“You may have fooled me once with your healing tricks but you will not fool me again,” she snarled. “This time, I will make sure you are knocked out.”
I grimaced as she opened her mouth, the same familiar orange glow emanating from her throat.
“Tarin, mimic it!” I heard Rebecca yell from the side.
Mimic, mimic…that’s right. I just learned it an hour ago. How stupid of me!
Concentrating on the move she used minutes ago, I could see her falter and close her mouth, confused at the current situation. She didn’t know that I knew that her brain felt weird for that single moment. How? With a very slight tugging, I could pull her knowledge of using flamethrower and use it against her. Of course, she would still be able to use it but now I would and she couldn’t do anything about it.
“Did you feel it?” I whispered. “That’s what losing feels like.”
Opening my mouth, Carmen looked at me curiously before horror mirrored her face as the glow was now coming from my mouth.
“It can’t be…” she gasped.
I wanted to smile but remembered I couldn’t and focused on my attack. It was an odd and uncomfortable feeling, summoning fire from the pit of your stomach and making it travel up your throat before coming out of you mouth. Perhaps someone could help me make it more bearable in the future.

It wasn’t a pretty sight when I struck her and knocked her off of me. It wasn’t as powerful as I wanted it to be but it left her burnt and angry. Screeching, she lanced her own bolt of fire at me, my poor tail getting singed by the attack. I released another ball laden with grass energy at her, knocking her backwards once more. It seemed like she would never fall as she got up again, claws extended and ready to scratch. I summoned another flamethrower on her paw. With nowhere to go, it struck her bad but determination outlasted pain and she brought the scorched paw upon me, striking my sides over and over until a steady stream of blood was pouring out. Thinking it wasn’t enough, she poured flames into my wounded side, making me scream and fall to my side, making me black out for a second but wake up before I would get disqualified.
“Yet again you have evaded unconsciousness,” Carmen said coldly. “But you are too weak to try your Synthesis and cannot move at all.”
“That’s not true,” I wheezed, my head swimming in dizziness. “I can still move my head.”
Shifting it in her direction, I breathed wisps of flames, striking her. It was obvious it wasn’t strong enough to knock her to her side but it still hurt. Giving me the chance, I struggled to my feet, my side hurting desperately. I wanted to lie down but it would only lead to a loss, something I didn’t want. Facing her, my vision made her go double slightly, but it went back to one entity again.
“You’re going down.”
“Try me,” she hissed.
Like a shootout, we both stood quietly and waited for the right time. Then in an instant, we both opened our mouths and released the flames. Pushing against one another, it cumulated into one big ball before it exploded and knocked us both back, me into the pond and Carmen near my teammates. Splashing into the slightly cold water, it quickly brought my senses back, cooled my burns and stopped the bleeding (for the moment anyway). I was still in pain but able enough to climb out of the water and face Carmen again, who was wobbly on her feet and staring at me with a glazed look on her face, breathing harshly.
“Good night, Carmen,” I whispered and released my sphere of grass energy to finally knock her down.


Tarin wins and grows to Level 11!

<My POV>

After a quick (and gentle) hug with Tarin, I recalled her and gave her Pokeball to Blade, who I sent to the Pokemon Center to heal her. I took out a Max Revive and sprayed it on Carmen, who woke up moments later and got up.
“I admit, that was a good battle,” she said.
“For a first timer, she was very good,” I agreed.
“Indeed. And thank you for healing me. I have to remind my trainer to give me medicine in case I lose again.”
“No problem. Have a good day.”
“And you too. Good bye.”
As she headed back to her family, I went back to mine.
“We have to go to the Pokemon Center, but for Drake’s sake, we’ll fly there.”
“Yes!”

After a short and safe flight (thank God), we landed at the Pokemon Center and released everyone again. Heading inside, Nurse Joy immediately called me over and showed me to Tarin’s room. She was peacefully resting on a bed, looking up at the ceiling.
“These rooms really need color and a TV,” she said once we entered.
“That’s true. I’ll tell her when we leave the center. How are you doing?”
“Good enough.” She watched me sit on the side of the bed. “How was my first battle.”
“A lot better than mine, I can tell you that,” Blade said. “I didn’t struggle that much in my first battle.”
“Oh be quiet, we all struggled,” Lyra reprimanded him. “That’s how every first battle goes.”
“So I guess this means that I did it right then,” Tarin said.
“Oh yeah,” I grinned. “Think of it as an initiation.”
“If it was, it was sadistic and cruel,” she said. “I liked it.”

Kirei
17th October 2004, 10:47 AM
Thanks, Gabi! That's my best score yet. I did work really hard on this one and I'm glad it showed. And... well spotted on the Minun/Plusle thing. Neither me or Ade spotted that when we read it through before I posted it! That was simply a mistake I made. Glad you liked the sign, hehe :) :196:

Lady Vulpix
17th October 2004, 01:12 PM
Airen gets an extension. I'll try to print at least one of the other battles.

Charizard04621
17th October 2004, 02:49 PM
22 Stamps for Becca! I loved that story, it was great. :D

Lady Vulpix
18th October 2004, 02:21 PM
Yes, I liked it a lot too. ^_^
Ade, you can have 19 stamps for your last story. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

I agree that everyone who would like to catch up with Ade's stories should read that one (and believe me, it's worth catching up). Should I do a recap too? In December it will be 4 years since the Dragon's Guild was born (IRL, since it's supposed to be older in the stories).

Aglandiir
18th October 2004, 08:15 PM
I was just wondering if I was ever going to be able to catch up with Ade's story since I've been gone. I suppose that answers that question a bit.

Skye
19th October 2004, 12:45 AM
Okay. First off, Rayne was adopted from PokeZoo. This is my first and second battle in the Pond Room. First off, no I'm not very good with battle descriptions. Second off, most people might not like this one. The end is somewhat dissturbing and all around, the whole thing is very dark. Darkfire is very dissturbed, but things will get better, if remain confusing, in later chapters. And MOST of my information my not be at all accurate. I'm aware of that, and if anyone would like to correct me, plesase go ahead. Other then that, PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!!!! :sweat3: :sweat2:

******************

-What Is-

There are times when people just aren’t meant to do things. Some people cannot teach because they don’t get along with children. Some cannot be firefighters for fear of fire. Some refuse to do what ever it is, either by conscious or subconscious choice. In the conscious choice, that person simply refuses to try for that goal, setting themselves up for disappointment, which may stimulate them to either step up next time or sink into their own demise. For those who fail subconsciously, it is because they make a simple task harder on themselves. To decide to cross a desert and insist that they don’t need as much water as is recommended for such a journey is an excellent example.

Then there are those who are simply not made for the task: a person with strong allergies to pollen trying to tend to a garden of flowers, or a person with amputated limbs attempting to rock climb. Of all of these people and many more, examples of the challenges of life, a scant few challenge the challenge of life to overcome these obstacles. Why? Why do we try? Why do we fight against everything just for one moment of glory? Because that is why we are here. To succeed.. Or to fall into the dark reaches of demise and failure.

****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Darkfire sighed and looked up. Music with no promises for the future drummed hauntingly in her ears even after the batteries for her CD Player had passed on over half an hour ago. Voices of those singers in bands that made their way into her memory sang their souls out. Another way of saying that she had voices in her head was to say that she had a song “stuck in her head”. She blinked at the thought. If voices in your head meant madness, and nearly everyone had a song stuck in their head at one point or another... did that mean everyone was insane at one point or another in their life time?

She snorted as her thoughts got carried away. That was typical. She thought about her batteries dying and her brain jumped to questioning the world’s sanity. It made sense to her, but to anyone else, they would have eyed her as if SHE were crazy. Well, maybe they’re right. Darkfire thought to herself. I really don’t know at times... Should I question my sanity too? Is it even a sane behavior to ask if you’re insane? Darkfire did bark a dry laugh at that. She then looked back out the window of the train. Vast deserts stretched out as far as the mortal eye could see. An odd though implanted itself happily into Darkfire’s mind and she sang along with the song no one else could hear.

“Don’t close your eyes, God know what lies behind them.. Don’t turn out the light, never sleep, never die.” And, Darkfire reflected with amusement, I’m thinking death again. Nice that the song in my head speaks of death and questioning sanity. Just right along with my thoughts! She went ahead and burst into laughter, deciding that neither were important things to think about. At least, she should try to be a bit more pleasant. At least mentally. After all, if someone were to come along and ask why she was laughing, what should she say? I was just thinking about insanity and death. Is there a problem with laughing insanely while thinking about those things?

She sighed, relaxing against the warm window, heated by the desert outside. She closed her eyes, letting the thoughts that would trouble others wash over her head. Her mind drifted to the reason she was here: to spy in the Dragon’s Guild. She had been there once before, briefly. She had lost sight of it and was now returning. Small bits of news had whispered in her ear about a civil war within the Dragon’s Guild. And with Team Rocket watching their every move, they would pay a handsome sum to get a spy in. And why her? Rockets had tattoos. She was unmarked, and yet no better then they were. There was no force on this world that could stop her from obtaining her goals. No member of the Dragon’s council, no Dragon Tamer.

The Tamers were a problem. They had powerful members and even stronger allies. Burn their allies. Without them, Darkfire was certain the Tamers would be nothing. Their Pokemon were blessed, and would be blessed Rocket Pokemon once Darkfire was through tearing the Tamers apart. She smirked lightly. No one would ever suspect her. Why should they? She was not a trainer. She would have to get a Tamer’s Pokemon. Bleh.

She had to admit that it would look peculiar to see a girl with a powerful Pokemon joining the beginning and unnoticed ranks within the elite Tamers, but certainly she could have even a young, untrained Pokemon. She was good at training them. She had had to train to fight for herself. So why not? Certainly others would join equally as unnoticed with their own Pokemon.. But NO! This way, she would appear completely dependent on the Tamers. Of course she needed advice, maps, what have you. But needing one of their Pokemon.. That was a blow to Darkfire’s pride. She half sighed and half growled as she let herself fall into the depths of sleep. This Blood-forsaken train had better get their soon!

******************

Darkfire woke just as the train was nearing the inner boundaries of Caledor. She sighed and stood up, heedless of prior requests to remain seated. She stretched herself out in contented weariness. Her mind felt fuzzy still from her nap. She yawned and looked around her compartment in her boredom. It was nearly a rectangle of space, save for the slanting part of the train just above the window where the wall merged perfectly with the ceiling without a single flaw. Darkfire growled in irritation at the perfection. She had no idea why, but such odd, random things like that bothered her.

She then paused and looked at a shadowed corner more closely. A small object appeared wedged within that one corner. She narrowed her eyes angrily at it, deciding that it could only be a camera. Spying, were they? Well, read my thought, baka-camera! I’m going to tear your Tamers and Guild masters apart and you can just keep on recording. Darkfire chuckled darkly at the camera, amused that she was insulting an inanimate object with her thoughts. How much crazier can you get?

She sat back down, the slight monotonous pulling of the Earth’s gravity while she was moving faster than was normal for any human to do on her own, while staying in one spot was setting her mind into a haze. Her earlier hatred of the perfect rounded edge returned, making her both weary and irritated. And the added feeling of being watched by the camera’s small eye made her skin prick with building rage. She let these emotions fill her as she plotted ways to bring the Tamers and the rest of the Dragon’s Guild down while simultaneously wondering if she should bring them down together or attack first one, then the other.

She didn’t know much about the relationship between the Guild and the Tamers, but she could guess that it was somewhat like that of the Tamers being a sub-guild of the Dragon’s Guild. Odd, then, that she should be planning to take on the Guild first, then the Tamers. Allies. It was all about aiming for power. She bared her teeth, her eyes burning softly. They will die!

She sat alone with her bleary mind, her skin pricking in anger, and never once did she ask the question that could have changed what was to come: Why do I hate them? Instead, she let her mind greedily consume her anger, fueling her determination. She wasn’t with the Rockets. She wasn’t with anybody. But something burned within her. A chance to use everything she had in one last battle. She knew she was bound for that fight, and she was ready to rush up and take it head on any day. But, it never presented itself to her. Infuriated, she took on any challenge, hoping for her last battle where she would fly or die. Her body, though young, burned with the anticipation of it. She would not be one whose life would end gently from age. It would be before she was too old. She would make sure of that.

Why the end appealed to Darkfire so much, she didn’t know. But it burned within her to be ready for it. And if she was going, she was going to go a legend. Whether one who haunted the minds of the world forever, or one who would be praised as a Saint, she did not care. She would scar the world to get what she wanted. Life didn’t matter. It never made a difference. Never.

Hours, of sitting within herself, passed before the train eased to a stop, breaking her trance. She looked out the window again, and realized that they had pulled to to the station. She grabbed her bags and left her compartment, searching out the Dragon Tamer’s representative who would take her and a group of other beginners to the Tamer’s headquarters for their admission tests, license registration, etc. And her Pokemon! She fumed, thinking over what pathetically weak Pokemon she would have to train.

Darkfire found a small section for “New Dragon Tamer Arrivals”. She blinked, forcing herself to become as emotionless as stone. The fiery rage died down to smoldering embers, which she mentally shook off. She checked herself and went over to the corner. She set her bags down and glanced around, soon spying a group of younger people being led to where she was standing. They numbered nine, not counting their leader, making her group ten. She glanced briefly at their leader and paused. He was just as emotionless as she, his neat blond hair well kept and even braided on one side. His sharp emerald eyes met hers, and she found herself looking away. For a moment, she felt shame at being there. For what she was going to do.

She shoved the emotion away and waited for the leader to bring the brats over to her corner where he would give instructions and Blood knew what else. She blinked as the seed of thought that had perched within her mind began to move, beckoning for her too open it to the light of her consciousness where it could grow and bloom into an idea. She denied it, confining it into the dark reaches of her subconsciousness.

******************

Cyndane paused for a moment in time, looking into the stranger’s eyes. She had dark blue eyes, toned hard and keen from her emotionless gaze. She paused as well before looking away. Her long dark hair flickered from the movement, the rays of the sun above them catching the movement and emphasizing it by highlighting her hair into a deep red. For one moment, shame made its way into her eyes, replaced with a hostile glare into the nothingness before her. But they soon hardened into nothingness again, so rapidly that Cyndane shook his head, wondering if his own eyes were playing trick on him.

He brought the younger participants, the youngest being ten, the oldest fifteen, over to this solo young woman. She refused to look at him, but he could tell she was listening for what he had to say. That was, by far, more attention than a few others were granting Cyndane. He fought at a sigh, and beckoned for the stragglers to move closer.

“Listen now, because I will not repeat myself at any time. You are here to take the entrance exam into the Dragon Tamers. Only a select few will actually make it in, those that fail have the option to cycle back to the Dragon’s Guild for training for the next exam.” Why wasn’t she looking at him? He looked over the rest, ignoring her, or at least trying to. “Those that pass will be given a form that they must fill out for their membership license. From there, they shall be given a Pokemon.”

******************

Darkfire almost glared at the children who actually cheered at the last statement. This was pathetic, though amusing. She saw their leader, announcer, and guide trying to get her attention while trying to ignore her simultaneously. She almost looked at him, wondering how sane a man like that could be. He continued on about those that didn’t make it, and said that their leader would give those that passed some sort of welcoming speech and instructions. Darkfire continued to take in what knowledge of this system she could, while knowing that she was slightly torturing the young man who was attempting the impossible.

“Can we see a Pokemon?” One ten year old girl begged. A few others chimed it, eagerly biting at any chance they had to get some idea of a powerful Pokemon. Darkfire did snort then, but allowed the Dragon Tamer one brief, curious glance. He looked at her again, startled, before she looked away. He nodded then, and pulled out a Pokeball. From it, he released a Scyther. It was young looking, yet it had obviously seem many battles already. It hissed impressively at the children, rearing back its sharp scythes, which gleamed wickedly in the bright rays of the afternoon sun. Darkfire looked at it, calculating. It couldn’t be over Level thirteen, unless she was mistaken. And she rarely was.

******************

They had boarded a bus to the headquarters. Darkfire yawned passively as she watched the scenery pass by. The young man came over to her and cleared his throat. She made a ‘humph’ noise, but tauntingly didn't look at him.

“May I sit down?” He asked.

“I don’t know the rules.” Darkfire retorted. “Is it illegal?”

“Would you mind if it was illegal?” He inquired. Not serious, and yet oddly not quite jokingly either.

Darkfire did look at him again, then. He looked back down at her calmly, waiting for an answer. Even though he all but has the right of way, Darkfire thought with amusement, he is still asking me for permission...

“To be truthful, I wouldn’t mind, illegal or not.” She offered a weak smile before looking away. He sat down next to her calmly. Though not too close, he was also not too far away either. As if he somehow knew just how near she wanted him. And how far.

“My name is Cyndane.” He told Darkfire after a moment’s pause.

“My name,” she began, taunting him, “cannot be legal for you to know.. yet.”

“To be truthful, I wouldn’t mind, illegal or not.” Cyndane confided.

Darkfire smiled and rewarded him with another glance. “Darkfire. And my name is going down into history.”

“Really, Darkfire? And how would you know that?” Cyndane asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Because I’m going to live until it happens.” She confided. “And perhaps a while after, too.”

Cyndane chuckled, believing she was making a joke. Darkfire sighed, she hadn’t been joking. He paused, noting the serious look in her eyes.

“Is there something wrong?”

Darkfire just shook her head. “It’s complicated.”

******************

Cyndane left them in a room, each participant separated from the others so that he or she couldn’t cheat. Darkfire simply waited while the others spoke noisily until another person came in. Darkfire ignored the welcome speech and her name. Once she had the test, she went to work. After her years of study, this was an easy test to pass, yet she answered a few choice questions wrong. After all, those that succeed in the beginning will gain attention. Attention wasn’t something Darkfire needed.

Once finished, she dawdled a few minutes before calling the woman over to get her it. Her test was received with a cheerful smile, while the unnamed woman told Darkfire that she could do as she wished as long as she was quiet for the remaining time. Darkfire watched her leave, memorizing her appearance. It could be useful later.

She wandered around the room for a moment before she found some books. Bored, she spotted a magazine featuring an article on the genetics of Pokemon coloring. She picked it out and casually went back to her seat. Nealy half an hour of boredom passed before all of the tests were in. And another half hour after that while the test results were passed back. Childish yelps of “Yes!” whispered around, while most of them moaned. Darkfire wasn’t at all surprised to see that she had passed with a nice score. Not too high, but not low enough that they could afford to make her leave.

Darkfire and the other passers gathered their belongings before they were herded out of the room and into another. More paperwork and another welcoming speech. It was becoming very boring. And to Darkfire, who was already tired, it was becoming swiftly irritating as well. She wrote in answers to questions about herself, her appearance, her ambitions(she answered, just as she answered Cyndane), her hopes for what she wanted her first Pokemon to be(a strong one). She handed this form in and felt her skin prick again. She looked up to see another camera, its beady eye fixed on her. She narrowed her eyes at it, mentally taunting it for self amusement.

She then cast a curious glance around, taking in the information she needed before they decided that they could move on to wherever it was that they received their first Dragon Tamer Pokemon. She paused, realizing that on the last thought, her hand had clenched into a fist. I’m not weak! Darkfire unclenched the fist and looked around, wondering if anyone had noticed. None had. She was one of the crowd, though she would still have to be invisible and lay low for a time. No Dragon Tamer could be ignorant enough to not watch the new comers even for a time. She only needed little innocent bits of information for the time being.

Time passed and they passed into another room while their ID cards were made. The woman leading them, Lady Something-or-other, informed them about the two Adopting Agencies. Just great. The Dragon Tamers were so weak, they didn’t even capture their own Pokemon! Darkfire sighed as she listened to the rules. Two a day, tops.. 15 Pokemon limit... Abandoning fee.... Abandoning rules... Adoption rules and forms.. Blood, there is a LOT of paperwork! ... Stickers? Niiice... Stickers... Yes, you already mentioned the Pokemon limit.... No, I don’t want a form to fill out... What are YOU looking at?

Darkfire was in a bad mood by the time they reached the second Adoption Agency. PokeZoo.. Rriight... She looked over the Pokemon with just as little enthusiasm as she looked over the ones at Dragon Tamers Adoption Center. Maybe she could just hang around and catch her own Pokemon, and claim it was a trade... Darkfire sighed and looked the Pokemon over. Then her attention was captured by the sight of an empty cage, with the exception of a bunch of rocks. Bored, she went over to investigate it. On the clipboard on the front to the cage, it claimed that there was a Kabuto residing within.

“Uh.. Lady?” She called. The woman turned to look at her. Curious, perhaps, as of to why Darkfire hadn’t used her full name. “Why does this cage say there’s an extinct Pokemon in it?”

“We get very rare and unusual Pokemon in at times. A Kabuto isn’t as impossible to find as you might believe.” She smiled, almost mischievously, and went to help another of Darkfire’s group to get an overenthusiastic Pokemon to stop licking him. Too bad it wasn’t that Lickitung. Darkfire cruelly smirked in amusement. THAT would be amusing... She leaned against the cage that held the “Kabuto” and looked around again.

Minutes of watching others made her boredom increase ten fold, and her irritation at the cameras was really starting to burn at her. She paused as she herd a grinding.. somewhat of a scratching.. noise come from behind her. She turned around and blinked. It blinked. She tilted her head, confused and somewhat amazed. It made an odd hissing noise, though the meaning was lost to Darkfire.

Its gaze bored though her, eyes the color of a red that was a combination from two shades, the colors Darkfire had been thinking about all day: the red of fire, and the red of blood. She noticed it wasn’t looking at her, but rather passed her. She turned her head and noticed its line of vision was centered on the same camera she felt like ripping right out of the wall.

“They’re watching us, you and I.” Darkfire informed the Pokemon Kabuto. It hissed again, this time sounding louder. She nodded as if it had spoken. She was so familiar with anger that she could see it, even on the face of the faceless Pokemon. It scrapped its claws against the rocks in the cage, and Darkfire realized that not only was this Pokemon communicating to her in its own little weird way, but she was understanding it in her own little weird way.

“Cages. I’d kill if anyone caged me.” She informed the fossil Pokemon. Its eyes briefly flashed to a brighter red as if in agreement. “Its my blood. My insanity. If it didn’t burn me to death, I would use it to bring down those that dared hold me.” It drew its left fore claw against a rock, hard. The rock split in half, its own anger aroused by Darkfire’s dark words. “You and I aren’t meant for that life. Isn’t life just a cage?”

It bobbed its body, wide red eyes glaring with its anger. She felt sad, then. If only this Pokemon weren’t Tamer property.. Well, she wasn’t sticking around that long. If she trained this young Pokemon now, couldn’t it grow into a fine fighter, not some wimpy Tamer Pokemon? The Kabuto was built for battle, its hard shell a shield and its claws sharp and backed by powerful muscles. She studied its build. It was like her, oddly enough. She realized that its trail of though had followed hers almost exactly. The scrape of a claw against a rock translating into resent against being caged. She then thought about it. Were she a Pokemon, she would be powerful. Not only that, but she certainly wouldn’t listen to any mere human. If this Pokemon was like her, then she would have to be careful if she did train it.

“I’m like you. Blood for fighting blood. Why don’t we team up and show these weaklings what true fighters can do?” It considered Darkfire with its gaze, sizing her up. She spoke quickly, in a hushed whisper that only it could hear. “I’m looking to dominate weakness. I know that’s what you’re looking for too. What better way to get back at the Dragon Tamers then to take them apart, one by one?” It then nodded again, though it wasn’t very enthusiastic. Darkfire nodded respectfully in return and went to get the papers to fill out.

Stickers. Why stickers? Darkfire took the mini Kabuto sticker which was to be placed on the back of her card. She finished the forms and collected Kabuto’s Pokeball. The cards would be ready in a few minutes, and Darkfire had to get things worked out with her new Pokemon. She went over and opened the cage. It-he, according to the forms-came out, dangerously sharp claws clicking almost eerily on the hard floors. He stopped and turned his gaze upwards to his new trainer. She looked back down at him. She was amazed that she could stand so near this Pokemon, one with the ability to kill only rivaled by his evolution and Scyther. He blinked calmly, simply asking if he was to be confined to another cage, a Pokeball.

She knelt by him, showing her trust to this powerful creature who could easily harm her, especially this close. She held the Pokeball between them, and he hissed soft anger at the shiny red and white containment sphere. “Now, none of that.” She teased him. He stopped hissing. “I won’t force you to be in a Pokeball, but you should get used to it. There will be times and places where being in a Pokeball is beneficial.” He glared at her. “I warned you of my insanity. But I am correct in this one. After all, if I were to select you for battle, our opponent would already know what you are.”

He nodded, unable to deny the reality of her statement. He made an odd, crooning, purring.. thrumming... noise before tapping the entry button of the Pokeball with a fore claw. The Pokeball opened, and his matter was changed from that of a solid to that of pure energy. Darkfire watched as his energy entered the Pokeball, and let the Pokeball close in her palm. She resized it and stood up again. She was receiving a few curious glances, and a few startled ones from a few Tamers that had been watching. While the Kabuto had been docile enough, he hadn’t liked humans at all. And certainly didn’t go into his Pokeball THAT easily.

“You just have to know the right words.” She said smoothly before going to see if her card was ready yet. It was, and she was amused that they had taken her two favorite colors(another stupid question) and had used them for the coloring of the card. It was black with silver lettering, her ID number in the top, followed by her membership status and name, age, height, etc. She also noticed that they had used the picture that she had sent in with her application asking to be accepted into the Tamers. Darkfire sighed at this. She was beginning to think that she was treating this whole ordeal all too cautiously.

******************

Darkfire entered her apartment. For their first year, the Tamers could live for free in an apartment. After that, they either had to pay, buy their own house, or find someone to rent a room from. Leaving her bags by the door, she flipped her card in the air as she gave the apartment a once-over. She then came back and collected them. While on the way to the apartment building, she had noticed a poster advertising that the training grounds were still open. She had asked around for information on these training grounds, and had gathered that they were a popular training spot for those participating in a Game or upcoming tournament. Unfortunately, these Games were over, and weren’t expected to restart for another year or so. That suited Darkfire. She needed time to train up a powerful team, and this was her last chance to use the grounds.

How am I going to assemble a team strong enough? I have my Kabuto, but he was just pure, raw luck. I doubt there are many powerful Tamer Pokemon. He will be that true power the Tamers will want, but what they don’t know is what I’m going to use my power for. I can’t catch Pokemon, that’s clear enough. I guess I’ll just have to keep a sharp eye on the Adoption Agencies for worth while Pokemon.

Darkfire let her Pokemon out to explore the apartment, informing him that they were going to use the training grounds that day. He seemed pleased that he would be able to battle so early, and she was pleased at his enthusiasm for battles. She unpacked swiftly, nearly making her new apartment a mess as she decided to sort things out after she and Kabuto had trained up some. According to the rules, there were powerful Pokemon in there. And she was allowed to battle two in each room.. If there are five rooms, and she chose the strongest opponents, Kabuto would be able to level up from seven to twenty-seven in five days. She would have to be careful to heal after each battle, though. She didn’t want to overdo it with her Pokemon. She didn’t know his capabilities yet.

Finished for now, she recalled Kabuto to his Pokeball and went to find the training grounds. As she stepped outside, she was hit with the strangeness of the Tamers’ area. A town in its own, and she had absolutely no currency for. She went to to the MG Tower and looked at it. She took three MGs, though all she got was a Red Coin, a Solar Gem, and some Mystery Box. Deciding to go back about the Box the next day, she left to the grounds, passing a Reward Center(a Poke Mart?) and a Pokemon Center along the way.

It wasn’t hard to find the Battle Range where the Rooms supposedly were. Darkfire went in and saw no one there. She snorted and went over to a rules poster on the wall. No catching, no killing, good battles rewarded with Stamps, etc. She shrugged and went to the section that had a Pokemon Center. From there, she easily spotted the area labeled “Training Rooms”. She went over, fiddling with her ID. A guard stood at each door, though why that was, Darkfire decided, she didn’t want to know.

The first room to her left had a yellow door and was labeled “Desert Room”. The next down the line to the left was the “Lava Room” with a red door. To the right, with a blue door, was the “Pond Room”, followed by the “Blizzard Room” and its white door. At the very end was a green door labeled “Jungle Room”. She noticed the hall like formation, and nodded in approval to herself. At least this was going to be a neat, easy twenty levels.

“My Kabuto is a Water and Rock Type, so I should start with either the Desert or Pond Rooms.... Pond first, I guess...” Darkfire muttered to herself. She moved down the hall and stopped by the guard. He looked at her calmly, having done this many times by now.

“ID, please.” He requested. She pulled out her card and handed it to him. He nodded and returned the card after a quick scan. “You’re new here, right?” He asked. Darkfire nodded, putting the card back in her pocket. “Just a tip: There are rules and warnings on the poster just inside the door. Go down the hall to the training grounds. And everything you do is monitored.” A warning light gleamed in his eyes.

“The Houndoom is nosy, I suppose?” Darkfire stared, a password between Rockets that she had been give. He nodded, which was all of the confirmation she needed. She nodded in return and entered the room. Just at the other spy had said, there was a hall right after the door. The door closed, and she scanned the rules and warnings. Pond Room is all water, save a raft for trainers and non-Water Pokemon. That’s nice.

She took out Kabuto’s Pokeball and continued down the hall. It wasn’t long before she came to another door. She opened it and looked in. There was a raft in the middle of the pond, a rope attached to it. She looked up and saw that there was a long sheet of glass at the top of the walls, presumably where the judges were. Darkfire waved sarcastically up at them and went to the raft. She was alone, which suited her just fine. After all, this way she wouldn’t have to argue with the competition for a battle or two.

She picked the rope out of the water and pulled the raft in. She then released her Kabuto onto the raft before stepping lightly onto the floating platform herself. She picked up a long pole that was hooked onto a side of the raft and used it to push them away from the dock, out into the middle of the Pond. Kabuto watched the waters calmly, not at all intimidated by the fact that he was half Rock, and most Rock Pokemon sank.

“So.. Do you have a name?” Darkfire asked after a time had passed. She was beginning to wonder if she was supposed to have brought something to lure opponents in, or if she was supposed to say something...

The Kabuto hissed and went to the edge of the raft. He dipped a fore claw into the water and slashed through it, propelling water at Darkfire. She was hit, and glared at the ancient Pokemon. If there was one thing she couldn’t stand, it was being wet when she didn’t want to be. He made that odd crooning noise again, and Darkfire had the distinct feeling he was laughing at her.

“Splash, then?” She dodged another wave of water, making the raft shake precariously. “Oye, alright!” She tried to steady the raft, REALLY not wanting to get dunked. “I know you mean something else... Rain?”

He paused, and she know he was thinking something very close, but not quite.

“R-A-I-N... No? R-Y-N-E? Sorry.. Okay, I’m serious now... R?” He nodded, not too happy with her for messing with his name. “A?” Another nod. “I?” He hissed a “No”. “Okay.. Y?” A nod, much to her surprise. “N?” Another nod. “Is that all?” He hissed. “Um... I? No? E?” He nodded, not appearing quite so unhappy. “Is that it? Rayne?” Rayne nodded, then looked back into the water.

Darkfire looked over too. “I’m Darkfire, by the way. I hope we get along.” Rayne thrummed in agreement.

Long minutes of nothingness later, Darkfire yawned. Rayne was still looking over the edge of one side while she sat off center opposite of him to balance out the raft. She wondered why there would be guards for a room when nothing happen IN that room. She looked at the glass windows and glared, blaming the judges for her boredom.

The water rippled and a fin popped up. Darkfire blinked at the light blue fin, confused. Had something died and floated to the surface? If so, then it must have died in boredom. Darkfire snickered at the thought. Rayne hissed, and the fin jumped out of the water, followed by a body. The body of the creature was dog-like with a round, oval head Darkfire noted that it had a fin on the top of its head, and one for a tail. Smooth, spiky orange half-stars poked out from the corners of its mouth. It has round, beady eyes and pale blue coloring for the underside of its head, on its jaw, down its neck and its underbelly. It’s tail-fin was also colored this shade of blue. Darkfire recognized the Pokemon Mudkip.

A screen came down from the ceiling. On the left of the screen was a picture of a Mudkip, the number fifteen under its picture and a green bar under the number. In the middle were the large letters Vs. and on the right side was the same as on the left, only it was a picture of Rayne, and the number was seven. He’s only Level seven!

Rayne’s Fight! Rayne (7) Vs. Mudkip (15)

Darkfire panicked for a moment, but forced the emotionless to take over her. Rayne, please listen. She thought back to the attacks he knew. Scratch, Harden, Leer, and Confuse Ray. She could made something out of these attacks. She just knew it! She was about to consider a good tactic, when Mudkip sprang forward. It opened its mouth and spat out a thick slimy liquid. Darkfire knew a Poison attack when she saw it. Though it wasn’t one she was familiar with, she knew it might poison Rayne.

“Rayne, Harden. Block out the poison, and get in the water!” She didn’t know much about Kabuto and their ability to swim, but if poison sank in, it was over.

Rayne hesitated, but ducked himself, his shell becoming a brilliant shining white. The toxic slime splashed off of his shell. Once the stream of sludge stopped coming, Rayne sidled over the edge in an attempt to wash off the poison before is sank it. Mudkip growled at its fail tactic. Rayne sank under the water and didn’t resurface. Darkfire felt anxious for her Pokemon. If anything happened to him.. She was startled at the idea, and at how protective she felt towards the Pokemon.

Mudkip snorted at Darkfire as though whatever had happened, she should be ashamed. Darkfire glared at the snotty Pokemon. “I know what I’m doing.” She snarled at it. It just stared at her. Her skin pricked with irritation. “Rayne, Scratch!”

Must to her surprise, and even more to to Mudkip’s, Rayne came scurrying up over the edge, his weight throwing the raft off balance. Darkfire backed away to keep them all from flipping into the water. Rayne crashed into Mudkip, dealing the lighter and smaller Pokemon a small amount of damage. Darkfire looked briefly up at the board and saw that Mudkip has failed to poison and damage Rayne at all. She looked back to the fighting Pokemon and watched while Rayne held the other down, striking it over and over again.

Mudkip squealed in agony before releasing a jet of water, throwing the bigger Pokemon off of it. It then scrambled, bleeding from multiple gashes, over to one side of the edge. It opened its mouth at Rayne, who was getting back up for another rush. Mudkip breathed in deeply and released a beam of icy power right at Rayne. It hit, and his limbs were frozen, grounded to the raft.

Mudkip growled and began another attack, though this time it spewed out a stream of mud instead of water, poison, or ice. It connected with Rayne, who was unable to free himself. Rayne hissed in pain. He struggled feverishly against the trap that pinned him to the raft. Darkfire sighed. I shouldn’t have expected him to be able to take on a Pokemon like this... Wait..Ice.. Maybe..

“Rayne, Confuse Ray! Make it count!” Darkfire shouted. Rayne blinked before his eyes before to glow into pure white. A blinding flash caught Darkfire off guard. She had never seen a Confuse Ray before. She grimaced, unable to see properly. Great, I’ve been hit with my own Pokemon’s Confuse Ray! “Harden and escape! Then Leer and Scratch!”

Her vision soon cleared, the confusion not meant to effect humans. Rayne’s shell and claws had become that same brilliant white color as his limbs and shell hardened. The ice crackled faintly. The surface that it were trying to grasp had changed form . It was no longer like the limbs of a Pokemon, but slick like metal. Rayne felt this and pulled himself out of his ice prison.

He then clawed his way over to the dazed Mudkip, whose vision was starting to clear. It looked at Rayne, confused. Rayne’s eyes glared into a hot red for his Leer attack. Mudkip yipped just like a dog, and cowered back. It tried to attack, but it fell over its own feet from trying to go backwards and forwards at the same time. Rayne attacked its bared side, repeating the strokes until Mudkip fainted from the pain and loss of blood.

Darkfire looked up to the screen, and approved as the bar under Mudkip’s name became pure red and the picture faded out. Rayne’s HP was far lower than Darkfire had thought it had been, but that wasn’t a problem. The number under his picture changed from seven to nine.

Rayne is victorious! Rayne grows to Level 9! However, he gains nothing for a reward move wise...

Darkfire smiled happily. Rayne looked at her, and she knew he was smiling in his own way too. They paused for a moment in time, just looking at one another in silent and mutual approval. Darkfire’s irritation had vanished, replaced with the happiness of finding a Pokemon that would not only be with her for a long time, but one with strength unnoticed by any Tamer. She truly had been lucky.

“Shall we take a break?” She asked as someone opened their window and recalled the defeated Mudkip to its Pokeball so its injuries could be tended to. Rayne hesitated in thought before nodding. Darkfire smiled and collected the pole. She pushed them both to the dock before returning Rayne to his Pokeball and got off of the raft. She then went back through the door and down the hall. She was happy with her revelations, and she held onto that emotion, greedily guarding it from leaving. It was a rare emotion for Darkfire. She passed the guard with a nod and went over to the Pokemon Center.

It wasn’t long before Darkfire’s Pokemon was fully healed. She went calmly back to the Rooms, but stopped and looked around out of habit. A figure looked over at her and went to her. She instantly recognized Cyndane. He looked rather happy about something.

“Yes?” She asked as he stopped in front of her.

“You think that because I came over, I want something from you?” Cyndane asked.

“Yes.” She replied.

“What would I want?” He inquired, curious.

“For me to listen to you, at the very least.” Darkfire said. Her good mood was slipping. Now she had to be wary. She was talking to an enemy who believed she was a friend.

Cyndane chuckled at her response. Again, she hadn’t been joking. But this time, she simply waited. It then occurred to her how odd it seemed that he would show any emotion. Though she could tell what he was feeling by his actions, to actually see him expressing himself was a little odd to her. “I’m working up my Pokemon. I heard you received a Kabuto.”

“I did.” She nodded. “I hear you have a Scyther that likes to show off for beginners.” She replied, meeting his eyes calmly. He shook his head, smiling slightly.

“Do you have to be so serious?”

“It comes with the name.”

“Can you change your name?”

“Do you always ask so many questions?”

Cyndane shook his head again. “We should battle sometime.”

“Sometime, we will. I can promise that.” Darkfire replied sadly. She didn’t know why, but the thought of fighting Cyndane made her sad. She bit back at her guilt angrily.

“How about in a few days? I’m really just trying to get my Scyther up to his sweet twenty-fifth. How about you and Kabuto?”

“We’re aiming for twenty-seven.”

“Really?” He looked surprised. “You’re joking, right?”

“Do I look like I am?” Darkfire replied. “We were just on our way to our second battle in the Pond Room. He’s already at nine.”

“Nine to twenty-seven... That will be hard, Darkfire..”

“I know. And I may even be pushing it. But until I can get some more Pokemon, I’ll sink without him. A storm will rise, and I’m going to ride it.”

“That’s deep.. Why would you risk it all, though?” He looked sad, finally realizing what she sought most of all.

“Because I have nothing to lose.” Darkfire replied. Her heart ached in painful memories. She turned from Cyndane, unable to look at him, and went back to the Pond Room for the second battle.

******************

Darkfire and Rayne sat out on the middle of the platform, watching their next opponent, another Mudkip, climb up onto the raft. Darkfire’s face was emotionless as she looked from their opponent to Rayne.

“Now let’s not over work ourselves. This battle should be easier, but I would like for us to be able to finish our Twenty Level Run by the end of five days. Are you up to that?” Rayne hissed in reply, earning a smile from Darkfire. “Then lets show these Tamers what we can do.”

Rayne crooned in amusement before turning to face the new Mudkip. Darkfire barely glanced up to look at the status board that descended over the raft. This Mudkip was at Level fifteen, the same as the last one. However, Rayne was now at Level nine, not seven. This would be easier, yet Darkfire had a bad feeling that the judges had selected an even harder Pokemon to spar with them then the last time.


Rayne’s Fight! Rayne (9) Vs. Mudkip (15)

Rayne hissed warningly at his opponent, sinking his claws into the wood of the raft. Mudkip blinked and smirked. It growled back at Rayne before it opened its mouth, inhaling to ready a powerful attack.

“Confuse Ray, don’t give it a chance!” Darkfire called to Rayne. His response was to fix Mudkip with his red eyes before making them turn white with power. Darkfire knew enough this time to close her eyes. She counted to five before looking to see Mudkip had released its attack, firing a Water Gun into the Pond.

“Harden and Scratch.” She told Rayne, whom seemed to think Mudkip attacking a lake with a Water Gun was rather amusing to watch. He re readied himself for battle and concentrated on hardening his shell and limbs, turning them into a solider substance than before. He then sneaked up behind Mudkip, using his hardened claws to slash at the poor water dog’s tender skin.

******************

The onlookers muttered their approval. Darkfire had managed to gain the trust of her Pokemon. While during the first round it was the Kabuto’s intelligence alone that helped them succeed, this time around, Darkfire seemed to have transformed into a battling genius. A few judges began typing in Darkfire’s discoveries about Harden being used to increase the effectiveness of cutting attacks and that Harden could slow poison’s penetration of one’s system.

Cyndane leaned forward, bracing himself on his elbows as he watched Darkfire and her Pokemon soar through the battle as if it were nothing. Still, Kabuto had a Level disadvantage of six, and he was battling with the best of them. He watched as Mudkip’s confusion cleared. Enraged and bleeding from multiple strikes, some rather deep, it advanced dangerously. Kabuto wasn’t fazed, however, and obeyed Darkfire quick command to Leer Mudkip before dealing another round of blows with his claws.

He watched her. She was calm, showing no signs of emotion other than pure dominance. Kabuto seemed to take after his master to an almost scary extent. When she grew nervous, he was nervous. When he was angry, so was she. They mirrored one another's emotions to an almost ridiculous point. How Darkfire’s Pokemon could be so similar to her... Did she know? Of course she must know. How could she not?

Now Mudkip had turned the tide of battle. It had Kabuto pinned down on its back, unable to defend itself.

******************

“Rayne..” Darkfire growled. Mudkip fired a Blizzard at Rayne, sending him flying off of the raft. The shift in balance on the raft tipped it. Mudkip slipped into the water, while Darkfire was dunked under with a loud SPLASH! She held her breath, for a while confused. She opened her eyes underwater and nearly gasped. Rayne was swimming, no, flying under water! Her once slow Pokemon was darting through the water. How he could manage it, she had no idea. But he propelled himself expertly, chasing his opponent like mad.

Mudkip seemed to be bleeding out faster, being chased underwater by a vicious Pokemon that should not exist in its day and age. Its movements were becoming slow and strained. Darkfire felt pity for it. Perhaps she shouldn’t fight so roughly? She didn’t want to kill the poor thing, just defeat it. She felt her lungs begin to burn, and began her struggle to the surface.

It was like moving through molasses! She could barely move! Sinking faster than rising, she panicked. Her heart beats drummed maddeningly in her ears. Then a calmness descended on her. She narrowed her eyes. If this was her last battle at last, she was NOT going to sink. Not in some Tamer’s puddle! She called upon a strength inside of her, and the actions that happened where almost too slow to remember. Time was up.

******************

Rayne narrowed his eyes as he caught his opponent. Mudkip, exhausted and lacking blood, went limp in his claws. Remembering the rule about not killing his opponents, something Darkfire had commented on, he brought the defeated water mutt to the raft and brought it aboard. He then looked up. The board above him was different. He would have to learn how to understand what it all meant someday.

Pleased, he looked over to where Darkfire had been, but saw no trace of her. In an instant, the old instinct of his ancestors whispered in his mind that there was danger. He dove back into the water and looked there. There was nothing. No body, no blood, no Darkfire. Confused and uncertain, he swam the Pond over and over, never finding a trace.

******************

A silent hush had fallen over the judges’ room. No one dared to breath as they watched the Kabuto circle in a vain attempt to find his trainer. Cyndane was shocked. Nothing like this had ever happened before. She hadn’t drowned. She had been under the water a few moments before... But this? Never. Where was Darkfire? What had happened? Where was she now?

Silently, Cyndane looked upwards. Wherever she was, he hoped she would return. He prayed for it. The prayer was heard somewhere else, and dark blue eyes glared again.


Rayne is victorious! Rayne grows to Level 11! He learns the attack Absorb(Level 10 level-up attack), and gains the TM Ice Beam(free Level 10 TM)!

Lady Vulpix
19th October 2004, 12:45 PM
I was just wondering if I was ever going to be able to catch up with Ade's story since I've been gone. I suppose that answers that question a bit.I hope so. And I wonder if you'll ever post a story here again. Your stories were excellent.

AntiAsh Superstar
20th October 2004, 07:25 AM
This story kinda caught me by surprise, Brandy really developed a concrete personality in this one. :oh: btw, Charlie, I'm in the process of archiving my old battles (and those of anyone else who fancies having an online archive of their adoptees battles *HEAVY HINT*) here (http://www.tsuyoislair.co.uk/archives) and whilst not all of mine are up there yet there's prolly a fair few that got written after you left up there already if you have to time to read through em. ^^ Nice to see you post in here again, btw.

-----
"Uhh.." The Vaporeon stirred restlessly, tucked away within the shady alcoves of the woodland she called her home. There was something wrong. She could sense it. Something deep within her belly, stirring, moving, thrashing… that mass she had been carrying around with her for what seemed like an eternity. There was something different about it tonight. "Ah…" She gave a short gasp of pain as her stomach lurched, and flinched instinctively. Which caused her to knock into the other creature who shared the safe, warm spot located within the tangles of a grand oak's roots.
"Uh?" The Vaporeon suddenly found a pair of amber eyes staring at her from the darkness. "What's wrong, my cherished little blossom? Why the pained look?"
"Tamotsu, I…" She gasped in pain as once again the contractions took hold. There was really no avoiding this one! "Tamotsu, it's coming! I can feel it!" Well there was very little question as to what 'it' was! She, the Vaporeon known as Adreena, had been carrying 'it' around in her belly for a matter of months. Her child. The product of her union with the gallant Umbreon called Tamotsu. The two pokémon lived just on the outskirts of Sector Alpha, in the area where urban sprawl gave way suddenly to the breathtaking beauty of nature. They had searched long and hard, but eventually found a forest to call their own; hardly more than a copse, but it provided food and shelter, and a small lake to nurture Adreena's aquatic urges. Of course, it didn't have to be like this. The Vaporeon had been a pet pokémon originally, and although her old mistress was long dead, she still had a sister who was being quite competently raised in the city. Has she chosen to, she could have been living this scene in the relative comfort of a human household. But that wasn't the way she had wanted to live. Adreena's place was here, with the creature that she loved. For better or for worse.
"Hang on, my sweetheart. We'll see this through together." Tamotsu was by her side in a heartbeat, urging her on with his passionate gaze. That was always the way. He would have gladly lain down his life for Adreena. And she never lost sight of that, not once. She counted herself the luckiest pokémon alive. "Now calm, focus on the pain. Work with it, not against it. Remember how much it hurt to evolve? Yet you came through that just fine. This is the exact same thing. Work with the pain, my blossom, with it!" Adreena had to hand it to her lover. He always seemed to know the precise words that would help her at any given moment. And what he said did make sense. Was this not just another discomfort whose pain would only last a brief while, but its consequences would be life-altering? In that respect it was identical to evolution.
"Come on!" Adreena grunted hard, throwing all of her force into trying to expel the creature within her, to force it into the world outside where she could best take care of it. The process was long, and it was grueling. And several times Adreena found herself in tears. But every time she felt close to breaking, she would always find a supportive paw upon her brow, or the slightest of nuzzles that somehow managed to bring her focus back to the task at hand. Until eventually one final shove expelled the little pup out of her womb and into the harsh realities of the outside world. The Vaporeon practically passed out at this point, so glad was she that her work was finally over.
"Blossom…" The shock in Tamotsu's voice could have been due to anything. But Adreena knew him so well by now that she could make out the slightest variation in the nuances of his tones. This was going to be a good surprise, she could tell. "My sweet little blossom, take a look." Adreena lifted her head wearily. To see, sure enough, a tiny little mewling pup, soaked and practically hairless from its time in the womb and desperately seeking nourishment after its long a grueling journey. To the Vaporeon there wasn't a finer sight in the world. "It's a boy, my sweetheart. Our own little baby boy." Adreena hardly registered the words. She was far too busy encouraging her pup to make its way over to her, where she could keep it warm in the sort of embrace that only a mother could perform. "And a more perfect thing I couldn't hope to imagine. Clearly he takes after his mother."
"Oh, leave it for once, you big old flatterer, you." No matter how many times Tamotsu would throw in the random compliments, they would never fail to redden Adreena's cheeks. "We've other things to worry about. Like what we're going to call this little tyke."
"You already know, don't you?" Tamotsu smiled. "I know you better than that. You've probably been thinking about this for weeks. In which case I defer to your superior knowledge. Whatever you have in mind, Adreena, I'm sure it will be perfect."
"Really? So how does Kay sound to you?"
"Hmm…" The Umbreon considered this for a second, watching his child suckle at its mother's teats. It seemed all too perfect. "Kay sounds perfect, my blossom."

That night had been a restless one for more than one creature known to my team. Right now the time was approaching three in the morning, and the Houndour named Pandora was busy staring vacantly at the image reflected in the mirror that stood in front of her, her soulful eyes blurred with tears. What was wrong with her? Why, whenever life seemed to be going well for her, did fate seem to delight in striking her down again? The night had been going so nicely, too. She had snuggled down for a nice, relaxing time with Milliardo, the two Dark types making a nice bed for themselves in a small corner of the bedroom where they wouldn't have to be disturbed by anyone. And she had even managed to fall asleep with ease that night, comforted by the warmth of the Umbreon snuggled up to her. But then the dreams started. The same thing, over and over again. First, she would awaken in a darkened room, all of her usual companions having evidently awoken earlier. Then she would pace over to the door of the room, which opened without any trouble. Then it was a case of heading outside. And what terrible weather greeted her when she managed that! The wind would threaten to bowl her over, and the torrential rain soaked her to the bone within seconds. And the lightning… well, that terrible thing would light the sky up at a rate of several strakes per minute, bolts of electricity sneaking down the sky like bright, jagged snakes. Through such terrible conditions she would pace, sliding and losing her footing on the mud underfoot, spurred on by a sense that something terrible would await her if she didn't reach her destination quickly. So no matter how many times she stumbled, no matter how cold she grew, she pushed onwards. And at that point the dream would take its usual course. Out of breath and splattered in mud, she would eventually reach a dead end, a small fenced off area on top of a shallow slope. Where Milliardo would be waiting for her. Only…
Pandora shuddered violently. It had always been the same. He wouldn't move. And for a moment she would avert her gaze, turn to one side as if unable to look in his direction. And then… then she would see why he wasn't moving. The instant she returned her gaze to her lover, a cruel, demonic beast had his head in her talons, a cold, reptilic eye glaring banefully down at Pandora as if daring her to do something about the situation. That was the point where she would almost always wake up with tears in her eyes. The sheer menace of that dream was overwhelming. It brought with it a sense of despair deeper than anything Pandora had ever experienced before. And the fact that she was dreaming this on such a regular basis, as well… it was starting to break her, it truly was.
"Why..?" she sobbed bitterly. The face she saw reflected back at her… what kind of creature was that? Nothing but a messed up thing that caused more problems than it was worth. A pathetic excuse for a pokémon who broke at the first sign of a nightmare. What good was she to anyone if all she could do was fall to pieces? Prophetic dreams or not – and whilst she did occasionally see the future with devastating clarity, more often than not she would simply have more frequent, vivid nightmares than usual in times of trouble – there was still no excuse for her behaviour. Which only served to make her feel all the worse. "What good is any of this? What good?" Abruptly she rammed her head hard into the mirror. It really did feel as if there was something inside, tormenting her with cruel swipes at her psyche, a terrible fog that refused to lift. And whilst the pain was enough to bring even more tears to her eyes, at least it was a physical pain. That she could deal with. That was something that seemed to blot out all the other weights pressing down upon her. Now if only she could somehow stun whatever was inside her brain, maybe there would be some respite. Again she head butted the mirror, this time leaving a hairline crack in the glass as a result of her assault. Now her head was beginning to throb, a dull pain enveloping her. But that didn't matter. It was much more preferable to the overwhelming gloom that had been resident there before. At least now she had something else to worry about.
"Pandora, why…" The Houndour hadn't noticed Milliardo make his way into the room. In fact, he had only just arrived. But it wasn't a moment too soon, in his opinion. This was a sight he had hoped that he wouldn't have to see again! "Whoa! Whoa!" The Umbreon inserted himself smartly between Pandora and the mirror. "What's going on here?"
"I'm sorry!" Pandora bawled in a voice that was practically a scream. She was practically hysterical by now, and it was as much as Milliardo could do to stop her from flinging herself at the glass once again. He genuinely couldn't remember the last time she had been this bad. "I'm sorry, Milliardo! It's inside me, and I can't fight it. I've tried so hard, it's been there for ages now but I just can't fight it any more! I don't have the strength." Now it seemed as if she genuinely DID lack the strength to carry on, for she slumped to the floor miserably, the tears still silently trickling down her cheeks.
"Pandora..." Milliardo sighed deeply, moving over and nuzzling his partner supportively. This wasn't his favourite way to be spending a night! But then, he had made his choices long ago. And that was to stick by her side, through good times and bad. "What caused you to do this, huh? Don't you see how little good it's going to do?"
"I told you I'm sorry, what more do you want?" There was a decidedly heated edge to Pandora's tone, which was an improvement on her current mood. "The... the dream. I had the dream again. I don't want to have to go through that every night, Milliardo. Really I don't. I dread going to sleep at night because I know it's going to happen again. It happens every night. The same thing, over and over. And it scares me. Because it might... it might be true." The mere thought of this was enough to send the Houndour into a fresh bout of sobbing. There was really very little that Milliardo could do apart from keep her close and wait for her to calm down, until this dark spell had passed. "It makes me think sometimes that I'd rather be dead than carry on like this."
"Don't talk like that!" Milliardo admonished, fighting the tears that came to his own eyes. He had known Pandora to have her moments, certainly, but this was the first time he had ever heard her speak of her death in this way! Something must have truly broken this time. "You start thinking like that and there's no telling where it'll lead! Listen to me right now, Pandora, sometimes they'll try and break you. And by 'them' I mean absolutely anything - people, pokémon, events, dreams... you name it. But you know what? I say let them bring it on, because you and me, we're fighters. And if we're gonna go down we're gonna go down kicking and screaming! And if you can't see that just be damn thankful I've got enough fight in me for the both of us, because I'll be damned if I'm going to let some nightmare break you like this!" Pandora looked momentarily stunned. Every time, just when she thought she had the measure of Milliardo's depth of feeling, he would pull something like this and leave her speechless. "I hate to see you like this, Pandora. I love you, maybe more than I let on sometimes. You're the beginning and the end of the world for me, even if I act like a total prat towards you sometimes. So come on. For me, can't you just try and not let this get to you? Come on, what happened to all that old fire within you?"
"It's still in there somewhere... I guess," Pandora conceded eventually, once the tears had abated slightly. "Have patience with me, Milliardo. I can't promise that I'll never let it get to me again - hell, I have no confidence in my abilities to block things out at all - but... I'll try. For you, I'll try."
"That's my girl." Milliardo kissed the top of Pandora's head lightly, silently resolving to stay by her side no matter what. She needed his support now more than ever. And it was something that he was more than happy to give.

"You're off training again?" Breakfast was its usual less than low-key affair. Although quieter than usual due to the fact that neither Milliardo nor Pandora seemed to show any inclination of getting up - which was cause for concern in itself - this was more than compensated for by Sindel having woken far too early for her own good. Hence today's breakfast was roughly three times its usual size. When my Alakazam was bored, she cooked. In this instance, mounds of both real and fake bacon and sausages, eggs, toast, home made croissants, crumpets and muffins, plus a totally bewildering array of jams and marmalades. Even the house's two resident gluttons, Katnip and Kassandra, had to concede defeat with regards to finishing their food.
"Hey, it's what I'm supposed to do, remember? And speaking of training, haven't you been saying you'll book one of the Jungle Rooms for the past few weeks, Soo?"
"Hey, it's not my fault, I've been ill, remember?" my fiancée pouted. It was the usual level of breakfast conversation, really. The two of us sat at the table nibbling at buttered toast, our pokémon all lounging around the expansive kitchen in various states of alertness.
"True enough, but I haven't, so lay off me would you?" I wasn't being remotely serious, of course, and we both knew it.
"It'd still be nice to do something a little different every now and then," came the semi-sulky reply.
"What? Hey, there's nothing wrong with training! Look, I train every day and look how strong I am!" Kassandra shouted from her position by the door, throwing a few punches and kicks in the air for good measure. "If everyone else trained as much as me then they'd almost be this strong!"
"Kass," Marius noted, dangling upside down from a nearby beam, "we could train for centuries and we simply wouldn't be remotely as competent as you are." Kass seemed to be the only one who didn't notice that my Dratini was fighting a losing battle with a bemused smirk as he said this.
"Yeah!" Soo's Charmander punched the air. "You're smarter than you look, Marius! Keep this up and you might stop being such a dweeb!" She turned to the Dratini with a broad smile. "Hey, why don't I teach you Double Edge to help you on your way?"
"Perhaps some other time, Kass," Marius responded. "I just seriously doubt I have sufficient skills to keep up with your training."
"Ha! At least you know I'm so much better than you!"
"Anyway..." Marius decided to bring a swift end to this conversation before it grew totally out of hand. "Ade, what were your training plans for the day?"
"Hadn't we better wait to see what Milliardo and Pandora fancy doing today first?" I asked.
"I can already inform you that their plans involve staying in bed for most of the day." There was a curious expression in the Dratini's eyes, a barely perceptible tinge of sadness in an otherwise intelligent face. I had seen that look before, and knew perfectly well what it meant. "Apparently neither was able to obtain much in the way of sleep last night."
"Then shouldn't I..." I was silenced by a shake of the Dratini's head.
"Believe me, neither would appreciate any interference. Just allow them to sort things out between themselves. And please try not to worry too much. As tragic a situation as it is, that's the way they would rather have it."
"Sometimes I wonder why I bother asking," I commented. "I know them well enough to figure that one out on my own anyway."
"Congratulations," yawned a familiar voice. "That's only taken you a year to figure out. There's hope for you yet." I turned to see Tsuyoi pace into the room, looking his usual ferocious self. Well, semi-ferocious, at any rate. To us he was just a part of the scenery as much as anyone else. "So then, let's hear your remarkable training plan then." There was an edge to Tsuyoi's tone, as if he knew something that I didn't. Then again, it was a rare day when that wasn't the case anyway.
"Well I was thinking of taking Brandy out to have a training session with Gina. You know, we're going to have to get used to fighting together sooner or later, and with everyone being so on edge lately I'd much rather it was sooner."
"Whilst I commend you on thinking ahead for once, there may be a slight problem with that plan," Tsuyoi commented.
"What do you mean?"
"You'll see," came the enigmatic reply.

"What do you mean, closed???" It had taken a good while to get to the headquarters of Gina's organization. Words couldn't possibly express how difficult it had been to convince my notoriously shy Onix that a training session would be beneficial for her. The instant the subject had been broached she had turned bright red and clammed up for a good ten minutes before giving her answer. A gentle but stubborn 'no'. It seemed that she was more than a little concerned about accidentally crushing her opponent with her massive bulk. And no amount of persuading on my part was going to convince her that there would be no danger. It was just as well, then, that Pearl was far better an orator than I was. Within minutes of gentle coaxing she had managed to get a change of heart out of Brandy. Which would have been great, had we even been able to get to our usual training area. As it was, we had gotten as far as the large forecourt before being stopped by a black-suited, sunglasses-wearing blonde man almost as broad as he was tall. He looked like an extra from a gangster movie.
"What I said, sir. The building is temporarily closed. You'll have to return some other time." It was impossible to ascertain how this bulky bodyguard of sorts must have viewed me, but from the tone of his voice I was guessing it wasn't favourably.
"But why?"
"If you must know, the institute is currently undergoing a Dragons Guild inspection. We'll be finished in a few hours, so why don't you and your pokémon juts run off and play somewhere else until we've finished, hm?" The way the man said it indicated that he wasn't about to take any arguments. So reluctantly I had to turn to face my team with a look of resignation sitting upon my face.
"Sorry, guys," I sighed, staring dejectedly at the pokéball in my hand that contained my Onix. "Looks like today was a no-starter after all." How I had wanted to train my poor Rock type!
"Oh well," Beckham shrugged with his usual total lack of sensitivity. "Fancy nipping down to the pub for a few pints instead?"
"Pints of what?" Megan asked.
"Whiskey," my Wartortle nodded sagely.
"Guys," I began, "this really isn't the time to..."
"Hey! Ade!" A familiar voice yelled over from behind me. I turned around just in time to see Gina, my regular sparring partner for the past few months, sprint out from the large double doors that were the gateway into her organisation's huge complex. She was wearing bright red leggings, a khaki jacket and flip-flops that were totally inappropriate for the time of year, and by her side jogged a thoroughly disgruntled-looking Sneasel. She cast a dirty glance over at the black-suited man before stopping in front of my team, panting as she tried to get her breath back. "Guess you were here for a battle, huh?" She smiled sympathetically. "The might of the pencil pushers says otherwise, I'm afraid. We're undergoing a 'routine inspection'. You know the sort, the ones that are so routine they happen every three years or so? So we have to shut down for a few hours while some self-important bigwigs from the Dragons Guild grill us about anything and everything relating to the business." The girl with the midnight-blue hair shuddered. "I swear I got the worst of a bad bunch, though. This really creepy guy who dressed like he was from the middle ages or something. He just seemed to breeze past the business side of things and kept asking me some really weird stuff."
"Like what?" I asked, curious.
"Oh... like, had I been to Templa Taure recently? Or what did I think about the Unicorn Games? Or if I'd seen any particularly impressive psychics during my time working here. I thought he might have been trying to make small talk, you know. I was half expecting to be asked out for a drink at the end of it all. But no, he seemed like he really wanted to know the answers to these questions. It was as if he really wanted to ask one big question, but couldn't, so was trying to get at it by asking lots of little ones. You know what I mean? Like he was too reluctant to give the game away to ask what he really wanted to know."
"Ask he what this man's name was," came the voice of Rhiannon from by my side, the Jolteon looking up at me with an odd expression on her face. "We would be interested to know."
"Can you remember what this guy was called?" I asked, unsure as to where my recently evolved pokémon was headed with her request.
"Uh... what was it?" Gina frowned, trying hard to recall the name. "I'm sorry, Ade, I'm worse with names than you are. It'll come to me in a minute. Lord... Lord Abra? Aipom? It began with an A, I'm sure it did."
"Sne sneasel sne!" the pokémon by Gina's side shouted in exasperation, waving its arms around in the air in frustration.
"Lord Absol???" For possibly the first time since I had known her, the adult side of Rhiannon's personality sounded taken aback. "Hmm..."
"You okay, Rhi?" I asked her.
"Huh?" the Jolteon asked, shaking her head suddenly. "Yeah! I'm fine, Ade! Wanna play ball or something?" Grinning broadly she began racing around our assembled group, completely oblivious. Evidently whatever was on her mind was lost. At least for now.
"Oh yeah! Lord Absol, that was it!" Gina smiled broadly. "Thanks, Noriki." My friend petted her Sneasel fondly. "I should have known, really. He looked like he would be a Dark type. Freaked me out, he really did. Then again, I never really was too fond of the Dragons Guild people on the whole. I mean, you get the odd good one, but in the main they seem a little too power-crazed for comfort. Anyway, enough talk of that creep. You were here for a battle, I take it?"
"Yeah, I was hoping to get a training battle for my Onix. She's only really just matured enough to be able to battle, and could do with a friendly match so she gets used to fighting smaller opponents." I sighed dejectedly. "Guess we can say goodbye to that idea now, though."
"I don't know," Gina smiled. "There are tons of places to hold a training battle around here. If you don't mind the battle being quite short she can always have a go against Nokiri here." Here she gestured to the Sneasel by her side, who seemed, if anything, rather embarrassed to have everyone's attention suddenly drawn to her. "Sure, we all know how it goes between Rock and Ice types, it's usually down to whoever manages to get the first hit in. But hey, it's better than nothing, right?" I mulled this over for a moment. It wasn't that I didn't think Brandy could do it. Far from it. It was just the thought of pitting her against an opponent that could potentially do so much damage that worried me.
"I don't know..." I said, wavering.
"Ade," Pearl commented from behind me, "Why don't you ask Brandy if she's okay with that before making any decisions? It is her battle, after all!"
"Not a bad idea." I stared at the pokéball for another moment, tossing the idea around in my mind. There was only one flaw with it as far as I could tell. How long was it likely to take to get my Onix acclimatized to the new company? 'Bashful' didn't do her justice at all. Well, there was only one way to find out. Reluctantly I pressed the button on the front of Brandy's pokéball and released my Onix with the obligatory flash of white light that seemed to accompany the opening of any pokéball. "Hey, Brandy."
"Uh… hi." The Onix blinked, taking in the scenery that greeted her. It was strange, alien almost. And it made her more nervous than ever. "W… what did you want?"
"Well, you know that we were going to have a training session?"
"Oh. Yeah, I guess we were." Brandy sounded almost disappointed, as if she had been hoping that I had forgotten about it. "It's not been… been… cancelled, has it?"
"You wish!" I had to chuckle slightly. I had been just as eager to put off Brandy's training to begin with. But eventually it occurred to me that she would never, ever be trained if I kept putting it back. In the end I had reached the only sane conclusion, that there things were best tackled head on. Now it was just a matter of getting Brandy to realize that. "No, we think we've found you an opponent. And I thought it was only fair to let you have the final say on the matter."
"I… I'd rather just f… forget it." Brandy shuddered. She really was beginning to have her doubts as to whether this was such a good idea.
"Come on." I put a reassuring hand on the side of my newest pokémon, trying very hard to reassure her that it was going to be alright. "Gina here knows what she's doing…"
"…even if it doesn't seem that way most of the time…" Milliardo chipped in unhelpfully.
"…and it'd be better for you if you learned how to take care of yourself now instead of having to teach yourself if something bad happens, don't you think?" Brandy mused this over for a moment or two. There was no doubt that my words were true enough. But to be honest she simply had no confidence in her own abilities. The certainty that she would somehow mess up was overriding common sense. But then… then there was also the urge to please her new friends, to do what she was asked. And it was this feeling that she concentrated on, blocking out all doubts until the only thought in her mind was to do as she was told.
"O… okay. I'll do it." Finally the Onix nodded her consent. There was probably no getting out of this one, anyway. She knew how stubborn her teammates could be when the mood struck them!
"Good girl," I smiled, petting her rocky skin and allowing her to move to a position between Gina and myself. Admittedly this meant that I could no longer see my sparring partner, but seeing as tradition made no allowances for the larger pokémon I supposed I would have to get used to that. "Your Sneasel up for it, Gina?" I called over.
"Sure, we're ready when you guys are!" came the cheerful response.
"Good. Then let's go for it."

FIGHT!!! L5 Onix v L5 Sneasel!

Brandy really wasn't too sure as to how to start this battle. Oh, she knew perfectly well what she could have done. She could have just slammed into the Sneasel at full force, charged straight into it and crushed it beneath her weight. But that was just wrong. She had never done such a thing before, of course, but instinctively she knew that it was. She wasn't supposed to hurt her opponent that much!
"Are you gonna move? Or do I have to?" Gina's Sneasel tapped its foot impatiently, as if it had been waiting fro Brandy to make the first move.
"I… uh… sorry." Brandy blushed deeply. The battle was waiting for her. And she had to do something, anything, or risk disappointing everyone. Slowly she began pondering the attacks she knew, the ones that wouldn't do too much damage. Unfortunately most seemed a little too vicious for her liking. "J… just give me a moment, please."
"Oh, for goodness' sake! Do I have to do everything?" the Dark-type complained in a tone that wouldn't have been out of place coming from Milliardo. "Fine! I'll just have to make the first move, won't I? Otherwise we'll never get started!" Brandy was suddenly aware of the little creature rushing at her with a remarkable speed. Instinctively she turned away, trying to brace herself against the attack, only to find herself far too bulky to make any attempt at an evasive maneuver. So all she could do was cower and await the inevitable onslaught.

It didn't come.

"Wha…?" Finally my Onix dared to look at what was going on, only to find that her opponent had seemingly disappeared from view. Which meant one of two things. The first being a relief, and the second being very, very bad. Unfortunately for Brandy, what had actually gone on happened to be the second of the two options.
"Brandy, watch out! Above you!" The Onix heard my yelled warning just in time, for a cursory glance upward revealed her opponent bearing down upon were with an almost sadistic smile upon its face. There was precious little time to think, let alone react, but Brandy did the only thing that she could come up with at the time. She left it to sheer instinct, her reflexes driving her to rear upwards and catch the Sneasel hard in midair with a ferocious Tackle that knocked it through the sky only to land with a resounding splash! in the courtyard's central fountain. A sudden stab of horror shot through Brandy's heart. What had she done? Had she killed her opponent because of her size? "Brandy?" My voice was filled with concern, but my Onix hardly heard it. She was too busy staring in dumb horror at the motionless body of the Sneasel in the fountain, the crystal clear water gurgling over its face. Her suspicions were confirmed as far as she was concerned. She was nothing but a brutal, oversized murderer. "Brandy, eyes on your opponent!" This time my warning came too late. The Dark-type was being as sneaky as its species was reputed to be, and had been merely playing dead in order to capitalize upon Brandy's insecurities. It was a tactic that had worked admirably, leaving Brandy open to the strongest attack that the Sneasel could muster, a thoroughly vicious Icy Wind that chilled Brandy to her very core, bypassing every line of defence that her body had to offer. The pain was immense. In fact, Brandy found herself very close to blacking out. And she would have done, had one single, solitary fact not kept her mind in focus. She couldn't afford to mess up in front of everybody else. The thought of their disappointed faces was enough to somehow give her the energy to recover from the attack. And, unfortunately for her opponent, she returned with much better knowledge of how resilient some pokémon could be.
"I have to win this one!!!" the Onix shrieked, her voice seeming to come out at a pitch almost too high for the human ear to hear. But the effect on the pokémon in the area was instantaneous. Even those stood on the sidelines were seen to visibly wince; even Milliardo, who was normally the master of showing no outward signs of discomfort, was heard to mutter to himself '****ing hell, and I thought Scarygirl's singing was enough of a torment!'. Her opponent, however, was the one who suffered the most. It seemed to have been practically thrown back by the sudden onslaught to its ears.
"Nice Screech!" Gina cooed in appreciation. "Haven't seen it slipped into battle so well in... uh, well, I've never seen it slipped into battle that well before." Suddenly my sparring partner addressed her Sneasel. "Nokiri, you have to be careful! If she hits you again you're finished!"
"Sne." Gina's Sneasel nodded its understanding, and shot forward once again in an attempt to finish Brandy off. It never happened, however. Now my Onix was riled. She had finally found just what it took to be able to fight. The thought of disappointing her friends. There was no way she was going to lose in front of them, not after they had pinned all their hopes on her being able to do this! "Prepare to lose!" she heard her opponent yell. But losing was the last thing on Brandy's mind.
"I refuse!" she yelled with a vehemence that was totally at odds with her usual character. Something had snapped within her, a power rooted deep within her awoken. All of a sudden the Sneasel found itself being assaulted with a barrage of... well, from an outsider's point of view they looked like ghostly boulders, but there was no real way of knowing exactly what they were. All that I could ascertain as I watched, dumbfounded, was that each time a boulder struck the Sneasel it looked more and more battered, whereas my Onix seemed to actually be growing stronger.
"Way to go, Brandy!" I couldn't help but cry as the final rock smashed hard into Nokiri's side, sending her crashing to the ground to not get back up again. That training session had gone far better than I could have even hoped! "Didn't I tell you it wouldn't be so bad?"
"I... I..." Brandy was dumbfounded. Had she really just done that? "I g... guess not. Did you think that was okay then?" The Onix turned to us with an expression that was so obviously seeking approval that it was almost scary. Well, there was only one thing I could tell her. Because it was the truth.
"Brandy, you really did do great," I smiled, petting my Onix's nose as she bent down towards me, a contented smile upon her face. Secretly I was beginning to worry about her. Did my approval really mean that much to her? "Don't you think, Gina?"
"Not bad at all," my friend nodded, picking up the collapsed rental Sneasel and shooting us her most cheerful grin. "Sure, there's some work to be done in terms of finesse but hey, every pokémon just starting out suffers from that and it's not something a few more training sessions and TMs wouldn't fix. Anyways, I'd love to stay and talk some more with you guys, but I get this horrible feeling that Lord Absolute-Bastard fellow hasn't quite finished with us yet. Take care, guys. Just let me know if you wanna battle again." Tipping my group a cheery wink, Gina tripped back inside the building that loomed in front of us. Leaving us to decide what our next move would be.
"Good work, Brandy," I smiled, recalling the Onix to her pokéball for now. At least, until we had returned home and could release her into the garden once again. "So, guys, what do you make of all that?"
"Make of all what?" Milliardo yawned. "Lego?"
"I made something out of Lego once," Beckham reflected. "A huge man with sharp teeth and a gun capable of destroying the world."
"Becks, you really have some repressed tendencies there. Book yourself in with a shrink the first chance you get, okay?" Milliardo rolled his eyes. "Seriously, I have no idea what Gina's on about. Then again, most of the time I find Kass easier to understand. What is this 'Lord Absol', anyway?"
"Trouble." Rhiannon's words cut through the air like a knife. Evidently her more business-like side had regained control. "That's what he is. And we suspect that he's very close to finding out what he wants. In which case we advise you all to be on your guard." The Jolteon sighed miserably. "As much as it pains us to admit it, we are one of his objectives. He seems to be the Guild member assigned to tying up the loose ends of the Dark Cloak chaos."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa." I cut my Jolteon off quickly. "Let's not worry about that just yet, okay?" I had to admit that the reaction Rhiannon gave to the mere mention of this Lord Absol's name disturbed me greatly. If she, a pokémon who had performed some great and yet terrible deeds in her time - she had battled possessed Gyarados without so much as batting an eyelid, and helped train Lucky despite slowly bleeding to death from an earlier battle, after all - seemed disturbed by this man then he was probably someone to keep an eye on. But we couldn't afford to slip into paranoia just yet. "Let's just go back home. You can tell me what you know of this Lord Absol fellow there, okay? **** knows I've been doing this for long enough to know that those who say they're our allies often have ulterior motives, but there's no point in getting worked up about it just yet." I said this mostly for my own benefit. Experience taught me that the Rhiannon who was talking to me now had only one weakness. And this Lord Absol wasn't it. "Come on. I just don't want to hear about this any longer." Which was true. For, if my gut instinct was right, I would be hearing much more of this in the weeks to come.

Brandy wins!
Brandy grew to L6!

-----
Okay, I've a question. When are we getting the next proper scenario? Coz I hate to be be the one to point this out, but it's been literally half a year since the last scenario change. This, I feel, is not a good rate for the Battle Range to go at, can we PLEASE try a slightly more frequent rate of scenario changes? I mean, it all worked just fine when it was one a month or even more frequently than that, right?

Lady Vulpix
21st October 2004, 11:12 AM
I intend to post it tomorrow, Ade.

Linc gets 10 stamps for his battle... Hmm... collection of wounds? ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Airen, your story was really impressive (and unexpected). I could make quie a lot of comments about punctual details, but I don't want to bore you out, so I'll just say this: it would be hard to fit it into our regular continuity, but it will be interesting if we can manage. Though I guess that, for someone who's just starting to post here, catching up with the general background is considerably harder than making up a new one. Take 23 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Skye
21st October 2004, 07:34 PM
[color=hotpink]Airen, your story was really impressive (and unexpected). I could make quie a lot of comments about punctual details, but I don't want to bore you out, so I'll just say this: it would be hard to fit it into our regular continuity, but it will be interesting if we can manage. Though I guess that, for someone who's just starting to post here, catching up with the general background is considerably harder than making up a new one. Take 23 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Wow! Thanks! I'm sorry about the "details", and I REALLY don't know much about the background. And I'll try to make it work out better. I had to make up a lot of things, but I hope it still works out alright. I'm also like to write stories and plots better than battles. But I'll try to make my next battle more detailed and such. Though there isn't really much to say when Rayne's stratagy is basically slice n' dice and let them faint from blood loss. X__x. I'd be interested to see what you have to say about my "punctual details". Perhaps when you can find the time to do so, you could PM me a list or summery or something? Or a site address if its up somewhere and I'm just too oblivious to see it. And thanks for all of the Stamps! I'll have to save and go on a shopping spree after my Twenty Level Run with Rayne is over.

Look forward to more plot developments!

Lady Vulpix
22nd October 2004, 10:50 AM
Well, we have a thread at Tsuyoi's Lair to discuss background information and ideas for our stories. You're welcome to join. I have to go now (after posting the scenario, which I can't believe I received in April!), but we can talk soon.

Lady Vulpix
22nd October 2004, 10:52 AM
Ade gets 30 stamps for sending in this scenario! Let's see how we deal with this now that it's finally come. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

"Here are your reports, sir." The faceless bureaucrat proffered a large folder full of papers to his companion. "They confirm every suspicion you had. Output from the Ulthuan branch's scientific division has dropped by over a third, whilst expenditure has increased by over 70%."
"It was a mistake to let that man have any kind of power. The only thing he's any good at is inciting riots." It was no secret that Giovanni, the true power behind Team Rocket, was a man with as many problems as any other. And right now those problems had grown to include a Rocket executive who seemed to be going against orders. Armand DiAnnio, head of Team Rocket's Ulthuan division, and open hater of Giovanni's methods. "I don't much appreciate having to come out here after what happened to my Black Battalion. He's going to regret this delay dearly." Giovanni shuffled through the folder he had been given, but all it said was what he already suspected. Armand simply wasn't doing what he was supposed to.
"Sir?" A voice from the cockpit interrupted the Rocket boss in his work. "We're picking something up on the radar. A large pokémon presence heading straight for us. It's... a Salamence, I think."
"Trained or wild? Wait, it doesn't matter. Either way, it will be ours soon." Giovanni barked his orders. "Deploy the stun guns, now."
"Yes sir, stun guns..." A short pause, then the pilot's voice spoke up again, a trace of panic beginning to edge into his voice. "Sir? The Salamence, it's... gone."
"Gone?"
"Yes, sir. I'm not picking up anything on the radar, it's almost as if..." A sudden jolt rocked the helicopter, almost throwing Giovanni out of his seat and straight on top of the Persian that followed him everywhere. "Sir, it's on top of us, it's trying to break in, I can see its claws coming through the roof, I can..." There was a shrill shriek, almost inhuman in its quality. And then silence.
"What's going on?" Giovanni snarled. "Somebody get into the cockpit and find out what's just happened. Now!" The few Rocket executives that were accompanying Giovanni on this trip scuttled to the door. Only to be stopped in their tracks by a new voice coming from the internal speaker system.
"Oh, I don't think you need to be doing that. The door's locked, anyway, and unless any of you guys have a bazooka handy you're not gonna be able to get through." This was a deep, almost hoarse voice, a decidedly excited quality to its tone. A voice almost unmistakable to Giovanni's ears.
"Armand," he snarled, his eyes narrowing. "What the hell are you playing at?"
"What does it look like to you?" came the calm response. "I'm doing what I should have done a long time ago. You comfortable back there, by the way? No? Pity, I like my guests to be treated in style. Anyway, I'm glad you could come out to visit, Giovanni, as you can probably tell we're doing just fine without you. So well that me and Reaper took ourselves a little vote, and voted two to nil that we don't really need you at all."
"So you finally found the balls to try it." It was no secret that Giovanni and Armand loathed each other. A face off was seen by many as inevitable. "I was thinking you were all talk for a minute."
"Oh, I'm far more than talk. There's more than that planned for you. Just hold on to your seat. ...Cause today we're gonna settle things once and for all."

"Friends!" Armand addressed the packed meeting hall in his usual passionate manner, a twinkle in his eye that hadn't been there before. Tonight was his night to shine, the night when it would all begin. And he was determined to enjoy himself to the full. "We've been making progress lately, good progress. Finally the world is talking about Team Rocket the way it should be talking about Team Rocket. With fear. With respect. With emotion. Finally we're back out there, back on the map, and I want you all to know that I'm proud of you. Proud of every last one of you."
Apart from those who are no longer with us
"Hush, darling, I'm in the middle of a speech. As true as what you're saying may be." Armand cast a sly glance over at Reaper, the huge Salamence stood proudly behind him, before returning his attention to the crowds. "However, I have to ask myself; is this enough? Is it enough, what we do now? Can we truly say we're the best we can possibly be? The answer is no, we're not. And why? I'll tell you why. It's not enough because we're constrained. Constrained by a set of rules and protocols set down by our founders. And while it's constrained, it's not any fun. So I'll gathered you all here tonight to ask you to make a simple choice. Either we carry on doing what we're doing, we keep up with our petty thievery and pathetic attempts at evil. Or we break free, we abandon Team Rocket and all that it stands for. I'm asking you to choose, friends. Choose between this life of crime, or a future where we unite and show Ulthuan what real disorder is! Tonight, my friends, marks the start of a new era. The start of a new and terrifying force that's going to make people beg for the old Team Rocket with all its stupidity back. Tonight marks the beginning. The beginning of the Crimson Blades." Armand scanned the room carefully, already noticing the signs of dissent. This was going exactly as planned. It was time, then, to play his trump card. "And..." Here he gave a quick nod to Reaper, who swiftly pulled back the curtain behind them to reveal a tied and gagged Giovanni, obviously beaten and bruised and now put on display like some sort of perverse trophy. "...the end of Team Rocket." And just as Armand knew it would, at that moment the entire room erupted into raw, primeval chaos. The beginnings of his new world.

Mission
Recent events have sparked great infighting between rival factions of Team Rocket's Ulthuan branch. Battles between Giovanni's followers and Armand DiAnnio's terrorist units, the Crimson Blades, have been growing more and more frequent and intense, with devastating results for the surrounding areas. Your mission is to limit the damage caused by this battling. Use your skills and your pokémon to neutralise both sides as quickly as possible - both the Crimson Blades and Team Rocket pose great threats to the safety of the realm, and it is considered that it is best to strike whilst they are busy battling each other. Be warned, however, that Team Rocket is possessed of great technology and a large pokémon base, and the Crimson Blades are comprised of the most ruthless, ambitious and bloodthirsty creatures Mr. DiAnnio could summon to his side, and what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in zeal.

Under 15
L8 Gastly (+1)
L15 Rattata (+2)

L15.5 - 25
L18 Eevee (+1)
L25 Linoone (+2)

L25.5 - 35
L28 Spheal (+1)
L35 Girafarig (+2)

L35.5 - 45
L38 Ledian (+1)
L45 Sharpedo (+2)

L45.5 - 55
L48 Breloom (+1)
L55 Dragonair (+2)

L55.5 - 65
L58 Piloswine (+1)
L65 Alakazam (+2)

L65.5 - 75
L68 Heracross (+1)
L75 Rhydon (+2)

L75.5 - 85
L78 Blastoise (+1)
L85 Crobat (+2)

L85.5 and above
L90 Steelix (+1)
L100 Metagross (+2)

Skye
22nd October 2004, 12:15 PM
Nk, thanks! I'll join as soon as I can(Under the name Darkfire). And Can I have an extension for this scenario just in case, too? I have only a small part of the second training grounds battle done. :sweat3: If not, then I'l' just hurry up then.

Lady Vulpix
22nd October 2004, 01:25 PM
Yes, you can have an extension.
Wow, this must be the first time someone asks for an extension as soon as the scenario is posted!

Oh, and Ade gets 18 stamps for his latest battle! (I liked the nickname Gina gave Lord Absol). ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Shadow Djinn
23rd October 2004, 12:51 AM
Um, yea, I'm trying to make a return to the Adoptees thing. But I need to be sure of something ^_^;. If you have,lesay, a level 5 Pidgey and a Level 7 Charmander, can they both do a 1 on 1 with a l15 Rattata and gain two levels each? Just need to make sure.

Charizard04621
23rd October 2004, 08:40 AM
Um, yea, I'm trying to make a return to the Adoptees thing. But I need to be sure of something ^_^;. If you have,lesay, a level 5 Pidgey and a Level 7 Charmander, can they both do a 1 on 1 with a l15 Rattata and gain two levels each? Just need to make sure.

Yeah, you can fight two pokémon in a typical scenario and gain a maximum of 4 levels. Of course, the previous one was big, so we had a lot of level gains.

Shadow Djinn
23rd October 2004, 01:28 PM
Oh, all alright, thanks ^_^.

Well, since I finished the first part of my possibly 3-part scenario thingy...I'll just post it right now ^^

Pokemon for Combat:

Shade
Absol [M]
Level 5
Attacks: Scratch, Leer, Substitute, Slash, Aerial Ace

Shadow
Umbreon [M]
Level 7
Attacks: Tackle, Tail Whip, Helping Hand, Toxic, HP Dark


Shadow’s POV

Wild nights. A glory that hardly anybody bothered to experience, days spent out in harsh lands, a barren desert, or a dark forest. And I was experiencing them, all right. Hunter leading the small group, trekking through the wild jungle, hacking away at anything that bothered to swing in our way. Shade slowly walked behind me, as if with arrogance, such I had never seen. Where had he gained such dignity? He had never even battled. I still wore my scars of battle from the last encounter on the deadly beach, a fierce battle against two powerful Crawdaunts, Claw and Jaw. Eclipse was fascinated every time I retold the great story, a glorious fight that I didn’t think I would win. But Shade dismissed my tale with ease; he always just regarded it with a small “ hmph.” Such insolence, I noted with disgust. Where did he gain it? Was it Morton, his father? Or was it Quaye? Oh, how I wished with earnest that he would experience true battle, instead of being pampered with TMs, oh how it DISGUSTED me. I growled softly, looking forward to the day where HE would be in peril, a battle to live, and then he would be sorry. Oh, he would. I grinned now, and Zane looked at me with a troubled expression.

“ What troubles you?” Zane asked softly. He began to walk faster, keeping up to pace with my great strides.

“ Nothing.” I assured Zane. Zane glanced at me with a stare I knew so much, the stare that said, “ I know something is up, and I’m gonna find out.” But I was too focused on Zane and Shade, so focused that I accidentally bumped into Nightshade, who hissed in displeasure.

“ Sorry.” I said swiftly. Nothing was worse then facing an angry Nightshade. She simply gave me a cold look. But she didn’t move from her position, which was strange.

“ Move.” I said urgently.

“ We stopped.” Nightshade replied curtly.

“ What do you mean, stopped?” I snapped with impatience. I made a move to dash ahead of her, but she stretched out her paw.

“ Shut it.” Nightshade snarled. I drew back, annoyed. Even Nightshade had begun to adopt the malignant personality of a typical Umbreon, a calm, evil beast that lurked in the shadows. But how so? How had she become different? Had she accepted the fact that she was no longer an Eevee…but an Umbreon? A husky voice from behind me spoke.

“ You are becoming…the same way as well.” I whirled around indignantly, a powerful black orb forming in my paw.

“ Who said that?” I said sharply. As I whirled around, I looked deep into the eyes of Shade, who returned the gaze calmly.

“ Control…your emotions.” He stated, almost shakily. The energy forming in my paws subsided, and I lowered my paw to the ground. I gave him a piercing glare, ignoring the commotion ahead, and growled.

“ Listen here, NEWBIE. I fought. I won. I battled and I know what it takes.” I said viciously. Angry seethed within my body…oh how I wanted to tear and tear at that cheeky Absol…to slash and slash and to have no regrets…

“ But exactly what does it take? Confidence and skill? Or does it require knowledge and strategy? Tell me, mister expert, oh great Crawdaunt slayer. What does it take?” Shade replied boldly, a confidence that I remember I had once shown. A pride that I had once displayed.

Was he going to be like me? I wondered. Would he two change? All this plagued me. I groaned, letting confusion wash over me like a crashing waterfall.

“ Well?” Shade insisted firmly. I looked to Zane and Eclipse for support. But they were staring with attention towards Nightshade’s direction. What was going on? I shoved Shade away and leapt onto a nearby rock to see. Hunter was rooted to the spot, as though in fear. I heard a cackling and a hiss, noises you don’t often hear. What WAS going on? Hunter shakily back stepped, hissing an order to retreat. Zane and Eclipse swiftly took off, followed by Nightshade and Tsunami.

“ Let’s go guys!” Hunter shouted. I made a move to run, but noticed Flame, hunched up in a corner, shivering in fear.

“ Let’s go!” I repeated my master’s words with urgency. I felt a great danger…the same dark forces I had felt in the Black Beach. Could it be those people again? No…it was not. It was a much stronger force…more powerful then the Crawdaunt…but how? Shade stepped ahead of me, unceremoniously snatching up the shivering Cyndaquil with his teeth, and trotting away.

“ Comf onf. Let’sf gof.” Shade growled through his teeth. (He said “ Come on. Let’s go.”) But I couldn’t move…fear washed over me and I let out a whimper. Shade gently lowered Flame to the ground and snapped, “ What are you doing? MOVE.” But I couldn’t. The prickly feeling, the knot bulging in my stomach…and the haunting feeling that I was being watched…And a presence in my mind…get out…

“ GET OUT!” I roared. The presence drew back…Hazy…Purple thing…

“ SHADOW!” Shade cried in alarm. Two furry beasts…emerging from bushes…Crimson Blades…base…? Shade…can’t…fight…alone…

3rd Person POV

“ More of these guys?” The two purple beasts stepped forward, long tails wagging in the air.

“ Yea, Zor. Amazing eh? Ganglis will be really happy.” One of them said. Shade snarled as they stepped towards the crumpled figure of Shadow, showing his teeth.

“ Oh, look. An Absol, Zaris. This will be fun.” The purple beast called Zor cocked his head towards Shade, grinning malevolently.

“ Yea, Zor. Ganglis is sure to be proud of us now, once we take care of this guy.” Zaris grinned. Shade leapt back, landing abruptly next to the cowering Flame, who squeaked in surprise and released a long tongue of flames that angled towards the sky, illuminating the dark jungle to reveal two Ratatta, both wearing grinning wickedly.

“ No!” Flame squeaked. He tried to repeat the same attack he had done before, but it was useless. Zor snarled and leapt at Flame, but Shade howled, throwing his body against the airborne Ratatta. Zor howled as he was sent flying, crashing into a tree trunk with a thud.

“ You won’t be hurting ANYONE tonight.” Shade hissed.

“ Cute. A new hatchling trying to act all tough.” Zaris remarked snidely. “ Well then, Shade, let’s see just how powerful you are then.” Zaris dashed towards the Absol and smashed Shade to the ground with a Tackle.

“ How…” Shade choked.

“ You forget.” Zaris sneered. “ I am much stronger then you, hatchling. You’re no match.” Zor, who had recovered from the blow, got to his feet and hissed.

“ Little Absol, oh you will pay. I will show you what happens when you mess with me…” Zor crouched, and leapt into the air.

“ This little Cyndaquil will SUFFER for your actions!” Zor screamed manically. Shade, with sudden inhuman strength, let out a piercing howl and threw him self into the air, lashing out with his claws in attempt to foil Zor’s attack.

“ What…what are you DOING?!” Zor shrieked. A claw raked her body as Shade plummeted to the ground, sending Zor with him. Zaris let out a yip in surprise, hastily dashing forward to assist Zor. But Shade was not done. He batted Zaris away with a hind leg, while he began to rip and tear at the fallen Zor, the Ratatta’s screams going unheard.

“ Why you-” Zaris dashed towards Shade with his fangs bared, but was blown away by a powerful sphere of dark energy.

“ Halt. You will go no further.” From the shadows, emerged the figure of Shadow.


Um, yay o.o; I think I'll request a time extension for my other two parts because they might take a while ><;

Lady Vulpix
23rd October 2004, 07:02 PM
Yes, as long as each of your pokemon has a 1 on 1 battle (or they both share a 2 on 2 battle). A 2 on 1 would result in them gaining 1 level each.

Oh, Ade, I was at university when I posted (my thesis director stood me up for 2 whole hours, and the worst part is I'm already used to it), so I forgot to tell you that Milly was impressive. But he was.

Expect little activity on my side for the next few days, I have an exam on Tuesday and a project to correct for Friday. Sorry if I can't post much.

Shadow Djinn
26th October 2004, 10:22 PM
Well, here it is folks, Part 2 of the three parter.

~Part 2~

3rd Person POV

“ What! No! Zor, I thought you got him hard with that Toxic!” Zaris roared in fury. Zor responded with shrieks, as Shade began to slash more fiercely, growling angrily. Shadow stood coldly over the fallen Zaris, his rings flashing a bright purple.

“ You know, Zaris, I can use Toxic too.” Shadow said coolly.

“ Of course.” Zaris smirked. “ And I can do…THIS.” A burst of flames sprouted from his mouth, surrounding Shadow as more began to appear.

“ ARGH!” The fox like creature leapt back as Zaris regained his footing, immediately leaping into the air and shooting more flames. The Umbreon retreated, drawing back as Zor’s poison attack, once again, began to take toll.

“ Agh…” Shadow crumpled, vainly trying to stand up. A minute later, he was attacked from the side, sharp fangs snapping at his flank. Zaris spewed more flames as Zor began to snap, snarling like a rabid dog.

“ Stay here, brother.” Zaris said calmly. He crossed to where Shade lay, bruised from Zor’s fierce Counter attack.

“ Knocked out cold.” Zaris grinned, his lips curled in a sneer.

“ Yes, my Counter did quite well.” Zor drew back from his attack as Shadow performed a mighty leap from his crippled position, roaring loudly, as dark pillars began to rise from the field like miniature geysers. Zor was caught in a pillar, and begin to writhe as the dark energy consumed her. As the pillar cleared away, Zor dropped limply to the ground.

“ Brother!” Zaris cried out in alarm.

“ I’ll be fine. Just let me rest.” Zor said heavily. Zaris nodded meekly, and turned to face Shadow.

“ That’s it. This little skirmish ends NOW.”

Shadow (Male Umbreon ) Level 7 versus Zaris (Male Rattata) Level 15


“ You little runt, you.” Zaris snarled as he dashed forward, throwing his body against the still Shadow. At the last second, no, millisecond, Shadow nimbly ducked away, tackling Zaris in the process. The rat twisted in midair, landing on his feet, and sent a blue lightning bolt shooting through the air. Shadow turned to face the wave, but something crashed into his flank, sending him skidding across the dirt ground. Shadow snarled angrily, and the field exploded as black bolts hurtled through the air, bombarding the entire field. Chunks of dirt launched through the air, intermixing with the black blasts that relentlessly crashed down upon Zaris. After what seemed to be eons to Zaris, the bombardment ended, and as the dust and smoke cleared away, it revealed a field ridden with holes and fallen tree trunks, with leaves scattered everywhere. But the Umbreon…he was gone.
“ Where are you, runt?!” Zaris howled in fury. A black shape raced across the field, practically mowing the Rattata over with a powerful tackle. But yet again, Zaris twisted to land on his feet, and calmly began to gather electricity in his paws.

“ What the hell are you doing?” Shadow spat.

“ Something you’ll never expect, my dear little Umbreon…” Zaris grinned. Seconds later, lightning bolts flew from his paws, speeding like arrows towards the frozen Umbreon. The Umbreon crouched, preparing to spring into the air. As the deadly bolts began to near him, Shadow jumped, a jump that defied gravity itself, a truly celestial jump that seemed to reach the heavens. Zaris roared in fury as the lightning arrows simply hit a tree trunk, dissipating upon contact. A purple sludge dropped from the sky, landing directly on Zaris, seeping into his battered body. The liquid seemed to be like fire, burning to no end, sending spasms of pain throughout the rodent’s body.

“ Arghhhh!” The rat writhed in pain, squirming as more and more pain exploded inside his body. Shadow finally touched the ground, and said sarcastically, “ Like my toxic?” Zaris growled angrily, as more and more of him suddenly began to appear, until about 20 clones surrounded Shadow. Shifting his left leg forward, Shadow grinned cockily.

“ This all you got, newbie?” Violet and black beams lanced through the air, stabbing through the clones, destroying them with little effort.

“ My clones!” Zaris roared in outrage. Shadow withdrew his attack and darted away to avoid another stream of deadly bolts. Zaris bounded away as Shadow made an effort to tackle him, and a brown aura seemed to surround Zaris as the rat grinned.

“ You know, since you like using your Hidden Power so much, let me show you mines. It’s called Hidden Power-Fighting.” Zaris said casually.

“ What? No!” Shadow protested. Zaris became a bright mahogany streak as he shot through the air, crashing into Shadow’s side skull first. Pain exploded within Shadow’s body, and he stifled a slight whimper. But the Umbreon still stood his ground, and once again, black beams lanced through the air, striking Zaris as he tried to retreat.

“ Why won’t you give up!” Zaris said infuriatingly, before another black beam sent him toppling across the dirt.

“ I…will never give up.” Shadow declared weakly. But then, his grim smile was suddenly replaced with a cocky smirk, and Shadow resumed his usual arrogant posture.

“ You should know better. I will always win. Remember that.” Shadow jeered. As Zaris began to run, Shadow chased after him, and pounced on him. A black orb formed in his mouth, and it exploded as soon as Shadow released it, sending the limp body of Zaris flying into a tree trunk.

“ One down, one to go.”

Shadow won!”
Shadow grew to Level 9!
He learned Sand Attack!

Charizard04621
27th October 2004, 05:22 PM
Lune, the male Eevee’s POV:

I stared into the infinite blackness of the sky, exhausted but at the same time energized, renewed. There were no stars tonight. But I did not miss beauty… I had it right here with me, the purest kind: the beauty of a perfect soul. “You know, you could have gone inside to watch the battles. You didn’t have to stay here with me,” I said to the Scyther beside me.

Rúthruin shook her head. “I didn’t want to go,” she answered. “The darkness puts me in a pensive mood. There’s too much energy in battle for a starless night, and the two who’ll be battling will just add more. No, I’d rather be here with you.”

“Hehe. You’re one to talk about not having enough spirit.” I grinned. Rúthruin had a lot of strength, more than I ever had.

“What? I’m not exactly the energetic type.”

“I think you’d be surprised. Because of you I have the courage to move on and forget about the past. When I saw you face your history with strength, I drew from that energy to help me stop living in my own dark nightmares of days that have been long gone. Ruth… You have so much power. That’s why… I…” I paused, my face coloring slightly. It had been a long time since I had confessed my feelings like this, and it felt a little awkward. “Rúthruin… I love you with all my heart and soul.”

She smiled sweetly. Her twinkling eyes reflected the light of the hidden stars. “You know,” she said, “You surprised me when you told me that, but I felt the same way about you. That night… Lune, why must you wait till night to be romantic?”

What she said was true. In the daytime, I felt like a forlorn shade, alone and exposed under the sunlight. At night… The darkness excited me. I felt as if the abundance of shadow gave me strength. As I searched for a way to communicate this to her, I suddenly felt a stabbing pain in my side that made me shudder and wince.

“Lune?” She looked at me, concerned.

“Shar…”

The searing slash wound across my shoulder burst aflame, putting me at the mercy of its torture. How an Absol of lesser training could cause so much pain, I had yet to find out. I simply could make no sense of it. The memories of the volcano came vividly back to me. Her interruption of Gwaihir and Aglárien’s battle, how they had nearly fallen to a single Leer, then the chase…

Instead of leaving my two suffering teammates trainer-less in their painful situation, I opted to catch Shar myself instead. The faux volcano was larger than I had expected it to be. Shar led me through winding passages, over dangerous rock formations, and into pockets of heat that made my burning fur coil. Eventually, I made up the distance between us that she had gotten from her head start, and managed to trap her in a corner.

“Why are you doing this, Shar?” I asked, but she did not respond.

Instead, she hissed at me bitterly, snorted with amusement, and threw all her weight against me, pushing me into a wall. When I felt the cruel blade dig into my flesh, I thought, this was all right, I could handle it. But when she was done spilling my blood, she crushed my open wound against the scorching walls, a sensation worse than a blazing firebrand. The scent of my sizzling flesh added a demented sparkle to her eyes. At this point, I had no choice but to defend myself.

“I didn’t want to hurt you, Shar, but if I don’t start fighting back, you’ll cause me some real injury.” When I sank my teeth into her restraining legs, she yelped and was forced to let go. I broke free of her grip and took the opportunity to position myself for attack. She pounced to expose her underside, and I leapt immediately to counter her jump, slashing at her from beneath with my claws. Then I let the shadows of the dark corner leap out from the background to restrain her. She sank quickly into unconsciousness, which allowed me to bring her back safely… but with a price.

“That scar will take a while to heal,” Rúthruin said worriedly. “Do you want to go inside? I’m sure someone will have the herbs to ease that burning.”

The pain went away. “No… I’m fine. It’s gone now. Don’t worry about me; it just erupts momentarily at times. It’s not as bad as I made it look. It just came as a shock, that’s all.”

She wasn’t convinced, but remained silent.

“Ryu”, the male Vibrava’s POV:

I felt great being able to fly. The past few days had been ones of pure ecstasy, moments of joy as wonderful as the first time I had met the sky. I treasured my wings more than any other ability of mine. Flight was the best experience, always so… free.

Watching the calm expanse of waters before me, I stared out quietly into the open sky. Only the moon showed itself tonight. Its milky white face gave a round, warm smile, shining its coolness upon the world below.

Elwing and Kalazeth were to battle here tonight. I glanced at the little sparkling box that hung around my neck on a silver string. Extremespeed, a prize from the Unicorn Games. I couldn’t use it… but I knew who could.

Landing in front of the Dratini, I removed the box gently from my neck. “A farewell gift from me to you,” I said. “Live a wonderful life.” I flew off into the sky, leaving the TM and Elwing behind. My dreams would only be higher now, upward, reaching into the infinite offerings of the expanse beyond.

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

I stared at the twinkling box, trying to understand the words that Ryu had left me with. I knew he couldn’t mean goodbye literally, because I would see him every day, as long as he was still in the team. And I doubted that he’d leave… Or would he?

Shaking off those thoughts, I turned my attention to the TM that he had given me. What was it? As I opened it, I could feel the rippling energy in my skin urging me to move. Almost immediately, I knew what it was… and I gasped at the rarity and generosity of the gift. To what lengths had he gone to get me Extremespeed? The only option would be his prize from the Unicorn Games, which he had worked so hard to win. To give that to me without much hesitation… I did not know what to think.

Perhaps – I did not know how to express it – he felt the same way I did with Kalazeth. Like anything that happened, no matter how bad… could be forgiven within an instant. Because… Fights weren’t important, the reason conflict arose wasn’t important… It didn’t matter who was right in the end, if both felt sorry, well, that was the end of it; everything would be all right again. Every moment I spent with Kalazeth, I cherished; it felt special somehow. He could always make me laugh or feel really good, even if there was barely anything to laugh about. I looked forward to spending time with him every day; to me, it was the best feeling in the world.

But I was probably wrong. Ryu didn’t look sad when he said, so cryptically, goodbye. If anything, he looked tired…

“Looks like you learned a valuable move,” Kalazeth observed.

“Yeah, it was awfully nice of Ryu to give this to me… It’s Extremespeed, and he must have gotten it as his prize for the Unicorn Games. I wonder why he didn’t choose something for himself?”

“Perhaps he didn’t want anything.”

“That’s true… Why me, though?”

“That I can’t answer… But hey, we didn’t come here to speculate. Our opponents are waiting for us somewhere out there. It’s a beautiful night for a battle under the moonlight. Want to join me for a quick swim before we shatter the peaceful silence of the night? We can race so you can get used to your new attack.”

“Yes, that sounds fun! It would be a good idea to test it out beforehand, in case I need it for my battle. Let’s go, Kalazeth, but I’m warning you, I feel as if I’m going to fly through that water.”

“Haha, I never underestimate you, Elwing. I’m going to swim as fast as is physically possible.”

“You’re on!”

Immediately it began to rain, and I knew that I had to start off and end faster than I had ever moved before. Kalazeth won the previous water race at the Eevee House with this technique, and it was a force I had to meet with a lot of my own effort.

He accelerated more quickly than I did although I thought I’d made a good start. Time to push myself to a limit I’d never known… I harnessed the power that my new move seemed to give me, propelling myself through the water as if my life depended upon it. …Which might not have been good, because I wasn’t doing very well. I kept stumbling; the bursts of speed sent me in erratic directions, and I found it hard to control overall. I was moving much faster than Kalazeth, but not making much progress. Each time I’d shoot forward, I’d lose ground by accidentally going off course! Eventually I decided to swim normally a bit after I’d gone in the right direction, then try my luck again. By that time, though, Kalazeth had already reached the end point. I arrived several seconds later, panting, dizzy, and quite annoyed. Kalazeth wasn’t even flushed.

“Since I won,” he said, “You get to choose whether you or I battle first. And by the way, don’t feel so discouraged. I watched your control of Extremespeed as you neared the end of the race. You may not have noticed, but you went completely straight the whole time. Stopping to swim for a bit was unnecessary.”

I wondered if he was saying it just to be nice, but I knew Kalazeth for being always honest. If something was wrong with my technique, he’d tell me. He did the same after that Eevee House race that I’d lost, a little later. I still wasn’t as good a swimmer as he was, but maybe now with the boost Extremespeed would give me, I could keep up and even overtake him. “You battle first,” I told Kalazeth, noticing a waiting Mudkip nearby. “I want to practice some more.”

Kalazeth, the male Horsea’s POV:

“All right, your choice,” I answered. I knew that Elwing felt frustrated with her Extremespeed. It was visibly bothering her, and I hoped that she would master it to her satisfaction sooner rather than later. She could never rest when something was out of her control; she hated not being able to do certain things. Nothing, in her mind, was out of her ability… If something caused some difficulty to her, she would not like it at all, and she would do something to fix it.

I watched her go off, accelerate faster than she had done before into the distance, and sighed. I just hoped that she wouldn’t hurt herself. Feeling like telling her this, I made a motion to follow her, when suddenly the Mudkip that I had been ignoring threw herself against me and began to make a deafening noise.


Kalazeth, LV10 male Horsea vs. LV15 female Mudkip

The baby blue creature leapt out of the water to thrust herself against me again, this time exposing her white underbelly. I dove underwater to avoid her physical assault; she fell with a splash, annoyed, then proceeded to swim towards me with a face steadily changing to an angry shade of purple. Her orange side fins flared out with her temper. As she neared me, she let out concentrated streaks of frost that chilled the area around me and encased me in a solid ice chamber. What to do, what to do…

The glint of my Status Coin’s reflection against the icy walls reminded me of its existence. Well… Here goes nothing, I thought. I wasn’t exactly sure how to harness my item’s power – it had been a recent gift to me – but it began to glow, which seemed like a good sign. Delicate white tendrils shot forth, wrapping around the Mudkip and imprisoning her in a similar frozen structure. I took the opportunity, using my tail as a means of propulsion, to throw myself against the walls of my ice chamber. They shattered pretty easily; perhaps using my item wasn’t necessary after all.

I looked over at the Mudkip, who seemed annoyed and awed at what I had done to her. Before she had time to think further, I released a black ink cloud that enshrouded everything around us in darkness. Of course, I couldn’t see her now in the murky water, but I had memorized her position with respect to mine. Unless she broke out and started swimming rapidly as my Smokescreen covered the area she would not escape my incoming Take Down attack.

Mustering all the speed I could get, I thrust myself forward at the Mudkip’s most recent general area, which turned out to be the right one. She had just gotten out of her ice casing and had begun to wonder what to do next, confused and disoriented. I caught her by surprise.

She squealed in utter anguish. The pulses that ripped through me knocked me off balance, made me feel sick, stunned me momentarily while my black cloud cover faded gradually away. Ohh… What a Water Pulse…

As I recovered from the blow, the Mudkip swam hard against me, lifting me to the water’s surface with all her Strength. Now why would she want to come up top?

The answer came quickly. I heard a repeat of the horrible noise she’d made before when she challenged me. This time it lasted longer, and I was beginning to feel weak. Stop… Make it stop!

Turquoise flame erupted from within me. It washed over the Mudkip like a giant wave of fire, charring, bruising, making boils explode upon her flesh. Continuous streams of fire. More vicious, more powerful as her screams grew louder and louder. When my draconic fury subsided, the Mudkip was silent. I remained panting where I was; she seemed stunned by the assault. It took me a while to realize that she had also been paralyzed by my breath.

I wanted to freeze her in place so that I could repeat strong physical assaults, now that we were above water, but she acted first. A pain I’d never felt before erupted within me, a burning of my blood, an attack from within that hurt beyond comprehension. This was how it felt to invite the wrath of poison; I’d never expected a Hidden Power from the Mudkip, let alone one this terrible. I felt my insides slowly sickening under her vengeance. If I did not end this battle soon, I knew that I would emerge the loser.

She came for me, ready to crush me under her weight. I had no choice; I had to unleash my final desperate attempt, the power to struggle to the very end that I had acquired during birth. I sank underwater and waited until she fell, then shot out from below and began to let loose all the energy I had left, doing everything to keep her away from me. She could not handle my ferocious counterattack; in coming for me instead of using a ranged move, she had chosen the battle’s outcome on her own. I stopped Flailing when her body went limp.

Kalazeth won!
Kalazeth grew to LV12!

Rúthruin, the female Scyther’s POV:

I stared into the glinting eyes of the evil being that had scarred the Eevee who now slept safely beside me. “What do you want?” I hissed. “He is asleep. Don’t you think you’ve done enough?”

She did not answer, only watched me in silence as a low, menacing growl rose from inside her throat. I got to my feet and bared my scythes. “You may have been able to take advantage of his kindness, but I’m warning you, I don’t have the same restraint that he does. I have no objections to slicing you to pieces. It would be good for everyone else; you seem to enjoy hurting those who have done absolutely nothing to you.”

I moved toward her and she stumbled backwards, warily eyeing my double blades. “Yes, I have one more than you, and I am a lot faster. As long as that is true, I will make a carving out of you if you try to hurt anyone, do you understand?”

Shar made something between an angry cry and a whine, then snorted and tossed her head in annoyance. “Why do you stand in the way of my revenge?”

“Revenge??” I frowned. “The only revenge that should be dealt out here should be against you. You attacked your own teammates while they were in the midst of a battle, nearly causing them serious injuries. They didn’t even do anything to you. Then, when you ran off, Lune tried to get you back without hurting you, and you tried to cook him alive!”

Her eyes glinted mischievously. “Oh, so it’s about him, is it? No, you’re pretending, it’s all for you.”

“What on earth are you talking about?”

Lune stirred at my feet. Shar really deserved to be put into her place… He hadn’t been able to rest much since she’d given him that wound, and now that he could sleep without being awakened by his pain, she had to come and ruin it. “Ruth? What’s going on? Are you all right?” His face turned cold when he saw the Absol standing before us. “What do you want? What is it that you want? Why must you torment everyone around you?”

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

Finally, I got it right. It was beginning to annoy me. I mean, how hard was it to swim straight without going off in a tangent? Other pokémon could do it; I didn’t see why I had trouble with it.

“Elwing!” I heard Kalazeth’s voice call. He held something that looked like a little box that I’d never seen before. It reminded me of Switchblade’s Status Die, except it was a different color… Something indefinite, not gray and not deep red and not blue or gold; it was a color without a name.

“Karin gave me this thing and told me to let you have it. Then she left… Switchblade came out and said something, and the two just walked out the exit. Must have been something very urgent; she wouldn’t miss watching your battle otherwise.”

My eyes widened as I examined the box curiously. “What is it?”

Switchblade, the *male* Porygon’s POV:

Lately I had been feeling better. Though I still missed Élan, I realized that I had been acting stupidly; he was a rare case. Élan was ambitious, always reaching up for something more, so full of energy that he couldn’t stick to doing one thing for long. He was the kind that would do something and then move on to the next; when he left, he was done with us, and it was his time to move on. The others would always be here for me, always. I shouldn’t have doubted them; it was just… Élan left so suddenly that I hadn’t seen it coming.

I still didn’t come out of my pokéball often because I felt tired, but that would probably change soon. What had drawn me out was a voice in my head that had given me a warning and a sense of alarm. It was a familiar sound, the voice of a fiery Psychic I had once known…

Élan, what are you doing in my head? I had asked.

Go help your friends. That was all he said, and then he vanished from my detection. At first I was puzzled and even annoyed at his words. Was that all he would say to me, after leaving suddenly for so long without properly saying goodbye? His warning, though, sent chills through my heart. Who was it that I had to help? I had no clue what he was talking about… until I remembered that Lune and Rúthruin had decided not to come to the Pond Room with us. I didn’t know what was threatening them, but if Élan had seen it necessary to warn me, it must’ve been something important.

Rúthruin, the female Scyther’s POV:

Shar’s comment struck me while I was least prepared for it. What did she mean… it was all for me? Why would she say such a thing, and even if it was true or not, how would she know?

“Ruth, are you all right?” I heard Lune ask me, but I couldn’t think of an answer; I just stood there. He saw the look on my face and immediately guessed the problem. “Look, if you’re upset about anything Shar said to you…”

At that moment, the Absol pounced on him while sinking her teeth into his closest leg. I heard a sickening crack that jolted me back into reality… Why should I pay attention to anything Shar said? Her accusations didn’t even make sense.

“Agh, damnit, Ruth, she’s dangerous; be careful if you try to take her down. Don’t ever lose concentration.”

“You let me hurt him, you wanted him hurt, didn’t you?”

Lune was right. The Absol was being ridiculous. Wasn’t she…? She seemed so confident…

Nimrodel, the female Lapras’s POV:

The reflections of the stars against the water were so beautiful… I really didn’t mind if I seldom got to battle. I liked it better this way; to be able to enjoy nature’s serene grace, to live quietly without having to fight… That was my idea of a perfect life.

I didn’t like violence. Part of the reason that I hadn’t spoken much to many of my teammates, despite the fact that I had been one of the first in the group, was that most of them enjoyed battling; they lived for it. This alienated me somewhat. I couldn’t understand how they could enjoy hurting others, and I didn’t know what they got out of the experience. Whatever it was, it seemed good for them; but as for myself, I would probably never take their path.

“She called it a Status Modification Die,” I heard Kalazeth answer Elwing. “She told me to replace your earring with this.” Happily the Dratini agreed, removing from her ear the golden ring that Ryu had given her so long ago. I wondered if she even remembered that it was from him; I wondered if she remembered that she used to smile at every nice thing he did for her. It wasn’t my place to intrude, but I felt sorry for that hardworking Trapinch; he was really nice, and although he had fallen for her too early, she could at least have been civil instead of so coldly pushing him away.

Kalazeth, the male Horsea’s POV:

After Elwing took the new item, leaving her old earring with me, she was about to show me her improved Extremespeed when a Croconaw came up to us and introduced himself.

“Hi! My name is… er… I forgot my name. I came here to do something, I know I did. I just have to remember it…”

Elwing looked at him expectantly. “Did you want to challenge me to a battle?”

A light bulb went off in the Croconaw’s head. “Ah! Yes! That’s what I wanted to do. That’s right, I’m challenging you to a battle,” he grinned, seemingly proud of himself for ‘remembering’. “What’s your name?”

“Elwing Starspray. Nice to meet you.”

“Yes, and my name is… er… I forgot my name. Hey, did you want something from me? Why am I talking to you, again?”

This was getting ridiculous. I didn’t want to interfere, but perhaps Elwing’s opponent wasn’t really as forgetful as he pretended to be. After all, he’d repeated the exact same line twice already, completely overdoing his act. Elwing either didn’t notice or didn’t show it.

“You’re here to battle me, remember?” she said.

“Ah! Yes! That’s what I wanted to do.”

Shar, the female Absol’s POV:

I silently snickered as I watched the confused and angry faces. This was so much fun. They had no idea what was going on. I could harass them as much as I wanted and they’d continue to give me the satisfaction of seeing that annoyed and frustrated expression in their eyes.

This Eevee had bothered me after my revenge on the Charmander; he was also responsible for kidnapping me from my master. It was only fit that I pay him back. I saw the Charmander fighting that Slowpoke, and because of her my master ran away, leaving me with these… people…

Revealing my cold, silvery claws, I scratched the trapped Eevee across the eyes. For some reason he didn’t seem to want to hurt me. Or maybe he just couldn’t; all the better for me. It was his loss, not mine.

The Scyther leapt at me, threatening to slash my body apart with her blades. I dodged and fled; I knew when I couldn’t handle a battle. But as for who defeated whom, I was the victor here; I’d caused the most pain.

Switchblade, the *male* Porygon’s POV:

We spotted Lune and Rúthruin between some trees on a hillside. Lune was lying down and Rúthruin was bending over him worriedly, not a good sign.

“Lune! Ruth! Are you all right?” Karin called as we dashed towards them.

When we got closer, the question answered itself. Lune was bleeding, one of his paws was crooked, and the area right above his eyes was all red, smothered in blood.

“She tried to blind him,” Rúthruin said shakily. “He closed his eyes before she attacked and turned to the side, so she didn’t get him, but she was close. She broke his leg, too.”

“I’ll be fine…”

We didn’t even need to ask who Rúthruin meant; it could only be one pokémon. Shar.

“This is all my fault,” Karin said, taking the injured Eevee gingerly into her arms. “I thought I had her sealed tightly in her pokéball… She got out without me noticing. I don’t know what her problem is, but we’ve got to find out who her real owner is soon. Whoever it is might be able to help.” Karin stroked Lune softly. “We need to get you to a Pokémon Center,” she whispered. “Come on, let’s hurry; they have one outside the battle rooms.”

She ran off, Rúthruin following after her. But something told me to stay. They didn’t notice, so I figured I’d just catch up with them later.

“Élan?”

“Hey, Switchblade! Still the same Porygon that I knew?”

A bunch of mixed emotions swarmed over me as the Unown emerged from within the trees. I was glad to see that he was all right, but then again who was he to just come and act like everything was normal, when it obviously was not?

Noticing my silence, he hesitated a bit. “So how’s it been?”

I was debating between being nice or giving him a piece of my mind. Seeing that he showed no remorse or had no idea what he’d done wrong, I opted to vent on him. “We were so close, then you just left without saying much, like I wasn’t good enough for you. You told us you had to go and then soon after you disappeared, just like that. Then now you come back and you don’t even give me an apology for what you did? Do you know what you’ve done to me? I stayed cooped up in my pokéball for a couple of months because I was so afraid that after you’d left me, all my other friends would leave me, too. And here you are just smirking as if nothing’s ever happened!”

I almost immediately regretted what I said because he took one look at me and left without a word. “Wait! Come back!” I called, but he was gone…

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

I felt almost awful for attacking first, but I did in case my opponent forgot again that he was battling me. It’s just that… I felt bad fighting against a pokémon that had a memory handicap. Wasn’t it unfair?


Elwing Starspray, LV18 female Dratini vs. LV25 Croconaw

Originally I was going to expose the Croconaw to paralysis, but in his condition he didn’t need anything else to make him sluggish; he already had paralysis of the mind. Instead, I started by raising a draconic whirlwind that trapped him. This made it easy to target him with severe jolts of electricity. I’d been practicing my Thunderbolt ever since Daddy gave it to me, and I was getting good at it.

Of course, then I was surprised when the Croconaw came up from beneath me and didn’t even seem injured in the least. He grabbed me and sank his teeth into my skin, immediately making hole punctures where he bit because they were so sharp. I felt my blood burn with the dark energy that seeped into me. For someone with memory problems, his reactions were extremely fast. From the looks of it, he’d managed to dive underwater to avoid my Twister and Thunderbolt, then came up from underneath to Bite me.

Unexpectedly, he spit a high-pressure Water Gun into my face. It came as quite a shock. Since I hadn’t been prepared for it I was momentarily stunned, giving him enough time to inflict upon me a world of pain. I didn’t know what it was at first because the attack came so fast that I didn’t see it; all I knew was that my body suddenly erupted with the sting of stabbing knives. I felt as if, having been penetrated by sharp daggers, my flesh started to roast as a result. It took me a while to put a name on his attack, but I figured out eventually that it was Dragon Claw.

All the Croconaw’s attacks so far had been deliberately planned and executed to perfection. My eyes widened as I realized that all along, this had been an act of deception that I had not caught on to until now. “You tricked me!” I cried out in anguish. “There’s nothing wrong with your memory!”

My opponent grinned toothily. “Ah, I’m afraid you’ve caught me. Don’t take this personally, please, but my trainer, who’s absent right now, has lately been teaching me to exploit an opponent’s emotions. You’re the first to help me test that strategy out in battle, and I’m happy to say, it’s turned out to be a great success. Nice battling you.”

He raised his arms, ready to strike me again to deliver the final blow, but at that moment I dove underwater and began to weave about in inexplicably complicated patterns. It paid off that I’d practiced my Extremespeed; now I felt as if I could control it more easily and accurately. I wound around the Croconaw in circles, close but not close enough for his repeated slashes to reach me. At the same time, I was focusing on tapping a more difficult resource of power…

As I circled my opponent in the water, dodging his attacks to buy me enough time, my body emanated a glow that grew steadily stronger. Shades of all values in the rainbow began to swim along with my body, and as I drew upon the energy within I felt my wounds gradually healing. When my opponent saw this and realized what I had done, he began to panic.

“Recover? Oh, please no!”

“Oh, yes, you’re very welcome,” I shot back. By then I’d stopped moving because I was getting not just physically but spiritually drained. I wasn’t sure if I’d found out in time that he had been deceiving me; I might not be able to win this fight.

Just one more push, I urged myself. I was so close...

The Croconaw came at me in an obvious attempt to deal as much damage as possible before I got a chance to Recover again. This time, I was ready. When he tried to seize me with his claws – seething with dragon energy – he struck a sparkling bubble of energy that shone brightly into his eyes. Once my Light Screen distracted him I had all the time I needed to attack.

I coiled myself around my opponent’s body, making sure to enclose his arms under my Wrap. From then on all he could do was struggle because I didn’t allow him to move otherwise; all my frustrations and rage poured into him in the form of severe Thunder blasts that came rapidly one after the other. He slumped soon after, conceding the victory to me.

Elwing won!
Elwing grew to LV20!
Elwing learned Dragonbreath as her free TM!

Switchblade, the *male* Porygon’s POV:

“I saw him,” I said after I caught up with the group. Lune had been transferred from intensive care into a more stable unit; they said that he would be fine. Nonetheless, Rúthruin insisted on staying with him instead of getting some rest herself.

“Saw who?” Karin asked me, although she looked as if she had her suspicions.

“Élan. I chased him away, it’s all my fault, I shouldn’t have gotten mad at him,” I admitted sadly. “It’s all my fault…”

Charizard04621
27th October 2004, 05:57 PM
Shadow Djinn - Take 12 Stamps for what you have so far. One question: the Rattatta used Flame Wheel, right? That's the only Fire offensive attack I think the species learns.

Shadow Djinn
27th October 2004, 06:35 PM
Indeed he did use Flame Wheel ^_^. I thought it'd be fun to give the Rattata a Fire Attack, for what reasons I will reveal soon.

Shadow Djinn
28th October 2004, 08:38 PM
Sorry to double post, but here's the last chunk, which wraps up the scenario nicely and provides some good substance for my next stories ^_^

~Part 3~

As Zaris fell, Zor let out a cry of agony for his fallen comrade. Shadow crouched, as pain washed over him countless times, feebly trying to soothe his burns with his tongue, trying his hardest to show he would not back down.

“ Next.” He grinned meekly, slowly standing up, but his body would not let him do so, and once again, he was consumed by the hurt. Zor scowled at the crumpled figure of Shadow, and formed a bright orange, spherical orb in his mouth, increasing its size by the second.

“ My brother is near death. You…will pay.” Zor hissed. Shadow rolled slightly aside, as if in hope to evade the death that would await him, but to no avail. The angered rat shifted his body to face Shadow, and widened his jaws.

“ This Hyper Beam will avenge my brother. You will suffer!” Zor’s voice was now hysterical, and he declared a cry of triumph.

“ Long live the Black Wraiths!” And Zor laughed, a cruel, dark, evil cackle. The beam of destruction was unleashed, and the tortured figure of Umbreon drew back, as if to weather the blow. Shadow’s eyes were firmly shut, and he just hoped it would end. But as the apocalyptic blast hurtled through the air, a sleek body shot into the midst of the blast, discs of air shooting through the air, to cut through Zor, taking blood with the blow. Zor flinched, and the beam died away. The path of where the beam had followed was scarred; chunks of earth missing, and bits of gravel seated in large holes. But at the end of the beam’s path, was the limp body of Shadow, the sleek body that still quivered with life, a bundle of sorrow and hatred. And behind him was the gray Shade. His eyes bore deeply into Zor, void of joy and happiness, but filled with sadness and hatred that fueled the Absol, the emotions that drove him to continue to fight the warriors known as Zor and Zaris.

“ Black Wraiths. Zane told me about you morons.” Shade spoke with hatred, with sorrow.

“ You mean Star? He’s with you now? Is he still a wimpy Eevee?” Zor smirked.

“ He isn’t wimpy.” Shade responded.

“ He’s a coward.” Zor said hysterically. “ He never could kill like us. That’s why he left when we aligned with the Crimsons. Morning Star was a wimp, you should know. But you and that Umbreon…you hold the potential to become one of the greatest fighters in Ulthuan. Join us. Your talents are best, they are at home with the Black Wraiths.”

“ His name isn’t Morning Star. And I will never join the Black Wraiths.” Shade growled defiantly.

“ Oh? Then DIE!” A burst of flames spouted from the Rattata’s mouth, fired at Shade like a missile. Shade tapped into his true potential, analyzing every possible direction to go, every possible outcome…Nimbly dodging the blow, Shade snarled.

“ That’s it. Bring it on!” He roared.


Shade (Level 5 Male Absol) vs. Zor (Level 15 Male Rattata)


With lightning quick speed, Shade’s head blade glowed a bright, ghostly white, and he slashed the air, shooting out several air saucers that slashed across Zor’s body.

“ You should’ve learned from Shadow. You may defeat me, but you will just defeat yourself as well.” Zor cackled, spitting flames from his mouth that brushed past Absol’s flank. Shade jumped to the side, more discs flying through the air from his blade. Droplets of blood slowly dripped from Zor’s cut up body, but the Rattata showed no pain.

“ Haven’t you learned from Zane?” Zor grinned. “ Us of the Black Wraiths are practically immune to pain. But you weaklings give in to it. Or did Zane already give in, becoming a slave of those humans?” Shade angrily slashed Zor across his side, throwing his heavy body against the beast’s own, colliding with the force of a bull into his flank. The bodies both hit the ground, but Zor easily got up.

“ Pathetic.” Zor grinned, and sent arrow like bolts towards Shade, who had just recovered from his own careless attack, only to feel a sharp pain in his chest from the powerful attack.

“ Too…Powerful…” Shade gasped, coughing blood. Zor smiled wickedly.

“ You see, the Black Wraiths uses powerful TMs for its members. It raises your power, and you will feel stronger. Join us.” Zor’s voice reminded Shade of a zombie, which he disliked. Zor began to form another barrage of sizzling bolts, but Shade was ready. His eyes scanned every outcome, every possibility, and every evasion technique available. The young Absol became a gray streak as it soared across the field, aerial saucers flying in every direction, and the black, bloodstained blade flashing in the night. Zor drew back as Shade pounced, slashing and ripping until he was blown back by a powerful charge. Zor spat blood, and scowled at the fallen Absol.

“ Ganglis will be unhappy about this.” He murmured.

“ Who…is Ganglis!” Shade roared, and with renewed strength, slashed Zor in the chest, before smashing him into the earth. A mystical aura encased Shade, and then it was gone, something Zor dismissed with ease.

“ Ganglis is the leader of Black Wraiths. He is the greatest!” Zor said, as if he was a puppet himself. A barrage of bolts erupted from Zor’s body, but Shade weathered the blow, not expecting the upcoming Flame Wheel. The Absol was trapped in a brilliant golden crown of flames, and suddenly, the Absol burst into ashes.

“ What?!” Zor said, aghast. A black streak collided with him, and he hit the earth yet again.

“ Substitute, eh?” Zor sneered. He got up again, and a brown glow encased him.

“ That seems to be your trump card.” Zor remarked as the Absol skidded to a stop. “ But mines…is something you’ve seen before. It’s called Hyper Beam.” Zor continued casually. Shade hissed, and a mystical glow enveloped him again. But a quick barrage of flames incinerated the copy Shade had just created.

“ Dammit!” Shade roared. He rushed straight at Zor, consumed with anger and range. His cruel blade sliced Zor’s side, letting blood spurt out, before dishing several more cuts across his body. Zor just grinned, and several strands of silk sprouted from Zor’s mouth. They wrapped around Shade, immobilizing him.

“ What?” Shade said infuriatingly.

“ Like it? It’s my own power. Hidden Power. Bug.” Zor calmly formed an orange, spherical ball in his mouth, and it began to increase in size. It was too familiar to the intelligent Absol, who began to decipher his strategy immediately, and devised a counter attack. Though his powerful legs were bound in silk, his upper body was free to move as he pleased. Zor was so triumphant over his trap that he ignored the glow that Shade was emitting, before it disappeared, and then the Absol was still.

“ That’s right. Bow down to death.” The calamitous beam erupted from the Rattata’s mouth, ripping through the silk, and the Absol burst into flames.

“ No!” Zor shouted. But the blast continued, and a limp gray body flew across the air. Blood fell from it, before the form began to shake. Blood dripped from the Absol’s flanks, and bruises were all over his form.

“ Impressive. Using a Substitute to shield the blow, enough to let you live. You truly are a prodigy.” Zor remarked. He dropped to a crouch.

“ And your strategy worked…how? How was I so careless?” And the limp body stood, proudly and arrogantly. Shade loomed over Zor, a smug expression painted across his face.

“ You lost because you believed in pure strength, Zor. As long as that happens…you will…never succeed.” The Absol said breathlessly, before Zor went limp. And Shade finally gasped, before collapsing in triumph.

Shade won!
Shade grew to Level 7!

“ Ganglis…forgive me…” Zor murmured quietly. And from the darkness came a crisp, sharp voice.

“ Too late, Zor. And for you, Zaris. You failed to retrieve Morning Star. You failed to combat complete weaklings. Ganglis is disgusted with you.”

“ …Specter!” Zor gasped. “ Help me!”

“ Relax.” The voice said coolly. “ You won’t die. Return with me to the Black Wraiths. Ganglis will see you.” The creature departed with a sinister cackle, with a weak Zor and Zaris in tow. As soon as they departed, Shadow slowly raised his body, getting to his feet.
“ So…Black Wraiths, hm? Strange enough.” Shadow stared at Shade’s body.

“ Well? Get up.” Shadow stated bluntly. Shade got to his feet slowly.

“ Where to?” Shade sighed.

“ I don’t know. But-”

“ Shadow!” From the bushes emerged Nightshade, and she wore a very happy expression. Shadow was awestruck. Nightshade—HAPPY?

“ Thank god!” She breathed. “ Zane noticed you were missing. We went to go look for you and…oh! You’re hurt so badly!” The Umbreon quickly dashed forward, and Shadow was baffled.

“ Ok.” He murmured to himself. “ What the hell is going on here?” Shade turned to him with an amused expression.

“ Sounds like someone…” But he never got to finish. A brisk voice interrupted him, much to his displeasure.

“ Dammit. Where is he? Well?” Zane leapt out of the bushes, followed by Eclipse, and they both wore angry expressions.

“ Where’s who, Zane?” Shadow said tiredly as Nightshade began to check his wounds.

“ The Black Wraiths! Someone put…SOMETHING on Nightshade, possibly some Hypnosis type thing. She’s suddenly all happy and crap.” Zane snapped, and for the first time, Shadow was looking at the Zane that was masked, behind a hidden shell that was hard to crack; a thick barrier that barricaded itself from his usual personality.

“ I don’t know, Zane. Zor and Zaris just ran off with some creature a while ago. I hate to say this, but I really want the old Nightshade back.” Shade spoke up.

“ Agreed.” Eclipse said shortly.

“ And Eclipse is suddenly resembling Nightshade. They seem to have switched personalities.” Zane continued on fiercely.

“ Well, Zane, Zor and Zaris went off, and Hunter’s coming here soon. By the way, what happened to him?” Shadow replied.

“ Some Dragon Tamer asked for his help or something. He took Tsunami, Koukeui, and Inferno with him. Told us to wait at that fork in the paths.”

“ Then let’s go back.” Shadow shrugged Nightshade off and slowly continued down the path.

“ You guys go.” Zane murmured.

“ What about you?” Shade inquired skeptically.

“ I…have some unfinished business.” Zane said darkly.

caimsfiredragon377
31st October 2004, 01:15 AM
I would like to battle, I will use gerald my ditto, I dont care which pokemon battles me as long as its around level 8

Kirei
31st October 2004, 02:05 AM
Read the first page of this topic, then read the current scenario (link is on the first page). You need to base your battle around that. You could always look at other people's battles to see how people do it. It tells you what pokémon you can battle on the scenario page... :196:

Lady Vulpix
31st October 2004, 03:52 PM
And Soo gets a stamp for her help, while...
Karin gets 28 stamps! I liked how you've added more depth to Shar's story. Scene changes were a bit too frequent, but they were interesting and well handled. It was great to see Élan again, if only for a brief moment, though I feel sorry for Switchblade now. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Charizard04621
2nd November 2004, 06:44 PM
Shadow Djinn - Cool, take 7 Stamps. :)

Shadow Djinn
2nd November 2004, 06:46 PM
I'll return those stamps for an RBG for Zane please. *Hands over the said stamps*

Charizard04621
2nd November 2004, 06:48 PM
I'll return those stamps for an RBG for Zane please. *Hands over the said stamps*

*coughs* Area.... ^^;

Shadow Djinn
2nd November 2004, 06:56 PM
Oh darn...It was in my head and snap...I didn't type it X_X;. Requesting from the Universal Adoption Center please.

Wolfsong
2nd November 2004, 10:31 PM
Zane's opponent will be a shuppet

Cheesey
5th November 2004, 11:17 AM
I took a look around the field I had ended up in. I’d been travelling around for goodness knows how long, and I really didn’t know where I was any more. The area was fairly barren – the wintry climate had totally cleared the area of any luscious vegetation that there would normally be. I turned round in a circle on the spot. It was getting quite dark, even though it was only half past four. It was very noticeable that the clocks had been turned back not too long ago, as I couldn’t see the mountaintops in the distance. That might have been because it was slightly foggy, of course – As I looked into the distance all I could see was a glistening cloak of mist slowly encircling everything it could get its wispy grasp around. I wasn’t sure what to do. If I stayed out here much longer I would simply get cold and have to lie in the grass, and even if I did move on, I wouldn’t get very far before it got too dark for me to see.

I wasn’t used to this weather. I was used to the warm sun beating down on me whilst I lay in the grass, surrounded by pokemon quite happily roaming about. I’d never been here during the run up to winter, where the grass was cold and rough, the trees were rapidly losing their jackets of maroon leaves and there wasn’t a pokemon to be seen since they’d all gone to find somewhere nicer to live. I’m sure I couldn’t be too far from the Dragon Tamers Adoption Centre – I usually find myself somewhere fairly close to it. However, even if I wasn’t that far away, it had become too dark for me to even have a chance of seeing it. I sat on the tough ground and took out my map of Caledor and my torch. I’d spilt tea on my map so a large splodge of the map had been dyed a rather light shade of brown. Still, I could make out everywhere that was important, brown or not.

It was cold. I had my map out but my hands were so numb they felt as if they were about to fall off, so I put my gloves on and, using my bag as a pillow, I tried to go to sleep, even though it was only about five o’clock. It didn’t really work though, because I was so uncomfortable. I lay on my back to look at the stars, but as I opened my eyes I was greeted with a drop of rain up my nose. So as it began to rain, I screwed up my eyelids in a vain attempt to sleep.

I woke up when it was still relatively dark. Sitting up, I could see that it wasn’t so misty any more, and I could continue on my journey. Then I realised something. I had completely forgotten where I was going. In all my valiant attempts to continue on through the countryside it had totally slipped my mind what I actually wanted to do. So I felt a bit silly for that. After the feeling silly-ness I sat and pondered for a while. What should I do? I couldn’t remember for the life of me why I’d set out on this trip, and I wasn’t sure what to do now. Backtrack? It seemed the best option since I didn’t really know where I was, and I didn’t know how close the nearest building was. So, back to the Eevee House it was then.

I yawned, stretched, and stood up. I noticed my map of Caledor was a bit squished… I must’ve slept on it or something. It really has taken quite a bit of a beating even though I hadn’t actually used it for guiding myself round Caledor very much. Either way, there wasn’t anything I could do about it now, so I folded it up, put it in my bag, and wandered back the way my came. That wasn’t very difficult to do, because since the air was so still, my footprints were still there. Besides, I can’t imagine seeing very many people around here in this sort of weather.

It was a bit dull. I was backtracking along the grass when it was still early in the morning and it was cold. I needed someone to talk to, so, grabbing the first pokeball I had on my belt, it chucked it into the air and sincerely hoped it wasn’t Talis (my Onix). Thankfully, it wasn’t. There was a flash of red light and out popped Athena, my Swablu. She fluttered around in circles until she was dizzy for no apparent reason before peacefully floating down and sitting on the ground.

“What are you doing down there?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well get up then! We need to get back to the Eevee House.”
“But I’m huuuuungry.”
“Well I can’t do anything about that. Don’t you remember? Yesterday Faithless ate all our food.”
“What a stupid, greedy Aerodactyl.”
“You really aren’t a morning pokemon, are you?”
“You noticed?”
“No need for the attitude. Now, hurry up, because we can get back to the Eevee House within a few hours if you do.”
“But I’m huuuuungry.”
“Yes. I know. What do you expect me to do about that?”
“Well-“
“Don’t answer that – it was supposed to be rhetorical.”
“Yeah but-“
“Nope. We need to get going.”

So, we got going. There was an awkward silence for a while – I think I’d irritated Athena – but honestly, if she’s going to act like that when there’s no need to I think I have a reason! Sure, not everyone likes mornings, but still, no need to be argumentative with someone who actually wants your company. I mean, who does she think she-

“Ow!!”

I turned round and saw Athena being pecked on the head by a rather scruffy looking Torchic.

“Well? Fight back then!”

Athena, level 7 female Swablu vs. Wild female Torchic at level 7

It took a while for Athena to hear what I’d said, but when I put my right hand into a fist and started to punch my other hand then I think she got the idea. The Torchic had started to stand on her head and then proceeded to dig her talons into Athena’s scalp, making her squeal with pain. In a way this wasn’t so bad, because normally there’s no telling whether or not Athena is going to drift into a daydream in the middle of a battle or not.
As Torchic continued to dig her talons into Athena, the Swablu fought back with Haze. Normally this’d be a bit silly but it actually worked in a different way than it’s supposed to. Instead of resetting all status changes it got into Torchic’s eyes which made her lose her grip on Athena. Breaking free of her grasp, Athena swung round and let the Haze fade away before digging her beak heavily into Torchic’s stomach. The fiery bird winced after receiving the Aerial Ace and fought back by scratching at Athena’s face – “Fight back with Peck,” I cried – so as she did so Athena opened her beak wide and nipped several of her opponent’s toes. Torchic made a funny little squeaking noise and withdrew, but then she did something a bit weird. Her eyes started to glow a funny purple colour and then she lit up with a pinkish glow. Then I recognised it – It must be Focus Energy. I’d seen it before but not THAT colour… Athena, however, was no so quick on the ball and watched in fascination as her opponent continued to glow a rather nice violet colour.
It lasted for a while. I kept shouting to Athena to attack, but she didn’t. Torchic knew that since she wasn’t attacking she could hold the Focus Energy for even longer and unleash more power later on. Suddenly, she burst out and with full force she slammed straight into the face of the unsuspecting Swablu, completely knocking all the wind out of her. Consequently, though, this process of getting Athena utterly winded made her release an Ice Beam – I thought she could control this ice move of hers now but evidently not – and got Torchic in the eyes.
The heat of her feathers quickly melted the ice and left her eyes dripping as if she’d just been crying. Athena’s head still hurt from the earlier assault from her opponent had wreaked on her so she narrowed her eyes and shot forward with surprising speed at the wild pokemon. Drilling her beak into Torchic’s chest, the Peck attack knocked her totally out of balance and also knocked her totally… well, over. Athena drifted to the ground and tiptoed over to Torchic. She felt a bit sorry for her now.

Athena won! She grew to level 8 and learned Astonish!

“Will she be okay?” she asked me.
“I expect so. She didn’t look in the best condition in the first p[lace so I’m sure she’s used to getting in scraps – I’m not sure whether or not just to leave her here or not though, because it seems a bit mean.”

As soon as I said that though, the Torchic got up and gave me the meanest look you could ever have thought of. Fluttering away (rather erratically may I add) I turned to Athena and congratulated her.

“Well done. You just defeated a very rude little Torchic. But honestly, we do need to get to the Eevee House.”
“Yeah, I know… I can’t fly there though, my wings are all tired out.”
“I’ll carry you there.”

So I did. With Athena nestled in my arms, I continued on back to the Eevee House. I have a horrible feeling that I’m going to remember what I set out to do as soon as I put a foot through that door when I get there though…

Cheesey
6th November 2004, 06:23 PM
Could I please have another RBG? This time it'll be for the Free Range Coral, and the pokemon I will be using is Imarad. She's my Zangooose, and she's at level 9. *hands over 7 Stamps*

Lady Vulpix
6th November 2004, 06:39 PM
Alright, Imarad will be battling a Smeargle.
Hmm... that could be interesting. It's up to you to decide what moves the Smeargle knows. :rolleyes:

Matt
8th November 2004, 06:36 PM
Can I have an extension for this scenario? I hope to get the previous ones and my RBG finished soon so I can work on this one, though.

Lady Vulpix
8th November 2004, 07:04 PM
The extension is yours, Matt.

Kerel
9th November 2004, 09:21 PM
After running a lot not knowing how he got to the place he was, Kerel found himself err... lost.

He decided to ask an old lady for directions, he didn't know what she'd answer but the answer definelty surprised him.

-Gas, gas, gastly!!!

"what the f*ck?"

And so the battle began.

Bruce-"Hey hold on, that's absolutly stupid"

Kerel-"Shut up Bruce, pokemon don't speak"

Bruce-"I can't stay quiet if you say so many bullshit"

Kerel-"Well, why don't you tell the story then"

Bruce-"Alright people, now for the real one."

Kerel was hired by some guys I cant mention to find some rare...I cant tell but anyway...after I explained him all the clues he missed we finally got to Sector Alpha.

After a taxi driver messed up taking left for right, we found ourselves in a strange and foggy street.

It was pretty dark and foggy, and the place was reaaalllly scary, if you are a scarefull human, wich of course I am not.

-Scarefull what the heck is that?

-some one who scares easily.

-Who gets scared you mean?

-yeah...I'll go on.

So there was this cat that said Meeeoww, and Kerel just went out running like crazy and sealed himself in a house which door was misteriously opened.

Anyway I had to follow him, and enter the house, afer of course noticing the "WARNING HAUNTED HOUSE DO NOT ENTER SIGN"

And yeah, "sign" was written on the banner.

well, I don't really know how Kerel got himself trapped in a closet, but after I found him he only Shouted "GHHOOOOOOOOOSTTTTSSSSSS"

Kerel- "Bruce, you're exaggerating"

Bruce-"barely"

Kerel-"I'll take it from here".

Then after those Gasltys showed up, and ONE OF THEM WAS disguised as an old lady.
Bruce tried to fight them.

Bruce-"he sent me too, after half an hour of useless battle (cause non of us could hurt the other) I had to tell him what a Pokedex was, he even tried to harm them using psychology cause he read Psychic powers harmed gastlys".

Kerel-Well, one of them did fall asleep.

Bruce-Well yes, that's true.

Finally I sent Caroline (my ponyta) to do the job, and she burned the gastly who was awake using her flamethrower. The Gastly liked her.

Bruce-You mean licked her?

Kerel-Both actually.

And she burned him again. then I told her to burn the sleeping one cause he kissed me when disguised as an old lady and I wouldn't forgive him. So she did, after that we decided to run away cause we were on a woodenhouse and all that fire set it on well...fire.

So we left pretty much unharmed, and I think Team Rocket was blamed for the burning so it's alright.

Bruce-"excepting for our confession right?"

Kerel-"er... well..." RUN!!!!!

-------------------------------------

TECH DATA: when the battle began Caroline (Ponyta) was level 6 as well as Bruce (Zangoose) hey that rhymes!

well after it both became level 7, unless I should level up Kerel for the psichology attack.

AntiAsh Superstar
11th November 2004, 02:20 AM
Hehe, time I inflicted another two-poster on you all. :P

-----
For what had to be the first time in her entire life, Kasumi was feeling miserable. Normally she was always full of limitless energy and enthusiasm, and in spite of her perverted attitude she was generally considered a rather happy-go-lucky kind of creature. But lately she felt anything but happy or lucky, and her 'go' seemed to have vanished altogether. In fact, the Growlithe had lost the will to do pretty much anything. And why? Well, her reasons for feeling low could be summed up in one word. Thunderblast.

Kasumi could still remember the first time the two pokémon had spent any decent amount of time together. Before that fateful day they had been nothing more than passing acquaintances, and whilst she couldn't deny she had always found the Raichu rather cute she had never really considered acting upon it. Until that day. The team had been visiting the Eevee House, a usual meeting ground for trainers. And Kasumi had commenced upon her usual rounds of tormenting everyone within sight, asking anyone who moved for a date, knowing full well that most would either tell her to get lost or simply run away. Most seemed to be rather intimidated by Kasumi. Especially Gabi's Stantler, Iael. She had great fun making him nervous over the years. However, Thunderblast was a different kettle of fish altogether. The psychic Raichu belonging to the trainer known as Dan... she hadn't ran away. Or told the Growlithe to go away. She had actually talked to her, the two pokémon hitting it off immediately. And talking moved on to sitting on the couch and watching a movie. And watching a movie had turned into snuggling. And that... well, that had led on to other things.

How happy Kasumi had been back then! For possibly the first time in her entire life she had found a creature who could match her in terms of adventurousness, boisterousness and sheer strangeness. Around Thunderblast, she didn't have to worry about overstepping any boundaries. Because there were none. It was an arrangement that suited them both perfectly. After a while what had just been a mutual attraction started developing into something more. After a while the Growlithe had been equally happy just talking with the Raichu as she was helping her to come up with ever more inventive uses for her tail. For the first time in her life she knew what it was like to feel love as opposed to lust. Oh, she knew that Tsuyoi had a soft spot for her, and in a way it was still returned, but... this... this had started growing into real head-over-heels stuff, the sort of love whereby just spending time in Thunderblast's company made Kasumi feel giddy. No longer did it matter that everyone else would stare at them oddly. Before they had almost delighted in getting the weird looks from other pokémon and trainers; homosexual relationships between pokémon were, after all, virtually unheard of and to see two females so openly affectionate made more than a few creatures a little uncomfortable. But something changed over time, and spending time together ended up simply feeling like the most natural thing in the world. Sure, they still got the occasional close-minded moron, but they were always easily laughed off. Or held in place by Kasumi's telekinesis. Or knocked out with an irritated Thunderbolt from her Raichu companion.

Good times indeed. But they, like all good things, had to come to an end eventually. And in this case they were brought to their conclusion by the sudden disappearance of Dan from Ulthuan. One day he had just left without so much as a word, and a heartbroken Kasumi had been left with only a hastily scrawled note of apology to remind her of the good times she had with his Raichu. And yes, later on she was able to have some limited communication with her via instant messaging - fortunately their respective trainers were reasonably good friends and still kept in touch via their respective computer screens - but it simply wasn't the same. She wanted to be able to touch her, to feel her body once again. It wasn't fair, any of it. Kasumi hadn't been the only one affected by the move, either. Soo's Charmander, Kassandra, had been going out with Dan's Wartortle, Hydro, at the time, too. Although she was made of much sterner stuff, and had shrugged off the parting with ease.
"Straight into the waiting coils of Marius, too, from the looks of things," Kasumi snickered to herself, finding at least some amusement in the relationships of others. Well, it was true! Since parting with her old boyfriend Kassandra had been spending an awful lot of time in the company of the unnaturally intelligent Dratini, even if she would refuse point-blank to call their friendship anything approaching a relationship. They were an odd couple, for sure. The only thing they really had in common was a ridiculous stubbornness. But they seemed to work well together. Better than Kasumi and Thunderblast had been, evidently. Otherwise the Growlithe would still have a girlfriend right about now. "Anyway, what's with all this being soppy all of a sudden? There'll be other... other..." Here Kasumi's voice trailed off, her attempts to talk herself round evidently failing. "Who am I kidding? There'll never be any other like her. But the least I can do is to pretend to be okay. The others would start worrying about me otherwise." Yes, there was no time for heartbreak. At least, not at the moment. Not when the chance of salvation still existed, at any rate.

Kasumi wasn't the only troubled one that day. Elsewhere in the house, the Jolteon known to the world as Rhiannon was in a meditation of sorts. The room she was currently sat in - the usually jumbled spare room that had been the scene of her recent evolution - was totally bare, the contents now stacked up against all four of the walls to reveal so much bare floorboard that it made the area seem at least twice the size that it seemed originally. And there in the middle of it all sat Rhiannon, her eyes closed tight in concentration. There was something evil in the air. Something so familiar, and yet so alien that it sent shivers down her spine. It didn't bode well.
"What is it?" Rhiannon's mouth moved, but the voice coming from her was anything other than normal. It was a voice rooted deep within her mind, the psychic projection of her innermost thoughts. It was the voice of a young girl this time, or at least for a moment. For in an instant another voice began to emanate from the young Jolteon's head. A deeper, more self-assured voice.
"We both know what it is, Rhiannon," this second voice chided. "Our history, it seems, has finally caught up with us."
"Your history, you mean! You brought all of this about, if it wasn't for you I would have never gotten caught up with those nasty Dark Cloak cultists. If it wasn't for you they would have never experimented on me. If it wasn't for you[i/] we wouldn't have so much blood on our paws now, would we?" By now Rhiannon's voice was a barely understandable sob. "They should have just let those Scythers eat me." It had all started going wrong for Rhiannon long before she had been picked up by a scouting party for the Dark Cloak cultist sect, of course, the ones who had bestowed great power to her in return for her services in helping them have their shot at conquering Ulthuan. If she thought about it, it all started going wrong just weeks after she had been born, when the premature loss of a sibling at the hands of uncaring breeding centre workers had broken her mind. "We don't deserve to be here."
"Nonsense. There is no blood on your paws anyway. I don't ask you to share my burdens."
"I don't ask you to share my [i]body but you still do anyway, don't you???" Rhiannon practically screamed at herself.
"Hush now. We can resume this conversation in times when we can afford to sort things out between ourselves. Right now we need to concentrate." Finally Rhiannon fell silent once more, tranquil once again. "We don't know what they're planning. Not even our powers can determine that. We need assistance. Guidance. What, in the name of the myriad planes of the Vortex, are they doing?" Rhiannon hadn't even noticed that the gemstone buried deep within her skull had decided to show itself, illuminating the room with its soft green glow. "We need to know. We just need to. Amon, please guide us."
"My Lady, if you can't figure this out then what chance have I?" A thin voice from the other side of the room spoke up, causing the Jolteon to look up. There he was, a slightly battle-scarred Umbreon sporting the most sympathetic smile he could muster. The urge to run over and nuzzle him was immense. Although the fact that he was semi-transparent indicated that this would have probably been a futile gesture. Amon, Rhiannon's long-dead lover from her less than savoury past. Amon, one of two pokémon whose only connection to the physical world was due to Rhiannon's remarkable powers. "Even guardian angels have their limits, Rhiannon."
"You overanalyze things," commented another voice. This one came from an equally translucent Sandslash, staring absently out of the window into the darkened night sky. Rhiannon's will had kept Amon as a shade, their bond too great to be severed by death. But for some strange reason Amon's best friend Khism, also killed in the same unfortunate events that cost the Umbreon his physical form, also seemed insistent on sticking around. Which was fine by Rhiannon. She rather liked the evangelical Ground-type. "We all got a taste of what Armand DiAnnio - and, more to the point, his deadly little pet - is capable of, and why he does what he does. There is going to be chaos. On a scale the likes of which nobody could hope to imagine. I know I'm right. So do you. The question is, in what manner this chaos is going to come about."
"So far you've succeeded in telling us nothing new, Khism. Why don't you go boil yourself in a pot of Assam or something?" The tea thing was an in-joke lost on practically everybody bar Rhiannon and her phantoms. "By the way, Rhiannon, I like the new look. If I could learn possession just so I could borrow a body to touch you with, I would in a heartbeat." Rhiannon found herself blushing. She couldn't look Amon in the eye all of a sudden.
"We... we're glad you approve," she finally stuttered, sounding more like Brandy than her usual self.
"Amon! Lady Rhiannon! This is not the time for flirting!" Khism snapped, hopping down from his perch. "The situation is dire. We... well, I say 'we' but I really mean you, Lady Rhiannon... have to deal with possibly the most violently cruel anarchist the world has to offer, and what's worse is he has access to a dark power that we know all too much about." The Sandslash sounded bitter. In life he had believed absolutely in that power. He had swallowed it all hook, line and sinker. In death, however, he had gradually come to accept that his dark religion had been nothing but a fraud. Oh, the power had existed, there was never any question about that. But at least now he understood it as something less than the holy thing he had once considered it. "The worst part being that this power actually seems to want to serve him, it's only happy when fulfilling his desires."
"Armand and Reaper deserve each other," Amon spat. "Whether the rest of us deserve to suffer having them around, however, is another matter. Rhiannon, you've got your work cut out for you. You're going to have to deal with Reaper, defeat Team Rocket and stay out of the way of that Lord Absol fellow who's still hanging around like a bad stench. But hey, if anyone can do it, you can. I believe in you."
"Amon..." Rhiannon was cut off by a sudden burst of light as the doorway behind her opened, flooding the room with the hallway light. She turned to look at this intrusion. Pandora, looking half asleep and in less than a good mood.
"Rhiannon, come to bed already, you're keeping us all up with that constant jabbering to yourself," the Houndour grumbled. "I've no idea how you manage to find so much to talk about when there's nobody else around. I know I'm usually sick of my own company within seconds, in fact me and myself usually come to blows whenever we have a good heart-to-heart."
"You'd be surprised how much we have in common then," Rhiannon muttered to herself, casting a sly glance backwards. They were gone. She had suspected as much.
"But anyway, like I was saying. You. Bed. Now. And think yourself lucky I'm still in awe of the great Lady Rhiannon, because you woke me up when I wasn't actually dreaming of anything for once, and I've killed for less than that."
"We're sorry, Pandora," the Jolteon sighed. Her friend was right. It was probably better to sleep on things, anyway. Even Rhiannon needed to rest occasionally.


"Ade! Ade! Wake up!" A violent shaking at my shoulder, a shaking that simply refused to let up. A loud voice in my ear that was bordering on the hysterical. Why was it so hard to just be woken up in the mornings like most normal people? By a nice, normal alarm clock? "Ade, I'm scared!"
"Wha..?" I opened my eyes groggily to see Soo's worried face peering at me through the gloom. What kind of time was this? It was pitch black inside the room, so dark in fact that it took several minutes for my tired eyes to be able to make anything out at all. I smiled weakly as the beautiful face of the woman I loved finally came into focus. Her wonderfully clear, soft skin, her dark copper hair, her kissable lips, her almost unnaturally blue eyes... I could have stared at that face all day if given half the chance. "What's wrong, Espie-girl, did you have a bad dream?" The nickname was truly bizarre, admittedly, but it had fast become a term of endearment. The logic went that Soo and her Espeon, Kirei, were so similar in attitude that it was hard to tell the two apart. Hence Soo was Espie-girl.
"No, I wish it was!" Soo seemed genuinely scared, and I couldn't help but take her in my arms and hold her close. She felt cold. And whilst this was to be expected now that the lazy days of summer were behind us, something simply didn't feel quite... natural about the whole thing. "Ade. Listen to me. What time do you think it is?"
"About three in the morning, I'm guessing." By now I was fully awake, and as such was fumbling for my glasses over Soo's shoulder. Eventually my fingertips found their cold wire frame and grabbed them.
"Ade, it's not. It's... Ade, it's ten o'clock. A.M., at that."
"You what?" My blood ran cold. All of a sudden a torrent of horrible memories came flooding back to me. Being woken up around this time by a rather frantic Sindel, her psychic senses thrown totally out by the sudden darkness. Frenzied discussions around the table. "It's an omen of something dark, something powerful. Quite what is going to come of it, I don't know." Quickly I leapt out of bed, hoping against hope that I wasn't going to witness what I already half suspected was going to be greeting me in the outside world. The last time I had encountered this strange phenomenon was just before the Dark Cloak attacked, those cruel, twisted excuses for human beings that blindly followed their Dark Lord Resomegnis, a vicious being born of the fusion of techniques both scientific and arcane. That had been a struggle. The cultists had been relentless in their assaults, and had even breached the walls of Sector Alpha at one point. Yet we had driven them back. We had defeated them. Or so I had thought.
"Ade, I'm frighten!" Soo moaned as I left her side for a moment to throw back the curtains. I gave a short gasp of dismay at what I saw. Thick black clouds covered the skies so that not a single shaft of sunlight was able to reach the ground. It was if the entire world had been wrapped in a thick, suffocating fog that had cursed the land with everlasting night. Only this was no natural night. At least during the night you could usually see the stars dotting the pitch black sky. Here there was nothing. Just eternal gloom.
"Shit!" I found myself saying, rushing back to pull on the first clothes that came to hand. "Soo, please, calm down. We're gonna need all our wits about us. This is something big. Get dressed, grab your pokémon and meet us in the kitchen. Time we had one of those annoying emergency meeting things."

The fact that everyone was ready and assembled in the designated spot within ten minutes spoke volumes for the sheer urgency of the situation. It was rather cramped with everyone there at the same time. There was Pearl, looking concerned as she tried to prevent her daughter Celeste from crying. Katnip, sporting the sort of expression he reserved solely for when there was urgent competition up ahead. Beckham, for once managing to stifle his umpteen goofy comments. Milliardo, looking tired and irritable yet somehow managing to keep his temper in check for now. Sindel, fiddling nervously with her spoons as she awaited some kind of explanation. Lucky, trying hard to put a brave face on things even though he had seen more atrocities than most. Scratchy, for once not even pretending that he wasn't that concerned with what was going on. Kasumi, silent for once, although few knew exactly what was on her mind. Pandora, her large eyes registering a bizarre mixture of determination and sheer anxiety. Rhiannon, who seemed unusually troubled for once. Bolovayr, who understood the situation well enough to realize that any comments as to how similar the situation was to a really bad movie were probably a bad move. Marius, who would probably have been pacing up and down deep in though had he any legs to pace with. Megan, sat watching the entire scene with a look of sheer bewilderment upon her face. Ryo-Ohki, who was clinging terrified to Sindel's leg. Kassandra, who had originally been grumbling about how she didn't see why everyone was so scared by a load of clouds, but by now had fallen silent, the gravity of the situation having eventually gotten through even to her. Kirei, busy cowering in a corner in a state of advanced hysteria that always seemed to be an omen of something disastrous being on the horizon. Sparky, busy balancing the not-so-identical twins Kaguya and Yuki on his shoulders and trying to calm the more inexperienced pokémon down. Chartreuse, sporting an expression so determined that it was hard to believe that she was the same pokémon who had been going starry-eyed over the irritating Alan Davenport just days ago. Kyore, seemingly baffled, scared and just plain fed up all at the same time. Skyla, who had wisely chosen a position well away from Kassandra for now. Hokiri, who seemed to be genuinely troubled by all of the conflicting emotions within the room. Hell, even Brandy was listening in through the window. And then there was the rest of us. Soo, myself, and the self-appointed chairman of any group discussion.
"So," Tsuyoi commented, far too relaxed for comfort. "You've all been seriously disturbed by this, probably due to the fact that this darkness seems practically identical to that cast by the Dark Cloak before they attacked us a good two years ago. Correct?"
"Correct, but..."
"Well, you needn't worry. Although the threat Ulthuan now faced bears their stench, you may or may not be pleased to know that they have long since been obliterated."
"Along with everything else nearby," Rhiannon noted sourly.
"Come to think of it, why am I even holding this discussion?" Tsuyoi's eyes fixed upon Rhiannon for the longest of times, during which the Jolteon was seen to visibly flinch. A cruel smile played upon Tsuyoi's jaws. There was still no question as to where the balance of power lay. All the enhancements in the world weren't able to put Rhiannon on his level. "I would say that between you all you possess enough knowledge to solve this puzzle yourselves. Come now, what do you suspect is going on here?"
"We all already know," Rhiannon grumbled, "but..." Before she could elaborate any further, however, our meeting was rudely interrupted by the sounds of shouting and banging from the street outside. It sounded like the area was being marched upon by a mod of drunken louts. At least that was the impression that the sudden noises left me with.
"What the ^@!£???" Milliardo was the first one to rush to the window and peer cautiously out into the darkness. It was hard to tell exactly what was going on out there. All that we could see from the safety of our house were shadows racing down the road, shouting and yelling as they went, the occasional pokémon mixed up in their number. Every so often a large flash of light would briefly illuminate the street as a pokémon attacked some unseen opponent, and during these flashes we could briefly make out black-garbed men and women sporting expressions that were part panic, part determination. "Guys, not even I can see what's going on out there!" the Umbreon complained bitterly.
"Out soccer team's been knocked out of the World Cup again. There can be no other explanation," Beckham nodded sagely.
"Becks!" Marius scolded the Wartortle. "This is neither the time nor the place for such ridiculously random bouts of theorizing! Listen, everyone, we need somebody to go outside and ascertain what the triggering factor to this cacophony happens to be. Henceforth, I shall see you all in a minute equipped with the full details of what is going on."
"Over my dead body!" Pandora snapped, positioning herself smartly between the door and her foster son. "You are going nowhere, you understand me?"
"It's alright, guys." Kasumi was already at the door before anyone could stop her. Well, nobody had really been keeping an eye on the Growlithe. She was one of the last pokémon anyone expected to suddenly take to heroism! "I got it covered. I know I'm a klutz, and I know you're all picking your chins up off the floor because I'm not talking about sex, but hey. Call it my need to prove that I'm not just a pretty face."
"Sumi, you don't need to...." It was too late. Before I had finished, my Growlithe was already out of the door. "...prove yourself." Something deep within my heart sank. I couldn't have asked any of my pokémon to go out alone! Not amidst all of this! "Guys, you all up for following her?" I asked. The universal opinion, from the looks of the faces of my assembled team, was a resounding yes. Well, at least that solved that little problem!

Surveillance, it had to be said, was something that was a lot easier to talk about than it was to actually do. Or so Kasumi was swiftly finding out. Oh, she had gone out with her head filled of good intentions, alright. But putting them into practice was almost impossible. Practically as soon as she had stepped out of the door she found herself being caught up in some sort of mad stampede, a small army of people and pokémon running down the street smashing cars, vandalizing property and generally making a nuisance of themselves. To begin with she had just assumed that Beckham had been unintentionally correct, that these really were no more than random, drunken football hooligans. That was before the head of the crowd had turned to his followers, brandishing an oily rag and a bottle, which he held high above his head like some sort of trophy.
"For the glory of Team Rocket!" the man cried, his face stained with blood and dirt. He looked as if he had gone a few rounds with a martial arts champion. "We shall not bow down before anyone! For our glory, and our leader!" At this point the man stuffed the rag into the bottleneck, set it alight with a cigarette lighter and hurled it at the nearest car. The entire thing ignited within seconds, lighting the darkened skies with its ominous flickering. It was at that point that Kasumi suddenly found herself wishing she had just stayed at home and voted that Scratchy went to check it out like she was sure Milliardo was going to suggest.
"Okay, Sumi, let's just back out of here nice and slowly and hopefully nobody will notice you..." The Growlithe began to make her way silently out of the crowd. The last thing she needed was to be spotted by these deranged Rockets! Unfortunately fate had never been particularly kind to her. She supposed it was life's way of getting revenge for all of those she had scared in her time, all the potential suitors she had come on too strong with, all the opponents she had messed with the heads of. There was precious little explanation otherwise!
"Well what do we have here?" Somehow Kasumi had managed to back up into one of the stragglers of the group, in what was a classic Sumi moment of simply not looking where she was going. She turned around in horror to see a short, squat man with cropped black hair and a leer so cruel it wasn't natural. And he was looking directly at her. "You're not one of ours, are you? No, I'd have remembered you if you were. You look a good, strong specimen. The others would be queuing up to have you. But they're not going to, are they? No, because I found you. And hence you're all mine." The Growlithe froze in terror, all of her years of training suddenly flying out of the window. She had never been this scared in her life!

Fortunately for Kasumi, somebody got to him before he could get to her.

"Come on, little Growlithe," the Rocket cooed in what would have been a supportive tone coming from most people but instead sounded just plain evil. "I won't hurt you. At least, not if you play it by my rules. I could be very, very nasty if you don't play nice, did you know that? Did you know..." Suddenly the Rocket stopped in his tracks, his eyes suddenly widening. He seemed to be being pulled backwards by some unseen force, his heels dragging against the tarmac beneath him in an attempt to stop his motion. Not that it was doing him any good. "Wait... what's going... on?" All of a sudden he was thrown backwards for what seemed like miles to Kasumi, even if he did eventually land at the very end of the street. Evidently the gods hadn't forsaken my Growlithe yet!
"Wow!" Kasumi gasped in surprise. "Who did that? Where are you? I want to give you a big kiss to thank you, whoever you are!" She looked all around, but saw only houses and the unruly Rocket rabble.
"I'm up here, you big doofus," a voice commented, causing Kasumi to redirect her search to the skies. But still nothing. "No, not there, over to the left a bit... no, to the right... left... oh, why am I even bothering? I know you too well to expect you to find me. Wait a second, would you?" All of a sudden Kasumi found a big Raichu face zooming in on her at such a speed that it caused her to fall backwards in shock. "I thought it was impossible to shock you," the pokémon commented almost nonchalantly. "By the way, I'd like to claim that kiss you offered at some point as well. Now might not really be the best time, but hey." There were very few pokémon on the planet who could act so casual whilst hanging upside-down, suspended by the tail from a nearby lamppost. Especially during a Team Rocket attack.
"Wh... what... why..?" For possibly the first time in her life, Kasumi found herself at a loss for words.
"Okay, let me deal with those in totally random order. 'What?'... well, it's me, that Raichu you liked cuddling up to not so long ago. 'Why?'... let me put it this way, I wasn't too impressed with my new life after Dan moved away. And 'Wh?'... that could mean anything, Sumi, full words would be nice." In spite of her usually composed demeanor, the Raichu was having a hard time in keeping a straight face. "Ugh, I spent too long travelling, it's driven me quite strange. So look, do I get that thank you kiss or not?"
"Of course!" Kasumi was finding it very hard to keep herself from crying. Abruptly she threw herself at the Raichu, smothering her in kisses. "I missed you, Thunderblast. Nobody else will ever play with me."
"Few could keep up with you, that's why," the Raichu said matter-of-factly. "Never mind, Sumi, maybe we'll get to play later. I didn't come all this way just to talk and then scoot off again."
"What did you come all this way for then?"
"I told you, Dan's new lifestyle didn't suit me much, I got really bored just hanging around. Besides..." Thunderblast turned around slowly to look behind her. "Oh no... I should have knocked that goon further than the end of the street." Kasumi craned her head to look in the direction her lover - for what else could she realistically think of the Raichu as? - was glancing in. Only to see the same Rocket from before. Bloodied and battered, maybe, but as yet undefeated.
"Fine!" he yelled at the two pokémon. "If that's the way you want to play then so be it! I'll take you both out and take you for Team Rocket! Go, my pet!" At this point the Rocket hurled a pokéball into the street, where it smashed open in a flash of blinding light to reveal a particularly tough looking Ledian.
"This... is not good," Kasumi whined, still unable to shake the feeling that she should have stayed at home.
"It's not?" A wicked glint came into Thunderblast's eyes. "You know, Sumi, I did say I'd try and keep out of trouble while I was here, but you know that old saying about 'what they don't know can't hurt them', right?"
"Yeah?"
"I agree totally with that." The Raichu took a step forward. "It's been way too long since my last battle. So let me deal with this."
"Whatever you say, you big fuzzy bundle of brilliance, you!" A huge grin snaked its way onto Kasumi's muzzle. Now this was going to be a battle worth watching!

FIGHT!!! L43 Raichu v L39 Ledian!

"You want to challenge me?" The Ledian sounded too sure of himself for Thunderblast's liking. It made her wonder if this battle wasn't going to be too easy. "Me? One of Team Rocket's finest?"
"Yes, I do," the Raichu replied in a rather bored tone. "So stop talking yourself up and start fighting, if you don't mind."
"Okay then I think I will!" The Bug-type shot forward, hoping to strike with a ferocious punch from one of his many limbs. It never happened. The instant he started Thunderblast had already anticipated the attack and had ducked it, only to ram hard into his side with a devastating Slam attack that knocked the Ledian flying. He staggered again to his feet. What kind of nonsense was this? Roaring with rage, he charged towards the Raichu, flames beginning to form at his fist. Fire Punch. But again the Raichu dodged. Then Ice Punch. Dodged again. And Thunder Punch, out of sheer frustration. That didn't connect either. "Stay still you bitch!" the bug roared angrily.
"Now now, that isn't a nice thing to be calling me," Thunderblast noted. For her part she had been showing off to Kasumi more than actually trying to battle. After all, so far her opponent had shown no signs of actually being able to cause any damage. So she had essentially been dancing around her opponent, avoiding all of its attacks with remarkable ease. However, the time was fast approaching where she would have to actually get on with it. Somehow she could sense the mounting frustration of the Rocket in charge of her opponent. And somehow she knew that if she kept this up for much longer then he was more than likely to do something drastic. Narrowing her eyes, the Raichu began to build up the charge within her body, the electrical sacs on her cheeks beginning to spark. Before her opponent could even hope to dodge she sent out a huge snaking line of pure electrical energy, illuminating the darkened sky with its sheer brilliant intensity. The Ledian couldn't have avoided the attack if it had tried. Instead the attack struck it hard, causing it to cry out in pain. Quickly she rammed hard into it, Slamming it again with remarkable accuracy. This was almost going to be too easy!
"You little pests!" the Rocket roared angrily from the sidelines. Quickly he reached into his pocket. For a second it appeared as if he was about to pull out some sort of item that would assist his pokémon. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. The Rocket was brandishing a gun. "Fine, be that way! There's plenty of strong pokémon out there, who needs you?" He drew a bead on Thunderblast, who was too busy pummeling her opponent to notice what he was doing. "Say goodnight, stupid Raichu!"

Kasumi couldn't believe what she was seeing. She had known of Team Rocket before, of course, and she knew full well that the depths that they would sink to knew no bounds. But this... this was beyond a joke! Well, if that stupid Rocket thought he could try and kill her girlfriend then he could think again!
"Don't you DARE!" With a yell of rage Kasumi made a jump for the Rocket, her teeth finding the flesh of his arm quickly and sinking in deeply, causing him to cry out in pain. Angrily the man flung her to one side, leaving a trail of blood where her teeth had pierced him skin. Suddenly my Growlithe found the Rocket's unwelcome attention focused on her, the barrel of his gun now staring her in the face, its muzzle now gaping in her direction like an unstoppable void. "Wait... let's talk this over, huh?" Kasumi backed away nervously. "I mean, sure I just tried to bite your arm off but let's think about my position here..."
"Since you're so keen to die first, mutt..." There was an almost manic gleam in the Rocket's eyes. "...then I'll be glad to oblige!" The finger began to squeeze the trigger slowly. Kasumi closed her eyes tightly. She hadn't wanted it to end like this!
"Bad guys around here are so unoriginal," a voice suddenly commented. "Nobody's dying just yet, okay?" All of a sudden the Rocket was sent flying down the road yet again, this time not to get up. "You okay?" Kasumi suddenly found herself staring into the concerned eyes of Thunderblast, and practically collapsed from sheer relief.
"I am now!" she beamed brightly, having never been one for staying in a downbeat mood after the moment was over and done with. "I don't know how you do it, Thunderblast. Smart, sexy AND downright heroic to boot." The Growlithe was hugged tightly in a fond embrace that would have taken her breath away in any normal circumstances. However, there was one small flaw with this otherwise perfect scene, a flaw that Kasumi could see perfectly from her position peering over the Raichu's shoulder. A flaw that was coming towards them at a remarkable speed. "Thunderblast, watch out!"

Inwardly Thunderblast cursed herself. How had she allowed herself to be caught off guard like that? One second she had been saving Kasumi from almost certain death the next she was being struck in the back with a particularly vicious Mega Punch that had sent a jarring pain up her spine, sending her staggering forwards and nearly knocking Kasumi over in the process. Had she not been trained better than to take her eyes off her opponent so foolishly?
"Stand back, Sumi." Almost roughly Thunderblast pushed her girlfriend to one side, her eyes fixed firmly upon the Ledian that even now looked like it was preparing for another attack. Well, she wasn't about to give it the satisfaction! Angrily she focused her powers, channeling that which made her so unique amongst Raichus. Suddenly she threw all of the psychic energy she had at her opponent, an invisible stream of mental energy moving from her mind and into the Ledian's. The strange creature reared back in agony, clutching at its head as the attack did its damage, twisting and tearing at its mind until it simply hadn't the will to survive the onslaught any longer. With a low moan the pokémon sank to its knees before falling face down in the dirt, defeated.
"Is it... over?" Kasumi asked gingerly.
"Depends on what you mean by 'it', Sumi," came the honest reply. "This battle is, at least." Yet there was a strange feeling that this wasn't the end of the war. Not by a long shot.

Thunderblast wins!
Thunderblast grew to L44!

AntiAsh Superstar
11th November 2004, 02:21 AM
"Sumi!" It had taken a while for the rest of the team to locate our errant Growlithe. The rabble she had been caught up in had taken so many twists and turns that it was a wonder we had been able to trace her at all! But trace her we did, and finally reached the battered street area she had been left in. It was a terrible sight to behold. Windows had been smashed, cars destroyed, homes torched. A terrible sense of anarchy loomed over the whole area, made all the worse by the terrible darkness that still hung over the skies. "Damn it, you really worried us!" I bent down to hug my daft little pokémon, and she hopped into my arms like the hyperactive attention-seeker that she was.
"There was nothing to be worried about. I was looking out for her. It's not in my interests to have her hurt." A psychic voice in my head alerted me to a presence that I had previously not noticed due to worrying about my Growlithe. Cautiously I turned to see a Raichu peering at me with a bemused smile upon her face.
"Wait a second. Thunderblast?" I had trouble in believing what I was seeing. Hadn't Dan moved away from Ulthuan some months previously? "What are you doing here?"
"Well Dan and the rest are still back in Dullsville, before you ask," came the reply to the question I was going to ask once I had obtained a response to the one I had just come up with. "I'll give you the same response I gave Sumi. I got bored, what can I say? I missed Ulthuan - and some of those in it, I might add." Here the Raichu gave Kasumi a sly glance. "So I'm here now."
"Gee, that's just wonderful." Finally the rest of the team had caught up, viewing the current situation with expressions that ranged from bemused to downright irritated. In Milliardo's case he seemed to be displaying traits of both moods. "We so missed you encouraging Sumi in her stupidity. I bet Dan's pleased to see the back of you, though."
"Just because you're immune to my Psychic doesn't mean I don't know a million other tricks to hurt you really badly," came the cool response. "So I'd keep my mouth shut if I were you."
"You're bluffing."
"Am I?" This seemed to shut Milliardo up, at least for a moment!
"Excuse me, I really do hate to interrupt this totally productive exchange and all, but may I please be allowed a brief moment to propose a plan of action?" Marius broke in, sounding more irritated than normal. "How about you cease the arguments until we're actually out of danger? For, and I can't really say I know fully as to whether you realize this or not, there appears to be a malevolent Team Rocket member heading over in our general vicinity right now."
"Say what?" Kasumi asked.
"There's a Rocket coming this way so shut the @&*% up," Pandora translated. All eyes turned to witness a rather battered man decked in the traditional black of Team Rocket stagger up the road. He had clearly seen better days, covered as he was in scratches and bruises. And his eyes... oh, how they radiated a sense of pure loathing! This was a man on the edge. That much was obvious.
"You... you scum!" the Rocket spat viciously. "Do you have any idea as to what you're doing? Do you have any idea as to what's going to happen if you don't let us go?"
"Uhh... the world will lapse into chaos and Giovanni will rule all?" I rolled my eyes. What did this Rocket know of higher motives anyway? "Call me silly if you like but I'm not buying anything a Rocket tells me."
"Listen to me! They..." Suddenly the Rocket's eyes widened, and he fell forwards, having apparently passed out completely. A dart protruded from the back of his neck, having embedded itself deep within his flesh. I took a step forward to check the comatose body despite myself. What had just happened there?
"Move away from the body if you want to live," a voice rang out from the rooftops. I looked all around me, but couldn't locate a single presence other than that of my team. "I'm up here, and I repeat my instructions." Suddenly a lithe figure jumped into my field of vision, seeming to drop straight out of the skies. It was dressed from head to toe in a red so dark that it was almost black, numerous tools and weapons poking out from a utility belt strapped around its waist. A large sniper rifle was strapped to its back with an olive green cord. And it's face... well, its face was totally obscured by a large hood that matched the rest of its attire. Quickly the thin creature scampered over to check the body of the fallen Rocket, pressing two fingers against his neck to check for a pulse. Satisfied, it stood up and removed its hood, revealing a narrow male face framed with floppy straw blonde hair that came down to his ears, His mouth was curled upwards in a cruel parody of a smile, and the eyes... oh the eyes. They were eyes far too calm to be truly sane. "I presume you must be Ade," the man smirked. "Mr. DiAnnio has told me a lot about you."
"Wait a minute." I began to back off cautiously, my team following suit. The mere mention of the name 'DiAnnio' tended to instill great caution within us lately. The Rocket boss was a total psychopath, his only goals in life being to keep his pet Salamence, Reaper, happy and to bring the entire planet to an age of disorder. Anyone who he spoke to without killing was either really lucky or equally as deranged. "You're one of Armand's men? What are you doing killing fellow Rockets?" Subconsciously I already knew the answer. I could still remember what the curly-haired Rocket executive had told me on the rooftop of the Mercenary Trainers Union headquarters. I just had to hear it with my own ears.
"None of your business," came the sneered reply. "Although if you want to stop me then be my guest. I'd love to taste the blood of a Dragon Tamer."
"Just you try it," I snarled, the stronger members of my team already inserting themselves smartly between me and this new threat.
"Boys, boys. Whatever happened to manners?" A husky female voice scolded us. "At the very least we should introduce ourselves before killing each other." A short woman with black hair tied up in a bun and an especially angular face stepped out of the gloom. She, too, was decked out in dark reds, although her uniform was at least clearly distinguishable as red. A striped crimson blouse, short red skirt and high heels that gave away the fact that she would have come under the category Milliardo would uncharitably describe as 'microscopic' without them. A cruel smile filler her face. "Forgive us, Dragon Tamer. I am Leona Douyoku. Head of the scientific arm of the Crimson Blades. My friend over there... well, just call him 'Dagger' for now. He is Armand's personal assassin."
"Crimson... Blades?" I asked, this information far too much for my mind to take in.
"Oh, did your superiors not inform you?" Leona smirked cruelly. "Doesn't surprise me. Armand has made... well, let's call it a takeover bid for now. Which means that for once you Dragon Tamers aren't really our main object of concern. So do us a favour and stay out of it, would you?" She turned primly to leave. "Dagger, let's go. There are still other stooges of Giovanni's to be eliminated. We can deal with the Tamers and their Guild once we've sorted that out."
"Wait a minute," I snarled. "Do you really think we're just going to let you walk off just like that?"
"Do you really think you have much of a choice?" The woman turned back to view our group with a thin sneer upon her face. "As strong and as varied as your team happens to be, between the two of us we could quite easily stop the whole lot of you in your tracks." The woman raised a thin arm and pointed a bizarre, bulky pistol in our direction. "This, for example, fires a net that not only causes paralysis to those who touch it but also emits a field specifically designed to interfere with psychic powers. I'd say that's half of your tactics put paid to in a single shot, wouldn't you?" I opened my mouth but no words seemed to come out. I would have loved to have said the Blades scientist was bluffing but something in her tone told me otherwise.
"Well then, oh mighty leader, care to suggest a plan instead of doing ridiculous impressions of a goldfish?" Milliardo whispered vehemently from behind me. The Umbreon's mood had taken a considerable dive, that much was obvious.
"I..."
"Oh for goodness' sake!" Something within Pandora seemed to snap, the Houndour barging past to glare at the two evil creatures in front of us with venom. "Go kill every member of Team Rocket if you like, I wouldn't care, but leave us out of whatever stupidity you have planned for after that or so help me I'll tear your throats out!"
"The little one has spirit, don't you think?" Dagger smiled without humour, a vicious smile designed to unsettle. "You ought to keep your pokémon under control, Tamer. If they keep on making threats they're unable to carry out then something drastic might happen to them." The man bent down to Pandora, who backed off, her sudden spurt of anger suddenly dissipated. "Go ahead and try if you like. I bet you any money you couldn't."
"How are you able to understand her?" I asked, quickly pulling my Houndour close to me before anything could happen. I could feel her heart beating against my chest, and could tell that inwardly Pandora was petrified.
"That's for us to know and for you to find out," Leona smirked. "Let's just say neuroscience has progressed in leaps and bounds since Armand started funding my research. Anyway, we'd love to stay and chat but we really should be getting on with our mission. Tell you what, though, since your pokémon are so keen to fight then here's a little something to be keeping you busy." Here she reached into once of her pockets and produced a pokéball, which burst open on the ground to reveal a Rattata with a look in its eyes that no sane pokémon should have possessed. "Humans aren't the only thing I can enhance," Leona cackled, before turning to Dagger. "Keep an eye on this lot. If they try anything, kill them all."
"It'd be a pleasure," the thin, wiry man smirked, nodding his goodbyes to his colleague before she dashed off in the direction that she had first appeared from, her crimson skirt flapping in the breeze. "So then." Finally Armand DiAnnio's top assassin turned his attentions back to my little group. "You heard the lady. Battle or die, what's it to be?"
"You don't exactly leave us with many options, do you?" I snarled, finding it harder and harder to keep my composure in the face of this cruel excuse for a human being. "Fine, we'll fight you."
"Wrong, Ade," Pandora seemed to have recovered from her earlier scare, for she began squirming in my arms, her usual fire seemingly returned with reinforcements. "I'll fight him. You think I'm going to let him get away with embarrassing me like that in front of everyone?"
"Pandora..." Finally I lost my grip on the Houndour, and she scampered to a position in front of Dagger's Rattata, an intensity burning within her eyes the likes of which I hadn't seen in too long a time. "I hope you know what you're getting yourself into. Just be careful, okay?"
"Relax, Ade," she smiled back, although if anything the smile only served to heighten my concerns. "I've got it covered."

FIGHT!!! L11 Houndour v L15 Rattata!

Not even Pandora was entirely sure as to why she wanted to be the one to compete in this battle so much. There was just something about this whole situation that irked her, something that made her blood boil to the point where she needed to take her anger out on something. And if this supposedly enhanced Rattata was being offered as a potential punching bag then so be it. She was going to grab the opportunity to get this out of her system now, before the anger was potentially turned inwards.
"Get ready to die!!!" The Houndour had hardly even managed to stop to size her opponent up before it was racing towards her with its cruel incisors bared. It was as much as she could do to roll swiftly out of the way before it snapped down on the space where her leg had been just seconds ago. If the attack had connected it would have probably crippled her for life. All of a sudden it became painfully obvious as to just how high the stakes were, and that was a thought that made Pandora's blood run cold. What had she gotten herself into here? "Die! Die!" her opponent was still chattering excitedly, the blank expression in its eyes a worry in itself. There was definitely something not quite right with this pokémon. It was as if it was so wrapped up in the battle that it couldn't even see what it was fighting. At least the pokémon's frenzy was making it careless, and when it launched itself at her in an attempt to follow up its initial attack it was no difficulty to avoid its flailing body.
"Will you give it a rest?" the Houndour snapped, summoning up all the internal heat she had to offer in order to strike the little pokémon with a ferocious Ember. Only it didn't seem to go quite as Pandora had planned. Sure, the attack hurtled towards the little Rattata with remarkable accuracy. But then something quite unexpected happened. Her opponent planted all four paws hard on the ground, faced the fireball with a determined look in its eyes and let the attack strike it. For at that point the Ember seemed to bounce right off the little pokémon, flying back to strike Pandora with enough force to knock her backwards, sending a bolt of crushing pain through her chest.
"What was that?" I yelled from the sidelines. I had never seen anything like that before!
"Mirror Coat, I think it's called," came the nonchalant response from our opponent, the Crimson Blades assassin Dagger, who looked as if he would have much rather have been somewhere else. "Dr. Douyoku is a very skilled neurosurgeon in the traditional sense, but her real specialty is the research of psychic power. Meet one of her more successful lab rats."
"Great," I grumbled to myself, still too wary of Dagger to dare retaliate as I would have liked. Something in the detached way he watched the battle told me that I had better not give the man any excuses. Besides, anyone who made a living killing others for a man as sick and as twisted as Armand DiAnnio was best kept as calm as possible. "Pandora, you'd better prepare yourself for anything."
"Yeah, tell me now it feels like my ribs have been broken, why don't you?" the Houndour snapped irritably, an old fire within her starting to rise. "Go for it Pandora... SMACK! Oh, by the way, you'd better be careful, it might bounce your attacks back in your face." Pandora turned to the Rattata, who was still seemingly chattering away to itself, totally oblivious to its surroundings. This was anything but a normal pokémon! "Right, you. Time we tried something else." Pandora was loath to get any closer to her opponent than she absolutely had to - the way its dangerously sharp incisors constantly chattered put her off more than anything, although the manic gleam in its eye wasn't exactly a comfort either - but she was fast running out of other options if it was capable of deflecting her Ember. Quickly she raced forward, ramming the top of her head sharply into the Rattata's nose. This at least managed to get something approaching a reaction, the little pokémon giving a shriek of either pain or surprise and rearing backwards, clutching at its nose. Now it was wide open, and Pandora intended on capitalizing on that fact. "Here goes nothing!" The Houndour prepared to take a swipe at her opponent's now exposed belly, using the claws on her paws to dig into its flesh in the same way they had been used on herself so many, many times before. Only it didn't seem to go as planned. All of a sudden the pokémon seemed to blink out of existence, vanishing in an instant to that the attempt at Slash passed straight through thin air.
"DIEEEE!!!"
"Pandora, above you!" My warning came too late. Almost as soon as the Houndour looked up her opponent was upon her in a frenzy of paws and cruel teeth, a whirling maelstrom of fury that she simply couldn't shake off. Suddenly she shrieked, a loud and prolonged wail of agony. The Rattata had buried its fangs deep within her back, a cruel Hyper Fang that was certain to do some lasting damage. Pandora wailed on and on, the pain growing more and more intense as her opponent gnawed upon her, her black fur now matted with blood. The Rattata was relentless!
"Get... off me!" Something stirred within Pandora, some driving force within her psyche that simply refused to give in to the overwhelming urge to just pass out and be free of this constant torment. "Get OFF!!!" Suddenly the Houndour launched herself backwards at the closest physical object to hand, in this case the nearest lamppost, and caused herself to impact hard with its unyielding form. Certainly it hurt, especially seeing as she now had a particularly nasty-looking open wound upon her back, but this drastic course of action served its purpose admirably, her opponent caught between both Houndour and steel post, having been far too busy attacking to even think of moving out of the way. "LEAVE ME ALONE!!!" By now Pandora was totally lost to the mounting anger and anxiety that was rising within her. She could feel her strength ebbing away with every passing moment. She could feel the closing hand of unconsciousness closing in on her. And yet despite all of this the overwhelming desire was to finish this battle while she still could. So again and again she struck at the Rattata. Again and again she let her insurmountable rage do the fighting for her, until she had no more to give. Until her energy supplies finally gave way and she collapsed upon the comatose and bloodied body of her opponent, too weary to dole out any more punishment to the creature that, in fact, had passed out after about the third blow. Not that such details were important to Pandora now. She was simply too drained to do anything. She couldn't even move. And was the world around her gradually became black she only barely registered her teammates crowding around her, offering panicked words of encouragement.
"Pandora, keep your eyes open, keep focus!"
"Mother, hang on in there, I beg you!"
"Damn it, Pandora, stay with us! Don't you dare leave us now!"
"I'm... I'm sorry..." the Houndour mouthed to the faces that she could no longer even make out beyond incomprehensible blurs. "I'm just tired... so very tired..." And with this everything went black.

Pandora wins!
Pandora grew to L13!
Pandora learns Smog!

We won't let you go now!

"Uhh..." Pandora slowly opened her eyes. Her every muscle ached, a dull throb that was totally unlike anything she had ever experienced before. A terrible urge to simply drift back into the all-consuming darkness overwhelmed her, but somehow she knew that if she chose that path then there would be no turning back. So it was with a great effort she forced her eyes open, only to be met with an uncomfortable white glare that made her wish she hadn't bothered.
"Pandora!" A voice from her side forced the Houndour to open her eyes again after the sudden brightness had forced them shut once more. Carefully she squinted at the source of the noise to see her trainer peering down at her in front of a tiled white ceiling. My face was shot with worry, and for the life of her Pandora couldn't understand why.
"Uhhh... hi, Ade," she smiled weakly. "What's... what's wrong? Has Sumi finally managed to get herself pregnant or something?"
"Eh, I doubt there's too much of a chance of that in her current relationship," another voice commented in the distinct tones of a Raichu. "Unless she's cheating on me, and you wouldn't do that, would you Sumi?"
"Ha! No chance! Not without your full consent, at least," Kasumi shot back. A thin smile crossed my Houndour's lips. Some things never really changed, and the constant bickering of so many forceful personalities pushed together was one of them.
"What's wrong????" Milliardo hopped up onto the bed - for that was where Pandora was lay; a surprisingly comfortable yet clinically clean bed - and fixed the Houndour with amber eyes filled with tears that only she could hope to detect. "You big doofus, shall I make a list for you? We've just had to witness the scariest battle of all time, the world is being plunged into darkness and chaos, we just had to deal with a pair of the world's most %@&^ed up individuals..."
"The assassin!" If she had the strength left within her Pandora would have shot bolt upright in a second. But she lacked even the energy to do that. All she could do was to make a pathetic effort at raising her head that only served for her to get a decent look at her surroundings. A clean while and pastel blue room flanked by beds that were filled with pokémon of all shapes and sizes. Some were sat up in bed watching a small television that was perched upon a bracket in a corner. Some were taking laps of water from bowls placed on the little wooden cabinets beside every bed. Others were talking to concerned-looking trainers, teammates and lovers. But they all had one thing in common. They all looked really, really beaten up. Well, evidently she was in the hospital wing of a Pokécenter. Pandora felt she could deal with that. What she couldn't deal with, however, was not knowing what had happened since she had blacked out. "What happened to him?"
"I've no idea," I confessed. "The instant you knocked out his Rattata he just shrugged and bounded off. I don't think he wanted to be there in the first place, he was just taking orders from that creepy scientist woman."
"Not that we noticed what he was doing much, he could have jumped on a unicycle and performed a fire-eating trick with a backdrop of a neon flashing sign that said 'Oi! Look this way!' for all we cared," Milliardo added. "Pandora, you really had us all worried. We rushed you here as quickly as we could. Don't you remember the battle at all?"
"I... uhh, I remember the Rattata bit me..."
"Bit you? Ha, that's the biggest *£>@ing understatement I've ever heard!" my Umbreon scoffed. "Pandora, he tore a bloody huge chunk out of you." All of a sudden he grew quiet, turning to the rest of the team. "Guys... I know you all care for her and all but can you give us a moment? Just our little clique, for two minutes." By 'clique' he basically meant himself, Marius and Rhiannon. The family of sorts did tend to stick together quite a lot. Besides, they were the only creatures Milliardo found himself comfortable being honest with.
"Sure. We'll be outside if you need us." Slowly everyone else filed out of the room, and finally Milliardo let those barely-stifled tears show.
"Pandora, we were worried," Milliardo sighed, his eyes watering. "When we brought you in the nurses said it was a miracle you were even alive, that the Hyper Fang you took had come ridiculously close to piercing some pretty important organs within you and if that wasn't enough you were practically comatose through blood loss. And so they stuck you in here on life support. I really thought I was gonna lose you at one stage. I... I couldn't have that, Pandora. I'm just not happy unless I have you around."
"That goes for me as well," Marius added. "I can't deny that I was more than a little concerned, Mother."
"More than a little?" Milliardo scoffed through his tears. "Pandora, he was in tears. And you know, I've never seen him cry, not once, until now. Have you?"
"Father, I know you find it a nigh on impossible task to actually put your brain into gear before your mouth starts operating, but maybe you might like to try it just for once?" my Dratini snapped irritably before returning his attentions towards his foster mother. "He's correct, though. I did worry about you. We all did. And Aunt Rhiannon, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your help?"
"What did she do?" Pandora asked, only half hearing the story through an increasing mound of disbelief. She had nearly died???
"Only acted as your bloody life support machine until we managed to get you here," Milliardo replied. "She just says something along the lines of 'we won't let you go now!', that dumb gem of hers opens up and she sticks one of her paws on your side. And we can tell what she's doing as well, because... well, for a start you stopped bleeding at that point, and also it was pretty visible that she was giving you her life energy." The Umbreon turned to his sister. "Thanks, Rhi. I owe you one."
"Don't be ridiculous," Rhiannon commented, a slight blush forming at her cheeks. Pandora couldn't help but notice how haggard the Jolteon looked, as if she had aged about five years over the past few hours. "What are family for? You know we care, Milliardo. And Pandora... well, we're glad you're awake now, at least. We can’t be losing one of the few long-term friends we have left, can we? There has been far too much death lately as it is." The Jolteon smiled slightly. "We hope you feel a hundred percent soon, Pandora. Now if you'll excuse us, we have a little unfinished business to attend to."
"Uh oh..." Milliardo rolled his eyes. "Why do I always have this feeling that something really, really disturbing is happening whenever you say you have unfinished business, Rhi? If you have urgent things to attend to they're usually way beyond mortal understanding."
"At least you appreciate that much, which shows you know us better than most," Rhiannon commented. All of a sudden the emerald set into her forehead revealed itself, her supernatural powers tearing a hole in the fabric of reality. Rhiannon's voids, what was arguably the most useful skill she had learned during her schooling in the ways of magic. "We'll be back soon, we promise." With this Rhiannon stepped into the darkness, leaving her family behind to have the emotional reunion they so richly deserved.

"LET ME GO!!!" The shrieks were almost deafening, but Rhiannon was far too used to noise such as this to care. She had warped herself into a small room made of rustic red stone, a portcullis where there should have been a door and the smell of death in the air. This room was devoid of all decoration, save for one crucial item. A frenzied Rattata suspended in the air by glowing green chains, the pokémon trying to twist and turn in order to somehow wriggle out of its bonds. Not that it would do any good. Rhiannon knew that there was no escape for this particular pokémon. After all, had she not formed its shackles herself out of her magic power?
"Not quite yet, I'm afraid." In situations like this, Rhiannon never referred to herself in the plural. She didn't want her other self, the little child still locked somewhere within her mind, even remotely incriminated in such matters. "Not until you tell me what I need to know."
"What you're gonna kill me? Kill me, kill me, I don't care! I don't care because you won't be able to torment me when I'm dead!" the Rattata chattered with an almost manic tone in its voice.
"My friend," Rhiannon began, "if I killed you then it would be even easier for me to extract from you that which I desire. It's only because I'd rather not resort to such measures that I'm even keeping you here."
"You lie!"
"Stupid Rattata." The Jolteon snapped, a harsh tone of authority in her voice. "You're talking to Lady Rhiannon of the Dark Cloak here! You will tell me what I need to know or suffer torment that will make you beg to be placed directly in Lucifer's lap! For I've far too much blood on my paws now to care much as to whether yours is added to that. So now." Rhiannon settled down on the cold dungeon floor, her tones calm once again. "Tell me what you know of the Crimson Blades. I have plenty of time to kill, after all."

Lady Vulpix
13th November 2004, 12:21 PM
Ade, let me inflict 36 stamps on you. Way to go! This story was way gloomier than most of your posts, but it was appropriate, coherent and well written. Though it was strange to see Marius scolding Beckham. I'll try to keep the details in mind for when I write my own (which I hope I can do soon; if only university would stop putting so much load on me!) ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

I think Amy said she was going to rate Cheesey's battle, and Karin said she'd rate Kerel's. Yay for teamwork! :D

Charizard04621
13th November 2004, 12:33 PM
Kerel - Short and insane O_o But so funny!!! XD Sorry I can't give you much, though, because of lack of content... Take 5 Stamps. :)

AntiAsh Superstar
16th November 2004, 01:48 AM
Okaaay, time for me to start on the RBGs again... :D I'd like one for Sumi from the Sports Breeding System, please. *pays 7 stamps*

*Murkrow
16th November 2004, 03:10 AM
Yay for home study, it's giving me the chance to post this now :P Also, just to note, I wrote the majority of this a couple of weeks ago, before I bred Kai with Gabi's Sylvan, and I didn't feel like editing it, so this is set before I received my Bulbasaur egg.

~Hannah~

“Um, hi there, I was, well, I was just wondering; would it be ok if I had a battle today?”
Looking un-characteristically hesitant, Kai glanced round awkwardly at us, lowering his gaze as Archie and Fizz turned to look at him kindly.
“There’s no need to look so worried about it, we’re not going to attack you just because you’d like a match.”
“No, I just thought you wouldn’t want me interfering if you had any plans for the last rooms.”
“Even if they did, if you want to fight then you can.”
Placing my hand onto Fizz back as she rested comfortably in my lap, I scratched her neck gently; trilling quietly to herself, her head drooped, her eyes closing slowly.
“But it doesn’t matter anyway; Fizz has already said that she’s going to skip this area, so if you want to come along, it’d be fine with us.”

~Kai~

“I’d love too! Except…there’s still too…”
“I’m not battling.”
“And let’s just say that we’re coming along for moral support.”
Ebony lowered her head and carefully butted the object lying at her feet; the embedded gems flashed red as Heat Wave began to unpack herself slowly from the confines of her shell, blinking rather dazedly in the light.
“When they heard that we were going to the Blizzard room, Ebony and Heat offered to tag along and provide us with some extra warmth.”
“Though that wasn’t enough to convince me.”
Fizz stirred from her short doze, fluffing her feathers up before flapping languidly into the air.
“Well, if that’s all decided, then I’ll leave you to it. Have fun.”
“Enjoy your sleep.”
“I intend to.”
Archie pattered up next to me, watching as Fizz’s dark form glided over the heads of the remaining crowd and vanished.
“Ok, everyone ready then?”
Hannah leapt to her feet, scooped up Heat Wave and motioned for us to follow her.

Light danced over the ice, sparkling, shimmering with colours, an intensity unlike anything I’d ever seen before. A tender, gentle turquoise blending into sapphire blue, overlooked by a cloud of white so pure it was unreal.
And it was everywhere; rolling down the cracked walls to glitter on the smooth ice we were walking on, reflecting the light from the ceiling and back again.
Bombarding the whole structure, the wind whipped through the open spaces, roaring and howling, but even that was bearable, as it drove with it a light flash in the air, the faint promise of mist and ice. Even as the wind stung against your eyes, blurring and freezing them, the light splintered, refracting through the pale covering, so that all you could see was a frenzy of gentle colour, shifting and swaying as the wind rushed through it.
It was almost enough to make us forget the mind-numbing cold.
Almost.

Xolotle padded ahead of us, flicking her head-feather carelessly, her image rippling through the light mist as she periodically hesitated and glanced back at us, seemingly unaffected by the chill.
Snorting softly to herself, Ebony strode out eagerly; wanting to stay close to her comforting heat, I trotted along by her side, hurrying as she drew away, prancing slightly against the pounding wind.
Behind us, I could hear Hannah and Archie whispering to each other, arguing fiercely.
Archie had been adamant about battling, insisting that he was fit enough, despite having been released from care a few days ago. Hannah hadn’t been so sure, yet had eventually agreed as long as he proved that he had the strength to handle a match. But the fact that the actual walk here had been enough to tire him out to such an extent that he needed to be carried seemed to have confirmed her view that he wasn’t alright…which he was vividly disputing.
And Heat Wave just perched contentedly on her shoulder, occasionally coughing tiny specks of smoke into the freezing air.

“There’s one of those cabins just ahead.”
Xolotle clattered back, her claws shattering through the smooth ice, forming deep rivets in its glimmering surface.
“I guess we’ll be heading over there then. You lot must be freezing…even I’m cold, and that’s saying something.”
“I’m not.”
“Part of your body is flame-how could you ever get cold?”
“What’s the hold up?”
“Just saying, there’s a cabin coming up: want to go over?”
“That’d be great.”
“If nobody has an objection- minus her- I think I’ll walk there myself, just to prove to nobody in particular that I’m just as fine as I always am.”
Archie skittered down onto the ice and strutted forward, determination and defiance exuding from every part of his body.

~Archie~

“See? I walked that perfectly.”
“That distance was nothing compared to the previous one….or the strains of a battle.”
“I’m fine.”
Crossing my claws self-righteously, I curled up, catching Kai’s eye as he glanced nervously round at us. He’d lost a lot of his usual enthusiasm since we’d set out; probably the appeal of a battle was getting less and less, especially now that he was witnessing a lingering side-effect of my last fight.

A clattering-scuttling sound and a squeal caught my attention; the tiny little wood cabin was heated by a small metal basin filled with warm coal that gave out waves of warmth that was just enough to keep the temperature bearable.
The basin was now lying on its side, the coal scattering over the floor as Heat Wave thudded her way through it, happily scooping up the coal and shoving in onto her shell, where it glew briefly before melting and absorbing into her body.
“That doesn’t help.”
“Why’re you doing that anyway?”
“Doesn’t it give her energy or something?”
“Right in one.”
“Why do you need more energy anyway? It’s not as if you ever do anything that needs some.”
She was silent for a second, before turning round and glaring at me.
Oops.
“That came out wrong.”
“I’ll say.”

~Kai~

“Want to leave?”
Ebony leant down and muttered into my ear.
“Alright.”
Scrambling up, I followed her as she quickly slipped round Heat Wave, who was now sending a constant, thin stream of black smoke swirling round her body, and darted back out into the ice cold.
Ebony had already set off, her black outline easily visible against the light surface; scampering after her, I heard the clatter of claws behind me as Xol darted out from the cabin and headed after us.
“I figured it’d be best if I came with you two….nothing more boring than having to watch reconciliation’s between Pokémon..and trainers.”
Falling in to step beside me, she half-glanced across and smiled.
“Still willing to fight?”
“Sure, of course I am.”
Nodding, she fell quiet and the two of us walked on in silence for a couple of minutes, content to keep an eye out for other Pokémon or just admire the surroundings.
“Kai..how about against her?”
Ebony came trotting back, pointing towards a spot about ten metres away, where a small, white blob with a green head was skimming across the ice.
“Ralts….that’d be a piece of cake for me, but maybe for you it’d be more of a challenge….go on then.”
Shoving me forward, Xolotle looked eagerly towards the other Pokémon, shouting out.
“Hey Raltsy, you ready for a battle?”
As she turned to face the sound of Xol’s voice, I relaxed slightly, seeing the delicate, fragile body, and the nervous way she returned our stares; perhaps I had been getting overly worried.
“Go on then.”
Nodding, I scampered forward.

Fight
Kai (Mudkip L6 M)
Vs
Ralts (L8 F)

Grinning as I remembered my newest attack I coughed, spitting out a stream of vibrant, sapphire bubbles that pelted towards the still cringing Ralts, who just squeaked in response, edging away and flailing her arms.
That wasn’t too hard.
Pretty pleased with myself, I chanced a look at my friends, waving briefly before whipping round as a sudden light flared on the edge of my vision.
The Ralts was glowing….no, not her, but a faint aura had formed around her body that gradually deepened in colour before detaching itself and encircling her entire body, forming a protective shield.
And that was?
“Light Screen, you idiot.”
Xolotle hissed from behind me.
Oh drat.
No mud would exist here, so that meant my Mud Slap was out, so if I wanted to attack her physically, I was limited to Tackle.
Shrugging, I decided to give it a try and darted forwards, swaying slightly as I skidded across the ice, aiming to strike her head-on.
Instead of moving, she just shivered quickly, as a low murmur began to burst from her throat, rippling out into the silent air, surprisingly loud, and slightly eerie, coming from such a tiny creature.
It didn’t end there either- rising in crescendo, constant beats of sound piling up, one after the other, pounding into my mind as I edged closer, slowing as my mind rocked under her constant barrage.
Then my vision blurred as a blue haze slipped over my eyes, before my body somersaulted up, being flung up to crash into the icy ceiling.
There the grip faded.
I caught a brief glimpse of the Ralts, her body encased within a blue outline, then gravity dragged me down; trying to stay calm I braced my body, struggling to focus so I could land on my feet.
Seconds away, I felt her grip seize my body again, flipping me over and slamming me down onto the ice, head first, before slipping away again…or had it?
I couldn’t tell.
Rolling to try to get back on my feet, I saw the room blur, becoming simply a mass of blurred colours, with a million white specks that could have been my opponent.
There.
Behind me, I saw a flicker of movement, a white figure dashing for cover; chuckling, I leapt forward.

~Xolotle~

“Let me guess? Ralt’s managed to confuse him?”
“Looks that way.”
Leaning casually against Ebony’s side, I threw another glance out to where Kai was frantically chasing his own tail, lurching drunkenly from side to side as he did so, his eyes blank and unfocused.
Completely unaware of Ralt’s charging the sphere of dark, black-purple energy, taking her time to aim and focus her attack.
“Any way of snapping him out of it?”
“Yeah- leave him. He’ll come too on his own, sooner or later.”
“Sooner or later?”
In front of us, the Ralts suddenly decided the time was right, and launched her Shadow Ball, which hurtled directly into Kai’s body, sending him ricocheting away along the ice, even as a variety of tiny white orbs began to form around his body.
“Well, he’s using an attack now, doesn’t that mean something?”
“Probably not. Ralt’s still has Light Screen up; it’s not going to do much, and if he had managed to snap out of it, then he’d know that as well.”
The orbs surrounding Kai exploded out, forming a massive, crackling ball of electricity that launched a multitude of bolts down towards the Ralt’s…..and pretty much everywhere else as well. She just crouched down, hiding behind the protective shield, which swung out in front of her, absorbing the majority of the hits, resulting in only tiny streams of static actually meeting her body.
Darting after Ebony as she galloped further back, to avoid the random bolts smashing into the ice around us, I saw her gaze shift. Following her look, I managed to catch a glimpse of the bolt just before it erratically slammed into Kai himself, briefly illuminating his body in white light before he swerved to the side and the attack faded.
“Bingo.”

~Kai~

What?
Wincing against the aching in my muscles, I dazedly glanced round, blinking drearily as I gathered my scattered wits.
How’d I managed to do that?
From the looks of it, I’d destroyed most of our battlefield- tiny shards of ice now littered the whole plain, torn free when my attack had plunged into the ice, leaving ripped chasms of dark colour against the blue of the surface.
Actually, that gave me an idea.
Eyeing the mass of shard carefully, I focused, looking up at the Ralt’s and nodding.
The ice flashed, a mist condensing around them, before rising, hanging motionless in front of me, sparkling as the tiny particles of ice caught the surrounding light.
Nodding at Ralts, I felt a tiny rush of triumph as the ice cloud drifted slowly towards her, shimmering gently as it came into contact against her Light Screen.
That doesn’t matter. It was only a weak attack anyway, but that wasn’t what I was aiming for.
Come on, freeze, freeze.
For a couple of seconds more, the two ‘struggled’ against each other, before my attack dissipated and swirled outwards to join the rest of the ordinary mist.
Instantly, Ralts reacted, as a strange, orange jet of something wrapped round her horn, then jolted out to smash into my face.
Wincing automatically; it didn’t really hurt, but was the strangest sensation…part of my mind was being wiped, losing all memory of…what had I just used again?
Shaking my head viciously to try to get rid of the sense of loss, I flung a frantic glance round at my friends and my opponent.
Why did I have the feeling I’d just forgotten something important?
Next second, I felt a wrench around my neck as Ralts commanded the dark energy flowing across my body, which reared itself up to reveal a massive, clawed hand that seized at the Beach Ball…. my Beach Ball that hung round my neck and tore it lose before vanishing.
Then reappeared next to the Ralts, fixing my item carefully around her neck before it faded away.
“That’s mine!”
Glaring at her, I focused then charged forwards again.

~Ebony~

“That was a mistake on her part.”
Xolotle nodded, her eyes gleaming as she watched Kai lunging forward to strike the Ralts again; she didn’t seem too bothered, just motioned forwards as the blue glow as she tapped into her Confusion materialised around her body.
But Kai seemed to have the measure of her this time- changing tactics in an instant, he lashed out with the white hot electricity of his Hidden Power, which managed to penetrate through her shield and her forthcoming attack, electrocuting her at close range.
Then she struck back, as a bolt of yellow lightning burst from her horn and slashed through his body, sending him tumbling back, before she unleashed another wavering burst.
Kai just turned and ran.

~Kai~

It’s got to be Shockwave….no other attack follows you…it always hits.
Zigzagging desperately, I could feel the heat coming off of her attack, it was close enough for me now to hear the low cracks it made as it sliced through the chilly air.
“Kai, might be a good time to…”
I stumbled, tripped, and the bolt cascaded down into my flesh, as worse as the last time…no, worse, because my muscles were still screaming from her previous attack.
Writhing on the floor, I gritted my teeth, praying for her to let up when…
Hey, I know what I’d forgotten! I know Powder Snow as well.
..it wasn’t much, but it helped, knowing I was in control fully of my mind again.
But being in control and in full knowledge of my attacks didn’t help me as she shot another Shadow Ball my way.
As I thudded back into the floor, I caught a brief glimpse of her Light Screen flickering then
vanishing, though she seemed to be focused more on recharging her ghost attack than recreating her
defences.
Trying to remain motionless, I quickly ran through my selection of moves, noting what Xolotle had
been shouting at me, and knowing what she meant.
There.
I heard the rush of movement as she let the ball of pulsing energy loose; leaping away, I skidded slightly, regaining my balance enough to mentally drag the particles of ice from the floor again, surrounding her entirely in the faint mist.
As she whipped round, startled by the sudden cold clamping down on her, I let loose the flurry of bubbles, able to aim easily as she simply tried to focus her mind against the threatening chill.
Ok, now come on, use Shockwave. You know you want to.
Whether or not she heard me, I didn’t know, but she reacted in exactly the way I wanted her to; the electricity exploded from her horn, curving round to reach out for me.
I just let it come, ready to accept the pain as a red film began to form round my form; shuddering against the impact, I felt the pain, fought against it, then with a final shove flung it away, back towards her, hearing her shriek of alarm and pain.
Then she collapsed.

I won!
I grew to L7!

Breathing hard to bring my heart back to its normal rate, I couldn’t help the smug grin that flashed across my face as I winked at my friends, before running over to where she lay.
Half to check that she hadn’t suffered anything serious, and half to get my Beach Ball back.

----------------------------------

~Hannah~

“Any idea where they went?”
“Beats me. You’d have thought that they’d have stayed close, but I can’t see them anywhere.”
Archie frowned as he scanned the area, shivering slightly, but not wishing to get any closer to Heat as she coughed a stream of smoke out; the two of them were also being oddly formal to each other, a sort of miniature compromise over their earlier dispute.
“Perhaps we should…hey, screw that. Look over there.”
He eagerly pointed out, motioning towards a Pokémon that had been plodding his way across the ice.
“I’m going against him.”
“But you’re not fit enough.”
“Of course I am.”
He didn’t wait another second, and instantly scrambled forward.

~Archie~

Fight
Archie (Anorith M L14)
Vs
Slowpoke (M L15)

I wasn’t really in the mood for having a long fight, so I quickly tugged at the Status Die I always
carried, wrapped securely around one of my claws, rolling it out towards my opponent.
The die flashed briefly, illuminated, then sent a cloud of dust to spin around the Slowpoke, who just
stood, vacantly staring at me.
Er, what? Shouldn’t he have a status problem now?
He decided to answer for me, laboriously raising a leg, then crashing it down to send a rush of energy crashing through the ice, which buckled and lurched as the intense power burst through the surface.
Immediately, the ground began to shake, the walls cracking and showers of ice particles swirling round to drift over the battlefield, as massive cracks exploded through the ice.
He was completely unaffected by the rocking and swaying motion, standing confidently as the arena lurched; flattening my body against the floor, I tucked my claws into my sides tensing my body to resist his Earthquake.
Gradually the tremors faded, the shifting walls and floor steadied, and the Slowpoke responded by sending a fast shooting stream of water pounding towards me, surprisingly fast for something reputed to be, so, well, slow.
Still, the ice surface meant that it wasn’t exactly hard to dodge his attack; digging my claws into the brittle surface, I dragged my body forward, easily sliding over the surface, dodging the Water Gun, clawing my way round to face him again.
A multitude of swirling white orbs materialised around my body, flaring occasionally, which condensed to form a mass of miniature, white bug shaped lights that tore towards him.
He didn’t even try to dodge, just stood there and let my bug Hidden Power pound his face, as his pale skin began to form lesions and bruises, strangely dark under the purple of his eyes.
Purple eyes?
Cutting off my assault, mid flow, in confusion, I felt my body clench as I recognised the look of a psychic attack.
But nothing was happening; he just stood facing me, eyes glowing, while I was in exactly the same condition as I had been at the start of the fight.
The glow faded.
Shrugging to myself, I focused, waving my claws as the feathery legs on either side of my body rippled, pulsing with power, the front two detaching themselves to wrap around my claws, their tips visibly sharpening and catching the light that danced around the room.
Readying myself, I flung a quick look over at Slowpoke, curious as to what I should be preparing to defend against, only to see him yawning vigorously, mouth stretched open as far it would go, his body actually trembling with the effort.
Instantly, a wave of tiredness slipped over my body; my eyelids drooped, and I could feel my muscles relaxing and growing heavy.
Faintly, I was becoming aware of a tension in the air, a sense of uncertainty, but it seemed to little to be bothered about, not when my mind was drifting away, so loose and free.

~Heat Wave~

Archie’s opponent wasn’t going to let him give an inch- even as Archie was slouching down, his claws sprawling over the ice, and his eyes slowly slipping closed, Slowpoke was snarling at him, growling angrily, destroying the attack boost that Archie had given himself.
And worse, his premeditated attack was coming.
The air was pulsing now, tiny ripples spreading out over an invisible surface, trembling, as a blue-ish haze spread out in the area between the two of them.
Then it ripped apart….the unstable barrier exploding outwards as a ball of sky blue and indigo energy hurtled to envelop Archie’s, pushing his body to slam into the ice wall.
Yet he still slept.
Slowpoke raised his eyes to the ceiling, summoning the ice flakes, forcing them to converge, forming a blizzard that flew on his command to lash against the shrimps crumpled form.
“Damn it, he’s got to wake up.”
“Yeah. And it doesn’t help that his die landed on confusion…and Slowpoke must obviously have Own Tempo, so the roll would have been useless.”
“Worse, I don’t think that Archie knows what happened, and why he didn’t get an effect.”
She nodded, looking nervous, and I couldn’t really blame her as I flung another glance at the massive storm of ice now circling the point where Archie had collapsed.

~Archie~

Cold…freezing….intense…surrounding…
Me.
The pain stabbed into my body, wrenching me from my peaceful state, forcing me to confront the cloud that was lacing against my shell with daggers.
My mind was numb, horribly numb, terrifyingly unresponsive as I struggled to bring my drugged wits back to the level I needed to win this fight.
Motioning frantically, I heard the roar, heard the ripping of ice, heard the clattering of ice shards slamming into the arena, as a boulder appeared, cracked and ripped with age, russet coloured, rough surface reflecting the first light that had shone on it for centuries.
It hovered briefly, then plummeted down, cracking down to slam into…what? Him?
The whole earth shuddered with the impact….how he could withstand that was beyond me…rubble rolled harmlessly past me as the ice dissipated, finally clearing my view.
He was standing, silent, still standing even amongst the rocks lying shattered on the ground around
him.
I actually felt weak seeing that.
How could a power like that affect him so little?
Then he began to move.
Slowly…too slow.
Exaggerated slowness, it seemed.
Damn it.
Curse.
He must have used it while I was asleep, while I was being hammered by his Blizzard.
Yet I knew I could use this to my advantage; if he was that slow, I could avoid his attacks, easy.
The ice was horribly cracked, shattered, but it could still serve a purpose; seizing it, plunging my caws in, I dragged my body forward again, using the momentum to skid over the crunched surface.
It was bumpy, and I was fairly out of control, but it was allowing me to get closer to launch an attack, while avoiding his assaults, so I could live with that.
He was charging a beam now, shining white, flecked with blue, gathering power from the environment.
But still oh so slow.
Launching the Ice Beam, he tried to aim it straight at me, but it was so easy to simply slither away, bouncing over the ripped surface; circling round I tensed my claws and sprung; whipping them forward, I dug them into his skin, dragging down.
It was weird, inflicting an attack that would cause a lot of pain, but having the Pokémon remain motionless nonetheless.
Shrugging, I lashed out again, scarring his skin over and over, as he slowly lifted his tail up, arching it over his back as the tip shone white; flashing my claw brown, I slammed them up, meeting the expected attack, struggling against his raised strength.
The light faded, my claws meeting his normal flesh; changing tactics I spun and flung out with an Aerial Ace, shooting the attack across his back.
He was beginning to respond now-his head was slowly beginning to turn to glance at me.
Starting to enjoy myself, I switched back to slashing along his skin, when I felt the air shiver; looking quickly up, I saw the cloud condensing above me as he poured his strength into another Blizzard.
Reacting, I dragged my claws along the back of his head, then scrambled forward, spinning to send the army of tiny white insects billowing into his face.
It didn’t seem as though anything had happened for a second, but then the gathering ice above dispelled, and his body went limp and crunched down onto the floor.

I won!
I grew to L16!

“Great battle, Archie!”
I jumped at Kai’s voice- him, Xol and Ebony clattered up, out of breath, looking more than slightly cold- and in Kai’s case- extremely triumphant.
“I take it you won something?”
“You bet!”
Cheering excitedly, he broke into a shambling run and circled us triumphantly.
“What was it against?”
“A Ralts. How pathetic.”
“Leave him, he’s got a right to be pleased with himself, he’s proven to himself that he can stand his ground and win.”
“So? He should just grow up.”
I didn’t bother to answer, just rolled my eyes at the others, before winking at Kai as he galloped past, grinning like a maniac.

Lady Vulpix
16th November 2004, 08:30 AM
Sumi? Alright, she'll be battling... a Sudowoodo! O_O I wish her the best of lucks.

Wolfsong
16th November 2004, 02:26 PM
Cheesey, apologies for taking so long btu ihad a group project that was due today that i was working on. Next time could you use a larger font? It was hard to read ^^; Take 8 stamps. The introduction was nice, but the battle was a little short. Though its understandable with low leveled pokes.

BTW, could you clean out your inbox so i can PM you Lani's move for the bt battle. I've tried 4 times i think and its been full every time.

Cheesey
16th November 2004, 03:40 PM
I've been thinking about it and a couple of people have said my font's hard to read sometimes (namely you and Karin) so I think I'll go back to using a normal sized font.

Anyway, it's okay, I don't mind how long you take. I've cleared my PM box out a little bit now too (I didn't realise you couldn't send me your moves, because it said I only had about 40 messages stored). But yeah, it should be okay now.

Kirei
17th November 2004, 10:54 AM
This is my Jungle Room scenario (I was given an extension on the training grounds scenario). I hope you enjoy it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last week had been a strange one; precisely my battle at the blizzard room had been strange. I hoped I was not making a mistake by having booked another battle, this time in the jungle room. I also doubted I'd be able to shift the image of Alan Davenport and Chartreuse kissing passionately from my mind for quite some time.
"Soo," Kirei came and rubbed against my leg. "I was wondering if Lucky can come with us to the Jungle Room on Friday. We never get to do anything together anymore."
"But Lucky's Ade's pokémon," I told my Espeon. "I'll ask him if he can come with us this time though."
"Don't worry," Kirei said. "I've got a better idea." Then she ran off. I didn’t have much of a clue as to what she was up to.

"Right here will be fine, thank you." I heard Kassandra's energetic voice just as a rush of wind surrounded me. Suddenly Skyla, my Butterfree placed Kassandra right down on the table in front of me. "You may go now," the Charmander told Skyla.
"Kass," I sighed. "Why don't you give poor Skyla a break?"
"Why should I?" She replied. "It's not like she knows any different. Skyla was made to be my slave, because she was my prize!"
"How many times do I have to explain this, Kass?" I said, exasperated. "Skyla isn't your slave; just because you won the consolation rounds it doesn't mean you can treat her that way."
"She likes it, anyway," Kass insisted.
"Well, that remains to be seen," I said.
"Anyway, Soo," Kassandra changed the subject. "Who am I going to be battling in the Jungle Room?"
"Kass," I said. "Look, your fire attacks would set the whole place alight. Do you think I want a bill for new exotic plants for that place?"
"As if I'd use fire attacks," Kassandra said as she paced up and down the table. "I was planning on mostly sticking to Nightshade and Fly. There's no challenge in using the easiest attacks all the time."
"Naturally," I commented, trying not to let my sarcasm show too much. "But still, I thought it would be good to give Skyla a chance at battling this time."
"What?!?!" Kassandra was outraged. "Skyla is my slave! She's not a battler!"
"Kass," I said. "Skyla's a normal team member, just the same as you. Stop treating her like your slave all the time. Just because she agrees to fly you around, it doesn't necessarily mean she wants to."
"Well, let me battle too then," Kassandra pleaded. "I know you're allowed two pokémon in the training grounds."
"Actually," I told Kass. "I was thinking Kirei could do with a battle. Sorry, but my mind's made up."
"Hmph," was all the Charmander had to say on the matter. "Skyla, I'm ready to go now."
"You'll get fat if you let Skyla fly you everywhere," I told Kass, then left to find the Butterfree before she got collared again by Kassandra.

Skyla was in the garden, practising her string shot on a tree while flying as fast as she could in circles around it. When she saw me the Butterfree flew to greet me. "Hi Skyla," I said. "You're looking in great shape for your battle on Friday."
"Thanks!" she replied. "I love practising, although it's hard when Kassandra keeps me busy so much."
"About that," I went on. "I don't know why you don't just tell her to stop bossing you around. You aren't her slave you know."
"Well... I..." Skyla sounded sad. "You see, I don't really have many things in common with anyone but her. She's the only one I've met here who is serious about battling, and she said that if I fly her around she'll teach me tons of new attacks."
"That isn't true," I said. "Firstly, how about Sparky, or Katnip? The two are really keen battlers, and much more serious than Kassandra. And do you really think Kass can teach anyone attacks? She's all mouth, really."
"Well, I'll talk to Sparky and Katnip some time," the Butterfree replied. "But I really like Kass. She's funny. I'd like to be her friend though, not her slave."
"Just tell her that then," I said. "Look, Kass is only treating you like a slave because you're acting like one. Just remember next time you talk to her that you're as much a part of this team as she is."
"I will, Soo," Skyla answered. "And thanks." Skyla flew high and then returned to my level. "Looks like someone's coming," she told me, before flying off again.
Skyla had been right. Just then the doorbell rang. I had no idea where Ade was; probably he was training with some of his team. I went to answer the door. The tall man with flowing auburn locks of hair, whom I knew as Alan Davenport, stood there in a bright gold shirt with extremely flared sleeves. "You're looking ravishing. Absolutely ravishing," he said in his smarmy voice.
I was rather surprised to see Alan standing in our doorway. For one thing, I had never once given him my address. "How do you even know where we live?" I blurted out.
"I have my ways," he said, slowly and smoothly. "Besides, how I am here is unimportant."
"Well, why are you here?" I asked my uninvited visitor.
"May I come in and sit down?" Alan asked me.
"I suppose so," I replied, beckoning him inside to the kitchen. Chartreuse was standing by the table. I guessed she must have heard his voice at the door.
"I... uh..." Alan stammered upon catching sight of my Ponyta, whom he had passionately kissed during a state of mental confusion brought on by the Blizzard Room. I guessed he had remembered what had happened. "It's... uh... nice to see you again." He blushed red as he took his seat and pulled it rather too close to mine for my liking.
I got up and made two cups of tea while Alan talked to me. "I need your help, Soo," he said. His voice contained a note of panic which seemed to indicate that he might be in some sort of trouble. "I think they're on to me."
"Who are on to you?" I asked, retaking my seat.
"Before I tell you this, you must swear not to breathe a word to anyone else," Alan said, seriously. "And to be safe, I think it best that your young... uh... filly leave the room also." Chartreuse hung her head low and left, before Alan closed the door and sat down. "Soo. I'm a Lord of the Dragon's Guild."
I spluttered tea everywhere. "No you're not!" I said, knowing that the Dragon's Guild is a very powerful organisation, whose Lords are highly trained specialists in their fields. A buffoon like Alan did not seem to me like a member of such an organisation; let alone a Lord!
"I didn't think you'd believe me," Alan said, reaching into his pocket to bring out a dark leather card holder embossed with the Dragon's Guild logo. He opened it to reveal an identity card which read 'Lord Magikarp'.
"Lord Magikarp?!" I exclaimed. "How on earth did you get to be a Lord of the Dragon's Guild?
"My father... was a high ranked Lord of the Guild for most of his life. His name there was Lord Gyarados," Alan explained, a surprisingly (for him) solemn expression upon his face. I decided to listen to his story. "He got me into the Dragon's Guild. I was so proud, and have always hoped to follow in his footsteps. My father's work was of a highly confidential nature. Needless to say his was involved in several highly important missions for the Guild." Alan's face filled with a sadness that evoked in my a sympathy I thought I would never feel towards Alan. "Two years ago, my father was killed on a mission. I hate the Guild. They didn't take proper care of my father, and because of their foolishness he lost his life."
"Wait a minute," I said. "If you hate the Guild so much, why do you still work for them?"
"To avenge my Father's death. It is my one true desire." He looked at me. "All right, it is one of my true desires." He winked, his eyes filled with tears. How he had managed to be sleazy at the same time as tragically sad I will never understand. Still I did feel sorry for him.
"So how exactly do you plan to avenge your father?" I asked Alan. "And what is it you actually do as Lord Magikarp?"
"I'm the Lord in charge of..." Alan shuffled on his seat. "... the photocopying department of the Dragon's Guild."
I tried my best not to laugh. "But I don't understand how you can do anything to avenge your father's death," I said. "It doesn't sound like you're in anywhere near such a high ranking position as he was."
"That's not true!" Alan said, offended. "The Lord of the photocopying department is a highly complicated role. Without me the Guild would have nothing photocopied. Nothing!" Alan did an evil little laugh as he said the final "nothing". "And my plan to avenge my father is going very successfully, I'll have you know. I've kept it up for over a year now, but..." he looked around "... I'm afraid they're going to catch up to me and... terminate my existence."
"Well," I said. "What is your plan?"
"When I get things to photocopy, sometimes I turn some of the pages upside down before I staple them! And also, I sometimes do less copies than they ask for. Sometimes I even mix up the order of pages, and sometimes..."
I interrupted. "I... uh... get the idea."
"I'm doing it for my father," Alan said. "The Dragon's Guild are evil and must pay for his death. I will never cease my mission of vengeance." Alan left his seat and gave a triumphant pose, before breaking down into floods of tears and hugging me. "How?" he sobbed into my now wet t-shirt, "...how could they kill my father."
"There, there," I comforted the still sobbing Alan. Despite all his - well, obvious - flaws, this Alan Davenport was a noble creature deep down. If somewhat misguided.
Alan stopped crying eventually and we finished our tea. "Soo, I'd like to thank you," he said. "Let me take you out to dinner."
"Alan..." I said. Would he ever stop asking me out? "I'm not going to go on a date with you."
"What can I do to make you love me?" Alan looked frustrated.
"Alan," I spoke softly to him. "You can't make anyone fall in love. Love happens on its own. And I'm already in love with Ade; you know that."
"I..." Alan almost looked as if he was ready to accept it, but then his face changed to an expression of determination. "I will find a way to make you love me. What is your favourite colour?"
"My...?" I was confused. "Alan, are you sure you're all right?"
"Just tell me," he begged. "You at least owe me that much."
"I don't owe you anything," I countered, "but I don't see the harm in it. My favourite colours are pink and orange. I think pink suits me best."
"Soo," Alan started. "Can I stay with you tonight? I am sure the Dragon's Guild are on to me for my mission of vengeance. They'll kill me in my sleep."
"Alan," I said. "Look, you haven't done anything bad enough for them to want to kill you!"
"Well," he said, "can I stay anyway?"
"Yes," I said, after careful contemplation. "You can stay with Chartreuse."
"Er..." Alan stammered. "I've changed my mind. You say you like pink though, right?"
"Sure," I said. "I do like pink."
"Great, I'll see you tomorrow," Alan said.
"What?" I asked. "Why are you seeing me tomorrow?"
"Just for a chat, thought it would be nice. Bye!" Then he left. I later caught up with Ade. He had been trying to take Sumi's mind away from pining for a certain Raichu she hadn't seen in a while with a training session. That was Wednesday; a weird day.

Thursday began just as strangely as the previous day had, and with another visit from Alan Davenport. He had with him a leather bag which he placed on the floor as he sat down with me, and with a few of my Pokémon this time, for a cup of tea. It wasn't worth arguing with him about visiting, he was always so insistent, and despite being annoying he was harmless and also quite entertaining.
While we were drinking tea and talking about his pokémon (I was trying to keep the subject away from me and how "delightfully beautiful and ravishing" I looked that day), Kassandra came in and hopped onto the table. She then seemed to get bored, messed around a bit under the table, and then left. Chartreuse stayed with us the whole time, nuzzling up to Alan.
Alan was acting even stranger than normal. "This is the last time you'll see me as I am," he told me. "I'm changing; for you. I'll be a new man next time you see me."
"Alan," I was confused. "What on earth are you talking about?"
Just then Ade walked in. "Hi, Alan," he said, looking a bit confused to see Alan here again.
"Oh... Ade... hi," Alan said. "I'm sorry but I must leave you and your fair maiden for now. I'll see you on the morrow."
"But Alan," I said. "I won't be here tomorrow. I've got the Jungle Room. And why do you keep coming round again?"
Ignoring my question, Alan replied, "I'll be early, don't worry," and then left.
After Ade had helped himself to a slice of cake he left for the garden. Just then I heard some commotion coming from the living room and rushed in to see Kassandra standing next to a very different-looking Kirei.
"What the..." I started, shocked. "Kirei, what's happened to you?"
"So it's really true?" Kirei replied. "I thought Kass was lying. Do you have a mirror?"
"In a minute," I said. "What's happened to you?"
"Well, first I..." my Espeon began.
"I'll tell it!" Kassandra interrupted, rather rudely. "Well, when I was under the table I saw this bottle sticking out of Alan's bag, so I took it. I was only going to have a look at it so I brought it in here to show Kirei..."
I interrupted my Charmander. "Wait a minute, Kass. You took something that doesn't belong to you? That's really bad, you know that?"
"I know, and I'm sorry, but I was going to put it back," Kass said. "Honest. Then Kirei saw that the lid wasn't on that well and between us we got it off. I said she shouldn't but Kirei tried a bit. She thought it was fruit juice, you see. The label was all messy and we couldn't read it. Then Kirei said it was really nice and drank the whole thing!"
"And that's when I..." Kirei seemed to have just hit upon the realisation that she could position herself in a way that she could look down at part of her body and her tail. "...I turned pink."
"Right," said Kassandra. "Then you came in."
"You two," I said, strictly. "You've both done very naughty things; Kassandra for stealing the bottle, and Kirei for drinking the contents. You both knew it didn't belong to you."
"We're sorry," the two said in unison.
"I must say though," I turned to Kirei. "The colour really suits you. What do you think?"
"I love it!" Kirei ran to the bathroom and then back. "I really love it!"
"I have to admit, it is nice," I said. "But I think you owe Alan an apology next time we see him. He probably bought that juice for one of his pokémon!" Kassandra began to slink out of the room. "BOTH of you owe him an apology," I called after my Charmander.

The next morning I was woken by Ade gently shaking me and planting a kiss on my forehead. "Wake up, sleepygirl," he said. I opened my eyes. "You're not going to want to hear this, but Alan Davenport's downstairs."
"Oh no," I groaned. "What time is it?"
"8.30am," Ade informed me, "but to be honest you could probably do with getting up soon anyway."
I pulled myself to my feet, quickly brushed my teeth and put on a brown buttoned top and black flared jeans and walked downstairs to see Alan sitting, a rather dejected looking Chartreuse at his side, at our kitchen table. Skyla was visible just outside the window. I opened it and called to her. "Skyla, would you mind doing me a favour?" I asked. "Go and find Kassandra, will you? And drag her here whether she likes it or not." Skyla whizzed off obediently. "If you'll excuse me, Alan, I'm just off to hunt for Kirei."
It didn't take me long to find my newly pink-furred Espeon; she was lying curled up in the lounge. "I know you're only pretending to be asleep," I told her as I shook her gently. "Come on, you're going to have to apologise sooner or later."
Reluctantly Kirei followed me to the kitchen, just as Skyla entered, a squirming Kassandra being placed onto the table by the Butterfree. "Now, you two," I said sternly. "There's something you both need to say to Mr. Davenport."
"Sorry," said Kirei.
"I'm sorry too," blurted out Kassandra.
"It seems my little Charmander here took your pokémon's pink juice from your bag yesterday," I explained to Alan. "And Kirei here... well you can guess the rest."
"Ah," laughed Alan deeply; I had expected him to be angry. "The colour suits you beautifully, my girl." He stroked Kirei's chin. I could almost swear I saw the Espeon blush slightly, although I knew she would never admit to it. "I thought it had fallen out of my bag on the way home," Alan said before turning to face me. "Actually, it wasn't going to be for one of my pokémon; it was supposed to be... for me."
"Huh?" I was surprised by this revelation.
"I wanted to dye my hair pink for you," Alan said. "Because you like pink, and it would make you fall in love with me."
"Oh, Alan," I giggled. "I'm sorry but no matter what colour your hair is, I'll always love Ade. Besides, I don't think pink would have suited you so maybe this was all for the best."
"I guess you're right," he said. "Soo, your beauty and brilliant mind dazzle me."
"Yes, yes," I said, putting away the things on the table. "Well, if you don't mind I have a Jungle Room booking to prepare for. And don't you go getting any funny ideas about battling me again; I've made an appointment to battle a staff member."
"Oh, don't worry," Alan said. "I have some training of my own to do. But I promise you, darling," Alan took my hand as he said this, "I will see you again soon."
I pulled my hand away from Alan before bidding him farewell and getting on with preparing for my battle.
Chartreuse had been even more miserable since Alan had left so I decided to try to take her mind off the human. "Chartreuse," I asked my Ponyta after everyone else had left the room. "How would you like to come with us to the Jungle Room today?"
"Is Kassandra coming?" Chartreuse asked me.
"No, she isn't," I said. "I thought Skyla could use a break from her, so I bribed Kass into staying here by promising her she could be in the next battle we have."
"I'll come then," Chartreuse nodded decisively. "I've had a headache all morning and I really think being around Kass would be the worst thing for me right now."
I laughed. "Great," I told Chartreuse. "Hokiri is coming too, as I'm too lazy to walk to there, and of course Skyla and Kirei are coming, and I was thinking of asking Yuki and Kaguya if they'd like to come along, and Kyore as well."
"Lucky's coming too!" I knew that voice at once; Kirei had just entered the room.
"Kirei," I told her. "Lucky's Ade's pokémon, so I can't really take him without checking with Ade first."
I turned to see Kirei standing with Lucky beside her. "Actually," the Meowth told me, "Kirei has been bugging Ade for the past two days and he told me I can have you as my trainer, if you want me of course. And it would be nice to watch Kirei battle."
"Of course I want you," I told Lucky. "It's better for the two of you to be on the same team then you can battle together and support each other more. But are you really sure Ade said it was all right?"
"He did," urged Kirei.
"Where is Ade anyway?" I asked.
"Here," Ade panted as he ran into the room. "That Charmander of yours has been chasing me around again. Can't you keep her under control?"
"Sorry," I laughed, "not really, no."
"Anyway," Ade said. "I did have a think about what Kirei asked me and I told her earlier today that it was all right with me if it was all right with you. It seems a shame to keep them apart."
"It's fine by me," I said, hugging Ade. My team was getting quite large, although I loved each one of my pokémon.

We were finally ready to go. "Hokiri, are you sure it's all right with you?" I asked my horned Ponyta.
"I managed it last time, didn't I?" he reminded me. Hokiri had indeed managed the art of teleportation after Yuki and Kaguya's battle in the blizzard room. Now that he knew where he was going he shouldn't have any problem.
We all huddled together, me holding Yuki and Kaguya, Skyla perched on Hokiri's shoulders, Chartreuse, Kyore, Lucky and Kirei all close by me, then suddenly we were enveloped in a brilliant white light. I closed my eyes and felt my body tense up. Immediately I opened my eyes and we were at the entrance to the training grounds. "Oh well done, Hokiri!" I congratulated my Ponyta.
Together my little party entered the building; most of us had been there the previous week, although for Skyla the experience was completely new. She flew about in excitement at the sheer magnificence of our surroundings before returning to hover by my head as I stood at the reception desk. The receptionist was different from the one we had had the previous week; the one who had taken a bribe from Alan Davenport to double book our appointment. "Your name please?" she greeted me with a corporate smile. I gave my name. "Ah yes," the receptionist replied in a cheery voice, "you requested a staff member to battle against, didn't you?" I nodded my agreement. "We have many pokémon available to battle, but how does this sound? A Surskit and a Chikorita?"
"Sounds like they'd be an interesting match for my Espeon and Butterfree," I replied.
"Great," the receptionist replied, and ushered us into a well-designed waiting room. "We'll make the preparations for your battle then call you when we're ready for you," I was informed before the receptionist left. Looking around the waiting room revealed an extensive range of pokémon magazines and training guides, and several pictures of past battles in the training rooms adorned the walls.
I turned my attention to my pokémon. "You ready, guys?" I addressed Skyla and Kirei. "How do you want to do this? A two on two battle or would you rather take turns?"
From my lap Kaguya decided to put her opinion forward. "A two on two battle is great, because you can help each other and co-ordinate your attacks; I found that out battling with Yuki. It's also difficult in the sense that you should be aware how you're partner's doing at all times, in case they need your help." I was very impressed with the Minun's insightful comment.
"But a single battle allows you to focus on your opponent's battle techniques and learn to react and hone your own skills," Kyore chipped in.
"For all his shallowness," I said out loud to nobody in particular, "Alan can't have been that bad a trainer after all."
"Skyla, what do you think?" Kirei asked, giving my Butterfree the choice.
"I think we'd make a pretty good team," Skyla responded. And so it was decided, a two on two battle would take place.
The receptionist re-entered the room. "Your opponent is ready in the jungle room," she informed me.
"Right, come on, everyone." My team and I proceeded through the large double doors marked "JUNGLE ROOM" into a veritable cornucopia of exotic plants. The whole room looked enormous with thick grasses underfoot and plants absolutely everywhere, reaching right up to the ceiling. There was even a stream running through the woods area. It was difficult to believe this was an indoor venue. I was greeted by a gentleman of around 30.
"My name's Jeff," I was informed. "I'll be your opponent. Before we begin are there any questions?" I couldn't think of any questions and informed Jeff of this fact. "Fine, then we'll begin. The trainer's stand is to your left. Please take your position.

FIGHT!!! L11 Espeon & L10 Butterfree v L8 Surskit & L15 Chikorita!

The trainer's platform was raised a few feet from the ground and gave me an excellent view of the central area where the battle would take place. Kirei stood ready for battle opposite Jeff's Surskit and Chikorita, with Skyla hovering above. "She looks good out there, doesn't she?" Lucky said from my arms. I held him close to me so he could have a good view of the battle. Kaguya and Yuki sat on each shoulder and my other Pokémon stood beside me.
The Chikorita made the first move, charging right at Kirei. My pink Espeson managed to dodge the attack, although tripped on some vines as she did so. The Chikorita looked as though it was laughing at her. Kirei got back up and was immediately knocked down by the Surskit who seemed to have come from nowhere. Talking of coming from nowhere, as I saw Kirei gather herself to her feet, Skyla sped towards the Surskit and completely took it by surprise with a physical attack. "Great work, Skyla," Kirei complimented the super-fast Butterfree on her work.
The Surskit quickly recovered and immediately aimed a jet of bubbles right at Kirei. This time the Espeon took the brunt of the attack, before managing to roll away and avoid any serious damage. Skyla's speed made her incredible difficult to hit and she avoided a similar attack from the Surskit with ease, before narrowly missing her opponent with a String Shot. If that had hit it would have really turned the battle in my team's direction. "Nice try," I shouted out my encouragement. While Kirei and Skyla's attention was on the Surskit they didn't notice the Chikorita standing behind them charging itself with solar energy, its whole body glowing. I thought to myself as I noticed this fact and quickly shouted out "it's Solarbeam! Behind you!" Kirei and Skyla whirled around just in time to dodge the powerful beam of light that came towards them. The Chikorita must be very well trained to have mastered such a complicated attack as this one. Kirei and Skyla moved fast; Skyla kept the Chikorita busy with several Tackle attacks while Kirei quickly concentrated her energy into a large ball of electrical energy and sent it rushing towards the Surskit. The ball was just too big and too fast for the water type to dodge. It helplessly took the full force of the attack and crumpled to the ground in pain. Amazingly it didn’t give up and got back to its feet. However unsteady, this pokémon wanted to continue fighting; I had to admire its perseverance. The Surskit was standing but was having immense difficulty moving, making finishing it off an easy target. Kirei aimed her final attack, focusing her energy as she had done before. As she focused the Chikorita appeared and quickly rushed to its team-mate, casting a protective screen which completely encircled the Surskit in a wall. When Kirei launched her Zap Cannon attack for the second time it was almost completely absorbed by the screen, the Surskit still standing. With the only gap in the screen being that of the space above the Surskit there was no way Kirei's attacks were ever going to reach it. The Chikorita looked pleased with itself. Kirei wasn't about to give up either, and concentrated hard to produce yet another ball of electrical energy aimed right at the grass type. Unfortunately, however, at that very moment Skyla charged at full speed towards the Chikorita and was clipped by Kirei's volts of electricity causing two effects: firstly this caused Skyla to fall to the ground and secondly it completely saved the Chikorita from the attack.
"Skyla, no!" Kirei yelled out, instinctively rushing toward the Butterfree.
"I'm OK," I heard Skyla tell my Espeon. "It didn't hit me as hard as it could have. My wings hurt but I think I can still manage to fly, just not fast like before." The Chikorita ran at Kirei, while Skyla, true to her word, did manage to fly. She was very erratic and a lot slower than normal though. From within its protective screen the Surskit merely watched the tussle between the Chikorita and Kirei, evidently trying to recover its energy enough for a final bout when it was needed. An interesting plan, I thought to myself. I heard Skyla say, "I can still feel the electricity in my body. I know what to do." I had no idea what my Butterfree was going to do. She flew right above the Surskit then released a massive ball of electricity, like Kirei's attack which had hit her, and sent it straight at the Surskit from above who had no chance to evade it. This time the Surskit really was down and out and had absolutely no energy left in it. I realised at this point that my mouth was wide open in shock at Skyla's use of electricity. Skyla herself looked extremely surprised at what she'd accomplished and right at that moment the Chikorita took advantage of her distraction and fired a Solarbeam at the Butterfree. Skyla heard Kirei's warning but was lacking the speed to evade the attack and came crashing down to the ground in agony. Amazingly she managed to drag herself up, using her wings to support her weight and moved towards Kirei.
Kirei was enraged. "Don't... you... hurt... my... FRIEND!!" she yelled at the Chikorita, after seeing what it had done to Skyla. As she shouted these words the area where the Chikorita was standing suddenly caught on fire; the Chikorita's leaf was on fire and it helplessly tried to escape. Naturally the underbrush of the jungle room caught on fire and it spread rapidly throughout the room, destroying the plants and burning everything. Jeff yelled out in shock, and I found myself unable even to speak. The room's emergency sprinkler system was triggered and water sprayed down, dousing the flames and putting the fire out as quickly as Kirei had, somehow, started it. The Chikorita had been completely overcome by the flames and was unable to move at all.
As Jeff ran towards his fallen pokémon I congratulated Kirei and Skyla, both of whom had fought incredibly hard and both of whom had shocked me with talents I had no idea they possessed.

Kirei and Skyla win!
Kirei grew to L.12.5 and Skyla grew to L.11.5!

Lady Vulpix
21st November 2004, 06:47 PM
Sorry for the delay, everyone. I've been too busy (still am) and the heat is doing my blood pressure no good. Though I can't blame it all on the heat, I shouldn't have taken 8 cups of tea yesterday. x_x

Anyway, on to the ratings. Those were 2 nice stories.

Hannah: I liked yours though some parts were a bit hard to understand and at some points it was hard to tell who was speaking. I'd like to get to know your characters better and see what makes each of them special. Take 14 stamps!¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Also, could you please explain what "just motioned forwards as the blue glow as she tapped into her confusion materialised around her body" means? I've been trying to figure it out, but failing. http://www.geocities.com/gsteren/Faces/undecided.txt

Soo: Alan's ability for being ridiculous doesn't cease to amaze me, but his story came up as quite a shock. I liked the expression "corporate smile" (random comment). There's a slight continuity problem. Didn't Thunderblast come back after the Training Grounds closed? It seems Thunderblast and her trademark "weird Raichu physics" alter the course of time wherever they go. :P Take 15 stamps!¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
By the way, will Kirei's icon change now?

Kirei
22nd November 2004, 01:53 AM
Thanks for the rating, Gabi! Yes, Alan is very scary! I didn't understand the comment about Thunderblast though, I asked Ade and he was a bit confused too - this is set before Ade's story, so I think Sumi still misses her, is that what you meant? Ade said he might make me a new Kirei icon! :196:

Lady Vulpix
22nd November 2004, 08:46 AM
I guess I must have misread something, then. Sorry about the confusion.

Charizard04621
22nd November 2004, 04:33 PM
Could I please have an extension for the current scenario? I'm not sure when I'll be able to write... >_< College apps are crazy.

Lady Vulpix
22nd November 2004, 04:46 PM
>_< Uni's crazy too. You can have the extension, Karin. And I'll see if I can manage without having to get one myself.

aragornbird
22nd November 2004, 05:24 PM
Yeah, I need an extension too for this scenario. I haven't even finished my last one, and don't see how I can this month with college applications and an art portfolio.

Lady Vulpix
22nd November 2004, 06:01 PM
I see several people are applying for college this year. Good luck, everyone!

And yes, the extension is yours.

Moonlight Espeon
22nd November 2004, 07:09 PM
Dropped my size 1 because it's hard to read.
Don't kill me. This is my absolute first time and the only reason I tried this is because SD said that I should try it out so I don't know if I'll be good at this or not..

~1st Person POV~

I could have sworn that we wandered for hours. The sky displayed its usual violet color quite boldly that night as we walked into the endless light. I almost couldn't take it anymore when I heard something. Quite far in the distance, but it was clear and I was able to easily pick up on it.
It sounded like a Pokemon battle.
All I could make out was "Gastly, use.." and "No! Rattata, dodge it"! when I remembered why I had gone on that long, strenuous trip. I was sent on a mission. I approached slowly until I saw the familiar symbol, the red "R", shining off the flickering moonlight. I hesitated. I knew that this was my first mission and I really was set on not blowing it, so I stupidly passed up my chance to get them while they were concentrated. One looked in my direction. I stupidly ducked, thinking that something was in front of me, and then they knew I didn't want them to see me. That is when the trouble began.
One ran toward me and the other followed, and I knew right at that moment that it wasn't going to be easy to get out of what I knew was about to happen. I looked their Pokemon in the eye and there was no need for words. They were out for blood.
I tried to compensate. I didn’t want what I knew was about to come if I didn’t act quickly.
I broke the silence.
“What do you want with me?”
“You think you can talk like that to me, punk?” one of them said.
“I was just trying to ask...”
“Nobody cares what you were trying to ask. What are you doing here anyway? I advise that you get out of here as fast as you can before I have to hurt you.”
“I came here because..”
What was I thinking? I couldn’t just tell him why I had came. I can’t give him that much information. I can’t blow my cover.
“I was just wandering around these parts.”
“Then why do you seem so nervous? Scared, little wimp?”
“No...”
I knew myself that I was lying my face off. It was quite obvious that I was scared and I think they recognized that.
“It’s just really cold out here..”
“You punk. Trying to lie to me. I can see right through you. So unless you’re looking for some pain, you better get out of here pretty darn quick.”
I turned back to run, following their advice. But the other one, who hadn’t talked, the one without the R and some strange pattern on their shirt, grabbed me by the shoulder and spun me around. I knew I was in trouble.
“Hey, I recognize your face. You’re that new guy in that stupid organization. They sent you on a mission here, didn’t they?”
“Um.. er... no... well.. yeah.. So what if they did?” I said suddenly.
Then I realized my stupid mistake right after I had said it. I tried to run again but he grabbed me by the collar this time. I knew there was no way out and the only way to get through them and to complete my mission was to battle them.

~Battle: Crystal the Snorunt vs. Lv. 8 Gastly~

I didn’t know quite why I sent out my Pokemon yet, maybe it was out of anger, maybe it was out of fear, but regardless I got myself into a battle that I didn’t particularly want to get into, but it was no matter. I was going to fight and I was going to win at any cost.
“Crystal! Attack it with Hidden Power: Flying!”
“Gastly, dodge it!”
I should have known that such an erratic attack wouldn’t have worked very well. I needed to have patience. I needed to win.
“Gastly! Shadow Ball!”
Wait a second... I was forgetting something!
“Crystal, release your most frightening Leer!”
It had worked. The Gastly became scared. Here’s my perfect chance.
“Now, use Hidden Power: Flying!”
It worked like wonders. The Gastly was so scared, it didn’t know what hit it. The attack hit head-on, and Gastly was barely holding on for dear life. Victory would not slip between my fingers this time around.
“No! Gastly! Psychic now!”
What? A Gastly using Psychic? You sure don’t see that every day.
The Psychic hit, but it didn’t do very much damage. It was still scared. I needed to strike as quickly as I could.
“Crystal! Finish it off, now! Hidden Power: Flying again!”
It worked. The Gastly got knocked back from the wind and started to sway from side to side. I knew that I was victorious then, but I also knew that the battle to come would be much harder than this.
Gastly was returned to its Pokeball.
~Crystal grows to level 8~

I glared at the two and almost had a smirk on my face. I was going to win. I should win. I will win. I have to win.
Well, I suppose that smirk was enough to provoke the Rocket, because he came towards me with his evil-looking Rattata and I knew that this was the harder battle.

~Battle: Aqua the Tentacool vs. Lv. 15 Rattata~

I didn’t know what came over me when I sent out Aqua, but I started to go into a trance, I was so obsessed with battling and winning at that moment. I decided to immediately take the offensive and I made the exact stupid mistake I had on the last battle.
“Aqua! Sludge Bomb!”
The Rattata easily evaded. I had to catch it off guard. I knew that if I didn’t it was going to kill me.
“Rattata! Hyper Fang!”
The last thing I needed was that evil Rattata’s teeth in my Pokemon’s flesh, so I decided to do something quite odd.
“Aqua! Release a Sludge Bomb as fast as you can right into Rattata’s mouth before it bites you!”
It worked like a nice little charm. The Rattata was coming after me at full speed, but I was ready. Aqua did just as told, and Rattata swallowed a mouthful of toxic waste. It was poisoned and it would not have the will to battle much longer.
I needed to think of something to keep it away from me, though.
“Aqua! Supersonic!”
I’m not sure what came over the Rattata, but the sound waves I had sent into the air made it sway back and forth as if it were drunk. Then I saw it flinch, and I knew that its poison was affecting it. It continued to sway, head up. It was quite a funny sight, but I wasn’t interested in anything funny right now. I knew that I needed to finish it off.
It remained drunk when I decided that I needed to do something quickly. I couldn’t Surf because there was no water around, but I could certainly drop a few bombs.
“Aqua! Use Sludge Bomb over and over as fast as you can!”
The sky turned a dark violet and the ground started to take a purplish color. Toxic bombs were flying and exploding everywhere. It looked like a freak show. After the smog had subsided, I finally could see the playing field again.
I was shocked by what I saw.
That Rattata stood there, purple goo all over it, panting, but it looked like it wanted to battle on. This was too much. If this Rattata had any sense, it would refuse to battle further but it decided to go on.
In a second, I knew why.
“Rattata! Thunderbolt!”
WHAT?!
Thunderbolt?
It suddenly hit me what was going on here. The Rocket was trying to trick me into a false sense of security, and it worked. I had realized too late. If the Rattata could use Thunderbolt, it obviously wasn't the pushover I thought it was, but I remained confident.
Aqua got hit hard with that Thunderbolt, but it didn’t give in at all. Both were determined. All I needed to do was do something to turn the battle in my favor.
“This is it..” I said under my breath.
“Aqua! Constrict!” I said suddenly.
That was it!
I immediately trapped it in Aqua’s feelers and bam, it couldn’t escape. Perfect chance right here.
“Aqua! Sludge Bomb right at its face while you’re holding onto it!”
The bomb hit directly and did even more damage then I had planned for it to. Aqua fell back itself after using it, and I knew then that the Rattata couldn’t go on no matter what it had taken.
Rattata fell.
~Aqua grows to level 14~

After the battle was over, I stood there for a while. Just stood there and stared into the eyes of my opponents. They looked shocked. Baffled. Embarrassed.
I couldn’t hold back a small giggle. Knowing that my mission was complete, I teased them a bit.
“Heh. And you’re calling ME the punk.” I said abruptly.
They obviously didn’t want to talk about it because they very quickly ran off.
“I love my job..” I thought to myself. “I’ll always have time for freaks like them.”

Kerel
23rd November 2004, 02:19 PM
22 PM, Lonesong Bar, the actual meeting hour, we were supposed to meet with our contact: "Big Fat Dumbledore", we would give us some important information about the thing we were looking for.

We couldn´t get there in time cause we had an emergency.

Bruce: Yeah, a sanitary emergency.

22:06 PM: we entered the bar, it was an old place, the illumination was pretty low so it was pretty dark, all the people you could see around (besides a BIG and Fat guy at the bar wearing a grey raincoat and a hat) were a bunch of lowlifes and...

...

...

Bruce: cmon say it...

-Theresa Dorcuato.

You could see a very beautiful woman with the face of an angel and the body of a demon, blonde, long hair and of course wearing a red and sexy dress, as well as her attitude. She was the center of attention.

(Bruce: Just imagine Jessica Rabbit)
(Caroline: Ponyta?)
(Bruce: yeah, I think the same)

Theresa came to me and said.

-Hello Kerel, long time no see.

-Not long enough Theresa.

-Oh, you're still upset for our previous encounter, come on, I didn't mean to hurt you, you know?

-but you did.

**Bruce: so that you can understand, this is not the first time they meet, but that's a long story.**

Theresa said then to me, while pointing her finger to the bar: Kerel, ain't your contact being kidnapped right now.

Kerel: Hey don't change the subj...

I turned back and saw 6 ninjas that were taking the guy on the raincoat through a backdoor.

Kerel: Damn! Let's go!

We all followed the guys, to a dark and dirty street, they forced Big Fat into a black Limo. and started driving away.

I started running towards the car.

Kerel: Caroline! burn its tires.


Caroline used her flamethrower and burned one of the tires on the back of the car, bur then the guys opened the windows and
started shooting at us. So we had to dodge the bullets and the car went far away.

Kerel: Damn we lost them!!!
Bruce: Whoever they were. You did take note of the number on the car's plate, didn't you?
Kerel: errr.
Theresa: I did. (she said while giving a piece of paper with a number on it to Kerel)
Bruce: Theresa you're a blessing.
Kerel: Yeah, well, thanks but "What are you doing here and how did you know Big fat was my contact?"
Theresa: Who do you think led you to him in the first place?
Kerel: so it was you?
Theresa: I thought you'd already found out, don't you ever check on you caller ID?
Kerel: er... I don't have it, I had this disagreement with the cell phone's company and...well nevermind.
Theresa: Well all we need to do is check out whose that car is, and rescue BFD.
Kerel: Wait a seccond...we?
Theresa: Sure, you can come along.
Kerel: I´m not sure you get what I...
Theresa: Come, my car is parked on the next street.
Kerel: oh...whatever...

--------------------------------------
tech data:

Bruce Zangoose level 7
Caroline Ponyta level 7
Kerel Human level 2?
Theresa Human no further data
Gastly level 8 hasn't appeared so far

---------------------------------------

Lady Vulpix
26th November 2004, 05:56 PM
Sorry, Kelly, but your battle is invalid. Crystal can't have 2 different types of Hidden Power. Please decide what type you want and fix it.

Moonlight Espeon
26th November 2004, 05:57 PM
Sorry, Kelly, but your battle is invalid. Crystal can't have 2 different types of Hidden Power. Please decide what type you want and fix it.
Oops. I taught it Hidden Power twice. That was a mistake..

EDIT: Fixed. All I had to do is make it use HP: Flying twice, since I moved the HP: Psychic to another adoptee. Luckily, Crystal didn't battle anyone before this incident.

Charizard04621
27th November 2004, 09:12 AM
LOL Kerel! Take 2 Stamps... Hehe. You're going to make my face sore from grinning!

Kerel
27th November 2004, 01:41 PM
heh, thanks :)

Lady Vulpix
27th November 2004, 03:20 PM
It still says Psychic the first time, Kelly. Anyway, Crystal already knows what type her Hidden Power is; you don't need to tell her (not to mention announcing the type in advance provides important information to your opponent). By the way, Surf can be used as long as there's humidity in the air, but it's ok for a new trainer not to know that.

I didn't quite understand the paragraph that says "It suddenly hit me what was going on here. This Pokemon wasn’t right in the head. It was somehow messed up. I didn’t want to linger on it, but I also knew that it would be quite a job to knock this Rattata out because I knew that it had an alternate source of energy." What did you mean?

And the rockets were bluffing all along, right? Otherwise I don't see why they would run off as soon as they lost a pokemon battle, if they looked so threatening at the begining.

I could assume the first "Psychic" says "Flying" and give you some stamps now, but I'll give you the chance to edit your post in case you want to make any other changes.

LightNinetales
28th November 2004, 07:59 AM
The egg is the egg I got at the Pocket Monsters Breeding Center; the HP Grass TM is the one I bought at the Reward Center a month ago, or something like that.
Oh, and as a reminder:

Sparkle writes in pink.
Light writes in white.
"Oni", or the others opponents I could have, writes in bold.
Aidane writes in Lime
Lightstorm writes in orange.
Kusa writes in green.
Axolotl writes in blue.
Joyau writes in Royal Blue.
Enigma writes in slate gray.
Whitney writes in gray.
Silvereyes writes in silver.
Will'O writes in dark orchid.
Honoo writes in red.
Chataigne writes in yellow.
Acajou writes in Deep sky blue.
Tooana writes in Sienna.
Krystal writes in Pale Turquoise.

________________

~x~ Light’s POV ~x~

We managed to escape these training grounds. Actually, I was really happy. I won’t have to battle anymore.... I won’t have to watch my pokemon fighting....
Well, that was what I thought before hearing Lightstorm.
“Light, where’s the next opponent?”
“Meh, Lightstorm, I don’t think you’ll battle anyone this week....”
“WHAT?” shouted Silvereyes."No battles?”
“Yes, Silvereyes” answered Honoo. “No battles. I don’t want you to be hurt, and-”
“But I want battles! I want to become stronger!”
“Calm down, Silver.” said Will’O. “You’ll battle. Actually, Light got a phone call and –”
Lightstorm jumped on my head.
“Someone called you? Who? What did he want? Will I battle?”
I looked at Lightstorm’s soft red fur, took the Vulpix in my arms, and caressed her six tails.
“We have a mission” I said. “We have to neutralise two evil organisations. Team Rocket, you already know what it is, and Crimson Blades, a small group with violent creatures. And you know, they are, ahem,.... really evil, and...”
“I will battle the eviiiil pokemon, whee!”
Joyau was sarcastic, of course. He was frightened, just like I was....but I was the trainer, I couldn’t explain them I would prefer not battling at all.
“That’s soooo cool!”said Silvereyes, suddenly excited. “Can we go battling them now?”
I looked at Honoo’s majestic flames.
“Maybe.... we should... stay here.... and wait for them?” I suggested.
Sparkle and Kusa were talking, and I was sure they didn’t heard what I said. Kusa turned back, ran , jumped on my bag and opened it. She took the Hidden Power TM I bought and gave it to Sparkle.
“That’s a TM with the only grass-type attack you can learn” she said. “That’s Hidden Power Grass.”
I saw a smile on the Elekid’s face. I also saw the glitter in its eyes as he took the TM and used it.

Sparkle learnt HP: Grass!

~x~Sparkle’s POV~x~

“Thank you, Kusa!”
I was so happy. I learnt a grass-type move, Hidden Power.... I hugged Kusa.
"Argh... Can’t breathe...” said the Oddish.
I let her go and looked at Light.
“You bought the TM for me, right?”
“That was Kusa’s idea” she answered. “She said you were always talking about learning grass-type moves but you couldn’t learn any of them. I told her there was Hidden Power, and she asked me if I could go at the Reward Center and buy it for you.”
“Oh, that was nice.... And what did you say? I’ve never seen Silver so excited since the day you gave her the Hidden Power Electric TM.”
“Ahem, I got a phone call, and we.... we have to prevent two evil groups from damaging the areas they’re battling in.”
I didn’t realize what it meant.
“We’ll talk with them and tell them they’re damaging the areas?”
Just after I heard myself asking this question, I knew I had been naive.
“No, Sparkle.... Actually, we have to... ahem....”
She took a break, then said quickly “ Fight them.”
I fainted.
“Sparkle? Sparkle, is there something I said that hurt you?”
I opened my eyes and saw the other pokemon and Light, looking at me. They seemed worried.
“I’m fine, but... ahem.... did you say we had to FIGHT?”
“That’s what I said... no, Sparkle, don’t faint again! You won’t fight, I think I’ll ask another pokemon, like.... Silver, she seemed so impatient!”
“There’s someone else here” said Chataigne. “I smelled it.”

~x~ Enigma’s POV ~x~

“Is it an ally?”
“Neh” answered Chataigne. “I smelled her cruelty...”
I smiled. Chataigne’s sense of smell was good, but I didn’t entirely trust it.
“Hey” said Acajou, “there’s something in Light’s bag that is... well, moving.”
I looked at the black and white bag, and searched the mysterious thing. I found an icy blue egg. It was unexpectedly cold.
“Chataigne, there’s something strange about this egg...”
“Something strange? What?”
“This egg is –”
I stopped talking and listened attentively. Nothing. Maybe I imagined this sound...
“Why did you stop explaining me what was strange, Enigma?”
“I thought I heard something. And the egg... it’s so cold....”
“You heard something and I smelled something, that means there’s someone hiding here!”
“But I only imagined that sound, I’m probably paranoid, and you shouldn’t trust my senses....”
“No, you didn’t imagine that sound. What did you hear?”
I tried to visualise the scene. There was a tree, there was another tree, someone, a tree, another tree....
“There was someone in a tree. He or she tried to move to another tree.”
“So, there’s someone hid-”
“Chataigne! Come here, I need you and Acajou!”
And Chataigne obeyed. I was alone, they were probably discussing about the egg...
I heard another sound. I started to get really scared.
Then, I saw her. The “evil member of the evil group”. Her eyes were as cold as the egg I was protecting. She had a short, black hair, dark eyes, and dark red clothes which were probably the uniform of her organisation. She seemed calm, but cruel inside.
She took one of her pokeballs and pushed the little button on the middle. A Rattata appeared. It was as cold as his trainer, with his black fur and his pale blue, glowing eyes.
The Rattata approached me.
“Bite her.” said the trainer. Even her voice was cold.
“Who... who are you?”
“My name is Onirei Ichigo, but people often call me “Oni”. And his name is Demon.”
I realized she was talking about the Rattata.
“Why are you here?”
“I was waiting for Team Rocket members, and I found you. You are my opponents, since you were talking about fighting my organisation...”

Enigma the female Meowth[lv.5] and a mysterious icy blue egg[lv ?] VS Oni’s Demon the male Rattata[lv.15]


~x~ Chataigne’s POV ~x~

I turned back and saw Enigma, my egg, and.... this young woman with the black hair.
Light and the others also saw them.
“I will battle for Enigma, Light! I have to help her!”
“Stay here, Chataigne.”
“What? I promised, Light, I told her I’ll protect her, and the egg is my son and I can’t let them –”
“Stay here.”
“Did you understand what I said?”
“Yes. But I want you to stay here and watch Enigma’s battle.”
I obeyed. Enigma was a good fighter, actually; she already used an attack that was probably Body Slam. Joyau and Lightstorm were discussing about Enigma’s strategy.
The Rattata rushed towards Enigma, his fangs ready to sink into her flesh.
But something captured his attention. The egg –my egg- was glowing, its shell was starting to crack, and a black paw appeared. Slowly, the icy blue shell entirely cracked; something was on the ground, where the egg was two minutes ago. Something with black fur and crystal blue eyes. Something with a gray and rainbow mane. An Eevee; an Eevee with my black fur.
"Krystal” I said.
“Krystal?”
“My son, the Eevee. Krystal.”
Enigma didn’t hear me, but we probably had the same idea at the same moment, because she shouted “Don’t touch Krys, you stupid Rattata with pale blue eyes!”
She rushed towards him, jumped, and landed on his back.
The Eevee was watching the scene with a strange smile that I already knew -it was mine- .
And something happened. The wind became cold, Krys’ blue eyes started to glow, and an icy blue aura surrounded him. Even Enigma was amazed by the scene. Krys, the newborn Eevee, using an ancient power. The power of ice.
“Look, Sparkle.” said Kusa. “That is Hidden Power Ice.”
The Rattata seemed wounded. That kind of attacks –non-physical attacks- hurt him a lot.
“Oni” seemed astonished. Her Rattata wasn’t able to move, paralyzed by Enigma’s attack; and he was wounded. She recalled him into his pokeball.
“That doesn’t mean you’re better than me” she told Light."That means my pokemon isn’t able to battle anymore.”Then, she ran away.

Enigma&Krystal won!
Enigma grew to level 6!
Krystal grew to level 6!

~x~ Krystal’s POV ~x~

Phew. I was just born a few minutes ago, and I had already shown my power and defeated my first opponent. This Meowth, Enigma, seemed nice.
“Who are you?” I told the black Jolteon.
“But, Krys... I’m your mother, Chataigne.”
“Krys? Who is Krys?”
“You are Krys. Krystal, actually, but we’ll call you Krys.”
“Mommy?”
I finally realized the Jolteon was my mother. The Meowth was probably my sister.
“Hm? What do you want, Krys?”
“Is Eenaikma my sister?”
“No, I am not your sister” said the Meowth. “And my name is Enigma, Ay-nee-gma.”
I looked at Enigma. She had a black fur, too. Then, I saw a Vaporeon. He was smiling.
“You can call me Uncle Acajou, little Krys” said the Vaporeon.

~x~ Tooana’s POV ~x~

“Chataigne!” I said. “Light just let me out of my ball. She told me something had happened. What?”
“Mommy... ahem, Tooana! I... have a son, Krystal. The little Eevee hiding behind Eni’s back.”
I didn’t believe her, at first.
“You? You, Chataigne, the little Eevee who was always annoying her brother?”
“Please, don’t make me remember these days.... I’ve grown up now, you know.”
I laughed. Chataigne, grown up? She was still the same, at least for me.
“Tooana! I missed you. Why didn’t you get out of your ball?” said Acajou.
“Well, Acajou, I needed to think about the team...Who are these pokemon?”
“Our new teammates. You already know Krys, but there’s also Aidane...” he said, pointing at a Bulbasaur. “and Joyau.” I noticed the Tentacool on Axolotl’s head.
“Tooana...you were... like a mother for me.... and... well... maybe you could.... tell me... do you think I’ll be a good mother for Krys?” said my little Chataigne.
“I don’t know, Chataigne, but you aren’t alone... there’s me and Eni, and Light, and also Honoo, who is so kind and peaceful, and he is probably the best father Silver and Will could have... If you need advice, we’re there, you know that.”
“Thanks, Tooana. Thanks for being there.”
I saw a smile on her black face and knew she still needed me. After all, she hadn’t her parents with her, she only had me. I couldn’t just lock myself up in my own ball...
“I will always be there, now, Chataigne.”
_______________________________________________

Meh, that's the longest battle I ever wrote(at least in English...) ^.^
Well, I hope I haven't made too much grammar mistakes, and I have to say I quite liked that battle :round: .

Oh, and I'd like a time extension, please^^-.

Moonlight Espeon
28th November 2004, 10:42 AM
It still says Psychic the first time, Kelly. Anyway, Crystal already knows what type her Hidden Power is; you don't need to tell her (not to mention announcing the type in advance provides important information to your opponent). By the way, Surf can be used as long as there's humidity in the air, but it's ok for a new trainer not to know that.

I didn't quite understand the paragraph that says "It suddenly hit me what was going on here. This Pokemon wasn’t right in the head. It was somehow messed up. I didn’t want to linger on it, but I also knew that it would be quite a job to knock this Rattata out because I knew that it had an alternate source of energy." What did you mean?

And the rockets were bluffing all along, right? Otherwise I don't see why they would run off as soon as they lost a pokemon battle, if they looked so threatening at the begining.

I could assume the first "Psychic" says "Flying" and give you some stamps now, but I'll give you the chance to edit your post in case you want to make any other changes.

The first Psychic is supposed to say Flying, yes. I edited that in just now.
Sorry about that Surf thing. >_<;
Um, I don't exactly know what I was doing, I got into some Colosseum thing where I was making it a shadow Pokemon for some odd reason. o_o Fixed that and changed it to something else too.
Yes, they were bluffing, the whole thing is is that they were only lying to make themselves look tough when they weren't really tough at all.

Lady Vulpix
28th November 2004, 01:01 PM
Thanks for fixing it, Kelly. You can have 8 stamps now. :) ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

classy_cat18
30th November 2004, 03:05 PM
I'm sorry I haven't written anything in a while. My laptop's modem's busted and my mom is taking it in for repairs tomorrow. Can I have an extension to the scenario?

Charizard04621
30th November 2004, 03:36 PM
Sure, problem understood. >_< Have your extension! :)

LightNinetales
30th November 2004, 03:57 PM
I'm not sure someone saw my post, so I'll repost the most interesting part of it: can I have an extension please? ^.-

Charizard04621
30th November 2004, 03:59 PM
Yeah, too many colors... And it was right at the end, lol. Sorry about that. Yes, you can have an extension too. :)

Kerel
30th November 2004, 08:56 PM
I'd like to have a Random Battle from "Free Range Corral" for Bruce (zangoose level 7).

Lady Vulpix
1st December 2004, 11:45 AM
I saw and read it, LightNinetales. But it takes time for us to rate battles. You've already been given the extension, though since everyone's asking for one I don't think it's time to change the scenario yet. You can have 8 stamps for your battle. I found it strange that Krystal was talking and battling as soon as he was born (he reminded me of Karin's Dratini, Elwing). And how did Kusa know what type Sparkle's Hidden Power would be? I liked the rest of the story. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Kerel, that will be 7 stamps (leaving you with 1). Bruce is going to battle a Tauros. Have fun writing!

Kirei
1st December 2004, 11:55 AM
Can I have an extension too please? I have been too busy lately fighting with Alan to write much! :196:

Lady Vulpix
1st December 2004, 12:03 PM
Yes, though, as I've said in my post right above yours, the scenario isn't about to change yet.

LightNinetales
1st December 2004, 12:15 PM
I saw and read it, LightNinetales. But it takes time for us to rate battles.

I know that. I just wanted my extension, I didn't ask for a rate^.^


I found it strange that Krystal was talking and battling as soon as he was born (he reminded me of Karin's Dratini, Elwing). And how did Kusa know what type Sparkle's Hidden Power would be?

Krystal is very, very smart, actually. None of my other pokemon had to battle just after being born...
Well, I'll try to explain that more in the next battle.
Sparkle's Hidden Power type...well, it was so obvious...
When an Elekid loves flowers and is always talking with grass pokemon, its Hidden Power type can't be anything else than Grass...^.~

*has to finish her next battle*

Skye
4th December 2004, 12:57 AM
Apuntes:
Darkfire's thoughts are in red
Rayne's thoughts are in brown
Darkfire's memories are in red, bold, italics
Naois and Amaris do not battle
This battle was written a while ago, so many Pokemon I have are not mentioned.
I have a valid extension.
Ch 1 is way better that Ch 2 description and length wise, but I think the battles are better here.
Not at all Dragon Tamer accurate, and I've decided to not change my writtings at all, because of what happens in later Chapters.
Too much Spanish class. X_x

******************

-What Was-

Throughout history, there have been stories and legends. Myths about people and creatures who have succeeded in defeating any challenge of life, some later being defeated by another ‘hero’. These ‘heroes’ came in all shapes and sizes, famed in one culture or another for their valiant efforts. Striving to do the impossible, and they seem to always succeed in they stories.

And then there are the antagonists, the evil opposing the protagonist. Those who are enemies to the heroes, determined to be the power that stops them from defeating life’s challenge. Every time, they seem to be defeated by the protagonist, the hero. But if they had not been overthrown, how would if effect us today? Are these really just stories, or are they an ancient history so old, no one remembers them as such? And what if the hero was also the evil? Would some force of blinding goodness or a shadow of another evil defeat the dark protagonist?

And what if we are all heroes to be taken down some day. Only the Earth herself knows. Only she has witnessed all that has really happened. Only she can see the patterns of ages, and decipher the destiny of each living being on her surface. So, then. What if YOU are the evil?

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Darkfire lurched forward, landing hard on her hands and knees. Her eyes burned from he water, bringing tears to her eyes. She coughed heavily, spitting water up from her throat and lungs onto the hard floor in front of her. Her body shivered violently from its close brush against death, and her mind raced, wondering what had happened. Gasping and coughing still, she picked her head up and looked around. There was nothing to this room. Quite literally. No color, no furniture, no reason. Only darkness. Shadow upon shadow. No one was there, in this dark forsaken room, and yet Darkfire felt her hair stand on end. No matter what she saw, her instincts screamed that she was not alone.

She forced herself to stop gulping in air in noisy, grateful gasps, and listened. There were voices, whispering. She could see no details of the room, no matter how hard she tried. It was pitch black, so thick, she was almost afraid she would choke on it and drowned. She breathed very carefully from this unreasonable fear, and tried to catch snatches of conversation. Yet the voices seemed to circle her, making it hard to pinpoint them. Their tones rise and fall, almost a soothing motion of emotion. Who or whatever THEY are. That last thought set Darkfire on her guard.

The circling voices seemed to stop, ceasing their conversation. Darkfire felt that she was now their center of attention. She tried to stand up in an attempt to veil her utter exhaustion, but her limbs were unable to move. To cover her weakness, she went to her second plan and sat cross-legged on the floor, waiting patiently. As soon as she was seated, a fire sparked inf front of her, fuel by the nothingness. Darkfire blinked, but looked into the fire. She then realized that if anyone tried to sneak up on her, she would be half blind from this.

Wary, she looked away, only to notice that the fire’s light in her eyes had not effected her vision. Neither, however, did the fire penetrate the darkness. She was still blind, with the fire her only vision. The room, once cold enough to freeze the water on her skin, had now warmed drastically. It burned her skin sharply for a short time, but soon was a perfect temperature in a matter of moments. Knowing that this was some odd dream, Darkfire growled challengingly at her captors, whoever they were.

“What in Blood do you want with me? Why am I here?” She snapped. She felt shock emit from the others in the room. She smirked at them calmly, then paused as she found herself completely dry. Now, this IS a weird dream. Darkfire growled in fury.

“And Who Are You To Swear By The Sacred Blood, Human!?” One of the voices snapped.

“Darkfire.” She narrowed her eyes. “Darkfire Storm, and I do as I want. No one can stop me.”

“Are you so certain?” Another voice purred as if in amusement as her serious comment. Darkfire felt her hackles rise as she realized that these voices were neither masculine nor feminine. And that they seemed to echo around her in an intimidating fashion.

“If anyone were to try and stop me, they would have done so or failed.” Darkfire replied smoothly, shoving her fear away and letting her anger make her bold. “Want to try me?”

“I Would Gladly Set You In Your Place, Whelp.” The first voice growled. “Unfortunately, Or Fortunately For You, We have Very Little Time.”

“Chicken.” Darkfire sneered.

“Chicken? What Does Food Have To Do With-” It was cut off by a third voice.

“Enough of this. Darkfire, if you look at the people you are with, you will realize that allies and enemies are only a term they use. You must decide whose side your on.”

“I already know. I’m on my side. No one stands with me.” She paused at this. She would mention that Rayne was also on her side, but she didn’t dare call unwanted attention to him. Dream or not, she had to be careful.

“Your Side Will Perish. You Have To Choose, Or You Will Fail.” The second voice warned, forgetting her comment on chicken.

“Well, too bad for me. I’m out of here.”

“Wait, Darkfire. You must find the Gentle Warrior and the Dark Spy...” What else the third voice had to say was lost to Darkfire as she vanished completely from the black room.

She reappeared, lying down and soaked in water, on the dock. Rayne was watching her anxiously, and behind him, Cyndane was looking at her as well. Darkfire’s eyes opened, and she studied them both hard before giving a light half smile.

“What? Haven’t you two ever seen a soaked female human?” She taunted, all memories of her dream forgotten. Rayne hissed in relief, while Cyndane just shook his head. Darkfire sighed and forced her aching body to sit up.

“Perhaps you shouldn’t move.” Cyndane warned her.

“I’m fine! Just because I nearly drowned doesn’t mean I can’t move!” Darkfire snapped. Perhaps a bit too harshly as Cyndane fliched at her tone and averted his gaze. “Ah, come on, Cyndane...” Darkfire really felt bad now. Blood, someone actually cares about what could happen to me, and I go right off, trying to hurt them. She growled at him, but he still didn’t look at her. Oddly, Darkfire remembered that she had done the same thing to him before. “Rayne, sic ‘em!”

Rayne eyed her for a moment before going up to Cyndane, obviously intent on using his sharp, powerful claws against him. Cyndane looked at Rayne and began backing away. Darkfire sighed. Again, too harsh. Rayne stopped and went back to Darkfire, obviously knowing that she had changed her mind. She put her hand lightly on his shell. He thrummed lightly in response.

“Hey, look, Cyndane... I...” But old pride stopped her there. Besides, she was really his enemy, not his friend. Yet still. Darkfire reminded herself. I should pretend to like him. It would be a good cover. “I’m just not used to anyone really caring.” She finished. Really, it was a half lie, but it made Cyndane look back at her, his expression startled.

“Really? How come?” He inquired.

Darkfire shook her head in response and forced herself to stand. Cyndane took a step towards her, but stopped when she glared fiercely at him. She could tell that her reactions had again disheartened him, if only through her sense of people. He actually looked completely emotionless and uncaring, but she felt his sorrow at her harsh attitude toward him.

“Nor am I used to feeling so weak.” She admitted, startling herself at her sudden openness. She swiftly hid it, however. “Where I come from, the weak get hurt... Often.” Darkfire concluded and looked away.

“And old habits die hard.” Cyndane mused, even looking much more relaxed now that he believed he knew something about her.

“You have no idea...” She muttered. She then glanced at her Pokemon and arched an eyebrow at him, “What are you looking at?” She glared at him, listening to him hiss back at her for snapping at him, then thrum in amusement. She felt herself relax as well, somewhat pleased that Rayne recognized their similarities as well. Though his joking anger confused her, Perhaps we are not a similar as I thought.

Cyndane heard her first remark and frowned but wisely didn’t press on it. Instead, he hid his frown before he thought Darkfire had seen. She looked back at him, smiling mockingly. He arched an eyebrow in response, making Darkfire chuckle.

“I saw that,” she taunted “and I’m leaving.”

“Maybe you should let a doctor look at you.” Cyndane suggested.

“There is no way you’re getting me near a doctor!” Darkfire’s ease vanished in the blink of an eye as she glared defiantly at Cyndane. “I dare you to try it.” She growled.

She nearly jumped in shock when Cyndane began to laugh at her. She glanced uncertainly at Rayne, who returned the glance in his own surprise. I wondered how sane he was. Now I believe I know, she thought. The dream slowly came back at her thought. Gentle warrior, dark spy.

She shook her head, and motioned to Rayne. He gestured back with a fore claw before Darkfire recalled him to his Pokeball. Cyndane had stopped laughing as he watched this exchange. He gave Darkfire a questioning glance while arching an eyebrow in such a manner that she had to bite her tongue to keep from laughing at him.

“You look like a Growlithe that was just told to use Water Gun.” She managed before she began to snicker at him.

“I suppose I do. Not many people confuse me as much as you do.”

“I’m just the bad girl playing with the good boy’s mind,” she replied. It then occurred to her how odd that sounded. Gentle warrior…Dark spy…? Are they talking about me and…Cyndane? She frowned at him, studying him. No. They can’t mean us.

“Now you look like a Growlithe that realized she can’t use Water Gun,” he teased.

“I’m going,” she replied and left.

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Cyndane watched Darkfire leave. She was still unsteady on her legs and it was no wonder. The Gods alone know what happened to her. One moment drowning, then gone. Vanished. And when he had come down to see what had become of the novice, Dragon Tamer, she had reappeared on the dock.

Now, he watched the form of another figure fill the doorway. Cyndane nodded in greeting to the other Tamer, going habitually back to an emotionless state of mind. As he did this, it then hit him that Darkfire had pushed him out of his old habits. Another thing about her to confuse him.

“She fights too rough,” the figure commented.

“I watched,” Cyndane replied.

“I’m going to have to correct that.”

“By all means, try.”

“You don’t think I can defeat her?”

“No. I think she is too determined to accept even the defeat of death. But, try. She wants the challenge.”

“You have faith that she could defeat me?”

Cyndane didn’t reply right away. He simply closed his eyes in thought. He felt the figure smirk at him, but chose to ignore him. He had actually watched Darkfire talk to Rayne, almost as if she understood him. It seemed impossible to him. Only people that have been with their Pokemon for a long time ever established such a communication. Or, those lucky few that gained an item or ability…Again he pondered over the bond that was there.

“Ah. I see. You like her. A bit young for you, but she seems to be older than normal mentally.”

Cyndane looked at him, feeling a slight heat creeping to his face. His mind went blank for a moment, leaving him at a loss for words. His mind went blank for a moment leaving him at a loss for words. The other laughed at him then.

“Well, looks like little Cyndane likes the younger women!”

Cyndane glared coldly at the other, his eyes narrowed dangerously. His mind cleared and the flush vanished in an instant. The other Dragon Tamer stopped laughing when he noticed Cyndane’s hand stray to his Scyther’s Pokeball. He paled and murmured that he was late for an appointment before hurrying away swiftly.

Once he was gone, Cyndane relaxed. Apparently his old, more violent reputation still haunted around.

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

After making a few stops, Darkfire decided to look in on the adoption centers again. She went first to the Dragon Tamer’s, but nothing there seemed to suit her, so she soon found herself going to the PokeZoo.

Inside, she immediately saw two Pokemon that caught her eye, a Charmander and an Absol. The Charmander had a powerful build, and emitted an aura of silent strength that attracted Darkfire’s complete attention. The Absol was young, her eyes shifting curiously and limitless energy pent up within her.

She wasted no time in adopting the pair before heading down to the training grounds, naming the two new additions. Naois the Charmander and Amaris the Absol...

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Darkfire almost yawned. The snow seemed to be falling in thicker clumps than when they had come in. The wind howled, screeching loudly as it attacked and bit at her bare face and hands. Rayne followed stiffly behind her, his movements slow. She stopped, looking back at him. It was obvious just how miserable her stubborn Pokemon was.

“Rayne,” Darkfire shouted above the freezing winds. They blew into her mouth and down into her throat. Darkfire coughed, feeling as if she had just swallowed her own words. Speaking louder, she all but shouted, “Rayne!”

Her Kabuto stopped and looked up at her. The normal glow in his eyes had died down. They were both exhausted and nearly frozen. Darkfire noticed that ice had begun to form around his legs and around his shell.

“We have to turn back!” She shouted. Much to her surprise Raynes’s eyes glowed brightly and he hissed angrily. “We’ll come back, I promise! But, we need more-” Rayne hissed again and shoved forward, brushing sharply past Darkfire. She blinked, staring after him. She then realized that she had been acting just as weak as a Tamer, talking about what COULDN’T be done instead of what WOULD be done!

Sighing in irritation at her actions, Darkfire plowed after Rayne. She found him waiting, balanced back on his hind claws, fore claws crossed in front of him defensively. Darkfire looked past him and spotted another Pokemon in front of them. It had a rounded out medium length snout. Really, all of its body was rounded. Its ears were round on its fat, round head, balanced on a fat, round body, seemingly with no neck. Its legs were thick and short, and it had a thick and long tail. Its round eyes stared dumbly at Darkfire and her defensive Kabuto. Darkfire narrowed her own eyes at the fat, pink, Water-Psychic creature in front of them. A Slowpoke!

Most people wouldn’t consider a Slowpoke a threat, but Darkfire remembered the genetically enhanced Slowpoke that she had seen being trained up at the base she had been taken to while receiving her current assignment. She heard a rusty click overhead and looked up briefly to see the usual scoring board lowering itself down over the two Pokemon. According to this the Slowpoke is Level 15…


Rayne’s fight! Rayne (11) Vs. Slowpoke (15)

“Rayne, Confuse Ray!” Darkfire swiftly averted her eyes before the attack began. She counted to five before looking back; triumphantly noting that Slowpoke looked even more dazed than before. It blinked slowly, weaving its head as if trying to look at multiple things at once. Rayne dug his claws firmly into the ground to keep a sudden gust from blowing him away.

“Great!” Darkfire shouted. She glanced up at the board, noting that the storm had been draining Rayne’s health. “Absorb, now!” Time to get some health back.

Rayne nodded in agreement and withdrew his claws from the ground. He then advanced steadily on Slowpoke, deadly intent in his eyes. When he had moved forward a few feet, closing the gap between himself and his dazed opponent, Rayne decided that this was as close to the Psychic-Water type as he wanted to get. He stopped, and an eery white glow engulfed his body and that of his opponent as well. Darkfire noted the attack’s damage on the board with satisfaction. Though when the attack stopped, and while Rayne looked much better, Slowpoke looked no worse than it had before. It looked at them, the daze cleared and it yawned Yawned…

“Ice Beam!” Darkfire shot out. Rayne blinked, startled. Then he picked his fore claws up and created a sphere of light blue energy. He quickly fired the result a powerful beam of pure ice, shooting directly at Slowpoke. It was still yawning. The ice hit Slowpoke and began to spread over it. It surprised both Darkfire and Rayne to see the ice cover and ensnare their opponent so easily. Fighter and trainer glanced warily at on another. At least the Yawn seem to have failed.

Darkfire looked back at their frozen opponent. “Are you alright Rayne?” Rayne thrummed and faced the battle screen. Darkfire looked as well. Rayne’s health was better and Slowpoke’s health had a huge chunk missing. So much for the Tamer’s perfect system, Darkfire smirked.

“Absorb!” She was almost laughing now. Oh, this is so easy!

Rayne thrummed and faced his frozen opponent already glowing. Darkfire closed her eyes, imagining herself in Rayne’s position. Determined to prove her power, allied with a trainer that felt the same way. She wished briefly that she could feel the power that he felt, to be able to see through his eyes. She felt herself flush in embarrassment at the wish. I can’t be childish! I have a job to do!

Darkfire sighed mentally. Slowpoke was being recalled by a trainer veiled in snow. No matter to her. With Rayne she looked up to see his new status.


Rayne is victorious! Rayne grows to Level 13, but learns no attacks

Rayne clawed back over to Darkfire, his movement’s exaggerated, proud strutting strides. Darkfire smiled softly. Rayne has proven himself again and I am ashamed at my lack of faith in him and in his abilities. Still smiling she walked through the snow to meet him.

“I am an idiot.” She remarked. Rayne thrummed in reply obviously amused at her apology. “Care to head back for a quick refresh before we battle again?”

The Kabuto paused a moment in thought before nodding his agreement. Darkfire smiled again, but knew better than to offer to recall Rayne to his Pokeball. It still felt odd, thinking of anyone or anything being so close to her, but she knew that Rayne was just like her.

Shivering slightly, she turned and began to trek back through the snow, Rayne following. Darkfire kept her head down, fighting against the cold with determined silence. Her breathing was becoming painful, her body aching with numbness. The cold was finally sinking into her harshly, burning her through the thick clothing that she was wearing.

After only a few minutes, Darkfire noticed that she had begun to slow down. She bared her teeth angrily at the blizzard that whipped around them before stopping to check on Rayne. He looked even worse than before, much to Darkfire’s dismay. Logically, the Lava and Blizzard Rooms are the hardest…The Pond was surprisingly easy…The Desert and Jungle Rooms may be somewhat easier. I just hope that I’m not asking too much from Rayne. Darkfire stopped then, a small smile of amusement on her face. When she thought about it, how foreign caring about Rayne seemed, she was surprised how naturally the feelings came.

Rayne stopped by her feet, looking straight ahead. He didn’t need to motion or make any sort of indication for Darkfire to realize that what he saw demanded urgent attention. She followed his gaze with her own eyes and blinked at what she saw. Directly in their path stood a trainer, a Tamer. He was watching them calmly, a solo Pokeball in his possession. Darkfire was acutely aware that she had two other Pokeballs on her own belt containing Naois and Amaris.

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Rayne noticed Darkfire glare at the other Dragon Tamer while she brushed her fingers over Naois’s and Amaris’ Pokeball. He knew that she wouldn’t call them out into battle, here and now. She had promised that Rayne alone would battle in the training grounds. His twenty levels would be gained before she began to battle with the Charmander and Absol.

He kept his gaze focused on the opponent in front of them. Any trainer confrontation usually meant a battle. Any battle meant that he would fight. He hissed impatiently at Darkfire, aching to begin his next battle. She gestured to him to be patient, making him hiss at her again.

“I am the person who trains the Water Pokemon at the training grounds. I have received a notice that you and you Kabuto have been defeating my Pokemon with too much ease. Therefore, I am here, now, to test you myself.”

“We are going to the Center to freshen up. We would be glad to accept you challenge another time,” Darkfire called to the nameless Tamer.

“No! You and I shall battle here and now. You owe me that much at the lease, after what you both have done to my Mud Kip.” He drew out his solo Pokeball and opened it. In a flash of color, another Slowpoke materialized. Another Slowpoke! Rayne advanced as the status screen lowered between them. Rayne’s trainer sighed in irritation, but when Rayne glanced back at her he saw that her shoulders were back, her head held high and her eyes narrowed. He doubted that Darkfire knew that she did this, but he had seen it at the beginning of every battle. These were her signed that she was ready to fight. He turned back to the off colored, shiny Slowpoke who was also ready to fight.


Rayne’s Fight! Rayne (13) Vs. Slowpoke (15)

“Rayne, opening shot of Ice Beam!” Darkfire shouted above the howling blizzard. Rayne hissed and reared back onto his hind claws, holding his fore claws up in front of him. A familiar blue orb of power and deadly energy formed between the points of his claws. Rayne wasted no time before firing his attack, sending a beam of solid raging ice at his opponent. A steady, light purple glow consumed his attack. Startled and wary, Rayne cut his attack short. The ice twisted, and came right back at him! Rayne didn’t even have time to brace himself before his own attack pounded into him. He was sent flying back a few feet before landing in a snowdrift.

He lay there, struggling to breathe properly, the pain and humiliation of being struck with his own attack burning within every fiber of his being. Darkfire, he could feel, was radiating anger, surprise and concern in waves.

“All of that, and it couldn’t even take on little Confusion attack.” The unnamed trainer laughed.

“Sorry to burst you pathetic bubble,” Darkfire sneered, “but we’re not finished yet! Rayne, Confuse Ray!” When she becomes angry, her energy shoots up…almost as if she is fighting with me, thought Rayne.

Rayne, encouraged, plowed out of the snow mound and fired his Confuse Ray. Both trainer and Pokemon were caught off guard, and both were temporarily blinded by the flash of power he fired. But, as their eyes cleared, Rayne had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. It soon became painfully clear that Slowpoke was not confused.

“A tough creature you have there, but Slowpoke’s Own Tempo trait is obviously very useful, don’t you agree?” Rayne hissed while Darkfire growled. “Now, Confusion!”

“Down and Harden!” Darkfire countered an uneasy note in her voice. The attack itself wasn’t meant to block out the damage done by Special Type Attacks. However, it was a good improvisational defensive move, helping Rayne prepare himself to endure whatever attack was going to be used. Obedient to Darkfire’s strategy, Rayne lowered himself onto the snow, drawing white energy over his shell, just as a particularly nasty pocket of wind and snow lashed out overhead. Rayne barely felt it; however, as he was rigidly awaiting Slowpoke’s painful attack. For a few seconds, he became fiercely aware that the wind above him had deposited a thin layer of snow over his exceptionally hard shell. It was a short while later, when no attack came, that Rayne realized the Darkfire’s strategy had no been to help Rayne endure the doming attack, but to keep him from being attacked in the first place.

“No games, girl,” Slowpoke’s trainer growled, “Fight or forfeit, I’m not waiting!”

“I’m not playing.” Rayne heard Darkfire reply smugly, “I’m winning. Absorb!”

Rayne cast out his newest Grass Type attack, easily locating this stationary opponent. Without reveling himself, he began to drain of off-colored Pokemon of its’ health and energy. A mixture of warmth and energy filled him, helping to sustain him and keep him active and alert. He knew that Slowpoke was now feeling the exact opposite, as if it was freezing, its joints stiffening painfully. It gave a pained mutter and tried to move out of Rayne’s attack range, instead moving until it was right on top of Rayne.

“Scratch it up!” Darkfire saw the opportunity and disregarding the risks, was telling Rayne to attack. Also recognizing and dismissing the risks, Rayne surged up from under Slowpoke, sinking his claws into and slashing though his opponent’s tender flesh. Blood covered them both, splashing over Rayne’s shell and slicking off to stain the snow. His opponent cried out in agony and scrambled blindly back.

“Psychic!” the enemy trainer called out desperately

“Absorb!” Darkfire was dead tense now. If the Psychic attack was earned through, neither she nor Rayne knew if he would survive.

Slowpoke stopped its retreat and turned to face Rayne, a deadly glow consuming its body. Rayne tried to follow through with his own attack, but his mind and body would not allow him to continue on. He was dimly aware of being lifted into the air, and then all he knew was immense pain.

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Darkfire was a mess of emotions, but the feeling that came out as strangest was pure rage. Anger, hatred and almost any related emotion that could be felt surged through her. It was the thought that anyone could imagine her and her Pokemon as so weak that burned all rational thought from her mind. It was the kind of rage that, if left unchannelled and uncontrolled, resulted in the affected person being in an even worse spot than they were before.

Her heart pounding in her ears, she watched Rayne flail in agony as he was lifted into the air. She bit the inside of her cheek until blood flowed into her mouth. Chaos alone is weak. Controlled it is unbeatable! She mentally recited until her mind cleared. A new strategy hit her so hard that she nearly swore aloud at her idiotic blindness to it before. She noted that Slowpoke was indeed close to Rayne, having pulled its suffering opponent closer. If it had lost that much blood now, one or two more strikes would be its end. “Absorb!” She shouted out, feeling determination to beat this opponent, the first real challenge she had received since coming here.

For a few seconds Rayne didn’t react to her voice, making Darkfire question his true strength in battle. But soon, he was drawing on Slowpoke’s strength and energy. It jerked in surprise and pain, dropping Rayne as it tried to escape the tormenting attack. Rayne got up and scurried after it, his eyes gleaming dangerously as he sought revenge.

“Scratch it!” Darkfire commanded. She added Psychic powers to the list of things that she hated.

Rayne swiftly closed in on the Slowpoke and swiftly raked his claws through its soft skin again. It cried out again before passing out from its pain, fatigue, and blood loss. The board flashed, changing:


Rayne is Victorious! Rayne grows to Level 15, but learns no attacks

The opposing Tamer recalled his defeated Shiny Slowpoke and favored Darkfire with a glare. She smirked in return and motioned to Rayne. He came back over, looking weary but happy. No wonder, Darkfire realized, This was our fourth fight. Eight Levels already come and gone.

“Very good.” She praised Rayne, who nodded in reply, “Let’s go before we turn the room red.” Rayne glanced at the blood soaked snow and hissed. She then realized that he didn’t like fighting using this style. “We’ll work on it.” She assured him before turning and leaving. She heard Rayne hiss again before following her.

****************** ****************** ****************** ****************** ******************

Darkfire sat alone in the Pokemon Center, her eyes closed. Fate had brought Rayne to her for a reason. Always fate. She knew that she was alone, but she still firmly held back her unshed tears. She wasn’t weak. She despised the weak, she would weed out the weak and obliterate them. But she realized that she had been weak. Rayne had seen it and had been disgusted with her. Cold, cruel memories flooded through her mind unforgivingly.

She was only five, wantering the cold streets in winter. She had numerous burns on her skin, and was covered in blood. It wasn’t only her blood, pouring from her injuries, but the blood of her parents, her siblings, their Pokemon... She whimpered weakly and collapsed onto her knees, shadows closing in on her...

Darkfire roughly shoved away the memory, not even wanting to think about what came after. In a time when she had yet to become Darkfire, when she had been weak. However, the damage had been done, and tears finally came.

Lady Vulpix
8th December 2004, 01:24 PM
And Darkfire gets... veinticuatro estampillas. (I liked your 'apuntes'). Though I'm curious, how did using Harden prevent Rayne from being attacked? ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Skye
8th December 2004, 01:49 PM
Gracis. I wish I was certain exactly how many that is... I'll have to count. ^_^U

And Harden doesn't stop the attack, it just reduces the damage. I had my mom type it out, so she might have changed parts of it. I didn't get the chance to reread all of it. ^_^U But I think I know what part you're reffering to. The snow just covered Rayne up, and Slowpoke couldn't see him, and the attack couldn't be dealt properly without a visual target... I hope that makes some sense... *starts hand counting Stamps* I need to work on my Spanish more....

Lady Vulpix
8th December 2004, 03:37 PM
Ah, that's 24 stamps, sorry.
So your mother helps you write your stories? That's a first as far as I know. Does she like pokemon?

Skye
8th December 2004, 05:09 PM
No problem. I'm still learning Spanish, so I'm a bit slow. But when I guessed, I came out with 24, so GO ME! ^_^U And mom edits my stories. It's hard to correct your own work. I can spend hours trying to find what she can in fifteen minutes. She's alright with Pokemon, but no real fan. I don't try to push her into it, because if I annoy her, I lose my editor. But besides editing, she also gives me some comments. But besides that, I write everything else on my own. though for the last part I put up, I wrote it in a notebook, and I had to get my mom to type it because I got super lazy. ^_^U

I think I'll stop being off topic though. So for an FYI, all of my training ground battles will be out of date because I already have my ideas down and I don't really want to change them. I'll start being in date again for the Crimson Blade battle and such. There.. Now that I added that, i don't feel quite so bad. ^_^U

Lady Vulpix
11th December 2004, 12:29 PM
<Gabi's POV>

"I'm fed up with this scene," I thought to myself. I took a look at my alarm clock. 6:12 AM. I could have bet I wouldn't be able to get up for another 3 hours, maybe even 4. "Don't think about it or it will happen," I scolded myself.

I was reaching the end of yet another restless night. I'd had too many of those lately. I couldn't get myself to sleep till about an hour after I lied down, and then I'd wake up every hour or so. Then in the mornings I'd usually need help sitting up because of my low blood pressure, and even then my body would try to pull me back into my bed because it hadn't had enough sleep. The reason? Tension, I assumed. The effects of my huge to-do list combined with all that was going on and the uncertainty of when the whole situation would explode on our faces, and of what we would do when it happened. But this time it was even worse than the previous nights. This time I could hear my heartbeats in my head and I couldn't shake the awful feeling that something was about to go horribly wrong.

"Why?," I asked myself. "What makes this day different from any other? Why am I feeling this way?"
"Because it starts today," said an ominous voice inside my mind which, scarily enough, I recognized as my own.
I looked down at my chest and noticed that my white pendant was glowing. There was no room left to doubt. Unexpectedly, I managed to sit up.

I imagined knocks on my door. A second later, reality echoed my thoughts.
"Now that's more like it," I said to myself. "The useless psychic powers I know and love."
A slight smile made its way across my face. If I didn't keep some humor inside me, I'd go insane.
"Come in," I said.
The door was slowly pushed open, revealing the image of a worried Dragonite.
"Figures," I sighed. "Come in, please. Are you restless too?"
"Half the team is," Lagi answered, walking into my room and standing next to me. "But I was especially worried about you."
"About me? Why?"
"Let me once more tell you what you already know. You've been pushing yourself too hard, stressing yourself to the limit and now when you were feeling like you were about to collapse, everything changed suddenly and exhaustion gave way to fear, uncertainty to sad realization... How could I possibly not worry about you?"
I let out a sigh with a bit of laughter in it.
"Caring and motherly to the end, aren't you?"
"Yes, but this is not the end," she affirmed. "Now will you please tell me what's going on?"
"She and me both," said a voice above my head. I looked up and saw Ventura hovering above me.
"Yes, just come down because my neck hurts," I told my Venomoth friend, who decided to land on my bed. "I'll tell you what I know, which really isn't much. Something bad is about to happen, and it's starting today. I think it may have something to do with the Rocket attack we'd been expecting for some time now, but I can't be sure since you know how vague my premonitions are even with the stone."
I held my glowing stone in my hand as I said this.
"Then maybe you should let someone else try to figure it out," Ventura suggested.
"No offense, but I'm not sure giving it to you would help. Have you ever..."
"Not me, Caledor," she interrupted me. "He's done it before, hasn't he?"
"Oh... Yes, he has," I remembered. "He's used the stone before, but if I remember correctly, all it did was make him glow purple."
"But that was before he developed his psychic abilities... No, developed's not the word... Before he started manifesting them. He hasn't really developed them yet, but it's worth a shot."
"Ok, we'll try. Just let me finish getting up," I asked her and Lagi.

I stood up and went on with my morning ritual. When I emerged from the bathroom, Lagi and Ventura followed me to the kitchen for breakfast. I was surprised to find Caledor and Iael already there.
"I told you half the team was restless," Lagi reminded me.
"What's going on?," asked Iael.
"We don't know yet."
"I don't know but I don't like it," said Caledor. "All those long and gloomy faces? Come on! It can't be worse than everything we've already faced! I think what we need is a little game to cheer us all up."
"Not now, Caledor," Ventura told him.
"Bah, spoilsport. You don't have to play if you don't want to. But in my opinion you could use some fun. Maybe more than anyone else here. I don't recall you laughing even once since we first met."
"Then your memories are wrong. I have laughed... a few times at least. But I can tell when the situation calls for us to be serious."
"Me too, and those are the moments when a good laugh is needed the most."
"Do you realize you'll never come to an agreement on that topic?," I pointed out. "Everyone has their own way to handle the tension, but I think we should focus on how to deal with the problem... Whatever it is."
"Let me get this straight," Iael spoke out. "We're getting awfully worked up about a problem we know nothing about?"
"Basically yes," I chuckled noticing the absurdity of the situation. Caledor laughed in response, but Iael seemed even more serious than before.
"Then we're in trouble," the Stantler said.
"Does anyone want anything for breakfast? I think it will help us think more clearly. Tea, Gabi?"
"Have I become that predictable?," I laughed at myself knowing the answer. "Yes, please. Any variety will do."
"Camomile, then. And I'll have some too. Anyone else?"
"I'll have some cinnamon tea, but don't worry, I can make it myself," said a still sleepy-looking Charizard as she walked into the kitchen.
"Can I have some cheese?," asked Caledor before Amber asked the inevitable question.
"What's everyone doing up so early?"
"Will you believe that we don't know?," I told her. "I've been having this awful feeling and it seems I'm not the only one."
"Why don't we do what we can to verify it?," suggested Ventura. "You know my plan."
"Yes, I know. I just don't know if Caledor will agree with it."
"Me? Wha?," Caledor's ears perked up.
"Ventura would like you to touch the glowing stone and see if you get a premonition or something," I told him. "But I won't force you to do it if you're not ok with it."
The ever-so-joyful Espeon looked scared for a second.
"Ok..." he said. "I guess I can try, there's nothing to lose. I don't know to come out as a hypocrite. It's easy to laugh when everything's fine, the true art lies in laughing when things get tougher. So let's prove how good I am at laughing at this one."
His logic scared me, but I kneeled down and let him touch the stone with his paw.

Upon contact with the stone, Caledor's fur began to glow, and his gem adopted the same bright purple color. He put his paw down slowly, silently letting the light fade away, and looked up at the window.
"Are you alright?," I asked him.
"I'm always alright," he said, but his tone expressed the opposite.
"What did you see?"
"The sky... It's staying as black as it is now. Don't ask me why. I saw a few glimpses. I'm not a good psychic, you know. I saw Team Rocket members fighting each other, and many others running away scared. And then I saw..."
I looked at him waiting for him to finish the phrase, but he seemed to be having trouble with that. Lagi left the kettle and kneeled down to stroke Caledor's back. Her touch brought the smile back to his face.
"Thanks, Lagi. I know you're already a lot here, but please don't tell anyone you saw me like that. It'd ruin my reputation."
"It's ok," I said. "You don't have to say it if it hurts too much. I'm sorry I've exposed you to that."
"No, it's not that," he said. "Not at all. It's just that I can't make out exactly what I saw next, but it felt as if someone was after me. It scared me a little, you know, like one of those nightmares when you feel someone is after you. But that was all."
"Only that wasn't a nightmare," Amber pointed out. "It was a vision. So either someone is after you or you've tapped into the mind of someone who's being chased."
"Yeah, that could be it," Caledor reflected. "Anyway, it's gone now. We have an idea of what's going on, so now we can start getting ready for it and stop worrying about it."
"I'm shocked at how much you've matured lately," I commended Caledor.
"Are you talking to me?," he tried to make sure. "No way! You must be mixing things up."
"Maturing is not inherently a bad thing, you know," Ventura told him.
"I'm not saying it is. I'll just warn you that you shouldn't expect me to ever stop playing games, making jokes, laughing at everything and being just plain silly."
"I really hope you hold on to your word on that matter," I said, giving him a warm hug.
"Hey, maybe gloomy premonitions aren't such a bad thing after all!," Caledor exclaimed. "I've got stroked and hugged by two ladies in less than two minutes!"
"You don't have to be that silly," Ventura scolded him.
"What shall we do now?," asked Amber.
I meditated on it for a few moments.
"The only thing I can think of is calling for a DT meeting. There's no one else we can rely on right now. I could try to contact the people I still trust at the Guild, but this time we won't be able to lean on anyone's shoulders."
"I know," Amber nodded. "Will it be a DT staff meeting, or a broadcast to all Dragon Tamers?"
"Staff first, I think. There are some decisions we should make before getting the newer trainers involved, and most of the experienced ones are gone save for Ade who's probably one step ahead of us already. I'll try to contact him after we've talked to Amy and Karin."
"Are we going out now?," Iael queried, "or are we waiting until the others wake up?"
"Water Angel's already awake," Lagi informed us. "The only ones still sleeping are Sylvan, Hero and Tsunami."
"What about Pidgeot?," I asked.
"I wish I knew," Lagi said. "He's not in the house and Water Angel's worried sick about him. He must have left before I woke up."
"He takes the term 'early bird' to a whole new level," Caledor commented.
"He's been spending a lot of time outside lately," Amber noted. "I've tried to ask him what he was up to, but he wouldn't talk. I can understand Water Angel's concern. You guys don't think he's trying to pull a Scott, do you?"
"Going up against a dangerous and powerful force on his own? I really hope that's not the case," I reflected.
"It's probably the case," Iael argued. "He may not be trying to fight Team Rocket on his own, but he's definitely trying to find them. If I heard Mewtwo was back and plotting something, have no doubts that I'd be out there looking for him."
"I hope that never happens, but if it does, please don't," I told him. "You're not alone. Neither is Pidgeot. We're a team, and everyone should remember it. We're stronger together."
"True, but there are some things one can only deal with on their own," Lagi stated in a sad tone.

<Pidgeot's POV>

I was out early that morning, and I must admit I lost track of time. The sky wasn't helping me; it gave no signs of the passing of hours. That reminded me of a game Gabi normally talked about... only this was not a game. I realized something was wrong when the first pokemon started running across the streets in panic, or taking off into the air. Natus, Espeons and a few Smoochums. You can tell something's not right when the psychics start getting scared systematically. I wondered how everyone was at home, but now I didn't have time to go back and check on them. I was too close to finding out what was going on. And they were a strong team, they'd know what to do. I only felt sorry for Water Angel. She'd seen me go, and nothing she could say would stop me, but it still tore me to hurt her; to cause her to worry. But if I was right, this would bring me closer to ending her worries once and for all. Not only hers, but everyone else's too.

I'd been following tracks and rumors for many days now. I'd reached many dead ends, but now I was certain that I was on the right track. After all, I'd seen that Alakazam sitting casually at the front of that office building. And I'd never forget that face.

I hovered around the building for a minute, watching for anything that moved. It was dark and I couldn't see much, but I'd learnt that darkness could be my ally. There were planty of shadows to hide in, to spy on those inside the building without being noticed. It wasn't hard to get inside using my Faint Attack. The office I landed in was empty, and the door was open. It looked too much like a setup. I tried to convince myself that I'd be safe as long as my hammering heartbeats didn't reveal my position. After all, they considered me a failure; I couldn't be on their top 10 threats list.

I moved carefully along the corridors, until I heard the sound of voices. I followed the sound to its source. Some kind of conference seemed to be taking place. I reckoned that going where everyone was gathered wouldn't be safe, so I stayed in the shadows, trying to listen. What I heard was shocking. It seemed Team Rocket members were about to go on a war against each other. They could all kill each other as far as my wishes went, but I knew innocents would get hurt in the process. They always did. This war needed to be stopped before it went too far.

"I predicted this," a voice said behind me. I turned back to see it was the Alakazam. "It was just a matter of time. Now I wonder what side you'll be helping."
I looked at him, still hiding. He couldn't possibly see me, but...
"Come on, respond. I didn't let you watch all of this not to get an answer from you. You may come out of the shadows now, everyone else is too busy fighting each other to pay attention to us."
I decided to emerge. Staying hidden was pointless now.
"What do you want from me?," I asked.
"Haven't I made myself clear? I want to know what side you'll be on."
"I'm not one of you. I'm not going to help either side."
"Wait. They're starting to come out. Let's go somewhere less crowded."

The Alazakam teleported me to the top of the building. I was surprised... again. I thought he'd take me to an enclosed space, but instead he took me where I had the most room to maneuver. I wasn't too pleased with this either. My inability to predict his actions meant he was in control. I needed to change that somehow.
"I must admit I'm surprised," he told me once he made sure no one else was around. "I didn't expect you to embrace your dark side so soon."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," I emphasized.
"You know full well what I'm talking about. Using your dark powers to break into Team Rocket's facilities and try to spy on us... How much darker can you get?"
"Oh, dark in the literal sense of the word, you mean. You'll find there's a big difference between that and what others normally call dark."
"I see... does that mean you're still pretending to be Mr. Good Samaritan? Is that why you came here on your own?"
"I don't see why I should keep talking to you. You sicken me."
"What? Like poison?"
I couldn't stand the grin on his face. Why did he have to remember the one thing I hated the most?
"Come on, don't be such a chick," he continued. "We're big now. We've been big for quite some time, actually."
"If all you're gonna do is talk senselessly, I'm leaving."
"You'll leave when I let you," he said. "First I need to know. You've seen what DiAnnio's capable of. If his side wins, there'll be a massacre. No one will be safe. Are you going to help us? Or him?"
"Last time we met you didn't seem to think much of me. Why do you want my help all of a sudden?"
"You have powerful allies. I'd have to be blind not to notice."
"And you're against that lunatic because...?"
"I'm not sure if I should tell you this, but... what the hell; he's ordered the cancellation of AEP."
"Wow, for all his wrongs, I can't believe he did something good after all!"
"Don't be stupid. I know how much you hate our program, but he's not doing it for the good of your poor damaged soul. He's trying to dismantle everything Giovanni has constructed to replace it by something that's far worse. Even a dumbass like you has to understand that."
"Listen. I'm not going to help you. I'm happy that they'll stop torturing young pokemon and forcing them to evolve before they're ready; I'm not going to help either side. If anything, I'll do whatever I can to stop ALL of you."
"Oh, please, how STUPID can you be?! Don't you see? If you don't help us, you're helping them! I'm not even asking you to recognize the good AEP has done to you. But you MUST see the suffering the Crimson Blades will cause if they're not stopped!"
"I'm not saying I support them. I'm just saying I'll never side with you. I'll never work for Team Rocket. I think I've made that clear before."
"You mean before they dumped you for being unable to stay on your feet? Or that time at the Dragon Tamers party when you had to hide behind a shield in order to stand a chance against me? I seem to remember a scaly babe tried to stop me from hurting you before our battle began."
"This conversation ends now," I declared, ready to take off. But some sort of barrier stopped me.
"You wouldn't think I'd let you go if you're not going to help us," the Alakazam said. "You're every bit as dimwitted as you look. I can see why they branded you as a failure."

I turned to face him again. This wasn't my best day at all. I needed to think clearly - a hard thing to do when Team Rocket was involved, but the only way I'd be able to get out of there and tell my friends what was going on. I told myself not to fear. I was no longer the frightened little bird in a body too large for him and at the mercy of evil masters. I was stronger now; and wiser. Moreover, I'd beaten that same Alakazam once before. I'd had my friends to back me up at that time, but I'd defeated him by myself. I could do it again.


Level 60 Pidgeot vs. Level 65 Alakazam

"You'll find out I've learnt some new tricks since our last encounter," my enemy announced before attacking.
I would have been susprised if he hadn't learnt anything in such a long time, even if he was stupid enough not to understand the meaning of the word 'no'. I tried to remember what moves he'd used in our previous battle, but it had been so long ago... He'd said something about me hiding behind a shield, so he had to know an electric attack... probably Thunderpunch. And I seemed to recall he had a healing move too, which had scared me during the battle. Those two things alone were reason enough to be extra careful, especially since I didn't have my shield with me right now. But I had some extra tricks too, and I knew the best way to find out what he could do without getting hurt in the process.

I fixed all my senses on the Alakazam, ready to detect and evade whatever he was about to send against me. My worst fears were confirmed when he spat out an obscene amount of toxic goo in my direction. I managed to avoid it, but it still had an effect on me. I knew this was going to be tougher than any battle I'd had so far. I was fighting for my life; I couldn't afford any mistakes.

"That was just a warning," he told me. "I'll get you sooner or later. Either you're with us, or you're going down. I won't be as lenient as the humans were."
Lenient? How had they been lenient? They'd literally dumped me away, with a swollen body I could barely move and a soul too hurt to push forward. I still had a small spark inside me, that's true. That's what they weren't counting on. I still held on to the faint memory of a life that was actually worth living, and that's how I recognized the good intentions of those who took me in and healed me, and why I welcomed the starting trainer who offered herself to help me get a new life and be at peace with myself, even if back then I wasn't sure whether that would be possible. But that had never been what the Rockets expected. What they wanted for me was a slow death, as my punishment for not bending to their will. What leniency was this guy talking about?

An intense pain in my head revealed that I had made a terrible mistake. I had got distracted. I couldn't afford that to happen again. I hid in the shadows, if only to decide what to do next. Even if my opponent could sense my presence, the dark energies of Faint Attack wouldn't let him pinpoint my exact location. The Alakazam didn't look phased by my actions.

"I dare you to try that," he said. "Your Faint Attack isn't strong enough to defeat me. I'm not an Abra, you know? I can't say I even remember being one."
"That's your problem," I said, coming out of the shadows and hitting him with my Faint Attack.
I hated to prove him right. His calmness was disconcerting.
"I told you so. Of course you're welcome to try again. You'll find out it will be even less effective this time. You can even try that dark Hidden Power of yours if you've already unlocked it."
"You're wrong," I told him, smiling inside for the first time that day. "I've already unlocked my Hidden Power. It's not dark type."
I had forgotten how quick he was to jump to the wrong conclusions about me.
"Well, whatever type it is, I don't care. You're not strong enough to beat me. That much is obvious."
"I've already beaten you once."
"You just got lucky. And I've become stronger since then."
"That's the problem with you Rockets. You think everything's about physical strength."
"No, I'm talking about mental strength too. You must have noticed the improvements of my Psychic attack."
"I'd tell you what I think, but your square mind would never understand it."
"You think you're smarter than me? You're amusing. Please do tell," he laughed.
I didn't know what he'd make of it, but I said it anyway.
"It's not the strongest who survive. It's the ones who have hope."
"It's so funny to watch you talk," he kept on laughing. "That's the corniest thing I've ever heard."
"Look for examples in history, medicine, and even the results of scientific research. You'll find that I'm right."
"I couldn't expect any more from a Dragon Tamer. So what? Are you trying to talk me to death?"
"Now that you ask, I was using the chance to get my item to work. Thanks for your time."

That really got to him. I could feel I was in control for once. My sacred ashes had healed me, and I'd kept them hidden so my opponent had no way to know what my item was. But my advantage wasn't long-lived. The Alakazam came to me with a Thunderpunch I had no way to avoid. I felt the electricity surge through my body, burning each and every one of my cells. I tried to counter it with my own power; electricity wouldn't hurt so much if some of it was my own. I managed to stop it before being paralyzed or fatally wounded, but the effort drained me so much that I knew I wouldn't last another shot. This was my last chance. I had no choice but to use my strongest move before the Alakazam could do anything to stop me. I stretched out my wings and took in as much air as was possible, before sending the most powerful blast of wind I could muster against my opponent. The puzzled look in his eyes before he went down proved that he literally never knew what hit him.

:018: I grew to level 62!

I guess I was lucky after all. My Aeroblast had been at its strongest (or near its strongest at least). The Alakazam wouldn't wake up for some time, and without him the barrier that held me there was bound to be gone. Now I needed to flee before more Rockets arrived, and get help right away.


[Edit: this story (http://forboards.tripod.com/TPM/Gabi2.html#post498189) should provide enough context information to understand this post. Especially the flashback and what comes after it.]

*Murkrow
12th December 2004, 01:34 PM
Also, could you please explain what "just motioned forwards as the blue glow as she tapped into her confusion materialised around her body" means? I've been trying to figure it out, but failing. http://www.geocities.com/gsteren/Faces/undecided.txt


Oh, right. I wrote it out going by the idea that when Ralts used Confusion a blue aura/glow would appear round her body. So what that sentence basically says is 'A blue glow appeared round Ralts' body as she began to use Confusion'.

I've also finally managed to finish the training grounds off x_x I don't really like everything after the end of the first battle, but I want to get started on the new scenario, so I'm just going to post it anyway.


~Fizz~

“So the gist of it is…I think it’d be good for both you and Bakura if you spent some time together.”
The Tropius said nothing in answer to that, just continued staring blankly at me.
“Don’t rush to answer then.”
She still said nothing, but I wasn’t willing to give up just yet. I was convinced that I was onto a good idea.
“Will you at least come with me when I give him these TMs? I was going to give him that spare Pokémon Earring..but Harlequin ran off with it. But anyway, come with me, then you could at least say hello…come to think of it, do you even know who he is?”
“The Bulbasaur, right? He joined the team right before that damned Vulpix did.”
“There you go, you do have something in common already! That ‘damned Vulpix’ is practically the bane of his life; you could sort that out for him. She’s already learnt not to even approach you, so if you’re with him she won’t come near.”
“You are kidding, right?”
“No. I think you’d make good friends.”
“Listen carefully to me. GO AWAY.”
“I’m not going anywhere until you at least come and say hello. You should at least try to get close to one Pokémon here.”
“I don’t want to be close to anyone.”
“Why?”
“None of your business.”
“Why?”
“Go away.”
“Why?”
“FIZZ.”
I’d probably have answered back to her just then, had she not suddenly lurched to her feet and loomed over me; I knew in a fight I’d be able to take her down, but the size difference was suddenly very obvious…enough to shut me up briefly at least.
“Leave me alone.”
“Come with me. Just to give him these. Give me some moral support.”
“You don’t need moral support, he gets terrified if anybody so much as looks at him.”
“So? Lend him some moral support then.”
“Will you ever give this up?”
“Not really.”
“Fine then. I’ll make a deal with you-shut up, quit pestering me and I’ll come with you when you give the baby his presents. All right? Then leave me alone. I don’t want-or need to speak to anyone here-, don’t need to be close to them, need to be friends with them, you got all that?”
“Ok.”

~Tropitorm~

Fizz seized the TM boxes in front of her, before easily darting into the air- it was so easy for her. I needed a run up before I had any chance of getting airborne.
Backing up, I stumbled forward, beating my wings hard against my sides, trying to force myself up into the air.
All the while, I still couldn’t really believe that I’d agreed to go with her. Why should I devote my time to a bunch of spineless traitors? But that was really the problem, I hadn’t originally intended to accept any of them, but a year in their company seemed to have weakened me….I didn’t know anymore. At least they normally left me alone.
I was flying now, having to beat my wings forcefully to even stay aloft, while Fizz chuckled and swooped easily round me. It was so easy for her.
She was also giving me an odd look from the corner of her eye- she must have been able to guess what was going through my mind at the moment.
Well, see if I care.
Five minutes later, we were landing in the area the team had claimed as their own, and Fizz was pointing me over to where Bakura was crouched, trying to ignore the Vulpix circling him playfully.
“Do your thing then.”
“Dream on.”
“Fine. Here, take these for a second”- she dropped the two TM boxes in front of me, then dove at the other two-“Pixie, beat it.”
Bakura started, and Pix spun round to face Fizz, hesitated for a second, before backing away.
“Hey Bakura, do you know what Tropi’s got for you?”
“No.”
“Well, you’ll find out now. Come here Pixie….I’m off to the Desert Room, bye guys.”
Next second, she’d grabbed Pix by her head curl and dragged her off, leaving me standing with Bakura.
That wasn’t part of the deal.
I considered charging after her but Bakura was staring at me, shivering a bit. Damn her.
“Here. These are for you.”

~Bakura~

As she shifted her weight, I tensed, expecting a kick, but instead, she just knocked the two boxes across the floor at me.
“TMs. They’re yours now.”
“What are they?”
“You expect me to…? Hmm. That must be Hidden Power- I was given one similar recently-, and the other looks like some sort of grass attack.”
“Oh. Thank you.”
Nervously plucking at the boxes, I risked a glance at her and smiled; she looked briefly pleased, but hastily switched back to a blank expression.

~Pix~

“Oww. Let go of me.”
“Shut up and I will.”
Obediently, I fell silent, and Fizz finally released her hold on my head, before she leant further forward to get Tropitorm and Bakura into her view again.
“Want to play?”
“No. You can go now.”
“Why’d you do that?”
“Tropi needs a friend. I was counting that having contact with Bakky would make her, well, feel maternal. And that might make her more willing to become close to him.”
“Why doesn’t she already have friends?”
“That just shows how new you are to the team. She’s always acted like we’re beneath her because we’re happy being trainers Pokémon. She basically hates humans, though she’s toned down quite a bit since I first met her. Holding a conversation with her back then was practically impossible.”
“Oh.”
I don’t think I managed to keep the boredom from my voice. But I couldn’t help it. What she was saying wasn’t any fun, it was boring.
“Well. Maybe she’s getting over that now- she seems to be, but I don’t know for sure. But anyway, I’m going to do what I said I would; I’m in the mood to test my skills. And if Tropi does leave Bakura alone, don’t go and start to annoy him. He doesn’t like it, but doesn’t have the nerve to say so himself.”
“I just want to play.”
“He doesn’t.”
Taking off again, she circled, threw me a warning look, then swooped off to vanish inside an opening along the back wall of the room we were in.
After a couple of seconds watching, I trotted after her.

~Fizz~

I was grateful for the thermals this place generated. The rising air meant that I could easily glide along, without having to worry about flapping, which was conserving energy I’d need for a battle.
I admit, I’d underestimated this place. I’d battled in shrub-land before, but this was completely different.
Miles of rich, russet red-orange coloured sand, criss-crossed by jagged barbs of rock outcrops, dark brown patches in the strange, barren landscape. As I drifted over, the light reflected off of the sand, acres of colour lightening, turning golden, shimmering below, while dark shadows lurked beneath the rocks, the only respite from the blazing sun and heat. The cracked surfaces of the rocks themselves were visible from even up here, finely veined blocks, black lines scouring across firebrick coloured boulders.
And then there was the heat of course, but the less said about that, the better.
I could feel the strength of the sun on my back, my dark feathers absorbing every speck of light that flicked over my body. Barrel-rolling to expose my lighter underbelly, I caught a glimpse of a solitary figure loping through the sand below.
Squinting down, I recognised fully the creature below, sighed, and dove at her, enjoying the look of terror on her face as she glanced up to see me plummeting at her.
“That’ll teach you to follow me.”
I easily pulled up and dropped to land by her side; wincing immediately, I flapped back up and poked her.
“Ok. We’re going to go over and talk in the shade under that rock, I’m not going to stand around here baking in this.”
She padded through the sand over to the place I’d indicated, settling herself gently as I collapsed by her side.
“Why’d you follow me?”
“It looked like fun.”
“That’s your excuse for everything.”
“But it’s true”-she lapsed into silence for a while, then sighed- “but if I’d known how beautiful it was, I’d have come anyway. I’m not going to leave now, whether you say so or not.”
“That’s the most intellectual thing you’ve ever said. To me or to anyone. Though it is beautiful here, I’ll agree.
Both of us fell silent, when I sensed her stiffen and tense as she caught sight of what was scuffing through the sand. I’d seen him as well- a Phanpy. Perfect.
“You ever seen a real Pokémon battle, Pixie?”
“No.”
“Watch and learn.”

Fight
Fizz (Taillow F L14)
Vs
Phanpy (M L15)

~Pix~

Fizz didn’t hesitate once, just glided smoothly into a battle pose, while her new opponent raised his trunk, then began pawing the ground.
Phanpy decided to start off the battle, growling up at Fizz with a vigour that belied his tiny size; I could feel my hackles rising and I automatically began to snarl back.
Fizz didn’t seem that bothered though, if anything, she seemed to be concentrating hard, focusing her mind…hmm. Focus Energy.
Then she jolted from her brief trance, snapped her wings together and created a massive, white arrow-shaped projection of energy that rocketed down to crack into the sand as Phanpy dodged.
The fact that she’d missed didn’t seem to bode well, judging by the look on her face; she glared at him, then plummeted down to attack close range.

~Fizz~

I had the feeling that he’d managed to evade my Air Cutter because of the distance between us; he’d had plenty of time to realise what was going to come and plan the right moment to leap clear.
But he wouldn’t be able to do that up close, I’d be too fast for him.
Fixing my eyes on my target, I wasn’t that surprised to see he was attempting an attack now-chances were, he only knew close range attacks, so this must seem to be a golden opportunity in his mind.
Clouds of sand were beginning to rise round his form as his body plunged forward, spinning to form a rolling mass of flesh as be began, slowly to move forwards.
It reminded me of the battle with that Mudkip, when I’d shattered her Ice Ball…the same strategy would probably work here as well, but why not have some fun with him?

~Pix~

Phanpy was swinging round in a large circle now, his Rollout increasing in speed and strength, proven by the massive clouds of particles that were now being flung through the air as he pounded through the sand.
It didn’t help that I’d lost sight of Fizz. One second she had been swooping above the battlefield, then I’d taken my eyes off her for a second and she was gone.
Nagging at the back of my mind was the fact that she hadn’t wanted my to come along anyway…she wouldn’t pretend to start a battle but then fly off and leave me, would she? I doubted it, but still…
A flash of black caught the corner of my eye, a split second before Phanpy flew off the ground, uncoiling in alarm as a navy figure flashed into view again, briefly lashed him with the same black energy, then faded away.

~Fizz~

Easy.
Drifting back into the realm of my Faint Attack, I saw his flailing body rushing through the air, before he bounced onto the sand with a muffled thud, that echoed strangely around me.
It was simple- my first Faint Attack had knocked him back, and his own momentum had been enough-when coupled with another burst of dark energy- to send him flying back, where I had been able to briefly attack at will.
Now, he was sprawled in the sand, whereas I was in reasonably good condition. My front did throb a bit where I’d had to smack into him initially, but it was bearable. The real problem now nagging at me was the mental strain I was feeling. I’d never used Faint Attack this long before; usually I simply evaded others attacks then launched my own, but flying around like this was a burden. Though it wasn’t exactly hard to get rid of.
Focusing again, I aimed carefully, waiting for the moment as he spun round in vain, anticipating a further attack; banking, I pulled in my wings and dove straight down, feeling the dark energy closing in.
Seconds out, I stalled and lashed out with my claws, intending to send the energy pulsing into his skin.
Instead, I received a beating to my chest as he whipped out with his trunk, catching me squarely in my stomach, with enough strength to knock me from my flight.
Winded, I tumbled onto my side as he smirked at me triumphantly; the energy surrounding me dissipated as he muttered something then began to pound the ground viciously.
It rumbled.
Instinctively knowing I had to get off the ground, I wrenched my wings open, caught a thermal and managed to rise, yet with a roar, the sand below me caved in and four massive, slabs of rock exploded up. Ignoring my aching muscles, I beat my wings hard, but the slabs arched overhead, then collapsed against each other, tightly locking me into the enclosed space.
Then the grinding began; each individual rock was slipping further together, tighter and tighter; panicking slightly, I let my wings flash silver and beat at the nearest slab, desperate to see if it would be enough to break through.
It wasn’t, but what else was I to do?

~Pix~

I couldn’t believe it when I saw the attack Phanpy had used. It was like a giant mouth had burst from the ground and seized Fizz. The four rocks had locked together, forming a massive dome, encasing her inside. And now they were creeping tighter together; I was suddenly nervous-Rock Tomb was a legal attack, but how much would it close in on her?
My paw began to twitch nervously.
Several agonising seconds later, it was over; Phanpy charged at the rock dome, his ear and trunk markings glowing brown; slamming into the rock, it shook, held for a second, then shattered.
He stepped back, edging away from the falling rocks as the rest disintegrated. I’d underestimated how thick those rocks were….if they were that thick, then they must have been pushing tighter than I’d though. Then, high up, close to where the rocks had met at the top, I spotted the small, flying Pokémon, released from the rocks grip, spiralling down wearily.

~Fizz~

As the rocks fell away at my sides, I gladly just let my body drop down, gasping to draw in more air to slow down my rapidly pounding heart.
The rocks had pushed far closer than I would have thought, easily managing to push me up to one side, and worse, somehow or other, the gap had quickly turned into a vacuum, so it had been hard to breath.
Perhaps I should be flying higher. The lower I am, the easier it will be for him to launch another attack…maybe the same one. Do I want to be caught in that again?
No was the answer to that, but I needed a couple of minutes or two to gather my wits after nearly being crushed.
“Fizz, he’s going to use Rollout again!”
Hearing her warning, I looked up, and forced myself to fly up, feeling the rush of air as he passed beneath me, centimetres away from my tail feathers.
An idea sparked in my mind.
Staring intently down at him, I brought my mind quickly to the point I required, focusing all my skills onto the state of mind. Focus. Beat him. The additional effect of Focus Energy wasn’t going to activate, but it brought my mind forward, and focused entirely on finishing this battle.
As my wings grew heavy as Steel Wing kicked in, I stalled and accelerated towards him; he saw me coming and charged, trying to meet me head on.
Ducking my head in, I whirled to bring my glowing wing directly across his face, but instead hit the red aura covering his body, which countered the attack, ricocheting it back to smash across my face.
Stunned, I thumped into the sand, seeing him bounding into a ball to launch Rollout; remembering my newest attack, I closed my eyes and struck out with my mind, reaching to slip into his thoughts, seeing the list of what attacks he knew.
Seizing the knowledge of the one I was going to temporarily learn, I opened my eyes, considered the moment, and let the aura burst into life round my body. He smashed into it, hung, frozen, then soared back; accelerating, I lunged into his body with a Quick Attack, succeeding in sending him cracking down onto the sand, where he collapsed.

I won!
I grew to L16!

“What did you do there?”
Pixie came dashing over, looking interested.
“Mimic. I took his last attack against me, and was able to use it myself. So he got knocked out by a Counter I’d learnt from him.”
“That sounds like…what is it…Mirror Move to me.”
“But Mimic copies the move used permanently for the battle, not just for a single turn like Mirror Move would.”
I actually found myself enjoying explaining this to her, which was odd, seeing as I’d never felt any need to teach before.
“Can we play now?”
“And there I was thinking you’d finally become serious.”
“What’s wrong? I just want to…”
“Shut up Pixie.”

~Pix~

Tilting her wings, Fizz caught another thermal and easily drew away from me. Sensing she wanted me to follow her, I glanced round, then followed her, heading back towards the rock we had been sheltering under earlier. Once we were safely back in the shade, she pretty much ignored me, concentrating on smoothing down her ruffled feathers.
Well, if she wanted to be like that, fine with me. I didn’t have a problem with this heat.
Slipping away from under the rock, I set off at a run, unsure exactly what I was intending to do, but unable to stop running through scenes of Fizz’s battle in my mind.
Talking of battles.
I skidded to a halt, seeing the sand stir slightly as a figure- a Pokémon, obviously-, scrambled out from the sand.
Dusty brown spikes blended with the pale gold body; sharp, white claws glinted even from the distance. Large, black eyes glanced cautiously around the surroundings, finally flicking to settle on me.
Immediately, his whole body shook, then his claws flailed and he buried back into the sand again.
“Awww, wait, don’t go.”
I scampered as fast as I could through the thick sand, scuffing clouds up as I went, all the while trying to keep my eyes on the place where he’d hid. The sand had already filled it in and it had blended perfectly with the rest of the ground. Guessing that I was in the right place, I knelt down and addressed the sand, hoping that he’d still be near by.
“Come on. I’m not scary. You look nice. I want to play.”
The sand beneath me erupted as he burst out, his extended claw catching me under my stomach, the result being that I somersaulted onto my back, then had to roll quickly to avoid his claws again.
Bounding to my feet and legging it away, he still managed to keep up with me, knocking my feet from under me so I tumbled into a crumpled heap on the ground again.
A flash of navy shot across my vision; he swerved, snarled briefly, then turned his attention upwards, as Fizz’s voice rang out from above.
“WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? WHY DOES EVERYONE TRY TO HURT YOU? OH, HANG ON I KNOW.”

~Fizz~

I could not believe this. She goes off on her own for five bloody minutes and promptly ends up the receiving end of a Pokémon over double her strength. No doubt she had been bugging him to play, as she did everybody else.
And who was now going to have to ‘smooth’ things over?
Oh yes.
Me.

Fight
Fizz (Taillow F L16)
Vs
Sandslash (M L25)

At least I’d had a little time to let my body recover from my previous battle, but I still wasn’t in the mood to prolong this, so I darted forward into a Quick Attack, accelerating to try to catch him out.
But all that happened was I crashed into his raised spikes as he quickly rolled into a Defense Curl. The tips of the spikes drove into my front, each one feeling like it was laced with acid; irritating stabs of pain that raked through my body.
Muffling a cry- I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d hurt me so early in the fight- I retreated up to the sky, hoping that this meant he’d take the chance to uncoil.
Of course, he did.
But what really struck me was that he was visibly weakened; his breath was coming faster than it had been only seconds before, and his body shook with tremors that seemed reminiscent of pain than a healthy creature should have been.
Weird.
Though I’m not going to complain.
Stalling, I dropped, this time ready to catch my body the second he went into a Defense Curl, which would have been annoying, but if it reduced his health even more, then I was all for it.
Yet he didn’t, just stood and watched me coming, looking pleased.

~Pix~

Sandslash still didn’t dodge, just continued to watch Fizz as she stretched out a wing for a Wing Attack.
She was seconds away when something suddenly materialised in front of him- a tiny doll, an exact copy of him, but lifeless, standing between his body and Fizz’s impending attack.
The look in her eyes changed as she registered what had just appeared, but though she had been ready to react previously, she was too close now to do anything about it.
The next seconds passed to quickly for me to be totally sure what happened- I saw her hit the substitute, got a glimpse of the cracks bursting over it, then everything vanished as a flurry of sand as both Fizz and Sandslash vanished. Almost immediately, Fizz exploded from the cloud, and hurtled to roll into the sand about ten metres away.

~Fizz~

Spitting out a mouthful of sand, I eased my body back into the air, instantly being confronted by a barrage of tiny stars, each aiming perfectly towards my body.
Confident in Steels resistance to Normal attacks, however, I let my wings glow as I tapped into Steel Wing, then lashed out frantically, left right, centre, trying to deflect each star. I could feel the impact as they exploded against my wings, yet it was bearable…but my senses were still reeling from his Seismic Toss, and my reflexes showed this.
The constant stream clattered against my wings-finally, one veered off, stabbing into my chest. Letting my guard down for the second as I registered it, the stars began to pound against my body.
But even in that time, a thought slipped into my mind.
I let my body fall.

~Pix~

Fizz seemed to have recovered for a second there, as she began to fight against his Swift, but suddenly, one struck her, then more, and then she was falling.
His tactics changed at once.
Stopping his Swift in mid fire, he retracted one claw, then coiled his paw-with some difficulty- into a fist.
Raising his head to aim, he lifted his fist and charged forwards, obviously struggling against the power that now surged along his arm, but nevertheless keeping a good line towards Fizz’s falling, prone body.
Then she snapped her wings out, spun, and let loose an Air Cutter; the arrow shaped energy flow struck the rapidly materialising doll, yet succeeded in shattering half the side.
Now just to destroy the rest and she’d be able to actually take some shots at him.
That was exactly what she did as well.
Slipping straight into a Quick Attack, she not only easily evaded his Dynamic Punch, but cracked against the remains of his copy- it simply disintegrated, and so fast was her attack, he didn’t even have time to react, letting her get her first proper hit of the fight in.
Both retreated at that- she swooped back up into the sky, while he backed off, dropping back to all fours.

~Fizz~

My whole body was aching badly.
Even the thermals weren’t helping here- my whole front throbbed from where I’d slammed into his flesh, and my wings were trembling as they were forced to support the little weight I had.
A rush in the air signalled he had started attacking again- another Swift from the sounds of it. I was lacking the energy needed to try to counter it, so instead I just dived. The stars followed me of course, but as I neared the ground, the attack cut out again.
Deciding to use the speed I had created, I spun and went into an Aerial Ace, striking his side- the spikes scratched me a bit, but before they had a chance to do any real damage, his claw whipped out and slashed across my wing.
Screaming in alarm and pain, I jack-knifed over into the sand.

~Pix~

He didn’t wait.
Pinning her down, he slashed her across the back viciously- she struggled for a second, before beginning to growl weakly.
Hesitating at that, he sized her up, then slashed again.
Her body just exploded into white light; alarmed, he yelped and jumped back in surprise. I could feel a shiver trembling down my body.
The light increased in intensity- Fizz’s form was now completely a glow, and covered by a shimmering aura.
Edging away, Sandslash crouched down tense and wary to flee.
He was still too close.
The light flashed and then Fizz exploded into his body, covering the distance between them in a split-second, and smashing directly into his chest.
Rolling into a ball as her momentum carried them both backwards, the Sandslash uncoiled almost instantly, extending his claws to their full extent.
Yet all he received was a blow to his jaw as Fizz smashed a Steel Wing into his face with a crack that rung out ominously.
Seizing his jaw in pain only gave Fizz an ideal opportunity to slam another attack into his body.
But she was panting hard, and I couldn’t notice that she was only using her right wing to launch her attacks; she was holding her other one limp, keeping it away from Sandslash’s claws.
His claws shot out, trying to seize her for another Seismic Toss.
She let him grab her, pull her in close, then shuddered, and wrenched her left wing round. It was weak compared to what would be her normal Wing Attack, but it struck the side of his face and was enough.
As he slumped into the sand, Fizz fell away from his grip and stared at his silent form.

Fizz won!
She grew to L18!

~Fizz~

My mind was spinning, and I could feel every muscle in my body caving in.
As Pixie came running over, concern written across her face, I somehow managed a smile, then collapsed.

-------------

“You ok?”
Archie poked his claw into my face constantly, until finally I gave in and let my eye open a slip.
“Will you cut that out?”
“Well, you’re talking to me at least, that’s a good sign.”
I closed my eye and shifted slightly- I felt warm and comfortable, as far away as to what I had felt back in the room as there could be.
“Guess what?”
“Don’t know. Surprise me.”
“Your little ploy with Tropi and Bakura worked. For the last couple of days she’s been keeping an eye on him, you know, stuff like chasing Pix away.”
“I wasn’t chased. I, um, felt like leaving.”
“Yeah right.”
“How long have I been here?”
“Two days. But you still need a bit of rest.”
“Gladly.”
Archie laughed and winked at me, before shepherding Pixie away. Smiling back, I waited until the two had gone, gave my wings an experimental flap before settling down again.
There was no need to rush.

LightNinetales
12th December 2004, 03:44 PM
Got my second battle done.

Tom speaks in red, bold.
Temper speaks in red, italic.

----------------

~x Oni’s POV x~

I was watching this little Eevee, playing and laughing with this Vaporeon. And this baby defeated Demon? Well, at least I could steal him and train him like I trained Demon. In the cold darkness of the Moonlight room, in our secret place. Of course, Crimson Blades had several pokemon we could train against; but I really liked the Sneasels and Absols in the Moonlight Room. I felt something on my hair. I turned back and saw... him.
He was still the same – maybe a bit taller -, with his short red hair, his smile I hated so much and his blue eyes which I also hated for they were sparkling, and they had that shine good people’s eyes have.
“Tom. Why did I find your hand – I’m sure it was yours – in my hair?” I said, with the cold voice I took when I wanted to scare people. But Tom never got scared by my voice.
He grinned.
“I hadn’t seen it in a long time...Couldn’t resist.”
Tom was always acting like that. Playing with my hair – or with my nerves - , smiling, grinning, and sometimes making comments about how I am ‘so fascinating, especially because of your[my] dark eyes, that’s amazing how they’re cold!’. Probably the only man who wasn’t afraid of me.
“That is not the subject. I called you because I needed your help. I wasn’t wanting you to annoy me like you are doing at the moment.” My voice became colder.
“What I love in you, except your incredible warmth we feel when you talk, is that kindness of yours.” he said, still smiling and trying to catch my look in the glittering sapphires he called his eyes.
I frowned.
“Stop playing with me like that, Tom. Stop it now and let’s get to the real subject of our discussion. You know I wouldn’t have called you if I hadn’t been so angry at this girl and her pokemon.”
“Yes, because you hate me as much as I love you. So you were defeated by a thirteen-year-old little girl, her newborn Eevee, and a Meowth with this ‘so stupid attitude, always protecting that egg instead of trying to save her life’. Right?”
I could feel the happiness in his voice. He was happy to see me, huh? I would have loved seeing him dead. Unfortunately, he was still alive, and still annoying me with his smile and kindness.
“Right. You’re here because I need you to challenge that girl and her pokemon. While you and Temper will be battling, I’ll try to take the Eevee and I’ll train him. He is smart and already powerful. Which means he could be a very, very useful pokemon if it gets evil. Team Rocket won’t resist if we have this pokemon.”
“And what would I get for that?”
“Well, I might decide to upgrade you from ‘stupid and annoying boy who hurt me in the past’ to ‘a man I don’t like’...”
“That’s ok. Oni, why do you have this opinion of me? What did I do?”
“What did you do? Should I say it? You betrayed me, and now you’re claiming your love for me, that’s what you did. You should think about it before playing that game with me. And after all, past is past. You can’t erase it.” I said, losing my calm voice.

~x Light’s POV x~

“Enigma!” I shouted. “What did you found?”
My Meowth was looking at something on the ground, sometimes touching it and showing Krys that strange thing she had found. She finally took it.
“It’s a key” she said. “It’s as shiny as Krys’ eyes. And it’s blue. Sparkling. Looking like ice but sparkling.”
“Oh. It must be a Crystal Key.”
“What is that?” she asked.
“A special magic item. When a pokemon holds it, its attacks can break magical defence walls.”
“Magical defence walls? The ones created by attacks, or any kind of wall?”
“The walls created by attacks. Reflect, and Light Screen. Very useful. But the Crystal Key needs to be given to someone who has enough power to hold it. If it isn’t, it won’t be as useful as it can be....”
Enigma frowned. She was probably thinking about that Crystal Key. And she would probably keep it. I knew she wanted that glittering key – Enigma loves glittering things, like the other Meowths.
She looked at the key, then moved her look to Krystal’s eyes. She found a cord and made a necklace. She put it around Krys’ neck and waited.
Something really strange happened. Krystal’s body was surrounded by a magical icy blue glow. And.... a picture came to my mind. It was Krystal –I recognized his deep black fur and his gray and rainbow mane- with his eyes closed. He had this same eerie blue glow.
There was a quite dark thing in the room. Something I didn’t know, but it frightened me. And Krystal opened his crystalline eyes. The aura surrounding him became lighter, but there was still something scaring in it. Something dark.
I opened my eyes, coming back to the real world, and noticed Krystal’s body wasn’t glowing anymore. Did I just imagine that?
“Did you see that glow?” Enigma whispered, fascinated. “It was so...magical. I was attracted to it. I wanted to touch it... and it vanished.”
“To me, it seemed very dark and dangerous. I was frightened just by seeing it. Please, Enigma, I want you to follow Krys anywhere he goes. You’ll protect him. And he needs it. Do you remember how his egg was cold? Do you remember how he was battling and using special powers just after being born? Do you remember that feeling that came out of him? That sadness. And when he used Hidden Power, these icy things appearing in the air and hitting his opponent. Looked like solid tears.”
“Why me?”
“Because you understand him. You’re both quite sad-for different reasons, though-, and also you were the one who saved him when he was still an egg. If you hadn’t been there, that Rattata would have eaten his egg.”

~x Temper’s POV x~

“Tom?” I asked. “What’s wrong?”
I tried to take a kind voice, but I just couldn’t do it. So I stayed with my usual angry voice.
“She hates me.”
“And you realize that only now?”
A tear slid down his cheek.
“Please, Temper. I don’t need that.”
“Explain me. When did you ‘betray’ her? What’s your ‘past’?”
“Ok. But.... it is a very long story. That begins.... with my birthday. I was twelve years old. I just moved in a small house with my parents, I was alone, and in three months I haven’t made any friends. I was... well, weird. Really small, with the same red hair I have now. And shy. Plus, I was always studying or talking with my teachers, or playing with my fingers. Not the kind of person you want to be seen with.
So, I was alone, with the two gifts from my parents. I was telling myself I shouldn’t be sad, it’s better being alone than with these stupid kids. And a girl I didn’t know came. About my age – actually she’s six months older - short black hair. She sat down next to me and said:
‘I live there’. She was pointing at a house we could see through the window. ‘I noticed you were sad, and I decided to come and talk with you. And someone told me it was your birthday, so I brought a present for you.’ She gave me a book. I still have it. That’s how I met Oni.
Three years later, we were still best friends. She was really nice to me, but I couldn’t follow her when she was with her friends; they would have laughed at me. So I stayed alone and waited. That year, she was in love with this boy – what was his name? He had a Vaporeon named Ozon....- and she told her friends she would be his girlfriend before the end of the year. You know, the kind of things you say when you’re fifteen and you want to prove your friends how much better than them you are...”
He took a break. I could hear his breathing.
“It took her six months to prepare the field for what she called ‘her fight’. When I asked who was her opponent, she said it was the other girls, and he had to choose her, because if he didn’t she would lose her credibility.
And this day – the day of ‘her fight’- , I told her I loved her, because she was the only person I trusted and I felt really better when she was there. She looked at me and explained I wasn’t ‘impressing enough’ to me. I asked her if she really thought love was a question of impression. She said she wanted someone who would impress her friends.
Well, I should have been more clever, I should have waited. I told her when she was just a teenager like most of them, thinking life is just about impression and beauty and ability to integrate a group.
Then, she talked with...what’s his name... can’t remember....Rick. She put a cute smile on her face, took a special voice – which I didn’t like – and they just talked. About things as interesting as ‘flowers in spring, so beautiful, just waking up from a great sleep’.
And anger started to grow inside of me. Why was she taking that smile and talking about subjects she wasn’t interest in, with a stupid boy and his annoying blue hair he was doing every five minutes? Why wasn’t I ‘impressing enough’? You know, Temper, I’ve always been a coward, but anger can make you very bold. Plus I have a tendancy to tease people I like. I grinned, approached her –she didn’t see me, she was focusing on her smile – and kissed her.”
“Oh. Her friends were amazed, right?”
“Yup. Actually, I took a lot of pleasure in seeing their astonishment. They couldn’t believe it.
Then, they started to laugh at her. She really lost all her credibility. And when I saw her alone, in the evening, I understood I had been selfish. I also understood what true anger was.
She shouted I betrayed her. She said I didn’t think about her and her reputation. She said I was her best friend, she thought she could trust me, but in fact I betrayed her. She said I was the person she hated the most in the world. She said it twice.
I saw her two years later. She lost that glitter she had in her eyes. They were dark, they were cold. She wasn’t the same. She was frozen, deep inside.
Then, I learned she was a member of Team Rocket. I joined the organisation. And when she became a member of Crimson Blades, I followed her. The events I just told you about happened nine years ago. I thought she would have forgotten, and/or forgiven. But she did neither. She still remember this, and she didn’t forgive. She hates me, Temper.
She hates me!”
“Do you still love her?”
“Not as much as I did when I was fifteen. But she’s like a sister. And it hurts when your sister hates you, when she can’t even say a word without taking a cold voice, a voice with no feelings in it.”
He sighed.
“The only way I have to help her is defeating that girl. I’ll do so. I have too many things to lose if I don’t do it.”



~x Krystal’s POV x~

I was in a dark place. With something glowing in the middle of the room. I approached it, carefully, slowly. My eyes became lighter as I got closer to the mysterious thing. I took it and its power came into me. I felt really sad. When I opened my eyes, I was floating in the air, with this crystalline aura surrounding me. Something in me woke up. I had that same feeling that I had the day I first used my Hidden Power....
“Krystal? Wake up, Krys! It’s time to battle!”
I opened my eyes and saw Enigma.
“Eenaikma?” I said.
“Yeah. Krys, we’re waiting for you. Someone challenged Light. She’s giving TMs to Chataigne and Acajou.”

I saw Light and Mommy and Uncle Acajou the Vaporeon.

~x Chataigne’s POV x~

“Look” said Light. “I have TMs for you.”
She put one of the TMs in front of Acajou and the other in front of me. I put my paw on Acajou’s and stole it.
“Chataigne, both TMs are the same. Hidden Power. But with what you’ve just done, I think yours should be Ghost.”
I used my own TM.
“What’s my Hidden Power type?” I asked.
“I don’t know it, Chataigne. Ghost or Dark. It depends on your personality. Acajou’s could be Water, Grass, Flying or Psychic. A peaceful type.”
Acajou used his TM.

I learned Hidden Power!
Acajou learned Hidden Power!

~x Third Person x~

Light and her entire team were looking at the trees – Light’s opponent should be there, waiting for her. Only Krystal wasn’t there. He was alone now, thinking about his Key.
Tom finally appeared. Light was impressed by her challenger – when Enigma told her she got a challenge, she thought it was from a little kid. But her opponent wasn’t “little”. He was quite tall, actually.
“Let’s fight.” Tom said, calmly.
He didn’t care about the result of the battle. He only wanted to catch Light’s attention while Oni was taking the Eevee.
“Okay... You’ll fight Tooana.” Light decided.
“Well...Temper!”
The Rattata appeared in a beam of light. She looked at Tooana with an expression of anger.
At the same time, Oni was slowly approaching Krys’, who was still somewhere in his thoughts, not paying attention to the real world. And Enigma wasn’t there to protect him.
She put her hand on his body and was about to take him and run away with him.
Suddenly, a crazy fur ball jumped on her face, cutting her skin with her claws, and managed to put them very, very close to Oni’s throat.
Tom and Temper rushed towards her. Tom took Krys’ in his arms and Temper was standing on the grass, waiting for Tom’s orders.
Then, Chataigne, Acajou, Light, and the others came in.
The Jolteon jumped in front of Temper and took a challenging attitude. Electricity was running through her spikes and her eyes took a red tint.
“Let Oni go and I’ll give you the Eevee back.” said the red-haired man.
“Let Krys’ go and she won’t die.” replied Enigma with a grin.
“Well, I suggest we fight now... if I am the winner, you’ll let Oni go, and if I lose, you can take that Eevee.”
“Perfect.”

Enigma VS Tom!
Chataigne[Lv 5 female Jolteon with black fur]VS Temper [Lv 15 female Rattata]!

~x Chataigne’s POV x~

I had to win. For Krys. I couldn’t do anything else to help him – his crystalline eyes, his Crystal Key, his sadness...all these things I didn’t understand.
At least I could protect him. I growled and moved my “tail” slowly, trying to look funny.
Temper laughed. So, you are exactly doing what Joyau told me you’d do. Starting to laugh at me, and forgetting to protect yourself, little Rattata. I moved my tail again – left to right, slowly. Temper couldn’t stop laughing now. Perfect, little Temper. Perfect.

~x Tom’s POV x~

“Stop laughing, Temper. She can’t be that funny.”
I knew what would happen next if Temper didn’t think about protecting herself. And this Meowth’s claws were sharp.
Temper finally realized that the Jolteon was sharpening her claws and thinking about having Rattata for dinner. She bit her opponent’s hind leg and started to run everywhere in the field, avoiding Chataigne’s claws and finally hitting the black pokemon’s belly with her head.

~x Enigma’s POV x~

“Chataigne!” I shouted.
Why didn’t she use her new TM Light bought yesterday?
With the five moves she had, she couldn’t win easily. And Temper had more experience.
Krystal was staring at the scene, his crystal blue eyes seeming frozen by an incredible sadness. I smiled at him, getting my claws closer to Oni’s throat.
Chataigne tried a Slash attack again. Her claws hit Temper’s left ear. The Rattata seemed hurt, but I could still see her white teeth shining in the sunlight.
Then, Temper dug a hole in the ground.
“Chataigne, jump!” shouted Joyau.
But Chataigne wasn’t listening to him. She was looking at her son, trying to find something warm in his eyes. They were still frozen.
Temper finally came out of her hole. Chataigne was projected in the air, and fell down to the ground due to the gravity. She hit the grass with a little “My poor little bones!”.
“I won.” said Tom.
But I wouldn’t let the girl go. I glanced at him and put my paws on her skin. If he did anything, I’ll let my claws cut that girl’s throat.
Tears were flowing down his cheeks, freezing before they could even reach his fluffy mane. His solid tears looked like diamonds, lined up on Krys’s cheeks like they would be on a necklace.
Chataigne managed to get back on her legs. She saw her son’s tears and her eyes became as black as her fur. The field became dark. Shadows were moving in the air, like ghosts would move in the darkness, and they surrounded Temper. Finally, I saw Chataigne. Despite the fact that my eyes could see in the darkness, I haven’t seen her before. She used a strange move that looked like Faint Attack(but it wasn’t – she couldn’t use a move she doesn’t even know of), vanishing and re-appearing behind Temper’s back. She took her in her paws and started to play with her, like any cat would play with the mouse it just caught.
The dark atmosphere vanished. And everyone could see Chataigne was sitting on the poor rat, waiting for Light’s approval before eating her.
Krystal’s solid tears shattered.
Tom let him go, and rushed towards Chataigne and Temper, taking his pokemon in his arms to protect her from Chataigne.
I also let that girl go. I put my paw on Krystal’s mane.
When I turned back to see Oni and Tom, they weren’t there. They ran away again.


Chataigne grew to level 7!

------------------------

Chataigne's HP type is Dark and Acajou's is Psychic.
Sorry for not specifying it ^.^

Oh, and I know there's too many colors, and the story isn't even that good.
Maybe in a year I could write very, very good stories?
*I doubt it though, my writing skills aren't really high, even in French, so...*

Wolfsong
15th December 2004, 07:11 PM
Before story notes: I started out good on this rbg and then ended up getting writer’s block when it came to sugar’s battle. x.X Anyways, I bought and gave Sinopa a charm tm since that seemed to suit her. ^^ Gabi bought the faint attack TM and gave it to me to give to Sinopa. BTW, thanks again Gabi. I also bought, Sinopa an odor sleuth TM. I got Tiny’s stat modification die from the GT, and the mimic tm that I traded with Becca for to Darin. I won a tail whip tm that I gave to Kiara from the emt game last month. Speaking of Kiara I bought her a charm tm and the twins a mimic tm each. Now, on to Sugar’s rbg. Apologies for the short battle just couldn’t seem to get anywhere with it x.x


(Sinopa’s POV)

“All right Sinopa, you don’t have to rely only on your eyes to detect your opponent. Can you name another sense that can prove useful in finding an elusive opponent?” “Yes sir. The sense of smell.” “Very good, but please call me Blazer.” I grinned. I couldn’t believe my luck. Yama had a battle at the BT, so Blazer had offered to look after me. He had even offered to teach me a trick or two. “Okay, Blazer.” He smiled. “Kiara, here, is going to help us out.” “How?” I asked. “Well, she’s going to use double team. Next, I want you to try and determine the location of the real Kiara. When you do, use a fire attack on her.” “But won’t that hurt her.” “You’re a smart one. That is some good thinking on your part. But, no it won’t. Like you, Kiara has the flash fire ability. Having that ability means that fire attacks won’t damage her just like they don’t hurt you. That’s the main reason that I didn’t ask Ayla, Jasmine, or even Tiny to help.” I nodded in understanding. “Are you ready?” he asked. “I guess so.”

As soon as I had said, “I guess so” Kiara began to glow a faint yellow color. Before my eyes, she split into several images and I was surrounded by lots of Kiaras. My heart began to race as I tried to determine which one was the real Kiara. My eyes frantically darted from one image to another. Eventually, I just picked a random image and sent a tiny fire ball heading towards her. Upon contact, the clone flickered and disappeared. “Take a deep breath and relax.” I nodded, as I did as Blazer suggested. Soon another copy had filled the spot that I had created. “You calm now?” “Yeah.” “If you can’t focus with your eyes open, close them. Sometimes vision isn’t the best way to find a tricky opponent. Trust your nose. Try it again.” “All right.” I closed my eyes and concentrated on my sense of smell. At first nothing happened, as I slowly walked in circles. Then, all of a sudden, it was as if someone had flipped a switch in my nose. I caught Kiara’s scent before taking in a deep breath. As I exhaled, I released several tiny fireballs at my target. When I finally opened my eyes, I saw Kiara and Blazer and they were both smiling. There were no more clones and Kiara’s fiery mane was burning brightly. “You did it.” she said, smiling as Blazer nodded. It was at that time that Amy and Yama came back.


(Sugar’s POV)

I stretched, yawning because I was bored. I hadn’t had a battle in ages. In fact, if I remembered correctly the last one I had was the tag battle I had with Yana where she evolved. Speaking of Yana, she was out battling.

“You’re bored, aren’t you Mom?” I looked up to see Ayla standing in the doorway. I have to admit I still wasn’t used to seeing her blue again. “Yeah,” I admitted. “Maybe you could ask Amy to arrange a battle for you.” “I don’t think that I’m in the mood for a BT battle.” Ayla smirked. “Who said anything about the Battle Tower?” I was talking about asking Amy to schedule you a battle at that new thing?” “That might be interesting.” I admitted as Ayla turned and left the room.


(Amy’s POV)

Upon returning from the battle tower, I went over to my desk and dropped my bag onto it. I pulled out four TM boxes and the stat modification dice that I had gotten as a mystery gift. I was about to call the twins when I was pounced on and given an electrical shock. “Sugar…” “What?” she asked, leaping off my back and into my chair. I slowly climbed to my feet. “What was that for?” I asked her. “Well I had a talk with Ayla, and I want a battle.” “Battle Tower or other?” I asked, rubbing my temples. “Other,” she answered without a moment’s hesitation.

“You know there are better ways of asking.” “There are?” she asked giving me an innocent look. I just shook my head. “I’ll make a call and try to arrange a battle in a little bit. First, can you do something for me?” “What?” “Can you get Sinopa, Kiara, and the twins?” “Okay.” “No shocking anyone though.” “Awww…” she said before turning and walking off. Ten minutes later, Kiara and Sinopa were sitting in front of me.

What did you want us for?” Kiara asked. “Well, I bought you a Charm TM.” “Nice.” “What about me? Am I in trouble?” Sinopa squeaked. I knelt down beside her. “No you aren’t. I have a present for you from Gabi.” “For me?” I nodded. “What is it?” she asked, her curiosity finally winning her over. “It’s a Faint Attack TM.” I explained as I sprinkled the contents of the box over her.

No one could have predicted what happened next. Sugar raced into the room, but she wasn’t alone. The twins were with her, but not like we had expected. Colby had the stub of her tail in his mouth, and Tiny was latched onto Colby’s tail. “Please get them off.” she practically begged. I couldn’t help it, but I burst out laughing. Sinopa and Kiara struggled to keep straight faces. “I didn’t shock them either. They have sharp teeth.” she whined. I nodded, taking a deep breath. “All right, funs over. Let go of Sugar’s… uh.. tail.” Colby immediately complied and thus Tiny released his hold on Colby’s tail. “Whatcha want?” Colby asked. I had only recently begun to understand him. He was quite a talker when the mood struck him. Tiny on the other hand, hardly said anything. “Well, I bought you and Tiny each a mimic TM.” “Cool, can I have mine now?” “Sure.” I said as I gave him the box. Tiny cautiously approached me. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you.” Sinopa nodded. “She’s telling the truth.” “With Sinopa’s encouragement Tiny jumped up on my lap. I gave him the TM, before noticing that he was staring at the stat modification dice. “Do you like that?” I asked him, and he nodded his head yes. “Would you like it?” A grin appeared on his face. “All right, it’s yours. I took his even larger smile as a thank you before he and Colby ran off. I then got on the phone and made a few phone calls.

I turned to look at Sugar. “You ready?” I asked. To my surprise, and her credit, she didn’t shock me. Instead, she jumped up and perched herself on my shoulder. “Yeah. Let’s go. Any idea what I’ll be battling?” “Nope. They just told me that it’s a bug pokemon. I just hope that it isn’t a beedrill. Those things give me the creeps.” Sugar muttered something under her breath. “Well, let’s go. We’ll never get anywhere if we stand here talking.”


(Sugar’s POV)

Even though I was sure that we were going to be late, we arrived early. In fact, my opponent hadn’t even arrived yet, the lady explained as we were let into the backyard of the building. I looked around, before turning to look at Amy. “How long do you think we’ll have to wait?” I asked. No sooner than I had spoken that my ears picked up a buzzing sound that was getting closer. “Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good at all.” “What is it?” “I think my opponent is coming.” I just scanned the skies and jumped nimble to the side when the beedrill dived stinger first. He hit the ground and got stuck. “You my opponent?” it asked. “No, I’m just the stand in while she shows up. Here’s your sign.” “Sugar…” I heard Amy groan.


Sugar L.39 F Jolteon VS. L.39 M Beedrill

Before he could free himself from the ground, I ran over and kicked him twice with my hind legs. He buzzed as his antennas began to glow a green color as he gathered up energy from the sun. “Uh oh,” I said, darting forward and tackling him. Unfortunately, that helped to free the beedrill. “Thank you.” He replied before releasing the energy that he had been gathering. The solar beam caught me in my side, and winded me. When I looked up the beedrill was diving stinger first at me again. He really didn’t learn did he? Well, it was good for me. I used quick attack to get out of the way, and once more the beedrill was stuck in the ground. “Having troubles?” I asked, releasing the electrical energy that I had been building up in a bolt of electrical energy. When he had managed to extricate himself from the ground, he stared at me. “You’re not the only one that can be tricky.” He quickly split into four copies. Immediately, I began laughing. “What’s so funny?” the beedrill asked. “You’ll find out, but not right now.” I replied as I closed my eyes shortly before releasing a blinding flash of light. “Oy, you could have warned me that you were going to do that.” Amy muttered. “Where’s the fun in that?” I replied before turning my attention back to the now temporarily blinded beedrill and his clones. “Now you get to find out.” I told it. My entire body began to glow a bright yellow before I released a wave of electrical energy that tore through the clones before slamming into the real beedrill. The beedrill muttered something under his breath, before he launched a purple glob of poison at me. The sludge bomb hit me square in the face and I immediately felt woozy. Vines quickly erupted from the ground and held the beedrill in place as I gathered my remaining energy into another electrical bolt. Luckily the thunderbolt hit, and the beedrill was knocked out. I stood there panting as the nausea took its toll, before Amy returned me to the safety of my pokeball.


Sugar won!
Sugar grew to L.40!
Sugar learned Double Team as her free tm.

(Amy’s POV)

As soon as the beedrill fainted, I recalled Sugar. I quickly headed for the nearest pokecenter and entrusted Nurse Joy with Sugar’s pokeball. “I’ll have her back good as new.” she assured me. “Thank you.” I told her as I sat down on the couch and waited.

I’d like a 2 on 2 RBG please for Colby and Tiny. *hands over 14 stamps* I’d like it to be from the Free Range Corral please.

Charizard04621
16th December 2004, 09:02 AM
Sorry about not rating anything. >_< I'll try to start picking up after I get back from break, which will be on the 26th. Gabi or Amy (or both), I can get yours, but only if you don't mind waiting several more days. Sorry about this. :(

Lady Vulpix
16th December 2004, 09:16 AM
No problem, Karin. I hope you enjoy your break. :)
Hannah gets 16 stamps. At some points it was hard to tell who was talking. Using (just) colors to show it makes it hard to understand. And mimic works differently in GSC, but I guess there are no rules against using the descriptions from other games at the Battle Range. I liked the descriptions in general. That Rock Tomb was really scary! I still feel I'd like to get to know your characters better. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Light and Amy, I'll try to read yours soon.

As for the RBG, Tiny and Colby will battle a Pidgey and another Eevee. Interesting.

Editing in more ratings.

LightNinetales gets 12 stamps. So... Chataigne's Hidden Power is Dark type? Interesting way to describe it. And Tom's story was interesting too. I liked seeing his point of view. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Amy gets 8 stamps. That was a nice story! ^_^ I liked the training session at the beginning. And Sugar is funny. :keke: Though I don't get what she meant by "here's your sign". And what does 'colo' mean? If, as you said, you were having a writer's block, it really didn't show. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

AntiAsh Superstar
17th December 2004, 06:48 PM
Ah, finally done my RBG. Angst, mental instability, power-crazed maniacs pretending they're righteous, plus a day at the park with the biggest libidos in the history of Ulthuan. Fun! :D

-----
I awoke that morning with a wonderful, inexplicable feeling inside me. The feeling that I had somehow managed to take all that life could throw at me and survived against all the odds. Silently I slipped out of bed, trying my hardest not to disturb the slumbering form of Soo beside me. For once her unruly Charmander had opted not to wake us up at five in the morning. Which might have been more to do with me putting a lock on the door more than anything else, but still Soo deserved a lie in for once. So I moved around with the utmost care, silently finding my glasses and my dressing gown; this latter object was a wonderfully snug black affair that I had been forced to purchase owing to the increasingly bitter nights that not even the most up-to-date central heating could have managed to hold off completely. And it was in total silence that I made my way out of the bedroom and padded down the carpeted stairs, careful not to make so much as a creak as I moved. Today was a good day. I could just tell. In fact the events of the previous night, the terrible Team Rocket riots that had gone on for hours, the encounters with Armand DiAnnio's new Crimson Blades units, they were all starting to seem like fragments of a nightmare. Something unreal, detached from reality in a way that I couldn't hope to comprehend. Something that simply hadn't happened to me at all. Finally allowing myself to whistle cheerfully – albeit badly; for whilst I could sing rather well my whistling always seemed to be horrendously out of tune – I headed over to the kitchen where I intended on making myself a decent meal to start this day off with. Or at the very least asking Sindel if she would mind making it for me.

"Morning, Ade." I let out an audible groan. Sitting nonchalantly upon one of the kitchen surfaces munching her way through a pile of toast was a sight that brought everything rushing back to me with horrible clarity. A sturdy Raichu with a total air of indifference seeming to emanate from her. Thunderblast. So much for last night being just a dream! She smiled as she saw me and waved. "You know, we never used to eat this well at Dan's. Normally we were lucky to get a bowl of cereal thrust at us."
"What on earth is she still doing here?" I asked the other occupant of the kitchen. Sindel was, as ever, busy preparing the day's food, using her considerable psychic powers to perform about ten actions at once. Sometimes it seemed like the Alakazam never actually slept.
"Don't ask me," came the tired response. "All I know is that she turned up about twenty minutes ago complaining very loudly that she was hungry and was going to help herself, and of course there's no way I was letting her do that. Must've spent the night with Sumi or something."
"Correct," Thunderblast nodded. "And do you both mind not talking about me as if I wasn't in the room?"
"Sorry." I shook my head in disbelief, sitting down at the kitchen table and accepting a large mug of coffee from Sindel. "So what are you still doing here?"
"Not really got many other places to be," came the shrugged response. "It seems silly to go back after just one night when I've not caught up nearly as much as I'd like. So I think I might just stick around here for a while if you don't mind." At some point, I couldn't help but notice, Dan's Raichu had stopped relying on her telepathy to talk to me. Yet I was still capable of understanding what she was on about. Now that was an interesting development!
"Hm. You sound like you made up your mind before even asking if it was okay."
"I had," came the disturbingly blunt response. "Mind if I have some more sausage, by the way?"
"You'd help yourself even if I said that I did mind, wouldn't you?"
"See? That's why I'd rather stay with you than anyone else, randy Growlithes notwithstanding. You understand me better than most do." With this comment Thunderblast resumed her eating, leaving me to ponder exactly what was going to become of this latest development. What exactly was she asking? For a place to stay and nothing else? That was what it seemed like, yet there was a subtle undercurrent of something else there as well, something that I simply couldn't figure out at this moment in time. Well, knowing Thunderblast if she wanted something other than that she would be sure to let us know soon enough. In the meantime I had other things to concern myself with. Like the pokémon I had been raising myself for the past few years. Today, I decided, we were going to wind down from the horrors of last night with a nice, simple training session. What could possibly go wrong with that?

As it turned out things seemed to have gone wrong before the day had even started, although I wasn't to know that at the time. The seeds began to spread before I had even had the chance to talk to most of my team, as Milliardo was on his way downstairs to get some breakfast and generally annoy the living daylights out of anybody who was unfortunate enough to run into him. Unfortunately he never got the chance to so much as set a paw on the stairs. For he was distracted along his way by a deep, despairing sobbing coming from one of the side rooms. For a moment he was sorely tempted to ignore it. Milliardo, like most Umbreons, had never been what one could call a morning creature, and the early morning grogginess only served to enhance his irritable streak tenfold. However, as bad tempered as he was, Milliardo would never ignore one of his friends when they were feeling low. And hence he found himself pursuing the source of the sobbing rather than getting on with his day.
"Rhi?" By the time my Umbreon had finally managed to trace the sound's source he was really starting to wish he had never bothered. If for no other reason than he really didn't need to see the sight in front of his eyes right now. There were only a handful of creatures on the planet whose sorrow could cut deeply into his psyche. Pandora was the obvious one. And second place was the creature in front of him now, a remarkably petite Jolteon that was skinny even by the lean standards of her species, her face buried in one of the many large bean bags that made up the beds of the many, many pokémon that inhabited the house. Milliardo was disturbed to note that she was flecked in splatters of blood an even more vibrant red than the uniforms of the Crimson Blades. "Rhi, what's wrong?" He advanced cautiously into the room, that spare room that Rhiannon always seemed to retreat to when she needed time alone in the house. It had been that way ever since she evolved.
"Milliardo!" Rhiannon cried out suddenly, rushing over to her brother and burying her eyes into his flank, crying into his velvet-like fur in the same way she had been soaking her bed just seconds ago. "Milliardo, help me! Help me, she's been really bad, she's been really bad and I can't stop her, I try so hard, I really try but she just won't listen and she keeps on doing it and... oh, I can't stop her, Milliardo, I never could, I could only ever watch as she did all those awful things and... and... Milliardo, I'm scared!"
"Ssh," Milliardo sighed, trying very hard to support his hysterical sister. "Hush, Rhi, nothing's gonna happen to you as long as I'm around. There's only a handful of creatures in this world I really give a shit about, but I'll defend them to my dying breath. You're one of them. Now, whatever's happening here it's nothing compared to the sheer unquenchable pigheadedness of your brother. So let me know what's wrong, Rhi, because I'm gonna find out sooner or later."
"Milliardo..." Rhiannon looked up at her brother with eyes filled with tears. "she's doing it again. She's making us kill. She did it, she did it so easily, she made him tell everything he could tell and then... and then..." At this point the Jolteon burst into fresh bouts of sobbing. All of a sudden all thoughts of breakfast were forgotten. What in earth had happened? Milliardo could only guess. And to be frank the possibilities didn't exactly thrill him.
"Come on, Rhi. You can tell me what happened. I'm your brother, remember? Just calm down and start again from the beginning, because I haven't followed any of it so far." Silently the Umbreon wondered as to when he had become so compassionate and understanding. Was his lack of tact not legendary? Still, there was no time for that now. He had to deal with his hysterical sister before he could allow himself any time for self-reflection.
"She..." the Jolteon whimpered, "she hurt it, she hurt it badly just to find out what it knew, then she killed it!"Finally calming down enough to notice the lack of comprehension on her brother's face, she quickly explained "The Rattata that hurt Pandora. She's been keeping it prisoner in one of her dimensions. Just to find out what it knew about the Crimson Blades, which wasn't much. And when she realised that she... she..." Rhiannon looked just about ready to cry again, the tears welling up in her eyes before she could every attempt to hold them back. Finally it became all too much for her, the very thought of what happened next too much for her to take. Finally the tears started to flow again, wetting her brother's fur as she buried her head in his side. "She killed it, Milliardo, she did it again, she took my body and made it kill it! S... she made me a m... m... murderer!!!"
"Rhi..." Fortunately Milliardo was spared from a potentially impossible to deal with situation; after all, he had never had to deal with anything quite like this before! As it happened, Pearl chose that moment to wander over and see what all the commotion was about.
"What on earth's going on here?" the Ninetales exclaimed, wandering in to find Rhiannon in a hysterical state the likes of which she hadn't seen since the days Pandora had first joined the team. "Milliardo, what happened here?"
"Seems evil Rhi's gone and done it again," the Umbreon snorted by way of reply. "She's quite good company and all in her own stupid way but she's got less remorse than Tsuyoi!" His eyes narrowed. "The sooner we figure out a way to get that monster out of my sister's mind the better, I say."
"Not answering my question, but I get the general idea. Let me handle this from here, okay?"Quietly my Ninetales moved over to the two Eeveelutions, speaking in as calm and reassuring a tone as she could possibly manage. "Rhiannon? Rhiannon, listen to me. No matter what awful things she may have done, you had nothing to do with any of it, okay? Just because she was in your body doesn't make you responsible for any of her actions. And I know it's probably a lot to ask of you to try and think of it that way, especially when you still have the blood of whatever it is she's hurt upon you, but you really have to try. Until you think of her as totally separate from you then you won't be able to fight her. And isn't that what you really want, Rhiannon? To be able to fight against her and drive her and all of her cruelty away from your life for good?" Rhiannon stared at Pearl for the longest of times. A faint trace of a smile crossed her face. "Come on, Rhiannon. Come talk to me, come tell me everything that's troubling you. I can't say I have all the answers. Nobody does. But the least I can do is listen. It's what I do best, after all." Milliardo watched with a bemused look on his face. He had no idea how Pearl managed to do it at all. Get to the root of the problem and turn it so that you couldn't help but spill your guts out to her. All in the space of a few simple sentences that, coming from anyone else, would have sounded rather clichéd. But coming from Pearl they sounded just like the right thing to say. The Umbreon had to envy her for that. Normally when he spoke he managed to come out with the exact wrong thing to say.
"O... okay..." Rhiannon finally sniffled, accompanying Pearl to an adjoining room to lay bare all of her problems like countless others had done before her. Leaving Milliardo to wonder what, exactly, was to become of the sister that he had held dear for so very long.

That was only the first of two major setbacks to befall our team that day. The second arrived in the form of a phone call, just half an hour after we had eaten one of Sindel's delicious and extravagant breakfast spreads. Amongst much complaining from my Alakazam about being undervalued, of course, but, as Milliardo commented, 'she can't be happy unless she's got something to feel affronted about'.
"Hello?" I had picked up the phone without much of a thought. After all, it was quite a nice day outside now despite the season, certainly the sort of day that nothing should have been able to spoil. How wrong I was, however.
"Hello. You're the owner of the Houndour, Pandora, aren't you? Ade?" came the voice on the other end of the phone, a voice I couldn't even claim to recognise. My blood ran cold. There was something not quite right about that voice, some barely concealed pang of anxiety that I picked up on in an instant.
"Yeah. That's right. I am." My mouth was dry as I spoke. "Is something the matter?"
"Well... uhh, it's sort of difficult to explain over the phone. Would you mind coming over to the Pokécenter as soon as you can? I'm afraid to say she's in a bit of a state and could use a friendly face right about now."
"I'm there," I said, slamming the receiver down with unnecessary harshness. What was this now? What had those fools at the Pokémon Center been doing to my poor Houndour behind my back? She had always needed handling with the utmost care. She had always needed a sympathetic face to turn to. Silently I cursed myself for even thinking that I could have left her alone with complete strangers. A need to be healed or not, a prolonged hospital stay may have done her more harm than good. I could see that now. "Guys, I'm gonna need you all to hold down the fort for me for a while, something urgent's come up." Before anyone could hope to so much as say anything in way of response, I quickly added, "Except you, Milliardo, and you, Pearl. You're both coming with me."
"You what?" Milliardo complained. "Hey, the least you could do is explain! I know your little mind doesn't work quite in the same way as the rest of us, but you owe me that much before dragging me off to parts unknown!"
"Quit complaining, you pain in the butt," Thunderblast commented, all but shoving my Umbreon in my direction. Over the past twenty four hours a distinct power struggle had started to develop between the two pokémon, mainly because both seemed to want to be in control, neither seemed to want to give the other one inch of ground, and neither Thunderblast nor Milliardo was finding their usual tactics for getting their own way working very well on the other. "Just go, would you? You're needed."
"Whatever," Milliardo sighed, admitting defeat. Plus there was a distinct air of urgency in my tones, and my Umbreon was never the sort who would leave his friends waiting when they actually needed him. "Okay, Ade. Where are we off to, then?"
"The Pokécenter," I replied in a voice too calm to be truly sane.
"The... what...?" Finally the penny dropped. "Why the **** are we wasting all this time then? Take bloody Thingy as well and she can Teleport us there!" It had to be said that when the danger finally hit home Milliardo had always been the first to show the side that was concerned for his friends above all else. The point was whether that side was being shown too late.

A short while later and my little group had long since departed, leaving behind a bored, listless and confused group of pokémon free to mill about the house as they pleased.
"Man, I'm bored!" Kasumi whined for the millionth time. "It's no fair. Marius and Becks have hogged the computers..." This was only a complaint because since Marius' conquest on the system Kasumi had quickly realised how easily her telekinesis could be used to press keyboard keys. She cast a sulky glance over at the two pokémon, too intent in a multi player game of some random Doom clone to notice. "... nothing's on the telly AGAIN and what's worse it that even I have to admit that if I get 'Sumi'-ed again in the next hour or so I'm gonna be too sore to do much at all for about a week." The Growlithe sighed, turning to her usual source of inspiration. Namely Thunderblast. "Know anything we can do that doesn't involve lots of rubbing, snuggling and generally slowly killing ourselves in the nicest way possible?"
"Plenty," came the calm response. "Depends on how mean you want to be in the process. I mean, if you want to get Marius and Beckham off the computer, for instance, that's easily fixed. If, however, you want fresh inspiration, I have a few ideas on that score, too."
"Ooh! Come on, spill the beans!"
"Okay. This is how I see it. Ade was planning on holding a training session today until he had to dash off." Not even Thunderblast was tactless enough to just blurt out why I had dashed off, even though she understood my reasons perfectly well. "So how about we just carry on without him and train ourselves? It's not like we couldn't do it, is it?"
"Heh, that's true!" Katnip interjected, suddenly zooming in from the rafters of the room where he was currently dangling by his tail. "Neither of ya were around for this, but when I first joined Ade was on his back fer ages with some stupid illness, we really did hafta train ourselves fer ages! No reason why we couldn't again fer one day." The Raticate grinned broadly. "Or why ya both couldn't. I can see where this was goin' before I butted in."
"Hey, if anybody does wanna come along..." Kasumi began, but was swiftly silenced by a shake of the head.
"Nah. We lost Marius an' Becks since 9am. Rhi don't seem too well right now. Yer gonna hafta be a better talker than Pearl an' Milly combined ta get Scratchy or Brandy ta tag along. Megan seems too busy cheerin' Becks along. Ryo-Ohki hasn't even woken up yet, an' as for Bolovayr... man, that spook's in a world of his own. Milly, Sindel an' Pearl have all buggered off with Ade, Pandora's still in hospital... so unless ya wanna train with any of Soo's lot that leaves me, an' I wouldn't wanna get in the way of ya both spendin' some quality time tagether when I can just spar with Sparky fer a bit or somethin'."
"Katnip, you're a star," Kasumi grinned brightly. "Shouldn't we, like, let Soo or someone know where we'll be, though?"
"Oh, I'm sure Katnip can pass on a message for us, right?" Thunderblast smirked with a look on her face that was easily interpreted as 'you WILL pass on a message'. "Come on, Sumi, let's get out of here. I know of a few places that we could find a battle or two at."
"Ya could find a fight pretty much anywhere," Katnip commented. "Don't suppose many really understand yer way of makin' a point too well, huh?"
"I guess not," the Raichu finally conceded after giving this a moment's thought. "It's no skin off my nose, though. I like to fight and the ones I actually am bothered about tend not to get violent if I say something they don't want to hear, it all works out rather well for me in the end regardless." Suddenly she broke out into a bright grin. "Now stop holding us up, we were supposed to be sneaking off at this point! Sumi, you coming or what?"
"I'm there!" my Growlithe grinned brightly. A day spent in the company of her favourite pokémon of all awaited her, and it lifted her spirits to an almost euphoric level. What happier creature could there possibly be than Kasumi right about now?

As it turned out, the day was spent in a far more idyllic fashion than Kasumi had expected. The two had made their way over to the local park. Lots of trainers tended to practice there owing to it being the biggest patch of open land within the confines of Sector Alpha. Thunderblast had assured her that they would have themselves opponents within minutes of crossing the threshold. Which never happened. Instead the two pokémon found themselves flopped underneath a nearby tree, Thunderblast lay back contentedly watching the sky as Kasumi snuggled into her side. So maybe it wasn't training. It was still a good way to spend the day, just flopped down without so much as a care in the world.
"Sumi?" Thunderblast asked.
"Yes?"
"Do you think I did the right thing?"
"What do you mean?" My Growlithe picked her head up to pay more attention to what Thunderblast was saying, although it soon flopped back down again as the Raichu began absently scratching her belly.
"Upping and leaving like I did, I mean. I spent years with Dan and his team then I go run off. It's probably not what most would consider good behaviour. And besides, here's the really damning thing... I don't even think I can say I regret it, you know? I left those I spent so long with and I don't even feel guilty about it, not one jot. I guess those who say I'm odd might have a point, huh?" The Raichu gave a half-hearted laugh at this point. "This is where I need to be, though, here, with you. If anyone's got a problem with that then it's tough."
"I'm glad you're here," Kasumi smiled contentedly. "I don't think anybody else really gets me like you do. They either see the mad, excitable girl who's the sort to get up and do really bad, out-of-tune karaoke – and face it, if I was human I'd probably be one of those blonde-haired, short-skirted girls in really painful high heels that make everyone cringe by getting too worked up on a night out – or the colossal pervert. It's never both. And that really bugs me. I know it's probably my own doing what with me finding shocking people hilarious and all, but... hmph, nobody but you seems able to withstand my sense of humour for long enough to notice there's other stuff there as well."
"It's called 'digging your own grave', Sumi, that's what that is." Thunderblast yawned loudly, the relaxing effect of stroking Kasumi starting to get to her. "You're loud, you're excitable and you're more... uh, well, how can I put this tactfully? Wait, why should I care about that? You're more interested in being screwed in the most imaginative ways possible than most. Again, we get back to the whole 'we're like this, deal with it' thing. Seems to be the answer to everything, if you ask me."
"Good point!" Sumi conceded.
"Anyway, shouldn't we be finding ourselves an opponent right about now?" the Raichu asked, abruptly changing the subject.
"Yeah, but how do we do that, exactly?"
"Well, what kind of opponent do you fancy fighting?"
"Hmm..." Sumi thought about this for a second. Normally she would have said 'a cute one'. But having Thunderblast in the house had taken the edge off her libido a little. At least when it came to random strangers. "As big a challenge as possible, I'd say." Then, almost as an afterthought, "Oh, and do-able, you know what I mean?"
"Am I not good enough for you now?" Thunderblast asked, her eyes scanning the area for likely opponents.
"Of course! Am I not allowed to want a bit of eye candy now or something?"
"I'm not that possessive," came the calm reply. "Flirt and ogle as much as you want. Just bear in mind I have a lot of stamina, so you might want to make this an exclusive relationship if you don't want to end up in a Pokécentre with a really embarrassing complaint due to overuse."
"I'm bordering on that happening as it is!" Kasumi grinned. "So, I guess just find me the toughest opponent you can."
"I have it sorted," came the evil-sounding reply. All of a sudden a seemingly random Sudowoodo came flying towards the two pokémon. Although it wasn't in a 'leap of rage' kind of way that you would expect from an enemy. This pokémon seemed as if it had been just flung through the air in their direction! All of a sudden Thunderblast was on top of the pokémon, her front paws poised ready to strike. "Right, you," she commented calmly, "You're going to have a battle with my friend over there, and you're going to like it. You're going to give it your all. Because if you don't... well, I know many ways to hurt you, and the Cross Chop I'm threatening you with at the minute is the least of your worries. Savvy?"
"Uh... uh-huh," came the petrified response.
"See? What did I tell you? Nothing to it." Here Thunderblast stepped smartly off the fallen pokémon and turned to Kasumi with a grin."One opponent, all ready and waiting."
"Mean, but very effective," Kasumi chuckled. Here she turned to address her less than willing opponent. "Sorry about that. However, I would kind of like a battle if that's okay with you."
"I guess," the Sudowoodo grumbled, dusting itself down and looking as affronted as a Sudowoodo could possibly manage. "I was hoping to find someone to spar with myself. Your friend could have got my attention in a slightly nicer way, though! I mean, how hard can it be for two remarkably pretty pokémon like yourselves to get a guy to notice them?"
"Give it a rest, bud," Thunderblast interrupted, clearly none too impressed with the pokémon's attempts at flattery. Although Kasumi seemed rather obviously pleased at the compliment. "You're fighting, remember? First to a knockout wins, no seriously wounding your opponent, yadda yadda." Here the Raichu patted Kasumi on the back before tacking a step away. "Let's see what you both can do, guys!"

FIGHT!!! L14 Growlithe v L14 Sudowoodo!

Kasumi circled her opponent with caution, trying hard to remember everything she could about the Sudowoodo race. Which wasn't particularly much. The only fact that came to mind was that although they looked like plants they were anything but, and her Fire attacks were going to be of little help in this particular encounter. Well, that was okay by her. She knew a few other little tricks that would be of use anyway.
"Okay!" the Growlithe cried out suddenly. "Let's see how you handle this!" Quickly she raced towards her opponent and sunk her teeth hard into one of its branch-like arms before it so much as had a chance to realise what was going on. She had the obvious advantage of speed in this confrontation. And it was an advantage she had every intention of using.
"Ah!!" The Sudowoodo gave a sharp cry of pain. That had been unexpected! Angrily it waved its arm hard, until the force of its flailing limb threw Kasumi from her position fastened into its flesh. With a speed surprising for its awkward shape the strange pokémon continued with its seemingly random flailing about, rushing at the slightly stunned Growlithe in a mass of thrashing, jerking movements. Kasumi only just had enough of her wits left about her to get out of the way as soon as humanely possible. After all, she knew what this move was, she had used it to great success on many occasions herself! "Come back here!" her opponent yelled, its mad thrashing only serving to add to its general awkwardness now that Kasumi was up and moving again.
"You think I'm mad?" Kasumi shouted excitedly, getting caught up in the moment. "Well, maybe I am mad, but I'm not stupid!" She cast a sly glance over at Thunderblast, who was stood on the sidelines watching with a critical eye. "What do you think to a spot of Sudowoodo tipping?" she asked.
"Might be kind of funny," her girlfriend shrugged, not seeming to care much either way.
"Cool! Then watch... and learn." Kasumi focused her thoughts upon her opponent, sending out a short but strong burst of psychic energy in the direction of the still-thrashing Rock type. It did its job admirably, knocking the stick-like pokémon flat on its back. Which was never a good position for a Sudowoodo to be in. It left it open for the real Hidden Power attack, a crushing blast of psychic energy directed downwards onto its now-exposed chest, knocking the very wind clean from its lungs.
"Nice going!" Thunderblast cooed appreciatively from her place as spectator. "I though you were just pissing about with the Sudowoodo tipping thing."
"Well. uh, actually I was, the fact there was an opening just happened to occur to me as I was knocking him over." My Growlithe blushed slightly. "Glad you liked that little trick, though."
"I'll like it better when you actually defeat him," Thunderblast noted calmly. "Eyes forward, Sumi, he's getting up again."
"He is?" The Growlithe turned to set her eyes upon her opponent who, sure enough, was picking itself up off the floor, a look of indignation in its eyes. "Oh great. You just don't know when to call it a day, do you?"
"On the contrary, but now isn't that time! Prepare to lose!" With a speed that was quite remarkable for a creature so awkwardly-built, the weird-looking pokémon shot forward and planted a strong kick in Kasumi's chest, knocking her backwards with a cry of pain. Kasumi blinked the tears away from her eyes. That had hurt! A sudden anger flaring up within her, the Growlithe fired another strong psychic blast from her Hidden Power in the direction of her opponent. It struck with unerring accuracy, sending the Sudowoodo hurtling backwards to crash painfully into the grassy floor, its skidding body ploughing a deep ridge in the ground as it went. "Y... you..." the fallen pokémon grumbled, getting unsteadily back up to a sitting position, its usually blank face contorted into a scowl. "That does it! Enough games! I'm putting an end to this, then I can be free of this whole stupid situation!" The pokémon paused for a moment, clearly concentrating hard on something. Quite what that was, however, wasn't initially apparent. Until a huge boulder seemed to rise out of the ground behind the pokémon, hovering there menacingly for a moment. Kasumi could see where this was going, and it wasn't exactly a comforting prospect.
"Uhh... let's talk about this, can we?" she gulped, looking all about her for some possible means of cover. Sadly that seemed to be rather thin on the ground on this particular day. "Like, isn't there some unwritten rule against hitting ladies with giant rocks or something?"
"Sumi," Thunderblast commented with a roll of her eyes. "I love the damsel-in-distress act, I really do, but you're the telekinetic Growlithe, you shouldn't have anything to fear from any tangible attack at all."
"Eh?"
"Sorry. I forgot who I was talking to, you airhead," The Raichu stuck her tongue out. "You can throw that thing right back at him, right?"
"Oh! Right!" Finally the penny seemed to drop, and hence Kasumi returned her focus back to the battle at hand, a sudden smirk upon her face. Yes, the plan was risky. But it seemed a risk that was well worth taking. "Okay you, since you're so strong let's see what you got."
"You asked for it!" All of a sudden Kasumi found the large boulder being hurtled at her at a speed that she would have found terrifying if she hadn't been alerted to a game plan so obvious she was kicking herself for having never thought of it herself. Her eyes narrowed as she gathered up every ounce of concentration that she possessed. This was going to be a tough one! Slowly but surely she began to work her Hidden Power's remarkable skills upon the incoming missile, trying hard to counteract its motion with her telekinesis. To begin with it didn't appear as if her tactic was paying off. The boulder was still moving towards her. But as the seconds passed it became clearer and clearer that its speed was rapidly decreasing, until it finally shuddered to a halt just touching the Growlithe's nose. It was as much as she could do to stop herself from collapsing from relief. That had been a close one! "W... what on earth just happened?" Kasumi's opponent blinked in disbelief at what it was seeing. "How did you manage to stop my Rock Throw?"
"That's for me to know and you to be confused about for the rest of your life, big boy," Kasumi grinned, her normal confidence returning now that she felt more in control of the situation. "Let's just say it's the same thing that let's me do this." Abruptly my Growlithe gave the giant stony sphere another sharp push, applying just enough force to send it soaring straight back at her opponent, who couldn't so much as hope to avoid it. Or the last invisible blast of energy she sent swiftly following on its heels for good measure. The results of this dual-pronged attack were spectacular. First, the boulder collided with the Sudowoodo. Then the psychic attack struck home, smashing straight through the stone. Causing the entire thing to explode in an instant.

"Geez, Sumi, finish with a bang, why don't you?" The flying shrapnel was causing no end of chaos to the surrounding area, although Thunderblast at least was finding it relatively easy to dodge, deflect and generally destroy any stray bits of stone that headed in her direction. With an almost bemused annoyance she batted away another handful of sharp shards with a well-aimed psychic blast. "This is what happens when you give someone psychic powers but don't teach them how to use them, I guess." The Raichu looked all around her as the dust finally settled, her eyes finally alighting upon a slightly scratched Kasumi, who seemed more shell shocked than actually hurt from the incident. "Or it could just be what happens when you give Sumi psychic powers, period." Quickly she bounded over to her companion and began absently dusting her down. "I really don't know how you manage it," she tutted. "You're even a klutz with your psychic powers, aren't you? Good job for me you at least keep your clumsiness out of the bedroom."
"Huh?" Kasumi blinked several times, her brain finally returning to the real world. "Thunderblast? What happened to my opponent?"
"Over there," the Raichu replied, waving over to where the Sudowoodo had passed out in a pile of broken rock. "I'd say you got him good. And without trying to use Attract as well, now that's what really stunned me." Finally Thunderblast had managed to get Kasumi into some state of tidiness again. Carefully she took a step back to admire her handiwork. "Pretty as a picture."
"What kind of picture?" Kasumi grinned, her usual bounce starting to come back to her.
"Oh... one out of those magazines you find on the top shelves of newsagents. Probably with a title like 'Small and Slutty' or something equally stupid."
"You sure know how to make a girl feel special, Thunderblast."
"I try my best." The two pokémon grinned at each other for a moment that seemed to last an eternity. All of a sudden the sinister events of the past few days seemed to melt away entirely. All of a sudden life seemed to be very good indeed, just two pokémon who truly enjoyed each other's company spending an idyllic day at the park. A simpler life than this couldn't be imagined.

Kasumi wins!
Kasumi grew to L15!

"What on earth do you mean by THAT???" Sadly not everybody had the privilege of a simple life. For some of us life was fraught with complications, with twists and turns that only seemed to grow all the more cruel with every passing day. But even so, even by the usual standards of the evil tricks that life seemed to like to play upon me, this was probably an all-time low.
"I'm sorry, sir." The Nurse Joy stood in front of me was wearing her best apologetic face, trying her very best to appear sympathetic to my plight. Like hell she truly understood. Just to ring me up like that to impart such terrifying news, then to stand in front of me with a false sincerity so irritating that it was as much as I could do to stop myself from screaming at her... no, this was the last thing I needed right now. "I meant exactly what I said, and I'm truly sorry you had to hear this, it can't be easy for you..."
"Damn right it's not easy for me!" I shouted. "I should have just taken her home the instant she woke up. But I didn't. So it's all my fault." What, exactly, was my fault? This whole situation. The phone call from earlier had been the local Pokécentre with a rather urgent-sounding message that instructed me to come down as quickly as possible as there had been a problem with Pandora's recovery. Only when I had arrived, however, did I grow to realise exactly how grave the 'problem', as they called it, truly was. Pandora seemed to be totally broken. Something had happened, somehow, that seemed to have finally tipped her fragile psyche over the edge. All she seemed to be able to do was stare blankly forward into space, not really fully registering what was going on around her. Even the frantic efforts of Pearl and Milliardo didn't seem to be doing much in the way of good, my two pokémon trying their hardest to cajole some kind of reaction from her whilst I dealt with this irritating Nurse Joy.
"You're not to blame for this," came the calm response. "If anything it's our fault."
"Tell me something I don't know," I hissed venomously. "This place has done her no good at all. Give me whatever papers I need to sign to get her discharged. We're taking her home with us right now before you can screw things up any more."
"I'm afraid I can't let you do that."
"You what?" I asked frostily, rounding upon the nurse with a surprising amount of anger. "How can you dare tell me that after it was in your care that all of this happened?"
"I'm sorry. Really I am. But we simply can't let her go in this state. If you were to take her away whilst she's like this, as justified as your reasons might be, serious questions would be asked about your capabilities as a trainer. To remover her from where she can get the help she needs... you could lose your trainer's license for that, you know."
"Got an answer for everything, don't you?" I snarled. "Fine. You have three days to get her better. If there's been no headway by then... well, I'm coming in here and taking her away, and screw you and your stupid rules. I'll be hanging around here like a bad stench until then, though, you can count on that." So saying, I stormed away from the conversation, too furious to even consider carrying on arguing lest I say or do anything that I would later regret.
"You did well," a calm voice rang out from behind a well-concealed door. "You almost had me believing that the only reason we have to let him stew is because he might get his license revoked."
"I didn't appreciate having to do that, you know," the Nurse Joy complained with a decidedly bitter tone in her voice. "It goes against all of my training."
"I've no interest in your ethics, woman." Finally the owner of the mystery voice decided to reveal himself, stepping out from the shadows. A tall, gaunt figure with thick black hair that fell over his pale face, dressed in padded black clothing trimmed with silver. Hardly an inch of his flesh was on show. Even his hands were covered by thick black gloves. And his eyes were hidden by dark sunglasses that allowed no inkling as to what was going on in his mind. "In any war there has to be casualties. That one has been clashing with DiAnnio far too many times for my liking. Not to mention he's one of the few veteran Tamers left in Ulthuan. I feel much better knowing that he'll be too distracted by his poor little Houndour to snoop around in my business."
"I would have thought that all a Lord of the Dragon's Guild would have to do to silence a Dragon Tamer is give them an order." The way the nurse said 'lord' indicated that she didn't think much of her companion's status, nor his worthiness of such a title.
"We tried that. They don't listen. So it's just a case of making sure they're too busy to meddle where they're not needed. Harsh, but necessary. Which reminds me, maybe it would be best if we gave Lady Vulpix a few more pointless reports to do, just to keep her occupied..." A slight smile formed at the corners of the man's mouth. "The trouble with the Dragon Tamers, you see, is that everything has to be black and white for them. They can't see how complicated the world really is, how sometimes the just course of action isn't the wisest one. No, if we let them run around unchecked we'd have a political disaster on our hands. Power tends to fall in the hands of the most ruthless, and it's never good to upset those who hold the power."
"So I see," the Nurse Joy complained. "And there was me thinking the Dragons Guild was supposed to be a benevolent organisation."
"Oh, we exist for the protection of Ulthuan. And I do what I do for a reason. The Crimson Blades possess a biological weapon that has been brooding and growing ever stronger since the days of the Dark Cloak, and to send mere pokémon trainers against it would only serve to enrage it all the more. I was entrusted with the task of tying up the loose ends regarding this, so to speak, and I don't need all these people with vendettas rushing about getting in the way of my business." Here he turned to look at the Nurse Joy with an expression that she guessed was remarkably sharp. "But I talk too much. Woman, you've outgrown your usefulness to me now." The man reached into a concealed pocket within his jacket and pulled out a pokéball that was the same black and silver as the rest of his ensemble. "Number 27, deal with this for me." Abruptly the pokéball burst open in a blinding flash of light to reveal a Scizor with a rather vacant expression in its eyes. And that wasn't all that was wrong with the creature. Its entire left arm seemed to have been replaced with a remarkably futuristic-looking bionic replacement, all chrome and wires and electrical buzzing.
"W... wait!" The Nurse Joy backed away, wanting to cry out for help but finding herself paralysed by fear. She stumbled backwards over a random box and fell hard on her behind. The pain was excruciating, but it didn't stop her retreat in the slightest. "You can't do this!"
"Number 27, if you'd be so kind as to eradicate the lady's memories of the past five minutes."
"Yes, Lord Absol." The Scizor advanced menacingly upon the Nurse Joy, taking slow, sluggish steps towards her that should have been easy to retreat from. Easy, that is, if she hadn't been captivated by the shining amber stone that had somehow materialised from the pokémon's forehead. It was shimmering with an almost ethereal light, threatening to capture her mind forever with its exquisite beauty.
"By the way, the reason I would rather deal with DiAnnio myself, in case you wondered, is that I'm not exactly short of a biological weapon or two myself..." Those were the last words Nurse Joy heard before the entire world became nothing more than a brilliant yellow hue.

---
BTW, I'd like to give Pandora an RBG at the Electric Shutdown System, please. I've a little mini-story for her that needs to be worked out via the use of RBGs. :D And before I forget, nice story, Gabi, that Alakazam Pidgeot fought has Armand sussed pretty well I reckon. :D

Lady Vulpix
18th December 2004, 07:20 AM
*Prints Ade's battle.*
Thanks, Ade! I'm glad you've read my story, and liked it. :)
Now for your Random Battle... Pandora will be up against a Plusle!
I'd like to see what comes out of this.

I hope I can finish my 2nd part of the story soon. The part of it I've done already includes a character who's been out of the scope of my stories for too long for Hero to allow it. :P

Oh, and for your story, you get 20 stamps! I was wondering when he would show up, but I never thought it would be this way. And Thunderblast is scary! I felt sorry for the Sudowoodo. I wonder where this all will lead... ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Wolfsong
24th December 2004, 07:43 PM
Sorry, if its not a detailed rate, but i enjoyed reading your story and thanks for that link. It was helpful and I was glad to have read that background info ^^ Sorry about Pidgeot's experiences though. Apologies for taking a while to get around to rating it but with the holidays... *Gives 15 stamps* Reading yours made me realize that i need to get started on my story

Lady Vulpix
26th December 2004, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the stamps, Amy! And also thanks to Ade, Amy and Karin for reading the first part of my story for this scenario. ^_^ Here's the 2nd part.

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

<Pidgeot's POV>

I heard sounds in the darkness. At first, nothing had meaning. All I could feel was a general numbness. Then I remembered the battle, my encounter with the Alakazam, the Team Rocket meeting, the Crimson Blades... I wished it had all been a nightmare, but it was all too real. All the physical pain soon came to me to confirm that. What had happened then? Why was I on the ground? I recalled something hitting me while I was flying for help. Possibly a stray attack from a battle below... or maybe the pain from a wound my mind had blocked out during the battle, coming back to me once the threat was gone. Either way, the sound of fights all around me made one thing obvious: the war had begun.

I made an effort to open my eyes. For a moment I thought the light would blind me, but then I remembered the sky was all dark. When my eyelids finally moved away from each other, I saw a pair of reddish pink eyes (or maybe pinkish red) looking at me.
"Welcome back to the world of the living," a female Ninetales voice said.
The voice echoed in my head, barely standing out from the loud surrounding noises. I focused my sight and the full image of the Ninetales took form. She looked like she hadn't had an easy morning, though it couldn't had been as bad as mine. I knew her, of course. I had even battled her once, but it had been a friendly battle, nothing like the one I'd just had. I knew I could trust her. I'd finally found some of the help I was looking for.
"Thanks," I told her. "How long was I out?"
"Hmm... I'd say about an hour, judging by how the scents of the street have settled on you."
"I bet that's something only you can say," I commended her, trying to sit up. She helped me, lifting my head with hers.
"There are many who are much more powerful than me," she said. "Without going too far, I have a friend who can see the future. I only have good senses."
"We work with what we have," I said.
"That's true. I just wish I could do more at a moment like this. What happened to you anyway?"

I started to tell Tracker everything: how I had made it into the Team Rocket headquarters, and everything I'd seen. Officer Jenny soon came running after her Ninetales, yelling at her for running off again, but stopped when she saw me, letting me finish my story. I then said everything about the Alakazam, the battle and how I had escaped, but then I had fallen before I could get back home.
"It's ok," Tracker said. "We'll take you to a Pokemon Center, and then I'll find your team and tell them everything. Then we'll all stop Team Rocket and this new group too."
"That won't be easy."
"What kind of police pokemon would I be if I backed off whenever things got tough?"
I nodded. She was right.
"I wish I could speak Pokemon language," Officer Jenny said. "This Pidgeot belongs to Lady Vulpix, right?"
Tracker nodded.
"We'll have to find its trainer. But first he'll need some help. I'll call the Pokemon Center and ask them to fetch it."

I wasn't used to being called 'it' and I can't say I liked it, but I appreciated the help. Especially since I didn't feel like I'd be able to make it there on my own. After the officer made the call, both she and Tracker stayed with me for a few minutes, until two young men came to me with a stretcher. I could stand up by then, though my wings didn't seem ready to lift me yet. They watched as I was taken to the ambulance which was already carrying several wounded pokemon, and then left with Tracker's promise to get the rest of my team.

<Gabi's POV>

The meeting started rather well considering the fact that it was arranged on such a short notice and we didn't have enough information to act upon. I felt sorry about interrupting Karin's vacation, but this was important and she wouldn't have wanted to miss it anyway. Gwaihir carried her and the rest of her team to the DT Central so fast, it felt like they hadn't gone away at all. Once we were all there, I tried to tell my friends everything I knew about the current crisis. Amy and Karin seemed disoriented; I attributed that to my own inability to explain the situation clearly, though how clear could I be when I wasn't certain about what was going on myself? We all agreed that something had to be done, but none of us seemed to be willing to take the lead this time. Then, in the middle of the meeting, my gearphone rang. Weird, since it had been over a year since someone had last phoned me on that number. I wondered who'd bother me at a time like this... though it could be something important. I picked up.

"Hello?," I said.
"Hello, this is Golden Growlithe of the Dragon's Guild."
The formality sounded out of place and confused me for a moment, but I soon recognized my interlocutor.
"Ah, it's you! Sorry, you caught me in the middle of a meeting."
"Oh, I'm sorry. But if I hadn't called you, Lady Ninetales would have and I assure you that you'd rather talk to me. She's become even more irritating than usual."
"Oh, I see. So is this about the report I handed in last week? Or do they want me to start a new one already?"
"I swear you're psychic."
"It's the only reason why she ever calls me," I explained.
"Well, yes, they're asking you to write a new report. You can pick the subject and location. You're also allowed to take company with you to help you with your research. They want something good and said they don't want to limit your scientific developments in any way, so you literally get to go anywhere you want this time. I wish I would get all those benefits."
"A year ago I'd have been grateful, but now I'm starting to feel they're trying to drive me away. I wonder what I have done to annoy them so much... Or what they're hiding that they don't want me to find out."
"Yeah, I'm working on it. But for now I don't even know who the Dragon Master is. If there is one at all. Maybe we should talk about this personally someday, but I can see the Guild is facing more internal problems than they care to show. Maybe if you take me with you to do your research we can talk more freely."
"I'll think about it, but that will have to wait. We're in the middle of a crisis now."
"A crisis?"
"Yes... I have a feeling you'll understand what I'm talking about if you get out of the building for a moment."
"Ok, I will, but LN wants to know what the subject of your report will be and she'll ask me about it as soon as she comes back."
"She wants me to come up with a subject right now?! She knows I'm not good at taking decisions on such a short notice!"
"Hey, don't yell at me. I'm just the messenger."
"Sorry. I just can't right now. Can I please have a week to think about it? I can think of something good for next week, but not today."
"I don't know... that decision's not up to me. I have just enough power to call you, but not enough to decide what to tell you. Maybe if you think of something now... and then if you want to change it before next week I don't think anyone will mind."
"Ok, let me think..."
I didn't know why the thought crossed my mind. It was always unexpected when it came, but it was recurrent. Sometimes it brought nostalgia, sometimes sorrow or even guilt, and sometimes it came with the weight of unfinished business. Well, maybe I'd get the chance to get rid of one of those feelings now. I just needed to give it a title...
"Ponytas in high places."
"What?!"
"Sorry, I think that didn't make any sense. Maybe you can help me word it better, I mean... how high altitude affects Ponytas, since they're known to live on the plains, but a few colonies of Ponytas have developed on mountainous regions... I'd like to write a report about how those groups of Ponytas have adapted to life in the mountains."
"Ah, ok. I think I can work with that. Thanks, you're really not that bad at coming up with ideas on a short notice."
"To be honest, that's not what I did. I needed a reason to go to a certain place and now I have it. If the Guild is going to use me, I might as well play the same game and use them in the process."
"I didn't know you were capable of such actions."
"I'm normally peaceful, but I react if they push me too much. I'm not going to hurt anyone, there's just something I need to sort out in order to be at peace with myself. But only after we've dealt with this more urgent crisis."
"Alright, if there's any way I can help you, I will. Oh, by the way, before I forget... A woman came by about an hour ago. I don't know if this means anything, but I didn't know her, and my pokemon were uneasy around her. She didn't look like she was from the Guild, but she ended up leaving the building with one of the Guild's most prominent scientists. And he didn't look too pleased. I thought you might want to know."
"At this time anything out of ordinary could be a clue. What did the woman look like?"
"Blonde, long wavy hair, well built for a woman if you get what I mean. She wore a black skirt and a blouse with large pink roses. She had a wide smile plastered on her face, but it didn't look like a sincere smile of joy, nor a completely fake smile... it was somewhat disturbing, I can't tell exactly what it looked like."
"I see... I don't know anyone who would wear a blouse with large pink roses, but please tell me if she shows up again. Did she or the scientist say anything? Who was the scientist anyway?"
"People call him Gene. I think his first name is Eugene, but he doesn't say his last name in public. I think it's classified or something. He's a weird guy. He rarely shows his face around here. He works with the guy who threw a fit when the rainbow Aipom was released, but I don't know what they're working on."
"Alright, I'll... think about all of this when I get the chance. It may or may not mean something, but right now..."
"You have a crisis to avert. I know. Good luck with that, my friends and I will help if we can."
"Thanks. See you."
"Bye."

I turned back to my friends at the meeting room. They were talking, but hadn't seemed to come to an agreement while I was on the phone.
"So, where were we?," I asked.

<Hero's POV>

The meeting was being carried out as it had begun: plain boring and useless. These girls took ages to make any decisions. It was easier when Scott was around, he'd decide what to do and everyone else would have to adjust immediately. Or even Ryan: he'd never been a part of the DT staff, but he always had a plan and Gabi would always find a way to implement it. I couldn't tell if they really had no ideas or none of them was willing to take responsibility for the whole thing. And the pokemon weren't really participating. What can I say?, I guess everyone was confused about what was going on. Even Caledor seemed uneasy, and that's something you don't see everyday. Then Gabi got the phone call... for a moment she looked like she was about to explode. And she started talking about things that made no sense to me, so I stopped paying attention and started looking through the window. The sky was still unnaturally dark. Down on the streets, even the crickets had gone silent. But far away I could hear the sound of things getting broken and beams being shot. Typical pokemon war, if you asked me. But no one did ask me. And then, also on the street, I saw what came to me as a ray of sunlight in the darkness. And Officer Jenny was running after her, as usual.

It was a good thing that the door wasn't locked. I pushed down the knob and ran down the stairs until I reached the entrance. Naturally, I made it there before Tracker did and waited for her. Unfortunately, I had to wait for someone to open the main door. In the meantime I looked at her. She looked rather worn out, and her hair was almost as messed up as mine, which was unusual in her. I'd always wondered how she managed to keep it neat all the time; now I knew the answer: she didn't. Her ears were moving sideways, as usual whenever something was going on. She never missed out on anything. But her eyes... her light ruby eyes were fixed on me. I was glad I had fur all over my face to cover the blushing.

When the door was finally open, both Tracker and Jenny walked into the building.
"Hero," Tracker said with a smile. For some reason when she said it it didn't feel just like my name, but the original meaning of the word.
"Beats Speedy and Spooky," I answered, immediately scolding myself mentally for not coming up with anything better.
"Well, Speedy was Scorch's idea, not mine. Between us, I think he was never good for picking names. Flame was better at it."
"Flame's names weren't that far from the obvious either. They were just a little more poetic, but still unoriginal. Blessing, Sunrise, Sunset..."
"...Tracker..."
"Well, your name suits you, but there's a lot more to you than that."
"Thanks for noticing," she smiled. "But that happens with all names. They can never fully describe their bearers. That's why it takes time to get to know others well."
"Yeah, some need more time than others. You're good at figuring others out."
"It's just a matter of attention, really. I'm sure you can do it too, if you try."
"You know my attention's only good for battles and competition. That's my only flaw."
"Sure," she chuckled, "because you don't seem to have any modesty problems."
"Nah. No modesty to worry about," I laughed. "Really, it's good to see you here."
"I'm glad to see you too. I've been so busy lately... training, patrolling, investigating, chasing criminals... working as a police pokemon is a demanding job and today it's started out as the worst day we've had this year. I hadn't seen riots like these since the attacks on the hotels, only now it's all over the city. Only a few have been caught so far, it looks like were doing clean up work more than anything else. It's like they're always one step ahead of us."
"Then it must be time to stop and think of what they're going to do next so you can catch them, isn't it?"
"Don't think I haven't thought about it, it's just that the attacks don't seem to have any visible pattern yet. Except that most of the targets have been pokemon and pokemon trainers, but that's still to vague a track to follow. And now, from what I've heard, the Rockets are fighting each other. Oh, before we accidentally change the subject again, I met your Pidgeot friend today. He knows more about this whole thing than I do, I think you should talk to him. He's at the Greendale Pokemon Center now."
"Is he hurt?"
"He is, but don't worry. They're looking after him and he'll recover soon. He has an amazing willpower from the stories you and he have told me. He won't be taken down easily."
"Yes, that's his strong point in battles. Will to keep fighting and a good ability to adjust and improvise. I guess that helps in life as well. So, what happened to him?"
"He had a clash with a Rocket pokemon. And old enemy, apparently. He managed to escape after watching Team Rocket declare some sort of a civil war."
"We need to tell the others."
"I think my trainer's already taken care of some of it. She must have told the Tamers what she knows, though one of us or both will have to go up there and fill in the gaps because she couldn't understand what Pidgeot said."
Only then I noticed Officer Jenny was gone. I really needed to work on my attention.
"She doesn't understand you yet?," I asked Tracker.
"No," Tracker shook her head. "She has no psychic abilities, and while we care for each other, communication between us hasn't improved that much. I think I'm to blame for a part of it. I know I always keep acting on my own initiative instead of waiting for her to make a decision, or sometimes even in spite of what she says. But in our line of work often every second counts and I can't help but trust my instincts. Most of the time I have more information than she does. And I think the fact that she's my second trainer doesn't help her confidence. She looks a lot like her cousin, but they don't act the same way. Plus I think she knows she's not the reason why I decided to stay here instead of going back to Goldenrod."
"I see. It sounds like a complicated situation. I'd like to help you, but I have no idea how to fix that."
"It's ok, I know it will take time. I wasn't asking you for advice on this, but I think you can help us stop Team Rocket from trashing the city and spreading to the rest of the country."
"I promise I'll do my best."
"Shall we go up now?"
"Up? What for?"
"To talk to our trainers and decide on what to do."
"Oh! Of course. Up we go."
...And up we went.

After we told everyone the story, the staff finally reached a conclusion: this was a job for all the Dragon Tamers. Or at least all those who volunteered; the situation was too dangerous to have anyone participate without considering the risks first. Each Tamer would be contacted individually - Gabi didn't think it would be safe to broadcast the message this time. That would take time, but at least everyone would be informed of what was going on, and hopefully enough trainers would decide to help keep the crisis contained.

Once the meeting was over, everyone got on the move. Gabi and some of my teammates went to the Pokemon Center to check on Pidgeot, while the rest of us (namely Tsunami, Caledor, Amber, Iael, Ventura and myself) decided to patrol the streets. I followed Officer Jenny and Tracker and offered them my assistance. The others formed pairs to explore the city, except for Ventura who preferred to fly on her own.

<Caledor's POV>

I paired up with Tsunami because he was the obvious choice. Not only because he was one of my best friends and the other had decided to follow his girlfriend or whatever their current status was, but also because he was the only one who could distract my thoughts from the vision I'd had earlier that day. I hated to admit it, but I just couldn't shake it off and I didn't even know why. And the general dark and gloomy environment wasn't helping me make any jokes either. Hopefully I'd find some Rocket to battle and then my mood would change. I had a reputation to maintain. At least with Tsunami I managed to get some light talk, and soon we were speculating about whether Hero and Tracker would ever formalize their relationship. Though he said something really puzzling at the end of the conversation; something about him not wanting our bond to be broken, since even I was getting lucky this days.

"What do you mean?," I asked him. "I build my own luck. It's the same way it's always been. What do you mean by 'these days'?"
"Ah, forget it. I just... feel lonely sometimes, but I know you and Hero will always be there for me. You're the best friends I could have hoped for. But don't tell Hero that or it will go to his head."
"I didn't know you felt lonely. Well, you can call me any time you need some cheering up, because you know that's what I do best!"
"Indeed," he chuckled. "And I can tell you're not about to change any time soon. You don't even like changes, do you?"
"Only if they're for the best. But why change what's already working? I'm not ever going to become serious if that's what you're referring to."
"That wasn't exactly what I was talking about, but it's still good to hear."
"Then what were you talking about?"
"Forget it. I wasn't making sense. Hey, look who's there!"

After wondering about for a while, we'd end up bumping into Amber and Iael again.
"Hey, guys!," I greeted them. "Did you find anything?"
"I just saw a pair of grunts running away after a battle," Amber replied. "Probably newbies; not a real threat. What about you?"
"We saw an ambulance pick up a wounded Rattata a couple of minutes ago," Tsunami said. "No Rockets yet, nor any signs of those Crimson whatever."
"Blades," Iael said. "I wonder if they have real blades with them."
"We don't know much about them, so I guess anything's to be expected," Tsunami answered. "Wait a minute. What's that noise?"
I perked my ears and tried to find whatever Tsunami was referring to. It didn't take too long before I noticed the noises coming from a store nearby. It sounded like the whole place was being torn down.
"It's in that store," I pointed. "We should check it out."

We ran over to the store, which reminded me of the PokéMart at Selenia for multiple reasons. Well, for two reasons, actually: because they both sold stuff for pokemon and because they were both a complete mess the first time I saw them. The store seemed to be closed, but the door was open. There were boxes and broken bottles all over the floor, the counter had been pushed against the wall and it was hard to find any shelves that were still in a horizontal position. I looked up to find the cause of that chaos, and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it... It was a Dragonair!

"Hey, you! Stop it!," Amber ordered the dragon, who was sitting on the highest shelf and waving his tail to throw down whatever wasn't on the floor yet.
The vandal stopped for a moment to see who was talking, but then went on with his task.
"I'm not going to stop just because you say so," he replied, not even looking at us.
"Why are you doing this?," Amber queried.
"Because it's as good a way to cause trouble as any other."
"Do you work for Team Rocket?"
"Team Rocket? Don't insult me," the Dragonair chuckled. "I'm with the Crimson Blades. We're stronger, more powerful, and have the conviction Team Rocket lacks. Those amateurs are going down. Soon you won't even remember their names."
"Conviction? What kind of conviction?"

The Dragonair stared at Amber for a moment, just before launching himself off the shelf, coiling his tail on the floor and stretching up the rest of his body to share Amber's eye level. He had a fierce look on his face I'd never thought a Dragonair would be capable of.
"I'm not a hotline for you to ask me all those questions," he confronted her. "What are you here for? If you want a fight, let's get down to it, but make it quick. I'm busy."
"I don't think he's up for any kind of reasoning," I pointed out.
"So you both want to fight? No problem. I'll take you both down and give you pests a taste of true power. Then I'll take care of your two friends if they haven't run away by the time I'm done with you. It should be fun, I must admit that wrecking a closed store was getting boring."
Maybe it was prejudice, but I had trouble picturing a Dragonair as being so vicious as this one seemed to be. I reckoned not all the pokemon of the Dratini line could be as friendly as the ones I knew, but it was hard to imagine one of them joining the Crimson Blades. Still, I had to face the facts; no matter what this Dragonair's story was, he saw us as the enemy and wouldn't talk things out over a cup of hot chocolate. Amber and I accepted his challenge.


Level 51 Charizard and Espeon vs. level 55 Dragonair

Amber managed to attack first, thanks to her matches. She didn't hold back, or at least she tried not to, as I could see from the attack she chose to use against the dragon type: Dragon Claw. I tried to do my best too, and attacked the Dragonair with Psychic, but our attacks combined weren't strong enough to bring down our opponent. The Dragonair sent a Thunder Wave in Amber's direction; that was enough to neutralize the effect of her matches, but not enough to intimidate her. I tried another Psychic, and it seemed to work quite well. The Dragonair couldn't hide his pain anymore. But that didn't last. He stretched up as if to let me take a closer look at his scales... the scratches left by Amber's claws were healing; the wounds sealed in a matter of seconds.

So he knew a healing move... That didn't mean we couldn't beat him, it just meant we'd have to think fast. I rolled my die. Nothing bad could possibly come out of it. The die hit the Dragonair and landed on the floor. The spiral on the top side started spinning, illuminated by a pink light that came from the inside of my item. The Dragonair, who was trying to summon a new attack, hit the few shelves that were still standing and landed his head on one of them. Then he stopped moving, but not without letting a pile of random objects fall on top of me. Something similar to a pokeball hit me and opened upon contact with my fur. Some powder came out of it. I couldn't see it, but I felt it spread all over me. It gave me a strange feeling, and then vanished.

"What happened? Are you alright?," Iael asked me.
"I'm fine, though I'm afraid Gabi will have to pay for this," I told him. "I think I've used a TM by accident... or something like that."
"I take it you don't know what it is?"
"No idea. With the labels over the floor I don't think I can find the right one. I think it was one that I could use, though, so I guess I'll find out soon. What happened to the Dragonair? Is he asleep?"
"So it seems," Amber confirmed. "Do you think there's anything here that can heal paralysis? I'll work to pay for it."
"I don't know," I said, walking to pick up my status die. "It'll be hard to find anything among this mess, but you can look around."
"Don't you think we should do something about the Dragonair first?," Tsunami reminded us.
Why did he have to open his mouth? The Dragonair started moving in his sleep... spinning around in his place. Then set of tornados formed out of nowhere and came heading my way. I tried to run, but I got caught in them. Luckily, they passed as quickly as they had come, leaving me lying with my back on the floor, but still able to stand back up.
"Yes, we should, Tsunami, but remind me to keep your mouth shut next time," I told my friend. "Every time you open it something bad happens."
"Hey! Don't blame me! It's not my fault that Dragonair knows sleep talk. Focus on your battle or I'll have to pick you up next time you fall."
"No way, I'm not falling again. Check this!"
This time I opted for a move I normally didn't get the chance to use. You could have said I was showing off, and you'd have been right, but my Dream Eater was very effective... even if it left me with a disgusting taste and I couldn't even be sure it was in my mouth. The bad news was that the Dragonair woke up as soon as I attacked him, and he didn't look too happy about my eating his dreams. Amber managed to stop him from getting back at me, by spitting a cloud of smoke on his face. But now he got mad at Amber.

"I'm going to stop playing now," the Dragonair said.
He picked up some herbs from one of the boxes on the floor and swallowed them whole. I had a bad feeling about those herbs, especially if he'd chosen to take them instead of using Recover again. My die wouldn't help me this time, nor would my Dream Eater. I was running out of options. I disappeared into the shadows, if only to create some confusion in my opponent while I thought of what to do next.

Well, at least I succeeded at something. The Dragonair started looking around, trying to find out where I'd disappeared to, leaving himself open for an attack. Or so I thought. When I tried to hit him with my Faint Attack, he somehow managed to evade me.
"You can avoid a Faint Attack?!," I yelled out of sheer frustration.
"And you can perform one! What's more surprising? I think you'd make good fighting material if you weren't so soft inside," my opponent replied.
"You don't know what I'm like inside," I said while I waited for Amber to make her move. "I can't say the same about you," I added when she managed to pierce his skin with her Dragon Claw.
Ok, so that was a nasty joke, but it wasn't my best day and that Dragonair had had it coming. The downside to all this was that now he looked like he wanted a piece of me. And none of my 36 known moves would be strong enough to stop him before he reached me. There was no option left but to take a chance and try out my 37th move... the one I'd just acquired, and which could be just about anything for all I knew. I wondered how I'd be able to pull out a move when I didn't even know what it was supposed to be, but it's amazing what you can do in a critical situation and a part of me which knew exactly what to do reacted immediately to my need to defend myself. I couldn't tell exactly what I'd done, except that it had been a furious psychic attack that had left me quite drained, but had also left the Dragonair panting, leaning against the wall against which my mental blow had made him crash. I'd never been able to do anything like that.
"This ends now," declared Amber right before stopping the Dragonair's attempt at getting up with a Dragon Breath attack.

Both Amber and I grew to level 52!

I couldn't understand what I'd just done. It was certainly a move I'd never seen or heard about. I really doubted it had been for sale, since I would have probably heard of it if that had been the case. I didn't know how it had ended up at the store, and falling on me, but it probably meant I'd be in trouble as soon as the shopkeeper found out. But there was something more urgent to think about: what to do with the Dragonair.
"Does any of you think he was really just here to mess up the store?," Tsunami asked the rest of us.
"I don't think there's a way to find that out right now," Amber told him.
"What shall we do now?," Iael asked.
"I think one of us should get the police here to pick him up," Tsunami suggested. "I don't know how they'll deal with a case like this one, but it's more along their line of work than ours. I'll go out and send a signal, hopefully our mighty Ninetales friend will notice it and bring Tracker and Officer Jenny with him."
"Ok, we'll stay here to watch in case he wakes up," Iael agreed. Then he turned to me. "Nice move you pulled out," he said. "What was it?"
"Honestly, I have no idea," I told him. "I'm not even sure if I can do it again, I'm just glad it worked in time to stop the Dragonair."
"Hey, watch out!," Tsunami warned me from the door. "You're starting to sound almost serious."
"Me?! Never!!," I shouted while emitting a strong golden glow.

<Sedosa's POV>

I'd never thought I'd associate myself with humans again. Not since I'd got rid of the one who had dared to claim ownership over me. But I wouldn't say no to an opportunity to deal a fatal blow at those who had given me to her in the first place, back when most of my potential was locked in that week Eevee form. Besides, I'd be returning a favor; no one would accuse me of being dishonorable. The woman who had requested my help was the same who had once helped me get rid of my so-called trainer, back at the Dragon Games. I had to admit she was skillful, for a human. She'd even got her to believe it was me she was confronting, and had managed to get ahold of an improved version of the Dig TM which wasn't for sale at that time, just to scare the living hell out of her. And she'd succeeded. Crystal was disqualified from the tournament, and never once bothered me again. Moreover, she retired from training pokemon altogether. So now that we'd come across each other again, I thought it wouldn't hurt me to help her get the information she wanted. After all, she was going to use it against the Dragon's Guild.

She arrived at the spot we had agreed upon, a deserted clearing in the forest, in the company of a middle-aged man. I could sense his fear even before I could see his face. When his gaze met mine, something inside him changed. He tried to regain his composture.
"An Espeon?," he turned to the other human.
"Were you expecting something more intimidating?," she said with a smile. "Maybe a Seviper? Or... No, wait. Maybe Mewtwo!"
"How do you...? Nevermind, will you please tell me what's going on? What do you want from me?"
"Not much. Just the same thing I get from anyone I talk to. You see... gathering information is my job, and I'm good at it as you must have noticed by now. Don't worry, it won't hurt if you cooperate, and then you can resume your life normally. I won't reveal anything about those results you stole from Dr. Freeman in order to join the ranks of the Dragon's Guild's elite researchers."
Now he was visibly shaking. He was such a weak human. I took my chance to suck in all the information I could gather about the Guild's secret facilities, and forward it to her. Of course he tried to resist, causing himself a considerable amount of pain. But for all his alleged intelligence, his mindpower was shameful. I, on the other hand, had always been proud of my psychic abilities. He fainted from the mental stress as soon as I was done. The other human laughed.

"With any luck the shock will have removed his last memories, or he'll wake up thinking it was all a dream," she considered.
"It doesn't matter," I told her. "He won't be on to you. He doesn't know who you are and won't be able to explain what happened without admitting his guilt. As for me, even if the Dragon's Guild has files on me and he somehow recognizes me, I'll say let them come. I haven't faced a good challenge in some time."
"What will you do now?"
"Just leave and mind my own business. Which I suggest you do as well. I've given you the information you needed. Now it's up to you to decide how to use it."
"I know, and I believe thanks are in order."
"Whatever. Just go, you don't want to be here when he wakes up."
"He'll be out for a while. Anyway, I should get going. Time is priceless at a moment like this, and it's a long way to Unicorn's Gate."
"Good luck," I told her.
"Why are you wishing me good luck?"
"Because you're the only human to whom I can relate."

Those were the last words I said to her before I left the clearing, and Sector Alpha... perhaps forever.

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

Post-story notes: Sedosa is a borrowed character from *Dratini*, a great writer who left TPM during the times of the EZBoard. I would have liked to asked for her permission, but I had no way to contact her. I'd still like to thank her for writing such amazing stories back in her time.
The new move Caledor used is actually the TM Karin gave him at the Goldenrod Tower. She made me want to come up with an interesting way to introduce it. I hope I have achieved that, though I'm aware that I haven't explained its presence at the store yet and I hope I'll manage to get more into details next time I write. I thought this story was long enough already. Thanks to whoever reads it for your patience.

LightNinetales
28th December 2004, 10:54 AM
Can I have a RBG from Caledor's Nature Protection Agency for my lv. 5 Ponyta, Will'O? *pays 7 stamps, leaving her with 9*

Wolfsong
28th December 2004, 02:09 PM
LightNinetales: Will'O will be battling a Growlithe.

Before story notes: This is the twins RBG. I got the stat modification die as a mg and gave it to Colby. Since I just posted at the Eevee House when I started this, so I decided to have it take place there ^^; I actually didn’t have writers block this time. ^^


(Tiny’s POV)

“Colby?” I said as I followed him out the back door of the Eevee House. “Yeah?” he asked slowing down so that I could catch up to him. “I think I’ve changed my mind about not evolving…” Colby stopped and turned around to face me. “Really? What do you want to be? I can’t wait till I’m a vaporeon.” He said, as his eyes drifted over to a shiny vaporeon that was trying to blow up a kiddie pool while a wartortle was cleaning it off. “I’m not sure,” I admitted, as I started walking again. Colby followed me as I made my way around to the front of the Eevee House and sat down. “I just know that I’m not ready to make that kind of change yet.” Colby smiled. “That’s all right. You know Amy isn’t going to force us to evolve if we don’t want to, like he tried to do.” “Yeah.” I admitted. “Tell you what,” Colby continued. I won’t evolve until you decide that you’re ready and then we can evolve on the same day. I promise.” “You serious?” I asked hardly believing what I was hearing. Colby just nodded his head yes. “Thanks.” I told him. “You know I think I’m going to try talking to her sometime soon.” “That’s great!” Colby exclaimed, before grinning. “I almost forgot. Lookit what she gave me yesterday.” He reached into his mane and pulled out a stat modification die, like the one I carried in my mane.

“There you two are!” a familiar, but dreaded voice called out. I looked up and sure enough, there was Marco diving down towards us and he had Jake with him clinging on for dear life. Colby and I stiffened up as the pair landed. Upon contact with the ground, Jake jumped off the pidgey’s back. “I see you haven’t evolved yet, Jake.” Colby said, eyeing the eevee. “Only because Tom hasn’t found a Thunderstone yet.” Jake replied, staring right into Colby’s eyes. “Speaking of Tom,” Marco replied in between preening his feathers, “he sent us to find the two of you.” “Only because he probably heard that we found a new trainer.” Colby whispered to me, and I nodded. “Yeah.” Jake agreed, before he was nudged roughly by Marco. “I’m not going back.” I stated firmly as the two looked at me in surprise. I knew that back when we were on the same team, they had speculated that I couldn’t talk even if I wanted too. “I’m not either. In fact, when Tom released us in the Jungle Room he was practically screaming ‘GOOD RIDDANCE’.” “Well,” the pidgey began, “he feels bad that he said that. He told us if we found you to tell the two of you that he wouldn’t make you evolve into something that you didn’t want to.” Colby stared them in the eyes. “We’re not buying it. He released us, we found a trainer we like, end of story.” “If you won’t come peacefully, then we’ll knock you out and take you two back.” Colby laughed. “We’ve gotten stronger since the last time you’ve seen us. You can try but we’ll win. When we do, the two of you can return to Tom and tell him to leave us alone. We don’t need him or want anything to do with him anymore.” “I agree.” “All right, I guess it’s the hard way.” Marco stated as he took to the air. “They still don’t have items,” he whispered. I nodded. “Let’s just beat them.” “You said it bro.” Jake turned to face me, while Marco lined himself up with Colby.


Tiny L.9 M Eevee Vs. Jake L.9 M Eevee
&
Colby L.9 M Eevee Vs. Marco L.9 M Pidgey

As one Colby and I pulled out our stat modification dies out of our manes. “What are those?” Jake asked. “A gift from our trainer.” I replied coolly. “What do they do?” Marco asked. “You’ll see one way or the other,” Colby answered as we each rolled our die. As soon as mine came to a stop, I felt stronger. I looked over at Colby who seemed to be moving faster than he normally could.

“Enough games.” Jake said, darting forwards in an attempt to tackle me. Yet again, I relied on the move that my father had passed on to me even though I had never met him. The double team worked as Jake tackled one of my clones destroying it, but still leaving me with four. As one, my doubles and I spun around and began kicking loose sand into his face. In all actuality, I was the only one actually using the sand attack, my copies were just mimicking what I was doing in order to keep themselves useful. When I had finished, I turned around to look at Jake. He was pawing at his face trying to get the sand out of his eyes. After a few minutes, he stopped. His coat took on a white glow as the air around us got colder. This was new, I thought as Jake’s hidden power chilled me to my core. “Crud,” I muttered, when I realized that because I got hit by Jake’s hidden power all of my clones were gone. “I have a hidden power too you know.” “Yeah and it’s probably something useless such as ghost or something. You never had the guts to try it out when you were with us.” “You’re wrong!” I shouted as the earth beneath his paws began to rumble causing him to fall down. I then darted forwards and tackled him to the ground. I was surprised that I had won so easily. The surprise didn’t last long, when I realized that Jake had not been knocked out but was just simply faking it to allow me to get close. He had extended his claws and raked them across my side. I didn’t think, just reacted and tackled him again. This time when he went down, he stayed down.


I won!
I grew to L.10
I learned Detect as my free TM.

Since my battle was over, I turned my attention over to Colby and his battle. I smiled when I noticed that it too, was close to being over.


(Colby’s POV)

I smiled, glad that the die had helped my speed. I ran towards Marco and tackled him as hard as I could. He looked surprised. “You’re faster than I remembered, but that’s not a problem.” He said as he proceeded to tackle me as well. “You don’t scare me at all.” I told him all the while darting in and out trying to get him to annoy him in to using a certain move. To my credit it worked. I was watching closely when he disappeared, before reappearing and slamming into me. “Thank you.” I told Marco. “For what?” the puzzled pidgey asked. “For allowing me to use this move for the rest of the battle.” I said, smirking as I faded from sight. “Oh crap,” Marco muttered as I reappeared slamming into him from behind. He then spun around and soaked me with his hidden power. I quickly retaliated by extending my claws and raking them across Marco’s chest as hard as I could. I was surprised when he staggered backwards from the blow. “You haven’t seen the end of us.” he muttered as he tried to tackle me again. I slashed at him again and this time he collapsed in a heap of feathers.


I won!
I grew to L.10!
I learned Double Team as my free TM!

Shortly after Marco had fainted, an abra appeared out of nowhere and teleported the two fainted pokemon out of sight. “That was new. I haven’t seen him before. Have you?” Tiny asked. “I don’t remember him either.” I admitted. “Let’s go back inside.” Tiny nodded in agreement.

Gym Leader Sabrina
29th December 2004, 08:29 AM
Could someone please tell me what page the current scenario is on, please? I haven't been able to find it.

*Murkrow
29th December 2004, 09:55 AM
Just to point out, there's always a link on the first post to whatever page the currently active scenario is on, but here;

http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?p=513624#post513624

Hope that helps.

Lady Vulpix
30th December 2004, 07:17 AM
Hannah gets a stamp for her help. ¢

Amd Amy gets 9 stamps for her RBG battle. I wonder if that Abra will show up again... ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Wolfsong
30th December 2004, 11:09 AM
I'm not sure. I just used the the rbg until i got a poke that could teleport and be one of their teammates ^^; We may or may not see it again. Thanks for rating it ^^ I'm gonna try and make an eh post soon just been rather busy atm.

Since its been long enough, ^^; i'd like to have a rbg for Kiara from the universal adoption center *hands over 7 stamps

Charizard04621
30th December 2004, 11:23 AM
*takes stamps* She'll be battling a Bagon.

Charizard04621
31st December 2004, 12:31 PM
Wow, intriguing. Take 14 Stamps for the story, Gabi! Can't wait to see what happens next.

Amy: She'll be battling a Bagon.

Cheesey
2nd January 2005, 04:22 PM
Colour codes:

Steel blue = Me
Chocolate = Imarad (Zangoose, female, Lv 9)
Hot pink = Hera (Blissey. female, Lv 5)
Pale turquoise = Quartz (Togetic, male, Lv 11)
Silver = Maria (White winged Dratini, female, Lv 7)


My POV

I waved goodbye to Connor and started to walk out of the grounds of the Eevee House. Quartz and Maria were flying by my right and left shoulders respectively; Imarad was walking beneath Quartz and Hera was toddling along beneath Maria. I kept worrying that I was going to accidentally kick one of them or something, but those were simply silly thoughts that were running through my head and I knew that even if I did it wouldn’t be anything major and we could just laugh it off. So, as the five of us came to leave the premises of the Eevee House, we stopped and wondered where it was we should go. I wasn’t sure. So, I did the logical thing and got out my (tea stained) map – My navigational skills left a little to be desired but I’m sure I could get to the Free Range Coral without too much bother if I had my 4 pokemon by my side. Well, both sides, technically.

Maria’s POV

This was weird. I’d never been outside of the Eevee House with Chris before – well, fairly obviously since I’d only just become part of the team. But still, it was something that I wasn’t used to. I wasn’t actually entirely sure where we were headed, but I think I’m gonna look a little bit silly if I ask that now… I’m sure they all know where we’re going! But then again, if I don’t ask, then I won’t be able to help, and then if Chris asks me anything about the map, then I’ll look even more stupid. Argh! My head is in such a muddle right now! May as well do the intelligent thing…

“Where are we going? And what is it that we’re actually doing?”

Imarad’s POV

“The Free Range Coral.”

I could see that Quartz had been just about to tell Maria that, but he was already her friend and I didn’t really know her. Since my current team mates all think I’m a bit weird already, then I may as well get on her good side, and what better way of doing that than helping her? Besides, I could tell that she wouldn’t betray me if we were to become friends. I hope I’m right because I couldn’t bare having to stand another betrayal…

“There was a newsflash in the Eevee House on the TV, Maria. Smeargle are invading the Free Range Coral and none of us know why, but we do know that they’re disrupting the peace there. So, we’re going to go and sort it out.”

My POV

It was nice to see that Imarad was trying to help Maria. She isn’t especially close with the other members of the team, and she finds it hard to trust other folk, so it was a good opportunity for her to make a new friend and let herself be accepted into the group. I looked down at her and she looked at me. “We should get going,” I said.

I had figured out where we should be going. All by myself, as well! I felt a sense of accomplishment even though it wasn’t something to be terribly excited about, but meh. It’s nice to feel like you’ve achieved something even if it’s not anything major. So, I began to walk in the direction that we had to go. It was about 4 miles away as far as I could tell, so it was going to take us a while to get there, but hopefully it shouldn’t take too long if we kept a steady pace.

”So, Imarad, have you been in many battles before?”
”No, not really. I’ve had a few fights at the battle tower before, but other than that, I’ve not really fought anybody. I want to – I’ve always dreamt of becoming stronger – but I don’t fight very often. I think Chris wanted to let me settle into the team a bit more before letting me fight since I’m a bit… well… moody.
”I wouldn’t say that. You’ve been very nice to me since I’ve known you.”
”Ah yes, but you see, you haven’t really known me for very long. The other pokemon in the team all think I’m distant and weird.”
”Eh? Since when? I’ve never thought that – I was only a bit curious when I first knew you, but I know about your past now, and it’s understandable. I have no idea what it’s been like for you but I know it’s been hard – don’t think that we think you’re different or anything, cause we don’t.”
”Thanks, but to be honest, that’s no consolation. You said yourself that you haven’t got a clue what I’ve been through and even if you did consider me weird you’re too nice to ever admit it.
”Forgive me if I’m butting in, but Imarad, what have you been through? Don’t answer if you don’t want to, it must be really hard for you and I must sound really rude. Ugh, now I regret saying it…
”Don’t regret saying things, honey. You have good intentions and if you’re aware of how things could be taken, offensive or whatever, you’ll know what the possible responses can be. You know it’s difficult for Imarad to talk about so you shouldn’t regret asking if you’re simply feeling like you don’t want to be left out or whatever it is that you feel.”
”Exactly. I always feel left out and I constantly regret what I say; don’t go down that road. Listen to Hera before it’s too late. I understand why you want to know, so I’ll tell you. You see, when I was little, I lived with my mother and father in the wild. I hardly ever saw my father and whenever I did see him he always fought with my mother. They needed each other, though, because if they separated, neither of them would have been able to support me. They both knew that, but my father seemed to lose all caring for that one day and abandoned me and my mother. I lived with her with difficulty since she wasn’t very good at defending us both from other animals, and eventually she was killed in a battle with a Seviper.”
”I’m sorry, that’s terrible… Please, don’t go on. Tears are welling up in your eyes, and mine too.”
”I was distraught, but I had to do something. With my father gone and my mother dead, I needed someone else to depend on – I found a friend who I was friends with for such a long time, but she left me because she didn’t feel like being my friend any more.”
”Honestly, Imarad, don’t go on. You’re making me cry. And yourself, too. Stop it, please…”
”So I had to fend for myself until I found the Dragon Tamers Adoption Center. I couldn’t go on myself and even though I hated the idea of being owned by a human, I didn’t have any other choice. If I hadn’t made the decision of letting myself be put up for adoption, then I would be dead right now. The woods I lived in were a terrible place.”

My POV

My heart was pounding. I had never known Imarad had had such a hard time. I mean, I had known everything about her family and her friend betraying her, but she’d never told me about hating the idea of being adopted before. It hadn’t occurred to me how bad a state she had been in when I had adopted her – the workers at the Dragon Tamers must have helped her recover – so I hadn’t been aware of the fact she’d needed to be adopted. I’d always thought she’d chosen to be. I’d never expected one of my pokemon to say that she hadn’t wanted to be a trainers pokemon before. “Say, Imarad… Do you like me being your trainer, then?”

”Oh God, I’ve worried you, haven’t I… I must say that I didn’t like being part of the team when you first adopted me, but I grew to be fond of you and my team mates over time. It surprised me since I’d always hated the idea of being “owned” but it’s really not something to worry about… I love being part of this team and that’s not going to change.”
”That’s so relieving to hear. I had no idea that being adopted was something you’d needed to do rather than something you’d wanted to do.”

By this time Maria was crying, so I gave her a hug. It must have been saddening to hear Imarad’s story – I was miserable once I’d heard it and I had known Imarad for over a year – so I understood why she was doing so.

”I’m so sorry to hear that. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have a past like that. I feel for you so, so much…
”Please don’t. I don’t want your pity… It makes me feel uncomfortable. Is that understandable? Because- Chris!! Look out!

Hmm, well I can’t say this was something that I was expecting. I’d been listening to Imarad and Maria’s conversation, and well, I hadn’t thought that I’d be hit in the back of a head by a Smeargle. Honestly, the manners of some of these wild pokemon. But then I realised. We must be at the Free Range Coral! Unfortunately, I hadn’t got a clue what to expect, seeing as Smeargle’s could know any possible move under the sun… But enough thinking. I turned round and tried to find the Smeargle which had whacked me but it seemed to have vanished into the trees by the waters edge. I slowly walked up a little bit further ahead (in a straight line) and ended up on a cliff top. It was all quiet, but I knew there was somebody or something nearby. Then I felt a weird presence. Turning round, I saw a Smeargle. He did seem interested in me, or Hera, or Maria, or Quartz. His eyes were fixed on Imarad. I returned my other three pokemon so that they were safe from any harm, and glanced at the painter pokemon. He looked bloody irritated.

Battle: Imarad the female Zangoose vs. Wild Smeargle!

I tried to stay calm. I was never very good at staying calm in situations like this. But I was afraid that my impatience may one day get the better of me if I couldn’t do it, so I tried as hard as I could. I looked at the Smeargle and tried to stay focused – I was practically shaking with the tension building up inside me. Suddenly the Smeargle attacked when I was least expecting it! A flash of light was emitted from his tail, blinding me, putting me off balance, destroying my focus. I clasped my hands to my head and screwed up my eyes, trying the best I could to deal with the Confuse Ray without snapping and attacking my enemy mindlessly, mercilessly. But before I knew it the Smeargle was at it again. I didn’t see his attack this time. I just felt it.

All I could feel was electricity surging through my veins, crackling and hurting every nook and cranny inside of me. It was completely numbing my limbs out but I couldn’t do anything about it. All I managed to do was open my eyes. But the rest of me… I couldn’t feel a thing aside from the pain in my head. My brain felt like it was about to explode and I tried to move my hands away from my ears… I couldn’t. I had been completely paralyzed – The Smeargle had used Thunder Wave. It was so infuriating! I could see him but I couldn’t attack him. I knew he was the opponent but my head was telling me otherwise and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was helpless. Anger was welling up inside of me and I simply wanted to beat that pokemon like an egg…

Although, I couldn’t help feeling that the Smeargle was somewhat handsome. His mocking laugh and his bloodshot eyes… he reminded me of a maniacal hobo… why was that appealing? I don’t know. He was tricking me, I knew it. Yet I couldn’t do a thing about it. My head was pulsating so much it was about to explode; I was completely paralyzed; my opponent had used Attract on me so I couldn’t bring myself to hit him. I was so angry and tense but I was helpless. If only I could do something about it – If only something would happen. I tried to move because my paralysis didn’t feel so bad now but all I managed to do was swing my paw straight into my face and claw myself in my confusion. That was painful. Very painful. One of my claws was stuck in my cheek.

I was trying to stay calm but that just wasn’t possible. I was trying to move but that just wasn’t possible. I was trying to think straight but that just wasn’t possible. I was trying to make my opponent seem ugly to me but that just wasn’t possible. The fury and frustration started to build up inside of me until I couldn’t hold it any longer, and it completely overthrew my confusion and my attraction and it brought feeling back into my body. That Smeargle was sooo going to get it.

I saw his eyes widen as I went in at him. I could hear Chris trying to shout orders to me; didn’t wanna listen. With all my might and speed I slammed into the Smeargle and sent him flying. Before he could retaliate I slashed him with an Aerial Ace. Then I chucked a Secret Power in there too. Stupid Smeargle. What was he thinking? I clawed at him and used a couple more Quick Attacks until he just stopped completely. I stood there, feeling restless, wanting to attack him more. I knew I couldn’t. I stood there until my rage subsided. I had won, but I felt like a monster.

Imarad won - She grew to level 10! She learned Swords Dance naturally and Brick Break as her free TM.

”Erm, Imarad… Well done.”
”I know what you’re thinking. I’m a terrible creature. I lost control and completely lost it. That Smeargle was only trying to win and I beat him up mercilessly. Just… return me.”

MY POV

I did as Imarad asked. I had to admit, her battle strategy was… well, let’s just say it was surprising. I never thought she’d do that as she’d seemed so calm before the battle, but she’s very unpredictable, I guess. I had to let her have some alone time because I knew that if I spoke to her I’d just annoy her or something. Besides, I knew she wouldn’t talk to me anyway. Meh… I guess this is something that I’m going to have to sort out with her at a later date.

*Murkrow
3rd January 2005, 01:07 PM
I've got my scenario story done. One of the main things said whenever my stories are rated was problems knowing who was talking, so I've tried to fix that. I also just don't really like creating characters outside of the team :-/ That's annoying and I'll try and get some more going soon, but that's why I just skimmed over the plot bit of the scenario. *Shrugs*
The ending is bad, but I wanted it finished :o

~Hannah~

As the doors slid shut behind me, I shivered and pulled my coat tighter, feeling the cold air hitting me instantly. Adjusting my bag carefully, I turned and began to cross the short distance along the path to the car park, where I had left my Pokémon. The aching in my legs was a good reminder of just how unfit I’d let myself become, though I guess that an hour on a running machine would wear anyone out.
Still, it was nice to actually be going to the gym again….I’d been so busy lately that my visits had just been becoming less and less frequent. It was annoying, but at least things were getting organised now, and I was starting to feel happier about devoting some time to myself.
“Finally!”
As per usual, Xol intruded into my thoughts as she came clattering over, her eyes shining. “I was afraid the others were going to freeze before you finished up in there.”
“They were the ones who insisted on staying outside,” I told her back, as we rounded the building and came into full view of the car park. Nearly all the rest of my Pokémon were huddled in a tight group under the trees at the back, all except for two. Archie seemed to have braved the cold and was standing in the centre of the practically deserted space, watching the small navy bird flitting excitedly through the dark sky.
Seeing Fizz also reminded me of something else I had been planning to do.
“Xol? Can you go collect everyone else and bring them over here please? I just need to speak to Fizz for a second.”
“Ok, sure”.
She bounded away from my side, leaving me free to wave Fizz down towards me; Archie immediately began to skitter over, but that was alright. The pair were hard to separate now, anyway.
“Fizz, I’ve got something to give you.”
I delicately placed my bag onto the ground, opening it up and gently beginning to feel around inside, groping around the small oval object nestling in the bottom.
“What’s that?” Fizz landed on my shoulder, receiving a good glimpse into my bag, and easily spotting what was inside. “Hang on….hey, Archie, she’s got an egg.”
“Really?” He answered, pausing beside me as Fizz tried to dive into my bag, obviously aiming to get a better look.
“What is it? And what’re all these…ow…there’s something spiky in here.”
I sighed, grabbed her tail and pulled her back out. “That would be one of the evolution stones.” Pulling them both out, I showed them to two different stones- one a jagged rectangle, fire-red and with a burn mark engraved on one side. The other was slightly larger, rounded, golden-yellow and roughly hewn into the shape of a sun.
“That’s a Fire Stone, obviously. But what’s the other one?” asked Archie curiously, reaching out to tap it.
“A Day Stone. There’s only one Pokémon it will work on.”
“What will work on who?”
Xol was back, a couple of metres ahead of the others; hastily, I shoved the Fire Stone back into my bag- it would eventually be for my Vulpix, Pix, but there was no way she was ready to evolve yet. And I wasn’t going to risk an accident with a Pokémon who I thought was ready to evolve.
“This. It’s a Day Stone.”
“Oh.”
“It’s a what?” questioned Tropi, arriving with the others and sticking her head out to sniff it. I quickly withdrew my hand; wrapped round the Tropius’ neck was my Huntail, Fera, who grinned and hissed at me in greeting.
“Right. Well…Harle?”
Hearing her name, the Eevee raised her head and curiously trotted round Shade’s legs to stand by me, staring up at the stone. I reached down and gave her a head rub, letting her have a good look at the Day Stone but being careful not to let her touch it.
“I think I know what that does,” she spoke quietly, looking nervous. “I’ll evolve, right? What will it make me become?”
“I’m guessing by the name…an Espeon?”
I nodded to show Xol was correct, then lowered my gaze back to Harle.
“They’re the psychic ones aren’t they?” she asked, looking less cautious when I nodded.“They look pretty nice.”
She still looked apprehensive though, so I dropped the stone into Xol’s claws, before scooping the Eevee up.

~Fizz~

I was still surprised that Hannah thought Harle was mature enough to evolve. She still spent most of the time acting like a little cute kid, and imagining her as an Espeon just seemed…well, wrong.
Whatever was about to happen at that time though, was suddenly interrupted as a light began to shine from Hannah’s open bag. From my position on her shoulder, I could see the egg glowing brightly, a dark shape silhouetted in the centre.
“It’s hatching!”
Placing Harle back on the floor, she reached inside and pulled out the small spherical object. Small cracks had already began to work their way over the surface- everyone was staring at it, spellbound, when the cracks rapidly darkened in colour, spread over the whole surface and shattered. The tiny bits of shell crumbled onto the ground as the small furry blob shifted and squeaked.
Of course, Xol broke the silence.
“It’s a Zigzagoon?”
“What’s the problem with that?”
“Talk about common.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she snapped back, not waiting for an answer before she picked the tiny little fluff ball up. It squealed again and struggled slightly, revealing a furry face with dark eyes and a cute little grin.
“Awww, that is so cute,” I chirped, completely taken in by his adorable little face, and the fact he could literally fit into one of Hannah’s hands.
“Well at least somebody beside me likes him.”
“And when did we say we didn’t like him?” Grei inquired, “what she says doesn’t stand for the rest of our opinions.”
[color=red]“‘She’ is your mum, you know,” reminded Heat Wave.
“In name only.”
“Enough of that. Hey cutie..,” I leant forward a little to attract Zigzagoon’s attention, trying to look as harmless as possible so he wouldn’t be scared. “What’s your name….going to be?”
“Well, seeing as he’s male, I think Ted suits him.”
“Oh please.”
“Shut up Xol. Come on cutie, let’s see you then. Can he walk? Let’s see him walk.”
“I don’t really think he will be able too yet.” Nevertheless, she lowered him tenderly down, untangling his claws from her coat to set him on the cold floor. He squirmed, raised a paw automatically, then squeaked and collapsed in a whining heap.
“That was unsuccessful,” Archie commented, which was unhelpful. I gave him a quick glare, but he just shrugged in response and gave me a ‘well, it’s true’ look.
“Excuse me.”
We all turned to look at Harle, who walked forward slowly, first to sniff the shuffling fluff blob then to look –strangely seriously- back at the stone still cradled in Xol’s claws.
“I….I don’t want to, to……..I’d like to use that now please.”
Talk about change of heart.

~Harlequin~

Ted coughed and bulldozed into my side accidentally as he attempted to stand again; he thumped onto his side and stared up at me, waving his legs round randomly.
Fizz was right when she said he was cute, he was adorable, but something about his helplessness had locked into my mind. I felt like I’d suddenly grown up.
Everyone had treated me as the baby of the team, even after Bakura had been born. It hadn’t bothered me. I’d liked it. Yet now my place was taken by him- I didn’t mind; it would be fun to have and take part in looking after him. But it felt like as long as I stayed like this, I’d still be the baby in everyone’s eyes. I wanted them to take me seriously.
Releasing at that point that I was still being watched by the rest, I swallowed, nodded then stepped forward where I could stretch out a paw and touch the stone.
It was rough against my skin- then it suddenly flashed, pure white, which travelled up my paw, along my leg and across my whole body. My sight became filled with an incredible light, as I felt my body lengthening, felt it being pulled out of shape. The light faded.

I evolved into an Espeon!

I had unconsciously closed my eyes while I was evolving- now I opened them and felt a strange shudder run through me. My sight had sharpened; everything was clear-cut, sharply defined figures staring back at me.
And a pressure. Constant, pushing against my body on all sides. It felt like a light blanket had just wrapped round my body, light, but heavy enough to constantly be there, continuously making my skin tingle and my senses race.
“Are you alright?” Kai asked me, stepping forward- and it was as thought the blanket had tightened. I felt the pressure on my body increase from the direction he was walking.
“I’m fine. Really,” I just about managed to say, aware that my voice was shaking. None of them looked very convinced.
“Well, seeing as you’ve evolved now…I guess I might as well give you this now.”
I looked over my shoulder to look at Hannah- who had scooped Ted back up again- and was holding out a box towards me. I winced against the pressure, so she placed it on the ground to let me come to it rather than the other way round. It was eye-shaped and purple, but I could sense the power radiating from it. A quick tap was enough to activate it, before I settled back and let the power sink into me.
“What sort of TM was that?” said Latino, flying down to poke at it. “It’s a Psychic move, that’s obvious, but what one?”
Pinning my ears back, I stepped away from him, slithering out of the little huddle that had been formed, as Hannah answered him.
“Psycho Boost. I received it months ago, before Harle had even been born. I’ve been saving it ever since.”
“I appreciate it. Thank you,” I called back to her, finally beginning to feel more relaxed, as I moved a few more metres away from the cluster of bodies.

~Fizz~

“Oww, my legs…they were aching before, crouching down like this isn’t helping.”
Digging my claws into her shoulder as she straightened up, I felt a small tug at my own claws- Ted had scrambled up a bit and playfully sunk his tiny little teeth into me.
“Hey, sweetie…don’t do that.”
“You are way overdoing it,” Xol crossed her arms defiantly, then frowned. “What did Hannah need to talk to you about, anyway?”
“What?”
“Oh yes, sorry, Fizz. With Ted and Harle evolving, it was pushed out of my mind. Here, I bought you this.” Scrabbling around in her bag again, she pulled out a narrow, blue coloured collar, which she lifted up so I could see it properly.
“It’s a Pokémon Collar. It will increase your attack in battle, and seeing as I know any battles you’ll be fighting in now are even more important to you, it should help.”
“I’m sure it will, thanks.”
Taking it from her hand, I dropped down next to Archie, letting him loop it round my neck.
“Now that’s all done, we may as well get out of here, or else anybody still in the gym are going to be wondering what the hell I’m still doing here despite leaving twenty minutes ago.”
“Now that would be fun,” Fera hissed, earning some odd looks, before there was a general bustle and we all began to wander towards the open gates. Archie gave me a wave and a nod; I understood what he meant and flew eagerly up into the air as he fell into step beside Tropi.

~Archie~

Bakura smiled at me nervously, keeping closer to Tropi, who half-smiled, then jolted her neck back as Fera hissed enthusiastically. Grei laughed, but Tikish just flicked his tail distractedly throwing a look in Harle’s direction. She was walking slight ahead of us, but at least five metres to the side, her head down.
A mournful sounding voice spoke from behind, making me jump.
“She doesn’t look like she wants to play, does she?” Pix padded past me, bleakly looking round at the Espeon, who pinned her ears back briefly, then sped up, drawing further away from us.
“She’ll get over it, Pix,” Kai said softly, “she probably underestimated how different things would be when she evolved. I bet she thought things would be just the same. She didn’t realise…well, she didn’t think it over properly.”
Pix stared at him curiously, picking up on his hesitation. He shook his head and ran off, avoiding looking to the left, to prevent from seeing Fera.
By now, we’d passed through the gates and had turned onto the main road, though it was unsurprisingly empty- of course, most people were inside, seeing no reason to force themselves out into the cold. Harle was taking advantage of this and had crossed over to walk along in the middle of the road, keeping her distance from everything. Fizz had been joined by Latino, swooping above us in the dark, invisible, but occasionally swooping down to skim our heads. Heat Wave had clambered onto Shade’s back and the two were now prancing along, ahead of us all. Then came Hannah, Xol, Kai and Ted, his tiny little head barely visible, sticking over Hannah’s shoulder. Me, Bakura, Tropitorm, Fera, Pix and Tikish were last, lagging behind as we talked.
Pix still hadn’t got what had come over Harle, so I tried to explain it, with help from Tropi.
“One thing about Espeons is their ability to predict attacks, right?”
“If you say so.”
“That’s because they can sense stimuli that we can’t feel. Changes in the air can be picked up by them, and used in battle to evade moves. Though of course, they pick this kind of information up all the time, not just in battle.”
“And?”
“Then don’t you see?”-heck, Tropi sounded patient, a first for her- “she’s coming under all this pressure from these invisible stimuli, and she’s just not used to it. But as she begins to become more comfortable with everything, then she will no doubt revert to how she used to be.”
“Oh.”
“What’s a stimuli?” Bakura asked Tropi, looking confused. Chuckling, I just glanced round the area, when I noticed that everyone ahead had stopped, crowding round, and from what I could make out, looking at Ted.
“Hey everyone, what’s up?”

~Fizz~

I heard Archie call out, but as I turned to answer, Ted squeaked, louder this time, sitting tense in Hannah’s arms, his ears pricked, sniffing enthusiastically at the air again and again.
“Wonder what he’s picking up?” Perched on Shade’s head, Heat Wave titled her own head to one side, staring at the baby Zigzagoon. Shade snorted nervously, flicking her ears back and forth, throwing her head back- Heat yelped and clawed at the Ponyta’s fur to regain her balance-, seeing if she could pick up what Ted was reacting to.
Ted squirmed, stretching his body as high as he could, looking out to the left, over into the road. He squeaked again, and immediately, a shriek from Harle came as a response.
She was bristling, staring into the dark of a side road leading away to the left. Nothing was moving, on the street or in any of the darkened gardens, but Harle was warily beginning to pace forwards, scanning the area. She’d definitely picked up on something- and Ted was backing her up there, still eagerly sniffing the air, his attention focused.
“Well, do we do the clever thing- not act like idiots and go see what it is, go home, pretend it never happened- or do the stupid thing and go and check?” Xol addressed the rest of us.
“What do you choose?” Kai asked her, but she coughed, then shook her head at him.
“I don’t want to influence the rest of you,” was all she would say.
What a wonderful coincidence.
“Let’s go,” screeched Fera, “we don’t want to be boring.”
“What’s boring about keeping out of trouble?” Shade frowned.
“I’d like it if there were battles involved,” I said quietly, which got me some sympathetic looks, including from Hannah. It went without saying I was close to evolving, something I was desperate to achieve.
“Well, if we use Harle and Ted to scout for trouble, we would be able to avoid a sneak attack,” Grei thought out loud; Tikish nodded, and Tropi growled. “Nobody would be stupid enough to sneak attack something like me.”
Stomping the ground viciously, she lifted both her wings threateningly, and glared round at us, daring anyone to disagree with her.
“That Huntail round your neck certainly adds to your threat,” noted Archie.
“What are you doing? What are we going to do?” Harle had turned back to face us, her black body seeming to fade into the dark.
Xol grinned in response, and Bakura groaned, hiding his face against Tropi’s leg. She smiled, used her wings to lift him onto her back, before starting to pound her way across the road, as Harle sighed.
“Come on then,” Latino told me, flying past. I followed him keeping close- I wasn’t naturally nocturnal, but Latino was, so keeping near to him was a good enough idea for me.

~Harlequin~

As Tropi came closer, I edged away, padding closer to the side-road entrance. Big surprise that we were going to investigate….not. Closing my eyes to sharpen my other senses, I could feel the disturbance in the air, and walked on, using the change in pressure as a guide where to go.
“Don’t go too far,” Latino called down, “stay close.”
Nodding to show I’d heard, I was relieved when he flew up higher. I had figured out already I was more sensitive to Dark types, sense-wise. Hooves revealed Shade cantering past; instinct made me want to draw back, but I knew I was going to have to bide it out this time. She moved in a wide circle round, her flames illuminating the silent gardens and empty paths.

~Hannah~

Holding Ted close as he squirmed and yelped, I kept a close eye on Harle; she’d stopped again, quivering, her forked tail raised and twitching, ever so slowly, from side to side.
Then abruptly, she flattened her body down, swerved to the side and melted away into the shadows.
“I think that’s a hint,” Xol flicked her head-feather forwards, watching the space where Harle had stood.
Sure enough, two shadows detached themselves from the blackness ahead, sauntering lithely towards us.
“Shade, think you could give us some more light?” whispered Archie to the Ponyta as she cantered back to us; she nodded and immediately flared up her flames, creating distorted shadows that lurched over the silent background, but highlighting the approaching Pokémon. Their cream fur looked dull in the flickering light, the dark stripes running along their bodies contrasting, faded brown against the white.
“That’s why he was reacting, he must know what Linoone smell like, instinctively,” Archie pointed out.
“Hannah?” Fizz and Latino returned, Fizz landing cautiously on my shoulder. “If that’s how Ted will look when he evolves, remind me to get hold of an Everstone for him, ok?”
“Be serious, Fizz,” muttered Xol, flexing her claws in readiness.
“I was serious,” she replied, “that is, well, it isn’t cute, for sure. They’re horrible.”
“Keep your voice down.”
“Can any of you see their trainer?” I asked- I’d been trying to scan around, specifically behind the Linoone, but even with Shade’s light, my eyes weren’t strong enough to discern the shadows.
“I’ve got a feeling that’s where Harle vanished too.”
“Great.” I sighed, “a black Espeon going after a terrorist, they won’t be too interested in her, will they?”
Nobody answered me at that, because both Linoone apparently had decided that they weren’t going to hang around anymore. They both plunged across the space between us in an instant, canines flashing and their claws unsheathed.
“Tropi?”
Exactly as she’d suggested, my Tropius was perfectly prepared for any such attack- her size more than accounted for her low level; as the nearest Linoone charged, she lashed out with her neck, catching him mid leap, with enough force to send him smashing backwards. Fera helped as well, her mouth snapping open and tearing a clump of fur from his side as he fell.
Reared up on her hind legs, Shade was threatening the other one, stabbing forwards with her front hooves as the Pokémon feinted in front of her.
“This won’t really get us anywhere,” Xol predicted, probably accurately enough, “Fizz, Archie, you two are the best to fight these two- go.”
“Not me,” stated Archie, shaking his head, “let Fizz handle them; take each one on separately, she can win.”
Xol didn’t look very convinced at that, but then Fizz propelled herself off of my shoulder, her eyes steely, a look of anticipation shining in them.

Fight
Fizz (Taillow F L18)
Vs
Linoone (M L25) and Linoone (F L25)

~Fizz~

“Take them on separately,” that’s what Archie had said. It sounded like a good way to go about doing it, but even as I stretched my wings out and hurtled into position, both recoiled, matching each other’s moves almost perfectly.
Right.
I was loathe to give them the first hit in battle, so it seemed a good bet to focus my energy and launch a long range move. And that meant Air Cutter.
Stretching my wings to their full length, the air vibrated round my body as the energy pulsed through them. Slowly, a line of white light began to materialise, running from the tip of one wing, across my body to the other one; as the line thickened, and the light flared stronger, I looked at my target. Then pounded both wings together, condensing the light which shot out as an arrow shaped light. The speed was enough to send it hurtling directly into the hide of the male Linoone- quick enough to ensure he couldn’t dodge, but enough to cause him to grunt in pain.
But then he changed. Not physically, but, something about him was different. Balancing on his hind legs, he just stared back at me.
I could see the mark in his fur where my attack had hit-could see the chunk where his fur was missing, in the spot where Fera had caught hold. I hated her for that. I hated myself. Why had I attacked him? What had he done to me?
He dropped down and slunk closer, watching me all the way; it was so lucky that he didn’t seem to mind what I’d done…he smiled at me, how had I thought that he wasn’t cute?
Was I insane?
He was cute. Very.
And so close.
Feeling myself blush, I still lowered my wings and allowed my body to drop and land on the ground in front of him. We were about a metre apart now, his eyes sparkling, his smile…I blushed even more as he edged closer.

~Archie~

“Can we try and knock her out of it? This is embarrassing. She’s going to be taken out in a couple of minutes but she’ll just sit there and take it, as long as he’s watching her.”
Privately, I agreed with Xol. But mostly because I knew Fizz needed to win this. Xol didn’t care about whether she won or not- there had been uneasiness between the two of them ever since they’d conflicted over me. When I was in care.
There was also the fact that Fizz was a friend and I didn’t like to see her reduced to this.
The attack came, of course. The female Linoone, who had been patiently waiting in the background as her partner attracted Fizz came lunging forward, crashing straight into the Taillow with a Headbutt. Fizz was so light, it completely knocked her down, vanishing under the lithe, streamlined body.
Odd. While she was at it, the male stepped away, slinking to run to one of the gardens nearby, sinking his claws into the mud, kicking it up, rolling in it, until he was caked, head to toe.
The he ran back, took up his position to keep Fizz enthralled, while his partner went and repeated the same manoeuvre.
Strange, they looked pretty much identical now, mud covered Pokémon statues…
“Uh oh,” I breathed, “I know what that is….can Linoone learn electric attacks?”
“Yes. I checked what moves Zigzagoon can learn before Ted was born and they…oh shit.”
“What? What have we missed?”
“They just used Mud Sport. And that provides resistance to electric moves…and if they felt the need to use it, then what does that suggest?”
The response I got to that wasn’t what I’d expected, but it was enough to prove I was right. A drop of rain came and plopped onto my shell. More followed, the light pattering quickly changing to an incessant drumming. The female was using Rain Dance. Looking to the heavens, waving her arms round, dancing awkwardly.
And Fizz didn’t care. She was cuddled up against the male now, eyes closed happily, as his eyes shone, watching the downpour.
“You stupid Taillow, MOVE. You’re gonna be electrocuted.”
A rumble sounded from above; a horrible, growling noise, that echoed out, before the clouds lit up, static crackling, the rain lashing down; automatically, we’d all huddled together again, hiding under Tropi’s wings. The clouds exploded, a massive bolt of lighting shooting down, hitting the two figures of Fizz and the male Linoone; tiny sparks lashed everywhere, static bolts crackled, intense light highlighting everything in accurate detail.

~Fizz~

One second I was blank, happy to be cuddling close to him, then, electricity? Pain wrenching through my muscles, awful, gripping at my lungs, sickening pain. Yet on one side of my body-strange, it hurt, but was subdued. Less painful. Weird.
The attack cut out. I was staggering on my own- he’d moved away, he, he was muddy. Runny globules of mud, admittably, but even the strength of the rain wasn’t enough to wash it off. Yet he was not entirely covered. Where I had cuddled against his side, the mud was smeared, his white fur sticking through, static. The mud that had been there was instead caked over my side.
That was why.
He was smirking, seemingly quite pleased with what he’d pulled off.
Angry that I’d allowed myself to fall for him, wanting to wipe that smirk off his face; he wasn’t clever, if he truly was, he’d have moved away, he was so close, how generous of him.
Using my wing on the side that had gained some of his mud protection, it flashed white, before I bounced up and swung it into his face. This gave me the satisfaction of seeing his face crumple, his eyes rolling in alarm and surprise. Good.
Another crash.
The sky ripped open again.
What I would give to know Protect or Detect right about now.
But I didn’t, so I did the next best thing. In the couple of seconds before the lightning bolt hit, I accelerated at him, deliberately aiming and spinning, not so I’d cause maximum damage, but simply so that I could get as covered in the filthy mud covering his chest as I could.
It was horrible as well; I could feel it clinging and sticking to my feathers, weighting me down. But when the bolt hit me, I didn’t care if it was all that. The whole sensation of being electrocuted was numb, I could feel it, but rather than the all-consuming pain an electric attack normally caused me, it was simply a rush of static that tingled rather than hurt.
It was over rather quickly, or it may have been because I wasn’t doubled over in agony. Not that I was complaining or anything. I just didn’t want to give her the opportunity to launch a third Thunder.

~Xolotle~

She was a disgusting sight right about now, practically black with mud. Though I’d have to admit, it had worked. Their Rain Dance had backfired by wetting the mud they’d covered themselves in, allowing her to gain some resistance to electric attacks. Though she seemed intent on getting rid of the rain at the moment.
Raising her wings, she stared up into the bleak sky, calling in a high-pitched chirp; a ball of fire began to blaze around her body that exploded upwards, forming a jet of fire that tore through the storm clouds, dispersing them. Another flash of lightning and a bolt came spiralling down, but, unguided by the water, it lurched off course, cracking down to strike the pavement instead.
Lovely.

~Fizz~

Undaunted, the female Linoone had changed tactics, creating a beam of solid ice that sucked in all the cold air from around and rushed towards me.
I feinted to the right, dodged, then launched straight into an Aerial Ace, whipping round in a blur-sending the now dry mud showering in all directions- before slamming into her face, rolling round, then smashing into her side. She jerked to the side to avoid me, stumbled and went down, leaving me free to accelerate forwards and beat her partner round the face.
Shrieking angrily, he ducked his head and tried to headbutt me, but it was simple to glide beneath him. Hearing him crunch into the ground, I giggled to myself, then circled round to land opposite them.
Under the faint rays filtering down from the sky- my Sunny Day had created a miniature sun, but its power was no more than an ordinary streetlight would be-, we regarded each other tentatively. Both of them were panting now, the male more so, but despite that, my legs were aching and though the mud had mostly fallen off my body, I still felt weighed down; my wings were trembling and I was breathing harshly. The first two attacks had really taken a lot out of me.
The female broke through the silence, stretching out her claws and racing towards me, teeth bared - I didn’t recognise the attack, but there was an easy way to evade it. Drawing on my knowledge of Faint Attack, I slipped away, shuffling my way round behind her as she skidded to a confused halt.
From there, it was a simple jump to latch onto her head and send the dark energy crackling throughout her body. Her legs buckled and she twisted in surprise and went down again, snarling as her head smacked against the rock-hard concrete.
I took off after that, wishing to get back into my element.
“Fizz, don’t run, you’ve knocked her over, beat her,” shouted Xol at me, which really helped. I knew that I should have taken the opportunity to finish off at least one of them, but at that moment I just wanted to get away. Now I was flying again, the awful nagging pain in my wings showed how much damage my muscles and body had received.
It was actually really tempting to call Archie into the fight to help me out.
The rain began to fall again, she was dancing, summoning the rain clouds again. By her side, he crouched low, hissing maliciously up at me.
Oh go ahead.
The rumble of thunder.
Here’s hoping it takes me down right away, I don’t want to be….hang on.
My pulse raced as the realisation of what I had just thought came to my mind.
I wasn’t completely sure if I’d be able to pull it off, but it wasn’t as if I had lots to lose. If I didn’t try it I’d go down anyway. Yeah. Let’s go. Really screw them up.
Pulling in my wings, I hear the familiar roar of lightning above the pounding rain, before the bolt thrust downwards and shot through my body.
It was hell. Pure and utter hell. I wasn’t grounded, wasn’t even trying to fly, just letting my body be battered around as the horrible electricity plummeted through my body. My mind was growing numb, unable to focus on anything else except the terrible crackling filling my mind. I could feel myself blacking out-
The jolt. Of power. Scouring through my body even as it convulsed.
Yay.

~Archie~

A light began to shine inside the thick yellow of the lightning. White, expanding across, until there was a band, bright white against the yellow.
The “ooohs” coming from a couple of the others showed that there were others among us who had figured out what was happening. And from the identical looks of horror on both Linoone’s faces, they had worked it out as well.
“Is she evolving?” Bakura whispered in awe, but the lightning bolt exploded before anyone could answer.
The gigantic white bird pulled in its wings, banking, even as the static of paralysis writhed round its wings. From its height, it slowly turned until it was directly above its opponents, who screamed in alarm and spun round to flee.
It was worthless, of course, though. The bird stalled and just dropped, falling like a stone to crash onto their flailing bodies as they ran; the light exploded out, then faded away, revealing the two unconscious Pokémon with the bird gliding weakly above them.

~Fizz~

I won!
I grew to L22!
I learnt Double Team by level and Façade as my free TM!

I couldn’t remember feeling this weak before in my whole life- coupled with the paralysis that was still stinging my body, I wished I could curl up and go to sleep.
The light put a stop to that; creeping into my vision, engulfing everything as my body swelled, growing, my wings and tail lengthening, my body widening….

I evolved into a Swellow!

Smiling, despite my tiredness, I managed to regain some composure and glide down to greet my friends, landing painfully on the ground in front of them. Archie crawled forwards to place a comforting claw on my leg and winked up at me; I nodded in acknowledgement then groaned as another shudder rippled through my body.

~Hannah~

“Shall I carry her?” Tropi offered helpfully.
“If she wants to, though..Fizz, do you want to go inside your Poké Ball?” I knelt down to stroke her head as she shuddered, before looking up and giving me a grin.
“Hey. I just beat up my two hardest opponents, I’m not going to give up now.”
“Have it your way.” Putting my arm round her body, I struggled up, lifting and placing her onto the Tropius’ ready back. Bakura slithered down to the ground to make room, then rubbed against Tropi’s legs.
Settling, Fizz suddenly looked up and straight at me.
“Hey, where’s cutie?”
“Relax, he’s fine,” I tenderly pulled the baby from my jacket pocket, where he had been curled up in a tiny ball. “He hid there when the lightning started crashing.”
“Thankfully. Poor little one; though at least he didn’t get to see a couple of his kind-of species being thrashed. It might have put him off me for life.”
“Imagine that.”
“Shut it.”
“No. Stop telling me what to do, birdy.”
“Never in your life, cat.”
Oh good grief.
Cuddling Ted closer – he was still whimpering slightly- I turned to look back beyond the crumpled bodies of the Linoone, where my Espeon was sitting- and had been sitting throughout most the of the battle. She’d turned up just after Fizz had launched her Air Cutter, and had settled down to observe from there.
Delicately moving, she now trotted over, lowering her to head to drop the two objects by my feet, before retreating one or two metres back. Two Poké Balls.
“They were dropped further on up the road.”
“Great,” I sighed, “completely the opposite to what I hoped would happen.”
“You wanted to find…them?”
“Kind of. Last time something like this happened, I didn’t get very involved…might have been nicer to get more involved this time.”
“You have a strange definition of nice,” Xol pointed out, butting into the conversation. “Well, what are we going to do now? With them? Dare I say it- dump them somewhere? We could release them.”
“That might be the best thing,” answered Harle thoughtfully, “if we leave the Poké Balls with them, they can decide what they want to do.”
“You read my thoughts,” smirked Xol, “hang on, you’re standing near us, but not flinching.”
“I know. I can still sense everything, but the, well, the shock has gone. I can feel stuff, sense it, but it’s not so unbearable, as long as I stay a distance away. I just know when you’re about to move, that’s strange.”
“I’ll bet. Now, guys, perhaps we should move on now? Er, people are beginning to come out and look at us…this is a residential area you know. And those two, they’re coming round.”
He was right- they were blinking, stretching awkwardly, looking dazed.
“Give them the Poké Balls back,” suggested Xol; I nodded and tossed the two balls so that they clattered onto the ground in front of the Linoone. They flinched, but then suddenly became aware of their audience, grabbed the balls and fled.
That’s sorted out then.
“Just smile and walk off,” said Xol, nudging my leg, “act like nothing has happened so we won’t get questioned.”
A middle-aged man was staring at us from the doorway where the Linoone had scooped up the mud, watching us warily; I forced a smile, gave Xol a kick to get her moving, then tried to walk causally away, even though the whispers had started up behind.
Ignore them, ignore them.
Ted squeaked; Fizz yawned, her head drooping onto the back of Tropi’s neck; Archie looked up at her and chuckled; the rest were bunched up, murmuring among themselves; smiling slightly, I tugged my jacket closer and shivered as the cold began to bite again.

Sheik
3rd January 2005, 01:59 PM
When we write our stories, can we change some things?

What I wanted to do was write my stories like I'm writing a fanfic, but instead of taking place in the Dragontamers location (can't remember the name of the country), what if I wanted to write my scenarios as if I'm in Kanto, Johto, or Hoenn?

I would still make sure the scenarios were the same (i.e. I wouldn't fight a level 12 Pidgey when the scenario requires a level 15 Rattata), and if I have to, like with this scenario, I will make it fit to where the two Team Rocket factions are fighting, except it would be in a different location. Can I do that?

Cheesey
3rd January 2005, 02:25 PM
But that kind of defeats the point of it being a scenario, doesn't it? You have to write your stories as if you're in Ulthuan, because if you don't... Well, you're not really being part of the adopted pokemon community. And, if you did write is as if it were set in Kanto/Johto/Hoenn, then other people might copy you, and it would all get too confusing. So no, Dragon Tamer battles should be set in Ulthuan, as it was originally intended.

Lady Vulpix
3rd January 2005, 04:14 PM
Thanks, Karin! Both for the stamps and for your comments. I'm glad you liked it. :)

Cheesey, you can have 9 stamps for your story. Good battle, on both sides! Though it would be interesting to know why the Smeargles were attacking in the first place. Imarad's story was really sad. Just a few minor details: it's Free Range Corral, not Coral. And when Maria first spoke she mixed past and present tenses. Though it was nice to finally see her at the Battle Range. I hope I get to see more of her soon. :) ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Sheik
3rd January 2005, 07:10 PM
But that kind of defeats the point of it being a scenario, doesn't it? You have to write your stories as if you're in Ulthuan, because if you don't... Well, you're not really being part of the adopted pokemon community. And, if you did write is as if it were set in Kanto/Johto/Hoenn, then other people might copy you, and it would all get too confusing. So no, Dragon Tamer battles should be set in Ulthuan, as it was originally intended.

This is true. However, could I possibly get a map of Ulthuan, so that I know where certain things are, such as cities and certain points of interest? It would be a chore to trace back Ulthuan's roots, and read everything up to what's happened now.... I don't even think anyone has the sources for me to do that. Ok... if someone could get me a map of Ulthuan, that would be most helpful and appreciated.

The_Missing_Link
3rd January 2005, 08:47 PM
Here's (http://forboards.tripod.com/) a site that links to the map (scroll down a bit). I don't know the whole story either so I made things up as I went along. If it was wrong, nobody corrected me so I think you should be fine

Lady Vulpix
4th January 2005, 10:32 AM
Becca gets a stamp, and so does Cheesey.

Ade and I are working on a Dragon Tamers FAQ to answer questions like this one, but it may take some time. The person who created most of the background is now gone from the board, but the rest of us know enough pieces of the story to make up whatever we may be missing and keep it coherent. The most important thing you need to know about locations is that the Dragon Tamers base is in Sector Alpha, the capital of Caledor (you can see Caledor in the map Becca has linked you to). It's a big city with everything that implies, and a mixture of modern and ancient constructions. Ulthuan has a history that dates back to many centuries in the past, and has known many wars. If you need to know any details for your stories, don't be afraid to ask anything you'd like to know.

AntiAsh Superstar
8th January 2005, 07:11 PM
Part one of a fun little Pandora mini-plot made up entirely from RBGs. :) Can she battle a pokémon from the Free Range Corral next, please? *pays 7 stamps*

-----
"Hello? Hello?" She could hear the words coming from somewhere, alright, but hadn't the inclination to find out where they were coming from. What use had she for words now? They weren't the words she wanted to hear; henceforth she would ignore them for now. Until at least that which had been taken away could be replaced. "You have to try and eat, dear. You'll waste away if you don't." A long pause. Whoever was talking, she simply didn't want to listen. What did they know? Maybe it was for the best that she wasted away. For all of a sudden life didn't seem worth living any longer. What use was a life where everything had been taken away? "Okay, if you won't feed yourself then I'm going to have to do it for you. I'm sorry, but you don't really leave me with any choice." All of a sudden hands grasped her jaws , forcing her mouth open. She could feel something being placed into her mouth and, more out of reflex than anything else, so she chewed and swallowed. Again this happened. And again. The food wasn't what she would call great, especially after a lifetime of being used to the finer foods that Ulthuan had to offer. But it filled a hole that she hadn't noticed until now. "That's a good girl." A hand petted her head with affection, although it wasn't the hand she would have liked to have been touching her at the time. But she knew that the hand she needed more than any other had been stopped from touching her. In her darkest hour, they had cut off those she needed the most. Wordlessly she stared at the cracks in the tiled floor, finding a remarkable interest in the unremovable grime that had lodged itself in there. Wordlessly she stared, as the mystery voice took its leave. She heard it all. The soft click of shoes upon bare tiles, the creaking of the door hinges. The soft voices coming from a point just outside of her immediate vicinity. She could hear it all.

"I'm worried for that one. She doesn't make a sound, she doesn't move, all she does is stare straight ahead. The most activity we've seen from her since Nurse Joy brought her here was a full half hour of just crying silently. I don't know what to make of it."
"Our first mission should be to get her to communicate once again. Until she can do that I'm afraid there's really very little that we can do for her. After all, disorders of the mind are almost impossible to diagnose without at least some sort of feedback. Until we get some kind of attempt at speech from her I'm afraid we'll just have to keep on as we have been doing."
"I feel sorry for her. Nurse Joy told me what was going on, what that guy Lord Absol from the Guild had ordered. Makes me feel sick to think that someone could be so cold as to do something like that to an innocent pokémon. I mean, she still has a trainer. He must be worried sick about her! To ban him from seeing her altogether... that's just plain wrong. It's almost like they want her to be ill!"
"Now now, Sasha. One mustn't speak ill of the Guild. It's always disheartening when one that callous rises into power, true, but the Guild itself couldn't ever be called evil. Lord Absol's actions, whatever his motives are, have left us in a terrible pickle, yes, but one mustn't judge the entire group through one man's actions. There are more good hearts than wicked ones ruling this realm, at least that's how it appears to me. Otherwise our provinces would simply become more Nagarythes." A deep sigh. "I'd like to try her with some interaction tomorrow. See if another pokémon can jog some life into her. How is Kakusei lately?"
"Baffling as ever. It's been an entire week now, this has to be his longest spell ever and yet he's still going strong. I'm not sure if we should call for his help, though. His condition may make him irrational."
"Ah, well, there's the thing! Sometimes I think he's the most sane one amongst us all. I'd like for him to take this... Pandora her breakfast tomorrow, see if that perks her up...."

That was it. That was as much as she could bear to hear. All of a sudden the tears were flowing again. Oh yes, she remembered it all most clearly. The hospitalization had been getting her down, most terribly. She had been missing the constant companionship of being a part of an active team. And although the torrential rain of visitors had affirmed her faith in her friends to some extent; even some trainers other than her own had passed by to offer their best wishes. It was always good to have a heart-to-heart with Lagi, or to watch Sugar race around the room knocking everything over, or to deliberately try and confuse Gina by taking advantage of her remarkable knack for only every really semi-understanding pokémon tongue. And as for her actual teammates it was hard to keep them away. Milliardo in particular seemed to be spending every waking moment by her side, using his sneaky powers as an Umbreon to sneak in even when he wasn't supposed to and bring a smile to her face with his cheeky witticisms. Still, the confinement had been making her miserable in spite of all of that. And then that Absol fellow had showed up. He had put a stop to everything. And now she was isolated. Isolated and alone. Just as she deserved to be. After all, had she not seen this happening? Had she not received full warning of all of this in the dreams of the past week? She hadn't acted upon them, trying hard to dismiss them as mere nightmares. And for not heeding the warnings... well, she was as guilty as that Lord Absol. At least that was how Pandora saw things.
"Pandora, you..." Abruptly the Houndour sat up in her little cot and stared down at her body thrugh the haze of the tears that blinkered her eyes. "You stupid thing! You stupid, stupid, stupid thing!" Now the tears were flowing freely. "You brought it all on yourself! I hate you! I HATE YOU!!!" The fog was descending again, that terrible, all-consuming haze that always seemed to save itself for either battle or Pandora's moments of self-reflection. Bad things always kept seeming to happen to her. And why? Because she was tainted. She had been tainted from the moment she was born. Her heritage wasn't much to be proud of, after all. The daughter of two other Houndour, one a fragile yet loving thing, the other so driven to distraction by his prophetic powers that he had blanked all around him. Pandora seemed to have picked up both traits, and they were characteristics that didn't sit well together. "All I do is make things more complicated. Because I never actually think, do I, my mind won't let me. Look at that whole Dark Cloak business." The incident in question stemmed from the one time Pandora allowed her prophetic dreams to guide her actions, before she became convinced that she was only dreaming in possibilities rather than certanties. She had dreamt of a need to join the rising army of the sinister Dark Cloak cult, so she had followed it. And it had been quite entertaining for a time. The organisation of the army was such that the pokémon and humans within it kept their affairs quite separate. She had no need to worry about the sinister motives of her masters. She just followed her orders without feeling, for at the end of the day there was always a reassuring pat on the back from her colleagues. The remarkably noble Amon, for example, an Umbreon whom she had considered the closest thing to a big brother she had ever known. Or her commander, the eccentric yet deadly bundle of energy referred to as Lady Rhiannon, who never seemed to lose sight of her odd form of compassion no matter haw dark the deeds were that she was forced to perform. Come to think of it, her time in the Dark Cloak had been the first time in her life that she had felt like part of a family. A twisted, warped family, yes, but a family nonetheless. So she could bitch about them all she liked, but in actual fact she probably wouldn't have been alive today without Amon's careful tutiledge or Rhiannon's uncanny ability to switch between ruthless general one moment and sympathetic, caring friend the next. Still, she had done some terrible things back then. And no amount of help was going to help her to forgive herself for that. She was no Rhiannon. She couldn't just shrug off her mistakes and move on. Pandora's mistakes stayed with her, covering her with a layer of filth and cruelty. "Complications. That's all I bring. That's all I'll ever bring." Still sobbing, the Houndour subconsciously began lightly scratching at one of her front legs. Lightly at first, but the more she scratched, the greater the compulsion to dig deeper into her flesh became. "That's all I'll ever bring!!!!" All of a sudden the claws became all too sharp. All of a sudden the swipe at her own body became all too real. All of a sudden the simple scratching became a Slash attack, cutting a deep gash into her front leg. And all of a sudden Pandora curled up and cried herself to sleep, with only the pain in her leg to remind her that she was even there at all.

"Morning!" Pandora was awoken by an overly chirpy voice cutting deeply into her slumber. Groggily she opened her eyes to find a grinning Plusle staring into her face, carrying a bowl of water in one paw and a bowl of regulation Pokéchow in the other. "Breakfast is served, madame. Bon appetit."
"I'm not hungry," Pandora mumbled, trying very hard to withdraw into the blankets covering her body. Anything other than have to face anybody after what had happened last night!
"Sure you're hungry. Being in this place takes it out of you. You just haven't recovered enough from the shock to realise that yet." The Plusle grinned good-naturedly. "You ought to eat. Keep your strength up. Sooner you get into a decent routine, sooner they let you out of here, I reckon. 'Course, I wouldn't know that myself. I can't get into a routine no matter how hard I try. By the way, the name's Kakusei. They slammed me in here for some sort of sleep disorder, insomuch as I can't. Sleep, that is."
"I kind of envy you," Pandora commented, reluctantly sticking her head out from under the covers to take a lap at the water. Which she had to admit her body was seriously yearning for. "I guess if you don't sleep you don't get nightmares."
"True, but you don't get the good dreams either, and I do kinda miss those." The Plusle shrugged in an almost carefree manner. "Anyway, I don't think I caught your name."
"It's Pandora. Look, thanks for bringing me breakfast and all but I really am not hungry, so go take it to someone who actually wants it, okay?" Sulkily Pandora retreated back into her covers, trying very hard to block out this new and unwelcome intrusion. Unfortunately she hadn't counted on Kakusei's inability to take a hint.
"Hey, I'm not just going to let you starve. I told you, you need to eat in this place. You don't, and it's just more reason for them to keep you here longer, you know? I'm guessing you don't actually want to be here, right?"
"Gee, whatever gave you that impression?" Pandora grumbled, trying very hard to block out the Plusle's jabbering but not really succeeding."I'd rather be out fighting deranged Team Rocket drop-outs. And I never thought I'd hear myself saying that."
"Welll, this place ain't that bad," Kakusei said with a shrug. "Sure, the docs are pains in the butt the way they're constantly watching you and probing and asking questions, but at least it's warm here and we get fed on a regular basis. Beats being out in the wild any day. Anyway... come on, you, you're going to eat something, I'm not taking no for an answer." Before Pandora could do anything to stop him the Plusle had pulled off the sheet that the Houndour was hiding herself in. Revealing her true, sorry state for all the world to see. The huge wound on her front leg was painfully obvious. It had been deep, and it had been painful, and it was only just starting to heal over now. But that was only the beginning. Kakusei's attention couldn't help but be drawn to all the other, faded scars, mostly on the limbs but occasionally on the body as well. Nearly all of them took the same basic shape, like somebody had taken a razor blade repeatedly to her. Only it wasn't a razor blade that had done the damage. The Plusle was perceptive enough to realise that. "So that's why they made you come here," he whistled, temporarily forgetting the obvious discomfort of his companion.
"Do you mind not staring?" Pandora yelled angrily, all her old venom seeming to return to her in an instant. "Have you never seen scars before? Or am I just that ugly that you can't help but get a perverse thrill from looking?"
"Whoa, whoa, I'm sorry, okay?" All of a sudden Kakusei became increasingly aware of Pandora's mounting hostility. He backed away with an imploring look upon his face."I was just wondering why you were here, that's all. And if you don't mind me saying so, there's quite a lot there to take in once you know what you're looking for. Anyway, you're not ugly. If anything you're probably the prettiest Houndour I've ever seen." The Plusle nodded energetically, having found a subject he could waffle about. The trouble with Kakusei, Pandora was to eventually learn, was that sleep deprivation made talking to him like engaging in conversation with all the least understandable parts of both Beckham and Thunderblast. "It's the big doe eyes, I reckon, you do have the most stunningly pretty eyes I've ever seen on any pokémon. Does kind of take the edge off your attempts to be menacing, though, so don't mind me if I don't run in terror from that little outburst. You're cute when you're angry, anyway." Pandora opened her mouth but no sound came out. She was having a great deal of trouble following most of that.
"Look, you," she finally snapped irritably. "Number one, that isn't the reason I'm here. I don't know why I'm here myself yet, but you'd have thought if they'd have picked up on that I'd be under constant watch. Number two, I'm taken, so thanks for the flattery but it'll get you absolutely nowhere. Number three – for the last time stop staring at my scars!"
"I wasn't looking at them!" the Plusle protested. "Just wondering what else I could compliment you on. I'm on a roll now, you know."
"Whatever." By this point Pandora had pretty much given up on even trying to get anything approaching sane conversation out of the odd Plusle. Little did she know that the damage had already been done. Exposing her to a pokémon this eccentric, this baffling, had brought back old memories and instincts that even her deep, dark depression couldn't suppress. Almost haughtily she snapped to an upright position and fixed her new friend of sorts with a look that was mostly icy yet also contained a degree of relief hidden within its glacial confines. "Since it's pretty clear I'm not going to get rid of you..."
"Nope!" Kakusei chuckled brightly.
"...mind filling me in on what this place is, exactly?" the Houndour finished with a decided edge to her voice.
"Oh, didn't I explain that bit? Silly me. Sorry." The Plusle grinned sheepishly. "Well... how to best put this... it's like a mental asylum for pokémon. You need your head fixed, you get sent here."
"You don't exactly mince your words, do you?" Pandora winced, inwardly shivering at the mere thought of it. She had spent most of her life fighting against the inner demons that threatened to consume her. The sudden bouts of anger, the inexplicable feelings of despair that came and went almost as surely as the tide... oh, she had known all along that she had been bordering on something like this happening for quite some time now. But that didn't make it any easier a pill to swallow.
"Oh come on, it really isn't that bad." Kakusei smiled disarmingly, cocking his head pleasantly to one side. Pandora couldn't help but like the chirpy little pokémon in spite of her frustration. He was the sort that even she in her most confused state couldn't find any malice towards. "Come on. Let's go for a little walk, shall we? I'll introduce you to the rest of the guys." The rest of the guys? Words like that didn't exactly bode well in Pandora's mind. She was at heart quite a cynical creature and hence rather wary of strangers at the best of times. Let alone in the middle of some strange ward of an even stranger Pokécenter when she wasn't really even in the mood to face anyone she actually knew anyway. But still, part of her wanted to get up, to get out and treat her senses to something other than the same four walls she had been forced to content herself with for what seemed like an eternity. So when Kakusei went over to the door and opened it with a deft click Pandora got up and followed him out of it. Well, it beat just sitting around, didn't it?

"Hi!" Almost as soon as she had steeped out of her room Pandora found herself being greeted by a remarkably cheerful Vulpix that seemed to possess all the youthful innocence of Pearl's daughter Celeste and every single lack of inhibition that made Kirei such a scary prospect. "You're the new girl, huh? I'm Teiru, pleased to meetcha!"
"Uh... hi..." Pandroa responded warily.
"Don't worry about her, she's actually really sweet even if she is a little in-your-face," Kakusei explained as they moved away from the Vulpix. "In fact, only reason she's in here is she gets really confused about the amount of tails she has and when she starts thinking about that we won't see her for weeks, she just sits and stares at them and wastes away. Probably just as well you caught her at a good time, really. Anyways, there's only really a few of us here. Next, meet Suneru." The two rounded a corner only to encounter a particularly surly-looking Teddiursa that simply glared at them with a less than inviting expression before spinning around to stare at the wall. "Or not." Pandora's Plusle companion sighed deeply. "Suneru's got a big problem, coz he hates everything. Literally. We can't do a thing with him. Oh, and here's a similar problem for us. Pandora, meet Hagasu." Pandora stared over as a muscular Mightyena looked over, regarded her within seconds with its baneful glare, nodded, then resumed watching the television screen it had originally been staring intently at. "Don't mind him, either. Hagasu never pays much attention to anything bar that screen."
"Is there anyone who I can actually have a conversation with here, then?" Pandora wondered aloud, party relieved that, compared to these pokémon, she was positively normal and partly scared that she wouldn't survive this whole experience.
"Other than me, you mean?" Kakusei grinned brightly. "Sure, as I said, Teiru's pretty cool nine tenths of the time. And we're about to run into another you'll probably get on with now. She's pretty stable as long as you keep any paper you have away from her. She eats that stuff like popcorn, compulsively, and it drives the others mad, I can tell you." This wasn't exactly a great comfort to most creatures, but to Pandora it was actually something of a relief. She, after all, was more than conscious of her own failings, and in spite of her rash temper had always been sure never to judge others for flaws she could have potentially been equally guilty of herself. So a little thing like compulsive paper eating wasn't something she was particularly bothered about.

A not-so-little thing like a Tyranitar, however, was something else entirely.

"Um, are you okay?" It took several seconds for Pandora to register that the giant creature that she had practically walked into was speaking to her, looking down at her with an expression filled with worry. "You didn't hurt yourself, did you?"
"Uh... no, no, I'm fine." Pandora shook her head vigorously, finally daring to return the Tyranitar's glance and finding it not nearly as ferocious as she had been anticipating. Almost visibly she relaxed. For the most part she didn't trust Tyranitars. Their form was simply too close to that of the dark god of her one-time masters, the cruel Dark Cloak cultists of Nagarythe. They worshiped a foul beast named Resomegnis, whose form had been created from composite parts of the most dangerous monsters to have ever threatened Ulthuan. The most physically obvious of these was the legendary Dark Tyranitar. But that wasn't to say that ALL Tyranitars were bad sorts. Pandora was swiftly finding that out for herself. "I... I'm Pandora. Pleased to meet you."
"The pleasure's all mine, Pandora-san." The Tyranitar bowed politely. "My name is Fushouka. It is I who should be pleased to meet you."
"Don't mind her," Kakusei grinned, patting Fushouka on the knee. "She's a bit odd."
"You're one to talk, you doukemono," the Tyranitar grinned.
"Fush, I have no idea what you just called me, as always, but I'll assume that was a compliment."
"Maybe, maybe not, but it is rather descriptive of you." Fushouka turned to address Pandora. "Did you meet everybody else, then?"
"Well, I..." the Houndour began, but found herself rudely interrupted by her Plusle companion.
"Almost. She's still not met Innin and Furiiku yet," Kakusei blared out.
"Evidently I haven't," Pandora said, glaring at the Plusle. "Before I kill you for being the rudest, most annoying creature on the planet mind telling me who these two are seeing as you've started talking and I'm guessing you're on a roll now?"
"Oh, Innin's a Slowbro who refuses to do anything apart from play with this weird jigsaw puzzle. She won't talk to anyone, she won't move from her position, she just does her damn puzzle all day, every day. And Furiiku's a real oddball. Just spends the entire day in a total dreamworld, thinks there's all these weird characters and things happening even when they're not, it's all in his head. But to listen to him talk you'd think he was actually living that fictional life of his, you know?" The Plusle grinned rather wickedly. "Anyway, you said you were gonna kill me, did you?"
"Uh oh..." Fushouka rolled her eyes. "Pandora, I'd watch it if I were you. This mazo does seem to enjoy the occasional challenge, no matter how mismatched. Last time I saw that look in his eyes was when he challenged me to a battle. I think the lack of sleep makes him a little odd."
"You think?" Pandora rolled her eyes. Yes, she could see where this one was going alright! "Kakusei, I just blurted that out, okay? I do that kind of thing all the time, you're not supposed to actually pay attention to it!"
"Well I did. Sounded like a challenge to me!" the Plusle grinned brightly. "We could have the battle here if you like."
"Say what? What battle?"
"The one we're gonna have of course!"
"At what point did I agree to this stupid idea of yours, exactly?" Pandora scowled, trying very hard to fight the growing apprehension that was forming a tight knot in her stomach. She hated battling. She always had, always would. It was the one time she actually had the potential to harm a creature other than herself. The risks of losing her cool and really hurting her opponent had always been too great for comfort. "I don't like fighting, okay? I'll call you every name under the sun, sure, my mouth runs away with itself sometimes. But don't let that give you the idea I'm looking for a fight. Most of the time I'm just looking for a handy rock to crawl under and die." Did she actually mean that or not? Not even Pandora could really be sure. Her death was something she had decidedly mixed feelings on.
"Oh come on, it'll be fun," Kakusei persisted. "I haven't battled anyone since my last battle with Fushouka!"
"I floored you with a single Earthquake," the Tyranitar nodded sagely. "Baka."
"C'mon, Pandora!" the Plusle persisted, ignoring his huge friend's rather obvious insult. "What harm could it do?"
"Well let's see, shall we?" the Houndour spat angrily. "I could accidentally break your bones, I could accidentally open a major artery savaging you. I could do a million things that will hurt you for a long time to come. I don't stay in control when I battle, guys. Sorry. I daren't risk it."
"So you've a bit of a temper, then. So what? I can handle myself. Come on! Come on!" At this point the Plusle began skipping around Pandora, throwing punches in the air all the while. It was funny enough to watch at first, but after a while the act just became tiresome. "Come on!"
"Fine!" Pandora finally hissed, rounding on the Plusle with barely contained fury. "Just don't blame me if you end up in a mangled heap, okay?" These were all the words that Kakusei needed to hear. Already the Plusle had hopped backwards across the tiled flooring and had struck up a fighting pose. Pandora couldn't help but sigh. Why did life always have to be so damn complicated?

FIGHT!!! L13 Houndour v L13 Plusle!

"Get ready to lose, Pandora! I haven't fought in ages and I'm all fired up!" Kakusei didn't even seem to want to give Pandora chance to even brace herself for the upcoming fight The instant he saw that she was willing to battle the Plusle flew at her with a remarkably well-aimed Quick Attack that very nearly toppled the Houndour completely. Fortunately Pandora was made of sterner stuff than that. Although the impact was indeed remarkably hard, the sudden collision with her chest bringing with it a dull pain that caused the Houndour to visibly wince, it wasn't enough to distract her from the business of retaliating. Before her friend could hope to withdraw Pandora had sent him skidding across the floor with a fierce Headbutt delivered directly to his face. Harsh, maybe, but then Pandora had never been anything bar brutal in battle.
"I warned you!" Pandora shouted, already beginning to feel the anger almost flow though her veins. "I waned you what I'm like!" Abruptly she rushed at the Plusle, attempting to strike him with another vicious blow. Only somehow Kakusei dodged this with ease, a calm smile fixed firmly upon his face as he hopped nimbly away.
"You can sure pack a surprising punch for someone who looks so innocent," the Plusle commented. "Guess I'm gonna have to actually try with this one!" All of a sudden he came rushing at Pandora yet again, this time with at least twice the speed, his little legs racing so fast that they became almost a total blur. Pandora stood no chance of avoiding the attack at all and the two pokémon collided with a resounding crack.
"Uhh..." Pandora staggered backwards, temporarily stunned. Which gave her opponent another perfect opening. Before she knew what was happening Kakusei had sent a powerful stream of electrical energy snaking towards her in impossibly wide arcs. There was simply no way that she could have avoided it even if she had all of her wits about her at the time. So the Shock Wave struck her hard in the side, sending pulse after pulse of unbearable pain coursing throughout her body. It took all of her willpower to stop herself from blacking out completely.
"I know what you're thinking," Kakusei sighed with an overly flippant air as he finally stopped his cruel attack. "How on earth is a pokémon like me so good at battling?"
"Kakusei, you gigantic egoisuto!" Fushouka snapped from the sidelines. "If you have to do this then stop making such a game out of it!"
"I... it's quite alright," Pandora muttered, trying to get a grip on her madly flailing emotions. She fixed the Plusle with a look of distaste. "I make for quite a hard game, he'll get tired of it long before I collapse. And as for you, Kakusei, what I was actually thinking was 'what on earth is going to shut this guy up?'. You're the most annoying opponent I've ever faced, and the trouble is I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. Anyway, time I stopped playing around." For a moment the two pokémon simply stood there, eyes locked upon each other. And then Kakusei recoiled with a loud yell of surprise as if he had just been punched in the face.
"What was that?" the Plusle moaned. "It gave me a killer headache, whatever it was!"
"Night Shade," came the calm reply, Pandora beginning to advance upon her opponent with a look on her face that was simply too relaxed to be truly sane. "Want another?"
"Oww!" Kakusei moaned as yet another invisible attack slammed into him. This wasn't good! "Didn't realise you had such a nasty little trick up your sleeve there, Pandora. Still, if that's the best you can do then..."
"Oh, but it isn't. Not by a long shot." Concentrating hard, the Houndour began to slowly raise the heat of the surrounding room using her abilities as a Dark type until it was as warm – and bizarrely enough, as bright - as a scorching summer's day.
"You think I'm giving you a chance to power up your fire? Think again!" Pandora's opponent could tell what was going on here. She was using Sunny Day to power up her Ember or whatever other Fire attack she may have known. Quickly he launched himself into another Quick Attack, shooting forward to catch Pandora before she could build up her internal furnaces. Which might have worked in any other circumstances. Sadly Kakusei had made a fatal flaw in his guesswork. He had assumed the Sunny Day was for powering up Pandora's Fire attacks. It wasn't, however. It was designed to power up something entirely different, a move that, in these bright circumstances, was capable of being fired off in a split second. So almost as quickly as the Plusle had launched into his attack he found himself being launched backwards just as quickly, having dashed straight into a large Solarbeam attack that Pandora had viciously spat out in his direction. It was all too much for the poor pokémon. He had been knocked unconscious even before he hit the ground. Leaving Pandora to stare at his motionless body, panting hard. That had really taken it out of her! Yet... yet she couldn't help but feel a distinct sense of pride. She had managed to keep her cool that time. It was certainly a step in the right direction.
"So he finally sleeps," Fushouka commented from the sidelines. "Arigatou, Pandora-san. Finally we can have a break from his chatter. It's been about a fortnight, I'd think. You did us a big favour." The Tyranitar bowed politely; Pandora was left feeling rather unsure as to how to respond to this, however. All she could do was smile weakly and accept Fushouka's offer to come sit by her. Evidently there were friendly faces in this place, after all.

Pandora wins!
Pandora grew to L14!

"Good afternoon, everybody!" It had been several hours since the battle that had eventually turned out to be some kind of warped induction into this particular little group of misfits. Kakusei had eventually woken up with a sore head and a grumble of 'oh man, now I'm gonna have to start again!' when he realised he had been knocked out, but otherwise seemed fine. And so the rest of Pandora's time had been spent bonding with her new unlikely companions. She finally got to meet Furiiku, a remarkably charming little Bulbasaur who seemed to be even better at telling obviously untrue tales than Beckham. And even Hagasu, the surly Mightyena, finally paused in his television watching for long enough to have a few brief yet friendly enough words. In fact after a little while Pandora was feeling as happy as she was ever going to be under the circumstances. Until they came clicking briskly into the large, well-ventilated playroom the little group of pokémon were busy socialising in. As soon as they arrived there was a collective groan. For even Pandora knew enough about these places to know what the arrival of a young woman in a short black skirt with thick brown hair in bunches and a deceptively youthful face meant seeing as she was wearing a white lab jacket and carrying a clipboard. And as for her companion... well, he also had 'doctor' written all over him. He wasn't much older than the woman, sporting spiked blonde hair and a slightly weather-beaten face. But it was the eyes that held the most interest. There was something decidedly strange about those eyes, as if they shouldn't have quite belonged on a human being. Pandora felt a shudder pass through her as she gazed upon those eyes. All in all, she decided, that man was seriously freaky. "And how are you all feeling today?" The female doctor was obviously trying very hard to be friendly, but her query was only met with noncommital grunts and blank stares. Evidently the patients in this particular ward had very little opinion of the staff taking care of them! "Listen, I know we normally have our group session at around this time..."
"That's always fun. Not," Kakusei whispered in Pandora's ear at this point. "We usually end up trying to kill each other. She couldn't control a group session if her life depended on it."
"...but today we have a new doctor starting with us and he's asked if he can have some one-on-one sessions with you all over the course of the day. Get to know you all a bit better. So, umm, Dr. Ryoku, would you like to start?"
"Thank you." The male doctor stepped forward smartly, viewing the assembled pokémon with what seemed like bemusement. "I'd like you all to know that I'm not out to get you. Far from it, my mission is simply to understand, and to help you all understand. Who knows, maybe I might even be able to help one or two of you. That is, of course, as long as you're willing to help yourselves." He smiled contentedly, apparently happy with his little speech. "Now I'd rather like to make a start on getting to know one or two of you a little better." The man's eyes locked on those of Pandora. "Pandora, isn't it? New here. You'll be as good a place to start as any. Come now, follow me." There was something in the man's manner that made him impossible to disobey. Pandora knew that to do so would be to court trouble of the most serious kind. So she got up and followed the white-coated doctor meekly, with a last call from Kakusei ringing in her ears.
"Good luck!" the Plusle had shouted. And Pandora had a horrible feeling that she would need it.

Sheik
12th January 2005, 10:20 PM
I write in white and italics.
Brandi writes in red.
Chlo writes in green.
Aiden writes in lime.
Anna writes in lavender.
Ayemin writes in silver.
Matthias writes in crimson.
Aurora writes in skyblue.



<Aiden’s POV>

A vibration on my newly made web startled me. I looked over to see what it could have been. It was just a bug; it can stay there and rot for a little bit. If I need a snack, I’ll know where to go. I looked up at Jay’s bed, only to see that he was still asleep. It made sense, it was really early in the morning. I left my web, and crawled up onto the wall near the window. A slight crack of sunlight penetrated the horizon, spilling light onto the world as the new day arrived. A sunrise was a trully beautiful thing. “Enough of watching this,” I decided, and retreated back into the center of my web. Again noticing the squirming insect, I decided to put it out of its misery. Creeping along the spindles of my web, I came upon it. I produced more silk, and gently wrapped my prey into a protective shell. Securing the silk onto the unsuspecting victim, I bit it once, very quickly, and it ceased to move afterwards. “Why was life so cruel?” I thought.


<Chlo’s POV>

The sun stretched its light upon my face. Morning has broken. Opening my eyes, I looked out the window, and saw drops of dew reflecting light. Another night of my wandering the earth, searching for seeds to sow has now come to naught. I looked behind me, in the living room. Ayemin and Anna were sleeping still. Was Aiden awake? I’ve began to notice that he stirs rather early. Deciding to check on him, I made my way up the stairs, toward Jay’s room, only to find that the door was shut. No matter, I’ll just have to open it. Looking up at the nob, I realized this was easier said than done. I looked around to see if anything could help me in my quest. I noticed a box in the room adjacent to Jay’s. Perfect...

I waddled into the room, and began to push the box along the floor, toward Jay’s room. It was really light, and I suddenly wondered if this box could support my weight. I noticed it was made of cardboard. After getting the box close to the door, I then realized that there was no way for me to get up onto the box to turn the handle. I sighed in disappointment.


“Need help?” a voice said. I turned to see that Ayemin was clambering up the steps. His red eyes were sometimes hard to gaze into. Casting my glance toward the door, I replied, “Sure.”

“Why don’t you just hit the door and wake Jay up? You know he could sleep for another four hours.”

“Ayemin... that’s really inconsiderate,” said Anna, who now appeared at the top of the steps. “Here... I’ll use my psychic powers to turn the nob, all you need to do, Chlo, is push the door. Got it?” I nodded, then looked from Anna to the doornob, which began to glow a deep purple. The nob turned, and I pushed the box out of the way, and opened the door. Upon entering, no sound emitted from the room. There was dead silence. I looked over to see that Aiden was indeed awake. Jay, on the other hand, was sleeping like a rock. Anna and Ayemin sauntered over to the window, and began talking. I went over to Aiden’s web. “Good morning, Aiden,” I said cheerfully. “Good morning,” came the reply. I noticed that there was a lump of silk on his web. He must have caught something. “How was your sleep?” I asked. “It was good, and your night?” “It was good. I walked around outside, and continued sowing where I began the night before last. I didn’t leave until around three in the morning. I came up close to sunrise. I’m a little tired, but I’ll manage.” Aiden nodded.

I looked over to see that Ayemin was now on Jay’s bed. He was pacing along Jay’s side. “How should I wake him?”

“Simple.... don’t. Just let him sleep, you can muster up the patience to wait a few hours for breakfast. He needs his sleep.”

“What’s going on in here? Having a conference?” It was Brandi, and Matthias was right next to her. Everyone looked in her direction.


<Anna’s POV>

“Nice to see you, Brandi. Matthias,” I said, in a jovial manner. “Always the polite and humble one,” retorted my brother. “Can it, Ayemin!” I replied fiercely.

“So what were you all doing in here, anyway?” Matthias asked.

“We’re in here because Chlo wanted to see if Aiden was awake. She couldn’t get the door open by herself, so I came to help her, then my goodie goodie sis–“

“Ayemin.... SHUT UP!” I screamed. I must’ve yelled rather loudly, because Jay was sitting up, looking at us sleepily. “...Sorry, Jay. I didn’t mean to wake you.” He looked at me, then at Ayemin, then at the rest of us in the room.


<Jay’s POV>

I woke up at the sound of a scream. Anna must have been yelling at Ayemin for doing something. I noticed that Chlo, Brandi, and Matthias were all in the room as well. Why? I couldn’t tell you. I looked back at Anna, and saw an expression that plainly read, ‘I’m sorry.’ I got up, and told her it was ok. “What are all of you doing in here?” I asked. Everyone’s heads turned to Chlo, then I knew. “Ok... I’ll make breakfast for anyone that’s hungry,” I announced.

“Thank God!”

Everyone trotted out of the room. That is, everyone except Aiden and Chlo. “You two aren’t coming?” I asked. Both shook their heads. “Ok, suit yourself.” Anna was the last one out. “It’s ok, Anna. I don’t mind that you woke me up, I actually needed an alarm clock today.” That seemed to reassure her.

I made my way downstairs toward the kitchen, and began to prepare breakfast. Since Ayemin was the more impatient one, and the first one in line, I prepared his first.


<Chlo’s POV>

“So you like it here?” I asked. He nodded,“Yeah. You’re the only one that talks to me, though.” I walked up to the window, and sat down so the sun would hit me.

“I don’t talk to anyone else either. Before you came, all I did was follow Jay around. I don’t think the others want to get to know me, they never act like it. I mean, yeah, they help me if I need it, and they’ll make sure my needs are met, but none of them have ever sat down and talked with me. They’re all talking with each other. Brandi and Matthias are always together, the same with Anna and Ayemin. I’ve only seen Aurora out of her Pokeball three times, because there’s no place that she can fit in Jay’s house. As for Banx, the Charmander, the only one that talks to him is Jay, and Banx is still in the baby stages–his flame is barely developed. You’re the only one that has ever tried to talk with me.

”Yeah, but I don’t know why you talk with me so much, or even want to. Plants generally hate bugs. What am I? A bug. Well, technically, I’m an arachnid, but I’m classified as a bug.

“That may be, but we both have one thing in common.... We’re the only Poison-types in this house. I guess that’s why I talk to you so much. We both have something in common. You see, I’ve never wanted to open up to anyone else because of something that’s happened to me in the past.....” I trailed off.

“And what happened?”

“Before Jay adopted me, I tried to become friends with this group of Hoppips. They all seemed nice, and they were grass-types like me, but..... They didn’t accept me. They treated me like I was an outsider, like I didn’t belong, just because I was a different Pokemon. I figured, if some of my own kind won’t accept me, why would any other Pokemon that aren’t grass-types? So I secluded myself, I felt that the only person that I could ever talk to would have been my trainer. Jay has tried to get me to become friends with the other Pokemon, but if you look back, all the one’s that do talk to each other have something in common. Brandi and Matthias are both fire-types, and Anna and Ayemin are siblings.

“Yeah, but Anna and Ayemin act like they hate each other. Sometimes I wonder if they do. Ayemin’s always the one to jump into things, to cause mischief, and Anna doesn’t tolerate that. Sometimes I wonder if she resents him for it. He can never be serious, and that in itself ticks her off. Whenever they talk to each other all they do is bicker. Of course, maybe that’s they way brothers and sisters are. I don’t know.

“Yeah, but I do wonder about Aurora. I’ll bet she feels the loneliest. She doesn’t talk to anyone. After all, Jay only lets her out of her Pokeball at the Eevee House, and that’s because there’s enough room there for her to manoeuver. And I almost guarantee that once Banx matures, he will be friends with Matthias, possibly Brandi.


<Anna’s POV>

So that’s why.... It was all because she wasn’t accepted by other grass-types. That’s what causes her to not talk to anyone. She doesn’t think we’ll accept her if she opens up. I know it was rude of me to listen in on their conversation, but something told me that I should–that it would better help the group as a whole. So that’s why... now I can tell the others. But.... what if she doesn’t want me to tell? No... it’d be best to confront her about it, and ask her beforehand.... Yes... that’s what I’ll do. But not now. I’d better leave.... I don’t want to be discovered.


<Jay’s POV>

With Ayemin chowing down on his breakfast, I began to prepare food for Brandi and Matthias. I released Banx from his Pokeball, and let him grab some fresh air. His flame was beginning to develop more rapidly, but he was still just a baby. I went into the dining room (the largest room in the house), and released Aurora to keep watch over Banx. “If he accidentally catches anything on fire, please put it out, Aurora. I’ve closed off all other doorways, so he can only roam in the living room and the kitchen,” I told her. She agreed, and began diligently watching the baby’s every move.

Anna reappeared from wherever she had come from as I set Brandi’s and Matthias’ food down for them to eat. “Yours will be up next, Anna,” I informed her. All she did was close her eyes and sit. Though I thought this rather peculiar, I decided not to worry about it. I prepared her breakfast, gave it to her, and started on Banx’s.


<Brandi’s POV>

I finished the rest of the food that was in my bowl. Afterwards, I decided to see what Chlo was up to. Ever since Jay adopted Aiden, there’s been no reason for me to try and talk to Chlo. I hadn’t really made an attempt at it beforehand. She always seemed like she couldn’t trust any of us.

Making my way to the top of the stairs, I noticed Aiden crawling on the wall, talking to Chlo as she appeared from up above. Once they caught sight of me, Aiden stopped talking. “Do you two want to eat?” I asked, breaking the silence. Aiden crawled closer to me.

“Sure. Do I just go into the kitchen and ask Jay for something to eat?” Aiden asked. I nodded in response. Turning my attention to Chlo, I waited for her to say something.

“I’m fine, thanks,” she said while walking past me, with Aiden close behind. I turned and looked as they dissappeared behind the corner, leading to the living room. So much for that, I thought. Since I had no further reason to be up here, I made my way back down the steps, jumped onto a chair in the dining room, and lied down. Matthias approached me shortly after.

“So did you talk to her?” Matthias asked while taking a seat in front of me. “....No...,” I whispered, “I was about to, but they were walking downstairs. I tried to strike up a conversation, but they left after responding. It seems that they only want to be with themselves.”


<Anna’s POV>

I could pick up Brandi’s thoughts. It seems that while Matthias and Brandi think that Aiden and Chlo don’t want to talk, Aiden and Chlo feel the same about Matthias and Brandi. I need to talk to Chlo. If I can get her to see that we won’t reject her, then she’ll be able to open up to all of us. I was done with breakfast, so I looked around for Chlo. She was standing next to Aiden as he ate. No one was around them... now was the time to make my move.

I walked over to them, and Chlo looked up. “Can I talk to you for a minute, Chlo?” I asked. I looked quickly at Aiden, to see that he was still eating.

“Sure.”

I led her into another bedroom, but didn’t bother to close the door. “I know you’ll think this was rather rude of me, but I was eavesdropping on your conversation with Aiden,” I told her, then paused. She just looked at me, waiting for me to continue. “So the reason that you don’t talk to anyone else other than him is because you think we’ll reject you? You don’t think you have anything in common with any of us?” I pressed. She looked down, and sighed.

“Yes... that’s how I feel. Since you were eavesdropping, I’m assuming you know why I feel that way. You see, I don’t have anything in common with anybody, except for Aiden. I feel like he’s someone I can talk to. When I first came here, everyone said their ‘hellos’ but none made the attempt to become my friend.”

“That’s when you need to take the initiative to make friends with us. I can see how you feel. I’m the only psychic Pokemon here. I can imagine that if, before being adopted, I wasn’t accepted by other Psychic Pokemon, then I would be very cautious. I realize that your thoughts run really deep, and your standards of being a friend are relatively high, but we’re all here if you need to talk. I want to be your friend, and I’m sure the others feel the same way. Brandi has been trying to talk to you, but you never open up. Lately, she’s become rather frustrated.

All of us under this roof do not form our own little groups of friends. We are all a family, and as such, we attempt to think and act as one. Please.... open yourself up to us. Things won’t get any better if you just talk with one person. The same goes for Aiden. While he may be new to the group, we want to get to know him. None of us feel like we can only talk to one specific Pokemon. Like you said about Aurora... she doesn’t feel alone. In fact, she looks out for us all. She tries to ensure that all our needs are met. To be blunt, it’s almost as if she’s the mother of this family. She talks with everyone. Please.... don’t be afraid to speak.” And with that... I left her be. She looked at me and nodded.

“I’m sorry... but that’s just the way I am. I’m very self-conscious, and I can’t change that. Will I be more open? Sure... and I’m glad you’ve told me this. I’ve always felt sort of awkward when others have tried to talk to me. I never know what to say or do. So we’re done? Let’s go back with everyone else.

And with that, we joined the others. As Chlo entered the room, a smile formed on her usually blank face. She looked around at everyone–Aurora watching over Banx, Matthias and Brandi, who were now talking with my brother, and Aiden, who was just finishing up his breakfast. “We are a family.... don’t be afraid of that.”





<Jay’s POV>

Later in the day, around 1:30 P.M., I recalled everyone into their Pokeballs, and set out. I wanted to train everyone to make them stronger. It was a beautiful day, so I decided that now was the best time to train. I released Brandi to walk beside me. She always preferred being out of her Pokeball, anyway.

The trees swayed in the breeze. The leaves rustled, performing their midsummer song. The sun was high in the sky, beaming down, giving the surroundings a comforting warmth. Brandi seemed to enjoy it. “Well, Brandi, where should we go?” I asked. She nodded in the direction toward town.

We headed toward the heart of the city of Lothern, taking our time. Along the way we didn’t see a single wild Pokemon, save a Pidgey up in a tree. The attempt to try and fight that would be futile–it would escape. So we continued onward, not expecting much. It was about a mile or two before we would reach city limits. I lived in a suburb, after all.

I decided to take a short rest. Sitting down on the side of the main road, I looked up at the cloudless blue sky. I released Anna and Ayemin, along with Chlo. Anna was already off in her own little world, thinking of something. Ayemin sat next to me, and I scratched him behind his ears. Chlo stood near my feet. She eyed Brandi a few times, but Brandi was unaware of it.

I surveyed the surrounding environment. All of it was beautiful. Lothern was located in a secluded valley in the southern region of Eataine, in Ulthuan. Lothern lied right in the middle of a valley, separating Eataine in two. Thousands of tourists flocked to Lothern each year. When you think about it, who wouldn’t want to be in Lothern? It has everything you could ever want–it’s close to the ocean, which makes for water events, such as surfing and water skiing, in the winter, there’s plenty of snow at the top of the valley, making it perfect for ski resorts... not to mention that it’s one of the biggest cities in which major commercial and business organizations are located. Unfortunately, this made it a big target for Team Rocket.

I received word that Team Rocket’s former leader, Giovanni, has been captured, and a new leader has emerged. This new leader was worse than Giovanni–imagine a man more heartless, evil, and ruthless than the former leader. It seemed impossible, but it was done. This man has vowed to make Team Rocket what it was meant to be... every city in Ulthuan has fallen victim to destruction at the hands of this new organization... except Lothern.

But why would Lothern be excluded from Team Rocket’s path of destruction? It didn’t make sense. No... I knew. This new leader is planning something special for Lothern. Something that will catch everyone off guard, will cause major panic. It was just a matter of when and where this attack would take place.

I saw a few other trainers on the other side of the road, looking around in the fields. They must be training too. One of them caught site of me, and I was almost sure that I would have to battle, but all she did was wave, so I waved back. Afterwards, I just fell back, and stared at the sky. Suddenly, there was an ear-splitting explosion.

Sitting upright, having the bejesus scared out of me, I looked toward the city of Lothern, where I suspected the noise came from. Looking at the once beautiful skyline, all you could see now was a giant cloud of smoke. Either there was an explosion in one of the buildings, or something crashed into it. But an aircraft couldn’t have crashed... I would have heard it approach. One thing was certain..... Lothern was under attack. I decided it would be best if I returned home.

Looking down at everyone, noticed that they were all looking at the black cloud of smoke now rising from the building. “Let’s go, guys,” I said, and returned everyone to their respective Pokeballs. At that instant, I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, to the safety of my home. At that moment, I began to wonder if maybe my house wasn’t so safe anymore...




As soon as I closed my front door, I locked it, and immediately ran through my house, locking all the doors and windows, and double-checking any possible way an intruder could enter. After going through my frantic lock-down, I released everyone from their Pokeballs. Afterwards, with Brandi to my left and everyone else scattered about the living room, I flipped on the TV to watch the news.

Already on the screen was a picture of the skyscraper where the explosion came from, and a reporter was talking. “The source of the explosion has not been identified, but many people inside the building have reported seeing a purple flying Pokemon with orange wings. While no one was injured from falling debris outside the building, nearly 100 people have been injured from the attack.

“The explosion seems to have cut down the power within the building, and blocked off any possible exit from the upper floors. The building that was attacked was the Siren Inc. building, where Jacob Siren, the inventor of the Siren ‘Anti-Movement Wave Emitter’ is possibly being held hostage.” I knew now.... The Crimson Blades attacked the Siren Inc. building so that this new leader could get the AMW Emitter. That device is said to emit waves that render a Pokemon helpless. Someone could use that device, throw a Pokeball at the Pokemon being affected, and would never have to worry about the Pokemon escaping. It makes Pokemon defenseless, and ensures a 100% catch rate. But why would he need to use that, and on what Pokemon?

“This just in... The Crimson Blades have dispatched hundreds of its members into the city of Lothern. It is strongly recommended that each household locks all of its doors, and keeps on watch for possible intruders within your neighborhood. If you detect any suspicious people or events, please notify the Lothern Police!”

“Not only that... but Team Rocket members from a different branch, who have been calling themselves the ‘original Team Rocket’ have come here to put an end to the Team Rocket invasions at the hands of their new leader. They have also said that they will taking over Lothern, and the city will be under its control, instead of being controlled by this new leader.”

Okay... not only have the Crimson Blades captured the president of a multi-million dollar corporation, but now we have hundreds of Team Rocket Grunts running the streets, and the former Team Rocket has come to stop them, and take us over instead? This is wonderful! Since I live about 4 miles out of town, I began to wonder if I would see one. Still, I was going to take precautions.


<Brandi’s POV>

So, Team Rocket has attacked Lothern. I looked everyone over. Ayemin was sitting up straight, staring blankly at the screen, while Anna was sitting with her eyes closed. Matthias was looking at the lamp on the table.

I nudged Jay, which made him look down at me. I gave him a look of “Let’s go do something about it”, but he just shook his head. “We can’t.” And once I began to think about it, I realized the truthfulness of his words. I was just a small Vulpix in a big world... what could I do?


<Jay’s POV>

A few hours passed, and nothing happened. I sat in my living room, watching and waiting for some sign of noise. I’m sure others around Lothern were doing the same. The thought of our once-beautiful town being overtaken by Team Rocket would make anyone shudder. I slowly walked into the dining room, and looked out the window. Clouds were forming in the south, and the waves from the distant ocean were beginning to churn. The lighthouse was within sight, and it was lit.

The members of my team tried to do something with their time, but being unable and unwilling to venture outdoors began to make them restless. This was stupid! Why should I be afraid of Team Rocket? I was just as much an able trainer was they were. Besides, if Team Rocket could have been thwarted by a 12-year-old kid in the past, why couldn’t anyone?

But there was something about this trainer that sent chills down one’s spine, made one’s hair stand on end. Every so often, I peered out at the other houses around mine. I never saw a sign of a man in black. Nobody knew what was going on inside the Siren Inc. building... reporters could only make stupid conclusions.

I walked back into the living room. Everyone was either sleeping, or sitting quietly. “Alright, everyone... let’s go. Get into your Pokeballs!” I said with some volume, to wake the sleeping ones. Everyone just looked at me, and there was an odd silence. I held up my belt of Pokeballs, and proceeded to recall everyone.

I unlocked my front door, and walked outside. The temperature dropped now that the sun was behind the clouds, and the wind began to pick up. I locked my door, and looked around carefully, scanning for any suspicious movement. I didn’t wander to far from my home. I stood at the end of the road, looking back and forth, watching and waiting.

Team Rocket would most surely come, and I was ready to face them. Not soon after that thought crossed my mind, I saw someone or something cross the yard adjacent to mine. It was a dark figure in the shape of a human–a Grunt. Before he could see me, I ducked behind a tree. I peered past the edge, and saw that the Grunt was looking for something in the other yard. I ran past the tree, so far until the house blocked me from view. I ran up to the house, and began sidling along its wall. Upon approaching the edge, the Grunt had began walking away from me.

I grabbed Brandi’s Pokeball, and began to slowly creep toward the Grunt. The wind blew in protest as the clouds continued to invade the once clear, blue sky. The Grunt stopped, and paused for a few seconds, looking in both directions, and continued onward. Where was he going? We were just in the backyard of a house, and he was walking away from all the properties in this area?

He was within 100 feet of me. It was now time to make my move. I tossed the Pokeball into the air. “Go, Brandi!” I yelled as the ball hit the ground. Brandi materialized in front of me as the Grunt turned at the sound of my voice. He looked at Brandi, then at me, and grabbed a Pokeball from his waist. He had two of them.


Brandi, Lv. 10 Vulpix VS Lv. 14 Rattata

“You seek to harm and destroy all that is good.... in order to do so within this place, you must first get through me!” I shouted.

The Grunt laughed, and replied, “Bring it on!”


<Brandi’s POV>

My opponent looked strong, and I could tell it was a girl. She would be faster than me, I knew, but not nearly as strong. I held my ground, waiting for her to attack, but she didn’t move. The wind blew fiercely, and the sky was a deep gray. “What are you waiting for?” I yelled. Instead of answering, all she did was look at me. I threw an Ember at her, to see what she would do.

As soon as the ball of fire left my mouth, she was on the offensive. She dodged the Ember, and ran at me. The Rattata jumped into the air for a Quick Attack. Thinking fast, I coughed up a glob of sludge before she could pull the attack off. The sludge hit her with such force, that it sent my opponent flying backward. The purple toxin was seeping into her skin. With my Toxic attack having it its target, the battle would soon turn in my favor... that is, if I could dodge her attacks.

The toxin seemed to pain her, because she twitched while she was getting up. I took this opportunity to attack. I blew another Ember in her direction. Unfortunately, she saw it as she rose to her feet, and jumped out of the way. The Rattata ran toward me, bearing her fangs.

Hyper Fang... I thought. While she was running toward me, I began to rapidly dig a hole. I kept looking up, seeing how close she was getting to me. When she came within ten feet, I braced myself to avoid the attack. My opponent opened her mouth, exposing her razor-sharp fangs. Three...Two...One. I jumped to the side, and she missed. I ran back to my hole, and continued to dig.

I could sense where she was, but I didn’t know what she was planning. If I just stayed down here, I could just let the poison defeat her. The trainer obviously didn’t care about her, because after I had used Toxic, he didn’t do anything–he just stood there.

I began to dig my way under my opponent... when she least expected it, she’d be hit from underneath. I waited for a few moments in the damp, dark earth, then I began to quickly dig my way up to the surface of the earth. I slammed against the underside of my opponent, sending her flying into the air.

I clambered out of the hole, and shook off the dirt. I hated using that attack, but it was always so useful. I turned and faced her. The Rattata flinched again in pain, because of the toxin. “Why do you bother to fight for him? He doesn’t care about you! He’s just watching you suffer–watching you lose. If he really cared about you, don’t you think he would have given you something for that poison by now?” I shouted.

She looked at me through saddened eyes. She didn’t want to fight, but she felt that she had to–she had to be loyal to her owner. My opponent ran at me. This time, I took a deep breath, and concentrated really hard on ground-type attacks. I formed a small orb, and in grew the more I concentrated. I couldn’t concentrate for much longer, I knew, because my opponent would soon attack me.

The wind whipped my hair, and I let go of the energy that I had created. I stopped focussing, to see that the orb, was speeding toward the opponent. My hidden power hit her, sending her flying backward. The toxin continued to eat away at her remaining health. I almost felt sorry for her... why should she have to go through this?

Rattata staggered back up. She wiggled her tail. Tail whip... I thought. That won’t do her any good if she can’t hit me. I threw another Ember at her, and this time, it hit my opponent square in the face, sending her back. She was nearly done–all I had to do was hold out for a few more minutes, and the poison would work its magic.

She wiggled her tail again. Now she wasn’t even trying... she wanted to lose, she wanted to get this over with. The pain of the toxin was growing stronger. She decided to stop trying, to stop caring. “So you’re just going to let me win now?” I asked. She nodded, then flinched once again as the poison pained her.

I looked over at her trainer, who was doing nothing. I shot an Ember blast at him. He jumped back in fear, and leaped to the side, to avoid getting hit. Then he started yelling. Instead of worrying about yourself, why don’t you worry about your Pokemon that’s losing, and could potentially die from the poison? I thought.

I sat down, and waited for her to attack. “I can sit here all day... the poison will defeat you for me,” I told her. My opponent just looked at me with dismay–she didn’t care. I waited for her to strike, but no strike came. She just stood there, waiting for the toxin to consume her. I few minutes passed, all the while my opponent was twitching in pain.

I sighed at her, and waited. The wind blew, and the clouds began to rumble. Rain? I better just get this over with....I sat up, and blew an Ember at her. She didn’t even try to move–she wanted this to happen... she wanted the fight to end, and now it would. The fireball exploded as it made contact, and my opponent went down, smoke rising off of her body.

I gained 2 levels!


<Jay’s POV>

She had won, and I had to hand it to her, she won with ease. I looked up at the Team Rocket Grunt. “What are you doing here!?” I yelled. He recalled his downed Pokemon, and just looked at me with anger. “WHY ARE YOU HERE!?” I shouted as loud as my vocal chords would allow.

“Why do you care, kid? You beat me, and now I’ll leave,” He retorted. He began to walk in my direction. Brandi was now at my side, she eyed him angrily as he passed. That was an easy fight, despite Brandi’s lower level.

[/i]“Why did you come here?” I pressed.
[/i]
“Because!” He yelled back. “I followed a Team Rocket member here from the opposing branch, and came to get rid of her.”

“Yes... too bad for you that kid got rid of you for me,” came a voice from out of nowhere. I looked around, then saw another Team Rocket Grunt jump out of a tree in front of me. She approached, and stopped about where the other grunt was standing. “Let’s go, kid. He serves no threat to you... I’m the one you’ve been looking for. I’m the one you fear.”

At that moment, the other grunt ran in the direction of Lothern. He was going to go back to his hideout. “Why did you need to get rid of him?” I asked her.

“Because, kid, he’s a new Rocket... his leader took ours down, and now we, the original Team Rocket, will make them suffer. We will retake what is ours, and in the process, we will rule Ulthuan!” exclaimed the Grunt.

“No... you won’t,” I told her. She threw her Pokeball, and from its depths came forth a.... Rattata? I almost couldn’t suppress the laughter. All I had to do was defeat the same enemy I had from before. But, I decided, I would still treat this seriously... “Brandi.... you know what to do.”[/i]


Brandi, Lv. 10 Vulpix VS Lv. 14 Rattata


Brandi’s POV

Another Rattata? Could this not get any easier? I stared at my enemy. This one was a male, but there was something different about him. He looked.... stronger. A lot stronger. Why was this?

He started the battle, as I had anticipated from the previous bout, and had always started my battles. It was always like me to let the enemy go first. I was more of a dodge-and-strike type of fighter. Though he began the fight, he did so in a way that I hadn’t expected. He hopped and skipped, and then, almost as on cue, it started to rain.

What was this? No average Rattata would know that move. This one was tampered with. Great... now my fire attacks would be less effective, and not only that, but the little water droplets stung now and then. My enemy looked at me with a sneering smile. So you think it’s funny, do you? I thought.

Despite the rain, I began to concentrate deeply. I closed my eyes, and thought of the cold, rough earth. I could feel the energy that I was forming, as I prepared to execute a Hidden Power. Just as I opened my eyes, I felt a sharp pain in my side. The Rattata had latched onto me with a Super Fang. I squealed as we went flying in the air.

I was able to manoeuver myself ever so slightly, so that near the time we would hit the ground, I would land on top of him. So I moved, and with the force of gravity, I pinned my opponent to the ground. Using this advantage, I exhaled four quick bursts of fire right into my enemy’s face. He began to kick and recoil from the fire, so I jumped away.

I waited for my opponent to get up. With the heat of the Ember attacks, and the rain, he was not only charred black, but steam was lifting from his face. The Rattata glared at me angrily, then looked up. He seemed to be concentrating on the sky. Then, he began to take on a bit of a yellowish hue. I was not prepared for what was to come next.

The yellowish color signalled trouble. Before I could even dodge it, a lightning bolt came from the clouds and hit me. The pain was so excruciating, and I could see the lightning flow through me. My limbs and body began to take on a mind of their own, and my whole figure went numb. I fell to the ground, unable to move. I had been paralyzed.

What could I do!? It seemed that this battle was beginning to turn in my opponents favor. I could see him, looking at me as if he’d won, and perhaps he had. What was I to do? Tears began to form in my eyes.... I had let him down. I had let my trainer down. My opponent approached me slowly. Could I possibly attack?

I closed my eyes to focus. I mentally pictures my own internal movements that would perform the Toxic attack. I imagined the sludge moving from my stomach, up through my esophagus, through my mouth, and onto the enemy. I attempted to recollect what it felt like, and how to pull it off. Rattata was very close now, perhaps no more than two feet away. At that moment, I strained my gut to use the attack. I slowly opened my mouth, and I saw the purple sludge leave it.

The toxin and enveloped my foe; I had been successful. I tried hard to get to my feet. I stumbled, but managed to stand up while my opponent was trying to wipe the sludge from his eyes. He had been poisoned; now if I could survive for the next few minutes, I could possibly win this battle. My legs were still shaking from the Thunderbolt attack, but I began to wonder if maybe I was just temporarily paralyzed.

Slowly regaining my bodily functions, I began to familiarize myself with walking. I paced up and down, letting the poison consume him, waiting for him to make a move. The rain was beginning to subside. My enemy began to glow yellow again. This time I was ready, and shot an Ember at him. Since he was focussing on the electric move, the fireball hit him on target, sending him skidding backwards.

While he was regaining his ground, I focussed once more on the earth. I could feel the energy I was projecting. I opened one of my eyes a little to see what my opponent was up to, and I found that he was attempting once again to make a Thunderbolt. Since I had started my attack sooner, and it took less time to generate, I knew I would finish before did. Upon completion, I released my Hidden Power.

The slightly transparent, brown orb flew toward my opponent, knocking him back and down. With the help of the poison, he was no longer conscious. I had won! Thankful that the battle was over, I turned to Jay, and ran over to him.

“Great job, Brandi! For a second there, I thought you would have been gone, but you pulled through. I knew you could do it!” Jay exclaimed. He picked me up, and began talking to the Team Rocket member.


<Jay’s POV>

Brandi had won, and I was very proud of her. Facing my opponent, I noticed a look of anger, mixed with frustration. “You will not harm anyone in this area, so long as I dwell within it. Leave here, now!” I screamed. She continued to look at me. She looked over at her fallen Pokemon before recalling it, and looked at me once again. “LEAVE!!!” I screamed, but she continued to look at me.

“F*** y**,” she said, and with that, took something out of her pocket. She threw it at the ground, and a bright flash illuminated the area. She then disappeared, and I never saw her again. Looking down at Brandi, I saw how bruised and scratched she was, and rushed her to the nearest Pokemon Center.

Brandi grew to level 14! Brandi learned Quick Attack.

classy_cat18
13th January 2005, 09:45 PM
This is the first part of the current scenario. I had writer's block while writing the battle, so it's kinda blah.


Lily’s POV

“Is this the capital of Cal...cale...”

“Caledor, Lily, and yes,” Shonta answered before I could finish my question. We were sitting at an outdoor café for a rest. Shonta said that Team Rocket had been sighted in this area and was looking to make some big trouble.

I looked up at the giant red and white umbrellas that were blocking my view of the blue sky. “Everything’s big. It kinda scares me,” I said shakily.

Athena scooped me up in her arms and hugged me. “Don’t worry, Lily. As long as you’re with us you have nothing to worry about.”

“Yeah! We’ll stomp those Grunts before they know what hit ‘em!” Moriko shouted enthusiastically. She pounded the table with a fist, totally breaking the table.

Shonta calmly stopped sipping her ice tea. “Good thing this wasn’t on it. Let’s pay the check and go.”

Moriko chuckled nervously. “Guess I’m a little too excited, huh?” The rest nodded.

“If you’re so nervous about being in a big city, then I have just the thing to psych you up,” Shonta told me. She reached into her backpack and pulled out a TM box. “This is Giga Drain. With this, you can suck your enemies dry before they can lay a hand on you.” She opened the box and activated the TM.

“Thanks, Shonta,” I said.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I stayed close to Athena and Shonta as we walked through the crowd. Unfortunately for me, everyone else was in their pokeballs. Moriko told Shonta to let her out when they ran into trouble, though. I weaved through legs three times taller than me and avoided bumping into other Pokemon. My nonexistent ears picked up more voices than they could handle. The worst thing about this patrol thing was that I could swear that someone was watching me. It felt like it was getting closer and closer. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I stopped and looked behind me. Nothing. “Let’s go back to the Pokemon Center, Shonta. Shonta?” I couldn’t find her! I was right behind her and she just vanished! I saw hundreds of feet, but none of them looked like Shonta’s. Neither could I see Athena.

The world was spinning. I started to breathe in shallow gasps. And just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, it did.

BOOM!

The building closest to me exploded in a million pieces! The masses of people scattered! Feet kicked me, stepped on me!

BOOM! Another building exploded. I was a blue bowling ball with feet and leaves. I rolled this way and that, finally stopping in a narrow street with whole buildings and trashcans on both sides. I think it was called an alleyway. I closed my eyes, hoping that the headache I gained would go away.

I woke up later in the same place. I was alone there. Safe, but alone. I watched the empty street. There was no one left for me to find my trainer. Or so I thought.

“Hey! You! What are you doing here?” asked someone hidden among the trashcans.

I whirled around too fast and fell down. “Wh-who’s there?” I asked shakily.

A green head popped out of a Dumpster. It was a Kecleon. “What’s the matter, kid? Are you lost?”

I screamed. Omigod, someone’s wants to kidnap me! There’s no one here to protect me! I used the TM that Shonta gave me earlier. I pointed my leaves at the Kecleon and proceeded to suck in his energy. This wasn’t a little, like my Absorb would do. And unlike what I do with Absorb I didn’t let him attack me first. But it took a lot out of the Kecleon.

“Yeesh, I didn’t do anything! Why did you do that to me, kid?”

I guess it was a little hasty for me to just steal his energy when he wasn’t even doing anything wrong. But why is he calling me a kid? I frowned. “I’m not a kid.”

He jumped down and looked over me. “All Oddish are kids until they evolve.”

I felt tears stream down my face. I wasn’t a kid, but kids sometimes cry when they’re lost. But I couldn’t help it. My trainer was gone and I didn’t know where she was. I was lost without my friends. “I can’t find my trainer!” I cried.

The Kecleon stumbled back. “Whoa, kid! Turn off the water works! I don’t have your trainer, but if you stay quiet I could help you find him.”

I quieted down with relief. “Her.”

“What?”

“He’s a she.” I got up and walked down the alley. “Maybe she went down here when that building blew up.”

“I didn’t see her down here, um…what’s your name?”

“It’s Lily. What’s yours?” I spotted something brown on the ground next to the Dumpster and turned back to the Kecleon. He was scratching the ground with his clawed foot. “Well?”

“I don’t have a name.”

I went to the brown thing, which turned out to be Shonta’s wallet. “Are you sure you haven’t seen anybody? ‘Cause here’s her wallet.”

The Kecleon’s eyes went wide. He turned his back to me. “I don’t know where that came from.”

Then I knew. The feeling that I had, that someone was watching me, was right. This guy, however, was looking at Shonta’s wallet instead of me. “You stole it! Why did you steal my trainer’s wallet?”

“Look, do you like rooting through trash for food?” he asked me angrily. I shook my head. “Neither do I! But that’s what I have to do! I have no trainer! I have no home! You’re too lucky for your own good! I was born in this place with no parents! Before you accuse me of stealing, you think of what it’s like to have to eat food that’s unfit for a Snorlax!”

That took me by surprise. Before I knew it, the tears were coming back. I reminded myself that kids cried and that I wasn’t a kid. But the Kecleon was crying, too. The tears stopped. There’s gotta be something I can do to cheer him up. “Keep the wallet. But I have another idea.”

“What’s that?”

“Come with me. My trainer can take you in. She’s very nice. My team’s very nice. Well, except for Trinity. But you’ll have and trainer and a home. I’ll even give you a name!” I walked to him and rested a leaf on his shoulder. “From now on, you’re Bandit.”

“Bandit? Are you calling me that because I stole your trainer’s wallet?”

“I’m calling you that because you’re good at stealing. You were following us and I didn’t even know it.”

“Bandit. I like it. Come on, kid. Let’s go find your trainer.”

“I’m not a kid.” I followed him down the alley. “Why don’t you have a trainer, Bandit? You seem nice enough.”

“You need to hear this, Lily. Nice guys finish last, especially on Ulthuan. Team Rocket and these new people who call themselves the Crimson Blades rule here. You need to be tough to survive here.”

“But why don’t you have a trainer?”

He sighed. “Because I wasn’t strong enough to roll with the big boys. My parents worked for Team Rocket. When they gave birth to me, they decided that a life on the streets was better for me than a life with them. When I hatched, I was in an alley much like this one.”

“Oh. I’m sorry, Bandit. I grew up without my parents, but I lived in the wild. Is it really that bad here?”

“Not really. There are some perks.”


Bandit’s POV

How nice for me. I had a friend and hopefully a home. Not to mention a whole team of girls waiting for me. I chuckled at the mere thought of it as we walked down the alley. “What are you laughing about?” she asked me curiously as we approached the end of the alley and onto another sidewalk, this one full of people.

“Nothing. Just thinking that when I was little that I wanted to save a damsel in distress. I had no idea that the damsel was going to look like you.”

“Were you expecting a princess?”

“No. Well, yes. But I guess you’ll do.”

She laughed. “You’re funny, Bandit!”

I like this kid. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a friendly face in this city. “Wanna see something, Lily? Something so cool it will knock your socks off?” She nodded. “Better keep up!” I grabbed one of her leaves and took off across the street, barely avoiding traffic. We zipped through alleys until we came across the middle of the city, which was one beautiful park. A giant tree, an oak tree, stood in the middle of the park. Its branches were bare but it was still magnificent. Around the oak tree were smaller trees, some that will bear flowers come spring. “Isn’t this cool? Of course, it’s even cooler during the warmer months.” I laughed at my lame joke.

“It’s nice. Reminds me of my home. Why is it here?”

I shrugged. “I guess the humans that built this big city wanted to save something from the past. Wouldn’t you want something beautiful among all of this ugliness?”

“If you don’t like the city, why don’t you get out and live in the wild?”

“I wouldn’t know how to take care of myself out there. Besides, this is as close to home as I can get. No fruit grows on these trees but I like them anyway.” I took her leaf again and led her to the oak tree. I stopped when I heard voices.

“So what are we going to do to her?” a male human’s voice asked.

“Would you shut up? I’m still thinking!” another human growled, this time a female.

Lily gasped. “Bandit, that sounds like Dixie!”

“Who?”

“Dixie! She’s a bad human!”

That surprised me a little. How can a girl named Dixie be bad? “I wonder who she’s talking about? Wait here, Lily. Hold your trainer’s wallet.” I quickly climbed onto the tree and around its trunk until I was directly above the humans. A human girl with blonde hair and a human guy with a baseball cap on were standing in front of another human girl with dark brown hair. I couldn’t identify Miss Brown Hair because all I could see was the top of her head. Her hands seemed to be bound with rope.

“All of those weak Pokemon with a weak trainer! You have to be the lamest Dragon Tamer ever! But that Oddish…there’s something strange about her,” Dixie said to Miss Brown Hair.

“Lily’s special. She’s not a loser like you,” Miss Brown Hair grumbled.

Lily? That must be Lily’s trainer! Alright! I’ll have a real home when I get her out of this mess!

“I finally get to have my revenge. I have you and your Pokemon! There’s not a thing you can do!”

“Why are you going through all of this trouble just to have your revenge?” Lily’s trainer asked.

“You’re so vain! It’s not all about you, sugar. You’re just a bonus. We’re here on business, not pleasure.” She held up a brown briefcase. “But it seems like I’ll get to have both. Hold her, Butch.”

I can’t just stand here! She’ll get butchered! I simply released my hold on the tree and plummeted down to Dixie’s head. About halfway down I saw her look up at me in horror. I fell on it and clung to it as tightly as I could, although I immediately wished I hadn’t done it. Her muffled screams were like nails on a chalkboard. She was flinging me everywhere. The human she called Butch was just standing next to Lily’s trainer with a look of confusion. Lily’s trainer was wearing the same look…for a split second. Then she burst into a fit of the giggles.

Lily came sprinting around the tree. “Shonta!” she cried as she jumped into her trainer’s lap.

“Where were you? I thought these guys had you!” Shonta cried.

“No! I lost you, but Bandit brought me to you!” She went to the ropes that bound her hands together and rubbed her leaves against it. The leaves glowed and sharpened, cutting the ropes.

Dixie finally found the intelligence to grab me by the tail and yank me off of her face, causing scratches to appear on it. “So. One of your Pokemon escaped,” she scowled at Shonta.

“It was an accident,” Lily said innocently.

She held me up to eye level. “Are you another one of her pathetic Pokemon?”

“I’ve never seen that Pokemon in my life,” Shonta said.

“That’s my new friend Bandit!” Lily nearly shouted in glee.

Well, I’ve never. I opened my mouth and extended my long tongue. It brushed against the side of Dixie’s face. Dixie stiffened like a board. “This…thing…paralyzed me!” she whimpered through clenched teeth.

Shonta laughed again. “This guy’s alright!”

“Butch, do something!”

Butch stepped forward and threw out a pokeball. “Go Gastly!” The light from the pokeball materialized into the Ghost-type Pokemon. Then he ran to Dixie with a bottle of Paralyze Heal and sprayed it on her. Dixie recovered, threw me aside, and took off with the briefcase.

I pried myself from Dixie’s grasp and ran to Shonta’s backpack. I recognized it because that’s where I found the wallet. Inside were pokeballs. I took one and threw it. “Go Pokemon!” I shouted.

The pokeball opened and revealed a lovely Ninetales. She shook her mane and looked around. “Where am I? What happened?” she asked. She wobbled over to Shonta. “I’m still shaken up from what happened earlier. All of that rolling around…”

“Trinity, go after Dixie and get that briefcase! This Kecleon will take care of the Gastly!”

But Trinity wasn’t having that. “Would you give me a second? I’m still nauseous!” she yelled.

Guess it’s up to me. “I’ll go get the briefcase, Trinity. I know the city better than you, anyway. I think I know where those guys are heading.” I turned to leave and saw that the Gastly was blocking my way.

Trinity growled. “Hey, Gastly. Your fight is with me, not that lizard!” She shot a Flamethrower at her to emphasize her point. Since I was between her and Gastly, I had to dodge and run.

“Bandit!” Shonta called out. “You’ll need this!” She tossed me a box. “It’s a TM! Faint Attack!” I gave her the thumbs up and continued running, still holding the box.


L8 Gastly vs. L7 Female Ninetales (Trinity)


Shonta’s POV

I felt sorry for Trinity. During the panic when the buildings exploded, I was pushed everywhere. Also, I thought that something was trying to get my backpack. It was somehow opened and the pokeballs spilled out, kicked like soccer balls by the hundreds of people. I ran into Dixie and that Butch guy when I was busy picking them up. It must’ve been pretty bad if she was still dizzy. I still let out Moriko from her pokeball so she could enjoy the battle.

“What’s going on? Yeah, a battle!” Moriko said enthusiastically. “Too bad I don’t have my Trinity flag with me!”

Trinity started out with a Quick Attack before I could tell her not to. She passed right through Gastly and landed just a little annoyed. “Use your Fire attacks!” I shouted.

She fired a Flamethrower right for Gastly’s face, but it easily floated out of the way. She fired again. It rolled to the left. Again. It rolled to the right. She tried Ember. It shot up in the air. “It won’t stand still!” she growled.

“This might be a problem,” Lily said, her leaves drooping.

“Don’t give up, Trinity!” Moriko encouraged.

Trinity was breathing heavily from launching all of those attacks. Gastly was wearing her out quickly. He lowered himself to eye level with Trinity and illuminated his eyes an eerie blue. Trinity’s eyes slowly closed and she sank to the ground.

“Trinity!” Lily cried out. “Wake up, Trinity!” Tears were starting to stream down her face.

Gastly laughed as he rose in the air and hovered over the slumbering Pokemon. His eyes were glowing again, but this time they were yellow. The air was soon crackling with electricity. Lily’s leaves perked. “It’s a Thunderbolt attack! Trinity!” But Trinity wasn’t moving. Gastly gathered the electricity from the air around him in front of him and shot it at Trinity. Trinity was helpless as the attack hit, but the only sound that escaped her mouth was a small groan. She may have been dreaming.

Lily and I were shaking as Gastly prepared another Thunderbolt. I scooped up Lily in my arms and held her tight. “Trinity!” I cried out. Nothing.

“Trinity!” Still nothing.

“TRINITY!”

It happened so fast. One second, she was lying still on the ground. Next second, she was up and Gastly was rolling around the sky. From what I deduced, Trinity woke up at the last second and used Confuse Ray as she dodged the Thunderbolt.

“What happened?” Lily asked me.

“I’m not sure. Go, Trinity!” Moriko cheered.

Trinity fired an Ember while Gastly was still loopy. Direct hit. Gastly would’ve had a black face if its face wasn’t already black. Gastly faced Trinity with confused eyes and tried to fire another Thunderbolt, but it blew up in its face. Literally. Trinity fired another Ember. Hit. Another. Hit. Since Gastly was dazed from getting hit by its own attack, Trinity was getting more hits in.

“You’re on fire!” Moriko shouted. Trinity smiled at that.

Gastly took that opportunity to catch her by surprise by shaking out of its confusion and shooting another Thunderbolt. Trinity had no chance of avoiding that attack, and she knew it. Instead an aura of light surrounded her. She was still hit, but she avoided being paralyzed.

“Trinity, use one more Flamethrower!” I commanded. I hoped that this attack wouldn’t miss. She was panting from using all those Fire attacks and by getting hit by Thunderbolt twice.

All the same, she opened her mouth and exhaled a column of flames. Gastly started to roll to the left, but Trinity shifted her head in the same direction and caught the side of its face. It closed its eyes and floated to the ground, defeated.


Trinity won! She grew to level 8!

Trinity collapsed on the ground in front of the rest of us. “I wonder if they’re coming back to get that thing,” she said to herself.

“Why? Are you actually worried about it?” I asked her.

“No. I’m just tired of seeing its ugly face.”

I rooted through the backpack for Trinity’s pokeball and noticed that something was missing. “Hey, where’s my wallet?” I asked no one in particular.

Lily laughed nervously and ran around the tree. She came back with my wallet in her mouth. She spit it out and laughed again. “Bandit kinda stole it,” she said softly.

“Oh boy. What a friend. Come on, we need to catch up to him.”

I need a RBG for my L5 Kecleon Bandit, from the Free Range Corral.

Lady Vulpix
14th January 2005, 10:31 AM
Wow, page 26 already! We should start a new version soon. I've rated Hannah's and Ade's battles, but not J's or Shonta's yet. If either Amy or Karin could do that, it would be great.

Hannah, I liked your story. I felt like I was getting to know your characters better, and the birth scene was beautiful! And the descriptions were great, as usual. And you added a creative twist to Harlequin's evolution. I was surprised by how resistant Fizz proved to be during the battle. I'm not sure many Taillows could have endured that much. Take 21 stamps, and congratulations on Ted's birth, and Fizz's and Harlequin's evolutions! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Ade, you've managed to come up with yet another disfunctional crew! :P Just remember you already have 15 pokemon with you. And what's with Kakusei's spells? The story sounds interesting, though I'm worried about what Pandora may still have to go through. Speaking of Pandora, she'll be battling a Ditto next. That could be tricky. I feel sorry for her in advance. Take 12 stamps, and please be kind enough to explain what "doukemono" means. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

AntiAsh Superstar
14th January 2005, 01:00 PM
Fear not, Gabi, I can't see myself getting too attached to any of this lot, they're simply a means to an end. I did rush that 'un a little, tho, I gotta say and I guess it prolly showed a bit. :O 'Doukemono' is supposed to mean 'jester', I think, but I might have mispelled it in the process of copying it from the english to romanji translator I always use whenever I'm stuck for names. X)

Skye
14th January 2005, 06:32 PM
Noters:
-Kai, Male, Eevee.
-Kai was bred in the Breeding Center, Egg laid on November 8, 2004; Hatched on December 9, 2004. He has a natural grey mane and tail.
-Kalil, Male, Growlithe.
-Kalil was adopted from the PokeZoo Adoption Center Version 4; October 29, 2004. He has a fear of fire.
-Rayne, male, Kabuto, already introduced.
-The Meowth's Egg was laid on January 14, 2005 at the Breeding Center.
-This story sort of takes place in a odd bubble of reality that will come, but hasn't yet. We won't see anymore of these Pokemon until after I finish the training grounds scenario. When I resume, it will go back to only Rayne, Naois, and Amaris. If you think it's weird, bite me. ^^U Or don't...
-This is only a little way to get back into my older writing habits I used here. Darkfire is a bit more lighthearted, but... Um... Well... I can explain. ^^UUU But that would spoil my plots. XP Impatient people...
-Have fun reading a mini story that has no meaning, no purpose, and has no explanation other than what is included. xx I needed the Stamps... Plus once my evil plot has been completed, I can stop sorting them! ^^ *dance* Math is evil.

******************

-A Good Day-

It was a bright, warm day when Darkfire brought a fraction of her team out into the untouched areas of Caledor to be with them and give them a few new attacks. She had traded some items for TMs, powders within miniature boxes used to teach a Pokemon a certain attack. She looked around the lightly wooded area that she had selected, a peaceful spot just for her and her company. She picked out a patch of warm grass and sat on it, the scents of summer and warm grass making her drowsy. She wasn't the only one. Kalil, her Growlithe, and Kai, her grey-maned and -tailed Eevee also seemed relaxed in the heavy air. Rayne was the only one unaffected.

He glanced around before finding a shaded area of ground lacking grass. He settled himself there while Kalil curled up in some sunned grass, Kai sticking close to him. It was a funny sight, Darkfire's young Eevee following Kalil around like there was no tomorrow. She smiled slightly as Kai laid down on top of Kalil, who didn't mind at all. The two of them had a bond, one started from when Kai had hatched and Kalil was the first one he saw. The little Eevee had curled up between the Growlithe's forepaws and had fallen asleep. Almost like the bond she and Rayne had. One of understanding, as well as trust. As her team was growing, Darkfire had found it increasingly easier to talk to her Pokemon. They seemed to understand, though she rarely bothered the younger ones with her boring speech. They deserved to grow up before they did anything. Especially when it came to trying to understand Darkfire.

She lifted another Pokemon Egg out of her backpack and placed it in the soft grass before she began to dig around for her TMs. They weren't very hard to find considering she had left almost everything in the apartment besides the TMs and her Egg. She would have left her Egg too, but she liked to keep her Eggs with her, especially as this one was close to hatching. She laid the three attacks down in front of her and looked up at her Pokemon.

"I have two attacks I would like to hand out, Blood knows why I got the third... An Aurora Beam and Dragon Rage TM." She didn't bother to mention the name of the last attack, Fake Out. None of her Pokemon could learn it, so it was rather pointless.

Rayne shook himself, knowing that Aurora Beam was for him. He was trying to tell Darkfire that he certainly didn't need the weaker Ice attack, considering that he had a more powerful Ice attack, Ice Beam. She knew what he was thinking, as easily as she knew what she was thinking herself. Such as how risky it was to teach a Growlithe who was afraid of fire how to use Dragon Rage.

"Aurora Beam is weaker, but it has a different effect on opponents. It has the ability to lower attacking power. Plus it won't take up so much energy to use as Ice Beam. It will help in longer battles, even if it doesn't do as much damage." She informed him. He paused before nodding in consent to learning the move. She collected the TM Aurora Beam and opened it. She spread the powder inside of the box over Rayne's shell. He blinked calmly as his body gleamed brightly for a moment. Not as brightly as when he was hardening his body with his Harden attack, but the gleam was noticeable. Even Kai looked at Rayne for a moment in confusion at his glow.

"And Dragon Rage for you, Kalil." Her Growlithe yelped in surprise. He probably didn't want another powerful attack. "It will help you learn to control your Fire attacks. I've heard the powers of Dragons described in a similar fashion as Fire." He looked at her, still uneasy. But he nodded. Darkfire opened the TM Dragon Rage over him and opened it, spreading the powder over his back. He too gleamed in a similar manner as if he had used Harden. Kai squeeled in delight and cuddled closer to Kalil, obviously liking his idol's glowing abilities. Darkfire shook her head as Kalil took Kai away to start a game.

Rayne retired to his Pokeball, uninterested in anymore activity for the day, and Darkfire pulled the Egg into her lap. She closed her eyes, lulled by the warm summer day. It didn't take her long to drift into sleep. She was un haunted by strange dreams. As a matter of fact, no dreams came to her at all. She didn't even feel the slight movements that began fist in her lap, then by her stomach.

When she woke up, she blinked at the yellow eyes that stared back at her. A rough, moist tongue wiped over her nose. She sneezed slightly and smiled gently at the creature standing above her, or rather, on her head. She reached up and picked up the fuzzy creature, holding it away from the mess of Egg shell on her lap and all around her. As she held it, she looked it over to make certain it wasn't harmed by its hatching, and to check its gender. Her Meowth kitten purred slightly at the attention, his voice wavering with his youth. Darkfire smiled and ran her fingers through the kitten's fluffed out black coat. He purred even louder, or at least tried to. This was truly one of the scarce times she could relax the most and not worry about anything.

Darkfire cleared away the Egg shell and set the kitten in her lap, wondering what to make of this new wonder. She stroked his for a few minutes, sitting back and thinking of a name. After basking in Darkfire's attention for a few minutes, the curious Meowth wandered away from Darkfire. He had spotted something interesting looking, and wandered over for a closer look. Darkfire watched calmly, knowing that with Kai and Kalil nearby, nothing and no one would come nearby without them knowing and warning Darkfire. And she had Rayne's Pokeball nearby just in case they missed anything.

The kitten stumbled to the left-over TM and poked at it with a wary paw, then batted playfully at it. Darkfire watched, wondering what she would to with the basically useless TM that she had. She then leaned forward, stifling a shout when the kitten pounced on the box in play, breaking the box and sending a cloud of powder up around himself. Well, that solved her problem. The TM was useless now. Darkfire settled back, still watching. She then stared as the Meowth's black coat started glowing brightly. It then hit her that Meowth learned the attack Fake Out later in their lives and levels, so naturally, her kitten was compatible with the TM she had activated. So the TM wasn't wasted after all... This shall be interesting.

"Kenshin, you fluff head." Darkfire scolded with a teasing voice. Her kitten looked at her and did the best impersonation of an anime character smiling guiltily and sweatdropping that Darkfire had ever seen.

"Meooow?" He replied.

"Yes, you." Darkfire chuckled. She didn't need to know anything about the kitten's behavior to recognize a 'Who, me?' voice. Besides, that meant she had a name for the guilty Pokemon. Kenshin. Darkfire smiled again. Fate was in her favor these days. She just hoped it held out.

Rayne learned Aurora Beam!
Kalil learned Dragon Rage!
Kenshin hatched and accidentally learned Fake Out! ^^U

Cheesey
15th January 2005, 11:51 AM
I'd like another RBG please. This time it'll be for Mars, my male Ralts. He's at level 9. Oh yeah, and could it please be for the Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency? *pays 7 Stamps* Thanks in advance!

Sheik
15th January 2005, 02:31 PM
I would like an RBG from the Free Range Corral for Brandi, my level 14 Vulpix, please.

Cheesey
15th January 2005, 02:49 PM
J, you need to choose a location where you want your RBG to take place. It can be in any of these places: Caledor's Nature Protection Agency, Antarctic Survivor Recovery Agency, Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency, Professional Sports Breeding System, Electric Shutdown Retirement System, Free Range Corral, or the Universal Adoption Center.

Charizard04621
15th January 2005, 04:12 PM
Sheik - Well done! Take 17 Stamps. Though I wasn't sure what you meant that the Rattatta had been tampered with when it used Rain Dance... They can get those easily through TM. And was the second trainer from the Crimson Blades? They don't have anything to do with Team Rocket because they broke off. Or were both opponents Team Rockets? *confused*

[EDIT]: Does anyone have the link to the RBG randomizer? I apparently don't...

Sheik
15th January 2005, 04:56 PM
Thanks! :)

The trainer was from Team Rocket, and he was trying to ambush and defeat the second trainer, who was from the Crimson Blades. When I said that the Rattata had been tampered with, I meant that it couldn't learn those move naturally.

Lady Vulpix
16th January 2005, 07:11 AM
Link to the Randomizer (http://members.lycos.co.uk/noentiendo/RBG.php)

Cheesey gets a ¢ for helping J. Mars will battle a Hoppip.

Darkfire gets 3 stamps for her story. I don't like to put writers under pressure, but I'm afraid I'll have to remind you that extensions time out once the scenario changes twice, so you may want to go back to your Training Grounds battles before that happens.

Shonta, don't worry, you haven't been skipped. Amy said she was rating your battle.

J, Brandi will battle a Zigzagoon. Good luck!

Cheesey
16th January 2005, 08:35 AM
I started this last night before I knew Mars was going to battle a Hoppip. The whole thing with Smeargle and Imarad and everything was written last night, I think... I hope you like it.

Colour codes:

Steel blue: Me
Silver: Maria the female white winged Dratini, level 7
Orange: Katia the female Raichu, level 7
Normal: Wild Smeargle
Dark orchid: Mars the male blue Ralts, level 9 (10 now)
Green: Wild Hoppip

My POV

Well, I suppose there wasn’t anything that I could do about Imarad’s mood. I was certainly shocked as to what she had done in the battle – she had seemed a lot calmer than normal before. Hera and Quartz also appeared to be rather shocked, and I saw them chatting to each other. I didn’t like seeing two of my pokemon gossiping like that about one of their team-mates because I know that Imarad couldn’t help it, and that she really regretted it. For two of her friends to talk about her just after it when they were (probably) aware that she got totally caught up in the moment was actually rather sickening. It’s not something I expected to see from the two of them. “Imarad was paralyzed, confused AND attracted, you two. Don’t chat about her. You two should have been able to recognise that she was in an extremely difficult situation, and I’m surprised that you’re talking about her like that. I’m returning you both, okay?”

I didn’t give them any time to respond, because I didn’t want to hear it. I held out their respective pokeballs and they were sucked into them with a flash of red light. Attaching them both back onto my backpack, I glanced over at Maria, who looked as if she was in a contemplative mood.
”Why do you think Imarad did that?”
”I’m sure it’s because she had been afflicted by 3 status conditions. That’s never happened to her before, and I think she just broke down under the strain.”
”Are you sure? When I was watching, it looked like it was more than that. To me, it appeared that she just let out all her anger that she had bottled up inside of her. Maybe it was because she just explained what her past was like, but I still don’t see why she would have done that. I know she’s not the calmest of pokemon, but I can’t seem to see why she had such an outrageous outburst at the Smeargle. Although, he wasn’t exactly nice to her.”

The Smeargle! I’d almost forgotten about him. I walked over to him and knelt down beside him, Maria gently peering over my shoulder. He was in a bad state. He had multiple bruises and countless cuts all over his body. There were grazes and all sorts of other signals that he’d taken quite a beating, and he looked a bit sick too. I sighed, and just as I did his eyes flickered open. I looked at him, and I smiled. “It’s okay,” I said to him. “Don’t strain yourself, you’ve just been in quite an intense battle. Take as much rest as you feel you need to, we’ll stay by your side and make sure that you’re alright.
“No, I don’t want to,” responded the Smeargle, weakly.
”You’re not going to cope if you try to stay awake, though,” I replied, rather anxious.
”Isn’t there anyone on the team who can help him recover?” suggested Maria.

That was a good idea, actually. I thought about it – the pokemon that immediately sprung to mind was Hera, but I don’t think that was a good idea, seeing as she witnessed the battle in all its “glory”… There was Katia, of course. She could use Wish, and she’d never met Maria before. She also hadn’t got a clue what had just happened either, and I couldn’t imagine her reacting badly in any way. I took my backpack off and picked up her pokeball, before pressing the button in. She burst out (facing me) and immediately cocked her head at Maria.

”Who’re you?” Katia asked, inquisitively.
”I’m Maria. I’m the newest pokemon on the team… Do you know Chris’ friend Connor? I used to belong to him, but I arrived in this team because Connor didn’t know if he could be a good trainer towards me, and he wanted someone else to take care of me.”
”Oh right, ok. Well, I’m Katia, and it’s nice to meet you.”
”I’m sorry to interrupt, but Katia, if you turn around, you’ll see what I originally sent you out to do.”
”Oh! What’s wrong with him?” asked Katia, seemingly not aware of the fact that she sounded a little bit rude.
”Imarad just had a battle with him, and she went a little bit further than we would have expected her to, to put it simply.”
”Oh. Hmm. What do you want me to do?”
”Well, I’d like you to use Wish on him. As you can see, he’s not in the best state in the world, and he really needs it.”

Katia nodded, and turned back to the Smeargle, who didn’t seem to be conscious at all. She focused on him and started to glow very faintly. Small, glittering stars emerged from her shimmering body and seeped into the Smeargle’s cuts, closing them up. They also sunk into his bruises, and his fur returned to its normal colour. Once Katia stopped glowing, the Smeargle sat up, rather out of things and looking a little bit sheepish. “What just happened? What’s going on? Is that Zangoose still here? Where are all the others?”
”Who are ‘the others’?”
“The other Smeargle.”
”Oh right, I don’t know. And by the way, the Zangoose has gone – she’s mine, and her name is Imarad. By the way, why were all of you Smeargle attacking the Free Range Corral?”
“We weren’t really attacking it. We were hunting for others. There are these grass pokemon who tried to invade our home near The Universal Adoption Center. We were trying to find them just to “return the favour” if you know what I mean.”
Wouldn’t they be more likely to be in the Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency..?
“Well, you see, that’s what we originally thought. But then some of my friends heard that they had been sighted here, so we decided to come here.”
”You know, when I was in the Eevee House, reporters called this ‘trip’ of yours a siege. That’s why we came here, actually.”
“A siege? Dear lord, no. We were just really angry at what the pokemon had done to our home. They’d pretty much ruined the area we live in, and none of us are sure why – We want to find it out. And some revenge would be nice.”
”What species were these pokemon? There aren’t too many who I would have thought would have done this sort of thing.
“They were Bellsprout.”
”Bellsprout? I didn’t think they’d be violent in that sort of way,”
“Neither did I, but there was talk of a Victreebel forcing them into it. I dunno really, it could all just be rumours.”
”Well, you’re more likely to find those in the Jungle Deforestation Agency, like I said before, you know. But I still don’t recommend blindly attacking the place. I recommend you just find out the cause of it all.”
“Yeah, I guess so. I’d better be going, I need to find the other Smeargle and tell them that the Bellsprout aren’t here.”
”Wait a minute – Why did you attack Imarad in the first place?”
“Didn’t you see what she did to me?”
”No…”
“Well, I recommend you talk to her about that, and not me. It’s not my place.”

My POV

I watched the Smeargle amble off to find the other Smeargle. There certainly didn’t seem to be any sort of urgency in his walk, and I didn’t even see any of the others. That’s a bit odd, since I saw so many on the TV in the Eevee House. Still, I guess it’s a good thing that they’re not going to attack the Free Range Corral any more, but I do hope that they don’t just “siege” the Jungle Deforestation Agency.

”They won’t.”
”They won’t what?
”They won’t siege the Deforestation Agency.”
”How did you know that was what I was thinking?”
”Well, you did kinda just say it. Maybe you were thinking out loud unintentionally.”
”Oh, right. Didn’t mean to do that.”
”Be thankful that you weren’t thinking out loud about something else…”
”What? What’s that supposed to mean?!”
”You know… you wouldn’t have wanted to say anything you didn’t want us to hear.
”I don’t like your tone. What are you implying?”
”Oh, nothing…”

I felt myself going red but I don’t know why, because I didn’t know what Katia was talking about. I looked sheepishly at Maria who seemed blissfully unaware of what was going on, so I could keep her out of her pokeball as she wouldn’t bug me about it. Katia, on the other hand, would. So I returned her. Then I began to walk in the direction of the Jungle Deforestation Agency. I wanted to make sure that the Smeargle didn’t do anything foolish, and since I didn’t know any of them well, I couldn’t trust them not to. And I didn’t want any innocent pokemon to get caught up in it. As we travelled out of the Free Range Corral, the pathway I was walking through got gradually quieter. Eventually I couldn’t hear anything much. I was wandering through open fields, not used to the peace. After a while, Maria piped up.

”Have you ever been to this place before?”
”No, I haven’t. I think I know where I’m going though.”
”Oh right, okay. Hm… Is it that big mass of trees in the distance?”
”I imagine so. Excited?”
”Sort of. But I’d rather not be a spectator of this battle. After Imarad’s battle, I’m kinda worried that I might view something like that again and get involved in something I shouldn’t need to be part of.”
”Ok. You sound a bit stressed out, actually. Want to go back into your pokeball?”
”Yeah, please.”

I held out Maria’s pokeball and she was sucked in rather quickly. The ball rumbled a bit, and then calmed down. I attached it back onto my backpack, and continued on. After that brief conversation, I felt like I needed to sort things out with Imarad. Like, what was it she had done to provoke the Smeargle? Was she okay after doing that to him? But it had to wait. I didn’t want to try to sort it out so soon after the battle had happened, and I wanted to make sure the group of Smeargle didn’t do anything stupid in the area I was headed for. I was also a bit worried about Maria – It can’t have been the best start to being part of the team, could it? But this all had to wait until afterwards. I was getting close to the agency, so I tried to clear my head before entering.

Once I got to the entrance, I took a step into the place. It seemed to be quite quiet – What was with all the calmness today? – so I wandered through quite contently. All these pokemon were living happily in their habitat, and I felt sorry for them because of the fact that they had been gradually losing the home they had before. I hope no more of the forest got cut down, because their freedom appeared to be getting rather limited. As I got lost in thought, I became rather ignorant of what was going on around me. This was a bit silly. I ended up tripping over a vine on the ground. As I landed, my backpack was jolted, and one of my pokeballs got knocked off. Mars popped out and looked at me curiously. I was about to tell him what had happened before a rather irked Hoppip marched up to the two of us.

”What are you doing on the vine?” she asked rudely.
”I fell over.”
”Oh yeah, riiiight. And you?” she asked, turning to Mars.
”I got knocked out of my pokeball.”
”I wasn’t referring to that. I was referring to how scruffy you look.”
”Look here. Don’t come barging up to us before complaining that we’re looking scruffy. Maybe you should open your eyes a little and realise that Mars here doesn’t look scruffy at all, and that even if he did, you don’t judge by first looks.”
”Mummy says strangers can’t be mean to me. Mummy says that if they are, she’ll get you back for it. Mummy says-“
”Does this have anything to do with Mummy?”

I, for one, was taken aback by the fact that Mars was talking back to someone he didn’t know. He was usually silent and didn’t respond to anything, even to folk that he knew well.

”Maybe you should learn some manners, mister.”
”And judging by first impressions, you’re not one to talk. If you’re going to judge me by the way I look then I don’t see why I can’t judge you in exactly the same fashion. I don’t judge others when I don’t know them, but it’s folk like you which infuriate me. Get to know someone before you make snobby comments on them, thanks.”

I was speechless. I looked at Mars in shock.

”I need to learn manners? Well I bet you don’t even know how to use a knife and fork.”
”And, pray tell, why would I need to?”
”Why are you blue?”
”Why are you changing the subject?”
”Stop it!”
”Stop what? And why are you hopping about like that?”
”She’s using Splash. I think she wants to battle.”

Mars the male blue Ralts vs. wild female Hoppip!

I don’t know why the Hoppip decided to use Splash to indicate that she wanted to battle Mars, but I guess it worked. But it made me think… Does she have any offensive moves? Well, we’d see. “Use Will-O-Wisp!” I shouted out to Mars.

Mars closed his eyes and focused his mind on producing a stream of flames towards his opponent. She seemed a bit shocked and didn’t try to defend herself, for some reason. The flames set fire to the two leaves on her head, and turned her into a bit of a living sparkler. She hopped about frantically, screeching “Get it off! Get it off!” I myself don’t see how you can get fire off as easily as that, but it was a silly thing to think about. I looked at Mars, who was looking at her. He didn’t look happy, but I think that was because he didn’t like hurting others. Even though she was being a snob towards him, I think he still felt guilty for hurting her.

“Mars, use Confusion!” I yelled over to him. He nodded obediently and focused his mind again. Then he started to glow, although it was difficult to make out because it was a blue glow, and he was a blue pokemon. Nevertheless, the Hoppip also started to glow blue and she was gradually lifted up into the air, her two head-leaves still alight. “Help!” she cried out sheepishly, before screwing her eyes up as Mars pierced her mind with kinetic energy. Then, he let her go, and she fell to the ground, moaning. “You’re mean!” she shouted squeakily.

Then she started to glow herself. Mars watched her cautiously, readying himself for any possible attack. She wasn’t going to attack, though – it was Synthesis that she was using. Her began to shimmer with natural light, and it healed the bruises she had on her body visibly. Then, once she stopped glowing, she leapt towards Mars and tried to strike him with her tail. It didn’t really do much since she didn’t have much of a tail to strike with, and just as she finished the attack I commanded Mars to use Confusion once more. He did, and he lifted up Hoppip again. Then, he proceeded to swing her around in the air with his advanced mind power, before throwing her into a bush. She popped up comically, before bursting into tears and screaming for her mother as she ran back into the trees.

Mars won! He grew to level 10! He learnt Recover as his free TM*!
*Is it legal? Ralts can learn Reflect, Light Screen and Protect so I thought it would be. If it isn’t, he’ll learn Thunderbolt instead.

”Wow, you battled well.”
”Thanks. Can I be returned now?” he asked, almost instantly.
”I guess so.”

I held out his ball and returned him before contemplating over why he spoke back to the Hoppip. I would never have expected him to do that before… Weird. Anyway, I needed to find the Smeargle and/or the Bellsprout to make sure nothing bad arose. I brushed my jeans after having fallen over, put my backpack on properly, and went searching for the pokemon I needed to find.

Lady Vulpix
16th January 2005, 09:05 AM
Chris, you can have 7 stamps for your battle. I wonder what made the Hoppip so cocky if she had no way to attack, but I guess some individuals are just like that. I liked the way you looked for an explanation to the Smeargles' attacks, though now I wonder how this whole chain started. Though maybe nobody knows. As for the TM, it'll have to be Thunderbolt, since Recover isn't it a TM/HM/Move Tutor move in the games. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Skye
16th January 2005, 10:07 AM
Darkfire gets 3 stamps for her story. I don't like to put writers under pressure, but I'm afraid I'll have to remind you that extensions time out once the scenario changes twice, so you may want to go back to your Training Grounds battles before that happens.

Oye, I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me. xx I'll have to get a move on, then. ^^U

LightNinetales
16th January 2005, 03:38 PM
Okay, I actually finished that RBG battle for my Will-O'.

Amelia Blackthorn speaks in bold, purple.
Blackthorn speaks in black.

-----------------------

~x Silvereyes’ POV x~

My brother was staring at something in the sky. It was a sad stare. It destabilized me.
“Is there a problem, Will?”
“No", he said, still staring at the sky.
“So why do you do this?”
“Do what?”
His voice was always kind and warm, but this time it had a sad tone.
“Stare at the sky. It’s blue, there’s nothing special in it. Why are you sad?”
He turned towards me.
“I am not sad. I was just... thinking.”
“Thinking about what ?”
“Something you don’t have to know about.”
“Daddy, Will’O doesn’t want to tell me why he is staring at the sky like that!”
“Silver, stop annoying your brother and mind your own business”, he answered.
I wondered why Will’O was acting like that. He was always kind, always explaining everything to me, and now... he became another pokemon. He became Eni. Cold, secret, like this Meowth I didn’t like. I felt something was wrong.

~x Whitney’s POV x~

I jumped on Silver’s back.
“You think Will’O isn’t his normal self. You think there’s something strange...” I said, with my kind voice.
“How do you know?”
“I’m just... analyzing. That’s obvious, actually.”
As I was analyzing Will’O’s behaviour and Silver’s reactions, we saw a house. A house in the middle of the forest? Weird. Very weird.
Light walked to the door and rang the doorbell. Someone opened the door.
A young, blonde woman. Dark violet eyes. Quite tall, quite slim. Not smiling.
“Who are you?” she said.
“LightNinetales. Erm... who are you?”
“Amelia Blackthorn. If you want to sell something, I already have everything, thank you very much.”
“Actually, my pokemon are hungry, and maybe... you could... please...”
Amelia frowned.
“Wait a moment.”
She entered the house.

~x Amelia’s POV x~

I sat down on a red chair.
“Well, that girl is just behind this door. Oh, and you know the prices, right?”
“Yeah”, Oni said. “We’ll pay. But we want her pokemon. Especially...”
“An Eevee, crystal blue eyes, black fur, half-grey, half-rainbow mane, I know...”
“And...we need him quickly. Oni doesn’t like to wait...” Tom said, winking.
I smiled.
"He will be yours in a second...Oh, and Tom... after that little thing... could we, ahem, have some tea? I have coffee, too, and there’s food if you want, you know, in the kitchen, and also...”
I realized I didn’t even know what I wanted to say.
Oni frowned.
“Could you hurry up, please? And... stop saying pointless things, we don’t have the time to waste words.”
I obeyed. I walked to the door, slowly, so Oni and Tom could hide in my bedroom. Maybe. Or in the bathroom? Or somewhere else? That little garden? As long as they pay, they can hide everywhere... except... in the cupboard. Too small for them.
I opened the door.
“You can come in.” I told the girl.
She walked in, sat down with her pokemon. She had a Ponyta. He reminded me of Blackthorn, my own Ponyta. The same black fur...

~x Tom’s POV x~

I was with Oni, in this small cupboard. The perfect place to hide, though I realized small places were not always the best. Oni and me didn’t fit in this cupboard. So, she was sitting on my head, and both of us were uncomfortable, because she was taller than me and we were getting bored.. There was nothing to do in such a small and dark place, with someone who hates you. So I started playing with my fingers, when I noticed a small box in a corner.
“Oni, look above you... is there any way to lighten this cupboard up a little?”
“There’s a candle. With a small flame, take care of it. I don’t want my clothes to catch fire, and I know you’re clumsy.”
I took the candle and put it on the ground, next to the box. I opened it.
“Oh. That’s... that’s...” I said, stammering.
“That’s...that’s what?”
She seemed a little bit angry. Well, I think the place was the kind of place that makes you angry, especially when the person hiding in the place with you is moving and looking at little boxes found in a corner.
“That’s some photos. Do you want to see the little boy I was when I was five years old?”
“Why does she have photos of you?”
I smiled.
“I told you she was a former classmate of mine. I didn’t know she kept photos of me, though.”
I looked at the other photos.
“That boy must be... I remember him, but I don’t remember his name...”
“How interesting.” commented Oni. “I am very, very happy to share your thoughts about five years old boys you played with when you were a little kid yourself, though something makes me think you may still be a little kid.”
“Brian! Yeah, that was Brian! He was the one with the Pikachu!”
“How do you even remember him? You haven’t seen him for nineteen years!”
“Actually, that’s fifteen years, he left when I was nine.”
“Hmm... I guess he left to start his pokemon journey?”
The Return Of Oni’s Ironical Voice.
“He did. Oh, look at this one! It’s Amelia. She was so cute as a child...”
She took the photo and I could bet she frowned.

~x Will’O-the-Wisp’s POV x~

I didn’t know why but I didn’t feel as good as usual.
“What are you doing, Light?” I said, trying to find something to do.
“Writing everything that happened today. The house, that scary blonde young woman...”
I noticed a shadow behind the table. Getting closer, I realized it was a Ponyta, a black Ponyta, just like me. With dark violet flames.
“Hello, I’m Will’O, and you...”
The Ponyta opened her eyes and I realized they had the same color as mine, just darker.
“I’m Blackthorn.”
“That’s a nice name.”
I didn’t know what to do next, because the only other Ponytas I knew were my father and sister and I didn’t have to find the right words when talking with them.
“Do you enter races, sometimes?”
“I don’t. Racing is just... not my thing, though it sure is my sister’s.”
“Your sister likes racing?”
“She probably would if she knew races had been organized. She’s so energetic, and she’s also faster than I am.”
She winked.
“Follow me, Will’O. Maybe you’ll change your mind about racing.”
What is she going to show me? I wondered.
When she told me I could open my eyes, I saw a beautiful place. High trees, covered with snow. A snowy field with Ponyta-shaped bushes. Wonderful.
“That’s our garden.” Blackthorn said. “Perfect place for a race, isn’t it?”
I nodded.
“Ok, three, two, one, let’s go.”
She began to run and I followed her. I was actually amazed when I realized I could run as fast as her. Smiling, I kept on running and for the first time this day, I felt really happy.

~x Silvereyes’s POV x~
I stayed there, staring at them, for at least.... five seconds – which was a very long time not doing anything but staring at someone, in my opinion.
But the scene was beautiful – Will running with such a big smile on his face, next to another black Ponyta, both seeming as happy as they could ever be.
Then, I couldn’t help running with them, and I quickly let them behind.
“Silver!”
I turned back.
“I saw you were enjoying that little race and I decided I could have fun too...”
He smiled.
Suddenly, I heard something.
“We should come back in the house,” said the other Ponyta. “Silver, that was nice to meet you. My name’s Blackthorn.”.

~x Whitney’s POV x~

While we were drinking our tea, Amelia had stood up, taken a pokeball and thrown it on the ground, revealing a Growlithe.
“Now, give me that Eevee!” she said, her dark eyes revealing her true, cruel personality.
Light took Krystal in her arms, looking at Amelia fixedly.
“Oh. Did you hear what I said?”
I looked at her eyes again and wondered how I could have thought she wasn’t here for Krystal. That was so obvious. She had told us to wait.... probably to hide something.... then she had been so friendly, always smiling, always asking us if we wanted something else....
We heard something falling on the ground, then they came in. Oni and Tom, shouting at each other and glancing at us.
“Why did you stand up?” asked Oni.
"Well, I somehow forgot you were in this cupboard too, and I needed some air.”
“You... forgot I was there? That’s the only explanation you have? You stood up, I hit the wall with my head, then we both fell, just because of you, and...”
“Me? Because of me?I just slid on the ground...”
“And we fell!”
“Oh, stop arguing! You’re here for this Eevee, aren’t you?”
Oni and Tom turned towards her and nodded.
Amelia’s Growlithe got closer to Krystal.
And three pokemon rushed towards the Growlithe, tackling her.
“Silver! Will’O... and.... who’s that?”
“Blackthorn!” shouted Amelia. “Now you can help us! Thistle will take care of this Eevee and you’ll fight.”
“No.”
“What? Thistle...bite her, like you used to do when she was little and did something wrong.”
Thistle bit her left hind leg.
“Fight me instead,” said Will’O, calmly.


x- Will’O-the-Wisp, Light’s Lv 5 male Ponyta with black fur and lavender eyes VS Thistle, Amelia’s Lv 5 F Growlithe with purple fur –x

The Ponyta tackled Thistle, hitting the Growlithe’s little body and projecting her on the table.
Amelia’s pokemon broke the table, but quickly got back on her paws, and jumped on Will’O’s black fur to bite his back.
Thistle was a pretty good fighter, and seemed to have a lot of experience with Ponytas.
Fortunately, Will’O’s flames began to surround him, burning Thistle and devastating the room.
Thistle finally let him go; but her eyes began to glow purple as she took control of Will’O’s muscles. Another Thistle appeared, and made Will’O levitate for a second or two, then let him fall on the chair (Amelia will have to re-decorate entirely her house....) .
When Will’O faced Thistle again, a brown glow was surrounding his feet and the ground began to crack under Thistle’s paws.
Both Hidden Power attacks were useful – but Will’O’s was super-effective, and Thistle fell with the ground, but didn’t stand up. She fainted.
Amelia, a puzzled expression put on her face, recalled Thistle and looked at what was, five minutes ago, her living room, and became a museum of broken furniture and burned walls.

Will’O-the-Wisp grew to level 6!

We ran away, laughing at the idea of Amelia having to explain how her house got destructed.


------------------

Meh, had writers' block on that one. I still like it though...
I needed to describe more Will'O's, Whitney's and Silver's personalities, and that's why I wanted this RBG(not for Stamps - I don't think I'll get more than 6 stamps on that one - or for levels - Will'O was only at level 5, and the difference between levels 5 and 6 isn't that high - )...

^.^

Wolfsong
18th January 2005, 07:24 AM
Shonta: I liked the intro and how you introduced Bandit. He seems to be an interesting and likeable characer. It was interesting to see Dixie again, i wonder what all she is up to. Take 9 stamps. Edit2: Sorry i must have missed that. He will be battling an Eevee.

Now i've gotta go to class.

Edit: I think i might need an extension. I kinda want to use Yana in the scenario but shes in a bt battle atm ^^; just asking to be safe

Lady Vulpix
20th January 2005, 11:21 AM
You can have the extension, Amy.

LightNinetales gets 5 stamps. The story did look a bit rushed, especially the battle, but I like the part about the photos. How did you know there were people who were after Krystal? I may have missed something on a previous story, but otherwise I don't see why you should have suspected that much. ¢¢¢¢¢

LightNinetales
20th January 2005, 11:59 AM
You can have the extension, Amy.

LightNinetales gets 5 stamps. The story did look a bit rushed, especially the battle, but I like the part about the photos. How did you know there were people who were after Krystal? I may have missed something on a previous story, but otherwise I don't see why you should have suspected that much. ¢¢¢¢¢

Yes, didn't have a lot of time to post and had to write the battle in ten minutes. Plus I'm not good with battles ^.^"""
For Krystal, Tom and Oni already tried stealing him in the previous story and they were the only people that ever attacked my team ^.^ And though Light's personality isn't very developed for now, I'll work on it on the next battle...

Speaking of the next battle, may I have a RBG for my Kusa, lv.5 Oddish please?
*gives 7 stamps, leaving her with only 8*

SilverMachop
20th January 2005, 04:18 PM
I wanted to try something different: a group of Pokémon that act as a party to do the scenarios with no human trainer with them. Kind of like a guild where they watch out for each other. The reason why is because I don't like having a human in there giving orders and watching over them, so I don't have to announce the moves the Pokémon is using. I'd like to make the Pokémon more independent.

So, would that be okay? Can I just use a Pokémon-only team, or do I have to have a trainer?

The_Missing_Link
20th January 2005, 04:38 PM
I have a question concerning double team battles. I'm currently working on my training room battles (and I do have an extension), and for one room, I wanted a double team battle but the levels are vastly different (Lvs. 39 and 17 for my team and 45 and 25 for the opponents). Can we make it so that the battle can go on at the same time but no one can interfere with the other battle (like the Lv.45 can't attack my Lv.17 and vice versa)? It would be like two single battles going on at one time, but in the same area

Lady Vulpix
20th January 2005, 04:49 PM
Light, you can have a random battle once a week, but you need to choose a location first.
Silver, that's ok. We've had a bird trainer before, so I don't see why not. Most of us rarely issue any commands during a battle anyway. Though a pokemon-only team may have some trouble getting into places that are designed for trainers. You'll have to work your way around that somehow.
And Becca, I guess it's ok as long as you provide a coherent background for your battle.

SilverMachop
21st January 2005, 01:51 PM
Here is my submission. Take in mind I don't have a human trainer, but I explain why in the story.

--

My name is Kung Pow Meditite. An unusual name, I know, but considering myself and world around me, it is not so unusual. Almost as unusual as my friends and I being a Pokémon-only team of the Dragon Tamers.
My trainer’s name was “Silver.” He went by that nickname, and never revealed his true name. Being a Dragon Tamer is a dangerous life, and should our enemies discover our true nature, our loved ones would be in peril. Silver never even told me his true name before he vanished.
I was one of his first companions when we joined Dragon Tamers. The other members greeted us eagerly, for the numbers of Dragon Tamers were small at the time. Then one day, he went on a mission with all of his Pokémon except me (for I was not feeling well and needed rest), they never came back, and no trace could be found. The Rockets did not claim they had him as a hostage, there were no bodies or clues to be followed; he, my closest friend, was gone.
Things changed rather quickly in a few days. At the Pokémon Adoption Center, I met a determined and friendly Scyther. The mantis Pokémon, who called herself Seung Mina, was a formidable warrior. She wanted to explore, and fight the enemies of Dragon Tamers.
Then a friend of Silver and fellow Dragon Tamer named Karin introduced me to her Minun. The energetic little mouse was hugging us the moment he was introduced. I don’t mind admitting that the Minun knows more attack strategies than me and is more powerful. He called himself Anion.
Both Seung Mina and Karin knew Silver, and wanted to find him. Not wanting to put any more humans in danger, I decided to form a group of Pokémon, without having a trainer to guide us. Seung Mina and Anion are my first recruits, and we three are eager to find Silver. We have named our guild the “Weird ALliance,” in honor of Silver’s favorite singer, “Weird Al” Yankovic.
One day we will find my friend. I know Silver is out there, and if he is, he would want me to keep fighting Team Rocket for the sake of justice. He was always ready to help the Dragon Tamers in any way he could, as I still am.
The newest mission assigned to the guild of “Weird ALliance” was something I expected for a long time. It would seem that the Rockets have been fighting amongst themselves. That was to be expected, for power corrupts. When you recruit only those wicked at heart, they are such to do wicked things to improve their lives. There is no honor among thieves, and same it would seem goes for the Rockets.
This new group of Rockets call them the Crimson Blades. I imagine the Crimson part stands for blood, which would make a grisly sight. Fortunately, I watch TV at times, so violence does not bother me.
Now the Dragon Tamers have sent their agents to pacify the threat as much as possible. Whether we stomp on the official Rockets or the Crimson Blades is of no importance, so long as one of them is being stomped. I can see why waiting around for one side to lose is a bad idea; you don’t wait for enemy to make the first move on you, you strike before they do.
There is a city called Eruken, where sightings of both groups are. We are there to investigate, and to stop the Rockets and Crimson Blades before they do critical damage to the city and its citizens.
The “Weird ALliance” has decided to play this mission safe, as we are not experienced enough to take on the cruel Crimson Blades or determined Rockets at full force. Our actions will be like that of a chisel to a support beam: continuous, unnoticeable taps will eventually break it down.
Right now, we are at the Pokémon Center. We have been asking around for help or guidance to where either faction may be, but all we’ve received so far is fear and ignorance.
“I do believe that we’ll have to find out on our own,” I said to Seung Mina and Anion. “The people here are too afraid of the Rockets and Crimson Blades to do anything about it.”
“We already figured that out, but thanks,” replied Seung Mina. She stood, looking graceful and calm regardless of her wicked-looking scythe-arms and short fangs protruding from her upper lip. Seung Mina was good at looking great, even if she didn’t try.
“Where do we go?” asked Anion, sounding as cheerful as ever. His yellow and blue fur were glossy, which normally indicates a healthy Minun. His eyes twinkled like the stars you wish upon, and his smile was addictive.
I started to speak when suddenly, I froze. The energies around me were becoming frantic, almost in a panic. Being a psychic Pokémon, I’m very tuned into the balance of nature and settings, and something is awry, I sense it.
“Something’s happening, my friends,” I was almost frozen in my position, my hands locked in midair.
“A disturbance in the Force?” joked Seung Mina.
“Yes, it is,” I hurried outside, and the two of them followed me.
“Wait, wait!” Seung Mina shouted. “Where are you going, you darn Meditite?”
I ran into the street, where luckily no cars were passing by. I stopped right in front of an open manhole, and gazed down into the abyss. The weak sound of running water echoing down the tunnels met my ears. I clasped my hands together and closed my eyes, something I normally do when going into “serious thought mode.”
“The enemy is down there,” I said, almost robotic-like. “We must pursue.”
“In the sewers!?” exclaimed both Seung Mina and Anion.
“Are you sure about this?” Anion said, looking over the edge. He was leaning much of his body over the edge, something he always does when looking from far above. “I don’t think we’ll like the smell...-”
“You’re darn right about that!” Seung Mina cried. “Kung Pow, I know we’ve been searching for days, but we shouldn’t resort to-”
“My sixth sense has never been a desperate measure,” I said without opening my eyes, “if that’s what you were planning on saying.”
I could hear Seung Mina take a deep breath, and one step closer to the open manhole. “Are you sure you sense something down there?”
“Positive. Only the presence of something dark and wicked could create such a disturbance in the energies.”
“You sound so cool when you talk like that,” chirped Anion, his voice echoing down in the sewers. “It’s like you’re a Jedi or something.”
“I wish,” I said before opening my eyes. I put my feet onto the second rung of the ladder leading down to the sewers, then looked back at them. “Want to join me?” I asked.
Seung Mina took another deep breath. “All right, Kung Pow. I’ll trust your judgment.”
“I’m in!” sang Anion.
“Then let us go,” I said. As I climbed down, I whispered to myself, “For Silver...”
The sewers were poorly lit by cheap lights installed on the roof. The stench of state water, mold and other unknown sources met my nostrils. It was not repulsive, just unpleasant.
Seung Mina hovered down to the sewer floor, Anion on her back. She looked down at the current in the middle of the sewer tunnel, then at me. “I thought they would be... you know... more filthy.”
“Me too,” said Anion. “If it wasn’t for the smell and lack of places to play video games, I think that it would be almost bearable to live in.”
“I think there are nicer apartments,” I added in, “but let us not dilly-dally. The Rockets or the Crimson Blades are here.”
“Or both,” commented Seung Mina grimly.
We walked for a few minutes, following the sense of danger in my mind. It was like “Hot and Cold,” for it would fade or grow depending on the direction we were heading in.
Pretty soon, the sounds of humans and Pokémon could be heard in the distance. “Team Rocket,” I whispered back to the others.
Seung Mina nodded, a grim look on her emerald face. Anion bobbed his head, his blue ears flapping like wings attached to his head. I motioned for them to come closer as we listened in.
“Are the charges all set?” a man was heard saying.
“Yeah, sir,” replied a woman, following the sound of her noisily chewing on something. “Charges are set in all of the locations. We should cave in, like, a couple blocks with the amount we’ve set up.”
Whatever sense of danger was going through my mind increased tenfold. Explosives?! They were planning on destroying the city from underground?!
Barreling out from the shadows, I ran towards the voices. There in front of me were two Rockets, both in pale blue uniforms. The man had short black hair and a pale blue beret to cover it, and had that stern look on his face that seemed permanent. He had brown skin, and was fairly tall, towering over the woman. She had long blond hair tied up with a green scrunchie, several bracelets on her arms, and a larger number of earrings on each ear. She looked pale, white skin that looked like she rarely saw the sun.
Both of them looked over at me when I stormed towards them. Stopping in front of them, I shouted, “You must be mad, destroying the city! I thought you Rockets had more sense than that!”
“Who are, like, you?” the woman said, starring at me unimpressed.
Seung Mina flew up behind me, and Anion jumped off her back to my side. “We are the ‘Weird ALliance,’” shouted Anion, punching up at the air, “and we are from the Dragon Tamers!”
“Dragon Tamers?!” exclaimed the man. He looked over at the woman, and cried, “Amanda, go set off those charges, right now! Hurry before more of them arrive!”
“Sure,” the woman still seemed bored with what was going on, and pulled a Pokéball from her belt. She released a Ponyta from it, hopped onto it, and rode off deeper into the sewers.
“Anion, Seung Mina, stop her!” I cried, pointing at the fleeing Rocket.
“What about you?” Anion asked as he jumped onto Seung Mina’s back.
“I’m taking care of him,” I pointed at the man in front of me, then clenched my fists. “I want information from him.”
As Seung Mina started to take off, the male Rocket released one of his own Pokémon: a Gastly. “Lick them, Gastly!” he shouted, pointing at Seung Mina and Anion.
Gastly made a horrific sound that comes from deep down in the throat, and vanished. Seung Mina kicked off and shot forward, when Gastly appeared near her, lashing out with his extending tongue. Seung Mina spun to the side with Anion holding onto her shoulders for dear life.
I jumped onto the Rocket, knocking him down to the floor. He cried out in pain when his head made contact with the concrete. “Call that Gastly off!” I shouted, barring a fist parallel to his face.
“Gastly, get this Meditite!” the Rocket shouted, and before I could react, the gaseous ghost appeared right in my face, tongue ready! Doing a back flip, I landed on my hands, and looked forward to see if the Gastly was following me.
He wasn’t. He was finishing his Lick attack on his trainer’s face, as he had missed me and hit him with his tongue. The Rocket member was now blubbering and whimpering incoherent syllables, paralyzed by the ghost’s ectoplasm tongue.
The Gastly was startled when he realized what he had done, then looked accusingly at me. A quick faze, and he was only few feet away from my face. < You’re going to pay for that, > he growled in Gastlian.
“Put it on my tab,” I snarled right back.


Kung Pow Meditite - Level 6
VS.
Rocket Gastly - Level 8

The Rocket Gastly lashed out with his tongue again, and I leapt away. Landing on my feet like a Olympic gymnastic, I locked eyes with the ghost/poison Pokémon again.
< You’ll never beat me, little Meditite! > cackled the Gastly. < Your psychic and fighting abilities are no good against my ghostly body! You fight as well be fighting the air itself! >
“I will find a way,” I assured him.
< How? You don’t even have a trainer to help you! >
“And that’s because of you heartless Rockets,” I thought, but instead I said, “Neither do you.”
< It does not matter, > he said, and started letting out Hypnosis psywaves, < for you are too easy of prey. >
Closing my eyes for Meditation, I was able to ignore the urge to fall asleep. My sense heightened, and when I felt the Gastly faze right next to me, I performed another leap into the air. His tongue darted after me, and I twisted my body to avoid it. When landing on my feet and one hand, his tongue came after me like a heat-seeking missile. I leapt to the side, against the wall, and sprang off of it when he lashed his tongue out at me again. His tongue crashed into the wall, sending dust and brick shards at me.
That’s when an idea hit me. Leaping back towards the wall, to also make sure that the Gastly’s tongue did not also hit me, I grabbed the largest of the concrete pieces on the floor, and chucked it at the Gastly.
It wasn’t Rock Slide, not even Rock Throw, but the energy I put into the rock smacked the ghost right in the face. He snarled in pain and anger, then glared at me.
“I’ll make sure you don’t do that again!” he shouted, and purple energy formed around him. I could feel the strength in my arms being sapped; oh-no, he was using Spite to waste away my throwing energy.
I quickly used Dynamic Punch on the wall, swinging my fist in his direction. The dust and rock particles stung his face, especially his eyes. His tongue started lashing out frantically, and I leapt like an out-of-control pogo stick to avoid it.
< I’m gonna devour your soul! > he roared, blinking rapidly to get the dust from his eyes.
“That’s a poor one-liner,” I thought, ducking to avoid a punch-like movement from his tongue. I leapt to the side again, where pipes ran alongside the wall. Thinking fast, I grabbed one of them, and pulled.
Water gushed out from the line, as powerful as a fire hose. Bending the bar with all my might, I pounded the ghost with the incredible force of the rushing water. Sweat dripped from my forehead and my limbs started to feel like lead, but I didn’t let up. The Gastly was trying to float away from the water attack, yet I bent the pipe wherever he went.
After a few more seconds, the Gastly fell to the ground. He had either been knocked unconscious by the water hosing, or was physically drained by it. It didn’t matter, for I had won. With a few twists and pushes, I managed to push the pipe back into its original place, a few dents and bend marks in it, of course.
“Thank goodness for Pure Power,” I muttered.


Level Advancement!
Kung Pow Meditite reaches Level 7.

Suddenly, there was a groan from the fallen body of the Rocket. As he pulled himself up, I noticed he was drenched from head to toe. The water must have woken him up.
“Wha... what happened?” he groaned, then he noticed me standing a few feet from him, and his unconscious Gastly almost at his feet. “You!” he declared, pointing a finger at me accusingly.
“Yes, me,” I retorted, approaching him. “All right, Rocket, now you tell me what I want to know, or I’ll-”
But before I could get close enough to him to restrain him, he had grabbed another Pokéball and released it. This time, a Rattata appeared in front of me, her white teeth gleaming menacingly.
“A rat in the sewers,” I said, raising an eyebrow. “How appropriate.”
“Tear him to pieces, Rattata!” shouted the Rocket.
The purple rat eyed me, her red eyes unnervingly burning into mine. Her whiskers and mouth twitched suddenly, making me flinch into a battle position.
< I enjoy rending, > she said, a sinister grin appearing on her face.
“And I love pummeling,” I said, punching my palm. “Let’s see who’s passion wins, shall we?


Kung Pow Meditite - Level 7
VS.
Rocket Rattata - Level 15

The Rattata sprung at me with Quick Attack, so fast that even I was unable to block her. She knocked me to the ground, and pinned me down with her paws. She started scratching my face and chest with those sharp claws, and it stung like hell.
“HYPER FANG!” bellowed her trainer from afar.
She made for my face (or maybe my neck), her mouth wide open. I managed to grab her jaws and keep her mouth open. Though as strong as I am, I had tired from all the acrobatics I had done avoiding the Gastly’s tongue barrage. We were struggling between hand and mouth over who would win.
“Bite him! Rip his throat out!” the Rocket shouted, taken over by bloodlust.
With a heave, I threw the Rattata off of me. She bounced once before catching herself on her paws. “I dare you to try that again,” I sneered. She laughed, and performed her Quick Attack again. But this time, I was much more than ready.
Let that be a lesson to you kids: don’t EVER do what your opponent suggests.
Although it is hard to hold your fist steady when the incredible power of Dynamic Punch is shaking it, I could easily plan out when to swing my burning, power-glowing fist. When she jumped at me, fangs bared, I hit her straight in the face with an explosive Dynamic Punch. The sound of the attack echoed throughout the sewer tunnels, as did the shriek of the Rattata as she soar down the tunnel way. She was out of sight before the sound of her hitting the sewer floor could be heard.
I chuckled as I shook my hand, trying to “calm” it down. “I do enjoy one-hit KO’s, if you ask me.”
Then my mind started to buzz. I could feel my memory and intelligence expanding, and I... I...
A huge grin appeared on my face. “I know more than karate...”


Level Advancement!
Kung Pow Meditite reaches Level 9.
Confusion is added to his arsenal!

I walked over to the Rocket grunt, who was still sitting down and looking astonished. Grabbing him by his shirt collar, I pulled his face to mine.
“Why are you trying to destroy the city, Rocket?”
“Why should I tell you?” he snarled.
My psychic powers started to kick into gear, and for the first time ever, became an attack rather than just plain telekinesis. The cyan energy zapped the Rocket, and he shouted out in pain. Looking dazed afterwards, he yelped when I tightened my grip on his shirt.
“I can be very influential,” I commented. “Tell me now.”
“Okay okay!” he gasped, his eyes frantic. “We were trying to stop the Crimson Blades! They have a base here, where they train their Pokémon! They’re so few in numbers that if we crippled them in any way, we could easily turn this petty war over to our side!”
“By demolishing the innocent? You scum have no shame.”
“You don’t know how vicious the Crimson Blades are!”
“I know how heartless Team Rocket is, and whatever the Crimson Blades do, they learned from you.”
“It does not matter,” the man’s face twisted into a cruel sneer. “Amanda’s on her way to blow this place to Hell, and you can’t stop her now!”
“You forgot us, dummy,” chirped a familiar, happy voice.
The Rocket and I looked around to see a frightened Amanda with Seung Mina right behind her, and Anion standing next to the female mantis.
“S-Sorry, Steve,” Amanda gasped, looking at the male Rocket. “This Scyther said that if I didn’t turn off the charges, she... she’d do something awful!”
Anion giggled. “All she did was threaten to cut off your hair.”
Steve was beside himself. “You... let our brilliant plan fail... because you were worried about your hair?!”
“Ohmigod, do you, like, know how it took me to get it to look this fabulous?” Amanda shouted. “This is the greatest ponytail in, like, the history of ponytails!”
“What ponytail?” asked Seung Mina.
The female Rocket looked at her funny, then she noticed something on the floor: a blond-haired ponytail. Her hands flew to her hair, and found that Seung Mina had sliced it off right then, just below the scrunchie.
Amanda burst into hysterical tears, falling to her knees. Her crying was ear-piercingly loud, high-pitched, and awfully wet. She even picked up her severed ponytail and held it to her chest.
“Awfully harsh, Seung Mina,” I said, winking at her.
“War is Hell, Kung Pow,” she laughed.

***

“The Rockets said that the Crimson Blades have a base here,” I said into the telephone to Dragon Tamer base. “You may want to send a team or two to clean it up.”
We had dragged the fuming Steve and sobbing Amanda out from the sewers and turned them in to the police. Special bomb squads were sent to properly remove the charges. The three of us were near a pay phone, filling in our fellow Dragon Tamers on what had just transpired.
“Good, very good,” said the person on the other line. “You might want to get out of there before other Rockets or the Crimson Blades find out about you.”
“I know, thanks. We’ve had enough for one day.”
“Oh, Kung Pow! Did you find out any information on... well, you know... Silver?”
I sighed. “No, nothing. The Rockets knew nothing about Silver. I didn’t really expect to find any clues anyway.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right. But we will find him someday.”
“Yes, we will. Goodbye, my friend.”
After hanging up, I approached my two companions. “Time to go home?” Seung Mina asked me.
I nodded, then said, “We’ve done all we can here. We’ll leave the rest to those more experienced than us.”
“Man,” complained Anion, “I don’t want to have to keep relying on those stronger than me. I want to be the one that people rely on for help!”
“We all do, honey,” said Seung Mina, stroking his head with the dull side of her arm. “We all do.”
“Yeah, that’d be great,” chirped Anion, enjoying the attention. “We be the team that you call on to polish off the enemy, to do the hardest of missions. We’ll even be the ones to find Silver.”
I chuckled. “I intend to do, Anion, so you’d better train more so we can rely on you!”
Anion beamed at me. “To the training grounds, Kung Pow! Last one there hatched from an egg without special moves!”

LightNinetales
22nd January 2005, 04:15 AM
Can't believe I forgot the location x_X

I'd like a RBG from the Free Range Corral, please ^.^

Lady Vulpix
22nd January 2005, 11:09 AM
Alright, Light. Kusa will battle a Slakoth. I guess it shouldn't be too hard for Kusa's first battle, but only time and you will tell. :)

Silver, we'll try to rate your story soon.

The Blue Avenger
22nd January 2005, 02:21 PM
I will be using Bobbery, my male Snorlax, and Mona, my female Smeargle. Both of them came from Pokezoo.

Name: Bobbery
Species: Snorlax
Gender: Male
Trait: Immunity
Level: 8
Moves: Tackle, Amnesia, Surf
Adopted or Captured: Adopted
Other: Sleeps a lot – personality not defined yet

Name: Mona
Species: Smeargle
Gender: Female
Trait: Own Tempo
Level: 5
Moves: Sketch, Sketch (had a Sketch TM)
Adopted or Captured: Adopted
Other: Likes bright colors

I will be entering as myself, a character named Blue.

***Blue’s POV***

I walked through the underbrush, pausing occasionally to make sure that Mona was still with me. Mona was my brand-new Smeargle – I had just adopted her and I couldn’t let her out of my sight. She was one big ball of energy; the woman at the adoption center had told me of her love of bright colors but I failed to realize that the love included the blue in the sky. Her tail was flying every which way, leaving assorted streaks of color on plants and other Pokemon, and of course, the bright colors made her even more excited. She often got sidetracked and because of this, frequently fell behind. This was one such occasion.

“Ooh! Blue! Help!” I heard her yell.

I turned sharply, my heart racing. “What? What is it?” A closer look revealed she was trying to grab a particularly large leaf. I sighed and began to wonder about my other newly adopted Pokemon, Bobbery the Snorlax. From the moment I had adopted him, he had not woken up. Not for food, not for fresh Beedrill honey, nothing. In addition, I had taught him Surf so I could get across lakes and the like, but I was beginning to question the usefulness of a sleeping surfboard. I took out Bobbery’s Pokeball and opened it. The massive Pokemon flew out, still snoring. I sighed again and recalled him.

I paused for a moment to take my bearings. I left the city three hours ago, I thought, looking at a map, and I’m in a forest now, so that means this is the forest… I trailed my finger along the map, here! According to the map, I was about halfway through the brush. I sat on a rock and pulled out a Thermos and a plastic bag from my backpack. “Hey Mona!” I called. She came bounding over.

“Yeah?” she replied excitedly.

“How’s about some lunch?” I grinned warmly and opened the plastic bag. Inside were some assorted Pokemon snacks. She snatched the bag away from me and began to almost inhale the treats. “Hold on there, girl.” I grabbed her arm. “Before you eat all of those, see if Bobbery wants some.” I released Bobbery again, who was, again, still snoring. She stared at him.

“But Blue, he’s asleep…”

“You have my permission to wake him up.”

Mona squealed with glee and bounded up Bobbery’s stomach. Once near his face, she proceeded to poke him on the forehead. While she did that, I contemplated the recent news.

Team Rocket is rumored to be causing all sorts of trouble… but that’s nothing new, I thought. But what’s this I hear about the Crimson Blades? Where did they come from? Whatever the reason, I hope we don’t run into them… Mona and Bobbery aren’t ready for that.

***Mona’s POV***
Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke. What is wrong with this guy? He’d probably sleep through a typhoon. Poke. Poke. Poke. This is getting boring. Maybe I should just eat these snacks myself. Oh, but then Blue’d be mad. I guess I better keep trying, then. Poke. Poke. Poke. Poke.

***Bobbery’s POV***
Gruh. Why have I been awoken…? There is something unpleasant poking my face. And again. And again. Argh! It just keeps going! Maybe if I keep faking sleep it’ll go away.

***Blue’s POV***
I opened my Thermos and began to drink the milk I had packed, while watching Mona continue to poke Bobbery. Bobbery certainly wasn’t budging, but I had a hunch he wasn’t fully asleep. I called Mona back. “Mona, that’s enough. He’s not getting up.”

“But the snacks…?”

“You can have them. I have some more for Bobbery anyway.” Mona squealed again and started devouring the treats.


Some time later, we had finished our respective lunches and once again set off through the forest. Bobbery still refused to wake up, so I had to recall him. I also had recalled Mona, who was pleading desperately for a chance to take an after-lunch nap. So it was with nobody beside me that I tromped through the thickets, growing ever tired myself. I started to name the wild Pokemon I saw to keep me awake. “Let’s see… that’s a Metapod… oh! There’s a Silcoon; I thought those were rare here…That’s a Gastly…That one’s a Venonat… Wait, a Gastly? Those don’t come out during the day…” I turned back to where I had seen the gaseous Pokemon, only to be greeted by nothing. “It must have been a trick of the light.” I kept walking, albeit a little more cautious of my surroundings.

***Omniscient Third-Party POV***

“Sir! Trainer approaching from the south!”

“Is that so? Good work.”

“Thank you, sir!”

“Now, don’t you think we ought to finish this up quickly, Rocket scum?”

“I will walk all over you before you can even touch me, Crimson Crybaby!”

***Once Again, Back to Blue's POV***

It’s too bad, really, that the Gastly wasn’t actually there… I thought to myself. I’ve been meaning to catch a Ghost-type Pokemon for some time. And a Psychic-type, but that’s beside the point. Maybe another Ghost will pop up at some point. A chill ran down my back, and an idea struck me. I turned around. Nope, no Gengars in my shadow. I suppose that’s a relief… Although I couldn’t do much about catching them with two Normal type Pokemon… Suddenly, I heard the noise of fighting breaking through the thickets. I ran forward and moved a bush aside so I could watch. A man in a red ninja getup was sending a Gastly to attack the opponent’s (who was a guy in a black shirt with a red R on it) Rattata. The Crimson Blade and Team Rocket! Suddenly, the Gastly disappeared. The two trainers and the Pokemon looked around in confusion.

“HAHAHA!” A loud laugh resonated behind me and the two trainers turned to look. The Gastly was floating behind my head, leering at me.

“It was you! You were spying on me!” I hissed at the Ghost.

The Gastly chuckled but didn’t say anything. Instead it hovered just over me and Teleported me to its trainer. The Crimson Blade glared at me.

“Hmm… a spy, eh?” The Crimson Blade snickered.

“You don’t look weak enough to be a Blade…” interjected the Rocket.

“Yeah? Well he’s not ugly enough to be a Rocket!” shot back the Blade. Meanwhile, I shuffled backwards and pulled out two Pokeballs. Bobbery and Mona sprung forth, Bobbery still asleep and Mona looking groggy. I pulled Mona aside.

“Mona, Bobbery isn’t going to help much, so I need to you to do this,” I whispered to her.

“Do what?” Mona asked.

“D’you see that Gastly?” I pointed over to where the Gastly was floating, watching his trainer duke it out with the Rocket. “I need you to defeat it.” Mona looked shocked but nodded her head.

“Sure, Blue.” She ran out into the field and started yelling at the Gastly.

“Hey! Gastly! I bet I can beat you! Um… Your mom wears army boots!”

I slapped my forehead and started trying to wake Bobbery up.

***Battle time! Mona the female Smeargle (level 5) versus the Crimson Blade Gastly (level 8 )!***

“You will pay for that cheap shot, insolent dog!” The Gastly hissed at Mona.

“You deserve it, you… umm… you airhead!” Mona stuck her tongue out at the ghost. Gastly, infuriated, dove down at Mona with his tongue stuck out.

“Mona! Get out of the way!” I yelled. Mona nodded and jumped out of the way at the last minute. Gastly sailed by harmlessly. “Now, Sketch!” Mona nodded again, and took her tail in her hand. She waved it around, leaving a trail of paint, until the paint on her tail turned dark purple. The Gastly flew by again, this time sinking his fangs into her skin. Mona howled in pain, and I knew the Mega Drain was steadily sucking the life out of her.

“Mona! Try your new move!” Mona stuck out her tongue and licked Gastly on the side of the head. It shuddered, and I realized that the Lick attack had struck home – Gastly was now paralyzed. Mona jumped at it again, making contact with another Lick. Gastly shuddered some more and floated to the ground, but it regained its composure and rushed at Mona. It made eye contact with her and began the Hypnosis, the sleep-inducing waves traveling between the two Pokemon.

“Snap out of it!” I called to Mona. She obviously heard me, as she broke eye contact with Gastly and charged at it again, Licking it once more. This time, though, Gastly had taken too much and sank to the ground, unconscious. The Blade recalled it.
***End Battle! Mona gains 1 level! Mona is now level 6!***

The Blade glared at me. “You just made the biggest mistake of your life, kid. Nobody crosses the Crimson Blades and lives…” He threw down a smoke ball and disappeared. The Rocket stepped up.

“You may have defeated that weakling of a Blade, but you’ll find me a far more formidable foe!” He snickered and yelled at his Rattata. “Rattata, now!” The rat leapt at Bobbery, sinking its large fangs into his stomach. Bobbery grumbled.

“Grr… who wakes me?!” Bobbery stood up and shook the Rattata off. He stomped, and the entire forest shook. The Rattata backed up out of sheer terror. Bobbery charged at the rodent, shaking the ground with each step, and Mona followed suit.

***Battle time! Bobbery the male Snorlax (level 8 ) and Mona the female Smeargle (level 6) versus the Rocket Rattata (level 15)!***

The Rattata regained some of its bravery and ran toward the weaker target, Mona. It jumped and launched a Hyper Fang attack, but Bobbery slid in at the last moment.

“Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, attacks my friend!” The Rattata backed down after bouncing off of Snorlax, obviously terrified by the one-ton Pokemon. Mona busied herself by Sketching the Rattata. She stopped after a moment and grinned, fangs glistening in the light.

“Now, Mona!” Bobbery yelled at Mona. I sat back – it was pretty cool that my Pokemon knew what to do. Mona dashed at the rodent and sank her teeth into it. The Hyper Fang attack hit home, causing the Rattata to flinch – and leaving it open to a Bobbery attack. Bobbery, too, rushed the Rattata, hitting it with a massive Tackle attack. Mona let go right before Bobbery slammed the rat into a tree.

“That’s enough, Bobbery,” I called to Bobbery, who backed off. The Rattata fell off the tree, dazed and confused. Its trainer recalled it and glared at me. “You’ll pay for this!” The Rocket pulled a gun and took a shot. Although poorly aimed, it landed in my shoulder… I started to feel delirious from the pain as the world drained away beneath my feet…

End Battle! Mona and Bobbery gain 1 level each! Mona and Bobbery grew to levels 7 and 9!



I awoke in a cushiony bed inside a small room. A woman approached me from the side.

“Where are my Pokemon?!” I demanded of her.

“Relax. They’re being healed.” She smiled. “You looked pretty impressive out there. Oh, we took care of the bullet too. Don’t worry.”

I looked at my shoulder and saw a bandage. “Um… thanks.”

“You’re quite welcome.” She paused and the expression on her face changed to a far more serious one. “I approach you with a proposition today. I belong to a clan known as the Dragon Tamers. We devote ourselves to protecting the region, and I think you did a good job with the Blades and Rockets today. What I am asking is… will you join the Tamers?”

I thought for a moment and grinned. “You bet!”

END STATS

Name: Bobbery
Species: Snorlax

Gender: Male
Trait: Immunity
Level: 9
Moves: Tackle, Amnesia, Surf
Adopted or Captured: Adopted
Other: Sleeps a lot. Fiercely defensive of Mona. Grumpy if woken up.

Name: Mona
Species: Smeargle
Gender: Female
Trait: Own Tempo
Level: 7
Moves: Lick, Hyper Fang
Adopted or Captured: Adopted
Other: Likes bright colors

Cheesey
23rd January 2005, 08:53 AM
I would like an RBG for Athena, please, in Caledor's Nature Protection Agency. *hands over 7 Stamps*

I'd also like an extension for the scenario, please. I don't know if I'll be able to finish the story I'm working on for it in time, and I want to use it to train Maria and let her personality shine through a bit.

EDIT: Athena's my level 9 Swablu. I don't know if you needed to know but I thought I may as well mention.

Lady Vulpix
23rd January 2005, 01:48 PM
Alright, Cheesey, you get the extension and Athena gets a Cyndaquil as her opponent for her random battle.

classy_cat18
25th January 2005, 08:58 AM
Bandit’s POV

I didn’t get too far before I ran out of breath. I stopped and leaned on a garbage can for support. Darn it! Why am I so tired now? Then it hit me. It’s that Lily kid! She used that energy draining attack on me when I first met her! If I run into a fight I’m done for! I laid a hand over my heart and took deep breaths in a futile attempt to slow down my heartbeat.

I knew where that witch Dixie and her crony were headed. There were a ton of warehouses around this area, near the water. The only problem was finding which one they went to. I needed some help. I turned a corner and came to a Dumpster. “Hey, Scamper! Get yourself out of there! I need to talk to you!” I yelled.

A Rattata poked its head out of the Dumpster. “What’s all the hoo-hah about? Oh, it’s the rookie. How ya doin’, rookie?”

I narrowed my eyes. I hated being called that. All that time being in the gang and they still called me a rookie. Then again, I’ve been having a stroke of bad luck lately. “I’ll smack you later. Right now I have to ask you something.”

“Ask away.”

“Have you seen two humans run past here? A girl and a boy, the girl holding a briefcase?” I knew that his memory was bad, but I still had to give it a shot.

Scamper closed his eyes in thought. His nose wriggled. Finally his eyes snapped open. “I didn’t see them, but I’m sure I heard a couple of humans run past here. I even caught their scent.” I opened my mouth to tell him thanks, but that wasn’t the end of it. “Before I show you the way, answer my question. Why are you concerned about these humans?”

I tried to look natural. In the gang, it was believed that trained Pokemon were disgraceful and lowly. And don’t get me started with humans. “They stole something I found. Something valuable.”

His eyes brightened. “Valuable, eh? I guess you’ll need my help.” He climbed out of the Dumpster. “Follow me, buddy.” He started to walk, sniffing the air. Walking too slowly, in fact.

“You might want to go a little faster, Scamper.” I looked up at the sky. The sun was setting already. Pretty soon we were to report to the boss about what we’ve found to eat or pawn and share it. And I saw something to make me freeze. Skye and Blinky were hovering high above our heads. Skye the Pidgeotto and Blinky the Zubat. Don’t ask me why we call him Blinky when he had no eyes. “Uh oh.”

The two Flying types landed in front of us. They didn’t look too happy to see us. Skye was clutching something in his talons, someone’s wallet. In fact, it looked like Shonta’s wallet. “Where are you two going? It’s almost time to gather with the rest,” Skye said boldly.

I couldn’t lie to him, and there were two reasons why. Number one was that Skye was of a higher rank than me. Scamper and I were at the bottom of the ladder. Number two was that he had this ability to read people’s minds. He always knows when someone is lying. Everyone one thought that he was kind of creepy when he did that.

Scamper smiled his best smile. “We know that, but it’s urgent! Someone stole something valuable from the rookie!”

I felt relieved when Skye stared hard at Scamper and not me. See, that’s when he reads someone’s mind. You can’t lie if you don’t know you’re lying.

Skye’s expression softened. “You lied to your friend, Bandit.”

My jaw dropped. How did he know my new name? Did Scamper know that I was lying to him? “I-I don’t know what you’re t-talking about,” I stammered out of fear. Fear that I was going to be reported to the boss and the whole gang will be on my hide.

Skye circled me, his talons clacking on the concrete. “Blinky saw you earlier with an Oddish. A trained Oddish.” Blinky merely nodded, him not being what you call talkative. “Do you deny it?”

My fear quickly turned to anger. “No, I don’t deny it! In fact, I’m not ashamed of it! What’s wrong with helping out a lost Pokemon?”

“Diablo condones any kind of contact with trained Pokemon!”

“Then, for once, don’t tell them!”

He looked down at his talons. “I already did.” He pointed behind me. There stood a fearsome Houndoom, his eyes burning with anger. He was our boss, Diablo. “I’m sorry, rookie.”

“Yeah, you should be.” I walked over to him as bravely as I could, making sure not to show signs of fear. “What’s up, boss?”

“Come with me,” was all he said. I did what he said. I couldn’t argue with him. Diablo was the strongest member of the gang, and was well-known throughout the city.

He went to our hiding place, an abandoned warehouse that we use to come together during nighttime. There the rest of the team waited for me, Pokemon that were born in the city without a chance for survival. Some Pokemon, like Skye, even evolved under the care of Diablo. “We have come here for a reason. This is an emergency,” Diablo announced. “The Kecleon has turned on all our backs by fraternizing with a trained Pokemon.”

There were gasps from the crowd. I was frozen in place. Any minute now the Pokemon could gang up on me. Or worse, Diablo could attack me. But I wasn’t going to back down. “I wasn’t fraternizing! I was helping a lost Oddish!” I shouted to everyone.

“It is against the rules to make contact with trained Pokemon,” Diablo said, starting to lose his cool.

“Well, isn’t that easy to do,” I grumbled sarcastically.

Diablo stuck his nose in my face. “I can only protect you from so much, young Kecleon. Trained Pokemon are slaves of humans. You’ll only be used and abused by them if you agree to work with them.”

“It’s a lie,” I hissed. “It’s a lie!”

More gasps from the Peanut Gallery. Diablo didn’t look too pleased. “You know, Kecleon, I used to trust humans. I even used to be on a team. But I was betrayed. My trainer dumped me as soon as he found another Pokemon. I had to teach myself how to survive here.”

“Why did you just go back to the wild?” I turned to the rest of the Pokemon. “Why don’t all of you?”

“Because this is our home,” Skye said softly. “We live here. We’ll die here.”

“Well, not me. I’m leaving this dump.” Even more gasps from the Peanut Gallery. “I mean it! That Oddish gave me an offer I didn’t refuse. I’m joining her team!”

“Are you crazy? Why would you want to leave the gang? I thought you loved being here!” Scamper squeaked.

“You must be kidding. If you the Oddish, you would’ve seen the chaos that happened early today. Two buildings exploded, and a couple of humans made off with something important. We’re in the middle of a war. Do you want to get dragged into this?”

“No. Do you?”

“Now I do. I made a new friend and I’m sticking with her. Poor kid needs my help.” I turned around and noticed that Skye was blocking the way. The wallet was still clutched in his talons. I snatched it out of them and looked at the ID. It was Shonta’s, alright. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.” I stormed out of the warehouse.

“Wait, Bandit! Don’t you want to find those humans?” Scamper asked me as he ran up to me.

“I thought you didn’t want to help out the humans and their slaves,” I spat.

“No, but I want to help you. You’re my best friend, Bandit, and I want to help you get what you want. Besides, a trainer isn’t too much to ask.”

“But won’t Diablo be angry?”

“Man, I’m not scared of that old dog. Now follow me.” He ran and I followed, rediscovering that I wasn’t as energetic because of the Giga Drain. We approached another warehouse. “This is where I leave you. I wish you the best of luck, Bandit. Heh, I rather like that name.” He walked off, leaving me to stare at the large front doors.

I hid Shonta’s wallet and searched for a way in. There was a large hole in the side of the warehouse that the gang lived in. There should’ve been one here as well, but I couldn’t find one. I heard footsteps. Panicking, I froze, hoping that they wouldn’t find me. The door opened and out came Dixie sans briefcase. Luckily, she left the door ajar. Even more luckily, she didn’t seem me. But why? I looked down at my hands and almost screamed. My hands weren’t there! None of my body was. I looked at my belly and saw that my zigzag was still there. “I guess that was my Faint Attack,” I mused to myself. I went through the door while Dixie stood outside it.

It was your typical warehouse: roomy, cold, full of crates. But this one was also full of cages, and things moved in those cages. I looked in one; a Sentret sat sadly in it. A Bellsprout stood in the one next to it. There were a couple of dozen cages with Pokemon in them. I turned visible again and went back to the Sentret. “What’s going on? Did Team Rocket put you in there?” I asked the Sentret.

“No. The Crimson Blades did,” it answered. “They’re stealing Pokemon just like Team Rocket did.”

I shook my head. Everyone seems to want to steal Pokemon. I mean, steal something else for once. Like the briefcase I’m supposed to get. I left the Sentret, went invisible, and went back to the door. All I have to do is to wait for her to get back in here and I’ll steal the briefcase and run like the wind. Just one problem. I took another look at the briefcase. The stupid thing’s too big to carry! Oh well, time for Plan B.[/B]

I waited for Dixie to walk through, and I scrambled up her leg and up to her chest. I made myself visible so she could see me. She did, and screamed her lungs off. She tore me from her chest and held me in front of her with both hands. “You again! Why are you following me?” she demanded. I said nothing, but scratched her face and hands. She shrieked and let go of me. “I’ll show you! Go, Bill!” She opened a pokeball that revealed an Eevee. “Show that lizard what you’re made of!”


L5 Male Sentret (Bandit) vs. L5 Male Eevee (Bill)

“Bill, Tackle!” Dixie commanded.

I stood patient. Since half of my energy was gone thanks to Lily, I would have to reserve it. I waited until Bill was close enough, sidestepped, and stuck my foot out. Bill tripped over it and tumbled head first. He jumped back up and stuck out his bottom lip. “That wasn’t fair,” he pouted.

“Yeah? Well, neither is this!” I swiped at him with a clawed hand but he jumped back and lunged forward, plowing into me. He stared down at me while he sat on my stomach. I opened my mouth and stuck out my long tongue, aiming for his face. He jumped back again and laughed.

“Eww! Keep your tongue off of my Billy!” Dixie cried.

I ran after him, hand raised in the air and ready to scratch him. But he was too fast. To make matters worse, after chasing him for a while, he split into four Eevees. I was stumped. [I]Wait! Faint Attack! It’s dark enough in here to work! I turned invisible and got out of the circle of Bills. All of them looked as stumped as I did earlier. I ran around the Eevees, scratching all of them until I finally hit the right one. He cried out in pain.

“My poor Bill!” Dixie screamed in that horrible voice of hers.

“My poor ears,” I whimpered.

I thought I had Bill. Faint Attack always hit as far as I knew. I turned invisible again and snuck up behind him, scratching him on the back grabbing him by the neck with my long tongue. His feet were dangling in the air. He looked petrified.

“Do something, Bill!” Dixie cried.

Bill nodded at her and bit down on my tongue. The pain was brief but sharp. It made me drop Bill. He turned around and kicked dust into my nose and eyes. Then he plowed into me and sent me into a mountain of crates. Meanwhile the Pokemon in the cages were muttering comments.

“…look at him…”

“…hope he wins…”

I slowly got up and sneezed from the dust in my nostrils. My vision was blurry from the Sand Attack (or Dust Attack, in this case). I saw that my trait had taken effect and that I was now a dusty brown. I almost didn’t see him gather up spit in his mouth.

“That’s it, Bill! Give him a Toxic attack!” Dixie cheered.

I stood in place. Time for my magic trick. I concentrated as hard as I could. My body was surrounded by a purple aura. The glob of poisonous saliva bounced off of me and landed right between Bill’s eyes. The Toxic attack was absorbed in Bill’s skin. Bill stared at me with unbelieving eyes. “Magic Coat, half pint. Bounces off me and sticks to you.”

Bill shook his head as if he thought he could still shake off the poison. He growled and rushed right for me. It was so surprising that I was caught off guard. He charged right into my stomach and sent me into the same crates as earlier.

“That’s the stuff, Bill!” Dixie cheered. “Now recharge yourself with Wish!”

Bill nodded again and put his paws together. He glowed for a second and returned to normal. In fact, better. His health was restored. “No…” I groaned, lying on the ground. I was my original green again. I was thrashed, and that little Eevee was going to beat me into the ground. I had to do something about it. I struggled to get up.

Bill smiled wickedly at me even though the poison was working through his body. If I could hold him off long enough the poison would drain that energy again. “Okay, Bill. Let’s play hide and seek.” I turned invisible again and started to climb the mountain of crates.

“You think I’m dumb? I see your zigzag pattern now!” Bill said, pointing out that I was now under a bright part of the warehouse (there was a hole in the roof). He winced, showing me that the poison was starting to work.

I climbed to the top of the crates and laughed. “Why don’t you try to follow me?” I asked him. Okay, so I’m a coward. But I’m a coward who doesn’t want to lose to a member of the Crimson Blades. But I finally saw the flaw in my plan: I didn’t want to be a coward. I made my way back down and faced Bill again. “Okay, so I shouldn’t do that to you. But you shouldn’t cheat me with that Wish attack of yours.”

Bill shrugged and winced again. That’s when it hit me. It took me so long to get back down that the Toxic had enough time to take down at least half of his energy. It was time to finish it. I rushed forward, making it look like that I was about to punch him. I stopped right in front of him and slapped him with my tongue. I quickly brought my claws across his face, leaving scratches on his face. I took a few steps backward, turned invisible, and rushed into him, sending him flying. He landed on the hard concrete and he didn’t get back up.


I won! I grew to level 6!

I collapsed on the floor, depleted of all energy. I was proud that I had somehow found the strength to beat Bill. It must’ve been Lily’s luck rubbing off on me. I glared at Dixie. “Give me the briefcase,” I said to her. I didn’t care that she couldn’t understand me.

But her grip on the briefcase merely tightened. She returned Bill to his pokeball and glared back at me. “Another time, lizard,” she growled. She turned to exit the warehouse but froze in her tracks. There, standing in the doorway, was Diablo. “Oh my…” She backed up, but Diablo wasn’t interested in her.

The Houndoom stealthily moved across the floor and stopped in front of me. He sniffed over me, checking out my injuries. “What, are you here to rub it in my face? To say ‘I told you so’?”

“Maybe. But I’m here to emphasize the most important rule of the gang.”

“And what’s that?”

“No one defies me.” He looked towards the door. There stood a Machop holding a still Scamper in his hands. He threw him on the floor. Even then Scamper didn’t move. “He needed to be taught a lesson.”

Oh god, he’s dead. I couldn’t stop his tears from flowing.

“As do you, young Kecleon.” He bared his teeth. I could only close my eyes as he loomed over me, wondering what to tear out first.

AntiAsh Superstar
26th January 2005, 10:15 PM
Hehe, just been catching up with everyone's battles and I gotta say I'm rather impressed with what's being written for this scenario (and as a side note for those of you who agreed to let me archive their battles, I will be doing a mass update this weekend). Is it really THAT obvious that Armand's favourite hobby aside from making a fuss over Reaper is blowing up large buildings, tho? There's been at the very least two buildings totally wasted that had nothing to do with my storylines, and I gotta give you all credit for recognizing how psychotic the Blades really are. :O I think Reaper's only just flexing her muscles a bit so far, tho...

Just random comment for continuity's sake, tho, I can't stress enough how little the Crimson Blades actually care about pokémon theft even if they ARE a branch-off from Team Rocket. They're more terrorists than thieves, in fact Armand DiAnnio's pretty much on record as saying it's a waste of time trying to steal pokémon that have already been trained and that the money spent on brainwashing captees is better spent on high quality explosives. ;)

Lady Vulpix
27th January 2005, 05:59 AM
I'm sure people can use that information, Ade. By the way, how's the next scenario coming along?

Silver gets 16 stamps. It was a good and original story, but I have some questions. How did the pokemon communicate with Team Rocket, and over the phone? Why didn't Seung Mina keep her end of the deal? And what did Anion mean by "Last one there hatched from an egg without special moves"? ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Blue gets 9 stamps. Not bad for a first story, but why did the Gastly try to use Lick against Mona? And this is just an unimportant detail, but I don't think a chunk of dialogue with no narration counts as omniscient POV; it doesn't matter, anyway. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Shonta, I hope your battle's rated soon. Sorry I've been taking so long to rate battles, my thesis and my last university project are driving me crazy. I could definitely use some help from my co-workers right now.

classy_cat18
27th January 2005, 08:35 AM
Hehe, just been catching up with everyone's battles and I gotta say I'm rather impressed with what's being written for this scenario (and as a side note for those of you who agreed to let me archive their battles, I will be doing a mass update this weekend). Is it really THAT obvious that Armand's favourite hobby aside from making a fuss over Reaper is blowing up large buildings, tho? There's been at the very least two buildings totally wasted that had nothing to do with my storylines, and I gotta give you all credit for recognizing how psychotic the Blades really are. :O I think Reaper's only just flexing her muscles a bit so far, tho...

Just random comment for continuity's sake, tho, I can't stress enough how little the Crimson Blades actually care about pokémon theft even if they ARE a branch-off from Team Rocket. They're more terrorists than thieves, in fact Armand DiAnnio's pretty much on record as saying it's a waste of time trying to steal pokémon that have already been trained and that the money spent on brainwashing captees is better spent on high quality explosives. ;)

Sorry 'bout that. I don't really read your battles (too long for my attention span). Just to let you know, Dixie doesn't really like to listen to her boss. Stealing cute Pokemon for herself is her specialty.

Gabi, don't worry about it. This gives me plenty of time to work on my other stories.

EDIT: Who's Reaper?

Lady Vulpix
27th January 2005, 11:08 AM
Reaper is the most vicious Salamence you'll ever find. She's also very powerful, and has a scarily close relationship with Armand DiAnnio, the leader of the Crimson Blades. If you can't find the time to read our stories, maybe checking the Dragon Tamers Plans thread on TL could help you get a better idea of what's going on.

SilverMachop
27th January 2005, 01:23 PM
Silver gets 16 stamps. It was a good and original story, but I have some questions. How did the pokemon communicate with Team Rocket, and over the phone?

1.) All of the Pokémon in my story speak English, like Meowth does. It makes them more independent (so they don't need a translator), and it saves the time of having to translate everything they say. That may be because I'm lazy :yes: , but it's also so I can keep telling the jokes without awkward pauses.


Why didn't Seung Mina keep her end of the deal?

2.) Seung Mina decided to chop the Rocket's hair off for two reaons. One, and most importantly, is that you don't treat someone who was going to casually blow up several blocks of an innocent city with respect. Two, Seung Mina does not like material girls and she doesn't like Rockets either, so she doesn't feel like being considerate. (My reason is that you've seen the movies where villians go back on their word and then try to take advantage of the hero's generosity, so it's time for a little payback. After all, Silver's gone because of the Rockets.)


And what did Anion mean by "Last one there hatched from an egg without special moves"?

3.) Well, you know the old expression, "Last one there is a rotten egg." Since all Pokémon hatch from eggs, and bred-on moves are always great to have on Pokémon, Pokémon that hatch without any special moves are kind of a let-down. It's just a stupid play-on the old phrase, but I guess not a very good one. :sweat4:

---

And now that that's taken care of, I'd like to pay 7 stamps to have a Random Battle for Kung Pow Meditite (he's level 9 now). I'd like the random opponent to come from Universal Adoption Center, because I like surprises.

Lady Vulpix
27th January 2005, 02:01 PM
Alright. Though Hero, Tsunami and Ventura could get mad about that comment. Neither of them was born with a bred-on move. Neither has Sylvan, but she's more lenient, so you're rather lucky. :P

Kung Pow is going to battle a Skarmory. Good luck!

The Blue Avenger
27th January 2005, 04:00 PM
Blue gets 9 stamps. Not bad for a first story, but why did the Gastly try to use Lick against Mona? And this is just an unimportant detail, but I don't think a chunk of dialogue with no narration counts as omniscient POV; it doesn't matter, anyway. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Hehe, thanks. And nobody ever said the Gastly was terribly smart.

SilverMachop
28th January 2005, 12:36 AM
*Mario-style* Here we gooooooo!


*Kung Pow Meditite’s POV*

“Alrighty everybody, the first meeting for the ‘Weird ALliance’ is now called to order. Now I’ll take roll-”
“But we know everyone’s here,” exclaimed Anion, who was beaming regardless of his words.
“Yes but I need to announce everyone’s full names so that we all know their full title.”
“Just wait until you hear Murray’s,” Seung Mina said to Anion. “It’s more than a mouthful.”
“Okay then,” I cleared my throat, then held up the paper that was almost filled to the last line with the full titles of all our members. “Kung Pow Meditite? Here. Anion ‘Curved Grade’ Minun?”
“Roger,” chimed Anion, raising his short hand.
“Seung Mina ‘Razor Slice’ Scyther?”
“That’s me,” the female mantis raised a scythe-like hand, and shook it a little for her wave.
“Sailor Mercury ‘Amy Anderson’ Psyduck?”
“Present,” the female Psyduck was not in costume yet like the animé girl she was modeled after. She said she would wait until she evolved, for a duck in a foku ‘would look ridiculous,’ in her opinion.
“Murray the ‘Evil Foolcrushing Battlehungry Pirate-Loving Skull’ Sableye?”
The diamond-eyed ghost grinned wickedly as he waved at me in sharp, sudden movements like Sableyes are known to do. “Right here, mortal Kung Pow! Are we going to battle today?”
“Later, Murray. Now, Jar Jar Binks ‘Gung-Ho Gungan’ Tyrogue?”
The young fighting Pokémon raised his hand and nodded, adding, “Mesa here.”
“Mario ‘Story-Jumping Torchic?”
With no arms or hands to raise yet, the male Torchic bounced up and down saying, “I’m-a here!”
“ ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic ‘27’ Magby?”
The male Magby raised his hand saying, “He’s not here, I’m his evil twin!”
“Nice to meet you, Magby’s twin. Now then, Druidess ‘Call of the Wild’ Treecko?”
“Elune bless us all today,” she said quietly, almost a whisper. She had her little hands clasped, as if praying to the Gods.
“Good, we’re all here,” I said out-loud, then placed the paper down. “We need to talk funding now, my fellow Pokémon. Jar Jar Binks needs to purchase Orange Juice to turn his skin Gungan-orange, and a special type of juice to turn his eyes yellow. They are both very expensive.”
“I’d also like an earring,” Druidess said, interrupting her prayer. “It would be suiting for me to have a cyan earring in honor of the night elves.”
Murray scoffed. “You are taking your name far too seriously, Treecko.”
“Oh, really?” she replied, glaring at the ghost. “This coming from the ghost with the mile-long title?”
“You’re just jealous of my title! And speaking of which,” he cackled menacingly, “I want to dye my eyes an EVIL red! I will terrify everyone!”
“We discussed this, Sableye,” I cut in. “We are not here to scare our fellow Dragon Tamers, and the Rockets are not going to be spooked by a Sableye.”
“What if I tell them I’m from the IRS?”
“The Rockets don’t obey the IRS, Murray,” grumbled Seung Mina.
“Poopie,” was the ghost/dark Pokémon’s reply.
“We are digressing, my friends,” I called to them. “The point is, we’re going to need more stamps for Jar Jar and Druidess.”
“How about a car wash?” suggested Murray, grinning again.
“I’m the only water Pokémon we have,” said Mercury.
“Plus, how many people around here have-a cars?” pointed out Mario.
“Shoot me down, why don’t you? No wonder I’m an evil skull, I get no love.”
“And so,” I continued, ignoring Murray’s ranting, “I propose we all go out around Dragon Tamers, seeing what work we can do for some extra stamps. We shall split up and go out our own quests to find the funds we need.”
“Sounds good!” Jar Jar cheered.
“Elune be praised,” added Druidess.
“ ‘Quests’? Man, have you been reading fantasy novels again?” Murray asked.
“That being said, go out and get the stamps we need, my friends. Meeting adjourned.”
My friends set out in their own separate ways, apart from two different groups. Anion was riding on Seung Mina’s back, which was no surprise since he is so close to her. The other pair was much more surprising, which was Murray and Mercury walking together. They were heading towards the Pokézoo Battle Tower, which led me to wonder if they were job-seeking or thinking of tag-team battling there. But why would sweet, friendly Sailor Mercury want to be with harsh, mischievous Murray? It was a mystery.
I decided to head over to the Dragon Tamers Adoption Center, where Pokémon can be adopted by trainers. For our guild, we just stop by to see who wants to help us find Silver, my missing trainer.
The team is really combined with a bunch of different cases. Mario, Murray, Seung Mina, Druidess, and Mercury are part of the team because they want to help us and are our friends. Jar Jar and I are Silver’s Pokémon, and were left at the Dragon Tamers when he went on the mission that made him a M.I.A. case. “Weird Al” was an unadopted friend to the team when Silver was still around, and joined when disappeared. Anion joined our team when a human friend of Silver wanted to aid us in finding him. It was fairly complicated, but most people understand when I just say, “We are a Pokémon-only team looking for my lost trainer.”
The funds we needed were to kill time until our next official mission. Silver always wanted to style Jar Jar to model the Star Wars character, and I wasn’t going to let him down. Stamps were fairly hard to come by, so this would be tricky.
Upon entering the very large doors to the very large park, I was greeted by a young lady who wore a traditional Dragon Tamer uniform. “Hey, how’d you get ou...,” she started to say, then blushed. “I’m sorry, Kung Pow, I thought you were a wild Meditite for a minute there.”
“No offense, my dear Hannah,” I replied. Hannah had been working at the Adoption Center for only a short time but had proved to be excellent at the job. She was the only human I know that could keep Mankeys from throwing fits, and could comb Mareeps without getting shocked.
“What brings you here?” she asked politely, smiling. She had on a touch of clear lip gloss, which would have gone well with her light blue eyes and pink hair that ran down to her shoulder blades. Unfortunately, her lip gloss was almost smudged off completely and her hair was sticking out of place. There were traces of dried sweat and dirt in her clothes and skin, and her hands looked worn from overuse. I also noticed a few scratches on her arm and a bandage on her leg, just above her ankle.
“Planning on adding an additional member to your guild?” she asked, breaking me from my chain of thought.
“What? Oh no, not today. I came looking for work, for I need some extra stamps. But first, I must ask you something.”
“Yes, what is that?”
“You look like you’ve been having a hard day here. Is something wrong with the Pokémon?”
Her smile faded into a sad look, and she touched the scratch marks on her arm. “We just received a shipment of ex-Rocket Pokémon,” she explained.
“Oh. That explains a lot,” I replied.
The best members of the Dragon Tamers are able to bring back the Pokémon that belong to Team Rocket on their missions. Most of the time they have to keep them in their Pokéballs, otherwise they ave to drag the majority of the villainous Pocket Monsters back by force.
Beforehand, the Pokémon that belonged to the Rockets would cast aside their seemingly-wicked personalities the moment freedom was theirs. Yet now that the Crimson Blades and Rockets have fought against each other, the Pokémon have been trained to become more cruel and vicious than ever. I’ve even heard rumors of them attacking humans; and there is one rumor of a Salamence that eagerly serves the leader of the Crimson Blades, doing what he requests no matter how sinister it is.
Hannah sighed, then smiled faintly. “The process of getting them to behave is brutal, but we’ve never failed yet. Would you like to help, Kung Pow?”
“Yes, very much.”
“We could pay you, you know.”
“Oh heavens no, this is part of my duty as a Dragon Tamer. I wouldn’t hear of being paid to help save the lives of others.”

***

I never imagined Pokémon being so violent.
The Dragon Tamers, who lived up to the second part of their names, were using the strongest of their Pokémon to place the ex-Rockets into their cages when they were released. Pokémon, no matter how big or small, would start lashing out at their captives with animal-like rage. The humans and Pokémon that were trying to shove them into cages for further taming were getting cut and bruised.
There were three humans and three Pokémon working there. The three Pocket Monsters were Machamp, Hitmonlee, and Sneasel. Machamp and Hitmonlee would wrestle with the ex-Rockets and shove them into cages, trying hard to ignore the pain their captives were bringing them. Sneasel would wrestle with the smaller Pokémon, and would chase after any Pokémon that tried to make an escape. The humans also did their share of muscling the captives into cages.
Hannah picked up a Pokéball, and held it close. “Ready, Kung Pow?”
I looked around at the Pokémon in cages, all glaring at us. They snarled, insulted us, made rude gestures, spat and howled with fury. It was like being in a disgruntled mosh pit after the police have made their arrests.
“I... I guess so,” I replied to her, feeling uneasy since a growling Houndoom was eyeing me.
“Get ready...,” Hannah started, preparing to press the button on the Pokéball. She was squinting, and I took that into consideration that they came out fighting.
“GO,” she shouted, pressing the button. With a bright flash, a Charmeleon appeared on the ground. He roared in fury, and came charging at me!
I put my fists up but it didn’t seem necessary. The Charmeleon suddenly stopped in mid-charge, as the Machamp grabbed it by its tail. With a quick flick of his wrist, the massive fighting Pokémon flung the lizard into a cage and slammed the door shut. The second-stage fire Pokémon grabbed the bars and roared in frustration, but the Sneasel hit it with a blast of icy wind. If the fire Pokémon had any ideas of breathing fire, it was too subdued to do so now.
< Gotta be fast, kid, > the Machamp said to me in Machampian, smiling proudly but rubbing his wrist, where the Charmeleon’s tail fire had slightly burned him.
“Why don’t you release them into the cage?” I asked.
< We tried that, > he said, < but they materialize outside of the cage, as if they know that’s what we were trying. We have to manhandle each and every one of them. >
“Okay, next,” spoke up Hannah, as she lifted another Pokéball. This one was a Skarmory, who let out a piercing shriek the moment she appeared. Everyone was prepared, but things went terribly wrong.
The Skarmory, already airborne, shot through the air at the Hitmonlee. She smashed into him beak-first, knocking the poor guy to the floor. When Sneasel leapt at her, she swatted him away with her wing. The Machamp came after her, but she managed to dodge his punches and retaliate with a series of pecks and talon scratches. The proud fighting-type fell to the ground, too much in pain to fight back.
Then the bird saw me. The hatred and fury in her eyes nearly petrified me, but when she flew towards me, I remembered to move as if by instinct. With a quick back flip, I dodged her attack and met her eyes with mine.
“You’re going down, you flying metal plate,” I cried out, raising both my fists into a combative position.


Level 9 Kung Pow Meditite
VS.
Level 9 Ex-Rocket Skarmory

The steel bird dove at me again, but I managed to dodge the attack with another back flip. She swung her razor-sharp wing at me, but this time, I wasn’t fast enough. The knife-like feathers struck my leg when I leapt back, and I landed on my stomach instead of my feet.
The Skarmory tried to stomp me with her talons, but I rolled to the side. Leaping upwards, I struck her under the chin with my fist. She took a few steps back but seemed unfazed otherwise.
The ex-Rocket then noticed something: a glass window. If she could fly through it, she would be able to escape and return to Team Rocket. What was glass to someone with metal plating such as herself?
She shot towards the window, beak ready to puncture through. This time, I was faster, and leapt for her legs. Grabbing them, she was thrown off-balance and crashed into the wall instead. We landed next to a cage, and the Vigoroth inside reached out at me. The ex-Rocket normal-type was trying to slash me, while the ex-Rocket steel/flying-type was lashing out at me with her wings and talons. I don’t know how many scratches and cuts I sustained during that moment, but it felt like I was being sliced open by deep paper cuts; needless to say, it hurt like hell.
One of the human tamers came through for me by recalling the Vigoroth into a Pokéball from the cage. The Skarmory was still thrashing but I zapped her with a blast of Confusion. Even though her steel armor kept out most of the damage, it still stopped her from whipping about. She stood on her legs, and spread her wings threateningly at me, screeching.
I concentrated hard. Plasma energy formed around my right hand, resulting in small explosions. The steel bird lunged at me with her cutting beak, but I was faster. Lashing out forward, I nailed her square in the face with my Dynamic Punch. The explosion shook the bars on the cages and blocked out all other sound for a few seconds as the Skarmory was sent flying backwards and crashed into the wall. She left a big indention in the wall.
She was up fairly quickly, faster than anyone else who’s felt the impact of my Dynamic Punch. Still, the powerful blow had rattled her brain, and she was confused, lashing out at invisible targets and babbling incoherently.
I took several steps back, but was thrown off by the sudden howl of a Mightyena, who was caged nearby. The loud, chilling bay made me close my eyes and clasp my hands over my ears. I could hear Hannah shouting, but what I couldn’t tell. Then I felt one of the Skarmory’s sharp wings hit me on the side, sending me across the room.
When I opened my eyes and stood up, a pair of arms grabbed me from behind and slammed me against iron bars. I heard the growl of a Charmeleon, and the heated breath of the lizard on my face. I struggled to get free, but the lizard had me in a tight headlock, and my Pure Power ability wasn’t helping out enough.
The ex-Rocket Skarmory had recovered from being confused, and headed straight for me. She delivered a hard, painful Peck to the top of my head. I heard Hannah scream, and then saw her run towards the bird and kick it aside. Skarmory recovered quickly, and leered at Hannah.
Finally able to overpower my captivator, I elbowed the fire Pokémon in the face. Then, with all my energy, I leapt towards Skarmory. Knocking her down and pinning her to the floor, I prepared another Dynamic Punch. She struggled, but I was more than ready for her. Nailing her in the face with my super-powerful punch, she let out a disoriented cry and collapsed to the ground.
Finally, this fight was over.
“Meditite, are you okay?” Hannah cried out, reaching for me. When she touched me, the pain from the cuts that the bird had given me caused me to flinch and cry out in pain.
“I’ll be fine!” I winced, as she backed away. Stepping off of the unconscious Skarmory, I took a deep breath as I tried to keep my focus off of the pain. “I cannot wait until I learn Recover,” I mumbled.
< The little guy did it, > exclaimed the Machamp, who had regained his strength by now. < I knew he had potential! Way to get ‘em, tiger! >
< Not bad at all, > agreed the Hitmonlee.
< I think this calls for an award, > replied the Sneasel. He darted off into another room, and then returned with a TM.
“Wait, are you giving this to me?” I asked. “TMs are very expensive, I believe.”
< Aw, keep it, don’t be modest, > replied the Sneasel. < It contains Shadow Ball, and I never really needed that. I’m working on my speed more than attack power. >
“Go on and take it, Kung Pow,” Hannah said, kneeling down next to me.
“Would his trainer mind?”
She smiled. “I’m his trainer, and I approve.”
I guess there was no arguing with her. After all, it is insulting to turn down someone’s offer. Turning on the device, there was a flash of dark purple and gray light, and then... illumination for me.
I felt better, but the stings from the cuts and the blow to the head were wearing me out. “I’d better go and lie down,” I told them, starting for the exit. “I don’t think I’ll be any more help here in my condition.”
“Kung Pow, do you want someone to go with you?” Hannah called to me. “You know, just in case?”
I turned around and smiled back at her. “Thanks, but I’ll be okay,” I replied. As I left I thought to myself, “I hope my teammates are doing better. I feel like a living cutting board...”


Level Advancement!
Kung Pow reaches Level 10!
Shadow Ball is added to arsenal!

Skye
28th January 2005, 12:57 AM
Mas Apuntes(That means 'more notes', I doubt I'm right...)
-This is much shorter, but I do want to get the plot out of the way and done before time runs out.
-I think the characters are developing nicely. Darkfire certainly is changing a lot here.
-Again, Naois and Amaris are not battling.
-Darkfire's thoughts are in red.
-I need to pay more attention in Spanish class. xx
I really want to get this done before the new scenario is up. I'm actually hoping it takes a nice while fore the new scenario to be put up. I still have two more stories to write, then the current one, then the new one. xx *hurries to write more*
-I really like the scene where Darkfire and Cyndane are talking. I LOVE writing these things. ^_____________^
-I did very little revising. Don't expect perfection. xxU
-Yes, I did skip the little intro. Forgive me, but getting the stuff done first comes... first... Then maybe I'll add them in again.

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-Puzzles-



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Darkfire had recovered herself by the next morning. The sun rose to see her actively at work with her three Pokemon. She wasn’t training them without battles. It wasn't very easy to do. When a Pokemon battled, it was ready to fight as best and long as it can naturally. Training a creature like this out of battle isn't very easy. And Darkfire played off of this weakness. If you're the best at spying, you don't work in a tiny office. You go out and spy. But that doesn't mean that you can't learn anything from another job. She wouldn't make her fighters get better, but they could still learn some things.

Rayne rested off on the side. They still had a lot of battling to finish, and the time on the use of the training grounds was running short. She had been planning on giving him a day off between his second to last and last battles, but unfortunately, the grounds would be closed before they could finish their battles. That was something Darkfire could not allow to happen. She trained her attention back on those she was schooling. Naois' Embers were accurate as could be, but then again he was standing still, as was his target. Amaris was training to be able to control her Water Pulse attack without hitting anyone else. Young and untrained as she was, she wasn't doing half bad. Darkfire returned her attention to Naois who needed more challenges to train under.
"Naois, use a Dragon Dance combining into a Defense Curl." She instructed. Naois stopped his Embers and spun a tight and precise circle, eyes emotionless and concentrated. He then curled up on the grass into a tight circle with his tail flame showing in the middle. His skin momentarily took on a gray tint as his defenses rose. His attack was completed swifter than normal, an indication of the use of his Dragon Dance. Darkfire nodded approval when he uncurled at looked at her. Rayne paid no attention to Darkfire's other up-and-coming creatures. But for Darkfire, this was exactly what she needed. A fighter as sharp and obedient as Naois wasn't a common find. She looked at Amaris, who was trying her best to keep up, but her attacks were coming out weaker and weaker as her exhaustion took away her strength.

"Amaris, take a break." Darkfire ordered. Amaris was still young. Yet she tried no less harder than her teammates to get better. She would practice her attacks until she dropped. That made Darkfire both proud and concerned. Amaris stopped her attacks and plopped down into the grass, relaxing. Darkfire nodded again to Naois, who did the same. She then joined Rayne in the shade, thinking over battle tactics they could use that didn't force Rayne to make his opponents bleed out.

They would go to the Desert Room also that day. Darkfire had decided on that earlier. Though Amaris and Naois would be resting just as Rayne had been resting while they trained. Darkfire let out a lazy yawn, not wanting to show how tense she was. She had sent out letters to her organization, but no return orders had come. That meant either someone had found and destroyed her letters, meaning they knew someone was a spy, or something else was happening. Her skin prickled at the idea. She knew rebellion was coming. It was obvious with how distanced some were getting. Two groups would form. She knew it. Her instincts rarely lied. The new questions were when, where, and how? She had to get there to see the breaking...

Her line of thought was broken as a familiar figure came over. Cyndane was dressed rather casually today in a pale green shirt and black pants. He sat by her, uninvited. Rayne barely gave the human male a glance, silently commanding Naois and Amaris to follow his example. As expected, Naois, who held an unspoken respect for the Kabuto, ignored Cyndane. Amaris, who didn't care for Rayne, but cared greatly about Naois, followed her friend's example, pretending it was a game. Cyndane seemed unconcerned about them and faced Darkfire, who practiced looking ahead of herself, rather than acknowledging the intruder.

"You're ignoring me." Cyndane stated.

"No I'm not." Darkfire argued, looking at him in innocent, wide-eyed shock. Cyndane chuckled.

"Your acting needs improvement." He informed her.

"So I've been told. It's my weak point." She replied, feeding him more half-truths. It had been her weak point, but long ago.

"Somehow I doubt that. I'm sticking my neck out, but I think there's more to you than you tell us humans."

She looked at him calmly. "Why would you stick your neck out to say that?"

"Because I too know what may happen soon." His emerald eyes were hard with his seriousness.

"And you accuse me to see the future and what may happen? I'm sorry, but I'm no seer. Ask a Psychic trainer."

"I see." Instead of being relaxed, Darkfire felt him grow even tenser. "And you know what happens to your kind here, right?"

"'My kind'? Cyndane, I'm hurt. You accuse me of being untrue to the Dragon Tamers?"

"I know no member of Team Rocket will ever be true to these folk. And I know that when everything snaps, no one of us will have peace. The Tamers will only have more of a reason to interfere."

"I didn't know you were a member of 'my kind'." Darkfire responded to this information with a sickeningly sweet tone.

"But all Tamers know." He informed her.

"But does the Team?" She inquired innocently, making him go silent. "Honestly, I thought you had more brains then to tell a spy your life's story." She taunted, taking a bit of a risk. He had hinted at knowledge, but she was now revealing herself.

"But you won't tell." Cyndane wasn't at all sure now, and didn't seem to quite realize what Darkfire had done.

"Well... I pity you. I won't tell. Yet." She shrugged her shoulders lightly.

"Good." To change the subject, he quickly added, "How's your training coming?"

"Fair enough. Only three more rooms to compete in. Too bad we're lacking the proper time to compete in them."

"Shame. What's your schedule?" He asked, meaning what rooms she would battle in.

Darkfire stretched out lazily in response. She had been thinking about what she would do, and knew the answers, but to tell him where she would be in the next few days? 'Er, no...' Despite her thoughts, she found herself answering. "The Desert Room this afternoon, the Jungle Room tomorrow morning, the Lava Room the next day at night right before it closes down." 'Curious. I always answer him...'

Cyndane nodded. "I was planning on heading to the Jungle Room tomorrow as well. I've already competed in all of the other rooms except for that one. So, how about a little challenge? I'll meet you there, and we can have a friendly battle between Team mates."

"When you put it that way, how can I refuse?" Darkfire purred in response. Mentally, she was calculating. She would need all of the experience she could get before a fight with him. She would have to do something about that. "Tomorrow it is, then."

Cyndane watched her collect her Pokemon, recalling Amaris and Naois to their Pokeballs, and summoning Rayne to get ready. She then got up before he stood as well and came up behind her. Noticing passers by, he whispered sweetly in her ear, "What sort of trick attacks can I expect from you...?"

"Flirt." She teased. She ignored how oddly she thought she was acting for the moment. "Why would I tell you all of my little traps and tricks. I'm certain you'd love to get caught."

Cyndane chuckled softly, his nearness made her want to shiver. She caught herself and held still, waiting for him to move. He came around in front of her, an eyebrow arched gently as he looked at her. 'So he IS flirting.' Darkfire sighed and returned his gaze coldly. For a moment he looked surprised, but swiftly concealed it behind an emotionless mask.

“Try as you might, sweetling, you can’t fool me. I don’t go for Team mates that abandon and can’t hide their thoughts.” Darkfire crooned before moving passed him, purposefully brushing her shoulder against his. She nearly jumped when he grabbed her firmly, yet she noted his grip was placed so it didn’t harm her either.

“Think on this, dove.” He replied in a dangerous whisper in her ear. He pulled out a recorder and played back a bit of their conversation. “I can turn you in, in a heartbeat.” He tucked the recorder into a safe area. She paused in thought, not at all concerned. A man that flirted as carelessly as he did probably wasn’t going to throw her away so swiftly.

“Well, love, if you did, I’d take half of the Tamers with me and destroy them. What damage can I do? I know of a network of spies already in here. No matter what side of the divide they’re on, they’ll play my games. Especially in a suicide bonus round.” She whispered back, making him tense and eye her warily. Now he knew that he was playing with fire. “Darkfire isn’t a code or false name. It’s my name. And I have it for a very good reason. Don’t make me kill you.” She twisted expertly, escaping his touch and motioned for Rayne to follow. Her Kabuto turned to eye Cyndane, his eyes glowing in warning, before he followed Darkfire.

******************

Cyndane watched her go, turning the most recent events over in his mind. If Darkfire was threatening him so seriously back, she was a threat to be eliminated secretly, and his actions had to be described to the council. He turned off the second recorder he had going and rewound it a bit as Darkfire left hearing range. He replayed her words back, listening more carefully this time. Before his ears had been numbed by his tension, but now he was in control of himself again.

“Don’t make me kill you.” The recorder played. He stopped it and repeated that sentence, listening hard. There was a note of pleading in her voice. It was light, barely noticeable. It had taken Cyndane a minute to recognize it. She didn’t want to attack, or she didn’t want to kill, or she didn’t want her job ruined… The possibilities raced though his calm mind as he watched them all. But the one he decided that he liked best was the thought of her simply not wanting to kill Cyndane. Not wanting to kill a friend. Spies never had friends, but perhaps she would be an exception. He certainly favored the notion. It gave him a small window of hope that perhaps no one would have to die.

He followed Darkfire at a safe distance, snapping the recorder off.

******************

Darkfire entered the Desert Room and shivered slightly at the drastic change of temperature. It was hot with no humidity to help out. Rayne hissed slightly, reminding Darkfire of the warning posted outside of the door that Water Pokemon would dry up easily in here. She looked down at the half water creature and sighed. He wouldn’t give up, and neither would she. She looked herself over for a moment before trekking onward into the sands, Rayne at her heels.

The artificial heat beat down on them, making Darkfire glad for the water she had brought along. She opened her pack that she had brought in and sprinkled water over Rayne’s shell. He sighed softly, a strange noise to be heard from him, and looked around. She too glanced, looking for their opponent. Unlike in the Pond Room, they didn’t have time at their leisure. As if sensing their mood, a Phanpy charged up to them, spreading up a large cloud of dirt and dust along the way. Darkfire raised an eyebrow at the enthusiasm for the battle the almost childish looking creature had. As was normal, a screen dropped down, revealing the Pokemons' status to the challenger. She eyed it before nodding to Rayne to move forward.


Rayne’s fight! Rayne (15) Vs. Phanpy (15)

"The usual." Darkfire grinned. Soon enough they wouldn't need Darkfire to mindlessly blurt out attacks. That would be nice if her Pokemon ever fell into a place where she couldn't order them. She would need to work on that. It was a promising thought. Rayne, meanwhile, fired off a bright flash at his opponent. The Phanpy, who had made as if to charge again, stopped when a dazed look came into its beady eyes. Darkfire smirked. Even if she didn't need to look in on Rayne fighting, she still enjoyed it.

"Let's..." She paused. Cyndane would more than likely be watching this time. And she wanted to wait before showing off all of the pretty stunts she and Rayne could bring up. She shook her head. "Aurora Beam!" She sighed. It wasn't the attack she wanted, but it was a good start. Rayne paused, also wanting to execute the unannounced attack, before raising one foreclaw and firing off a beam of Ice energy at the dazed Phanpy. Darkfire sighed as Phanpy was hit, crying out at the power of the super effective attack before charging at Rayne, missing him widely.

"Aurora Beam, then Absorb." Darkfire decided. Super effective attacks would make this battle short. Rayne fired another Aurora Beam, causing the Phanpy to lunge back into battle. Though Darkfire tensed as she realized the confusion was off. Pha