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Thread: Scattered Lights

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    Default Scattered Lights

    *breaks a champagne bottle* Bon voyage! *goes to make last minute changes to KTR*

    Chapter 1 ~ Our Missions

    Ryan's POV


    (Day 1, Afternoon)

    "Ryan."

    "Huh?"

    "This is Shonta."

    "Shonta?"

    I could see her face clearly, smiling at me like nothing was wrong. I reached out for her as if I was afraid that she would disappear. She moved her lips but it was like the speech was delayed. "I need you to...bring me ice cream."

    Huh? "Ice cream?"

    She giggled. "Yes, ice cream. Vanilla ice cream."

    "Vanilla? No! Ask for chocolate!" a faroff voice yelled.

    "Shonta?" The second voice sounded familiar but I was focused on her.

    Shonta winced for a second then smiled again. "Ryan, we need..."

    "We?"

    "Dammit, Static!" Shonta yelled. Wait, that wasn't Shonta's voice.

    That was it!


    "Artemis!" I growled as I woke up. The medium sized Pokemon was sitting on my bed, putting a previously unnoticeable pressure on my body. It wasn't the first time she had disturbed my sleep. "How many times have I told you not to do that?"

    Artemis put on a thoughtful looked and cocked her head to the side. "Let's see. It's been about three days since Shonta left so..."

    "Four times," my Cyndaquil finished. "Three mornings and an afternoon nap."

    She let out a heavy sigh. "You've been sleeping way too much, Ryan. If it wasn't for us, you would be sleeping all day." She finally jumped off the bed and walked out the room, Static close behind her. That left me and Cinder.

    "Ryan?" Cinder asked quietly.

    "I'm getting up," I grunted. I half-rolled out of bed and shooed out Cinder so I could change clothes. A quick glance at the alarm clock told me that it was noon. "Great. Didn't know Shonta could affect me this much."

    Minutes later I was out of my room and sitting with the three stooges, who I refer Artemis, Cinder and Static by. Shonta's Pokemon were still allowed to live at Shonta's house but they quickly found out that Ms. Jones was unpredictable when it came to taking care of them. They were unable to hang out in Shonta's room while Shonta was absent and were fed much cheaper and almost inedible Pokemon food. Their gratefulness of Mom's generosity was shown immediately.

    "So what are we doin' today?" Static asked me eagerly as I fixed a sandwich for myself.

    I shrugged. "I guess we can hang out at Prof. Cedar's lab until sunset." The others gave a collective groan. "What?"

    "Dat's what we did yesterday!" Static complained. "Man, youse no fun!"

    I looked down and laughed as Static pouted, only succeeding in bringing out his cute side. "I should take a picture of you looking like that."

    "At least Reaper and Ripper are doin' somethin' useful." I stopped chewing for a few seconds, annoyed by the fact that he was complimenting the Scizor. It had gotten to the point where I couldn't even refer to him as "my Scizor". Not that I actually felt that way in the beginning.

    "What are they doing?" I inquired.

    Static climbed up my clothes and hung on my back, putting an annoying weight on it. "Not sure. Dey left through th' mirror dis mornin'. Said somethin' about home. Don't remember th' whole sentence."

    "You're heavy!" I shouted as I managed to shake him off. "I guess those two already know what to do during this break. I'm not surprised that Ripper didn't say a word of it."

    "I'll say. In fact, that ungrateful Scizor crushed his pokeball!" Artemis blurted out, then covered her mouth with her paw. The others and I glared at her. "Yeah, he took the pokeball in his claw and crushed it right in front of my eyes. He told me to tell you that he'll be back in about a week."

    "At least Reaper is with him, although the trip was his idea," Cinder said meekly.

    Artemis whimpered. "They're going to kill me."

    The three Pokemon looked at each other in silence before Cinder spoke again. "Thanks for not going with Terri," he told Static and Artemis.

    "Meh. Seafoam Island isn't all that. I try to stay away from hot weather," Artemis said casually.

    "And th' fact dat Kanna now has Prowler has nothin' ta do wit' it?" Static asked smugly.

    The Umbreon blanched and then chuckled. "Hey, you were the one he wanted to eat. Anyway, Professor Westwood didn't seem all that interesting to me."

    Static smirked. "Liar."

    "Idiot!" Artemis shot back.

    "Know-it-all!"

    "Wuss!"

    The last comment hit a nerve in Static as he growled and thrashed his tail. I calmly finished my lunch and stood back while Static tackled Artemis to the ground. Though both seemed angry, the fight was nothing more than a childish tussle. Cinder finally ended it when he took Static's tail in his mouth and pulled him toward the living room.

    "Let me go! I wasn't...what's dat sound?" Static asked with his ears perked and lowered voice.

    "It's a car. But Mom's not supposed to be here yet," I said.

    "That's not your mom's car," Artemis corrected. She jumped on the couch and looked out the window. "Ooh, that's a Lexus!"

    "Lexus?" Realization hit me like a ton of bricks. "Oh no. Hide me; I don't want to talk to him now."

    Static narrowed his eyes at me and looked at his partner. "Open th' door, Artie."

    "And how is she supposed to do that?" I already knew the answer as she nodded and faced the doorknob, which gave off a blue aura as it was unlocked and turned. "Oh, Psychic."

    The door swung open for a silver haired bishounen, his sunglasses lowered down his nose in order for his blue eyes to clearly see my green. "Good afternoon, Ryan," he said with a small smile.

    "Hi, Riku!" the three Pokemon chimed in unison.

    I merely waved while shooting him a mean look. "What brings you to us less fortunate?" I asked darkly.

    "Boredom," Riku answered. He looked around the living room before plopping down on the couch. "Humble place you have here."

    I was already thinking of ways to wipe off his casual look. "Get out."

    "Come on, I'm a guest." He took off his sunglasses and smiled at me. "I came to take you on a trip."

    "I told you to get out." I pointed at the door.

    He completely ignored my command. "I need to see a couple of old friends of mine and I would like the company. It'll be better than staying in this house."

    I decided to try one more time before resorting to force. "Get out before I throw you out."

    He sneered at me, his calm mask disappeared. "Stronger Pokemon than you have tried."

    Good. Now that the real Riku has shown up... "I'm not Magma."

    "You're right." His sneer turned to outright anger. "Magma had the balls to take action."

    "SHUT UP!" Artemis cried out. She stood between us and glared at the visitor. "Riku, just because you were able to put Magma in a Crystal Cage doesn't mean you have the right to do whatever you want! Lady Kagetsubasa is over you and she calls the shots!"

    Riku looked down at Artemis and sighed heavily. "If you weren't Apollo's sister..." he started.

    "It wouldn't matter because you've been an ass since Shonta left."

    "He's always been an ass," I grumbled.

    "Shut up," she growled at me.

    Riku stood up and walked up to me. "By the way...happy birthday." He handed me a package.

    "My birthday was yesterday," I corrected.

    He shrugged it off. "I was busy. So, will you take my offer?"

    Before I could say something I would regret, Static spoke his mind. "Please take him! He's been mopin' around and needs a vacation!"

    I glared at him and then at Riku's smug expression. "Is this business or are you just going to get on their nerves?" I asked him.

    Riku studied his sunglasses. "Lady Kagetsubasa has been bothering me about something. Some of the Kai Crystals are yet to be found."

    "If I remembered correctly, we have owners for the Kai Flame, Aqua, Shock, Clear, Lunar, and Venom Crystals," Artemis pondered. "So what's left?"

    "We know the Kai Draco Crystal is in Melon Island," Cinder pointed out. "Isn't Draco the owner of it?"

    "Actually, no. But as long as it doesn't leave the island we shouldn't worry."

    "The Kai Aero Crystal was awarded to Feather for her service to the Kai Knights," Riku informed us. "Apparently Kagetsubasa has the right to do that as long as the Kai Crystal didn't already have an owner."

    "So that leaves..."

    "Terra, Flora, Glacier, Shadow and Mind." He rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed. "I may know where the Mind Crystal is but the guy is...hard to reach."

    "If he knows you, then he'll definitely be hard to reach," I joked.

    Riku's anger returned. "Are you going to mock me or help me? I need someone who will be able to reason with these two people. Unfortunately, one of them is a blood relative."

    "Whoa! Dat I'd like to see!" Static exclaimed.

    I unconsciously made a sound that sounded a bit like a huff. "I'll go with you. But get this through your expensive haircut; we are not buddies."

    "We'll go too. Shonta would want us to keep an eye on you," Artemis said with a sincere smile.

    Riku nodded. "So pack. We leave for Titan City tomorrow; you'll stay at the mansion today."

    This prompted a question. "Does Daichi know about what we're doing? The whole story?"

    He answered without looking at me. "Dad knows what I know now. I assume that both your mom and Shonta's mom knows about it too?"

    I hesitated before nodding. "I'll just leave a note. She'll understand."

    Terri's POV

    (Day 1, Afternoon)

    Ah, Seafoam Island. My favorite summer getaway.

    Too bad I had to share it with a sadistic Raitah.

    "Oi, human! Get your furless hindquarters out of the water!" Prowler roared from an open window.

    "Keep your spots on, cat!" I yelled at him. I dragged myself out of the tidal pool and wrapped the nearby towel around my waist. Bubbles followed me, grumbling to herself.

    I had the luck of being given an invitation to stay with Kanna at the laboratory of Professor Westwood. Apparently being the inventor of the Pokedex came with a huge paycheck...as well as a lot of work involving upgrades and updates.

    The Raitah leered at me as I walked past him. "You are a human, therefore you belong on land," he reminded me.

    "You are a cat, therefore you should be licking yourself," I told him. "Hey Kanna, we should spay your new Pokemon!"

    Beacon shushed me as I entered Kanna's bedroom. "She's talking on the phone," she said.

    I was relieved that Beacon wasn't hung up on losing her position as an Aurora Knight. In fact, most of them weren't. But there was Magma, who was enjoying a nice crystal treatment. Leo, the top-ranking Clear Crystal Knight, was also outraged but decided to avoide Magma's fate. The others fell in line and found other things to concentrate on.

    Kanna was sitting at her desk on her cell phone, her expression one of frustration. "But I don't see why I have to go!...Yes, I understand that he misses me...I know, congratulations on that...I planned on spending more time here...No, I don't think I'm better than you...No, I haven't cursed my dad into the fiery pits of hell...Alright." She hung up and rubbed her forehead.

    I tried to make it look like I was more interested in the view from her sliding glass door. Gentle waves broke on the sand and put me in a trance deep enough to miss Kanna's question. "Sorry, come again?" I asked.

    "I was wondering if you felt up to taking a trip," she repeated.

    Bubbles put her paws on her hips and pouted. "There is no way you'll be able to move me!"

    Kanna ignored her and gave me a desperate look. "Terri, I need to go to Altomare for a few days."

    "ALTOMARE?" Bubbles hopped on her bed with excitement. "Altomare...the beautiful...no, the wonderful...no, the exquisite..."

    "Is that a yes?" Aqua finished as she walked in from the patio outside Kanna's room.

    "What do you have to do in Altomare?" I asked Kanna.

    She hung her head and started to explain at a louder volume, making wild hand motions. "It's my stepmother. She's convinced that I've been trying to avoid her at all costs. Well I was, but...it's not like I hate her! She takes my absence too seriously and then there's that son of hers with his big mouth and glass jaw..."

    "Glass jaw?" I interrupted. I didn't want to know what brought that up. "Can we get back to the subject?"

    She laughed nervously and took a deep breath. "She's opening this museum in Altomare on artifacts from some ruins she found in the Whirl Islands. I guess she wants my approval or something. And then she had to drag her son into this and say that he wanted to see his stepsister. He doesn't even like me."

    "You talk about this guy like you're not related to him."

    "Not by blood. See, my dad's Japanese. When my mother died, he married my stepmother. I almost couldn't handle the culture shock. She's Greek! She's loudmouthed and brutally honest and her son is just like her." She growled the last three words.

    "Do they have a nice home?" Bubbles asked her, not worrying about the family issue.

    "Small, but nice. And Altomare is preparing for their Canal Festival so there will be plenty for you to do while I deal with my family."

    "I'm sold!" Bubbles said.

    "I can help you with your family if you want," I offered.

    "Thank you," Kanna said quietly.

    Shonta's POV

    (Day 1, Evening)

    "Welcome to the Slateport Pokemon Center! How may I help you?"

    "Hi there, Nurse Joy! I know I don't have any Pokemon with me but I would be thrilled if you could give me a room for the night!" I said as cheerfully as possible.

    A moment of silence followed. I was smiling nervously. She was frowning slightly, an invisible sweatdrop on her forehead. Finally she dangled a key in front of my face. "Do you at least have your trainer ID?" she asked me.

    I pulled out my newly updated Pokedex and pressed a button. A picture of me looking solemn stared at Nurse Joy while an electronic voice confirmed my name, age, birthday, gender, and hometown. "Before you ask, I'm not competing in the Pokemon league," I groaned as she opened her mouth to speak. "Too many ten-year-old brats have asked me that already."

    The key that Nurse Joy reluctantly gave me led to a plain-looking room with two twin beds. I set my backpack on one bed and looked out at the setting sun. Dairyuu had only opened one portal to Littleroot in Hoenn and told me to hoof it. That was easy for him to say; I would be doing all the walking and he would just have to dangle around my neck and psychically bark out directions. "Okay, Lord Dairyuu. We're alone now. I want an explanation."

    I braced myself for a blackout, which was how I used to start my one-on-one conversations with the Light Dragon. But the blackout never came. Instead, the crystal that contained his spirit and powers glowed brightly, blinding me. When the spots in front of my eyes cleared a guy that looked to be in his mid-twenties sat on the bed across from me. Something was strange about him, and it wasn't his elaborate black-and-gold kimono. Or his striking red eyes. Or even his spiky, golden hair.

    It was the two dragon wings that he sported on his back. And the fact that he was slightly see-through.

    "Dairyuu?" I guessed in disbelief.

    He nodded and looked down at his hand. "Translucent. I thought as much."

    "You look...young. For a legendary that has existed since the dawn of man." I chose my words carefully, not knowing what to say first.

    "I decided to take the form of someone you would be comfortable with. You wouldn't like talking to an old man." He growled at his translucence. "I hate not having a body."

    "So what are you? A ghost?"

    He looked at me like I insulted him and then sighed. "I guess that one way of putting it. I have no body, but I'm still alive. So don't put any labels on me for the time being. It would be nice to have a body of my own. I need yours in order to see properly; even in this form everything is blurred. And I can't touch anything."

    "Are there any alternatives?"

    He scratched his chin. "I can't remember any. But there might not be any alternatives. Even if I could find another body, I wouldn't be able to use my power. You are the only one I am fully compatible with."

    I rested my head in my hands. "Great. Let's not resort to necromancy." Then I got an idea. "Would you need to use your power?"

    "No, just need something with eyes, hands, and a mouth."

    A wide smile graced my lips. "We can pull a Kon."

    "A what?" His form disappeared as I sprang up and ran out of the room. Not far from the Pokemon Center were stands selling all sorts of goods for contest fanatics.

    "I want you to take over my body and find a stuffed animal!" I told him as we approached a big stand selling Secret Base decorations. I sensed hesitation before he invaded my mind and gently pushed me aside.

    A wide array of Pokemon plushies waited for him. He seemed to be excited about the idea. "So I take a toy and become a familiar when necessary," he said in a low voice. Our eyes scanned the choices and shared his thoughts with me.

    Not Dragonite...too cliche. Same with Charizard.

    He looked at the owner. "What would you recommend as a good reptilian Pokemon?" he asked.

    The woman looked into our eyes -- probably weirded out by the color -- and showed him a green lizardlike Pokemon that had feathers or something on his head and arms. He was a good size too. "It's a Grovyle," the woman told Dairyuu. "He's a new addition and very popular."

    He smiled. "I'll take it." He paid for it and walked back to my room in the Pokemon Center.

    The plushie stayed beside me on my bed while he sat on the other bed, looking at me. "What's wrong?" I asked him after an unbearable silence.

    He looked down at the floor. "What do you think...about that human friend of yours? Ryan?"

    I felt a blush on my cheeks and turned around so I was facing the wall. "He's the best friend I ever had. And more." Of course, I could've just told him that it was none of his business. But he would've found out anyway.

    He chuckled. "Not often do I see my vessel fall for someone other than the vessel for Kagetsubasa."

    I flinched at the mention of Riku. "Riku's nice, I guess. But there's something about him that makes me uncomfortable."

    "It's the pull, the reason why Kagetsubasa and I always choose vessels of different genders. We cannot stand to be apart for long. We are less powerful that way. It seems like Riku is more attracted to you than the other way around."

    "He'll have to get used to a girl not falling for him." I smiled, knowing that I was probably breaking his heart. Maybe that was heartless of me.

    Something like a growl escaped his ghostly lips but he said nothing else on the subject. "Our best bet on getting our answers is finding the archives."

    "Archives?"

    "There is an archive somewhere that contains all the known information on the Aurora Crystals, including information that I may have missed." His tone had a certain edge of uncertainty that I didn't miss.

    "And it's...somewhere." I looked back to see him clenching his fist. "You don't know where it is!"

    "I know who does!" he yelled. "Before the Pokemon took lead of the Knights, the archives were moved to a secure place and the way in trusted to only one. The Kai Terra Knight."

    "You don't know where he is either," I predicted.

    He got up from the bed and stormed over to me. "I'm no fool. If I had no idea where he or she was, I wouldn't have had you leaving your home!"

    Despite his lack of a body, I found myself cowering under his red eyes and height. "Okay, you're the boss."

    "We shall talk of this in the morning while heading east." His spirit faded back into the crystal.

    Something was eating at him. And I thought I found out the answer as I lay half-asleep in the middle of the night. It felt like something was hovering. Watching.

    Waiting.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 14th July 2009 at 12:01 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights

    All right! It begins at last! ^_^

    I must say, I'm intrigued by the change in styles here. In ADoP and KTR, you showed the perspectives of multiple characters, but they were almost always just different views on the same plotlines and events. But this time, everyone is split, so it has a much different feel. You've got multiple simultaneous plotlines rather than multiple commentaries on a single plotline... very interesting.

    The way you opened this was fantastic, what with the Pokemon pranking Ryan. Poor guy can't even get his beauty sleep while Shonta's away! Loved the interaction between Ryan and Riku, as well as Dairyuu's introduction. And while I'm not sure if your other readers will get the Kon reference, that got a major laugh out of me.

    There were a few minor errors here and there, although the only one that made any real difference was saying "Shonta's POV" at the beginning of the chapter - I really don't think that's Shonta. The only other concern of any real significance was that the incident with Terri and Kanna seemed to lack some of the drama inherent in the other parts, but that could simply be because neither of those two are really main characters in the same way as Shonta, Ryan, or even Riku.

    Overall, this was another great start for you. Your humor, as usual, was spot-on, and your character interactions were once again very engaging. From Riku's ability to ignore Ryan's threats to Dairyuu's first face-to-face chat with Shonta, things are working well. And did I mention the cool icebreaking cliffhanger? Nice job, as usual. I look forward to chapter two. Until then!
    IT HAS RETURNED.
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    Holy crap ... I'VE become a grammar nazi, too.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights

    mr_pikachu: Thank you, my loyal reader! Terri and Kanna didn't have a lot of moments but hopefully they will also have their fifteen minutes of fame.

    Chapter 2 ~ Moonlight Gathering

    Reaper's POV


    (Day 1, Late Night)

    "Little one. Come here."

    "I'm so proud of you, my son."

    "I love you so much."

    "My son. You belong to me."

    SLASH!


    "AAH!" I shrieked as I opened my eyes. Green. Nothing but green! Where was I? How did I get here?

    "Mmm, Reaper?" a voice mumbled from beneath me.

    It took a solid minute for me to get my bearings. I was sitting in a tree north of Cianwood City. I got there by trekking through the forest between here and Ecruteak. I did not know enough of Johto to risk finding a new Aurora Mirror so I had to settle for Joi's.

    "Reaper, you have to stop waking me," Ripper said loudly as he rubbed against the branch. "It's not easy falling asleep in a tree."

    "Then sleep on the ground," I suggested in an irritated tone.

    He growled, a sign that I just added fuel to the fire. "What's with the attitude, huh? What has you waking up every two hours, screaming and jerking me out of a good night's sleep? Do you need me to knock you out? Huh? Do you want me to come up there and give you a good Metal Claw upside the head?"

    I couldn't say anything. The nightmare had nothing to do with him, yet it was affecting him negatively. I sighed to myself and listened the silence which was broken by Ripper snorting. "It's nothing. Go back to sleep. I'll be fine," I assured him.

    But that only made him bring out his sarcasm. "No, go ahead! I'm wide awake now! I would love to play the therapist!"

    "Go back to sleep," I repeated, this time with a little force.

    "Not if you'll wake me again!"

    "IT DOESN'T CONCERN YOU!"

    Both of us gasped at the anger in my voice. I rarely yelled like that so it surprised me as much as Ripper. Ripper's voice was heard again, this time softer and more cautious. "Okay, consider the matter dropped."

    I looked up at the few stars that I could see through the leafy branches. The damage had already been done. Sleep would not be coming back to me that night. Ripper, however, was snoring lightly within minutes. Or so I thought. "Okay, I'm not going to sleep tonight. So can I ask you something?"

    "What?" I said gruffly.

    "You said that we were going to your home but we're heading to the Lake of Rage. Isn't that..."

    "Yes," I interrupted.

    "Why?"

    I shifted uncomfortably and answered. "We need answers about why we were captured along with so many Aurora Knights. Furthermore, why you and I seemed to have been so important to their research."

    "You've given a lot of thought to this. I guess you lied to me so I would go with you."

    I snorted. Ripper truly hated that lab as much as I did, if not more. My voice lowered to a whisper. "I would never go back home again."

    "Why? Family troubles?"

    "Exactly."

    "Ah, you were the black sheep! Don't worry. I was one too, which is why you don't hear me talking about them. Although it is strange that you would turn out to be like that."

    I just left it like that. He will never know. If he finds out, I won't hear the end of it.

    "Reaper! Do you see that?" His branch gave a loud creak as he jumped up to mine. "Out in the distance!"

    I stared at the point where he pointed to until I saw a ball of light float past. Then another. This caught my attention and kept it until Ripper jumped down to the forest floor. I followed him, trying not to make any noise. At our new position, we could see that there was a trail of lights. "What do you suppose they are?" I asked him.

    "My eyesight isn't very good in the dark, but they look like Volbeat and Illumise. But those Pokemon are native to Hoenn." We watched quietly, then Ripper walked to another tree. I hesitated before going; Ripper's footsteps tended to be heavier than mine.

    Slowly getting closer, we saw that the Volbeat and Illumise were not the only Pokemon traveling. Their tails lit up various other Pokemon, most of them nocturnal. A couple of Ariados led the group. "What's the occasion?" Ripper thought out loud.

    There was no way we would find that out unnoticed. At that second we were bathed in a red light. The Pokemon who shined it on us blinked, relieving us for a short second. "You two are trespassing!" the Hoothoot shouted at us.

    I wasn't that worried but I thought I should still be careful. "I'm sorry. I didn't know," I apologized.

    The Hoothoot laughed at our reaction. "That's okay! Man, you guys look like you were busted by the human cops!" He shut off the light and laughed again as we glared at him. "If you're so curious then follow the crowd. This is just a gathering for us nocturnal folk."

    We joined the procession and eventually stopped at a clearing. A few Vileplume waddled off around the edges, probably to keep an eye out on things. Everyone else stared at us, immediately noticing the outsiders. "You might want to introduce yourselves before someone removes you from the premises," the Hoothoot whispered to me.

    I stumbled with the right words before speaking. "I'm Reaper and this is my...partner, Ripper. We're from Sunflower Town." I thought I heard someone mutter "trainees".

    Fortunately, we didn't even need the introduction to break the tension. "Hey, he has a Venom Crystal!" a Gastly yelled. "And it's still working!"

    The Hoothoot took a good look at my forehead and hooted loudly. "It's a Kai Crystal! You're a Kai Knight!" He hopped to my other shoulder. "We heard stories about you guys. Awesome!"

    I shooed him off my shoulder and got a laugh out of everybody. "For someone with such a cool position, your name sure sucks!" someone called out from the crowd. Everyone laughed even louder.

    Ripper's already slightly irritated mood got worse. "Okay, who said that?" he roared. "I'll have you know that I was an Aurora Knight too!"

    An Ariados showed himself. "So was I, but you're probably just like me. Retired!" His expression was unreadable but his tone matched Ripper's.

    "I don't need an Aurora Crystal to kick your ass!"

    "Whoa, whoa! No need for that!" A snake-like Pokemon slithered between the two and waved her bladed tail. "If the Scizor wants to prove himself, then he can defeat the champ."

    The Pokemon talked amongst themselves, filling the air with excitement. Ripper's breath got heavy. "Fine! Who's the champ?"

    The snake looked around and yelled at the top of her lungs. "MORIKO! CHALLENGER!"

    The chattering stopped abruptly. Someone else pushed to the front of the crowd, this time a Heracross. I noticed that she had a heart shape on the end of her horn, different from other females. "So who's the challenger, Seviper?" she asked the snake.

    "This uppity Scizor. Wants to push his former status on us," Seviper answered.

    "Oh. Venom, I presume?" Ripper and I nodded. She looked up at us, turning sideways to get her long horn out of the way. "You want to challenge a Fighting type?" She smirked at Ripper.

    Now Ripper wasn't so sure. But that just meant that he needed an extra two seconds to decide. "Bring it on!"

    Moriko smiled brightly and looked at me. "Are you going to let him battle me? I mean, I don't want to hurt the guy but I can really ground him," she warned.

    "Ripper wouldn't like me making his decisions," I told her.

    "Okay then, I'll sweeten the deal. If he actually manages to beat me then I'll award the both of you with a basketful of berries."

    "Ooh," Ripper said with a hint of sarcasm. "Gold? Bitter?"

    She crossed her arms and whistled loudly. The Hoothoot that accompanied us looked at a nearby Noctowl, who flew off and came back with a wicker basket. "These are just the essentials. Four Oran, two Pecha, four Cheri, and two Chesto," Moriko explained cheerfully. "We raise a garden of these plus a few more kinds for emergencies."

    "These are Hoenn berries," I said in awe. "To have these is very handy. There is no human medicine out here."

    "I keep some Chesto juice for myself. Having to be on a liquid diet calls for it sometimes." She let out a hearty laugh. "I guess I just dug your partner's grave! No way is he going to back out of it now!"

    I looked back at Ripper, already knowing his answer. "He just got more determined to win. But what will you do if he loses?" I asked her.

    "Well, I guess the aches and bruised ego won't be enough. I guess if I win, I would want information from both of you."

    I was going to ask her what kind of information but Ripper got more impatient. "Agreed. Now let's start this!" he said boldly.

    The other Pokemon heard this and gathered at one side of the clearing while chattering again. I heard some bits that didn't do well with my confidence in Ripper.

    "Dead bug walking!"

    "There's no way he's walking out without a few dents!"

    "Forget berries, he'll need a human doctor!"

    "A doctor or a mechanic?"

    "Get a paint job, trainee! That way you can probably hide your shame when she whoops you!"

    I stood next to the Seviper from earlier. "Is Moriko that strong?" I asked her.

    She patted my back with the flat side of her bladed tail. "Let's look at this logically. Your partner may have higher physical defense and attack stats. And that's a big 'if'. But Moriko has been trained to take down metal thugs like your partner. No therapist in Johto will be able to heal his pride after this."

    The Hoothoot raised his tiny wings to signal to the audience that the battle was almost starting. "Okay, we have our champion facing against the trainee and Aurora Knight wannabe!" Ripper growled loudly at those words. "The betting windows are closed so shut up and watch! Let the match..."

    He flew to a safe spot in front of me. "...Begin!"

    Ripper extended his wings and sprang into action, zooming low to the ground in a straight line towards Moriko. It looked like a quick start.

    Just not quick enough.

    Moriko slammed both of her hands on the ground the second Ripper started. A large rock shot up between her and her opponent. I winced as Ripper was unable to dodge and slammed right into the obstacle. "Too slow!" the Heracross told him with a giggle.

    Ripper stumbled around and shook his head to clear it. "What the...?" he asked groggily. Then another rock sprung out behind him. Then two more on his sides.

    "Rock Tomb is her way of dealing with fast movers," Seviper commented.

    The first rock exploded into chunks by a glowing pincer. Out stepped an impressed Scizor. "You're good," he chuckled.

    "You too," she returned. But the pleasantries stopped there as both of Ripper's pincers glowed white and slammed into Moriko despite her attempts to shield herself.

    "Low blow!" someone jeered.

    Moriko's body was knocked off balance, then spun around on one foot so that she could grab one of Ripper's pincers. She kept spinning and used the momentum to slam Ripper into one of the remaining rocks with enough force to reduce that rock to rubble. Ripper grunted on impact and dropped to the ground.

    I watched with worry as Ripper shook on the ground. This is strange. He shouldn't be that damaged from that, especially with his metal armor. And I've never heard of Rock Tomb. How and where did Moriko learn that?

    Moriko seemed to be as worried as me. "Look, buddy. There's honestly no shame in dropping out. Once I get started it's hard for me to stop," she said.

    Ripper pulled himself up to a kneel so he was eye level with Moriko. "There's no way...no way I'm going to just drop out," he said slowly.

    She sighed and turned her back to him. "Okay then. I'll back out for you."

    More talk between the spectators ensued. "She's throwing in the towel? It can't be that bad," an Illumise whispered from above me.

    "That's Moriko. She never was one for a complete butt-kicking unless it was necessary," a Volbeat beside her commented.

    She walked until she stopped at Ripper's voice. He was fully standing although having trouble staying that way. "That's right, walk away. You seem more suited for the garden," he sneered.

    Moriko whirled around and faced him with a horrified expression. "Come again?" she said softly.

    Ripper turned his head and spat. "You heard me. Little wussy girl. If you wanted to grope me, you could've just asked."

    The Heracross's eyes got wider but nothing came out of her mouth. But her two-clawed hands were clenching and unclenching themselves.

    My mouth dropped to match Seviper's expression. "It just got necessary," the Illumise whimpered.

    Hoothoot perched on my shoulder. "He's your partner. Stop this before it's too late!" he begged me.

    He had a very good point. "Ripper, that was over the line! Pull out before you regret it!" I shouted at my companion.

    Ripper shot me a dirty look. "No! I will back down to her! She's just like the rest of her kind, with their pacifism and indifference! She makes me sick!"

    Moriko closed her eyes as a tear rolled out. "I'm sorry..."

    Ripper shifted his look to Moriko for a second. "You're not! You're strong and fast, I'll admit that. But you and your buddies brag about your strength and then act like I'm not worth your time! You want to know what I think?"

    "Don't say it!" Moriko hissed.

    Ripper smiled malevolently and slowly pronounced each word. "She's...a...coward."

    I seethed. It was true that most Scyther and Scizor frowned upon pacifist species, among them Heracross. But I haven't seen that side of Ripper since his days as an Umbra Demon. What brought it out?

    Moriko sobbed quietly but stopped abruptly when Ripper started laughing. "Are you that determined to battle me?" she asked him quietly.

    "You need to learn..." Ripper growled.

    "Learn what?"

    "How to finish what you start."

    Despite his scathing words, Moriko mustered another smile. "You're right."

    The other Pokemon got uncomfortable. Hoothoot shifted from one leg to the other nervously. "Oh no. He did it. He's a goner! She's gonna BLOW!" His voice got louder until he was practically shouting.

    "Calm down. I'll take care of this," I told him. But Seviper's tail blocked my path. "I can calm him down."

    "Too late for him," Seviper said gravely. "Moriko's pissed and just standing here is too dangerous. The best we can do is hope he's still alive when she's finished with him."

    I gulped down my rising anxiety and gazed at the two. Ripper's stance was less shaky but his expression was one of rage. Moriko stared at him, emotionless and still. "I don't get it. What's so frightening about her?" I asked Seviper.

    She blinked at me and laughed. "Did we scare you? I'm sorry, we just don't see Moriko battle so often. She's so kind and gentle, but we've seen what she can do when she's pushed. She'll just knock him out. Everyone's overreacting and they like to see newcomers get nervous."

    "But what about what Ripper said?"

    "She's very forgiving. Your friend's lucky to have her as an opponent."

    I groaned and went back to watching the battle. Moriko finally made her move after taking a few deep breaths. Her wing cases lifted so her more delicate wings could get her off the ground. Ripper stood where he was; ready to block or evade any attack. His opponent swung her horn at him but he calmly jumped back. Then Moriko put her clawed hands together and attempted to smash them on his head but stopped just short when he was surrounded by a white sphere.

    "Ha!" I laughed.

    Moriko smirked. "Wait for it..." Ripper's Protect disappeared and she grabbed one of his horns. I was able to see his shocked expression a second before she flipped and slammed him down on the ground.

    "Ooh!" we all said together.

    Moriko planted a foot on his chest. "Give up now?" she asked him.

    "Stop asking me that!" Ripper yelled breathlessly.

    "I'll take that as a 'no'." She bent down, scooped him up in her horn and tossed him backwards in one smooth motion. Ripper screamed all the way to his destination: a tree. We heard a crashing sound, but the sound of Ripper hitting the ground was absent.

    "I think he's stuck," Hoothoot said with a cracking voice. I smiled but managed not to laugh.

    Some of the Volbeat fluttered up to the tree and illuminated a pair of kicking legs. I could no longer keep my laughter contained. "Haha! You got what you deserved!" I said as loudly as possible.

    "Is that you, Reaper? If you have any sympathy for your partner you will come up here and GET ME DOWN!" Ripper screamed.

    The others laughed with me. Moriko just smiled sadly. "I'll get you down, buddy," she offered.

    The red legs kicked even harder. "Oh, no you don't! I don't need you rubbing your generosity in my face! Reaper, get me down!"

    "Partner, I'm afraid that it's either Moriko or no one at all!" I yelled.

    "I'd rather die up here!"

    "Famous last words," Hoothoot muttered.

    Moriko chuckled and flew up to a branch near his legs. The Volbeat gave us enough light to see her clap her hands together in a prayer and thrust both of them against the tree trunk. I stared in awe as half the trunk toppled over and freed the irritated Scizor. "That was amazing," I told Moriko as she returned.

    She laughed nervously and scratched her horn. "That's why I'm not so eager to battle anyone, especially those who don't know how powerful I can be." She looked back and sighed, her smile gone. "We need to get your friend back to our home so he can rest. If you want, you can stay with us. Safety in numbers."

    Her demeanor reminded me of my trainer, the one that opened up her home to me in my time of need. Only she was calmer overall. I must've been too deep in thought because she waved a hand in front of my face. "Reaper?" she asked.

    "Sure!" I said suddenly and a little too loudly.

    She laughed loudly and slapped my side, making me grunt in pain. "Ooh, sorry! Look, if you could give me a hand in rounding up the Vileplume then we'll be on our way." She followed my worried gaze to Ripper. "The others will help him." She got behind me and pushed me in the opposite direction into the forest.

    A few loud whistles got the Vileplume's attention and they walked in a straight line toward the rest of the group. But Moriko became anxious. "Hey, where's the sixth Vileplume?" she asked the Vileplume at the back of the line.

    "I'm sure he's fine. Probably sleeping on the job again." The others chuckled and waddled faster.

    Moriko shook her head. "No. He would've heard the signal and came anyway." I started to follow her but she stopped me and sniffed the air.

    "I didn't smell any humans," I muttered.

    "That's what I was afraid of." We walked around the edge of the clearing until we stopped at a spot that smelled strongly of plants and a little Stun Spore. "This is where the sixth Vileplume was supposed to keep watch."

    "He was definitely here." I looked around the area. It was quiet, the only sounds being our feet shuffling around on the ground. But there were no other scents that we knew of. The Vileplume's scent was probably overpowering them.

    "He's not here anymore," Moriko spoke up. Her back was to me as she inspected a nearby tree. She traced a claw over what looked like a slash mark. "Let's get back to the others. I'll come back out with some Illumise after we get Ripper comfortable."

    I nodded, not comfortable with the situation. It could've been possible that a trained Pokemon did this by itself. But if would've taken a closer look in Moriko's eyes, I would've known that it was something more serious.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 27th March 2008 at 09:59 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights

    Wow, you're working fast right now! Awesome!

    Interesting update. The mission of Ripper and Reaper was kind of glossed over in the first chapter; it was a good idea to bring them back before we had a chance to forget. And it was also smart to start slowly, building into the drama with a playful pounding rather than lunging straight into the true intensity. Ironically, Reaper's dream served as a solid icebreaker... did he do what I think he did? If so, then... wow. He really shouldn't be lecturing Ripper about civility. Either way, great development. I'm not much for outright flashbacks, but dreams are fair game in my book.

    Aside from a couple of grammatical missteps, my only real complaint was that the transition from the "partners" discovering the wild Pokemon to the battle with Moriko seemed a little rushed. It was a little hard to keep track of what was happening in the early going. Maybe a little more description at that point would have helped to slow down the pace and provide more context for the situation. Still, that's not a major problem. It's just a matter of aesthetic preference, I think.

    It's worth noting, on the other hand, that the battle between Ripper and Moriko was done quite well. You clearly spent a lot of time on it, because the combat wasn't difficult to visualize; furthermore, the moves made sense in tandem with one another. I also liked the commentary about pacifist Pokemon, as it helped with both character development and building our understanding of this world, even as it applies to how wild Pokemon view each other. And I'm curious what will come of the two things you left hanging: first, what information will Moriko want? And second, what happened with that Vileplume? You've got me guessing already. Very good work! I look forward to the next installment, so see you then!
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated July 31, 2007)

    Hi shonta, just spent ages catching up on this. (From way way back, Chapter 1 of A Doolittle of Pokemon). It's a very entertaining read. You've set up quite a lot in these two chapters, setting the directions in which each faction will be going, which is nice, because I did notice that in each of the fics so far the plot has taken a long time to reveal itself. I think I like this structure better. Your dialogue is, as always, spot-on, which makes the fic a lot of fun to read. The dynamics between Ryan and Riku are great. Moriko's an interesting character as well; she's definitely a pacifist, and I guess the pacifist tendency varies between species as Ripper shows. I wonder if that might pop up again some time. Moriko's character did seem a bit contradictory though; she's clearly quite tough, and yet she gigles and cries loudly... I wonder why Dairyuu has to find this archive. I wish Reaper's dream got a few more lines, though. I understand the contents of the dream are largely supposed to remain a mystery, but the way you did it Reaper was awake before any suspense could be built, or even before the reader registered what was going on.

    Nice start, and see you next chapter.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated July 31, 2007)

    So it seems I have somehow missed out seeing this fic being posted...

    I agree that this is indeed a big improvement from KTR. I was wondering how the story will progress after the big event in the finale of KTR, and I must say that things are good as usual. Good job!

    And I do get the Kon reference. Hehe, I can imagine Dairyuu's bemused face upon hearing the word
    Please take it easy~

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated July 31, 2007)

    Chapter 3 ~ Friend or Foe

    Feather's POV


    (Day 1, Late Night)

    "Ecruteak City, dead ahead."

    Normally I wouldn't go flying around at night just to deliver a message. But lately I had been taking every opportunity to get away from Char. The Charizard quickly went from moody to frightening. I understood that his own father had been imprisoned at Melon Island, but it got to the point where I couldn't even mention certain people. And guess who was number one?

    "Don't you dare speak his name! That Riku has pushed his power around too long!"

    "Riku, Riku, Riku. And here I am, on my way to see him," I muttered to myself. A couple of Noctowl listened in on my muttering from their nearby perch but chose not to do anything. They knew I was just passing through, and my Pidgeotto form wasn't threatening to them.

    Riku has never been very agreeable, but it wasn't him that imprisoned Master Magma. Lady Kagetsubasa gave the order. But I guess it's easier for him to hate a human than a fellow Pokemon. I turned my head to look at the full moon and the halo that seemed to surround it. It almost looks like a bad omen.

    Artemis's POV

    (Day 1, Late Night)

    "I hafta admit, draggin' Ryan here was a good idea," Static commented as we walked down the lit hallway.

    "But did we have to do it so close to midnight?" Cinder squeaked shakily. "I mean, what if this place is haunted?"

    "I already asked Riku that and he said it wasn't," I answered. Then I stopped and thought it over. "No wait, I asked if it was built on top of an Indian burial ground. Anyway, there are times when I am unable to sleep at night. This was a perfect time to explore without bothering Riku or Daichi."

    "Funny you should mention the two people who can both find their way around this place and open doors!" he yelled angrily. He huffed and sat in the middle of the hallway. "You can go wherever you want, but I'm staying here!"

    <You don't want to get lost, do you?> a telepathic voice asked him, seeming to echo in the hallway.

    Cinder screamed and tackled Static to the ground in fear. "What did I tell you? This place is haunted!"

    The voice sighed. A light appeared in front of us and quickly disappeared, revealing a smiling Kadabra. <Hey guys. It's been a while.> After considering that he was unfamiliar to us, he took a breath and blew out a puff of smoke.

    "Magic! Wow, it's been a while. You've been under some training?" I asked him.

    He switched to spoken words at this point. "Riku didn't want me stuck as an Abra. He said that I was too lethargic for my own good." He groaned and rolled his eyes.

    Static walked around him, his tail twitching. "Hey, you're spoon-less!" he pointed out.

    "Of course I am. You actually thought that thing was super glued to my hand?" He looked around before speaking again. "Are you looking for Ryan? Or Riku?"

    "Actually, we would like to explore with you if that's possible," I requested. "Cinder wanted someone who could open doors."

    Magic nodded. "But we need to be careful here. Daichi's study is only a few doors down and he wouldn't like us chattering near the door."

    Static's ears perked while Magic was talking. "Artie, I can hear Riku from here. I don't know what he's sayin' but he sounds pissed."

    "Shh!" I hissed. I quietly padded to the door and tuned my hearing to the conversation on the other side.

    "You knew?" I hear Riku say. He did sound pissed. "All this time I was trying to hide what I was doing with the others and you knew the whole story!"

    Daichi, on the other hand, was calm. "Riku, if you knew from the start what you were then you would be a lot different than what you are now. You have always been slightly conceited..."

    "And you weren't? You own a whole company, this mansion, and practically the lives of hundreds of people! What makes me any worse than you?"

    "I never believed I could get everything I wanted, unlike you." I could sense the barely suppressed anger in his tone.

    "Did you hear that?" Cinder whispered.

    "Big deal. We all knew th' guy was spoiled," Static answered.

    "No! That Mr. Daichi knew about the Aurora Knights all along! And I just thought of something. Mr. Daichi looked the same age as Ryan's dad!"

    "Dat's just a coincidence!"

    "Actually, Cinder has a point," I said. Cinder smiled, feeling proud of himself. "They both knew about the Aurora Knights, despite Char and Feather saying that our trainers were part of the first batch of human Aurora Knights. And Shonta's dad had dealings with an Umbra Demon. Maybe...it's genetic."

    We were so wrapped up in ourselves that we didn't know the door had opened. Riku cleared his throat when he wanted to make ourselves known. "Any reason why you're hanging out in front of my dad's study?" he inquired coolly.

    Static and Cinder were too shocked to give an answer. "Um...we were getting Magic to show us around!" I told him cheerfully.

    Static poked me and whispered in my ear. "He split around th' time we started talkin'."

    There went my excuse. I was reduced to a nervously laughing idiot. "He must've gone to the bathroom," I lied shakily.

    It didn't occur to me at first that I was talking to an unordinary human with psychic powers. But I was a Dark type, which made my mind inaccessible. As for Static and Cinder, however...

    We were doomed.

    Riku glanced back inside the room. "Dad, I'll be back in a few. I need to tend to the Pokemon." He closed the door with a soft click and looked down at us coldly.

    I stood in front of Cinder and looked up at him. "I guess you already know," I said calmly.

    He shrugged and leaned against the door. "With your hearing, it couldn't be helped. But yeah, Dad knew. In fact, it's a family secret. Dad wasn't a Kai Knight but he did deal with the Aurora Knights along with Mr. Steele. Unfortunately, he barely knows more than we do."

    "Dose Pokemon really know howta keep their mouths shut," Static grumbled. "But what about th' other thing? About you gettin' everythin' you wanted?"

    For a brief second I detected a hint of malice in Riku's eyes, but only for a second. "He was referring to my fifth birthday. I wanted a doll that I saw during a day out in Ecruteak."

    Static's eyes lit up. "A doll? Like...a goil's doll?"

    Riku smiled a little. "Yeah. It was wearing a pretty red dress. Something drew me to it. I begged Dad to get it for me but for some reason he refused. When he finally caved in, it was gone. I had never been so angry with him. The anger passed, though. Dad likes to dredge up the past."

    There seemed to be nothing wrong about Riku's story. Shonta went through the same thing with her mom, especially when it came to stories about Ryan. But a doll? Must've been for a collection.

    Cinder yawned and rubbed his head. "Okay, it's too late for me. I would like to curl up in a bed with Ryan before the ghosts come."

    I groaned. "Cinder, for the last time..." I started, but was stopped by a sudden chill in the air.

    Riku checked his watch. "What do you know? Midnight, right on the dot."

    Static's tail went rigid. "Don't tell us dat a ghost really stays here!" he squeaked.

    I hushed him. This wasn't that kind of chill; there was no strange energy behind it. This seemed like the work of an Ice type. The strange thing was that I couldn't smell any new Pokemon. They must've had a lot of power for the cold to reach the second floor.

    "Riku, were you waiting for someone?" I asked him.

    "Sort of."

    Now I felt another feeling, a tingling sensation on my forehead. It was too strange to ignore. Without saying another word I took off for the stairs, noticing that the temperature was getting even lower the further I went. I jumped off the last step and landed on the marble floor, only to slip and land painfully on my face. "This floor..." I felt it with my paw and licked off water. "Ice?"

    "Ouchie! That must've bruised something!" an bubbly female Pokemon voice said. At the position I was lying in, it was impossible to see who was talking.

    I tried to stand but my paws just ended up sliding out from under my body. The wind was knocked out of me with a loud "oomph". The female Pokemon giggled and came into view.

    Her appearance was unfamiliar to me. She was my height and build, but her white fur contrasted my black. Ice blue hair covered her forehead and hung from both sides of her face, the same color as the inside of her ears. The tip of her flat tail was a darker shade of blue. But the most interesting things that I saw were the white collar with a large ice blue Aurora Crystal and the glowing star that I could see through her bangs.

    "What kind of Pokemon are you?" I asked as soon as I caught my breath.

    She didn't answer me right away, just looked up the staircase. "That meanie! First he doesn't turn up the air like I asked him to, then he doesn't even come down to greet me!" She nudged my side, her fur feeling like tiny ice needles. I shivered and slowly climbed to my paws. "I'm so sorry! Riki needs some manners! By the way, my name's Stella and I'm a Glaceon. I'm from Snowpoint."

    I didn't know what to ask her first but something slipped out anyway. "Riki? You mean Riku?"

    "Yes! Mister Iwata!" She noticed that I was staring at her forehead. "Oh, this. It hasn't done this in a long time, but it makes my head feel really tingly. I see the same thing is happening to your forehead."

    "My...forehead?" I looked down at the reflective ice and gasped. A crescent moon mark, the same mark that was on my forehead back when I was an Eevee, was glowing at the same spot.

    Stella giggled again and whispered in my ear. "Is that your birthmark, little sister?"

    "SISTER?" I pratically screamed. I tried to move away from her but I ended up on my side this time.

    The Glaceon looked pretty worried. "Sorry. I like things cold and icy. RIKI! COME DOWN HERE!" she screamed up the staircase.

    Static and Cinder arrived first, Cinder hiding behind Static as they stood on the lowest step. "Who in th' woild is Riki?" Static demanded before getting a good look at Stella. "And who in th' woild are you, Snowflake?"

    Stella stayed silent as she slowly approached them. At the touch of her paw, ice slowly spread over the lowest step. Cinder squeaked and jumped on Static's back, almost making him lose his balance. "Whoa. Ice queen," Static commented shakily.

    "Nice of you to notice, Sparky," Stella joked.

    "The name's Static."

    "And mine is Stella."

    "H-h-hi," Cinder stammered.

    Without warning, Stella squealed at the top of her lungs. "You are the cutest little guy I've ever seen! You're like a little teddy bear! Except you're a mouse!" She walked around Static to get a better look at the cute Cyndaquil but the poor guy hung on Static's back like his life depended on it. "Awww, are you shy?"

    "You might say that," I said dully. "Now what did you mean by 'sister'?"

    She turned her attention away from Cinder for a brief moment. "I meant sister. Like a sibling. We're related by blood, which is why we have the glowing birthmarks. So what did Mommy name you? Or did someone else give you a name?"

    I was thrown off momentarily by her manner of speech. One minute she was bubbly and childlike, the next serious. I was reminded of Lady Kagetsubasa. "My trainer, I mean friend, named me Artemis."

    She seemed to contemplate this. "Artemis. Goddess of the moon. Oh, how awesome! Artie has the moon and I have the stars! Now all that's left is our sun! RIKI! WHERE'S BIG BRO?"

    She must be talking about Apollo. It's surprising that she's here now and has even announced her presence but he's not down here yet. And isn't the sun a star?

    Riku finally made himself known, looking a little annoyed at the visitor. "Apollo is still angry about the last time you visited," he told her.

    Stella pouted cutely. "Come on, Riki! I told you that I wouldn't use Sheer Cold in the house anymore!"

    "Don't call me Riki," he groaned. "Get rid of this ice."

    "You're such a meanie, just like Big Bro. That's okay, because now I have my baby sister Artie!"

    "Don't call me Artie," I groaned. "And why don't you turn up the heat or something? She can hang out in that walk-in freezer."

    "Good idea, Artie!"

    "Don't call me Artie!"

    "Why? You let me call you Artie," Static said to me.

    Stella smiled at my Raichu friend. "You call her that too? Does she call you Stacey?"

    "STACEY?" Static explained. He immediately jumped on the floor, forgetting about the ice and sliding right out of the foyer with Cinder still on his back. "You're crazy!" He took off for another room.

    I looked awkwardly at Stella. "So...you're older than me?" I asked her.

    "Yep! Mommy squeezed you out last!" She gracefully jumped down and landed on all four paws, keeping a good grip on the ice. "I have the Kai Glacier Crystal, you have the Kai Lunar Crystal, and Big Bro...is a big loser!" She laughed like it was just a big joke.

    I pretended not to be surprised by her remark. "How come I don't remember you or Apollo?"

    "You have a bad memory. We were given to trainers as soon as we were weaned." She gently bit down on my tail and pulled me out of the foyer.

    Wow, she's so...honest. I began to go look for Static and Cinder but found out that she wasn't following me. "Something wrong?"

    She fidgeted with her hair for a minute. "What's that Cyndaquil's name?"

    I caught on quickly. "His name's Cinder."

    "Does Cindy have a girlfriend?" A light blush appeared on her cheeks.

    I laughed despite the embarrassing nickname. In fact, I thought it was pretty cute. "No, he doesn't."

    She giggled and ran ahead of me, leaving a trail of cool air behind her as she bounced around like a hyper Growlithe. The crush didn't really make sense to me. She was cold as ice; trying to get near Cinder would just make her uncomfortable. Maybe there was something I missed.

    We found the two guys in what looked like another game room, but this one was centered on video games unlike the billiards in the other game room. Cinder was lying on a bean bag while Static was changing channels on the plasma screen. Stella's eyes immediately locked on Cinder. "Cindy!" she called out.

    Cinder jumped up and squeaked in shock. Static whirled around to face us. "Cindy? You're kiddin', right?" Static asked the Glaceon.

    "Shut up, Stacey," I growled.

    Stella climbed into the bean bag with Cinder. A tense moment passed between them before Stella talked. "Do you like me, Cindy?"

    Cinder blanched and opened his mouth. "Uhh..."

    "You don't have to worry about me. My icy fur keeps me nice and cold, and my Glacier Crystal can make things even colder." She leaned in closer, her nose almost touching his.

    "B-b-but you feel like an ice c-c-c-cube," Cinder stuttered while he shivered violently.

    Her smile only got wider. "I know! Want to lick me and see if your tongue gets stuck?"

    The reaction was slightly expected. Cinder screamed, I dropped my jaw, and Static turned bright red and held his nose. "Aah! I tink I got a nosebleed!" Static yelled.

    "Stella, you can't just say things like that!" I scolded.

    "Why not?" she whimpered.

    "Because...because you're making him more nervous!"

    "I just want to make him feel good!"

    "Oh God!" Static yelled as he hopped around.

    "But look at you. You have that ice surrounding you," I tried to explain.

    "But he'll get used to my body just like I'm getting used to his!"

    "Make her stooooop!" Static wailed as he rolled on the floor.

    Stella glanced at Static. "Don't you think I'm sexy?"

    Static's tail went stiff. "WHAT'S WRONG WIT' YOUSE?"

    "Nothing's wrong. I just like to flirt a little."

    "What are youse? A Playboy bunny?"

    That only made my sister smile. "Wow, do you really think I'm that sexy?"

    He stared at me with a helpless expression. "She's completely screwed."

    I was really surprised that Cinder hadn't moved or said anything for a while. But I figured that if he heated up from being excited, then Stella got colder as the same happened to her. The Cyndaquil was probably almost frozen stiff. "Cinder, do you need to step outside?" I asked.

    "He needs a nap!" Stella cheerily suggested. "We can cuddle in Riki's bed!"

    Static finally had enough. Clutching his nose, he sprinted out of the room on two feet while shrieking at the top of his lungs. Cinder, on the other hand, didn't take one step. Instead he gulped and fainted on the bean bag.

    Stella poked Cinder while looking confused. "Is he sleeping?" she asked me.

    "...You are screwed," I commented.

    Ryan's POV

    (Day 2, After Midnight)

    This is ridiculous. Now it seems that anything can wake me up, even these changes in temperature. I've had an easy time sleeping up until this night. Why am I so restless now? I sat up in the king-sized bed that Riku had provided for me. It was a little too warm for the blankets, but a few minutes ago it was cold. "Is Static playing with the thermostat?" I asked myself.

    Knowing that it would be a while before I felt tired, I rolled out of bed (which took two or three rolls) and left the bedroom. Although I was in my human form, the keen sense of smell that my Arcanine form used told me that Riku was most likely in a completely different part of the mansion.

    "Hey, Ryan." I turned around and looked down to see Static standing next to me, his paws over his nose. "Crazy night, huh?"

    "What are you up to?" I asked him. He had to have been the only one in the mansion that was crazy enough to mess with breakable things that weren't his, especially if they were expensive.

    The Raichu opened his mouth and let out a little squeak, something that Shonta did if she was accused of such a thing. "Are youse sayin' dat dis is my fault? Well, it ain't! Artemis's crazy sister is down dere tryin' ta give me a nosebleed!"

    The first three words echoed in my mind. "She has a sister?" He nodded. "Where is she?"

    Static stopped me before I could go anywhere and went in a panic. "Don't go down dere! Dat chick is sayin' some crazy stuff! I tink she's in heat!" He suddenly shrieked. "Oh no! I left Cinder down dere! Who knows what she's doin' to him?"

    I kneeled in front of him and shook him gently. "Static, get a hold of yourself. Artemis is with him, right?"

    His breathing slowed down as he stopped his shaking. "Yeah, ya right. I can count on Artie. But I wonder how she got here? She has th' Kai Glacier Crystal but..."

    "What?" I interrupted. "She's a Kai Knight?"

    Static sniffed the air and crinkled his nose. "Eww, do youse smell that? I hate cigarette smoke!"

    I didn't want him to change the subject but the scent started to tickle my nostrils. It didn't affect me in the same way, however. "Who's smoking up here?" I stood up fully and walked towards the source of the scent. Halfway there I caught another scent, this one of a living creature. But it was unfamiliar to me. But whatever it was, it was in Riku's room and it was growling.

    Static's nose and tail twitched as he stood behind me. "Ryan, I tink you should go into your Anthro Mode. Dat isn't Riku behind dat door."

    "Let's not jump to conclusions. Artemis's sister didn't mean any harm. Maybe this guy doesn't either." That didn't convince my hand to stop shaking as it reached out at and turned the doorknob. The growling stopped as the door swung open. The creature was ready for me.

    It was only slightly shorter than me on its two legs, but its size was still imposing. It was a bright green with yellow around its eyes and along its snout and lips. Its general shape looked just like the raptors from Jurassic Park, with its sharp claws and teeth and long limbs and tail. But the coloring...looked like a Kecleon. It even had the red zigzag around its waist. But it had long, drooping red spikes on the top of its head and a row of small spikes going down to the tip of its tail. An orange Aurora Crystal was embedded in the top of its snout.

    "What...is...dat...ting?" Static whispered breathlessly.

    "I think it's a Pokemon," I answered quietly.

    His temper flared and he yelled at me. "I know dat! Which Pokemon is it?"

    The raptor-like Pokemon turned his head to Riku's bed. A Pokedex was lying on it. I stayed still until the Pokemon growled at me, showing his fangs. "Alright, I'll check!" I hurried to the bed and pointed the Pokedex at it.

    "Raptoreon, the Monitor Pokemon," the Pokedex bleeped in a woman's voice. "This evolution of Kecleon is a nearly extinct species of Dragon Pokemon and can be found on a few islands in the world. It can hunt down a large array of prey using its speed, camouflage, and venom. Stories exist of it eating helpless castaways."

    Static gulped and grabbed onto my leg. "Just what we needed. A scaly voision of Raitah."

    "The Kai Draco Crystal is in its snout! How did it get that?" I asked.

    The Raptoreon snarled at us and spit out a glob of green goo that hit the wall behind me. I looked back just in time to see it dissolve a hole straight to the other side. "It can spit acid!" Static squeaked in fear.

    The visitor snarled louder. "Stop calling me an 'it'!" he said gruffly.

    "Fine, what should we call youse? Dino? Yoshi?" He seemed to have gotten bold enough to start a shouting match.

    "Should I call you 'lunch'?"

    "No, sir!"

    "Then the name's Hayate." His body shone and quickly changed to a human shape. Now he was a head above me, with wild red hair in a mane. Almost like a Raitah, but the spikes were shorter and stiffer. He wore a simple T-shirt and jeans.

    Both of us were calmer. "Do you know Riku?" I asked him as Hayate sat on Riku's bed.

    "You can say that. Do you work with Riku?" he asked me nonchalantly.

    "You can say that," Static and I said together.

    He chuckled. "You don't like him either, huh? Did he pay you to stay here and have a few drinks with him?"

    "I'm underage," I groaned.

    "Didn't stop me." He pulled out a cigarette and lighter from his pocket. "Mind if I light one?"

    "Ugh! Youse were th' one smokin'?" Static said.

    "You know, I can still eat you."

    His tail twitched in a threatening manner. "My trainer would tear ya apart."

    Hayate took a drag and glanced at me. "You mean Arcanine Boy here?"

    "Static belongs to my girlfriend," I growled at him.

    "Is she with Riku right now? How much is he paying her?" A puff of smoke blew out of his nostrils as he studied my reaction. "Relax, Riku told me about you and her. Lucky guy. You get to have the vessel of the Light Dragon Key while little Riki is emptyhanded." He chuckled again.

    Static's ears twitched. "Do ya know Stella?" he asked Hayate.

    "Shiny Glaceon? Innocent voice, cold body, accidently puts guys on edge?"

    "Dat's th' one!" He put his paws over his nose again.

    "You know, nosebleeds are more of a sign of your own perverted thoughts," he commented with a smirk. Static sparked a little, but stayed quiet. "She likes hanging around me sometimes, but that requires me to crank up the AC a lot. Why I hang around an Ice type is beyond me."

    Static took a few steps closer to me. "Are youse anemic or somethin'?"

    I hushed him, but he had a point. Hayate's skin was pale, and his body was very thin and almost had an hourglass shape. That only made his red hair and green eyes stand out more. And a better look at his face revealed two diamond tattoos under his eyes. "You look like someone familiar," I muttered.

    "He does?" Static asked me. "I don't know. Th' guy's so skinny I could blow him over with my breath."

    "Prowler, Static!"

    "Ohhhh. Maybe th' tatoos but dat's it. Th' guy's too goily."

    Hayate ignored us as he put out his cigarette butt on his palm and threw it in the trash. "Our kind was born to attract others. Our appearance, our personality, our scent..." He looked straight at me and smirked again. "We are all ladykillers and heartbreakers."

    "Our kind?" I echoed.

    He raised an eyebrow. "You're not human. You know that, right?"

    "What do you know?" I demanded.

    His eyes shot to the door. "Damn, he's coming! We'll continue this discussion later, Ryan." He rushed to an Aurora Mirror in the corner of the room and walked through it without saying another word.

    Static didn't seem too worried about what he said. "Oh man! He left Stella here!"

    The door opened and Riku walked in. "Someone was in here?" he inquired while looking in the trashcan. He didn't look too happy.

    "Some redhead," I answered.

    He narrowed his eyes. "He left that Glaceon behind. I guess she'll go back to her home shortly." He rubbed the bridge of his nose as he sat in a chair near his computer desk. "How annoying. First Feather and now those two. I should shatter the Aurora Mirrors here."

    "Feather?" I shouted.

    "What did she want?" Static asked.

    "She wanted me to free Magma. Char has been getting touchy lately. I refused and ordered her to stay with Joi for the time being as she needs help with an assignment at the Lake of Rage. Nothing serious, just a regular patient that is unable to leave the area."

    "What's wrong with the patient?" I asked.

    "Mental issues. That's all she told me."

    Static yawned deeply. "In other woids, he's a psycho. I'm goin' to bed before he shows up." He walked out the door and closed it.

    Riku stayed silent as he gazed at the acid-eaten hole in the wall. "What did he tell you?" he asked me without looking at me.

    "He said that I wasn't human. So what are we?"

    He sighed and booted up his computer. "Demigods. Demons. Hybrids. Abominations. Take your pick."
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 27th March 2008 at 10:16 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated August 23, 2007)

    I've been looking forward to this fic continuing! ^_^

    Good stuff. I must've laughed for a good ten minutes at some of the more comedic parts... poor Cindy, getting targeted by a girl like that. And speaking of which, that Stella was freaky! Every boy gets a girl's name, she's ditzier than Paris Hilton, and (as Static said) she acts like she's in heat! It's almost enough to make you forget she's Artemis' big sister. Crazy, crazy lady! And a total contrast with Hayate, who seemed to cycle between apathetic and murderous. Very unusual and most interesting.

    The one thing that threw me off this time was the description of Hayate. Maybe I'm just tired, but it just seemed a little long. My eyes kind of lost my focus when I read that part and a few patches of that exchange... it was much different than when I laughed along through the majority of the chapter. Perhaps it was overly complex? I dunno; that's just my take on it. Also, make sure you complete your tags on the "POV' parts.

    This was great, overall. Really strong stuff. Between laughing madly at the funniest lines ("Want to lick me and see if your tongue gets stuck?") and puzzling over the cryptic revelation at the end, I found this chapter to be extremely entertaining. The thing I wonder most of all is how poor little Cindy will deal with his new girlfriend. Can't wait to find out! So, I'll see you next chapter!
    IT HAS RETURNED.
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    Holy crap ... I'VE become a grammar nazi, too.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated August 23, 2007)

    Indeed. This must have been one of the funniest chapter that I have read so far among the rest. It was really entertaining.

    I wonder what the importance of the fact that they are not human brings. True, they are human, with half of them a Pokemon, and they are long aware of that. Unless... if the Pokemon sides begins to slowly eat their human side until they are turned into something different altogether. Hm... perhaps I have overlooked something here.
    Please take it easy~

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated August 23, 2007)

    Fwee, I finally got around to reading the latest installment in a series that has already impressed the heck out of me. And already, this story has proven to be a good one, too. ^^

    I liked how many of the scenes so far were in the POV of Pokémon--I just especially like it in general when the spotlight is on the characters who are Pokémon. ^^

    Speaking of characters, I like Moriko; she's pretty cool. ^^ I also liked Stella; she's VERY amusing. XD (And furthermore an Ice Pokémon! Yay! ) Hayate, meanwhile, gets points from me for the fact that Raptoreon sounds very cool. ^^

    Following are my favorite excerpts from the story so far:

    Riku looked down at Artemis and sighed heavily. "If you weren't Apollo's sister..." he started.

    "It wouldn't matter because you've been an ass since Shonta left."

    "He's always been an ass," I grumbled.
    The Raitah leered at me as I walked past him. "You are a human, therefore you belong on land," he reminded me.

    "You are a cat, therefore you should be licking yourself," I told him. "Hey Kanna, we should spay your new Pokemon!"
    More talk between the spectators ensued. "She's throwing in the towel? It can't be that bad," an Illumise whispered from above me.

    "That's Moriko. She never was one for a complete butt-kicking unless it was necessary," a Volbeat beside her commented.

    She walked until she stopped at Ripper's voice. He was fully standing although having trouble staying that way. "That's right, walk away. You seem more suited for the garden," he sneered.

    Moriko whirled around and faced him with a horrified expression. "Come again?" she said softly.

    Ripper turned his head and spat. "You heard me. Little wussy girl. If you wanted to grope me, you could've just asked."

    The Heracross's eyes got wider but nothing came out of her mouth. But her two-clawed hands were clenching and unclenching themselves.

    My mouth dropped to match Seviper's expression. "It just got necessary," the Illumise whimpered.
    "I'll take that as a 'no'." She bent down, scooped him up in her horn and tossed him backwards in one smooth motion. Ripper screamed all the way to his destination: a tree. We heard a crashing sound, but the sound of Ripper hitting the ground was absent.

    "I think he's stuck," Hoothoot said with a cracking voice. I smiled but managed not to laugh.

    Some of the Volbeat fluttered up to the tree and illuminated a pair of kicking legs. I could no longer keep my laughter contained. "Haha! You got what you deserved!" I said as loudly as possible.

    "Is that you, Reaper? If you have any sympathy for your partner you will come up here and GET ME DOWN!" Ripper screamed.

    The others laughed with me. Moriko just smiled sadly. "I'll get you down, buddy," she offered.

    The red legs kicked even harder. "Oh, no you don't! I don't need you rubbing your generosity in my face! Reaper, get me down!"

    "Partner, I'm afraid that it's either Moriko or no one at all!" I yelled.

    "I'd rather die up here!"
    Static walked around him, his tail twitching. "Hey, you're spoon-less!" he pointed out.

    "Of course I am. You actually thought that thing was super glued to my hand?"
    We were so wrapped up in ourselves that we didn't know the door had opened. Riku cleared his throat when he wanted to make ourselves known. "Any reason why you're hanging out in front of my dad's study?" he inquired coolly.

    Static and Cinder were too shocked to give an answer. "Um...we were getting Magic to show us around!" I told him cheerfully.

    Static poked me and whispered in my ear. "He split around th' time we started talkin'."

    There went my excuse. I was reduced to a nervously laughing idiot. "He must've gone to the bathroom," I lied shakily.
    "H-h-hi," Cinder stammered.

    Without warning, Stella squealed at the top of her lungs. "You are the cutest little guy I've ever seen! You're like a little teddy bear! Except you're a mouse!"
    "Good idea, Artie!"

    "Don't call me Artie!"

    "Why? You let me call you Artie," Static said to me.

    Stella smiled at my Raichu friend. "You call her that too? Does she call you Stacey?"

    "STACEY?" Static explained. He immediately jumped on the floor, forgetting about the ice and sliding right out of the foyer with Cinder still on his back. "You're crazy!" He took off for another room.
    "You don't have to worry about me. My icy fur keeps me nice and cold, and my Glacier Crystal can make things even colder." She leaned in closer, her nose almost touching his.

    "B-b-but you feel like an ice c-c-c-cube," Cinder stuttered while he shivered violently.

    Her smile only got wider. "I know! Want to lick me and see if your tongue gets stuck?"

    The reaction was slightly expected. Cinder screamed, I dropped my jaw, and Static turned bright red and held his nose. "Aah! I tink I got a nosebleed!" Static yelled.

    "Stella, you can't just say things like that!" I scolded.

    "Why not?" she whimpered.

    "Because...because you're making him more nervous!"

    "I just want to make him feel good!"

    "Oh God!" Static yelled as he hopped around.
    The visitor snarled louder. "Stop calling me an 'it'!" he said gruffly.

    "Fine, what should we call youse? Dino? Yoshi?" He seemed to have gotten bold enough to start a shouting match.

    "Should I call you 'lunch'?"

    "No, sir!"

    I will certainly be here for more of this.
    Last edited by Sike Saner; 9th September 2007 at 01:39 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated August 23, 2007)

    Okay, it's past five in the morning here and I'm sure a good bit of the rational part of my brain has shut down. But I'm done.

    Chapter 4 - Questions Asked, Questions Answered

    Shonta's POV


    (Day 2, Early Morning)

    I twirled around the room to the music playing from someone's stereo. It was so soothing, it almost seemed to dance around the room itself. "What song is this?" I asked an unknown person eagerly.

    A soft female voice spoke behind me, slightly scaring my four-year-old self. "Have you heard of Mozart?" he asked me.

    Without looking at her, I shook my head. "Did he make this music?"

    "Yes. He was what people called a prodigy."

    I swayed to the string instruments as I listened to her. "What's that?"

    "It's someone who's very smart for their age. Maybe you're one too." I felt her small hand pat my head gently.

    Where was I? Who was I speaking with? Somehow I wasn't too concerned about that. "Could I make music like that if I was a progidy?" I could hear her laugh as I mispronounced the new word.

    "It's 'prodigy', and I'm sure you could make very pretty music." The hand that was patting my head went down to my shoulder. "Rebecca? Can you promise me something?"

    I wasn't surprised that she called me by my first name. She never used my middle name. "What's that, ma'am?"

    "Can you promise me that you'll make my son happy when you grow up?"

    I didn't know her son. He wasn't there with her. "How can I make him happy?"

    "Stay with him, and listen to this music with him."

    I smiled but then the warm feeling disappeared. "Daddy wouldn't like that. He doesn't want me to be happy."

    "But I do. One day I won't be with my son, and I want someone to stay with him." She caressed my cheek, her touch bringing back that feeling.

    "Okay. I promise."

    "Good girl." The music stopped and the woman behind me sighed. "Rebecca, you're going to make a lot of people happy just by being near them. Mean people like your father don't like your pure soul, but a lot of others do. You'll be very important to them."

    That sounded nice to me, to know that I'd actually be of importance to others. The woman put her hand on my back, between my shoulder blades. "You should be my little girl, not that bastard's," she hissed venomously.

    First I gasped at the sound of a word that Mom told me to never say. Then I screamed as I felt a sharp, burning sensation at the spot where the woman touched me. She didn't touch my skin, but whatever burned me went through my shirt without ruining it. Mozart restarted, playing his beautiful symphony as I fell to the floor.


    I woke up back in the Pokemon Center, sweating as though I went through a nightmare. It didn't feel like one, though. It was one of those dreams that shouldn't have been a nightmare but I still felt something terrifying from it, and I only got those kinds of dreams when I was really having flashbacks.

    The feeling that I had when I was falling asleep earlier still seemed to hang in the air, but it was more subtle. That almost convinced me that something was in the room. It was probably just some kid's ghost Pokemon poking around.

    Needing someone to talk to, I picked up the Grovyle plushie and put the Light Dragon Key around it's neck. "I really hope this works," I muttered to myself. Nothing happened at first, telling me that the dragon was sleeping. "Lord Dairyuu!"

    An aura surrounded the plushie and then faded. The Grovyle twitched its claws, then blinked with previously nonexistent eyelids. "Shonta?" he asked wearily.

    I sighed in relief. It had worked. "Sorry. I had to talk to you about something."

    "Yes, I sensed your dream. Very strange, what was it about?"

    "I think...it was a memory of mine. For a long time, I couldn't remember anything that happened before I moved to Sunflower Town. Then I met a Haunter named Cackle, and he sort of unlocked that forgotten part of my memory. But even then it sort of stayed hidden. Now it's starting to trickle out." I then described the dream but the promise had already been forgotten. Dairyuu listened to the whole thing, his new body showing limited expressions. But just explaining the dream seemed to bring that burning sensation back to my back.

    "Shonta, are you alright?" Dairyuu asked me.

    "My back...it's still burning. It's never done this before."

    Dairyuu walked around me and pushed up my shirt. The plush hand lightly touched the burning point. "In your dream, was the woman human?"

    "I'm pretty sure she was. Why do you ask that?"

    "Because the burn is shaped like a Ninetales's paw." He pulled my shirt back down and sat Indian style in front of me. "That looked like Hotaru's work."

    "Who's Hotaru?"

    "I'm sure she has a much more elaborate name, but Lady Hotaru was one of the most mysterious Aurora Knights ever. She was one of Kagetsubasa's vessels but her Ninetales blood made it so that we had to retire her when the next one in line was born. After that she became the Kai Shadow Knight for a while longer, then she retired herself."

    I unconsciously rubbed my back for a second. "For crying out loud, how old was she?"

    "No less than two hundred years old."

    My jaw dropped. "You think the lady would die or something."

    "The strange thing about Ninetales and the Kai Shadow Knights is that they never truly die. They simply...cross over." He gave me a smirk. "They decide that they are tired of life and then give up the ghost."

    "But...I'm confused." A headache was forming just from trying to understand the information.

    "The Kai Shadow Crystal is not tied to the world of the dead, but the spiritual world as a whole. Spirits like the ones in mythology are part of that world, but are still alive. They are between those two worlds. Ghost type Pokemon are more like spirit types."

    I thought about it a bit more. "That actually clears up things. You're a spirit too, aren't you?"

    Dairyuu smiled. "Exactly. Others thought that being chosen as the Kai Shadow Knight was a curse. For one thing, the crystal tends to stick to one person from bonding and then stay with that one for a long time. This person is mistaken to be like the living dead. Ageless, mysterious, alone, perferring night to day. They'll detach themselves from everyone and wander the earth as a spirit would do."

    "Is that what Hotaru did?"

    "For a while. Then she settled somewhere unknown. It's most likely that she's still alive. And if that mark really is hers, then it's probably not a good thing. Hotaru was a bit of a businesswoman, only the deals she made were more costly."

    I got up, suddenly feeling like I had been given the death sentence. At that moment the presence from earlier made itself known again. "What's going to happen to me?"

    Dairyuu had been sensing the same thing because he put on an angry face and looked around the room. "I know you're here! Show yourself!" he yelled.

    Something slowly materialized in front of us. A black cloak, with almost no clue as to who was under it. But he or she was short, about the size of a little kid. And I could see pale white feet under the cloak. "I had a feeling you were going to show yourself before the sun rose," Dairyuu growled.

    "Do you know this guy?" I asked him shakily. He just growled, which didn't ease my nerves. My hand inched toward the crystal around his neck but he got out of my reach.

    "We don't need to fight just yet." He got closer to the cloaked figure. "I am Lord Dairyuu. State your business or leave."

    The cloak stayed silent as it held out a folded piece of paper to me. I hesitated until the hand shook it once and I actually heard ragged breathing come from under the hood. As soon as I took the paper from him/her, he/she disappeared. "How long was he here?" I wondered out loud.

    Dairyuu kept glaring at the spot where the visitor stood. "All night. It was only a matter of when to reveal himself to us."

    I unfolded the piece of paper in my hand and was immediately drawn to the silver pawprint stamp in the lower right corner. "Ten bucks says that this is from Hotaru." I read it out loud:

    Dearest Rebecca,

    It's been far too long since I've seen your darling face. But now you're close enough to give me a visit. You owe me that much. Come see me and we can catch up on old times, as well as make plans to fulfill your promise. Tsuki should've left you a map and a picture of the boy you shall bond with.

    Sincerly,
    Iwata Hotaru

    P.S. - It would be wise to set out as soon as possible, otherwise I will have to send someone to collect you.


    My blood froze so quickly I almost blacked out. Dairyuu stared at me in disbelief but didn't say anything until I opened my mouth. "What did you promise her?" he asked me angrily.

    "I don't know!" I squeaked in defense. Then the forgotten part of the dream came to me. "She just wanted me to stay with her son!"

    "SHONTA, YOU'RE BETROTHED TO HIM!"

    My hand flew to my chest as I felt my heart skip a beat. The mark on my back burned again, pulling my attention from the voices that were coming through the wall. "Need...fresh air," I panted while looking out through the window at the sunrise.

    My companion ignored me as he collected two more pieces of paper that we overlooked. "This can't be..." he mumbled.

    "Hm?"

    He jumped back on the bed and showed me the picture. It was a boy in a private school uniform, silver hair, blue eyes, cold expression...

    "Iwata," was all Dairyuu said as he studied my terrified expression.

    I found the strength to calmly put my things in my backpack. I had forgotten to change clothes but that didn't matter right now. All that mattered was that I got as far away from Slateport as possible.

    Dairyuu rode on my shoulder as I speedwalked out the Pokemon Center, Nurse Joy not even at the front desk yet. "Let's not be hasty about this," he told me. His voice almost sounded shaky.

    "She is expecting me to keep a promise I made when I was four years old. I think we should be as hasty as possible." I stopped and clenched my fists. "I am your vessel! We shouldn't be scared of her!"

    To my surprise, the dragon clutched my shoulder even tighter. "Hotaru is not a person to be taken lightly. After all, she is his mother."

    "Oh my God." He was scared, which made me even more scared. What was she to be that terrifying and knowing? I seeked out the nearest bench and sat down heavily on it. Sleep was both welcomed and feared at that moment.

    "Shonta..." Dairyuu jumped down and sat next to me. "You need to know...about yourself and what you are."

    Ryan's POV

    (Day 2, Morning)

    "Cinder? Cinder!"

    I never thought that waking up without the Cyndaquil near me would be so unnerving. So many things could happen to him while he was living in this place. He could've gotten lost; that was the most likely scenario. But something could've scared him or hurt him. That possibility had been on my mind since I found out that others were able to get to the mansion using the Aurora Mirrors.

    "Cinder?" I whispered as I looked into the nearest bathroom. Wait, why am I looking in the bathroom? Cinder does his business outside. I backed up and bumped into a thin figure. "Sorry, Daichi-san."

    "I see you've remembered the formalities this time," he said thankfully. "But have you been trying to avoid me?"

    I finally turned around to face him, not prepared to see his new look. I grabbed the doorknob to brace myself. Wow, he looks like that bad guy from Voltron. Purple skin, white hair, elfin ears. The gem on his forehead was something new, though.

    "Uhhh..." I groaned like an idiot.

    "Freshen up and get some breakfast," Daichi instructed me as if nothing was wrong.

    "Uhhh...yeah." I had already done it, but at least I had an excuse to get away.

    Daichi spoke again before I had taken three steps. "Is there something wrong, Ryan?"

    I spun around and grinned. "N-n-n-no, Daichi-san! You're looking great as usual! Nothing out of place!" Daichi just smiled and went in the bathroom.

    As weird as my life is, I thought I would've been calmer about that. I shrugged and walked downstairs, still wearing my pajama pants.

    I would've changed if I had known who was sitting at the kitchen table.

    "Hey bro!"

    I froze in my tracks as a cheerful looking Hayate spooned some cereal into his mouth. "Uhhh..." was all I said. My face showed as much confusion as when I saw Daichi.

    The Kai Draco Knight swallowed his food before speaking again. "You shouldn't stare like that. Your face could get frozen that way." He laughed as I closed my mouth and sat next to him. "Sorry if I scared you last night. I'm not that friendly around strangers."

    I sighed in relief. At least he was acting human this time. My eyes locked on a black, hardcover book so I wouldn't have to look at his face. "So is this the real you?"

    "Not really. I had a good dream but I'm sure my happy bubble will burst soon." He pushed the book to me. It was a yearbook of some sort. "Karasu Prep in Lavender Town. Predominantly Japanese, so it's full of supernerds and stiffs."

    I opened the book and looked through pictures in alphebetical order, noticing that it was in the "last name first" format. "Were they that selective about their students?" I asked Hayate as I approached the I's.

    He walked to the fridge and put a bottle of milk in front of me. "This side of the world is a hotspot of Pokemon activity. And Pokemon are interesting creatures, so people from all over the world can be found here. But the area just screams 'Japan' so Japanese is the second language, English being the first. That school is just some elitists' way of saying that Japan is tops."

    I looked in the book and found "Iwata Riku". Same hair, same cold look. Then I glanced at the picture before him. Red hair in a ponytail, green eyes, looking like a demon.

    "Iwata Hayate".

    Suddenly this guy didn't seem so safe.

    Hayate sniffed the air and grabbed my shoulder. "Relax. I may be related to the guy but I'm actually a lot more sane than I look."

    My voice came back a little. "Brothers?" I asked breathlessly.

    He stiffened and squeezed my shoulder, seemingly hating the sound of that word. "Hell no. Cousins." I let out a tiny whimper from his grip and he let go. "I'm thinking about castrating that guy so that he won't have any children." His face was back to the way I remembered from last night, indifferent but with a hidden layer of malice.

    "Sorry. I know he's a good guy but something about him..." I gave an involuntary shiver.

    "It's from his mother." He put his lips to his cereal bowl and drank, belching after he was done. "The lineage is one to be feared."

    He knew about this. How much did he know? "You were going to explain something to me last night."

    "Fix your Fruit Loops first. Then I'll explain."

    The whole thing was almost too awkward. This guy, as wild as he looked, was actually more tolerable than Riku. He just sat at the table while I poured some cereal into my own bowl. "How old are you?" I asked him while I was doing that.

    "Twenty-three."

    Whoa. I thought Terri was oldest with her being twenty-one. I sat back in my seat with my cereal. Something else took the place of the yearbook that was in front of me, a flat metal circle with symbols on it. "What's this? Looks like it was part of a necklace or something."

    "That was something a Daemon would wear to show that he or she was a Kai Knight. Back when it was alright for them to walk around in their true forms."

    The symbols on the pendant drew me away from the reality of his answer. "Demon?"

    "No, Daemon. That was what the ancient humans named people like you and me. But I guess now we could be considered demons, with those religious people running around." He took the pendant from my hand and pressed a finger to my forehead when I started to protest. "Do you understand?"

    My half-open eyes became alert. "We...have another name?"

    "We are neither Pokemon nor human, but in between and on our own. We are Daemons." He looked at the pendant, letting the light reflect off the surface. "This thing sucked you in pretty far. I guess the feeling of having a piece of your past took over you."

    He was right, but now my rational side was going on the offensive. "No. No! I was born a human and the crystal is what changes me into my hybrid form!" My hands clutched the edge of the kitchen table as I yelled.

    Hayate's eyes became hard. "So why is your nose twitching?"

    "Huh?"

    "Your nose has been twitching ever since you sat next to me. It's as if you smell something."

    "You smell like cigarette smoke. So what? I bet you smoke all the time."

    "Not in the morning, and this shirt is supposed to be clean. I guess it's not clean enough for your nose." He raised his head to the ceiling and sniffed the air. "That Raichu is close, along with a couple of other Pokemon I don't recognize."

    "But..." There was no need to argue. I had noticed that my senses would be sharpened if I focused them, but other than that they were up to human standards. "So how does it work? Is this human form a disguise or something?"

    He smiled at me and patted my back. "That's my guess! Our crystals unlocked something that can't be locked again. Your current human form is nothing but a fancy costume! So I guess you've figured out what's with the purple Daichi."

    "He had an Aurora Crystal?"

    "In his watch. Smart, huh? So what do you think happened to him? Come on, I'm not going to answer if you can find out for yourself."

    I groaned in frustration. My crystal must be the one that's keeping me human. Hey, that's why Shonta always had to have hers with her! If she started to get stressed then she changed back! So if we're all like that, then...

    "The Nocturne of Rest," I mumbled. "If only the Kai Crystals and the keys are working right now, then all the others aren't able to keep up the Daemons' disguise."

    "And it's not just Daichi. The Pokemon League officials in Neo have announced that your dad called in sick three days ago. There are a few more disappearings but their relatives assured the press that it's nothing major." He slipped the pendant into his pants pocket and got off the stool.

    I had my head down on the table, suffering from a slight headache and a loss of about half my energy. He knew even more than Riku. "Is it genetic? Did you parents know about this?" I asked him weakly. He shrugged. "How did you find out?"

    "Journals. From about a century ago." He patted me on the back. "I'll show you some stuff later."

    My nose twitched again as I smelled Cinder. "Cinder, where were you?" I asked out loud.

    The Cyndaquil revealed himself along with Artemis and Static. "I was out in the backyard," Cinder answered.

    "Hey, I smelled dat Hayate in here! Where is he?" Static demanded. "Cinder, come out and see the new guy!"

    Cinder must've been hiding somewhere earlier because he screamed as soon as he laid eyes on the redhead. "AAH! AAAAAAAAAH!" he shrieked.

    "What's his problem?" Hayate asked me.

    "He has a fear of evil clowns," Artemis answered dully, having experience of comforting Cinder through a certain Stephen King movie.

    He curled up in a tight ball and rolled around the room. Unfortunately for him, that gave Hayate a chance to pick him up and hold him. "Cool, a Cyndaquil. I've never really seen one of these up close." Cinder struggled to get out of his grasp but started to relax as he heard his captor's calm voice. "Come on, no need to be afraid of Uncle Hayate."

    "Hey, Trogdor! Why don't youse put down my friend and go burninate somethin'?" Static yelled.

    "Good idea. I'll start with you." That made Artemis laugh. Cinder tried to curl up but Hayate started to coo like he was a baby. I stared in wonder as my Pokemon became limp in his arms. "That's better."

    "I'm surprised you were able to calm him while looking like that," Riku commented coldly as he entered the kitchen.

    Hayate scowled at him but handed Cinder over to me before making a comeback. "Look who's calling the kettle black. It's Mr. Pot!"

    "What is that supposed to mean?" He walked over to an intercom and pressed the call button. "I need breakfast prepared immediately."

    "What do you think it means? You look like you could freeze Ryan solid with your stare...and your hair needs some serious styling too."

    "Said the person who looks like a love child conceived at a circus."

    I grabbed the collar of Hayate's shirt as he took a step toward Riku. The redhead's pupils had become reptilian and an animalisitc growl was rumbling from his throat. "Not here," I told him.

    "That's right, cousin," Riku sneered. "Take yourself somewhere else, like your home. There must be some strange woman in your bed right now."

    I grabbed his arm but he stayed reasonably calm. "Okay, I admit that there is someone waiting for me and that she'll be upset if I don't get to her quickly," Hayate said to Riku. "But you shouldn't be casting stones at me when your own past is less than perfect."

    There was a staring match between the two relatives. Artemis tugged at my pants leg and Cinder squirmed in my arms, signaling that he wanted to be let down. I set him next to Artemis and prepared to drag Hayate away. But then something rang in Riku's pocket, breaking the tension. "It's Mother," Riku groaned as he checked the cell phone's screen.

    "Aww, it's your mommy!" Hayate teased.

    "Shut up and disappear." He stopped the butler as he walked in and pointed to the stove.

    Me and the others peeked around the corner as he talked into the phone. "Hello, Mother. Are you feeling well?...Just make sure you stay out of the heat....Yes, I'm alright....No, no ring yet." He gave a convincing laugh.

    "Wow, I actually haven't thought of Riku as a mama's boy," Artemis remarked quietly.

    "Actually, I tought th' guy was created in a lab or somethin'. No way a woman conceived him," Static said with a laugh.

    "Not a normal one, at least," Cinder whispered.

    It was evident at that point that Riku knew we were listening, but he made no attempt at stopping us. "No, I don't want to meet her!....No, I'm not raising my voice. But I do have someone else in mind....I'm not sure if she's like Rebecca because I've never met Rebecca....Well, you shouldn't have marked her without my approval."

    Hayate groaned. "Not this again. She's been trying to marry Riku off to that Rebecca since the boy was five, and she hasn't seen that girl for years."

    "That's a coincidence. He's been chasing Shonta but he's been promised to Rebecca," Artemis mused.

    I chuckled a bit, only a little nervous about that fact. Hayate stiffened and pulled me away from the doorway. "What is the Umbreon saying?" he inquired.

    "My name is Artemis," the Umbreon corrected.

    "Just that Shonta's first name...is..." I started but faded to nothing as Hayate's expression changed to shock.

    "Oh boy," Static squeaked. "We never told Riku Shonta's foist name."

    "And Hotaru doesn't know Rebecca's preferred name," Artemis said softly.

    "I'm sure it's a misunderstanding," I reasoned. "If we can explain to Hotaru about Shonta then she'll back off, right? I mean, Shonta was four years old then!"

    Hayate lowered his voice to a whisper. "That's not the point. Shonta made a contract with Hotaru, and even let the witch mark her. Technically she can't back out, according to Daemon rules. And Hotaru isn't a woman that can handle not getting something she wants. She's capable of some scary crap."

    I couldn't speak. The whole thing freaked me out. I sat back down at the kitchen table and rested my head in my hands. "I can't even warn her," I mumbled.

    "No, Riku will suspect something and Hotaru probably already knows the truth." I felt his hand on my back. "I'll need a picture of her and something with her scent on it."

    "What? Well, I have her picture in my wallet." I was willing to go along with it since he had more of a plan than me. "Nothing with her scent on it, though."

    "I have her sock!" Static said excitedly. I looked down and saw that Artemis was giving him a grossed-out look. "It's a security blanket."

    "Go get it," Hayate ordered him. "Then meet me in the guest room. Ryan, come with me."

    I followed him as he rushed to one of the ground floor guest rooms. An Aurora Mirror stood in the corner. "If you want to find her so badly, then your Kai Crystal will open a shortcut to the Aurora Mirror closest to her. I'll go find her as quickly as possible. Maybe I can find her before Hotaru does something dangerous." He lifted his hands as they became green and scaly.

    I nodded and put my hand over the Kai Flame Crystal. Immediately an image of Shonta flashed in front of my eyes. The crystal glowed, and the mirror shimmered as it showed a forest. "I think I got it," I said, feeling relieved.

    Static ran in the room with a dirty sock in his mouth and gave it to Hayate. "Are youse sure dat running out dere as a Raptoreon is a good idea?" the Raichu asked me.

    "I can keep myself hidden." He finished transforming and sniffed the inside of the sock. "Whoo, this needs to be washed! Okay, got the scent. You guys just keep calm while you're around Riku or he'll resort to reading your minds." He walked through the mirror before it went back to normal.

    Artemis fidgeted in place. "What is going on here? First I hear that crazy talk about Daemons and now we have to worry about Riku's mother! Is she evil or what?"

    "I hope she isn't," Cinder whimpered.

    *~*~*~*~*~

    And that's Chapter 4. All I can tell you about the next chapter is that it'll have Team Ninja (Reaper/Ripper) and Team Diva (Terri/Kanna). Reply...and go easy on me.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 27th March 2008 at 10:23 PM.
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  12. #12
    Veteran Trainer
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated September 20, 2007)

    Riku's... mother... and she... so he... with Shonta...

    *babbles aimlessly*

    Okay. Well. So, Shonta's... engaged. This certainly adds a new element to the plot. Is she going to have to run from Hotaru to avoid having to make good on this arrangement? Is there some way she can barter her way out of it? Or is this a case of kill or be... wed? And for that matter, how will Riku react when he realizes who this "Rebecca" really is? Hard to say, I suppose. But in any event, now his shameless flirting in KTR makes a whole lot more sense...

    Obviously, the revelation here was excellent. I don't know what will come of it, but I have a feeling you've been planning this one for awhile. I also liked some of the characterization. Seeing a vulnerable Dairyuu was definitely new, and I also liked how Hayate was cast in a new light. I must say, though, I didn't remember Shonta's father being shown as some horribly mean guy... clearly, I need to look back. I'm happy about the pace at which we're learning more and more about these "daemons" and their weaknesses. That's working well, methinks. But I have to admit, the Voltron reference was painful. I will never see Iwata-san in quite the same way. Ergh.

    Despite the comedy and drama in this chapter, I did think a few things could have been a little better. For one, I kind of wish we'd seen Shonta's flashback earlier, or at least some shadow of it. As it is now, it works well, but I have to wonder if it would've been even better as an "Oh my God, so that's what it meant!" moment. It's just a thought. Not that it can be changed now, but yeah. And for another, it seemed like Ryan and company might have realized the Shonta = Rebecca connection a little too easily. After all, there are plenty of girls named Rebecca, so how did they immediately realize that this one was the Rebecca we know and love? Maybe I'm missing something here - if Hotaru had been trying to wed Riku to an Aurora Knight or something, it would've made more sense. It's possible that I missed an important point here, due to the whole "it's six in the morning" issue. Still, thought I'd mention it.

    Nevertheless, I really liked this one. Glad to see that clown-boy isn't completely sadistic and evil (we think), and it's always fun to see how Riku reacts when things aren't quite in his control. I do wonder what's going to happen when he finds out about Rebecca. I mean, he has to find out eventually, right? This should be some fun tension. And as for Shonta and Grovryuu, what will happen when they encounter Hotaru? Or will Daivyle convince his young charge to alter her hasty plan? Questions abound! I look forward to seeing them answered. Until then!
    IT HAS RETURNED.
    THE TPM MAIN SITE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Luper View Post
    Holy crap ... I'VE become a grammar nazi, too.

  13. #13
    The slaughter never ends. Junior Trainer
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated September 20, 2007)

    Quite an interesting flashback there at the beginning, especially due to its significance... SHONTA IS BETHROTHED TO RIKU. O_O Yeah, that is definitely quite a development there... And what makes it even better is that Riku has no idea that Rebecca is Shonta's first name.

    I'm not sure if she's like Rebecca because I've never met Rebecca....
    Oh, Riku, if you only knew... XP

    So yeah, this developing situation is one that has potential for some serious awesomeness as the story progresses.

    Hotaru, meanwhile, already seems like a very fascinating character. I am enthusiastic about the possibility of reading more about her.

    I also wonder about the little cloaked figure who gave Hotaru's message to Shonta--I'm interested in the matters of both who and what he is. o.o He has pale white feet; that's all I know for now, so that, I suppose, is the clue with which I'll work in trying to determine what the heck he is, exactly.

    Highlights:

    Where was I? Who was I speaking with? Somehow I wasn't too concerned about that. "Could I make music like that if I was a progidy?" I could hear her laugh as I mispronounced the new word.
    Nice, cute little-kidism there. ^^

    "Good girl." The music stopped and the woman behind me sighed. "Rebecca, you're going to make a lot of people happy just by being near them. Mean people like your father don't like your pure soul, but a lot of others do. You'll be very important to them."

    That sounded nice to me, to know that I'd actually be of importance to others. The woman put her hand on my back, between my shoulder blades. "You should be my little girl, not that bastard's," she hissed venomously.

    First I gasped at the sound of a word that Mom told me to never say. Then I screamed as I felt a sharp, burning sensation at the spot where the woman touched me. She didn't touch my skin, but whatever burned me went through my shirt without ruining it. Mozart restarted, playing his beautiful symphony as I fell to the floor.
    Wow. o.o Powerful stuff there, and unexpected, too.

    I woke up back in the Pokemon Center, sweating as though I went through a nightmare. It didn't feel like one, though. It was one of those dreams that shouldn't have been a nightmare but I still felt something terrifying from it, and I only got those kinds of dreams when I was really having flashbacks.
    "One of those dreams that shouldn't have been a nightmare but I still felt something terrifying from it"--Oh man, I know that feeling. o.o It's amazing to see a concept like that actually put into words.

    "Let's not be hasty about this," he told me. His voice almost sounded shaky.

    "She is expecting me to keep a promise I made when I was four years old. I think we should be as hasty as possible."
    I like Shonta's response there.

    "Cinder?" I whispered as I looked into the nearest bathroom. Wait, why am I looking in the bathroom? Cinder does his business outside.
    XD

    "I'm thinking about castrating that guy so that he won't have any children."
    O_O; Yikes. XD


    I love the way the story's currently going, and I look forward to Reaper and Ripper getting some more time in the spotlight in the next chapter.
    Last edited by Sike Saner; 20th September 2007 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Me and my typos... XD

  14. #14
    The real Shonta Moderator
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated September 20, 2007)

    *pops open sparkling grape juice* Sorry, I would like to stay sober. I think this chapter marks the next step to a Kingdom Hearts crossover. The story's already sounding like a Final Fantasy game and I never knew!

    Chapter Five - Family, Blood and Water

    Terri's POV


    (Day 2, Late Morning)

    "Sorry, Cid. We might've been earlier but we ran into certain complications with the group and we kept misplacing things. But we corrected the problem before it was too late!"

    Translation for those not learning Kanna-ese: "Sorry, Cid. We might've been earlier but my damn Raitah wouldn't get into his pokeball and buried half of my things in the sand. But we threatened to drown him in the kiddie pool and he obeyed!"

    I sat heavily on a bench before anyone could call to attention my drowsiness combined with my shaky legs. It was my first time riding in a seaplane at daybreak. Cid, a blond guy that looked like he was related to Popeye with his big arms and hands, looked over at me. "Ya don't look like you're much for travel, lady," he commented in a gruff accent that matched his look.

    "Not while I'm half-asleep, sir," I yawned.

    "What a sissy." I barely caught that insult but wasn't up to trying a comeback.

    Kanna sat beside me. "Take all the time you need. Cid isn't one for smooth rides."

    I took one more look at Cid while he walked off. "Is that his real name?" I asked her.

    She just laughed and stood back up. "Come on, we should get to Mom's place so we can drop off our stuff."

    It didn't take me long at all to figure out why Bubbles went nuts over Altomare. It was Venice with Pokemon and a more solid base. I doubted that it was going to sink in the water anytime soon. The buildings were still cramped together, though, with many small alleys between them. So entrances to many places were well hidden.

    "Oooh..." I said softly as I stopped for about the tenth time.

    I could tell that Kanna was getting a little annoyed but she managed to smile. "That's Mom's favorite clothing store. They're very expensive, so she only has a couple of outfits from there." She pulled my arm until I started walking again.

    I walked beside her as soon as I got over the nice dress in the window. "So you talked about your stepmom. What about your dad?"

    "Researcher. But he chases after legends. The last time I heard, he was somewhere in Kanto. He's usually in a place my cell phone can't reach."

    A canal was on the other side of the sidewalk, making transportation such as cars or even mopeds impossible. It was either walk or take a boat. I watched a gondola pass under a bridge that we were approaching. Kanna stopped me before we crossed it. "Do you hear that?" she asked me.

    I did hear it. "It's just a bunch of shouting. So what?" I said. But then the sound got closer, and seconds later, a brown blur went by us. A group of boys followed it. It took a few seconds for my mind to register what my sharpened eyes saw. "Was that...a Buizel? What's a Buizel doing here?"

    Kanna clenched her jaws shut. "That was Typhoon," she whispered, and then sighed heavily. "They're in trouble again."

    She didn't explain before taking off in the direction of the angry mob with me following closely behind. We swerved around innocent bystanders and down a narrow alley. That was where we found the boys, trapping the Buizel in a dead end. There were four boys, all of them about high school age. A bunch of thugs.

    "End of the line, Typhoon," one of the boys sneered at the cornered Buizel.

    "CUT IT OUT!" I yelled out angrily to them without thinking.

    All four of them turned to us. The leader, a tall guy with a shaved head and goggles around his neck, crossed his arms in an attempt to scare us off. "Got something to say, girlie?" he asked me.

    I opened my mouth to talk but Kanna cut me off. "I assume you had nothing better to do so you decide to chase this Pokemon," she told him calmly.

    Baldy glared at her. "This is none of your business! This Buizel has been sticking its nose in our turf!"

    Kanna didn't seem scared, just bored. I could see why; the guy probably hadn't even graduated yet. "This is Altomare. Where would you find 'turf' in Altomare?" She got closer to him as he rolled up his sleeves. "I happen to know this Buizel, so I'll be taking him off your hands."

    I could see the rusty gears turning in Baldy's head. "Oh, you must be Dee Dee Dee's sister! Hey guys, it's the retard's sis!" The other three humans laughed with their leader.

    A growl escaped me before I knew it. I may not know Kanna's stepbrother, but I don't care. These guys are so dead! I looked at Kanna who seemed as angry as I've seen her, but neither of us did anything to them yet.

    Kanna soon got tired of the staring contest and pushed him aside. "We'll be leaving with Typhoon now," she grumbled.

    The four guys tensed, ready for a fight. But Kanna ignored them as the relieved Buizel jumped in her arms. "I said that this was none of your business!" Baldy roared.

    Kanna gave him a deadly glare, her glasses reflecting the sunlight and giving her a "devious anime scientist" look. "Three things. One, I am related to the person who owns this Buizel so this is my business. Two, this Buizel hasn't done anything that deserves punishment! Three, this alley is too small to be starting anything in, so..."

    The gang laughed loudly at my friend until they were gasping for breath. "Okay, girlie! We'll let you go this time!" He took a few steps back.

    Typhoon shivered in Kanna's arms as I followed her out the alley. "They're lying," Typhoon whimpered. Those were the first words he uttered since he'd been cornered.

    Kanna just nodded. "I know. We just need more room to retaliate."

    As soon as we were out in the open, the thugs ran out with pokeballs in hand. "Did you think that we were going to just let you go?" Baldy crowed.

    "Nope," I answered. My eyes widened as I saw Kanna pull out a pokeball of her own. "Don't tell me that's..."

    "Prowler, go!" Kanna shouted as she threw it.

    The Raitah materialized in front of the gang with a sneer on his face. Everyone but the leader took three steps back. "Oh man, is that what I think it is?" one of Baldy's flunkies asked.

    "Is she even allowed to keep it?" another squeaked.

    Kanna smiled. It wasn't a nice smile, either. "Prowler, meet your new chew toys."

    Prowler gave his prey a toothy grin. "AT LAST!" he roared. That alone made the gang, as well as three bystanders, run for their lives. Kanna returned him before he could chase anyone.

    I was only slightly nervous about Kanna's solution, but that didn't stop me from laughing at their retreating backs. They had a point; Raitah are supposed to be a protected species. Oh well, at least it was morning.

    Typhoon had his eyes covered the whole time. When the coast was clear, he looked at me and smiled. "Are you Kanna's friend?" he inquired. When I nodded, he squeaked in surprise. "You can understand me!"

    "What were you doing to get into trouble, Typhoon?" Kanna asked him.

    The Buizel's two tails drooped. "I...wandered off again and, um, got a little lost."

    I couldn't tell if he was embarrassed or just lying, but Kanna accepted his answer. "Well, why didn't you fight back? I know you're capable of defending yourself."

    That rendered Typhoon speechless. He frowned and pawed at Kanna's shoulder. Kanna put him on the ground and kneeled to his level. "I'm sorry about that. Those kids are pretty intimidating," she said with a smile.

    "Not as intimidating as your new Pokemon," he told her with a small smile.

    "I'm guessing that you already know that Kanna can understand Pokemon," I interrupted.

    "Of course I know. So does Demyx."

    "Demyx?" Kanna and I echoed together.

    He nodded and looked at Kanna. "You know that he thinks Demetrios is a stupid name. At first he preferred Dee, but then his classmates started calling him Dee Dee Dee. His best friend recommended his current nickname."

    "That one sucks too," I grumbled. "Demyx. Sounds Final Fantasy if you ask me."

    He laughed and started walking past us. "He must be worrying about me. Come on, let's go home before Prowler's 'wake-up call' gets us in trouble."

    We crossed the bridge where we met Typhoon and went down a section that seemed to be mostly art galleries and stores that sold handmade things. We stopped in front of a three-story building. "Here's the museum," Typhoon announced. "It's still closed so we need to go around to the side entrance."

    The side entrance in the nearby alley led to an ordinary kitchen and a small dining area. Through the doorway was a nice sized living room with a plasma screen TV and video games. At first I thought that the stereo in the corner was playing some guitar music, but then I saw that it was turned off.

    Besides, the music was coming from upstairs.

    "At least Dee is here," Kanna mumbled as she climbed the carpeted stairs up to the second floor. "We got here before he got out for the day."

    I started to follow her, but then I heard the unseen guitar play at a faster rhythm and then slow down until the sound was like falling raindrops. Finally it stopped, and someone yelled through one of the closed doors. "Who's there?"

    "It's me," Kanna answered.

    "Kanna?" The voice was slightly high pitched. The door to our right flew open and Kanna's stepbrother leaned over the railing to see us.

    The two could've been blood siblings. The two sets of blue eyes were certainly similar. But Demetrios was a dirty blonde, while Kanna was a brunette. But he looked ordinary. No spiky hairstyle, just a normal cut for his straight hair. One thing that I couldn't understand was his bright expression. How could any guy look that awake at ten in the morning?

    Kanna wasted no more time in nagging him. "Dee, what was Typhoon doing wandering outside alone?"

    "Dee" clicked his tongue and looked away. "Typhoon can take care of himself," he told his stepsister. His annoyed tone carried an accent that I couldn't recognize.

    "He was being chased by a bunch of high school punks," I butted in.

    I must've been invisible because he looked at me for the first time. His eyes lit up and his jaw dropped. It took him a while for him to find his voice. "Whoa. Um, Kanna? Since when did you have friends?"

    "Excuse me?" I growled.

    "Sorry!" he quickly said to me. "She just doesn't mention other people that often."

    "She works with me...in a way," Kanna explained. "Terri can understand Pokemon too."

    "Terri, huh?" I could've sworn he blushed a little. "What brings you here?" he asked me.

    "I wanted to see what my friend's family was like," I said.

    That time he definitely blushed. "Really? Well, we're not as annoying as Kanna says we are."

    "Oh really? Then I guess you tricked me into coming here for a just cause," Kanna said with a raised eyebrow.

    Her stepbrother turned four different shades of red and tried his best to laugh off his embarrassment. "Come on! Me? Trick? It wasn't a trick! Why would I trick you? I remember what happened last time..." He trailed off as he spaced out.

    "Trippin'..." I sang softly.

    "You are a lousy liar," Kanna commented with a smirk.

    Demyx huffed. "Fine, I tricked you. But you wouldn't have come here until I graduated! I wanted you here now!" He gave us a pathetic little-kid pout. "Please, big sis?"

    I looked at Kanna with wide eyes. "How old is this boy?" I asked her.

    "I just turned seventeen," Demyx told me brightly.

    I sighed. He might as well be ten.

    "Look, Mom's so busy that she's rarely home before sundown. I have something coming up at school, a sort of family thing. Mom doesn't have Pokemon, so..." He batted his eyelashes at us.

    "Is this that Pokemon contest your school has every year for the festival?" Kanna inquired. He nodded.

    Kanna had been tricked somehow, but she didn't seem too upset. In fact, seconds later she was smiling. "I don't get it. Are you going to choke him or what?" I asked Kanna.

    "I can't believe you used Medli," she said lightly. Demyx smiled and showed us a pokeball. Knowing that I needed further explanation, Kanna did that for me. "Medli is a Chatot. Chatot are well known in Sinnoh for their ability to mimic human speech. But mimicing someone's voice is a real challenge. Medli's perfect for contests."

    Her stepbrother threw his pokeball, letting loose a strange looking bird that was slightly larger than a Pidgey. She perched on the back of Demyx's computer chair and stared at me. At first I was staring her in the face, but then her wagging tail caught my attention. It's like a metronome...

    "Earth to Terri!" Demyx's loud voice snapped me back to reality. "Whoa, Medli had you spacing out!"

    "Spacing out! Spacing out!" Medli echoed. In English. Sounding like Demyx.

    Almost too weird for me.

    Reaper's POV

    (Day 2, Noon)

    Just about everyone that was present at the midnight gathering was either asleep or just relaxing by the time the sun was back up. Moriko was only awake for a couple more hours before she retired for the night, but she was awake before I was. But then again, I was asleep until almost noon.

    "Damn beetle," Ripper grumbled as he stared at a scratch on his armored shoulder. "If I find one dent..."

    "There's one right between your eyes," I interrupted with a smirk.

    He growled in frustration. "I'm-a kill her!"

    I watched him pace back and forth, his eyes burning with the irritation he felt since he woke up. "I don't see why you're so angry. Both the dent and the scratch will be gone before the day is over." His natural steel armor could get rid of any flaws in time.

    "That's not it! This stupid thing is proof that she beat me!"

    "You still have the spectators to worry about."

    He stopped pacing, looked at me thoughtfully, and rested his head against a tree. "You and your rational mind."

    "One of us has to be rational."

    "Such wise words from the Kai Venom Knight," a gentle voice said from behind the tree.

    We both turned our heads as the stranger made himself known. The unknown Pokemon was strange; a Gardevoir but with a different shape. It smelled like a male.

    "Great, a Gallade," Ripper grumbled. "Another noble pacifist."

    I saw the Gallade flinch at the comment. "If you're trying to provoke me, you'll be the one looking like a fool."

    I didn't want to suffer through more of Ripper's wrath so I did my best to avoid it. "I haven't seen a Pokemon like you before," I told the Gallade.

    "Pokemon in Sinnoh have found other evolved forms. I have had the fortune of training there under the eye of an Aurora Knight." He extended his hand to me. "My name is Ronin."

    "Reaper." He carefully shook my blade. "Who was this Aurora Knight who taught you?"

    "Sorry, but they made me promise to give no one that information." He laughed a little, his smile bright. "Not even the Kai Knights."

    Ripper "gently" nudged me aside. "Ronin. Any reason for the name?" he questioned.

    His eyes darkened instantly. "It's just a name. It doesn't always have to have some meaning."

    The sound of feathered wings alerted me of another newcomer. "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," Feather quoted as she landed on a branch. She had chosen to show up in her Pidgeotto form.

    Ronin waved to her. "Is Joi ready for me?" he asked Feather.

    "Yeah. I'll catch up after I talk to my friends."

    She waited for him to disappear from sight before talking again. "No one knows anything about Ronin. He's been everywhere and he only settled down here recently," she explained quietly.

    "That explains where he got the name," Ripper commented.

    "Something about him unnerves me. He has this edge around him," I observed.

    "I like the guy. Anyone who doesn't back down to me is okay in my book." He stretched casually.

    I ignored him. "What is Joi doing here?" I asked.

    "Joi visits here weekly to treat the oracle," the bird answered.

    Ripper blinked twice. "Oooookay. Oracle."

    "You haven't seen him yet because he's kept separated from the rest of the residents here." He looked directly into my eyes. "He's a major psychic. He can actually see into the future, even further than Future Sight allows other Pokemon."

    "I can see why they would want this oracle to stay healthy," I said.

    Ronin ran back to us at that moment. "Joi is bringing him to us," he informed. He looked surprised.

    "Does he want to come out?" Feather asked with as much surprise.

    "He practically demanded it!"

    We saw Joi off in the distance, walking towards us while holding a Zangoose's paw. The Zangoose was blindfolded with a black scarf as he shuffled carefully next to the nurse.

    "That's the oracle? Since when were Zangoose psychics?" Ripper said skeptically.

    I found my legs carrying me closer to the wary Zangoose. At first he froze as his nose twitched. Joi stopped and held his paw tighter. He turned toward me and sniffed the air, getting a good whiff of a stranger's scent. Finally he yanked his paw out of Joi's hand. "Joi. Who stands before me?" he demanded in a faint yet harsh voice.

    Joi looked at her hand, seemingly shocked that he would take such action. "That's Reaper. He's a friend of mine, so don't worry." She smiled at me. "Reaper, this is Stryker. With a 'y'."

    "Reaper," the oracle rasped. "The Grim Reaper. It is a shinigami that stands before me." He took a few more steps towards me. "Blood has soaked your scythes. The blood is sweet, like a loved one's."

    I took a step back. Is he just saying nonsense or does he actually know something?

    Stryker kept walking to me, stretching his arms out to me. "Bend down, shinigami. You seem familiar to me." My legs moved on their own, kneeling so I was at eye level to him. He held my face still with his paws. "Joi, I cannot see him properly. Remove this thing from my eyes."

    Joi obeyed, slowly pulling the scarf from him and holding it. Stryker had his eyes closed as it was removed but then carefully opening them. "Brother," he said to me with a grin. "You are no stranger to me. We both suffered here long ago."

    "The lab?" I mouthed.

    "Yes, the lab." He felt the contours of my face and stared straight into my eyes, freezing me with their gaze. "How long has it been since you heard that angel scream as you bathed in her blood?"

    The screams. I can still hear her! A vision of frightened blue eyes flashed before me as what could only be the cry of an innocent rang through the forest. I closed my eyes to try to clear my head, before I blacked out from the rush of memories.

    "Open them, Reaper!" Stryker yelled. I obeyed without thinking. "The past can never be denied! She's gone now!" The screams stopped abruptly. His voice became soft again. "Another is in your heart. You are...bonded...in some way." He smiled. "I can hear her laugh. But what else do I see?"

    My eyes grew wider with his. His paws shook before he fell back on his rear. A blue aura surrounded him. "She's in pain, brother. She's running for her life. Demons raise their claws to the sky for the hunt has started!"

    More screams. No, not screams. Growls and roars. Then I could clearly hear Shonta's voice. Angry. Afraid. Confused.

    "Reaper?" Ripper asked.

    "Reaper!" Joi cried out as darkness filled my vision.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 27th March 2008 at 10:30 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated December 15, 2007)

    Hooray, new chapter!

    Interesting feel to this one. I liked the contrast between your two scenes; the first was obviously pretty lighthearted (even the battle was won without a major struggle, and it ended pretty comically), while the latter was... rather ominous. Something tells me you wouldn't keep alluding to Reaper's past sins if they weren't going to be of great importance. What's really at work here? Nice manner of introducing the new characters, too. I'm rather curious about 3-Dee, particularly with the overt references to... "blushing." As for Stryker, he seems to be the first real link we have to Reaper. But what power does he actually hold? And just as importantly, what revelations will he provide?

    I will admit that some of the action scenes were a little hard to visualize, particularly the alley conflict and the Reaper-Stryker encounter. And there were a few minor spelling and grammar things here and there, but nothing with any real consistency. All in all, this chapter raised ever more questions that serve to further pique my curiosity. I can't wait to start digging into the secrets behind the facades! And on that note, I look forward to the next chapter!
    IT HAS RETURNED.
    THE TPM MAIN SITE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavin Luper View Post
    Holy crap ... I'VE become a grammar nazi, too.

  16. #16
    The slaughter never ends. Junior Trainer
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated December 15, 2007)

    Heh, I liked how that gang was sent running with one good roar from Prowler. That was great.

    I also liked the scene from Reaper's perspective. Again, I always enjoy reading Pokémon POV material. ^^

    I was quite surprised when the oracle turned out to be a Zangoose. Stryker already seems to be a pretty darned interesting character, I must say--I think he's cool. And I love the way he speaks. ^^ And the scene there at the end of the chapter, involving him and Reaper... that was awesome. o_o Very intense stuff, that.

    Ronin seems like an interesting character, too. I wonder if we'll be seeing more of him...

    And there was a Chatot in that chapter! I think those are very cute. ^^

    Highlights

    "Sorry, Cid. We might've been earlier but we ran into certain complications with the group and we kept misplacing things. But we corrected the problem before it was too late!"

    Translation for those not learning Kanna-ese: "Sorry, Cid. We might've been earlier but my damn Raitah wouldn't get into his pokeball and buried half of my things in the sand. But we threatened to drown him in the kiddie pool and he obeyed!"
    XD

    Cid, a blond guy that looked like he was related to Popeye with his big arms and hands, looked over at me.
    Heh, I liked that description of Cid. XD

    Baldy glared at her. "This is none of your business! This Buizel has been sticking its nose in our turf!"

    Kanna didn't seem scared, just bored. I could see why; the guy probably hadn't even graduated yet. "This is Altomare. Where would you find 'turf' in Altomare?"
    I love Kanna's response there. XD

    One thing that I couldn't understand was his bright expression. How could any guy look that awake at ten in the morning?
    Seriously. XD Heck, I'm usually still in bed at ten in the morning. XD

    Her stepbrother threw his pokeball, letting loose a strange looking bird that was slightly larger than a Pidgey. She perched on the back of Demyx's computer chair and stared at me. At first I was staring her in the face, but then her wagging tail caught my attention. It's like a metronome...
    Again, I think Chatot are adorable. ^^

    "Earth to Terri!" Demyx's loud voice snapped me back to reality. "Whoa, Medli had you spacing out!"

    "Spacing out! Spacing out!" Medli echoed. In English. Sounding like Demyx.

    Almost too weird for me.
    Medli's cute, and she weirds people out! Awesome!

    "How long has it been since you heard that angel scream as you bathed in her blood?"
    That quote is severely cool. o_o


    Congratulations on another great chapter! ^^
    Last edited by Sike Saner; 18th December 2007 at 06:04 AM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated December 15, 2007)

    Okay, consider this a head start for the Golden Pens. Here we go!

    Chapter Six - Tooth and Nail

    Shonta's POV


    (Day 2, Noon)

    Dairyuu was handy when he had his own body. But godlike beings should never have adorable forms.

    They made it difficult to take anything they say seriously.

    "Stop staring at me, child."

    "Cool!" a little boy exclaimed. "How did you get it to talk?"

    The stuffed Grovyle that was Dairyuu growled as he crawled from one of my shoulders to the other. The boy merely followed him and reached out for him. Dairyuu swiped at him, hoping to scare him away.

    "He even moves like a real Grovyle!" the boy said in awe. "Hey lady, where can I get one?"

    "My name's not Lady," I groaned.

    "Whatever."

    I kneeled in front of him. There was no explanation prepared for why there was a lifelike toy crawling on me, but I could make one up. "This is a...prototype...of a robotic toy," I told him slowly. So far, so good. "Yeah, my uncle's some genius scientist and he's letting me test it out."

    The boy gawked at Dairyuu, while Dairyuu leered at me. "He's so smart! What can he do?"

    "He's a...planner. And a tutor. He can guard your bedroom, help you with chores, tell you when your favorite shows are on..."

    "Way cool! He's better than TiVo!" He bounced up and down excitedly. "Can your uncle get me one?"

    This was not making him leave. So I got another idea. "Nah, you won't see these things in stores for at least ten more years."

    "Why not? This one's working just fine!" He reached for Dairyuu again.

    "He tends to say some crazy stuff, kid. Stuff that'll scare you. Sometimes he even scares me." Dairyuu looked at me with confusion. "Crazy stuff."

    My companion finally got the idea. He launched himself onto the kid's face and grabbed his hair. "Infidel! You have incurred the wrath of Lord Dairyuu! I will suck out your soul and feed it to the demons of hell!" Dairyuu rasped like he had a sore throat.

    That had an amusing reaction. The kid screamed and tried to get the "demonic toy" off of him while it shrieked and crawled over his head and down his spine. After running around like a madman for a short minute, he managed to yank off Dairyuu (who ended up under his shirt) and threw him at me. "Keep your crazy robot away from me!" the kid screamed. He ran away, leaving me to the dozen spectators who were staring at me. Even they seemed to be more interested in the sales around them.

    Dairyuu chuckled after he returned to my shoulder. "Children are easy to scare," he mused.

    "I hope the poor kid isn't too freaked out," I said. "He might tell his parents about the defective toy that attacked him."

    "I can probably scare them just as easily." He curled his tail around my neck.

    We were now...still in Slateport. Yeah, it seemed crazy to not heed Hotaru's warning. But Lord Dairyuu, being the more conscious of the two, reasoned that going there could be just as dangerous. When I asked him what we were doing in a crowded mall in the outskirts of Slateport, he told me that Hotaru wouldn't be as reckless as to risk confrontation in public. I would've been more confident about that theory if it wasn't for my drowsy state.

    We walked on the first floor of the mall, which was well lit by the skylight that ran the entire length of it. Dairyuu yawned and shook his head. "This is a surprisingly pleasant place. Lots of humans walking around, but none of them seem to care about me. And that sunlight from the skylight makes this place less depressing," he described.

    I yawned and nodded as he said something about the white tiles we walked on. "I need food and caffeine, otherwise I'll pass out and let Hotaru's goons drag me away," I mumbled.

    "Okay," was all Dairyuu said in response.

    "Tell me again why you need to stay in that body when I'm in public."

    Dairyuu smirked and listed his reasons. "I can sense other Aurora Crystals better than you, of course. Having two sets of eyes are better than just one. If I use your body, I'll stand out and attract unwanted attention with my different aura. You might need me for questions concerning what we discussed earlier. And...I'm bored."

    "Oh. Okay." I arrived at the food court and quickly narrowed my choices for lunch. Twenty minutes and two oversized slices of pizza later, I was idly poking Dairyuu as he looked around from his seat on the table.

    "I cannot plan with you poking me," Dairyuu growled.

    "How about we see Riku?" I suggested. The idea had been bouncing around my mind for a while. "If Hotaru was the vessel for Lady Kagetsubasa long ago, then she should remember what Hotaru can do."

    "Memory modification, for one thing. After the torch was passed, Kagetsubasa was unable to recall almost anything about Hotaru. In fact, Kagetsubasa used to think that she was our sister or something. I know about as much as she does. For Hotaru to be able to do that to us makes her very powerful." He sighed and looked up at the now overcast sky.

    If it wasn't for the fact that I was now half asleep, I would've been a nervous wreck. "Okay then. Do you know what she looks like?"

    The stuffed Pokemon grinned and opened his mouth like he definitely knew the answer. "Actually, I don't know that either. I'm not sure if she's human, Pokemon or a mix of the two."

    "You mean those Daemons you told me about?"

    "If she was, she was no ordinary Daemon. The power she emanated was similar to mine and Kagetsubasa's, but...I'm not sure." He rubbed his head like he had a headache. "I can't think clearly."

    I didn't look it, but I was very surprised that I haven't heard about this woman's name before. She had lived so long in secret that Dairyuu must've guessed she died. "We both need sleep," I said. "Actually, you need sleep. I just need Starbucks."

    Dairyuu perked up and climbed back on my shoulder as I stood up. I walked to the little coffee shop, feeling like I was going to collapse in front of the cashier. My mind was so hazy that I didn't see someone stand up from their chair until they were right beside me. I must've been in terrible shape to not notice his long, black hooded cloak.

    "What can I get you today?" the chipper cashier asked me.

    "Whatever she orders, make it a double," the male voice under the hood told her. "She and the little lizard look like the living dead."

    Dairyuu? I look down at the sleeping plushie. Some guardian you are. How come you're asleep?

    I gave the girl my order while trying not to freak out about the gloved hand squeezing my shoulder. I hadn't seen the guy's face yet. What was he hiding?

    "Could you hurry it up? Me and my lady friend are on a tight schedule," the cloaked man said loudly.

    What he said made me remember the last line on Hotaru's letter. Dairyuu twitched and growled. Some sudden burst of energy raced through me and I shoved the cloaked guy away from me. Sights and sounds became distorted as I burst out of the Starbucks at top speed. When everything cleared, I could see and hear the people around me. They were scared, but of what?

    "Look at that girl..."

    "Is that a tail?"

    My Raitah tail twitched in front of my face. I was in my Daemon form, my true form. The change must've been from the shock that I felt from what the cloaked man said. Dairyuu was now wide awake and grasping my shirt. "I feel a Kai Crystal nearby!" the lizard hissed. He glared at the cloaked man that was still standing at the Starbucks's entrance. "Draaaaco..."

    "The Kai Draco Crystal? How..." Now wasn't the time to wonder how he got it. "How come you didn't tell me this when I got in there?"

    "Something's fogging my senses. Those clouds might actually be a repressing aura, but it feels different. Feels...familiar." He narrowed his eyes at the stranger. "Be careful with him. He's a dragon type Daemon; they're masters at elemental attacks."

    I finally turned my attention back to the people around me...and their Pokemon. It seemed that it didn't take them long to label me as a threat. I know the perfect solution to this. I smirked and pushed out the loudest roar possible. The would-be opponents retreated to their pokeballs and stayed there, even when their trainers tried to get them back out.

    The cloaked man uncovered his ears. "Calm down! I'm not the enemy!" he shouted.

    Enemy or not, I shouldn't be just standing here! I took off, the bystanders yelling and running out of the way as I passed them. I didn't look back but I still knew that the Kai Knight was following me. I didn't even stop until something wrapped around my right ankle and yanked it back. Oh, that stopped me alright. Dairyuu, however, flew on ahead and skidded to a stop a couple of feet from me. I faceplanted on the cool tiles and stayed there for a moment, too stunned to think clearly.

    "Get up!" Lord Dairyuu commanded as he scrambled to get back to me. However, whatever tripped me yanked me away from him then dangled me in the air like a prize winning Magikarp. My view was filled with the upside-down face of a Victreebel.

    My mind screamed at me as I dangled. Idiot! Just shock the thing! I let out a Thundershock, thinking it was strong enough to at least have the Victreebel drop me. It screamed in pain, but it only got angry. My punishment for attempting escape was a bump on the head when it met the floor.

    "Now stay there like a good kitty," another unknown voice said to me. This time it was female. "And do something about that shirt."

    I quickly pulled it down...or up, in this case. The Victreebel kept its ugly mug in front of my face so I didn't see who was talking to me. "Could you get this overgrown weed to drop me? The blood's rushing to my head," I sneered.

    "Don't think so. The last thing I want is another attempted escape. You're not going anywhere without the lord anyway."

    I gasped, almost missing the vine quickly lowering me to the floor but still remaining around the limb. I landed on all fours and glared at Dairyuu's captor. Red eyes glared back, and a fanged mouth grew into a smile. Her hair was blue and black, in a braid that went down her back. She was another Daemon, and a wild looking one at that. Not even her white dress shirt and black slacks took away that fact.

    "That's better, isn't it?" she asked me brightly. "Victreebel needs to be more gentle in her methods."

    I said nothing, fixated on her facial features, and not just the black circles around her eyes. She's wearing makeup! Foundation, blush, lipstick, the whole shebang! Why would she need makeup for something like this? And since when did stores start selling blue lipstick?

    "You're really out of it," the Daemon spoke up. "When I threw up the aura, I had no idea it would make this mission so easy. You're either a newbie...or just plain stupid."

    A growl tore itself from my throat. "Who are you and where's Lord Dairyuu?" I demanded.

    She smirked and held out both of her hands. One held Dairyuu's temporary body...only it wasn't moving. Probably because she was holding the Light Dragon Key with the other hand. Once again I noticed how she managed to look fashionable; her nails were short but neatly manicured, looking like short claws. They almost looked like they were made of metal. "The subduing aura is a special one, a piece of my boss's aura that I can throw up anywhere I want."

    No doubt about it. This has to be Hotaru's goon. She knows about Dairyuu and even how to take him down. "Who are you?" I growled, pointing out that she hadn't answered the first part of her question.

    She gave me an innocent look. "I haven't told you? Well, maybe you should be more courteous and tell me your name first."

    "You know my name!" I lunged for her, only to have Victreebel roughly jerk me back and hang me upside-down again. "There is no way I'm going to let you take me to her!"

    I was somewhat relieved to be facing her this time. She smiled sadly at me as she lightly touched my face. "My name is Kiba. Look, I have orders and I would rather follow them than be punished. Be lucky you were caught by me instead of the other Daemon that she sent."

    "You mean the cloaked guy?"

    She sighed. "No, he was trying to get you away from us. Hayate always was an ass." She put a finger on my nose. "He's not as cute as you are."

    My eyes widened for a second. No, she didn't say that. Stupid hearing must be messed up too. My Raitah ears twitched in response. Her elfin ears twitched in response to an Officer Jenny and Growlithe who got brave enough to approach us. "Is there a problem, Officer?" Kiba asked her sweetly.

    "I have no idea what you're doing here, but you're obviously causing a commotion," the cop said sternly.

    Kiba giggled. "Are you going to arrest me, Officer?"

    Officer Jenny blushed at this -- hopefully out of embarrassment -- and frowned. "This is not a laughing matter!" The Growlithe growled in agreement.

    "No, but it is confusing," I muttered lowly so no one could hear.

    "Is that what you do to naughty humans?" Kiba inquired, staying in a kneeling position in front of me. Successfully rendering Jenny speechless, she continued. "What about naughty Pokemon? Are there special jail cells for them?"

    "I'll give you one more chance to come with me peacefully!" Jenny shouted.

    I didn't know much about how the law worked, but I was sure provoking an officer was going to get her in more trouble. Then it hit me. Officer Jenny may have been prepared for a human troublemaker, but a Daemon was going to be a bigger problem. Jenny wasn't taking Kiba anywhere. I didn't know my position in this, but I decided that the best course of action was to stay quiet and hope that everyone got too busy to be concerned with me.

    Kiba's laughing got louder and less innocent as Jenny spoke into her walkie-talkie. "This is Officer Jenny. I have..." She didn't get any further as Kiba's hand shot out and grabbed her throat. I jerked in surprise. The woman was fearless, and with a good reason. Growlithe acted on instinct and shot a Flamethrower at his master's attacker. Kiba dropped Jenny and jumped to avoid the attack. As soon as I saw Victreebel's attention diverted, I swiped at her with my claws. Luckily, she released me.

    Kiba was still airborne, and the Light Dragon Key was still in her hand. She probably dropped the Grovyle plushie to attack Officer Jenny. Not giving myself time to think, I let my tense body fire a Thunderbolt at Kiba. The electricity enveloped her, but then dispersed and was replaced by a translucent amber orb. My mind quickly processed this information. "My attack was...repelled? How?"

    I quickly shot a glance at Officer Jenny. She had wisely backed up to the sidelines with her Growlithe by her side. The poor woman had her eyes bugged out. The amount of time that spanned from the second her throat was grabbed to when I unsuccessfully attacked Kiba was probably around twenty seconds. My opinion couldn't be counted on; it's a known fact that Pokemon have far better reflexes and senses than humans. They practically live in bullet time.

    Time finally returned to normal speed for me as Kiba landed unharmed. "You certainly have guts. Power, too. My skin is actually tingling!" She chuckled as her hands seemed to fidget behind her back. "But there's a reason why Lady Hotaru sent me to collect you."

    I looked back at Kiba's Victreebel, who was looking like she was staying out of the battle. "I can take you down," I growled. "I haven't given up yet."

    She sighed. "You're wrong. You have guts and power, but I have experience. I've known my Daemon side all my life. My family is one of the last surviving purebloods in the world. I'm one of the strongest Daemons you'll ever fight." Her hands returned to her sides, and now a tail was swishing behind her.

    "How can your family be pureblooded? The whole species has been hidden for at least a century!"

    "Not all of us are ashamed of what we are." Her tone was dark, maybe even angry. Was it directed at me?

    "Look, I didn't even know what a Daemon was until today!" I covered my mouth as my voice was starting to sound scared.

    "What are you two talking about?" Officer Jenny asked us.

    Kiba looked at her haughtily. "I forgot you were still here. Shouldn't you be making sure everyone got out safely? Because I personally don't care if this mall stands or not." She glared at Officer Jenny as the human very slowly got to her feet. "Well? That wasn't a suggestion!"

    The officer let out an "eep" and took off with her Growlithe close behind. Kiba laughed again and turned her attention to her Victreebel. Without a word from her trainer, the Pokemon bounced to her side and let herself be returned. Now we were the only ones on that end of the mall. Everyone else seemed to be gone, but why? I ran through the previous events. I bumped into that Hayate guy, thought he was sent by Hotaru, freaked out and transformed, scared the Pokemon back in their pokeballs, ran to this point...

    Bingo. There's security at different points here. One officer must've alerted another at this end that I was approaching and then got everyone out of the way. The Officer Jenny was probably sent here to deal with me. Nice job she did. I let out a cynical laugh. I was strangely relaxed, mostly because Kiba was just standing there and studying me.

    "I could give you answers," my fellow Daemon spoke up. "No logic in resisting when I could give them willingly as long as you submit. I'll even give you back Lord Dairyuu." She held the Light Dragon Key with an outstretched arm and put it in her right pants pocket. "Or...you can try to fight me. I get my fun, you get worn out, and I drag you back anyway."

    I growled threatningly. "Or...I can fight you. I beat you, you get knocked out, and I stay free. Lord Dairyuu will come with me anyway."

    She grinned in amusement, although a slight clenching of the fists conveyed another emotion. "Or..." She suddenly broke out in a run towards me, a fist drawn back to punch. So fast! I hardly had time to twist my body to my side before her fist flew past my face. No bullet time that time. She caught me off guard.

    I did the first thing I thought of and grabbed her wrist, figuring that she couldn't block electricity delivered by direct contact. My fingers curled around something on that wrist, a bracelet or watch. As soon as I put pressure on that accessory, some kind of powerful energy seemed to burst out of it. It knocked me off my feet and onto my back.

    "What did that feel like?" Kiba asked me angrily.

    There was no way I was able to answer the question right away; I was too busy recovering from the blast. My chest felt bruised, but there were no broken bones. I stayed on my back while I put together the right description for the sensation. "It felt like I was hit by a bullet train," I rasped.

    "Good." She stood over me and rubbed her wrist. "Do you have any idea what that was?"

    "No. Please explain while I try to get everything to stop spinning."

    "Does the words 'Kai Terra Crystal' mean anything to you?" She rolled up her shirt sleeve and showed me a triangular, amber-colored jewel embedded in her wrist.

    "Terra?" I squeaked in surprise. I sat up too quickly and winced at the pain from the bruise. "You're the Kai Terra Knight?"

    She nodded and grinned, letting one lengthened fang stick out against her blue lipstick. "Ready to give up?"

    I wasn't going to answer her question, not when I felt like I still had a chance. When the pain subsided, I stood and faced her. "Stupid question," I snarled.

    "Too stupid for a good answer, I guess. Too bad. I like you but you're being too damn stubborn."

    Without another word I lunged for her. She was far from being caught off guard. There was a strange flickering in her eyes the moment before she sidestepped and jumped back. My body reacted in a strange way to that, twitching involuntarily like it anticipated her dodging. I stopped abruptly, spun around and slashed at her torso. She raised her arms so they took the damage instead of her stomach.

    She grunted and looked at the bloody marks on her arms. "Good reflexes. That almost looked like Feint," she commented like she was impressed.

    I was never an athletic person. I left the sports to Ryan. Now I was cursing myself for not taking up a sport while I panted like I just ran a mile. No rest, bad nerves, still shaken up from that attack from the crystal...

    It probably would've been easier on my body if just gave up at the beginning.

    "I'm ending it!" Kiba yelled. The hand that the Kai Crystal was worn on was raised in the air and then slammed into the ground. I stupidly stopped as the ground beneath me quaked...

    "Shonta!"

    Before I knew it, I was flying through the air like a tossed ragdoll. Everything hurt. What had hit me? All I was sure of was that it was big and brown. I was half gone during that seemingly long moment of floating. I could barely feel myself hitting the ground.

    Whoever called for me seconds ago called again. A head full of flaming red hair filled my vision as he eased me to a sitting position. Rational thought gave way to irrational instinct, and I let out a weak Thundershock. He grunted but kept his hold on me. "Shonta? Geez, what did she do to you?"

    My lower jaw exploded in pain before I could force out a single sound. The man growled. That was when I noticed his angry eyes were slitted. Another Daemon. He must've been battling with someone because he had a bleeding cut on both cheeks. He gently touched my cheek with cool fingers. "The living dead aren't meant to fight," he muttered.

    I sucked in a breath. "What? AAH!" Now both my jaw and chest were in pain.

    "Your jaw's fractured. Don't talk."

    "But AAH!" Like I wasn't feeling stupid enough already. I recognized his voice. Hayate...

    "Dammit, Kiba! She wasn't in any condition to battle!" Two rows of pointed teeth were bared at my attacker, who looked only slightly worried. Next to her was a pillar of rock. That was what hit me. "She hasn't been a Daemon that long and you knew it!"

    Kiba's face showed frustration, and her voice was uncontrolled. "I messed up, okay? I didn't know it was going to be that strong!"

    "Some disciplined fighter you are. Give me the Light Dragon Key now."

    She didn't get closer but Hayate didn't move from behind me. I carefully tested my limbs for extra broken bones. Something tells me this guy doesn't have a lot of patience. If I can try to attack Kiba again, he'll help me bring her down. Just need to get up... As soon as I shifted to try to kneel, a cold blade pressed against my neck.

    "Submit. Both of you." That wasn't Kiba or Hayate.

    "Forget it!" I said stubbornly, wincing from the pain in my jaw. The guy holding the weapon applied pressure to my skin, drawing blood and zapping the rest of my rebellious streak.

    "I'm only standing down because you won't hesitate to behead her," Hayate said to the new guy.

    The mysterious figure (whom I assumed was also a Daemon) withdrew his blade and stood in front of me, Kiba by his side. My first thought, and the only thought I had for a moment, was that he looked just like Kiba. The two were dressed the same, were the same height, had the same hair and eyes, had the same Daemon features. But the guy wielded a naginata with an ornate pole, red with gold vine patterns.

    "Tsume," Hayate hissed. He and I were still sitting on the floor.

    "Who's he?" I asked him.

    "Kiba's other half. They're fraternal twins, and they're both Kai Terra Knights."

    "Wait, how?"

    Tsume pushed up his right shirt sleeve and showed a Terra Crystal identical to Kiba's. But his seemed to point to his forearm while Kiba's pointed to her hand. "Two Kai Terra Crystals?"

    "No, the same one split in half. Each half is already good by itself, but when they're close together it can get disastrous." He glared at the male twin. "He made sure I couldn't help you. As soon as you bolted, Tsume stepped in to block me and Kiba went after you."

    "We had orders to collect her," Tsume explained in an expressionless voice. "She will come with us now or I will resort to more aggressive measures."

    I didn't like him. Cocky, uppity pretty boy! "What are you, an android?" I asked angrily.

    Tsume showed no reaction to that comment. "I promise you that Shonta's will not be harmed for now. I'm sorry that I hurt her so badly earlier," Kiba apologized. She put on a concerned face.

    "You will give her the Light Dragon Key now," Hayate commanded. "And I want to stay with her until it's time for Hotaru to see her."

    Kiba nodded twice and slipped the crystal around my neck. I immediately felt Dairyuu's presence, still subdued from the strange aura. I didn't thank her. Instead I pulled out the Pokedex out of my pocket and pointed it at Kiba. "Lucario, the Aura Pokemon. It can sense the auras of living things and read their thoughts and body language. Its tough skin makes it durable against Normal type attacks," it told me.

    I saw the extra information on the screen. "Fighting and Steel?" I whispered to myself.

    Hayate helped me up. "I'll go back to Ryan as soon as I know you'll be safe," he told me.

    My face lit up. He knows Ryan?

    "Hotaru's going to kill me if you don't heal quickly," Kiba complained. "Now where's Tsuki? He's supposed to be doing cleanup!"

    "If you weren't so careless then we wouldn't need backup," Tsume told his sister. I almost heard a growl from him.

    "Hey, it's her fault!" She jerked her thumb at me.

    "No, it's his fault!" I shouted, pointing at Hayate.

    "How is it my fault?" he asked indignantly. "You transformed in front of all those humans!"

    "Excuse me? What were you hiding under that hood?"

    "Would you trust someone that looked like part of the Insane Clown Posse?" Kiba grumbled.

    "All these years and you're still a bitch," Hayate said to Kiba.

    "And you're still a demon! Anyway, there's no need to worry about her and you know that. Even I'm not that evil."

    "Hotaru's capable of anything and everything. Look what she did to your brother. Soulless and detached." Tsume narrowed his eyes. Hayate returned the look and helped me up. "I can sense Tsuki coming."

    I could sense something too, and it was getting stronger. A black cloud appeared near us and dissolved. The child from earlier, the barefoot child wearing the cloak, was in its place with a Xatu. "Xatu, take us back home," Tsume instructed.

    Tsuki turned his head to me. "Mama warned you," was all he said before Xatu teleported us.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 27th March 2008 at 10:34 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated January 18, 2008)

    A head start for the Golden Pens? Aww...

    Another solid chapter from you! I suppose we had to expect the pace of Shonta's storyline to pick up soon, considering all the anticipation you created. Nice job with Hayate's first appearance in the mall; it made sense that Shonta would react that way under the circumstances. The important parts of the battle scenes were done pretty well, too. Nice work showing the effect of the Kai Terra crystal. Never thought about how immunities would work with the Knights, but you gave a great demonstration. Kiba's personality in general was also... quite memorable. And of course, the first scene with Shonta's pet robot was utterly fantastic. XD

    But I did think there were a few things that could've been a little better. For one thing, I didn't realize that either Shonta or Dairyuu was sleepy until well into the chapter... thought Dairyuu's new form was just diluting his abilities, or something. Similarly, Kiba's kneeling wasn't apparent to me until you said she was staying in that position. And there were a couple of odd errors in sentences, particularly in this one: It almost looked like "The subduing aura is a special one, a piece of my boss's aura that I can throw up anywhere I want."

    But regardless of those small issues, this was another great chapter that really helped to push the plot along while keeping us constantly entertained. Considering how fearsome the twins were and the damage that Hotaru apparently did to Tsume, I shudder to think about what kind of power the boss could wield. But if Hayate's resisting her wishes, might Riku do the same despite the two being on less-than-pleasant terms with one another? Hmm...

    Well, I need to get back to my ancient TiVo. *pokes Pikachu plushie* Until next chapter!
    IT HAS RETURNED.
    THE TPM MAIN SITE.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated January 18, 2008)

    Oh crap. I forgot to finish that sentence! *runs to edit it*
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated January 18, 2008)

    Erk. I've been reading the last few chapters, but... brain's dead for no apparent reason. Heh.

    So... Shonta's engaged to Riku - though Riku isn't really aware of this fact - and then we learn about Hotaru - who wants to get the whole engagement done real soon. I must say that this is going to be quite interesting indeed.

    Oh, and I might miss something among the lines, but is Tsuki the kid that Shonta met earlier in the chapter? It kinda looked like that, yeah, but I might be wrong.

    Love the witty remark now and then - keep it up. And Stryker's kinda cool (his speech, plus his clairvoyance).

    Good job; keep it up... and good luck in SP!
    Please take it easy~

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated January 18, 2008)

    Wow. o.o Kiba was quite the powerful opponent, that's for sure. Her powers were pretty darned impressive. Both she and her brother are pretty cool--partly because of their Lucarioness. ^^

    And I loved the opening scene, with that little boy taking too much interest in Dairyuu and Dairyuu ending up having to scare the everloving frell out of him. That was awesome. XD

    Dairyuu was handy when he had his own body. But godlike beings should never have adorable forms.

    They made it difficult to take anything they say seriously.
    XD Indeed.

    "Way cool! He's better than TiVo!" He bounced up and down excitedly. "Can your uncle get me one?"

    This was not making him leave. So I got another idea. "Nah, you won't see these things in stores for at least ten more years."

    "Why not? This one's working just fine!" He reached for Dairyuu again.

    "He tends to say some crazy stuff, kid. Stuff that'll scare you. Sometimes he even scares me." Dairyuu looked at me with confusion. "Crazy stuff."

    My companion finally got the idea. He launched himself onto the kid's face and grabbed his hair. "Infidel! You have incurred the wrath of Lord Dairyuu! I will suck out your soul and feed it to the demons of hell!" Dairyuu rasped like he had a sore throat.

    That had an amusing reaction. The kid screamed and tried to get the "demonic toy" off of him while it shrieked and crawled over his head and down his spine. After running around like a madman for a short minute, he managed to yank off Dairyuu (who ended up under his shirt) and threw him at me. "Keep your crazy robot away from me!" the kid screamed. He ran away, leaving me to the dozen spectators who were staring at me. Even they seemed to be more interested in the sales around them.
    THAT WAS HILARIOUS. XD

    "Tell me again why you need to stay in that body when I'm in public."

    Dairyuu smirked and listed his reasons. "I can sense other Aurora Crystals better than you, of course. Having two sets of eyes are better than just one. If I use your body, I'll stand out and attract unwanted attention with my different aura. You might need me for questions concerning what we discussed earlier. And...I'm bored."
    I liked his last reason there. XD

    Twenty minutes and two oversized slices of pizza later, I was idly poking Dairyuu as he looked around from his seat on the table.

    "I cannot plan with you poking me," Dairyuu growled.
    XD

    "I could give you answers," my fellow Daemon spoke up. "No logic in resisting when I could give them willingly as long as you submit. I'll even give you back Lord Dairyuu." She held the Light Dragon Key with an outstretched arm and put it in her right pants pocket. "Or...you can try to fight me. I get my fun, you get worn out, and I drag you back anyway."

    I growled threatningly. "Or...I can fight you. I beat you, you get knocked out, and I stay free. Lord Dairyuu will come with me anyway."
    I liked Shonta's response there.

    Before I knew it, I was flying through the air like a tossed ragdoll. Everything hurt. What had hit me? All I was sure of was that it was big and brown. I was half gone during that seemingly long moment of floating. I could barely feel myself hitting the ground.
    Whoa. o.o I really liked that part there; I think it did a great job of showing what that was like for her, how disorientingly sudden it was, how much it hurt... very nicely done. ^^

    That was quite the enjoyable chapter there, with nice humor and nice action. I liked it. ^^

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated January 18, 2008)

    Finally, a new chapter. I'm going to make small changes to the other chapters so you'll know when all the scenes are taking place.

    Chapter Seven - What to Unearth, What to Bury

    Ripper's POV


    (Day 2, Afternoon)

    I couldn't say that I got goosebumps when I watched the interaction between my two labmates. But I felt this chill under my armor that I couldn't get rid of. Then Stryker started to see something involving Shonta. Of course this got Reaper on edge. I didn't expect both of them to freak out though.

    "Oh no!" Joi cried out as she ran to Stryker and Reaper. The Zangoose had run several feet away from Reaper and was now curled up in a fetal position with his head between his front paws, his claws extended. My partner was out like a light, but surprisingly still kneeling.

    "This looks bad," Feather whimpered as she perched on Ronin's shoulder in Pidgey form. "What happened? What should we do?" Ronin stayed where he was, just as confused.

    I stood in front of Reaper and examined him. His chest kept still. "Joi, he's not breathing!" I yelled. She seemed unsure on whether or not to leave Stryker's side. I looked down at Stryker and snarled. What did that Pokemon do to him? If he knocked something loose...

    My thoughts were stopped when Reaper's eyes shot open and he let out a sharp gasp. He stood up, stumbled forward and held onto me as much as his scythes would allow. "Ripper?" he forced out. He almost sounded scared.

    I didn't know what to do. Part of me was embarrassed about him hanging onto me, especially since he was trying to pull me down. I wasn't big on bedside manners. "Are you alright?" I asked him, the question sounding strained.

    "It hurts," he whimpered pitifully.

    Now my embarrassed side was getting angry. "Pull yourself together," I ordered.

    A strange smile appeared on him as he pulled on me harder. "It hurts because I failed her. She's just like...the other one now..."

    Stryker's voice temporarily diverted my attention. "I unlocked something. It won't go away. MAKE IT GO AWAY!" he shrieked.

    "What did you see?" Joi asked him urgently.

    He sat up and put his front paws in his lap. "Strange fruit." He chuckled and then whimpered and went back to holding his head. "Strange fruit that drips bitter, red liquid. It paints the ground red."

    "Oh god," Feather whispered. "What do you mean?"

    Stryker's eyes shifted downward. "Blood. Dead bodies. The shinigami is a murderer."

    Ronin stormed over to Reaper and me. "What kind of monster are you?" he asked Reaper angrily.

    "Ronin, stop! You'll make this worse!" Feather pleaded.

    "But it feels so good," Reaper told Ronin with glazed over eyes. "Like it did before. I was afraid of this feeling, but it's so wonderful."

    Not many things scare me, but at that moment I abruptly pushed him away. What he said was just wrong. Reaper stayed hunched over for a while, his eyes wide with excitement. His scent was starting to change. It smelled muskier, much stronger than a typical wild Scyther's. But it was strangely familiar. Where had I smelled it before?

    Soon more changes appeared. Jagged, dark green stripes stood out on his head and shoulders, and then on his abdomen. The Kai Venom Crystal shone brightly but didn't seem to calm him down. Chills raced over my body. "What is he changing into?" Feather asked.

    "Reaper, what the hell has gotten into you?" I asked.

    A strange sound came from him, a clicking purr. Scyther and Scizor make it when they're in a really good mood, which is why humans never hear it from them. Hearing it from Reaper made us all very uncomfortable. "I killed them all. Just like Father wanted me to. Even the nurse. I skewered her as she was changing my bandages. Because they did not deserve life. They corralled us, bred us, and tried to control us just so they would have stronger pets." He turned his gaze to the frightened Joi and Stryker.

    A loud whine escaped Joi's lips. I glanced back at her scared face. It was a white as a sheet, her eyes wide and her bottom lip trembling. "Gai...gaijin..." she whimpered.

    "Gaijin?" I mouthed. My eyes were as wide as they could go. "Outsider?"

    Reaper chuckled as he stared down the scared human. "You recognize me, don't you? Do you hate me now that you know what I am?"

    "You can't be...I can't...believe..." Her body was shaking badly.

    "DIE!" Reaper shrieked as he took a fighting stance.

    At that word, Joi screamed and took off as fast as a human could run, Stryker staying behind. Reaper did nothing to stop her, letting me tackle him into a tree trunk. "Ronin, take Joi and Stryker to somewhere safe!" I told the Gallade.

    "But..." he started.

    "Go! I'll stay with Ripper!" Feather commanded. Ronin ran off, and Feather stood by in Pidgeot form.

    "Reaper, you will cut this crap out now! We have a mission!" I snarled as I kept him pinned.

    "There is nothing to see, brother. The lab is gone. Or don't you remember what we did that night?"

    "You dragged me here for nothing!" I drew a claw back to punch him.

    "No." My claw stopped in mid-punch. "I didn't drag you here because I remembered that the lab is gone." He smirked at my puzzled face. "Reaper is the one without a clue."

    "Who the hell are you?"

    "A freak of science, for one." His Kai Venom Crystal glowed brightly. He took in a deep breath and blew out a purple gas right in my face. I had the stupidity to inhale it as I jumped back to put some distance between the two of us.

    I always wondered if his Kai Crystal gave him some special power. Now I knew that it wasn't a Venom Crystal for nothing. Feather hopped over to me as I sank to the ground, coughing heavily. "Ripper, you're poisoned!" she told me.

    "I figured out that much," I groaned. "Dammit! It hurts to move." I narrowed my eyes at the changed Scyther. "How can this happen? I'm a freakin' Steel type!"

    "Special poison just for you." Reaper (or whoever he was now) swung his scythes at us suddenly, shocking Feather to move between him and me. "Are you afraid, bird? Do you think I'll hurt you or your friend? Will you kill me to save yourselves?"

    Feather trembled but stayed where she was, her wings spread as if to shield me. I cursed myself for staying behind her, but also silently thanked her for not leaving my side. Feather, you were always too soft for your own good.

    "Or..." Reaper continued. "Or maybe you know that you can't stop me, so you want to go down in a blaze of glory."

    "Just tell us what is wrong, Reaper. We can help you," Feather pleaded. She flapped her wings when he took a step closer to her. "You're scaring us with your scent alone. What would Shonta say?"

    Mentioning his trainer seemed to surprise him. He let out a gasp and widened his eyes. "I forgot. Reaper's trainer...the girl..."

    What the crap? Isn't he Reaper? I stood up, barely able to stay on my feet.

    His expression had hardened again. "Reaper was soft. A true guardian wouldn't have let the love of his life make such stupid decisions." He took a couple more steps toward Feather. "But I, Gaijin, will do a better job. I won't let her out of my sight."

    "Gaijin?" Feather and I said together.

    "Reaper is what those scientists called me. They also gave you your name, remember?" He glanced at me. I nodded and winced as the poison kept running its course. "My my, you certainly got a good whiff of my poison. This crystal is very handy. Can you move at all?"

    "You bastard. Why did you do that?" I rasped.

    "You did have me pinned against a tree. Nothing but defense. The poison isn't lethal, so don't worry. You haven't done anything to deserve death...yet." He smiled at Feather. "Are you convinced now?"

    The Pidgeot shook her head. "I can't trust you! Something about you isn't right!"

    "My dear, it was Reaper that wasn't right."

    "That doesn't make sense! Don't come any closer!" She flared her wings at him, making him back up a few steps.

    "Why do you hate me?" His tone was soft and almost innocent.

    Feather stopped shaking for a moment and responded in an un-Feather angry voice. "You tried to kill Joi and Stryker."

    "No, I told Joi to die. I made no move to kill her. And Stryker...well, I don't care about him. I've been very civil about this, considering you let me live this false life under a false name."

    "What are you talking about?"

    "I've grown tired of this." He turned his head to the sound of buzzing wings. Moriko landed at a safe distance from Gaijin as he turned his back to her.

    "Ripper, are you okay? I heard shouting so I thought that you got into another fight."

    "Get away!" I warned the Heracross. Gaijin could strike at any time.

    "Afraid I'll bruise your pride again?" She glanced at Gaijin, sniffing the air as she identified him as a different Scyther than Reaper. Neither of them said anything, but Moriko's eyes were filled with curiosity of him. The branches' shadows did a good job of hiding Gaijin's stripes. "Who is this?" she inquired. "He doesn't smell like the Scyther who came here with you."

    I stopped myself from answering right away. If I told her that he was Reaper, or once was Reaper, she would lose faith in him. "I...don't know," I answered. It was the truth.

    She looked around before speaking again. "Where's Reaper?"

    "Reaper is no longer with us," Gaijin cut in. He walked out of the shade so Moriko could have a better look at him. Her eyes widened, and she seemed to shrink before him. "May I help you?"

    "What do you mean?" she asked after she seemed to recover.

    Gaijin's mouth twisted to a scowl. "Do I have to dumb it down? I killed him!"

    The Heracross gasped and stumbled back, her short legs slowing her down. "That's not funny! If you're here to start trouble, then leave before I force you!"

    "I'm guessing that you don't know what happened to the missing Vileplume."

    "He didn't do it!" I blurted out.

    "Of course I did it!"

    Moriko's eyes darted from me to him with uncertainty. I looked up at Feather. "Feather, don't just stand there! If Moriko tries to fight this creep, he'll slaughter her!"

    Feather's eyes closed. "I can't! Not while you're in this condition!" she said.

    "Think about Moriko's condition when she's minus her limbs!"

    The Pidgeot let out a sound that was a mix between a gasp, squeak and whimper. One of her talons shifted but the rest of her body stayed still. I tried to warn her again but a whimper a pain was the only thing that came out. "Ripper!" Feather called out.

    "Go away!" Moriko yelled as she took flight and charged at Gaijin with her horn. Gaijin smirked...raised a scythe to retaliate...

    ...then paused as we all felt a sudden gust of cold wind.

    A perfect way to get a bug's attention.

    Moriko paused in midair before landing close to Gaijin. Gaijin's angry eyes jerked around to find whoever made his body temperature drop five degrees. I immediately looked at Feather and her glowing Kai Aero Crystal. She looked furious. "This stops now," she told Gaijin boldly.

    Gaijin lowered his scythes and relaxed. "You finally found the courage to take action. I commend you for that. However…” He spun around and harshly roundhouse kicked Moriko to the ground. It was an attack that I didn’t expect from a Scyther. “However, I will not be intimidated.”

    “Must…get help…” Moriko whimpered as she ran off. We looked back at her and then at each other. Feather still wouldn’t leave me.

    Feather narrowed his eyes at Gaijin. Her wings opened and pushed her off the ground with a couple of hard flaps. I briefly closed my eyes to avoid getting sand in them. “Feather?” I looked up until the sun blinded me. Near the bright circle was a black shape that was quickly getting bigger as it swooped back down. A brown blur rushed past me and slammed into Gaijin, knocking him into a tree.

    “Aerial Ace…” I whispered in awe. “And a good one too.”

    Feather flapped more to stay airborne and lashed at her opponent with her sharp talons, scratching whatever Gaijin couldn’t shield. Another hard flap of her wings had Feather backing up towards me again. She looked back at me and momentarily softened her expression. “I’m sorry but I have to fight him,” she told me.

    “Why are you apologizing? This bastard isn’t Reaper,” I grumbled. The poison wasn’t zapping any more of my health, but I wasn’t getting it back either.

    Gaijin glared at the two of us. Scratches graced his face and arms. “You…” he growled. His cockiness was long gone.

    “Stand down,” Feather said to him.

    “Like hell I will!” His eyes took on a violet glow, matching the look of the Kai Venom Crystal. He took a deep breath.

    Feather gasped. “Hold your breath, Ripper! This is probably more poison!”

    I refrained from breathing, but it seemed difficult with the poison still in my system. Feather moved in front of me as Gaijin blew out a thick cloud of purple smoke. She flapped her wings again, this time creating a gust strong enough to blow back the poison.

    At first I thought that the poison would drift in the direction of the forest Pokemon, but it dissipated after it surrounded Gaijin. Feather relaxed. “As the Kai Venom Knight, you are immune to your own poison. But you chose to purify it when it was blown back to you. Why?”

    Gaijin kept serious. He seemed to have learned that he was facing a Kai Knight, not just some helpless idiot. “I’m trying to kill you. The others mean nothing to me.”

    “Why are you trying to kill me?”

    “Because you clearly see me as dangerous. What else would you do to stop me?”

    “Knock some sense into you! Bring Reaper back!”

    “WHY WOULD YOU WANT THAT IMPOSTOR?”

    My eyes widened in shock. “Impostor?”

    Gaijin took an attack stance and swung his right scythe down in a wide arc. A sharp burst of air was released and shot towards us. Feather raised her wing in a movement similar to Gaijin’s scythe, releasing a similar burst. The two met in an X pattern and Feather’s cut through Gaijin’s. Gaijin’s attack flew past both sides of me and Feather and through two small trees, splitting them in two. Feather’s attack, still in one piece, still went for Gaijin. The Scyther jumped in the air, narrowly missing the blade that cleanly swiped through the tree behind him. Feather tried again. This time Gaijin’s scythe shined before it cut through the attack.

    “How does he know Air Slash?” Feather asked herself.

    “How do you know it?” I asked her.

    Gaijin hovered in the air, his buzzing wings reflecting his annoyed self. His mouth worked but no words came out. Feather spotted what I ignored at first. “His stripes! They’re fading!”

    My eyes zeroed in on the stripes on Gaijin’s abdomen. They were starting to blend into the lighter green body. Before they could disappear completely, however, the Scyther shrieked until the stripes went back to being dark green.

    Feather grunted in frustration. “He was almost back to normal. This is going to take a little more force. Stay close, Ripper.” She shuffled closer to me and once more powered up the crystal. “Aero, crystal of the wind, let loose your power.”

    I didn’t even get a chance to say “Huh?” before a huge gust kicked up. The wind blew back Gaijin a good distance before he had the sense to land. Then the wind got stronger. Trees were being bent to its will. I wasn’t really affected because of my steel body, but Gaijin had to plant a scythe into the dirt to keep himself in one place. Finally the wind changed to that of a small tornado that enclosed Gaijin.

    Feather smirked wickedly, another expression I never thought I’d see. “Razor Cyclone!” At her command, sickles of light formed within the spiraling wind and cut every inch of Gaijin. After a few short seconds, the cyclone dispersed and Gaijin collapsed on the ground, still in one piece.

    A minute passed before either of us said anything, too focused on Gaijin’s shallow breathing. “Is he still alive?” I asked her quietly.

    She scoffed at me. “Of course he’s still alive! The cuts are shallow so it’s not as bad as it might feel!”

    That’s saying a lot. I bet those cuts burn like hell. “So…what are we going to do with him?” I knew “kill him” wasn’t anywhere in the Pidgeot’s plans.

    “We’ll have to take him to Riku. Lady Kagetsubasa should know what to do. And we should treat you as soon as possible.” She looked in the direction that Moriko ran off and sighed heavily. “Ronin must come soon.”

    “I’m not in that bad a condition.”

    “I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the angry mob that we’re about to receive.”

    Feather’s prediction came true. A chorus of angry shouts reached my ears. I slowly stood as the mob of Pokemon approached us, Moriko and the Ariados in the front. “Don’t bother, we’ll be leaving soon,” I grumbled.

    “Did you bring that monster here?” Ariados asked us angrily.

    “No.”

    Gaijin found the strength to open his big mouth again, pausing to take a deep breath. “Maybe you should inquire…about the Zangoose…”

    “Stryker? Where is the oracle?” Moriko asked him.

    “My memory’s kind of foggy…I remember telling him to die…” He chuckled lightly.

    “Oh crap,” I said.

    The crowd gasped and whimpered at the potential loss of their beloved oracle. I secretly prayed that Ronin would come back and assure them that Stryker was alive and well. Even better to have the Zangoose along with him.

    “He’s still alive!” Feather yelled. “Ronin took him somewhere safe!”

    I couldn’t help but notice that the crowd got even more restless. “Maybe that was the wrong thing to say,” I whispered to her.

    “It couldn’t be. Ronin is Stryker’s attendant,” she whispered back.

    A flash of light appeared in front of us, Ronin having teleported back. He blinked in confusion when he saw the angry Pokemon, but then turned serious. “You need not worry. I will take the intruder away from here,” he said.

    “Where’s Stryker?” several Pokemon asked at once.

    “He’s somewhere safe.” Feather and I sighed in relief. “He won’t be returning here, however.”

    “What the hell?” I yelped.

    “Oh dear,” Feather sighed.

    “Bring him back!” Moriko cried out.

    “Why? So he can stay tormented? He hates it here! Both Joi and I knew it!” His eyes were burning with anger. “Ever since he became your beloved oracle, his psychic powers have been out of control!”

    “We need him!”

    “No, you don’t! No one needs to know the future, but Stryker has been forced to look into it time and time again. He sees things that will rend an ordinary Pokemon’s mind to shreds.” He turned his back to him. “This Scyther will no longer be your problem either.”

    “Would you really turn your back on us after we let you live with us?” Ariados asked him softly.

    Ronin stayed silent for a while before giving his answer. “I am loyal to no one. You knew that when I drifted here.” My vision flickered as he teleported us away from the mob.

    Artemis’s POV

    (Day 2, Afternoon)

    To ease the tension of the situation with Riku’s mother, we went outside for a little training. The backyard had enough space to re-enact the Civil War. Shoot, so was the front yard. But we didn’t have enough people for that. Besides, Riku and his dad would’ve had a hissy fit if we damaged the perfect lawn. That was where the practice field came in handy. Yeah, they had one. See, they had plenty of room on all sides of the mansion.

    “Cinder! Combine Rollout and Flame Wheel!” Ryan shouted as he stood on one side of the field.

    “Huh?” Static grunted as he watched the Cyndaquil run before igniting his whole body and rolling into a ball. Now Static was dealing with a rolling fireball. My teammate ran to evade Cinder, which wasn’t easy to do. “I didn’t know we were doin’ dis contest style!”

    I acted as Static’s trainer, even though neither he nor Cinder needed orders. “That’s not helping, Static! He’s getting faster!” I yelled. “Use Dig!”

    “Oh, no you don’t! I know what’ll happen if I do dat!” He started to run in a zigzag pattern, effectively slowing down Cinder as he followed. “I’ll use Dig…Cinder’ll stop…shoot a Flamethrower down my hole…and roast me alive!” He went back to running a straight line. “I know what to do!”

    Static skidded to a halt, faced the rolling fireball, and gathered electricity until his cheeks were sparking. It wasn’t a Volt Tackle, however, as that would’ve been too much for Cinder. The Raichu charged straight for Cinder with his Spark attack. The two met in the middle. Cinder was thrown backwards from the Spark, his fire extinguished. Static stopped and stood, a burn on his forehead from headbutting his fiery opponent.

    “Cinder!” Ryan rushed to him and checked him. Cinder groaned and curled up before glowing pink. “Rest?”

    “I didn’t know he knew that,” I commented as I walked to Static. “Feeling okay?”

    “Don’t sweat it,” he answered. “I’m boined but I’m not boined. It’ll heal on its own.”

    Riku, Apollo and Magic sat on the sidelines. We hadn’t told Riku about what happened with Hayate that morning, and agreed that we would stay calm about it. Riku only mentioned his cousin once, saying that he was glad to be rid of him. My brother had been quiet the whole day, ignoring Cinder when he asked where he’d been yesterday.

    <That was a reckless move, rodent,> Apollo said.

    “Well, excuuuuuuuuse me, princess!” Static retorted loudly. “I had a fireball gunnin’ for my hide! Stoppin’ and tryin’ to Thundershock him wouldn’t have been smart either!”

    Magic chuckled. “Guy’s got a point.”

    “Let Static fight his own way, brother,” I told Apollo. The Espeon bristled in response.

    Riku stopped in mid-yawn at the same time the other two psychics perked up. “Someone’s teleporting here,” Riku informed us. He got up quickly in time to face the new visitor.

    And his friends.

    The Pokemon in front looked a lot like a Gardevior, only without the dress and with a different hairdo. Behind him was a blindfolded Zangoose. The others I recognized as Feather, Joi, Ripper and Reaper. Then I blinked as I got a good whiff at the air. He doesn’t smell like Reaper. And what’s with the stripes? The Scyther locked eyes with me and I shuddered involuntarily. He’s scary.

    “What happened to them?” Riku asked the Gardevior-like Pokemon, skipping the polite formalities. Then I noticed that Ripper was breathing heavily and looking weak, Feather looked nervous, Joi looked scared out of her mind, the striped Scyther was cut up and almost unconscious, and the Zangoose was looking around frantically and muttering to himself.

    “They need treatment,” was all the Pokemon said before gesturing to the two Bug types.

    Riku looked at Joi instead. “You couldn’t treat them?”

    Joi took one look at the striped Scyther and shook her head furiously. Feather nuzzled her, effectively calming her down. “We have a lot of explaining to do and it’ll be easier if Reaper and Ripper were healed,” Feather told her. Joi nodded slowly and moved to Ripper, who was now sitting on the ground. She touched his chest with glowing hands and concentrated on healing him.

    Static stepped around the taller figures to look at the strange Scyther. “Dat’s Reaper? Dude had a makeover!” he exclaimed. His nose twitched as he slowly inched towards me. “I’ve never smelled somethin’ so strong.”

    Cinder gulped and rolled up in a tight ball. Ryan picked him up and held him with one arm. “If I remember what I learned from Professor Cedar, a Pokemon’s scent differs with rank and power. It also can tell other Pokemon if they’re wild or trained. If he really smells as strongly as my nose is telling me, then Reaper must’ve gotten a lot stronger.”

    I decided to tell him what the others knew. “It’s more than that, Ryan. No ordinary Pokemon has this scent, wild or trained. This scent tells us that he will be controlled by no one.”

    “He’s different,” Ripper told us as soon as his breathing was back to normal. “He used the Kai Venom Crystal to poison me. My metal covering can only fully protect me from poisons that enter the body through the skin, not those that can be inhaled. His poison seemed to have been just for me.”

    “If it hadn’t been for Feather, he would’ve killed us,” Joi said softly.

    All of us tensed as we heard this. “What got into him?” Ryan whispered.

    Joi moved from Ripper to Reaper, flinching when the Scyther’s bladed arms twitched. “I’ve seen the files on this but thought they were fabrications. I mean, what was done to him was beyond taboo. He’s no ordinary Scyther…but a Gaijin Scyther.”

    “Whoa.” Ryan sat on the ground hard. “Those guys are actually real? I thought Professor Cedar only made those guys up to scare Shonta and me.”

    “You know about them?” Ripper asked him, his eyes lit up.

    “Look, it was just supposed to be a scary story. Gaijin Scyther were supposed to be this bloodthirsty subspecies of Scyther who roamed the wilderness, acting just like a bunch of Vikings. They plundered other Scyther’s territories, they killed their leaders if not the entire swarm, and had their way with the females. They also had a thing with human girls.”

    I looked into Ryan’s pale face and wide eyes. “God, I hope you weren’t little when he told you that.”

    “I had nightmares about those guys,” he whimpered.

    “I’m not surprised that Professor Cedar has heard of them. They were a legend among the Pokemon experts. Then again, Jack the Ripper’s a legend too,” Joi said grimly. “But the Gaijin Scyther are real. I just thought they were extinct.”

    “It would be so nice if you would explain what the hell they are,” Ripper sneered.

    “I should start with Oak’s Theory of Pokemon Domestication. He theorized that before man evolved into its present state, Pokemon were just animals with basic instincts. Just like ordinary animals. As humans interacted and trained the Pokemon, they developed more complex minds which were passed down to later generations. They developed morals and ideals. Even wild Pokemon were influenced just by observing the humans.”

    Static yawned. “Dis is gettin’ borin’ already.”

    “There were, however, some Pokemon that resisted the influence of humans. Groups of certain species isolated themselves from humans and did not think twice about attacking them. Soon early humans had to deal with a subspecies of Scyther, the Gaijin Scyther. They worked to wipe out this threat, which was a lot like what Cedar told you. The Gaijin Scyther, Raitah, Raptoreon…they are prime examples of Pokemon behavior before humans came along.” She looked up at Riku. “I’ll need you to subdue him once he fully comes to.”

    “I think I know what you’re talking about,” Ripper said. “Pokemon don’t call them Gaijin Scyther, but Berserker Scyther. The humans had them pretty much wiped out by the time period the humans call the Middle Ages. And that scent…it was the same with the Raitah. But they’re not really hostile with us, which explains why we’re not creeped out by their scent.”

    “Someone must’ve found a swarm hiding out somewhere,” I guessed.

    Joi’s hands flickered for a brief moment. I could tell that she was afraid of Reaper attacking her. “Yes. Team Rocket did. They captured and bred them. Gaijin Scyther were the ideal weapons for them. They were faster, stronger, smarter, sharper, and they had the lifespan of humans.” She bit her lip. “But you have to think of the price of such things.”

    “Like what?”

    “Loss of sanity. Those Scyther were dangerously unpredictable and no one knew when they would turn on them. One day they did…and were exterminated in the process. All except one.” She looked at Reaper.

    “To think we had one in our group,” Ryan said.

    “It wasn’t his fault,” Feather told him. “I don’t think he remembered any of that.”

    Reaper didn’t remember because he didn’t exist until then,” Joi corrected.

    There was silence among the group. “I’m sorry, but could you please clarify?” Magic asked.

    “This technically isn’t Reaper. This is Gaijin. From what I gathered earlier, Gaijin has multiple personalities. To be exact, he had one other personality.” She sighed and scratched her head. Gaijin groaned but stayed still. Joi must’ve been healing him slowly so she had time to explain. “My mom’s friend was part of the project. She was killed by Gaijin, and that started the night of bloodshed that ended with most of the swarm killed. When I got older, I read through the notes she had on the project. Gaijin was what the scientists called a ‘wild card’. Wild cards were actually quite tame sometimes, but that was because they were a separate entity from their main selves. They were usually exterminated, but they were convinced Gaijin would be different. The friend tended to Gaijin and seemed to have been liked by him. His tame side, that is.”

    “Reaper was his tame side,” I realized.

    “I can give a pretty good guess as to what happened after that. With strong medication, scientists at where I now know to be the Lake of Rage lab suppressed Gaijin. It also gave Reaper, the other persona, a strong case of amnesia. They still wanted to use him, but not because of his Gaijin side. Not if they wanted to suppress that side.”

    Feather looked at Ripper. “Remember when most of the Pokemon there were able to use the Aurora Crystals?”

    Ripper nodded. “Getting two Kai Knights can’t be just mere coincidence.”

    Cinder unrolled. “Maybe it has something to do with those Daemons.”

    “Daemons?” It was the first time that the Zangoose spoke. “Maybe…”

    Gaijin growled and got to his feet, all of his injuries gone. “You will not cage me again!”

    The Zangoose gasped and held his head in pain. “Such bad thoughts…make them go away…”

    Riku calmly stepped in front of him with glowing blue eyes. Gaijin raised a scythe in an attempt to strike him before he felt the effects of the Hypnosis. The effects came too quickly, and he collapsed before he could bring his scythe down on Riku.

    Ripper sighed in relief. “That was close. We need a more permanent way to deal with this. No way will we be able to do this for long.”

    Riku put his sunglasses on. “Everyone to the kitchen. We can’t do this on an empty stomach.” My ears caught the sound of his stomach growling.
    Random Quote:
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." ~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich



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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated March 27, 2008)

    Well! If I had expected anyone to have a trait like this, it would've been Ripper. So Reaper's a false self? That could cause problems; then again, it opens up a lot of possibilities for inner conflict. Interesting.

    I really liked Gaijin's design, actually. It's distinct enough to show the differences between him and Reaper, yet subtle enough so that it's not confusing. (At first I thought there was some Transformers-esque metamorphosis happening, but your method was better.) The battle between Feather and Gaijin was also described well; that was probably the clearest mental image I had the entire chapter. You're clearly improving a lot in that regard.

    It probably sounds like an odd suggestion, but you might want to pace yourself a little with some of the revelations. It's getting to be a lot to digest; from Shonta's alter-ego to Riku's mother and so forth. Those plot twists are quite good, but you might say that the best roller coasters are the ones where you almost throw up. It's good to keep readers on the edge of their seats, but I'd be careful not to toss them too often.

    Your characterization, though, was excellent as always. Reaper's switch was fantastically portrayed - I could practically see the gears snapping as he lost his mind. Buried memories are dangerous. Nice backstory for Gaijin, too. Makes you ask some tricky questions about morality... if Reaper isn't the real Reaper, is it fair to bring him back? I like the conflict. Nice chapter. You've turned this fic in an unexpected direction, so I look forward to seeing where it goes next!
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  24. #24
    The slaughter never ends. Junior Trainer
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated March 27, 2008)

    And again I say, wow. o.o The truth about Reaper is astounding--I never saw something like that coming. His Gaijin persona--apparently his true persona--is very creepy, a memorable and fascinating character all its own.

    And Feather was amazing in that chapter. o.o She really put up a fierce (and nicely-written) battle against Gaijin.

    Highlights

    Stryker's voice temporarily diverted my attention. "I unlocked something. It won't go away. MAKE IT GO AWAY!" he shrieked.

    "What did you see?" Joi asked him urgently.

    He sat up and put his front paws in his lap. "Strange fruit." He chuckled and then whimpered and went back to holding his head. "Strange fruit that drips bitter, red liquid. It paints the ground red."

    "Oh god," Feather whispered. "What do you mean?"

    Stryker's eyes shifted downward. "Blood. Dead bodies. The shinigami is a murderer."
    Wow... poor Stryker. o.o What he was going through there seemed really intense, and also pretty darned creepy.


    "But it feels so good," Reaper told Ronin with glazed over eyes. "Like it did before. I was afraid of this feeling, but it's so wonderful."

    Not many things scare me, but at that moment I abruptly pushed him away. What he said was just wrong. Reaper stayed hunched over for a while, his eyes wide with excitement. His scent was starting to change. It smelled muskier, much stronger than a typical wild Scyther's. But it was strangely familiar. Where had I smelled it before?

    Soon more changes appeared. Jagged, dark green stripes stood out on his head and shoulders, and then on his abdomen. The Kai Venom Crystal shone brightly but didn't seem to calm him down. Chills raced over my body. "What is he changing into?" Feather asked.

    "Reaper, what the hell has gotten into you?" I asked.

    A strange sound came from him, a clicking purr. Scyther and Scizor make it when they're in a really good mood, which is why humans never hear it from them. Hearing it from Reaper made us all very uncomfortable. "I killed them all. Just like Father wanted me to. Even the nurse. I skewered her as she was changing my bandages. Because they did not deserve life. They corralled us, bred us, and tried to control us just so they would have stronger pets." He turned his gaze to the frightened Joi and Stryker.
    Gaijin's personality rising to the surface there was a very creepy moment indeed.

    "Feather, don't just stand there! If Moriko tries to fight this creep, he'll slaughter her!"

    Feather's eyes closed. "I can't! Not while you're in this condition!" she said.

    "Think about Moriko's condition when she's minus her limbs!"
    He definitely had a good point there. X3
    Feather narrowed his eyes at Gaijin. Her wings opened and pushed her off the ground with a couple of hard flaps. I briefly closed my eyes to avoid getting sand in them. “Feather?” I looked up until the sun blinded me. Near the bright circle was a black shape that was quickly getting bigger as it swooped back down. A brown blur rushed past me and slammed into Gaijin, knocking him into a tree.

    “Aerial Ace…” I whispered in awe. “And a good one too.”

    Feather flapped more to stay airborne and lashed at her opponent with her sharp talons, scratching whatever Gaijin couldn’t shield. Another hard flap of her wings had Feather backing up towards me again. She looked back at me and momentarily softened her expression. “I’m sorry but I have to fight him,” she told me.
    Seeing Feather in action like this was awesome. Again, that was some fierce fighting. ^^

    Feather grunted in frustration. “He was almost back to normal. This is going to take a little more force. Stay close, Ripper.” She shuffled closer to me and once more powered up the crystal. “Aero, crystal of the wind, let loose your power.”

    I didn’t even get a chance to say “Huh?” before a huge gust kicked up. The wind blew back Gaijin a good distance before he had the sense to land. Then the wind got stronger. Trees were being bent to its will. I wasn’t really affected because of my steel body, but Gaijin had to plant a scythe into the dirt to keep himself in one place. Finally the wind changed to that of a small tornado that enclosed Gaijin.

    Feather smirked wickedly, another expression I never thought I’d see. “Razor Cyclone!” At her command, sickles of light formed within the spiraling wind and cut every inch of Gaijin. After a few short seconds, the cyclone dispersed and Gaijin collapsed on the ground, still in one piece.
    The Razor Cyclone technique was very cool. ^^


    Plenty of awesome and interesting things this time around. A great chapter indeed. ^^

  25. #25
    The real Shonta Moderator
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated March 27, 2008)

    Chapter 8 – Old and New Bonds

    Terri’s POV


    (Day 2, Afternoon)

    “Holy crap!”

    I jerked awake after falling asleep to Demyx’s music. “What is it?” I shouted more than asked. I was expecting an attack by a psychotic Pokemon, a weird optical illusion outside his window, or even an alien invasion.

    “I forgot about contest practice!”

    If I was an anime character, a sweatdrop would’ve been on my forehead. “Oh, is that all?”

    Demyx smiled sheepishly. “Sorry for waking you. If you’re bored, you can come with me.”

    I let out a long yawn and looked down at Typhoon, who was curled up and waking from a nap of his own. “Ten more minutes,” Typhoon grumbled.

    “Sure, why not?” I told Demyx.

    Kanna was standing by the doorway as we left the room. “I can’t contact Mom,” she mumbled as she pressed buttons on her cell phone. “Does she have her phone off again?”

    Her stepbrother just laughed. “Don’t worry; she won’t be coming home until sundown. Why don’t you go out with me and your friend? Hey, you can even sign up for the contest!” He stood beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Together we’ll be unstoppable!”

    “Sorry, contests aren’t my thing,” Kanna said dully.

    “That’s cold, sis.” He then looked at me with big, bright, pleading eyes. “It doesn’t have to be just family, you know.”

    “Oh no, don’t try that with me!” I replied harshly. But he kept that look until my resolve crumbled. “I’ll think about it.”

    He smiled widely and pulled his sister to the stairs, where we were met by a nervous Beacon. “Excuse me, Miss Kanna, but there’s a little problem,” she said quietly and nervously, as if she’s afraid that someone was eavesdropping.

    She led us to the kitchen. Kanna and my pokeballs were lying on the table. One of the two Shock Balls was shaking. “It’s been doing this for about five minutes,” Beacon added with more nervousness.

    “Why don’t you let that Pokemon out?” Demyx asked Kanna.

    “Because I can’t.”

    “Is there a problem with it?”

    “No.”

    “If it’s who I think it is, then there’s a big problem,” I commented.

    The Shock Ball, Prowler’s ball, suddenly stopped shaking. Kanna and I both released held breaths. “We’ll have to let him out sooner or later,” I reminded.

    “I’ll do it this evening, when we’re having dinner,” Kanna said.

    I let out Aqua and Bubbles shortly after walking out with the others. Bubbles immediately began bouncing up and down like she had too much caffeine. “Oh, Altomare! The air is clean, the water is clear and…” She paused as a Golduck passed with his trainer. “The guys are hot!”

    Aqua scoffed. “Only if you’re into shallow, simple-minded, egotistical…” Her words faded away as the Golduck stopped long enough to wink at her. “Hotties.”

    “They look excited,” Demyx said brightly. “Hey Kei, you got your Golduck out! Using it in the contest?”

    The Golduck’s trainer came back to us. The kid looked the same age as him, and was his height. His black hair was in short sweeping spikes with red tips. He also had his tattoos, one on each upper arm. One was the kanji for “love” and the other was “hate”. And I shouldn’t leave out his nose piercing, a simple diamond stud. “I’m not sure. He seems more suited for gym battles.”

    My eyes widened slightly as he talked. He even has a tongue piercing.

    The Golduck smirked at me but didn’t say anything. I instinctively glared at him and clenched my fists. He chuckled and raised a fist of his own. “Anytime, anyplace,” he told me.

    I blinked in confusion. Was he talking about battling? “What did he say to you?” Demyx asked me.

    Kanna quickly stopped me from answering. “Nothing, because you know that she can’t understand Pokemon,” she scolded.

    “But you can,” Kei told her. “Demyx told me that you could.”

    “He was never one to keep secrets.” Demyx laughed nervously in response.

    “So you don’t deny it?”

    “Not anymore.”

    He shrugged and followed us down the canal, talking with his friend. “They’re still talking about that news report from Ecruteak College,” Kei informed.

    I momentarily froze. “Ecruteak? You mean the whole Raitah thing?”

    His back was to me so he didn’t notice the reaction. “Yeah, about the Raitah. The police were almost too freaked out to let the ordeal go, even though the Pokemon disappeared and no one was hurt as far as they know. Someone said that a trainer on campus managed to catch it. I know that’s not going to go unchallenged.”

    “I guess it’s alright since it’s not hurting anyone now.”

    “Hmph. Then there’s the thing with the disappearances.”

    “Disappearances?” Kanna and I said together.

    He and the rest of us stopped on a bridge. “Three gym leaders and a famous Pokemon researcher. The media hasn’t said a thing but I still get stuff from Internet surfers. Damn rich pigs and their media control…”

    Must be talking about Iwata. I tuned Kei out quickly, not wanting to hear more ranting. The sparkling canals took my mind off of it until the radical grabbed my shoulder. “Sorry, must’ve spaced out,” I apologized.

    “Don’t be. He loves to hear himself talk,” Demyx told me. “He’s not really that much of a conspiracy nut.”

    Kei ignored him. “Where do you hail from?” he asked me nicely.

    It was surprising how his tone changed. “Goldenrod City,” I answered.

    His eyes briefly darted to Demyx. “First time here?”

    “Yeah…” I caught his friend huffing.

    Kei’s lips grew into a smirk. “Got a boyfriend?”

    “Okay, enough interrogating!” Demyx said hastily as he pulled Kei away by his shirt. Kei laughed himself breathless. “Seriously, why did you have to do that?”

    “Because I wanted to beat you to it for once,” his friend managed to get out.

    “I know he didn’t just say that,” Aqua whispered.

    “Lousy human thinks that he deserves my trainer,” Bubbles said haughtily.

    My eyebrows rose as I slowly looked over to Demyx. Please don’t be blushing.

    His face looked like it had been dunked into a bucket of red paint. Kei’s face was just as red from laughing so hard. His Golduck looked at the two like they were embarrassing him. I groaned and went back to looking at the water.

    Demyx tried to plead his case. “Come on, Terri! It’s…it’s not like that!”

    Kei’s voice came next, muffled at first. “…and told him she was your girlfriend?”

    “Huh?” That was Kanna.

    “This jock was joking that Demyx couldn’t get a girl to save his life, so Demyx showed him a picture of you and told him that you were his girlfriend.” I could still hear the laughter in his voice, although it had died down at the end of the sentence.

    I turned back around in time for Kanna’s face to quickly shift from curiosity to anger. “Dee…” she growled through gritted teeth. Beacon covered her mouth in surprise and stepped back.

    I chuckled. Ooh, he’s gonna get it. My amusement ended, however, when I noticed that Prowler’s Shock Ball was shaking again while it stuck to Kanna’s magnetic belt. Kanna’s hand slowly reached for it. A mental image flashed of the Raitah chasing Demyx down the canals, tackling him to the ground, and roaring in his face. My pants almost felt wet just by thinking about it.

    Instead Kanna just tapped the pokeball with a single finger and it stopped shaking. “Dee, take comfort in the fact that I won’t kill you in your sleep tonight. But…”

    “I know, there’s no promises for tomorrow night,” Demyx finished.

    The rest of the walk was sort of awkward. Kei was the only one that wasn’t wound up; he was still laughing from Kanna’s threat. But every time he mentioned it, Kanna would give him a glare that would quickly quiet him.

    Typhoon chose to walk beside me despite Bubbles’s attempt to block him. “He’s not a bad guy,” he whispered to me. “Give him another chance.”

    “He tries something else and I’ll drown him in the nearest body of water!” Bubbles threatened. “Oh look, there’s some right by us!”

    Demyx must’ve been spending the time to think of an apology. He would occasionally look at me and open his mouth to say something. If that was the case then he was still thinking when we got to a large square in the middle of the city. Kei stood in front of us and spread his arms wide. “Here we are. This is the place where Altomare Academy students can show off their contest skills before the actual contest.”

    “But just little stuff. We wait until the contest for the big guns,” Demyx added.

    As I scanned the square, trainers with their Pokemon were practicing single moves. One was with his Bellsprout while it was practicing its Vine Whip on paper targets. A couple more trainers were with their identical Poliwag and working on controlling one’s Bubble with another’s Psychic.

    “Looks fun,” I commented lightly.

    “Want to help me, Terri?” Demyx asked me.

    “First acknowledge the fact that I’m too old for you and way out of your league.”

    He glared at Kei before responding. “I wasn’t trying to flirt. I’m just horrible at talking to girls. I’d blush if I told one that I was going to kick her butt!”

    “Fine. And drop this new nickname of yours.”

    “Hey! That my stage name!”

    “Dee…” Kanna started in a low voice.

    “Fine.”

    “You can still use your middle name.”

    “Middle?” I questioned.

    “I don’t see why he thinks Niko’s a bad name,” Kanna mused lightly.

    “Demetrios Niko Westwood. Nice.”

    “I’ll just use Dee for now,” Dee told us. “Come on, we’re wasting daylight.”

    Typhoon returned to Dee’s side and the two of them walked a few feet from us. “How about we show them a sky-high Aqua Jet first?” Dee asked his Buizel.

    The rest of us watched Typhoon as the water vapor in the air around him condensed and was drawn to him, gathering into a cocoon of water. Then the water pushed him up as he crouched low and jumped, looking like he had been shot out of a Blastoise’s cannon.

    “He’s like a bullet!” a bystander near us exclaimed. Others around us followed our gaze toward the sky.

    “Break!” Dee yelled.

    I squinted enough to see Typhoon burst out of the water pillar and salute to the people below. Bubbles applauded. “Let’s add something!” she squealed. She shot an Ice Beam at the base of the still-solid pillar and froze it from bottom to top. Typhoon landed on the top of a twenty-foot ice fountain.

    “It looks like a frozen tree without the leaves,” Kei commented. “So much for the little stuff.”

    “At least the judges aren’t here to see this,” Dee said.

    My body was twitching with excitement. My Pokemon side wanted to join in and show these amateurs a real show. Kanna was calmer but was still watching with interest. “Beacon, finish it off with Power Gem,” she told her Ampharos partner.

    “Okay!” Beacon answered brightly. She spun around and hit the ice sculpture with her glowing tail orb. The whole thing cracked up and broke apart, starting to fall in medium-sized chunks.

    “Not small enough! Thunderbolt!” Beacon yelled as she hopped in place excitedly and blasted the chunks with a strong burst of electricity. The bolts zapped every piece until all that was left was an icy powder that fell upon the audience.

    The ice left a refreshing feeling as it melted on my skin. The Pokemon side of me was relaxed for now since my skin got some needed moisture. I glanced at Kanna who still looked like she was ready to battle. She gazed at me with a faraway look before snapping out of it. “Terri, could you come with me for a while?” she asked me with a slight blush.

    “You okay, sis?” Dee asked her.

    “Yeah. I’ll meet you at home.” She pulled my arm and rushed me out of the square.

    I had to jog to keep up with her. It was surprising that she knew where she was going. “Think you could slow down?” I panted.

    “Almost there…” She had taken me to a more quiet part of Altomare, a residence area. She pulled me to a narrow alley. “Could you make sure no one sees me?”

    “What are you—“ I was cut off when she shoved her socks and shoes into my arms. “Are you changing into your Pokemon form?”

    “I couldn’t hold it in much longer. The excitement was driving me nuts!” She turned me around so I was facing out.

    “I thought you weren’t into contests.”

    I heard the rustling of clothing as she stripped. “My human side isn’t, but the Ampharos in me loves to show off. Good thing Beacon was eager to step in.”

    Another thought occurred to me. “Can’t you transform your clothes too? I’ve seen you do it. You shouldn’t have to take them off.”

    “Yeah, once or twice. The truth is that it’s really hit or miss if the clothes aren’t simple. I didn’t want to risk my good shirt.” She jokingly draped said shirt over my head and laughed. “It’s a designer brand.”

    I groaned and pulled it off. “I kind of felt it too. Maybe it has something to do with what happened at the college.”

    “No, that’s not it. I’ve been dealing with this for years.” Her voice changed to carry a light accent as she talked, something that distinguished Pokemon voices from human. “I’ve been the Kai Shock Knight since I was ten years old.”

    “No way…how did you get through it without your family knowing?”

    “For one thing, I mostly lived with Professor Westwood during that time. Poor guy was too absorbed in his studies to notice my feeding off the electricity in his home. It took a while to find out that it was only because I hadn’t been sleeping enough. Electricity is like my backup source of energy.” She stood beside me in her Ampharos form. “Beacon found me while I was on a research trip and refused to leave my side ever since.”

    I raised an eyebrow. “So no one else knew?”

    “I think my dad did. I could always sense it in him. Maybe my stepmother knows too.” Her tail twitched slowly. “I didn’t like being tied down here, where there wasn’t a lot of land. Dee was constantly worried about me so he would make a big fuss whenever I tried to leave him. Back then I would do anything to get away from him, but now he’s not so bad.”

    “It’s kind of weird that you don’t mind staying on Seafoam.” I got weird looks from people as they walked by. It shouldn’t have been unusual to be talking to a Pokemon.

    “Seafoam’s a natural island. Altomare is a group of manmade islands, plus it’s kind of crowded in most places. A person like me prefers more open space.” She smiled and laughed. “I’m hungry! How about you treat your Ampharos to some gelato?”

    I picked up her clothes and searched through her jeans pockets. “Sure…with your money.”

    Shonta’s POV

    (Day 2, Afternoon)

    Despite the trouble I went through at the mall, the two Kai Terra Knights weren’t ready to send me straight to Hotaru. When I asked them why, Tsume just told me that Hotaru had to make preparations for our meeting. It would take up to a week for her to get me ready. Until then I was stuck at Kiba and Tsume’s home.

    “You got a pretty face. I can see why you’d attract a lot of guys,” Kiba said sweetly as she wiped the blood from my face with a wet facecloth.

    I twisted and turned my head, feeling embarrassed about her doting on me like this. She just followed my movements until she had fully cleaned the stain. “I could’ve done that myself,” I complained.

    She put on a stern face. “Don’t fuss with me, young lady.”

    Hayate rolled his eyes. “Kiba, could you leave us alone for a while?”

    “In my own home?” She put her hands on her hips. “I don’t see why I should.”

    “I’ll spit acid all over your couch if you don’t leave.” He curled his upper lip, showing his fangs.

    She copied his glare. “You do and I’ll shove Tsume’s naginata far up your ass and put you over a fire.”

    I looked from one to the other with true fear. The two were growling and giving off scary vibes. Hayate’s reptilian eyes shone like emeralds. It would’ve been pretty if he wasn’t so angry. “Do you need to take this outside?” I asked nervously, my voice coming out as a whine.

    Both of them looked at me and calmed down. “Sorry about that. We haven’t been on speaking terms for a long time,” Kiba apologized. “I’ll get us something to drink so that’ll give Hayate some time to explain things to you.”

    I nodded and rubbed the Light Dragon Key, feeling out of place. It wasn’t enough that I was in an unknown house, Kiba and Tsume’s home. But their scent was everywhere, of course, and the other side of me didn’t like having to stay in someone else’s territory. Now I knew what Dairyuu said was true, that my human form was merely a disguise. I still keep my Pokemon instincts.

    “You can relax. Kiba and I might fight but I doubt it’ll get serious,” Hayate assured me.

    I glanced at him. “I don’t want to see you get serious then, after what happened in the mall.”

    The dragon Daemon snorted and bent down to remove his shoes and socks. “Neither do I. But I intend to take it easy for now.”

    Okay, I had to admit that he was the wildest looking Daemon so far. His spiky red hair made him look about six inches higher than he really was. What did his human form look like? Or was it the same?

    I sighed and took off my footwear too, sitting Indian style on the couch like Hayate was doing. No questions yet, just observation. I yawned widely, revealing my pathetic human teeth. Hayate grinned and copied me, showing his two rows of fangs as well as a long serpent tongue. My eyes fully widened. I bet he can unhinge his jaw like a boa.

    He caught my stare and closed his mouth but the tongue still stuck out through his lips. “Hm?” He flicked his tongue back in his mouth. Then back out again, for a brief second. “Sorry about that. I tasted something in the air.”

    It took a lot of will to close my mouth. “You’re just like a lizard…” I whispered.

    “Thisssss…” His tongue once again flicked out. He shook his head and laughed. “This must be your first look at a reptilian Daemon. Sorry, that hiss manages to escape sometimes.”

    “You must be comfortable with your true form.”

    “I didn’t exactly have a choice. Even in my human form some Daemon traits show.” He gently took my hand and rubbed it. The skin was smooth and cool. “No matter what form I’m in, I still have cold blood.”

    I gasped and slowly put my other hand to his forehead. It was just as cool. “It must be a problem.”

    “I got used to it.” He reached behind his back and pulled out a long, scaly tail. “How about you? Like being a cat?”

    My hands withdrew and returned to my lap. “It’s weird. I think I’m comfortable, but only when I’m battling.”

    “Well, that’s natural. Some Daemons even have what I call an aftershock, when they’re comfortable at first but then realize what they really are. The individual staring at them in the mirror, claws and fur, is really them. It’s a scary feeling. You should spend some time in your Daemon form, or your Pokemon form. It’ll be a big help.”

    “Okay.” I transformed into my Daemon self and yawned again, displaying my Raitah fangs. Hayate laughed and ruffled my hair.

    “You two are getting along,” Kiba told us when she came back in a minute later with three bottles of water. “I hope you know that he’s Riku’s cousin.”

    Must be a distant cousin. I laughed nervously. “You guys aren’t that bad,” I admitted. “I’ll just have to avoid pissing you off.”

    She smiled warmly and handed each of us a bottled water. “We actually dated in the past. Hayate’s a good person but my…position…puts us on opposite sides.”

    “We actually argued all the time,” Hayate said with a laugh.

    “Sorry about Tsume. He has territorial issues. A stranger in our house is bad enough; his room is no man’s land.” She took a seat in a chair across from us. “Now, let’s get down to this marriage deal.”

    “Forget it, Kiba,” Hayate interrupted quickly. “She doesn’t want Riku.”

    Her red eyes flashed with surprise. “Huh?”

    “Come on, you’ve met the guy. Would you marry him?”

    “Hell no!”

    “There’s a little hole in the contract. Hotaru didn’t count on me losing my memory,” I confessed.

    “But the seal’s still there. The contract is binding. You won’t be able to bond with another male!”

    The Kai Draco Knight chuckled. “Then you don’t know about her and Ryan.”

    Kiba looked at me curiously. “Who’s Ryan?”

    “He’s my boyfriend,” I answered with a blush. “We met when I was five.”

    “Oooh.” She grinned and took a sip from her bottle.

    “I think he’s the son of the Fuji City Gym leader. The resemblance is uncanny, especially in the hairstyle. He’s cool. Looks like Vash the Stampede.”

    She lowered her bottle and raised her eyebrows at Hayate. “Not this again. This had better be your big brother complex kicking in.”

    “What is she talking about?” I asked him.

    He clutched his bottle in his hand, puncturing a couple of holes in it. “Don’t start, Kiba,” he growled.

    “I just think it’s fair that the girl knows this!” she yells. “After all, it’s why the Iwata family almost disowned you!”

    “What is she talking about?” I repeated.

    “It was one time!” Hayate shouted, completely ignoring me.

    “You did it twice, and it was with the same guy!”

    I sprung from the couch and backed towards Kiba. “Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey! I don’t like where this is going!”

    “She’s kidding,” Hayate said calmly.

    “He’s bisexual,” Kiba told me bluntly.

    The three of us got silent for a long time. My right eye wouldn’t stop twitching. Okay, so she thinks that it’s okay to just blurt that out. It’s official; they’re insane and going to drive me insane.

    “Kiba…why did you tell her that? That’s a private matter, dammit!”

    “I’m not old enough to hear this,” I groaned. My head was starting to throb.

    “The guy thought it would be funny to slip something in my drink and pull a joke on me. I woke up with him but nothing happened!”

    “I’m losing my virginity just by listening to this.”

    “So what happened the second time?” Kiba demanded.

    “There was no second time!”

    “SHUT UP!” I roared. My voice rattled the glass on the windows and immediately stopped the arguing. The two of them looked at me and murmured apologies. My body shook as tried to talk in a low voice which came out as a growl. “I don’t care…about this. This isn’t about your sexual orientation. This is about me unintentionally signing my life away to a guy I’m actually afraid of.”

    “Oh Shonta. I’m sorry, honey,” Kiba said softly. Her eyes were filling with tears. “I can understand that. We’ll stick with you and clear this up. You’ll be with Ryan like you were fated to be.” She stood and hugged me tightly.

    The discussion I ended made me conscious about her not-so-small chest. “About sexual orientation…are you…?”

    “No.”

    I held back a sigh of relief. “Okay. Could you let me go?”

    “Sorry again.” She let go. “Lucario just get very touchy-feely about other members of their pack. It’s the same for a lot of canine species.”

    “I’m part of your pack?”

    “I know we just met and we had a fight recently. But I care about you and want you to get through this time in one piece.”

    Hayate cleared his throat to get our attention. “I’m going out for a smoke. Don’t expect me back for a while.” He left us.

    I watched him going before talking again. “Is he really…?”

    “No,” Kiba answered. “But I wondered. After the incident with his college buddy he broke up with me. Why would he dump someone as attractive and similar as me?”

    “Maybe it’s because you’re impulsive. You blurt out these things without thinking, jumping into action without thinking. It can really annoy guys.” My eyes rolled up in thought. That was how I got into that trouble with Ryan. “Wow, I must’ve gotten that from experience. I’m learning a lot from you two. How not to keep a guy.”

    “Not funny,” she said with a pout.

    I laughed anyway. “But seriously, don’t ever talk about these things around me again.”
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 1st September 2008 at 08:23 PM.
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  26. #26
    The slaughter never ends. Junior Trainer
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated August 24, 2008)

    That chapter brought several funny moments, especially in the part from Terri's point of view. Speaking things that happened in that part, I really liked the contest practice scene. The routine that they did involving the Aqua Jet and the freezing and shattering thereof sounded quite lovely. ^^

    Highlights

    I let out Aqua and Bubbles shortly after walking out with the others. Bubbles immediately began bouncing up and down like she had too much caffeine. “Oh, Altomare! The air is clean, the water is clear and…” She paused as a Golduck passed with his trainer. “The guys are hot!”

    Aqua scoffed. “Only if you’re into shallow, simple-minded, egotistical…” Her words faded away as the Golduck stopped long enough to wink at her. “Hotties.”
    XD

    Kei’s lips grew into a smirk. “Got a boyfriend?”

    “Okay, enough interrogating!” Demyx said hastily as he pulled Kei away by his shirt. Kei laughed himself breathless. “Seriously, why did you have to do that?”

    “Because I wanted to beat you to it for once,” his friend managed to get out.

    “I know he didn’t just say that,” Aqua whispered.

    “Lousy human thinks that he deserves my trainer,” Bubbles said haughtily.

    My eyebrows rose as I slowly looked over to Demyx. Please don’t be blushing.

    His face looked like it had been dunked into a bucket of red paint. Kei’s face was just as red from laughing so hard. His Golduck looked at the two like they were embarrassing him. I groaned and went back to looking at the water.
    Another moment that made me laugh. XD

    Kei’s voice came next, muffled at first. “…and told him she was your girlfriend?”

    “Huh?” That was Kanna.

    “This jock was joking that Demyx couldn’t get a girl to save his life, so Demyx showed him a picture of you and told him that you were his girlfriend.” I could still hear the laughter in his voice, although it had died down at the end of the sentence.

    I turned back around in time for Kanna’s face to quickly shift from curiosity to anger. “Dee…” she growled through gritted teeth. Beacon covered her mouth in surprise and stepped back.
    And there's yet another amusing moment. XD

    “Beacon, finish it off with Power Gem,” she told her Ampharos partner.

    “Okay!” Beacon answered brightly. She spun around and hit the ice sculpture with her glowing tail orb. The whole thing cracked up and broke apart, starting to fall in medium-sized chunks.

    “Not small enough! Thunderbolt!” Beacon yelled as she hopped in place excitedly and blasted the chunks with a strong burst of electricity. The bolts zapped every piece until all that was left was an icy powder that fell upon the audience.

    The ice left a refreshing feeling as it melted on my skin. The Pokemon side of me was relaxed for now since my skin got some needed moisture. I glanced at Kanna who still looked like she was ready to battle. She gazed at me with a faraway look before snapping out of it. “Terri, could you come with me for a while?” she asked me with a slight blush.
    Again, I liked the contest practice scene, especially with regards to this part. What happened there sounds really pretty, and I liked that you included mention of what the tiny bits of ice felt like as they fell onto Terri (and it does indeed sound like something that would feel really pleasant and refreshing, I'd say ^^). ^^

    “I’m losing my virginity just by listening to this.”
    That line cracked me up. XD


    Nice work once again. ^^ I'll be back for the next chapter! ^^

  27. #27
    The real Shonta Moderator
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated August 24, 2008)

    I know that I said that I was going to take it easy with the suspense, but after many edits and rewrites, it turned into this. Oh well, it's still finished!

    Chapter 9 – Night Falls: Shonta’s Evening

    Shonta’s POV


    (Day 2, Evening)

    Kiba wasn’t very strict when it came to house rules, but she did have one unusual rule…

    “Daemons must stay in Daemon or Pokemon form at all times.”

    So I was lying on my stomach in the living room, flicking my Raitah tail in the air out of boredom. My Daemon form was more human so I used it. I didn’t feel right walking around the house like an overgrown housecat.

    Lord Dairyuu was back in his plushie body, sitting beside me with a stony look. He seemed to be in deep thought so I didn’t bother him. Besides, when I tried to talk to him, he just kept staring into space like his mind was in another world.

    Things got calm quickly after the awkward discussion concerning Hayate’s sexual orientation, which was good because I the list of questions I had for him and Kiba were growing by the minute.

    The first question…

    “When’s dinner?”

    “I’m working on it right now,” Kiba answered from the kitchen. “Why don’t you relax outside while I’m cooking?”

    I stretched and walked through the screen doors to the back porch. Hayate was already outside in his Daemon form, another cigarette between his lips as he gazed towards the setting sun. He put the cigarette out as soon as he saw me. “Feeling better?” he asked me.

    I nodded before sniffing an unexpected scent. I hadn’t noticed it before since I was outside at first. “Ocean? Are we still near Slateport?”

    “Not really. We’re east of Slateport, between there and Pacifidlog. The twins’ family owns this island so it’s nice and private.”

    Geez, everyone’s rich these days. “How do you know Kiba and Tsume?”

    “I was home-schooled at their house when I was a kid, after I got kicked out of private school. Their parents are cool; they had a sort of ‘Daemon pride’ mentality so they actually spent a lot of their time in their Daemon forms and expected me to do the same.”

    Now I knew why he was so comfortable in his Daemon form. “I guess they didn’t go out in the public a lot.”

    “They went out sometimes. Kiba has ways of hiding her Lucario features so not even other Pokemon can detect them, like all that makeup.”

    “To hide her scent?”

    He chuckled. “She uses a lot, but it’s mainly to give herself an emo look and divert suspicion.”

    “Tsume doesn’t use makeup.”

    “No, he uses the Kai Terra Crystal to block his scent. There’s another Knight I know who does it since her Daemon form looks so human. It was, um…” He dug his fingers through his long hair before his green eyes lit up. “Oh yeah, Joi! The Chansey Daemon!”

    “The Kai Clear Knight? That’s her Daemon form?”

    “Does it really surprise you?” Dairyuu asked me as he climbed onto my shoulder. “Naturally pink hair is not common among humans.”

    “Everything about Daemons surprises me.” I plucked him from my clothes and set him on the porch.

    “Don’t let it give you a headache,” Hayate advised me.

    “Now what about Hotaru? What do you know about her?” I asked the redhead.

    He sighed heavily, a puff of smoke escaping from his lips. This time there was no cigarette causing it. “Hotaru’s a mystery. I only saw her while she was married to Uncle Daichi, which was only about five years. Then she disappeared, leaving Uncle with a bratty kid…who he shipped off to my parents in Lavender Town so he could attend prep school.”

    Dairyuu and I looked at each other then looked at him. “Then why do you hate her? I mean, besides the fact that she dumped Riku on you.”

    “Because she hates me. She said so herself. I’m the only one in the Iwata family with a criminal record and she sees me as a stain on the Daemon race.” His tone was harsh, and his eyes seem to burn with emerald fire. “I’m only not working for her because I’m not worth it.”

    My ears drooped as I looked up at him. It felt inappropriate to ask about his criminal record, and asking more about Hotaru would probably make him snap. “Well, the mood just curled up and died,” I grumbled.

    “Hm? I don’t understand that,” Dairyuu said to me.

    “She’s saying that I killed it,” Hayate clarified. “Anyway, you’re in the care of the pride of the Kuro clan. Kiba and Tsume’s ancestors actually dug the Sinnoh Underground.”

    My eyes widened. “No way.”

    He grinned at me and continued. “They’re the masters of the earth, which is why the Kai Terra Crystal has never left the clan. In fact, those two Lucario made this island.”

    That’s pretty awesome. Dairyuu neglected to tell me that the Kai Terra Crystal was responsible for the Sinnoh Underground. I closed my eyes and enjoyed a brief breeze. The warmer weather in south Hoenn was a pleasant change from the cooling weather in Johto.

    “Yo! Tsume!”

    I opened an eye to watch a male Lucario walk by me as Hayate waved. Tsume just nodded and walked out onto the grass, his naginata resting on his shoulder. Hayate, Dairyuu, and I intensely watched him as he twirled the polearm weapon with pawlike hands. “He’s good with that,” I commented quietly.

    Tsume’s expression didn’t change as he practiced, save for a twitch of the ears when he suddenly stopped. A short second later, I felt whatever put him on edge. Hayate and I both growled, and Dairyuu climbed on my shoulder. “He’s here,” Tsume said calmly.

    Tsuki teleported in front of me, followed by Xatu and another cloaked person. Tsuki bowed to me. “Mama has a present for you,” he said cheerfully. He held out a hand to the stranger next to Xatu, who took it and was led to me.

    I looked nervously at the stranger as he or she kneeled on the grass and bowed low. “Um…is this the…present?” I slowly asked.

    Hayate groaned and covered his eyes. “Holy hell.”

    Tsuki took off the present’s cloak, revealing a young, pale-skinned girl in a dark blue yukata (summer kimono). She had long, pointy ears and two bat wings. Her black hair was in a simple ponytail with a dark blue ribbon tied to it. A Zubat Daemon?

    Dairyuu had on the same expression as me: wide eyes and a dropped jaw. “Speak,” he instructed the girl. She stayed silent and still. Dairyuu glared at her and raised his voice. “I told you to speak!”

    “She’ll only obey Rebecca-kun,” Tsuki said.

    Hayate slapped his forehead and yelled in frustration. “KIBA! THAT BITCH HOTARU GAVE SHONTA A SERVANT!” he roared.

    “WHAT!” I cried out. I looked down at the girl. “Please tell me he’s wrong.”

    She finally sat up and blinked her big violet eyes. “He’s wrong.”

    I sighed in relief and laughed shakily. “She’s not a servant.”

    Hayate narrowed his eyes. “She just said that because you told her to,” he grumbled through his teeth.

    A whimper escaped me. “Who are you?” I asked the Daemon.

    “I am your attendant, milady,” she replied sweetly.

    “Yeah, I got that. What’s your name?”

    “Whatever you decide, milady.”

    My tail bristled. “I meant your current name.”

    “Whatever you want.” Her small smile never left her face.

    Kiba came out and gaped at the new girl. “Holy freaking shhhh…” She covered her mouth and forced herself to stop.

    Tsuki giggled and tugged on my shirt sleeve. “Do you like her? Do you?” he asked me excitedly. I could see bright purple eyes and a big grin through the darkness under his cloak.

    “I don’t need a freaking servant!” I shouted while pointing at the nameless Daemon. “Take her back!”

    The Daemon looked from me to Tsuki, who shrugged, and then looked back at me. “You don’t have need of me, milady?” she asked me, sounding upset.

    I hesitated before shaking my head. “I can look after myself.”

    Tears formed in her eyes. “I understand.” She reached inside her sleeve and pulled out a black sheath, then slowly unsheathed a short sword.

    Kiba gasped and grabbed Hayate’s arm. “A tanto. She’s going to…”

    I yelped in shock and yanked the sword away from the girl, accidentally cutting myself in the process. “Were you going to commit seppuku?” Dairyuu asked frantically.

    She ignored Dairyuu’s question and sadly looked at my bleeding hand. “You injured yourself.”

    “Don’t change the damn subject!” I snapped.

    She nodded once and bowed again. “I was raised to serve you, milady. That is my purpose. If you are going to push me away—“

    “I wasn’t suggesting you disembowel yourself! Is this Lady Hotaru’s orders?”

    “This was my decision.” She lamely reached for the tanto but I pulled it out of her reach. “I would be honored to serve the future wife of Lady Hotaru’s son.”

    Dairyuu huffed and looked at me. “So what will you do? Letting the girl end her life seems merciful right now,” he suggested.

    I yanked him off the ground and stuck my face close to his. “This is ludicrous!” I hissed. “There is no way her life is revolving around me!”

    “You’d be surprised what people would live for.” He struggled out of my hold.

    I groaned and looked helplessly at my new servant. I’ve been dragged into a world of insanity, led by the Queen of Egotistical Psychos. I really didn’t have a choice; no way was I letting this girl ruin my conscience. “I need to give you a name, right?”

    She sheepishly looked up. “You don’t need to, milady.”

    “Too bad, because I need to call you something. Didn’t your friends, your family or Lady Hotaru call you something?”

    “Dusk, milady.”

    Hayate let out a snort. “What kind of name is that?” he mumbled to himself.

    I ignored him. “Dusk it is.”

    She let out a tiny gasp. “Thank you!”

    My wounded hand was yanked from my side by Dusk. “It’s no problem.” I tried to get my hand back, but she insisted on nuzzling and kissing the cut on my palm. It was only slightly creepy until she started licking the blood off like it was honey. “Hey, stop!”

    She immediately let go of my hand and bowed again. “Sorry!”

    I rolled my eyes and covered the cut. Great, I’m stuck a creepy vampire. “Tsuki, Dusk will need clothes if she’s going to stay with me.”

    “And a friend,” Kiba added. “I remember that she spent time with another Daemon her age.”

    Tsuki giggled excitedly. “Mama will be happy! Dusk’s friend will be here in the morning!” He and Xatu teleported where they stood.

    The rest of us stood in the backyard in silence for a moment before Hayate chuckled. “You’re finally getting the big family you wanted,” he said to Kiba in amusement.

    Kiba glanced at him, not angry in the least, and blushed. “Otou-san said that Tsume and I were enough. I wanted at least six more siblings!”

    He gave her a knowing smirk. “Do you want to be their onee-san? Or their okaa-san?”

    She didn’t answer that question.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    As night finally came, my exhaustion fully reared its ugly head. I curled up and fell asleep in the living room shortly after dinner, my stomach stuffed with stir fry and fish. I somehow knew that Dusk didn’t leave my side while I slept. No one tried to wake me up, but I could feel a blanket being draped over me at some point in time. Hayate’s scent disappeared shortly afterwards.

    Something made me wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. My only guess was that I had a nightmare, but I couldn’t recall it. Dusk was still sitting by me, looking very worried. “Are you alright?” she asked me shakily.

    “I guess.” I looked at the sleeping plush body of Dairyuu, and then at a digital clock on a nearby wall. “Two a.m. Why aren’t you sleeping?”

    Dusk blinked innocently. “I was too restless, milady. I was so excited about meeting you today that I haven’t been sleeping at night. I develop nocturnal behavior when that happens.”

    I understood that. Artemis was the same way, so Dusk would also soon go back to sleeping at night. I hope that’ll be pretty soon, because it feels creepy to have someone watching me while I sleep.

    I stood and looked over her young appearance. “How old are you?”

    “Um…” She scratched behind one of her ears. “Nine, I believe.”

    “Nine?” I reeled back. “Holy crap. That’s not even old enough to go on a Pokemon journey. Are you…related to Lady Hotaru?”

    “No. She found me abandoned years back. She sheltered me as well as several others. She’s a savior for young Daemons like me.”

    I seriously couldn’t decide what I thought of Lady Hotaru. Daemons had gotten a bad reputation in the past, so it was gracious of her to at least take them in. But to make them into servants…

    “I need some time alone,” I whispered.

    She cocked her head to the side. “Do you need assistance?”

    “I don’t need an attendant.” Before she could reply, I kept talking. “I do, however, need a companion.” She merely nodded and stayed where she was.

    I walked through the first floor hallway in search of the bathroom and went through a door that was partially open. The strong scent that reached my nose told me that it wasn’t the bathroom, but Tsume’s bedroom. Wrong room. If Tsume is territorial, then why did he keep his door open?

    There wasn’t any movement or sound coming from the lump under the covers. At first I thought that he was still sleeping. But then, I reasoned that I would at least hear his steady breathing as he slept. He was awake and holding his breath, probably waiting for me to do something.

    “S-sorry,” I stammered.

    “You’re awake,” he said quietly.

    “Yeah. Had a nightmare, I think.”

    He rolled on his back and sat up, showing his bare torso. “Your room is across the hall.”

    “Yeah, okay. Thanks.” I didn’t move, my yellow eyes still on his red ones.

    “Do you need anything?” There was no emotion behind his voice, but I could tell that he was annoyed.

    I licked my lips. “Hayate seemed to be angry at Lady Hotaru for…for making you…”

    “She did not make me into anything.”

    My hand tightened on the doorknob. I could almost detect anger in his voice. “So…what did she do? What did you do to be working for her?”

    He sighed and slid out of bed, standing next to his naginata. At least he was wearing pajama pants. “I merely am fulfilling my part of the contract.”

    “What contract?”

    “She saved my life. I willingly gave it to her. It was the appropriate price.”

    My mouth worked before my brain could tell me that I shouldn’t say anything. “Was taking away your emotions part of the deal?”

    A sudden growl shocked me into movement as I stumbled backward to the other side of the hallway. Tsume’s eyes burned with anger. His teeth were bared. “I fulfill my duty without question, without doubt. This is my decision. Kiba knows this.”

    In a flash, he crossed the room and pressed the blade of his weapon against my neck. “Do not fight your duty, cub. You’ll only be met with pain.”

    I whimpered as he applied pressure, drawing a little blood. Is he threatening me? Or just warning me? My body trembled until he pulled the blade away, then slumped to the floor in submission. My tail was tucked between my legs as I squatted. My ears drooped. I panted as though we had actually fought. How can he be like this now? He was emotionless all this time, even when he fought with Hayate!

    “Your instincts know that you’re just a cub here, regardless of the rank of our crystals,” Tsume continued as he glared down at me. “You have no right to question me.”

    “May I?” Dairyuu’s authoritative tone rang from the hallway’s entrance. His plushie body was still, but his ghostly Daemon-like image stood beside it. I could see Dusk through it. “My age and position far exceeds yours.”

    Tsume lowered his naginata and kneeled on one knee before him. “What do you wish to ask?”

    “Why do you harm my vessel?”

    He bit his lip and looked apologetic. “I apologize, Lord Dairyuu.”

    The dragon’s eyes narrowed. “I was not asking for an apology.”

    “She needed to be reminded of her position—“

    “And so I will remind her in the future,” Dairyuu interrupted. “You may go now.”

    Tsume nodded and returned to his room. I let out a long-held sigh of relief and walked back to the living room. “Why did he listen to you?” I asked Dairyuu. “He works for Lady Hotaru.”

    “Yes, but he’s also a Kai Terra Knight. That also puts him under my command.”

    I went back to my spot on the living room floor and lay there silently for an unknown amount of time. I wasn’t even aware of my falling asleep.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 21st February 2009 at 06:26 PM.
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated February 21, 2009)

    It continues! Glad to see a new chapter at last. ^_^

    I liked how you sort of reminded us of Hotaru's power throughout this chapter. I'll have to go back and do a little re-reading to remember everyone's role, but you continue to demonstrate exactly how much influence Riku's mother holds over the daemons. I get the feeling we're getting ready for some kind of critical twist, and this is all an elaborate game in which Hotaru's positioning herself before her attack. A curious feeling. I like it!

    However, I kind of wish the action was a little slower within each chapter. Maybe this is just me, but it all seems a little fast. It might be nice to have a few paragraphs of introspection or even just relaxation between, say, the conversation with Hayate and Tsuma's naginata training. Those transitions can make it easier to keep up... a moment or two of downtime, if you will, between the scenes.

    I am enjoying the pressure that various characters are exerting on one another, though. Dairyuu's badassery was pretty awesome. It makes me wonder whether he or Hotaru holds more power over Tsume. This whole political struggle can be confusing at times, but in a good way. Now Shonta has a vampiric child slave who's happy to off herself at a moment's notice... what twist will you throw at us next?
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  29. #29
    The slaughter never ends. Junior Trainer
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated February 21, 2009)

    Wow, Dusk is certainly a memorable and interesting character. o.o She gives me this interesting sort of "creeps me out yet also invokes my pity" reaction that I don't often get from characters.

    Highlights

    Hayate slapped his forehead and yelled in frustration. “KIBA! THAT BITCH HOTARU GAVE SHONTA A SERVANT!” he roared.
    I laughed so hard at his line there... XDDDD

    A sudden growl shocked me into movement as I stumbled backward to the other side of the hallway. Tsume’s eyes burned with anger. His teeth were bared. “I fulfill my duty without question, without doubt. This is my decision. Kiba knows this.”

    In a flash, he crossed the room and pressed the blade of his weapon against my neck. “Do not fight your duty, cub. You’ll only be met with pain.”
    o.o Quite an intense moment there.


    Keep up the good work! ^^

  30. #30
    The real Shonta Moderator
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated February 21, 2009)

    FINALLY, ANOTHER CHAPTER! And I'm thinking I should slap an "M" on this because of varied stuff. *coughgayjokescough*

    Chapter 10 – Night Falls: Night at the Mansion

    Ryan’s POV


    (Day 2, Evening)

    “…and dat’s why dey don’t let me in Pizza Hut!”

    You didn’t want to hear the rest of Static’s story. Trust me.

    My face turned slightly green as I stared at him from across the dining room table. “That’s sick, Static,” I groaned in disgust. “Really, we just got done with dinner.”

    “I think I’m going to hurl,” Artemis whimpered.

    “I’ll never eat cheese again,” Cinder said.

    Riku and his dad were both looking at Static like they didn’t know if they wanted to choke him or run to the bathroom. Daichi’s right eye was twitching. “Didn’t Shonta teach you manners?” Daichi asked the Raichu.

    Static looked around, truly naïve of his faux pas. “What? I was tryin’ to make after-dinner conversation! I thought it’d be funny!”

    “We’re supposed to be talking about more important things,” I reminded him. “For example, what to do about Reaper’s darker half.”

    “Speakin’ of dat psycho, where is he?”

    “I left him in his pokeball.”

    He narrowed his eyes at me. “Where’s his pokeball?”

    I reached in my pocket to show it to him only to find it empty. “It must still be in the living room. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’s still asleep.”

    Joi abruptly rose from her seat. “I should go,” she said hastily. “Feather, could you give me a lift back to the clinic?”

    Feather, currently in her Pidgey form, fluttered down from the chandelier to the floor. “What’s the rush? I thought we were going to plan,” she chirped.

    “I just…I can’t…” She looked around frantically, her chest heaving from anxiety.

    Feather looked at me solemnly. “I really should take her home. That episode with Gaijin really rattled her.”

    “But—“ I started.

    Ripper chose this time to rush into the dining room. “He’s up!”

    Cinder shrieked and dove under the table. Static and Artemis looked down at him and then at each other with nervous faces. Ripper groaned. “Not Gaijin. Reaper,” the Scizor corrected.

    There were about six different sighs of relief, one of them my own.

    Ripper led us back to his fellow Bug type, who was sitting against the wall of the sitting room. The dark green markers were gone, along with the psychotic personality. All that was left was one depressed (yet seemingly sane) Scyther. “How many?” he asked us quietly. When no one answered his vague question, his voice got louder and angrier. “HOW MANY DID HE KILL?”

    Everyone took a step back from his change of attitude. “None,” Ripper answered calmly. “Feather managed to subdue him before he did any damage.”

    “Two different personalities,” Riku commented. “When did you two switch?”

    “When you put Gaijin to sleep, I had a chance to regain control of this body,” Reaper explained. “But I don’t know how long he’ll stay asleep.”

    “This isn’t good. If you go to sleep, or even just let down your guard, Gaijin will take the opportunity to take over.” He looked around the room. The Zangoose and Gallade were sitting in the corner and staring at Reaper, although the Zangoose couldn’t see much with that blindfold. They hadn’t said anything since that afternoon. “Were you responsible for this?”

    The Gallade narrowed his eyes at Riku but held his tongue. “I was,” the Zangoose responded. “I dove into forbidden waters and released the dreaded monster.”

    Static blinked in confusion. “Can you please dumb it down for the non-poets here?” he asked loudly.

    Artemis bopped him with a paw. “He’s saying that he read Reaper’s mind and let him out. But wait, I wasn’t aware that Zangoose could do that.”

    “We can’t, but I’m unique. I was born with this ability although it is unknown why. I was captured by the scientists shortly after my birth,” the Zangoose explained. “I seem to have forgotten my manners. My name is Stryker.”

    “And mine is Ronin,” the Gallade added stiffly. “We thank you for welcoming us into your home.” He gave a slight bow to Riku and Daichi.

    “You’re here only because we think you know how to solve the problem with our friend,” Riku said coldly while gesturing to Reaper.

    Daichi gave his son a glare. “Riku, have you even thought of talking to Lady Kagetsubasa about the matter?” the elder asked.

    “She’s been quiet lately for some reason, but I could try.” He closed his eyes and held the Dark Phoenix Key until it gave off a red glow, the reopened his eyes. “She’s coming out.”

    I braced myself for the weird thing I thought was coming. The last time I talked to Kagetsubasa, it was by her using Riku’s body. It was too strange to hear a dominant male suddenly sounding like a teenage girl.

    Only that didn’t happen this time.

    Instead, the ghostly image of a young woman appeared beside him, wearing her long black hair in a thin ponytail. She was dressed in a black-and-gold kimono, which went with the small black wings that were on her back. I recognized the blood-red eyes that she had. “You called?” she said coldly, not sounding like she did last time.

    “Lady Kagetsubasa,” Riku addressed formally. “We have a problem concerning the Kai Venom Knight.”

    It struck me as strange that she hadn’t known by now. Seeing as she and Riku could share a body, they also had to have shared information. But it seemed like they had grown distant. I wonder why…

    Riku explained the problem to her and she widened her eyes in surprise. “I thought you’d be the one ending up like this,” she told Ripper with a smirk.

    “Tell me about it,” Static agreed.

    The ghostly figure crouched in front of Reaper, who watched her in amazement. “Couldn’t you purify Gaijin with your powers?” I asked her.

    “This isn’t an Umbra Demon-related problem. It isn’t darkness that’s affecting him.” She shook her head and stood up, being about Daichi’s height. “I can only help with darkness of the soul. This is just psychosis, which plagues the mind.”

    I clenched my fists and looked down at Reaper. Being his usual noble self, he kept a straight face. I knew the whole thing was tearing him apart. “So there’s nothing you can do? Come on, there’s two different people sharing one body! This goes beyond normal psychology!”

    “There’s a term for this, you know.” Joi stepped forward with her opinion. “Dissociative personality disorder. The person creates a separate personality due to trauma.”

    “How separate?”

    “They’re still one person. It’s that one personality blacks out while the other takes control.”

    “Then there’s no way to separate them.” I sighed heavily and rubbed my forehead to calm the oncoming headache.

    “And how were we supposed to separate them?” Riku asked me, sounding irritated.

    I pointed to the Dark Phoenix Key. “Like Kagetsubasa got separated from hers.”

    “Three problems with that. One, we can’t use the Aurora Crystals right now. Two, we’re dealing with two personalities and one body. Three, I don’t think Gaijin will be willing to leave.” He stared into my eyes like he was trying to melt my face with nonexistent heat vision.

    Daichi apparently caught this little display of attempted dominance and nudged us further apart. “This dispute isn’t getting us any closer to solving this problem. I suggest we sleep on it. We’ll have clearer heads in the morning.”

    “Dere’s one of us dat can’t ‘sleep on it’,” Static informed while gesturing to Reaper.

    The man sighed heavily and left the room. Not knowing what to do, we just stood around until he returned with a few items: an inkwell, a brush, and a small slip of white paper. “I know what to do,” he said seriously.

    All of us watched curiously as he dipped the brush in the ink and wrote on the slip of paper. Then he kneeled in front of Reaper and held the paper between his pointer and middle fingers. I could see where I was standing that Daichi had written kanji on it. At first, it was just hanging limp. A few seconds later, both the hand and the paper were surrounded by a blue aura. The paper stood straight. It was familiar to me. “An ofuda?” I guessed.

    “We’ll have to render both of you unconscious,” Daichi told Reaper. “That way neither of you can’t use the body as long as the seal is on you.”

    Reaper nodded in understanding and let the Daemon stick the paper on his forehead. Instantly his body jerked and slumped forward. His eyes slid closed. Daichi stayed where he was, admiring his work. “It seems I still have it,” he commented smugly. “I’m not sure what to call it, but it has many uses. It’s a bit of old Daemon magic that only psychics can use.”

    “I need to learn some of that,” Riku mused.

    I stiffened. Hell no. The last thing I want is you cursing me. A growl rumbled in my chest.

    “Ryan, keep your temper under control,” Daichi scolded. Riku chuckled. “Riku, don’t taunt Ryan.” I laughed loudly.

    Riku’s hair stood on end as he bared his teeth, looking like an angry cat. “Is something funny?” he demanded.

    Everyone except Ripper took a step backward. The annoying Ripper decided that a dog-and-catlike-animal fight would be amusing to watch. “Come on, Ryan! You’re the Alpha he wishes he was! Are you going to take that crap from him?”

    Something deep inside me flared at that. I changed into my Daemon form, as did Riku. We didn’t get our chance to fight, however, as Daichi swiftly stepped between us and pushed us back. Both of us strained to look around Daichi so we could keep an eye on each other. “I should’ve known having the two of you in the same house would cause something like this,” he grumbled. “Two stubborn rams butting heads.”

    “It’s a big mansion. Can’t you put them on opposite ends or something?” Cinder asked meekly.

    “They’re like two betta fish. Put them on opposite sides of a lake and they’ll still find and tear each other apart,” Artemis said sadly. She looked at Riku with shame. “Really Riku, I thought you had more control than that.”

    “Not when it comes to Ryan,” Ripper said with a laugh.

    Daichi cleared his throat, prompting Ripper to keep his mouth shut. “In my years of parenting, I have found that two siblings fighting are practically asking to be separated. The best way to punish them is to keep them together.” He put on a fiendish smile.

    “Huh?” Riku and I said in sync, looking like idiots.

    The man’s smile widened, letting a canine tooth show. He grabbed both of us by our shirts and pulled us closer together. The enemy and I realized what he was doing and struggled to get away, which only made Daichi pull harder. He yanked us forward until our foreheads collided. “Ow!” we cried out together.

    Daichi laughed and ruffled our hair. I couldn’t really see him because Riku was right in front of my face. “Now you two will stay that way for thirty minutes. If you two break apart, I’ll be sure to find a more severe punishment. Ripper, make sure they stay here.”

    “Yes, sir!” Ripper said loudly. I could hear the barely contained laughter in his voice.

    I heard a lot of footsteps going away from us. They were leaving me here with Ripper and Riku.

    Great, a sadistic Scizor.

    And a wimpy, girly, snotty, snobby, stinky, no-good, fish-eating, couch-scratching, fur-licking, yarn-batting, girlfriend-stealing…


    “Stinky?”

    …mind-reading bastard.

    “I’m going to love this,” Ripper joked.

    Artemis’ POV

    I shouldn’t have left Ripper with those guys. With his help, they’d tear down this mansion in minutes. I got rid of that thought and looked around the corner at the two newcomers, Stryker and Ronin. The two hadn’t said much for a while but I knew that they knew something more about this.

    The two were headed for Daichi’s study. The Gallade knocked and entered while the Zangoose sat in the hallway. His bushy tail twitched slowly, and his head stayed turned to the door. However, I wasn’t sure where he was looking because of his blindfold. I hesitated before slowly approaching him, moving like I was stalking prey.

    “Is there something you need?” Stryker inquired when I was just a foot away from him. His head was still turned to the door.

    I jumped in surprise. “No,” I lied.

    “Ah. Okay then.” He stretched out and yawned. “You can block your sounds and thoughts but not your scent.”

    I sighed and sat beside him. We stayed there in silence; not even Stryker’s tail made any sound. It took me some effort to say something. “Why do you where that blindfold?” I asked him.

    “It blinds me to the world around me.”

    “Um…yeah, I guessed that much. Why would you want to do that?”

    “If I can’t see them, I can’t read them.”

    I rolled that around my brain. “You mean you can’t read minds when you have that?”

    He nodded. “Not clearly, at least. I can’t control this power. If I look deeply enough into a person, I can not only see into them, but also anyone they’re connected to. Like an Ariados’ web.”

    “Hmm.” More silence. “What is your friend doing in there?”

    “I cannot say. He has blocked his thoughts from me.”

    “Oh.” Even more silence. “Can I wait here for him?”

    “Of course.”

    Third Person POV (during Artemis’ POV)

    The two males stared each other down, although Daichi was tenser. The Gallade was on his territory, after all. But he stayed seated at his desk. <I normally don’t allow visitors in my study,> Daichi said in telepathy as he ran a hand through his white hair.

    Ronin shifted his weight to one leg. < No, you never did. Even when I was here years ago, as Lady Hotaru’s companion.> He dropped his serious attitude and started to walk along the walls filed with bookshelves. <Big shame. You had the most interesting things here.>

    Daichi’s eyes grew wide with recognition. <You were her Ralts?>

    <I didn’t want to reveal my association to that woman, considering the hidden malice I sensed in this place.> He gave a warm smile. <My psychic blocks have gotten more effective if you couldn’t find out who I was.>

    <No. I just think involuntary mind reading is rude.>

    <Anyway, I resigned and devoted myself to Stryker’s well-being. He’s so unstable that I’m afraid any attempts of using his psychic powers will resort to something catastrophic.> He frowned with worry even as he looked at the rows of books. All fiction. <And I was right. Now I feel responsible and want to help you contain this Gaijin.>

    <And what is your plan, old friend?>

    <An extraction.>

    He sighed out loud. <I was considering that option, but the risks are too great.>

    <The risks will be great no matter how you look at it. But this way Gaijin will be out of the way permanently.>

    <Where will we transfer Gaijin? We’ll need another vessel.>

    <I can find one, so don’t worry about that. What you’ll need to worry about is finding the people who can perform the extraction. We can immediately exclude Stryker; he’s had enough problems already.>

    <Riku and I certainly have enough power between the two of us.>

    Ronin chuckled. <If your ex-wife found out that you risked her son, and she will, you’ll experience a very painful death.>

    He growled and gripped the pen in his hand. <Who do you suggest?>

    <I recall an old acquaintance of Riku’s that should be more than capable.> He psychically laughed at Daichi’s shocked expression. <Come on, he’s not that bad.>

    <He practically worshiped the ground Hotaru walked on.> He let out another growl.

    <That’s because she’s the scariest woman alive.> The two of them shared a hearty laugh. <Send Riku to get him. That way there will be no casualties.>

    <Hopefully.> Another sigh.

    “ARRRRR!”

    “EOOOOOON!”

    CRASH!

    And another sigh. <Two aggressive males, fighting for the same woman, staying in the same mansion,> Daichi groaned as he stood from his seat and went to the door. <I’m throwing them both out. I don’t care if they kill each other.>

    Ryan’s POV (during Third Person POV)

    It wasn’t that bad at first. The only thing that bothered me was that I was touching his face and looking into his eyes.

    Then I noticed his scent. Nothing out of the ordinary.

    It still annoyed the hell out of me. His very scent got on my nerves. Lately I’ve been noticing that I’ve been avoiding areas where his scent was heavy. His bedroom, his usual bathroom, any bathroom that he had recently used, etc. It made me want to rub against everything just to piss him off.

    “You smell like wet dog,” Riku said in an irritating tone.

    “You smell like dead cat,” I retorted.

    “You smell like something the cat dragged in.”

    “You did drag me here!” I growled low and pushed my forehead against his.

    “Get out of my face.” He pushed back.

    “I would, but I don’t want to risk more time together with you.”

    “That’s what they all say,” Ripper told us from his place against the wall.

    I strained to look at him but all I could see was Riku’s hair. “This doesn’t concern you, Ripper!”

    “He’s right, Ripper,” Cinder said. I didn’t know when he came back. “Stop being mean.”

    “He’s got a point,” Static said. “One minute dey’re tearin’ each other apart, th’ next dey’ll be…”

    “If that’s a gay joke, Static, I swear I’ll charbroil you!” I blurted out in anger.

    “It wasn’t a gay joke. It’s not like I’m comfortable wit’ th’ mental image of you spoonin’ wit’ Riku in dat big bed of his in th’ middle of th’ niiihahahaha!” He broke out into laughter before he could finish. The worse thing was that Ripper and Cinder were laughing right beside him.

    “They make a lovely yaoi couple, don’t they?” Ripper laughed.

    I barked angrily at them. “That’s it! No more reading fanfiction, you rat-tailed bastard!”

    Riku stayed silent, with his eyes closed. Was he tuning us out? “Aren’t you going to say something?” I asked him.

    The boy slowly opened his eyes and silently mouthed something. It sounded like…like…

    “I love you.”

    “I’LL KILL YOU!” I roared as I tackled him to the floor.

    “I said ‘alligator food’, idiot,” Riku rasped.

    I snarled and grabbed the collar of his shirt. “Why do you insist on pushing my buttons?”

    “It’s funny,” he admitted with a weak smile. The three bystanders nodded in agreement.

    “ARRRRR!” I roared, sounding like an Arcanine.

    Riku responded with his own Pokemon cry. “EOOOOOON!”

    I looked up at the doorway just in time to see Artemis running toward me with an enraged look on her face. Didn’t have enough time to dodge the Quick Attack in the gut though. She tackled me hard enough to knock me off of Riku and into an expensive vase on an end table, shattering it. “I can’t leave you boys alone for a second!” she shouted. “Immature, idiotic brats! All of you!”

    “You would’ve been down here with us, Artie,” Static grumbled now that his fun was ruined.

    “You’re a bad influence.”

    Daichi calmly walked to Riku and picked him up by the collar of his shirt. Then he went to me and did the same. The two of us were barely on our knees. “You couldn’t even stand thirty minutes of this?” Daichi asked. Riku and I hung our heads in instinctual submission. “Maybe you need some room to work this out.”

    We were dragged to the backyard. “Sleep out here tonight. And try not to kill each other. Tomorrow’s mission requires the both of you.”

    “Mission?” Riku questioned.

    “To Titan City.”

    That struck a familiar bell. Didn’t Riku plan to go there anyway?

    Riku’s eyes grew wide. “Please no, father. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go there since Hayate came here,” he pleaded.

    “Don’t worry. You’re not looking for Hayate.” He went in the house.

    Riku whimpered and stood. “That’s what I’m afraid of.” He picked up a nearby stick and drew a line in the dirt. “This is my half of the yard. Over there’s your half.”

    “Fine then.” I got up and went to a small tree. I forgot to tell Daichi earlier that I had a certain emergency.

    My rival watched me warily. “Wh-what are you doing?”

    “Your dad probably won’t let me back in so…” I left it there and unzipped my jeans.

    “Are you peeing?”

    I snickered. “No, I’m marking my territory. Much more effective than drawing dirt lines.”

    I felt a little pain in the back of my head and looked down to see the stick he used. “Fine. Whatever. I’m going to bed. Disgusting mutt.”

    After I had finished, I lay down a few feet from the curled up Espeon Daemon, minding the line. The last thing that I was thinking before drifting off to sleep was who could terrify Riku so much.
    Last edited by classy_cat18; 15th July 2009 at 02:07 AM.
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  31. #31
    The slaughter never ends. Junior Trainer
    Junior Trainer

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    Default Re: Scattered Lights (Updated July 13, 2009) [M]

    Heh, I thought the bit with Static and his apparently nasty story there in the beginning of that chapter was pretty funny. XD

    And I wonder who (or what) Ronin intends to be used as Gaijin's new vessel. o.o For that matter, I wonder if the whole extraction plan's going to go off without a hitch. I imagine it'll be interesting to see what happens with regards to these things...

    Highlights

    “…and dat’s why dey don’t let me in Pizza Hut!”

    You didn’t want to hear the rest of Static’s story. Trust me.
    ...XD Oh dear. I shudder to imagine what he might have done... X3

    My face turned slightly green as I stared at him from across the dining room table. “That’s sick, Static,” I groaned in disgust. “Really, we just got done with dinner.”

    “I think I’m going to hurl,” Artemis whimpered.

    “I’ll never eat cheese again,” Cinder said.
    ...Now I really shudder to imagine what he might have done. X3

    Riku and his dad were both looking at Static like they didn’t know if they wanted to choke him or run to the bathroom. Daichi’s right eye was twitching.
    XD Amusing expressions on their faces there.

    The man’s smile widened, letting a canine tooth show. He grabbed both of us by our shirts and pulled us closer together. The enemy and I realized what he was doing and struggled to get away, which only made Daichi pull harder. He yanked us forward until our foreheads collided. “Ow!” we cried out together.
    XD That was great. BONK! XD

    And a wimpy, girly, snotty, snobby, stinky, no-good, fish-eating, couch-scratching, fur-licking, yarn-batting, girlfriend-stealing…

    [b]“Stinky?”

    …mind-reading bastard.
    The bolded part = golden. XD


    Once again, nice work. ^^

  32. #32
    The real Shonta Moderator
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    Default Re: Scattered Lights

    Jeez, thirteen years since I last updated. It's really awkward to post here after all this time, when the forum is barely alive. But if I'm ever to make a comeback, it'll start here.

    So...no new chapter yet, in case you're still interested. But it's not like I haven't tried. I have about four or five different drafts of the next chapter, as well as attempts at Dragon Range stories and new fics altogether. It's very difficult to just jump back in. I revisited this fic, read replies to try to encourage myself to get back to writing. I really wanna continue this fic but coming back to it, I really notice the flaws. Especially since I probably wasn't the most...supportive of the LGBT+ community back then? Part of me wants to chuck it in the trash. Part of me wants to retcon a lot of stuff. I also have a crazy crossover idea that I wanna try. If there are any fans of my work still around, I could use some advice. Until then, I'll keep working at it.
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